Friday, July 3, 2009

Happy 4th of July!

Today is July 3rd, 2009.
We are 2 months away from Daniel being out of the Marine Corps for 2 years!
Although typing that seems insane, in a sense it is liberating and in a sense it is so very sad.

The honest truth is that Daniel loved the military at times. I loved being a military wife at times. We loved the pride that we felt watching fireworks to live music on the lawn of the base surrounded by hundreds of other Marines and their families. There truly is nothing more patriotic than seeing the very men and women who have served sit next to you and enjoy a normal night of celebrating the freedom to do so. There is nothing more moving than watching a wife haul her 3 or 4 children to fireworks and cry because her beloved husband and father of her many children is gone; not to be home for months to come. Her mind is filled with wonder and worry. Clearly, I could relate to the look on her face. Sadly, I know I'll always be able to.

2 years ago (on July 1st) Daniel returned home from his last deployment. We celebrated by watching fireworks with our sweet little girl who was not quite a year old and felt Braden jump inside my tummy with each bang and pop of the night. A few of our dearest friends sat with us that night and enjoyed just being home. Beau, Amanda, Robert and Andrea will always be near to my heart for so many reasons, but mostly because of the intimate time we shared on the field that 4th of July. Little did we know that the intimacy of our friendship would grow just 2 short weeks later when we would all make a long trip to New Jersey to bury one of our best friends. I cant help but think of Jimmy every 4th of July. This is just such an emotional time of sweet and bittersweet memories...
It seems that being after being in the military, we have always had the opportunity to be close with other people who are also on that same journey. It feels good to be on the other side of it all and have some experience under our belt in order to help them get through. Last year, 4th of July was extremely special to my heart. We spent it (just like every other day) with Felicia, Mia and Sonny. Alex was still in Iraq and it was a hard and sad time for all of us, but especially this young, strong mom and her beautiful babes. Alex is home now and Felicia is expecting baby #3. That tends to happen when you spend months apart and return home not knowing if you'll be leaving again. We have two Marine Corps babies, remember? :)

Yes, Yes last year was amazing. Daniel spent part of the day strumming his guitar. Nothing unusual about that around these parts...
Mia & Nora (look how young they are!) sported their matching flag shirts and were inseparable as always.
I got to just be near one of my best friends. Oh how I long for that again...

Gracie entertained us before Fireworks...

We tried to take a picture that would land Sonny an advertising deal with Dr. pepper. That didnt happen but it should have

Daniel held the girls and whispered sweet nothings in their ears as they clung to him for dear life during the fireworks show...

And Braden pretended to be deathly afraid of all things loud and sparkly. He's such a good little actor, isnt he?

This year we are planning on enjoying a relaxing day at home. Jake has a horse show and Daniel has never been able to watch him show so we are hoping to do that. In the evening we are going to cook some ribs and chicken on the grill and enjoy just being home, being together and being free. I'm making a jello, angel food, strawberries, blueberries and cool whip flag cake which looks delicious! (I'll post recipe and pictures soon...)

Being a military family will never leave us. It is a huge part of who we are. We believe so many things and stand for so many things because of the journey we have taken. Daniel served with amazing men and women and will always hold them dear to his heart. 4th of July is an awesome time of celebration for this country. This country that I can truly say we have fought for in our own separate ways. This country that I love.

Whatever you do tomorrow, stop and say a prayer for our men and women who are still boldly serving this country. Many of them are away from their families in the heat of the desert during this holiday and many more to come. Pray that God would send angels of protection to be about them. Pray a hedge of safety around their camp. Pray that the Lord would show His face to them and be made known in every circumstance. Daniel and so many other men will testify that our prayers truly do make the difference in the every day when they are away from home.

Please pray specifically for our friend Sara's husband, Johnny. He is home right now but is still actively serving our country. He has twin daughters and a new baby girl on the way. He is a brave and courageous man and needs our prayers of encouragement every day. Please also be in prayer for my friend Tammy's husband, Doc. He is currently overseas while Tammy and their sweet little girl, Jordan are holding down the fort in Hawaii. Doc has been in some dangerous situations as of late and really needs us to storm the throne of God on his behalf. Don't forget the men in his unit too. Even if we don't know their names, the Lord surely does!

So enjoy your day! Celebrate your freedom to live in the United States of America. As you eat your hot dog, swim in your pool, or light your sparklers like we will also be doing, take a moment to thank our Lord for providing us with the abilities to do so. He is the Lord of this land, after all and longs for us to remain safe and secure. We are a blessed nation. Let us not forget that and give praise where it is due!

Happy Fourth of July, 2009! We love you and are so grateful for your love and friendship in our lives!!!


andrealeighshannon said...

Ramee I miss you guys so much! I was telling Robert today, "Do you remember the fireworks we watched with Ramee and Daniel and Nora? Remember Nora's face everytime the fireworks went off?!" Silas is not much younger this year than Nora was that year. I wish so much that we could see you all. I hope you have a wonderful 4th! Love you guys!

jacob said...

Hi, I notice that you are discussing the throne of God. We have been led to believe by our ancestors that when Jesus was resurrected he went up to a throne in heaven. However I just read a fascinating book by the New Testament scholar Stephan Huller that in earliest Christianity that the original gospel writer (St. Mark) might have had a physical throne ON THIS EARTH in mind - one which originally sat in Alexandria and which he rediscovered in Venice - see the photos of the object in the Basilica di San Marco which Italian sailors stole from the Church of St. Mark in Alexandria along with the body of St. Mark in 828 AD - see photos of the throne here -

The point of Huller's book is that St. Mark was the first Pope and that Jesus ruled 'on his right hand' as he sat on this throne (it is a universally acknowledged - albeit ignored - fact that the title 'Papa' or Pope was originally associated with St. Mark rather than St. Peter and with Alexandria rather than Rome; the bishop of Rome only acquired the title after the fifth century).

I was really fascinated by this book. It wasn't anything like what I had been taught in Sunday school. It really made me think and learn about the language that Jesus and the original gospel writer (St. Mark) spoke.

For instance in Hebrew or Aramaic (the language of Jesus) there would be no way to distinguish the concepts of 'divine throne' or 'heavenly throne' - i.e. it would be easy for white Europeans to get misled or confused.

It is an amazing book and here is some background information on the author

Just thought I would pass this along



MrsHenebry said...

Thank you so much for the prayers!! I appreciate it so much!! And PS, Brayden is SO DANG ADORABLE with that mohawk!!! I love it!!! :) You guys all look great! Miss you!!