And so it begins. Though, I suppose it all began when my husband spent the week out in the field, but the time was so short that it didn’t feel much like training for the deployment. This weekend, however, we say one of the long good-byes. He’ll be leaving for the field for thirty days. For two of the weeks (“The Box”), we will not have any form of communication, and I already know that will be very hard on me. These next thirty days are going to be incredibly taxing emotionally, spiritually, even physically since I will be holding down the fort and Baby till he gets home.

So, I am determined to use the time for good in two ways. First, I have decided to do a thirty-day, at-home Ignatius retreat (Consoling the Heart of Jesus) and a book for mothers (A Mother’s Rule of Life) that a friend of mine strongly suggested. Through the next thirty days, I am hoping to become a (much) better wife and mother and to improve my very stagnant spiritual life. Secondly, I will use the time as a dry run for the upcoming deployment (getting too close too fast–ack!) by trying out different schedules, activities, and weekly goals and rewards to make the time go faster. I think, for Elizabeth’s and my sake, making some sort of schedule for the days, weeks, and months will be necessary and very helpful.

So, here goes nothing. I’ll spend the next few days holding my husband closer, letting Elizabeth get as much Snuggle time with Daddy as possible. Then, we say good-bye. It’ll be practice, and it’ll also be hard. But, nothing worth having isn’t hard, so may God help me to use time while he’s gone for the betterment of my family and my soul.

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