Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Freedom is Not Free

They know it.

11 years ago I learned that lesson and I will never forget it.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Growing up too fast






I know it has been a while since I have written, we are just getting through each day, minute by minute.  We are busy and life is full.  The kids are growing fast and it makes me so sad.  Lily is a different child and Johnny is in school learning a ton every day.  I wish Shawn was here to see them, they are amazing, because they are his children.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Brownies and Cookies

I just spent 6 ridiculous hours baking Shawn a double batch of cookies and two batches of brownies, because he said "since you can't send real chocolate how about some in homemade cookie and brownie form." Was that him saying "please drop everything and make me brownies and cookies while ignoring the rest of the world to prove how much you love and miss me" ? Nope...but I did. I did not even let the kids help...they would have loved to make cookies for Daddy. I am not sure what to say to defend myself.  At about 10:30 pm it hit me that this is a silly way to do this, and I got annoyed with myself every time I put a cookie sheet in the oven.  God bless my mom who sat 10 feet from me all evening, she never once asked me "what the hell are you doing, don't you have stuff that needs done?" My mom let me destroy her kitchen and make extra noise during her only relax time and while she took care of the baby.  She understood that there was something in me that needed to do this tonight, for him.  Even though the basement is a mess and I need to finish Johnny's first day of school sweater, make an oil change appointment and fix the sliding door on my van, did I do that...nope I made cookies.  I miss my husband.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Just read the bible, do it

This week I feel like we are in a nice grove with this deployment.  God has filled my days with the laughter of children and my evenings with creativity and growth.  Shawn is "board" in a war zone...and I am fine with that! We miss each other like crazy, but every day down is another day closer to home coming and a day that I know I am doing God's will.  That is what is on my mind right now.   March 20 th of 2011 I felt God pull on my heart in a way I never thought was possible, since then I have tried to live a Christian life and search for that pure joy sensation in my soul again. This deployment and the recent deaths in my family have been a true test for me.  Not every day has been a success, some tests God gives me I fall flat on my face.  But with each failure and each success I get closer to knowing and living God's will and feeling God's joy forever.  Something extremely important that has recently been beaten into my mind is ....you must read the Bible! Read the Bible, read it read it read it.  In a year a half that I have truely felt like a Christian I have not read much of the Bible.  I have listened to Christian music, Christian books, worn a cross around my neck, but my bibles (multiple) sit mostly untouched.  I enjoy using the excuses that I am dyslexic, reading is very hard and over whelming for me...so Jen listen to it on audio....I have multiple versions of audio bibles too.  Without that very necessary step my relation with Jesus just was not forming.  I began to convince myself God was so forgiving and fluffy that I was good just trying to be a good person.  And God is forgiving and loves us unconditionally, but there is more and He is all mighty, there is no reason or excuses to not read the Word of God.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Operation Gratitude

The wars have been on for 10 years.  Soldiers have been leaving their families behind for 3 months to 18 months at a time for over 10 years.  It has never been easy for anyone. 
But we are proud to support our soldiers like no one else can....and you know what we need support too.  My children are sacrafising  a year of childhood with Daddy so that others will benifit.  I have been touched by many people who want to pray over us or hug us or just share a few words understanding... But today the kids got a little extra support...their own care packages!   

Operation Gratitude is an organization of volunteers and donations who send care packages down range to say a comforting "thank you" to our men and women in harms way.  A couple months ago we gave them Shawn's info so he could receive a package...I had no idea they did family packages too.


Our FRG (family readiness group) passed these packages out at the latest meeting, since it is 30 hours away from us, we did not make it.  So the FRG leader put the kids packages in the mail and it was the most exciting event of the month...MAIL just for them!


Both of the kids got Battalion Buddies which are these adorable stuffed animals wearing a jacket like Daddy's.  Johnny got a monkey! PERFECT!!


Lily got a puppy!!! "puppy puppy puppy...my puppy"


They also got some fruit roll ups, girl scout cookies and a recordable book! A very nice book...I was VERY excited!  We are going to send one to Daddy to record and we are going to record one for Daddy, I am sure that will be fun.



The generosity of this organization and everyone who works with them has touched my heart very deeply. Without question or comment my children received a blessing to help ease the days away from Daddy.  It made them feel special and gave us all strength to get through a few more days.  Thank you Project Gratitude, I pray a praise for you and a need for more of this kind of selflessness in our world.  

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Smiles

I am not sure why today was rough...it just was.  I don't want to complain or focus on the negative, I truely understand how freaken lucky I am....but today was still rough.  I think it was mostly that the kids seemed to have lost their minds first thing in the morning and did not manage to find them all day.  On days like this shawn would bring me home a few bottles of very cheap wine ( Boones Farm) and take the kids on his famous nature walk and serve us all dinner of roman and peanut butter and jelly, taking the kids for early baths and extra books.  I miss him.  But he called today and sounded like he was in good spirits, my mom laughed with me and the kids had left over Chinese for dinner(which was a total treat for them.). I am lucky, blessed and loved and I am frustrated with myself.  I am being apathetic about nearly everything, praying, reading, school, cleaning, eating right or pushing myself at the gym.  The back of my mind is screaming at me to suck it up and do it all they way I know I should, but my heart is tired and my body is sore.  I truely wish I knew how to overcome myself.  Something every part of me can agree on and something I will never lose motivation for is making my kids smile.  I am clinging to that right now.  As much as they drive me crazy, when those little faces light up so do I.  That is what will get us all through this....giggles and smiles of two perfect little monkeys.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

God's Own Reasons #121

I have spent a lot of time during this deployment trying to figure out WHY.  What could God want us to gain from all of this?  I come up with reasons and usually reject them thinking "it is just not worth that" or "I am just stretching it"  But one reason has come up time and time again that really seems to make sense...I needed to get closer to God before I could be away from my family.  My brother, sister-in-law and mother have been spiritual guides and sounding boards for me and God wanted me to be stronger in my faith through them before I could be away.

I accept this reason.

But why did Shawn have to go to war to keep me here. Surely GOD could have found a better reason to keep us here.  Well God is obviously smarter then I and has a plan for me, to better me and He has great things planned for me.  It is hard to remind myself of that when I wake suddenly and expect to see my husband curled up next to me and he is not, or when I don't hear from him at all for days and my mind wonders as I am scared to answer the door.

 But God truly knows more then me and I accept that as well.

With these two facts finally being accepted into my heart I am open for many more of Gods plans to start in my life.  Today I am discovering that God is truly working his will to make me a better me.  Through this deployment I am learning about myself, my family, my husband, my children and life.  My priorities are shifting like I never thought they would and my heart is feeling at peace with things I never dreamed of.  I feel as if I am a tree and I am watching and feeling my branches grow and change.  It is surreal to be in the midst of a true metamorphosis.  I accept my faults and my strengths and I am looking forward to knowing myself better and growing up to be the best Mom and wife that I can be, with God by my side anything is possible.