Contact

•January 31, 2012 • 1 Comment

I finally was able to talk to CJ. It was amazing to hear his voice and to know he’s ok. It was such a relief. Nothing really significant was discussed. It was just really good to finally have some contact with my husband. For weeks now family and friends would ask me if I had heard from CJ and I would sadly say no and no I am not sure why. I can make assumptions and try to imagine the reasons I hadn’t heard from him but the truth was not what I imagined.

CJ was working nights but his office got reorganized and now his shift is the day shift. So that was part of it. The other part of it was there have been a few casualties. I knew of one but CJ says there were more. When this happens and until next of kin can be notified the base goes on communication blackout. No phone calls out, no internet, no communication what so ever. The last deployment there was an accident early on that killed a few soldiers but after that the causalities were few and far in between. Now we are less than 2 months into this whole thing and already there have been communication blackouts left and right.

CJ has assured me since he got to his main FOB that he hasn’t left the wire. (BIG SIGH) He’s working with HQ and communications this deployment. This is a change for him and he admitted it can be hard on him. He hears all this action happening and he’s used to being in the thick of it. I am sure he feels a little helpless, sitting there in an office type setting listening to all that is going on outside the wire wanting to help but that is not his role this deployment. Well it definitely gives me something to pray about for him. 

Not to completely switch topics but in my last entry I wrote that I was learning a lot about God and his character. Well I am reading a book one of my mother in-laws (I have 3). The man who raised CJ, he goes by Smith, and was married to CJ’s mom. They later divorced but remained really good friends. Any way Smith remarried a few years ago and is married to a wonderful christian women. She recommended the the book Battlefield of the Mind, by Joyce Meyer. What a great book, especially for me since CJ deploying means I have a whole lot more time to myself to let my mind wander and to worry and fret.

The book really focuses on changing the way you think. During really tough times like say during a deployment, struggles in my marriage I struggle with worry, confusion, doubt, and ultimately fear. Last deployment these were some of the very emotions that ruled over me like a weight or heavy fog. It was not a good place to be. In Joyce book it says:

” Positive minds produce positive lives. Negetive minds produce negative lives. Positive

thoughts are always full of faith and hope. Negative thoughts are always full of fear and doubt.

In my life this has been very true. The more I have focused on the negetive aspects of my life at this point: my struggling marriage, my deployed husband, family issues etc… the more I find my self depressed and doubting God’s hand in my life. Before all the problems in my life arose, I knew God wanted a different experience for me this deployment. I still struggle but not in the same way as last deployment. He has truly begun to show me what resting in God’s love and comfort really means. I have such a peace most days, the only way I can even begin to explain it is it’s all God. God, as the saying goes, is walking me through the fire.  It’s not an easy path but God is good and his mercies are new every morning.

 

When Tough Gets Tougher

•January 30, 2012 • Leave a Comment

So there are more than a few reasons I haven’t posted recently. I am almost 2 months into CJ’s second deployment. This being our second deployment as a married couple and CJ’s first to Afghanistan.  All I can truly be sure of is God is good.

With out going into too much detail (much of it is too personal to post about) last year was a very very hard year. I would like to say CJ’s first deployment was harder but that would not be honest depiction of 2011 and all its awful glory. To name a few things my only living grandmother pasted away, CJ got demoted, them my grandfather died in May. Then the past caught up with my dear husband  in the fall. A women came back into CJ life wanting to see if her 3 1/2 year old son was his. This whole relationship happened not too long before we met, to make matters worse she was in acommitted relationship with someone other than CJ, she obviously thought it was her significant other’s. Until I had those paternity results in my little hand it was not a pretty picture in our house hold. One day I screamed at CJ “When is your past going to quit biting me in the ass?” Not one of my proudest moments in our marriage but a very true declaration of how I was feeling at the time. It turned out not to be CJ’s son, but it very well could have and well I choose not to let my mind wander down that path. I wish this was all the bad stuff, however it’s not.

Four days before CJ was to get on the plane for Afghanistan, my marriage took a huge left turn and blew up in my face.  I did not see it coming, it came out of left field. When it came into view I felt as if my heart was being ripped out of my chest, and watching it happen, almost like an out of body experience. I wish I could say things are better now but that would be a lie. I still dearly love my husband and will give everything I have before I throw in the towel on our marriage but it has not been an easy couple of months. We are going to try to work it out and CJ has agreed to seek marriage counseling when he gets home, but that is almost a year from now. Mean while I am probably going to seek counseling, to try to work through all my thoughts and feeling. To make matters worse or maybe better, I am not sure which yet; I have not heard from CJ since the Thursday before Christmas. He’s deployed to a very desolate part of Afghanistan. I was warned in a pre-deployment briefing that phone and internet would be a luxury not a privilege everyone got. This time of communication silence has been hard but also given lots of time to pray and sort out all that has happened. Most days I try not to dwell on it but even that is hard. Work has been good for me but God has been my source of comfort and peace.

Through this rough season of my life God has been my biggest source of comfort. I have sought Him out and He has been by my side every step of the way. Worrying and being fearful has not plagued me this deployment. God has just really calmed my spirit and quietly whispers loving words of encouragement to my soul, and I am so thankful to my God, my Savior. I have been learning a lot about God lately and his character. I do not understand why this all happened to me and my marriage or why God allowed this to happen, but I am praying God has a plan to help CJ and I rebuild a new marriage. I recently wrote CJ a letter basically saying, we’ve tried this whole marriage thing our way and it’s not working so well in my opinion. Now its time to try it God’s way. I am not even sure how or where to begin but God does and I am whole heartily putting my trust in the creator of this thing called marriage. God has a plan and I am patiently praying and waiting for Him to show me where to begin. Have your way in me Lord, I am all yours.

Given What I Need!

•October 16, 2011 • 1 Comment

God has been doing a work on this heart of mine. He is starting to show me that He has given me what I need not what I want! What I want is for my husband to not deploy and for us to start a family. This however is not to be at this point in time. I am slowly starting to accept this and come to grips with everything and all that means. I still have moments where I am upset that I am once again having to go through this but I am not alone and that Jesus is by my side.

I know in my head that Jesus is going to walk with me through this next deployment, but I also knew that I needed some Godly women beside me to help me through it as well. I began looking for ways to do this. It just so happened I came across a post on the Facebook, Faith Deployed page asking about good churches in the Lewis-McCord area. I went to put in my two cents when I saw a post about a military wives support group at one of the local churches I knew of. I looked into it and they were doing the study I had just recently bought called Tour of Duty  by Sara Horn. I was seriously praising God. He works in wonderful ways.  At this time I had a major falling out with a very good friend.  God knew I would need friends during this time.

One of the verses I’ve discovered through this study is Isaiah 42: 16: “I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them, I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.”

At times during my first deployment I did feel forsaken by God at times, mostly by CJ. That is a hard thing to even talk about over a year out. I felt completely abandoned by CJ and forgotten by God. It was a deep dark pit I was in. Now on the other side and about to head into another deployment I am determined to do things differently. I want to thrive and not just survive this next deployment. I want to come out on the other side knowing God better and letting Him help me through it.

So I am trying to prepare myself for what is to come. I know no matter what this is not going to be fun and that I am going to struggle. My struggles may not be the same as the first deployment but I know that they are going to come and I am going to do my best to stay positive and to look to Jesus and to stay focused on Him.

Lord, only you know what my next 13 months is going to look like. Let the year without CJ go quickly, but also let me learn more about you and myself through this process. Help me to ask for help from you and others when I am struggling to stay afloat. Let me see and feel your hand in my life. In Jesus name amen!

Saying Goodbye is Never Easy

•August 19, 2011 • Leave a Comment

In my last post I mentioned the passing of my maternal grandma. Her name to me was grandma Josie. I loved her very much. As a young child I spent many a summer at her house. In high school I would come visit almost every afternoon after school having our afternoon tea. With this said my grandma was not an easy woman to get along with. As I grew older I started to understand my grandma was different from a lot of other grandmas. She was German by birth and did not come to the US till she was probably over 30.  She lived through WWII in Nazi Germany as a teenager and young adult. This fact alone profoundly affected my grandma. She would talk about parts of the war but other parts so painful and horrific in memory she rarely spoke of them. Her early life fascinated me.  She was something else. My grandma has been gone since February but I find myself wanting to call her and tell her about something going on in my life. I miss my grandma and how our relationship was several years ago before her health started to go down drastically.  I grieved for my grandma long before her death however. My grandma started losing her sort term memory a few years before her death. She was having mini strokes that were robbing her of her memory and later her independence. It was hard to watch her slowly decline.

The day she had the massive stroke that would end her life, I had a premonition. I had the overwhelming feeling that something was wrong. I cried out to God, but I knew something was wrong. As I was leaving work a little early that evening I got the chance to finally look at my cell phone. My mom had left me a message and a text. She texted “call me as soon as you can, its grandma.” I call as I am walking back into work asking for the day off the next day!  My grandmother had a massive stroke that left her barely concious, unable to talk, swallow, or move the left side of her body. She received a clot buster medication but it did little to help her regain in real function. I did not go to the hospital that night but CJ and I went to see her in the morning. I remember walking in the room and her eyes barely opening. I walked up to her and kissed her cheek whispering ” I love you Grammy.” Being a nurse I looked up to the wall and saw the NPO sign, meaning nothing by mouth. it was at that moment I knew it was the beginning of the end of my grandma’s life on earth. CJ sat by her side and held her hand as I walked away so grandma would not see me my tears. 

As a family we knew that grandma did not want to be artificially kept alive. We made the decision to place her on hospice and get her back to the adult family home we came from. I went over to her care facility almost everyday and talked to her, read to her,  and pleading God to please take her quickly. It is so very hard to watch a loved one slip away. Each passing day grandma getting weaker and weaker, looking for signs that the end was drawing near. Eleven days later she finally passed. My family or I was not there. I emotionally could not handle watching my grandma struggle for each breath. My mom shooed us grandkids away. She left around 3 am and got the call to come back about 7 am but by the time she drove the 10 minutes from her house to the care facility she had passed. She called me and my sister and I was so very relieved that her struggle was over.

A week later we laid my grandma to rest next to my grandfather. I still have not been able to go back to her grave even though I think of her almost everyday on my way home as I drive past the cemetery that borders the freeway I drive. I miss her so much and my heart aches thinking of what I have lost in her death. My one and only blood related grandma that loved me and was so proud of all that I had accomplished. Oh grandma I miss you more that words can ever express!

Still Around

•August 14, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Well life is in full swing and its been one thing after another this year. A lot not so great and other stuff has been absolutely wonderful. Where to begin…

I last posted in January, not to long after that post my family suffered a great loss. My 86-year-old grandmother had a massive stroke. She lingered on earth for 11 days and passed peacefully with her loving caregivers at her side. It was probably one of the hardest drawn out experiences of my life thus far. I’ll write more about this, enough time has passed that I think I can write about it and not completely break down.

A few months later my dear husband CJ got in some big trouble over a training accident at work. I won’t go a lot into this other than to say his punishment involved a demotion and lots and lots of extra duty for what felt like forever! A few weeks into this so-called  punishment my paternal grandfather died suddenly. I did not know him all that well and was sad because of this fact alone. People that lived near him on his lake property knew him better than his own family.

In July wr went on a much needed family vacation to Maui. We had so much fun!!!  On the last day of our Maui trip CJ and I both got tattoos.  I got a flower with some green leaves on my foot (Ouch). CJ got a tribal looking black and red gecko on the back of his calf. I will post pictures of this later when I find my lovely camera cord!  As soon as we got back from Maui as in within hours we headed to eastern Oregon to visit family. Ten hours after arriving home we were in a whole different state with more family.  I rode my first Harley with my father in-law Mikie at my first every bike rally. Really fun weekend. Note to self though, do not get a tatoo when you know that keeping it clean while camping is almost impossible.

A few days after getting home CJ leaves this cryptic message on my cell phone while I’m at work. I had an idea of what he was going to say. I called home and of course he told me he would talk to me when I got home.  As I am driving home that wonderful feeling every Army wife knows crept into my heart, dread.  I walked in the door and marched up the stairs to hear the news CJ had to share with me. Yep you probably already guessed it another up coming deployment.  CJ won’t even be home for Christmas this year and our so-called plans for starting a family have been put on hold. More on this later.

Now I sit in a coffee shop writing this post because CJ is on a month-long training mission down to California to the National Training Center. I am trying my darndest to gear myself up mentally for this next deployment. If you read back he’s only been back from Iraq for just over a year. I thought I had another year before he’d be gone again. Its hard not to think about the fact that at the end of this deployment I will have spent more time apart from him than I have with him. We will not be there for each others 30th birthdays and have spent another anniversary apart. But that is the life of an army wife in a time of war. We need these awful wars to end.

 

Marriage After Deployment

•January 29, 2011 • Leave a Comment

So once again I am amazed how hard this relationship call marriage can be! Chris has been home from Iraq now for about 6 months. A lot has changed. We moved out of my grandma’s old and bought a home of our own.  I switched jobs.  We had our first Christmas in our house. My sister’s marriage of close to 30 years officially ended by her moving out of her home  into mine. Chris just re-enlisted for another 5 years! I know God has a plan for all the chaos that seems to be spinning around me, but its hard to not let it consume my thoughts and start to worry and fret. 

Money is a big deal in any marriage, but when you live on a fixed income with the military it can make money and decisions surrounding it very tough. I hate credit cards, but lately its being used more than I would like. They can be necessary for those lovely little things called accidents or in our case recently tires that needed to be replaced pronto. My husband’s souped up Ford F150 has 35 inch tires and boy were they expensive!  I about had a heart attack when Chris told me how much it was going to cost to replace all four tires. Lets just put it this way its twice as expensive as compared to replacing all four tires on my midsize Ford SUV. All I can say is thank God for tax returns and as soon as our tax return goes through that credit card is getting paid off!

 I love my new job but it is completely at odds with Chris work schedule. I work pretty much part to full time at my new job. There are times when I get off early but I go into work 5 days a week Monday through Friday. I get home somewhere between 8 and 10pm at night. My brain needs some time to shut down and it can be a little hard to go to bed right when I get home.  But usually lately Chris is already sound a sleep when I get home. So basically we don’t get anytime together during the week. I find it hard to have a relationship with someone I live with but don’t really get to have conversation with but on the weekends. I find it hard to want to be intimate with Chris at times because I feel completely disconnected from him during the week. I don’t know how long I can take working full time like this! We don’t talk at all sometimes for days at a time. He’s asleep by the time I get home and I am still deep asleep at 4:30am when he gets up for work! I’m not sure how to fix this problem and do not know if it can be fixed. But I guess I can pray and hope something changes with our attitudes and the way I feel about the whole situation.

2010 In Review

•January 2, 2011 • Leave a Comment

So 2010 is done and over with and in many ways I am so glad. Let me list why:

The majority of the first half of 2010 was very lonely for me. My work schedule prevented me from having much time with friends or family but 2 weekends a month.

I was missing my husband like crazy for the first 6 and a half months of the year, please Lord do not let the word deployment have a hold over my world like it did again! I can do all things through You Heavenly Father!

It was probably the most stressful year of my life

Of course I learned many things about myself, the good, bad, and the ugly!

I learned that being isolated away from my friends and family is more than I can bear at times.

I can get through anything but I have to lean on God more than I lean on my own coping abilities.

I learned that I was beginning to hate my job and that I needed a change so I went out and made it happen with God’s guidance

I learned that I love my husband more than words can explain

I learned that I have a temper worse than I even knew (it reared its ugly head when I was beyond stressed and depressed)

I learned more about stress and what it can do to your poor immune system then I would have liked, I used all my sick days in a 5 month period!  I have not been sick once really since my husband came home!

I learned that I can trust my husband’s love even though he may not say it all the time.

I learned that I have a wonderful sister who I can tell anything to.

I have learned that I am loved by many people including my wonderful friends who by the way are awsome!!

I have learned that I can be very lazy! (I NEED TO START WORKING OUT AGAIN)

I have learned so many things…

Bring it on 2011