By the time you read, this Thanksgiving will be over and we will be counting down the days until Christmas. However, as I write I’m preparing for Thanksgiving, so stay with me.
I look ahead to both the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday with mixed emotions.
My family will spend Thanksgiving apart. I will be off to see my husband for the last time before he deploys and our children will both be in different states.
Our two boys have said their goodbyes to their father and there were many tears. Now it will be my turn. I tell myself it isn't goodbye as those words are so final, but ten months is a long time to be apart. I'm reminded to be grateful for the beautiful gift of Skype.
Christmas will come and my husband will be in Afghanistan. The rest of the family will be together—a gift from God indeed.
I did not marry into a military life.
After twenty years of marriage, my husband and son enlisted. Our son was the first to enlist. His enlistment then inspired my husband, at the age of 41, to pursue his dream of becoming a soldier. I'm overcome with pride every time I see them in uniform.
For the most part, this new military life has not had a profound impact in our daily life. Our son has remained in the states so far and we see him somewhat often. Since my husband serves as a Reservist, he only reports one weekend a month at a base forty minutes from our home. Two weeks a year he is gone “playing Army” as we call it.
A new season has come.
Are we ready? Can we ever really be ready?
It's hard to imagine letting go of my husband. He has become the spiritual leader in our home. He is the one who inspires me to keep seeking God with all my heart.
I know blessings can be found, because I’m counting them.
The biggest blessing: discovering how much we need Him. The past several months our faith has been strengthened. God is with us. He is our rock.
Lately I've been reflecting on the verse from Matthew 6:34: Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
It would be easy for me to worry right now. The future is uncertain with my husband soon headed to war. But what good would worry do? Instead I am finding the blessings in today. They are there. I’m writing them down. I’m saying them out loud. I am thanking God for them.
Praise the Lord! Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever! ~ Psalm 106:1
No matter what we face…no matter the uncertainty, we can count our blessings. Here are a few I’ve counted today:
#1 – The many prayers being lifted from family and friends.
#2 – Finding support from others military wives; we do not make this journey alone.
#3 – Preparing the first care package for my soldier.
What blessings have you counted? I’d love for you to share in the comments.
Beth Stiff is a wife, mom of two boys, and a mother-in-law. They are a military family with her husband in the Army Reserves and her oldest son in the Navy. Through over 20 years of marriage, Beth and her husband have been through a lot, but their love for each other is stronger than ever.
Beth loves Jesus, family, friends, reading, and a hot cup of coffee to begin her day. She writes on her blog, Simply Beth, about how her relationship with Jesus has changed her life. Her promise is to always speak from the heart...to speak with love.