“While you wonder sometimes if you’re doing OK,
the rest of us are just watching in wonder.” ~ Holley Gerth
I tapped the doorbell while balancing the pepperoni pasta dish in my hands and the paper bag with green salad, homemade bread, and chocolate chip cookies hanging on my arm. Sarah answered the door with a kind smile and full arms — literally full with a sleeping newborn and a precious two-year-old girl. After greeting me warmly, Sarah opened the door wider, and I glimpsed older sister eyeing me from behind Mama’s leg.
Sarah welcomed me into her home, and as I walked to the kitchen, I asked if she had spoken to her deployed husband recently. She replied, “Oh, here and there, but his schedule had been nonstop, so our conversations have been quick and sporadic.”
Watching her balance three little ones, I thought his schedule isn’t the only one that’s been nonstop.
I asked her how the older kids were adjusting, and she said each day seemed a little better than the one before, good times and rough times mixing in varying degrees to color the day. And then she added with a wave of her hand, “Ya know, we’re just taking things one day at a time.”
Because that’s what military spouses do: They just do the next thing like it’s no big thing and take each day one at a time.
After church, I saunter over to Kathryn and ask her how things are going. Her semester of school just ended, and with only one more class left to take, she finds herself enjoying a long exhale. At some point in our conversation, her hand dropped to her belly, and I watched her rub the curvature around her growing second child. I asked if her husband will be home in time for the birth, and she said, “Yes, as long as this one waits ’til the due date to enter the world, he should be home in time.”
I raised my eyebrows and ask tentatively, “And if your baby doesn’t wait? Who’s going to the hospital with you?”
Her head drops down slightly and she looks to the side, “Oh, well, if that happens, I’ll probably just drive myself.” She flippantly waved her hand in the air, like she was describing a solo trip to the grocery.
My eyes widened and I flat-out stared.
Finally, I ask, “Um, what do you mean you will just drive yourself?”
Her reply was chock-full of the confidence found in most seasoned Army wives, “Oh, I’ll be fine. I mean, it’s not like this is my first baby. I know what to expect this time.”
I agreed with her that she will most definitely be fine. But I also gave her my cell number and told her not to hesitate to call because hello, no woman should have to drive her everlovin’ self to the hospital to give birth.
But that’s what military spouses do: They maneuver life’s main events solo like it’s just par for the course. Because it is par for the course. And whether it’s handling the driving rhythm of a nonstop household or driving themselves to the hospital amidst the rhythm of regular contractions, they just do what they have to do — one hour at a time, one day at a time.
But there’s no reason they should have to do so without an army of prayers and support.
Today is a day we rightly remember our military service members who serve and sacrifice in one form or another. So to all the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard servicemen and women, the (in)courage community wants you to know how deeply we appreciate you. You are selflessly giving and devoted, and your sacrifices do not go unnoticed.
Today, I also want to remember our service member’s families — families who surely sacrifice in their own important ways.
Because the more we build up and support our military families, the better they are able to build up and support their own service-member husbands and wives.
If you have or had a loved one serving at home or abroad in the military, might you leave his or her *first* name in a comment so we can honor that person and pray?
And if you know a family member of a loved one who serves, might you leave his or her name in a comment so we can pray for these dedicated people too?
And whether you have a connection with military folks or not, might you leave a word of encouragement to the extraordinary ones on this Memorial Day — our military and their families?
Let’s fortify the walls of this grace space with kind words for them today.
Kristen Strong, wife of an Air Force veteran
(If you are a military wife or know someone who is, visit my blog Chasing Blue Skies for a special free gift: my e-book Serving You: 31 Days of Encouragement for the Military Wife.)
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
Before I even opened my laptop, I said to myself, “I bet Kristen’s posting today.” And…no surprise to me that you are. You have really brought the pride and the plight of military families to a prominent place in my heart. Our Nation is not only built on the fact that we have valiant men and women who serve, but also on the families back at home who are a true backbone to our country. To all who have served, serve, and support those who serve, I offer my deepest gratitude and I am lifting prayers right now for all. I would like to lift up my dad, Ted, who served and who has passed away, and Taylor, who is currently serving and his mom, Cathy. Thank you for a beautiful post, Kristen! Thank you to your family…
Thank you for your words of encouragement here, Bev. I know any military and military family members who read them will treasure them. And as we pause on this Memorial Day to remember all those who lost their lives in service to our country, I join you in honoring those who still work toward keeping our nation free today. Carrying your own family’s veterans in my heart today…
Lora Romeo says
Josh, wife SarahBeth, son Griffin, baby #2 in the womb! Please pray!
Absolutely, dear Lora. Praying for all.
Mary@The Calm of His Presence says
What a wonderful post, thank you!! Praying for my brother Dan & his wife Denise & their children.
Praying fervently for them with you, Mary.
Elizabeth Fisher says
Nevin, Beth, and Jane and our other friends here at Ft. Stewart GA.
May God bless and keep them. Thank you, Elizabeth.
Kristine Brown MTY says
Lord, we humbly ask that you give strength, peace, and comfort to all military wives and families. Thank you for their daily sacrifice, and help us to be aware of how we can bless them and show our appreciation. We also ask for your protection over those serving. We thank you for them today and every day. Amen.
Yes and amen, Kristine.
My father in-law, Jesse who is retired from the Air Force and those at Moody Air Force Base in Valdosta, GA. Pray for them.
Please pray for my husband Chris who is currently deployed. And I am one of those Army wives who drove herself to the hospital and delivered our 2nd daughter alone in 2009. The Army wives were rallying behind me by watching our oldest daughter and getting there just as I was wheeled into recovery and staying with me as our daughter was transferred to a children’s hospital. Thank you for writing this piece. My prayers today are with all the Gold Star families who have paid the ultimate sacrifice. May the love of the Lord surround them today and all the days to come.
To every veteran today, I give thanks to Jesus for all that you do. Would you please pray for J.L., A.F., M.D., K.G., J.H., E.M., J.M., A.N., and N.S. today as they serve God and our country, that Jesus lift them up in His peace and grace? Thank you for the service that you give.
Yes, may His abundant grace and peace that passes all understanding be theirs today. Much love to you, Anne.
Austin, his wife Jessica and 8 year old son, Ethan.
Praying for them all right now, Angela. Thank you.
Kristen, your post made me tear up. I’m am the wife of an Air Force veteran, now military contractor. Your words touched me. Though my hubby didn’t deploy for long periods of time while we were married, he travels more now with his job, and when he’s gone for those long periods of time . . . it’s hard on my boys and me. I so appreciate your post.
I’d love it if you’d pray for Brett, Jen’s husband (can’t remember his name), and Kevin.
And my friend, Laura’s son.
I thank all the service mean and women out there, past and present who served our country. My dad who is now 83 was in the Air Force for 22 years from 1952 -1974 and served under SAC working on B-52’s. There are things he has never talked about and I know that each person who has served in the military has had an important part in keeping our country free. Keep them and their families in your prayers
Valerie Pennington says
Thanks so much for your words.
Ethan – currently deployed with the Army
Hi Valerie. Heavenly Father, please guide and protect Ethan and bring him back safely to Valerie and her family. Bless Valerie in his absence and give her strength and peace while he is away. In Jesus’s name. Amen.
Kristen your post is very touching and brings back memories…
I’d like to offer my prayers from Canada to the families and to those who so bravely serve. In honor of my parent’s I borrowed this motto from my Father’s past regiment: ‘Persevere.’ This is what Military families do…….
Thank you doesn’t seem quite adequate considering the level of sacrifice and service these brave men and women willingly undertake. Thank you wives and husbands at home who care for and nurture your families and thank you to all of you who bravely serve. On this day, Memorial Day, we remember all those who gave their lives for our country. Your sacrifice will never be forgotten. Xox
“On this day, Memorial Day, we remember all those who gave their lives for our country.” Yes ~ may we never forget. Thank you for these heartfelt words, Veronica.
Thank you also Kristen for loving on these military families and for the sacrifices you and your family have made while your husband was serving.xox
Thanks for this opportunity to pray and honor all the men and women who serve our great nation and to their families! Please pray for my Granddaughter, Sara, and Andrew, Samantha, MaLena and Hunter!
Lord Jesus we pray that you give strength, faith, hope, and love to all the military families out there. May you bless them with peace and lots of support and prayers from family and friends. Thank You Jesus for protecting and guiding all of our troops and their families and watching over them to get back safely to their families. In Jesus Name. Amen!
Thank you to all our troops and their families who serve or have ever served! You give up so much so we can be free in this beautiful country God has blessed us with to enjoy. God bless you all and thank you for your service! Xoxo
Bob, my husband is retired Air Force chaplain, our sonTim, army vet, son in law retired Air Force, uncles, cousins, friend still serving and vets.
What a legacy your family holds, Bobbie. Honoring them and praying now…
Thank you for this message. My son, Zack is in Japan in the Navy. Thanks for the prayers
I come from a strong military family. Nearly everyone in my family has joined. I wasn’t allowed to very much to my sadness but I am a strong supporter of our troops who fight for us every day of their lives. God bless all the troops and their support systems at home.
Cathy Cason says
Pray for my nephew, Aaron. Thank you this post.
Very grateful for the military families and personnel. Thank you for your sacrifices and making it seem like it’s nothing.
Having been a military spouse for many years, I want to thank you for offering your phone number to Kathryn who said she would drive herself to the hospital. I had friends like you when my spouse was deployed and they drove me to the hospital and stayed with me when I miscarried. One was there when I awoke with painful pitocin cramping; something I had never experienced before, and then drove me home when the time came. Another had my son with her the entire time I was at the hospital. I will never forget the women who walked alongside me during that time of life. We are tough, but God made friends for a reason.
You’re absolutely right. Friends made through the military family are an amazing grace indeed. As are you, Michelle, as are you. Thank *you*.
Sharon Collier says
Chaplains @ ft leonard wood, mo
Tom collier, mike Thomas, ken sharpe, guido Gonzales, Isaiah Gillette, Chaplain Powers, Chaplain Snead, Chaplain Porter, Chaplain Choi, Mike Roberts, Chaplain O’Donnell, Sharpn Brown, Chaplain Bolin, Dave McKay, mark miller, and Chaplain Saxton. Covet your prayers for these ministers of God and country. Thank you for this opportunity to cover them with a multitude of petitions
Please pray for my husband Charles who is currently in an Army hospital where he has been for most of the past year. He is now in the late stages of an illness caused by injuries/exposures during the war. There is nothing they can do for him except to keep him as comfortable as they can, he is dying. He was in the Army for 22 years. Also – my brother’s children and grandchildren – my brother passed away a few years ago after 18 years in the Marines. My father in law who was in the Air Force for 30 years. My father who was in the Navy for 10 years. Many other family members and friends who served, some who came home, some who didn’t…. Prayers and many thanks to every veteran, service member and family member of those who have served and those who are serving. Thank you for a very nice post. It brought tears to my eyes. God bless…
Annette, all I have today are tears as I sit beside you. May the Lord be close to you, your husband, and your family in this most difficult time. Reaching my hand through the screen to yours and holding you in my heart today, dear one. So much love.
Kat Leon says
While it’s always important to support our military and their families, the main purpose today, Memorial Day, is to remember and support the families of those who have dies while serving. Today is the day I want someone to say my sons name and remember him. Remember his sacrifice, his bravery, his willingness to not have a future, the great heart he had, his love for the Lord. Cpl Chrisopher D Leon, USMC 5th ANGLICO III MEF 11-5-85–6-20-06
Kat, today we remember your son Christopher–his sacrifice, his bravery, and every bit of his beautiful heart and soul. Thank you for sharing his name here so we can say his name, know a bit about him, and pray for his family. So much love.
Kat Leon says
Thanks for the love. Always want him to be remembered. Will be praying for our military and their families too.
Thank you so much for this post. My prayers go out to all those who have given their lives in service to our country, as well as those currently serving. I especially pray for my nephews, Brad, whose is currently serving as a navy pilot, and Kolby, who is in the Army. Thank you and God bless!
Susan G. says
Thank you for giving us another opportunity to pray for our military heroes on this special Memorial Day. I have prayed for each one below that God will surround them with His angels for protection and He will give them the strength to do their job wherever they are. I pray for the spouses and children at home…give them comfort, strength and joy in the midst of it all. I pray for comfort for all those who have lost loved ones in service of our country, from past to present. May God bless each family represented. Thank you for your service and sacrifice.
May God bless America and keep us strong.
Misty Nouzovsky says
Ricky, Jason, Tyler and Donna–serving or have served and still active and could possibly serve again. I’m praying for the families of those who gave all and for those who are still giving today. Until they all come home.
Ceconda Lott says
My daughter Lois and her husband Bubba and my precious grandson Johnny. Bubba is a Marine and Lois was a Marine. They have been apart a lot and yet their marriage is still strong. My ex-husband and wife Stephanie. He was a Marine and was away a lot.
Friends, thank you for trusting this space with the honor of praying for your loved ones. Thank you to those who offered up their own heartfelt prayers. This community of Jesus loving girls supports one another in beautiful, powerful ways.
Wherever your loved ones serve, may God keep them safe and protected. We remember those who gave all and pray for all those left behind. We pray for the families of those still serving today. Words can never express just how appreciative we are of you and your loved ones.
Jacob-wrestling God fights for us,
God-of-Angel-Armies protects us. ” ~Psalm 46: 7 The Message
Beth Williams says
Thank you for reminding us to pray daily for our veterans and their families. They all give up so much so that the rest of us can be free! Our church has a prayer list that they read each week. One section is for military people and their families. We mention each one by name and give thanks for them and pray for protection! I pray that each service member and their families knows how much we thank them for their service!