Christmas Miracle Part 2

A lot of people have been waiting for this update. Yes, the soldier is safely home and "things" are going well :).

Some of you know how miraculously fast his homecoming turned out to be. Once it was confirmed that his replacement was en route, he was able to have a flight scheduled from his base in Iraq to the holding tank in Kuwait. I got an email that just said, "The flower has arrived, papa's coming home!" That was code for "Cpt Rose is here, I finally get to leave this h-hole of a desert." In Kuwait, he learned that the freedom flights to the US (redeployment--soldiers going home for good, vs. R&R) had all been canceled due to the holiday. He was booked on a flight leaving on the 28th. Shortly after leaving the travel tent, he heard his name over the loud speaker. They had found a space for him on the next R&R flight out, aka: pack your bags soldier, you have 2 minutes to get through customs and on that plane, or something like that. I got a quick phone call at 11:35am Christmas Eve, "I only have 2 minutes on this calling card, but I'm leaving now! I got on a flight and I'll see you soon. Next time you hear from me, I'll be calling you from my own cell phone." I hung up the phone and held it to my chest to say a quick prayer of thanks and then jumped up and down a couple times. I may or may not have squealed in excitement.

It's a Christmas Miracle!!

All I can say is that prayer works! And combined prayer works even better.

Now I'm just needing part two and I'm feeling really impatient, waiting for a call from Ft. Hood.

Ring phone, ring!

While I wait, trying to not focus on my silent blackberry and enjoy this Christmas morning with my mom and siblings, I have to admit my gratitude for the amazing mercy and grace of God. Thank you for sending your Son. We watched a short video montage put together by my mom's neighbors (and my roommate's parents) last night. As images of the infant Lord passed on the screen, I was overcome, more than I ever remember feeling before, with awe at the humble circumstances to which He entered His mortal life. But not just because of the stable and manger and sheep and flies, but because He was just a baby! So vulnerable, fragile. This Christ-child who would grow into the Man of Holiness who would save us all began His miraculous life as a baby.

I think this is even more poignant for me now, having spent the last few days with my family, especially my little sister who is cooking her own mini-muffin (who I swear is growing every day--she let me feel his little sleeping bum poking out of her abdomen last night, so sweet!); and my nieces, 3 years and 18 months respectively, who are so full of life and joy at each new thing. They fill me with wonder.

So while I wait for just one more miracle, may warmth & joy to fill your hearts on this Christmas morning and throughout this next year!

Much love,


Not the words you want to hear while Skyping with a soldier

I know I already posted today, but this was too memorable to let it go for long before I get it documented somewhere.

I never thought I'd ever get to have this experience. So I'm Skyping with my boyfriend [yes, I call him my boyfriend :)] who is in Iraq and we're in the middle of a conversation and I hear a muffled but harsh voice come over their intercom system, "Incoming! Incoming!" No longer than it takes for my brain to register what the angry male voice said and Tim has disappeared. As he drops to the ground and takes cover either he or someone else says, "we're under attack."

If you look closely you can see the concern on my face as I stare at the empty carols and wait as eagerly as they do for the female voice to report that everything is fine and they can return to what they were doing. In the meantime, the Captain has reached up and grabbed his headset. I whisper, "I can hear you." He responds, "Can you hear me?" And we talk like that for what feels like several minutes. Even under diress, we joke. He tells me how other soldiers are wishing they had reached for their headsets too. Finally, she speaks. "All clear, all clear, all clear." Tim's head pops up and looks around. Another mortar attack survived. Ten more days. Just ten more days.

{the} Messiah--aka: Handel's Messiah

Friday night I got lucky :). My roommate Julie asked me to be her "date" to see Handel's Messiah at the National Cathedral. Amazing! This was a triple first for me: first up-close-and-personal with the Cathedral, first ever hearing the Messiah performed live in its entirety, first time hearing the National Cathedral choir--those little kids are phenomenal. The evening was beautiful.

December 1st

I am still jobless and it was a beautiful, sunny day. The trees are stubbornly holding onto the last of their yellow leaves which makes a glorious contrast against the dark, wet bark. To make the most of circumstance, I forced myself outside and onto the metro. Coming up the escalator from dankness into the fresh air at the Smithsonian stop brought back a rush of nostalgia (it can still be nostalgia after just six months, right?). The last time I stopped there (it was also my first DC metro ride ever) was this summer and at the top I waited for a new friend who walked me around the Mall (that's where the monuments are). That day changed my life. I'm looking forward to someday writing about the details of that day, but not today.

Today I felt similar feelings the first time I walked through the monuments: overwhelm, awe, pride, patriotism, gratitude...just to name a few. I decided this day that one of the reasons I love this city with all of its history and charm is because everything is meaningful stated and meaningfully placed. I stared up at Abraham Lincoln, watchful over our Nation's capital, pained at the thought of that meaning degraded and overlooked. Pained again as I watched a tourist throw his cigarette butt on the ground and grind it into the street with his heel. What a poignant representation of everything that is taken for granted.

I think of the prophesied day that the Constitution will hang by a thread. Dread for that day, and yet excitement for what it will hasten.