Monday, April 25, 2011

DD# 164 Keeping my head above water

There are just some days when it feels like I'm good if I can keep my head above water. Trying to do all my normal things plus the things my husband would normally do. The yardwork seems to take as much time as the housework. The kids need to be everywhere all over town. And to top it all off I can't seem to say no, so I have my own commitments to see to as well.  I think we have something every night during the month of May. This wouldn't be so bad if there were two of me. Maybe in my spare time I'll work on cloning... Until then, I'll just keep treading water...

Sunday, April 24, 2011

DD#163 I'm a mess!

So I managed to get the girls all up, fed, dressed, and out the door for church at 8:15 this morning, but that wasn't the hardest part of the day. I think I cried for about half of the service this morning. I was a mess!

My tears came from a combination of things, both happy and sad. I'll start with the sad...

I have come to strongly dislike going to church without my husband. To the point that we have only been going maybe once a month. It's easy to find a reason to stay home, but it's just an excuse. I don't know why it's so hard on me this time around. I've done it twice before, right? I had my moments, but this deployment it seems that every time I sit down in that pew a sadness comes over me. I can get through the week and do all sorts of other things just fine, but going to church really makes me miss him.

So combine that with the guilt of not going to church and my heart just hurt this morning. My tears came as part of an apology to God for being disobedient. Like a child telling their dad what they had done wrong (I have never liked being in trouble and still hate confrontation).  My children have suffered because of this. I know I'm not the parent I could be, because my focus is not where it should be. I think a little part of me is angry about our circumstances and this deployment. And then when I quit going to church, I was angry because no one noticed. At least that's how it seemed...

And then on top of that, I tend to cry at communion anyway. The reminder of how much we are loved and what lengths God was willing to go to so that we could be with him in Heaven regardless of how selfish and sinful we have been. So today as I confessed my sins to my God and thought about the gift that He had given me, I cried even harder. In fact I'm crying now as I write this out. Who knows what the people around me were thinking, I was just glad I didn't have time to put mascara on this morning!

So it's time to climb out of this valley and get back up on the path, turn around and face God instead of trying to hide (because we all know how well that works!) and act according to His will and not my own.

Thank you God for being a loving, forgiving God. Thank you for the gift of you son, Jesus Christ. I don't deserve what you did for me, but I am grateful for the sacrifice.

He is Risen! Alleluia!!!

Friday, April 15, 2011

DD#154 Very Blessed

Recently I heard a audio clip of Michelle Obama as she talked about military families and wanting to bring attention to what we go through. She said that a study found that eighty percent of military families do not feel as though the civilian community understands what they go through or supports them. I am definitely not in that eighty percent in our current duty location. At the farewell for some of the senior spouses a few nights ago, all four of the women being farewelled talked about the high level of support we get from our community, both Junction City and Manhattan. They are completely right. I have more civilian friends here than I have had anywhere else we've lived and they are often the first to offer help when I need it.

Part of this comes from living here for almost 3 years and being involved in many activities off post, but it is also because this is one of the few communities that doesn't have an "us" and "them" mindset. They take us in and make us feel at home. Most communities don't do this because we only stay for a few years or less and we move on, but here in the Flint Hills they welcome us with open arms.

I have really felt this over the last couple of days after having a wisdom tooth out. I had several people offer to help the day of the procedure and many, many more make sure I knew I could call them if I needed anything. I had two different people bring me dinner on the same day. They have stocked me up with soup and food for the kids and just generally checked on me to make sure all was okay. I am overwhelmed with thankfulness for these wonderful women. The Lord has definitely blessed me with good friends and a great community.

The problem with this...this will be the hardest good-bye I've ever said. This is home and not just a temporary stop. They are going to drag me kicking and screaming from Fort Riley! It really is one of the best kept secrets in the Army!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

DD#149 Volunteer Appreciation

Volunteer Appreciation Week is coming up soon. April 18-24 to be exact. I've often heard it said that without volunteers our country would probably shutdown. Volunteers give countless hours and usually to more than one organization. On post we have numerous opportunities to volunteer our time from helping out at the USO, Family Readiness Groups, PWOC/MCCW, OCSC/ECSC, etc...the list could go on for awhile. And then you throw in the civilian are we supposed to choose who we donate our time to? A good friend reminded me that you need to pick one or two organizations your passionate about and go from there because it is better to focus our energy on that instead of 4 or 5 different organizations.

Volunteers don't often seek out recognition. I think we wonder about those who do. To be honest you probably don't realize just how much a person who is willing to volunteer really does. When asked they usually downplay it and underestimate the hours they devote to an organization. Volunteers don't do it for the recognition, they do it because they love what they are doing and who they are helping.

I had a lot of time to think about this as I was driving the 2 hour drive home from Kansas City yesterday. I had just attended a volunteer appreciation  luncheon for Girl Scouts. About 60 people and 8 businesses were recognized for their contribution to Girl Scouts in our council. Some of them were really amazing people, but to be honest, some of them had done far less than people in our own little Service Unit, but no one from our area was nominated for an award. I decided it's time to change that.

Volunteers may not seek recognition, but they need it. Everyone needs to feel appreciated for what they contribute. It's one of the keys to volunteer retention. Sometimes people quit because they have to, but you don't want people quitting because they want to.

So take some time and say thank you to a volunteer. I've often heard the phrase, "Money makes the world go round," but I think it's volunteers! So thank you to all of my friends who give up so much of their time to help others.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

DD#142 A wonderful two weeks

So, after Scott finally got to feeling better after his short stay in the hospital, we had a really nice R&R. We didn't do a lot or go on some big vacation, but just enjoyed the simply joy that comes with beind together as a family. Some may think that hanging around the house and playing in the backyard is mundane and boring, but when you only have two weeks together out of a year, those simple little things can create the sweetest memories. I loved watching Scott read books to the girls and playing games with them.

Sitting in comfortable silence around the fire holding hands, words weren't necessary. I think there is something to R&R being low key. We've always traveled to see family or they've come to see us and this time we were able to just be us. Scott and I were able to reconnect in a way that we haven't been able to in years with the chaos that comes with his job and having a family of six. Life isn't going to get slower any time soon, so I'm happy that we were all able to realax and enjoy each other, even if it was only for two weeks. Bring on the next seven months! I'm sure they'll go by as fast as the first five.