Love

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

All You Need Is: CHOCOLATE!

Guilt-Free Decadent Dark Chocolate

Guilt-Free Decadent Dark Chocolate

Let’s face it. Who doesn’t like chocolate? It’s the world’s most iconic sweet, the cure for a love sick heart and the epitome of romance. It gives us warm fuzzies and makes us feel loved! Speaking of love and chocolate: it’s almost Valentine’s Day! Chocolate is a scrumptious treat for the “day of love”, not to mention an amazing aphrodisiac!

But… grabbing a box of chocolates from the store, while it may taste great, is not so great for your body. The chocolate itself is full of iron and antioxidants,  but the sugar inside is just waiting to bog you down! Today I whipped up a batch of homemade chocolate that is not only simple, but better (in my humble opinion) than anything you can get at the nearest grocery store.

Whether you’re going out or staying in, below is the perfect recipe for a perfectly divine dessert. Not only does it tastes amazing, it is absolutely guiltless! Does it get any better than that?

 

 

 

 

DECADENT DARK CHOCOLATE

Serves 6

  • 1 C. Coconut Oil (Melted)
  • 1/4 C. Coconut Milk
  • 1/2 C. Honey
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp. Red Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1 C. Special Dark Cocoa Powder
  1. Mix all ingredients together with a whisk.
  2. Line a dish or baking pan with parchment paper.
  3. Then, using a spatula, empty batter into pan.  Be sure to spread the chocolate to all edges, evening out the top.
  4. Optional: Sprinkle sliced almonds or crushed pecans or walnuts on top for a little crunch. Mm!
  5. Pop in the refrigerator for about an hour, or until firmly set.
  6. Delve into your homemade, guilt-free, chocolately goodness!

Store in the refrigerator.