Friday, September 9, 2011

Suffering produces strength

Another sad trip to the airport this morning. Deployment #5 has begun. I don't think I will ever be "used" to the deployments. I will never be less sad than the time before. And I think that's a good thing. While I have learned to cope in healthy ways, and understand what to expect and how to handle the various ups and downs that come with this lifestyle, I refuse to become hardened or to neglect my emotions and feelings.

We were so blessed to enjoy extra time together during the past 8 months, as B was given a break from the last deployment (so this would be his 6th). We got a little taste of normal, but I'm afraid it was a bit of a tease! ;) Nonetheless, I am so thankful for the extended time home.

While I am missing him this first night alone, I am reminded of and encouraged by the strength that suffering brings. I am trusting in my God for a peaceful spirit and strength through trials tonight and throughout this deployment.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Back to the Basics

Life is distracting. As a real estate agent, my days are often occupied with busy work that doesn't seem to produce any sort of life-improving results. My mind is filled with "remember to do this, call him back, meet her there, email that, learn this, and hurry hurry!" I've noticed that I have been neglecting much needed time each day to rest, reflect, read, pray, and rejuvenate amidst a life of so many distractions. How easy it is to get caught up in the race, to forget the basics.

Why am I here? What is my purpose? What is true contentment and how do I attain it? Meditating on the answers to these questions and revolving my life around such truths rebuilds my strength and focus. But without repetition, it is amazing how quickly distractions and lies sneak in to thwart my path.

Today I am re-centering, rebuilding strength, remembering the basics.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

All about ME

My husband is incredibly selfless. Lately I have been observing his natural tendencies to fulfill the wants and needs of others (especially me) before his own. He seems to have this innate ability to instantly react to others exactly as they wish, seemingly at the expense of his own happiness. But actually, what makes him most happy is making others happy. So he will go where they want to go, do what they want to do, etc. without complaint. Ever. The man seriously never complains. I admire and envy this trait.

And whose happiness does he (self proclaimed) concern himself most with? Well mine of course! This is obviously a normal and healthy phenomenon between two happily married people - we both aim above all else to make each other happy. However, sometimes I feel the balance is unfair. It is so easy to make B happy. Generally, if I'm happy, he is happy. Nothing much phases him or affects his level of happiness - not work, other people, life issues, worldly problems, etc.

Me on the other hand - I feel like there are so many things that can affect my happiness. I accept that part of the reason for this difference between us is that I am a woman - the more emotional being. Feelings and emotions tend to drive my moods and level of happiness. This is not a brand new epiphany. Obviously, this difference of the sexes is common knowledge to all. I just sometimes wish I operated on a simpler level. More cut and dry. Black and white. I sometimes wish I didn't wear my heart on my sleeve. B is so in tune with my moods that there is no avoiding the frequent discussions of what I'm dealing with at the very moment. His patience is astounding. In the three years that we've been married, I feel like I've personally been through a marathon of hills and hurdles. The growth and lessons learned have and continue to be well worth the struggle. It's just the idea of burdening B with the imbalance of emotional focus on me compared to him that I dislike. I used to deny certain aspects of my female nature (in an effort to fit in with and be more appealing to men) - especially my emotional tendencies - but as I grow older I am finally accepting and embracing that which separates me from men.

Yes, I am a woman. I like to talk about my feelings. B is a man. He does not like to talk about his feelings. But he sure is a great and willing listener when I need to talk. So I guess I'm okay with that.

I am grateful for a husband who has the patience and desire to continually join me in my personal therapy sessions, as I call my needs to talk about my feelings concerning day to day life, my job, my own growths, hurts, awakenings, observations, etc. I just don't want to get to a point where I am subconsciously taking advantage of my husband's willingness to put my wants and needs before his. He tells me that his role is to provide for and protect his bride and future family, and that a big part of that is doing what he can to make me happy. I don't deserve such loving and honorable treatment, but since I have been blessed with it the last thing I want to do is grow so accustomed that I lose appreciation and drift toward an "all about ME" attitude. How to combat this? I want to focus more on my husband's wants - not just the everyday-standard-good wife stuff, but truly considering unique ways to make him happy. Just because he naturally defaults to whatever I want to do, where I want to go, etc., constantly revolving around my happiness, doesn't mean he doesn't have opinions and wants hidden in there somewhere. I want to be more attune to him, and less to me. I know I will always primarily be more apt to talk about my feelings and blah blah blah, and I shouldn't expect him to do the same as it is contrary to his nature. But just because he doesn't like to talk about himself, his issues, world issues, other people's issues, (you catch my drift) doesn't mean there aren't other ways to focus attention in a more fair and balanced manor in our relationship.

Still learning and growing with each new day...

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Life is like a run through the hills. I am in upstate New York with my family this week. My morning runs along the lake through the hills remind me of the never ending ups and downs of life. The only thing that keeps me running up the hills is the sheer bliss and weightless relief of coasting down the other side. Every hill has an up and down. While running, I know this and prepare accordingly. The downhill and flat periods of the run are opportunities to regain strength for the next hill. This should be the same in our daily lives. Times of joy, happiness, and simplicity should be understood as opportunities to strengthen, rejuvenate, refill, and prepare.

Sometimes I find myself expecting that the good times will last forever - obviously a delusion far from reality, most likely fueled by denial of life's inevitable ups and downs. Rather than appreciating the opportunity to grow and strengthen in preparation, I sometimes take the time for granted and grow accustom to the ease and comfort. When life's trials and challenges return, as they always do in various forms, I feel blindsided if not prepared.

Life is hilly. There's no denying it. We can't get too comfortable in any particular state. We will ascend, descend, sometimes plateau, and repeat. We have little control over the trials we will face, but we can control how we choose to face them. I hope to face them with confidence, preparation, strength, and acceptance - knowing the uphill battle eventually leads to liberation and relief.

Attitude is everything. Let's ponder positively, apply continuously, and pass on generously.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


My husband and I spent the past two weeks in Israel and Greece, hence the lack of posting. This was an amazing experience and truly a trip like no other. Complete with many ups and downs, we traveled around the whole country of Israel enjoying new foods and captivating sites, and also bearing and learning to be patient with different cultures and lifestyles than our own. Highlights of the trip included hiking Mount Masada at sunrise and swimming in the dead sea, and a relaxing day on the secluded Lindos Beach in Rhodes, Greece where we sunbathed on the rocks overlooking a gorgeous cove and snorkeled through underwater caves and along the bluffs of the shoreline.

We spent four days in Jerusalem and found ourselves fairly disappointed with this part of the trip, as we assumed it would be a pinnacle point of the overall experience. Over the course of my 24 years of biblical study, I have naturally developed perceptions of historical sites and events. I somewhat expected (or hoped) to walk the grassy Hill of Calvary and kneel at the foot of a cross. I envisioned an empty tomb still intact and preserved. I imagined the Mount of Olives as a peaceful hilltop lush with olive trees and other foliage. Today each of these sites, along with every other well-known Christian site that we visited, is built up and over with extravagant, often gaudy churches and cathedrals. A combination of excessive religiousness coupled with tourist-driven commercialism seemed to detract from the authenticity and holiness of this beloved territory. I couldn't help but imagine how our Savior would respond when walking around present-day Jerusalem. I like to think that He would appreciate the gestures, but express little interest in the grandiosity and much more in the people.

I feel incredibly blessed to have visited the Holy Land, and will probably be processing all of the details of my experience for weeks to come.

Still sorting through over 1500 pictures, but here are a few from the places mentioned above..

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

It's the simple things

New growth is so exciting. Planting, pruning, blooming, and producing. There is a profound satisfaction that one enjoys after a hard day of yard work and upkeep. Here I sit on the back deck, admiring the vibrant colors of my begonias, impatiens, azaleas, marigolds, and lavender blossoms. And oh how I love to pause from cooking dinner to clip some fresh rosemary and basil for the meal, all the while sipping a mojito made with delicious fresh mint.

Yes, it's the simple things in life that seem to bring the greatest sense of satisfaction, peace, and contentment. Expensive things can be fun, exciting thrills are sweet for a moment, but there's nothing quite like the enjoyment we receive from the amazing blessings offered through nature and everyday life.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The video game battle

Last night B and I got into a "discussion" about a frequently recurring topic: video games. He loves them. I don't. He wishes I would play. I wish he wouldn't. He thinks they're awesome. I think they're nerdy and a waste of time. This is a battle that neither of us will ever win, I'm afraid. But I'm trying to convince myself that it need not be a battle at all.

I think the underlying problem here is that B and I are so compatible in just about every other aspect of our lives. So because we differ so drastically in this one area, it seems way more of an issue than it is. I feel bad because I'm not into that stuff and he feels bad because he is. I get annoyed when he's in video game world and he gets annoyed when I get annoyed. It's a stupid cycle and I've decided that it is ridiculous. It is healthy to have unique interests, and each individual should respect the other's individuality rather than attempting to change what he or she doesn't like (within reason - for instance, I'm not condoning 24-hr gaming binges by any means). Easier said than done. But like I said, I'm trying to convince myself. Good talk.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Sunny Sundays

We have been searching for a new home church for the past few months. I think we found it this morning. I prayed before we left, for direction and guidance if this was where we should be. B and I both left feeling excited and right at home. I am so thankful and can't wait to check it out again next week.

We enjoyed a lovely breakfast, some Sunday driving, and beautiful beach time. I love Sundays with my husband. Short post today.. still relishing in this glorious day with my love.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

To be content...

Seeking true contentment in life seems to be a neverending pursuit of the human race. I think I may spend my whole life learning to "be content whatever the circumstances." Just when I feel that I am completely content, I am tempted once again to want something more, be something different, have something I don't. These distractions attempt to throw me off course in pursuit of temporary satisfactions, when all the while I already have way more than I need or deserve to be happy.

I found myself contemplating the last few years of my life, which have been far different than I ever planned, but far greater just the same. Challenging, yes. Frustrating, sometimes. Character building, absolutely. I've learned that I am not defined by a job. From public relations, to interior decorating, substitute teaching, home businesses, graduate school, modeling, catering, personal training, to real estate agent. You name it, I've pursued it or at least dabbled, all in the past two and a half years. Is this due to my lack of contentment with whatever I am currently pursuing? Or am I learning to be content with my seemingly "jack of all trades" personality and lifestyle? I believe (and hope) that the former is beginning to transition into the latter. Either way, I am finding how less relevant a job is to one's character and legacy on this earth. To me, life is about relationships and loving others. I would much rather be remembered in that way than as a success in the world's eye.

I met a new friend last night while out with hubby. After telling her about my various "jobs" in the past, and feelings about our beautiful, but rather career-limiting area, her response surprised me. She told me to enjoy this time in my life because I have the opportunity to work or not work thanks to the security of my husband's career. I take this for granted all the time. I am so blessed - and humbled by my unworthiness.

-Still learning to be content whatever the circumstances...

Friday, April 1, 2011

New Beginnings

Spring is in the air - along with new beginnings, growth, color, and excitement. Until now, this blog has served purely as a place for ramblings related to experiences as a military wife, and I generally only wrote during deployment times. Well not only is there more to discuss in life than deployments, but my passion for writing far exceeds the complacent status to which it has sunk in the previous months. So with the freshness of Spring, I find new goals and plans for the coming months in full bloom. For starters, I plan to set aside time every day for writing. Whether or not anyone is out there to read my ramblings, this is more of a personal process than anything. And as these ramblings are somewhat public, a sense of accountability ensues. Yes, these creative challenges are often cliche, but here we go, nevertheless. I generally have a lot to say, think about, write - even if just to myself half of the time. I dream of being an author someday, but have so much more to experience and learn in this life before I can even pretend to know what I'm talking about. And I have to start somewhere. So here it begins.