The second time he deployed, our eldest was a toddler, and that changed everything. His absence was no longer only affecting me, but was affecting a little girl who didn't understand why her daddy wasn't home to tuck her in.
Whatever your week holds for you and your family, remember God loves us regardless of what gets checked off our to-do lists.
Then take a breath, and say hello to the only one who has loved you without ceasing since before you were born.
To that end, I've decided I need a focused plan for keeping more connected to God before joining in fellowship with others at church.
The most important thing to remember is that we're teaching young people to learn. To experience life. We must teach the whole child. Not just parts. This means knowing their hearts, and knowing ours.
Our society today applauds those who can multi-task. The truth is, however, that no one really can focus on more than one thing at a time. Something always gets dropped or lost in the constant shuffling between tasks.
I swore I would never treat my children the way my siblings and I were treated when we were growing up. I swore my kids would never have a reason to question whether they are loved.
I've learned what is needed to fuel my body for my goals. And just how much of certain foods I need to eat in order for my body to run without issues.
When I was still a perfect parent--living under my parents' roof, wearing clothes they bought for me, talking on the phone (a landline!) they paid for; I swore I would never treat my children the way my parents treated me. I wouldn't keep my children from doing what they wanted, make them do chores, or tell them no. I would be different. I'd understand them, and treat them with "respect".
He doesn't always make the signs neon and flashing. Sometimes they're small and easily missed. There might even be signs you won't recognize until years later when you're looking back on the decisions you made that led you to where you are.