For the longest time I have wanted to blog. I love reading my friends' blogs, but I just wasn't sure what I wanted to write about and time is always a factor. However, I became inspired watching the news tonight. There was a story about an Army Reservist's family and how they got through a year without their husband. I can relate. My husband is in the AGR (Active Guard Reserves), and this summer he deployed for a year to Iraq. It's not been easy on us. I'm home with three small children, ages 4 and under, and he's working 12+ hours seven days a week with people who tend to drive him crazy. I'm proud of him and what he does, but sometimes I miss him so much it hurts. A part of me wants to chronicle the rest of this deployment, how God strengthened us, and it's something I know we will one day be able to look back on this and smile.
Today we made it through what I feared would be one of the hardest days of the deployment. We love to celebrate Christmas in our family, and I've tried very hard to "normalize" things for my kids. I decorated the house, watched the Christmas movies, read the Christmas books, sent out the cards, and went through the advent story. We even managed a trip to the in-laws home for Christmas which turned out a lot better than what I was expecting. It's not ideal, but we've made it by God's grace. I think this whole experience has somehow made the true story of Christmas more real to me. The first Christmas was not in an ideal situation, but Mary and Joseph made the best of it, to God's glory.
Although having my husband deployed has been difficult, we have been so blessed. God has provided an amazing support group in an area we have not lived for a whole year. My husband and I can also talk every day and occasionally do the webcam. We are at about the halfway point of this deployment, and it feels that time has gone by quickly. The last few months may drag by, so this will keep me occupied (among my other hobbies and activities.) We stay busy, but that's good. Because my husband is not here physically to protect us, I won't use my children's real names nor his name. I probably won't even reveal where we live, but I look forward to this being a great outlet for all those thoughts that come to mind that I just need to get off my chest.