Posts Tagged ‘military spouse life’

Ever have a bad day? Do you tire of the people who tell you to just get over it? Christine Kane shares some thoughtful insight on how to get yourself through it…read more in our blog http://wings4women.org/?p=342


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Recently in San Antonio in a neighborhood near ours, a house fire was blamed for the death of a woman and her two children. Yesterday, my husband came home from work with the very sad news that the fire was set to cover up the murder/suicide of a woman and her two children. The husband/father is in the Army. He also suffers from PTSD. A colleague of my husband just had dinner at that house during Christmas–this was family. Allegedly, the woman killed her two children and then killed herself after setting the fire.

I know military life can be a challenge, but what makes it so hard that you feel you would need to kill your children and yourself? Did this woman feel like she didn’t have anyone to talk to? Did she think she was alone in her troubles? Did anyone ever reach out to help her? I just don’t understand it. It breaks my heart.

This is one of the basic reasons that I started Wings for Women Military Spouse Conferences–to help connect military spouses to each other and the tools and resources we need so we don’t have to feel that something like suicide is the only way to cope. We need each other for support and friendship. We need to reach out to one another to help and be helped. I am certain that our conferences will help open up conversations between spouses and with the community so tragedies like this murder/suicide don’t happen anymore.

What do you do when life gets too hard? Who do you tell? Where do you go?

I admit that sometimes I just stay in bed for a little bit longer–to put off facing another day of loneliness in a new city.

But the better thing to do is to reach out to friends and family–on the phone if there is no one near by or over coffee if we are in the same town. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes, that two are better than one; chapter 4 v. 10 reads, “If one falls down his friend can help him up, but pity the man who has no one to help him up.” Make sure you keep in touch with at least one person who knows what you are going through and who can help you up when you fall.

Proverbs 12:25 is a verse that helped me get through the loss of our son who died from a severe heart defect when he was two weeks old. (You can read more about that in my book, Notes from the Margins). One day, when I thought I would just shrivel up from the pain of losing the only thing I ever wanted in my life, my mom said, “The only way to really heal is to help others who are also hurting.” Proverbs 12:25 reinforces that idea: “The generous will prosper and he who refreshes others will be refreshed.” Can’t argue with God and Mom! It’s quite true. Sometimes the only way to get out of the darkness or the pain you feel in life is to reach out to the world and start making a difference for others. And by helping others, you are helped. What can you do to help other military spouses in your neighborhood, installation or city?

I guess the point I’m trying to make is this: Don’t go it alone–whether you feel healthy or overwhelmed–don’t go it alone! Get involved in your neighborhood, your church or your installation. And if that is too much for you, connect with someone. If you don’t have anyone to connect with, reach out to the chaplain, your commander’s wife, the first shirt or a doctor.

If you don’t want to go public, at least take advantage of online services like Give an Hour or Military OneSource. Sign up for daily encouragement from 411 God or join a group like Christian Military Wives or Wives of Faith. Read Jocelyn Green’s book, “Faith Deployed” or Sarah Horn’s “God Strong” or write to me. There are so many people and organizations who want to help you!

I close this praying for you! Be blessed today and reach out to help or be helped. It’s the only way to survive our crazy military lifestyle!


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I have these two chairs and a footstool that were long lost twins. The first chair–an overstuffed Broyhill side chair–I purchased at a thrift store when we lived in Texas in 1998. It’s been with us for a long time and has been my favorite place to sit and read or do my daily study. When we moved to Virginia in 2000, I found this chair’s matching twin at a garage sale–and it came with an ottoman! I had nowhere to put the chair, but I wanted the ottoman so I bought them both for $8. What a steal! Since then, these two chairs have seen many rooms in our various homes; the living room, the basement, my office, our bedroom, the sitting room. They always seemed to find a nice place in our home. Until now.

We have recently moved back to Texas and lost our basement in the move. The two chairs and ottoman were too big for my office and no longer fit in our bedroom so they were relegated to the game room upstairs. And so was a futon and four other chairs. I lovingly called the game room “The Chair Room” because that is what it was filled with–the leftover chairs.

I seldom go upstairs because it’s become a man cave for my son and my husband–but the other day I was up there cleaning and I just didn’t like that chair room. It was too full of furniture and seemed crowded and uninviting. It was obvious that those two old chairs that I have always loved so much no longer fit in our house. (A common problem in the military lifestyle–I’ve seen creative military spouses who have used dressers and armoires as furniture in kitchens, living rooms and with the bedroom set from which they came. It’s what we do in the military; we make our furniture–even our very lives–work in new ways each time we move). After a tough internal debate, I knew that those chairs had to go.

It was an emotional experience for me admitting that those chairs I loved didn’t fit into my life anymore. Ironically–or maybe not–I did a bible study right after this emotional chair event that brought to light a spiritual lesson from this very experience. (Wouldn’t you know it; God had a lesson for me even in the act of getting rid of some chairs.) We were studying Ephesians.

Since, then, we do not have the excuse of ignorance, everything—and I do mean everything—connected with that old way of life has to go. It’s rotten through and through. Get rid of it! And then take on an entirely new way of life—a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces his character in you. Ephesians 4:23-24 (The Message)

I have changed a lot in the 10 years that we have owned those chairs. I’ve grown from hardships, gained confidence in who I am; I have gotten new furniture. In a way, those chairs represented the old me–one who wasn’t as confident and a little weary from life. Those chairs were connected with my old way of life the way old habits are; hanging around the neck of the new you as a distraction. Those old ways and old habits can clutter up a room or your life and make it uninviting. I learned that those chairs don’t represent the future but the past; ways and ideas that weren’t God’s best for me. They were cluttering up a room (literally and figuratively) that was meant for fun.

So you know what? It’s okay to get rid of those chairs because I’m looking forward! I’m taking on something entirely new just like the verse from Ephesians. I’m taking on a life, a home, renewed from the inside and glorifying to God on the outside.

What are the old chairs in your life? What is keeping you from living fully as the woman God designed you to be?

Be blessed!


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