Saturday, June 30, 2007
The bathroom...boy that looks like a terribly small space...
Lots of small places...
We thought this was neat to read on the door of this church.
As I walked off the beach this evening, all I could think about was how good it felt to be with my husband again. Life is so much more wonderful with him by my side. Thank you, Lord...
Saturday, June 23, 2007
Yes, you probably guessed it...I'm talking about the movie Evan Almighty.
As someone who has recently done things that seem crazy to others, but did so because God told us to, I did my research then went to see Evan Almighty. It was a movie that inspired me to continue on the path God has laid out for us and trust Him with everything we have. The story line was just as you would expect, with lots of clean humor and a great message.
There were several parts where I felt so touched by God's love for mankind, and how he constantly is trying to get our attention to follow him. There WILL come a time when it is too late, and I want to be someone who helps people get on the boat. Why would I not want to be that person for the Lord?
Believers, Jesus died so we might have life and He left us here after our salvation experience so that we can help others find Him. Don't miss your purpose on this earth! Share what God lays on your heart to do or say to others. How we fulfill that purpose is different. And it changes sometimes in how we go about it. For me, it was once, and will continue to be for a few more months, through working at a business and serving the Lord in the workplace by giving Him my best, by loving people and sharing my faith when the Lord says, "Share it, Laura!" By reaching out to those who are hurting. We can do that no matter where we are...just look around you and see the hurting people. They're in the grocery store, the workplace, etc...even the churches!
God is slowly (but what feels like very quickly now) moving me into a different field. I've seen it so much this last week, but when I watched that movie today it brought it all home. God hasn't called me to build a huge boat, but He has called me to completely step out in faith. I never in my wildest dreams thought I'd ever be a chaplain's wife. I never thought I would be a pastor's wife either, but it was a beautiful time in my life. To walk side-by-side one of the most amazing men in the world and serve the Lord - there has never been anything more meaningful and fulfilling to me. To raise my children to love, trust and honor the Lord, and to cheer them on as they follow where the Lord leads - no greater joy!! I also began to realize this week that my blog was a way to reach out to others. I see how God is using it to minister to other soldier's wives, and also (as a bonus) ministering to my heart as well. He used several things this week to also confirm this desire I've had to write a book. I told Kevin about it today and he's thrilled. I don't know how long it will take, but I'm trusting the Lord in that as well. It will be about this journey and I pray it will help those who struggle with the thought that God is calling them to something out of their grasp, something they can't do on their own, something so amazing yet so scary...following His will when it doesn't look easy. I don't know what it's going to look like, I just know God's laid it on my heart to do it.
Now back to the movie...
There was one part of the movie where I could barely contain the tears. When Evan told his son to get back because he didn't want him to get hurt, and his son reminded him he was doing this with him. I thought about our oldest son and how he is doing this with his dad. They might not be able to be together, serving in the same place, but our son is serving our country, too. He'll be saving lives. He's willing to stand with his dad and fight for our freedom and what we hold dear. He's willing to give all he has that others might live (that's the pararescue motto), and he's doing what God's called him to do...just like his dad.
Don't miss the movie because the writers put "Almighty" behind Evan. The movie never makes him out to be bigger than God. In fact, it does quite the opposite. If it gets a non-believer there to hear the message about God and his love and his desire for us to trust him and follow him then let it be so. Besides, we all know who the ALMIGHTY is! I don't think God would be offended...his message is out there on the big screen!
Friday, June 22, 2007
Me! (Chaplain Kevin's wife)
Heather (Chaplain Scott's wife)
Andrea (Chaplain Ken's wife)
Anyone else want to add your name to the list?? There are a few more in my husband's platoon, I think, but I don't know their names yet.
We will miss you Rachel! (Chaplain Chris's wife)...and you, too, Amy! (Amy is in the Chaplain Candidate program and her husband is away fighting the war! She will make a great chaplain one day!!) I know you miss it there at Fort Jackson...
Looking forward to meeting you all,
Hello. Just found your blog yesterday, and to my surprise...I just met your husband. Let me introduce myself... My name is Heather Sewell and my husband, Scott, is at CH-BOLC with your husband. He actually gave him a ride to and from post last week when I was at Fort Jackson. I will be going back to Fort Jackson for the week of July 4 (driving 10 hours instead of flying this time!) Just want to thank you for the encouragement on your page. So amazing to meet other wives going through the same things. I'm not personally a blogger, but I certainly am becoming addicted to reading them. I'd love to hear from you. I will be praying for your family, please do the same for me!
This picture was taken while he was in the field this week...sleeping in a tent (for a few hours a night anyways), eating MREs, learning the ends and outs of battle, and definitely feeling like he is in the Army now! HOOAH!!!
It doesn't seem odd to anyone who knows Kevin to see him in camouflage, being the hunter that he is, but this camouflage represents something totally different in his life. He is proudly serving God and our country and when I look at this picture I don't see a hunter; I see a man called by God to give all that he has to minister to the soldiers and share the love of Jesus with them. I love that! I wish every man had that kind of love. In fact, I often wonder what our world would be like if more men were willing to give all that they have to serve God and country; to be willing to die so that others can have the freedoms we often take for granted.
There is no greater calling!
Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Your love is mountain firm beneath my feet.
Your love is a mystery how you gently lift me;
When I am surrounded, Your love carries me.
Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Your love makes me sing!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Your love makes me sing!
(If you know that song I bet you started singing it with me!)
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Philippians 4:4
He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord. Psalm 40:3
As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. Psalm 42:1
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade–kept in heaven for you. 1 Peter 1:3-4
Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. Psalm 63:3
How amazing it is to worship You, God - the One who was and is and is to come. There is no greater joy than knowing you, Lord. You bring joy to my heart as I praise You. I lift my voice and bring you a sacrifice of praise! Thank you for dieing on the cross for my sins and giving me eternal life. Thank you for giving me a hope and a future. I praise your holy name! You, Lord, put a song in my heart...
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
9:00 AM Tuesday, October 17, 2006:
We're at a chaplain and wife's retreat. The BGCT invited us, even though we are just exploring what we feel the Lord is speaking to us. I have about three hours to myself while Kevin is being certified in a marriage counseling class, so I'm about to head out to this little pond that has a gazebo in the middle of it to spend time with the Lord. It's so peaceful and sits just about 30 steps outside our hotel room.
We are having a really good time. We met a couple that is going into the army in January. They are really nice and it's been good to get to talk to others who feel the same type of calling on their lives. I can't help but wonder if we will end up on the same base some day...
Last night was totally a God-thing. The man who was going to speak didn't show up! It was so funny...he had it on his calendar for next Monday and Tuesday. After we all laughed about it for a good while, one of the men in charge said, "Well...does anyone have this burning desire to preach, or share what God has been doing in your life?" To which one chaplain replied, "I just got back from Iraq and would love to share about that - I even have pictures!" I told Bobby, the one who has been working so closely with us, that it wasn't an accident the preacher didn't show up - God had something else he wanted Kevin and I to hear!
Before leaving for the worship service, I laid down on the bed in our hotel room and began to pray. I asked the Lord to show us more of his plan, to lead and guide and reveal more of himself to us. As this chaplain spoke, and showed us pictures of how he ministered to the men in his camp (picture after picture of him sharing the gospel with them, baptizing them, and pictures of their chapel -which was an old train on the outside but benches full of men on the inside, and pictures of outside chapels in the middle of the night because that was the only time these men could have church) I was completely overwhelmed by God's still small voice that said so softly to me, "This is what it's all about."
Then, other men shared of their experiences, one in which I will never forget. He told of a Muslim family (a mom and her daughter and her baby boy) that had been shot and how he was in the hospital ministering to people when this family came in. The mother couldn't hold the baby - who was fine - because she was injured, and the sister couldn't either because she had been injured, but all he could think was he needed to pick up this crying baby. So, he motioned to the mom, asking her with his body language if he could pick her baby up. She motioned back yes, so he walked around the hospital, bouncing the baby until he fell asleep, and then continued to minister to other people with this baby asleep on his shoulder. He said he just couldn't put him down.
He said it hit him that here he was, an American, Christian chaplain, holding a baby from a Muslim family, wondering if one day that child would know that when he was a baby his family was injured in a war and an American, Christian chaplain picked him up and cared for him. We never know the impact we could be having on others - just by showing love to them...Christ's love which compels us to do things we would never think about doing ourselves. Touching people in the midst of their pain in ways that we cannot do if we aren't faithful to do whatever it is God calls us to do.
I am in awe of God's power this morning. I know that no matter what...if he calls us to go this route, or if he tells us to stay, we are going to be faithful to whatever HE leads us to do. I don't know what the future holds for us, but I am excited about the possibilities!
We've seen growth at New Life, and we've experienced wonderful things with this body of believers, and whatever God's will is for us is okay. I felt God had begun to bend our hearts to this crazy idea, but I also told Kevin it's not about where we go or what we are doing because it's not about US, it's about HIM (God)! He agreed! God is good and I just praise Him for this opportunity to experience Him in a new way this week.
4:30 PM Tuesday, October 17, 2006:
God has a real sense of humor! When I was spending time with him, out at the pond this morning, I ended up in 2 Corinthians and I just laughed out loud when I read 2 Corinthians 5:13 where Paul said, "If we are out of our minds, it's for the sake of God..." I told Kevin about it later and said, "I'm going to make that my motto for this whole adventure! When someone doesn't understand why in the world we would do this, I can just reply with scripture!"
I'm beginning to email back and forth with some of you. If you haven't sent me your email address, but would like to, please feel free to leave me a comment with your address and I just won't post it. Let me know how I can pray for you as well.
To those of you visiting your spouses in training, I pray tbere is great joy and peace in spending time together, and safety as you travel. I'm also praying for all those who don't get that opportunity. Three months is a long time to be apart and I pray for comfort and strength for you.
To those of you whose spouses are serving in the war right now, my heart goes out to you. I pray for your spouse's protection and well being. I pray that God will comfort you and give you strength. I pray God will protect you and your children and place people in your lives that will minister to you. Most of all, I pray that God will be real to you during this time and that you will grow closer to Him and find peace in the midst of your storm; that you will trust in Him with all you have and be blessed as you, too, serve our country.
Thank you for your friendships. You are a blessing!
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
They make me so proud! I don't know what I'd do without them. They are encouraging, funny - making me laugh when I might not otherwise right now, sympathetic, sincere, creative, fun, supportive, hard workers, grateful for everything we do for them; they put others before themselves.
I am honored to be their mom!
Since I know they check my blog periodically...THANK YOU, BOYS, FOR ALL YOU DO AND FOR BEING SUCH AWESOME KIDS!!! I LOVE YOU VERY MUCH!
Sunday, June 17, 2007
You're an amazing man of God and we love you more than words can express.
Happy Father's Day!!
I've met several people whose husbands are at the same place mine is today and I want you to know I am praying for you. It's not easy, especially on days like this when you see other people celebrating with their husbands and fathers, but I pray God will give you joy beyond measure today. I pray He will do the same for your children, and that all of us can see God's hand and trust in Him today.
God bless you!
Saturday, June 16, 2007
I will thank the Lord with all my heart;
I will declare all Your wonderful works.
I will rejoice and boast about You;
I will sing about Your name, Most High.
This was before and after pictures of my husband at the gas chamber...least favorite (but important) day of training for everyone, I'm sure! I'm just now getting it posted, but they did this on Thursday. We spent a lot of time praying for him on this day. I felt bad because it was the same day the twins and I were enjoying a beautiful day at Six Flags.
We are so proud of you, babe!!
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Two days ago I lost another item and started to wonder what was I doing, dumping my purse in the car or something...
This morning, as I reached into the section where I carry my make-up, I noticed a tiny hole. Oh! There it is...mascara, and all sorts of things I even forgot I had in my purse. That little hole had begun to take over things and I was completely oblivious to it.
Immediately this thought came to mind:
How often do we look for the holes in our lives? When things seem to be missing do we search out the answer? Are we walking around with holes that we don't even realize are there and things are falling through that we are oblivious to? It might be that we have a hole in our heart that only God can fill, but we don't know where that hole came from or how to fix it so we just continue to let things fall through and don't give it much more thought (much like me going to buy more mascara and moving on with the new instead of searching until I found the old one). Or maybe we don't realize things in our lives are falling through the hole. I found so many things on the other side of that little hole, things I once used and realized I missed them when I found them but for some reason they weren't so important to me that I realized they were gone. That's the scary one! What if we don't even realize things are falling through the hole? What do we do to ensure that doesn't happen?
If you realize you are missing something, dump it upside down and clean it out completely right now! Don't put off for tomorrow what you can do today. Clean it out often so that you are sure there aren't holes. The moment you realize something is missing search it out! Don't dismiss it. Start over and get a brand new one if you have to, or sew up the hole (but make sure you've gotten EVERYTHING out from behind the hole first!) Whatever you do, DON'T leave it there...it'll eventually take everything.
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Today I was struggling with a decision that was out of my hands and as I shared that with Kevin he gave me this scripture. It's one he has been standing firm on lately, and one I, too, will do the same. I thank the Lord for giving Kevin truth to speak to me that healed my heart and the pain I was feeling.
God is teaching me more and more to truly lean on him during this time and to trust Him as things around me continue to change in order for His will to be worked out in our lives.
What I was struggling with:
I had hoped I could work remotely for my company when we move, but found out today that wouldn't be possible. Though it was hard to hear when my boss told me, I finally came to terms with it and the fact that God did not want me to do that. I had to let go and give it ALL to him...my hopes, my fears, my future, my career, everything!
It was in the casting of my cares that I found peace and, for the first time, completely understood that God wanted me to let go of everything here so that He could have the freedom to use me for His glory in our new place of service.
I am not going to wait until I feel better or things look better; I am thanking you right now.
I am not going to wait until people say they are sorry or until they stop talking about me; I am thanking you right now.
I am not going to wait until the pain in my body disappears; I am thanking you right now.
I am not going to wait until my financial situation improves; I am going to thank you right now.
I am not going to wait until the children are asleep and the house is quiet; I am going to thank you right now.
I am not going to wait until I get promoted at work or until I get the job; I am going to thank you right now.
I am not going to wait until I understand every experience in my life that has caused me pain or grief; I am thanking you right now.
I am not going to wait until the journey gets easier or the challenges are removed; I am thanking you right now.
I am thanking you because I am alive.
I am thanking you because I made it through the day's difficulties.
I am thanking you because I have walked around the obstacles.
I am thanking you because I have the ability and the opportunity to do more and do better.
I'm thanking you because, FATHER, YOU haven't given up on me.
I'm not sure who wrote this, but a friend at work sent it to me and it blessed me so much that I wanted to share it with others!
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Hey Dad, I hope you do good today.
I love you and i pray for you,
Dillon Ross Burton
Proud to be a Chaplain's Kid
Thanks allot. Great day so far. I love it when you pray for me. I'm praying for you too. Have a wonderful day. Love you and miss you.
Hi i miss you. if you can email me each day.
Darby James Burton
Proud to be an Army kid!
I sure miss you too Darby. I hope you are having fun at the lake. I had a good time at the victory tower today rappelling. It was very hot and we marched about 6 miles total in about 95 degree weather. I hope you all have fun at church tomorrow. Be good for mom, she really needs yours and Dillon's help right now.
i love you and miss you. i cant wait until training is over. write me back and tell me how your physical tests went.
i pray for you every day
Dillon Ross Burton
Proud to be a Chaplain's Kid
Hey Dill. I did great on my PT test. I did 47 push ups, 48 sit ups and I ran my 2 miles in 15:50. That is the best I've ever done. I started wearing my uniforms yesterday. I sent mom some pictures so ask her to show them to you. I will go rappelling tomorrow so I'll let you know how that goes. I sure miss you all and can't wait to see you again. Are you having fun at Hughie and Charlotte's? Write back and tell me what you are doing.
hi dad. what are doing? i miss you.
Darby James Burton
Proud to be an Army kid!
I'm doing pretty good. It was very hot today. We did a lot of marching and exercising. I'm going to climb and rappel down the victory tower tomorrow; it's about 90 feet high. I sure miss you Darby and can't wait to see you again.
I will always cherish these emails.
Monday, June 11, 2007
When I passed by the church and saw all the cars in the parking lot, I told myself, "I can do this. It's no big deal. It's just other believers praying together, and, hey, I can have them pray for our family and our house selling. I need to do this!"
I walked through the door, down the hall, and through another door, only to find myself staring at a man who did not look like a preacher or anyone remotely close to that. He looked back at me probably the same way I was looking at him, but I pulled up a chair and sat down anyway.
As I was sitting down, there was a man talking about his life and needing prayer and so on...so I thought to myself, "ok, maybe I am in the right place...but, Lord, it still doesn't feel right." Then, a lady two chairs down says, "Hello. I'm so and so and I'm an addict!"
Lord! You are funny! You knew I needed a good laugh...and boy did I get that...after I left almost an hour later that is! There was no way I was leaving...I had already made eye contact with the man in charge and couldn't walk out! A hundred things were going through my head...probably more than a hundred actually. For instance, "Hi! I'm Laura and I'm not an addict. I've never done drugs in my life, but I'm here!" or "Hi! I'm Laura! I came to go to prayer meeting at the church that meets here. Do you know where they meet?" Nah! That wouldn't work. Maybe I just get up and walk out so they can all say, "Boy! She's got problems!" (LOL!) Praise God...no one asked me a thing! They asked the two men who came in after me to tell a little bit about themselves so I truly am praising God right now. I just smiled and continued to listen (praying all along that God would give me the right words to say so people would see the love of Jesus in me if I had to speak).
I stayed to the very end. All the way through the group hug and everything! Boy was I glad when that was over. The crying children running through the door made way for my escape. Thank you, Lord, for the crying children!
Last night I was crying. Tonight I am laughing (still!). God truly does have a sense of humor and I thank him for the laughter it brought my way.
Here he is in his battle gear...
Check it out by copying and pasting the link below:
That's my brother laughing in the background. I know you got a good laugh out of that, Clint! I'm sure you all are having a blast. Wish I was there!
Sunday, June 10, 2007
- My brother and sister-in-law kept our twins for me all week (they live on a lake and own a camp ground) and my boys loved that. Double blessing...they are doing it again this week!
- I was able to be there when my son was sworn in. I hated that his dad couldn't be there, but we sent pictures via email.
- I got a lot of emails and phone calls from my husband.
- I was able to see some of my friends from our former church.
- I was able to spend time with my daughter before she left for two weeks to go to Honduras.
- I received emails, comments on my blog, phone calls from friends and family saying they were praying for me and our family. One of my friends wrote me the sweetest email and ended it with this scripture that really spoke to my heart. Zephaniah 3:17 "You, the Lord my God, are with me. You are mighty to save.You take great delight in me, You will quiet me with your love, you will rejoice over me with singing."
- After taking Thursday off of work to be with my son, I arrived at work on Friday to find my desk decorated with all kinds of beachy things and later received other gifts or hints of things to come throughout the day, had a wonderful lunch with my team of executive assistants and from there they surprised me and took me to a nail salon where we had manicures and pedicures (with foot/leg massage!) while sitting in a massage chair. They were SO sweet to do this for me. They truly are wonderful friends to me and such a joy to work with. We always have a lot of fun together!
- I had a wonderful time with the Lord this morning, spending time in prayer and in his word, while sitting by the lake. The Lord constantly uses the morning by the calm lake to remind me that HE is my calm. He quiets my soul. Today I pictured myself sitting in a small rickety boat and as soon as I would stand up the waters would make ripples or the boat would tip a little, and I felt the still small voice of God telling me to sit down and relax and everything became calm again. Speaking to my heart like only God can, I knew he wanted me to trust him more, to sit with him a while and to just be still, and to know that he is right here with me calming my storm for me...if I will but let him.
- I went to a new church and it was a wonderful time of worship. Since I no longer really have a church to call home I was crying out to the Lord, asking him to lead me to the right place today, and he heard my cry. I thank him for that.
As I sat here counting my blessings, I was reminded that I need to be praying for our soldiers more, and for the war to end soon. I know many bases with hurting soldiers are waiting with anticipation for these chaplains in training and that the need is great for them right now. I hope everyone who reads my blog will pray daily for protection for those who faithfully serve our country.