Thursday, January 31, 2008



That word is so heavy- it carries with it such a somber connotation. As soon as you read it, it probably elicited some inexplicable emotion... for most, it is probably associated with the loss of a loved one. Without trivializing that at all, I'd like to address a different form...

Megan's blog about scars last week prompted me to reflect again on a period Jon and I went through when he was getting ready to come back from Iraq over two years ago. As you know, we barely knew each other when we married and he deployed- it was a bit of a whirlwind relationship. As we were discussing what it would be like to actually live together, we realized that there were things about our pasts that we had not fully "gotten over"...

About that time, I was reading (well... ok... more like skimming to get to the parts that interested me...) a book called Fighting for your Marriage- it is, oddly enough, a part of the Army marriage curriculum. In it there was a chapter on the grief process. The authors maintain that one can- and should- grieve over what is lost by gaining a marriage. That may seem like an oxymoron at first glance... Marriage is great! I would trade it any day over being single! (I hope you can say that anyway... ;-) But really, think about it. Aren't there things about being single you miss? Freedom? Opportunities? Being able to eat Taco Bell whenever you wanted (ok, maybe that was just me...) Maybe it was relationships that you had to release- or relationships that took a different priority. In some ways, spending the first year apart from my husband made that easier- I could ease into "married life" a bit... but at the same time, not having any mutual friends or connections made this incredibly difficult. We had different lives, different histories, different priorities, different friends. I am so thankful that we were able to accept those things in ourselves- and each other. Those were hard, dark days, to be sure. It is one thing to go through it yourself- but to give your spouse room to do the same is difficult.

There were things lain on the altar of our marriage, things that we never cried over. And I'll be honest- I think we would both agree that there were some things we didn't quite want to let go of. Having sorrow for what is lost is not wrong- hanging onto it is. As Megan pointed out, the only way for a wound to heal is to care for it- if ignored, it will only breed infection.

Through the last couple of years, we have both realized that what we lost pales in comparison to what we gained.

We have also built such a trust that enables each of us to have greater freedoms- to regain some things that were lost- but with a different priority.

I think that this could be applied to a lot of areas. Jon and I were talking about this grief process the other day at lunch, and how much giving each other space to feel sad about things lost really allowed us to get beyond some barriers in our relationship. We discussed how we are going through the same thing with Sophia- I love her inexplicably- and yet, I grieve for the loss of freedom to go where I want when I want. I grieve that I have to share Jon with someone else. Heck, I grieve a solid night's sleep!

In Megan's discussion of scars, she pointed out that we should not aim to erase the past from our memories; instead, we should allow them to shape our lives for the glory of God. Hers was in the context of scars from experiences that were out of our control- I submit that the same could be said about the scars that result from our own (even good) decisions- just because what I chose is good, that doesn't mean that what I didn't choose was all bad...

The scars that we carry can come in so many different forms... some wounds are deep, some are surface, but all need to heal... and in allowing that, we can appreciate what is so much more than what was...

Monday, January 28, 2008

Monday already??

What a weekend! We made a whirlwind trip up to Atlanta to see friends- it was so much fun!

We started out at Hudon and Carolene's house for lunch. This is a couple that Jon lived with when he lived in Fayetteville the first time, before he met me. They absolutely fell in love with Jon (how could you not?), and I have enjoyed getting to know them over these past few years as well. Since Carolene couldn't get Jon married off to anyone in her own family, she has "adopted" us- though Sophie has 3 grandparents, 6 great-grandparents, and 1 great-great grandmother still with us, there is always room for a set of adopted grandparents as well! Carolene just couldn't bear to put her down all day- and Sophie seemed to enjoy getting loved on!

Then we went to Rocky and Carolyn's- these are good friends of ours from when we lived there. It was so great to reconnect with them! The last time we made plans to get together, Sophie changed them by deciding to enter the outside world that same weekend...

Sunday morning we went to Fayette Bible Church- I realize more and more how little I matter when I have a baby in my arms! It was great to see not only people from the church, but several of the students as well! (though it was weird that a couple jr. high boys who were shorter than me when we left now tower over me, only a year later...)

After that, we went to Jon's old guard unit for his farewell and awards ceremony. I'll let you read Jon's blog about that (hopefully he'll post tonight...) but suffice it to say it was REALLY cool- I'm so proud of him!!

Sophie must have been so tired from the weekend that she only got up ONCE in the middle of the night! I have been working on spacing out her feedings a little more and getting more scheduled- knock on wood, but I think it may be paying off! I fed her at about 8:45pm, she woke up at about 2:45, then not again until almost 7! For being a wee 7lbs, I don't think I could ask for much more...

Anyway, I'm off to unpack and do laundry! Hope y'all have a great day!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

As long as I don't have to wear a bonnet...

Ah. Blissful silence.

Jon is sitting in the rocking chair with Sophie snuggled up under a blanket, both of them fast asleep. I could watch them for hours...

I stayed home from PWOC today- for the first time since I started going last January. The house was a mess, I was exhausted, and we're going out of town this weekend- I knew that if I didn't stay home and get a handle on things today, it would be next week before I had another chance! On that note, since I resigned the presidency of PWOC a week before we found out we're staying here, I took the role of Vice President! When Misty stepped into the president position, we were not able to find anyone willing to be VP who fit the PWOC International qualifications... actually, being the VP is more out of my comfort zone than being the president. My main job is programs- we have them every other month or so. It's basically a themed morning instead of our regular Bible study. Think Mother/Daughter banquet. And, if you know me at all, you know such things are, shall we say, not exactly my forte. I can run a meeting and handle minor conflicts all day long- tell me to plan a craft, speaker, and games (oh, and could you decorate the auditorium while you're at it?)- mmm, not so much. I tend to not be so great at anything best described as for "ladies." (Crafts?? Seriously?) I am, after all, my mother's daughter.

So, it's good for me to be stretched like this, to make something enjoyable for others that isn't my favorite. The theme for the next program (which Misty had already chosen) is "Preparing for His Presence"- it's about Esther. I think I'm going to throw in a short "segment" about women in the persecuted church (it actually fits with the story of Esther quite well...). Jon says that if people don't walk away depressed, I'm not happy. That's not true. I'm all about warm fuzzies- just not being smothered to death by them. I have (since becoming a Fisher) learned to quite enjoy warm fuzzies, as a matter of fact. But at the same time, I think we all need to be careful not to be so inwardly-focused that all we care about is feeling good (and making potpourri sachets. What? Did I say that???)

Family Visits Part 1

My sister Andrea came down for a visit a couple weeks ago! It was really great having her here (and not just because she vaccumed and dusted...). Her "baby" is 5 1/2 now, so she loved having a niece to love on! As you can see, Sophie wasn't quite sure what to think...

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Back to Iraq...

Wednesday afternoon, Jon and I were enjoying a leisurely lunch in our front room. He often comes home for lunch, but I hadn't expected it that day- what a welcomed surprise!

Then, it came. I don't even know how he told me, what he said- looking back, I remember the words "home for Christmas" and "bad news" mumbled together with something about August... he looked at me with that "I-have-something-to-tell-you-that-you-won't-like" look.

"I'm deploying in March."

"March 09?" I asked- this was a bit earlier than anticipated, but not much.

"March 08..."

(Possibly February. We'll see.)

I stared at him in shock. And not the good kind of shock that I experienced when he told me we were going to Leonard Wood. But you know- I immediately had peace.

I started crying, and he asked me what I was thinking-

"It's only 6 months," I said. "You're leaving in 2008 AND coming home in 2008? I can handle that!"

Believe me, I'm far from happy about this. I have experienced several waves of emotion over the past few days, and I'm sure they will only grow more intense. But really, right now, it's okay. Most of my friends are going through 15-month deployments right now, and Soph will still only be 8 or 9 months old when he gets back. Plus, he will more than likely be in a much safer place this time than last. How could I complain about that?

There is a battalion whose chaplain had to come home for medical reasons, so Jon is replacing him- hence the abbreviated tour. Jon excels at battalion ministry (well, he excels at most things he does, but he misses being in a battalion), and we are both excited about the opportunities this will bring.

People have asked if this is "for real"- the Army has changed its mind regarding Jon so much that y'all are learning not to trust it! :-) In my experience, Uncle Sam will retract good news- rarely bad. So, yep, this is pretty "for real."

Please keep us in your prayers as we prepare for this next leg of our journey...

Monday, January 07, 2008

Happy Due Date!

Yesterday was my due date... I couldn't imagine still being pregnant!! I think these last few weeks would have been spent worrying and contemplating... but no time for that these days!

Sophie celebrated by getting a bath and giving Dad a big hug!

We published more pics at the family site! Be sure to check out the blog there too!