Thursday, January 26, 2012

Jesus called a true American Hero home:

Here today, gone tomorrow:

A statement that rings ever true. Life is so precious, and the time we are given with our loved ones is just borrowed time. We take that time SO for granted, and go to bed a lot of times saying "oh I will do that tomorrow..." but what if tomorrow doesn't come? What if you never get that chance? A dear friend to my husband, a man of Great Faith, a son, brother, grandson.... A soldier, was called to his REAL home. He went defending our freedom, he gave His life for all he believed in and I am more than sure he was greeted at the gates of Heaven with arms wide open.

I will never begin to understand why the best of men are the ones chosen to leave this earth. The only way that I can begin to get through it, is by thinking that he was called for a greater fight than you or I can even begin to fathom. I know that David is standing with head held high, fighting the fight with his Lord Jesus Christ, to bring HIS people home to Him. But it still doesn't mask the pain that his family, friends, peers and fellow soldiers are feeling at this very moment. If they are like me, they are thinking "But God we could use a few more men just like David down here with us."

My heart hurts for Davids family, the pain I know nothing of, but a pain that I wish I could take away from them even for a moment. I pray a prayer of healing over them, I pray that they don't lose faith or start to doubt God. I pray for a sense of peace for them, that they will continue to follow His word... I know David is watching over all of us now and smiling because he is talking and dancing with his Jesus.

You will be forever missed. Thank you SO much for your selfless sacrifice and humble acts. I know many will agree, we are ALL better for knowing you. And our hearts will never forget the memories you left behind. Gone, but NEVER forgotten!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Love knows no distance

A friend of mine shared this story written by an author unknown. I found myself crying over the words, because they hit so close to home. There are moments of this life that are a beautiful blessing, and then there are the ones that make you fall to your knees and pray like you have never prayed before. But there is always the underlying similarity and that is the man that is wearing that uniform and the promise that is written within the love for each other.... just prepare to cry when you read this, grab a box of tissues!
 Military Man's Promise:
I cannot promise you every night of my life. I cannot promise to be beside you for every difficult moment, every trial, and every hardship. In truth, I can promise you that I will not be with you for most. I will leave you at inconvenient times. Any special date to us may be tainted with the anniversary of the death of one of my friends. I will ask you to take over whatever life we have built together for months and years at a time. And I will then crash back into that life that you have used your sweat, your tears and your heartache to keep together, and try to take it back as I knew it before. I will shut you out at times because it will be the best way for me to hold it together at that moment. I will lie to you. I will tell you I don't know things when I do. I will not always tell you where I am going, when I will be back, or who I am with. I may not call you for weeks and months and you will not be able to call me. You will ask questions that I won't answer. You will know answers to questions that you will hope you never need. I will share things with my brothers that you will never understand. They will know things about me that you never will. They will be a support to me in some things that you cannot be. I will miss birthdays. I will miss anniversaries. I may need time to process things that seem natural to everyone else. It will seem that someone - or something - will always take precedence over you. You may lose me long before you ever thought possible. I will uproot you and ask you to re-establish our family anywhere in the world, in any season, at any time - over and over again. Sand and mud will be tracked through your halls from the boots I am too tired to take off. I will leave you when you beg me not to. I will stand at attention while you cry beside me. I will not turn my head and I will walk away. I will knowingly break your heart. And I will do it again - and again. I cannot promise you all of me. I cannot promise you much of anything. But if you will have me, I can promise that as I march away from you, it is not without sharing your heartache. I promise you that every time I break your heart I will be breaking mine. Every time that I cannot answer you I will be protecting you. Whenever you want to call and you have no number to dial, I will be wanting to do the same. I will protect everything that we have created together with every fiber of my being while you do the same back at home. I will honor you in everything - every moment that we are apart and every moment that I am with you. I will fight harder and push further knowing that I do so for you. And I will carry you with me in everything, until my sandy boots once again sit just inside our door. -author unknown
 There is never a moment that I don't miss those boots laying in the middle of our living room floor, or the socks that don't quite make it to the laundry basket.  The uniform that seems to always fall in the same spot of the bedroom floor.... I will simply put the boots by the door, pick up the socks on my way to the laundry room and hang up the uniform. Because if I am doing those things, it means I finally have you home in my arms!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Finding simplicity in a not so simple life... Trusting in His timing.

I am absolutely in love with this Fall weather... it gives me so much comfort and peace of mind.

I have been visiting family for the past month and it has been all I could hope for and more. Rick and I are simply and wonderfully blessed with the most loving families! These past few months wouldn't have been possible for us if it wasn't for them and their unfailing love for the both of us as individuals and as a couple. I am thankful to have the support we have, and the freedom to be completely vulnerable with them when things don't go exactly as they should... that is where the title of this post comes from, finding simplicity in a not so simple life.

As an army wife you are told to prepare your heart and mind for 365 days of separation from your husband. And to be honest, there isn't really anyway to do that you just find a way. There are times when you break, and there are times when you rise up and find  the strength to be as strong as you can. My strength has come solely from my Faith, I am a strong believer that He will get us through the trials of this lifetime. In the 4 months that we have already knocked off the deployment calendar, we have encountered many bumps in the road. They are tests of our willingness to be completely bare and open to serving His people. I believe God put Rick and I exactly where He wanted/needed us to be. Both as a couple and as individuals. We have faced many tragedy's throughout this time and it has brought us to the point that we rely on our Faith and the power of prayer to know the right words to say or actions to give. Rick and I have been reading Crazy Love by: Francis Chan, and it has really opened our eyes about what our Faith is and what it should be. One of my favorite quotes fits well in this post: "God has allowed hard times in life so we can show the world that our God is great and that knowing Him brings peace and joy to us, even when life gets tough." What an amazing promise we have in Him.

In a simple life there would be a reason every time someone asked why... From the military wife saying her goodbyes: Why does my husband have to leave for a year? From the parents who get the unbearable news: Why do babies die after only moments on this earth? From the women who wants so badly to be a mom: Why can't I have children?.... but the answer to all those question, though not always simple, is simply Faith in God's timing. I used to complain and live very bitterly about the fact that we have tried and not succeeded 3 times to have a baby. I have had my moments of falling to my face in tears crying out to God with all that I am, and I have had my moments of just complete and utter bitterness towards those who have been blessed. Then God put Rick and I in the place we are at in this very moment, and I was able to be silent in the fact that I am not the only one that struggles with this very dream. I was told by one of the lady's in my chat group, that if having a child was simple it wouldn't be as beautiful of a miracle. We don't always know why God chooses us to carry the child that will not make it in this world. Or to be the one that struggles for years to conceive that one miracle, but he did and we can spend our whole life asking why or we can keep trusting in His timing even through the pain and struggle of each situation. God is good in the good times and God is still good in the bad times.

On a happier note... Rick got some really amazing news, he is coming home early!! Now if you remember that as an army wife you prepare for 365 days, you live that day in and day out. So when you get the news that they are coming home almost 5 months early, you will find that you are very hesitant to become to overly excited! Don't get me wrong, I am beyond ready for that man to come home for good =) but I find myself still holding back because the military has a way of changing its mind in drop of a dime... so much to look forward to in the next few months, I finally have a count down calendar that doesn't make me cringe. Looking forward to finding us a place to live and making it a home!

Love you ALL!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Living "God Strong" instead of "Me Strong"

Oh where to even begin....

My husband has been gone for a month today, and I would be lying to myself if I said it wasn't the hardest thing I have ever been through. But somehow, someway I find the strength everyday to put a smile on my face and push on. Sometimes it is a struggle to get out of bed, but I know that moping around will not bring my soldier any sooner.

So where do I find the strength? Well at first I faked myself out by saying "if you make it today without crying, you will be okay." Or by telling myself "A year, that isn't that long. You will be just fine." You can imagine how those statements didn't last longer than a day, if that! So I decided I needed to find and lose myself in my faith. I needed to become a women of God, so that I could be a good Army wife and an even better light for those around me. This life isn't easy, sometimes it is down right brutal and unfair. I struggle everyday and sometimes I don't believe that I will make it a year... but you see that is being "Me Strong". Because living "God Strong" means I can do anything with Him as my guide. I CAN make it through this deployment unscarred, and I can become a true woman of faith for my husband. If I live "God Strong" I am more focused on Rick (my husband) than myself and my woos and miseries.

A bible verse a day... one of my goals is to find a bible verse a day and live through it. When I feel sad--which don't get me wrong it is OK to feel that way-- I pick up my bible or journal and I read a verse I have written down. For I know that in His word I will find strength, courage and peace. This life isn't about surviving, it is about thriving and not losing yourself in the process. I will have my days that I don't get out of bed, but I just have to pick up where I left off and remember that in God I am no longer weak. It is so humbling to be a Military Wife. To know that your husband is risking his life so that I can live freely. I am so proud of him and I will gladly stand by him each step of this journey. I will be the one there with open arms to welcome him HOME! Until then I will continue to shower him with Love and Support from the home front.

This is my prayer as a military wife:

Give me greatness of heart to see,
the difference between duty and his love for me.
Give me understanding so that I may know,
when duty calls him, he must go.
Give me a task to do each day,
to fill the time when he’s away.
When he’s in a foreign land,
keep him safe in your loving hand.
And when duty is in the field,
please protect him and be his shield.
And Lord, when his deployment seems so long,
please stay with me and keep me strong.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

the crazy good, sometimes unsure life....

This is my first ever blog.... so here it goes  =)

There is so much going on in our life right now. And I have found that my emotions are more on edge than they have ever been. Things that never used to matter to me seem to bring on a wave of emotion. It has made for some fun times around the Aldred house for sure. 

As a military wife I have learned to just "go with the flow", and know that God is in control of ALL that we are going through. I also know that he will provide all the strength and guidance that is needed for the sometimes bumpy and unsure path that this life calls us to as military families. We are so new to the "real" military life. Let me explain what I mean by "real", my soldier was National Guard for 2 years while he was in school, so his promise to them was one weekend a month and sometimes another day or two thrown in there. So it came as a HUGE adjustment when his days went from that, to M-F (sometimes Saturday's) at 14+ hours a day. And then throw in a fast approaching deployment and you can see why emotions are at an all time high. Like I said bumpy and unsure path at times =) 

Being so new to the army life has had it's hardships for sure, but we are so undoubtably blessed by a wonderful support team. God really had his hand on us when we chose the location for our first duty station. We found some of the most amazing friends here at Fort Hood. Their love for God is so strong and true. It was as if they were picked just for us and placed here for us to build wonderful friendships with. And to be honest it couldn't have come at a better time. We joined a small group with these wonderful people and it has been such a blessing to us. It has really helped to see couples at all different stages within marriage and the military, and to know that we have them to turn to in times of need.

Rick and I will be going through our first deployment in about 25 days. It will be the hardest and most humbling thing we have ever had to encounter. How do you fully prepare your hearts and minds for a separation of a year? How do you control the fear you feel every moment so that you can put on a brave face for the one you love? And mostly how do you not lose yourself and your marriage in the deployment? These are just some of the questions that surfaced at a marriage retreat we went to as well as our small group. The answers to these questions won't come easily I am sure, there will be times when I shut down. Times that I thrive and find that I can be independent and survive this, and times when I will need a gallon of ice cream, a few chick flicks and my box of kleenex. But through all those times I will find what it takes to be "Okay" and to trust that we are where we are supposed to be. With preparing for this deployment, we are already experiencing these things. It is inevitable for us to go through some of these emotions, it is our hearts preparing us for the journey we are about to take on. It is a crazy, bumpy, unsure path that will strengthen our marriage more than we know. I am so proud to be a Military wife, so proud of my man and the things he does for our family! I look forward to the many years to come of my duty as Army Wife.