Category Archives: Venting

What do Military Wives do to deserve to get paid?

What do Military Wives do to deserve to get paid? If you are honestly married to your husband because you love him, and you are honestly a good, faithful wife, then you shouldn’t need to get paid for the honor of being the number one supporter of your soldier. There is a spouse that started a Facebook group about this, and people expecting to get paid just for being married is one of those things that gets me steamed.

Yes, the Military Wife life is hard, but what about the Firefighters wife? Cops Wife? EMT’s wife? Boarder Patrol’s wife? Ok, their husbands are coming home after their shift to possibly help with kids and the regular household junk like homework, housework, balancing the checkbook, and bills.. They don’t have to deal with everything for months at a time without their spouse being there, but they deal with sending their husband’s out to various degrees of danger every day. They don’t get R&R, and they don’t have all the resources that are available to military spouses. (Check out Military One Source, MWR, Family Life Counselors, Strong Bonds marriage retreats, CYS childcare during deployments, and the good things that have come out of our local Army Family Action Plans.) Their husbands don’t get any extra pay for going out into life threatening situations every day. Members of the military get “deployment pay” and even though it doesn’t always get paid on time, service members get paid to go to schools (TDY) for their specific jobs (MOS), most of the time.

Yes, we have to deal with “Military Intelligence”, (which is even more oxymoronic than “Jumbo Shrimp” more often than not) but why should you get a hand out from your government just because you think you have it harder than if you and your hubby went to work for Corporate America? Hmmm? Do you think that dealing with your husband’s boss and co-workers is any easier in the civilian world? If your husband is a manager, he might not have to go bail his worker out of jail, but he would be the one responsible for either covering the shift, or the one in trouble for not getting the shift covered. And do you realize that in this economy it is almost impossible to “fire” a soldier (unless he/she does something REALLY stupid) until his contract runs out. Some soldiers are even retained (Stop Loss) because they are just too valuable to the military. What other job offers you that kind of security?

And what about school? There are so many programs, especially for enlisted families, to help with both spouses and dependants (children) of military members get college degrees and certificates, it is overwhelming! The Army even helps your soldier go to college on their dime, if you are willing to do the paperwork, and get decent grades… It is like an Army scholarship, but different.

There are so many FREE programs that are offered to the military families. If you want to get something other than the love and respect of your husband and family, and the respect and admiration of so many other Americans, go to your post/base MWR office or to and find out what programs are offered near you.

If you want to get paid but don’t want to work for someone else, start a business from your home. So many spouses on post here at Ft. Wainwright have Pampered Chef, Avon, jewelry, candle, or other home-based businesses with web-based ordering, that we really need a directory of all these. Hmmm… Someone could publish one of those, and sell ads to make money, or they could have a web page that would list all these businesses in one space, and have people pay to be listed. Or you could give up the privilege of being a stay at home mom, and go get a job! That’s what most people that want to get paid do!

I am not going to apologize for my opinion about trying to get paid for doing nothing, or for thinking you deserve something for being in a certain demographic. I have been in a position where I could have gotten a government handout for just being me in the situation I put myself.

There are times when assistance is appropriate. If you are really in need, you don’t have a family or a church family that can help you get back up, if you don’t qualify for the emergency loans that the military offers, but you are trying to get back up out of a pit, and just cannot do it… YES! That is when you should get some help. But as hard as marriage can be, especially a military marriage, it doesn’t deserve a government stipend. If you looked at your situation, and took advantage of the programs around you, you would see that you are not doing anything that generations of women have been doing without the benefit of a paycheck.

This is totally my opinion as the proud daughter of a 30+ year Active Duty and Reserve Navy Veteran, the proud wife of an Active Duty Army NCO, AND a proud Homeschooling, stay at home Mom of a teenager. ( BTW- I don’t get paid for any of the above.)


Spending Time

Agnes and I had a wonderful day today! I actually enjoyed shopping! I know, those of you that know me well, know that I usually spend as little time in a store as possible. I go in for exactly what I need, pay for it, leave. That’s how I shop. Oh, I might comparison shop for groceries, but clothes… nope. When I find a pair of pants or style of shirt I like, I buy 2 or more, maybe in red, white, blue, occasionally a green or yellow, but then I am outta there!

Today was different. Agnes and I spent some real quality time finding clothes and pocketbook/purses for each of us. It was needed. We have both outgrown some of our clothes. She has grown up; I have grown out a little. We both got new portable computers from Darren for Valentine’s Day, and needed a way to transport them. We did comparison shop, but we also talked and spent time strengthening our bond. Now that I am sitting here, washing the new clothes and their coordinating older companions, I am thinking about how I can compare the time I spend with my daughter to the time I spend with my Heavenly Father.

I try to spend time with my Father in prayer. I try very hard to make this time with Him a sweet pleasant time, but sometimes I find myself just crying on His shoulder. Sometimes I can feel his hand patting me on the back, comforting me. Sometimes I can almost hear Him saying, “I told you that was not the way to go.”

I have felt like I have been spending a lot of time lately with my daughter doing just that. I have not been as fair to her successes as I have been focused on her training. How would I feel if God spent more time punishing and scolding me, than forgiving me and blessing me? Would I thrive and grow, or would I just want to sit and cry?

I don’t think I would be as happy as my daughter is. She is an incredible young woman with an amazing heart for forgiveness. She is truly one of the greatest blessings God has given me. I have not been a very understanding mom these past few weeks, but she has blossomed anyway.

I thank God for making Agnes just the way she is, and I ask God to guide me as I learn how to follow His example, as I learn how to be a better parent.

My Thoughts on Prayer

Ephesians 6:18-20 (KJV) 18Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; 19And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

Praying is not easy!

Everybody tells you a different way to pray, and if you are new to praying, you might not know what to say. Some people have memorized prayers that they say regularly. Other people pray in their own prayer language. Still others sing their prayers. I do not believe that any of these are wrong. I do believe that our “beliefs” make prayer very confusing.

 I want to start off by saying that I am not a Biblical scholar. I am just an ordinary woman. I was brought up knowing who Jesus was, and going to various churches every week, but I did not really accept Jesus as my personal Savior until the Saturday before 9/11. God’s timing is perfect.

 I prayed a prayer that invited the Holy Spirit into my heart, a prayer that marked me forever. I started my new life as a Christian with a very simple prayer, and it felt so good, I wanted to keep praying, but I wasn’t sure how to do it. Like I said, I wasn’t a Biblical scholar, so I couldn’t quite understand what the Bible teaches about prayer, so I headed to the library. I started looking for books and articles about prayer, but the more I read, the more confused I got. There were so many opinions about which way is the right way to pray! There are even more books and articles now, so I am not really going to talk about the “how” here.

 Jump ahead a few months… I started to work my new faith into my job as a children’s entertainer. It was pretty easy. I remember talking to the ministry clowns about this “Armor of God” thing they used to teach the kids. I found the section in Ephesians, and read, and read. I started practicing it, and the first time I went to perform it in church, something wonderful happened.

 I read the few verses after the Armor of God passage, and was floored. Paul wrote exactly what I needed to pray before I started my lesson.

Ephesians 6:18-20 (KJV) 18Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; 19And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

WOW! This is what I had been looking for! It had it all!

 I have read this scripture over and over many times throughout the past few years. I learned how to pray it and make it my own prayer request, but it really didn’t become clear until tonight when I was thinking about a conversation I had with a friend, about making a list of the different places you can fit prayer into your day, that it all clicked. This passage really does have it all! The Holy Spirit had stirred it up in my soul, and just waited until my imperfect human brain could begin to comprehend it! God is Good!

 Pray Constantly18Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints

We are supposed to be doing it all the time?!? How are we supposed to function and be in constant prayer?!?

 Well, I haven’t figured out how to not stop praying, but I have gotten some advice from a few different places that I have made my own, and I hope you do, too.

 Find triggers for your prayer. We have all kinds of things that trigger other behaviors, and we are certainly smarter that Pavlov’s dog, so why can’t we choose our own bell? That way when the bell rings, our natural response is to pray. It doesn’t have to be a long prayer… just a sentence or two, but if we can train ourselves to think of God, and his people, when certain everyday things occur… wouldn’t that be AWE-some?

 Remember others in your prayers19And for me,

Paul specifically asked other Christians to pray for him! That means that it is expected that we pray for other people… in a way, it also shows us that it is ok to ask other people to pray for us, too.

Pray out loud. …that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

 Ok, there is a time when silent prayer is a good thing, but in this part of this scripture, it shows that we need to be bold. Do you grace the food as a family in a restaurant… aloud? Do you say, “Thank you, God!” and give Him the praise when something goes right during your day? Do you talk to other people about Jesus at all? (That is really a time that you want to be asking God to take over the conversation, right?)

 Paul is showing us how to speak up and witness. He is showing us that we might not like the consequences of being bold in our faith, but that the right thing to do is to speak with the words that God wants us to use.

 There are a lot of books that show the power of the spoken word. It helps people remember things, too. So maybe if you pray, out loud, for other people, all the time, you will remember to pray for other people all the time… no? Well, it sounded good the first time.

Pray wherever you are. 

 Before you get out of bed and before you go to sleep

This one has been talked about by just about every Christian woman I know. Most of the strong Titus 2 role models, I look to for good example say that it is important to pray before your feet even touch the floor in the morning. It only stands to reason that you would want to thank God for helping you through your day before you go to sleep; I have heard these prayers called the bookends of your day.

 An example for your morning prayer might be:

 Dear Lord, So far today, I am doing all right. I have not gossiped, lost my temper, been greedy, grumpy, nasty, selfish, or self indulgent. However, I am going to get out of bed in a few minutes, and I will need a lot more help after that. Amen.

It sounds like a joke, but I know that’s how I feel every morning! Then at the end of the day, as I am finally going to bed, I thank God that my family is home, safe, and sleeping.

 In the shower  – This is a favorite place to pray for many of the mother’s I know. I usually don’t take a lot of time in the shower, so most of the time I just thank God that I live in a place that clean, running water is a normal condition. Sometimes, I pray for the women I know that are battling breast cancer when I do my monthly check, and I thank God for blessing me with the long hair that he has provided me with, as my covering.

 While reading e-mail –  During the ’06-’08 deployment I prayed that my e-mails didn’t contain bad news, and that the spam would be blocked. Now I have started to pray for each person that sends me e-mail.

  While fixing a meal –  This is one of my favorite times to praise God and give thanks for Him providing me with a husband, and for His providing my husband with a job that allows us to eat well balanced meals every day. I thank God for the food, and I ask Him to bless all the people that allowed the food to get to our kitchen.

  While getting dressed –  Again, I thank God for providing me with a husband, and for His providing my husband with a job that allows us to have the clothes we need. I also thank Him for the home that He has provided for us.

 As you walk out the door and return home –  I read The Power of the Praying Wife a few years ago, and I keep the list of things to pray each day, for your husband, by the door. There is a different area to pray about each day, and the list is numbered, so I look at the number for that date, and say that prayer as I head to the car.

 When I return home, I thank God for carrying me safely to and from wherever we went. I thank Him for keeping the house safe while we were gone, and ask Him to bless our home and keep us safe within it.

  At every stop light or stop sign –  I use this time to pray for my husband. I started this after reading Created to Be His Help Meet a few years back. Not only does it dispel any chance of road rage or frantic feeling when I am running late, it also blesses my husband.

 When you pay for something  – This is another time I Thank God for giving us the money to purchase all of the things we need and some of the things we want.

  When you answer the phone or door –  Here, I pray that I only get good news, and that God would bless whomever is trying to reach me.

  When you hear someone call your name –  Here again, I pray that I only get good news, and that God would bless whomever is trying to get my attention.

 Ephesians 6:18-20 (KJV) 18Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; 19And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

Lunch at Lu Lu’s

Well, I went to the Doctor this afternoon. Nothing big, just my ear has felt like I have been in a plane at take off, and my body has felt like I am on our old sailboat tied to the dock with a trawler kicking up a wake as it passes. Well, he said it was simple allergy ear, and that it makes sense because I haven’t taken any allergy medicine in… gosh… I don’t remember when I last took some. It must have been in March. Anyway, I am now taking Claritin once a day for the next 10 days to see if that dries it out. If it doesn’t, then we try Zyrtec. IF THAT doesn’t work… THEN they will take a closer look at it. I have done all the homeopathic and herbal things, mostly because I was worried about the dizziness. I have had the pressure for about 3 or for years on and off (mostly on) so I am used to it. The Doctor was nice, and he seemed to respect my not wanting to medicate. I was flat out honest that I would take the medicine if I had to, but I really didn’t want to use them. One of his statements when he looked at my ear was, “No infection that I can see so no worries about antibiotics.” Yeah! A medical professional in the Army who understands, doesn’t treat you like a person with jello for brains just because you don’t want antibiotics thrown at a problem, and respects the decision you make. Hooah!

Anyway, we stopped on the way home to mail a letter to Darren and make an appointment for Monte’s oil change and how-ever-many-mile checkup. My Terrific Teen decided that she wanted pizza, and proceeded to edge toward becoming a Terrible Teen when I told her she could make one at home. I was about to tell her I was going to make slop for lunch and dinner when I was struck with an inspired idea.

I have been reading this book about spoken blessings. It talks about blessing those people that hurt you or wrong you or whatever.I pulled the car into Lu Lu’s Bread and Bagels! I love this place! They have everything, and it is all fresh and local! It is what a friend of mine would probably call a “hippy café.” I have wanted to take Agnes there for quite awhile.

So we walk in and it smells amazing! There are fresh loaves of bread, coffee, quiche and all kinds of baking smells to welcome you further inside. We had trouble deciding what to have. When we got our order, it was fresh and warm and lifted both of our moods. We talked, I found some stuff to do when my parents get here in July, and decided that we need to have a once a week “date” at Lu Lu’s.

All in All, what could have been a poopy day has turned into a kind of cool memory for me.

Thank you God for my wonderful family! Bless my daughter with wisdom and strength to see the path you have asked her to follow and say, “Yes, Lord.” Bless my husband with a clear sense of direction and the fortitude to lead this family, no matter where he may be. And finally Lord, bless me with the ability to quiet down and hear the small, still voice that you use to guide me through these little, important things.

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