Let me take a moment to introduce myself, after all if you are reading my blog you may want to know a thing or two about me (for as they say in the literary world, context is everything!).
Introducing myself to others used to be a rather simple process. All I needed to say was, “Hi, I’m Rachel/Victoria/AJ’s mom.” Now that my parenting duties have officially terminated with the graduation of my third kiddo, I need to get a bit more creative. On that note, I have come up with six specific traits that I feel define me.
I am an Army wife. This fact alone has been a major factor in defining me. I have learned to run the house in a way that would make any Drill Sergeant green with envy. I can bark orders with efficiency and my three little soldiers have learned, as any good soldier does, to tune me out and continue with the status quo. I have learned to be flexible and go with last minute TDY orders, combat deployments, and any other ridiculousness the Army throws our way.
I am a survivor. My first lessons in survival came with the decision to homeschool my three kids. Little did I know what I was stumbling into with this decision and I am so happy to announce we have survived 20 years of homeschooling with all three of my kids living to tell the tale! My second lesson in survival came from the eight-year battle with the medical profession before I was finally diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Yes, I am exhausted, in pain, and rather irritable roughly 90% of the time, and no, it is not because I am an Army wife and homeschool mom to three children.
I am a warrior. As if being an Army wife for over 20 years and a homeschooling mom with an autoimmune disease did not qualify me, life has handed me one more battle to solidify my status as a warrior. In January of this year, while my husband was deployed, I was diagnosed with metastatic neuroendocrine carcinoma of the liver, a very rare and incurable form of cancer. All I have to say to this new challenge is bring it on; I am dug in and ready to fight.
I am an avid reader and passionate bibliophile. Okay, so these are really two separate traits, but I feel they go hand in hand. While I will read just about anything, my key requirement is that the author is dead; I am not too keen on live authors. I thrive on non-fiction, gothic, and British literature (please, do not even mention Twilight or Harry Potter. These works are not gothic and certainly not literature in my estimation). As a voracious reader, I have felt the need to amass a vast collection of material to have at my beck and call. I have bookshelves and “decorative” piles of books in almost every room of the house. My latest purchase, inspired by the Confederate flag controversy, has been 63 volumes of The War of Rebellion: a Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. I am now on the lookout for the remaining 60 volumes to complete the collection. Due to this ever-expanding mass of books, I am now seriously considering transforming our formal dining room into a library (one can eat in any room; therefore, a house does not necessitate a room dedicated to eating).
Above all these things, I am a devoted follower of Christ. It has been my faith in Christ that has allowed me to weather the storms that life has handed me. I can stand because Christ is going before me, fighting my battles, and restoring my soul. It has been my faith that has shaped my response to having cancer, and it will be faith that carries me through the next steps in treating this dreadful disease. It is also faith that has allowed me to see having cancer as the chance to pursue dreams I would have never considered. Faith has opened my eyes to new doors of opportunity just waiting for me to grab ahold of and embrace. It is through the power of Christ that I am able to be an Army wife, a survivor, a warrior, and to read the works of so many to hear their cries, share their trials, and through them truly understand what it means to be human.
Now that you know a bit more about me, I hope that you will join me on this literary adventure!