Saturday, July 14, 2012

When Life Gives you Lemons

They say when "Life gives you lemons, make lemonade." But what if what life brings you is something like an eggplant. What is something sweet you can make from an eggplant? My purpose in this post is not for you to bring me ideas on making something sweet from eggplants. NO THANKS! That was the best analogy I could think of. And no, I don't have a bunch of eggplants that I'm trying to find ways to use. Quite the contrary. Life hasn't brought me eggplants, rather, life has brought me an unexpected deployment that will last close to 8 months. Do you get my whole analogy now?  Do you see what I mean about trying to make something sweet from something so bland or even sour? (or even worth me screaming my guts over).

Adam is currently on an underway with the Stennis, and the day they left he had heard news of what there schedule for the rest of the year would be. They would be home for the holidays, be going in an out to sea for short periods of time (manageable periods of time that is), and life would be fine and dandy. But being the Navy is "the Navy," two weeks later, on our road trip home that is, Adam calls me, tells me to pull the car over and put the phone off speaker (since it was currently my turn to drive). Fortunately, we were just pass the city of Redding and not miles away from the next exit. My mom, reluctantly took Baxter on a short walk giving us some space to talk. Adam then began to tell me that rumor had it the ship was going to in fact be given the 8 month deployment when they returned home from this underway, since things are heating up with Iran. He just wanted to prepare me for it, before I read it all over the spouse websites that I belong to for the ship. Good idea, right?!? WRONG! Way to kill my mood on our road trip. I mean, how do you keep driving, holding back tears, hearing that kind of news so suddenly, so out of the blue? Well, I did the best I could, and fortunately we had the book on tape to distract my mind, and I'm thankful that it was a good book on top of that! haha. Poor mom did the best she could to cheer me up, but what really can you do? Sure enough, the next day the rumor was confirmed, and by the day after that it was already in the papers. How does news travel so quickly???? Who knows. All I know is that all of our plans that we had begun to think and start planning for, were completely shattered. Like, seeing family for the holidays, finally putting to use all of our camping supplies we received for wedding gifts, starting a family, buying/moving into a house. All torn apart and shattered in that very moment.

I didn't take it as bad as some other wives (not saying I'm perfect by any means), but I've come to realize a few things.

  • All of the things that I just mentioned, were things that were our plans. Apparently, not all of them are currently God's plans for our lives right now, in reference to moving into a house together and starting a family. I think this is a sudden realization and wake up call for us that we need to seriously start praying for God's direction and future for our lives. I've been trying to do better about seeking God's will first, but He needs to be in the center of everything we do. What a wake up call, right?!?
  •  I came across this bible verse when I was praying for Adam the other night, through the book The Power of a Praying Wife, and was completely humbled: 
"Count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience," James 1:2-3. 

Assuming that God is willing us to have more patience (really, more?? ;) I need to be consistently reminding myself of this verse and applying it to this deployment, and to other trials in my life as well.
  • Something my mom told me has made a huge impact in how I am now perceiving this situation. I believe I have talked about the book StrengthsQuest before, but I will explain it again. At APU, they encourage all of their students and staff to take a test that measures your strengths. The test results give you a list of your top 5 strengths, and gives you ways to build off your strengths, and to manage your weaknesses. I was really hesitant to take the test at first, because I just didn't see the point in it. I had taken plenty of personality tests before, when I was struggling to find a major, and some of them I just didn't find useful. With a sigh, I eventually took it. I have no regrets now, as the information is very useful and beneficial, and I would highly encourage you to take it too! My top 5 strengths are: Input (I'm inquisitive and collect things and knowledge), Communication (I like explaining, describing, and writing), Developer (I see the potential in others), WOO (Winning Others Over (I find it a good challenge to meet new people)), and Positivity (generous with praise, and always looking for the positive in a situation). What my mom had told me is that God must have uniquely designed me with the strength of positivity, when He designed me, knowing that I would truly need to rely on it when situations like this one occur. That really made me stop and think, "That is so true!" What a good reminder she gave me, which doubled as being encouraging! Thanks mom!
  •   Every song on the Christian radio station I listen to, seems to be calling out my name and speaking to my heart. This song by Jamie Grace has particularly stuck out to me the most, You Lead. The chorus is beautiful and provides me hope, that God knows what lies ahead for me and us in our lives. There's no point in being sad that things aren't going according to our own plans, because God promises to watch over us when we're in His will, and that's a promise that we can rely on! The chorus to the song goes like this, but I also posted the song, too.

    You lead, I'll follow, Your hands hold my tomorrow,
    Your grip, Your grace, You know the way,
    You guide me tenderly.
     When you lead, I'll follow,
    Just light the way and I'll go,
    Cause I know what you got for me is more than I can see.
    So lead me on, on, on and on,
    Just lead me on, on, on and on,
  • How can these words from my love, not just brighten my day?!?
"All I know is next year is going to be an amazing year for the both of
us. If we end up getting the house, with working together outside it and
what not, and also if we have a kid as well. aww man I can't WAIT!" (And no, I did not put the "wait" in all caps, he did!).

So, when life gives you something other than lemons, know that we've got hope in our future, through relying on the strength and the grace of God. It is by His strength, and His strength alone, that both Adam and I will get through these months ahead of us.


  1. When it comes to waiting on God and realizing that our plan isn't His plan (for example the desire to start a family) I found Habakkuk 2:3 the perfect verse.

    "But these things I plan won't happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, be patient! It will not be late by a single day."

    Strong words that have gotten me through periods of waiting.

  2. Thanks for the encouraging verse. You're right, it does fit so well! :D