Tuesday, September 29, 2009

He's Back!

Nick is back from the COP safe and sound! Thanks for all your prayers. Check back soon for pictures of Nick's new friends - two Afghan dogs named Coach and Santana!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Extra Prayer Needed This Weekend!

I just talk to Nick, who is headed out tomorrow to the COP (Command Outpost). This is, as it sounds, a more remote area away from the base. He is flying out, so no worries about IED's, but in Nick's words, there are more "bad guys" around the COP than around the normal FOB. Please pray for Nick's safety while he is at the outpost, and pray that he will be able to accomplish the work he needs to do.

As I was looking for a verse that was appropriate for this latest challenge, I happened upon this passage from 2 Samuel: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2%20Samuel%2022&version=NIV. You can read the whole chapter on Bible Gateway, but if you don't want to take the time, it's about a time when God rescued David from his enemies, from "violent men." I'm sending it to Nick, and I will keep it close at hand until Nick returns from this mission.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Texas Trip Pics

One of my biggest strategies for staying happy while Nick is gone is to always have something to look forward to. Since he's been in Afghanistan I've had visits from Mark & Lauren and Bec & Michael. I also made a few trips over the past two weekends.
The pictures below are from my Labor Day trip to Texas. I had a great time hanging out with my parents, my brother and sister-in-law, and Rocky the cat. I also got to see two big new things that I'd never seen before: Brooks, son of Josh and Julia Jurgensen. Isn't he absolutely precious? He even called me Aunt Lindsay - that's the first time anyone has ever called me Aunt! I am honored.
The next picture is of my Daddy and me outside the new Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center. Why do I have a picture outside a hospital? Lots of you who read this already know the answer, but for those who don't - this hospital is one of the most important things Daddy has ever been a part of. It represents years of hard work on his part and on the parts of so many other Waco leaders. This new campus provides the very best service possible to Wacoans, in a more accessible location, with top-of-the-line facilities. No detail was spared, and extra attention was paid to both environmentally friendly design, and the comfort of both patients and the family and friends who attend them in the hospital. As a member of the Hillcrest Board for almost my entire lifetime, and this past year as president of the board, Daddy was instrumental in making this happen. I am so proud of him!
Last weekend I went to the heart-breaking Georgia vs. South Carolina game. I didn't take my camera so I don't yet have pictures, but as soon as I get them, I'll post some. Have a great weekend everybody!

Friday, September 18, 2009

I had dinner in Orangeburg last night with my cousin Matt, who gently reminded me that aside from my frantic blogging in early September, I've been a delinquent blogger. This past spring I promised to bring you the good, the bad, and the ugly of deployment life, but that promise has gone unfulfilled. I apologize.
Believe it or not, since Nick has been gone I have regularly asked myself why I haven't been compelled to share more of my life with those of you out there in the blogosphere. I haven't yet been able to answer my own question. I think that a big part of my strategy for maintaining my sanity during Nick's absence is to not dwell on the negatives: he's far away, facing dangerous situations every day, while I'm lonely at home trying to do everything by myself. To give voice to these thoughts, I fear, might yank away the curtain I've so carefully drawn across all those thoughts.
However, I've come to the conclusion that to not get these thoughts and emotions and experiences out is an injustice to those of you who genuinely wonder how Nick and I are handling the deployment, to my future self, who will undoubtedly look back on whatever I write here someday with nostalgia, and most of all to all those people who have ministered to Nick and to me during this present challenge. You all deserve some recognition!
Today I commit to post a minimum of one post each week. Even if I feel I have nothing to say, I can at least write about Nicholas.
So there you have it. I pledge to be a delinquent blogger no more! Thanks to all of you who really do read my little blog. I will strive to do better by you. I promise.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Daily Light

Today, in the grand scheme of Nick's deployment, was an incredibly stressful day. If you haven't seen the news today and/or didn't see my previous post, there was a really big suicide bombing attack in Nick's province of Afghanistan today. It was carried out against several Afghan government officials as they were leaving a mosque following a Ramadan service. If all this wasn't enough, I happen to know that Nick was meeting, personally, with a high-ranking official today (doesn't seem wise to include a lot of details here).

I was relieved, then, when I received an e-mail from him around lunchtime today entitled "I'm Okay." It turns out that while dozens of people were killed or injured, Nick and his US team members are all okay.

Tonight as I was getting ready for bedtime I opened up my Daily Light devotional book. I was bowled over as I read the scriptures for today, and was so humbled, feeling as though when this book was compiled, they were placed for today, September 2nd with my situation in mind. Here's an excerpt:
"Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart. Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might he increases strength. Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed for I am your God. I uphold you with my righteous right hand. You have been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in distress, a refuge from the storm, a shade from the heat; for a blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall. The testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. Do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise. He makes me to lie down in green pastures. The wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest. There is no peace, says my God, for the wicked. I sat down in his shade with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste. He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me is love." If you want chapter and verse on these, let me know.

In a day wherein I had to call each member of my family (Hall, Edwards, Bradford, and Reitmeier alike) to tell them that there had been an attack in Nick's province, but that he was okay (subtext here being that he very likely could have not been okay) the reassurance I found in these scriptures has been incredible. Even better is the fact that they were all packaged up neatly for me, today, in my little devotional book.

Last night during my women's Bible study group we were talking about areas of our lives in which we are challenged to have faith. I mentioned the stress of Nick's deployment, and all that entails, and I said that each day I pray for enough peace to make it through that day, and I pray the same thing all over again the next day. Today, when I was in need of extra peace, to say the least, the Lord provided for me through these scriptures, and I am so thankful.

I appreciate all of your continued prayers for Nick as the situation over there seems to continue devolving. I also appreciate your prayers for myself and our family as we muddle through back at home.

Nick is OK!

Yes, there was a major suicide attack in Nick's province today. Yes, Nick is fine as are all of the American troops he works with. Several of their Afghan counterparts were injured in the attack. I'll post more when I hear more from Nicholas. Thanks for your prayers!