I recently changed the subtitle of my blog from “Reflections of an Army Wife” to “Reflections of a Hopeful Woman.” I did that because it has been a year since my husband retired after 37 years of exemplary and faithful service from the United States Army. I didn’t feel I could continue using the “Army Wife” moniker since I am now a ‘retired Army wife.” And so, it’s was with no small amount of regret that I changed the subtitle. The main title, Drowning In Lemonade, remains the same because the book my blog is named for has to do with faith in adversity and challenges. And also it has to do with God’s grace and mercy. Both so abundant if we just surrender and receive them, totally and without holding back or holding on to things that prevent us from entering God’s merciful love and into the depths of His life (what grace really is – a gift from God that allows us participation in His Divine Life!). We can ‘drown’ in the endless ocean of God’s grace and mercy and it’s going to actually give us life, a very real share in His Life.
All that to say that I loved being an Army Wife and wrote the book to share how my faith sustained me in that 34 years I was honored to be one. I am still the wife of this amazing man, but he’s a civilian now, a ‘retiree,’ as we refer to Veterans after they’ve taken off the uniform. The Army says that a Soldier is a “Soldier for Life,” and that is a lovely sentiment and it is intended to show that the Army won’t forget a Soldier once he or she is retired and that it will help if you need it. But the uniform and all the responsibilities that go with that are no longer there. So the Veteran or retiree really no longer feels like a Soldier, realistically speaking. And so I changed the subtitle of my blog.
But today I am sharing a piece I wrote the the Military Education Coalition’s (MCEC) magazine, On the Move, while I was still an Army Wife. I was blessed with the opportunity to write for the magazine a couple of times. And the biggest blessing for me was when the editors asked that I write this piece and that my daughter, an Army wife now herself, also write an accompanying piece to share her thoughts on how we made it through as an Army family when she and her brother were young and still at home. She is a professional writer now, too. I am so very proud and grateful that we got this chance to write together for the magazine. MCEC is a mighty advocate for our Military children and they do great things with program initiatives on behalf of them. So, anyway, here are mine and my daughter’s thoughts on rearing Military children. It’s nice to put my Army wife ‘hat’ on again for a brief moment. Not sure why I felt led to share this article today, but I did so here you go! Begins on page 32.