For four weeks I've been preparing for Tim's return. I want everything to be perfect for him when he comes home and I don't want him to have to do anything, just rest, relax, and enjoy Adeline. In between Adeline's naps and after she goes to bed at night, I plug away checking items off my to do list. Throughout this time, I've kept in mind that I need to be preparing my heart more than preparing our new home.
Most of this preparation resides in prayer. I listened to a Dr. Dobson broadcast about prayer that spoke about a man who prayed three times a day for each of his children, by name and the future generations of his family. He prayed when he woke, mid-day and before bed. I pray each day, throughout the day, but with no specific schedule. I decided to come up with set times to pray for our family, and others, in order to be more intentional. For the past month, I use the time I nurse Adeline to pray. I pray and praise God at other times during the day, but that gives me some consistency. I've also felt convicted for several months to begin my day with God, before anything else; however, a baby makes that seemingly impossible since her cry starts my day and I go directly to her to meet her needs.
But now, finally, my little sweet pea is sleeping until about 7 A.M. Victory! I no longer have an excuse not to start my day through prayer. Yesterday, our pastor discussed endurance--how easy it is to start something and how difficult it is to finish. He gave an example of a new believer whose heart is on fire to learn about God and their mentor says, "Great, we'll start tomorrow at 6 A.M." Six in the morning, the man thinks, that will cost me. As soon as he finished telling that story I knew what I needed to do. I would wake up the next day before Addie was up and begin my day in prayer. Today was day one, and as our pastor explained, it was easy. I hope I can continue you this new plan. It truly is a wonderful way to focus your day and get you in the right heart-space.
Along with this plan, I began reviewing my bible study on combat trauma to prepare for Tim's return. I read my highlights and notes for the first four chapters, recalling vital information. Last deployment I expected everything to be as glorious as it was on R & R and that's just not reality. He's been through another extremely active deployment, and it's only normal that he be affected by what he's experienced. The challenge is how I deal with his responses back in "the real world." Will I choose to be compassionate, to be kind, to hold my tongue, and not to sin in my anger when life happens. I pray so!