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Category Archives: Faith & Spirituality

Thanksgiving 2011 :: So Very Much To Be Thankful For

Most of you will not be reading this on Thanksgiving, as you will be spending time with your loved ones, cooking up a storm, and of course watching those NYC Rockettes on the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade! It is so important that we pause and remember all of the things we are thankful for in our lives on this busy day, during this busy season, and of course throughout the entire year. So often we get caught up and we forget what is really important.

The day becomes about baking the right pies and if we’ve having corn or carrots (both of which are high in sugar and should be eaten as a vegetable in moderation!) and if we are stuffing the bird or just baking the dressing separately. We are so caught up in the sales ads in the paper and getting ready to leave the house by 9 to get in line at the doors of our favorite stores.

This year, my heart is so heavy and calling to mind all of those things I have to be thankful for is what gets me through. There are a million reasons to complain::

  • deployment looms over our heads and every second can so easily become one second closer to D-Day instead of one more precious second with my Prince Charming.
  • We have sparse decorations and I am neither crafty or wealthy enough to decorate the way I want. It is hard to remember we’ve been “together” less than a year, and as Newlyweds nobody has every decoration they ever wanted! As we break our our Christmas Decorations though we will discover we have more than some folks married 15 years have and the spirit will fill our house!
  • We are away from family and my heart aches to be with them… they are with me in spirit though, even though we shall sit at a table for two.

There are a million reasons to be thankful::

  • Our health! We both have good health and that is certainly not something to take lightly.
  • Our Family! It might be just the two of us right now and our three furbabies, but it is our little family and we are always there for each other.
  • A roof over our heads: we are blessed with a house big enough for our love!
  • Food in our bellies: we will dine this afternoon on quite the feast! (and then again tomorrow… and then again on Saturday!)
  • Creativity: I have found such joy working in my shop! The process of coming into my little space and creating something is amazing. I can’t wait to grow my supply inventory and learn some new techniques!
  • The love we have for each other! I have an amazing husband who takes me for all the good and all the crazy. Who could ask for anything more?

Happy Thanksgiving, friends! What are you thankful for?

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The Plans He Has For Us :: Etsy Love and More!

It was ironic that just before leaving for our trip back east, I purchased this print from a shop on etsy [Naptime Diaries]:

Image from shop: click on it to be taken to listing!

Jeremiah 29:11 has always spoken to me. From my life in an abused home knowing He had a plan for me to my life as a Navy wife knowing He had a plan for us! I could not resist the purchase of this piece to be placed somewhere in the home where I would see it everyday. With all that we face, it is so easy to let go of the fact that someone greater than ourselves has a greater plan for us!

It has never meant so much as it does today after learning the news that yes, friends, Hubs will be deploying… with the United States Army. Put a Navy wife on a Marine Base and deploy her husband with the Army. So we went from Hooyah, to Oorah, to Hooah just like that.

We have tried to remain light-hearted about it, joking about stateroom’s in the desert and the differences between sand and sea, but when it boils down to it, I could not hold in the tears as Hubs told me this afternoon. They already gave him his paperwork… a battle record or something. We don’t know how long, but we are thinking it will be a year.

What I do know is at least we can begin to process the facts we have. We can make the most of the holidays! We should be able to celebrate our “official” anniversary! We will fill our days with little things to make them better and time together just being there with one another.

I’ll be sure to hang the beautiful print somewhere I will be reminded daily not to whine, and to look to Him for strength! Buckle up, it’s going to be quite a ride.

HOOAH!

It Was A Good Year :: Officially 27

I finally have the pictures from my camera and thought I would share about my birthday. The very best gift I received was a gift from God:

The beauty after a rain shower

Obviously the picture from inside a moving car does this rainbow absolutely no justice. We had a gorgeous lunch earlier in the day at Dog-N-Burger, the best little hot dog shack in the world! The sun was shining and the chili cheese dog was just as good as I remembered! Definitely one of the parts of the trip that did not disappoint. They throw some fries in the bottom of a brown sack and toss your wrapped up dog on top. The only way to eat it is to lay the bag on its side, rip it down the middle and enjoy!

Our food, bagged and ready to dig into!

 

 

Man, oh man!

 

 When we were on our way home from dinner later in the day we saw the gorgeous double rainbow and I paused to reflect upon the last year in my life. Twenty six was pretty good to me overall. We survived a deployment and readjusted pretty seamlessly. Half the year was spent completely on my own, but it was great for growth. I feel as though I am coming into my own with who I want to be.

Hubs and I joke about our alter-egos: Harold and Maude! Sometimes we feel so old, and we bring them out. We’re not old though, we’re just comfortable with who we are, and at 27, I think I am getting comfortable with exactly who I am.

Celebrating with Nan was a bonus, and a tear jerker! She always scours and finds the perfect card to bring tears to my eyes! Still no word on the worst birthday gift. Here is to making 27 a fabulous year no matter where it takes us!

Remember When Customer Service Existed?

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Yesterday was quite the test for me on my journey to seeking Him. It was the first day of a new month, which means payday on Camp Pendleton. God tested me good, and I failed. We were celebrating getting Hawaii Five-0, season 1 on DVD and planned a Hawaiian weekend. Part of this included making the haul (about 40 minutes) to the opposite side of base to the Koa Teriyaki Grill and Maui Wowi for our yum-yums for the day. We decided since we were making the haul we may as well stop at the Commissary. We knew it would be a beast, but we only needed a few things so we took the chance.

God was good and the Commissary wasn’t too bad at all! There was just one girl sitting on a randomly placed bench with a cart full of groceries blocking the lane who got on my nerves enough to make me say something about her toddler grabbing hold of everyone’s cart causing a cluster f–k. I stated how it wasn’t cute, it was obnoxious as we walked by. Sorry, God. I tried and was doing pretty good until then.

Apparently He thought it would be nice to continue testing me and my first world problems. Read: FIRST WORLD PROBLEMS. I get that I am about to sound really ridiculous.

We got in line to get in a check-out lane. For those who are not military: at the commissary (which is the grocery store on base) you form one line and there is usually someone telling you which check out lane to get into based off speed and who has nobody in their lane. Lanes 13 and 14 were open and the cashier at 13 yelled “Next on 13!” so we headed there as she called for baggers. Again, for those not in the military: there are baggers who work for tips an tips only at the commissary. The bag your groceries and take them out to your car. This usually gets them three or four bucks from me. If you don’t take them to my car, I give them my change from the transaction. The cashier called for baggers and nobody showed up so my husband bagged our groceries. At a normal grocery store out in town this would have warranted absolutely no response from me. At the commissary, where they provide this service to you and you become accustomed to it, the absence (on payday none the less) kind of irritated me. I asked the cashier who I could talk to about it. I didn’t need to as she called the supervisor who immediately began looking for the baggers assigned to lane 13.

The whole way to our car I complained like a child and my husband droned on about being a veteran and asking if this is how they treat people coming back from war zones and proposing the question if they knew who he was. Not like he is anybody important, but it’s our inside joke whenever something doesn’t go our way. We got in the car after moving our frozen good into insulated bags. Remember, we’re about 40 minutes from home.

We now head across the parking lot to the Koa Teriyaki Grill. We stood at the register for about ten minutes while a girl stood at the grill and a gentleman messed around with smoothies. It took ten minutes for either of them to acknowledge we were standing there and let us know they would be right with us. Seriously, God? I’m working on patience and this is how you test me? We finally order two small smoothies and two combo plates of pork and chicken to go. Smoothie one: black raspberry with kiwi lime. Smoothie two: black raspberry with strawberry banana. Both smoothies came out regular (and we were charged for regular, even though we ordered small, and I had to fight for a receipt!). Smoothie one was correct. Smoothie two came out strawberry banana-kiwi lime.

After sitting there for about ten minutes waiting for our smoothies while the smoothie guy chatted up the two very young Marine wives who were ferociously flirting with him we got the wrong smoothies but decided we would go with it. Then we waited about ten more minutes to be handed two plates of food.

I.Lost.It.

I said to the girl how we got the wrong smoothies, and now a to go ticket was being handed to us on plates? Was there any part of our order they were not going to mess up? A woman commented about how nasty I was and how there were only two people there. I informed her no, I’ve worked in a place similar and it’s not rocket science. It doesn’t even require a high school degree. Slap a smile on and do your job.

I settled with the guy wrapping our food in aluminum foil as he gave a million reasons for things going wrong that day. I didn’t care. You have a mindless job to do and a company to represent and you failed. All while I had frozen goods thawing out in my car with an additional 40 minutes to go.

It was I who failed. It was my selfishness. It was my inability to bite my tongue. It was my abrasive personality shining through. Oh, you didn’t pick up on the fact that I have an abrasive personality? I do, and it is the beast I have been given to tame.

Turn away your face from my sins;

blot out all my iniquities.

A clean heart create for me, God;

renew within me a steadfast spirit.

Do not drive me from before your face,

nor take from me your holy spirit.

Restore to me the gladness of your salvation;

uphold me with a willing spirit.

Psalm 50:11-14

This Is The Day, The Lord Has Made!

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This is the day the LORD has made;

let us rejoice in it and be glad.

-Psalm 118:24

Remember a while ago when I was really pumped and excited about reading the Bible? I was going to do the Bible in 90 Days reading program. I had bought the little kit and was all set to finally immerse myself in the Lord. I sat down with The Word and felt so overwhelmed! It was such an intense program that I got discouraged in my lack of love for reading in general and gave up rather quickly. My Bible sat on my dresser, everyday reminding me of my failure in this task. I did not feel God pushing me to read. I did not feel the desire to read. I felt like a flame I wanted to burn so brightly had faded and burnt out before I could provide it with the kindling it needed to rage.

 I was jumping through blogs the other day and pounced upon one I had never seen before: Fly With Me! I came to her blog via a button on the side of a blog, identical to the one which is now on the side of my blog:

It was as if I noticed a spark in the darkness. Reading His Word in a year would be much easier than three months! It was as if God was leading me to a program that was made for someone who enjoys reading just about as little as I do! After checking out the reading schedule I was sold. This is the day, friends! This is the day that the Lord has made and I am confident that I can devote myself to reading His Word over the course of the next year!

Please help hold me to this friends! If you see me on twitter not mentioning my time with Jesus, don’t be afraid to ask me how my reading is going! If you are interested, click on the picture above and head on over to Come Fly With Me to get more of the deets!

***Please note that all verses that are written on this blog will come from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops online Bible.

The Bible in 90 Days | Starting a Journey

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Over a year ago I ordered the kit for the Bible in 90 Days. In fact, it was last July (like 2010) when I was back home in Norfolk! Here I find myself about 13 months after receiving it, and am finally making time in my days to do it. I am going to use my 90 days as Monday through Friday- so it will be an 18 week journey. Well, a little longer because as much as I would love to stick with it while we are in the process of getting our HHGs, I just don’t think it will happen. We will see when we get there though. 

There have been several things happening in my life that call to mind a quote I saw over on Pinterest (which I never repined and had to make an image for it- If you have it pinned, will you @ me?).

This is a print I found on a church website and added the text. The photographer is J.T. Lowery.

Somewhere along the line, I stopped making time for God in my daily life. I find myself thinking how I’d love to have a verse for certain situations, and I don’t. As a Catholic School student in my younger days, I’ve studied the Bible and read it back in high school. In college, I attended weekly Bible Study with the Campus Ministry. Then I lost my dedication to my faith somewhere along the lines.

God has blessed me beyond measure and I need to give back to Him. I’ll post updates on my progress on Fridays. It just so happens they’ll be “Faith Filled Fridays” here at The Young Retiree for a bit. I am excited about this new journey and about getting serious once again with my relationship with God.

So friends, to get me excited I’d love to know if you’ve ever done the Bible in 90 Days challenge? Whether you have or have not, what is your favorite verse or book? For verses I would have to go with the two used in our wedding (which I’ll reveal when I make my way to them – you’ll have to be on the lookout!) and one of my favorites from my youth:

Philippians 4:8 – Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 

Would you like to join me for this Bible study? Drop me a line [TheYoungRetiree {at} gmail {dot} com] and let me know! The organization sent out emails for every day that I’ll be using as well and can forward along to anyone wanting to participate with me! I will stand down and wait to start on Monday, 5 Sept 2011 to give you time to contact me! (As far as I know, you just need a Bible- you don’t need the one through the website.)