"A soldier doesn't fight because he hates what is in front of him. A soldier fights because he loves what he left behind." - unknown

"God is our refuge and strength. He will protect us and make us strong" (ps 46:1). For those who will fly today, for those who are there now, and for those who will soon join the fight, Lord, shield them from all evil, strengthen their hearts, and bring them home safely.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

What We Take for Granted

I have never shared a blog that wasn't military related. I have never shared anything that wasn't military related. 

Today will be an exception.

There are two moments over the past year that have taught me the value of life, the necessity of gratitude, the greatness of prayer. There have been more than two really, many tiny, tiny moments have reminded me to be joyous.

There are two moments when I thought my life stopped. When everything that I thought I ever knew to be definite, to be a given, suddenly weren't. There was that moment during C's deployment, while he was living in an Afghan facility, surrounded by armed Afghans, when what sounded like gunshots rang out and the phone went dead. On That Day I thought my husband was dead and I thought I heard it happen. I don't think I will ever wipe that moment from my mind. I don't think I will ever forget just staring at the screen on my phone, looking as it returned to the call log, just standing by the island in my kitchen staring before I started to pray. I thought my life had just changed. Right then. I thought my life was over. It is one of the absolute most terrifying moments in my memory. I know it will remain there.

I was sitting in Eli and Logan's room, watching them play when the doctor called to say the Cystic Fibrosis Center in Denver did not agree with Eli's "all clear." I just listened. Just sat there and listened. Not understanding why we were going to go through this again. Not understanding why this was happening. Not knowing how to process something that we had already moved past. I hung up the phone, barely remembering the instructions and schedule for the next tests and just watched him. I sat on the floor, blank-faced, and watched my baby play. I didn't know how to process the possibility of having a child with a disease, of having to watch him suffer, of having nightmare after nightmare of outliving him. I couldn't think through all of that again.

He slept on my chest for the weeks until we received the official "all clear" for the final time.

These moments reminded me of how very precious life is. Of how very fragile. Of how the world - our world - can change in an instant. With a phone call, with a door bell, with a diagnosis. Our worlds can stop.

I am so very grateful that my husband returns home to me every day. I am so very grateful that God gave him back to me. I am so very, very thankful that my little one is just little - not sick with an awful disease. I am so honored to be blessed to be a mother, to be a wife. There isn't a way to express the gratitude that lives inside of me every day that the four of us are together and healthy. Everyday that I get to hold Eli and not worry if he will always be able to breathe clearly, or grow stronger, or get bigger is the greatest of days. Every day that C gets to play outside with Logan and fly kites with him and teach him how to ride his bike is a blessed day.

We are so very blessed. I am so very, very blessed to be able to hold my little ones. To see C hold them.

Sometimes we forget how grateful we should be. How grateful we must be.


Courtney Roth is from my home state - from a small town not too far from my home. Her little boy Tripp was welcomed into Heaven this weekend after living his short life battling EB. Her faith and courage and LOVE has touched thousands upon thousands as she has shared Tripp's story.

At the very least she has taught those who read to love as deeply as they can, to never, never take a moment for granted. She has found joy in hardship, grace in darkness, and love in sorrow. Please read Tripp's story if you haven't and offer a prayer of strength for Courtney.

May her little drummer boy play his drum so his mother can always hear. Rest in peace, Tripp. In heavenly peace.

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