There are days during deployment when I do not know if I am coming or going. Days when my list of things to do grows by the second. You know, mark one thing off and five more things are added. Days when I just feel like I am getting no where. (anyone feel me on this???) It never fails that on these days, my children come up with some of the most funny, off the wall things to say or do.
Yesterday, getting the kids dressed for church, I gave Madeline her outfit to put on. She took one look at her outfit and started crying. Here is the conversation:
Madeline: (through tears) "Mommy, I can not wear this. I just can not wear this."
Me: (looking puzzled) "Madeline, why can you not wear this?"
Madeline: (still crying) "Mommy, please you do not understand"
Me: (still puzzled) "Madeline, please tell me so I will understand, Why can you not wear this?"
Madeline: (tears drying up, completely serious) "Mommy, my friends will make fun of me if I show up in this"
Me: (trying very hard to hold in the laughter) "Madeline, honey, no one will make fun of you. You will look so pretty in this, plus you can play more since it is not a dress."
Madeline: "Ok mommy, I will wear this, just this one time" (holding up 1 finger, being very serious)
Are you kidding me??? Where does this come from??? She is 4! I do not say things like this. Oh my, what is it going to be like when she is 14? oh wow.
I was driving the other day. The kids were in the back seat carrying on one of their many random conversations...you know the endless knock knock jokes and that sort of thing. In the midst of the off the wall knock knock jokes I hear Jack talking about what he wants to be when he grows up. Here is how the conversation went:
Jack: "Hey sissy, I know what I want to be when I grow up"
Madeline: "oh yea, you want to be a soldier"
Jack: "No, not a soldier. They never get to be home" (I took a big gulp and a deep breath at that statement...please know that later on he and I had a long talk about this to which I explained to him what amazing, selfless people soldiers are and that they do not want to be away from their families, but they want to protect them so they must do their jobs) the conversation continues: "When I grow up I am going to be a cop"
Mommy: "That is a great profession Jack. Do you want to do that so you can protect people?"
Jack: "Uh, no...I just want to carry a pistol" (of course, I should have known...the mind of a 6 yr old)
Jack: "Madeline, what do you want to be when you grow up?"
Madeline: "I want to drive the ice cream truck"
I seriously Laughed Out Loud at that one. Where does she come up with this stuff??? We have not seen an ice cream truck in our neighborhead in over a year. We have not talked about ice cream. This one just blew me away.
I was sharing this conversation with my in-laws the other day and my mother in law shared that when Jason was a little boy, he applied to clown college. Now for those of you who know my husband, I am sure you are getting a good chuckle out of that one. He is a very quiet man and the last thing I would picture him as is a clown. (hehehe) I love it though because Jason is always remarking that Madeline is just like him (and noone believes me when I say that...maybe this will help them understand that) My mother in law also said she stills has the application somewhere....I can not wait till she finds that. (I might just share it on here)
And another conversation (sort of)
I still see Jack as about 4 yrs old...but he is not...he has grown up so much especially over this past year in school. He has also formed quite the opinion. It started off with not wanting to give me a kiss when I dropped him off at school (just had to settle for a hug), then I could not give hugs (just had to settle for knucks). Now he will let me hug and kiss him bye, but it must be done before we get to the drop off door (he says "Mom, lets do this before my friends see) I thought this kind of stuff did not happen till about 12.
Not only can I not kiss/hug him in front of his friends, he also made the comment when I was dragging the kids with me to my fave craft store, that it was "boring" What??? now he is really sounding like his daddy. ha!
Oh my goodness kids have a way of making you feel old. Speaking of making you feel old, Jack also felt the need to share with complete strangers the other night at dinner how old his parents were...it would have been ok had the parents of the other child been older than us (or at least in their 30s as well) but they were not. Gee, thanks son....I will remember this ;)
Oh these kids, they have a way of making me laugh when I do not feel like laughing. They are exactly what I need just when I need it. =)
Below are some pictures I took of the kids before we left for church yesterday. My goodness these 2 keep me laughing.
Little Miss in her outfit that caused so much drama.
My big guy, wonder what he thinks about being the only guy in the house right now.
And I had Jack take a picture of me before we left. My hubby says he would like to see some pictures of me. Kind of hard to make that happen, but after about 20 tries we got one that the top my head was not cut off, ha.
So, the other stuff...
In this deployment (and the months leading up to it beginning) I have really felt God grow me and stretch me. That has been my specific prayer since last January when we received word that Jason would be deploying again. Deployment is not my plan. It was not on my list. Not even close. Now, this prayer was not my intial response. Its hard to re-live the thought of how I reacted. It was not a reaction of a woman completely trusting a sovereign God. It was not the reaction of a woman who had complete faith in the journey that He was placing me on. I recall asking why (a lot). I know that God knew me and knew how I was hurting. I knew He understood my questions, even though He wanted my complete trust in Him and not my questions. And I slowly began to realize that it was not for me to question. That I just needed to have complete faith in the One who determines that this was my journey. And so I started praying for God to grow me and stretch me. And He has, oh he has. He is taken me out of my comfort zone of complacent. (how thankful I am for that) He has opened a door for me through my position as Member Care Director for Wives of Faith. Something I would not have ever been able to do on my own, but I know that it happened because I asked Him to grow me. And He did. What a blessing it has been to me. I kept praying though. Kept asking Him to grow me...to take me where He wanted me to go. And He did. Faithful provider, He did. I felt an urging to start a bible study with military spouses. I have never led a study before. I always relied on others to do that. I had no idea what to study. No idea where to begin. I thought, are you sure you have the right person for this? So I just prayed about that, not knowing that my friend Sara was already in the process of writing a bible study aimed specifically at military spouses. (You see where I am going with this...He is in every single detail!) Then Sara contacted me asking me to proof the study before it was sent to the publishers...I knew just a couple pages into it that this was the study I needed to do. As soon as Sara let me know the book was published I purchased my book and put the word out (via email, facebook, blog) that I would be doing a study for military spouses facing deployment if anyone was interested in joining me. (I was nervous that no one would contact me. Its hard connecting with military spouses when your not active duty) But they did. There are about 8 of us in the study. It has been wonderful and we are only 2 sessions into it. I can not wait to see what is revealed to us. Can not wait to hear what the other ladies are learning. We met this past Friday night. Our study lasted 4 hours! (we had no idea it was 11 pm...and probably would not have noticed if someone would not have called wondering where their mom was) It was amazing. It was 4 hours of reading and researching God's word (I know, a bunch of women get together and your probably thinking...mmhhhmmm sure, the whole 4 hours? but yes, it really was) I look forward to sharing what I am learning. Maybe I can even convince a couple of the ladies to do a guest post type of thing and get them to share.
In deployment, it is typical for me to have goals....loose weight, get things organized, pay off all debts except house (whoo-hoo did that one in deployment #2, maybe re-do a room or 2 or 3, save for a big vacation, etc...Those are a few of my goals. I am working on a blog post to share those with you. And while those things are all well and good, are they really what I want to accomplish? When I look back at this deployment, do I want to just see a checklist of completed goals??? Or do I want to see something more? What do I really want to accomplish? The answer is simple (though the means to reach it may not always be easy) The answer is I want to accomplish His work. The work that He gave me to do so that in the end it is all for His glory and not about me. So, let me take this time to encourage you. No matter what your journey is, ask God to grow you in it. You know that He is with you in the journey, now trust Him to take you somewhere you would never go on your own. Trust Him to equip you to do His work.