Friday, August 23, 2013

Video Blog! Unmet Expectations

Unmet Expectations? Me? 

I didn't know I had them...until they went unmet. In fact, I can't recall ever being aware of what my expectations were for specific circumstances/people etc. It's not like I  sat down and listed them out...until now, lol. So where did my expectations come from, and which ones went unmet? But the bigger question ...what do I do when they go unmet?

My First Video Blog!
Thanks for Watching!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Army Wife Tips

As a young new Army Wife, I had many things to learn. Ten years in the saddle, and I'm still learning.

None of my family members, to my knowledge, had much experience regarding military things, let alone the military lifestyle. Still, the prospect of traveling to new places with my very own hunky GI Joe that I was head over heals for, was appealing. Not only would we travel, but we would attend a formal ball every year. Hello dream come true!  In my mind, the Army was like any other 9 to 5 job, weekends off type of career. I knew nothing of rank structure, field problems, deployments, decoding acronyms, how busy the commissary was on payday. I couldn't even begin to explain the difference between a unit and platoon, nor did I care.  

It didn't take long to find out that the military wasn't a typical 9 to 5 career. Sometimes he worked on the weekends. Sometimes he was gone for weeks and months...years. There wasn't a formal ball every year. In ten years, I've been to two. I've learned about rank's strange, and can create social barriers amongst the spouses, but necessary for job function. I speak in acronyms quite fluently, and avoid the commissary at all costs on payday-EVEN -if there's a case lot sale (lol). Thanks to my patient, wonderful husband, and little toy Army men, I now have a visual on the difference between a unit, platoon...even a division and battalion! Look at me go! :) 

I'm no longer the new Army Wife--I'm still young though, lol. :) It's odd that I'm friends with military families that have been in for two, three, four years. That was us just yesterday...seems like it at least.  When my younger Army Wife friends ask for the Need To Knows  about Army Life here are my tips: 

1: KIA doesn't always mean Killed in Action...especially if it's the name of a car lot. Then that's probably a KIA store that sells those cute little compact cars. Yeah...when I first started learning acronyms I was highly offended that someone would name their store "killed in action." Then I was HIGHLY embarrassed to find out it was a car lot. Ugh. I was blonde then. 

2: If another military family invites you to go "swinging," it's not swing dancing that they're talking about. Say NO, and then run away. That's GREAT advice, and saves you from A LOT of embarrassment...let's leave it at that. 

3: Pick friends wisely. That's just plain good advice for anyone, but especially for the military spouse who has moved away from home for the first time. 

4: Be kind to the other wives, and help them when you can. Babysit their kiddos so they can have a date night with their hubby and not have to pay $40 for childcare. Watch that lady's kiddos so she can go to the grocery store in peace for heaven's sake. 

5: Find a place to volunteer. Military Life is a lot of hurry up and wait. Sometimes you don't even know what you're waiting for, but while you wait find a place to serve. Remember, serving your family is a great way to start.

6: Take advantage of your surroundings. Each new move is an opportunity to explore places the locals don't even know about. Have fun with your family learning about your new community, and its culture. New moves are some of my fondest memories.

7: Laugh. Seriously, you have to learn to laugh. 

8: Don't judge people. That's so Biblical, and awesome advice. I didn't realize how judgmental I was until I became an Army Wife. I was this young, naive, raised in church, Baptist chick that had never seen alcohol, and gasped at curse words. I think for the first 4 years of my Army Life I was in culture shock, and all but twitched. God really got a hold of me and was like "SNAP out of it, and love these people. You are no better than anyone else in this world." I totally wanted to argue...but you can't really argue with God...successfully at least. others...period. 

9: Choose your spouse, always! I remember being so lonely, so homesick my first few years as an Army Wife. My hubby was deployed, and when he was home he was gone too often than I liked. I cried often, complained to everyone who listened...ugh, I was horrid. I was feeling so sorry for myself that when I had the opportunities to choose him, to be with him, date him etc, I would often not. I would go to my family...I felt safe, loved by them, but what I didn't realize how choosing them over him was not only hurting him but driving a wedge in our marriage. SO...choose your man. ALWAYS...even if you're mad at him, even if you want to choose something else...choose him!

AND the most important tip...

10: Pick up your Bible, and dig in. God calls His Word a sword...He calls it living, powerful, and able to cut through bone and marrow. That's pretty stinking hardcore. His Word not only encourages me, but strengthens me, changes me for the better. Check it out, it will change your life!

Suggested Reads: 
All Because of One Woman: A Mother, Wife, Author, Speaker Point of View
5 Ways to Strengthen Your Marriage: Building Intimacy, Not Walls
Loving My Soldier: Hindsights & Insights of PTSD
Army Wife Tips

Hannah Conway is a military wife, mother of two, and speaker. Her novels are a deployment experience of their own, threaded with faith, and filled with twists and turns sure to thrill, and encourage. Hannah is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, and My book Therapy. She and her family live in Tennessee

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