challenge

The Troops Behind Our Troops

My husband and I at our wedding. December 28, 2013. Photo Credit to Zach Yokum with Yokum Pictures.

My husband and I at our wedding. December 28, 2013. Photo Credit to Zach Yokum/Yokum Pictures.

The sky poured down rain this afternoon, as tears poured from my eyes. I am not sure whether it was me or the heavens that watered the ground more, as today was filled with difficult goodbyes amidst the thundering storms.

My husband, who is a 2nd Lieutenant in the Army National Guard, left for 4 months of Signal Corps training this afternoon. While it is only a season and I know it will probably end before we know it, somehow it feels like he has left for an eternity. The smallest window of time, when separated from the one you love and adore, can feel like a lifetime. Tomorrow is our four month anniversary. Perhaps the thought of being separated after only four months of being married makes things that much more challenging.

While I count my blessings that we can visit one another in June, my heart is heavy in not having him here tonight. He is my other half. The thought of him being deployed for a longer period than this one rivets me with both grief and pride. The sacrifice of our soldiers, their spouses and families is one of great burden and most of all, great love. It is one of the noblest positions on the planet. My family has a long history of military personnel and I am honored to have known and loved them. Thank you to all of those who have served and continue to serve.

As I sit here thinking on the subject, I want to personally thank each and every military spouse who has ever felt the pain, hardship and pride of loving an American soldier. It is unlike anything in this world. Truly. It takes a special kind of love, strength, patience, trust and faithfulness. It takes nights of loneliness and days of worry; it takes a heart of unfailing love and a patience only granted by our Creator; and it takes a beautiful strength that is often veiled by a reassuring smile.

While I have yet to endure a lengthy deployment, I am already given a taste of what it means to say goodbye and am being taught to be the military wife that Brett needs. After all, Brett and I were long distance five years until we were finally able to tie the knot in December. Between my family’s military past, Brett’s Basic Training, ROTC and now SBOLC, I am constantly learning what is required of me to be the encouragement and support he needs. Unfortunately, even with experiences, saying goodbye never seems to get easier.  This, however, is a good thing. It means that I am madly in love with the man of my dreams. Of course it won’t get any easier!

As husband and wife, we now face new sets of challenges between present training and future deployments. Already, I am being taught how to best serve him as he steps into a different world than the civilian one we are so accustomed to, to be the Lieutenant and leader he is created to be. With this in mind, I think I can go to sleep tonight without soaking my pillow through. I know he is where he is meant to be.

If you or someone close to you is serving, I would love to hear about your own stories. Feel free to comment and tell me about the soldier(s) you love and support.

Goodnight to all and God Bless,

Jessica Jo

The Ticket

When faced with a challenge, what do you do? If something is ruining your life and you know there is a solution– do you do what it takes to fix it? For me, the SOLUTION was in my FOOD. The food I was eating was putting my body in a world of hurt and the only way to change it was to alter my diet 360 degrees, putting aside everything I had ever known about the common American diet. Is it a challenge? Everyday. Is it worth it? Absolutely.

Seven months ago I set out on a journey that would make everything in my world, simply better. Simple being the key word. Simple. Basic. Clean. Not simple as in it doesn’t take any work, but simple as in going back to the fundamentals of genuinely good, wholesome fare. What we eat helps to determine how we live. Our attitudes. Our physical energy and wellness. It literally has the ability to create and diminish pain. Who knew there was so much power in our food!? I didn’t until I had no other choice but to get down to the nitty-gritty and better understand this amazing truth. My health was bad, thus making my life “bad.” Twenty-one and feeling eighty-one had to end. FOOD was the ticket.

I want to continue learning and sharing with you this incredible discovery that has changed my life. Food is an exciting, passionate part of this world. It is meant to be enjoyed! Come with me– let us pursue good eating together! And maybe. Just maybe— your life will be impacted, too.