It has been good for Andrew to finally get to use the skills that he's trained 3 years for. He's too humble to tell you this, but he's by far the best linguist in his unit and they need his talents! It's so rewarding to finally have his work respected. And this by the Marines that they're working under in Ramadi. My husband is brilliant. I'm so proud of him!
We just have 6 months, 3 weeks, and 2 days until he comes to Oregon on leave! Not that we're counting days or anything... and we are already 1/10th of the way through this deployment. Time actually is moving.
As for me, it's been wonderful to be in Oregon surrounded by family and friends and love. I've been staying busy which has been nice. It makes the days go by! It's been fun going to the gym with Jenny at least a couple times a week (I have a new respect for Step class...), meeting with the ladies for a Bible Study on Wednesday mornings, hanging out with my parents and brothers, and getting boxes ready to send to Andrew every week! (I LOVE doing that!)
By the way, I know many have asked what they can send to Andrew and how. His address is in the margin on this page, and if you need ideas for what to send, email me! I always have a running list... You can pick up "flat rate" boxes at the Post Office for free, then it only costs $8.10 to send a box, no matter how heavy you make it. (It's my own personal challenge to fit as much as I can in every one!)
I have much to look forward to, including a trip back to North Carolina with Jenny for a baby shower at the end of March, moving into an apartment in April, buying a car, possibly even trying out for a role in this summer's community production of Beauty and the Beast! Not to mention the birth of our first nephew and grandbaby on this side. Chandler Thomas, we're so excited to meet you in May!
God is so faithful to us. He is using this trial of life in so many ways. Some of which He is gracious enough to let us see even now! And He doesn't owe us that. He loves us so much and we see His hand in our lives every day. Praise Him for His plan and the path He's placed before us! We certainly wouldn't have chosen it for ourselves (and we'll be glad when this chapter is done), but we're so glad we know the One Who will fulfill His perfect plans for our future. We only have to trust Him.
- For Andrew's health. The silty desert dust just seems to get into his lungs and then throws him into unexpected coughing fits.
- For at least one good man whom Andrew can buddy around with. It's so hard to be alone.
- For a wall of safety around Andrew, his brother William, and all of the brave soldiers they're with.
- For opportunites for Andrew to share the reason for the hope that lies within him.
- For the peace that passes understanding...that it would continue to guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Thank you all for your prayers and loving support.