JRTC – Take 2

Yesterday at O-Dark-Thirty, I woke Emily up out of a deep sleep so we could buckle her in the car, take Rob to work and say goodbye for the next month.  He’s off to JRTC again.

My husband is the King of Packing! Seriously.  When we go camping, he always amazes me with his ability to make everything fit in the truck, but packing for his military trips just bring it all to another level.

Somehow he managed to get all of this (and even more stuff not shown)…

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…into this:

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That’s for an entire MONTH, folks!

Amazing!

This time, we don’t have a scheduled deployment planned, but his brigade will take on the role of the Global Response Force (GRF) starting December 1 so they are preparing as though they are deploying.  The Global Response Force is a military force in readiness, able to deploy at a moment’s notice to anywhere in the world for a variety of missions including defense and humanitarian.  In civilian terms, his brigade is “on call” for an entire year should they be needed anywhere to do anything.  The brigades rotate this responsibility and it’s their turn.

We’ve known this was coming for quite some time so we’ve been able to prepare.  Besides, after dealing with the deployment the thought of him going away for “only” a month seems pretty easy.  I know the time will pass quickly.  After all, it’s fall – my favorite season ever – so we’ll be spending lots of time outside enjoying the cooler weather.

The departure was a little hard on Emily of course, but overall she is incredibly brave and her faith in God keeps her strong.  She is truly an amazing little girl! She is super proud of her Daddy and totally understands that he is doing his job.  She also knows that God didn’t just call her Daddy to this life – He called our family.  That means we work together as a team to support each other.

The night before Rob left, Emily had trouble going off to sleep.  She needed extra hugs, songs, and cuddles from Daddy.  She finally went off to sleep with her Daddy Doll in one arm, and her favorite stuffed elephant in the other.  Isn’t she precious?

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(Yes, I am well aware we need to update the Daddy Doll! Emily tells me often that we need one with an Airborne beret. Working on it!)

Before we said goodbye, our family gathered around and we all prayed together for our family during this upcoming month.  We continue to say, “Here we are, Lord!” and we pray that we will see opportunities to serve Him and give Him glory even during these times apart.

On the way home I played one of Emily’s favorite songs – “Stronger” by Mandisa and we belted out the words together.

Hey, heard you were up all night
Thinking about how your world ain’t right
And you wonder if things will ever get better
And you’re asking why is it always raining on you
When all you want is just a little good news
Instead of standing there stuck out in the weather

Oh, don’t hang your head
It’s gonna end
God’s right there
Even if it’s hard to see Him
I promise you that He still cares

[Chorus:]
When the waves are taking you under
Hold on just a little bit longer
He knows that this is gonna make you stronger, stronger
The pain ain’t gonna last forever
And things can only get better
Believe me
This is gonna make you stronger
Gonna make you stronger, stronger, stronger
Believe me, this is gonna make you Stronger

Try and do the best you can
Hold on and let Him hold your hand
And go on and fall into the arms of Jesus
Oh, lift your head it’s gonna end
God’s right there
Even when you just can’t feel Him
I promise you that He still cares

[Chorus]

‘Cause if He started this work in your life
He will be faithful to complete it
If only you believe it
He knows how much it hurts
And I’m sure that He’s gonna help you get through this
When the waves are taking you under
Hold on just a little bit longer
He knows that this is gonna make you stronger, stronger
The pain ain’t gonna last forever
In time it’s gonna get better
Believe me
This is gonna make you stronger

When we got home, Emily and I crawled into my bed and just held each other as we fell back to sleep for a while.  When I woke up she was next to me just reading and she said, “I feel much better now that we got some more rest and I got Mommy cuddles!”.

God is good!

We are committed as a family to making the best out of this next month.  I know that God will grow each of us in His own way and that through this we will draw closer to Him and closer as a family as the Lord prepares us for whatever is next.  We already know the next several months are going to be a whirlwind of coming and going as Rob attends some schools, so we look forward to watching our family grow and thrive in this military life.

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

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