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Since Russ went back to Afghanistan, I’ve really been struggling. Struggling with what? Well, just…everything. I think that 90% of the time I feel utterly exhausted and overwhelmed. There’s a song that has a line that says something like “You can only be strong so long before you break…” Which is true. But I think that most of the time, people don’t realize that I’m not even trying to be strong – I stopped trying a LONG time ago. Mostly, I’m just trying to survive.
I have chronic fatigue, frequent insomnia, a very active and curious toddler who still wakes up almost at least once a night, and a deployed husband. 12 months is a long time. 12 months on top of 12 months on top of 12 months is a VERY long time. By the time we reach our 4th anniversary (5th anniversary of being a couple), we will have spent 3 years apart, 2 years together. Honestly, there is just no way to explain what a toll that has taken on my husband and I and our emotional and mental health.
I’m not trying to be complain or get attention. It’s just a fact. Our life is hard. And I’m exhausted and really don’t know how much more I can handle. Each day it’s a struggle to keep the tears in check and keep enough of a fight in my spirit to get through another day without the love of my life by my side where he belongs. I just miss him like heck and just want him home. I’m just over it all.
I am very thankful for some amazing friends who really KNOW what my life is like and what I am going through. I have a great support network here at Fort Knox and through the many online friends I have met during my time as a military wife. They rally around me daily and keep me going.
I get through each week by trying to balance staying busy (to keep Ezra occupied, keep us both from going stir crazy, and make the time go by quickly) and giving myself enough opportunity to rest and relax. Most mornings we are out – we have MOPS, Protestant Women of the Chapel aka PWOC (a military wife Bible study, worship, and fellowship time on post), PWOC music team practice, La Leche League meetings, playdates, and doctors and chiropractic appointments for Mom and baby. In the afternoons we try to rest, take naps, check Facebook, and Skype with Russ; and in the evenings we do housework, watch movies, go shopping, go out to Bible study on Wednesdays, and try to have fun together in the house.
Sometimes, Ezra is the one thing that keeps me going and surviving each day. When I feel like my emotions are unraveling and my world is spinning out of control he is right there to smile or laugh (or put socks and teddy bears in the cupboards or throw away my keys) and remind me to see the beauty in the world.
It was a cold and rainy Thursday, almost noon. We had just gotten home from PWOC, Ezra had been awake since 7:30 and only slept on the way home (all of 20 minutes). All I wanted was to put him down for a nap and try to rest myself. But when we got to the door of our house, he took off and started walking away. He wanted to go PLAY!
Are you serious kid? It’s FREEZING out here!!!
But who could resist this face?
Ezra spent the next 10 minutes getting soaked romping around the big empty backyard, playing with leaves, and having a blast, while I managed to get some pretty awesome pictures with my phone.
Cute Baby Cheeks!
As I was watching him run around, I kept thinking, “This is beautiful – this is life!” Setting aside the naptimes and the schedules and the worries about him getting sick, and just letting him live and enjoy life as a toddler. Watching him get excited about the little things like leaves and grass and running around in an empty backyard… It was one of those moments that was so simplistic it was breathtaking, and I will probably remember it forever.