Tuesday, July 27, 2010

One of those days...

Today is one of those days. No matter how I try to get around it, the absence of Josh is looming everywhere. I woke up missing him and since then, not even Starbucks has helped (I know, right!) ;) The Word, of course, has been encouraging but... sometimes I just miss him and that is all there is to it! All of the "it will be ok's" and "you'll get through this" lines are good to hear but they don't take the place of my husband (and thank you to all who have given me those lines, keep them coming).

For those of you who are military wives out there, I'm sure you understand this "looming feeling". It's like you are there but your heart is permanently in another place--the place where your husband resides. Sometimes I just close my eyes and remember his smell, his smile, and the goofy way he sleeps with one eye open:) I never thought I'd miss his smelly socks (and they do smell).

Maybe it's because our seven year anniversary is approaching and I made him something (shhh...it's a secret) that involved me documenting all of times we had together since our "inception" :) Tugging on those memories has proven to be to much I think! What I really need to do is stop creating sentimental artifacts and start watching Nascar (or something). No, I wouldn't go that far, Nascar is the ultimate low. Yes, it's true, watching cars drive round in circles (to me) is the ultimate punishment. Ok, so maybe not Nascar but, there has to be something else as mindless?? Some would recommend watching golf, but, because of my father's love for golf, I actually like it.

Either way, I will survive. I've got a little person (not an actual LP) -- Bella who forces me to snap out of my momentary woes and helps me live life to the fullest with or without daddy! I think I just miss him on behalf of her. So I miss him double. She deserves to have her daddy and it makes me sad that she can only see him on video. Thank goodness for Poppa's & uncles who give her some remnant of male presence. But, and this is a big but (he, he) our purpose in deployment is a heavenly one, full of sharing faith and suffering with other military families and proving that God is always there for us, even on days like this!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Oh the Deep Deep Love of Jesus :)

O the deep, deep love of Jesus, vast, unmeasured, boundless, free!
Rolling as a mighty ocean in its fullness over me!
Underneath me, all around me, is the current of Thy love
Leading onward, leading homeward to Thy glorious rest above!

O the deep, deep love of Jesus, spread His praise from shore to shore!
How He loveth, ever loveth, changeth never, nevermore!
How He watches o’er His loved ones, died to call them all His own;
How for them He intercedeth, watcheth o’er them from the throne!

O the deep, deep love of Jesus, love of every love the best!
’Tis an ocean full of blessing, ’tis a haven giving rest!
O the deep, deep love of Jesus, ’tis a heaven of heavens to me;
And it lifts me up to glory, for it lifts me up to Thee!

Words: S. Trevor Francis, 1875.
Music: Ebenezer, Thomas J. Williams, 1890

There's something about a good hymn. They just don't write music the same anymore:) I mean, don't get me wrong, there are a few good worship songs out there today but, I find them to be so plain and simple, so lacking in the fear and the awe of God. For some reason "Oh the Deep Deep Love of Jesus" kept popping up in my mind today. The words are so beautiful to me because I have always found the ocean to be a vast and glorious portrayal of God's mighty hand. To equate his love with the deepness of the ocean is so powerful. I love that His love is all around us at all times. To me this extends all the way out to the sea that carries the love of my life, Josh. He has his banner of love wrapped around me, Bella, and Josh all at once--wow, God is so good. God is always blessing us with bountiful blessings as vast as the sea. Isn't it sad that sometimes we focus only the struggles of life and miss out on this bounty? Open your eyes, look around you at the things He has done and is doing for you. When you think you've got it bad, someone else has got it worse I assure you. God has always sharpened my love for him and others through times of struggle. If you are struggling now, just know that you will be able to look back at this time in thankfulness at the things you learned.

Next time you look to the sea, be reminded of his deep love:)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

In Your Absence: We Got Good & Dirty!

This weekend Bella and I (along with Josh's family and friends) ventured out to Huntington Lake, CA. This trip was something Josh and I have been looking forward to taking together ever since we met. Josh has been heading to Huntington Lake since he was a wee laddy and often laments that we have not been there together. When we first started dating he would share his desire to let me experience its beauty and natural charm and he promised we would go one day.

Alas, it worked out that I was there without him but, I brought a representative that looks a lot like him -- Bella :) She's much shorter, more busy, and a bit more stinky but, she's my little Josh. When we arrived at the cabin, I immediately smelled the pine trees that he had so vibrantly described. The smell reminded me of Hume Lake (a camp in central California that both Josh and I attended as youngsters before we met). The view from the cabin was breathtaking and I remember just standing there, closing my eyes, and imagining Josh standing next to me. He would have been pleased to see Bella hit the ground running, searching for sticks and rocks and getting extremely dirty (which he loves).

The most hysterical part of the weekend was that it was all girls (well excepting Josh's four year old nephew Caleb of course). Josh's dad couldn't come because of work so that left me and Bella, Josh's mom and sisters and two girl friends. There were a few times where we lamented that it would have been nice to have a boy around (building fires, killing spiders, taking out trash) but, overall--it was girl power all of the way. And yes, I did kill a spider. It probably sounded to the neighbors as though I was dying by the sounds of the screams but, I did it! Spiders in California are giant and aggressive. I felt like I was in Arachnophobia the movie:) I even got nervous sitting on the toilets!

We did lots of hiking, lots of swimming, and lots of eating (which included smores and a lot of digestive issues for me, he, he). If you ask my nephew Caleb, it's pronounced "shhmores"--and he will not hear it any other way. We also got to do some paddle boating and sea dooing. At one point, the sea doo and paddle boat were mixed together and that resulted in a sinking paddle boat and everyone in the water-- not recommended:)

So the best part of the weekend for me was watching my little girl run full speed into 60 degree water (and not even care). She was literally in heaven all weekend. She got to dig in the dirt and spend time with family (great grandparents and great aunts and uncles). She loved every second, just like her daddy did. I took lots of pictures for Josh so he could be there with us. At night, in bed....I would get to thinking how sad I was for Josh not to be there with us. To watch his little girl experience all of his favorite things. That's the hardest part for me I think. The little memories that he can't experience with us. We missed you baby and wished every second that you were there. We did all of the things you would have done and I tried to be just as adventurous as you would have been with Bella. I got her good and dirty like you asked:)

So, that was our weekend. We love you daddy. We hope you enjoyed reading about our time away from you. We think about you every second of every day and pray for you at night. We are proud of you serving our country and excited about your ministry to the sailors. It's tough to admit but, they need you more than we do. After all, if one sailor gets to spend eternity with Christ due to your presence with them (and your absence from us), it is worth it! The seeds you plant by your presence will be cultivated by the Father-never doubt that my dear.

Endless love and juicy kisses form Bells.

My heart.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Real Hero

As I have been out on this deployment I have received a lot of letters and notes thanking me for my service. The letters usually go something like this, "I just want you to know that I am so appreciative of what you are doing for our country. I know that it must be hard, but I am glad that you are making the sacrifice in order to minister to our sailors."
Now these letters/notes are great and they help me so much during these days away from family and loved ones, but I wanted to take a little time to post about who I think the real hero is during this deployment; it's my wife Annie.
My wife and I will have been married 7 years in about 3 weeks on Aug. 8th. I won't be there! This will make 3 out of the last 4 anniversaries that I have missed, the last two due to the Navy. When we first go married God had not called us into the Navy, so imagine my wife's shock when we had the conversation about 3 years into our marriage. You see Annie grew up in Oceanside CA, right next to Camp Pendleton (A Marine base), and she promised herself two things 1) she would never marry a minister, and 2) she would never marry someone in the military. Well she is 0 for 2.
You would think that her reaction would be to protest and scream and let loose some variation of "over my dead body," but Annie has never had that attitude. She has been completely supportive (it has been a difficult road though, many nights alone and many tears), but Annie's response has always been "if the Lord is leading you, I will follow and support."
My wife is the hero because she has to be separated from me while I "do" my ministry, she only gets to experience it through me.
My wife is my hero because even though this is not the life she thought she would have she has embraced it and found joy in it.
My wife is my hero because for the past two months and for the next five to come she has become a single mother.
My wife is my hero because she has never resented me for making her be that. She has only told me how much she loves me, and how proud of me she is.
My wife is my hero because she is flying back and forth across the country during this deployment with a 21 month old. Bella does not make that easy.

Honey I know what this ministry has cost you and I am so thankful for your love and for your support.

Love Josh

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

California Girls--Theme Park Junkies

Hello Blog Stalkers.

First, let me me apologize for the amount of time that has past since our last blog. You see, nomads (aka people with no home), travel vast amounts of the time. We are unable to stay in places for long periods of time (because either: we are on the run from the government or our husbands are deployed) thus, we do not write. We are not on the run from the government--yet. We are still separated from Josh so ...we keep moving to solve the issue of loneliness. Yes, nomadic living sums it up! We have been in Hudsonville, Michigan, Merced, CA, Murrieta, CA, Oceanside, CA, and now we are in Redondo Beach, CA.

I am thankful for these travels. They keep my mind active, my heart whole and my baby on her toes. We have enjoyed every second of time with family, as well as time with old and very dear friends. When I feel worn out from travels (which happens when you have an almost 2 year old), I just go into a room alone and imagine being by myself for more than a day. I then realize, I want to be busy...I want to be with friends and family! Time moves fast some days and very slow others. When I see my brother with his daughter, I want just melt. Mostly because it reminds me of the love between a father and his daughter. The way he looks at her and wipes her tears leaves my heart with a little ache. This ache doesn't come from jealousy or envy--it's in regret for Bella. She has such a great father who she can only see on video. When she watches Josh...sometimes I think she will burst through the TV in happiness. When I watch...I just think about how many months we have to wait to see him :(

Alas, time is time and we've got a ways to go so we hit up theme parks!!! Yes, when my parents came down to southern California, we went to the Wild Animal Park and Disneyland. Bella loved both parks and I enjoyed watching her do so! At Disney she rode, Pirate's of the Caribbean, Dumbo, and It's a Small World. I think the girl's a junky now. If she could only be so great at waiting in long lines. Really, it's like I'm torturing her when we wait in line. I look around and see all of these children holding hands so quietly waiting, and my daughter is climbing up my face! :) I don't know where she gets her wildness! (wink). We have also spent lots of time at the beach and at pools swimming with cousin Hannah. She loves the water. I love her.

Josh is doing amazing. He hasn't updated the blog lately because he's either been busy or communication is shoddy. He has had amazing ministry opportunities thus far and I can only imagine many more on the way. He has switched ships for a few months and currently has his own room -- which is great for him. He said the seas have been terribly rocky and that he has to brace himself all night so that he doesn't fall off his bed. He is in great spirits but misses his little girl terribly.

P.S. I miss SoCal---the mexican food here is to DIE for! Ok, I wouldn't die for it but, I would suffer greatly. We are staying at the Heidts and we hope to see Auntee Jen again before heading back up to central California soon....


Monday, July 5, 2010


These are some pictures for daddy to check out our latest happenings... Many more pics to come:) LOVE YOU EARLSY!