We are basically in paradise right now. Well, MY definition of paradise. I love the SUN. I love the beach. I love the sand. I love the water. I LOVE that we are a block away, so I don't have to bring a whole days worth of stuff, b/c it's easy to just head back home real fast, if I forget something or need something. I LOVE opening my door or window and hearing the waves crashing the sand. I love the atmosphere. It truly is PERFECT to me. It's even better that it's winter season - and instead of snow, I'm enjoying sand.
There's just one problem. There's this whole deployment to Afghanistan thing looming overhead. Every single day. I wake up every morning and think, one more day down :-( Chris walks through the door every night - and SMILING, I ask him, "So, did they tell you today not to worry about going to Afghanistan and that they don't need you anymore?!"
I know the reality. The reality is that he leaves in about 2 weeks, AND the reality of that kind of stinks. You'd think with this being his 3rd combat deployment that they would all get easier, but they don't. Maybe this one is heavily weighing on me, because with the other 2, we pretty much had a definitive time frame for his return. With this one, it could be 7 months (best case) or 10 months or 12 months (ouch). So, in my mind, there isn't that "light at the end of the tunnel" to focus on, b/c I don't know WHERE the end of the tunnel is. Maybe this one is heavily weighing on me, b/c it's the first one where I have a child who somewhat understands that his Daddy is going to be leaving for an extended period of time (and yet, is somewhat confused, too). Maybe this one is heavily weighing on me, because we won't be getting that "family time" of pre-deployment leave before he has to go - just the logistics didn't work out, b/c there is too much for them to accomplish in a short amount of time before having to go. Maybe this one is heavily weighing on me because gosh, I love that man - and even though I know it's "our turn", I selfishly don't want to let him go :-) I just ENJOY (and rely) so much having his physical presence in my day to day life. Maybe this one is heavily weighing on me because well heck, I never really "saw" myself having a baby while my husband was on the opposite side of the world...
What I do know is Satan is working overtime on me right now - just trying to break me down and crush my spirit. He's trying to take my "mostly positive outlook/attitude" and turn it into constant dread. He's trying to take away that contentment that the Lord works so hard with me on (that Paul talks about in Philippians). I won't let Satan win, though - but he sure is trying.
The Lord is ALSO constantly at work in me .... helping me be content with the situations that face me in 2012. You see, I have the opportunity to be in VA for several months with family - and the boys will get to be around their grandparents and aunts/uncle - a luxury that we don't consistently get to enjoy. I also have this precious baby boy that will be born in 20 weeks. I'm halfway there ... and the main reason I know the Lord is working.... is because it's no secret I really wanted another baby - but IF we had known that Chris was going to have to deploy, I may not be pregnant right now, so I know the Lord has a plan in all of this...that started BEFORE we knew Chris was going to have to head to Afghanistan - and THAT makes me smile. BUT, even with all the exciting things happening in 2012 - I really am just dreading the whole missing Chris (well, and the whole him being in Afghanistan part), BUT the Lord has carried our family through 2 deployments - and I know He will carry us through this one...
I am really focusing on Philippians 4:6-7 right now ... a verse that is probably written in my journals from high school/college numerous times, but one that I'm 100% adopting for 2012 and especially for this deployment. I love what the New Living Translation says. "Don't worry about anything; INSTEAD PRAY about everything. TELL God what you need and THANK HIM for all he has done. If you do this, you will EXPERIENCE GOD'S PEACE, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will GUARD your HEARTS and MINDS as you live in Christ Jesus."
I'm determined to turn that fear and sadness and dread that Satan is working so hard to place in me - and TELL God about it and PRAY about it ... and experience that PEACE that is mine for the taking .... all I have to do is be willing and open to receive it. If I can do that, with the help of God (and family and friends along the way), I should be able to kick this deployments BUTT ;-)
And while I'm working on this, I'm going to ENJOY the next 2 weeks with my boys - and my wonderful husband when he's not at work - and soak up my version of paradise. The first 10 days of 2012 have been pretty darn amazing already .... Here's a look ....
Cole is all about the sand, dirt, mud, rocks, seashells....Jake, too.... but as you will see in later pictures - he especially LOVES the water.
Shout out to Daddy last week while he was at work. Wishing he was at the beach with us!
Building a volcano together.
Yes, the water is FREEZING .... but Jake could careless. He loves to jump over the waves and run from them!
Another day at the beach .... another volcano :-) I'm pretty sure Cole is collecting rocks and adding them to this structure.
Morning birthday "umbrella" drinks on the beach .... on Cole's birthday. Not too shabby for a 2nd birthday :-)
Another morning at the Harbor, enjoying hot chocolate....
and then playground at the beach .... (rough life they lead).
More beach! Can't get enough of it.
This was FUN and all ....
until Cole chucked a hand full of sand into Jake's face. That didn't go over so well.
BUT ... that crisis quickly ended - and onto more playing.
Cole found a stick - shocking :-)
Yes, we ran all the way to the pier - a couple of times, actually. The tide was SO low this day - almost scary. It allowed to the boys to cover A LOT more of the beach, which they of course loved!
Cuddled up in a blanket after showers back at home :-)
Life is good. Just pray that I really can take it 1 day at a time right now .... :-) Philippians 4:6-7 - adopt it as your 2012 verse, too! We can all use a little more PRAYER and a little PEACE in our lives :-)