Rebecca, a fellow military wife, knew me for a whopping two weeks when she invited me and my family to her house for a birthday dinner. She fed me hamburgers and potato salad but more than that, she served me what I was most starved for after moving to a new place: the best tasting kind of hearty friendship.
Then there’s another friend and fellow military wife, Kim, who volunteered to keep my three lively children for three days while I hopped from the Hawaiian island we were stationed to the one where my husband in-processed after a deployment. As a homeschooling mama of three active boys, Kim must have already felt stretched paper thin. But she didn’t hesitate to sacrifice more time and energy by giving me the rarest of gifts: a weekend alone with my husband.
And who could begin to count all the other experiences shared with military families, the endless meals we’ve prayed over and holidays we’ve stayed over? We may no longer be an active duty military family, but the memories are active and make me grin at the unabashed grace my whole family has received from these generous folks. For years, they were my family away from family, and I can’t help but drench them in all kinds of encouragement because I love them so dang much.
However, I want to reiterate this absolute truth: I can’t pass a uniformed soldier without tearing up and telling him or her thank you because I endlessly respect them. I could bust with pride over my own husband’s 26 years of service. I can’t begin to count the mountains of care packages I’ve sent over oceans and encouraging notes I’ve sent through computer screens to active duty family and friends serving far from home. But on this day – just a few following Military Spouse Appreciation Day – I want to widen the circle of encouragement. I want to step back and show appreciation to those husband and wives married to military members who do so much behind the scenes.
Without a doubt, military spouses share in the sacrifice. They sacrifice regular time with their husbands and wives. They sacrifice familiarity and consistency. They sacrifice closeness to extended family. Much is gained, to be sure, but that doesn’t mean the sacrifices aren’t hard.
As one way to say thank you for all this and more, I want to give a care package to a few military spouses. I’ve received some kind donations from some of my favorite authors and creatives, and I can’t wait to pass them on to some deserving wives and husbands.
Here’s How to Nominate a Military Spouse:
1. *Nominations are now closed.* I look forward to prayerfully considering each of them! I received close to 120 nominations, and I know each wife or husband nominated is so deserving.
2. Share this post or any of the graphics in this post with your friends and family who may be interested in nominating a loved one.
3. Stay tuned over the next week and a half to see how *you* can join hands with me to strengthen and widen the circle of encouragement and honor our service men and women by honoring their spouses.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: military spouses will always be some of my favorite people ever. They love and serve their families and communities in all kinds of seen and unseen ways. And whether you nominate a specific spouse for a care package or not, know that any form of thank you means the world to these heroes at home.