It is our turn to move again. If you haven’t heard me talk about it, #TeamWeathers is on the road again to our next location. This one will only be for a year, our shortest yet, while Matt is in school and takes a much needed break to replenish. We are making our rounds visiting and living with family as we wait for housing on post to open up. I am extremely grateful for their support for us as we have moved in only to leave stuff behind for us to get later. Although it is wonderful to see familiar faces, it doesn’t quite fill the hole of having a home or the anticipation of where we will be. Thankfully, we visited post to see the housing, so I have been envisioning where I will put furniture and settling in my mind. Of course, I have seen this not go well before because the mind has a way of distorting the actual size of what I remember.
The boys are handling it very well. The newness of an adventure has a way of easing the transition and we have made sure to create opportunities to “circle the wagons” between the four of us by planning fun events, checking in at night with how we are doing, and protecting our time as needed.
As we drove through the suburbs on our way back to our temporary housing last night, I watched so many big houses pass by my window. I wondered what it must be like for a family to choose a house and stay there for 20 years. I wondered what their life is like, the friends they see all the time, and the church they invest in that becomes a second home. Then I wonder if they know I exist. If they ever think about the families that give so much to give them the freedom to make the decisions they do. I don’t want pity at all, some have even said to me how they long for the adventures I get to have- starting over in a new place. The grass is always greener until you have to maintain it, I’m reminded. But what I believe is really going on inside me is a moment of loneliness that exists in the adventure more than I need their attention. It’s a need to feel understood in the midst of the chaos of change.
As we all climbed into bed together last night for an end of day snuggle, Matt prayed over all of us. With the boys in the middle, Matt and I reached our arms across them and held hands, closing them into the circle that was once just the two of us. “This is home”, he prayed- thanking God for giving us each other as a home. Until these little men leave to make their own family, we will always find home base between us. I find so much comfort in that this morning.
I think about the many different groups of spouses I have talked to since winning the MSOY15 award. National Guard Spouses who are tucked into the suburbs trying to fit in who don’t have other military families around them. Special operation spouses who never get to have a “normal” routine with their service member as they are whisked away for missions they can’t talk about. They are all asking the same question I am. I don’t think it comes from a place of entitlement. There are many jobs out there that involve a spouse traveling, being gone, being in harms way, and relocating. Some of them are taken by service members when they retire because it is familiar.
Like others including emergency responders, the nature of what military families do rest on a purpose to serve their country, to make sure we have the freedoms we were given- and spouses and military kids join in to serve the country too- and I believe we love it.
That is why military families huddle up. Our desire is not to push everyone else out or act entitled, we just need to rest in the familiar. We need to mention in passing the stress of the lifestyle and hear someone say, “I know”. It often doesn’t take more than that. That is why I am excited about the upcoming launch of the Lifegiver Podcast. Hearing other people’s stories can be a powerful antidote to our weariness. It can be a reminder that we are not alone and I promise you- hearing a shout out from someone else saying “thank you” can mean the world. I understand that this is one niche of so many. There are plenty of amazing people to thank in this world and I hope we are finding them and thanking them on a daily basis. Gratitude can change everyone involved.
I hope you will join me. I hope, whether you are military or not, that you will consider recording a thank you or an encouraging message to a military spouse. You can quickly record it on your device and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org to be included on the Lifegiver Podcast. it can make a huge difference to someone who is feeling alone in their new location, fighting to keep their marriage strong, or trying to find purpose in a new city. I am here to share the megaphone I have been given, and I hope you will join me.
Listen now to the first Episode of Lifegiver Military Spouse Podcast, available on iTunes.