January 31, 2005

Update from first entry

Went back to where I get my news online. Guess what? The headline has changed. It nows reads, "10 thought dead after U.K. crash in Iraq". THANK YOU!!!!

(I'm pretty sure they didn't read my blog and decide to change their headline after doing so, but I'll just pretend like that's the reason for the switch.)

Media Imbecility

I am so sick of how the media uses these catch words and phrases to try and freak people out about the war. I wish for one time the would just give the news, straight up. No fluff. No opinions. No tapdancing. Just the news.

The latest trend in their atrocious word plot is deadly. I first heard them use this word when the marine helicopter crashed last week. "The deadliest day for American soldiers in Iraq."

This morning I get up, click over to the website where I normally view the news, and what do I see? "Crash is deadliest day for U.K. in Iraq."

WHAT?!

EVERY day is deadly in Iraq. EVERY day our loved ones are fighting in a WAR. I have a great dislike for how the media has basically turned themselves into a three-ring circus. They toy with our thoughts and emotions.

For once, just give me the NEWS!

January 30, 2005

Things I'm thankful for

Health
After spending over a week with sickness, I am so thankful my family is regaining health. Elijah was sick (with RSV), Emily was sick, I was sick. I think if we had a pet goldfish, it would be sick as well!

Love
True love, not infatuation or lust, will carry you through the weakest moments. Loneliness is no match for love. Heartache and heartbreak fades into the distance when compared to love. Love conquers all, bears all, forgives all, mends all, understands.....

Internet
My husband and I are blessed to possess the use of the power of technology. There was a point during many wars when wives watched their husbands leave on trains, then waited months, years even, for a word from their loved one, only to be met with deafening silence. Today, technology has advanced even beyond the telephone line. We now have the added benefit of internet. We can sit, hundreds of miles seperate from one another, and chat in real time. It's not the same as hearing his voice, but at least I can talk to him and know that he is safe.

January 29, 2005

Inspiration

I love it when Inspiration pays me a visit. Actually, I love it when I stop going on my feelings and just do what I know to do.

This morning I am feeling very motivated and inspired. Not in a generalized way, like normal. Today I have specific tasks I will work on. There is one thing in particular I've been putting off doing for almost a year now. The time is NOW. (I will share what I'm talking about with you later.)

Isn't is strange how we allow our emotions to rule us? Well, okay, maybe not you, but I certainly have a terrible habit of doing that. I tend to go on how I'm feeling, which usually stops me dead in my tracks. I'm tired of that. I want to try something different.

Creating a new habit is difficult. This is a new habit I desire. I am requiring of myself to tell my emotions, "STOP!" whenever they tell me I'm not good enough, or I am not smart enough, or I can do it later. Later never comes.

Today's Thought: Inspire and motivate yourself. The end result is pure delight!

January 28, 2005

If you're not in love with a soldier...

A friend forwarded this to my email a while back. I wanted to share it here because it expresses my sentiments.



If you're not in love with a soldier, you can't know adventure. You don't know smelly gray PT uniforms that require a daily washing. You can't understand green and brown camouflaged bags flooding your bedroom floor.

If you're not in love with a soldier, you can't understand the meaning of the phrase "going to the field" and the weeks you spend away from each other.

If you're not in love with a soldier, you can never imagine the hole in your heart when that phone call comes? "Honey, I am leaving tomorrow to go overseas. I don't know how long I will be gone or exactly where I am going, but I want you to know that I love you - always!"

If you're not in love with a soldier, you don't know what it's like to say that final good-bye. You don't know what it really means to be glued to the television. You don't understand fear and you can't possibly understand the sleepless nights of endless crying wondering if you will ever see the love of your life alive again.

If you're not in love with a soldier, you can't know the immense joy, the uncontrollable smile, or the butterflies in your stomach when you see your soldier march into the family waiting area upon redeployment. You can't understand the self-control it takes to stand on the other side of the room as some higher-up gives a seemingly endless welcome home speech while all the soldiers stand in formation. You don't know what it's like to have that second first kiss or what it's like to experience puppy love all over.

If you're not in love with a soldier, you can't truly understand how to make every moment count because you never know when that phone call may come again.

If you're not in love with a soldier, you can never really understand how very delicate life really is!

Proverbs 31 Woman

Hymn to a Good Wife
A good woman is hard to find, and worth far more than diamonds.
Her husband trusts her without reserve, and never has reason to regret it.
Never spiteful, she treats him generously all her life long.
She shops around for the best yarns and cottons, and enjoys knitting and sewing.
She's like a trading ship that sails to faraway places and brings back exotic surprises.
She's up before dawn, preparing breakfast for her family and organizing her day.
She looks over a field and buys it, then, with money she's put aside, plants a garden.
First thing in the morning, she dresses for work, rolls up her sleeves, eager to get started.
She senses the worth of her work, is in no hurry to call it quits for the day.
She's skilled in the crafts of home and hearth, diligent in homemaking.
She's quick to assist anyone in need, reaches out to help the poor.
She doesn't worry about her family when it snows; their winter clothes are all mended and ready to wear.
She makes her own clothing, and dresses in colorful linens and silks.
Her husband is greatly respected when he deliberates with the city fathers.
She designs gowns and sells them, brings the sweaters she knits to the dress shops.
Her clothes are well-made and elegant, and she always faces tomorrow with a smile.
When she speaks she has something worthwhile to say, and she always says it kindly.
She keeps an eye on everyone in her household, and keeps them all busy and productive.
Her children respect and bless her; her husband joins in with words of praise:
"Many women have done wonderful things, but you've outclassed them all!"
Charm can mislead and beauty soon fades. The woman to be admired and praised is the woman who lives in the Fear-of-GOD.
Give her everything she deserves! Festoon her life with praises!




I have heard many takes on this passage of scripture. Something I read once has stayed in my mind. Unfortunately, I don't remember where I read it, but the lady was basically criticizing this passage of scripture. She commented that the Proverbs 31 woman was a dream, a "barbie" in our world. She further stated that she thought it impossible to live up to such lofty standards in the "real" world.

I have been pondering many things lately. One of which is my purpose in this life. It is so easy to get caught up in everything that is going on around us until we lose sight of who we are (speaking from a woman's perspective).

As I went back over these verses, they struck a chord within. We are not perfect...never will be. But we can strive towards perfection in Christ. AHA!

I realized with great sadness and regret that I have failed in some of these points. But then I rejoice in knowing that every day is a new day. Thank God I have the chance to try again!

I believe I have rediscovered the "thing" I have been searching for. No, there are no "guidelines" for living this life. But once again I have found it true that every answer I need can be found in the word of God!

January 27, 2005

Lesson from Ephesians

Be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other's faults because of your love.
--Ephesians 4:2 (New Living Translation)


Learning to adjust to married life is such a fun thing. Well...okay, it's not fun while you're learning, but it sure is funny when you reflect.

First you go through the lovey-dovey stage. In this stage, everything your lover does is wonderful and cute. They can do no wrong. In fact, you say, "Wrong? What do you mean, 'wrong'? There is nothing wrong with him/her at all!"

Sure!

You're doting and loving to a fault. You hang on to his every word. Everything he says and does is perfect in your eyes. There could never be another man on the face of the earth more perfect than he.

Around Year 2 of marriage, reality begins to sink in. He's not quite as perfect as you thought. Little things start getting on your nerves. What happened to your "perfect" man? He starts slacking. He starts lacking. Somewhere along the way you start taking mental notes.

'He didn't take the garbage out today.'
'He forgot my birthday.'
'He forgot our ANNIVERSARY!'
'He didn't kiss me when he got home from work.'


One day you wake up and realize that now instead of feeling only love and adoration for this person you vowed to be with for the rest of your life, your mental list has turned into a Pandora's box of intense dislike. But it doesn't end there.

Now you have reached a place where you keep track of his faults. Oh yes, you mark them off daily, one by one. Your list is so long now that you are literally buried in a mound of mental paperwork. Forget filing them all away. You actually enjoy swimming in them.

It doesn't stop there, though.

Now in addition to your list of faults, you have started a new list. This one is called, "He can do no right." Because you've kept track of his mistakes for such a long time, it is oh-so-easy to pick and point out every little thing he does wrong. There is no way for him to wiggle his way out of this list. Oh no, this one is much worse than the first.

When you reach Stage 3, you have now traveled beyond keeping record of all his faults. You have successfully reached a point where you can see absolutely no good in your husband at all. Everything he does gets on your nerves.

'Why can't he open the lid on the hamper and put his clothes inside, instead of throwing them on top?'

'Good grief! You'd think he could rinse his own whiskers out of the bathroom sink!'

'Why in the world does he have to put the empty ice tray in the sink? Why doesn't he just fill it back up with water and put it in the freezer again?'

'Am I the only one around here who knows how to operate a vacuum cleaner?'


Sound familiar?

I think we all go through cycles in our marriages. It's only natural. We want things done a certain way, regardless. Compromise? That's a dirty word! Give in every once in a while? A sin!

Sometimes it takes drastic measures to open our eyes and slap us back into reality. This is exactly what has happened to me over the last several months.

I have learned that:
  • Dirty laundry on top of the clothes hamper instead of "in" isn't worth arguing over.
  • Whiskers dried in the bathroom sink could mean that he was in a hurry that day. It only takes 1 minute to wipe the bowl clean.
  • An empty ice tray in the sink is really not that big of a deal.
  • A dirty floor is a sign of a happy home.

It's amazing how we tend to treat others with greater respect than those we love. This verse from Ephesians speaks volumes. Modesty mixes well with a soft-spoken word. A sweet spirit will enable you to be patient with the ones you love (even when they do get on your nerves!). And above all, realizing not one of us is perfect in any way will help us to tolerate the flaws we see in others.

January 26, 2005

Don't catch our bug!

Just when I thought things couldn't get any crazier...they did.

Elijah's been sick for a week. Friday afternoon he suddenly turned worse so I took him to the doctor. The doctor sent us straight to the ER. He was worried Elijah might have pnumonia or RSV. Turns out his lungs were clear (thank God!), but the RSV test came back positive. They sent us back home with a prescription for steroids.

By Sunday, Elijah didn't seem to be getting any better. Not only that, but he had stopped eating because his throat was so sore he could hardly swallow. Monday morning he was even worse, so we went back to the doctor. Gues what? We were sent back to the hospital.

This time, Elijah was admitted. We stayed overnight, with them doing nothing except monitoring him and gave him a dose of Tylenol (wooopeeee!). I thought it was rather senseless. The pediatrician there said he shouldn't have been on the steroids to begin with and that she thought his lungs sounded clear.

All in all, very frustrating. I mean, when different doctors tell you different things, WHO are you supposed to believe? Crazy, I tell ya!

In the meantime, my aunt calls and tells me that Emily is very sick. Granny ended up taking her to the doctor, so now she's on meds as well.

Anyway, we're back at home now. Elijah slept all night last night--HALLELUJAH! He ate about 4 oz of applesauce last night, then drank a big cup of milk this morning so his appetite must be returning. He's so weak from not eating that he can barely walk. And he wants to get down and play but just doesn't have the energy. I'm hoping he'll eat a little more today so that he will regain his energy.

January 22, 2005

Doing something different

In case you haven't heard, a group of gals and I are blogging our successes this year. Last year I made great strides toward my writing endeavors. As the year wore on though, I realized that my daily list of goals had become more of a boulder around my neck than a guiding map. Rather than see my accomplishments, I continuosly focused on all the things I hadn't managed to do.

This year I started out different. I determined to mark my milestones each day. Sure, I still have a list of goals in mind. But instead of concentrating on what I shoulddo, I have turned my attention to all that I accomplish each day. Much more rewarding!

Marking My Milestones can be viewed by clicking here.

January 21, 2005

Missing Daddy

My baby girl is missing her Daddy. It's so hard for a five-year-old child to understand this. Last night as I sat by her bed, stroking her hair while big tears fell from her sad blue eyes, my heart broke into a million pieces. I can deal with my own saddness. But watching my child mourn for her Daddy because she doesn't understand why he won't come home is absolutely unbearable.

The day that Robert left for his training, we took quite a few pictures. There were several of Emily and him together, so I had double prints made and gave Emily her own copies. They were laying on her desk, so I picked up one and gave it to her.

"Here, baby. Maybe if you look at this picture of you and Daddy it will help you feel better."

She cried even more.

You see, there is no simple answer. There is no quick fix. There is no way to make any of us feel better. We just have to learn to deal with it each day.

She drifted off into a fitful sleep, hugging the picture of her and Robert to her chest. I returned to my desk with the remaining pictures, pondering what I could do for her to help.

Here's what I came up with:

Emily's 'Daddy necklace'


I printed out the little tag on top that says, "AMERICA...Home of the Free and the Brave". The I cropped the picture to the same width and glued it to the paper below the tag. Next, I laminated the front and back, punched holes in the top and inserted matching ribbon. She'll be able to wear it around her neck and be comforted throughout the day when she sees her and her Daddy together.

I don't know if this will work or not. I don't know how much it will help her, if any at all. I'm just a Soldier's Wife, doing the best I can with what I have.

January 19, 2005

Success!

I worked a few hours yesterday evening, and all morning this morning. Finally, I finished it and now it is LIVE!! What am I talking about? Mother Devoted! Go check it out. :)

It's amazing...

...what a good housecleaning session will do. Elijah and I got out for a little while yesterday morning. >confession time< When we returned home, there was an awful smell in here. Most likely from dirty diapers in the garbage. Because I've been home all week and haven't gone anywhere, I suppose I just never smelled it.

I lit into cleaning. While I didn't get everything done, I did get a lot cleaned. By the end of the day I was beat. But it felt so good to go to bed knowing my house was clean and smelled good! As an added bonus, I am feeling quite motivated now. I got lots of work done last night, and will get more done today. Note to self: Clean my house--it will make me feel better.

Have a terrific day!

January 18, 2005

You can find it in the WORD

I woke up this morning pondering many things. Numerous questions pelted my mind. Self-doubt. Self-will. Self. Self. Self. Too much Self.

So I turned to the word of God. All my life I grew up hearing preachers say that when you need an answer to any problem or situation you can find it in the word of God. That is so true.

I turned to Proverbs 3 this morning and it spoke volumes to my heart. It opened my eyes, too. I have been struggling with many things, and now I know why. Instead of turning to God for wisdom, understanding and instruction, once again I've been trying to do it on my own. Not intentionally, but I have nonetheless.

When I stray away from my Refuge and place of safety, things go awry. My vision becomes cloudy. I can't think straight. Even though it is never a conscious decision to do so, sometimes I wander off the path. Thank you, Lord, for opening my eyes this morning and showing me the error of my ways!

Quoted from The Message version:

Proverbs 3
Further Benefits of Wisdom

My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity.

Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.

Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil.

This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.

Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.

My son, do not despise the LORD's discipline and do not resent his rebuke, because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.

Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold.

She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her.

Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor.

Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace.

She is a tree of life to those who embrace her; those who lay hold of her will be blessed.

By wisdom the LORD laid the earth's foundations, by understanding he set the heavens in place; by his knowledge the deeps were divided, and the clouds let drop the dew.

My son, preserve sound judgment and discernment, do not let them out of your sight; they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck.

Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble; when you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.

Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked, for the LORD will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being snared.

Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act.

Do not say to your neighbor, "Come back later; I'll give it tomorrow"- when you now have it with you.

Do not plot harm against your neighbor, who lives trustfully near you.

Do not accuse a man for no reason-when he has done you no harm.

Do not envy a violent man or choose any of his ways, for the LORD detests a perverse man but takes the upright into his confidence.

The LORD's curse is on the house of the wicked, but he blesses the home of the righteous.

He mocks proud mockers but gives grace to the humble.

The wise inherit honor, but fools he holds up to shame.

January 16, 2005

Blogosphere

I thought I'd share a couple of links today to some blogs I enjoy reading.
Encouraging Words
Fallible

January 14, 2005

What this girl wants

I'm tired of fighting this surge of energy I feel inside. I'm tired of chaining my creativity to my soul. I'm tired of not keeping the promises that I make to myself. I'm tired of....HEY! Good grief...I'm tired of being TIRED.

So what do I want?

I want to create. I want to free this pent up creatitity that's bursting at my seams. I want to write and not be afraid to share with others. I want to be proud of myself, and all that I do. I want to know that those who mean the most to me are proud of me.

I want to measure up to my definition of success. I want to achieve, to succeed and to excel in everything I do and hope to do.

How will this happen?

I am going to create a mission for myself. Mission 2005. Look out world...here I come!

January 13, 2005

I'm here

A few people who read my blog daily have contacted me to see what is wrong. As I said in my previous post, this is a stressful week for me. We went down to Camp Shelby and spent the night with Robert Tuesday night. It was bittersweet to say the least.

Their airplane should be leaving out any minute now. So this morning has been kind of rough, just thinking about that. He did call earlier this morning before he left so that helped a little.

Please forgive the quietness. I'll return to my frequent posting as soon as I'm up to it.

I'm here

A few people who read my blog daily have contacted me to see what is wrong. As I said in my previous post, this is a stressful week for me. We went down to Camp Shelby and spent the night with Robert Tuesday night. It was bittersweet to say the least.

Their airplane should be leaving out any minute now. So this morning has been kind of rough, just thinking about that. He did call earlier this morning before he left so that helped a little.

Please forgive the quietness. I'll return to my frequent posting as soon as I'm up to it.

January 09, 2005

What's on my mind...

Sorry folks, but Robert is on my mind this morning. He will be leaving out any second now (just waiting for the "Go") to head to Iraq. When I read this article this morning, it just stirs up even more emotions. I probably won't say much in the next few days, except maybe to post more things like this.

PLEASE PRAY FOR OUR TROOPS!

Click here for the article I read this morning.

January 07, 2005

Thank you, Friend!

Boy, I have been down in the dumps a lot lately. With the roller coaster ride I've been on for months now some days it's hard to look up. One thing is for sure, I have certainly learned who my true friends are.

But you know what's even better than a friend helping you out when you're down? That same friend turning to you when she's down.

Thank you, Friend (I won't point you out, you know who you are) for turning to me today. Thank you for giving me the chance to lend my hand to you when you were in need. Thank you for allowing yourself to be weak for a moment and lean on me. Thank you for leaning on my shoulder. Thank you!

Most of my friends won't talk about their "stuff" to me now that my "stuff" seems much greater than most. But that's not fair to me. Yes, I'm dealing with a great amount of stress right now. But listening to others and helping other deal with their "stuff" actually helps take my mind off my "stuff."

Okay, I feel like I'm talking in circles right now so I'll shut up. :)

January 06, 2005

Self-satisfaction

There has never been a greater feeling than self-satisfaction. You know...that feeling that you get when you've been to Granny's house and just finished one of her famous homecooked meals. That rub-my-tummy-man-that-was-so-good feeling.

Many of us tend to look to others for validation. I have been guilty of that many times. Truth be told, I'm still guilty of it from time to time.

The only way we will find true inner peace is when we set a goal, follow through and complete it. That, my friends, is a good feeling.

So what is that one little thing that you've been wanting--dying--to do but won't let yourself? JUST DO IT!

You know how. You know when. You know where.

Get up and do it. No ifs, ands or buts. The time is NOW. If I can conquer my fears and swallow my doubts, surely you can, too!

I invite you to leave a comment here, sharing what you are going to challenge yourself to do in the coming days/weeks/months. Be specific. Have you been dying to do something, but told yourself it was too childish, stupid, or just a plain crazy idea? THAT is what you should challenge yourself to do! Forget about the easy things. Forget about the simple things. Go for the outrageous. Attempt the more exceptional things. Don't give yourself more than a minute to contemplate it, else you'll talk yourself out of it.

Go ahead--POST YOUR CHALLENGE IN THE COMMENTS NOW! I DOUBLE DARE YOU!!!

Riiiiiing!

Slacking time is over. School's in. Time to crack the books--er...uh...computer in my case--and study hard. I am aiming at keeping a 100% average in everything. It's been a long time since I studied anything, so I don't know if this is a reasonable expectation for myself. Nonetheless, I am going to try my hardest. I can do anything I set my mind, too, right? At the very least, I do hope to maintain an "A" average, no matter what the number.

January 05, 2005

*Sniff* *Cough*

I have a terrible sinus infection--or SOMETHING. I've been cruddy all week. It started Sunday night and just progressed from then on. At first I thought I might have been coming down with the flu. But now I'm thinking it's a sinus infection.

I'm back in school! Whoops! Did I just say that OUT LOUD? I was going to keep it a secret and only share that bit of news with a chosen few. Well, I guess that means YOU'RE included in that chosen few! :)

Seriously, I decided this is my year. Last year was a terrific year. I accomplished many things. I learned many things. I grew. I blossomed. I evolved.

I'm still learning, growing, and all that good stuff. But I feel like instead of standing at the bottom of a long, twisting stairwell looking up into blackness, I am now at least a third of the way up those stairs. I actually see a spot of light at the top now. I feel encouraged about the progress I've made so far. I am ready to climb a litttle higher!

January 01, 2005

New Year

Because I'm still hung over from last night (no, I did not drink--it's a food-eating and card-playing hangover) I am not lucid enough to blog anything of meaning this morning. Instead, I'd like to point you to a piece I wrote last year, which hopefully will inspire you. CLICK HERE for the article.