Sunday, October 24, 2010

October 24, 2010


Why is it that when things seem to be going PERFECT (at least really well) we hit a bump in the road? I guess this goes for all aspects of life, and marriage is definitely NOT supposed to be "easy" all the time - but JEESH! As Pastor Mike said this morning "God LOVES when we're up, but he doesn't like us staying there too long - we may become unappreciative of what we have," and I've been trying to remind myself of that all day long, because I NEED to remind myself! I love my husband with my heart and soul, truly appreciate him and do NOT believe in divorce, but some days I wonder if it weren't for Enoch if throwing in the towel would be less stressful on both of us.

What marriage doesn't have it's ups and downs? Last week at bible study one of the ladies mentioned how as "military couples" we have some extra added stress that the "average" couple doesn't have. I have been thinking about that statement all week and FINALLY am at the point that I can agree with her. I didn't initially agree with it because every marriage is different and even those who are NOT in the military have to spend weeks, months and sometimes a year (or years) apart, and none of it is easy. But when you think about it we're apart 12 out of 24 months (on average), we make friends and then either PCS or move back and forth between home towns and post, we can choose to be a part of things and "deal" with the drama that is a part of most groups on post or not be involved - thus not have a voice or get information at a steady pace, you talk to our spouses whenever possible (NOT for a cheap price either) with half butt service that half the time doesn't work, and if our husbands are lucky enough to have internet - that is out half the time as well ... but what REALLY makes this lifestyle different from any other marriage/relationship?

I believe that distance makes the heart grow fonder but when the distance is marred with a homecoming that for us included the addition of a baby, dog and new house - it makes it extra hard for all parties involved. And then there's the potential for PTSD, adaptation to "normal" foods and reintegration to Garrison life for the soldier. There are PLENTY of things to worry about, even 8 months after reintegration!

What is a friend? What is YOUR definition of a "friend"? I believe that there are MANY different kinds of friends and to hold all the people that you meet to your OWN standard of a friend, I have found, is a disillusionment in your own mind. AS a friend I would like to hold myself to be honest, sincere, loyal, reliable, dependable (yes they're different) and honorable. So why is it so hard to find people with THOSE qualities? Am I looking in the wrong place? SO many people have become "fair weather friends" that I'm almost DONE trying to be all those things - even HALF those things. I'm not seriously under the impression that I myself am all those things, but I STRIVE to be and with the help of God have made a few amazing life long friends along the way - but what about friends right here where I am at? I KNOW that military life can be difficult, but isn't that more reason to befriend those around you who MAY just be going through the same thing? Not sure but it could just be me ... sometimes I live in my OWN little fantasy world where all things are perfect, so it very well could be ME!

And if you've made it this far - will you indulge me for a few more lines ... PLEASE if you are an American citizen I urge/beg you to get out and vote on November 2nd. Every state has mid-term elections and I urge you to PLEASE study/research/go to town hall meetings and debates/learn about the candidates YOURSELF and form your own opinions and VOTE! Our country is currently in our hands, and whether you like or hate politics it is your duty and right to get out there and make your voices heard! God gave us minds and individuality utilize these gifts to overcome the atrocity and joke that has become our current governing body!

And lastly, but not least, Enoch is thriving (of course) and will be 9 months old in 17 days! He now has his 5th tooth cutting (and taking it like a champ) and another right under the surface ready to cut. He is pulling himself up on EVERYTHING and even standing on his own (when HE wants to). He is walking (straight legged - it's SO cute) with the support of one finger held by one hand and I imagine will be walking by or around 9 months. Such an over achiever (have NO idea where he got THAT from LOL)! The doc has him eating high caloric food due to a lower weight and he LOVES his fruits :), and he's gaining weight again. We're very anxious for Halloween and will post pics soon.

Lastly my thought for the day: Are you the change in the world that you want to see?

Prayer for the day: Lord give me the strength to be the change that I want to see. Give me patience with my husband. And Father God, help me to love unconditionally and understand that I'm also an imperfect human.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Sep ... I mean October 4, 2010

Although it's 2 in the AM and little man will be getting up in 4ish hours, I have got to get this out to anyone who is willing to read it. First off, THANK YOU Bethany Joy Galeotti for your inspiring, honest and insightful words of wisdom. I encourage anyone who is reading this blog to PLEASE go and read her words. If more of Hollywood - no SOCIETY felt this way the world would be a much better place. It is just a nice reminder that we are to "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.'The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'There is no commandment greater than these." Mark 12:30 - 31. My Tuesday morning bible study class has been delving deeper into this concept - EVERYONE is your neighbor, and that love starts within YOU!

If the Love Dare has taught me nothing else yet, it has taught me that God equips us with ALL the tools that we need to lead a happy, fulfilling, successful and honorable life. If we just follow his word. By loving others unconditionally and non-judgmentally we are showing love for ourselves and in turn God. We are not created hateful, spiteful and arrogant beings. We are born pure, innocent, trusting and loving creatures, it is our surroundings and environment that helps mold us into what we are and will be in adolescents and adulthood.

Why do people choose to hate? Why do people get pleasure from other people's pain? Is it thousands of years of jealousy, bitterness and loathing? Ever since the murder of Able by his brother Cain society has found it "alright" to do harmful things to other beings. I understand that it all started with Eve eating the apple and Adam following suit - DUH! That was all MEANT to happen, but why aren't there more people out there who choose LOVE instead of HATE? And I say choose, because we all have the freedom of choice, in EVERYTHING that we do.

God is not a spiteful, hateful God. He's a loving, beautiful, all powerful being who created each and every one of us in his image - so why is it that so many people (Christian or not) choose to err on the side of evil? You don't have to be a Christian to understand the differences between right and wrong. You don't have to know the scriptures to know that God loved us ALL so much that he gave his ONE and ONLY son so we could have ETERNAL life! (John 3:16).

Being a new mom I honestly don't know how God did it. How he could let his son be humiliated, degraded, dishonored and die for ME (and you, and you, and you)! If God were to ask me to take my son to a far away land and sacrifice him (as Abraham did so willingly --ALMOST) I'd laugh and call him crazy. Enoch has become Nolan and my pride and joy and I honestly feel sorry for the first person to ever hurt him intentionally. I don't want to be that overbearing/over protective mother - but that's my BABY you're messing with. And if we have a daughter next oh GOODNESS - her friends better watch out for her daddy!

When discussing whether we were going to have children or not this actually came up in topic. We weren't sure if we wanted to bring another living creature into a world that is so hateful, unforgiving and unrepentant. I know that some things can not be helped, and everyone must feel pain and loss - DUH it's part of being human - but there is so much CRAP in the world today that we weren't sure if we were up to the challenge of raising our children in a Christian home, serving God in everything we do and answering questions daily of "why doesn't this person like me" or "why is this person so hateful to everyone." How DO you answer those questions? "Because Satan is roaming free in the world son." or "It doesn't matter what others do to you you must rise above it and be the bigger person." YEAH alright! Like that's so easy.

I know that growing up there were PLENTY of times that I didn't rise above it (being a hot head didn't help this). I was quick to speak and slow to listen. My temper MORE times than not got the best of me - and in all honesty it made my school years much more difficult on myself. I wasn't the "popular" girl but I was "accepted" by most cause I was the "nice" girl, until someone REALLY pissed me off and then I became the 'weird' girl who says anything that she feels. There's a HUGE difference between being 'part' of the crowd and just being 'accepted'. When my own teammates kept things from me because I wasn't 'cool' enough enough finally became enough and I ended up quitting cheerleading (the ONE sport that I LOVED more than life itself) for a couple season JUST so I wouldn't have to be around that negativity.

I don't wish my adolescent years on my children by ANY means - cause as we all know they're not easy for ANYONE, but I do wish that they are able to find friends who don't just 'accept' them, but love them for who and what they are. But is it just adolescents that we have to worry about?

Being an ARMY wife I have found that it is just easier to hole yourself up in your house than to go out and let your light shine. I have been burnt many times now by fellow ARMY wives and at one point last year (after my sons birth) I just said forget it - and pretty much fell off the face of the earth. I was tired of the negativity and the pessimism that surrounded me: "You're pushing your son too much, just let him be a kid." "You're a horrible mother if you hold your child all the time." "I can't believe that so and so's husband was put up for a promotion and mine wasn't, they don't even deserve it." "My husband has cut me off financially without letting me know and we have three kids, I had to go out and get two jobs." "You call yourself a Christian? That's a new one!" <-- I couldn't take it anymore. I'm not saying that this life is easy or any more difficult than yours - but for some reason it is MUCH harder to block out the negativity in this little bubble that we call Fort Bragg than it is out in the "real world". So ... if I've said nothing else this morning please just begin, one day/thought at a time, to think before you speak and act. Your actions may have a negative effect on someone around you! When we least expect it God puts people into our lives for a reason. We may not know that reason right away, but sometimes it's just to remind us that he's here and watching our EVERY move. Try to be more Christ like and know that no matter WHAT we do we are our biggest critics - all the haters don't hold a candle to the damage that you can do to your own heart! Food for Thought: Is there someone in your past that you may have hurt, intentionally or unintentionally, and need to ask forgiveness from? Is there someone that has hurt you that you need to forgive?

Prayer for Today: Lord please continue to show me how to love unconditionally. It's easy to love your friends and family, but Lord this week I want to branch out and show love in some way to my neighbors (of 5 months now), who I have barely waved hello's to. I also ask Lord that society as a whole begin to see the err of their ways and start to turn hate and slander into Love and Caring for each other. I know that in the news industry "If it bleeds, it leads" but let us see that not ALL news has to be bad!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Enoch Jaykeub Update

As of today 09.30.10 I have 4 teeth (2 top and 2 bottom) and two more on the top trying to pop out, causing me to be VERY fussy some days.

I stand up on ANYTHING that I can get my hands on as long as it will support my weight (and even when it wont). I use a box to walk across the living room. I also walk down the coffee table and couch utilizing them as stability with one hand.

I am growing like a leaf (not sure of exact measurements) and getting heavier by the day. My eyes STILL haven't decided what color they want to be, and I like pretty much all fruits and vegetables.

My mom is starting to freak out a little about taking me on a plane trip to Michigan to see all my Alpha Sigma Alpha aunties at CMU, but I'll probably do better than her cause I'm a Champion for Christ, and pretty much the coolest thing in the WORLD!

I got to meet Mr. Paulie, one of daddy's fellow Polar Bears, he was pretty cool, but obviously scared to hold me at first - I'll train him up good :) I'm excited for my 9 month appointment to see how much I've grown and to have Dr. Katz tell me how wonderful I am some more - mommy and daddy tell me all the time, but it's just not the same coming from someone outside the family!

Enough about me - to all my aunties I'll see you in 15 days, and I can't WAIT!

September 30, 2010

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

If I've never used this verse before in my blog, I'm surprised. It goes to show how FAR away from Christ I've strayed. And I use the word IIIIII, because it is my doing, my fault and my responsibility.

We have the verse posted in our house in at LEAST 3 places (that I can think of off the top of my head), and the funny thing is, is that I've heard it at LEAST 5 times in the last week, be it in actual bible study in regards to a certain topic or just in passing. That is ONE way that the Lord slaps me across the head with a brick and says "I'm here SJ, would you LISTEN now!?"

The past few weeks I have come to realize, as Mia so eloquently did in Princess Diaries, "How many times a day do I use the word I?" Now, I KNOW that I'm a selfish person - I'm human right? But why is it that I am one of the few who is willing to not only admit that I'm selfish, but to try to change it in my OWN life. Why is it that 85% of society feels that they are owed something, or due something (yet again proving their humanity by thinking of themselves.) Why can't we all just turn our eyes unto the hills and know that our help WILL come from the Lord. It just may not be in OUR timing!

I know, I know - not everyone is a Christian or even believes in a higher power - But wouldn't it be easier to just think about someone else one person at a time, one day at a time! Smile at a stranger for no reason, hold the door for the young mom with a stroller (yeah, I'm talking about you three standing outside JCPenny staring at me in the pouring rain with a stroller), pick up a dollar and give it BACK to the person who dropped it, take ONE moment of your day to try and make someone else's day brighter.

I know that since I've been doing the Love Dare I have not only been thinking about showing my husband unconditional Love in ALL things that I do, but making other people feel that way just by my presence as well! Am I the ONLY one who wants to make a difference in someone's life?

Now, please don't think that I am by ANY means preaching to you, because trust me, I am the least of these! I am a sinner right after being a child of Christ, and I have no qualms or denials about my sins and my past (qualms maybe, denials absolutely not). Heck, I'm human I sin every day, knowingly or unknowingly, but none the less a HUGE sinner. So please don't believe that I'm trying to tell you how to live your life, or even guide you - because I know that i have shortcomings as well. I'm just hoping that by my words of encouragement we can each make a difference in one person's life.

Just remember that: "Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.' Matthew 25:40. When we TRY to make someone's day Christ smiles upon us and shines his light through us.

Thought for the day: Have YOU made a difference in someone's life today? this week? this month? this year? If not is the problem with you or with everyone els?

Prayer for the day: Lord help me to be an instrument of thy peace and a light in the darkness. Let me emit your light in all whom I touch, and let me touch someone in a different way each day! Bring peace into my heart and help me to remember to walk the walk not just talk the talk!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

September 29, 2010

The Love Dare Challenge:

WOW! My what twists and turns life can give us. I never pictured Nolan and I to be having troubles in our marriage - our personalities are so compatible and complimentary of each other that I never saw this coming. The last few weeks have been full of trials and tribulations and lost tempers and ... just scary things that are NOT us! However, the Lord has shown to be great yet again. I am currently on day 7 of The Love Dare and am finding it a LOT easier than I thought. Patience never came easy to me, but since knowing Nolan the Lord has blessed me with a great deal more than I used to have. Utilizing my shut up filter has not always, alright - NEVER been very easy for me, but I've found that with God's guidance not only is there more patience to gain, but that it's actually quite easy to just "not say anything at all" :)

Of course God is NOT done with me yet, nor will he ever be, but I'm just VERY grateful for my bible studies and women surrounding me who know and understand this lifestyle. We currently have 23 months and 12 days til Nolan's ETS date (not that I'm counting) and are really looking forward to life "outside" the Military bubble. I am going to start searching for a job in either Flint or Lansing VERY soon, he's going to start taking pre-req's here in the winter semester that will transfer in to MSU and we're already looking at houses and trying REALLY hard to get debt free prior to moving back to MI. Knowing God's will (Kendrick) is teaching me that if we take it one day at a time the Lord will show us his plans for us - I myself am having trouble with this aspect because I want to be prepared for the future - BUT ... what if what WE have planned for 23 months and 14 days down the road is NOT God's plan for us? Then what do I do?

Today's prayer: Lord teach me to be patient, not only with my husband but with you and learn to take things at YOUR pace and in YOUR time!

Food for Thought: Thank the Lord each day for what he has given to you and will give you in the future! Even when you think something is NOT what you wanted, it's obviously what the Lord wants for you and pray for the ability to accept his plan in your life!

Enoch @ 7.5 months