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Beyond Warrior’s Bride

Where do you start?

Help for Military Retirement

Nine years, nine months, and five days. That’s how long my husband logged in as an active-duty airman before his medical retirement. Nine years, nine months, and five days of all the uncertainty and fluctuations that military life brings. And then a fresh uncertainty took hold: Medical Retirement. We could move wherever we wanted to move, but we would have to do it ourselves or pay someone to do it. We could pick whatever job we wanted to go after, at least as soon as our DD Form 214 was in hand. Military service and medical retirement gave my husband an advantage in the hiring process for federal jobs, but did we really want to stay tied to the Department of Defense? Health insurance. Survivor benefits. Life insurance. Commissary and exchange privileges. GI Bill benefits. We had so many new rules to learn. Job-search strategies. Resume writing. Interview protocols. Salary negotiation. My husband had so many new skills to gain. When retirement looms, where do you start?
What does the Bible say?

Becoming a Worthy Friend

Whether we like it or not, God made us for relationship: with Him and with each other. If you’ve been hurt by others or are introverted and shy, you probably don’t like that God expects us to broaden our friendships outside the front doors of our comfort zones. That’s okay. I didn’t much like it either when I started figuring it out. Most people these days tend toward self-sufficiency, and we like to reinforce that with pop psychology. Pull yourself up by your bootstraps. Put on your big-girl panties. God helps those who help themselves. Common mantras, but is that really what the Bible teaches?
What comes to mind?

Fulfilling Your Bucket List

If you could do anything, what would it be? Don't stop to think about money or time or health that might limit you. Just dream, and dream big! What would make your bucket list of long-term goals? Tour a famous city? Give large sums of money to causes you care about? Climb a mountain or bike a historical trail? Sleep in a tree house? Or an underwater hotel? Complete a marathon? Pet a penguin (yes, that really is a top bucket list choice!) What came to your mind as you considered the possibilities?
Moving soon?

Easing the Stress of Moving

This month marks the two-year point. In June 2015, we moved from Virginia to our current home in North Carolina. Since I married my husband in 1996, we've moved a lot. Two and a half years in one house is about our limit before we're packing up and changing residences. I can't tell you how many times we started the school year by learning our address, or how many times I looked at whichever kid was in the ten-to-thirteen-year range and asking them if they knew our home phone number. Thank goodness for cell phones where your number doesn't change with every move! For the first time in my marriage, after two years in the same place, we are not facing the chore of packing up our entire house. No, instead we are facing the much bigger task of watching our oldest pack up everything she owns and moving across the country without us.
Want to support military families?

What Civilians Should Know about Reintegration

How many of you have seen one of those homecoming videos of a man (or woman) in uniform surprising their child or mother or another family member? I love them—don't you? They are sweet and joyous, so full of emotion. I giggle and smile and sometimes shed a few tears. I look forward to the homecoming pictures posted by my active duty friends. Everyone who knows them breathes a collective sigh of relief. Another one returned home to us, safe and sound. Things can return to normal for that family. What civilians may not know is that the hours and days after the welcome home photographs may not be so sweet. The reality of homecoming can be very different from other reunions, say when a child returns home on a college break or you travel home to visit family. If you want to support military families, this is what you should know about reintegration.
What do you do?

What to Do with Family

What do you do with family? Just the word family contains a lot: a lot of emotion and a lot of history. Some hopes and dreams and wishes. Probably some fears and a few hurts. For some of you, the word brings up considerably more positive reactions than negative ones. Others of you are simply trying to break years of destructive family cycles and build a better foundation for your children to launch from. God designed us to live and grow in families, so it's no surprise that families also encompass many of our most difficult relationships.
What if God says no?

When God Says No

What's your first thought when God says no? Sour grapes? What you were asking for probably wasn't any good anyway. Temper tantrum? God never really loved you or listened to you in the first place. Quiet acceptance? God knows what is best and wants to bless you with it, so whatever happens is okay with you. Something different? When we moved to Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana, we were given the choice of two houses ....

Other Military Spouses

When Kathy and I were discussing the topics to include in the Beyond Warrior’s Bride series, I asked several active-duty military spouses stationed around the world what they saw as the biggest challenges to thriving in the military. One of the overwhelming responses we got back: other military spouses.
The Secret to Winning Big

The Secret of Winning Big

Money isn’t the most important thing in life, but it’s reasonably close to oxygen on the ‘gotta have it’ scale.  ~Zig Ziglar

Money is important. And it’s desirable—proven by the mass purchase of tickets for the January powerball lottery. News reports covered such critical topics as which Hollywood stars bought Zig Ziglar quotetickets, and the science behind picking winning numbers. And then they had to report on the winners and their plans for the money, of course.

I get that it was a record amount of money; I get that it was a lot of money. But I also read in CNN Money that the odds of winning were 1 in 292,000,000. Two hundred and ninety-two million, y’all!

Do you realize you are more almost four times more likely to die from an asteroid strike?… Want to read more?

Warriors Bride FINALIST

Big News! An Award and a New Release

Wow! That's my most descriptive word for last week. I kept spontaneously breaking out in Snoopy dances around my house because the news I received was that big. And I'm excited to share it all with you!