I hope to inspire and encourage others through my own life experiences and my faith ...

Monday, December 28, 2009

Merry Christmas

This year Senior Airman and I decided to do something different for our families for Christmas. We took ideas from a few different sources, worked together and came up with a great gift!

We spent time focusing on each family member and wrote a piece on each one of them. After a lot of prayer and consideration we focused in and wrote about their strengths, special giftings, unique characteristics, what they mean to us, etc. It was a piece that was meant to edify, encourage and comfort each individual.

We then ended each piece with, "If we could give you any gift in the whole world we would give you ... " We focused on various needs or desires of each person - all non-material. We then went through magazines and cut out words or sayings that we believed fit each person. Then, on Christmas we presented each person with their special gift.

It was fun to take on the project together as a team and it really helped us focus on more than just material gifts this year. We were able to focus on each family member and look fondly on who they are and what they mean to us.

Friday, November 6, 2009

The Strongest Power

Psalm 56:7-11 "Don't let them get away with their wickedness; in your anger, God, throw them to the ground. You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book. On the very day I call to you for help, my enemies will retreat. This I know: God is on my side. O God, I praise your word. Yes Lord I praise your word. I trust in God, so why should I be afraid? What can mere mortals do to me?”

Oh how scary and painful this world can be ... I've been through some hurtful situations in my life. Some things that I thought I would never get past and that in fact I still struggle with at times today. I have had a broken heart and felt physically broken from that. I've encountered death, loss and crushed dreams. I have felt betrayed, used, left out and useless. Life can be cruel.

Going through hardships myself is hard enough but to see someone that I love go through them and be completely broken because of it - it rips through me. I am very possessive of my family and my friends ... When someone I care about is wronged something stirs up in me from the pit of my stomach. From the time that I was a child, seeing my parents go through trials and losses, seeing my little sister get picked on by friends, witnessing my friends get trampled on ... it has all weighed heavily on my heart. I feel deeply and love deeply.

Sometimes I wish I could be bigger than what I am so that I could bring justice and resolve to all the hardships my loved ones face. I wish I was a giant with supernatural intelligence so that I could hunt down my enemies and crush them in the way that would hurt them the most. But I am no giant ... I don't have supernatural intelligence. I am only me. Where I find my comfort and strength is through Him. He is bigger than a giant. He can crush my enemies. My enemies cannot hide from Him. They cannot shield their thoughts and fears from Him. He sees through their lies. He brings justice, resolve, healing and strength. He loves deeply and He works mightily.

My family and friends who face these struggles and these hurts ... I cannot crush your enemy as I so desire to. I cannot hunt down your foe. But I can offer my prayers. My prayers are powerful for they go to the most powerful. They go to He who loves you and who wants you to rest peacefully. They go to Him WHO WILL PREVAIL. If He is for us, who can be against us? He is bigger than me, bigger than you, bigger than our enemies, bigger than our circumstances, bigger than our hurts and bigger than our broken hearts. I wish I could wrap you up in my arms and shield you from the struggles that you face ... let Him wrap you up. Let Him guide you to peace and rest. Let Him love you. I love you.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Making Right

Has there ever been a situation, or two, in your life in which your circumstances built up and up and before you knew it they became a mountain? Sometimes you may look back and wonder how things became so messy and complicated ... and perhaps selfishness or pride keeps you from fixing what you really feel like you need to fix ... ugh ... I am there in a couple of areas in me life. Let me tell you it is hard.

My relationship with Christ has improved so much in the year and I have been so blessed by the mighty things He is doing in my life. He has opened doors, taught me how to listen better and has blessed my family in numerous ways ... I should have known He would also drudge up some things that I needed to deal with that I had sort of put away in a closet. It is awesome when He does amazing works in our lives, but be advised that He also wants to help us deal with the dark areas in our lives where we have sinned or with situations that we have kept Him out of - whether we want to deal with those or not.

Philippians 2:1-4
"... Are your hearts tender and sympathetic? Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one heart and one purpose. Don't be selfish; don't live to make a good impression on others. Be humble, thinking of others as better then yourself. Don't think only about your affairs, but be interested in others, too, and what they are doing."

My recent struggles have been in various relationships in my life. I have had a couple situations in that I let dwindle, even stoked in the fire a little when I shouldn't have and most of all I am sure people have been hurt because of it. I am not perfect and I am the first to admit to that. Like I said before, I have selfishly and pridefully kept myself from fixing these situations. Oh man, it is hard. Some of these situations involved other people who had hurt me as well, knowingly and unknowingly ... it is hard to let go of those things. Even as I write this I am still unsure of how to go about repairing these trying situations and am not even sure if I want to. The fact that it lays so heavy on my heart tells me that HE wants me to take care of it.

Luke 17:4
"Even if that person wrongs you seven times a day and each time turns again and asks forgiveness, you must forgive.”

I encourage you as you face similar situations in your life to turns these over to Christ. Even when it is hard. If you feel that tugging on your heart leading you resolve past or present issues in your life, listen to it! Most of the time when the Holy Spirit speaks to you He is telling you to do something that you are not comfortable with and that challenges you. I'm sure it is such a freeing feeling when you can resolve that problem and let it go ... I'm not just trying to encourage you - I am talking myself into this as I write as I know it is the right thing to do. So as I take this challenge and try to mend my issues, hand them over to God, learn to forgive and get over myself, I challenge you to do the same if you have a struggle that you have been storing away in the closet.

I don't have a formula to give you on how to resolve your issue, all I can offer is the advice that you just need to hand it over Him and constantly pray over it. BE OPEN to resolution and don't talk yourself out of something that He is calling you to do. When God wants something done He will get it done with or without your help, so make the choice to be the tool that He uses to do it ... Peace!!!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Praise Him In YOUR Storm

In my quiet time today I was led to read my “Trusting In The Names Of God” book by Catherine Martin. The book talks about all the different names of God and what they mean, how to use them, etc. I turned to the chapter on Trusting in Yahweh Nissi – He is your Victory. It spoke to me and a dozen of you came to mind. I felt called to speak this message, if you will, to you. I thought I would highlight some of what the chapter talks about and hope that I don’t bore you but instead inspire you to know that despite your present circumstances Yahweh Nissi (God) is on your side fighting your battles and if you let Him, He will bring you victory!

“What does knowing Yahweh Nissi tell you about yourself? You need someone to fight for you and bring victory in your life. The Lord is the one who fights for you. Run to Yahweh Nissi when you need victory in the battle you face today. What will the banner of the Lord look like in your life? Some scholars suggest that Moses’ upraised hands represented prayers and petitions and intercession on behalf of the people of God in the heat of the battle.

What banner do you hold in your life? Is Yahweh Nissi your banner? Or do you carry the banner of self, believing you are the only one to fight the battle? Or do you carry the banner of money, believing if only could be a millionaire, you could win your war? Or is the banner of position your reliance, believing if only you could have the perfect job, your problem, whatever it may be, will be solved?

When you are in the heat of the battle, think of Moses and the staff in his hand. When he had the staff high (trusting and following God’s commands) in his hands, Israel won, and when it fell, they began to lose. And so it is with you – defeat is sure if you hold up any banner but Yahweh Nissi. Victory is certain if you hold high your banner, Yahweh Nissi. Look to the Lord to fight your battles. Cry out to Him. The Lord will give you wisdom every step of the way as He leads you.

Pray in the heat of the battle and watch the Lord win the battle – He is victor! Oh, how exciting to watch Yahweh Nissi gain the victory in a life, whether that life is your life, a family member’s or a friend’s. Joy is your great response in praising Yahweh Nissi. Nehemiah taught the people of God, ‘The joy of the Lord is your strength!’ How can you rejoice in Him today? ‘Great are the works of the Lord; they are studied by all who delight in them. Splendid and majestic is His work and His righteousness endures forever!’ Psalm 11:2-3”

Last words – from ME!
Times are tough for everyone right now. We are all facing different battles today, this week, this month and this year. I feel pledged to tell you that you are not alone! Ask Him to help you, stay in His presence, petition your needs to Him, and intercede for those around you who are struggling … He will answer. Our God is not a God who neglects or turns His back. He LOVES us and He wants us to succeed and prosper. He does not desire to see you bound to the ground in hopelessness and despair. He desires you to stay with Him and trust Him. If you let Him, He will bring you out of your battle as the winner!!! And most importantly, it is so easy for us to come to God with our problems and plead for help (he wants us to!) but even in the midst of our battles we need to praise Him! Like the last couple of sentences above we must have joy in the Lord as that is our strength! I encourage you read the words of the song, ‘Praise You In This Storm’ by Casting Crowns.

I encourage you friends and family who are struggling to turn to Him, don’t turn away, place yourself closer then ever before and He will show you a victory in your battle. You, my friend, cannot win it yourself, you are simply incapable, but with Him you can do anything! I will remember you and your situation in my prayers this week …


Monday, September 28, 2009

Mon meilleur ami

I have a friend, a very special friend. She has been around for what seems like forever. We met as immature pre-teens. We sang "My favorite Things" on the tops of our lungs together, played practical jokes on each other, laughed for hours together, we went through the transition of stretch pants to jeans together, and had really poofy bangs like each other ... We were teenagers together. We gushed over first dates, went through high school together, spent endless weekend nights running through grave yards with our friends playing games, went to youth group together, went on retreats together, we graduated together, we toured Europe together, we helped each other through broken hearts and we laughed a lot too ... We became adults together. We laughed even more, we cried even more, we faced "real life" and it was scary sometimes, we went through pregnancies together, we discovered "The Rio" together, we became wine drinkers, we helped each other through up hill battles, we were there for each other when there was no one else. We have been through it all ...

This girl is so great ... I just love her to death! I could not imagine my life without her in it. She has helped me face giants in my life, listened to me complain, listened to me cry, listened to me rant and rave about things that were totally irrelovent and yet she never made me feel like they were. She picked me up when I was down, never left my side when I needed a friend and she shared in all my joy as well.

This girl has had her share of struggles as well. She has been broken hearted and run down. She has cried until there was nothing left to cry. She had the imense strength to take on motherhood as a single mommy ... and she never complained about it. Regardless of her struggles she could switch on a smile and light up a room and bring everyones to their knees laughing.

She is a special girl ... she is a very patient girl. Knowing exactly what she wanted in life, she held on to what she had and kept going forward even when going forward was the hardest thing to do. More then anyone she deserved a happy ending ... and then one day it came ... her prince, her knight on the white horse arrived and swept her off her feet (literally). Wow ... I can't even begin to express my excitment, my joy, my pure happiness for her. I smile just to think of it! This is her time to shine. My friend, my very best friend who has shared in every part of my life is getting married ... I could not be more thrilled and my heart could not be more happy. I am so blessed to have such a beautiful friend in my life and I love her dearly. Best wishes to you friend as you venture on this journey. I am anxious to see where the road of life takes you and your family ...

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Ladies, it has been fun ...

Well ladies, it has been fun ... at times it has also been tiring, frustrating, lonely, scary and for those reasons and so many more I am so blessed to have such a strong group of girlfriends to help me through the rough times! Where would I have been without you?

One afternoon in April I collapsed on my bed after a really long, hard week and I pushed back tears, swallowed my disappointment and frustrations ... you see this was the day that I had been looking forward to for weeks ... The first night that I would get to actually go out with my friends since Josh had been gone. The plans got cancelled due to one of those random spring time blizzards - of all days! Not only had I had an extremely hard week (and day!) my one chance of getting a little bit of freedom was gone. The next thing I knew my phone rang and the dearest of all my friends said, "get dressed I am on my way to come get you - you need this and I'm not taking no for an answer!" She drove through the elements of the storm and picked me up along with two other of our friends and safely got us to our destination. Meanwhile another great friend, my next door neighbor, volunteered to come sit at my house for three hours and stay with my daughters so that I could go ... how amazing is this group of ladies?!

There was also this middle of the night frantic phone call that I made to my fearless storm defying friend. It was late, I had a nightmare and was scared out of my mind ... it was two days after Josh had left and I woke up and just cried. She did not hesitate to take my call, comfort me and sit on the phone with me until I felt better.

One of my next door neighbors, the amazing woman who offered to watch my children more then I could ever repay, also mowed my lawn for me. Who knew that a woman could mow the lawn?! I had never done it, had no desire to do it and was very thankful for a friend who would offer to do such a thing - AND to do it on her days off from working a full time job and taking care of her own family! Wow, what a blessing you were! I actually have since learned to mow the lawn and now know that, duh(!) of course a woman can mow the lawn! Although I will be glad to hand that job back over to the husband when he returns home.

There were also the dinners ... so many wonderful dinners! I had several friends and neighbors invite me and the little ones over for meals. It was such a nice escape from sitting at the "kid table" every night without any adult conversation. One incredible friend in particular called me at least every weekend and several times throughout the week to make plans to dine with her, her husband and her family. Thank you friend, for making me feel a part of your family and for letting us step in and join in on your family time, it meant so much ... thank you to all for those dinners!

Lastly there is our families ... I cannot even begin to thank you for the endless babysitting so that I could take time out for me, the never ceasing to stop phone calls that were for nothing more then for me to hear another adult voice, inviting me over for get togethers, helping with tedious work around my house and always being there for every little need that came my way. What would we do with out you? I am ever so grateful!

There were many phone calls, long conversations over bottles of wine, play dates, babysitting, help with my housework, carpools, midnight trips to Walmart to stand in line for Twilight, ladies there to listen to me whine and complain about the struggles of being a single mother of three, and so much more ... I have been ever so blessed by my friends, neighbors and family ... When a situation comes into your life where you are alone, out of your element and a temporarily different person, you learn who your real friends are ... the ones who stick by you, take you under their wing and help carry you until you are able to get back on your feet. Thank you, thank you, thank you ladies ... it has been a fun adventure and I'm glad to have had you by my side as I journeyed it ... but now I'm thrilled to announce that my baby's comin' home!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Letting Go ...

Today was my eldest daughters first day of kindergarten ... How did we arrive here already?! It seems like just yesterday I was running up the street to my bus stop and waiting for the bus to take me to my first day of kindergarten. I remember it so well. I had curls in my long, brown hair. I wore a matching shirt/skirt magenta outfit with black polka dots all over it ... It was sort of ruffly ... totally 80's! I still have the pictures of my sister and best friend and I standing up at the bus stop. Was that really twenty two years ago? I remember practicing spelling my last name in the car on the way to school one morning and my Mom not letting me out of the car until I had it right H-A-R-M-O-N-Y. Learning to spell the word dinosaur was a part of my kindergarten experience - something that once I learned I felt extremely big kid-ish and important knowing. A few of my memories include watching eggs hatch into baby chicks, sitting through circle time giggling with my friends, crushing on boys, learning that not everybody had the same beliefs as I did and being stunned that they didn't, learning school yard games such as: Monday marriage day, Wednesday wedding day and Friday flip up day - yeah all of us girls always wore skirts or dresses on Friday's. :) Oh the joys of elementry school!

Now my little one is off at school probably starting to gather up her own experiences. I wonder what kinds of stories she will come home to tell me ... What kinds of friends she will make ... What her learning style will be ... who knows?! I have mothered her and nurtured her as best as I could at home for the past five years and now it is time to hand her off to the teachers. So many things raced through my head last night as I mentally prepared myself for this day. Of course I was mostly excited for all that she would start to experience but there are also fears associated with handing your child over to the world. I don't want her to get her feelings hurt, her heart broken, pushed by a bully, teased by other children or get lost ... Some of that I just need to bit my lip and let happen, after all, we all have faced those issues at some point or another in our childhood and it helps shape and strengthen us. I concluded that all I can do is offer up prayers for her every morning and every night ... be there for her at the end of everyday with arms wide open ... continue to set a good example at home ... and to have faith that I've done my best to prepare her so that she will grow up to make the wisest choices.

Kindergarten is such a huge step in growing up ... I will always treasure the memories of today and look forward to hearing her side of the story twenty two years down the road when she sends her child off for their first day ...

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder ...

So do you remember when you first started dating your 'love'? You just couldn't get enough of each other, right?! Talking on the phone for hours and never running out of things to say ... getting yourself all prettied up to go out on dates ... gushing to your friends about how great your guy is ... patiently (or impatiently in my case) waiting through seemingly never ending days until until you could reunite with this person ...Whether you went through this forty years ago, fifteen years ago or two years ago, we have all been through it or will go through it at some point in our romantic lives ... but then we get married and slowly things change. I'm not saying things change for the worse but that passion tends to decrease a little as time goes on. The endless "i love you" at the end of a phone call turns into a quick, "love ya!" The date nights sometimes fail to come up as often as they used to. We get comfortable, which can be ok ...

I have been lucky to have been through a brief separation from my husband. Lucky, you ask?! Let me assure you this was not a separation of the relationship just a physical separation as Senior Airman trained in the Air Force. During the past five months we have constantly been telling each other what a blessing it has been to be apart as we have "re-learned" how to bring the eagerness for one another back into our relationship. Before he left we seldom fought, and were very comfortable in our crazy life of parenting three little girls and running back and forth between all the activities in our life. We were happy but life was settled and in a routine ...

I would say after Senior Airman had been gone for a week all of a sudden I realized that I cannot live without him! I mean taking care of the girls was fairly easy, frustrating and tiring at times but there was no problem there, I could handle it ... but living without my best friend was unbearable. I went through a range of emotions associated with missing him. He wasn't just gone, he was out of contact. No phone calls except one ten minute call a week, no emails, no texts, nothing except old fashioned letters written with a pen and paper and mailed with a stamp ... I am such a romantic, I love letters, flowers, dates, the works - Senior Airman is not a romantic bottom line. I wrote him everyday he was in boot camp - EVERY day! All of a sudden a week after he left I started receiving those things called letters back ... not just letters, LOVE letters. Wow, I wasn't aware he had it in him! The things that came out of the man's mouth (or what he wrote on paper I should say) were brilliant! I was almost a little shy when I read them. I am certain I blushed more then once. I now have them neatly kept in a special place where I will forever keep and treasure them. Oddly enough, our time apart was really starting to seem like it was strengthining our relationship and helping us to appreciate each other and all we were so much more.

After boot camp was over, I got phone calls everyday and it was like we were dating all over again. I waited all day to get those calls and then we would talk for hours. Each call began with, "hello my beautiful wife!", which was out of norm by far. He still wrote me letters and some emails too. Then one day he got all quiet and told me that he had been thinking long and hard and he really wanted us to renew our vows ... he wanted our friends, families and everyone there. He wanted to tell the world how much he treasured me and was wildly in love with me. I was stunned ... typically it is the wife who suggests this and it comes around ten or twenty five years of marriage. We are only coming up on year six and HE suggested it - not only a mere suggestion mind you, this was a full fledged plea! I knew he was serious when a couple weeks later he asked again. I was so giddy I felt like he was asking me for the first time again!!! Apparently Senior Airman had been seeing me and our marriage in a whole new light just as I had been. We were falling in love all over again ...

Next week he comes home and I am beyond excited! I feel like I just went through the whole dating thing again. My heart has beat extra hard, my love has grown even deeper and now he gets to come home to me! I am blissfully excited and honestly don't feel like I am welcoming home my husband ... I feel like I am a newly wed about to begin life with the one I love.

I'm not sure that the vow renewal will happen this year, though he is pressing hard but I do know that public formality or not our vows are newly renewed in our hearts and our marriage has grown in leaps and bounds over the past five months. If I had the choice to do it all over again and face life alone for five months I would jump at the chance! The old adage "absence makes the heart grow fonder" rings true ... better then true ... life changing ... marriage changing ...

Maybe you should think twice before you come knocking on my door for the next few weeks ... I am after all in newly wed mode! Just kidding ... well maybe not ... :)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Waiting Game

Patience: an ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay. If you know me, you know that I am very impatient ... seriously impatient. I would pray for patience although I heard the story about a woman who prayed for patience and got pregnant with twins ... I think not! Patience can be a tricky thing. When I want something, I want it now. I don't want to wait, take my time or think through it ... I just want it plain and simple. This is one of my pitfalls in life.

A few months ago some prophetic words were spoken over me that were truly incredible and very unexpected. A lot was said but in a nutshell God painted this picture of great changes in my life, full satisfaction, new locations, maturity in my giftings, and a new ministry that would be placed on me. WOW!!! As you can imagine, I was very excited to hear this. Now, my life is already fulfilling and I love it ... I am incredibly busy taking care of my children full time and all that comes with the job. Truthfully, sometimes I feel like there should be more ... I feel like I am missing out on what God has truly intended me to do, or my 'calling' in life. So since I heard the prophetic words I have been dwelling over them. I've been praying constantly over what I heard asking Him to reveal this plan and purpose to me. I trust that everything will happen in due time, but again, this patience thing is not my game!

I am ready for new opportunities, new people, new locations. I am ready to make some big changes, take an entire new direction in my life and set out on this adventure that He has in store for my family and I. But, how do you do that when that road is unclear? I really want to know! I am at a road block here. I guess what I will do is wait here with my suitcase and keep praying. One of these days that bus is going to stop here and take me to this place in life, the place I so desire ... I guess maybe God is trying to teach me patience in the meantime. Sometimes lessons are hard, and waiting on God's will is even harder ... but it will all be worth it in the end, right?! I will let you know when I get there :)

Monday, July 6, 2009

Bye Bye Baby

I spent this last weekend redecorating my youngest daughters room. She is only a year and a half but I was ready to move her into a 'big girl' bed. She is my third and it feels like I have been in baby mode for the past five years ... strollers, cribs, diapers, high chairs ... some people could continue with the 'baby mode' for their whole lives but not me. I am ready for the adventures of childhood when my children take their wings and start to fly.

I am excited to watch and see where their little personalities take them. Will they be sporty girls who thrive on soccer and basketball or will they dance their hearts away as ballerina's? Will they like to be outdoors and play detective around the neighborhood like I did with my childhood friends? Oh the endless opportunities they have at this young and impressionable age! To be five years old again ... and have your whole life ahead of you - not that I still don't now but there is a certain magic about life when you are that age.

I used to think that my imagination would never go away when I grew up. I thought to myself, "I have an extra special creative imagination and I will always have it! I will always know how to play school with my stuffed animals and create adventurous games with my friends. I am me!" Well 'me' did grow up and I now marvel at my daughters imaginations and wonder where mine went ... my imagination now consists of fun vacations I would like to take, new ways to make extra money, how to create more space in the small rooms in my house - not the fun stuff of five year old me.

Sleep overs, girl scouts, neighborhood night games, hiking trips, road trips, Little House on the Prairie books, Berenstein Bear books (not the Sprout t.v. show), front porches that could transform into anything, winters when it seemed like it actually really did snow all time ... the little things of childhood that create the best memories. I cherish those precious times in my life and I can't wait for my children to experience that extra special time in life ... when the memories that you will always remember really start.

I loved having my babies and rocking their tiny little selves in my arms. They were precious and sweet and I will always treasure those times - but I am ready for the baby part to be done now. I will always love holding my friends new little ones but will be glad to go home to my big kids as they continue to grow up. Moving my 'baby' into her big girl bed is the beginning of childhood at play in the finest of years. It was a big step for us to put away the crib, rocking chair and baby blankets but we are ready for the road ahead of us. Let the imagination years begin full throttle! We're ready for some big adventures!!!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

And So It Has Begun

I love to write ... love it, love it, love it! I may not be a brilliant writer but I love to express myself through words. Now, what better way to do this than to start blogging?! My life may seem monotonous, routine and dull to some ... but truly, the life of a stay at home mother of three is anything but those things.

Thirteen months ago my husband of five and a half years decided that he was tired of working behind a computer desk. He was ready to take his life by the reigns and do something new, exciting and more fulfilling ... I was so excited for him! I always knew he was capable of amazing things if he just put his mind to it. You can imagine my surprise when he announced that his new plan was to follow his long abandoned dream of joining the military ... yeah not exactly what I had in mind. Never the less, I trust my husband and if this was something that he could find career and personal fulfillment in, I would back him up 100%.

Two months later he joined the Colorado Air National Guard in the Security Forces division. Nine months later he left for BMT (basic military training) and Security Forces Tech School at Lackland AFB in Texas. Senior Airman left for training and I stayed home to take care of our three daughters. He left in March and won't be home until mid-August. Everyone for the past year has gasped when we told them our plans. It was as if we were doing the unthinkable! We have experienced everything from criticism to praise, although mostly awe that we could endure these circumstances as a family. I never questioned our decision. I never once have resented him for putting me through a time of being a single mother of three- after all this will only be one of many times in our life that we will have to go through separations.

Since Senior Airman has left we have all bonded even closer then when we were at home together. The girls appreciate what it means to have a daddy so much more. I appreciate Senior Airman for everything that he is and stands for more then I ever did before. I am so proud of his decision to follow his own dreams regardless of what other people around him have said, for having the courage to enlist in such a critically important job and lastly for always putting our family first and being willing to make personal sacrafices in the process.

Life is sometimes hard being on my own with three kids running around. The girls' emotions are running on high as they are going through this adjustment time as are mine. I yearn for some peace and quiet which never seems to come. We have become accustomed to eating out much more and the evidence is there if you know what I mean! People are always asking how I do it, and I just smile to myself basking in my own glory for just a second. I just do it. You sometimes have to dig deep into yourself, deeper then you thought imaginable, and pull out your best. I have found strength inside of me that I never knew that I had, and it feels exceptionally good to know that I can do this. I have done it for the last three months, I can do it tomorrow and I can do it again when duty calls down the road. Five and a half years ago I said, "I do" and I will not back down on that comittment. No matter what struggles may come I am here with my feet firmly planted in the ground. I love my life, my family and I am especially crazy about my Airman husband. In some respects life is just beginning for us and I'm thrilled to get on this new roller coaster and see where it takes us!