Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Household 6: Keep things Together

Yesterday, I had one of those encounters you have that makes you stop and think. I was at Winn Dixie (yes it's safe to go there now, no more tainted meat.) shopping for a few quick things when the workers there stopped to talk to my daughter. As always, she was social and giggly. Then the shift manager looked me in the eye and asked "Does she see the Lord?" I stopped and thought, "Well yes. All babies do." All children see God with much more clarity than even the most seasoned saints... So I smiled and told him "Yes, yes she does." He then touched her arm and smiled at her. After we'd checked out, he said to me, "Thank you! And keep things together." That statement knocked a pause in me. I thought, whoah. Wait, what? And as I walked back to the car, I started pondering why he would have said that very statement to me. I realized it was another of those "Godly" encounters that are meant to minister to you and make you think. And trust me, this Household 6 needs to think about keeping it together...
In case you're wondering HH6 is defined as :A military man's stay-at-home wife. Sometimes keeps up with the arduous tasks of shining boots, picking up laundry, and shopping, but mostly just a strain on meager Department of Defense budgets, and the military husband. The name is derived from where said wife spends most of her time, and the number 6 is the designation for a commander of a Company/Troop, Battalion/Squadron, Brigade/Regiment, Division or Corps.
It's a semi-thankless job. But I don't expect thanks. Especially because I do it because I have no choice. I love my solider. Body and soul. He is my best friend, my rock, my lover, and soul mate...But HH6 is a hard and rough job. There are days when I want to just give up. Or when Ryan and I argue I want to pinch him because he doesn't see what I go through. Then there are the days he comes home and loves on me and I know he sees me...
HH6 is not for the faint of heart. This I know from experience. Two years ago, when Ryan deployed, I dived feet head first into the role of HH6. At this time we were night unto sinking. We were a young couple with a lot of debt. But what do you do when you're married and have nothing. Get credit cards. (Attention fellow wives! DON'T FOLLOW THIS EXAMPLE!)And we were struggling to make a penny into a dime. When Ryan got orders to deploy, I was left with no plan. No back-up. Only orders to take care of myself and be strong.
It was a long fifteen months. But I learned to do a lot of new things. I can now fix a toilet, recycle with the best of them. Mow the lawn, pick up 25lbs of dog poop, pay all the bills, fix a car, wash a car and wax it...That is in addition to my passions of cooking, reading, and Law and Order SVU marathons. But in those months I found out what kind of woman I wanted to be. What kind of woman God was making me into. And guess what? HH6 Kunkel slowly emerged...
Fast forward to today and that man's statement is right on. I do have to keep things together. I believe my husband is head of this household, but I am it's heart. And when I'm happy our home is happy. When I'm mad, or sad, etc. Well you get the gist. Being a military wife isn't easy. And when I meet women who are new to this life they always ask the same question: What the secret? And I always respond that you have to make this life fit you. Not the other way around. There are days when I'm so lonely, and days when I thrive. But I never let the Army change me. Or define who I am. I'm not an Army wife first. I'm Ryan's wife, A'aleiya's mother and then an Army wife.
I keep this house together. With love, prayer, tears, oven burns, green bags, and sheer determination. And I needed that reminder to just keep things together. But also to remember who is in absolute control, my heavenly father.
So to all my fellow HH6's just remember to keep things together.

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