"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