Friday, February 27, 2009

My theory on life...through flight...

Its true. I'm the "deep" blogger. Sometimes. :-) But alas...this is one of those times...

Caleb and I got to go see Joshua for his 4 day pass this week--it was AWESOME. That'll be the next blog...but while we were traveling to go see him, the Lord really showed me some good stuff...

Caleb and I were waiting anxiously in the airport in Cleveland. Ok...I was waiting anxiously. Caleb was totally chill, completely engrossed in playing with his Mario guys. Soon overhead we heard, "Ladies and gentlemen...we will begin boarding soon. We're waiting on news from Chicago. There's some bad weather there causing delays and cancellations and some flights are being rerouted. We'll keep you posted and get going as soon as possible."

Well, I immediately freak out. I sit in my chair, bouncing my knees, tapping my fingers, worrying as much as possible. You know, because things change when you worry. *insert ridiculously sarcastic face here* And I try and justify it all...because I'm only worrying because I want to spend every possible second with my husband that we haven't seen in two months...because we have reservations for a beautiful hotel that night...because I don't like flying in bad weather...because...because...because...

And I hear a whisper..."oh you of little faith..."

Right. Uh. Not me. Not me.

Thankfully, we begin boarding pretty quickly after I don't have to listen to the voices anymore. *wink* We got buckled up, settled in and got ready to say a quick prayer together before take-off. The weather in Cleveland wasn't bad. Cloudy, but nothing crazy. I was still super worried about Chicago...and then what after that? The unknown was driving me mad. As we get take off, after a sweet prayer with my little guy, I hear the whisper again...

..."how can any of you add a single minute to your life by worrying...?"

Ok, ok, I get it. And as we take off, I really get it. In my vulnerability, God showed me a beautiful picture of the theory of life...through flight.

I think many of us view life like an airplane flight. When the weather of life, our circumstances, gets really bad, we ground ourselves. We never experience the fullness of Christ or what He has for us because of our fear...our crippling keeps us down. We allow it to overcome us...instead of us being the overcomers...which His word promises us!! Sure, as we take off--if we even allow ourselves to get that far, life can be bumpy. Our circumstances can be overwhelming. Situations can seem unfair. It can feel like the "fasten seatbelt sign" never turns off!! But when we continue to press in...we break through those clouds of turbulance. And what's beyond those clouds is amazing. Its the amazing grace of God. Its the unconditional love of a Father. Its the blessing of knowing that through everything--He is faithful. Its the it always matter what. Its the same yesterday, today, forever...just like Him. :-)

Had I sat in Cleveland, continuing to worry about things out of my control...I would have never heard or seen what God wanted to remind me of that day. And if each of us sits in the holding area of our life...waiting for the weather to clear...we'll never take off. We'll never take a hold of what God has for us. So let me challenge you today to listen to the whispers--even if things seem cloudy or out of control--He'll never leave you or forsake you.

Live in the moment...for today. There's always good things beyond the turbulance.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

My Last Blog From Fort Sill

Well...this is last blog from Fort Sill. I'm still here for a little while longer but I'm about to have my internet shut down. We're not sure exactly when we're leaving but we're all getting ready. As I look back at it, it has actually been a quick two months. And last night as we were packing and preparing to get ready to go on pass to see our families, I actually started to become very nervous and anxious about what I was about to embark on. So far the worse thing I've had to overcome was being away from my family and dealing with some new faces. But as I laid in bed last night, it really hit me that I was going to be heading overseas and heading to a war-stricken land. Granted, I am in the best possible spot I could be in for a deployment. I'm not going to be kicking in doors or running convoys, I should be on a very comfy base. But the simple fact still remains that I'm going to be there. And while I'm so excited to spend Saturday through Wednesday with Meg and Caleb, I'm also very nervous for the days that will follow. I guess that it is simple human nature to be nervous about the things we don't know. Lots of guys have been saying, "when I was deployed..." or "guys I know said..." but still, there is something scary about the unknown. Something scary about the fact that I can't pickup my cell phone and make a call. Something scary about the fact that I will be half a world away from my family. But I can say that I can take strength in knowing that God is the Master Planner and he knows what is best. To know that no matter what happens, good and bad, that His will be done. And as I proceed forward, two Bible verses come to mind for me.

Proverbs 16:3: Commit your works to the Lord and your plans will be established.

Philippians 4:13: I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

While I'm still nervous about leaving soon, I can rest knowing that God will give me the strength I need. That I will continue to work on behalf of the Lord and make sure my conversations are full of salt (Colossians 4:5-6) for His glory. As I said when I originally heard about my deployment, "the Will of God will not take you somewhere the Strength of God cannot protect you."

Thank you all so much for all the support you have given my family and to me. It is a blessing and a pleasure to have you in our lives.

I'm looking forward to blogging again from Iraq (maybe Kuwait).


Sunday, February 15, 2009

Love Is Something That You Do

I went for a long time in life thinking love was something that was just "easy" when you found the right person. That when you were with that person that everything would fall into place and no matter the circumstances, you would overcome it. Well...anyone that is older than 12 years of age and has actually been in a lasting relationship (or seen one) knows that love is something that you either make better daily or it is something that can fall to the wayside. I'd like to believe that Meg and I have figured out a lot of that. While we've only been married just shy of 6 years and together 8 1/2 total years, we have found out a lot about each other and what it takes to make your love grow daily.

I was very fortunate in life to have my parents stay together (and still are today) and they were a good model for me. They made me see that no matter what, come hell or high water, you stay together. You made this commitment and you are going to stay with it. I was also fortunate to see them love one another and want to be with each other. Meg and I have have the same thoughts on this. That we're going to make it work. And now matter what, I know I can depend on her, and she on me, that we'll be there for each other tomorrow. But the question still remains, how does that love grow daily? the title of this blog, love is something that you do. Thus making it an action. Something you purposely and willingly participate in. I've decided that I want to be happy with this woman that I've vowed to spend the rest of my life with. With this woman that I can honestly say has made me into a better man. So with all that being said, I guess here are some of the tips I've done to try and intentionally love my wife.

1. Try not to lose the feeling of excitement to see and be with each other. Remember when you were first dating or first getting to know each other? There was no obstacle too big, no cost too great, no need for sleep, no date too boring. You were excited just to be with that person and spend the time with them; regardless of what you were doing or regardless of how much sleep you didn't get. Or if it was you Spring Break and you still were getting up at 7:00am just to take her to physical therapy. :-)

2. Don't be afraid to apologize. No matter what our argument, one of us is going to extend the olive branch. And I'm happy to say that it is never the same person. I'll extend it this time, she'll extend it next. The important thing is that after we've become frustrated with each other and walk away from the situation, we're both ready to come back to it and talk and work out a solution.

3. Don't go to bed upset...or at least don't wake up angry. Meg and I are two totally different communicators. I'm a yeller. I blurt out what I'm thinking and then I'm good. Five minutes after an argument I'm ready to go get ice cream together. Meg is a processor. She takes it all in, evaluates what I said, analyses what I meant by it, formulates a good response and then comes and talks to me about it. The problem with our different styles is the amount of time my takes versus hers. Like I said, after about 5 minutes, I'm good to go. She needs a little longer than that. It used to bother me. I was ready to make up and move on and she needed me out of her face (for that whole processing thing). So I would go to bed thinking this would carry over until tomorrow and here should come, 2:00 in the morning and wanting to talk. Once the two of figured all this out, communication definitely became easier. So now I know that even if we go to bed upset, we 'll be talking about it soon enough.

4. Learn to speak their Love Language. There is a book out there called "The Five Love Languages". When Meg first told me about this book, I thought she was talking about something a bunch of drug-inspired hippies would be reading. However, I stopped and read this book and found there is a some great things in there and we all communicate differently. My love language is physical touch (and not necessarily like that). I love to be with her. To hold her hand, rub her back, have her play with my hair while I'm driving. I love to know she is right there. Her love language is quality time. She loves it if I'll sit down and watch a chick flick, go on a picnic, take her on a walk. Just to have the time for us. Understanding and deliberately speaking the other's language is vital.

5. Make love a priority. Like I already said, love is something that you do. Being on this deployment has made me see even more how much I love my wife. That I hate being away from her everyday. How much I appreciate the little things we did for each other and how much I can't wait to be back to her. And even though we're apart daily, I know our love is growing stronger for one another.

I guess this blog is long enough so I'll wrap it all up. I wish I could tell you what my inspiration was to write this blog but I keep coming back to the same answer, "I love my wife".

Happy Valentines Day!!


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

What happened to Indiana Jones?

So I guess this blog is just a random thought going through my head. Since I've had some free time here, I've been watching a bunch of movies. My wife was wonderful enough to alphabetize my movies and I just got through watching the first 3 Indiana Jones movies. Man, I forgot how great those movies are. I think one of the things I love most about the movies is the how mystical, yet enchanting they are. Even if it was the Ark sucking the life out of Nazi's, some pagan dude ripping the hearts out of people or Dr. Jones walking across a bridge of faith and fighting the 700 year old knight. These three movies had a plot line that pulled you in and made them a part of Hollywood history (and if you try right now, you can hear the Indiana Jones theme music playing your head). But I have to ask, what happened to the 4th installment to this series. Was the general public begging for fourth movie so bad that they had to stretch so bad as to bring aliens into it? I mean, when Harrison Ford and Steven Spielberg read the story they were like, "whoa, we have a real winner here". Don't get me wrong-it was an entertaining flick but it seemed like it lacked something. In fairness, I only saw the movie once and that was right when it came out in the theaters so I'm willing to say I need to see it again and give it another go round. But still...aliens. OIY!!!

Monday, February 9, 2009

So here is what's going on

Its been a while since I gave an update to my wonderful life here at Fort Sill. Our training is just about done. I've had to do a lot of makeup training over the past couple of weeks. Apparently my new unit did a lot of their stuff ahead of time so me and some other late-comers had to play catchup. Anyway, all is well. I've taken some classes on basic soldier skills, I've given a class about Code of Conduct, I had to qualify with the M16 (shot 38/40) and overall have received some good training. All last week, Feb 2-6, we were doing Mounted Combat Patrol (MCP). We were cruising around in hummers as if we were on convoy in Iraq. Everything was staged of course but we would be hit with IED attacks, ambushes, gas attacks, what to do with a broke down vehicle and causalities. It was all very excellent training that I'm hoping/anticipating that I won't have to put to use.

Life in the barracks is going. Overall, most of the guys are great guys but some are starting to drive me a little crazy. Since I consider myself a patient man...oh wait... The problem I think I'm running into is I've been seeing these faces everyday for a while with no break in the routine. We get a 4-day pass in 2 weeks so that should help some.I've been watching a lot of my DVDs and getting really good at Mahjong on the computer. I've never played before I got here but I'm totally addicted now. I've also learned a new card game-Hand and Foot. It's a lot of fun as well.

I'm pretty excited about our pass. Meg and Caleb are coming out here so it will be a great couple of days. I'm so excited to see them but I'm dreading to say the goodbyes again. It was hard enough the first time. Caleb told me tonight on the phone that he missed me (knife to the heart). I miss them so much.

Thanks again to everyone for everything. I'm off to play a little Hand and Foot.

Deeper than a puddle???

So Meg and I were talking today about me writing a post to our blog and I sort of chuckled. I told her that she always writes the "deep" stuff on our blog and I always write the "what up" blogs. And as I said that it really made me think about our relationship and I think that sums up a little part of our relationship and where we've come to. I think when we first met, I was definitely a little lost in where I was going in life and didn't have a clear direction. I think she was a little too directed and didn't allow any wiggle room. She knew what she wanted and was going to get there. I'd like to believe that we have balanced each other a little and we both see that other side. And please don't get me wrong, I can do the big speeches when I have to and she definitely knows how to cut it loose (just ask her about the time she slipped and fell in the kitchen). But overall, she keeps us grounded and I keep us goofy. It works for us.

While I'm on the topic of my wife and our relationship, I just want to tell everyone how incredibly proud of her I am. I've been gone over 5 weeks and I think some of the reality of my absence is starting to set in on us both. I don't think in a bad way. We're just coming to terms with it. In the time I've been gone, Meg has done some pretty incredible things. She has tackled our finances, is acting as both parents, handled a burst ear drum of Caleb and some other personal illnesses of her own. And not to mention that full time teaching gig she does on the side. And I could not be more proud of her. She has been keeping everything running smooth on the home front for me.

And to everyone that has given a helping hand to my family, "Thank you". As I've said before, I could not do what I have to do without knowing that my family is taken care of.

I love them so much and they are my everything.