I was given a neat gift this past week, the opportunity to speak at an evening event sponsored by the Protestant Women of the Chapel at Hanscom Air Force Base in Lexington, Massachusetts. This came about because a family friend of ours from South Carolina lives there on the base. Her husband is the commander at a nearby base. So she asked me to speak on the “The Encouragement of Unexpected Blessings” for the Protestant Women of the Chapel group, a national organization with local chapters at most military bases.
“The Encouragement of Unexpected Blessings” was a welcome topic for me, as Hudson has definitely been an unexpected blessing. I loved sharing our journey, and I won’t say there weren’t a few tears, and they weren’t all mine. (Surprise surprise.) Among other things, I shared these stories from our journey: Can’t Buy This, They Didn’t Know and Embrace the Gift.
There was such a beautiful spirit in the room that night. Not necessarily from me, but from the amazing military wives of the PWOC at Hanscom Air Force Base. I want to tell you a little about the evening.
It was a short drive to Lexington, about an hour or so south. I was grateful my friend Julie accompanied me. We were met at a restaurant off-base, then whisked through security into Hanscom Air Force Base to meet the women at Hanscom Chapel.
We were welcomed with such a peaceful, loving spirit. The meeting hall was beautifully decorated, complete with tempting fruit and homemade desserts, blooming flowers, coffee, tea, and a wrapped door prize for each person. In the first ten minutes, in conversation with three separate women, I counted 28 collective moves in their military career. That was from just three women. (They didn’t volunteer the information, I asked.)
What struck me the most about these strong women is they don’t feel sorry for themselves. And they don’t want anyone else feeling sorry for them either. These are women who know their calling, embrace their support role, live life to the fullest and have a wonderful sense of humor. They bloom where they’re planted, aren’t afraid to jump in and be involved, all the while knowing they’ll likely move again soon for their husband’s next assignment. They’re also human and have feelings. They have children, and sometimes it’s really hard.
The women spoiled me, gave me a bag filled with generous treats. (Read: Godiva chocolate.) Made me feel loved and welcome. I learned so many lessons last Thursday night about grace, hospitality, kindness, love and commitment.
They also presented me with this military coin from Hanscom Chapel, apparently a longstanding military tradition. I cherish this beautiful coin.
(the flip side)
I’m reminded to pray for our servicemen and servicewomen, their husbands and wives. Their lifestyle of continual sacrifice and service overwhelms me. So grateful they are at the helm, on high alert on behalf of us and our families.
I wonder if you might help me. Would you please leave a comment for military spouses today? Maybe thank them for their vital role, their life long sacrifice and service. Whatever you want to say. Hope it will encourage them to read our supportive words.
Have a beautiful weekend!!
Aunt Pinkie says
Oh, my A, what a wonderful visit you had with the hidden soldiers in this country! How grateful we are to you ladies-for the loving care you give your husbands, and the waiting you do, not to mention the nomadic existence you live, moving from place to place. I will pray for you and yours and thank you from the bottom of a hugely grateful heart! God bless each of you!!!
Our country would not be what it is today without
Families like yours. Thank you for your everyday
Sacrifices. Our world is better because of our military. God bless you all!
Lori Fowler says
For all of what you and your families have given to allow your spouses to serve and sacrifice, thank you. We are so grateful for your patience and courage.
Linda Jenkins says
I am so grateful for your unselfish love, support, grace, and commitment to our military forces. They are doing so much to keep us and our country safe. That is a tremendous sacrifice on their part, and I send my blessing to you because you, too, make those sacrifices daily. May God bless each and every one of you. I send thoughts and prayers to you and your loved ones, May God in His Mercy keep you safe.
For all you sacrifice, for all the hidden helps, for all the times you put the ones you love above yourself…I thank you.
Please tell your husbands that we can never hope to repay their (as well as your) sacrifice on our behalf. We cannot adequately express our gratitude. And thank you for your incredible hospitality to my wife this past week. You demonstrated the grace you have received in the gracious way you welcomed her.
Nancy Hammett says
Gods blessings to each one of service men and thier families .
Ladies, thank you so much for your many sacrifices. May God give you the grace to carry on! “From his fullness we have all received grace upon grace.” John 1:16
This week I attended a retirement ceremony of a friend at Andrews Air Force Base. At the conclusion of the “Flag Ceremony”, the retiring Col. formally presented his flag to his wife, saluting her just as he had been saluted. It was a moving and fitting tribute. It reminded me how much we owe to all service wives. I am truly thankful for your service. I pray God’s richest blessing on you and your families.
Thank you for your commitment and sacrifice which supports your husbands in their efforts to serve their country and us all.
Barbara Child says
Thank you so much for all you do to support your husbands who work tirelessly to help keep us all safe. I’m sure the presence of Jesus helping you enables you to go on sacrificing as you do. God bless you!
Thank you all for your service!
Thank you for all you and your husbands do to keep our country free. We often forget that freedom isn’t ever free.
What a challenging lifestyle! I do not get used to sleeping alone no matter how many nights my husband is away, and having four boys, 3- 18 and older, I can’t fathom parenting them without him!
Praying for you that you would know the strength of the Lord Jesus with you each day as you face changes and challenges, often without the physical help of your husbands.
What a wonderful and rewarding evening you all had! Thank you to the wives and their children! We appreciate all you’ve been through, sacrificed and all that you continue go through for your husbands and our country! Again thank you!!
Susie Mandel says
Beautiful post, Allie.
Thank you to all you wonderful ladies and your families for the sacrifice YOU make for our country and our freedoms! I live near an army base and have several friends whose husbands are currently active or have retired from active duty. You are heroes along with your husbands!! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you have done.
Just knowing that they can depend on faithful wives to manage at home, bravely accepting the many responsibilities of daily life in their absence, frees our military to resolutely perform their difficult duties to keep America free. Heartfelt thanks to every one who rises to the significant challenges and makes the sacrifices which doing that entails.
Words can’t express the debt of gratitude and love we owe you ladies and your husbands. May God richly bless you, hold you and encourage you.
The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.
To military spouses, I thank you! We are so grateful for the sacrifices of our military families. God Bless!
Carina Spring says
I want to express the heartfelt gratitude that so many of us feel for the sacrifices you and your families make.
Thank you, dear ladies, for being committed to stand beside your husbands for support and encouragement, especially when you have no idea how each assignment is going to end! Thank you for being there for them, often across thousands of miles, so that they have the blessing they need to do their job! You are as valuable as they and just as precious in God’s sight! Thank you for giving what you give every day to take care of your families when your husbands are away serving our country!
WE are so blessed to have these men & women serve our great country!!!! Thank you all and your families for serving .
So very appreciative! Thank you for your service and dedication! Wonderful post Allie!
Thank you Jen, it was such a nice evening….so glad I met these women.
Ali, it was a wonderful evening! You were a blessing to each of us! Your readers comments are so encouraging, but I think I can speak for all the ladies who were there last week – this military way of life has many challenges, but it also is a full and joyful way to live! We love our soldiers, airman, sailors, marines. We love the opportunities this crazy life brings us – to travel the globe, to meet amazing people. We love our sisters we meet along the way, who help us raise our children, who plant flowers they may only see bloom for a season, who help us when life is hard and lonely, who we are honored to call friend. And those sweet PWOC ladies love Jesus, and know that He is there for them always. Thank you again for your inspiration and sharing your heart with each of us!
Many thanks Midge, love your comment. I think what I didn’t communicate well in this piece is the JOY that you all have in your service, and the amazing opportunities that are part of military life. Also the very special community you share in one another….XOXO
May God bless all our soldiers and their family members! A big thank you for all you do to support our great country!
I have a whole new understanding because of Allie’s post of you, the often “forgotten’ soldiers.
Where do we even begin to say ‘thank you’ for your great sacrifice on all of our behalf. Sure, there’s lots of fun traveling etc., but you are always having to say another ‘good-bye’ to someone that you love and have cared about. You fill in all those gaps when dad or mom are having to be away. My heart has been reminded and encouraged to pray for you all. You are the precious gifts that we often neglect.
Happy Memorial Week-End to you and your loved ones. We salute you, thank God for you and are truly blessed because of you.
A couple years back we bought a new flag for our garage along with a roller that keeps the flag from winding up in the wind, Strangely, the roller never seemed to work and every day the flag would wind itself around the pole anyway. I was tempted to return it, but after developing a little habit, (adopted by my husband too) we decided against getting that unfurler fixed. As we unwrap the flag (sometimes multiple times a day) on our way in and out the door, we pray for your husbands, your wives who are being challenged–maybe at that very moment–in a scary place, whether on the battlefront or the homefront. Your sacrifice may seem underappreciated and forgotten with glib talk of cook outs and cheery parades and a well-meaning “thank you for your service”–one or two days a year. But please know that you are not forgotten, It is your service at home and on the battlefield that ensures that the sacrifices of the past are presrved for our country’s future. It is a huge burden (and privilege) to bear, and we can’t underestimate your sacrifice. Thank you.