One Month Down, Five to Go

So we made it through the first month, Christmas, the new year, and our first week back at school after a month off.

And we were fine.  We had some happenings;  a power outage, some testing from the boy (which is still continuing and I am having to correct), but nothing too serious.

I have been doing some major decluttering.  On Saturday I donated 5 large garbage bags of toys, a pink and white fisher price toybox, some plastic shelving, and a plastic Thomas table.  It all started after having a fantastic homeschool week, and waking up Saturday morning ready to reorganize their toys; except, when I took one look at the room, I cried!  Every inch of floor space was covered with clothes, books, you name it.  The funny thing is, the only toys they had were what they got for Christmas because I packed all the others away the last time their room was too messy to handle.  So I took all four of those totes that I had packed with toys and dumped them into garbage bags and they went straight to the van to be brought to Salvation Army later.  Now, they don’t even have a quarter of the toys they had before, and yet they have plenty.  It is so freeing!  Once again, I wish I had a camera.

Things that have been good since he has been gone:

  • Either my 5 yo or 7 yo will rub lotion on my legs and feet before bed.
  • The children rotate who sleeps in my bed each night, so I get some one on one time with each of them.  We will read, or watch a movie, or just talk, and it’s a special time for both of us.
  • My oldest daughter has been a gem!  She is such a help, especially when I am not feeling well–yesterday, for instance, I was sick and she not only ran the household, she took care of me as well.  I was able to rest all day and am about 90% better today.  Enough to function again.
  • My children have kept me from being bored, lonely, and lazy.  They do that anyway, but even more so when I am doing the “single parent” thing.
  • I am leaning on God more than when my husband is home.  I found I had been drifting away, neglecting our relationship, and now I can hear His still, small voice once again.
  • I am able to declutter!  It is difficult, if not impossible, when hubby is home because he likes to keep everything!  He has given me permission to get rid of anything I feel necessary to get rid of–it’s easier for him when he is not here to see everything and talk me out of getting rid of it.  This eases a lot of stress off of me since we are moving this summer!

That’s all I have time for for now.  Have a blessed day!

Knowing My Place

A friend once said that her husband was told, while on the ship, what his priorities are to be as a sailor:

  1. God
  2. The Navy
  3. The Ship
  4. His Shipmates
  5. His Family

Or was it:

  1. God
  2. Ship
  3. Shipmates
  4. The Navy
  5. His Family?

Either way, family made it around 5th place. We both thought it ridiculous for a Christian man. I tucked the thought away…

After once again having a discussion this evening with my dear hubby about what I can do to support him more, something occurred to me. I asked him if there was anything else I could be doing to make him more relaxed and happy to be home. He assured me that He is always very happy to be home…he just takes “work” home with him sometimes which makes for a rather grumpy hubby.
Now, my tendency is to take it personally. After all, I am supposed to come first, after God, of course, and then the children, so why is my CHRISTIAN husband neglecting his responsibilities and taking out his frustrations on us? Didn’t I read that things are supposed to be a certain way, in those Christian living/marriage/parenting/homeschooling/you-name-it-books. Dad leads family bible time over breakfast, and again after dinner; all this with an 8 hour day, 5 day workweek? And then church on Sundays and midweek; with him helping work on the church building project at other times? Not to mention the discipling of his children?
It sounds ideal. I don’t know if that is how civilian families live.
I do know that we don’t.
My hubby goes to work at o dark o’clock, and comes home when they tell him he can. Sometimes that’s after a normal workday–12-14 hours. But sometimes it’s not until 1 am, and he has to be back by 6 am. Sometimes he has duty and stands watches or goes on deployments or work-ups or DET’S…sometimes it’s Saturdays or Sundays or both…it’s never set in stone. Requesting Sundays off because of his “religious beliefs” is not an option.
So who am I to whine? With what he does all day, he deserves to come home to the one place in the whole world where he is loved and respected. Who would want to come to a nagging, contentious woman? I certainly wouldn’t, and I don’t want that for my beloved, either. I am grateful he is home for the next few months, even if he does have to be at work for most of it. He still gets home eventually; and I’ll take what I can get because deployment comes all too soon.

Military wives seem to have a language all their own. And it narrows down even more within the different branches, and yet even more within the particular squadrons and then the jobs their husbands do. Who else can we talk to about DET’S, and deployments, or IA, that would have a clue as to what we were talking about?
Us wives have to learn to create a new family every few years, for our sanity and our survival. No one else around can understand our lifestyle unless it is theirs as well. Sure, others can sympathize, but they cannot truly understand what it is like to have your best friend gone for months at a time, with a 10 minute phone call allowed once a week that has a 3 second delay and sounds like you are shouting into a tin can. When they are flying a mission all unnecessary communication is shut down, meaning, we can’t get phone calls or emails for an unspecified amount of time. We don’t know about these ahead of time, so when we go to check our email one morning and there is no message from him, we know what that means. And we don’t know when it will be over and when we will hear from him.
But what about the husbands? Do they have to choose between duty and family? Not if we do our jobs. We just need to know where we stand. So what occurred to me is that I have to accept the fact that I cannot come first in his life. You see, I am not just married to a Navy man. We are a Navy family. And we have to live our lives in such a way that requires us to be independent of him when need be and yet under his headship at the same time. He’s here, but he’s not. It’s a delicate dynamic; and we wouldn’t make it without God. I don’t know how others families cope without God in their lives. It’s a struggle and a sacrifice, but I know our family is first in my hubby’s heart, even though we cannot be first in his life.

Lord God, help me to be the wife my husband needs; clear the fog away and show me clearly how to support my military man. Thank You for giving him to me. Thank You for all of the military families, and keep them in Your loving hands. In Jesus’ name, Amen.