One attribute I have admired in many ladies is their ability to observe things that need to be done and then take the initiative to do it.

I have one friend that does this better than anyone I know. The first time I met her she sat down by me in Bible study class. We had just moved to our new duty station and she wanted to know all about us. Come to find out, she had the same birthday as my husband and not two weeks later she and her husband were meeting us at a local restaurant with balloons to celebrate those birthdays. It forged a friendship I continue to cherish.

Jeff’s favorite picture of Susan. She was working at a conference center in the Santa Cruz Mountains. New Year’s – 1981.

Susan and her husband have come to be adopted grandparents for my kids. They have loved on us and cared for us.

Susan has a special gift, though. She has the ability to notice needs of people and fulfill those needs through acts of service. She does this over and over. It is amazing to watch.

Example? One fall we were preparing to PCS within the next month. We got a call from my step-mom that her mom had died and we headed to Texas to be with them (from Kansas). We returned home and the next day got a call that my husband’s grandfather died and so we headed to Kentucky to be with them. Getting back home we still had to prepare for movers who were to show up within the next week. We were tired and weary.

On our drive home from Kentucky, Susan called. She knew we were tired and knew the movers were coming. She asked when we would be driving up at our house. She then informed us she was meeting us there and would take both children for the night so we could get some things done at home…and rest.

I would never have thought to ask for such a thing, but Susan knew. She loved on us and cared for us many more times in the year that we lived there – and still cares for us at a distance.

Susan and Jeff’s last night together before he headed for Turkey – 1981.

She too is an Army wife. She and her husband, now retired, spent most of their Army time in Turkey and Egypt. Susan started as a florist (which has served her well over the years in many respects!). She met her adoring husband in California where she lived, spent all of 56 days together and then married him. Twenty-seven-years later, they still work at it, but have certainly found joy in each other.

Over the years she has done many things, but has learned that her focus first and foremost should be on her Savior, second one her husband, and after that come her children and others. She has perfected the art of hospitality and can decorate a Chapel for Christmas like no one I have ever met.

She has come to love military life, and has shared with me advice that has challenged me and certainly helped me become more of who Christ would have me to be. Her advice?

1. Be yourself!

2. Keep focus on Christ – then your marriage, followed by children and relationships comes first.

3.  Don’t try to be your husband’s rank. Be welcoming and supportive of all.

4. You will never know who you will meet, who you will need, or who will need you.

5. Learn to hurry up and then wait patiently and gracefully.

6. No question is ever a dumb question.

7. You might not have a stable church home, but the “body” is everywhere.

Susan and Jeff at the Marine Corps Ball, Cairo in 2005

Susan has taught me much. I am forever thankful for her friendship and the way she has shown me to open my eyes and see the needs around me. I am still not as good at it as she is, but I working at it. Her service is truly a gift.

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