Little Things are Big Things, Too

Before Charlotte's nap this afternoon, she did one of the sweetest things ever. It wasn't big. It wasn't even as sweet as hearing her say "lub yoo" before bed. But for some reason, it just struck me. 

I finished reading her favorite pre-bedtime/naptime book, and she put her hands over her eyes, then removed them and said, "peek-a-boo!" (Which often sounds more like "book-a-boo", but is way cuter than saying it correctly, anyway. :)) 

Then, she put her hands over my eyes and played peek-a-boo for a few minutes.

It was just so sweet! And seeing her sweet little face light up was just priceless. 

So often I forget to share these little things that happen. It's not that things like this never happen in our house. It's that they happen, I enjoy them, and then we go on about our day. 

I read something today (can't remember where now) that I guess you could say inspired me to share more of the "little" things in life. Because if I don't share it...I'm likely to forget. And these days? These days when my baby (soon to be babies!) is little....I don't want to forget. I don't want to forget the unsolicited hugs, cuddles, and slobbery kisses. I don't want to forget the shouts of "hooray!" when she does something and gets excited. I don't want to forget the seemingly non-stop cries of "mommy, mommy, mommy!" I don't want to forget the way she imitates me - from putting on my shoes, to carrying one of my purses, to using a broken flat iron to "fix" her own hair.

Though these things may be little in the midst of a busy day or week, that doesn't make them less important. If anything, it makes them more important. 

Charlotte is one of the biggest and best blessings in my life, though being a mama is often trying. But I know when I look back in 10 or 20 years, I won't be remembering the diapers, tantrums, and sleepless nights. I'll remember the little things that made being a mama of a little one sweet.


A Christmas Mug {Swap}

I was sitting at the table the other day, sipping coffee from my favorite mug and reading blogs when I had a fantastic idea. This idea came to me via said mug. This mug, in fact, is one I received in a Valentine's Day swap when Joe was deployed. I really never expected to get a mug in that swap, or that I would love it so much. Truthfully, there's not much special about it. It's smaller than some of my other ones. It says "I Love You!" on it, and is covered in red hearts. But for some unknown reason, it is my favorite. It was given to me by a complete stranger, fellow milspouse (if I remember correctly), and came to me during a lonely time. So maybe that's why I treasure it?

As I was sitting there, I decided that it would be fun to host a mug swap this Christmas season. It seems like so many of the bloggers I follow enjoy a good cup of coffee or tea. Admittedly, most of them are mamas. ;-) Tired mamas definitely need caffeine. Right?! Anyway, fall and winter are the perfect times to enjoy a good mug-full of your favorite hot beverage. And why not do a mug swap with my all my favorite bloggers and readers?!

So, if there's enough interest, I would love to do this. Here are some of my thoughts about it:

  • Sign-ups would start on November 1st, and end on the 10th.

  • The spending limit (because it needs to be affordable) would be $15.

  • Swappers would be required to ship to APO/FPO addresses, because a large amount of my readers are military. (For you non-military folks, it doesn't cost extra to do this, but it does take longer to arrive and you do have to fill out a little bit of paperwork. But it's super easy.)

  • All swap gifts would need to be in your partner's mailbox by December 10th. (The reason it's so early is because my due date is December 28th, and I don't want anything to be messed up if this little miss decides to come early!)

  • There won't be any sort of restriction on what type of mug to send, but I am suggesting that each person entering the swap list their likes/dislikes, so their partner has a good idea of what to get. And if you're not very particular, just tell them to make it a surprise!

  • Entering the swap will be super easy - all you'll need to do is leave me your email address and I'll send you a little form to fill out. 

Now that that's out of the way, who's interested?! Please leave me a comment to let me know you're interested and to share thoughts and/or suggestions. I think it'll be fun! 

P.S. It's not too early to start talking Christmas...is it? :)



I'm constantly surprised at how much stuff I can learn from just one little page of a book...

After doing some reading today, I realized that it's super easy for us (especially these days) to feel entitled to things. Even the simple things...a house, a car, a phone, a TV, etc. Most of us even expect to have the so-called American Dream - a spouse, 2 kids, a couple of pets, a house, white picket fence, etc. I know I pretty much expected to have/get all of those things when I "grew up." It wasn't a matter of "if," but "when." So when I read this today, it's safe to say I was slightly convicted of my attitudes...

The tough thing about this one little devotion, is that there is so much truth in it. I'm pretty sure I jotted down multiple "points" from each paragraph. Seriously. Really what it all boils down to is my attitude - my sense of entitlement, and my need for control. Those are serious issues! 

I've said before that I know I don't have control over everything in my life, and I know that it's for the best. But I also know that I can get pretty dependent on myself and not want to give things over to God for Him to take care of, especially the "small" stuff. So when things happen, I get upset. I get angry. I get frustrated (or whatever) because God let something happen to me (like our gas getting shut off unexpectedly right before my parents' visit) - or he took something away (my dream of having our family together next week/month/year).

I really should rest in knowing that everything is in God's hands. I mean, really. Because His plans are always better than mine...and they always happen at the perfect time. Even when I don't get my way, or what I think I should get, when I think I should get it - it works out for the best. 

It was not in my plans for Joe to be laid off, and then enlist in the Army. But then we never would have moved to Hawaii, I might never have started blogging, and I might not have the friends I've made along the way. It was definitely not my ideal plan for Joe to get deployed right after we moved to Hawaii. But we might not have Charlotte if he hadn't gone. It was not my plan to get pregnant so quickly after having Charlotte, nor did it ever enter my mind that I might have a miscarriage. But without either of those things happening, I might not have this baby girl growing and moving in my belly right now.

But for some reason, I can't always remember those things. Sometimes, it's difficult to accept what's going on in my life... Maybe because my focus isn't where it should be. And that's why I need these kinds of reminders. Because, man, wouldn't it be awesome for something like this to be said about me?!

He said..."The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away. Blessed be the name of the LORD." Through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God. ~ Job 1:21-22

He didn't even blame God... After all he went through - losing his home, his family, his livestock, being severely ill and covered in boils - he didn't blame God. I don't think I can say the same...at least not after losing our baby in February. I'll be the first to admit that I was mad at God for allowing it to happen. 

But the thing is...that anger did nothing for me. It didn't make me feel better, it didn't really help me grieve - it just got me stuck. I was stuck in that place for a while...until I found myself in church, singing along, and bursting into tears. Why? Because I knew my anger and resentment couldn't heal me. All the anger and stages of grief in the world couldn't heal me, but God could.

I suppose that's why the verse from Job resonated with me so much, along with the phrase from the devotion:

"The best response to loss or thwarted hopes is praise: The LORD gives and the LORD takes away. Blessed be the name of the LORD."

So here I go, off to demolish my "brattitude" of entitlement, and need for control... 


30 Down, 10 to Go!

How far along? 30 weeks...seriously can not believe it! (Somehow this pic makes my baby belly look smaller than it is. Or maybe I just feel big? Haha:))

Size of baby: About 16 inches? Considering her big sister was 18.5 at birth, somehow I doubt little miss Millie is quite that big. We'll see! :)

Maternity clothes? Oh, absolutely. I have a few tshirts I can wear around the house (and a few of Joe's tshirts ;)), but other than that it's maternity all the way! I have got to go shopping for some fall maternity clothes, too. It's starting to get chilly out! =D

Best moment this week: Charlotte pointing at my tummy during breakfast and saying, "Millie!" =) She doesn't quite understand what's going on, but it's still cute and sweet.

Miss anything? I miss being able to eat what I want, and when, but other than that I don't miss much. 

Movement: Holy cannoli. This girl has been so active lately! I guess she's starting to run out of room, because it seems like I can feel everything. I feel pretty certain she's head-down now (woohoo!) because I've had feet in my ribs for the last day or so. Getting closer!

Food cravings: Nothing, really...which seems kind of weird, I guess. I just want all the sweet things that I really shouldn't have. Although I'll be the first to admit that I definitely do indulge sometimes. It's tough being a preggo with GD!

Food aversions: I think we're past that, but I definitely haven't had any yogurt since the beginning of this pregnancy. Better safe than sorry, I guess. Haha!

Gender: It's a GIRL! =)

Labor signs: None! Even the few Braxton Hicks I had a few weeks back have gone away. Totally fine by me.

Sleep: Sleep is meh. I sleep pretty well, for the most part, but I'm still getting up for bathroom breaks...and sometimes just because my hip/back hurts. 

Symptoms: The usual - never-ending heartburn, back, and hip pain, and generally just feeling uncomfortable. Having someone else's teensy little feet in your ribs really isn't all that fun. Cute as they may be! ;-)

Belly button in or out? I think it's about half out. It just hasn't "popped" yet because little missy isn't quite that big. Soon, though, I will have an outie. It's just a matter of when at this point!

Looking forward to: Working on her bedding and room some more! Seeing her at my OB appointment in a couple weeks... And definitely looking forward to more of these fantastic fall temperatures!! 



The longer I'm a military spouse, the more I think that word should be every branch's motto. (Well, that or "hurry up and wait. Am I right?!)

In the last few months, days, and weeks, I've been told all of the following:

The deployment has been pushed back again.

So-and-so doesn't think this deployment will happen.

The preliminary deployment list came out today. I'm on it.

We're going to be in the field for a week, doing pre-deployment training.

So-and-so doesn't think this deployment will happen.

We found out today where we'll be while we're deployed.

We're going to be in the field for a week, doing pre-deployment training.

So-and-so doesn't think this deployment will happen.

I may be going TDY for a month, starting next week.

You guys. My mind and emotions are reeling from all of this. When Joe deployed right after we got to Hawaii, it was set in stone. Or maybe it just seemed that way. I think there was maybe one day when he told me they'd been back and forth about him actually deploying. But that was it. None of this back-and-forth for weeks. We got there, he was on the deployment list, he packed his bags and left. For a year. Bam. Just like that.

There's still been no 100% official word either way on this upcoming deployment. (We've known about this deployment since early this year!) And then there's this TDY business. I don't even think there's a 100% chance he will actually go TDY - probably more like 50%. 

All of this change and lack of solid plans is killing me. I mean, I know this is the Army we're talking about here, and nothing is "officially official" until you have paperwork in your hands and/or are on a plane somewhere. I know I should probably be used to this by now... I know. But there's this part of me that wants to have control - that wants to know exactly when he's leaving, or if he's leaving at all. And the hardest truth of all?

I've got control over none of it. Nothing.

It's a human/sin nature thing, I suppose - to think that we can have control over our lives. I also think that this is another one of those lessons God's been trying to teach me for a while. Maybe I've just refused to listen, or maybe I just need to relearn it. Either way, it should have come to no surprise to me when this little message was waiting for me in my Bible study earlier this week:

The Army's plans for Joe - and, consequently, my life - change frequently. But God doesn't change.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. ~ Hebrews 13:8

Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow. ~James 1:17

Not only does He not change, but He has better plans for me than I have for me. 

"For I know the plans I have for you," says the LORD. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope." ~Jeremiah 29:11

Something even more intriguing:

We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps. ~ Proverbs 16:9

I can make all the plans in the world, but ultimately God decides where my feet will land. Because His plans are always best, and only He knows what the future truly holds.

"My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts," says the LORD. "And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts. ~ Isaiah 55:8-9

Remember the things I have done in the past. For I alone am God! I am God, and there is none like me. Only I can tell you the future before it even happens. Everything I plan will come to pass... ~ Isaiah 46:9-10

I like that first part of Isaiah 46:9 - "Remember the things I have done in the past." Because, if I look back at all the things He's brought me (and Joe) through...it's easy and clear to see that he'll bring us through whatever comes our way. Even if that means a deployment...or a TDY. Let's face it - any separation is tough. 1 month, 4 months, 9 months, or 12 months (or more) are all difficult on our marriages and families. If I only have previous experiences to go off of, I know that God will bring us through it. I just have to remember that.

But it sure won't be easy.

...Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world. ~ John 16:33


Jumbly Shmumbly Mess

There are so many things I want to write about today. I should really be continuing on with my 31 days series, Faith in the Dark, but I really don't have the brain power at the moment. And that's ok, right? It is my blog, after all. ;-)

I'm sure exactly none of you were super concerned about it, but we were I was finally able to get our gas turned back on this past Friday. It took a couple hours of being on the phone to do it but, thankfully, I finally reached a compassionate person who set me up with an all day appointment. It amazes me still that it could take so long for them to be willing to come out and provide us with services we're willing to pay for. Not to mention the fact that I had spoken with numerous people throughout the week, all of whom assured me there was nothing more they could do to help. And then after a complete emotional breakdown, and probably 10 straight minutes of prayer, I get someone who can help. I'm thankful it all worked out, but it makes me wonder about everyone else I spoke to, as well as the company's policy!

Speaking of Friday, my parents drove in and arrived Friday afternoon - right as the gas tech person was in the attic lighting our pilot light. If you've followed me for a while, you know my relationship with my parents isn't the greatest. Obviously I was fairly concerned as to how the weekend would pan out. I can happily report that it went much better than I thought! There were some moments that slightly irritated me, but I think some of that can even be attributed to hormones. 

Charlotte with Mimi and Pop before church.

I think the biggest issue - if you could even call it that - is just how loud they are. Since they've been gone for a couple days now, I've wondered how on earth I didn't have a perpetual headache growing up. They've always been this way, but it is so much more noticeable now! I'm not sure how to tell them that they don't have to yell everything they say. Being in a car with them, plus a toddler was nerve-racking...even just for a drive into town! Pass the Tylenol, please!

With the busyness of the weekend, I completely forgot to take an updated bump photo. *sigh* I kept thinking about it at the worst times, and then remembering before bed. And Lord knows pre-bedtime photos aren't really blog-worthy. Haha! Suffice it to say that the bump is growing, little miss Millie is growing and kicking away (mostly at my bladder), my stretch marks are growing, my hips and back ache, and my belly button will surely be an outie instead of an innie in a few short weeks. =) I'm starting to get uncomfortable, but I'm not unhappy about any of it. If anything, it just makes me more excited for her arrival.

....which we're not really prepared for. This poor girl. Her room is still a mess, though not nearly as bad as before. I haven't even ordered fabric for her bedding. Her sister's hand-me-downs clothes are still in boxes, and her closet is stuffed with all kinds of things. We still have furniture to rearrange, too. I know we still have a while, but I feel like we'd already done so much more before I was this far along with Charlotte! The one thing we do have prepared is her crib, so at least there's that. 

Ah, so many things to share. I have a few good posts planned for my 31 days series, but I have yet to write them. I think I let the insanity of last week really get to me, and keep me from writing what I really wanted to. Hopefully that will change this week! I also plan on writing a little post about our weekend with my parents, and our trip to the local pumpkin patch. Stay tuned! ;-)

All in all, this week is off to a pretty good start. (It really feels like a different day since Joe was off on Monday...my whole week is off now!) I hope yours is going well, too!


Complaints of an Awful Day

Right now, all I want to do is complain. I want to sit and wallow in the junk I was handed yesterday. It's a really crappy situation...not unbearable, but extremely frustrating and overwhelming. 

I spent the better part of my day on the phone with our gas company. Because apparently, shutting our gas off can be done whenever they feel like it, but turning it back on (while charging us for it) will take about 5 days. And over the course of that 5 days, my parents will be visiting. For, like, the first time ever.

You want to know what's really funny (ironically so) about this situation? My Bible study from this morning. It's like God was trying to prepare me for it. Well, I suppose it isn't "like" He was trying to prepare me for it - He was preparing me for it. {Although I definitely would have appreciated a larger sign. =P} When I do my Bible study, I usually like to write down a few points and verses I want to remember. I can't just read something and move on, because it won't stick. I have to write it down. Here's the very first thing I wrote down:

Complaining opens the door to self-pity and rage.

Before I discovered that our gas had been shut off, that phrase was intriguing and thought-provoking, but nothing more. It didn't really affect me. I mean, sure, I complain. We all do, right? So, yeah, I could do a bit less of it. I suppose I really needed a lesson on this today, because it doesn't stop there.

Venting to God instead of others tempers our thoughts and help us see things from His perspective.

I tried so hard to do that today. I will admit that I pretty much failed. I did vent to Him...at first. But as the day wore on, I wore out. I was upset, tired, overwhelmed, and extremely hormonal. I was mad at Joe, mad at Charlotte {because OMG why won't you just chill out, child?! Not my best mommy moments today}, mad at the gas company, mad at the company they use for their technicians, mad at my doctor, mad that I had to take a freezing cold shower...on and on and on. 

And now I'm really kicking myself for spending so much time marking verses, only to pretty much disregard them the rest of the day. I did try, I did pray, I did vent to Him. But at some point I got so overwhelmed - so stuck in my head that I just stopped. It's easier to lash out. But, gosh, is it exhausting. In particular, I really wish I'd remembered this verse:

For I have given rest to the weary and joy to the sorrowing. ~ Jeremiah 31:25

I was absolutely weary by 3pm. I was physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted. I'd been "on" mentally from the time I was supposed to take my shower in the morning, until about 2pm. That's a pretty big chunk of time to be focused on solving one single problem. But that's a problem, too. I should have done what I could and then given the rest to God. Instead, I hung on to the problem and continued to worry about it. Even though there was absolutely nothing else I could do, I worried. 

Then my worry turned back into frustration. Joe came home (and with cookies!) and I took out my frustration on him. You know, because that's what you do when you're upset. UGH. I'm definitely not proud of it, and I hate that I made him feel bad after he'd already had a bad day. Clearly winning all over the place. I wish I'd remembered this verse, too:

...we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. ~ 2 Corinthians 10:5b

Yeah... It's safe to say not very many of my thoughts were obedient yesterday. I really, really, really wish I had paid better attention. At the very least I wish I had even thought there would be a possibility that I actually needed this lesson. Because, wow, what a day.

Maybe next time I'll pay better attention? 

Or maybe I'll do what Gideon did and ask for a bigger sign... {Judges 6}




I don't have much of anything to say today, but I still wanted to post something. I mean, obviously I didn't post over the weekend, so the whole 31 days thing is kind of shot at this point.


Coming home from my OB appointment yesterday, I was listening to a local Christian radio station. I recently found it (yeah, after 6 months!), so I've been listening when I'm in the car lately. I kinda missed Christian radio! A song that I've heard probably a gazillion times came on and really just spoke to me. Here are some of the lyrics:

It's your life
What you gonna do?
The world is watching you
Every day the choices you make
Say what you are and who
Your heart beats for
It's an open door
It's your life*

It hit me because it's so true, especially in today's world. What with social media, there are "eyes" on me at all times. Here on my blog, FB, Twitter, IG...everywhere, people are watching. No, they're probably not watching and waiting for me to screw up or something, but they do see how I live my life. It's probably obvious to anyone who visits any of my social media sites that I'm a Christian. That I'm a conservative. That my husband is in the military. That I'm a mother. On and on and on. People see how I react to certain situations: loss, deployment, and day-to-day junk. 

How I respond to whatever situation I'm in is a direct reflection of who I am, and Whose I am. Every choice I make is a reflection of my heart. Every. Single. One. The same is true for everyone, as well. Our choices - how we spend time and money - reflect who we are.

I hope my choices reflect me and my heart well. I know I've made some not-so-great ones in the past. And I know that I'll probably make some not-so-great ones in the future, too. But the important thing is that I continue to make choices that aren't in my nature - my selfish, sinful, human nature - so that I can reflect more of God and less of me.

That, my friends, is quite the challenge.

*Song title is It's Your Life, by Fancesca Battistelli. You can click here to hear the whole song, and you should! It's a really great one. :) Also, I'm just sharing because I like the song, not because anyone asked me to share. Yay, disclaimers. =P


On Repeat

Do you ever feel like you keep hearing the same thing over and over again? The same phrase, word, song or verse? That's where I'm at right now. 

I shared two posts last week about fears and worrying. In between those posts and this one, some other things came up in my studies - things I thought I'd post about today or at some point this week. Clearly God is trying to beat me over the head with teach me something here, so I feel like I should share it, too.

Today I cracked open my Jesus Calling book, as I've been doing for a while. It's a really good devotional, and I highly recommend it. Anyway, within the first few lines, this is what I read:

"Accept each day as it comes to you, remembering that I am sovereign over your life. 
...Thank Me in all circumstances."

So, hmmm. Okay. Further down:

"Trust me and don't be fearful; thank me and rest in my sovereignty."

And there it is: "don't be fearful." Are we sensing a theme yet? I sure am! I suppose I'm beginning to understand why He keeps sending me this very same message over and over and over again. First, it obviously hasn't sunk in yet. Second, I'm more fearful about things than I realize most of the time.

Even entering my third trimester hasn't stopped the fear of losing another baby, this baby - my little Millie. Random thoughts will pop into my head that never did when I was pregnant with Charlotte. That kind of naiveté was taken from me when I miscarried in February. I don't spend every waking moment worrying about Millie - I don't. Thankfully, she is pretty active. But when I realize I haven't felt her move in a few hours, I tend to panic a bit. Or I read a blog post somewhere about someone losing a baby. And then I spend a while - minutes? hours? - either reliving my miscarriage or preparing (in some strange way) to lose another baby. I don't know why on earth I do this to myself, but I do. Or is it even me? Is it just the thief and I'm listening to his evil little whispers, letting him steal my joy? Either. Both. Who knows?

Then, of course, there's the fear of the deployment. Even though we've been through one before, there's still a lot of unknown territory for this next one. He's going somewhere different, with different people, in a different situation, with a different mission. We are also different. We have babies now. One of whom will realize his absence and potentially feel it immensely. Sure, she won't remember - neither of them will - but she will still experience it. It will still shape her in ways that can't be known by either of us. Even if his absence isn't as long as "they" say it will be, any extended absence will be difficult for her. In turn, it will be difficult for me as well. 

So what am I to do?

Trust God. Rest in His sovereignty. 

So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, 
and at the right time he will lift you up in honor.  ~1 Peter 5:6

Be thankful, because there is always something to be thankful for.

Be thankful in all circumstances, 
for this is God's will for you 
who belong to Christ Jesus. ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:18

*Oddly enough, I just put this verse in a frame on the bar in the kitchen/dining area. See what I mean about common themes here?!

Give my worries and fears to Him. Pray.

Give all your worries to him, for he cares about you. ~ 1 Peter 5:7

I prayed to the LORD, and he answered me. 
He freed me from all my fears. ~ Psalm 34:4

I know you're thinking the same thing I am - easier said than done. I know. Really, it's not in our nature to let go of our fears, to trust God, to be thankful when we're scared, mad or upset. It's not. But being obedient to God and choosing to trust, to let go, and to be thankful will be rewarded. Maybe not in ways we imagine, or when we think, but our efforts will be honored (see 1Peter 5:6). And seriously, look at that last verse! "He freed me from all my fears." Freedom. From ALL my fears. I want that! Isn't that worth tough choices, and tough days? 

Maybe one day soon I'll learn this lesson God's been trying to teach me. Until then, I'm sure he'll have it on repeat...just for me.



We sing this song a quite a bit at our church. This weekend it kind of struck a chord (no pun intended...;)) with me. Really, it's a good reminder that while I may not be able to do something, to handle a situation, or fix something, He can. 

Lifted up
He defeated the grave
Raised to life
Or God is able
In His name
We overcome
For the Lord 
Our God is able

God is with us
He will go before
He will never leave us
He will never leave us
God is for us
He has open arms
He will never fail us
He will never fail us

Even just the chorus of this song gets me. He died. He rose again. He promises to always be with me. So why do I freak out when the possibility of tough situations arise? I know it's human nature - human sin nature. It's so hard to get past. But I love that this song serves as a reminder that while I can't do "great" (very hard) things, He can. And I can overcome whatever situation I face in His name.

I hope this encourages you today as much as it does me! 



Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. ~John 14:27

This verse has come up so many times over the past month that I really should have it memorized by now. I'm fairly certain that's a teeny little hint from God.... Oddly enough, it was one I hung on to while Joe was in basic training. Before the military, we'd barely been separated. 2 months' worth of training with very little contact was slightly terrifying for me...as was the potential for him to come back a completely different person.

Anyway, there's that word "peace" again. But this time it comes with an even better command  - don't be afraid. Yikes. I'm not sure any one of us could name someone who wasn't afraid before a deployment. Even if they were only a tiny bit afraid. Let's face it, we're sending loved ones off to war - to a place where men wreak havoc daily, not caring for anyone in their paths. Even Joe, who has a "safe" job, was awarded a CAB (Combat Action Badge) at the end of his last deployment. Translation? He and his unit were under fire, and heavy fire at that. So, "don't be afraid" is a very hard one for me.

Hard as it may be to find peace or to not be afraid, the fact of the matter is this:

The thief's purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. ~John 10:10

I may know it, but it really is hard to grasp sometimes... My future is in God's hands. It's not in mine. Whether I worry or not, I can't change what will happen. And worry? It's a tool of the enemy, and boy is it effective! The worry I let creep into my mind absolutely kills my joy for the here-and-now. The time I spend worrying keeps me from spending time on something else, even if it's just something like starting a load of laundry.

I love this quote from the devotion book Jesus Calling. I read it just the other day, and it spoke volumes to me.

"Your future is in My hands; I release it to you day by day, moment by moment. Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow. I want you to live this day abundantly, seeing all there is to see, doing all there is to do. Don't be distracted by future concerns. Leave them to Me!"

I am 1000% guilty of worrying about the future, even the trivial stuff. It's hard not to be afraid of sending Joe off on deployment again. God doesn't want me to worry.... Why?

He wants me to have a rich and satisfying life. What part of worrying is satisfying? Except for the feeling of control it gives us, nothing about worrying is satisfying. If anything, it's stressful. It doesn't solve anything. Worrying can often make a problem worse, because of all the "what ifs" we put together in our minds. (Don't act like you don't do it, too!) 

There's nothing rich, fun, satisfying, or life-giving about worrying or being afraid of the future. So why do we do it? Human (sin) nature. Lies of the enemy we've allowed to creep in. Habit. The only way we can combat this is to keep praying and focusing on Him. I say this as much to myself as to anyone else. Because, really? Worry and fear can be crippling if we let them. And God wants so much more for us than that! So, so much more.


Faith in the Dark: Peace

Even before we moved to Georgia we knew that Joe's unit was set for a deployment. It's been pushed back a few times, and it's even been rumored that it wouldn't happen. As the days draw nearer, though, it's becoming more and more of a reality. 

A few weeks ago, Joe came home and told me that the initial list of personnel deploying came out. Of course his name was on it. It wasn't much of a surprise - especially considering his job - but it cut me to the core anyway. Almost instantly I started grieving his presence here, thinking of all the moments he'd miss with the girls. If it were just me, I think I could handle it. The thought of dealing with a deployment as a parent - of not just one, but two tiny girls - is crippling. The diapers, the middle of the night feedings, asking for Daddy, firsts without him here... All of it just seems so overwhelming.

In the days that followed that information, I started doing a Bible study, going to PWOC, and really trying to talk to God. Because one of two things will happen regarding this deployment - 1) Joe will deploy and only God will get me through it, or 2) only God will be able to keep him from deploying. Either way, He's the one I need to be talking to. 

And as only God can do, every time I crack open a devotion book, or the Bible app on my phone, an extremely appropriate verse comes up. Maybe it shouldn't surprise me by now, but it does. I wish you guys could see all of the verses I've highlighted, bookmarked on my app, or written down. It would really take too long (aka: too much effort) to show you, but I am going to share a few things with you. 

One of the first verses that came up during my devotion time was this one:

For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints. ~ 1 Corinthians 14:33

Remember that post I wrote about finding peace? Yeah, this verse (and others) were a big part of that. Whatever happens - whether Joe stays or goes - God doesn't want me to be in a state of confusion or panic. He wants me to rely on Him and have peace. I don't know about you, but I find it so hard to find peace in times like these. Whether you're waiting for deployment or PCS orders, it's difficult to be at peace while you're waiting. (Impatient much?!)

I've been reading from a devotion book called Jesus Calling quite a bit lately. My MIL gave it to me for my birthday and it's really been great. I'm not a huge fan of people picking out books and/or devotions for me (though I certainly don't turn them away), but I have to say this one has been absolutely perfect. Not to mention timely. Anyway, here's a quote from August 26...it reached right into my heart and mind.

"When you start to feel stressed, detach yourself from the disturbances around you. Instead of desperately striving to maintain order and control in your little world, relax and remember that circumstances cannot touch My Peace. ...The Peace I give is sufficient for you."

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. ~ John 14:27a

Can I just say, "WOW!" I mean, how completely true is that? As soon as life gets me frazzled, I start trying to control this or that, just to feel like my whole world isn't going to come apart. Because that's what it's like when they leave, isn't it? Murphy steps in, causes all sorts of trouble, and then we somehow forget that we actually can't control it all.

Honestly, I don't have any kind of answer as to finding this peace, like, ASAP. What I do know is that I need that peace, and that it takes a daily...submission and surrendering of my thoughts and actions in order to feel a semblance of peace about my not-so certain future.


31 Days

This time last year, I decided to do a 31 Days series (inspired by The Nester) that focused on breastfeeding. I totally forgot this was coming up, but I've been needing a reason - for lack of a better word - to blog more frequently. While I'd love to do another breastfeeding series, I think that will have to wait. It made sense last year, since I was still breastfeeding Charlotte and all. This year, not so much. :) {Though I do have a post in mind about breastfeeding! Soon...}

This time I'm going to focus on things that I'm dealing with, learning, and trying to learn. I've got a lot going on right now, though it really may not seem like it. I'm pregnant with our rainbow baby, caring for a toddler, attempting to make new friends, trying desperately to focus on God and His plans for me, and trying to accept the fact that Joe will most likely deploy soon after Millie is born. There's fear, there's impatience, frustration...a whole gamut of emotions, probably magnified by those fantastic pregnancy hormones. 

So, for the next 30 days (since today's the 1st and all), I'm going to be sharing a lot about how I'm dealing with it all. This will probably be a lot of things that I feel like God has been beating me over the head with {figuratively, of course}. I've been wanting to share some of these things anyway, so this seems like the perfect time. 

I'm calling this series "Faith in the Dark" because, well, it's often hard to have faith when your future - even one not that far off - seems so uncertain. We can't know what's in store for us in days ahead, but we can have faith. 

I hope you'll join me in this series. I have a feeling it's going to be quite the adventure...

Get ready!