However, I think it would be easy to get extremely bitter in this season of our life, and I have been determined not to let that happen to us. The fact of the matter is, Brian chose to serve our country and I chose to marry him, knowing of that choice and supporting him in it (regardless of whether either of us really knew what that meant at the time). I hate when people act like they feel sorry for me, and I certainly don't want to fall into the trap of feeling sorry for myself. In a lot of surprising ways, this deployment has already done some incredible things for our marriage, our beliefs about what is important, and our outlook on life. There is always a bright side.
Many years ago, I saw an episode of Oprah where she talked about keeping a gratitude journal. Every day, she would write down a couple things she was thankful for. In the weeks leading up to Brian leaving, I decided to get a blank notebook and end every day he was deployed in the same way.
The notebook sits beside my bed, and every night before I go to sleep, I turn on the lamp on my nightstand, open it, and start out by writing "I am grateful for..." Even on not-so-good days, I make myself think of at least three things to jot down before my head hits the pillow. It has been amazing how appreciative this time has made me, for both the big and little things in my life. Even if this isn't the perfect situation, I can still be thankful. And really, will our situation ever be "perfect"?
That couple of minutes makes me feel like I'm truly living in gratitude for the many blessings God has given me. I don't think I can measure the value of reflecting on the blessings of health and happiness, the roof over my head and the groceries in my fridge, the friends and family surrounding me, the sunrise and sunset, every day. It's comforting to focus on the things I do have, rather than the things I don't. And I have a feeling I'll continue counting these things long after Brian is home, tucked safely into bed next to me.
I hope you all have a very happy Thanksgiving!