Friday, July 6, 2012

TOP TEN WAYS YOU CAN HELP A MILITARY WIFE WHILE HER HUSBAND IS SERVING AWAY FROM HOME

You will remember my sweet young friend, Laura.
I introduced her to you before. Well now her wee boy is a bit older and she is pregnant with their second child. And her Marine husband is away for six months.

Yesterday, I got a Happy Independence Day card from Laura, with a new picture of her son. (oh my!) Before I show you, here is the Rudyard Kipling quote Laura included: 

"All we have of freedom,
all we use or know -
This our fathers bought for us,
long and long ago."

Isn't he a patriotic cutie?

I asked Laura if she would share TOP TEN WAYS YOU CAN HELP A MILITARY WIFE WHILE THEIR HUSBAND IS SERVING AWAY FROM HOME. Laura sent this back to me in about ten minutes ... so I think it came straight from her heart. 

1. Pray. Pray often. Pray hard. Pray specifically. Ask the military wife in your life, how you can pray for her. Let that person know that you have been praying for her and her family. These are some of the most encouraging words I hear.

2. Invite her to your events. Even if she has to say "no" to that dinner or party, feeling included is so important. 

3. Be practical. Whenever my husband has left with the military, that is when things go wrong. This is when our car breaks down, our insurance has issues, or I get a cold. 

One practical thing you can do is to offer to drive her around - even if it is just on your own personal errands. Maybe a trip to Target with a friend is all she really needs. Or drive her to a doctor's appointment (especially helpful if she is pregnant or has young kiddos.)

4. Meet her near her home. Sometimes driving to meet you in your neighborhood is more daunting than you might think. So meet at a Starbucks down the street from her home, rather than somewhere across town.

5. Help with exhaustion. Chances are, if the military wife in your life is like me, she is just plain tired. Her kids that sleep through the night are waking up since their Daddy left. She is adjusting to sleeping in a bed by herself. 

Bring her a pizza, so she does not have to cook. Take her kids to a park so she can get a short nap. 

6. Listen. Sometimes all she needs is an open and sympathetic ear. Whether or not you can offer advice is not really important. But listening really helps.

7. Rather than reminding her how hard her situation is, remind her of how strong her God is.

A military wife does not need a reminder that her husband is in danger, or how hard it is to be by herself. Trust me, she knows. Please do not say, "I don't know how you do it." She doesn't know how she does it. She just does what she has to do. 

8. Ask her if she has any specific worries or needs that you can help with. Losing the security of having your husband around can cause all sorts of fears. Offer to install deadbolts on her doors. 

9. Treat her. I know that as a military wife, it is easy to get so wrapped up in just managing day-to-day life. So, treat a military wife to something fun and extravagant. It does not have to be expensive. A copy of your favorite magazine, a gift card to Barnes and Noble, a new pretty mug. It is nice to be remembered.

10. Act on the tugging of your heart. Do not assume that someone else is taking care of it. If the Holy Spirit is prompting you to help a military wife, it is probably because that military wife needs it desperately ... and you are just the person for the job.

I want to share that my husband is currently on the other side of the country, not the world. He is not in a combat zone, so I can talk to him often. This is not the case for many of the military husbands and wives around our country. They desperately need your support, love and prayers. It is much harder to be the one left behind and the feelings of isolation can be overwhelming. 

YOU can make a difference in the lives of service members and their families and it will be deeply cherished.

Thanks so much, Laura, for sharing these practical ideas with us. I want to encourage you to find one military family and do just one or two of these things. It will be a great starting point. 





12 comments:

  1. First a special prayer for Laura, her husband and family. Next a big "thank you" to them! What good advice. Thank you for sharing.

    Best,
    Bonnie

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  2. Blessings to Laura and her husband! Loved reading these tips for relating to military families better.

    Happy Friday!

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  3. Wow. This was truly helpful.

    While I don't have any military wives in my immediate circles, there are a few that I keep up with on facebook.

    Good, practical, godly advice for how to support *any* wives who are bearing a load alone . . . for whatever reason.

    Thanks, Laura, for the thoughtful words. Thanks, Glenda, for being sensitive to this issue. (And for visiting me at Chronicles of Grace.)

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  4. Such good advise! Thanks for sharing it. I don't know any Military families, sad to say. But, I will keep these tips handy for anytime I see a woman in need....Military or not!

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  5. great! now to find a military wife in my community...now that the list is here, maybe she'll turn up!

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  6. Another great post - you're on a roll, Glenda! And thank you, Laura, for sharing!

    Sarahx

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  7. Thank you for posting about this Glenda! Currently my younger brother is finishing up a 4 month deployment to the Middle East and it's been tough on his wife and two boys (4 & 2 yrs). This prompted me to drop her a line and let her know that I was praying for her. Just last week, she took the boys to get their hair cut and during they were talking about how Daddy will be home in a few weeks. A gentleman overheard them and paid for their haircuts. Turns out he was a retired Navy vet. I pray for peace and safety for our military knowing that peace on Earth has already come in the form and love of Jesus!

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  8. This is a great post...and we all need to be reminded...thanks for sharing

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  9. I agree with the others...this is a great post. I love having something concrete to work with when trying to decide what to do.

    Thanks Glenda and Laura!

    Mary
    http://memyselfandmercy.blogspot.com/

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  10. GOOD GOOD stuff! He is a doll baby:)
    ok..here is another one
    PRACTICAL ways to help single mom's. I had this on my heart last week.
    It is so much more than dropping off bags of groceries ( not saying that isn't practical and good)
    I need to write down things that came to mind that would help me because honestly, I don't think people know HOW to help sometimes???
    thinking of you this Sunday:)....xoxo

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  11. Great ideas for the widow or widower in your midst as well.

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  12. This is so helpful! And I can think of others these ideas could bring a blessing to. Your blog is so practical, Glenda. Your wisdom and knowledge has been such a help to me.

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