"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek with all your heart." Jeremiah 29:11-13

Sunday, December 25, 2011


I have a tattoo on my back of a sun with a Chinese symbol in the middle that means persevere.  Mind you, the tattoo artist had not spent 32 years (or even one) studying the fine art of Chinese writing. So, if you ask someone that has, my tattoo may actually mean something like "give up" or "you smell like a donkey."  I am content living in the delusion that it means exactly what I intended... persevere.

To me, that is a big word.  Every time I am faced with a trial, big or small, I remind myself that I have that word forever etched on me.  I can not, will not give up.  We are going through a trial right now, but we will persevere.  We will come out stronger on the other side.

Last night, my brother helped me be Santa's elf.  (If you ask him, maybe it was the other way around.)  The boys got a basketball goal from Santa.  That was a BIG item, especially since daddy isn't here to assemble it!  I don't know what I would've done without my brother helping me.  For that matter, I don't know what I would've done without all the people that have helped me this past week.  God sent me angels, in the form of family and friends, to watch my boys for a week, to repair a flat bike tire, to give up a cherished nutcracker, to spend a day with me, to have dinner with me, and to assemble a basketball goal.

We all face trials, how we handle them determines our character.  God helps us get through hard times, sometimes by sending others along to help or encourage us... sometimes we just need to lean on Him.  What are you facing today?

"Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him." James 1:12

Getting started

Almost done

Three hours later... done!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Love Letter...

I asked Ray to write me a letter for Christmas.  I was finally able to read it tonight.  Of course, I cried.  I love that man more than my vocabulary is able express.  We have been through so much in our almost ten years of marriage.  We have grown together, in Christ.  We are strong... together.  A few years ago, I couldn't say that.  God knew what we needed.  God gave us three years of shore duty that bound us together... tightly... in and with Christ.

We are going through this time apart... but praise God, that my heart aches while Ray is away.  I praise God for this time apart.  We are able to feel those forgotten feelings of an anticipated phone call or letter.  I feel so excited to wake up in the morning to find an email from my love.  I can't wait until the day that we are able to Skype and I can actually see his face and hear his voice.  When was the last time that you got butterflies of anticipation for your spouse? 

We get caught up in everyday... kids, work, life... we forget the feeling of falling in love with our spouse.  We forget the newness.  Sometimes, we forget why we fell in love.  I praise God for giving us this time to renew that feeling.  I praise God that I have a husband that I love and that loves me enough to hurt while we are apart.  I praise God for love letters...

"I will praise you, O Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonders. I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High." Psalm 9:1-2

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Goodbye...

Not the most attractive, but it's our last picture together for a while.  The past few days have been a whirlwind.  There's been work, school, homework, gifts, packing, and so much other "stuff" that has been going on.  Sometimes, I was thankful for any distraction, other times I wanted everything to stop so I could breathe in my surroundings.

We drove to the airport in almost complete silence.  There was the occasional mention of traffic, what time it was, and how cold it was... but most of the conversation was spoken simply between our latched hands.

There was so much bustle at the airport, even at 5:00am.  We sat watching people get on airplanes, a mom say a tearful goodbye to her children, even a few guys miss their flight.  We sat... holding hands... talking about everything we could other than what was about to happen. 

There were so many things that I wanted to say... but couldn't muster the words, much less the strength so say them out loud. They finally called for his plane to board, I was hoping that I was dreaming... that the day had not actually arrived.  We hugged and shared tearful "I love you's" and then he was gone.  I stood there until his plane left my sight and cried all the way to the truck.  And so it begins... 

We will be ok, sadness will fade and life goes on... in the meantime, we will be the best Perry's we can be to honor the sacrifice that he has made for us and for our country.

"It [love] bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things." 1 Corinthians 13:7

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Right on Time...

I don't know how, but I've made it through the day without having an emotional breakdown (so far).  I start feeling that swelling of sadness inside, but have managed to keep it at bay. 

This morning I was having a hard time.  My insides wanted to cry... but my circumstances didn't have time for that.  I got on Facebook this morning and posted this...

Maybe if I close my eyes time will stop...

As soon as I did, I almost lost it.  I was trying to hold it together and get the boys ready for school.  Dylan walked up to me, put his arms around my neck, and just stood there.  Although he hadn't seen my post or my emotion, I think he just knew.  I hugged him for quite a while, we never said a word.

I've gotten alot of texts, emails, Facebook comments and calls today.  I appreciate each one.  I'm pretty sure that God put a bug in your ears to check on me today... I'm glad you are paying attention. :)  I am so thankful for each kind word, but nothing got me through my day better than that sweet boy of mine that wrapped himself around me this morning.

"Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from him." Psalms 127:3

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Ripping off the Bandaid...

I opened my door last night.  That itself it a huge statement.  After so many years of having a panic attack every time the doorbell rang (due to the condition of my front room), I was finally able to open the door and let people in.  In all, there were 60-70 people.  Go big or go home! 

I am so thankful for our friends.  These wonderful people took time to come show their love to Ray.  I know that sometimes he finds it truly hard to believe that people care so much about our family.  I think he was overwhelmed last night.

I had prayed hard all day that I would not stress... I didn't.  I sat and enjoyed everyone in my home.  I enjoyed the conversation, I didn't mind the rowdy kids, my dog behaved, the food was awesome... mostly I enjoyed watching everyone tell my husband how much he would be missed and they would be praying for him. 

I have one week... one week to enjoy every moment... one week to appreciate what a great man I have as a husband... one week to show him two years worth of love... one week...

"The poor are shunned even by their neighbors, but the rich have many friends." Proverbs 14:20

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


They call themselves the JULIETS (Just Us Ladies Into Eating Together).  The group consists of senior ladies from my church.  They meet for breakfast one morning each month.  Today, I was invited to join them.  I was so excited to get the invitation because I've been trying to figure out how to infiltrate this group for a while.  I love, love, love these ladies! 

Some may think that going to breakfast with some older ladies would be boring.  Not this group!  There is so much wisdom and spirit sitting at this table.  These women have raised children, lost children, lost husbands, been through divorce, financial difficulties, health problems, I could go on... but through it all their love for God remains. 

I have such a deep respect for each one of these women (and the others that did not attend).  They have taught me so much, some by example, some through sharing conversations.  They each have such a quiet strength.  I encourage you to seek out the older generation... learn from them, love them, and let them love you.

"Then they [older women] can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God." Titus 2:4-5

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Work in Progress...

This is our living room... a disaster!  We got the new flooring, which led to painting the baseboards, which led to new furniture, which led to painting the walls.  I'm sure that once the walls are painted the progression will go on. :)

A good friend came over last night (and I gladly let her in) and after apologizing for the mess, I showed her what we've been up to.  She made a profound statement that you must destroy before you can create.  Our living room is in that process.

It reminded me that when we accept that Jesus died for our sins and trust Him as our Savior, we are washed clean... new creations in Christ.  Whatever we were before is destroyed and a new creation is born.  I am thankful everyday that I am a new creation in Christ and I strive to grow stronger in my walk with Him everyday. 

This time of year, we all need to stop and remember the true meaning of this season... a baby entered this world to save us all.  You have the greatest gift you could ever receive if you just accept it.

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" 2 Corinthians 5:17

Monday, November 28, 2011


We had a pretty great Thanksgiving.  We shared our last holiday together (for a while) with family and friends.  We had planned to go to the Marianna Caverns for a cave tour, but after driving an hour to get there we were told there was a three hour wait.  (Of course I had called ahead and was told there was no need to make a reservation because there was NO wait.)  Despite the fact that my plan didn't work out, we had a pretty good trip that day.  The boys giggled all the way there, a nice changed from our usual car rides. 

Last night Ray and I stayed up way past our bedtime.  We watched a movie from our bed, chatted, and just laughed.  We laughed over the movie and just laughed because we were being silly.  I laughed so hard I cried... laughed so hard that it was hard to stop.  The movie ended and we still had the TV and light on, almost like neither of us wanted the evening to end.  I know I didn't. 

It hit me hard that I will miss times like these.  We laugh together so much, I don't know what I'll do without that.  I found myself trying to record each detail of the evening in my brain so I could recall it on a sad day.  We started laughing again and I wanted to take a picture of it, to remember.  We laughed even harder over trying to take a picture of ourselves.  Laughter just makes things better.

"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under Heaven: ... a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance."  Ecclesiastes 3: 1, 4

Thursday, November 17, 2011


I volunteer in the boys' classrooms once a week.  Dylan's class (3rd grade) has matured past making turkeys out of construction paper and "kid stuff" in general.  Carson's class (1st grade) however is in its prime.  I sat there today cutting, folding, stapling, and hole-punching construction paper into books. I know this took much skill and this is why she asked me to do this task! ;)  Anyway, while I work, I observe.

Carson's teacher rewards good behavior, returned papers, etc. with a Skittle.  Mind you, one Skittle would only leave me wanting more, but these 1st graders seem content.  I notice that these kids work for these Skittles and most of the time, they only get one.  All that effort for one measly Skittle?!  

It makes me think that while the Bible says we should not do good deeds to receive praise from man, it's still nice to hear.  God loves our praise and we are made from his image therefore, I think we need it, too.  Now, I'm not saying that you must make an effort to "attaboy" everything, but I think we all need a Skittle every now and then.

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things." Philippians 4:8

Monday, November 14, 2011

Honey Do's...

Sometimes Ray says that I don't need him.  He thinks that I can get along just fine without him.  On some level, I guess he's right.  I manage to work, take care of the boys and the house... the same as most other moms.  I do NEED him though.  He is my husband, my best friend, my love.  I miss him.

He will be home tomorrow!  Alot has happened in the Perry house since he's been gone.  He will come home to new flooring and Carson's missing two front teeth.  Just to prove how much I need him though, I saved a few things just for him.  Carson's bike tire has a hole in it, the hallway light bulb needs to be replaced, and we have a dead spider that has taken residence on my new floor (pictured above).  I probably could have put on my big girl panties and gotten rid of it, but I didn't want to rob Ray of a blessing. ;)

I can't wait to put my arms around that man tomorrow and feel his around me.  There is something safe there... it is where I fit.  And... I'm ready to have that carcass removed from my nice, new floor! :)

"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her" Ephesians 5:25

(I'm not positive, but I think this verse applies to spider removal.)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veteran's Day...

This picture was taken in 2007, which was the last time that Ray returned home from a major deployment.  Today is Veteran's Day.  I am so thankful for ALL who have served and are serving our country.  There is so much sacrifice that goes with the life of a service member.  They are serving our country, most by their own choosing, to protect you and me.  They protect us from true evil that we really can't understand. 

They sometimes live in conditions that are dangerous.  They sleep in dirt... cold, hot... alone.  I can't imagine missing the birth of my child, birthdays, Christmas morning, first step, first word, etc. but they do it.  I've never really heard one complaint.  They serve so we can sleep safely.  I appreciate that.

Thank you to each and every Veteran and Active Duty of the United States of America... most of all, thank you to my best friend and husband. You sacrifice so much to provide for and protect us.  We love you more than words...
"Welcome Home" pillowcases that lined the hanger...

Daddy's plane landing...

Waiting on the plane to stop and daddy to exit...

Daddy coming out...

Sweet reunion...

Monday, November 7, 2011

Trials and Time Limits...

I haven't written in a while.  So many topics have been running through my head, but I haven't had the time to sit and type them out.  God has shown me His power these past few weeks.  I've tried to not stress or worry and God has rewarded that by answering my prayers in His time.  I was reminded during the sermon last night that God doesn't wear a watch.  His time is infinite and we want to put limits on it.   Even though it might not be our time, He always comes through at the right time!

I've been busy trying to keep everything going by myself.  These past few weeks pale in comparison to two years, but we've made it so far.  I've neglected some things, forgot some, too!  I'm learning to forgive myself and allowing myself to be human... I feel like I've let some friends down while others have picked me up. 

At times when I really thought I could go no more or handle one more problem, God has showed His love for me through some wonderful people.    Sometimes, the smallest acts of kindness are HUGE. 

I still have bunches of things going on... and I think Satan is trying to destroy a few or a least testing my faith.  But, I have faith that God will work it all out...

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." James 1:2-4

God waited until the tooth fairy had $2.00 TWICE before both front teeth came out!

Dylan made the Honor Roll for the 1st 9 weeks of 3rd grade!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Catch 22...

I'm missing Ray alot today.  There's alot going on this weekend and I'm starting to feel a little overwhelmed.  It will be ok... one thing at a time will get everything done.  But, for some reason, today it seems like there is a mountain that stands before me and someone has taken my walking stick away.

I talked to Ray earlier and he assures me that "I can handle it."  I'm not sure if he's saying that to make me or himself feel better. I guess he's right, I can "handle it" but, it's not fun handling it alone.  I get stressed out and we laugh.  We laugh alot, it makes things more fun.  I'm not laughing right now.

We get into a catch 22 while he's gone.  Men like to solve problems.  When he is gone, he can't "do" anything to help.  When we talk, I try to share what's going on, good and bad.  If it's something he can't fix, he feels bad that he isn't here.  If I don't share, he thinks everything is going fine and we don't need him.  This life isn't for the faint of heart.  I have to trust in God and my husband.  I have to trust that God will get us through this and I have to trust that Ray knows that I do need him every second.  He is my life support.  Although, each day will go on and daily tasks will get done, my life is not complete unless he is here sharing it with me.

The picture is a typical day in our house.  Ray comes home, takes his uniform off and hangs it on the door. Today, the door is empty...

"Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Proverbs 3:3

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Martha and Her New Floor...

Those of you that know me best, know that I am TERRIBLY embarrassed by the front room of my house.  When you enter the front door of my house, there is a "formal" living room and dining room.  We are not really "formal" type people. So, we used that area as a toy room and my office.  It has been that way for years.  The carpet wasn't great when we moved in, but we left it because we had small BOYS.  Over the years it has gotten to the point where I do not want anyone to walk in my house.

I feel that I've been a slave to that carpet!  I know it sounds awful, but there it is.  If you've ever come over and I've left you standing on the front porch without asking you to come in, it's because I am paralyzed by the thought of someone seeing the hideousness that lies on my floor.  The OCD overwhelms me and I lose all my manners! ;)

Finally, we are able to purchase new flooring. No more carpet in this room!  The flooring has arrived!  (I was even horrified to let the delivery guy in, but felt comforted that he knew that it would be fixed soon.)  They will install it next Tuesday and I don't think I will know what to do with myself.  I am giddy with the possibilities!  I am fine with the fact that there probably won't be one stitch of furniture in the whole area.  After getting the actual flooring, who can afford furniture?!  However, I will open the door and gladly usher you across the new floor to the "not so formal" family room where you can set awhile.

November 1st begins a new day in the Perry house.  If you come over, I will gladly welcome you in... :)

"As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him." Luke 10:38

Saturday, October 22, 2011

I Am Thankful...

Today, I am thankful for these things.....
  • that Ray slept in later than he planned on;
  • that I got in some extra snuggle time with my man;
  • that we had cinnamon rolls for breakfast;
  • that I haven't broken down in front of the boys today;
  • that Pastor John made a special trip to our house to give Ray a going away gift this morning;
  • that the Fall Festival at church was scheduled for today, it was a much needed distraction;
  • that the boys brought home plenty of chocolate from the Fall Festival;
  • that I was home in time from the festival to catch the FSU game = WIN!!;
  • that I didn't cry every time someone hugged me or asked how I was doing today;
  • that we got some great family photos yesterday;
  • that Firehouse Subs is nearby and the fact that I didn't have to cook at all today;
  • that Ray found Dylan's baseball hat in his truck & took it out BEFORE he left town;
  • that we have great friends that have offered help in anyway they can;
  • that Ray will be home for Thanksgiving;
  • that this is not "the big one";
  • that I have two boys that will snuggle up and watch Game 3 of the World Series with me tonight;
  • that Ray called 10 minutes after leaving to say that he missed me already;
  • that I had a few quiet moments to myself to cry.
"Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever." Psalm 118:1

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Comments - Technical Difficulties...

This is just a housekeeping post.  There are some problems with the "comment" feature on this website.  If you want to leave a comment on the blog you can. You click "post comment."  It says something like "select account" from the drop down box.  If you have a google account, it takes you to the login screen. (Note: if you wre already logged in, it may give you an error and ask you to logout and log back in.) Anyway, whenever you get to the login screen you must UNCLICK the "keep me signed in" box. That seems to fix the problem.  Let me know if this works for you...

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wednesday Nights...

Other than Sunday's, Wednesday's are my favorite days.  I get to eat a wonderful meal that was prepared by some of the best people around.  I sit and eat with some of my very best friends.  It is a great time of fellowship.  I am so thankful for this meal.  I look forward to it every week... probably more than I should! 

Tonight was the last one that we (the 4 of us) will have together for a while.  Ray is leaving Saturday for his month-long school.  I'm beginning to feel like this is a "test run" for when he leaves in December.  I wonder if I can make it a month, much less two years without my best friend.  I tell myself that I've done it before for six months, that I'm strong, and I'll be ok.  But, then, I second guess myself.

Just when I need it the most, I go to church and have people stop and ask "are you ok?"... "how are you?"... "do you need anything?"  And I think, you know what?!  I AM ok!  WE are ok!  I am going to remain ok!  I have family close enough if I need them, but I have a wonderful church family RIGHT HERE.  But most important, I am a child of God.  He will never leave me nor forsake me.  No matter what I go through in the days, weeks, and months to come I have God that loves me.  He hears my prayers and lights my path.

Today was a great day!  I am constantly reminded how many people love "The Perry's."  I so appreciate every prayer that is put forth on our behalf.  We may have days that aren't so great, but we will be ok.

"I love you Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold." Psalm 18:1-2

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Sisters in Christ...

We meet about once a month for dinner.  I prayed for these women.  Last year I started praying for God to send me women that I could call close friends.  Even though one has moved away, I have four.  I never would have thought that God would have given me these particular women, but I am so thankful.  These women have shared their hearts as have I.  We have helped each other through some hard times.  We pray for each other daily. 

I don’t know what my life would be like without the prayers of these women.  I am comforted everyday knowing that they use their precious time to pray for me and my family.  I hope they know that I do the same for them.  I feel like they are a part of me.  God did not give me a sister, but he gave me four sisters in Christ.  I cherish these women and their friendship.

If you don’t have a friend(s) such as these, PRAY.  God answers our prayers.  Sometimes we don’t get the answer we thought we wanted but, I’m willing to bet that if you are praying for a Godly friend that will be there for you, pray for you, and love you, He will provide.

"Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.  The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective." James 5:16

Monday, October 17, 2011

Martha in Cracker Barrel...

The other night we went to Cracker Barrel for dinner.  I sat in my chair looking around, taking in the decor, listening to the the mix of chatter throughout the restaurant.  We had just come from baseball practice.  At practice, I sat on a curb watching, checking emails & facebook, trying to stay "current."  Ray on the other hand was asked to pitch to some of the boys in one of the batting cages.  Of course he accepted. 

Now... back to Cracker Barrel... I sat there looking around.  Carson was bored (of course) so Ray said "let's play tic-tac-toe." For a moment Carson's eyes lit up.  Then, he says "there's no tic-tac-toe game on the paper."  Ray, not missing a beat, tells him that they can make their own tic-tac-toe board.  Carson was satisfied with that, gave Ray a crayon and they started playing.

I was reminded that Ray always "plays" with the boys.  I'm learning that is how boys communicate.  They don't have to talk about their feelings for three hours.  They can simply pick up a ball and play catch.  I thought back to the story of Mary and Martha (Luke 10:38-42).  I seem to always be the "Martha."  I am so consumed with making sure that homework is done, food is prepared, house is cleaned, baths are taken, that I miss "the moments."  The moments of just sitting down and playing tic-tac-toe with my sons or grabbing a ball, or wrestling around on the floor.

Ray is leaving on Saturday for a month.  I know that I still have to get all of my Martha duties done, but maybe the cleaning can get done later, maybe they could have a sandiwch instead of a cooked meal one night, maybe they could get off schedule every now and then, maybe we can play more, maybe I could be a little more like "Mary" for my boys' sake. 

Friday, October 14, 2011

Lessons Through Chocolate...

I received this necklace from Ray for my birthday.  It is inscribed with “I am thankful that in God’s design He planned it so your path crossed mine.”  Yes, I know… very sweet and romantic.  Truth be told, I found this necklace and teared up over this sweet sentiment.  My mom told Ray and of course, he went and bought it for me.  Such a good husband!  Every time I wear this necklace I am reminded not that Ray thinks this of me, but that I think this of him.

He is not the perfect man, but he is the perfect man for me.  Any other would not put up with me or been trampled over long ago.  Other than Jesus, Ray is the greatest servant that I know.  Last night, I said “honey…” in that “I want something” tone.  Immediately, he said “What, there’s no chocolate in the house and you want me to go to the store?”  How did he know?  He finished what he was doing and without complaint asked me what I wanted and went to the store.  These simple acts are what I love most about him.

He serves with gladness.  He is always eager to do anything.  He serves his country, mows grass for people, helps them move, does heavy lifting, sets up tables, does dishes, serves at church, slices tomatoes, and even makes runs for chocolate.  There are a lot of people that do a lot of things, but what truly amazes me about this man is that he never complains.  Not one grumble about missing a tv show, a nap, or “his” time will cross his lips.  He will gladly go whenever needed.

Sometimes, when the boys are acting up, we will say “that’s your son” or “he acts just like you!”  I know those things are sometimes said in a derogatory manner, but I can only hope that my boys do grow up to be like their dad.  I want us to have raised men that serve gladly, men that are selfless, men that take care of their families. 

I don’t think that Ray truly has any idea of how much I love him or how much he means to me.  I will miss him more than words…

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Getting ready...

I decided a while ago that I would try blogging while Ray is gone.  After reading a friend's blog today, I figured it was worth a shot.  Maybe having my thoughts, feelings, and everyday happenings out here will be therapeutic.

Things are getting a little difficult around here with "D-Day" fast approaching.  Dylan has been gifted with my ability to WORRY.  Like me, he seems to worry about things that most would find trivial, but to him the worries are mountains.  I shared one of my most trusted verses in the Bible with him... "therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:34. I don't know why I was surprised, but he was comforted by it.  He seemed thankful that God had put those words right in that book, just for him, just at the right moment.  My boy is growing up.  His ability to understand is getting greater with each passing day.  I am overwhelmed that God gave him to me.

God has truly given our little family exactly what we need.  Daddy is leaving soon, but we have God, each other, family, and a wonderful church family to support us through this separation.  I have faith that God will provide...