Beautiful Day

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

September in Pictures

Fall still remains my favorite time of the year, and this year is no exception.  So many memories, such beautiful weather to enjoy them in!


First up, back to school of course!  Warrior and I went on an evening shopping date and when we saw these the night before starting school, our soft spots caved and we decided we surely must surprise the children with these on the breakfast table!  Oh, were they DELIGHTED!  Not pictured are the Honey Grahams we also bought with Star Wars shaped graham crackers!  A great deal of fun, even if a consumer racket. 


The base puts this on every other year.  It was fun, though hot that day.  A true field day for the boys who got to "drive" the big trucks!  They really seek to bless the families and children of service members here.  We enjoyed a barbeque, fun activities for the children, static displays, watching some privileged people who "won" the highest bids get pies in their faces, and sipping on yummy Dutch Bros. mocha freezes (for us big people)!


In honor of the next special occasion, a bunch of our extended family congregated together to celebrate!  It has been a VERY LONG time since both sides of our family met in one place.  It was such a blessing and so much fun!  We celebrated an evening at a fabulous German restaurant with such lovely decor, complete with accordions and yodelers (and we must not forget.....Apple Strudel!)


We were all gathered in honor of closing out Warrior's military career.  Which really has been OUR military career together.  Even from the very days of ROTC in college.  It was certainly a day of tears for us.  It's been full of joys, adventures, and sorrows mixed together.  It has been my honor to serve beside my husband in this way.  I am proud of his accomplishments and service.  I am proud of him for closing his speech by giving testimony of Christ before family, friends, and fellow soldiers, as his "One True Hero."  It is not easy to close this chapter of our lives, but we do look forward to what God has in store.....not to mention the extra weekends together! 

I had fun planning food and decorations for the reception.  So grateful to have daughters who help me so!

Since I was quite busy, I didn't get all the photos I would have liked since that was delegated.  Therefore, the picture without the food on the counters :)  But this is where we served refreshments at our reception.


This has been a new endeavor for Adventure Girl, and it has been a great experience.  It makes my life a bit more busy in the transportation department, but it is such fun to cheer on our girl and her teammates, and to enjoy some beautiful fall weather.  Brings back such memories.  And I even get some running in myself on occasion!


Littlest Warrior keeps right on a-growin'!  He is just a little "Cars" crazy, so it was fun to incorporate Mater and McQueen and friends!  And to celebrate it all with wonderful friends.


We gathered with about 15 couples at a wonderful retreat for military marriages called "Strong Bonds."  We are amazed that we have never heard of it until an email came across Warrior's desk!  This was a treat!  A lovely room and meals were provided (such a gift!)  Time spent with other military couples in all sorts of different career fields and all different stages of marriage.  We went here not quite knowing what to expect, but having open hearts to what God might do with it.  Well....I think we were stunned.  In fact, I have to say that for us, it was a rather miraculous weekend.  TRULY.

Introductions,,,,with a bit of humor.

The curriculum is called "Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage."  It was adapted to a military audience, as the DVD was taped before a live audience of military members in Nashville.  The teacher/pastor/presenter in the DVD most certainly has a gift for taking real life things and making you laugh about them.  I tell you I haven't laughed this much in quite a long time.....

And though this was good in itself, it wasn't the end point.  Really it was his vehicle for communicating real truth on marriage topics that most, even in the church, will not talk about.  That was truly refreshing, necessary, and helpful all at the same time. 

Lots of laughter AND lots of tears.  In a very good way. 

(Strong Bonds photos courtesy of 142nd FW)

Oh, and did I mention that we had a full day of nearly PERFECT weather??!!  That was awesome, indeed.  And that same day we were granted a significant amount of "date time" to talk over what we were learning and to enjoy time spent together.  Needless to say, we spent a good chunk of time sitting on the beach talking while watching the waves and soaking up some sunshine. 

We met a couple at the retreat that lives less than a mile away, too!  We are hopeful for a growing friendship with them.

God surprised us in so many, MANY ways during that weekend.  There are no words, except to say PRAISE HIM!  And that I am so. incredibly. grateful!

Yes, it has been a good month, indeed!  More memories to associate with fall, and more reasons to count it my favorite time of year!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Learning to Be a Warrior


Recently, Warrior and I had a date night to see "War Room," the latest movie by Alex and Stephen Kendrick.  I think we were both significantly ministered to by it.  And I might have even cried a small popcorn bucket full of tears.  Or maybe a peanut M&M box.  For a few minutes I think I also wanted to go home and get a jump rope, grab a couple of my children, and put on a TobyMac song to go with it.  (Maybe I should write a book called, "If You Take Me to the Movies," instead of the mouse.  I realize I'm starting to sound like that book...)

If you are a regular guest to my blog, it is no secret that I refer to the men and boys in my household as "warriors."  Tender warriors has been my hope and prayer for them.  To have, on the one side, a firm resolve to stand strong for truth in God's Word, to be mighty in faith, persevering, co-laboring with like-minded brothers to hold one another up when the battlefield fires rage, and when it comes down to it....sheer grit and determination to choose honor, integrity, and obedience to Christ.  Temper this with a tender heart that listens to the Spirit of God, cultivates that relationship with Him, and lovingly cares for and disciples his family, and shows mercy and compassion to those weaker than him.  I's a tough job, and a high calling.  Very high calling.  Our men live in the face of REAL battles. EVERY. DAY.  Perhaps my "take-home" from this film is that I, too, live among the battle.  And if my men are to be Tender Warriors, well, maybe that requires me to be a Warrior Princess of sorts.
Courageously Feminine.

Knowing I am Beautifully the King of the Universe,
and figuring out what that's supposed to look like when faith meets the frontlines.

Certainly it means employing prayer as one of my primary strategies.

And every warrior needs discipline....including me.  Both self-discipline to become better at my role, and corrective discipline for all my failures and the sin still resident and at work in and around me.

So, imagine my delight, at the end of the movie, to see the credits roll and hear a song.  It takes a few seconds, and my Tender Warrior and I look at each other and simultaneously say, "Steven Curtis Chapman."  (He has been our musical companion our whole adult and married lives--my perennial favorite for his ability to put real life beauty, joys, and struggles and genuine hope together lyrically in a way few artists can)! 

 So, of course we were the LAST people out of the movie theater because we stayed and listened to the entire song.  Because, well, I just have to do that.  And even better?  His song is called, "Warrior!"  LOVE THAT!

Here's to more fully embracing that call, and standing tall in the battle with my head bowed to My King.  Join me?

I can taste the fear but I choose courage
As I raise my shield and lift my sword
And I fall on my knees and I fight like a warrior
I am a warrior on my knees
I call on the name of the one who is Conquerer
I’m more than a conquerer when I believe
The enemy trembles every time
He knows the battle is no longer mine
When I fall on my knees and fight like a warrior

Like a warrior
~Steven Curtis Chapman


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