Tag Archives: military wife

Military Ceremony & FLAG ETIQUETTE

In my years as an Army wife, I have attended more military ceremonies than I can recall.

There’s a beauty to them, that I love.

Recently, I attended a ball for my husband’s unit.

I love standing beside him as he stands at attention, as he salutes, as he works his way through the ceremonial rituals.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, please stand as our Nation’s color’s are presented”.

I stand and wait for the cue of my husband because I know that he knows which way the flag will be brought in.

He turns to face the back of the room, standing at attention.

I turn, AND PLACE MY HAND OVER MY HEART.

We watch the flag enter with the color guard as the drums are rolling.

It’s beautiful, as it gently flutters in the breeze from being carried.

As it passes, we turn with it until it makes it’s way on stage and I stand there with MY HAND STILL OVER MY HEART.

And I keep it there until the presenting of the colors ceremony is finished.

I look around and I only see a handful of wives doing the same as me.

I gasped as I saw some of them talking!

HOW DARE YOU TALK DURING THAT!!!

YOUR HUSBAND LAYS HIS LIFE ON THE LINE FOR THAT FLAG!

AND IT’LL BE THE LAST THING YOU’RE HANDED IF HIS LIFE IS TAKEN DEFENDING IT.

So, please…please, please, please show some respect for your Nation’s Flag.

If it passes you in a parade: PUT YOUR HAND OVER YOUR HEART AND FOLLOW IT BY TURNING YOUR BODY AS IT PASSES AND DO NOT TALK.

If it is being presented or retired by the color guard: DO THE SAME THING LISTED ABOVE.

If you are unsure: AGAIN, DO THE SAME THING LISTED ABOVE.

And for further information concerning our NATION’S FLAG: click¬†here.

Thank you for your time.

 

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The Return

It’s early, might as well get up.

You didn’t sleep anyway.

Maybe, somehow, you’ll be able to hide the bags under your eyes with makeup.

The coffee is percolating, you’re alone, and you glance around your home.

You spent all day yesterday and the day before making sure the house is spotless.

No random piles of clutter are to be seen and there’s not a dust bunny in sight.

A slow smile forms on your lips and there are butterflies in your belly.

It’s gonna be a good day!

Food has no taste, but you eat a little anyway to sustain you.

You get through your morning routine as time takes an eternity to pass.

You spend extra time getting everything just right with how you look.

Make-up is perfect.

Hair is perfect.

Not a hair on your legs.

Outfit is hot!

You check yourself one more time in the mirror…

and there’s that smile again.

The one you haven’t seen yourself make in a very long time.

And off you go for the longest ride ever.

Miniature flag in hand.

Welcome home poster in the other.

A smile so big, happiness is undeniable.

Excited chatter is everywhere, but you hear nothing.

You’re scanning the crowd waiting on a glimpse…

a glimpse of the one you haven’t seen in too long…

a glimpse of the one you gave your heart to and promised forever…

a glimpse.

Eyes. Meet.

You run.

Powerful embrace.

Tears stream.

The return kiss.

Two smiles, instead of one.

And you think…

“Finally, he’s home”…

No more restless nights.

Worry diminishes because he’s flesh and blood in your arms.

No more single parenting.

No more alone.

And no more waiting…

The exhilaration that you both feel is almost too much to bear.

He’s home.

Praise the Lord.

He’s home.

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”! ūüôā 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reading

I read. 

Incessantly. 

My babies are at school all day and my military lifestyle affords me many late evenings alone, so the opportunity to read is always there. 

I read about a dozen books at a time and which book I pick up is determined by what mood I am in.  

Currently, I am reading:

Bill Johnson Dreaming With God

Bill Johnson When Heaven Invades Earth

Suzanne Collins Catching Fire 

Dr. Henry Cloud & Dr. Jay Townsend Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No, to Take Control of Your Life

Charles Dickens A Tale of Two Cities

Karen Armstrong A History of God

To name a few…

What are you reading? 

Ever read any life changing books? 

I have!!! 

William Young’s¬†The Shack *totally changed my perspective of the love of God–which is a POWERFUL thing!!!¬†

Ann Voskamp¬†1000 gifts¬†*taught me to find God’s gifts for us in the small things we take for granted and to be thankful for them!¬†

If you haven’t read either of these, I would strongly encourage you to give one a try!¬†

Have a great day! 

 

 

13 years ago

The alarm had already went off to get up for PT, but he hit snooze…

and in the nine minutes between, I had a weird feeling. 

Did I seriously just pee in the bed? (hahaha)

I get up to rush to the bathroom, but made it to the edge of the bed where (just like the movies) a huge burst of water poured from my womb.

In shock, I yell “my water just broke”!!!!¬†

And he had the nerve to say “you just peed in your pants” as he reached over to turn the alarm off.¬†

But, he glances at the floor after seeing the fear in my face. 

And like a lion pouncing on its prey, he’s on me…scooping my half-naked self up with his half naked self, ¬†trying to carry me to the car.

He’s crazy.¬†

I talk him into us both getting dressed and we leave 5 minutes later. 

He’s a madman.¬†

He’s rushing, blowing the horn, getting literally battalions of people to get out of the way, because it was PT hours and we lived on post.¬†

I wasn’t even cramping, but that didn’t matter to him.¬†

In his mind, his job was to deliver me to the hospital as quickly as possible. 

My mind is racing as I recall the night before: 

Baby names were being discussed: Jack, Michael, Ethan. 

Yeah, that one! 

Ethan. Ethan. Ethan. 

But what middle name? 

No worries, we still have 8 more weeks before we have to decide. 

8 weeks. 

8 weeks. 

No, hours. 

Fifteen hours later…

there he was. 

I saw him for only a second before he was rushed off to get hooked up on all the machines. 

Ethan. 

No. That doesn’t sound right.¬†

No private room, no husband to stay, no sight of baby since birth, 9 hours ago. 

I slowly make my way down the corridor, against the advice of my rude nurse. 

And there he is…hooked up to God knows what, stomach sinking too deep with every breath.¬†

He flinches when I touch him. 

I cry. 

He cries. 

I long for my husband. 

Stupid Army and their semi-private rooms. 

One should not be alone after giving birth, especially when the baby is “not thriving”.¬†

Yet there I lie, alone. 

Riley. 

Yeah, I like that name. 

Riley. 

Now, 13 years later, I look up to him. 

I see signs of manhood…the mustache, the adam’s apple protruding.¬†

And I’m blessed.¬†

I’m blessed to see him grow, to see him thrive, to see him love God with all his heart.

 

 

 

25 Reasons I miss my husband…

Other than the obvious physical reasons:) 

1. I LOATHE pumping gas and when he’s here, I don’t have to.¬†

2. Homework. My daughter is VERY passionate about NOT doing homework. He has much more patience than I do:) 

3. The church pew beside me is empty…

4. Driving isn’t really my thing, either.¬†

5. Instant access isn’t available and that sucks—especially if someone gets sick, tire blows out, “hey, I’m thinking of you…”, etc.¬†

6. Sleep evades me, most nights.

7. Being the third wheel is not fun:/

8. The car doesn’t clean itself…

9. The toilet paper is NEVER on the holder.

10. 5:00 a.m. coffee time

11. Coffee isn’t already made when I get up. Yes, clearly I’m spoiled when he’s here. I’m okay with that.¬†

12. Decisions are made with discussion later. 

13. House. Maintenance. Ugh. 

14. Half the duet is gone. 

15. Holding his callused hand. And P.S. ALL men should have calluses unless they preach full time and/or are old:) 

16. Hearing him say my name. 

17. Who am I supposed to stick my cold feet on? 

18. His morning attitude–he’s EXCITED to be up in the morning. Me? Not so much.¬†

19. Hearing him shave in the morning

20. Hearing every bone in his body crack as he walks through the house. 

21. His shoulder, my pillow. 

22. Hearing the roar of the motor cycle when he pulls into the neighborhood. 

23. Smile from across the room. 

24. Hand on my back. 

25. He’s freakin hot and I miss seeing him everyday:)

Jesus and the Septic Tank

There is a source of stress that comes with owning my home that causes me a butt load of stress and worry, time and energy, and money. 

It is my septic tank. 

I hate it. 

With every fiber of my being. 

For. Real. 

It steals my joy. 

I worry about it everyday. 

Will it fill up today? 

Will it back up? 

Am I going to be $300 less today? 

When overnight guests are here, I worry that their shower is too long or that their flushing habits are a little too much (gross, I know). 

I am a water saver. 

Every appliance, toilet, and faucet are also water savers. 

I do not have a “laundry day”, I have a “one load per day” policy.¬†

Showers aren’t enjoyed, they are spent listening for the toilet to bubble.¬†

I’m over it.¬†

I’ve been over it.¬†

I deal with it by myself…always.¬†

I have spent MUCHO BUCKS to have it fixed…to no avail.¬†

It’s not the tank, it’s the land.¬†

But that’s not the point of this post…¬†

I recently wrote a post about “the one”–not a very uplifting post either…

Well, “the one” called me last Thursday night and told me they would be passing through town this weekend, so they wanted to stop by. Of course I’m not going to say “no”, because #1 I love him and #2 he’s a pretty great guy when no one else is around.¬†

But, I was still filled with dread. 

Completely filled. 

I prayed “Lord, help us to be a light. Let there be peace”.¬†

Still dread. 

“Lord, help me to have a better attitude”.¬†

Still dread. 

Negative words were spoken and thought. 

And Friday, he came. We made it through the night without incident. 

Zero eggshells were broken during that time:) 

And then Saturday, shit hit the fan…

literally. 

It poured rain all night Friday and half the day Saturday. 

The septic, well it couldn’t handle the pressure as it’s been freaking raining here for two years straight (feels that way, anyway).¬†

So, here I am plagued with what to do when “the one” gets up and says “what’s going on?”.¬†

I tearfully explain. 

He gets up, puts his boots on, and goes to work. 

Did I mention that “the one” is a general contractor?¬†

He’s digging, calling out orders, has people on the phone, and works from sun up till sun down.¬†

And now it’s fixed and he saved me a ton of money that I didn’t have to begin with.¬†

And here I type, humbled by the blessing he turned out to be when I was so dread filled. 

Coincidence that my brother in law was here at the time my septic decided to lose it? 

I think not, people. 

I think not. 

God is good.