Getting Through Deployments

Month one- get something done

     Whatever is on your to-do list that you have been putting off, get it done. = great distraction
 
Month two- something for you
     Do something special for your deployed spouse. A special care package, a photo session and send a framed photo, etcetera. 
 
Month three- something for me
     You deserve it, go pamper yourself or buy something you want. Reward yourself for getting this far. 
 
Month four- get out the door
     Plan a trip- it doesn’t have to be far away or expensive, but plan an outing to do this month or when your spouse returns 
 
Month five- come alive
     Do something that makes you come alive. What is your passion? Dancing, painting, hiking, karaoke, etc. Plan and do something that excites you!
 
Month six- weekly mix
     Every week of this month, pick one thing to do from below:
          A) Make a playlist of music that represents your relationship
          B) Bake something and take it to another spouse of a deployed Soldier
          C) volunteer- give of your time and talents somewhere in your community (or your FRG!)
          D) get organized- go through your closets, cabinets, desks, and nooks and crannies and clean out the old (don’t be a hoarder- get rid if anything you haven’t used in a year or documents over 7 years old)
 
Month seven – just like heaven
     Make a list of all the things you miss about your spouse that makes your marriage heaven. One another piece of paper, write down anything that you don’t miss that YOU do when they are home. Now, take the two lists and make a goal to do more of list one and less of list two upon their return. (Each deployment / separation is an opportunity to see the good and the bad we are cultivating in our marriage. Take the time to take stock in what you have and where YOU can change *this is not about changing THEM)
 
Month eight- can’t wait
     Make a list of all of the things you can’t wait to do with your spouse. This can be a running list that you add to everyday. Keep a copy for yourself and send them one so you both can anticipate the reunion. 
 
Month nine- it is time. 
     This will be the longest month and the shortest. So much to do. Get involved with the FRG, if you haven’t already, and plan the reunion. Volunteer to help with the single Soldiers’ barracks, the welcome home decorating, and the reunion events. The more involved you are the faster this month will go!

When it Looks Hopeless

One of my favorite stories in the Bible is about Esther. She replaced Vashti as queen, who disrespected her husband the king. Nobody knew she was a Jew besides Mordecai, who raised her.

 

While Mordecai was sitting in the king’s gate, he overheard a plot by two of the king’s eunuchs. They were furious and wanted to lay hands on King Ahasuerus. When Mordecai told the matter to Esther, she informed the king and he had it written in the book of the chronicles.

 

Some time goes by before Haman, the highest in command, even above the princes, sought to kill Mordecai. He did not care for him because Mordecai would not pay homage to Haman because he was a Jew. Haman plotted to kill Mordecai and found a way by going after his people, the Jews. With the king’s approval, Haman wrote a decree against the Jews, guaranteeing Mordecai’s death.

 

 

We have all been there; a place where everything is set against us. It looks hopeless and we cannot see how God is going to get us out of the place we find ourselves. You may be there right now. If you are, I want you to take note of how God worked Mordecai’s situation out:

 

Queen Esther agrees to go before the king to save the Jews, even though to do so was risking her life. Back then, unless the king summoned her, she could not approach him. When she did, she found favor with the king and he asked her what she wished, up to half the kingdom. (She had serious favor with him)

 

She asks that he and Haman join her for a banquet.

 

What? Your people are about to die and you want to throw a party? That was my first thought when I read that. Then, when I saw she did it again, asked him to come to another party while at the aforementioned banquet, I figured she was stalling. Let’s see what happens:

 

Mordecai was overjoyed that he alone was invited to this banquet with the king and his bride. He even bragged to his friends and family about it. Yet, when he saw Mordecai, who would still not bow to him (don’t ever give in to your enemy), he became enraged and sulked.

 

“Then his wife Zeresh and all his friends said to him, “Let a gallows be made, fifty cubits high, and in the morning suggest to the king that Mordecai be hanged on it; then go merrily with the king to the banquet.” 

And the thing pleased Haman; so he had the gallows made. 

So Mordecai now has two threats on his life. Looks hopeless, doesn’t it? Check out what happens:

 

It says in Esther 6 that the king couldn’t sleep that night. He gets up and decides to read from the book of the chronicles. While reading, he finds how Mordecai had saved his life from the disgruntled employees. Not only that, but Haman is wondering around in the court, so the king summons him.

 

Of all people, the king asks Haman what should be done for the man the king wishes to honor. Haman, believing the king must be talking about him, draws this glorious picture of the man riding on one of the king’s choice horses with a robe the king has worn, all while it is proclaimed, “Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delights to honor!”

 

So, first we see how God woke the king up to discover the goodness of Mordecai. (Those good deeds you thought nobody saw- God did, and He’ll use them when/if needed) Then, Haman is the one who decides how you should be honored, but doesn’t realize it’s for you so he makes it good. (“The wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous” Proverbs 13:22- The enemy will pay for your blessings) Finally, Haman goes to the banquet with the king and Esther reveals that he tried to kill her people and the king hangs Haman on the very gallows he had built for Mordecai.

 

God will work things out. Don’t be discouraged, no matter where you find yourself today. If you remain faithful to your Lord, He will come through for you!

God did something… what was it?

All too often in our lives we can recount all of the funny episodes of our days but struggle to remember the things God has done on a daily basis. Are we walking through life ungrateful?

 Well, if you want to be truthful with yourself you’d see that you are.

Things we miss out of because we’re too busy complaining, are desensitized by society or have put things before our relationship with God are:

The fact that we woke up this morning

Our health

Our needs being met

Our salvation – so many people are praying for their loved one’s salvation and yet we all seem to forget to thank God for our own. It truly is the greatest miracle and yet we overlook it as something to be grateful for.

Those times God makes a way when there didn’t seem to be a way

There are so many things that God does, gives, says to us that we pass up the opportunity to thank Him for because we don’t consider the blessing it really is to have a God that speaks to us, works on our behalf and has in store for us.

Why not spend a moment today just thinking about the things He’s done for you this week? I bet you could list a dozen or more.

God does something every second. Try and point some out. They’ll make your problems, fears and failures a lot smaller.

I Want to Love

I listened to your unfeigned voice,
the emotion in your falsetto;
I watched your face illuminate
as you sang about your love;
Hearing the words you chose,
such sweet poetry of the heart.
I want to love this one you know.

Put the needle of hope in my arm.
Place the tape of optimism
to secure it there.
As I count back from 5
Let me fall
Into love like this
As I count back from 4
Let me live.

You create a brand new zeitgeist,
the candor in your song.
The evident way you love them
paints an enviable bliss.
Your convincing melody is
an anesthetic to my pessimism.
I want to love this one you know.

Put the needle of hope in my arm.
Place the tape of optimism
to secure it there.
As I count back from 3
Let me fall
Into love like this
As I count back from 2
Let me live.

You articulate my dreams well;
the ones that carry me to heaven.
You cauterize this hemorrhaging heart
stabbed by a cruelty of selfishness.
Your ability, willingness, to open up
to want for beyond yourself.
I want to love this one you know.

Put the needle of hope in my arm.
Place the tape of optimism
to secure it there.
As I count back from 1
Let me fall
Into love like this
Into love like this

Golgotha beats a Full house

Place the hot coals on my lips
As I deny such a disquieting vice
Rip off the fingers that reach
For the pistol prepared for roulette
Sear my eyes closed while I walk
Down aisles offering to satiate
Shove a stick or two and beat my drums
So I no longer hear these demons hum
A ransom has been offered
For the child to come back to Sheol
Back where she can play and laugh
Laugh at
Emptiness
Foolishness
Randomness
Ignorance
Stupidity
Tripping
Slipping
Sinking
Further
Down.
Place the paper on these trembling legs
As I try to pen some of these feelings out
Rid myself of haunting words
For a chance to rest tonight
Sear the portal existing
Down in the nadir of despair
Shove back the devils that tempt
So tonight I do not succumb
A ransom was offered
For this child to overcome
Back on a cross at Golgotha

Strangers so Close

Don’t judge

you really don’t know me

You can tell me what my favorite color is

it doesn’t mean you know the color of my heart.

You know what my favorite song is

but you don’t understand the song of my soul.

You recognize my voice in a crowd

but you’ve never really heard me

You accept all of my idiocycracies

but you really don’t get me

You really don’t know me

Don’t judge

Surrounded and Alone

Seven people live in his house

but he was all alone.

Six people work in the same room as him

but he was all alone.

Five days a week he has lunch with three

but he was all alone.

Four hours on Friday he plays cards

but he was all alone.

Three siblings in his family, all very close

but he was all alone.

Two years now he’s been married

but he was all alone.

One is the only one who could save him

from being all alone.