It’s The Little Things

Two weeks ago today, I sat in a chair by my husband’s hospital bed and cheered him on as he drank a cup of broth- his first real food in four days. I watched him lick his lips and savor each drop of that warm, salty liquid. Sometimes, it’s the little things that mean the most.

That was pretty much the theme of our entire experience at the hospital. It’s the little things. The week before he wasn’t feeling very well and thought he was catching a virus. His energy was quickly depleting, his blood pressure was running low, and when his feelings of light-headedness progressed into nearly passing out, we went to the ER. It was there that he was diagnosed with a bleeding ulcer, presumably caused by one of his medications. In 24 hours he lost over 3 units of blood and within 48 hours he was down a little over 4 units. A quick surgical procedure repaired the hole and a transfusion of 2 units of blood helped him start the healing process. A tiny hole, half as thick as a ramen noodle brought the strongest man I know to the brink of death. Literally. If he had been his usual stubborn self and refused to go to the ER that night, he would have bled out and died in our bed. It’s the little things.

It’s the little things that can cheer us up. It’s the little things that can tear us down. When life is turned up side down, it’s the little things that we miss the most. When life is plugging along blissfully, it’s the little things that trip us up. It’s the little things.

It’s also the little things that help us remember the big things. While Bob and I were both miserably uncomfortable in the hospital, neither one of us wanted to complain about it too much. We were just so grateful that he was alive. Grateful for friends who stepped in to help with the kids so I could be there with him. Grateful that the doctors were able to locate the bleed and repair it. Grateful that we knew we would be going home soon. Grateful that we have insurance that will pay for it. Grateful that he was receiving good care. Grateful our children were safe. We were just grateful. Why? Because it’s the little things.

hospital feet

This is a picture I took while sitting with Bob at the hospital. I think it will always be one of my favorite pictures of us because it reminds me of the little things that I so often take for granted. It’s so easy for us to get hung up on the things that go wrong in life. There is pain and evil and disaster lurking around every corner, it seems. It’s easy to get discouraged and to feel like giving up. It’s easy to fall into a trap of complaining and whining, or worse, becoming angry at the circumstances of your life. That’s why it’s so important to be remember the little things. That’s why this picture means so much to me. In the end, all that mattered to me that day was that I was there by his side. Yes… it’s the little things.

Weapon #3

Weapon 3

When dealing with difficult people who like to raise their voice and yell at me, I’ve often found the best way to respond is to whisper. When I lower my voice, people feel less threatened, the situation deescalates, and they want to know what I’m saying. The whisper is an amazing tool in the world of communication. It stirs up many emotions inside of us, bringing us feelings of deeper intimacy and closeness. We love it when our spouses whisper loving words in our ear. We melt when our little ones whisper a secret. We read in 1 Kings 19 that God even spoke to Elijah not through the burning fire, not through the violent wind, but through a gentle whisper. A whisper can usher in life.

However, when placed in the enemy’s hand, a whisper can usher in death as a weapon of destruction. Knowing the full capabilities and powers of a whisper, the enemy uses it to lure us into safely believing the words we hear. When the enemy shouts at us, we recognize the assault and readily reject it. But when he whispers, if we are not on guard, we can fall prey to his enticement and become ensnared in his wicked ways.

You have to be careful, dear sisters, to interpret what you hear. The voice of God can be difficult to discern from the voice of the enemy. For example, the enemy may whisper that you’re too fat and that you’re husband doesn’t find you desirable any more. God will whisper that He loves you just as you are and wants you to turn to Him to help you become healthier so you can live the life He has planned for you. Do you see the difference? The enemy breathes death but our Savior breathes life! The subject is the same but the message is very different.

So now that we know how to recognize the whispers of the enemy and we know how he uses them, what can we do about it? Thankfully, God gave us the armor we need to defend ourselves from this weapon. Right now, I want you to look down at your index fingers. Hold them up! Now, place them in your ears, smile, and sing loudly, “Lalalalalalalalalalalala I can’t hear you satan!!!!!!!” James 4:7 says, “Humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil and HE WILL FLEE!” That’s a promise! God gave you holy fingers to plug your ears so that you can resist the whispers of the evil one. Sisters, do not be afraid! Your God has given you protection over every weapon in that coward’s arsenal. Praise Him!

When A Soldier Says “I Do”

On April 26th, Bob and I were blessed with the opportunity to take part in the wedding of some dear friends of ours. Chris, the groom, deployed with my husband to Iraq a few years ago and has become a surrogate son, of sorts, to Bob. Chris looks up to Bob and respects him so much that he asked Bob to get licensed so that he could officiate at his wedding.

The Wedding Party

I, on the other hand, was asked to make the wedding cake and cupcakes. I don’t know who got the “sweeter” role in the wedding but it was a beautiful ceremony and a day neither one of us will ever forget.

Love is Sweet

There is something magical about a military wedding. All weddings are beautiful, but military weddings just seem to be over-the-top romantic. I chalk it all up to the uniform. There isn’t anything sexier than a man in his military dress uniform. Watching my husband spend weeks preparing his uniform, taking great care to precisely place each award, proudly displaying each ribbon… well, it only made me that much more excited for their big day to come. I love seeing my man in his uniform and I couldn’t wait to walk down the aisle on his arm.

There’s also a warm and comforting sense of family at a military wedding. Watching Bob and Chris and the men that they served with gather around reminded me of how precious the bonds of service are. These men have been to hell and back with each other and now they gladly stand beside one another on the most important days of their lives. As I watched Jamie dance with her new groom, I thought about how she was not only joining the Partin family but she’s joining the military family, as well. She joins the silent rank of military spouses that serve without a uniform or a pay-grade. She joins a unique group of Americans that started with Martha Washington and has continued proudly with women such as Julia Dent Grant (Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant), Pamela Murphy (Mrs. Audie Murphy), and Marie Tillman (Mrs. Pat Tillman).

When a soldier says, “I do”, we celebrate their love, prepare to help them through the difficult times that we know will lie ahead, and we pray God’s richest blessings over their marriage.

When a soldier says, “I do”, we look into each other’s eyes and remember the day that we said those same words.

When a soldier says, “I do”, we clap our hands, wipe the tears from our eyes, and raise a toast in their honor.

When a soldier says, “I do”, we silently whisper in our hearts, “I still do”.

Mr & Mrs Robert Tabers