Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas comes from the heart...

First let me start by saying I love Christmas. I am cheesy Christmas! I love the tree, nutcrackers, cookies, and all the good stuff! Last year, with it being Andy and I's first Christmas we bought all the lights and goodies. This year, all of our wonderful holiday belongings are locked tight in storage in Arizona and we are in Virginia.  Obviously I have a problem! Hence, us learning a difficult but much needed lesson.

There were days that I look at my sad little Christmas tree...
and missed the fresh smell of a tree with bright lights. I mean this Charlie Brown tree is cute but its not an actual Christmas tree. And pathetically I felt bad for myself. I felt bad that we didn't have all of the "stuff" that we normally do. The "things" that I thought made it more Christmas-y for me.

Then one day as I was doing my study I realized how horribly I was messing up Christmas. I am so unbelievably blessed. First of all, we don't celebrate Christmas for the tree, nutcrackers, and lights! Christmas celebrates the birth of Christ and how He was sent to Earth to save us. This year has brought so many changes and difficult times for us. Each time something comes up and I feel overwhelmed all I can say is, "I am so glad I serve a God who is in complete control and I don't need to worry!" He has provided every time we need Him to.  This year I have really learned that He will always meet our needs, but it just may not be the way we want Him to or even the needs we think we need Him to meet. God knows me so personally. He knows Andy and I's needs even better than we know our own. So what are my needs...

A Christmas tree? Lights? My awesome Nutcracker collection? No! These are all awesome blessings that He has provided and that I often let get in the way of Christmas. Not only has He met all our needs, but He continues to bless us in amazing ways. I am spending Christmas this year with my Navy husband! There are so many people that do not get to spend the holidays with their loved ones because they are serving. And this very possibly could my future, not this year. Thank you Jesus for giving me this Christmas with my husband! 

This is our first Christmas without our families. We miss them so much and its hard not being with them. However, we have been adopted by some extended family and our new military family out here. We have had so many invites to church services, dinners, and parties we can't do them all. Thank you Jesus for kind people who see family as a matter of the heart, not DNA.

I am jobless and moving all over with the military constantly having an IOU on you is financially challenging. Andy and I love to give gifts to our family and friends and each other. This year we really had to tone down our gift giving, which at times has brought me to tears. But truly what gift could I give that is better than the one God has already given us? Thank you God for the gift of your son, Jesus.

By the time we are back in DC in May we will have lived in 5 different places in one year! That much moving and living out of a suitcase is driving me crazy! But every time we move God provides a place for us at just the right price. We always have clothes on our back and warm food in our bellies. Thank you Jesus for keeping us safe and protected.

Now, don't get me wrong, I think all of the Christmas decorations are wonderful and next year when we are back in DC, in a house, with all of our belongings I will be overly excited to put them all up again. But I will have a new appreciation for it all. I know it is not a need of Christmas. God has already provided all that I need. It is a blessing for all us to enjoy. Christmas is a matter of the heart, your heart. Its not in the gifts, decorations, or food. I needed this reminder this year. So thank you Jesus for stripping me of all the decorations, gifts, shopping, food, and family that I have relied on for Christmas to draw me closer to You.

Monday, December 12, 2011

America's Game: Army vs. Navy

This past Saturday, December 10, Andy and I went to the Army Navy game! This game is always the last regular season college football game and is filled with numerous traditions. The game is normally played in Philadelphia, but this year it was in Washington D.C.. Although we always thought it would be cool to attend this game, the real reason we went was Ben and Jenny! Ben is Andy's cousin and is a senior Cadet at West Point. So when we found out that we were going to be stationed in D.C. Jenny said they were coming down and asked if we wanted to go. We absolutely love hanging out with Ben and Jenny and knew that we would have a blast!
 Of course we had to cheer for Navy!

The game was played at FedEx field in MD. It is where the Redskins play.
 This is Ben marching on the field before the game. All Cadets and Midshipmen that attend the academies must be in attendance at this game. They both march on the field. This was West Point marching on the field, specifically Ben's group.
 This is all of the Cadets at West Point.
Jenny, me, and Andy waiting for Ben to march on the field.
The Midshipmen of Annapolis Naval Academy.

Yay! Ben caught up with us! In the background is all of the Midshipmen. Ben's uniform is something that they pretty much only wear for this game! And you do not want to know how much that cape costs! :)
 Jenny and I!
 Andy and I cheering on Navy!
Love them!
 The President doing the coin toss!

Half time show was Lee Greenwood singing "God Bless the USA". Its always so cool to be places that do an awesome job showing support to our troops and honoring them! I love being at events that honor all of those who have served and currently serve. 
Throughout the game both sides play commercials that they have made that support their team. Some are funny and some are silly. Here is one I love because its from the Seabees! And I love my Seabees (or Seabee)!
Love this picture! Love this girl! Being a military wife holds many challenges. It has been something that I have had to adjust to the past 6 months. I would not trade it at all, but it is a unique position. It makes me so grateful for other military wives (fiances:)). I have met so many wonderful women so far! One of my favorites being this lady! Not only are we weirdly alike in so many ways, we also get each other because we both love men who serve! The encouragement and support she offers me is amazing. I am so grateful for her and that we get to experience this crazy military life together, as wives, friends, and cousins. 

So that was another awesome experience that Andy and I got to do while here in D.C.. We are loving all of the new things we get to do and experience everyday. God continues to bless us and watch over us here. Right now life is an adventure for us and I am so grateful that I get to experience it all with my handsome husband!