Tag Archives: Air Force

Memorial Day

It’s fast approaching and unfortunately for us, we have added three more names to our list of remembrances and they’ve all three been since the beginning of the year. 

My friend who lost her husband only 3 short months ago has one major concern: That people will forget her. Obviously, that’s preposterous to me, but I understand. 

His name flashed at the bottom of the screen for a brief second and life moved on. 

But, she’s still in the interim of grief and a new normal. 

A normal, that really will never be normal again. 

And she’s right…that’s a sacrifice that should NEVER be forgotten. 

So, this Memorial Day:

Enjoy that barbecue and the extra day off, but DO NOT forget why you have it. 

Explain to your children why we have it.

Pray for the families that have lost their soldier.

Remember them, always.

Thank them. 

And if you are blessed enough to know one of these families, send them a note. 

Let them know that you haven’t forgotten them and that you never will. 

That old man, with his WWII hat on, with all the badges, sit down and talk to him. 

The Vietnam Vet, the one who came home to a country that maybe wasn’t so nice to him…talk to him too.

I bet he knows a few names on The Wall.

And the young guy missing a limb…talk to him.

Let’s make an effort to remember on this upcoming Memorial Day.

Let’s never forget together.  

 

 

Ten Commandments of the Military Marriage

A few years ago, our Sunday School class watched a series by Ed and Lisa Young.

In the series, they discussed marriage and they made a list entitled “The Ten Commandments of Marriage”.

It was a pretty good list and can be found here.

But, it didn’t really cater to the military lifestyle, although they are still applicable to your marriage: nevertheless…

This inspired me to write the Ten Commandments for the Military Marriage.

1. Flee from temptation: Guard your hearts. 

(inappropriate friendships, flirting via text or facebook, pornography, chat rooms, any type of sexual material, and wives: if you can’t face the reality of your life not being  a romance novel or movie or equivalent in some manner, then please do not read or watch those types of things…it’ll distort your standard).

2. Do not go AWOL on your marriage.

Our divorce rates are higher than civilians. Don’t believe me? Google it. I’m not here to speak statistics to you, though. If you live it, you know it. You’ve had to fight to stay together before. Hell, you’ve probably had to fight to WANT to stay together. Fight for the want and DO NOT give up. Don’t leave.

3. Know your place in the chain-of-command. 

Wives, you are NOT the commander-in-chief. Husbands? Let God be your commander-in-chief and you be the VP. Husbands, YOU will be held accountable for your family. Wives, you nurture. Husbands, you lead. Realign yourself in those positions and do not get out of order.

4. Communicate! 

I remember when the war first kicked off, communication was pretty much nonexistent—that’s rarely the case anymore, so use what you have to communicate, whether e-mail, skype, yahoo messenger, snail mail, whatever….but, USE your words, people! Use morse code if you have to! And if you’re home together, don’t waste your precious time being sulled up over stupid, petty things that won’t matter in the big picture of life!

Lonely? Let your spouse know, so they can fill that void! Angry? Talk it out. Scared? Pray. Pray together. Have an expectation that isn’t being met? Does your spouse even know about the expectation? Not unless you tell them!

Keep your communication lines open. Be honest with one another.

5. Set a COA–uphold it! 

(Course of Action)

Set standards and family guidelines and uphold them when you’re together and when you’re geographically separated (i.e. finances, sex, quality time, etc).

6. Be disciplined!

I believe one of the most appealing things about the military is the discipline that comes with being involved within it—whether one wants to admit it or not—people crave discipline. Oh, how easy it would be to not be disciplined! An apathetic attitude isn’t that hard to achieve or maintain. But, listen, marriage is hard work! You know that. SO, to achieve the results you want (successful marriage), you have to be disciplined and you have to be willing to sacrifice the easy for the hard, sometimes. Quitting is easy—but keep your goals in sight! Be diligent, work hard, and don’t give up!

7. Pick your battles!

Lord, help us all to do this. Help us to realize that we are not in control!

The reality for us military wives is this: anytime you say “goodbye”, could literally be your last goodbye. You don’t want that goodbye littered with bickering that wasn’t necessary. By no means am I suggesting that one ignore major issues, but I am asking that you not nag your spouse to death over little things.

8. Embrace your time together and use it wisely.

Enjoy each other. Enjoy family time. Go on a picnic. Plan a vacation. Make memories. Take pictures and take a lot of them. Wives, make memories with your children while your husband is away so that when you’re old and gray, you can share them with him. Husbands, make an effort to spend quality time with your spouse and children—the war will still be there when you go back and if it’s not? Good.

9. Be willing to seek assistance if needed. 

Sometimes, you need a third party to be a deliberator. Sometimes, you may need a bit of counseling. Sometimes, you just need to fall on your faces before the Lord. Sometimes, they come home different. Sometimes, your feelings may change. Whatever the case may be, the military offers many resources to combat what’s going on. Pastors and Chaplains are wonderful resources. Find a resource and make an effort to get the help you need.

10. DO NOT TAKE EACH OTHER FOR GRANTED! 

You are a vapor.

Life is precious and we are not promised tomorrow.

The risks are high for our military service members. Hold them tight. Laugh together. Love together. Be passionate for one another. Do not become blasé towards each other. Time is all you have and there’s never enough of it.

 

On a Friday Afternoon…

“He’s a Christian”. Those words aren’t spoken very often from my husband when describing new members of his company. That uncommon phrase immediately piqued my interest about this new member, so I inquired further and found out that this man was married with kids, where they came from, and what job he had.

The military loves social functions, so it didn’t take long for me to meet this man and his family.

His wife and I hit it off immediately.

We found it easy to talk to one another. Her family and my family share the same morals, goals, and priorities.

And not very long into our relationship, we decided to become best friends. Yes, we literally discussed it. She was having issues with her best friend at the exact time I was having issues with mine and she said (jokingly, but seriously) “Let’s just be best friends” and I laughed and said “YES”! 🙂 And then we were—still makes me smile.

Our friendship is easy—as friendships should be. We don’t have to talk everyday. We don’t have to see each other all the time. There’s no pressure in our relationship, but when we do get together, we pick up where we left off. Conveniently, our husbands feel the same way about each other.

I attribute our friendship with helping my marriage. Why? Because their marriage is so solid and they face many of the same issues we face as a military family. They embrace their military lifestyle and meet issues head on with God at the center. I attribute our friendship with helping our family dynamics. Why? Because they have MANY children and we only have two and I find myself freaking out about the smallest thing—but they build their children up and allow them to be who they are without trying to conform them and it is beautiful to us and a wonderful example of how a family should work. We admire them.

She has inspired me in many ways: to start a Bible study, to write, to be confident, to treat my man with respect and to create a safe place in our home.

We love each other. For. Real.

Their last child is named after me and recently, we were standing in my front yard, all talking, and we made retirement plans to all stay together after this military gig is over for us.

But on a Friday afternoon, only a week after planning our future, my phone rang:

Me: Hello!

Her: Lila, I need you to come to my house, right now. He’s gone.

Me: I’m on my way, but what do you mean, he’s gone?

Her: They are here, in suits, telling me that he’s gone.

Her man, her soulmate, her husband, literally plucked from this earth in his prime.

Just like that.

Gone.

Jesus help me.

Even now, a few weeks later, there are still no words.

What do you say to your best friend, who has been your voice of reason and comfort so many times when her husband is gone?

Nothing. You say nothing.

It’s not okay.

There are no words for grief like that.

None.

There’s no comfort you can offer.

None.

You’re just there. You listen and you pray. You pray hard.

With eyes clinched tight and a voice that shook, I heard her say: “God, please take this cup from me”.

Jesus.

When there were no words, there were groans—grieving groans that wrench the soul.

Holy Spirit come.

Grief is a cruel, cruel thing.

But, God.

He heals the brokenhearted, binding up their wounds.

He defends and sustains them.

He hears their cry.

He restores them, making them strong, firm, and steadfast.

God is good.

One day, my friend will share her testimony…giving praise to His name.

He has a plan.

Praise God!

Please, intercede.