I've needed a little help lately, and my friend, Cathy, kindly offered it. My response to her was, "But I do nothing for you. I can't ever come up with a way to pay you back, and I don't understand why you help us at all?" And she lovingly assured me, "It's my Ministry to you." So I accepted her much needed and appreciated help.
But I've fretted over it for the last few weeks. The "not being able to pay her back" part. And as I fretted and worried and fretted and thought...I began to see that my Life, my Children's Lives, my Husband's Life, Our Family...is indeed a Gift of Service, a Sacrifice of sorts for others. The sacrifice becomes *very clear*, after being an Army-made, "single Mom" to Seven Children for 12 1/2 days...
We *are* a Military Family, every time my Husband packs his bag to go, we are paying you back (or forward) for the help you offer us, while he is gone.
The last few weeks have been a challenge for me, to put it lightly. For those of you who do not know, my husband, Brian, is in the Army. He is in the AGR Program (Active Guard Reserves...which means he works full time for the Army Reserve Center here in town, and NO he is not a Recruiter). He is away at Army Schools, Training, and the likes, often. It stinks. I don't know how I manage to get through them (or the 3 months he was at Basic Training, or the year he was in Korea, or the 16 months he served in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan).
I'm quick to miss him. I will tell my Mom, "I'm so lonely without him here." And she will say, "How can you be lonely with Seven Kids?" (She is joking, she knows how). I missed him the moment our lips met outside the airport, dropping him off. I knew we would not kiss again for 12 days. My heart ached for him as he told the Children good-bye, and I saw the look on their faces. I missed him that first night, when we did Family Worship on speaker phone, and then I missed him the second night, when he was at a Study Group, and we couldn't do Family Worship at all. I missed him last Monday morning, when I had to take the Girls to HomeSchool Testing, with their five little brothers in tow. I missed him, when our 7 yr old son had to miss his second and fourth Baseball Practice because we refused to leave him on the field, alone, with complete strangers, because his Sister had Cinderella Rehearsal. I missed him when the 3 boys, who had not gotten the cold yet, got it. I missed him when my Dad took us out to dinner without him. I missed him when TJ fell and cut open his eye. I missed him when Judah got fussy (for 4 days) as his two front teeth came in. I missed him as I took previously mentioned 3 boys to the doctor, while TeenAger babysat, I *really* missed him as the 8 of us went to WalMart to pick up the prescriptions for the 3 boys, and then I missed him when Wesley woke up the ninth night, crying and asking for him..."Is Daddy coming home Mommy?" I missed him. I missed 12 days of Love with him. My children missed 12 days with their Daddy. *He* missed baseball practice, sickness, family worship, conversation, a visit with my Dad, play time, hugs, ballet report cards, a birthday, kisses, smiles, giggles, Love...
No, I do not pick your kids up for their activities, I do not host dinner parties, I do not teach Sunday School, I barely return phone calls. But, this little thing, this thing that I do do, being a wife to a husband who Serves our Nation, upholding my Family who misses him while he is away, is my Gift of Service to You. I hope it's enough. It's all I can handle right now.
"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.' Matthew 25:40
Thank You Cathy.