1 month. Exactly. Well, as exact as they get in the Army. That is how much longer until our favorite chaplain begins his journey home. I am in "reflecting" mode and thought my blog would be a perfect place to talk through things. First off I must say that I am TRULY amazed at what the Lord has done in, through, and around me the past 11 months. On a wall in our home is etched the verse Psalm 33:20 "We put our hope in the Lord. He is our help and our shield." Never were words more true for us this past year than those. This deployment thing was tougher than I thought, but the Lord was more faithful than I could have ever imagined. It tested my faith and I found Him to be true. James 1:2-4 "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, when you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work, so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."
God has enabled me to accomplish so many things -- no small feat for a woman with two small kids. It is exhausting just to think back over what it has taken to survive the past 11 months. How many loads of laundry? How many wee-hours-of-the-morning awakenings? How many dishwasher-fulls? How many doctors appointments? How many reaches for the other side of the bed only to find it empty? But at the same time He has taught me alot about being interruptible and letting go of tasks that I cannot start or finish. As I write this post, I sit here with my feet propped up on the ottoman next to a full, unfolded basket of laundry on my left and an empty bowl of ice cream on my right. A pretty good snapshot of what my evenings have looked like. A little "me" time and a little "catching up on chores" time. For those of you out there considering the military or about to embark on your first deployment, I'm sure you will find out as I have that organization and time-management WILL be your best friends and your sanity-keeper.
My children amaze me...they never cease to be a wellspring of either chaos or pure joy...and most days a bit of both. Jordan is nearing the 23 month mark and is well beyond that developmentally in so many ways. She uses a combination of pointing to objects, bringing me objects, mimicking, and baby sign language to communicate with me. She has begun to "read" books to herself and LOVES to tell jokes (that only she understands) and laughs HYSTERICALLY at them. It is really pretty cute. She likes to tickle me and Dylan. She thinks Daddy is either a computer or a picture in a frame. She still has a love affair with food and eats every meal in an artistic way. Her hair is turning a lighter shade of golden blonde as we are spending more time at the pool. She is a fearless dare-angel at the pool, provided she has her life vest on. She has already taken to wading where she can barely stand and jumping from the sides into my arms. When I look into her face, I see nothing but pure beauty. All her facial features together combined with her deep blue eyes are just gorgeous. She can say about 20 words (No, more, please, thank you, bless you, my favorite "let's pray!", yes, dada, mama, Dylan, shoes, juice, let's go, show, why, dog, ball, etc.). She is an absolute joy!
Dylan is growing up so fast before my very eyes. Sometime when I wasn't looking he morphed from a preschool kid in to a kindergartener. He is such a clever and creative kid. He's like a mini-McGuiver at times. He can make a "make-shift" anything out of, well, ANYTHING! He TOTALLY gets that from his dad...but I am catching on to it too :) Lately he has been showing signs that he is on the verge of putting all the right pieces of faith together to become a Christian. He asks about it at least several times a week but at this point is still seeing it as a "get-out-of-hell-free" ticket. However, he is VERY close to understanding that the biggest deal is his sin. What an EXCITING thing to watch! Our very own son's eyes are being opened to the truth of God's word. As we said in VBS on-post this year, "Thank you, God!!"
Our summer is in full swing now that preschool is out and we are back from our 2-week Bama trip. It was so nice to get away and to be able to stay with Mom and Dad for 2 weeks. I don't think I've ever left home and been gone for that long. It ws very refreshing. We have been spending time at the pools, either our home kiddie pool or the neighborhood center pool. The kids LOVE the outdoors so we end up spending some amount of time outside every day. We are also making the rounds with our play dates. I know once daddy is home we will be doing ALOT of family time, so we are playing with friends while we can now. I planted a garden this year and it is doing very well. It is my first garden and not too shabby if I do say so myself! Already had herbs, onions, tomatos, cucumbers, and bell peppers!
Chaplain is doing well and is ready to come home! I think he and his troops are experiencing a combination of senioritis/stale relationships/exhaustion/extreme heat/desert crazies. He is just hoping they can make it another month without anything crazy or tragic happening. The Lord has truly been good to our brigade and our casualties have been at a very minimum level.
I am hoping to blog more soon, but I am thinking the next month will be sort of busy! Trying not to miss anything the Lord may want to show me or do through me even in the midst of the excitement...