Wednesday, February 24, 2010

My Speech has been a week since my granddaddy passed...I am still in shock most of the time. I honestly feel like I am walking around in a haze...I miss him, A LOT. I miss his stories, I miss his hugs, and most of all I just miss knowing he is here. Last night was the hardest for me...every single time I closed my eyes, I saw him. It was so clear and so I just stayed awake. I know that as time goes on this hurt will become less and less and the grief will be more manageable. I am comforted knowing that he is healed and happy and I will see him again. I commented to a friend that I really wished I had the faith of my children. I simply told them that papa was healed and in heaven with Jesus. They asked if he would come back and I told them "no, he is too happy to come back, but he is waiting on us to join him one day" and that was more sadness...just accepted it.

I took a few pictures before we went to Papa's funeral. I know that it seems odd to take pictures before such a difficult time, but I wanted them for memory sake. I wanted a picture of my hubby and brother in class A's standing with my Mama Beth and my mom. I was so proud of them and so glad that they were able to honor Papa by being pallbearers. Below are a few pictures:

Jason, Mama Beth, and my brother Jeremy

Jason, Mama Beth, Jeremy, and my mom

Jason and Jeremy

During one of my last visits with my Papa, he asked me to give a speech at his funeral service. I have never been so honored in my life. I have prayed (and had my friends praying) for God to give me the right words in the speech to express exactly how much I thought of my granddaddy. I wanted the speech to be honoring of Papa as I reflected over the man I know and love with all my heart. I could have probably given a 30 minute speech, but we were very limited on time. (Papa was buried with military honors and had to be at the National Cemetary at a certain time so we were on a pretty tight schedule) As the service drew closer and closer, the more and more nervous I became. I practiced the speech over and over...but I was still nervous. I was mostly nervous because I did not know if I could make it through the speech without shedding a lot of tears. As the time came for me to give my speech...I was pretty through the 1st sentence and the tears fell...hard and I stopped, caught my breath, and just prayed for God to take over...and in that instant I felt a calmness that I have never felt before...a strength not of me. It was the most comforting feeling...and I did it...I gave the speech just like my granddaddy asked me to do. I have been asked to share the speech so I am going to include that here. I do not have an audio copy of it (yet) so I am just sharing the typed version.

Speech for Papa’s funeral:

Over the past few weeks, I have had the privilege of spending some quality one on one time with Papa. During one of our visits, I was able to take over 4 pages of notes. Notes about my Papa’s childhood growing up in a house with 12 children. How his days were filled with chores and schoolwork…and an occasional game of baseball. Notes about serving his country for 20 years and 29 days. A service that included a tour in Korea and 2 tours in Vietnam. Notes about raising 4 children. Not only raising them, but the pride of watching them grow up to be successful, loving adults. Notes about meeting, falling in love with, and marrying my Mama Beth. A 26 year marriage spent laughing, enjoying a game or 2 of golf, and enjoying time with the love of his life. And lastly notes about the joy grandchildren and great-grandchildren bring. The joy of spending time taking them to ride 4-wheelers, teaching (or trying to teach in my case) them how to ski, and spending quality time with each of them.

As I have reflected over those notes, one thing continues to come to my mind: CHARACTER. In Titus Chapter 2, the author Paul, outlines for us the duties and character of the older and younger. He says in verse 2: “that older men are to be temperate, dignified, sensible, sound in faith, in love, in perseverance.” Verse 7: “in all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified, Verse 8: “sound in speech which is beyond reproach, so that the opponent will be put to shame, having nothing bad to say about us.” These duties described here were my granddaddy. He was dignified. He was sensible. He was sound in faith. He persevered. He was compassionate, loving, and respectful. He was understanding. He was an example of good deeds. He was dignified. And He was sound in his speech. Not only do these adjectives characterize Papa, but they also characterize his lifestyle. Papa was what I consider “all-inclusive” He was a faithful man. Papa gave us a faith to live by. Papa has always been an example of how to live in Christ and now he has been an example of how to die.

From this experience, I am learning that it is ok to grieve. We grieve because we miss Papa…and that is ok because we have faith. Faith that we will see Papa again. And because of that faith, we have HOPE- not hope as in “wishful thinking” but HOPE in the certainty that we will see Papa again.


Thursday, February 18, 2010

He Fought The Good Fight...

My granddaddy fought the good fight...
He finished the race...
He is completely healed...
And now he is resting in the arms of Jesus.

My granddaddy passed away this morning after a long and couragous battle with cancer. I am so thankful for the time I have had with him. Those moments are so precious to me. Right now we are taking comfort in the fact that he is completely and totally healed. There is no more suffering. No more pain. And we know we will see him again.

This was my granddaddy and me on my wedding day 6/16/01. I was so honored that he walked me down the aisle and presented me in marriage on that day.

Thank you to all of those who have called, emailed, texted, and prayed. It means so much! Please continue to pray for my family. Though we are comforted knowing that my granddaddy is completed healed and with Jesus, we are human and miss him.



Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Great Article to Share

I wanted to share a great article with all of you that I came across yesterday. I am friends with the author, Sara Horn, on facebook. She shared the link there and I asked permission to share it on my blog.

Below is the link to the full article:

Here is the article:
Have You Hugged a Military Spouse Today?
As the leader of a military wives faith-based support organization and a military wife myself, I’m often asked by women’s ministry leaders and churches what they can do to support military wives and their families. You might be unsure of how to minister to an older woman with cancer or a young mom with twins if you have never experienced those things yourself, and in the same way it can be hard to know what to do for a military wife if you’ve never walked in her shoes.
It’s easy to assume that if you don’t live near a major military installation that military wives don’t exist in your community. But there are more than a million military spouses in our Armed Forces today and military wives are everywhere – National Guard and Reserve families often live far away from where their respective bases are, and active wives make the choice to move home and live with family when their husbands are overseas. This gives you and your church some wonderful opportunities to make a difference for our military by supporting their families while they’re away.
Connect with a military wife
If you meet a military wife whose husband is away for deployment, make a point to check on her regularly and let her know you’re praying for her. Deployment is not an experience you “get used to.” It’s an emotional roller coaster from beginning to end and there are good days but there are hard days too.
With all the technology available today to connect with our loved ones, we can still go days and weeks and sometimes months without a phone call, an email or a letter. We can get lost in all that we’re responsible for and forget to make time for ourselves. Sleep can become an issue for a lot of women when they’re not used to sleeping alone and the quiet of the house at night gives them the first chance they’ve had all day to really think about their husbands being away. Exhaustion can make a hard situation even worse and fray our emotions completely.
One of the absolute best gifts I received during my husband’s first deployment was when my friend Allison, another military wife, sent me an email on behalf of her small group from church and asked me to make a list of things I needed help with around the house. She had asked me this a couple of times before and I’d always dodged the request, but when she sent an email in black and white, I relented and put together a list of little to big things I needed to get done, thinking I’d give enough options that the group would find a couple of things they would be willing to do. On a warm spring Saturday, eight to ten friends I’d never met came over to my house and took care of absolutely everything on my list. And at the end of the day, what touched me most wasn’t the honey-do chores they’d completed for me, though I was very grateful for their help; it was the fact that they’d reached out in a physical way and let me know I wasn’t alone.
Do something
One of the hardest things for a military wife to hear is “Let me know if I can do anything to help.” It’s very difficult to ask someone else for help, especially if you’re unsure of what that person is willing to do.
The best thing you can do to help a military wife is to put yourself in her shoes and like the Nike commercial said, just do it! Would you get tired of planning dinner and cooking for a year without a break? Give her a gift card to eat out or call her up and let her know you’re bringing dinner tonight. Would you have trouble knowing what to do with the car or the yard during the peak of summer? Rally the men in your small group to help change the oil or share yard duties. Would you be worn out if you were responsible for your kids 24/7 without another adult to give you a break occasionally? Offer to take the kids for an afternoon so she can do whatever she wants. Would it be hard for you to put Christmas lights up or other holiday decorations by yourself? Offer to do it for her.
If you offer to put a care package together for her husband, don’t forget to put a little package together for her – bubble bath, Starbucks cards, or a little book of Bible Promises are all little things that can make a world of difference for a military wife and give her encouragement and hope to keep going. And chocolate! Don’t forget the chocolate!
Be sensitive
As much as you want to be able to help and appear understanding to her needs, resist the temptation to compare your husband’s two-week business trip to her husband’s year-long deployment. Unless your husband is also trying to avoid mortars and IEDs (improvised explosive devices), it’s really not the same.
Avoid saying things like “I don’t know how you do it,” or “I can’t imagine being in your shoes.” Most of the time she doesn’t know how she does it either, but it’s the only choice she has – to do it or give up.
Encourage her. Tell her what a great job she’s doing and how her husband will be so proud to hear how well she’s doing holding down the fort at home. And then make sure he does hear how well she’s doing.
If a military wife is in your small group at church, make sure there are enough activities happening she can attend that aren’t strictly couples-oriented. Consider holding off on that Love and Respect marriage study and do another study that she’ll be able to feel included in. When you do have events such as Christmas parties or Super Bowl parties, make a point to call her and make sure she’s coming; there’s a greater chance she will if she knows someone will miss her if she doesn’t.
Support those who support our heroes
Military wives don’t want pity or to be felt sorry for, but they can use prayer, encouragement and all the emotional support they can get. Ask most service members what their greatest worry is when they’re deployed and they may surprise you when they say it’s not getting wounded or killed – it’s making sure their families are okay back home.
I believe God can use the hardest of times, like deployments, to grow us and stretch us and make us into the daughters He wants us to be. But we need others to come along side us in the journey.
Help to make sure that the spouse and family are well taken care of and you also help take care of the soldier. So feel free to pass those hugs out to military spouses today – they will thank you for it!
Sara Horn is the founder of Wives of Faith ( and the author of GOD Strong: A Military Wife’s Spiritual Survival Guide. She enjoys speaking to both women’s and military wives groups about God’s incredible strength. Email her at


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Valentine Party...A Couple Days Late

I had the honor of attending a Valentine Party at Jack's school today. The party was post-poned from last Friday since the school was closed for the big snow we got =) Madeline got to come to the party also and she had a BLAST! Below are some pictures from our fun time at the party...

The kids and me at the party.

Jack and Madeline

Claire (Chloe's little sis) and Madeline

Jack, Chloe, and Samuel...the best of friends

Getting ready for a fun game of bingo =)

A fun game of bean bag toss.

Playing musical chairs...the kids REALLY enjoyed this game!

Making a craft.

Waiting for story time to start.

All the little sisters sat together at snack time.

Now...any takers for all the candy we got????


Saturday, February 13, 2010


Much to our suprise, we got S-N-O-W yesterday!!!!
It is funny because on Thursday, I commented on a blog that we had not got any snow and I was jealous of those getting to play in the snow. Then a few hours after that, I found out we were under a winter weather advisory and were expected to receive 1-3 inches of snow! YAY! Of course I live with a skeptic (aka Jason) and he just kept laughing at me for being so excited. (look whose laughing now) =)
Well, I sent Jason to the store (not for milk and bread, but for chips and toilet paper...I know strange, but we were almost out and lets be honest, we do not want to run out of tp) HA!
Of course you can not mention the "S" word in Alabama and not expect madness...we got a call from Jack's teacher that his school was closed for Friday...he did not mind at all. J said the store was packed...with people getting milk and bread (not chips and tp) haha
Well...the weather man hit it right on! We got 2.5 inches of the beautiful white fluffy stuff!!! YAY!!!
We had A LOT of fun playing in it yesterday! We played so hard that Jack was asleep last night by 7:15.
Below are some pictures of our SNOW DAY 2010...

Madi making a snow angel.

Jack making a snow angel.

J with the kids

The kids and me

Jack has his snowball ready

Madi working on her snowball

Oh no! She has out =)

J and Madi rolling the snowball for the snowman.

Jack rolling his snowball.

I love this picture of the kids walking behind Jason =)

Putting the snowman together.

The kids helping put the snowman together.

A view of the woods behind our house...soooo pretty! We went for a long walk in the woods.

2.5 inches and it was still coming down =)

J and Madi working on the snowmen.

A little tree in our front yard.

J and Jack working on the snowmen.

Madeline sitting on top of the large snow ball that will become part of our snowman.

Jack's turn to sit on top of the large snow ball.

Our snowlady...I used flowers for her eyes, food coloring for her nose and lashes. I did not have any red food coloring so we used red jello made a HUGE mess which you will see in a minute...

Our snow-army-man...yes that is kevlar on his head...and take a look at his is a jaw bone from a deer...YUCK! This was created by Jason...imagine that huh???

J and the kids standing with our snow people...see the mess I mentioned that the red jello mix made? Oh well...the kids REALLY enjoyed eating the snow that the jello mix was on =)

We still have a lot of snow to play in today, so I am sure there will be another adventure in the woods, a snowball fight or two, and maybe another snowman...
We were to go see my granddaddy today, but the roads are closed so we will sit tight and hopefully go tomorrow.

The weather is calling for more snow tomorrow...this could get interesting! =)


Thursday, February 11, 2010

My Granddaddy

Last weekend the kids, my mom, and I went to visit my granddaddy. We were so glad to get to spend the weekend with him and Mama Beth. I loved every minute of it...laying with him, talking with him, holding his hand, listening to him...just getting to spend quality time with a man who I hold VERY near and dear to my heart.
You may remember from previous posts that my granddaddy has been battling cancer. He has been battling it on and off since about 2002 if I remember correctly. The cancer had gone into remission twice...but...resurfaced...with a vengeance. My granddaddy's cancer started off in his prostate, then spread to his lymph nodes, then on to his bones, and we have been told to his organs. It really hit fast. The doctor's gave him about 6 months to live...I really do not think much about time frames. I KNOW the ONE who is in control and the time the Dr's gave is just an educated guess. During one of the conversations I was able to have with my granddaddy we talked about that. We talked about how we know that God is in control and that He knows our days...He alone knows exactly how many days each and everyone of us has remaining. We talked about how grateful we are that God is in control of this situation and how thankful we are that He is control because if it was left to us to control we would make a big mess of it. We talked at length about God's grace. We talked about how my granddaddy is ready to meet his Father and spend eternity with him. As hard as it is to watch my granddaddy go through this I take such comfort in knowing that I will see him again and together we will worship our Father. As much as it hurts me to watch my granddaddy suffer, I know that even during this suffering God is with us and He is being glorified. My mom rededicated her life to Christ, my granddaddy has been able to make amends with people from his past, and it has brought us all even more close. And those are just a few examples of how even in my granddaddy's suffering, Christ is being glorified...I can only imagine how during our remaining time together and beyond how much more He will be.

Below are some pictures of the kids with their great-granddaddy:

Jack, Papa Jim, and Madeline

Papa Jim and Madeline

Jack and Papa Jim

And check out this handsome man:

This was my granddaddy when he enlisted in the army in 1953. He served until he retired for 20 years and 29 days. He is a decorated War Hero after 2 tours in Vietnam. I also got to talk at length with him about his time in the service and some of the things he experienced. It was so great to talk to him about that. He gave me advise to pass on to Jason (to use when he deploys again) He also gave me advise on being the wife of a deployed soldier. I tear up just thinking about the things he shared with me. There are truly no words to express how wonderful it is to talk at length with him about those things.

We talked about A LOT of things...and I took A LOT of notes (like 4 pages front and back of notes) and I still do not feel like I got can I though...there is 74 years worth of knowledge and events to try and learn about.

We are going back this weekend...I pray that I am able to continue with our conversations. If not that is ok...just being with him will be enough. Papa Jim has been moved to a hospital. I am not sure of all the details, but there is something going on with his lungs and so hospice moved him to the hospital. Hospice said that his time frame is now looking like 3 weeks...again I do not hold much to "time frames" but in a weeks time it has gone from 6 months to 3 weeks. So we plan to spend as much time as possible until God calls my granddaddy home.

I ask that you please be in prayer for my granddaddy's comfort...he is in a lot of pain and it hurts me to see him in pain. Pray for my Mama Beth as she cares for her husband. Thank you!


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

In One Day...

Monday night I was hit with the stomach bug...YUCK! It was not fun...but it is over. Thank goodness it was just a 24 hour event =)

No worries...I am not going to do a post on the joy of having stomach bug, but I am going to share with you what happens when I am sick and can not take care of the everyday housework for just one day.

In just one day...

the laundry piles up... A Lot...I have one (full) load already in the washer so imagine this pile doubled. Seriously, we are just a family of 4.

In just one day...

the dishes pile up in the sink. Yes, we have a dishwasher conveniently located right next to the sink, but it was full of clean dishes. So instead of the dishes being unloaded and put away so the dirty ones could be placed in there, lets just let them pile up. =) I am happy they were at least cleared from the table. ;)

In just one day....
Madeline is still wearing the same pj's (today-Wednesday) that she had on when she went to bed Monday night. Poor child, but she does not seem to mind.

In just one day...
Jack has played more video games than I would allow for a whole week. Oh well...he really does not seem to mind.

Jason did take care of me though which is very appreciated. (I wished I would have taken a picture of him...he had his nose covered by a shirt and a can a Lysol in hand..that he used A LOT)

I am happy to report that the 24 hour sickness is OVER..yay! So today I have washed 3 loads of laundry, unloaded and reloaded the dishwasher, washed the dishes that could not go in the washer, ironed J's shirts, and finally changed Madeline...and it is only 1 pm...I think I will rest now =)


Monday, February 8, 2010

Don't Wait...

Below is a very well written article by Jocelyn Green ( She wrote this article in response to Obama's address and submitted it to USA Today...who rejected it...SHAME on them. Please take the time to read the article.

Don’t wait for the government to support military familiesby Jocelyn Green

In his State of the Union Address on Jan. 27, President Obama said that our men and women in uniform must know “that they have our respect, our gratitude, our full support. And just as they must have the resources they need in war, we all have a responsibility to support them when they come home.”

I agree. But if we really want to support the troops, that can’t be all we do. It’s not enough to slap a “Support the Troops” bumper sticker on our cars, or even to say thank you to the men and women in uniform we come across as we’re bustling through the airport. If we want to support the troops, we need to be supporting their families at home.

Obama mentioned that the government increased investments for veterans last year (applause), that the government is building a 21st century VA (applause), and that the First Lady has joined with Jill Biden to forge a national commitment to support military families. (Applause.)

Fine. Good. The need is great. But let us not think for one moment that government spending and initiatives to support these families can replace what neighbors, churches, and fellow citizens can do for one another.

Army wife Benita Koeman says, “I adopted a genuine ‘I can do this’ attitude about the second deployment. But I couldn’t do it alone, and most good intentions to help from the people we love fell by the wayside. As I struggled to take care of our young children (ages two, four and six years old), I felt alone and abandoned. At one point I bordered depression. I tried my best to smile, to fake like all was okay and to convince myself it was. But it wasn’t.”

The evidence for military families in need isn’t just anecdotal. A large-scale study published in January in the New England Journal of Medicine looked at electronic medical data for more than 250,000 of the nearly 300,000 women whose active-duty husbands were deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan from 2003 to 2006. The study found that 36.6 percent of women whose husbands had deployed had at least one mental-health diagnosis, such as depression, or an anxiety or sleep disorder

And let’s remember- these are just the results of those with official diagnoses. Many women resist seeking help for the same reason their husbands in uniform do—they fear a negative stigma.

“Besides fear for the safety of their loved ones, spouses of deployed personnel often face challenges of maintaining a household, coping as a single parent and experiencing marital strain due to a deployment-induced separation of an uncertain duration,” the study says.

Let’s face it. You don’t need a mental illness diagnosis to need a helping hand.

“I really needed signs to know that as I struggled, that people cared, cared enough to do something,” says Koeman. “But I did not get that.” As a result of her experience, she founded the Web site, to serve as a clearinghouse of resources and ideas for how to support military families.

Please, don’t wait for a government initiative to do what anyone can and should do for one’s fellow American. Send a “reverse” care package to families of the deployed, remembering them on holidays, birthdays and anniversaries. Watch their kids so the solo-spouse at home can get a break every once in a while. Create a coupon booklet for free babysitting, a coffee date, financial counseling, running errands, an hour or two of housework, etc. Drop off a basket of favorite foods, movies or books. Find out what home appliance is broken (it never fails to happen during deployment) and help fix it. Rake leaves. Shovel snow. Clean out gutters. Pull weeds. Bring a meal, make a phone call… be there.

Supporting the military wife allows her to support her husband and children in a way that only she can. And knowing that his family is supported back home will allow the deployed spouse to better focus on his mission. When you minister to the military wives and children, you are supporting the troops as well.

Jocelyn Green is the author of Faith Deployed: Daily Encouragement for Military Wives (Moody Publishers 2008) and co-author of Battlefields & Blessings: Stories of Faith and Courage from the War in Iraq & Afghanistan (AMG Publishers 2009).

As someone who has been through 2 deployments already and #3 is lurking right around the corner, I can say that I have been so blessed by support. If I needed was handled. Most of the time, I did not even have to ask for was just done. The letters, email, and phone calls meant so much. The meals, lawn care, and assistance with broken vechiles were so appreciated. My family was wonderful. Giving me help in whatever way I needed. I am so fortunate to live close to my family. I know so many wives do not have that luxury. My church was so awesome. Not only did I have their prayers but they went above and beyond. They all signed up for one week at a time during the entire 14 month deployment and were my helper for the week. The "helper" for the week would call me and see what I needed...childcare, a break, a meal...whatever it was they were there for me. Even if I did not have a need for that week, it was so nice to know that I had someone I could call. They were such an example of the body of Christ to me and my family and through that were supporting our military family.


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A Recipe, the New Book Study, and ...

I tried out a new recipe this week and the family really liked it...Jackson ate all of his and said "Mommy this is very good!" (he never says this...even when I make chicken nuggets so that made me happy that he liked it) My other test is he will eat anything I make, but I can tell if it is a keeper recipe 2 ways: 1. if he gets seconds (which he did) and 2. if he says to make it again (which he did)
So I thought I would share it with my blog friends and let you try it out (if you would like)

Here is the recipe...***This is the recipe as it is printed in the book. I added to it a bit but I thought I would share the original recipe with you then I will share my additions***

5-6 center cut pork chops
3 TBSP oil
1 onion, sliced
1 green pepper, cut in strips
8 oz can tomato sauce
3-4 TBSP brown sugar
1 TBSP vinegar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1-2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

My additions:
Seasoned Salt
Garlic Garlic (both of these are TS products)
1 can diced tomatoes
then added more brown sugar, vinegar, salt, and Worcestershire sauce

The ingredients...ready to get started

Heat oil in a skillet and brown the pork chops on both sides. Here is where I made an addition. I sprinkled seasoned salt and garlic garlic on the chops to give them extra flavor.

Cut up the onion and bell pepper into strips.

In a mixing bowl put tomato sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, salt, and Worcestershire sauce and mix all together.

Place pork chops in crock pot.

Put onion and pepper strips on top of the pork chops.

Pour liquid mix over pork chops.
***This is where I made another addition...I did not think there was enough sauce in the pot. We like a lot of sauce especially if we are going to serve it over noodles or rice (which we served over rice)

I did not have another can of tomato sauce but I did have diced tomatoes so I decided to improvise.
I used a can of diced tomatoes then added the brown sugar, vinegar, salt and Worcestershire sauce (all with the same measurements as listed above)
Pour this mix over the chops
***Again this is my addition so if you do not like a lot of sauce, then stick with the original recipe
I know it looks a little "soupy" in the picture, but it did cook down.
Cook on low 6-8 hours and serve over rice

Enjoy the recipe and let me know what you think!

And on another note...
Some of you may remember that I just finished up a book study (in December) on the book "Crazy Love" by Francis Chan. This week we started another book study "Forgotten God" also by Chan. I have been so excited (and a little scared) for this study to start. I know your thinking how can you be excited and scared? Because I do not know much about the Holy Spirit and that is what this book is about. I am excited to learn more about the Holy Spirit.

I am sure we all have some preconceived ideas about the Holy Spirit...people running up and down the church aisle, speaking in a strange language, radical (yea, I have already been asked by someone who saw me reading this book if it was "radical") etc... so that is why I am so excited about this book and I pray that I come away with a better understanding of who the Holy Spirit is and that I build my relationship with Him. So far I have only read the intro and Ch 1 and we have had one meeting and I can already say that I am learning so much...which is good...we all need head knowledge, but its the heart knowledge that is important too. So as I am reading and learning and listening, I am praying for it to "sink in" to change me and grow me. As I went through Ch. 1 some things that stood out to me are:
I need to ask the Holy Spirit to make the scriptures living and active to me.
I need to continuously re-examine my faith (take what I am taught and examine it)
I need to make myself a place of dwelling for the Holy Spirit
and one of my fave excerpts from the book:
"I am tired of living in a way that looks exactly like people who do not have the Holy Spirit of God living in them. I want to consistently live with an awareness of His strength. I want to be different today from what I was yesterday as the fruit of the Spirit becomes more manifest in me. I want to live so that I am truly submitted to the Spirit's leading on a daily basis. Christ said it is better for us that the Spirit came, and I want to live like I know that is true. I don't want to keep crawling when I have to ability to fly."

So there are my thoughts so far after Ch. 1...maybe I will recap my thoughts after each Ch. =)

Now for the "AND"

I will say that we are now more certain that J will begin Deployment #3 later this year. We received word to start preparing for it (we were given the time frame for the deployment but I will not share that here). Please explain to me how to prepare for something that is several months off. I liked it better in our 1st deployment when we only had 2 weeks notice...much easier (in my opinion) You get the news and you deal with time for lagging and dwelling...but again it is just my opinion and well, no one has called me and asked what I thought so I will stop venting about it. HA!
We have not and will not share anything with the kids until right before time. There is no sense in putting this on them especially since they do not grasp time right now. So, like I said before, please do not mention anything to them or around them. Thank you for understanding that.
So many people have asked how to pray for us. I can say that my prayers have seemed so scattered lately. I guess I am praying in the moments...praying that I will have a better attitude about it. (because just being honest here, I have not been handling the news too well) Praying for J as he faces missing another year of his children's lives. Praying for us as a family to make the most of the time we do have left together. and Praying for my marriage to remain strong.

Whew...I think I am done for now. I know this post has been really long and probably should have been 3 separate posts...but...I just combined it all in one. (sorry)

Hope everyone is having a great week!