Saturday, May 29, 2010

WOW! this is hard, but WOW! this is great

So I have been out to sea for a little over a week now and its going pretty good. Its a very strange feeling because all the days seem to fly by but the weeks seem to creep along and never come to an end. I think it is because the days go by fast but all the days are basically the same, so even though one 24hr Ground Hog day goes by fast you still have 10,000 more right behind it.
I love technology and being able to see Bella laugh at watching my video and seeing her smile as she throws that ball around. Sometimes I just close my eyes for a few minutes and imagine that I am back at home and she is sitting on the couch with me and she is falling asleep on my lap. Then I wake up and realize I've got a little while before that happens again so lets not daydream too much because it hurts to wake up.
In this first week I have counseled numerous sailors who are convinced that this deployment is going to be too much for them and that they are going to go insane. I have counseled 5 sailors who get WAY too angry over nothing and then make their work environments a living hell for everyone around them. I have also been around multiple sailors who act as if its their life's goal to say G.D. around me as much as possible. Its as if they are trying to show me how BAD they are, I feel as if I am in highschool and people are starring me down in the hallway. Unfortunately, and providentially, I also have had to deal with being with a sailor as he finds out that his 2 month old baby boy has just died back home. All these things have been tremendously draining. I mean I knew it was going to be difficult but WOW! this is hard.
On the flip side I have also had the chance to talk to at least 12 sailors about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The desire to know, and the heart to know about Christ is great. It is such a privilege to be able to care for these sailors, to love them, but then to vocalize the Gospel to them and tell them that the only way I can love them and care for them is through and in the Gospel. Oh God most definitely has a plan for me being here right now and I am so glad that he has given me a wife, and both families that will support and pray for me along the way.
Annie, you are such an amazing wife. You have given me so much support and you are a constant reminder of the grace of God in my life.
I love you! I love you too Bells!!!!
Josh wants more videos of his girl. This one is just Bella being cute!! video

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Daddy is on TV!

video

In his absence, Josh still gets tons of smiles and laughs! Josh created a video for Bella that contains songs he plays for her, video's of him and her together, and him reading her favorite books. She literally RUNS into the room when she hears his voice. It's precious. Sometimes I put them on for me (secretly). ;)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Life is a tiny glimpse of eternity...

It has been been tugging on my heart all week that life is just a tiny glimpse of eternity. We see this in the beauty of a new born baby, the power of the ocean, the smell of the summer winds, and the love between a husband and wife. I am amazed at the way God has already lived out our lives in His perfect will. I mean, if you think about it, He knew us before we were a glimmer in our mother's eye. He knew the exact moment in time we would take our first breath and knows precisely when we will take our last. He's felt the sorrows and joys we have experienced and will be there for those to come. He cares for us so intimately that he hears our cries and can feel our pain. Really though, it wasn't supposed to be this way. Every sorrow we experience can be traced back to the day Adam and Eve turned their backs on God. Thankfully, He is a gracious Father and although we are ever running from Him, He is always waiting with open arms. Does that make it ok for us to consistently fail him? No, however, he has an amazing way of balancing his mighty wrath with gracious love. I am thankful today that he sent his son to this earth to live out a life full of all of the joys and sorrows we experience. He was not only our Savior but our advocate. Sitting beside the Father as a representative for "man". He felt everything we felt. He hurt. He laughed. He understood.

So, when you are feeling a bit down, just remember God has got it under control. Why do we worry? Isn't this life but a glimmer of light in a rising sun??

A.W. Tozer puts it best:

"The love of Christ both wounds and heals, it fascinates and frightens, it kills and makes alive, it draws and repulses. There can be nothing more terrible or wonderful than to be stricken with love for Christ so deeply that the whole being goes out in a pained adoration of His person, an adoration that disturbs and disconcerts while it purges and satisfies and relaxes the deep inner heart."

I LOVE YOU JOSH EARLS

Monday, May 24, 2010

Since Josh left...


Most exciting things that have happened since Josh left....

1. Bella threw mashed potatoes in my eye ball (apparently eyes were not made for mashed potatoes). I was walking around in a state of blurred vision for a while. Every-time I tried to get the potato out it just mushed.

2. We (Carol, Bella and I) went to Williamsburg on Saturday. It was gorgeous weather and there was a farmers market going with fresh produce and cute colonial things. I feel like I go to Williamsburg so often I should just give in and become a colonial myself. They should pay me to walk around and talk to people who aren't really listening. Carol and I decided I should wear the scarlet letter like Hester Prynne (just to stir things up). Totally wrong period and totally wrong story but, it would make for good conversation!

3. We hit the beach in Norfolk. Now, when say "beach" you may be thinking crashing waves, sand as far as the eye can see, and bathing beauties. Well, in reality, we live in Norfolk VA so picture lots of homeless people (whom I love), and water line where you walk into the water and immediately find yourself falling off a cliff into deep waters (which was super fun for Bells). Oh, and no waves b/c of the bay. I'm not complaining--I love my beach!

4. I haven't washed the sheets of my bed (though they need it) because they still smell like Josh (good or bad, I miss him).

5. We got to talk to Josh on the ship's phone line...it's not the best connection but he is doing well and just settling into things.

6. I ate 6 peanut butter cookies. Yah, that's right, and there are about 10 more that have been staring at me all day...sometimes I think I hear them calling for me.

7. Oh and I totally started spying on my neighbors. What?! I can't help it, there was an ambulance. Ok, so I spied on them before but when the ambulance came it made things really juicy.

7. Lastly, I bought a one piece bathing suit. I cannot believe this day has finally come.

8. If you look above you'll notice there are two number sevens. Yes, this is due to the overall tiredness I have experienced since my dear husband left. It's ok though because that is the Lords number. ;)

It is finished.

If you read this, I feel so bad for you. You must really need something to do. Here, I have an idea...visit: www.failblog.org (so funny).

Friday, May 21, 2010

"It was hard to look him in the face"-Saying goodbye to my hubby

What's up peeps!?
*This is the first time I've ever blogged thus, I thought it prudent to start off with a "bang-of-an-opening-line"...Peeps is a real word you know...ok, serious time:

Josh asked if I would like to be a part of his blog for two reasons. First, he wanted to be able to keep up with Bella and I each day (he can't get on Facebook and can only view videos in certain formats); and second, he wanted to allow our loved ones to follow us on this journey that is "deployment". So, here goes:

Last night I couldn't sleep. Mostly, because I could hear my groom breathing beside me and I wanted to take in every second I could with him before the next day began (even if he was asleep). I also couldn't sleep, because of the jets flying over our house all night (you would think we lived in a combat zone). Regardless, the sun rose, and Josh had already gotten up. It was honestly hard to even look him in the face. Every time I tried, I could see the pain in his eyes and it made me tear up. I tried following my morning routine but the fact that he was about to leave me (us) for seven months was looming. Thank God that Bella decided to sleep in this morning because seeing Josh have to say goodbye to her would be too much for us both. He kissed her goodbye in her sleep which was perfect. He was all packed up, said goodbye to his mom and we headed out. On the drive to base I lost it, thankfully Josh brought a kitchen towel to wipe our tears (who brings a towel for tears...only a dude...). I dropped him off at his ship and just tried to be strong for him because he needed to go directly to the ship to start working. We said goodbye and that was the last time I held my husband. I'm glad I just wrote it down. It's not as if he died but I want to remember what I was thinking just then:)

I brought Bella and Carol back with me to watch the ship take off from the port. We got to see him standing in attention, pulling away from us. He looked so handsome, I've never been so proud.

There you go. It has begun.

The only thing that I can do now is trust God's will and his amazing grace/love which he lavishes on us all day long...

“For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29: 11-13

And Here We Go.

Well,

Today is the day. In about one hour my wife will drive me to the pier and I will grab my sea bag (suitcase type thing that has all my clothes), kiss my wife and say goodbye. My daughter is staying at home with her grandma, if my little girl came to drop me off I don't think I could make it.
The emotions I am feeling are mixed. I am so excited to be deploying, I will finally be doing what I signed up for. I will have sailors that I will see everyday who I will have the chance to influence and share the love of Christ with. I am also very excited because believe it or not, even at the ripe old age of 28, this will be my first time outside of the U.S. I never imagined that I would see the world ridding a U.S. Naval War Vessel. But it is devastating to leave my family. My wife and I both have great families who will watch over my wife and daughter while I am gone, but to not see my 18 month old daughter develop and grow is so painful. I was thinking last night that when I get back she will be about 25 months old and with last summer and the deployment now I will have been gone for 11 of those months.
Bella (my daughter) is so beautiful and growing so fast. If you have read the previous post, her diagnosis is good. Her head is not growing as much as it has, which is a direct indicator that the hydrocephalus is not getting any worse. So thank you all for your prayers and support.

To close I thought I would mention what one does on his last day before a deployment. Strangely enough it is alot like a normal Saturday. I took the day off from work because I will be at work for 7 months straight. I got up early with my daughter, made her breakfast, waited until my wife got up, turned my daughter over to her then I went and mowed the lawn. After I finished I changed the oil in my wife's car and after I showered we went out and had lunch and ran some last minute errands. We then came back to the house where I played with my daughter for a while then I answered some emails and made some phone calls. We closed the day by watching a movie and then going to bed. So overall what one does the day before a deployment is very much like any normal Saturday.

God Bless
Josh