For the Extraordinary Ones on Memorial Day

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My husband’s dear Grandpa Eddie, a man I wildly adored and respected, served in the European theater during World War II from D-Day Plus 2 until after VE Day. During that time, his division fought in major battles such as the Battle of the Bulge and took part in monumental events, events like the liberation of Dachau concentration camp. According to Grandpa Eddie, at some point after his division helped liberate the concentration camp, he and others rounded up several of the local townspeople and brought them through the gates of the camp. The soldiers wanted them to see what atrocities were occurring in their own backyard. They wanted them to see, know and understand more about what they had turned a blind eye to until then.

One extraordinary thing about our military is they do the seeing of injustice first, and they refuse to turn away from what they see. They put themselves last by running to the front. They stand firm, even ’til death, so others can live free.

Some give everything so others can have anything freedom brings.

On this Memorial Day, I pause to remember the then-and-now soldiers and airmen, those like Grandpa Eddie as well as others sprinkled throughout my family tree and counted among my friends.

On this Memorial Day, I pause to say thank you to our military for all they give up so the voiceless can be given to.

On this Memorial Day, I will read the names and listen to the stories of honored veterans who sacrificed in varying degrees.

On this Memorial Day, I also pause to remember their family members, men and women who then and now have sacrificed in their own ways.

On this Memorial Day, I will listen to freedom’s bells ringing in my country, my front yard, and my church.

And I will give thanks that because of the extraordinary ones who served and sacrificed, the music rings on. 

Serving You-01 coverIf you are a military wife or know someone who is, might you enjoy a free gift of encouragement? All you have to do is subscribe to this blog and then you receive my ebook, Serving You: 31 Days of Encouragement for the Military Wife, for free this Memorial Day as well as tomorrow. Serving You is a devotional collection offering encouragement for those living the everyday realities of military life, told from the perspective of one Air Force wife (yours truly here).

Here is a taste of what you can get inside the ebook:

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Read more about what’s in the ebook as well as endorsements given by fellow military wives hereThis book is my way of saying thank you for all you do to serve behind the scenes.

If you already subscribe to Chasing Blue Skies via email or RSS, please email me and I would be happy to send Serving You to you. In your email, just include a forwarded email copy of any Chasing Blue Skies post (as proof of subscription) and I’ll get the ebook off to you lickedy split.

If you don’t yet subscribe, just enter your email below and it’s on its way! (Link will be made available in a separate “welcome” email after you confirm your subscription.) Also note that all new subscribers still receive the free ebook The Way Jesus Sees You as well.

However you spend your day, may it be a blessed one. Much love to each of you.

Fresh Air For Your Friday

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When my kids were little and the end of the school year sped around the bend, I didn’t necessarily greet it with buckets of enthusiasm. After all, it meant the calmer daytime hours were about to be no longer so. Even if we did enjoy more of a laid-back schedule, entertaining and caring for the kids while my good man worked and traveled was no laid-back task.

But now that I have two kids in high school and one finishing 5th grade, I cannot wait for them to be done. I tell ya, I am clawing, crawling, and scratching my way to the finish line of this school year. Maybe it’s because of the way our district does its calendar (the boys had Freshmen orientation on July 31th. July 31th!), but it seems like the end of school sauntered this year. And I am officially shaking my finger at it saying in my best mom voice, “Where in the Sam Hill have you been?”

These last couple weeks, I’ve done more food-cooking, minivan-driving, project-supervising, activity-participating, and appointment-making-and-completing than I’ve done in the last five months. But you know what? The finish line is here, thank you Jesus. Today is the last day of school, and I am going to dance because of it–just as soon as I take a well-deserved nap.

I read somewhere recently that May is the new December, and I couldn’t agree more.

Many of you with children won’t be finished with school for a few more weeks. But if you do find yourself approaching a highly anticipated finish line of one kind or another, may you keep on keepin’ on ’til you feel the tape tear across your chest. May you have more than a few moments to sit down, catch your breath, and savor the wind in your hair. And may you know the joy of success found in completion rather than perfection.

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#GirlMeetsChange

And if you are going through a particular change or transition right now, will you let me know about it with the hashtag #GirlMeetsChange? A couple days ago I posted a momentous one for our family on my beloved Instagram. I’d love to see yours as well!

What I’m Reading:

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A short while ago I finished Melanie Shankle’s Nobody’s Cuter Than You. It was a perfectly delightful read told in Mel’s characteristically funny, engaging voice. I downed it faster than a can of Big Red.

Right now, I’m reading the nonfiction book The Gift of Being Yourself by David G. Benner. I’m only on page 34 (it’s 114 pages total), but I already love the way Dr. Benner describes the importance of receiving the gift of our self-in-Christ rather than trying to create a version of ourselves that isn’t from him. It’s a very freeing and purposeful read.

I started The Distant Hours several weeks ago but have yet to finish it. It’s not my favorite of Kate Morton’s books (I liked The House at Riverton and The Forgotten Garden much more), but I will see it to the end.

What I’m Doing:

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photo credit

Our family is following along with and investing in this stunning display of hope right here.

What I’m Buying:

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Sevenly is an organization that invites customers to purchase products designed by a selected artist. For every item purchased, $7 are donated to a selected charity. This week, Sevenly is partnering with TAPS to help military families of fallen soldiers. $7 from any shirt in their Red White & Blue collection goes to TAPS. I purchased two of them because, well, I love this one and this one. Plus it’s my birthday next week so happy birthday to me!

What I’m Listening to:

This one on repeat:

And this one is a favorite, too. (The second verse makes me tear up and the third verse makes me tear up more.)

I’ll be back Monday with a special post as well as a free gift in honor of Memorial Day. Have a wonderful holiday weekend, friends.

If Your Anxiety Tries to Boss Your Adventure

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If you have a daughter standing at the threshold of her last preteen birthday, she may decide she doesn’t want a birthday party this year. And if she decides she doesn’t want a party, she’ll probably ask if she can do something a little different instead. And if she’s a girl that is active as a dozen […]

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One Thing to Remember On the Messy Days of Raising Big Kids and Teens

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As we shook hands and greeted those sitting next to us in church last Sunday, one of my dear children accidentally kicked over my husbands full–very full–cup of coffee. Creamy brown liquid dribbled in rivulets  from our seat in the back down to five or six rows ahead. As my husband and kids hurriedly left to grab paper towels, I whispered to the young mama […]

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For All Women Who Mother (Whether They Have Children or Not)

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A baby princess was born last weekend, and her arrival rounded the sharp edges of world news as it made us smile, maybe even exhale at the fresh hope of it all. When the hospital doors swung open and we got our first glimpse of her in all her sleeping perfection, we also glimpsed her lovely Mama in 3 inch heels and the […]

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What I Learned in April

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Since it’s almost time to flip the calendar to a fresh, full-of-possibilities new month, that means it’s also time to reflect on what I learned in April. I love to include a hodgepodge of things–the serious, silly, enthralling and mundane. So without further adieu, here we go! What I Learned in April 1. It’s okay to eat dessert […]

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On Eating Dessert Before Dinner

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After a typical work week, I usually take time on Friday to treat myself to something–a cupcake from the grocery, some flowers from the nursery, a meandering trip through Target with no list in my hand. But in the last several weeks, the work and requirements of Monday-Thursday bled clean through Friday. So my Friday ritual continually got placed […]

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Fresh Air for Your Friday

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As you wave farewell to another week and usher in another weekend, may you receive special encouragement that speaks to your particular circumstances and your unique life. May you be gifted with the presence of others who build you up in such powerful ways you can’t help but nod in belief. And may you know that Christ offers […]

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When Making Friends Feels More Like Work Than a Party

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I scanned the familiar room looking for someone with whom I could converse. While I’d been with the good folks in the room before, I was still new enough I didn’t yet know everyone. As my eyes swept from one end of the room to the other, I noticed everyone huddled in pairs or trios, talking intently with one another. So I […]

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When You Need to Give a Name to What Troubles You

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Spring is breaking out in Colorado Springs left and right, and every week that passes without a late freeze (like the one that chased down all the new spring growth last Mother’s Day)  is a week I gleefully clap my hands. New buds keep unfurling and new life keeps growing. These are the days for eyes and hearts […]

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