I'm just an ordinary girl doing ordinary stuff.

I just happen to be a single mom in the military.

My kids are part of the military too.

When I deploy, their heart breaks too.

They're strong little guys.

Being their mom is the most humbling experience I've ever had.

Follow the adventures

See if you can keep up with me as I serve my country holding my kids in my arms.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

I Didn't Mean To!

"Mommy, why'd you break his toy?"
Did you ever have one of those moments where discipline turns into a nosedive into crap and you're left waving your little white flag saying, "All right, all right.  You win.  I suck."

It was ten o'clock at night.  I had to work late and we didn't get home until nine-thirty.  The boys were wide awake (they took a fifteen minute nap in the car on the way home) and decided to play in bed. 

After repeatedly going into the room and telling them to go to sleep, I finally told Sean (he was the culprit who kept getting out of bed to play) that if he came out of the room "one more time" I'd take his Buzz away.  So... he came out one more time and when he saw me stand and head toward him, he ran yelling "Don't take my Buzz!"

He got onto the bed, clutching Buzz and pretending to sleep.  I shook my head and said, "It's too late, honey.  Buzz has to come with me now."  Turning away from him with the precious Buzz Lightyear in my hand, I felt a strong pull.  Sean had grabbed onto Buzz's left leg yelling, "Don't take my Buzz!"  But when he grabbed Buzz, he pulled so hard that he fell back onto the bed and clutched tightly in his hand was Buzz's left leg.  The toy had broken.

In shock, I looked at the toy in my hand.  I guess I didn't believe Sean had actually pulled his leg off so I was looking for some kind of confirmation.  Sure enough the smiling plastic doll was staring at me with one complete right leg and a left thigh.  I looked at Sean.  He was in shock too, with his back still on the bed and his arm still in the up position from when he had fallen backward.  In his hand was the leg of the incredible, the mighty, the wonderful Buzz Lightyear.  His favorite toy.  The toy that he had to sleep, eat and bathe with. 

"His leg," Sean said in a small voice.  "It's broken."

At this point, one part of me is just torn to pieces because I kow how special this toy was to him.  The other part was laughing inside at how quickly and unexpectedly it all happened.

Caden, who had been quietly observing the entire event, said, "Mommy, why did you break his toy?"

Now Sean was sitting up with big eyes saying, "Can you fix him?  Can you fix him?"  His sweet little voice still had that baby ring to it.

"Here," I said, reaching out for the leg, "Let me take him outside to fix him."  I didn't want to stand there in the same room with them trying to fix the toy because I was fighting with all my heart not to laugh out loud.

As I'm standing outside the room, putting the leg back onto Buzz, I heard Caden's voice.

"She broke your toy."

Sean:  "No, she's fix it!  She's fix it!"

Caden:  "No, it broke.  It went like this, PSHHH!"

A miracle happened.  The darn leg was able to be reassembled back onto the toy.  Of course, if it were pulled hard again it would just pop back off, but it was a good temporary fix.  Whew.

Walking back into the room, I saw Caden laying on his side with his elbow propped up and his head in his hand.  He looked over his shoulder at me and said, "Mommy, why did you break his toy?"

Now I just felt like a complete jerk.  Sean's eyes lit up when he spotted a fixed Buzz in my hand.  "You fix it!"

I nodded and gave the toy back.  "You gotta be gentle with him.  Don't break his leg because it'll come off again."

"Mommy," said Caden one more time, "Why did you break his toy?"

I sighed.  "Caden, I didn't mean to break it.  Sean was disobeying me and I took his toy as a punishment."

Caden then turned to Sean and said, "You better go to sleep or she'll break your toy, Sean."

And that's when I waved my white flag.  Thankfully, the whole even motivated both of them to go to sleep without my having to come in and nag them.  Still, I felt like the biggest jerk ever.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

When He Answers

God answers prayers.  Many times we pray for something we think we want or need.  Lots of times we pray only for those things and when WE think we need them answered.

Last year I prayed to get out of my current base.  I focused on just leaving, not really putting any thought into where.  Instead I just wanted OUT.  I applied to an opening in Colorado where my brothers reside.  Not once.  Not twice.  But three times.  I got denied over and over again.  And shortly after that last time, I got orders to deploy instead.

While I was deployed I was faced with so many challenges and I grew so much closer to God!  Since I've been back I've focused on just doing God's will through prayer and endurance.  And I've been so blessed, seeing His work time after time in many things and through many people.  But I still needed a prayer answer.  I didn't pray to leave my current station like I did last year.  But for something I knew was a real need.  Help.

I know there are tons of women out there raising their kids on their own with little to no support.  But my heart has been aching for help.  Strapped for cash and pinned to a schedule that demands after hour childcare, I wept after spending about $200 in just one month's worth of babysitting on top of my already high weekly daycare costs.  I had no choice but to start bringing my kids to work with me on evening and weekend shifts.  My prayer from last year changed from escape to support.

There was yet another opening in Colorado.  I applied.  This time I prayed:  "Father, I applied because this assignment would bring me closer to family who will provide me with help.  I applied because the next time I deploy my kids will have an easier transition to a motherless six months.  But if this is not Your will, God, I pray you will guide me.  I pray, Lord, that you will bring me someone who can help me.  A friend.  Someone I can trust with my kids who won't leave me scrapping for change.  Father, I just pray that you will help me see how YOU plan to help me instead of me trying to figure it out on my own.  I thank you for all you've already done and for everything you will do.  In Jesus' name I pray these things.  Amen."

A week later I received an assignment notification to Colorado.  It never ceases to amaze me when I'm reminded how awesome our God is.  When you talk to God, acknowledging the struggles you're enduring and asking Him to help you see what He wants you to do about, He answers.  It may not be the way you want or expect it.  It may not be the time you're asking.  It may not even be the specific thing you think you need.  He knows your heart and your situation.  He just wants you to trust in Him to guide you.

If I got my assignment to Colorado last year, I wouldn't have been tasked to deploy.  That deployment brought me closer to God than I've ever been in my entire life!  God knows what He's doing.  He already had plans for me.  While I was praying for escape from my current base, He was sitting back saying, "Hold on for a little bit.  I've got something better in mind."

Now, after my deployment, I will be leaving this base a better woman of God than I was last year.  I will be arriving at a new base with Him at my side.  I am getting that assignment I wanted at a better time in my life than I was when I was asking for it.

I pray that I will continue to remember the kind of God He is and to always trust in Him with everything in my life.  And I pray that I will live my life the way He wants me to live.  I thank Him so much for who He is!  Not just for what He's done but for being God.  In Jesus' name I pray these things.  Amen.