Abby Normal


“She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands.” Proverbs 31:13

I’ve been feeling lately that I only tend to see God’s work in my life when I’m rushing to him to solve my problems. In a way, that’s a great blessing for me, because it means that I’ve learned to trust the Lord in my darkest of situations and I don’t let Satan bring me down when things get tough. It is also an awful thing that I don’t spend time blessing and praising God for all the good things he’s doing in my life. So here goes a sincere effort to praise the Lord for all that he has blessed me with:

I praised God this morning for giving me the motivation and encouragement I needed to pound out my daily tasks today. Missions mostly accomplished. Things are beginning to feel a lot more normal around the house, and less abnormally chaotic.

The bed is fully made with clean sheets, the Dirty Laundry Mountain is nonexistent, the cable-burying contractors and the VA appraisal guy have all come and gone after successfully completing their tasks, I successfully assembled the new lawn mower and mowed the front lawn (I had to wait for the contractors to get done before I could tackle the back yard, TBC) and the inside of the house looks more like a home than tornado aftermath. And I say it again, praise God.

Okay, okay, my tasks don’t seem super impressive, I know, until you factor in the debilitating migraine that kicked my butt last night. Every so often, I get these crazy headaches. I’ve found that caffeine consumption typically makes them less intense, but I was ill prepared last night. I had just eaten a healthy dinner, when I noticed my neck and shoulders getting a little tense. Rather than take that as my prompt to take some Excedrin, I brushed it off. That, ladies and gentlemen was a mistake. The pain gradually got worse and traveled up my neck to my head until I felt like my eyeballs just might explode. I got so dizzy that when I stood up, I had only seconds to make it to the bathroom before my insides became my outsides. That colorful description aside, I am feeling better today, with only residual dizziness when I stand or sit too fast.

That being said, my To-Done list is no small accomplishment.

Praise #2, although a much bigger praise than praise number 1, a couple of our good friends back home, JW and Amber are engaged and getting married! I’m so happy for them both and wish I could be there with them to celebrate. We will definitely be there for the wedding!

Praise #3 sort of goes along with praise #2, Another couple of our good friends, Patrick and Randa have just become homeowners! Congratulations! Their new home is beautiful and I know God will bless them in it.

With my husband in the field, I feel much more pressure to be the “man of the house” and “hold down the fort.” I’m turning that potentially sad and lonely situation into a praise by using it as motivation to get the house in order so it is nice when he comes home this weekend. That way we can spend less time arguing over who put what where, and more time enjoying each other’s company in our beautiful new home.

It’s been a crazy year so far, full of change and unexpected twists that have all lead us to where we are. The remainder of this year, I know, will continue to grow more challenging as Mitch prepares to deploy to Okinawa in the fall. And as much as I’m in denial that he’ll be leaving for 5 months shy of a year, I’m fully confident that God will bring us both through it and we’ll be able to pick up right where we leave off.

That’s sort of the funny thing about military life… The world around you doesn’t stop simply because your spouse deploys. It keeps right on moving, ticking away, and responsibilities continue. The biggest blessing as well as challenge of it is being able to seamlessly integrate each partner’s separate life-experiences back into one “civilian life” when he or she returns. It’s not just them coming home from a lifestyle spent with other marines, or being thrown back into the “head of the household” role; the spouse at home has had to learn how to cope with his or her spouse’s absence, and in so doing, has most likely become more closed off and independent. I know that was the case when I was finally able to move down here to be with Mitch. We had been so dependent on the internet for entertainment, that for the first few months back together, we often learned things about each other via Facebook updates… You may be giggling, but I swear it’s true. We had to re-learn to communicate, and honestly, we’re still not back to where we were before he enlisted. But I think part of that is simply growing in marital maturity; we don’t feel the need to voice every concern or opinion, mostly because at this point in our relationship, a lot of them are understood and go without saying. However, we still have room to grow and a lifetime of learning. Hopefully, we will build on our past experiences and this time won’t be nearly as difficult as it was when he was away for basic training and all of his schooling (cumulatively 8 months, so woo! Japan is a shorter time frame!)

In the mean time, I’m surrounded by a great church family, and wonderful new friends added to the ones back home, whom I dearly love and miss. And I get a month of “practice” while Mitch is in California, either next month and part of June or maybe just June. That’s another thing I’ve learned; there is nothing concrete in the military, so I better get used to uncertainties. Rather than view them as something to be feared, I’m going to view them as things I don’t even have to think about until I know them for sure. In that mindset, along with knowing that God’s got it all under control, all I have to do is eat, sleep, and pay taxes. 😉

I pray that God is working in your lives as visibly as he is in mine, and that you remember that “…in your light, we see light.” (Psalm 36:9)  May he bless you in all you do!


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