Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Just when you thought I couldn't get any more odd...

I throw something else in the mix. Ha! For quite some time, I've been standing on my "live simply" soap box. I've never been one to collect nic naks or like a lot of decorations.  I've been known to say I don't like "stuff".
I am constantly going through drawers, closets, and cabinets and getting rid of things.
As I was explaining to my poor husband the other day  why I was getting rid of the couches(don't worry that's the one thingnwe are saving for is a new  couch) and why I wanted to downsize the tv stand, it dawned on me.
Stuff stresses me out.
For real. I'm happy in a house with very little decoration, no nic nacs, and the bare essentials. The internet tells me I must be practicing something called "spartanism".
One thing is for sure. You don't have to worry about me having a shopping problem or becoming a hoarder. I'm the opposite! I love free space and no clutter. I've gotten rid of a
Lot  just since Tedd left. We'll see how he reacts when he gets home!  I didn't touch his stuff but I wouldn't mind if he did it for me!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Forgiveness

Most of us have heard or read the story in Matthew 21, when Peter asked Jesus:

 “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”
Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times."

But, lets just face it. As sinners, we're just not always very good at it. Satan weasles his grubby little self into our hearts and thoughts. We find it hard to forgive,  and we want revenge. We want to see the other person suffer for what we perceived as them "wronging us"
I'm here to tell you that forgiveness is hard. I've fought it tooth and nail many times.
We hear lies from the world around us about "sweet revenge"

When I was in high school one of my very dear friends went through a very rough time. Her father, who by all definition of the word was a "model christian" had an affair and left her family.  Her mother fought for their marriage for quite some time despite the circumstances.
They eventually divorced. On THE day that he remarried, her mother woke up to an email from his mistress. It was nasty and from my understanding basically said that she had "won" and stole her husband.
I will never forget what my friend said next. Her mother sent a reply to this email. This is what it said,

"I forgive you."

I have chills every time I think about this story. As a married woman, my heart breaks and my spirit weeps for my friends mother. I can't imagine going through what she did. But what an AMAZING testimony to her love for Christ.

I recently messaged my friend and told her that 10 years later, her moms story helped me  to forgive someone for something that was long overdue.  She sent a message back saying she didn't even actually remember when she told me the story, but it made her very emotional to know that God was still working through that terrible time in her life.

Forgive. Give it to God. Dont seek revenge. Its not our place.
Romans 12 says,
"Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord."

I trust the God I serve to take care of it.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Patiently waiting

Ok. Well maybe not so patiently.  Tedds "supposed" to be home in the beggining of September.  We still haven't gotten a date. Not even a tentative one. A lot of my friends are crazy excited.  Theyre counting down, decorating, and preparing their houses. Me? I can't let myself get excited yet. I know myself.  If I do, and they don't come home on time...Ill be disappointed.
Tedd and I have been discussing it though. Its a funny thing when your spouse has been away for over 8 months. Think back on your own life. I think its safe to say a lot has changed in that amount of time. Besides a few pictures, we have only been able to get skype to work twice. We've literally seen each others faces twice in 8 months. Dont take that stuff for granted friends.
Its a little scary.  We are both very different people than we were when he left. Things in our house have changed.  Since December 4th our house was re-roofed, we got new siding put on, we have 2 different (free) couches, I've rearranged every room in the house and got rid of even more junk.
Calvin has a whole new set of needs,  I have some brand spankin new wrinkles. I've got some new friends Tedd has never met. We have ALL new neighbors; when I mention them Tedd doesn't know who they are.  Weve each got our own routines.
Tedds different too. Hes already told me hes sure he'll be a little "jumpy" when he hears loud noises etc.
 Weve essentially lived 2 separate lives.
I'm really not worried about putting our lives back together.  I just want him home. But it should be interesting and probably slightly comical when he comes home and we try to get to know each other again.  Ill post updates when the time gets closer or when we are in the home stretch. One day at a time.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Plagues in Egypt.

I guess sometimes I need a reminder. I was reading in Exodus today about Moses, the Pharoah and the plagues. The gnats, flies, boiles, darkness, death of the firstborn etc. What a POWERFUL God we serve!
That is all :)

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Believing

Its no secret that I've been struggling as of late.  Tedds been gone for what seems like forever and we still have no return date.  Calvin has been extremely sick for a very long time. Just about evrrything seems to be crumbling around me. Its just one of those points in my life where I stare at the ceiling and cry "Why?"

Some days I'm sad. Some days I'm lonely. Others I am downright angry.

Crying,  mascara running down my face, can't get out of bed, too exhausted to make myself eat....just MAD.
Who am I mad at? Well I'm not really sure to be honest.
I've laid here and wondered that many times actually.  Am I mad at Tedd? My family? Am I mad at God? Myself?
Im not actually mad AT anyone. Sometimes I think that's just the only emotion I can muster up.
However,  as bad as things may get God is working. I keep praying.  I keep crying out to God to reveal his purpose for all of the things that are happening in my life.

A few weeks ago, I grabbed my bible. In fact, I don't remember picking it up. I only remember feeling like I had hit...and might as well put in a change of address form for "Rock Bottom".  I started at the beginning of the New Testament. I read. And I read. I got lost in it. I carried my bible into work and read it when I wasn't busy.Every time I had nowherenelse to turn...I opened up the pages and read.  Last week I finished the new testament.  I started at Genesis to read the Old Testament now.

I still have many days where I have trouble seeing the point In everything that's happening. sometimes I just wish i had someone here to really open up and talk to and someone to help me deal with the things that arise. But I am finding comfort in the word of God. Because some days that's all I have. Somehow, even when I feel like it won't be...its always enough.  I wake up the next morning.  I pray every night that God will continue to give me this hunger for his Word.
 And I'm finally starting to believe that God keeps his promises. He WILL use all of this sadness and darkness as part of his good and perfect will. I may not understand it now, but what I do know is that when I feel abandoned and forgotten by the rest of the world...I can feel Gods loving arms wrapped tightly around me. I know he's collecting my tears.
He knows my heart, and he will never leave me or forsake me.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Another 2 months have passed. My laptop finally bit the dust so blogging is even more rare than before. I have and use my tablet for everything.  Its 100% touch screen though so blogging is a little more time consuming.

The other reason I don't post much is because it seems all I ever do is complain and write about all the mopey stuff going on. This time is no exception lol.

I really thought that the further into this deployment we got, the easier it would get.
Wrong. It seems to get harder by the day, in many ways.

Its hard to hear Tedd down in the dumps because of everything that's happening over there. Its hard to have times you don't hear from them because there's a "blackout" when something happens or someone has been hurt.  Its hard being alone. Every single day.
Some days I feel very invisible.  I have some great friends here, but it doesn't make not having your husband home at night any easier.

I've had some medical issues as well. Again not having your hubby here is hard for things like that. But I switched to a Dr that seems really good, am on some new medications that finally aren't making me sick and dizzy all day and have got some other opportunities as well to help. I'm just very thankful for medical insurance!

Work is going fine. No real news to report there.
Until next time, I ask that you pray for Tedds safety and that we find out a homecoming date soon. Hes still got a while left but I just need a date to focus on!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

The last month

Well I suppose its time to update the blog again. 
We have passed the half way point in Tedd's Deployment.  It makes me happy that it seems we are finally making progress.  For the past few months I have been doing really well with everything.  Tedd has been doing as well as can be expected.  He wants to come home just as bad as I want him here, but is making me proud every day.

In mid March my cousin Audra came for 5 days to visit.  It was WONDERFUL!  We had such a great time.  She lived 1 mile from me growing up and we were more like close sisters. We talked and laughed, hiked, she met and spent time with my friends, and went on a few fun little adventures.  I am so thankful to her for taking vacation, and flying out to see me!

A few weeks later my sister and her family drove from Indiana to see me.  It was great as well!  I took them around to various little sites around here and we spent time catching up and talking.  Not only did I get to see my older niece and nephew but I also got to meet her youngest baby, my new nephew Owen.  He was adorable and seemed to like me :)  It was so nice to sit and play games with her kids and listen to them tell me stories.

A few days after THAT, my friend and I left for Florida.  Our plan was to stay in my Grandma and Grandpa's trailer.  They stay there in the winter.  It was supposed to be a fun, carefree week of laying on the beach without a care in the world.  It was an 18 hr drive.  By the time we even arrived we were about to turn around.  I can't possibly explain all of the little things that made this trip horrible lol. But it WAS.  It was tiny things.  But every. single. thing. we did seemed to be cursed.   After not even 48 hours in Florida we decided we both felt like we shouldn't be there.  Things weren't turning around and getting any better.  We were SUPER thankful to my grandparents to giving us the opportunity, but it just wasn't meant to be.

By the time we were half way home, Calvin (in his true Calvin fashion) decided to get violently sick.  He wasn't eating most of the trip.  However at this point we couldn't get him to eat anything (peanut butter, cheese etc), he was laying FLAT out, and the time he did stand to try to use the bathroom he "pooped" only blood and mucous.  Sorry if that was too much information. :)

We sped the rest of the way home, and I took Calvin to his vet.  The next day he started drinking again, then finally eating...and right at the end of his antibiotics the diarrhea started looking more like normal bowel movements.

Calvin has been sick more than he has been healthy since Tedd left.  When we adopted him last February, we knew he would have leg issues.  But my goodness! Since Tedd left he has had an ear infection, a respiratory infection, a back injury (most likely slipped or bulging disc I guess), has started vomiting bile in the middle of the night (he now takes Pepcid every evening), the sickness after our Florida trip and TODAY....
He went up his little steps onto the bed.  Then started going down the stairs and decided to JUMP from the top step.  He tumbled and rolled and landed hard on his side.  *sigh* He is limping way worse than his normal little limp.  I called his Dr. (AGAIN)  and will most likely be taking him in tomorrow morning.  I'm not sure if his vet hates me...or LOVES me.  I'm going to make myself feel better and think that they love me because I no doubt fund at least one of their employees wages. 

I also got rehired at the hotel on post.  I start Tuesday (orientation). I'll be doing the same job as I was before.  I am actually very excited.  Its not my "dream" job.  However it is very close (less than a mile from my house on base), I've done the job and know that once I get back into the swing of things I can do the job well.  Its also part time.  Which probably sounds lazy.  But while Tedd is gone that is perfect for me.  I'm praying it goes well. 

Lastly, I have gotten a lot of texts, emails and phone calls.  I am sorry if I haven't replied.  Communication is one of my worst character flaws.  I'm just not good at it.  The only person I talk to on the phone often is Tedd.  I don't enjoy talking on the phone really to anyone but him.  I know thats bad.  At least I'm honest.  Your best bet is to email me.  I'll get it and read it.  There are no promises on responding.

Until my next post, I once again ask for your prayers for this deployment to hurry and pass, for Tedd to come home safely, for me to survive, and for Calvin to be able to get better from his current ailment and to STOP having "issues"!  God Bless you All!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

As those of you who really know me, are aware...I LOVE Miranda Lambert.  I love how real she is. This is her latest song.  Its hilarious but SO true!  I love that she is bringing light to all of the "fake" people who just who try to make their lives look perfect on the outside.  Once again Miranda, you've nailed it!
Be yourself! Be proud of who you are.  I'm not going to have shame in the fact that I'm wearing worn jeans, cowboy boots and a pony tail.  I'm going to be proud of the fact that I play bluegrass, love country music...and that more than anything I want to steal Tedd away from Afganistan and move to Kentucky to live in the mountains. <3>And if you have any sense of humor at all, you will be laughing while watching this. :)

http://tasteofcountry.com/miranda-lambert-mamas-broken-heart-video/

Friday, March 1, 2013

Wonkitywonk :)

So...Im in kind of a wonky funny mood tonight. Perfect time to blog right?! :)
Things are going pretty well lately and the days are passing, which is really all I can ask for.  I am involved in the FRG for Tedd's Company as a volunteer.
 I also started attending the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University class.  I'm really enjoying it and learning a lot.  I started using cash envelopes a few weeks ago and it has literally changed my life.  I'm spending HALF of what I used to on groceries, got ONE tank of gas to last an entire two weeks (carpooling etc), and only ate out once.  Its pretty crazy what God can do with your money when you involve God and a lot of knowledge and common sense. If you're familiar with his tactics at all, you know what the baby steps are. We're slowly working on the financial baby steps and I am encouraged about our finances for the first time in a long time.
I've also met and started hanging out with two new friends.  They are both wives from Tedd's unit, and they both live VERY close to me on our street.  It has been amazing to have new friends that I really get along with well and are so close!
Christmas, Tedd's birthday, Valentines day, my birthday, and our anniversary (today) are finally all over. Call me negative if you please...but its nice to know that the next time those thing come around, Tedd will be back!
Speaking of Tedd, he is doing well.  He does tell me often that he's homesick (don't tell I told lol).  He tells me he misses the little things about being home the most; going on walks with me, playing with Calvin, just being next to each other and able to talk face to face.  He doesn't use the internet as much as some of the other soldiers, mostly because we don't want to spend $90 a month for it.  So we literally haven't seen each others faces in about 3 months now (no skype etc).  Its kind of a hard thing to describe, just wanting so badly to see your husbands smile. He did send me a very nice picture of himself on my birthday.  It was the best gift ever!
Like I said a little earlier, today is our 5 year anniversary.  I really can't believe its been that long! Just to be a little mushy :) here's what I posted on Tedd's facebook wall:

"Happy 5th Anniversary to the most amazing husband ever. You are a blessing from God, my best friend, my rock, my hero, my biggest supporter, my lover, the one who I can tell anything, the one I want to grow old with right by my side.
I can't believe its been almost 8 years since those two kids met at a rodeo, and ...FIVE since those double doors opened and I saw the man of my dreams waiting for me at the end of the aisle. I don't take a single day of this life for granted. It doesn't matter if you're sitting next to me holding my hand or on the other side of the world fighting for our freedom...I know you're the best thing thats ever come into my life and I am ONE LUCKY woman that God gave me you. I'll love you forever and always Tedd Miller ♥ ♥ ♥"
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I thought very seriously about returning to Indiana for a few months while Tedd was gone.  The more I pray about it, and think about it...I don't think its the right decision.   I will most likely go back for a week or weekend at some point.  But, I need to stay here...because these are the people who understand me.
Most people won't understand that, you would think you would "need" the "back home" thing.  Not really. 

As snooty as it sounds, it bothers me when people who haven't been in my situation act like its no big deal, you need to suck it up, put on your big girl panties, etc etc.  It amazes me that people think they know exactly what I'm going through because they had a father, grandfather, great uncle, son, brother, or neighbor who has been in the military. Of COURSE they have felt the effects of war, I do not for one minute discount that.  But its not the same as a spouse. 
The other thing is when people think that you should never be able to be negative or complain.  I am (believe it or not lol) very happy day to day.  I have my bad days, just like anyone else.  But generally speaking, I'm happy.  I'm smiling, laughing, going to movies, listening to music, hanging out with friends.  We're all allowed to have bad days. And when we do, why do people feel the need to tell you that its not allowed...because you're the one who got yourself into it? Hmmm doesn't make sense. Maybe thats just me.

On the flip side, I have had a few people reach out to me and really show that they care.  My grandma has sent me multiple hand written letters, I just received a letter from Tedd's brother and his wife, I've received cards from other friends and family, my friend Janeen from back home sent me two little Valentines.  Those things mean so much, much more than the people know.  They brighten my day and assure me that there are people who do care about ME.  I am Tedd's #1 supporter, but sometimes its hard to be the one left behind.  One of the biggest reasons is because EVERYONE is praying for Tedd, sending Tedd packages, letters etc. AND when they do talk to me they of course ask how he is.  He deserves each and every one of these prayers and thoughts.  But sometimes its nice to know people care what you're up to as well.  Not sure if that makes sense to anyone else, but Tedd understands so that's all that matters. :)



Saturday, February 2, 2013

Chasing the dream

I have recieved so many comments, messages, text messages, emails, cards etc saying that you are all praying for us.  It means so much.  Really. It does.  Probably my biggest character flaw is withdrawling.  I've got it down to a science.  I don't mean to. Most people do not understand this. But when I am going through a difficult time in life, I don't answer phone calls, or any form of communication.  Its not that I am mad at that person. Its actually not even that I don't want to talk to them.  I just dont.  So if I haven't talked to you, don't take it personally.  Also, even if you haven't heard back from me, know that you reaching out to me helps.

Ok. Now that that's over :)  Everyone has been asking me how I'm doing and what I have been doing since the girls left.  To be honest, I'm confused.  Silly, I know.  I have never been so unsure about life before.

I keep thinking about our lives right now. I have a tendency to overanalyze.  But my brain has been on overdrive lately trying to figure out WHY all of this happened.  I obviously know that I'll never know the true reason.  But right now my THEORY is that God is tired of me trying to be in control.

My whole life, I've liked order and control.  I am a woman of routine, lists, and dream chasing.  If I want something...I will get it. I'm not talking about material things.  So I've started thinking, maybe being a mother isn't God's Plan for my life.  For so long I've wanted to adopt, and be a mom.  I also felt like it is where I should be in life.  I'm 26 years old, I've been married for 5 years.  Thats what people do right?  And in fact, I'm behind. But what if that isn't what God wants?

I almost feel like I cared so much about what I wanted, that finally God said, "Fine.  You're not going to listen to me?  I'll give you what you want."  So he did.  And then of course it didn't turn out how I thought it should. 

So, for the first time in my life.  I'm being quiet.  Not quiet as in not talking.  Just quiet.  You know, Psalm 46:10 "Be still and know that I am God.."  Its hard for me.  Its hard for me to accept that God's will and plan for me...may not be what everyone else is doing.  It may not be parenthood.  Who knows?  All I know is that I am asking God to reveal himself to me.  I'm keeping busy (I'll post about that later) and trying to talk to God.  Maybe some day I'll figure out what his plan is :)

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Up to speed.

So much has happened. And I think our family and close friends deserve to know what has been going on.
As you all know Tedd and I decided last year to become licensed for foster care.  We prayed about it and were so excited and passionate to help children.  We also took the adoption classes at that time.  We had NO clue if we would ever adopt but felt that we would let God lead us in that decision.

Once you are licensed for foster and adoption you can get on the list to recieve emails with each child who comes up for adoption in the state of Missouri.  We started recieving profiles of children that were up for adoption.  We were interested in a few of the children and decided to submit our homestudy to multiple emails.

We submitted our homestudy on a sibling group of 2 little girls that were up for adoption (We will call them M and N for the purpose of the blog)  in late August.  By mid September, we hadnt heard anything back about any of the profiles we had submitted to and also had found out that Tedd would be deploying to Afganistan by the end of the year.  At the end of September I recieved a phone call I was not expecting.  We had been chosen as one of four couples to attend an "adoption staffing". A staffing is basically like an interview with the current foster parents, the attorney, the childrens social worker and other people from the childrens division.  It was for the 2 little girls.  We were beyond ecstatic!  Because we knew Tedd was deploying, we figured our chances were slim to none.  We decided to go for it anyway. 

In mid October we went to Springfield and attended the staffing.  We were grilled on everything from how we would parent, how we would handle certain situations, our beliefs, our finances, our future plans, our relationship.  Everything.  We left and had NO clue what the outcome would be.  We were very honest about Tedd deploying and the fact that he would be gone for almost a year.

The next Monday I was in the shower and my phone started ringing, I got the call.  The worker was telling me something I didn't think I would hear...WE were chosen.  I couldn't believe it!  And of course (life of an Army wife lol) I couldn't tell Tedd right away because he was gone out in the field for 3 weeks.
As soon as he called I told him and we were so ready for this next step of our lives.

We started visits with them and after a few weeks got the "ok" to move them to our home! They were crazy and hyper but we were already loving them so much and really thought they would be our children forever.
Our guest bedroom was transformed into their room.  Bright pink curtains, princess accesories, and lots of toys.  Things started popping up all over the house, sippy cups, big hair bows, step stools, bubble bath.  Our friends and some of our family sent gifts for them.  We were showered with support.  They were here for about a week and a half before Tedd left.

N especially bonded with Tedd and she was so excited to have a daddy.  The plan was that they had to be in our homes as "foster children" for 6 months (Missouri state law) and then the paperwork would start and they would become fully adopted. 

The exact day that Tedd left, I got a phone call from the social worker.  She said a biological family member had come back in the picture.  I can't give many details in a public forum like this.  I have to be careful. What I will say is that this person in my opinion is FAR from fit to parent. 
Anyway the worker said this person was determined to do whatever they could to get the girls back. 
This was a tough pill to swallow.  The worker apologized because, as she put it, "no one saw this coming"  She promised to keep me updated on the situation. 

We held out hope that this was not going to be a big bump in the road.  Soon I started recieving packages in the mail with letters from this person to the girls.  I never read them to them.  They don't even know this person.  I recieved recordable story books, Christmas gifts. 

If the UPS man pulled up or the mailman came...my heart sank a little.  I would take the package, tell the girls it was something for me, and put it in the other room.  Then after the girls were in bed at night, I would open the package.  I would look through the pictures, read the letters, and worst of all...listen to the story books.  I would lay on the floor and sob.  How could this be happening?  I was all alone, and this couldn't be happening.  Hearing her voice was the worst.  I hid all of those things from the girls.  I just couldn't give it to them.  Maybe it was wrong of me.  But they don't even know her.  Never talk about her, never ask.  Nothing.  Why confuse them even more. 

I would put the items in their "life box" for someday. 

As these things started happening I started talking to Tedd about what was happening when he called.  I didn't want to stress him out but I also felt that he deserved to know.  I kept getting calls that the person was "staying on the straight and narrow".  Apparently the "system" believes in 7th, 8th, 9th or 10th chances.  *sigh*   I still held out hope. 

Then one day, I was told that there was going to be a court date in the future to possily start visits with the person.  What?! This was supposed to be an ADOPTION.  You all seeked a FOREVER home.  I don't understand.  I still really didn't think it would ever happen.

Then it happened.  I got an email.  A cold, unemotional email.  It basically said, the judge granted her visits.  When are you available to transport them back and forth to see her.

I broke down.  I called the worker crying.  She didn't understand.  My good friend, who has been with me through it all, came over.  I prayed.  I talked to Tedd the next morning. 

We made a very hard decision.  We made the decision to have the girls moved back to their old foster home.  I am well aware that most people will not understand this.  Some people will judge us.  What I knew is that I couldn't do it.  It was an emotional roller coaster like you could never imagine.  But now, I would have to drive them back and forth to see this person.  I would have to be happy and cheery and ask how everything was going.  I would have to watch them SLOWLY, painfully day by day, week by week get ripped slowly from my life.  I could do nothing about it it.  These were the children that we thought we would adopt and love forever.  We thought they would soon have the same last name as us and we would watch them grow into adults.

It also wasn't going to be a fast process.  It would be months if not at least a year of this painful experience.

The girls were familiar and happy in thier loving foster home.  So they moved back.  It hurts.  I can't walk in their room yet.  I have the door closed.  I might leave it closed for some time.  I KNOW it was the right choice. 

Now that you all know what happened and whats going on.  I just ask for your prayers.  I will update on Tedd and I as often as I can.  He is doing well, and I'm hanging in there.  But thank you for your love and support.  And I hope you can all understand the decision we have made.