A Letter to our Troops

Dear Service Hero,

Thank you! It hardly seems enough. A simple “thank you” isn’t enough, but it’s what I have to bring to you in this moment.

I could lie and say that I know how you feel, but I don’t. I can’t even begin to imagine what you’re feeling so far from home and in the midst of such uncertainty. I’m sorry that I do not appreciate you more. I’m sorry that it takes a letter writing initiative to cause me to pause long enough to recognize that my freedom isn’t free at all. Please forgive me when I take for granted all of the luxuries I am afforded because of your sacrifice. I am so blessed because of you and the work you do everyday.

As I put pen to paper (or finger to keys), in an effort to offer my sincere thanks, my heart swells with gratitude. Thank you. Thank you. A thousand times, Thank you. For protecting the life of a girl like me who has done absolutely nothing to deserve it. I am overcome with thanksgiving.

I pray that God’s hand will be upon you. That he will guide your steps and bring you home, safely and quickly. May the Lord bless you and keep you, my brave friend. May he make his face shine upon you and grant you peace, evermore.

Love and Light,

Just as James Freeman prayed this for all soldiers in World War II, I pray this for you.
This is my second year participating in The Bert Show‘s Big Thank You! They make it really easy by giving step by step instructions on letter format, drop-off locations and deadline. Last year I wrote letters because I felt it was the “right” thing to do. This year, as I began writing, it was different. I connected to the person who would be reading my words. I saw them as a human being who was far from home and missing their family. It made all the difference in the world.

It also made me realize that there is really no excuse for not appreciating the men and women sacrificing every detail of their lives for us. The Bert Show thought of everything and removes all excuses. Though the deadline for letters has come and gone, I would encourage you to sit down and write a letter or several letters to a service member.

If any of you reading are in the service or have ever been in the service, this post was written for you. Thank you.

For those of you who would like one, here is the PDF version of the prayer: Prayer for Protection


For the Father of my Children: A Prayer

God, I approach the throne of grace filled with gratitude and thanksgiving.
When I think of what you have made from my ruin, I am overwhelmed in the best sense of the word.

Please hear my prayer before you now. May it rise up and be pleasing to your ears.
Thank you for blessing me with a strong man. Not only physically, but mentally and spiritually as well.

Thank you for his hands that provide, his heart that loves and his faithfulness of soul.

God, I want to be the woman who exceeds his expectations, compliments his nature and provides a sanctuary for him to return home to after a long day’s work.
Whenever my name is on his lips, may it be sweet like honey and evoke peace of mind.
I cannot do this without your help. I have tried. I am so ill-equipped, Lord. I am selfish and self serving. My ways are not your ways and left to my own devices, I will fail.

Please place your hand in this marriage.
In our coming and going.
In our conversation.
In every interaction.
Take captive every thought, every gesture, every action and be glorified through it.

Command my words. Remove my breath before I speak anything other than admiration for listening ears to hear. I release my inadequacies from having any power over my ability to show love for this man.

Prevent any and all resentment, bitterness, anger, unforgiving or hurtful thing from welling up inside of me with the potential to harm. I know that these things are not from you. They originate and feed in darkness. Shine your light brightly into every crevice of my being. Expel any and all wrongful accusations and doubts.

Graciously remind me that this man has fought for me in every way possible and would give his very life to protect me. May I treat him as the Champion that he is, building him up and removing any doubt of my loyalty, respect and deep appreciation for the man that he is.

The strength, passion and love that he bestows is, at times, difficult for me to accept. Strip me of insecurities and may I never take the rarity of his devotion for granted.

Open my eyes to the things I am missing.
Help me listen more and speak less.
Remove any toxic tendencies that would cause me to blame him for self inflicted wounds or those projected onto me by others.

Provide the words when needed to disagree.
May they be respectful and from a place of kindness and love.

God, I am not perfect, nor is he.
We are, however, perfect for each other.
May our love, friendship, family, parenting, faith and work, echo your promises and reflect your grace.

Thank you for these children who have been entrusted to us.
May we parent in such a way that they never question our love for you, our love for each other and our love for them.
May there be more beauty than pain,
more happiness than sorrow,
more thanksgiving than complaining,
more prayer than worry,
more fond memories than remorse,
more love than not.

You are faithful. You are lovely. You are holy.
May all the praise, honor and glory be yours in our fleeting time on this earth and continue throughout eternity with you, Jesus.

In your name I pray all of these things.