Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Happy Holidays...

I hope you are not looking at my title and thinking that I am being pluralistic....taking the Christ out of Christmas. I am not. There are a few upcoming Holidays that will be here very soon and I am trying be inclusive of all of them without having to list them indivudually in the title.

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, just over one week away. Our household is looking forward to a visit from abuela. She will be arriving from NYC next Monday and the girls can't wait to see her. We have been planning this for quite some time now. We have not seen abuela since last December when she came to Fort Jackson, SC for Angel's graduation from CHBOLC, so we are all excited. We are making plans of places to take her and things we want to see with her. BLORA's Nature in Lights is at the top of that list. If you are ever near Fort Hood between Thanksgiving and New Year's, you need to make plans to see this extreme drive thru light show. It is great!

Christmas will be here before we know it. I saw a countdown clock this morning.....only 37 more days until Christmas. I remember last year, we arrived in Texas just days before Christmas. We had been through so much transition that after the household goods ( our belongings) arrived and the kitchen and a bathroom were set up, we put up our Christmas tree. This Christmas also brings change. Angel will be here with us for this Christmas...but not next.
As I was praying this morning, I asked the Lord to reveal Himself to those who are struggling this holiday season, especially those whose homes are missing loved ones due to deployment.
Can you tell what's on my mind?

After Christmas, the New Year will begin and we will be off and running in 2009. I hope that will be just as literal as it is figuratively. The other day we bought a treadmill and I am hoping to establish a routine of using it daily. My neighbor and I used to meet at 5AM, Monday thru Friday and walk 2.2 miles each morning, that was before Angel went away for training. With the deployment coming closer, I need to find a way to exercise that does not involve hauling 4 kids out into the cold morning.

Well, I hope that as the holidays are approaching, you are not only making preparations for your home but also your heart. May you know Christ and the fullness of His love. May this holiday season be a time of recomittment and dedication to serving the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Friday, November 7, 2008

A bit emotional

Lately, I have been a bit emotional. Maybe it's because we are on the verge of our first deployment...maybe it's because the holidays are approaching and I haven't seen family (except for a visit from my parents in May) since last December....whatever the case, I have been crying a bit more than usual (normally I don't cry). It's easy to "know" something...meaning to have knowledge of it...but to really KNOW about something describes one who is going through it, wrestling with and or has gone through it. I think when we decided for Angel to make the career move to the military, there was a lot of excitement and anticipation. I knew that we would move away from family, start fresh every few years, and even have to go through a deployment...I was ok with that, but the reality has hit home. I am 1500 miles from my family. I can't just get in the car and go out to lunch with my mom or invite my sister and her family over for dinner anymore. My husband will be gone for a year and I will be a single parent....though happily married.

I know that people are praying and will continue to pray for me and my family. I really appreciate that and covet your prayers. I am learning each day to trust God even more than before...many times during my devotional time the song comes to mind....

"I need you more...more than yesterday...I need you more...more than words can say...I need you more...than ever before...I need you Lord...I need you Lord"

I don't know about you but I am struggling right now. Part of me wants to run back to PA and have my family around while Angel is gone...while another part of me knows that my family (Angel, me and the girls) has a home in Texas where we have been living for the past year. I don't think there is a right and wrong decision about what to do during a deployment but I feel like that's what I have made it into...a right or wrong.

I am going to stick with my inital decision to stay in Texas and trust that God will give me the extra grace that I will need to get through. I don't want to just survive a deployment...but I want to THRIVE. God wants more for us that just to make it through our circumstances, He wants to use our circustances as opportunites for us to grow, in faith and character. To trust Him more and to walk with Him closer than before.

I am a mess this week...but I will be fine. I trust God and His promises that are found in His Word, the Bible. I have told my Bible study class that when they are going through something to go to the Word and find scriptures that lift them up and encourage them...and to write these scriptures on notecards and post them around their house. I think I need to take some of my own advice.

Gotta run and make some notecards. I pray that you are blessed by God and can have eyes of faith for whatever you are going through today.