Our nation has been at war for over a decade. This means many active duty military personnel have been in a constant cycle of training, deployments and reintegration. Unfortunately, the stresses and difficulties of being on the job aren't only affecting soldiers but also their spouses and family members. These prolonged and significant pressures are taking a devastating toll on many military marriages. As a relatively new active duty military spouse, Claire walks readers through many of the common trials of active duty life. From assignments, relocation, making friends and reinventing yourself at each new duty station, to the painful moments of the deployment and reintegration, Claire shares her personal struggles to make sense of what it means to be a supportive military spouse and do her part to keep her own heart and marriage mission ready. As a Christian, Claire explores the idea of what it means to live in full submission to God, her husband and her country. With humor and deep emotion, she shares how this isn't her natural, typical response. You might even say she has gone kicking and screaming (and sometimes crying) at every turn. Claire hopes that her own experiences and reflections will inspire other military spouses to stay the course, keep the faith and find hope for the future. You don't have to be a military spouse to relate to and understand the ideas presented in this book. Mission Ready Marriage is for anyone who has ever wondered if God had the right person in mind for her current assignment. God has given us everything we need for the mission field in which He has placed us. Optionally, this book is designed to be used as a semester-long study in a women's Bible study, spouse group or book club. The series of questions at the end of each of the 13 chapters asks readers to reflect on some of their own experiences, trials and victories as a military spouse. One of the best resources military spouses have at their disposal is the practical wisdom of other military spouses. The questions at the end of each chapter have been formulated to prompt meaningful discussion and sharing of such ideas. Table of Contents: Foreword Introduction Chapter 1: Life Before the Military: How in the World Did We Get Here? Chapter 2: Homesickness and Longing for What Once Was Chapter 3: Leaving and Cleaving Chapter 4: Home is Where the Army Sends Us: Broken Furniture and Mending Dreams Chapter 5: Making 'Limonada' Out of 'Limones' Chapter 6: Preparing to Say Goodbye Chapter 7: Thriving Through a Deployment Chapter 8: Reintegration Chapter 9: Moving? So Soon? Chapter 10: The Art of Reinventing Yourself...Again Chapter 11: The Friendships of Women Chapter 12: The S Word and Other Profanities Chapter 13: He Gives Us What We Need Epilogue Notes Ackwledgements
For the past four years, Claire has been trying to wrap her head and her heart around what it means to navigate a mission ready marriage. She makes her home wherever the Army sends her along with her husband Ryan (an Army Chaplain), and their three resilient children. You may visit her daily at www.elizabethclairewood.com Prior to their military service, Claire spent over a decade teaching in high school and college classrooms as well as serving alongside her husband in full-time church ministry. She loves reading, writing, trying new recipes, teaching her children and opening up her home to friends and family.