On this Memorial Day, I am over here remembering the sacrifices of our military members. We honor these bravest of the brave heroes for all the ways they surrender their own freedoms so you and I may rest in countless freedoms of our own. Freedom doesn’t happen by accident. It’s hard fought and won by our military who serve without complaining and sacrifice without expecting anything in return.
This is also true: military spouses share in part of this sacrifice. Recently, I read what one Air Force member says of military spouses,
“[They] deserve recognition for being the backbone for military members that do what we do.”
I couldn’t agree more.
And since my 40th birthday is May 27th (I was actually born on Memorial Day), I want to invite you to help me celebrate my birthday by celebrating military spouses.
One way we honor the memory of those who served and sacrificed is to make a difference in the lives of those who are serving now. And one way we can do that is to show military spouses that they are seen and appreciated. Because when we build up military spouses, they are better able to build up their own service-member husbands and wives.
So I am throwing a party, a party where you and I can be the gift to military spouses by giving them a care package. And because I’m turning 40, I want to give away 40 care packages to 40 military spouses.
I received many, many nominations from mothers, sisters, friends, and even the military members themselves who believed their loved one most deserving of encouragement in a box. Story after story told of brave spouses battling seasons of loneliness, fear, and separations all while trying to figure out how to make friends, fit into new communities, adapt to constant change, and fill roles well beyond that of wife or husband. Some of the stories shared in the nominations include those of:
Andrea, a Navy wife who spent two, too-quick weeks with her brand new husband before he deployed and is figuring out how to be a wife long-distance.
Cristi, an Air Force wife who does her best to juggle household responsibilities, homeschool three kids, and maneuver complex medical issues while her husband serves in Afghanistan.
Teresa, an Army wife who teaches classes on base while caring for her husband who earned two purple hearts.
Mindy, an Air Force wife who homeschools all six of her children while serving the other families in her husband’s unit.
Heather, an Army wife and mother of five who is undergoing chemo treatments in her fight against breast cancer.
Cheryl, an Air Force wife whose husband is on his fifth deployment in ten years and has single parented for years at a time, working at night to help make ends meet.
Michael, a stay-at-home Air Force dad who has the same challenges of managing homes and caring for his child as the military wife but handles them without the same support system.
Cary, an Army wife who battles morning sickness with child #4 while stationed in a remote area where communication must be done in “code language” due to security concerns.
Beth, an Air Force wife who spends much time on her knees praying for her husband in Afghanistan and her Navy son who soon deploys.
Amber, a Navy wife who said goodbye to her husband one week after their baby was born and is doing her best to be both mommy and daddy to this little one as well as to her three-year-old child with special needs.
Lisa, an Air Force wife who not long ago battled breast cancer. She continues to keep her busy high school and elementary school children on track while trying to sell her house at a time when her husband is away for training.
Jessica, who in her five years as a Navy wife, has been through three deployments and has never spent a birthday, Valentine’s Day, anniversary, and several other holidays with her husband.
Without a doubt, these military spouses sacrifice, too. They sacrifice familiarity and consistency. They sacrifice closeness to extended family. They sacrifice regular time with their husbands and wives. And sometimes, like nominee and Army wife Amy whose husband was killed in action in Iraq, they sacrifice all remaining time with their spouse on this earth.
DaySpring, Lisa Leonard, and Jocelyn Green have kindly donated items for 40 care packages, and several more creatives and businesses have offered their beautiful wares for discounted or wholesale prices.
If you would like to help me be the gift to military spouses and make a donation toward a care package – as well as learn what will be inside each package and other details – would you visit this page right here?
It’s true: a care package won’t fix longterm struggles for military spouses, but it is one small gesture that shows them they are seen and valued.
They are thought about and respected.
They are esteemed and appreciated.
Not only by us, but most of all by the God of heaven who cherishes them wildly.
Thank you to the following friends for the pictures in this post: Michelle Roselius, Davina Hickman, Pattie Reitz, Karin Madden, Sarah Lacour, Beth Stiff, Aimée Powell, Suzanna Stedman, and Lori Dunham.