Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Tour of Duty: Preparing our hearts for deployment

I just finished a book called Tour of Duty: Preparing our hearts for Deployment!

My husband and I knew for a year he was going to be deployed. During that time, I tried to prepare. I did everything I knew to get prepared. But I must admit, I didn't prepare my heart like I should have.

Sara Horn has written a great bible study for military wives. This study is written from her first hand experience of deployment. It shows all the emotions good and bad, highs and low, ups and downs anyone who has gone through a deployment experiences.

But this study is different it has advice and life stories I can relate too! There has been many bible studies I have taken where the advice is just that advice not from a personal experience I can relate to. But Sara Horn's study is unique. I know what it is like to wait days for a phone call from my love one, the worry, the fear, the what ifs, etc. The study shares it all.

Tour of Duty not only shows all these thing but give practical, emotional and spiritual help to the reader. It doesn't spoon feed you all the way, you actually have go deeper in your spiritual walk i.e.  answer questions after much prayer and look up verses on your own. It is truely a bible study with a purpose and it achieves that purpose.

I love the message of hope and encouragement it gives through out.

I love how the auther looks at deployment not just her husband's deployment but her's also. How God has this all planned out and He know the outcome. Deployment doesn't have to be all negative, depressing, seperation. Sara shows how God can use a deployment and bring a purpose to your life. It can bring good and something praise worthy to your life. God can change you for His glory through a deployment.

This study also offer resources and extra helps at the end of the book. It tells the reader, 'you are not alone'. We need to know that!
This study was a blessing to read, and should be given out to every soldiers spouse who receives orders for deployment!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Refreshing Christmas!

Refreshing Christmas!

This title seems off! With all the decorating, parties, shopping, church programs, school program, what is so refreshing about Christmas.
But to me it is the perfect time to refresh your faith!

It is a time to reflect on everything God has done for me this past year. It is a time to thank God for everything including the hard times because during the hard time is when we see God the most. When I see all the blessings He has given me then I am refreshed and encouraged.

It is a time to really focus on Jesus and why He came to earth! To save us, to give us a hope and a future.
It is a time to see miracles! Just the miracle of a changed heart! My changed heart from a ungrateful heart to an uplifting heart praising God for all he has done!

It is a time to start anew. To see Jesus and know He forgives completely! We have a fresh start, and new life! But we only have a new life in Him!

It is a time to love, to see perfect Love!, to love others and fall in love with the perfect Love! To love someone you have to know someone and when you get to know God, it will refresh your faith!

visit Wives of Faith! for the last day of Christmas Carnival Blog!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

You might be a military spouse at Christmas if

My hubby is with the Tn National Guard, we just finished our first deployment. Prior to his guard service we were active duty for 4 years so I know a little about being a military spouse at Christmas....

You might be a military spouse at Christmas if you arrive to your first duty station, in a strange city, know no one, and have a poinsettia for your Christmas tree. It came from the apartment complex we just rented an apartment in.

You might be a military spouse at Christmas if you have no funiture to sit on for a Christmas dinner!

You might be a military spouse at Christmas if you set a new tradition of going to the movies on Christmas because you don't have family around, you are in a new city, and don't know anyone and you want something to do!

You might be a military spouse at Christmas if you take down the decorations on the 26th because you hubby leaves for deployment on the 27th!

That is all I could think of for now...

Visit Wives of faith Christmas carnival blogs! for more!

Friday, December 10, 2010

What Christmas means to me........

My hubby and I have been married over 18 years. We have had very nice big Christmases and some not so big Christmases. We have had Christmas in a hotel room, in a city in the desert, earlier than the 25th (because I work in the health care system and had to work Christmas day). We have done presents, and had Christmases with no presents. We have traveled and stayed home. Some times it has felt like Christmas and sometimes not.

I remember some Christmases when I was single and spending the day in the hospital because my parents were there as patients. I remember Christmases just wishing it (life) would be different. I remember Christmases where I thought life couldn't be better!

But as I grow older, my idea of Christmas is changing. We have young girls so we do the tree, the lights, the fun part, the gifts to each other and others less fortunate, and we enjoy that. There is nothing wrong. But I look forward to Christmas for other reasons.

These reasons have a lot to do with my spiritual walk with the Lord! Yes, Christmas is about the birth of our savior. Christmas is a time to focus on my Lord and Savior and all He has done for me esp. dying on the Cross for me.  I have come to realize that the Christmases where I feel the worst (spiritually) has a lot to do where I am in my walk with the Lord! If my focus is just on Christmas and not on Christ and the Cross, then I have no peace! I feel empty and dead! But if I focus and celebrate that Jesus came down from His throne.
We can't celebrate just the birth, we must remember why He came down! To be our Savior! Praise God!

Christmas means to me the Cross! He came down, took the form of man to bear my cross! To take my place!

Now some people may say that is Easter but to me you can't have Christmas without the Easter story!
Thank You Lord! Thank you for Christmas and for Easter!

Visit Wives of Faith Christmas Carnival blog

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without.......

 the birth of Christ!

I know... easy answer but I truly have thought about this all day.

I love everything about Christmas, the music, the lights, the tree, the gifts, the shopping, the parties, friends and family.  But we have this all year long. I can play Christmas music in July but will that make it Christmas? I can put up a tree in June but will it be Christmas? I give gifts all year long. We have family and friends all year long. But do these things make it Christmas?

And what if I have all these things on December 25th, does that mean it is Christmas?

I could have all these things but if I don't worship and celebrate the gift of Christ then it is not Christmas!
The first Christmas was nothing like Christmas now. It was simple and wonderful! It was full of LOVE!
It was Love himself coming down in the form of man to save us!  Not only that, He came down even knowing He would die on the cross for us.That to me is so amazing!

Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without my savior!  So whether I have all or none of these things, if I am worshiping the birth of Christ then it is Christmas!

Merry Christmas!
Visit Wives of Faith for Christmas Blog Carnival

Monday, December 6, 2010

My favorite Christmas ornament!

Head over to  Wives of Faith

I love Christmas!!

I play Christmas music in July!

I love decorating our tree.
We put up our 'fake' tree early, granted it does not look full and it looks pitiful but the girls love it.
Next year we will do a live tree! Just fyi!
What I love about our tree is all the ornaments. They are all special, hardly any of them are the same.
Some store bought, some homemade, some new and some very old.

But my favorites are the ones my grandmother made. We called her Big Mama! She weighed all of 80lbs.
She loved to crochet and make clothes for us. She tried to show me how to crochet once but I was too impatience to learn, oh how I wish I could have her here now trying to teach me to 'chain, or double chain'. I do miss her so....
I have 2 quilts and 2 afgans she made, I  hope to pass them along to my girls when they have their own homes. I just love having these item she made because it means she is still part of Christmas. Both of my parents are gone and David's parents live out of state, we don't have blood relatives here in Tn so some times the holidays are hard. But when I see these ornaments, I remember the past holidays and the people who made it special for me. This encourages me to make memories and special times with our girls like spending a evening making paper snowflakes and letting the girls put them under the tree and pretend it is snowing.

Big Mama passed away in 2003, 4 months after our first daughter was born. Hollyn is now seven. I have the last picture taken of my grandmother holding Hollyn. It is something I will cherish forever! I am so thankful that time. This last picture is us about a month before she had her homecoming!


Saturday, December 4, 2010

A year...

A year!
A year ago this weekend we started our deployment and said good-bye!

Our year of deployment is over, it actually ended early!!!

But this year has been like no other year in my life...