This is a catch-you-up-to-date post, because I am receiving a lot of loving questions about the State Of The Moores.
My apologies that this is super long. At least read to the middle. It’s worth it. I promise!
Where in the world is David?
David is officially standing with his boots on the ground in Afghanistan. He is with his small platoon at a tiny outpost shared primarily with European coalition forces.
What is he doing?
David is an EOD tech, which stands for Explosive Ordnance Disposal. This means his primary job is to deactivate and dispose of IEDs, bombs, and other explosives. Because of EOD techs our world is a much safer place… not only for soldiers, but for civilians living in (current or previous) war zones worldwide. A noble vocation for a noble man, if you ask me.
Is David himself taking apart bombs?
Not generally. As I understand it, David’s primary function is to provide support to his team leader and help serve as a collaborative brain… he helps the team leader think.
Wait…bomb disposal…doesn’t that make him like the Hurt Locker guy?
Yes. He’s like the Hurt Locker guy, minus the ego.
How long will David be deployed?… This is called a deployment, right?
Yes, this is a deployment. His tour in Afghanistan is expected to last right around nine months. Let’s hope it’s shorter and not longer.
Nine months. Wow. How are YOU doing, Harmony?
This was a good day, so I can say I’m doing alright. But we’ve had some bad days, too. The bumps we’ve hit in our first two weeks without David have been hard. On the one hand, I’ve experienced incredible peace and joy; on the other hand, I’ve felt keenly the limitations of my physical being.
What has been the hardest thing?
Simply not having David. We all miss him very much. I miss him on a personal level: his voice, his words, his presence; and I miss him on a co-parent level: it’s just hard to parent alone! And, I miss him doing all the dishes. :)
How are the children handling it?
Very courageously. They are each grieving in their own way, and have their times of really acting out, but overall they are nearly as cheerful, playful and helpful as ever. They are “taking heart”, and we’re very proud of them.
So, where are you living while David is away?
So far the kids and I have been in Oklahoma. We have planned all along to head to Oregon at the end of October, to be on the West Coast for my sister’s wedding and all the holidays. But this past Tuesday I hit a particularly hard spot and called quits on the white-knuckling-it idea. My dad is flying in tomorrow to save the day, and after we get affairs settled, we’ll arrive in Oregon about a month earlier than planned. We’ll stay on the West Coast at least through the winter, visiting between David’s parents and my own.
You must really have great family back home.
We do. The best.
I hear rumor that this deployment is not the only big news in your life.
You’re right. It’s not. So, all along I thought to myself… “nine months, I can do nine months. I know nine months. Nine months is as long as a school year, as long as a pregnancy. We’ve got this down.”
But what I did not anticipate was that this year we would actually experience all three.
Two weeks before David left the States we were confronted with the realization that a sixth Moore baby had squeaked into existence. The timing of the unexpected surprise left me laughing with joy and crying with irony. We couldn’t have been happier. We hadn’t expected this gift right now, and the road ahead suddenly loomed with a bit more uncertainty.
Yes, there’s a Baby on the way.
Oh. My. Goodness. So you’re PREGNANT? How have you BEEN?
On the whole, I feel really blessed. This first trimester has been no where near as difficult as William’s, or Ellenor’s. My ‘morning’ sickness strikes predictably between 11 and noon, and then again between 1 and 4. And as long as I keep eating through the sick hours, I really do okay. I mean, really. I think a special anointing of God’s Spirit must have been given me because I can’t believe how strong I’ve felt, and how physically well. I’ve only cried over dinner-making once, and if any of you have known me through my pregnancies, you know that dinner-making is where the most tears get shed!
So. You’re pregnant. Well, congratulations! Will David be home for the birth?
I don’t know. I am due at the end of March/beginning of April, and he is not expected home until late May. They may let him return for the birth. We’ll see. I like to daydream that the birth will be close enough to the end date of his tour that they just tell him to stay home with me.
Wow. So, your husband is deployed, you’re pregnant… and are you still homeschooling your kids?
Yessirree. It is a very real challenge to not have a lot of time to myself right now, but I still love to homeschool these kids. Also, I am grateful that homeschooling gives us the freedom to travel: we get to make lemonade from the lemon of this deployment by visiting grandparents, cousins and national treasures throughout this school year. Such a gift.
Well, I have to say, you all have a lot on your plate right now. Are you really doing okay? I mean, really?
I really am. There have been a few points over the last few weeks where I would have answered in the negative. But then those days end and the next morning rises, and most things seem better again. I have been anchored by the Psalms, by strong encouragement from friends, and by quiet whispers of God’s presence throughout my days.
Deciding to go home early to family did rescue me from what could have been a bad downward spiral. I hit a wall which was hard to see past, for a night and a morning. I want to avoid those type of breaking points if I can, and going home will help. My workload will still be intense, but having adults to talk to at the end of the day, and loved ones to hang out with on the weekends, and other people around to emotionally love on and invest in our kids will make a world of difference. We’re only grateful that our families are willing to help shoulder the burden, and fill in the void.
I’m glad you’re going home. I have two last questions. First, do you guys get much contact with David?
So far, we’ve had great contact. He actually has wifi and access to a Stateside numbered phone, so there have been very few days we haven’t connected in one form or another. I’m so glad.
That’s really great. Okay. My last question: what are your biggest needs and how can I pray for you, for David, and for the children?
We still have a lot of transitions coming up. Our children are about to be displaced from their home, and even though it’s for the exciting reason of being with their grandparents, it’s still a big deal. So, pray for our transitions. Both throughout this year, and toward the end of the year when we all return home and reintegrate back into family life.
Prayer for each of us:
David: Safety. Emotional, spiritual, mental and physical safety… and more than that, that he would not just survive, but thrive. Prayer for a covering over his relationships at home. And also, prayer for his friendships with his comrades: may he ever be a light.
Harmony: Joy. Courage. Hope. That despair, fear and anxiety would stay far away from my heart and mind. That I could parent wisely and kindly, and stay physically strong throughout the length of this pregnancy.
Solomon: His boy-heart is so courageous. He is serving the rest of us with such maturity. My biggest prayer for Solomon is that his heart remains full of joy, free of burden, and that he comes to know Jesus in the deepest ways possible, this year.
Benjamin: He greets his challenges with such gallantry. He has been so cheerful and brave. My deepest prayer for Benjamin is that his heart not hurt too deeply, that he is given the tools he needs to express or process his grief when he feels it, and that he, too, finds Jesus his closest, and best friend, in ways he could never have imagined.
Ellenor: Happy Ellenor has taken to this deployment like a little CEO. She is on it. She helps, directs, inspects, advises, and generally is my right hand girl. But her heart is sad, and this sadness, this sense of uncertainty, comes out sometimes in hyperactivity during the day and bad dreams at night. Pray for peace and quiet in this little girl’s heart.
Havilah: Sweet, cheery Havilah cannot comprehend time like the rest of us, so she’s feeling a little shell-shocked right about now that David still isn’t home. Every day she wishes aloud that he would not be in Afghanistan. Pray for her heart, that her hope stays alive, that her sadness is covered in peace.
William: Vivacious, mischievous, inquisitive William really really really needs to sleep at night. His mother needs him to sleep. Please pray that he sleeps! Oy! I also am praying for his relationship with his Papa to stay connected and strong.
The Baby: A healthy and strong pregnancy, of course. And an excellent birth. We are uncertain where I will give birth, and with whom, and I am praying we can work through these questions without too much stress.
All of us: This is really just a very, very challenging year. I cannot describe it to you. I never would have comprehended it myself before living it. But I am hopeful that we may yet look back and see this as one of the best years of our lives, for in this year we will have grown in every good way. May we grow spiritually, may we grow individually, and may we grow closer as a family. May this year grant us discernment and wisdom, a sense of direction, as we look ahead to whatever may lie at the end of this four-year army commitment. May we live and move and have our being in the One who created us, and may we be able to say at the end: God is good, and his love endures forever.
I got it. Is there anything else I can do to help?
Your words. I’m a word geek, and words mean the world to me. Every time I get a note of encouragement in person, by text, on FB, in the mail or email, or on my blog, I’m good to go for at least another hour. I imagine David might feel the same.
So that’s it. Any other questions, ask away… and,
Thank you for caring!