taking flight (or, the grass is always greener)


I hate cliches.

“Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” is up there with, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going,” or “The grass is always greener on the other side.” Let me roll my eyes at the triteness of it all.

Let me clarify.

Cliche phrases have their place among wall art (live, laugh, love is a crowd favorite), in passing conversation, when making casual observations about situations or life.

But when a moment calls for some deep introspection, there must be a bit more analysis involved. In other words, yes, my summer could be summed up in the three cliches I just shared, but why exactly? What’s the story behind the trite statements?

Well, if you’re asking, let me tell you.

I can do hard things. Here’s how I know.

Tomorrow I will board a plane & fly approximately 5,779 miles to Okinawa, Japan.

The total travel time, from when we leave our house in the states to when we reach our cozy home on a island far, far away is something like 24 hours. As in, one complete day.

Am I scared to man five children by myself, on an international flight?

Let me tell you, I have done harder, I have done worse.

Like being a temporary nomadic single mom for 7 weeks this summer–15 hours on a plane with five small kids looks like stuff for amateurs.

(One time, two years ago I drove 24 hours straight with four kids, without Joseph. And I had massive morning sickness because I was pregnant with Tyndale.)

My kids have had the summer of their lives. I mean, we have spent the last 10 weeks hopping from one family get together to the next. Between my side of the family & Joseph’s, they have 11 sets of aunts & uncles, nearly 50 cousins, & they have been able to spend time with most of them.

But, as idyllic as this sounds for the kids (which it has been), it hasn’t been a breeze for me. Taking care of all my kids on my own is challenging enough, but add to that the stress of not having a permanent residence & trying to finish up the last minute details of moving overseas (there were so many–I have now earned my stripes in military wifehood), has been, shall we say, not without it’s challenges.

As mentioned in my last post, I have done my fair share of late night emotional eating & late night binge watching of Parks & Rec (first time watching it, currently on season 3–thanks Tanya, & other readers for the recommendation!). Formal exercise the past five weeks or so has been nil, though fortunately I get a lot of functional activity in swimming with my kids + all the other running around that we’ve done.

But you know what?

It is almost over & I can look back with great satisfaction knowing that I gave my kids an awesome summer. One that was filled with family, play, exploration, swimming, games, & seeing new places, meeting new cousins.

I had moments where I was pretty sure I couldn’t bear another day, where I felt I had no more patience to give, no more energy to expend, there were equally intense moments where I sat back amidst the laughter & company of dear family members, & thought, “This is it, this was worth it.”

And you know what? Now I know that I can do it, I can do hard things.

I mean, I knew that I could before, but now that knowledge is sure. And a few hours on an international flight with a bunch of kids & no husband? Bring it on.

After all, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right?


*I went blonde! Check it out, & stay up to date by following me on Facebook. (I can’t figure out how to add the link here because I am typing this on my iPad, but you can go to the bring joy Facebook page by clicking on the Facebook chiclet underneath my “about” photo in the sidebar.)


  1. Babette
    on July 24, 2015 at 8:18 am said:

    Congratulations on handling all the details and the kids on your own, it must be quite something. I hope you’ll be able to relax at least a little on the plate? =)

  2. Lfwfv
    on July 23, 2015 at 1:31 pm said:

    Good luck! Can’t wait to hear about your adventures! (FYI: gave birth to Ari Isaiah on July 11th! At home and doing well :))