Maybe grab a cup of coffee or iced tea and let’s talk. So who is Jamie Riley? I don’t have some grand story to share with you of all these incredible jobs I’ve had. I don’t have a degree of any sort. But when I find something that fascinates me I will learn everything I can about it.
I love learning
I love home and garden projects and learning new things especially about natural living, growing fruits, and vegetables, healing the body through whole foods, gut healing, herbs, and old ways of medicine.
Some things even those around me may not know is I love reflexology and would love to be a Doula one day. I want to visit Prince Edwards Island someday and run with my girls through the fields like Anne and Diana. I am building an apothecary cupboard. I love early mornings watching the sun come up all alone and a great cup of coffee.
The core of me
I do have is some real-life experiences to share and a love for people, my family, and most importantly, the Lord. Those three things are the very core of me. They are the drive behind every twist and turn in my life that has felt too hard, every valley I’ve walked through on this journey, and every mountain I’ve ever stood on top of feeling victorious.
I grew up in a small town in New England and had a pretty neat childhood surrounded by my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and lots of cousins. All within a mile of each other! My grandfather built an upholstery business. Most of the family had some part in furniture upholstery, slipcovers, drapes, bedding, auto upholstery, and more. I’ve been around fabric my whole life.
After marrying Michael, we moved to Kentucky. Meager beginnings you could say. We started our new life together in a pink trailer from the 1960s. Isn’t it funny how love works? We were happy and that’s all that mattered.
A new journey and military life
After a few years and a course of events, my husband joined the Army. Our journey began as a military family. We packed up all we owned in the back of a U-Haul and drove to our first duty station in Georgia. Did I forget to mention that I was nine months pregnant! Our prayers were answered after five years of not being able to conceive. Here we were on a grand adventure and a new chapter beginning. A new job, new home, new state, and a new baby!
Do you remember what happened in 2001? Something significant that changed America. That’s right, September 11. It was a big turning point that changed the course of our lives. You can read more of what was going on that specific day on my blog post titled, “The Army, A New Baby and September 11.”
The Iraq war
Our military journey began on the brink of war. The one thing I feared was coming true. Over the next eight years, my husband completed many months of training away from home. He deployed twice and spent over two years in another country. He would see the initial invasion of Iraq from the seat of a tank. Celebrate his daughter’s second birthday watching bombs light up the night sky over Baghdad. He became a bomb technician. He defused countless bombs that would save lives. He experienced multiple explosions that should have taken his life it wasn’t for the hand of the Lord. He would be left with back problems, joint issues, and a brain injury. He was one of the first diagnosed cases at Fort Sill. He had PTSD or post-traumatic stress disorder. But he was alive.
Life of a military wife
I dealt with many trials through all this. The person I am now was not the same girl who traveled thirteen hours in a U-Haul truck at nine months pregnant. Military life had changed me too. How could it not?
I was young and didn’t know how to cope very well. Things were happening quickly all around me. With no family close by to help, I felt like a single mom a lot of the time. Struggling with anxiety and a stomach ulcer at times. I watched as the Chaplin comforted my neighbor as she got the news her husband wasn’t coming home. I feared my husband wasn’t coming home either and dealt with a nervous breakdown of sorts. After the second deployment, we experienced some of the hardest parts up to this point along with a miscarriage. As hard as it was, I know the Lord allowed it. I don’t know if I could handle another baby at that time.
A leap of faith
After being released from his duties, the doctors told me to bring him home and just let him heal. Just keep stress down and live simple. I was tired of military life and wanted a stable home closer to family to raise our children. All that was left to do was sell our home in Oklahoma. We listed the house on the market. Only a few months had past but it wasn’t selling quickly enough. You could feel the disconnection from the military life and I wanted to go home. On a leap of faith, we packed up and headed back to Kentucky. Within twelve hours of leaving, we received a phone call from the realtor that our house went under contract!
New beginnings and Home school
Isn’t the Lord good? He even saved a cute little 1940’s style farmhouse just for us on the other end. This little homestead had sat on the market for over a year. It felt like a fresh beginning. Now there are two little girls ages nine and two to care for as well.
After settling we began our home school journey. We needed things flexible for our family. Michael had talked of buying an RV and just visiting national parks and seeing all fifty states. We wanted the freedom to do as we please. Home school was the perfect option. I thought it would be temporary, but we ended up loving it!
The next ten years were filled with lots of twists and turns. We never ended up traveling or buying the RV. We started a little hobby farm instead. Miniature horses, pigs, cows, turkeys, bunnies, a couple of barn cats, and a faithful dog that started the journey with us from our first Christmas. The animals seemed like therapy to him. There were countless doctor visits and many medicines to try. Valleys we’d have to climb out of and many joyous moments too. Like the birth of our third baby girl!
It’s been ten Years
Ten years have passed since my husband’s military career ended. Michael and I have our 23rd wedding anniversary coming up. Together we are raising three beautiful and unique young ladies for the Lord. We have a wide span of ages and stages. Our youngest is eight, our middle is on the brink of becoming a teenager and our oldest is officially an adult now and trying to find her path in life. To look at us, you’d probably never know all we’ve been through.
So what do you do when life is filled with more than you could have possibly imagined?
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
So much of this has made me who I am today. I hope you can see the thread through my story. It’s the Lord. We could have easily been a broken home. He has kept us and guided us. There is so much more I could tell of His goodness.
Whatever you have dealt with in life, you have to decide how you will handle it. Will it destroy you or make the roots grow deeper?
The main purpose of this blog
My main purpose for this blog is to inspire and encourage you on your journey to health and wellness by sharing everyday life stories. Whatever the situation, good or bad, you can find God in everything you go through. He truly is in everything if you are looking for Him.
I hope my words encourage you in your walk as a mom, wife, friend, and Christian. More importantly, I pray they help you to find healing and inspiration in your own life that you may have a deeper relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
I’d love to have you follow me on this journey. And I’d love to be a part of your journey.