Monday, December 21, 2009

A few of my favorite things....BOOKS

This past year I have purchased so many different books it's been crazy. I think I need to get another bookshelf just to hold my recent additions. I have not had the time to read everything I have bought, but I hope to soon. Even today, my dad recommended two more books that I should read.

I have bought books on sibling rivalry, dealing with anger and emotions, and making your children best friends. I have books by Terri Blackstock, Barbara & Dennis Rainey, Sally Clarkson, and the Kendrick brothers....just to name a few.

I have purchased books to strengthen and encouraged marriages (mine and other military families), help with homeschooling and some of them just for the fun of reading (I lean toward murder mystery series).

Today my dad recommended two books he is currently reading...
"No Perfect People Allowed: Creating a Come-as-You-Are Culture in the Church" by John Burke
"The Hole in Our Gospel" by Richard Stearns

So my question to you is....What book did you come across or read this year that has inpsired you to do something different or to make a change in your life? I'd love for you to share the book and why it has changed your life. And maybe it's not just one book, but even two of three of them.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

He's Home

Some of you may have know this, while others of you have not. This past year, our family went through our first Army deployment. My husband left for Iraq just after the beginning of 2009. Deployment for us was unchartered territory. I grew up in a home where even though my dad worked shift work as a police officer, I don't ever remember him being away for weeks at a time let alone months. I guess we went into this deployment with a few things on our side....age and maturity. We are not the typical new Army family...that is usually young. By the time Angel joined the military, he was almost 40 years old. I look around at the other women in PWOC (Protestant Women's Ministry) and some of them are 24 years old and on their second deployment and just starting their families. We have been married for just over 15 years and most of that was spent in ministry as my husband pastored a church in South Central Pennsylvania.

Maturity is another positive we had going for us as we entered this deployment. As I became a part of the leadership of our unit's FRG (Family Readiness Group) I saw more than enough of women who acted like they were in high school with fights, partying and the sort.

I am excited to say that this deployment has now come to an end and we are working on reintegrating our family back together after an eleven month plus separation. I think my husband and I had very good communication before and during this deployment and if we stay along that path, should do fine as we blend back into our family.

At the beginning of this year, I was nervous, anxious and not sure about the deployment but as I look back, I, has it really almost been a year. I know that God gives us the grace to get through whatever comes our way. He does not say that He will remove hardship and suffering but that He will be there with us through it.

As this year comes to a close and the new year is around the corner, I want to reflect on the goodness and faithfulness of our God. There were many days when I wanted to throw in the towel and give up, but it was during those times that I received encouragement from a friend or God's Word.

During this past year we had an abundance of finances.
I was blessed with friends who supported me and even took my kids for a few hours so that I could get a break.
I had a wonderful dad who gave up three weeks to fly down here and spend with the girls and I.
I had a great 15 days with my husband on vacation during his leave.
I was and am surrounded by those of likeminded faith who encouraged me in my walk with the Lord.
We were able to purchase a brand new van before the deployment and I did not have to worry about which light was going to come on this time and who I was going to find to fix it.
Through my part time job, the girls and I were able to fly to my parents house and spend three weeks with them...and I didn't have to pay for the airfare.
My oldest daughter is growing up and has been able to help watch her younger sisters so that I could go to the Commissary alone.

Above is just a sampling of the positive things that have taken place in my life this past year. I know that this coming year is full of change. Next year sometime, our family should be PCSing (moving to another post) though I don't know where. Each day we need to continually TRUST GOD for what we know and even for what we do not know or can not see. We need to walk by FAITH!

This holiday season, wherever you may be in your journey of faith with the Lord, allow yourself to trust Him more today than yesterday and see what He does with your hopes and dreams!