How to Enjoy Family Time Despite Deployment

Here are 4 reasons not to postpone having fun as a family, even when a loved one is away. 

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Posted in , Jan 10, 2017

Why a military family should enjoy life during a deployment.

My husband and I struggled a lot while our son was deployed. We fell into a pattern of postponing events, gatherings and anything we considered fun. Our thought was always the same, We can wait until he gets home, and then do this together.

We discovered that postponing life wasn’t a healthy way to live. In fact, it’s the exact opposite of how God wants us to approach life. We’re not promised tomorrow, and God expects us to live each day to the fullest.

Here are 4 things that can happen if we put a hold on enjoying today:

1)  We miss the blessings that God has for us right now. God’s blessings aren’t finite. Enjoying something today doesn’t mean there will be less to enjoy tomorrow.

2)  Instead of exercising faith, we let it atrophy. In my family, we were so fearful that we’d miss sharing something good with our son, we let life pass us by. We didn’t have faith that God could provide good times now and later.

READ MORE: FAITH HELPS A VETERAN OVERCOME SURVIVOR'S GUILT

3)  We add stress to the one who’s deployed. Our family loves going to movies, and during one of our son’s deployments, two much-anticipated movies were released, Avatar and Star Trek. When he found we were going to wait until he was home and all watch them together on DVD, our son hit the ceiling. His frustration had a huge impact on how we looked at life during his time away.

4)  We feed our own stress and depression. By hibernating and refusing to enjoy life, we narrow our focus and darken the world around us. This kind of behavior not only feeds depression, it can also cause it.

It’s natural to want to wait and share things with a loved one who’s so far from home. There are instances when it’s okay to reschedule things or even repeat them when they can be present. But we can’t live our lives on hold. As my family learned this lesson, we began to have times of joy during deployments, and it didn’t lessen those shared times to come at all.

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