Friday, August 3, 2018

What is This Civilain Life They Talk About?

Since Wednesday, we are officially living the "civilian life."  Ask me in a few months what I REALLY think about it!

Clarke and I were married right after college graduation and went directly to pilot training so really, my entire adult life has been that of an Air Force wife and mom.  Three of our four kids were born at different bases and our youngest came home to a beautiful, 100 year old historical brick house on FE Warren Air Force base in Cheyenne, Wyoming.  Guarded base gates, flights lines, military balls and constant moving are all our kids have ever known.  They have worn the label "military brat" well and with pride.

We reassured them a few nights ago that they will always be military brats.  We will always consider ourselves a military family.  It is who we are, deeply ingrained in every ounce of our being.

But now the outside world refers to us as civilians and I find myself wondering what that even means and looks like.

Doctors I get to choose who I go see?  Really?  Pardon while I ask, how exactly does one do that?  After all, I have had someone tell us what doctor we were assigned to the minute we moved to a new location.  The idea of just choosing someone out of a phone book (ok, ok, I know, GOOGLE!) is daunting.  And our list of needs is a mile long.

Grocery shopping Have you seen the prices of meat?  OK, I know you have.  And yes, I have shopped at a regular grocery store frequently though the years.  But meat, well let's just say the commissary has you civilians beat!  And while the closest base to us is a haul, we will be going once a month to stock up on meat.  Some habits die hard and some I just cannot give up!

Location, location, location  I get to choose.  Ummm, as hard as it was to wrap our minds around the idea of our newest assignment sometimes (Minot, ND, anyone?) it took far less brain cells to just go where you were told.  Yes, we did get asked a few times where we would like to go next, but I think they usually just asked to give someone a good laugh that day as they processed papers for as far away as possible.

Overseas travel  Guess what!  This is optional now!  While some of the places Clarke traveled and was assigned to were interesting places to visit, he is no longer being TOLD to go there.  Without those he loves. For a year at a time.  Just saying.  If he wants to go now he can choose and even take us.  Not that I am getting on a plane anytime soon, of course.

Friends  Who knew you actually had to go and look for them?  You see, I am used to a military community where you are fast friends with people who live in the base house next to you, ones you see at the OClub, and ones who are also waiting for their moving truck to arrive.  We bond quickly, knowing that our time together is short and we "get" each other because of our shared joys and struggles.  Actually searching for people with same interests...well, that is something new to me.

Identity  Yep, sounds silly but true story guys!  I have always been an Air Force wife and mom.  Apart from my identity in Christ it has been who I was AND what I did.  Sure, I am a blogger and a homeschool mom, but military wife- well, that was THE thing.  So who am I now?

That is a good question.  And one I am eagerly exploring as we try to settle into this new reality of civilian life.  There are so many possibilities out there that I am a bit overwhelmed.  To the average onlooker, our lives probably seem quite normal with no huge changes on the outside.  But boy, on the inside we are feeling like fish out of water currently.  And with our current housing situation, we are swimming upstream trying not to drown quite honestly.

One thing has NOT changed though.  Our faith.  It may be pushed to limits some days, but it is still there and guiding us in all we do.  Decisions, big and small, are more easily made with God in control.  We may not always understand what he is doing or what he is calling us to, but we rest in the fact that he is sovereign over every aspect of our life.

Whether we are military or civilian!


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