It’s the Little Things: Memoirs of a Military Spouse

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“If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibility.” Luke 16:10

If little things are important to God, they’re certainly authorized to matter to us.

Sometimes, it’s the little things that can make or break a person.

Right now, I’m struggling with these ‘little’ things. Like a rolling snowball down a hill, they grow. One thing I’ve learned through this 16 year journey of a marriage conjoined with military service, is that if I neglect the little things by not taking them to the cross, I become weak.

Without surrendering my pain to God, little things weigh down my shoulders. Such as why I hate airports, especially when I’m not the one traveling. There’s nothing like driving home crying, in a car full of kids who need comfort, while the other half of your heart boards a plane.

They may seem small, insignificant even, but it’s the little things that fester huge scars in our hearts.

Deployments, hardship tours, TDY’s (training) all take my love away from me, leaving me with little reminders throughout my life:

Empty space in the closet.

My husband’s keys hanging on a hook by the door, when they should be in his pocket.

The missing towel on his side of the sink.

A vacant surface on the desk where his laptop should call home.

Like a constant drip you can’t turn off, these little things remind me that he won’t be coming home for dinner tonight.

He won’t be coming home for a year…

Yes, there are big things, too.

Like the third promotion ceremony I’ve missed. That hurts. You know how hard your spouse worked to earn that promotion and want to cheer them on IN PERSON. At least this time, my children and I got to watch it via video call.

Occasionally, a ginormous curveball hits you right in the face. Like when that year deployment extends out to fourteen months.

It’s cold, the kind of cold that hot tears can’t warm.

I’ve learned to manage these things, especially the little things.

I had to throw away his toothbrush. I didn’t HAVE to. I could’ve let it sit on the counter collecting dust for a year, but it made me sad to look at it. Besides, it’ll be fun buying him a new one in preparation for when he returns home.

See, it’s the little things, like car keys and toothbrushes.

Sometimes little things make big statements of pain. Other times, the little things can bring great joy.

Little things are significant.

One night, I had a dream of my husband pouring a glass of wine in our kitchen. It was nice to see him in our home, even if it was only in sleep.

When my kids set the table, it takes a while before they stop setting a place for dad.

There are so many meals I make where the leftovers equals out to the perfect portion for my husband.

I’ve learned that the little things can bring smiles as much as they can bring tears. Once the deployment’s end draws near, just seeing it on the expiration date of groceries creates rejoicing.

“Look! The milk expires the date daddy comes home!”

At the end of the day, it’s the little things that make a big difference in our lives.

For our family, these little, big, and sometimes ginormous things are vital to endure, because they’re not just for us, but our country.

Thousands of military families are suffering through these things right now, this very second, because they value our flag.

I’m asking you, America, please, honor our country.

Love our country.

Jesus said, “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you.” Matthew 7:12 He also said, “If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.” Mark 3:23 NIV

Following the Golden Rule Christ taught us, doesn’t take much. Yet being polite on the roads, in the stores, at the doctor’s office, has a big impact.

If we can’t follow the Golden Rule for our own countrymen, then we can’t follow it at all.

Imagine if Americans treated each other the way we want to be treated; the issues that divide us will eventually fade away.

Hate will be replaced with love.

I say again, love our country.

It’s a very little thing to honor the land God gave us, but the return is huge.

We love our land by loving other Americans.

So let’s be faithful in the little things, so God can bless us with more.

Kimberly Humphreys 

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