Now before I get too far I want to acknowledge the Military spouses who are men. I am in awe of all you do to work full-time and keep things running at home while your wife is away and serving our country. But for today, this message is for my sisters I have come to admire.
As I thought about how I could honor these courageous women faces from the past began to come to mind and as each woman's face would come to my memory, I began to write a list of adjectives that described them. I must say this was a powerful few moments for me as I recalled so many of the beautiful women I have had the honor of sharing this journey with over the years. In these years we have shared meals, laughs, tears, births, deployments, PCS moves, good-byes, family tragedies and celebrations, and the loss of fallen heroes our friends. We have watched each other's children, loved on them like our own, shared holidays as family, and loved on each other in the lonely days of deployment
While reading over the long list of powerful descriptors I realized these words reminded me of a familiar scripture. In Proverbs 31:10-29 the title is "A Wife of Noble Character." Many of the traits of this noble woman can also be said of the amazing military wife.
vs. 11-12 "Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life."
- Of course he has confidence in her...she manages the entire household while he is away, saves money, raises the children, and volunteers on base to boot! She does these things to bring him good...all the days of her life.
vs. 15 "She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants."
- She often is awake long after the children go to bed and up way before dawn to get it all done. She provides food for her family and most likely a couple of other families from the deployed unit. We have learned that meals together with the kids playing in the background help with the long lonely nights.
vs. 17 "She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks."
- There isn't time for anything other than vigorous work when the men are gone and the kids are depending on us. And we take care of ourselves to stay strong for whatever comes our way...broken down cars, appliances, toys, moving alone or birthing children. She IS strong in body and spirit.
vs. 20 "She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy."
- She opens her arms and home to the poor in spirit and to those who need a listening ear, friendship, support, and hugs.
vs. 23 "Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land."
- Her husband is respected in the unit due to the countless hours of volunteering she has given. He often benefits from her reputation.
vs. 25 "She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come."
- She is enveloped with strength and dignity; realizing she can accomplish amazing things and she is certain Who holds the future. She is confident in her ability to thrive in any circumstance, at any duty station, or during work-up or deployment time-frames.
vs 26 "She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue."
- She shares her years of wisdom with new wives, she volunteers her time to teach and encourage those who are new and uncertain in their role. She is faithful to mentor the young in her path.
vs 27 "She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. "
- She works from sun-up to sun-down making sure the family is secure, ready, and moving forward...she is NOT idle!
vs 28 "Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her."
- At retirement or when separating from his service, her husband always leaves her accolades for last as she is the one who has kept the home fires burning, wiped the tears and kept going, loved on everyone in her path, and served her country in quiet strength.
Over the years I have met thousands of military wives and I have been honored to walk alongside of them in this journey. So, here's to you my friends...you, sweet military sisters of Noble Character are worth far more than rubies!!