One of my favorite things to do is to connect with a friend over a cup of coffee and share the ups and downs of life. Perhaps it’s because in that moment we realize we are not alone. I consider each of you my friend simply because we share one major thing in common-we are all military spouses. I have a feeling that if I were to run into you at the PX or Commissary, we would immediately connect and perhaps talk over a cup of coffee.
As a mental health clinician, I have heard the challenges that so many of you are facing and as a military spouse and mom, I can relate to most of them. I know how it feels to endure deployment and reintegration, to work on a career and have to leave it, to make new friends and leave those too, to single-parent wild children through constant change and strive to build a strong marriage through it all. I have felt the joy of accomplishment, the tea rs of grief, and the weight that weariness can bring. I also know what it takes to strengthen character in difficult times.
My husband and I have changed immeasurably from the naive couple that left the Reserves and signed up for Active Duty. To be honest, it has been my faith that has played the most significant role in helping me thrive through it all. My faith has sustained and empowered my marriage, as well. Yet even though we have led close to 50 marriage retreats together, we are not perfect. Daily, we focus on improving our marriage and family, and we are equally passionate about improving yours.
Nothing excites me more than seeing couples push through difficulty in order to connect. It is one of the main reasons that I love developing and leading military retreats, and counseling couples in my private practice. This year, I look forward to experiencing that with you. It is my goal to help breathe life into your marriage as you focus on the powerful role you have in your family. Many of you inspire me with your strength and consistency. But if you feel discouraged, find hope in this, that you have incredible influence.
You challenge me to be a better person, everyday. Your strength has empowered me when I needed it most. This experience has opened my eyes to the power that a sincere “thank you” has for a weary military spouse. I want each of you hear and accept my gratitude for you. One way I aim to do that is with my new podcast- Lifegiver Military Spouse Podcast (available on iTunes). Often during our retreats, couples ask how they can get more, and this is it. Lifegiver will aim to bring voice to the challenges we face, marriage success stories, tips on improving y our communication and connection, as well as answers to some of the questions you have as a military spouse. I am so excited about what we will accomplish, together.
Now read… Happy Birthday, Coast Guard!