This Military Life | Truth be told…I am envious of your family.

Baseball-Field This Military Lifelittle-league      youth_baseball_team

This past Friday night, we camped out at the ball field for 3 games. One for our oldest; two for our youngest.

With the start of baseball season in May, our evening schedule has been full as we cheer our boys on to their victories and losses. We being my husband and I. Two chairs, nestled together in comfort, amid a sea of people.

Many other parents sit with their extended family – cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, nephews, nieces – young and old, generation upon generation. They all wear “bedazzled” team shirts with their player’s name and number on the back. And, all I can do is sit back and think about how envious I am.

Envious that our parents can’t be here to cheer our boys on. Envious that the young cousins don’t know one another very well because we live so far apart; we even have to reintroduce the children to each other when we finally are together under one roof.

Envious that these families seems to ease into conversation without first having to catch up. Envious our in-laws can take the kiddos for the evening and treat them to ice cream after the game. Envious that they can gather with their loved ones on the bleachers to share a ball game only to meet up later under one roof for a celebratory BBQ.

I admit I am envious of what they seem to have that I don’t.

I miss my family. I miss having deep family roots and living in the same zip code as my relatives. I am envious of large families and crave large family gatherings. As each year passes in this military life, our family unit grows stronger, but our ties to our extended family grow weaker, and that makes me sad.

Now, I will admit we haven’t done as good a job as others who have yearly family reunions and such. And, there are many reasons for that, most too private to share in this public space.

Regardless, it is at times like last Friday evening sitting out at the ball field in small town America when I feel most isolated, and have to fight back feelings of envy and resentment.

While there are many things I love about this military life, there are times when the necessary sacrifices seem too great. Admitting that there are two sides to every coin brings me comfort. And, I hope that my admission to this truth has brought you some comfort too.

You are not alone.



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Monday (oops! It is Tuesday already!) Invitations | Your 3rd Day is Coming!

Be still and knowThe beauty of a blog is that you only see what I present – typed up pretty and packaged neatly here on the screen.

My life over the past few weeks has been anything but neat and tidy. More like chaotic, crazy and mothering at warp-speed. As I kept up with end of school year activities, baseball season start-up {I feel like we have taken on a second career with both boys actively playing this year!}, a growing doTERRA business, and the realities of home-life – Yes! my family does indeed like to eat three times a day!, I found myself further and further from Christ – my Rock, my Savior. I must draw near. There is Peace to be found in the shadow of His wings. So, today, finally, here I am to take a few moments to pause and reflect.

I write this today for that one person for whom loneliness has settled in despite the swirling busyness of life around them. That one person sitting in the middle of the crowd, yet wondering if anyone notices them or even cares. That one person who appears to have it all together, appears to have a litany of connections and friends, and yet finds herself lonely, disconnected, and out of touch with who she is and was created to be.

Isn’t it amazing how we can experience loneliness amidst a sea of people? I sense loneliness in others. I have been there. I know. After my brother passed, I would find myself looking around as droves of people went on with the normalcy of their days – errands, lunch out with friends, kids’ activities, etc. Their worlds seemed to move quickly forward, while mine seemed to slow down. I wanted to shout at them, “How can you go on living like normal? How can you be normal when I am feeling so much pain?”.

So, it is for you that I write today. For the one who can barely sit still and just wants to run up to someone, shake them loose, and shout, “Look at me! Can’t you see me! Can’t you see my pain? Can’t you see how lonely I am? Look at me!”.

Journey with me to the book of Luke, chapter 24, verses 13-36.

Two men are walking the road to Emmaeus on the very day of the Jesus’ resurrection, about 7 miles from Jerusalem where Jesus was buried.

Verse 14, “and they were talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were kept from recognizing him.

Two days have passed since Jesus’ crucifixion. In their grief and sadness, they are not able to see what is right before them. Could they be asking themselves, Is anyone else suffering like we are? Does anyone else get it? For two days they suffer with the loneliness and reality that Jesus is in fact gone.

Then Jesus says to them, “What is this conversation that you are holding with each other as you walk?”.

Read their response: “And they stood still, looking sad. Then one of them, named Cleopas, answered him, Are you the only visitor in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?

Can you hear the exasperation in their voices? Have you ever felt this way? Loneliness is a constant companion when we are certain others do not understand our pain. Others may know of the event that led to our suffering, but our deepest desire is to be understood and loved through our suffering.

Jesus asks a question that caused them to stand still and feel pain. How often in our journeys of suffering do others make comments or ask questions that cause us to stand still and feel deep pain? It is sometimes the good intentions of others that yield in us deep feelings of isolation and loneliness.

Jesus remains with them through the evening of the third day following his crucifixion. “When he was at the table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him.” (vs. 30,31)

This act, the breaking of bread, serves as a reminder of their last meal with Him prior to his death. This symbolic moment opens their eyes to see Him once again. They now see that they were not alone and never had been. He had been with them the entire time. On the third day, they saw Christ.

For you who is experiencing loneliness right now, who is desperate to see Him in your suffering. Remain where you are. He will find you. He will come alongside you. He will reveal himself to you in a way you will see him.

You are not alone. He sees you. He is here, present with you right now. Forever and always. Your third day is coming. The scales will fall from your eyes and you will see that He was with you the entire time.



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Monday Invitations | Dedicated to those for whom this is NOT a happy Memorial Day

child kissing headstone

Last year, our family lived in Carlisle, PA while my husband attended the Army War College. He is active duty Air Force and had the privilege of being invited to attend this prestigious program with his fellow Army, Navy, and Marine armed service members.

Over the year, we listened to a number of stories of those lost in active duty. We became friends with people whom have served and led on the front lines. I listened as spouses recounted the stress and strain they endured as they waited and wondered if their warrior would return home alive. I listened as they talked of not one, not two, but five year-long deployments that were threatening to tear the families apart. I learned of their friends who had taken their lives in the aftermath of their time in “the desert” – every day reliving the atrocities to which they had born witness. I watched as those who bear the cross on their uniform and the share the Good News of Jesus suffered under the strains of PTSD.

We are an Air Force family. My husband actively serves. He has deployed a number of times, at most for a year. He has flown in enemy air and landed on enemy soil. And, we have sacrificed for our country. But, we have been somewhat shielded from the extreme conditions so many of our fellow Army service members and families have endured. Don’t get me wrong, the Air Force has suffered great loss, too. I can think of friends who have lost loved ones and dear friends both in “the desert” and in the air. We suffer too. We remember those in our ranks who have given the ultimate sacrifice.

But, for whatever reason, our family has served more than one Joint Base assignment. Which means that we have lived and worked among personnel across all branches of the armed forces for 6 of the past 12 years. And, in my opinion, the Army has given and lost the most.

I ache today for them. I ache for my chaplain friend who is soon to report to a base where two mass shootings have taken place within one year of another. He suffers from PTSD for time served. I ache for my sweet friend who lost her husband while he was deployed and now uses her grief and faith to come alongside and comfort others who are suffering. I ache for my sweet Army wife friends who feel others don’t understand their suffering and pain, who are beyond weary facing yet another deployment. I ache for the Army as a whole as we read again and again the reality of suicides, homicides, and mass shootings in their midst.

I am tender to all those who have lost a loved one due to war – whether it is on the battlefield or as a result of the fallout. But, for whatever reason and of which I have a very difficult time explaining, my heart is with my Army friends today.

You have suffered too much. You have suffered more than any one group of people should have to suffer. Gather together and love one another in your grief. Bear one another’s burdens and together you can stand. You are not forgotten. I remember the exhaustion on your faces when we met over a year ago. I remember thinking of all you have carried for our country. I remember thinking of the sacrifices your children have given, of all they have been asked to endure. You Army spouses are some of the strongest and most courageous ones out there.

I invite you to consider this today:

Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn (Romans 12:15)

“Part of what it means to share in Christ’s suffering is to share in the suffering of those whom Christ loves. You participate in Christ’s sufferings by sharing the pain with those who suffer, not only fellow Christians, but people anywhere in the world who are hurting. You participate in Christ’s suffering when you come alongside the hurting and offer them the blessing of presence. You participate in Christ’s suffering when you weep with those who weep. You participate in Christ’s sufferings when you die to yourself so that you can fully enter into the pain and suffering of another person.

You may never be more Christlike that when you participate in the sufferings and sorrows of a hurting world, wrestling with the pain and providing the comfort of community. Christ set the pattern: death, then rebirth; dying, then living again; suffering, then consolation. As you model the life of Christ in ministry to others, you become Christ to hurting people.

Jesus called his followers to pattern their lives after his, and that pattern includes dignifying pain and suffering. Pain is real, it hurts, and it matters. Rather than minimizing or denying the hurt, Christians are most like Christ when they enter into the pain of those who are suffering – not to be weighted down or consumed by it, but to help bear the burden. Jesus says that when you provide care in his name to the least of his brothers or sisters,  you are having compassion on him (Matthew 25:31-40). So when you care for those in need, you are offering a doubly powerful witness to the presence of Christ in the world – Christ alive in  you and in the one to whom you are offering care.” (Don’t Sing Songs to a Heavy Heart: How to Relate to Those Who are Suffering, Kenneth C. Haugk, Ph.D., pp. 33-34)

I know there are many for whom this Memorial Day is not a happy one. I am so sorry for your loss. I grieve with you today. You are not forgotten.

with love,


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