Real Army Wives: Time to Build a Support Network

The Real Army Wives Series: Time to Build a Support Network


******This is the 12th chapter in the series The Real Army Wives, stories from a young military bride at the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom, 2003.******

Previous chapter: When Alan First Deployed: My New Friends at 9-1-1.

Getting Help

I followed through with my vow from the previous night to hop off this crazy train and get myself some help. What kind of help, I had no idea, but I figured I’d try the doctor’s office first.

Military clinics are a unique entity. The appointment line system in and of itself is enough to make a person go absolutely mad, but somehow I managed to secure myself a same day appointment. I must have called at 7:59 am, and God was just smiling down on me that day because it’s normally about impossible to get an appointment. » Read more

Tom Sawyer and the Most Important Commandment

Sometimes I choose involuntary titles to read to my children. As in, I pick the book, and they have to listen. I have four boys, and with their personalities this is necessary if I ever want them to read a single classic novel. It worked well for the Little House series and Old Yeller, so why not Tom Sawyer?


I do have the unabridged version of Tom Sawyer, which is on an 8th grade reading level and is chock full of big words, some taboo language, and outdated ideas. I think it broadens their understanding to read things like this.

And it is a hilarious book, as you would expect, certainly funnier than their beloved Captain Underpants, in my opinion.

I’m only reading Tom Sawyer to my two oldest because the little ones don’t have the attention span for that yet.

One chapter we read recently reminded me how much America has changed for the worse, though many changes, such as America’s dark past of racism, have been for the better.

What change was for the worse? Bible knowledge. These days most people have terrible misconceptions of God and the Bible. How could we have any knowledge of a book most people no longer study?

Tom Sawyer was no goody-good church kid. That much you know, but out of requirement he did attend church every Sunday. The kids in Tom’s Sunday school class could even earn tickets by reciting Bible verses…..much like AWANA today. Tom was obviously not one to spend much time practicing his verses, so he took to trading for tickets.

This was funny to me because Caleb used to do this exact thing with SOAR cards when he was in 1st grade. SOAR cards were handed out at school for good behavior and could be exchanged for prizes. Caleb used to take Lego men to school and trade them for SOAR cards. He and many of the boys in his class had a real underground black market going with those cards.

Anyway, in the book Tom hands in enough tickets to get the grand prize, a new Bible. Not only that, but when he receives the grand prize he gets to stand up in front of the entire church and receive applause.

So they brought Tom up, and they asked him questions like, “What is the greatest commandment?”

No, Tom didn’t know.

Most people in America probably don’t know what commandment is the greatest. Sometimes the loudest so-called Christian people are the very ones who have confused everyone from knowing what God’s message even was. Ugh.

So I ask you, do you know? What is the greatest commandment? Some of you know, and some of you may not, but I don’t think we can ever be reminded too often.

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”


37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”                                  –Matthew 22:36-40

Because if we love others, we will naturally not steal, lie, cheat, or use God’s name in vain. When we love others, we want to respect, help, and honor them.

None of us are perfect, and none of us ever will be on this earth, but what we should be striving for is LOVE.

“We were meant to put ourselves out there for people. An earthly cause is nothing without a people it affects.”       –Beth Moore

Love God. Love people. The most important commandments. People often split hairs about raising children. Do they have all As? Are they good at sports? Are they leaders? Do they sit quietly with their hands in their lap? Are they outgoing?

Who cares? You know what matters? Do your children love God and love people and show that through their actions? That’s what matters in my book and in God’s book too.

Of course, they have to learn that from us. We have to show our children how to do these things through our own actions. I hope we will always look for ways to show love to God and love to people. It isn’t always easy, but it’s more than worth it.

As I type these lovely, ideal thoughts out, I wonder. How will I show love today? You know, I’ve probably already failed a few times at this, and it’s only 10:39 am. But it is never too late to make the next step in a positive direction.




2 Month Moving Update

We were crazy excited to find my favorite coffee at Winn Dixie. I should write this company and ask them to sponsor my blog, like permanently. Just FYI, those are Alan’s arms, not mine. I just thought, “Oh no! What if people think I have man arms!!??” Yes, it matters.


I guess life has settled down into a new normal here at our new casa. Thus begins the 1st year that you move somewhere. Oh, how I love that first year. (That’s sarcasm.) This is the year when you walk around confused because you don’t get it yet, and you don’t know how to fit in either. You leave extra early to get places because 8 times out of 10, you are going to get lost. It’s a year of frustration and flipping out in the driver’s seat.

It’s a year of meeting tons of new people. It’s a year of very few commitments because hardly anyone knows who you are, which means no one asks anything of you. See, now that’s positive, right? Or maybe it’s just lazy.

I love moving. Moving’s fun. I mean it’s a giant pain in the neck, but it’s fun. We’re adjusting quite well. The boys hop out of the mini-van every morning and enter the building looking happy and ready to go. (Not sarcasm. The boys are life-savers, they’ve handled it all like pros.)

We’ve all met plenty of people already. We each have at least two people a piece that we could call a friend already. They probably don’t know our last names, but by golly, we are clinging to them.

Here are a few tales of our most recent adventures:


John David about gave me a heart attack at the pool. He has no fear. He floated around the deep end, with nothing but a pool noodle!!! Don’t worry. I was so helicopter-mom, I can assure you of his safety.


I re-framed a large photo. The glass kept trying to come out and cutting me to pieces, but it is done, so yay!


Re-framed photo: See, doesn’t it look nice? I found that frame super cheap at a yard sale. Then I went to Hobby Lobby and bought a mat to help the photo fit the frame.


The boys went outside to play, fully dressed, and decided to play in the water hose. It was 95 degrees, so I didn’t stop them.


Take your baby’s poop with you when you leave. Wow. I took this photo at the pediatric cardiology office. Thankfully, I’m past the diaper phase, but man! What a reminder! It’s a HARD life out there for a baby’s momma.


We discovered a local park with trails, playgrounds, and water fowl galore.


a beautiful Saturday in the South


JD has gotten really into baseball. He uses this little bitty light weight bat, and I throw a medium-sized, light, rubber ball to him, and he’s getting good!


Joshua joined his school cross country team, so we’re learning all about this sport. He did a fantastic job on his first race. Go, Joshua!!


This is JD, sleeping on DaddyO. I’ve always said that my children can sleep anywhere.


most adorable self-portrait ever

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We are doing quite well, I think. I’ve even started attending a Beth Moore Bible study. We’re doing Entrusted: A Study of 2 Timothy. I’m excited about that.

A note about the heart thing:

I’ve learned a valuable lesson about moving. If you have medical problems, ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS get copies of your records before you move. My new doctor won’t see me until I get him my records, and his staff is apparently incapable of getting the records themselves, so they kept making me call California, and ugh. It has been such an ordeal.  Thankfully, my other doctor’s office wasn’t so shy and handled the record retrieval themselves.

Also, I learned so much more about what is actually wrong with me than what I knew before I read them. There are so many things doctors don’t bother to tell you. I found out that my heart beat is over 100 for 8 hours of a day, and of course that varies. My average heart rate is over 90. My v-tach was 210 beats per minute. I had not known any of those things before. It doesn’t change anything, but it’s nice to know. Don’t worry. I faithfully take my beta blockers every day. Those stats were while I was off of beta blockers.

Always get your medical records before you move! Lesson learned.

I hope you are all having a great week. I want to leave you with a beautiful quote I came across recently, from the Kendrick brothers who make all those Christian movies, like Fireproof and Courageous.

“Love positively acts; it doesn’t negatively react. Love rises above the cloudy circumstances and soars above the storm. It defies common, self-centered logic.”   –Kendrick brothers

I have had my low-grade fevers and hip and shoulder pain lately, and Alan has done a beautiful job of this love-in-action thing, handling so much of the house work because it’s such a struggle for me to keep up. Thank you, Alan.

Have a wonderful week, y’all!!





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