Being Thankful for the Here and Now

A military mom learns how to see the positive aspects of having to move frequently.

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Posted in , Mar 19, 2018

Learning to accept moving

See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. (Isaiah 43:19, NIV)

There was a time when I was guilty of wishing away my life. When our kids were little, my husband’s job forced us to move frequently. At first I was resentful about the fact that I could never put down roots, but after one incident my perspective changed.

My husband had just arrived home with the announcement that we’d be moving again. Tears burned my eyes, and a lump kept me from speaking. We’d just found a church and I’d been invited to hang out with a few of the ladies there. Now I’d be packing to leave instead of finding new friends. 

I was lonely and desperately tired of always being the new person in any group. This move meant a search for a new place of worship, looking for a mother’s morning-out group, and learning my way around another new town. 

During supper my husband shared where we’d be heading, when we’d be leaving and all the things he’d learned about the area.

In general, I was the glass-half-full partner in our marriage. But in the past few years, my husband had taken on that role when it came to our frequent moves. Before he announced our upcoming change of address, he’d do some research about the area where we’d be and come home with a list of cool things about it.

This time was no different. But all I felt was exhaustion. 

After we tucked our son into bed, he tried to get me to talk about my misgivings. As the words tumbled out, he nodded and listened. The he proposed a deal. 

“Instead of looking at these moves as an opportunity to put down deep roots, let’s look at them as long vacation spots.”

That stopped me in my tracks. And since our destination this time was the Atlantic coast of Florida, the idea had possibilities.

“I’m not saying we shouldn’t find a church or make friends,” my husband continued. “We’ll do that. But let’s also take advantage of living in all these cool places. Let’s be tourists who have time to explore.”

That’s exactly what we did. This shift in thinking changed my entire perspective. Once again, I could get excited about this adventurous life we were living. We were there for six months and had a marvelous time visiting places and doing things that we’d probably never made time for if we’d planned to live there long-term.

Military families face the same circumstances. But we all have the opportunity to change our perspectives. We can be thankful for where we are today, here and now, or we can focus on the difficulties ahead. 

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