One day closer to my hero being home…

The Catastrophe Countdown! 3 Down, 49 to Go!

Well, I suppose none of them are truly catastrophes.  Maybe the the boat lift can be described as such.  But the others… well, maybe not.

Last week, The Ballerina was supposed to have her first gymnastics meet of the season.  It was being held about 75 miles away from where we live.  And it was at 8:00 in the morning.

Oh. My. Gosh.

I don’t do mornings.

So.  Up we got at 6:00 in the morning, and we were in the car by 6:30.  Should have been plenty of time to get there.

Not if your engine begins pouring out smoke.

Being wonderfully fiscally minded, and thinking My Hero would be so proud of me, I decided we would take his very uncomfortable car rather than my gas guzzling beast.  We were halfway there when I noticed a funny smell and the temperature gauge was all the way over past the dangerously hot section.  I slowed down and pulled in to the first gas station I saw.  I opened up the hood, and smoke poured out.  I checked the coolant level, and while it wasn’t BONE dry, it was pretty close.  I filled it up, dumped a few gallons of water on the engine to cool it off, and eventually headed back home.  By the time we made it home two hours later, the gauge was almost smack dab in the center.

So now this week.  My wonderful, amazing, comfortable car is having its own issues.  The speedometer is broken!  I noticed it when we were in the VERY slow moving traffic.  According to my speedometer, we were going 50 miles an hour.  If I had to guess, I’d say we were going about 10 miles an hour.  By the time we finished our errands, the speedometer was no longer moving at all.

As far as catastrophes go, none of these rate very high on the scale.  I can handle this.  Really, I know I can handle much more than this.  I have a Hero who supports me, a God who protects me, and great friends who help me when I need it.  I’m good.

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Every little boy dreams of being a hero.

Some of them get to become one.

In all seriousness, this man is my hero.  He is brave, thoughtful, caring, loving, and most importantly, he is a man of God.  I love everything about him.  I love the way he plays with our children.  I love the way that he disciplines our children.  I love the way he works so hard for our family.  I love how good at his job he is.  He impresses everyone he works with by his professionalism and ability to solve problems.  I love the way he loves and takes care of me.  He makes me feel like I am the most important person in the world to him.  I love the way he prays and strives to follow the Lord’s leading, both individually and as a family.

I have a serious case of hero worship going on.

Which is why, when I found out he needed to provide his own bed stuff, I couldn’t resist…

I want My Hero to be reminded of how I feel about him every time he sees his bed.  He is my hero.  He ranks right up there above Superman.  Batman takes third.  So yes, while my husband is deployed, he gets to relive his childhood with his own set of superhero sheets.  Go ahead.  Be jealous.

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Or… Here We Go Again

So.  Here we are again.  It’s the end of August, and My Hero is deployed again.  This time, though…. it’s for a year.  12 months.   52 weeks.  365 days.  Oh my.

I don’t expect this year to be easy, but I feel ready for it.  Not because I think I’m superwoman or anything.  I know I’m not.  But I feel like even though we only had a month’s notice for this deployment, we’ve been preparing for this since the beginning of summer, and like God is trying to teach his very dense pupils about HIS provision.

Ever since we moved here, I have coached gymnastics.  The gym has two locations.  One 15 minutes away from our house and one 45 minutes away.  At first, the agreement was that I would only work four days a week, and only at the close gym.  Well, as other coaches quit or moved on, more was asked of me.  Last fall, while My Hero was deployed, I was working SIX days a week, and twice a week, I was in the FAR location.  I had to figure out childcare for my kids, I didn’t get home until late at night, I would drag the kids with me if they were sick… It was rough.  We survived, though, and truly loved coaching the kids.  However, when the summer schedule came out this year, I was on it for more than twenty hours a week, and twice I week I wasn’t even scheduled at the same gym as my son.  This was not what I signed up for.  All the hours were running my health into the ground, and I wasn’t getting enough time with my family.  After much heartache, we made the decision to leave the gym.

We found another gym 45 minutes away that has an amazing boys’ program.  I talked with the owner, and found that not only was she a Christian, she homeschooled her children all the way through high school!  HUGE blessing!  We signed The Gymnast up, and the owner told me that if I decided to coach again, I had a job waiting for me.  After six weeks or so, I couldn’t stand not coaching.  The owners hired me to coach their optional girls (my favorite levels) on beam (my favorite event) three days a week – the three days that my kids were already there.  Three weeks into being hired, we all got sick.  Our attendance was spotty.  One day in particular, I remember calling and telling her that the kids were sick, but I would be there to work.  She replied that it sounded like I was needed at home, and she would see me when the kids were better.

When we found out My Hero was deploying, I went in and told the owner I would need time off.  She responded simply with tell me what you need.  This was like a breath of fresh air!  At the other gym, they almost didn’t let me take a vacation to Disney World with my family when The Hero came home.  Here, all I had to do was ask, and it was given.  God provided me with a job that I love and hours that are convenient for my family.  I don’t have to worry about childcare or scrambling to find somewhere for the kids to hang out.  I DON’T have to go in when the kids and I are sick.  Total peace about working!  God’s perfect provision, and we didn’t even know it when we decided to switch.

Also, last year, I tutored for Classical Conversations.  I LOVED it, but it was tough to find the time to prepare every week.  This year, I was asked to be the substitute and assistant to the director.  It’s perfect!  There is plenty for me to do while I’m there, but it requires very little prep work on my part.  Hooray!  Provision again before we needed it!

Apparently, we hadn’t truly learned the lesson that God would provide for us.  Or at least, we hadn’t learned it well enough.  My Hero left on Monday.  Hurricane Isaac was supposed to hit here Tuesday.  Thankfully, we only received a bit of wind and rain.  However, we still managed to have a mini-disaster.  Less than 24 hours after My Hero left, the kids ran into my room, frantically shouting at me to look out the window.

Our boat lift collapsed!  Need a better view?

Something broke….

I was stunned.  Not even 24 hours before our first catastrophe!  But God had something to teach us.  As soon as I saw it, I called our neighbor.  He was at work, and unable to help.  I called another neighbor.  He didn’t answer.  I sent the kids to his house just in case.  I tried somebody who lived a few blocks away.  No answer.  I called his wife, who called another friend to pick up her husband and bring him here.  In the meantime, the first neighbor was making calls of his own.  Within TWENTY MINUTES of discovering the boat lift’s collapse, we had four men – two of whom I had never met – over here, working on the situation.  Within an hour, the boat was trailered and the lift was secured to the dock.  The men I didn’t know promised to come back after the storm to repair the lift.  The other two promised to come back and flush out the motor after the storm.  The icing on the cake was that not thirty seconds after all was completed, the rain began.  None of us got wet while working on the boat!  When I shared this story with My Hero, he said that he felt like God was speaking directly to him, telling him not to worry.

God STILL wasn’t finished.  The hardest part of the deployment for My Hero is getting on the plane.  It’s a long ride.  To top it off, because of the check out time for the hotel, he had to sit at the airport for 8 hours.  No fun.  However, because he was there so early, he was the very first to check in.  The ticket agent told him that because he was the first to check in, he would get a seat in the BUSINESS CLASS!   So instead of having to sit in the crowded, cramped space of the regular seats, he had (has – he’s still on the plane) a seat where he couldn’t even touch the seat in front of him.

I know it may seem like a little thing, but it made a big difference to My Hero.  On top of all of that, he also saw a guy reading The Case for Christ while waiting for the plane.  He struck up a conversation, and found out that the guy will be working in the same building as him!  So right of the bat, My Hero has somebody to talk to once he gets there.

I believe that this is going to be an incredible year.  I can’t wait to see everything God is going to do!