December 1, 2013

Advice with some oomph...

Throughout my years as a military wife, I've received a lot of "fluff" advice.  Things like: stay busy to pass the time, live today like he deploys tomorrow, think of the military life like an adventure, and the like.  While these are great tidbits of useful advice, there's never a lot of oomph behind them.  The bearer of such advice usually follows or precedes this advice with a shrug of the shoulders, a lopsided sympathetic smile, and a pat on the back.  So when I get a real, honest dose of advice teeming with conviction and passion from a seasoned military wife, I take it to heart.

A while back I ran into one of the older wives in the squadron who I  respect very much.  She asked if I was going to the squadron wives' event that night.  I hesitated.  Do I make up an excuse or should I be honest with her about why I wasn't going to the event that night?  I always ooze emotion, so I told her that I wasn't going, not because I couldn't find a sitter or because I had made other plans, but because I really just needed a break from the big group.  With pursed lips and a nod of complete understanding, she replied, "I totally get it.  Take a break.  But don't stay away too long.  You never know who needs to see or talk to sweet, Christian Wifey at these events."

I was completely shocked at her response for three reasons: 1) military wives are rarely honest enough with each other to dish that kind of advice, 2) I was humbly surprised at her description of me, and 3) it made me realize that socialization within the military isn't just about getting my needs for friendship met, but about being there for others.

I was thrilled at the freedom that this wife "allowed" me, and at the same time was motivated to get back to the group because of what she said.  I didn't go to the event that night because I really did need a break from the big group, but I didn't stay away as long as I originally intended.

I have heeded this bit of advice on my blog as well.  Sometimes I get frustrated with it, at the amount of effort and lack of feedback.  So I take a break to refresh and regroup and have the confidence that God is using this little ol' blog for greater purposes than I'm always aware of.  It's not about being the most popular or saying the cleverest thing or getting a bajillion comments, but about encouraging other military wives, even if it's just one wife.

So I'm still here.  Tip-tapping away on my computer, praying that the military wife that needs a bit of encouragement can find it here.

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