1. Aprille, beautiful post and can only imagine what your husband did go through and how it effected your family. Sounds like you choosing Joy is a real start in the right direction and wishing you the happiest of holiday seasons leading up to Christmas now!!

  2. C Michelle Ramsey

    Aprille my prayers for healing & joy are with you & your family. May God keep & bless you this holiday season. Beautiful & touching post.

  3. My heart aches. 🙁 My husband hasn’t quite had the same experience as yours with the army, and three years in, we’re still deployment free (and we’re guard). But I overhear the same struggles of him communicating with our son. It’s so hard for them! In the military, they are so used to following every order, no matter what that it’s really hard (and it’s insulting) when our children don’t follow the commands. It’s hard to exist in two worlds– fatherhood and soldier! And we’re so lucky that my hubby’s new civilian career works well with his army duty, but not all of the past have been so easy to deal. Our soldiers sacrifice so much more fo our country than many will ever realize. I’m so glad to stand behind and support mine though! And thank goodness for Joy to make it though the tough times!

    • Amy, first of all, thanks for taking the time to read and leave a comment. Secondly, I love the name of your blog, just sayin.

      I think that every military experience is hard, no matter if it’s guard or reserve, deployed or not. It’s just a hard system to exist within, especially for families. I’m glad to know that I’m not alone in the whole soldier-communicating-with-the-kids thing. I never really thought about it that way. We so want our kids to “behave” and “be obedient” and sometimes I just want to stop my husband and say “Seriously, he’s only TWO YEARS OLD!!” but I know that discipline is important. And with this being our first child, it’s hard to find that balance between Godly discipline and child rearing and just letting kids be kids. I’m sure we are both making mistakes right and left…but God can make beauty out of our messes for sure.

  4. (((Hugs Aprille))) We’ve been there, for different reasons. Our first Christmas married we spent in the hospital…and New Year’s too. Dreams were shattered. Tree died. I’m posting about it this month, but just wanted to say that you’re not alone. Thankfully, Christmas is in our hearts, not in our surroundings. Do the best you can to let it spill out of your heart into the family, and the joy will come- in ways that you never expect. Love you, friend!!

    • I can’t wait to read your story. You would think that after two Christmases while he was deployed I would be used to a little hardship, but in someways it’s harder with him home. When he’s gone you just have to force him out of your mind and enjoy it, and as that become default during a deployment (a learned skill, but I learned it well), then I was still able to really enjoy the holidays. With him home, sitting next to me…I can’t just forget he’s there or not feel his anxiety, fears, and struggles. We are one, and the last 11 months has made that all the more real. So when he hurts, I hurt, and it’s hard to push those hurts aside, even for Christmas.

  5. Aprille, although our experiences with the military have been different there is definitely a lot I can relate to in this post. I also needed that message of choosing Joy, so thank-you for sharing your heart. It is so true. I’m praying your family has a blessed Christmas filled with the peace and joy only God can give!

  6. Wow…just sitting here with tears on my cheeks. I know the ache you feel when you are desperate for healing, for those you love. There are so many around me right now who need healing too. Russ needs a special kind of soul healing, so it is different than physical healing. Yet, in a way, it’s the same. I, also, am choosing joy. It is a daily struggle to wake up and choose to surrender to God and let Him give me opportunities to find joy…sometimes I just want to lie in bed and be depressed instead. But that’s the easy way out. I know there is so much more than what we can see in the here and now. God is going to get ya’ll through this, and you guys will be able to move forward. I love you and your whole family. And I’m especially praying for your man. <3

  7. […] was capable of birthing and raising the Son of God, he thinks that I’m capable of loving a difficult and hurting man, of raising an energetic son who demands so much more of me than I feel to able to give with my […]

  8. April,
    I’m Debi from Adorned From Above. I have been reading your posts that you shared with my blog hop last week. I am so touched by your candor and honesty. My son just got of the marines in June after 2 tours in Afghanistan. There are no words of sympathy that would be enough to help you, but I can tell you that I understand. My son came home alive, but has severe PTSD and needs surgery on his knees, shoulder, and hand.

    I am so grateful that you have enough faith in God to celebrate this Christmas. That for a short time you are able to turn your troubles over to him. He is a really big God and he will help all of you heal.

    If you ever need anything, or even just to talk, I am here for you.

    All of you are in my prayers.
    Merry Christmas.
    Debi @ Adorned From Above

    • Thank you for your compliments of my blogging and your offer to chat. It’s nice to know I have another friend out there in cyberspace who knows what I am going through.

      I’m sorry that your son came back so wounded. Please, if you haven’t yet, check out this website Voice of Warriors…perhaps they could be a resource for you and your son.

      Merry Christmas.

  9. ScaredMomma

    I adore this post…so heartfelt, so raw, so…completely real. I’ll be praying for your family. Praying the joy will outweigh the burdens and you will all heal. I’ve found that those who have struggled are the best at ministering to others. So just you wait and see what God does ;). Our thanks to your husband for serving in such a hard role for the rest of us, and thank YOU, for staying by his side.

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