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God has a plan, now what is it?!

Apr 30, 2015 by

God has a plan, now what is it?!

I am the wife of an American soldier and I do not like deployments.

I am proud of my husband, his career, my country and its flag but I am not a fan of Murphy, or his law. For those readers who are not military families, let me just say that Murphy always shows up at precisely the worst moment, immediately following the most horrible day, and always when my husband is a half a world away.

I am the wife of an American soldier and I do not like deployments. Click To Tweet
I also don’t like going to bed alone at night, and I’m not a fan of the chaos that ensues right before or after a trip. I hate the way my emotions get the best of me, and I can sometimes be mean without intending to.

 
I love the ability to see my loved one’s faces when they are very, very far away but I dislike Facetime.

 

However,  this is the life we chose and we choose to love it despite all the crumminess that comes along for the ride.

 
So, when my husband says that he’s considering getting out of the military  I am surprised that I don’t feel an immediate sense of relief.
I always expect that angels will sing and soft music will play and all my worries will just melt away…It’s not that this is the first time the conversation has been brought up at our dinner table, and I’m certain it won’t be the last. However, when he turns on his serious voice and starts talking about civilian job opportunities, it always seems more real.

How to decide to stay in the military, Military Reenlistment, Why to reenlist, Military Families

There are a lot of things on the table here: living in the same place permanently, enjoying holidays together as a family, taking planned vacations, starting a family, and having weekends off…but the thought of the looming unknown makes me nervous. He’s mentioned this idea before and we’ve struggled with the idea that the “grass is always greener”. I’ve never really thought that life without the military was really part of our reality, and the idea that it is, is a little overwhelming.

 
Our normal is not like your normal, but it’s ours. I’m not entirely sure how we would define ourselves if our life moved toward the civilian. I feel like I should be celebrating the idea of a different, more mundane, lifestyle. Instead, I feel apprehensive. Isn’t the economy still in the tank? Where do people with my husband’s skill set even begin looking for jobs? Will he like doing something else or will he find every new career opportunity boring in comparison? Will he still like me if he has to spend consecutive months in a row with me? (Yes, I know he will but still that thought crosses my mind sometimes.) Where will we live if we get to choose our location? What if we struggle to find work, how will we make ends meet?

 
Obviously everyone gives us the advice to just take it one day at a time. Clearly that will not work when you have to make re-enlistment decisions on a deadline, but we are trying. And we pray. We pray for guidance and for clarity, we pray that God will grant us peace with whatever decision we make and help to lead us toward the path he would have us take. I know that whatever lies ahead we will decide together and we will make a difference in this crazy world of ours. I know that no matter what we choose at the end of the day, we choose together and I’m so grateful to be holding this man’s hand as we venture into the unknown.

 
I wish I had answers and a crystal ball, but until then we will just soldier on. Click To Tweet

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Why girlfriends are important…

Apr 27, 2015 by

Why girlfriends are important…

Making friends as an adult is hard. When you’re a child, making friends is the easiest thing in the world, for instance: I can’t remember a time that I ever went to a public pool and wound up swimming alone as a kid. When you’re young all you need is one common link and suddenly: BOOM, you’re friends. I met Christina on a family vacation and we were instant friends because we both had Tweety Bird bathing suits. It was that easy.

I read somewhere recently that you need to treat your friendships like works of art. Invest in them, tend to them, display them, patch them up when they start to fall apart. I don’t know that I have been particularly good at this lately. There are tons of articles and research online indicating that one of the most important things you can do for your health and well-being is to cultivate and maintain excellent friendships. I think as an adult it is not only difficult to make new friends, but it becomes increasingly complex to make time for those we already have.

I’ve noticed that in my life those gals who I am able to make friendship a priority with are those who also make me a priority in theirs, and the one common factor: these are my Christian friends. For the most part, the women who make a focused effort on maintaining friendship are those who also have a strong relationship with Christ.

So what’s the correlation? Jesus led the way in our examples of friendship. The bible tells us time and time again of Jesus selflessly giving of his time, his trust, his heart to those he cared about.

Genuine friendship shows itself in those moments where I am able to pick up the phone and dial a friend whom I haven’t talked to in months, and we are able to pick up right where we left off. I love that these friendships exist not only for what it they get in return but they are real friendship which look at the heart and fill my needs as well. This has been increasingly important to me, given that I live across the country from all of my life-long gal pals.

Having great friends is largely a matter of being a great friend Click To Tweet

Having great friends is largely a matter of being a great friend, something I find myself constantly working on, but those women who are able to do this well, are also those women I am not embarrassed to ask to pray for me. I think there’s a clear pattern here.

Last Thursday I had an extremely a rough day, I had a mile-long to do list and I really didn’t feel like I had time for my monthly girls-night-out, but I found myself sitting in a fondue restaurant anyway,  surrounded by six women from my bible study at church. We chatted and discussed personal goals and successes we’ve had this month, we celebrated a dear friend’s birthday, and we laughed. I had been having a rough week and in those moments around the table I was reminded why these ladies are so important. I was reminded why it is important to make time, even when I don’t feel like I have any to spare. On days when I’m feeling low, or I’ve forgotten why I sparkle, our friends remember: They remind us about our passions, our joys, our successes. They push us to focus on our own values and dreams. They ask us if we’re happy, why we’re sad, and they know when we’re lying. Friends question how we are doing—and really want to know the answer.

Friends question how we are doing—and really want to know the answer. Click To Tweet

I remembered, later that night, that I had prayed for them. These women. I had asked God to send me strong, Christian friends, and he answered my prayers. I had just started a new job last fall, and knew no one. My husband was deploying and I was facing the mountain high anxiety that comes with being left alone in a city where I knew very few people. I had started attending a church, but it was one of those huge mega-churches where you can easily become invisible… I was lonely and scared, and depressed. So I prayed. I prayed that God would send me friends, that he would help me to find my place, and that I could feel at home here. I prayed that he would help me to stay connected to friends from afar too, and that he would lead me on a path toward feeling content. He led me to this group of women in a bible study, these women who don’t judge me, and who pour their hearts into real relationships, these women who know some of my deepest darkest secrets, and who still embody Christ’s love for me. They were answers to prayers, and I had forgotten that.

…one of the ways that I am choosing to invest more into my girlfriends this month is to consistently remember to pray for them. To pray for their well-being, to pray that they continue to be a part of my life, to pray for clarity in my priorities so that I can add them to my to-do list with a grateful heart.

How do you invest in your friendships? invest in friendship

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Words are Hard. (And other reasons I’m a bad communicator)

Apr 23, 2015 by

Words are Hard. (And other reasons I’m a bad communicator)

Right now, right this minute I am struggling with communicating my feelings. I’m having a hard time putting into words how I feel about this military life we lead. I’ve mentioned before that I have come to identify myself as a military wife….and the idea of not being one is a little bit daunting. Who will I be if I can no longer be my flag waving, patriotic, self-sacrificing self?

There are so many things I wish I could tell my husband about how I’m feeling that I can’t really put into words. Even if I were to try, I’m afraid he wouldn’t understand where my heart is in this. if I can’t understand it, how could I ever expect him to? Every time I try to bring it up it winds up sounding something like. “Ugh! I hate everything… wanna make out?”

Why is communication so difficult in our relationship? In any relationship?

Because we are not mind readers. I forget that sometimes. After several years of marriage I expect him to just “get me” a little bit more than is reasonable. Then, I find myself wondering if what I’m feeling is the same as what he is feeling but neither of us can figure out how to express ourselves.

 

How to listen to your spouse |What God says about Communication | www.lovetheeveryday,comI think the major issue is that I don’t try to talk about just one problem at a time. When I think about making a plan for hubby’s career, I also start to think about my career, our home, our family, our plans for the future, moving, friendships lost or gained, traveling, vacation plans, retirement savings, health insurance, if double-stuff Oreos actually are double stuffed, and so on. I can’t focus on just one issue at a time. I am not a good multi-tasker. If too many things are going on in my brain I’m likely to miss important details. Details that might sway the situation in one way or another… I am also likely to explode.I am also likely to explode. Click To Tweet

So the things I am discovering are:

  1. One major decision or conversation at a time.
  2. Speak with Love
  3. Be Quiet and Listen

I’m also getting to the point where it is possible that maybe, (just maybe) I am getting frustrated with my hubby over his indecisiveness. I have to learn that whatever I say to him needs to be said with love. I feel like I need to pray for guidance in choosing my words carefully because I don’t want to sound like I am being an irrational bitch   selfish in speaking to him about this.

Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. Ephesians 4:15

 

Lastly, I don’t feel like he is listening to me, I mean really listening. Of course, I don’t know what I’m saying either, but that’s not really the point here.I recognize that listening is a two way street, but he’s pretty craptastic at it.

I just want him to sit down and listen to my convoluted views and opinions without saying anything until I’m finished. Why is that so difficult for men? He typically wants to reason everything out with logic and solutions. I don’t want solutions, I just want him to listen. In turn, I know that I need to be able to hear him out as well without reacting. (Is eye rolling a reaction?)

I don’t want solutions, I just want him to listen. Click To Tweet

In James 1:19 we are reminded___my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.

So while my brain is doing this:

“Get out of the army now!” , “Stay in the army forever!” ,”Who will pay the bills while you look for a job?” , “How awesome it would be if you were home for the holidays!”

My heart is doing this:

“Hear me, please just hear me.”

Now…If I could just figure out what to say.

How to Communicate| What the Bible says about COMMUNICATION | www.lovetheeveryday.com

 

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You are Beautiful! | beauty

Apr 21, 2015 by

You are Beautiful! | beauty

Teen girls are hurting themselves in the name of beauty, and it is the most ridiculous thing I have heard in a very long time. It was all over social media this morning and its pretty heartbreaking! Why does beauty have so many constrictions and expectations?

Take a look at the Kylie Jenner Challenge .

The overall premise is this:

  • Grab a shot glass.
  • Place over mouth.
  • Suck really hard.
  • Leave for ridiculous amount of time.
  • Remove to reveal voluptuous, plump lips…..

  Or serious bruising and scar tissue.

The idea is that by creating an air lock on their mouth they will be left with the perfect, full, pouty lips they see on TV stars…. They are 12 and 13 years old. They want to be beautiful and fit in. They are not very smart.

For some reason this idea took off over the weekend. When I walked into my classroom this morning I had two 7th graders with bruises and scars. What????!!!

Apparently teenagers everywhere are trying to replicate the look of reality TV start Kylie Jenner. Although she is lovely, the students in my classroom this morning with bruised and swollen lips are not. I cannot fathom why they think this is a good idea, and it makes me very sad. Beauty is not on the outside, beauty reflects the whole person!

I want to tell them they are beautiful. They are perfect. They are loved.I want to tell them they are beautiful. They are perfect. They are loved. Click To Tweet

And so, here is my open letter to teenage girls everywhere:

Dear Teenage Girl:

I know that being a teenager is confusing and awful and hard. There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to feel sexy, wanting to feel important, or wishing people would notice you. I hope you feel empowered to do whatever you want to do to stand out, be noticed, change the world… but I hope you do so in healthy ways, in ways that you can feel proud of. I hope you develop the confidence it takes to be able to distinguish the inner beauty you possess, and to notice the beauty of strangers. I hope you grow up to be kind, and to appreciate the world around you. Mostly, today, I hope you know that:

  • You are beautiful and talented and full of potential.
  • You do not need to emulate ridiculous reality TV stars.
  • Suctioning a glass bottle to your lips is a very, very bad idea.
  • None of the Kardashians are role models.

Love,

Me

 

Open Letter to Teenage Girls | www.lovetheeveryday.com | Kylie Jenner Challenge

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Beyond Chicken Soup: How to Survive a Weekend When You’re Sick in Bed

Apr 20, 2015 by

Beyond Chicken Soup: How to Survive a Weekend When You’re Sick in Bed

I spent the weekend sick on the couch with strep throat. I don’t know if I’ve ever experienced such a terrible sore throat. Adults are not meant to get childhood sicknesses, my body did not like that! I thought I would love spending whole days curled up with hot tea and hours of Netflix stretching out before me…. But after a few hours I was stir crazy and bored. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the energy to move much, and felt terrible. It was a vicious circle. So I came up with these ideas to get me (and you) through a sick spell, or a rainy day…

  1. Plan your meals for the week by flipping through rarely used cookbooks and stopping on random pages. I have the most beautiful cookbooks, with hundreds of mouth-watering recipes for easy, week night meals…that I have never, ever looked at. WithPinterest and Google and a busy 40+ hour work week, who has time to flip through cook books when I can just type what I’m looking for into my phone andKAPOW there’s the recipe right in front of me? I loved having some uninterrupted time to fawn over the glossy pages and beautiful pictures in the cookbooks on my shelves.

  2. Write a letter to your favorite teacher. I recently received a nice note from a former student as she is about to graduate from college. She mentioned how I always made her feel special and she appreciated all the time I took to make sure she came to school, and how encouraged she was by my attitude and genuine concern for her well-being. This made me think about how much some of my former teachers meant to me, and how nice it is to get real mail in the mail box.

  3. Make your favorite “sick-time” beverage. For me, it’s a hot toddy, but you can skip the alcohol and just make a fabulous cup of tea too!

My hot toddy recipe of choice:

  • 1 oz Irish whiskey
  • 1 tea bag steeped in 1 cup of hot water (I used a plain black tea for mine, but any herbal blend would be good too!)
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • ½ tsp ground ginger, or slice of fresh ginger steeped in hot water
  • 1 wedge of lemon squeezed, then steeped in tea
  • Stir with a cinnamon stick
  •  Mix all ingredients together. Drink. Repeat.

 

  1. Start a blog. Or Read a blog. Nothing hits closer to home for me than this. I love when people read my blog. So I spent some time spreading the love this weekend. Bloggers love visitors and comments, and new readers, and feeling important. (Maybe we are all a little self-centered….or maybe we just want to share incredibly helpful and interesting things with all of you!)

 

Here are my current favorite reads:

 

  • Oak and Oats: Where Elizabeth writes about all things adorable and happy and wholesome. She’s positive and cute and spunky and all the things that we here at Love the Everyday can fully support. Also she’s a fellow Colorado love and that hits close to my heart. Check her out.

 

  • Of course I couldn’t help but mention Kathryn at Singing through the Rain. She’s not only been super inspiring to me personally, and hundreds of other military spouses, but she’s also been supportive of my blogging and featured me as a guest blogger on her site a few times. (Maybe I’m a little biased, but I heart her). Aside from that she too has a newly found love of Colorado. (are you sensing a theme?)

 

 

  • My current guilty pleasure is to live vicariously through Brittany and Ryan over at In Some Places as they chronicle their lives as teachers in foreign countries. Someday perhaps I’ll get the nerve up to just chase that dream, until then, I’m going to read on.

 

  1. Lastly, I know this sounds silly. But watch your favorite childhood movie. I am not kidding, I curled up with my hot toddy, my blog reading list, my puppies and The Brave Little Toaster. I suffered through the weekend, but I loved these quiet moments with some of my favorite things.

 

What are your favorite ways to beat a sickness?

Sick in Bed? How to entertain yourself. | www.lovetheeveryday.com

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