Take Time To…

Take Time To Smell the FlowersYesterday I read a quote from a devotional that said, “Here’s the key: Learn to enjoy where you are on the way to where you’re going.” Wow!! That’s a powerful goal and challenge packed into one short sentence!!

Unfortunately it seems some days rushing, hurriedness and business is just a normal way of life. If you’re like me, you always have a list of things to do and responsibilities to fulfill and you live by your day planner/calendar. In the business of life, with so many things, people and responsibilities pulling you in various directions, it is VITAL that you take a moment DAILY to slow down, even if just for a moment, and enjoy where you are. Even in the midst of the most busy, stress filled day, you can find something to smile about or be thankful for. I know what you’re thinking, “You don’t know my life,” “What do I have to be thankful for?” I’m not saying there are not challenges and not so great (aka crappy) situations we find ourselves in, but even in the midst of challenges there is always a blessing to be seen, something to be thankful for and a moment to be enjoyed. I guess in a nutshell what I’m trying to remind you of today is to enjoy the small things, don’t let life pass you by, enjoy the journey instead of being solely focused on the destination and take time to stop and smell the roses (or whatever your favorite flower may be).

Yes, you may be at home up to your ears in laundry and being what I call a domesticated goddess for the day. Instead of hating that you have so much cleaning to do, what if you realized that there are lots of people in the world that don’t have a home to clean or clothes to wash much less a washer and dryer to wash them in. You may be upset when your husband leaves the toilet seat up again or didn’t throw his socks in the laundry hamper, but remember there is a woman somewhere whose husband died in Iraq and she’d give anything to have him to pick up after. Don’t get me wrong here, I’m not saying it’s okay to shoulder all the household responsibilities or be some type of doormat, what I’m talking about is your perception to your situation makes all the difference in the world. Believe me, it takes practice to “look on the bright-side.” Sometimes you truly have to retrain how you think in order to find blessings and something to be thankful for in everyday life.

So today when you have to be up early driving to work, running an errand, doing PT, or whatever it may be, I challenge you to stop and take in the beauty of the sunrise, listen to the birds singing, soak up the warmth of the sun shining on your face. My husband told me that when he and his company arrived back in Cherry Point, NC from their tour in Iraq that as soon as they got off plane they were supposed to get their gear and get on the bus, but instead of doing that many of them made a bee line for the grassy areas around them. Tough warriors were taking off their boots and socks and walking in the grass, laying on the grass, simply touching the grass. They had been in a sandbox for so long that just the sight of grass was a blessing. Prior to Iraq do you think a single one them had ever given a second thought to grass or appreciated it? Heck no!! If anything, they’d probably complained about the grass (having to cut it, water it, etc). Am I saying that you have to walk around like a hippy love child oblivious to reality and solely focused on all things warm and fuzzy? NO! My goal today is to remind you that perception is everything. How you perceive your life, circumstances and situations become your reality and if you’re always focused on what’s going wrong, you’ll never notice all that’s going right. I also want to challenge you to take time for you. I tell my husband all the time, “Take care of you!” I learned a long time ago that if I don’t take time for myself and take care of myself, I’m no good to anyone else.

Carpe Diem my friends!!!!

By Faith Wells

 

Original post on comfycouchcommand

True Strength

StrengthSTRENGTH – as defined by Merriam Webster: “the quality or state of being physically strong; the ability to resist being moved or broken by a force; the quality that allows someone to deal with problems in a determined or effective way.”

Strength is the foundational word that comes to mind whenever I think about our armed forces personnel and their families/loved ones. It takes not only physical strength to be a part of America’s military fighting force, but it takes mental toughness as well. Those same attributes are displayed by the families and loved ones of our military. Every battle/situation a person faces is first determined (won or lost) in their mind. Where your mind goes, the rest of you follows is a true statement. If you believe you can or if you believe you can’t, you’re right! So to complete bootcamp, fight in a war, adjust to life after leaving active military service, all take a mental toughness and fortitude to successfully accomplish.

I see amazing strength in the faces of those elderly veterans at the VA Hospital who are battling not only sickness, but their own time worn and weakened bodies. Yet they still manage to return a smile and even provide a word of encouragement as they leave from their Chemotherapy treatment. Equally as strong are those veteran’s spouses and family members who are always faithfully by their side. Whether pushing them in their wheel chair around to their various appointments, asking questions, navigating the workings of the VA or sitting quietly by their bedside as they sleep, those spouses and family members exude a quiet, unassuming strength.

Spouses, whether of an active or retired military member, are some of the strongest people you will ever meet. Spouses hold down the home front when their solider/warrior is away, making sure life back home goes on and all is taken care of. Spouses provide support and encouragement for their solider and are the anchor back home that gives them hope and security while doing his/her job of defending our country and the liberties and way of life we enjoy. Spouses fight back tears during those phone calls and Skype times to make sure their solider doesn’t worry about them, but instead is reassured and encouraged and made to feel loved. Then cries when no one is around.

Strength is seen in the parent who sends their son or daughter off to bootcamp and/or war. Though worried out of their mind for the safety of their child, that they love more than anything on this planet, they tell them how proud they are, encourage them, pray for them and send them care packages. They do whatever needs to be done to support them.

Strength is seen in the solider/warrior that returns from combat, scarred physical and/or mentally from the horror and trauma they witnessed and endured. They are lions living among lambs…. the training and way of life they learned in combat that kept them alive makes them feel like an outsider and an alien when they come back to civilian life. Day in and day out they try to fit in and conform and readjust to the world they return to. Although many times uncomfortable, fighting hopelessness and feeling like an outcast they still keep trying and fighting to survive.

I want to close out the topic of strength with this…. It is NOT weak to ask for help. True strength is knowing when you need help and then asking for it. No matter where you may see yourself in the examples I’ve written about above, find a support system for yourself. Reach out to a friend, family or someone you trust. Go online and find one of the many resources and organizations setup to provide support. Contact the VA, tell them what you need and take advantage of the programs they offer. Help is available. Don’t suffer needlessly. You’re there for others, when the time comes let someone be there for you.

~Faith

The Military Family

We want to welcome our newest blogger, Faith! Read her bio at the end of article:

marine wifeWhen I was offered the awesome opportunity to be a “blogger” for Military Missions, my first thought was, “Wow! Cool! What an honor!! Can’t wait to get started.” My immediate second thought was, “Oh wow, what am I going to write!?!” I’m not a Marine Mom who’s faced their child heading off to bootcamp or combat. I am however the spouse of a 100% disabled, retired, combat Marine veteran. Although my experiences may be different from a Marine Mom, there are many commonalities we share. We all love someone who has served and/or fought for our great nation, the United States of America, defending the freedoms and life we enjoy.

Military members and their families (whether active duty or retired) are all members of one giant family who forge bonds and connections through experiences unique to their world. Those who’ve never been a part of that life simply can’t truly understand in its fullness what that means and many times do not have a full appreciation for the freedoms we are blessed with. If you’ve ever had a friend, family member or loved one go off to war or serve in the military, you understand that freedom isn’t free. You know what sacrifice for freedom truly means.

Within that broad connection between the armed services branches, I’ve discovered there is an even more fierce, unique, tight-nit, intensely loyal bond, a family known as the United States Marine Corps. I have a father who served in the Army, a friend who served in the Navy so I understood about military life, sacrifice and the bonds formed within that. However, it was nothing in comparison to being a part of the life of a United States Marine. “Semper fidelis” and, “Once a Marine, always a Marine,” are not just catchy phrases… they truly are a literal, lived out embodiment of the Marine Corps.

Finding myself as a member of this family by being the wife of a retired Marine has been a roller coaster ride of honor, pride, heartache, love, appreciation, thankfulness, gut wrenching challenges, it is a life I’m so thankful to have and a family I’m honored to be a part of. So to all you Marine Corps families and members, I’m thankful for each and every one of you. I’ve never met you, but I love you, care about what happens to you and will help you in anyway I can. Thank you for your sacrifice and commitment. Thank you for all you do and all you sacrifice. May God bless, strengthen and refresh each and everyone of you.

MEET FAITH:

Married to retired 100% disabled, Infantry Marine, I work for the Kentucky State Police (have been a employed by that agency for the majority of my adult career-started out as a E911 dispatcher, then moved around to various positions within the agency & now work in the Human Resources Branch at HQ), was a Kentucky foster/adoptive parent of teens, am a ordained Chaplain, love being outdoors & being active (hiking, walking, gardening, etc), am a HUGE animal lover/dog person (have three fur-babies), love my family & church family (who are all AMAZING PEEPS).

(Originally posted on Comfy Couch Command blog)

April is Month of the Military Child

April is designated as the “Month of the Military Child”.

Throughout the month various organizations and schools will plan events that recognize and show appreciation for our military children. Deployments and other military situations can be very stressful on children. They are often forgotten when you think of all the sacrifices that are made by military families.

This year, April 15th is designated as “Purple Up! For Military Kids” Day. Everyone is encouraged to wear purple as a visible way to show support and thank military children for their strength and sacrifices. Purple is the chosen color because it represents all branches of the military by combining Army green, Coast Guard blue, Air Force blue, Marine red and Navy blue. 

Remember.. kids serve too! 

Help us save a stamp!

Military Missions, Inc. is an IRS approved 501(c)(3) non-profit charity which means your donations are tax deductible.

We want donors to know how much each and every donation is appreciated. Thank you letters, which also serve as a tax receipt, are sent to donors when we have their contact info.

You can help us save a stamp by providing your email address when donating. This will allow us to email your receipt instead of sending via USPS. Just include a small note inside the package with your email address written clearly. 

As always, we are extremely grateful for your support of our troops through Military Missions, Inc.

Operation S.E.N.D. Easter Assembly

REGISTER TODAY!

Mark your calendars and join us as we assemble boxes for our upcoming care package mailing on Tuesday, March 10, 2015. We will be meeting from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm at our office in Millpond Center, 3650 Boston Road, Suite 146, Lexington, KY 40514. Our office space is limited so please pre-register HERE if you plan to participate. For general questions, please email info@military-missions.org  or call or text 859-221-9477.

Our list of soldiers grows every day. Many people believe that all of our men and women have returned home but there are thousands still deployed and they need our help. If you have a friend or loved one who is deployed in harm’s way, you can add them to our care package request list.

We hope you will download a copy of our care package suggestion list and plan to donate some items to be included in our packages. We are also in need of monetary donations to cover the costs of shipping. You can donate directly from our website.

If you are unable to attend the assembly, but still want to contribute in some way, you have the option to adopt a hero. Just a $30 donation will fill a care package AND ship it overseas. We will include a card stating “This care package was made especially for you by ___” with your name filling in the blank. This is a quick, easy way to show your support for our troops.

Hope to see you there! Thank you for your continued support of our brave heroes!

REGISTER HERE

DONATION SUGGESTION LIST

MAKE A TAX DEDUCTIBLE DONATION

ADOPT A HERO