Thursday, February 25, 2010

A Note From My Soldier

I figure I need to write this note so that those who have been praying for me, would have a better idea of what it is like in a war zone.

I live on a very large Forward Operating Base called FOB SHANK. Currently, I work in an office as a Program Manager for projects that are paid for using Commander's Emergency Relief Program (CERP) funds.
I also work with the Brigade S9, the staff officer that counsels the Commander on Civil-military operations, helping him to craft guidance for units so that they can more effectively consider civilian effects when they conduct their operations. If you have read the book, "Three Cups of Tea," my job is like the author's, except I carry a weapon.
The days are often very long as I work from 0900 to 2100, 2200 hours daily. The hardest thing for me is the separation from my wife and the grueling days. Often I try and get out and exercise, but often I get so busy, I forget. I try and celebrate Shabbat, but usually that means going to Friday night services and maybe taking some time off on Saturady. Other than that, I am constantly working, working, working.

I hope this gives you a better idea of what my days are like. I always pray that what I am doing is ultimately going to help improve the life of the average Afghan civilian. Thank you for your prayers. Please continue praying for me, my unit (173d Airborne and 405th CA), and the Afghan people.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Love From Afghanistan

Beanie Baby Poker

When your deployed, you need to have some fun on your down time.
Such as....Beanie Baby Poker.
Rabbi Abraham, the rabbi bear overseeing the game...
I see your blue butterfly and raise you two....

Saturday, February 20, 2010


In my last entry, I wrote about creating a space, a quiet place for myself.
Well, it is finished.
I took a small section of out MiddleEastern room and made my quiet quaters.

It includes a small table with a bit of lace, my Queen's glass, my journal and a copy of the scriptures. I added my small Victoria collection, pieces I have found over the years and gifts given to me by my beloved.

It is indeed the quietest spot in the house and it faces the wndow where, each night I light a candle, awaiting the return of my beloved.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


God can’t give us peace and happiness apart from Himself because there is no such thing."— C.S. Lewis

As I go about my days, some things are routine; shower, brushing teeth, cleaning of a room, working on the blog and some project. Others are those things I add for fun, education, Torah learning or to relax.
One of my projects is finishing up my quiet place. The spot I am creating just for that moment in the day I 'enough' and go away.
To pray. To read. To talk to HaShem.
Or just do nothing at all.
A Peaceful place.
It faces the window where I light a candle each night until my beloved comes home.
A peaceful place. There I like to place the Scriptures Mark gave me as a birthday gift one year. To meet with HaShem.
For it is in G-d that I as a woman, as a military wife, find my true peace.
In those stormy times when I'm not sure where my beloved is, or how he is doing, I go to HaShem. For Mark is in His Hands.
And knowing that, I find peace.
And joy.
In this place, I journal, writing all the funny things Mark has said over the phone. And when I feel low, read those words. Or read the cards and letters he has send me.
People will fail us, will let us down.
But G-d never fails.
And that is the place my soldier and I find our peace.

It's a Reel Thing: CarePackages and Other Stuff#links#links#links#links

It's a Reel Thing: CarePackages and Other Stuff#links#links#links#links

Mark recieved his Valentine Cards and the CarePackage send from Montana.....

Thursday, February 11, 2010


How Many Deployments = 4

Each Deployment=12

12 Months without my sweetie makes having him home with me, absolutely priceless.

Words often fail me as I write out my feelings, my thoughts. Sometimes they feel like the puzzle box I kicked over, sending the various coloured pieces of cardboard across the floor and spending hours finding them all.
Sometimes I think I'm doing ok: going through thr day with housework or working on a given project.
Other times, I don't even wish to get out of the bed. Why clean? There is no one here to clean for.
Why cook? There is no one here to cook for.
And then the phone rings and it is the voice of my beloved.
He tells me of how his day is going; often working on some project to make the lives of the people of Afghanistan better, either through building of schools, clinices, wells, etc. The villiages he visits, about the children he sees.
And then he ask me about my day. How is the quilt, tapestry, baby afghan coming. Have I found any new recipes to try on him when he gets home?
And then comes the words of love, of how much he misses me, how he is looking forward to coming home and being with me. Playing with my briads, stroking my cheek. He also sings me those silly little songs he made up just for me that always makes me giggle.
His voice fills the room and I can, for a brief time, feel his presence.
Those few moments, 30 to 60 minutes in lenght are gold.
I hang up the phone, knowing I keep the house for his homecoming. I cook so that I can serve his favorite meals when he's back at our table. I get up and keep going, because my beloved needs me to be well, to be strong for his sake as well as my.
I can see him looking at the phone, wiping away a few tears and then heading off for the job of the day, knowing his beloved is home, waiting for him.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


When two people sincerely love one another, the Holy One reigns between them. This is alluded to by the Hebrew word for love (i.e., ahavah, אהבה), the gematria of which is thirteen, but when shared with another it is multiplied: 13 x 2 = 26 - the same value for the Name of the LORD (יהוה).

Army Wive's Prayer

Army wives prayer Dear Lord,

Give me the greatness of heart to see the difference between duty and his love for me. Give me understanding that I may know, when duty calls him he must go.
Give me a task to do each day, to fill the time when he's away. And Lord, when he's in a foreign land, keep him safe in your loving hand. And Lord, when duty is in the field, please protect him and be his shield. And Lord, when deployment is so long, please stay with me and keep me strong. Amen.

Before Dawn's Early Light

It's almost 7am.
I awike at 6am.
It's 3pm in Afghanistan.
My thoughts are on my beloved. What he's doing, how his many projects are coming along. Is he eating well? Is he sleeping?
It's been a few days since we last spoke and that was to tell him of the death of someone we knew.
Bill's funeral is today and my thoughts are with the family, with his widow Val.
Maybe that is why I'm up so early. Knowing another woman is laying her beloved to rest gives me pause. It makes me what to hold my husband tigher, tell him over and over again how much i love him. To take back thought times we exchanged angry words and replace them with how proud I am of him, what joy he brings to my life. How honoured I am to be his wife. To hear him call me his beloved.
My prayers are with Val this morning; that G-d will indeed comfort her with His comfort.
And for my beloved to return home safe.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Home Again

I had a wonderful three weeks with my Montana family.
So much fun that I gained five pounds :)
So as I readjust to life here back home, it means stepping up my workout.
Of course I ate differently in Montana than I did at home.
But my doctor has no complains: she says my blood pressure is great and everyone gains alittle weigh during the winter months. The most important thing; the stress is off my face.
So I have been unpacking, putting away things, getting laundry together and picking up the house.
Today, I actually watched one of my favorite movies, The Chosen and finished an baby afghan. I should get it off in the mail in a few days.

Of course being home, I am also feeling how truly lonely I am. How much I really miss my big guy. To come home and find him not here, but still in Afghanistan.
He will be home this Spring.
Everyone tells me that Spring shall be here before I know it.
But right now, it feels like it is dragging its heeds.