Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Oh You Gotta Have Friends

Lately I have come to realize that surviving deployment can not happen with out friends. I need these special people in my life to call when I am having a bad day. I can call them for a laugh, or to whine, or to ask for prayer. Each of them are there for me. At the same time, I am also there for them. They can call me for any of the same things that I call them for any time day or night. We each find friends in different ways. Some we have had since our school days. Some we have met since we started this military roller coaster. Some we have online only. Some we feel more connected to and can talk to more openly and some are for fun times more than stressful times. But we still have friends. And our friends help us so much. I thought about this after I spoke with one of my confidant friends last night. I have come to realize that I can tell her anything. We have only met each other online but she is so easy to talk to about any thing. I talked to her last night simply because I have been having a difficult time recently and reached a point that I needed someone to know. Just telling another person can help so much. They can talk you through it, let you vent, and pray for you. And when they have been through this before, they can offer some really sound advice. All too often we encounter people in our daily walks who tell us "Call me if you need anything". But we never call them. We don't know if they really mean it. They should have been more specific when they offered. I can't just call out of the blue. Most of the time (not always, mind you) but MOST of the time, they do mean it. They really want to help. They aren't specific because they don't know what your need may be, but they do mean it. I am so guilty of not calling and asking. I bring more stress on myself because I won't just ask! The worst they can do is say no, sorry, I can't help you. And if that's what they say, then that's fine. Now you know. But more often than not, I'd bet they are waiting on an opportunity to bless your family. Don't take that opportunity from them! Let God bless you through them! We all need our friends. We need them for help, for talking, for laughing, for crying, for praying. Call yours today. Let them bless you! You just might be a blessing to them in return without even knowing it!

Friday, January 11, 2008

From Struggling to Surviving

Lately it seems that everywhere I turn I find wives whose husbands have recently been deployed. As in since the first of this year, very recently. They all seem to have the same question, How do you do this? I'm struggling, how do you do this? I so wish there was a simple, magical answer to that question. I wish I could just tell you "well, ya know, I do this and this and this and I'm all good now." But I can't. The truth is, deployment is hard. It's hard on those of us left behind here at home. We see everything around us and something always reminds us of the one we love. It's hard on our soldiers. They miss us, they want to be home. They want to just hold us close to them. We want to be held close to them. There is no magical answer that will make everything all better. It does get easier as time goes by. Well, maybe easier is the wrong word. I'd say it gets manageable as time goes by. Everyone always says "Stay Busy!" And as lame as it sounds, it's true. Staying busy does help the time to pass more quickly. Planning things to do in advance helps too. My girls and I try to plan something fun once a month so we have something to look forward to every few weeks. Right now we are planning Kaitlyn's birthday party. It's in February. March we will do something for St. Patrick's Day, maybe a party for them and their friends. April is MY birthday. May is R&R, June is Keliah's birthday, July we go home for a visit, August we start school shopping, September school starts, October is Halloween, etc, etc. That has been a tremendous thing for us! We go to church every Sunday. Getting up and doing this one thing gives me strength for the week. Talking to my hubby every week gets me through too. There's nothing like a phone call to make me smile for a few days. Looking back over the first 4 months of this deployment, I'd say that I am surviving now because of the little things everyday. I know we don't all have kids to plan things with, but we do have friends. And we don't all live in military communities. So not everyone understands what we are going through. But we do have online support systems. My online friends have become some of the biggest assets to my life. I know it's a struggle at first. I've been there. But over the first couple months you do come to find that the small things in life and the monotony of everyday life, strengthens you in many ways. I have noticed recently that I have really come to rely on my daily routine. It's almost as if doing what I do every single day makes each day ok and livable. Another thing I have found that has given me untold amounts of strength is helping others. I donate to those in need. I talk to people who just need someone to listen. I do anything I find that I can do to help someone who needs it. Seeing others smile makes me smile. I pray that you can each find what gives you strength in your life so you can stop struggling and start surviving.

Written by: Kim

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Where is my strength?

When I first sat down to write this blog, I thought "what do I have to say about staying strong? I'm just another wife dealing with deployment and wondering what tomorrow will bring." I actually have sat down here several times to write this blog. It has taken me some time to get some form of an idea in my head. Then I realized what I was doing wrong. All this time I have been trying to write this one myself. I'm not why I can make it from one day to the next. I am not what makes me strong. God is. God gives me strength. God gets me from one day to the next. Psalm 46:1 tells us "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble." I have learned in these 4 months since my husband left that I can't do anything on my own. God is there for me. ALWAYS. He's the one who gives me peace. He's the one to gets me out of bed when my kids are fighting and the sun isn't even up yet. I must give all credit to God for my strength. People ask me all the time if I worry about my husband and fear that he wont come home. Well....first of all...that's a stupid question to ask any wife who's husband is at war. Second....I do worry some and of course I have fears. BUT I have a peace about it all. God has promised me that my husband will come home to me. God is protecting him. I pray for him every day. That doesn't mean that deployment is easy. That doesn't mean that I don't have bad days. We are all entitled to have bad days. The other half of my soul is gone for a LONG time....it's only natural to have a bad day occassionally. But I do know that my husband expects me to get up every day and live my life. I talked to him yesterday and he said that getting up every day and taking care of myself and our kids shows him how much I love him. That's what gets me out of bed. When we got a phone call a couple weeks ago that there had been an incident within my husband's battalion, I was at a loss for what to do. I wanted to help him, but I am so far away. I prayed for God to give not only me strength, but him also. He told me when I talked to him again that he knew I was praying for him. He could feel the peace and the strength. God does miraculous things. I wondered before my husband deployed where I'd find the strength to get through this. Now i know....my strength is in God.

written by: Kim