Monday, June 25, 2012

on how i (don't) do it

It's no secret that this military lifestyle of ours is no picnic. There are things about it that we really love, but the day-to-day is hard. Andrew spends most of his time at sea and when he's in port, the hours are long. And as is the case with any high-stress job, he often walks through the door exhausted and mentally drained, just when I'm ready for a conversation that doesn't involve things like "Do you want some more Cheerios?"

And then there are the bigger things.

Like how he only got one day at home with us when Jack was born.
And how he had 24-hour duty on my birthday.
And the missed anniversaries.
And milestones.
And move-in days.

And people tell me that they don't know how I do it and I think, I don't know how I do it either.

For my birthday, Andrew found out just two days before that he had to work. My plans of a sweet little celebration with my boys quickly disappeared. When I was telling Andrew's mom about that, her response was, "Don't you ever cry just one tear?"

Do I ever.

And then I realized that while it's good for a girl's pride to hear that people think she holds it all together, I'm not doing much for the One who really is holding it all together. Holding me all together.

So here's the truth.

It takes daily (sometimes, hourly) effort and prayer to try and maintain a positive attitude. And no matter how many times I tell myself not to count on anything or get my hopes set on anything, I do. And then plans or expectations change and I feel completely deflated. Every time.

Yes, there are days when I handle things well and it all feels like regular life and I just go on living it. And some days it's a fake-it-until-you-make-it kind of thing where I just act like things are okay until I actually start to believe it. But there are days when I cry some tears.

Like that time I tried to make pancakes for myself and they weren't as good as Andrew's. I had a good cry over that. He's the pancake chef around here, you know.

But all this I, I, I stuff is kind of ridiculous because I'm not doing anything but letting Jesus be all up in my face showing me that his strength is perfected in my weakness.

So I don't do it. And if you know a military wife, chances are she doesn't do it either. She's probably just doing what needs to be done and putting one foot in front of the other and praying that God will keep her from falling on her face, at least until the kids are in bed.

One thing I know for sure is that I'm not doing anything.

This girl's got Grace written all over her life and I'm thankful for it.

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