We finally have crossed the halfway point of this deployment and as my father-in-law told me, "it's all down hill from here." :) I really like the sound of that!
I dropped Stephen off at our local airport at 5am this morning. We just finished enjoying his 2 week R&R visit that was spent mostly at a resort in National Harbor near DC. As you can imagine, we had an amazing time together after 4 months of being apart! I took lots of pictures of our time with Stephen's family, boat tour to Georgetown, motorcycle ride through some country roads, date nights (Thanks to Grandpa, Grandma, and auntie Cheryl), and galavanting DC that I'll have to share in another post. It was so special being together as a little family again! I am so grateful for that time and it couldn't have gone any better.
However, there is no way to get around the inevitable of having to say good bye...again. That just sucks. I don't look forward to the loneliness that the silence of the night brings, missing my best friend, or trying to have a relationship through the virtual world. I truly can not imagine this life without God giving me grace for each day and the adventures it brings. Honestly, it has been in those uncomfortable/weak times that God has been my comfort and joy. He's pretty amazing like that.
One of the gifts Stephen brought back from Iraq was a beautiful journal. I LOVE it. Writing out my prayers helps to keep my mind focused (I'm very easily distracted!) It also is a refreshing way for me to express myself. Anyway, I journaled in it for the first time today and had no plans of sharing my prayer on here but it is where my heart is at right now so here is today's entry:
"October 16, 2011
Stephen has been on deployment for five months in Iraq and recently came home for his R&R visit. He brought back this amazing journal for me to write and pray in. I love it...especially the elephant.
Thanks God for such a thoughtful, loving, courageous, wise, joyful, and beautiful husband. He is such a precious gift! You have blessed us with a deep friendship, passionate marriage, and a little baby girl who lights up our world. She, Tierzah Analyse, is the sweetest, smiliest, most intense, and beautiful little girl we could have ever dreamed of having. Thank You for these precious gifts! I love You with all my heart and trust that You are Good, Your love is unfailing, You protect us, You are Gracious, You are the King of Kings, my Father, my Savior, the Creator, the Healer, Redeemer, my Friend, Jesus Christ, You are my Comforter, my Teacher, You rebuke me and guide me to the right path yet You lovingly let me choose which path I will take. You are Sovereign, and Holy, Holy, Holy. I am Yours.
Thank You for this life as a Military Chaplain/Military Missionary family. I am
so grateful. It is not easy or smooth sailing but I couldn't be more proud or passionate about what we get to do. Bringing light to our country's warriors and encouragement to their families is such an honor. Please put your protective hand about Stephen and us as we finish these last 4 months of deployment. Give him encouragement, wisdom, bold love for those You put in his path, and may he finish this course well and with joy. I pray for grace for the moments and days when we feel discouraged and tired...may You be our Rock to cling to. Help us to live everyday like it's our last!
~Your Baby girl"
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