Monday, March 28, 2011

Why is it so easy to be negative?

Some of my favorite bloggers and I have decided to keep the creative juices flowing by posting about a topic of the week. This week's topic is:
 Why is being positive so much harder than being negative in life?
This topic was so hard for me to address, partly because I am really struggling with this lately. My simple answer is that we take for granted our blessings in life. We are so spoiled in this country that we believe that our blessings are a right, they are expected. We forget that the daily things we enjoy could so easily be taken away from us in a flash. I think this is what makes us negative, coming from a land of opportunity. 
Being negative is EASY

I have seen and heard stories of people on mission trips who encounter natives that are so happy just living day to day. They live in shacks, with mud floors, 1 meal a day, but they are happy because they are safe. They are together as a family. Why can't that simplicity make us happy? Well, because we are spoiled. 

I think it is so much easier to look around and see what we don't have. What isn't going just perfect in our lives. What our neighbors have that we don't. What we don't seem to have enough of.

You have to remind yourself daily of all the great and wonderful things you see in your life all the time. You have to dig to really find happiness in the simplicity of life. I think we, as a society, don't want to put forth the effort to dig. We have to make it a point to do so. Can we ever truly get past our blinded view and actually just accept simplicity as happiness?

So I am challenging myself to dig daily. I am stepping back for a while from the stress of life and trying a new approach. I am just going to LIVE. I am going to enjoy the day for what it has to bring. I am going to not sweat the small stuff. Life is too short.

Life is simple. LIVE! LOVE! ENJOY!!!!



Sunday, March 27, 2011

OMG Bawl Fest (Army Wives, so spoiler alert)

 I just watched tonight's episode of Army Wives and talk about a bawl fest. I am literally sick to my stomach. I just feel like throwing up. I feel like I just experienced so many emotions that I never knew I had. And I know some of you are saying, "Gosh, it is JUST a TV show!"

Yes, it is just a TV show, but it just made every military wife and mother face their worst fear imaginable. I know our husbands signed up for this job and we knew all the risks. But, that is a risk that we push out of our heads. We don't think about those things, we can't. We can't let ourselves go there, but tonight we were forced to.

I only have daughters, but I am a mother. I can not fathom that pain of burying a child. The pain of knowing someone killed my baby. It just makes me sick thinking about it. I just can't even go there.

This episode was more than that though. We saw a military funeral. That is something that is hard to even visually see. The flag. Taps. 21 Gun salute. It is all things that we pray we never ever have to sit through. Knowing that because of who we are, military wives, that we could be sitting in that spot at anytime is just too much. 

Like I said we can't let ourselves go there

I am going to go cuddle with my Ry tonight. Soak in every last drop of him because I can. And pray the prayer of every military wife out there 

Oh Lord, Please protect my husband from his enemies,
Keep him safe always,
Give me courage and peace while he is away,
And time to enjoy him while he is home

Quarter Life Crisis?

I feel myself changing lately, maybe it is getting a little older or a quarter life crisis, who knows? But what I once thought of as important or aspiring no longer seems relevant. What is the deal with that? What is making me change? This is what I am talking about....

I always wanted (as snooty as it sounds) the big fancy house. I pictured lots of square feet, marble, huge open rooms, HGTV anyone? That is what I could see myself loving life in. But now that isn't what I see in my dreams. I am content with our average subdivision, 4 bedroom, ranch style house. Where I use to focus on when we could move to a newer, better I find myself just wanting to make my current house cozy. Whoa! Cozy? Who am I?

When I say cozy I mean I want my flowerbeds full of fresh flowers, hanging baskets on the porch, and a fresh herb and berry garden in the back. I want my girls to be able to water flowers and go pick a homemade bouquet at any time. To feel PEACE when they walk in our home. 

Instead of worrying about how HGTV my house looks on the inside, I am more concerned with it being a place of serenity now for my kids and my husband. I just wonder whats changed in me?

And it is not just my house, it is everything. I find myself just wanting to give more and more of myself to my husband lately too. I recently posted about how out of no where my dreams of having this big important career changed into this strong powerful desire to stay home with my girls. I find my relationship with my husband evolving too.

I use to be more about what is fair for me in our marriage. It was all about are we doing an equal amount of work? How many days will I have to man this house alone? How can you make up for my feelings of loneliness and overwhelmingness (yeah, its a word in Coley land). But now I am getting to a point in my life and marriage where I want to make my husband feel fulfilled.

I am finally at a spot where I am OK and actually accept without whining (ok, very little whining) when he has to go. I use to hate the military, all I could see was the negative and how much it disrupted my life. But now I see our military service as privilege and honor. I am finally able to look past the bad and see all that it has provided for my family. And that has made my marriage so much stronger. It feels good to know that distance means nothing, time apart means nothing, and that our marriage is finally about us, not our circumstances.

My husband is military. That is just who he is and will always be. Until I was able to realize and ACCEPT that, our marriage was at a standstill. It was in a rotten place full of jealousy, resentment, and all those ugly, not so fuzzy, feelings no one tells you about.

So back to original question: Why am I changing? I don't know to be honest with you. I don't know what has happened to me in the last 6 months, but it has definitely been life altering. Has anything like this ever happened to you? Where you wake up one day and realize I am not the same person? 

But I am OK with that?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

It seems as if the pendulum is going backwards

 I had an interesting conversation today I thought I would share. I was discussing with a dear friend of mine about how large families seem to be making a comeback. It seems like more and more young mommies are making the choice to stay home and have large families. I am making that choice myself, but not without resistance.
My parents are from the generation where you have 2 kids, both parents work, and you see just how successful you can be. I was a daycare kid, my mom always chose to work and that was all I knew. Did I turn out fine, yeah. But is that what I want for my kids? Simple answer: no

It seems like our society now days is so career driven and we are losing sight of the basics. I actually know of a wonderful mother of 4 who unexpectedly was recently blessed with baby #5 and was fearful for others to know. Why? Well its because of this stigma society attaches to large families. They are no longer seen as a blessing, but a burden.

At my baby shower for my second daughter we played a game: everyone had to write down a piece of advice for me. I had 5 people write down, "stop at 2!" That was heart breaking for me. That is really the best thing to tell me? Not "hug them every chance you get" or "always kiss them goodnight", it was never have any more

But, I think this is slowly changing again. I think more and more young mommies are choosing to go back to the pre-feminist days where mom stayed home and dad worked. Where your family was the top priority of a woman. Where she was fulfilled being a mom and wife. And that gives me pride! We are making the conscious change to say "We chose to serve our families first, no matter what the cost" Now it is just getting that stigma to go away.

I recently graduated with my BBA this past December. With what should have been a joyous time, it was overshadowed with everyone asking, "So are you finally going to work?" I began to feel all this pressure to go into the work world because "why pay for an education you will never use." I started making myself miserable as a stay at home mom, telling myself I wasn't fulfilled from it. I began applying for jobs and interviewing. It seemed like I found a million excuses to turn down every job that was offered to me. Then it hit me, I was turning them down because I felt convicted. I was turning them down because deep down I longed to serve my family at home.

I am now happier than ever, fully enjoying every second of staying at home with my girls. I know this is my purpose. And you know what? Staying true to my heart has worked because i have a possible job opportunity to work full time from HOME for a non profit agency so close to my heart. And if that doesn't work out? I say Oh well!, because I know ,and have a peace, that everything will work out where I can serve in the way the Lord created me to. I can be a wife and mother and know I am doing that with all the ability I have to do it.

So lay off SAHM and large families society! We are helping restore a little bit of family values that seemed to have been lost. I see so much divorce and brokenness in the world today. I just want to look back in 50 years and still be looking back with my husband. With my children proud of the example, love, and peace that were provided them. Is it always easy? NO! Do I feel like I am going to lose it? At least once a day! Would I trade it for the world? Never!

Could I send a son?

I was re-watching all the Army Wives past seasons these past couple of weeks and I was suddenly hit with a shocking revelation:

I do not think I could send a son off to war

This even shocked me! I have sent my husband off to war, waited at home, worried every second, BUT that was OK for some reason. The thought of sending a son, a precious life you birthed, over to a combat zone gives me chills. And unfortunately, I know I might have to face this someday.

We only have 2 little ladies at the moment, but we are hoping to add #3 in the soon future (think blue, think blue, did I say THINK BLUE!). And my husband has already said he would like to see his son in the military someday. I love this life, I love my husbands service, the way our whole family gets to to serve our country, but I don't know if I could ever transition from Air Force Wife to Air Force Mom

This amazes me when I think about it. I mean, my husband has a mother just like every other armed service member out there, but I have never thought about it for them from their point of view. Why is it so easy to send a husband, but not a son? We send our husbands because we are confident in their training, in their abilities, in the military. But, sending a son seems to feel like pushing a child in the water and saying sink or swim. And I don't even have a son! (yet ;) )

So today I commend all you military mommas out there! You have a tough job too, and you are so often forgotten. People remember the wives and kids that are left behind because we are the most visible. But you serve your country too from the shadows and if it wasn't for your service, we couldn't serve either.

Thank you military mommas!

The Hidden Sisterhood

I took our oldest daughter, LoveBug, to a birthday party a couple weeks ago. She is in preschool and this was her first birthday party for a school friend. It was actually her first birthday party of a friend that wasn't family. Earlier that day I was thinking about how NG (National Guard) wives and families are like a secret society. How we live among the civilians, not others of our kind. I think most Americans who do not have a tie to the military forget there is a war going on right now, forget that servicemen are dying for our country right now, and thousands of kids are missing their daddys tonight. How hard it is to live among the real world, when you feel like no one understands your daily fear and pride.

Anyway, back to the party, I was making small talk with the other moms like you do at these not so entertaining events. I don't really know these moms except who their kid is and what they drive from the many afternoons sitting in the pick up line. As I was talking to this one mom, I discovered they are an NG family. They just left the service within the last 6 months, her husband severed 10 years and 2 tours to Iraq. I was in shock that my daughter went to school with another military kid. And although they are out now, that little girl will always be a military kid. And that is when it hit me, being a NG family is like a secret society. We walk among civilians, we look like civilians, but we serve our country with everything we have.

We talked the rest of the party, swapping our own war stories of birthing those deployment babies alone, 1 am trips to the ER with one sick kid, one tired kid, and no daddy, and of course the "well my fill in the blank broke the day after he left" stories. As military wives, past and present, we can look back on those and laugh. We share the struggles, tears, and now laughter. It was like an instant connection to her, like we were just old friends. It amazes me how quickly military wives can connect. Its like our souls were made to help each other through this crazy life we chose.

Military wives are like a hidden sisterhood. We can be complete strangers and the instant you find out what you share, it is like your hearts are connected forever. Being a military wive is a feeling of pride, fear, anger, hurt, love, that only other military wives can understand. They get why knocks on the door or 3 am phone calls can scare you, why you are suddenly so computer savvy with a webcam, how you learned to fix that leaky pipe, how your kids know what a true hero is (and nope he doesn't wear a cape). You almost have an unspoken language, a language that comforts all your fears and shares all your stories. I am so thankful for this sisterhood, it has always served me well. I think its part of our duty to our country and I proudly serve.