Brave Crates: Give the Gift of Strength

bravecratesKnee deep into my husbands fourth deployment overseas I am told often by others, “I don’t know how you do it, you’re so strong.”

Fun fact:  I’m not strong all the time.  Truth is, if it weren’t for the small village I surround myself with I’d be falling apart on a daily basis.  It’s only like a once a month basis now.

The state side of deployment is filled with worry, fear, anxiety, and loneliness.  Constantly well aware of his safety and my sanity I completely and totally rely on networks of others such as the Military Mama Network, my best friends, and phone calls with family members at least two to three times a day.  It absolutely takes an army of supporters to endure deployment at home.

Then I saw an ad come across my screen for “Brave Crates,” a single woman named Becky with a heart of gold who knew exactly what I needed.  The reminder that deployment has purpose, it can be what I make it, and that it’s not always about being “strong” but about being intentional.

Many others often ask, “How can I help you as you go through this?”  Honestly, a lot of the time I don’t know how to answer that.  NOW I DO!

If you know of a spouse who is going through deployment, there is a gift option for you to send her a one time Brave Crate, three months worth, or even six months!  Give her the blessing of survival tools, inspiration, goal setting, and motivation to keep her moving forward with purpose and intent.  These crates offer tips and ideas and games for her to play with her spouse through video chat or phone calls even!  YES!

Please, even if you don’t know a spouse personally I ask that you share this message on your page so that someone somewhere out there who is probably feeling as lonely and isolated as me sometimes sees that there is a huge support out there for her that she can tap into.

Brave Crates … The Monthly Box of Motivation!   



From Fear to Fearless: This is YOUR year!


When Amy was alive she always told me, “Be fearlessly you!”  She was a woman who lived by her words and yet for all the years she told me this, I never grasped it.  I lived constantly in my own self doubt.  The shadows of all my mistakes and shortcomings over-rode any light I thought I might possibly have buried deep down somewhere.  No matter what I tried to do, whether in career or relationships, it seemed like I was a vacuum sucking people dry because I hungered so much for validation.  I never stood independent of how I thought others thought of me.  So how could I change that?  What could I do differently this year?

What could I do so that when I looked into my children’s faces I didn’t see all my regret that I could have done it better before they left home?  What could I possibly change to see my husband take  a sigh of relief that he no longer carried all my pain or purpose?  My friendships, how could I operate in love in such a way that did not demand reciprocity?  How could I possibly be independently fearless and stand in my truth that while I’m far from perfect, I’m a beautiful being with something to offer?

I think we all struggle with this at one time or other in our lives.  We look around at those closest to us, those we’ve lost through filters through the years, and those we hope to become closer to in the future and we wonder … do I have what it takes?  Am I good enough?   Do I have value?

Fear.  Fear of being wanted, loved, and liked.  Fear of loss, fear of gain.  Fear of failure and success.  We become stagnant in our doubts, almost sometimes to the point of being frozen in it.  We stop going out, we are isolated with work and friends.  We shy away from socialization.   Then the voices really start up, man, they can be harsh.  See?  I told you, no one cares.  See?  I told you, no one notices you.

How do we overcome that kind of fear?  I went to my bedside one day and knelt, shaking, on my bedroom floor and I prayed, “Lord, my precious Father, you did not have this in mind when you created me, did you? With Amy gone now, I feel lost to courage and bravery.  I feel lost to me.  Help me to see myself as someone who can love as you love. Change my heart.  Mature me.  Please, give me opportunities to shower my world with faith and friendship and love and laughter and not do so with a selfish heart.  Train me up to stand in the gap for those I love, rather than whine about being the gap myself.  Let me be the light.”

After I was done praying I heard the word, “Act.”  Then, from Scripture, “Do not be afraid.”  In my mind I could hear the trumpets of Jericho.  Bring the wall down.  The wall of insecurity, fear, and doubt.  Shake it to its core so it has no hold over you.

I heard Amy, “Be Fearlessly You!”

I’m determined that this will be a year of letting go of fear and falling fearlessly in love with my life, my family, friends, and the path I am so blessed to be able to be on.

I pray, for all who read this and can relate, that you have the courage to stand on your knees, be humble to God, and become an action person verses a reactive person!  This is going to be a great year.




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