marriage

Life-as-a-wife Survival Kit

Today I would like to share with you another fun marriage post “from the archives” with a few updates and modifications. It doesn’t matter if you are a wife, know someone who is a wife or is preparing to become a wife… I am sure you can relate… 🙂 

Be blessed, 
SGK 

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God sure has a sense of humor. It still cracks me up almost daily that He had the idea to create man, then create woman, make us COMPLETELY different and say “Ok, live together for your entire life. Play nice. Love each other. I’m here when you need me. Good luck.”

Sometimes I think marriage needs a survival kit. Specifically, I need a survival kit as an army wife. So today is my appeal for  either 1) every man getting married to give their wife the following kit, 2) every woman getting married to get this kit for herself or 3) for the army to standard issue the following items to all army wives everywhere.

But before I get into the actual life-as-a-wife survival kit, I would like to address the survival kit needed for married men, military or otherwise. I am sure they are already feeling left out, and we certainly wouldn’t want that.

So here is the basic supplies needed for dudes in an I-wanna-be-a-husband-in-a-joy-filled-marriage kit.

1. Food. Any kind will do. Preferably red meat. Maybe a potato or two.

2. Shelter. Any kind will do. Preferably warm and dry.

3. Soda/beer and/or TV. Not any kind will do, and amounts will vary per man.

4. A passionate wife. Why? To um, ahem, satisfy, eh, their, er “urges.” (If you don’t get this one… ask your spouse. Or any random man. I am sure he can clarify.)

Welp. That was easy.

Now, back to the life-as-a-wife survival guide in reverse ranking order. (United States Military, I hope you are paying attention. Seriously. This should be standard issue when anyone marries into any branch of the military. I will be waiting by my mailbox. Oh, and attention all pastors/priests/preachers/justices of the peace/anyone who can legally marry two people– you might consider this as a prerequisite gift for those you are hitchin’ together. Just saying.)

(Note: These of course are hypothetical. They certainly aren’t based on MY experiences at all… right.)

10. An upright punching bag. With accompanying hand wraps and gloves. There will be frustrations in marriage… and this is a healthy way to, um, release some tension without taking it out on your beloved. It works. Or so I’ve been told.

9. Chocolate. Any kind will do… some might prefer a mint-chocolate combination, or dark chocolate varieties. Large quantities preferred.

8. Kleenexes. Emotional roller coaster breakdowns can happen at any given moment. I have known wives (again, not myself of course) to end up sitting on the couch tearing up a boxes of Kleenex telling their husband as she gasp’s between sobs “I…(gasp)… don’t… (hack)… know… (snort)… why… (sniff)… I’m…(honk)… cryinggggg… (waaaaaa!) *Also useful for happy and/or Holy Spirit tears as well. Those too are very common.

7. A wine glass. I have  been “told” that some wives don’t always even drink wine out of the glasses. A wife last week perhaps kinda sorta drank Diet Dr. Pepper out of a fancy wine glass. Or chocolate milk (see #9) Wives are all about feeling elegant and keeping it classy. Do what it takes.

6. A bathtub. This is best used for life-as-a-wife survival tool if combined with #9 and #7. (Just add steaming hot water and bubbles.)

5. Tylenol.  For recovering from #8 and other semi-stressful and/or overwhelming experiences.

4. A movie/TV show filter. Sometimes as a wife (especially army wife) we need a magical filter that blocks certain shows or movies from our viewing. AKA films that involve war, adultery, excessive tears, etc. They are seed planters and can be super un-survival-ish.

3. A positive go-to person. This can be a friend, neighbor, mom, family member or fellow wife. When the husband is either the cause of the issue OR is not available (which is often the case), wives need to have a pep-talker on-standby, even if it is via phone, internet, text or Skype. <Note: this is not an out to air dirty laundry. If you have an issue with your Beloved, go to HIM first…>

2. A sense of humor. Marriage can either be stressful and painful or hilarious and fun (most of the time.) Choose the latter option. It is way more productive, and requires less of #8, #9, and pretty much all of the above… and WILL help you survive. (ESPECIALLY in the military.)

1. A Bible… and the faith to go with it. This is easily the most important of all the survival supplies on this list. When our husbands are gone, busy, preoccupied, confused, deployed, injured, uncertain etc, we have ONE to lean on, and that is our Father in Heaven. Hey, even when our Beloved is in tip-top shape, God STILL needs to be our number one. The closer we (husband and wife) are to God, the stronger the marriage will be. Ultimately to survive as a wife and live in a joy-filled marriage, we must FIRST be married to HIM. Be so in love with God that your husband has to seek Him to get to you. And allow your husband to lead in your walk.

Keep the faith– it will ultimately lead you to both survival and revival of your marriage.

Living and loving my life-as-a-wife,

SGK

“Stay with God. Take heart. Don’t quit. I will say it again: Stay with God!” Psalm 27:14 MSG

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A Ruck March Marriage

You might have noticed that several of my Friday posts have been “reposts” from previously published material. It’s not that I don’t have lots of new and crazy ideas about faith,  but rather it is due to moving cross-country and not having a promise of a legit internet connection. So doing Five Minute Friday on the spot might be a little sketch til we get settled. 

So today I would like to share with you a post that was featured as my first ever guest post… It brings a lot of great memories and I pray that it provides some encouragement in your walk with Christ! ~SGK 

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We had been married a few months. My husband and I were enjoying some one-on-one time, which was a rare occurrence due to his occupation with the U.S. Army Infantry.

I was lying on the couch and he was rubbing my feet.  Ahhh, total bliss. My sweet man looked at me and said softly, “Hey lover…”

My heart filled with anticipation, preparing for the romantic words that I knew would follow.

“You have great ruck marching feet.”

Um… Thank you? Sigh. This is our personal love story.

For all of you non-military couples out there, let me explain. A ruck march is a real-life training exercise where these soldiers fill a pack (aka their ruck) with all of their gear and march. It is equivalent to literally taking a packed-to-the-brim suitcase, weighing anywhere from 38 to 50+ pounds, strapping it on your back and walking for two to twelve (or more) miles. On purpose. Sometimes just for fun.  (I’ve done it… my personal best is 12 miles with 35 lbs on my back in about 4 hrs… I thought my legs were going to fall off. But that’s another story.)

So really, I couldn’t even be upset at my drill sergeant husband’s ruck marching feet comment. From his perspective, it really was a compliment. When it comes to our love story, I am thankful for my ruck marching feet.

Why, you ask?

Marriage is like a ruck march, whether or not you are in the military. It’s a challenge. There are ups, downs, sweat, tears, and moments that you want to quit. But on the flip side, there are seasons of amazing joy upon reaching a checkpoint or conquering that “hill” that you have been climbing together. It’s a workout—but when you reach your destination, it’s SO worth it.

In our ruck march military marriage, desertion is not an option. Sure, there have been a few occurrences when my husband has had to take my hand and pull me through a desert. Other times, I have had to remind my beloved to stop and check the map. (And we all know how much guys love asking for directions…)

We’ve been through deployments, separated by months of training, dealt with incredibly long hours, been through a miscarriage, moved to a new time zone (or 3!), survived some difficult leadership situations and recently welcomed our first baby into our life. Our entire relationship has been one big ruck march. People ask, “How do you do it?” I really don’t have an answer for that other than God. He is the foundation of our relationship. God is OUR Commander-in-Chief in this ruck march marriage.

We try not to get wrapped up in holidays, birthdays and anniversaries– yes, we acknowledge them, but more times than not my Beloved’s call as an infantryman prevents us from making big, romantic plans. Bottom line: we love each other consistently, treasure each other’s company, go on dates and feel inexplicable joy all year-long, not just on anniversaries and holidays. We are crazy about each other and madly in love with God. He will be the one to help us reach our final destination in this ruck march marriage. Till death do we part. And until that point, we will keep on marching. “Left… left… left, right, left…”

Marching with Him,
SGK

“The Lord will march out like a champion, like a warrior he will stir up his zeal; with a shout he will raise the battle cry and will triumph over his enemies.” ~Isaiah 42:13

Earlier this year I was able to "pin" my Beloved when he was promoted to Sgt First Class... This experience may or may not have included a secret hand shake, fist pound and a big ol' smooch.

Earlier this year I was able to “pin” my Beloved when he was promoted to Sgt First Class… This experience may or may not have included a secret hand shake, fist pound and a big ol’ smooch.

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Jesus, Marriage, & Hamburger Helper

Ahhh, marriage… Tis so much more than that beautiful white dress, the romance of a honeymoon and those sweet moments of snuggling on the couch.

Marriage also includes challenges, growth, conflict, and on days when all of those things are present, sometimes hamburger helper for supper.

Truth in marriage. Just kidding.
We love each other. Kind of a lot.

Before I dive into today’s blog post on marriage, I have a disclaimer: First of all, the following story is not a “wawhoo-they-have-a-great-marriage” story. It is actually a “wawhoo-we-worship-an-incredible-God-and-we-are-so-thankful-He-is-the-center-of-our-marriage-and-yes-we-still-have-a-long-way-to-go” story. Also, I am not a huge advocate of airing “dirty laundry” in public forums like a blog for all the world to see, but this was such a remarkable testimony to God’s faithfulness that I couldn’t NOT share. (Plus it’s not really that dirty of laundry anyways.)

Oh, and a bit of background for those of you who might be new to this locale: My sweet hubby Brandon is a drill sergeant with the United States Infantry. We have been married for two wonderful (and educational) years.

A couple of weeks ago was “FTX” time in my husband’s training cycle as a drill sergeant. FTX stands for “Field training Exercise” which is code for “let’s go do profound infantry things out in the bushes for a week so these boys can officially be soldiers.” As a wife, sometimes I think FTX actually stands for “Frequently a Time of Exasperation.” But I digress. So he left for FTX with the intention of coming home at least one night out of the 4 or 5 nights that he would be in the field. However, due to some new “rules,” this theory was flushed away on day one… I took it well (thanks, Jesus!) and prepared myself for a week of flying solo.

That was Monday. By Tuesday morning, his phone had died, because someone didn’t take his wife’s suggestion to make sure it was fully charged on Sunday night “just in case.” (I’m a huge advocate of communication.) So, the week wore on with no way to communicate– not a half-second “I love you” text or “Yep, still alive” text. I spent my time working and hanging out with Jesus to stave off loneliness and attacks by The Enemy.

Long story still long, my dear husband was planning on being home mid-day Thursday ish. I went to work. And came home. No sign of him. No word from him. I started on supper, confused, a wee bit frustrated (seriously, it wasn’t bad at this point.) I was making a simple, homemade version of hamburger helper (not out of the box, but very similar.) As I was working over the stove, my phone rang. It was my husband. My heart flopped with glee! Finally!

I answered and he sounded exhausted. I excitedly asked if he was en route homeward. Negative. My heart sank. My frustration with his job in the army grew. It had been a rough day (ok, week) for him. But as we talked, my womanly (pregnant) hormones took over. I could hear my voice rising as I stirred supper faster and faster. Brandon asked for me to pray for him– for patience to make it through the next several hours, with his co-workers, with the entire situation. I snapped back at him “Um, I HAVE been praying for you. ALL WEEK.” (Classy, I know. Sigh.)

His voice cracked as he said “No, seriously, Sharita. I NEED you to pray for me.”

My heart switch flipped. The tears were rolling as I dropped my spoon on the counter and headed to the living room. I knelt down on my knees, leaning on the couch. I started to pray. Out loud. On the phone.

Guess what? Jesus. Showed. Up.

I learned that it is impossible to be ticked off when you are legitimately in the presence of God. I prayed for us with my beloved on the other end of the line. By the time I got done, my heart was lighter. My tears had stopped. His voice sounded stronger.

This post is not to say that our marriage is perfect (it’s not) or that we have it all figured out (we don’t.) But it is a testimony to the power and presence of God… How do you invite Christ into your everyday life? Has He shown up and shown out lately? In what ways? I love to hear from you… Leave your comments below.

I praise God for His incredible faithfulness. What could have been a knock-down-drag-out-pouty-tearful-unChristlike moment in our marriage turned into a sweet, redeeming memory of focus on God and love for each other with a simple prayer that all started with  Jesus… And hamburger helper.

Jesus is OUR helper,
SGK

“I do want to point out, friends, that time is of the essence. There is no time to waste, so don’t complicate your lives unnecessarily. Keep it simple—in marriage, grief, joy, whatever. Even in ordinary things—your daily routines of shopping, and so on. Deal as sparingly as possible with the things the world thrusts on you. This world as you see it is on its way out.” ~1 Corinthians 7:29-31 MSG

Categories: God, marriage | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

True Love Is… (Just A Quick Reminder)

Hello darling readers… due to my continued exhaustion via life/pneumonia/army, I am taking a quick brain breather and resharing with you one of my favorite posts… about marriage and Jesus. (Two of my favorite topics!)  I would love to hear your fresh thoughts on what YOU believe true love really is in your life– in marriage, in your relationship with Christ or when/where ever! Leave a comment below. (Please and thank you.) 

Thanks for your continued patience while I get back on my feet. Looking forward to getting back in the groove sooner than later. (Jesus willing.) 

Much love, 

SGK 

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I can think of a variety of descriptions for “True Love,” specifically within marriage. Some of these ideas include rewarding, challenging, refreshing, educational, hilarious, frustrating, growth-oriented, blessed… Oh, and we can’t forget that true love in marriage is precious (both truly precious and also sometimes a little sarcastically precious.)

Recently, I was reminded how truly precious true love can be, especially within our marriage.

Some might say that true love is small acts of kindness, roses, chocolates, hugs and kisses. While all of those things are great (and I love them all) here are a few different ideas about what true love is for us.

True love is… a husband and wife constantly debating the appropriate temperature  on which to set the thermostat, and still being able to suck it up when the “other” temperature wins out for the day.

True love is… not completely freaking out to the point of hysteria and/or silence when a wife realizes that her husband has used her toothbrush simply because his bathroom was “too far away.”

True love is… a husband that remembers to roll the garbage out to curb on Thursday nights without being asked.

True love is… a wife “babysitting” her husband’s brewing/fermenting batch of beer that has to be kept cool and adding ice to it while he has overnight staff duty… without being asked.

True love is… receiving a text from a husband asking you to ice his fermenting beer and the wife has already completed the task 10 minutes before.

True love is… a husband grilling a steak willingly and hesitantly steaming some veggies for supper while a stressed out wife works on homework/church stuff.

True love is… a wife submitting to weekly trips to Buffalo Wild Wings.

True love is… a husband supporting a wife’s fitness goals, while at the same time reminding her that she is beautiful just as she is.

True love is… a husband trying new foods cooked by his wife, even though he initially said he wouldn’t like it– then being humble enough to admit it was awesome.

True love is… going to church together whenever the army schedule allows it.

True love is… doing each other’s laundry and dishes, no matter who’s turn it is.

True love is… an army wife remembering to be frustrated with the army and not her husband when schedules are jacked up and less than productive decisions are made.

True love is…. a husband patiently holding his wife while she cries for a reason that cannot specifically be determined.

True love is… a husband and wife willing to lose valuable sleep to talk out issues just to avoid going to bed angry.

True love is… praying together for others and remembering to turn to God in prayer in the middle of an argument.

True love is… awesome to experience, blessed by Christ and an opportunity to grow together.

This list might be a little bit unorthodox… but for us, it’s all true. Another sign of true love is sacrifice. The greatest form of sacrifice that I can think of was the body of Jesus Christ– what an incredible representation of true love! I am not only thankful to be in a marriage that is based on true love, but also in a relationship with Christ that is the epitome of True Love.

So what IS true love? True love is sacrifice. True love is Christ.

Love to love and be loved,

SGK

“God, God, a God of mercy and grace, endlessly patient—so much love, so deeply true—loyal in love for a thousand generations, forgiving iniquity, rebellion, and sin.” — Exodus 34:4 (MSG)

Categories: God, marriage | Tags: , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Gotta Love the Shiny

Do you know what my favorite thing about April is? Go ahead, guess…

The warmer weather? Naw. April showers bringing May flowers? I do enjoy it, but not my favorite. The fact that April is National Grilled Cheese Sandwich month? Oohh close, but not quite. Do you give up?

I love April because it is my bi-annual ring cleaning month. (I will give you a moment to stop laughing… or rolling your eyes… or however you reacted.)

That’s right. My beloved proposed to me in the month of April, thus I have to have my engagement/wedding ring cleaned and inspected every six months in order to maintain the lifetime guarantee. So October and April are two of my favorite months of the year.

In the airport, moments after my beloved gave the ring... I have never felt more bright and shiny. And if you are curious-- I said yes.

Before you think I am a superficial crazy person, let me explain something. It’s not the biggest ring on the planet. And it certainly isn’t the most expensive. (I personally have issues buying/owning/wearing a piece of jewelry that costs as much as a vehicle. Uh, yeah, no.) But I love my ring because of what it represents– a sacred, lifelong covenant between my beloved and I.  And I LOVE getting it cleaned. After they work their two-minute magic on this bad boy, it looks as good as new. I don’t know about you, but I just love the shiny.

The new shininess of the ring just fills my heart with joy. The light will catch it every now and then, at which point I smile like a bozo, think of my beloved and giggle like a school girl.

Sometimes I am so excited about the “shiny” in my life, I am convinced I am part squirrel.

But here’s the thing with my newly-cleaned up ring… That awesome excessive shine only lasts a few days. As the weeks and months pass, don’t get me wrong, it still looks pretty and I always cherish it, but it gets a little… gunky. And when I do take it in to get cleaned every six months, I oftentimes have to ask for a “second” cleaning because they missed some of the inside crevices.

Getting that  ring cleaned is a lot like our relationship with Jesus. I don’t know about you, but if I neglect my Jesus time, I start to lose that Jesus shine and look/feel gunky. So I am all about  getting polished daily by spending time with Him. And just like that ring’s “lifetime guarantee,” I need to have  hardcore cleaning sessions a few times a year… perhaps it is a women’s retreat, or attend a really awesome Jesus conference or go on a mini-personal sabbatical.

And every time I come back from those big Jesus events, I feel new… fresh… clean… and of course, oh-so-shiny. Talk about some Jesus Bling!!

So I am curious– what do you do to keep your “Jesus shine?” Do you attend any specific events? Or do you have any interesting methods to be cleansed by Jesus daily to maintain your shine? Let me know by commenting here. 🙂

The blood of Jesus is the ultimate cleaning solution. Get washed today. Accept His love for you, and don’t be shy about sharing it with others. Jesus is the light and He can shine through us… And I don’t know about you, but I just gotta love the shiny.

This Shine Ain’t All Mine,
SGK

“‘Men and women who have lived wisely and well will shine brilliantly, like the cloudless, star-strewn night skies. And those who put others on the right path to life will glow like stars forever.” — Daniel 12:3

Its. So. Shiny. Thank you, Jesus!

Categories: blessing, celebrate, fresh start, God, Jesus, Love, marriage, recharge, shine | Tags: , , , , , , | 10 Comments

A Real-Life Love Offering

Yesterday, my husband reenlisted in the army.

For how long you ask? Six. Whole. Years.

So for all of you wonderful friends that ask when we are “getting out” of the army? It’s gonna be a while. The signed paper says so.

I wasn’t in a great mood yesterday. Don’t get me wrong, I love (and support) my husband with all I am. And my crappy mood really had little to do with the whole re-enlistment thing. But it was just one of those days.

I was/am fighting a cold that my husband contracted from the germy privates he is training, which he so generously shared with me. (It happens every red phase. Almost all of the wives/families in our company are ill. Airborne, anyone?)

In addition to feeling like poo, the reenlistment ceremony was at 1300 yesterday afternoon. (That’s 1pm for all of you non-military folks.) Yeah, right smack dab in the middle of the day… Which really jacked up my schedule. I really don’t enjoy when the army messes with my battle plan, especially when it involves me missing out on the majority of a day of work on a week that we have a huge project to work on.

Oh. Did I mention the ceremony was outside? In the sun. At 1300. In Georgia. And I didn’t dress appropriately because it was only supposed to get up to 75 and was about 47 when I left the house that morning. But the 86 degree temp and sweat through my long sleeved blouse proved otherwise. Sigh.

As I sat there trying to sweat as un-awkwardly as possible, I was overcome with emotion. Now, before you think I am softy, I should clarify what kinds of emotions. Pity. Annoyance. A tiny smidge of pride. Fear. This reenlistment kind of snuck up on me– and not that I ever planned that we were getting out of the army, but talking about it and actually signing the paperwork (for six years!) are two different discussions.

I was just in a grumpy (sweaty) mood most of the early afternoon. But suddenly I was struck with the thought…  I sure am being an ungrateful little heifer today. It was like a Jesus lightening bolt. Every had one of those?  I remembered Easter was just two days ago. Jesus did A LOT more than just sit in the sun and agree to follow the army for (at least) six more years.

He gave us His life for us. Bled for us. Hung on the cross. Died.   It was a real-life love offering for you, me and all of mankind. A sacrifice that I can’t even comprehend.

Now I’m not downplaying my beloved’s reenlistment contract or his commitment to our country/family. After all, it is a big life event– and if it matters to us, it matters to God.  I love my husband with everything I have, second to Jesus. I will support him and follow wherever God leads us in the army. But it is Christ’s love for us that helps me realize the sacrifice required to love another person.

America!

People always tell me “I don’t know how you do it.” Well, I don’t know either. Other than Jesus. He is a constant reminder of HOW I am supposed to live, love and honor my husband, no matter how many years we will be serving in the United States Infantry, where we go or how we get there.

I do it because Christ died for me. This is my way of giving my God-chosen husband my own real-life love offering.

Can I get a Hooah,
SGK

“This is how we’ve come to understand and experience love: Christ sacrificed his life for us. This is why we ought to live sacrificially for our fellow believers, and not just be out for ourselves.” 1 John 3:16 (MSG)

PS: Do you have something or someone in your life that you regularly give a “real-life love offering” to? I would love to hear about it… Comment here. 

Categories: 2012, America, army, attitude, gratitude, hope, loyalty, marriage | Tags: , , , , , | 12 Comments

Wide Open

It’s happens more than he would like to admit.

On a Sunday night a couple of weeks ago, I came home from teaching a class at church. I pulled into the driveway at about 8pm and noticed that the garage door on my husband’s side was open. “Ok,” I thought. “I bet he is still digging for random equipment and packing for Ranger school.” 

I parked my car and soon realized that his truck door was also standing wide open. “Huh. He must have ran an armful of stuff into the house. Bet he will be back in a minute.” 

I walked in the side door into the kitchen. Two cabinet doors are open, as well as the silverware drawer. Ok. Either we have been pseudo-robbed or my husband saw something shiny because he is no where in sight. My curiosity piqued, I meandered into the living room. There is my beloved, laying the couch, enjoying man time watch some goofy nature survival show on Netflix.

“Ahem… Um… Darling? Are you DONE in the garage?”

“Oh yeah, babe, been done for quite a while. Why?”

“Would you mind getting up and shutting everything? Seriously.”

 As I walked (ok, stomped) back into the kitchen, I turned around and looked across the room. The deep freezer. Lid up. Random pieces of food scattered. Standing. Wide. Open. BAH!

I love my husband. I really, really do. But his man-nerisms (get it? MANnerisms?) sometimes drive me up the wall.

Like his habit of leaving everything WIDE OPEN. Like his insistence to “combat park” everywhere we go (aka, back into the parking space.) How he can make toast for breakfast in the morning and somehow leave a huge mess on the counter.

I love him.

Trying to remember WHY he left the freezer open...

I was hanging out with another infantry wife a few weeks ago while her husband was still at Ranger school and my husband was working (another) overnight duty. I was joking about Brandon’s little MANnerisms, leaving his stuff around the house making messes. But I also shared with her an epiphany I had… I have learned to appreciate those little messes, because those messes meant he was still around.

Last week, I was talking on the phone to a friend from back home about what it is like to be an army spouse. I shared with her our “story” of a deployment, the army schools, separations, the default answer to all questions of army logic, which is “I don’t know why the army did that…”

The last question she asked me was “What do you like most about being married to a soldier?” I didn’t hesitate. “We never take each other for granted.”

Being an army spouse FORCES me to trust and depend on God, totally, fully, completely. There is no other option. Especially on days like today. My beloved is leaving for Ranger School.  Which means those aforementioned little messes will be disappearing for a few months. It means that I am not going to find a completely melted container of ice cream left out on the counter when I wake up in the morning because he forgot to put it back in the freezer.

Instead of the cabinets being wide open, my heart is going to be wide open. More than normal. It’s going to be wide open to receive all God has planned for me during this time apart from my beloved. Wide open to experience love, mercy and grace in its highest form. Wide open with an attitude of gratitude for my Lord, my husband and our marriage. And on the days where things seem a little bit too “together” or organized, I might just leave some cabinets wide open…on purpose. Then get down on my knees and praise Him  for those pesky open cabinets and treasured open hearts.

Thankful in all circumstances,

SGK

You need to know, friends, that thanking God over and over for you is not only a pleasure; it’s a must. We have to do it. Your faith is growing phenomenally; your love for each other is developing wonderfully. Why, it’s only right that we give thanks. We’re so proud of you; you’re so steady and determined in your faith despite all the hard times that have come down on you. We tell everyone we meet in the churches all about you.” 2 Thessalonians 1:3-4 (MSG) 

Today I am linking up with Getting Down with Jesus, posting about marriage… Check them out!

GettingDownWithJesus

Categories: army, blessings, Love, loyalty, marriage | 12 Comments

My Love Story: We March (Guest Blogging at Suite T)

Holy cheese and crackers, world.  God is working overtime this week– hardcore.  Not only has He equipped me to launch my personal ministry this week, but I was invited to guest post at Suite T Southern Writers Magazine blog…

Can you say EXCITED?!?! AMERICA!

Click HERE to pop over to Suite T and read about my ruck marching feet, marriage and military adventures in Christ! It’s quite a story, if I do say so myself. (But hey… I’m a little biased.)

Oh, and don’t be shy about leaving comments here or there. I l-o-v-e to read your response!

Praising God from Whom all blessings flow,

SGK

“God, mark us with grace and blessing! Smile! The whole country will see how you work,  all the godless nations see how you save.” Psalm 67:1-2 (MSG)  

Southern Writers Suite T button

Categories: adventure, army, Drill Sergeant, encouragement, Love, marriage | 8 Comments

Life-as-a-wife survival kit

God sure has a sense of humor. It still cracks me up almost daily that He had the idea to create man, then create woman, make us COMPLETELY different and say “Ok, live together for your entire life. Play nice. Love each other. I’m here when you need me. Good luck.”

Sometimes I think marriage needs a survival guide. Specifically, I need a survival guide (or kit) as an army wife. So today is my appeal for  either 1) every man getting married to give their wife the following kit, 2) every woman getting married to get this kit for herself or 3) for the army to standard issue the following items to all army wives everywhere.

But before I get into the actual life-as-a-wife survival kit, I would like to address the survival kit needed for married men, military or otherwise. I am sure they are already feeling left out, and we certainly wouldn’t want that.

So here is the basic supplies needed for dudes in an I-wanna-be-a-husband-in-a-joy-filled-marriage kit.

1. Food. Any kind will do.

2. Shelter. Any kind will do. Preferably warm and dry.

3. Beer and/or TV. Not any kind will do, and amounts with vary per man.

4. A passionate wife. Why? To um, ahem, satisfy, eh, their, er “urges.” (If you don’t get this one… ask your spouse. I am sure he can clarify.)

 

Welp. That was easy.

Now, back to the life-as-a-wife survival guide in reverse ranking order. (United States Military, I hope you are paying attention. Seriously. This should be standard issue when anyone marries into any branch of the military. I will be waiting by my mailbox.)

(Note: These of course are hypothetical. They certainly aren’t based on MY experiences at all… right.)

10. An upright punching bag. With accompanying hand wraps and gloves. There will be frustrations in marriage… and this is a healthy way to, um, release some tension without taking it out on your beloved. It works. Or so I’ve been told.

9. Chocolate. Any kind will do… some might prefer a mint-chocolate combination, or dark chocolate varieties.

8. Kleenexes. Emotional roller coaster breakdowns can happen at any given moment. I have known wives (again, not myself of course) to end up sitting on the couch tearing up a boxes of Kleenex telling their husband as she gasp’s between sobs “I…(gasp)… don’t… (hack)… know… (snort)… why… (sniff)… I’m…(honk)… cryinggggg… (waaaaaa!) *Also useful for happy and/or Holy Spirit tears as well. Those too are very common.

7. A wine glass. I have hypothetically been told that some wives don’t always even drink wine out of the glasses. A wife last week perhaps kinda sorta drank Diet Dr. Pepper out of a fancy wine glass. Wives are all about feeling elegant and keeping it classy. Do what it takes.

6. A bathtub. This is best used for life-as-a-wife survival tool if combined with #9 and #7. (Just add steaming hot water and bubbles.)

5. Tylenol.  For recovering from #8 and other semi-stressful and/or overwhelming experiences.

4. A movie/TV show filter. Sometimes as a wife (especially army wife) we need a magical filter that blocks certain shows or movies from our viewing. AKA films that involve war, adultery, excessive tears, etc. They are seed planters and can be super un-survival-ish.

3. A positive go-to person. This can be a friend, neighbor, mom, family member or fellow wife. When the husband is either the cause of the issue OR is not available (which is often the case), wives need to have a pep-talker on-standby, even if it is via phone, internet, text or Skype.

2. A sense of humor. Marriage can either be stressful and painful or hilarious. Choose the latter option. It is way more fun… and WILL help you survive. (ESPECIALLY in the military.)

1. A Bible… and the faith to go with it. This is easily the most important of all the survival supplies on this list. When our husbands are gone, busy, preoccupied, confused, deployed, injured, uncertain etc, we have ONE to lean on, and that is our Father in Heaven. Ultimately to survive as a wife and live in a joy-filled marriage, we must FIRST be married to HIM. Be so in love with God that your husband has to seek Him to get to you. And allow your husband to lead in your walk.

Keep the faith– it will ultimately lead you to both survival and revival of your marriage.

Living and loving my life-as-a-wife,

SGK

“Stay with God. Take heart. Don’t quit. I will say it again: Stay with God!” Psalm 27:14 MSG

Categories: army, faith, husband, list, Love, marriage, wife | 3 Comments

Veteran’s Day Every day

Today’s post is very simple. I didn’t write this to simply jump on the bandwagon. It’s Veteran’s day… but for me, as a military spouse (and many of you spouses, parents, daughters, sons, aunts, uncles, friends, grandparent) EVERYDAY is Veteran’s Day.

My beloved has been in the army for nearly eight years. I’ve been in the picture about three of those (ish.)  It is rewarding. It is frustrating. It is cool. It is ever-changing. It is uncertain.  Big picture speaking, our veterans are an incredible blessing.

A couple of days ago, I was trying to explain to a very deep-thinking politically-minded friend of mine the purpose behind some of the actions of our military… it isn’t just political decisions or picking fights over petroleum. For many soldiers, especially my husband Brandon, it is much deeper than that.

April 7. 2010… right of the
planecoming home
from Iraq for leave…
He proposed. I said yes.

Honestly, I will never understand the full extent of what it means to fight for our country. Sure, we spouses deal with a lot when it comes to deployments, early mornings, late nights, changed schedules, holidays/special occasions missed etc. But I will never be able to grasp the feeling of honor, passion and nobility that comes with the job to which my husband is so dedicated.

He trains when he is wet, tired, hungry, hot, cold, lonely, sick. Even more, he trains others under those conditions as well. Just so we can experience political freedom and safety that so many of us (myself included) take for granted.

I have never been deployed. I haven’t lived in a desert for more than a year on three separate occasions. I haven’t been separated from my family for an extensive time period in a foreign country playing musical time zones. I have never missed funerals or weddings of family members due to being engaged in combat on foreign soil. I have never watched a battle buddy lose his life. I have never had to call my spouse to say that duty calls again and I won’t be home yet.

Brandon has. He fights for our country… yet at the same time he still fights for our marriage. All because his eyes never stray from looking up, focusing on Christ. I am thankful for MY veteran.

August 5, 2010. He returned home from his third
tour in Iraq. This time, he came back to a fiance.

It simply overwhelms me to think of the sacrifices that my husband and his battle buddies make daily. In our (almost) three year relationship, we have yet to spend a full Veteran’s day together. Freedom knows no holiday. He’s hard at work today, training “baby soldiers” in basic training as we speak and I am en route to Kansas to visit family.

I feel remarkably blessed to have a chance to love and support such a wonderful man, and have a man who loves and supports ME! While I have slept alone more nights than I can count, cried more than I would like to admit, consumed more chocolate (and wine) than I should have, yelled at God more often (and louder) than necessary, it’s all been worth it. Because I have also cried tears of joy, had so many reunion butterflies in my stomach I though I would float away, and understand at a deep level the value of our time together.

Through it all, God’s love for me has never changed. And neither has Brandon’s… It’s only grown stronger.

Today, I am thankful that I have the freedom to write this, to say what I want. I have more freedoms than I honestly know what to do with. For the most part, I can do what I want, when I want to do it.  All because of the countless sacrifices that people (soldiers and wives/families alike) have made defending our great nation. As the saying goes: “All gave some, some gave all.”

October 2, 2010… It’s official.

Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you: Jesus Christ and the American Soldier. Once died for your soul, the other died for your freedom.

11-11-11 isn’t the only day that I am thankful for veterans. For me, as an army spouse and Christian, I am thankful for soldiers AND Jesus… because for me, everyday is Veteran’s Day.

American by birth, Christian by the Grace of God,

SGK

And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” Hebrews 10:10

April 1, 2011. My beloved adds “Drill Sergeant” to his
Army Resume as he graduates Drill School at Fort Jackson, SC.
We moved to Georgia in May… and here we are!
Categories: army, marriage | Leave a comment

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