Tuesday, July 31, 2007

We already miss him!

My daughter and I talked about turning around at least 10 times today! It was extremely tough to leave. I could see the sadness on my husband's face as we packed our bags, and knew we were dreading the same thing - saying goodbye AGAIN...
One week from today they will pack up all our household goods and the house will be empty. I'm sure that day it will REALLY sink in that moving is just around the corner. Three weeks from today will be my last day at work (where I've worked for 3 and a half years), and will leave behind some very dear friends (I'm really dreading this), and the following day I will head back to SC with the twins. You would think I would be used to all the change by now, and every new step wouldn't seem so strange, but I'm not, and it does. I keep wondering what it will be like to move so far away this time. We've done it before, but never without two of our children. I know though, in all things, that God's grace is sufficient! I praise God for a wonderful trip and for keeping us safe as we traveled.

Daddy/Daughter Moments

Teaching her what she'll probably never need to know, but what it means to be a soldier...Letting her observe as you prepare for something you know will come in your career, but still pray never does... Watching her experience some of the weight you carry on your shoulders...
All the while laughing and thanking God for her innocence...
And cherishing moments like these!

Our trip to Charleston...the 2nd time!

We spent the weekend enjoying each other’s company while we walked through Old Charleston. The streets were filled with beautiful, old homes, buildings and churches.

Since the twins weren’t on this trip, we’ll be taking them, too, at the end of the summer. When we were visiting Charleston the first time I told my husband that our daughter would LOVE it…she did! We have lots and lots of pictures to prove it.

We ate awesome seafood at Bubba Gump’s (a really cool place to eat!), and played in the ocean for hours. I was stung by something. We’re not really sure what it was, but it sure hurt (and left me with a rash on my right arm)!

All the beauty of South Carolina makes me really look forward to moving to a new place. I guess that is good thing since it’ll be here before we know it!

For the moments we can't be together...

I'll cherish these photos forever...
I love you with all of my heart!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Field Services

This is part of the training for chaplains. The chaplain leading the service is given a scenario and is to prepare a service around that particular scenario.
They typically have 20 minutes with the soldiers in which they pack in singing, praying, and preaching the Word. These are men from Kevin's platoon who helped him in singing Holy, Holy, Holy.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6

I hear from other men that Kevin did a great job. I don't doubt it! For the first time in our marriage I've found that I can't be with him when he preaches. That is tough and I miss it so much, but it's so exciting to know that God will use him to minister to thousands of soldiers, and for that I am grateful.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Our first U.S. Army Chaplain Corps Regimental Ball

I don't have time to write about it since we are headed out the door to Charleston for the weekend, but I will soon! It was fun...

Oh, and this is for you, Allyn...

Thursday, July 26, 2007

His mercy is new every morning!

Enjoy your day...
Better yet, enjoy your life!
The Lord has been merciful and wants you to live...
And live it to the fullest!
Start this day with prayer...
And give it to Him.
You'll be amazed when you hold out your hands
And say to the Lord, "Here's my day, here's my life..."
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, who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith–of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire–may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
1 Peter 1:3-12

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Do you ever wonder if God gave a song to a singer and/or songwriter just for you? Sometimes I do...

This song grips my heart every time I hear it, probably more than any other over the last two months. When I hear it, or sing it to the Lord, I get completely lost in who Jesus is to me. He is everything and I can't imagine my life without His presence. There are times when, honestly, I've told the Lord this is just too hard and wondered how am I going to live my life separated from my husband and best friend when that time comes. There are days when I have to shift gears in my mind or the pain of the thought of him being somewhere that I can't go completely overwhelms me. In those moments, I am reminded that God is who He says He is, and will always be with us. It's not an easy thing to realize that God is calling you to something that won't always be easy for you, your spouse and your children. But, there are songs like the two I'm thinking of that pull me back around to say, "I surrender all, Lord!" God desires for us to share the love of Christ with others. Our "others" for many years to come will mainly be soldiers and their families, and with that comes great sacrifice. But, when I read God's word one thing stands out to me - He came so that ALL might have life and have it to the fullest, but someone must be willing to share the truth with them. I must let go and let God...

Big Daddy Weave - Every Time I Breathe

I am sure all of heaven's heard me cry
As I tell You all the reasons why
This life is just too hard
But day by day
Without fail I'm finding everything I need
And everything that You are
To me

Every time I breathe You seem a little bit closer
I never want to leave I want to stay in Your warm embrace
Oh basking in the glory shining from Your face
And every time I get another glimpse of Your heart I realize it's true
That You are so marvelous God
And I am so in love with You

Now how could I after knowing One so great
Respond to You in any way That's less than all I have to give
But by Your grace I want to love You not with what I say
But everyday In a way that my life is lived

Every time I breathe You seem a little bit closer
I never want to leave I want to stay in Your warm embrace
Oh basking in the glory shining from Your face
And every time I get another glimpse of Your heart I realize it's true
That You are so marvelous God
And I am so in love with You

Wrapped in Your mercy I want to live and never leave
I am held by how humble Yet overwhelmed by Your majesty
Captured by grace, now I'm finding I am free
You are marvelous God And knowing You is everything

Every time I breathe You seem a little bit closer
I never want to leave I want to stay in Your warm embrace
Oh basking in the glory shining from Your face
And every time I get another glimpse of Your heart I realize it's true
That You are so marvelous God
And I am so in love with You
This is the second song that has ministered to my heart, and as we continue on this journey I'm sure it will continue to do so. It, too, says what I want to continually say to the Lord. He is my life and I trust Him...even when the road is long and hard.

Praise You in This Storm - words by Mark Hall/music by Mark Hall and Bernie Herms

I was sure by now, God, that You would have reached down and wiped our tears away,
Stepped in and saved the day
But once again, I say amen
And it's still raining
As the thunder rolls, I barely hear You whisper through the rain, "I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives and takes away.

And I'll praise you in this storm and I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
And every tear I've cried
You hold in your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

I remember when I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry
You raised me up again
My strength is almost gone how can I carry on
If I can't find You
And as the thunder rolls I barely hear You whisper through the rain "I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives and takes away

And I'll praise you in this storm
And I will lift my hands for You are who You are
No matter where I am
And every tear I've cried You hold in your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn I will praise You in this storm

I lift my eyes unto the hills where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth
I lift my eyes unto the hills where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth

And I'll praise you in this storm
And I will lift my hands for You are who You are
No matter where I am
And every tear I've cried You hold in your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn I will praise You in this storm

Monday, July 23, 2007

Once upon a time there was a man struggling to find his place in this world. He wandered aimlessly throughout the streets. He looked into the faces of the many people who passed him by, never even acknowledging his existence.

One day he sat down on an old stump in the middle of town and thought to himself, "Why do they never look at me. I see them, but they don't seem to notice me. Why not? Am I invisible?"

That evening he knelt down outside, near the old stump where he often sat, and prayed, "God do you see me here? Am I visible to you? Do I even matter to you?"

As he knelt there in the still of the night, darkness all around, he began to feel a small breeze. The breeze seemed to speak to the aching in his heart. He prayed, "God, are you trying to tell me something? I know the wind blows even though no one really sees it. Are you telling me that you see me even if no one else does?" "Yes, my child. I created you. I knit you together in your mother's womb. You are here for a purpose. Stop! Don't just walk on by those people, look into their eyes. Say hello. Ask them how they are and wait for a response. Listen. If they respond with even just a simple hello, or look up, take the time to let them know that you see them."

The man got up off his knees and looked up. He saw the stars. They shone so brightly. Why had he never really noticed that before, he thought. He made himself comfortable there on the ground beside that old stump. He would wait patiently for morning and would begin the very next morning to fulfill his purpose. He had heard God speak. Life was no longer going to be about himself. He never again wondered if people were noticing him...it didn't matter. He wasn't looking for their approval, he already had all the approval he needed. He only wanted other people to know what he knew - that God saw them and loved them.

God led me to just type. To not really think about what I just read, but to write, as I finished studying Romans 12 tonight. Several of the verses spoke to my heart so I've jotted specific ones down. It may only make sense to me. I want to make an impact on this world for Jesus. I want people to know God's love, and, even though I fail miserably, I want to be a vessel that God can use. I don't want my life to be about me. I want it to be about Him because He is who people need to see. If I take time for others, He will be glorified. If I focus on other's needs, not my own, He will be glorified. If I love others as He has loved me, He will be glorified. If "I" get out of the way, they will see Him.

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will. For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

(Romans 12:1-3; 9-12; 21)

Sunday, July 22, 2007


The kids and I spent the weekend at the lake, along with a great friend of mine and her husband. We had so much fun!! It was an absolutely beautiful weekend.

Instead of going to church, we had church at the house. My daughter's boyfriend brought the message. The focal point was Philippians 4:11 - I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I also like what verses 12 and 13 say - I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

I think it is so easy to get caught up in what we don't have, or when we are in a bad mood to focus on the negatives in life, but today I prayed that I would be content in all things. In the here and now. It's not exactly the way I would have my life be at this very moment in time, but it is how the Lord would have it...and I need to be content!

Content - even when I can't be with Kevin.
Content - even though the house hasn't sold.
Content - even when I have too much work to do.
Content - even when I want something and can't have it.
Content - even when things don't go my way.

I tried to think of ways to describe what being content means to me.

Counting blessings
Not wanting
Excited (because the antonym to that is bored...)
Not complaining
Trusting God

And to sum it all up...And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Sometimes I can’t really identify the feelings that are here in my heart. I only know they reside there often. It’s not really loneliness because I know the Lord is with me always, but it’s just a sense that something is missing. I know what that something is. It’s my very best friend, the one I gave my heart to over 20 years ago, the one God gave me to love forever, the one who I love to talk to and spend time with, the one I love to share everything with, the one who makes my heart leap when I see him, the one who knows everything about me and loves me just the way I am.

He’s far away right now, preparing for what lies ahead. Seeking to grasp everything he can before he takes the next step into actually performing his duties as a chaplain. Holding tightly to what he is learning so that he can be all that God has called him to be. Trying not to miss us so much that he can’t concentrate on what he needs to right now. I know it has to be much more difficult on him because he doesn't have any family there with him. I am grateful to have our children with me, who daily remind me of him, but I hate that he has to be there without all of us.

I find myself wondering what he is learning and what he is experiencing. I at least now know what his surroundings look like and the people he spends time with day in and day out. I know the hearts of his friends, and praise God that He allowed their paths to cross. I wonder what their wives are doing and how they are holding up. I wish we were still all together.

In the midst of all that is taking place, I find peace. God has sustained us and given us hope and strength to carry on. I don’t know what our life will be like from here on out, but I trust the Lord to take care of us. There’s a scripture that I prayed to the Lord this morning. Psalm 86:2-4. Guard my life, for I am devoted to you. You are God; save your servant who trusts in you. Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I call to you all day long. Bring joy to your servant, for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.

Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior and my hope is in you all day long.
Psalm 25: 4-5

Friday, July 20, 2007


I truly do thank God it's Friday!!! I am so looking forward to relaxing this weekend. I need it! It's been a very busy week and a lot going on so I'm hoping to just kick back and relax. I finished Redeeming Love Thursday night and bought another Francine Rivers book, The Scarlet Thread. I hope it's as good as the last one! I hope to get lost in the story and forget about the tough week...

Every single day our house is being shown. I pray very soon someone will make an offer. I pray continually it will sell before we leave in just over 6 weeks. It feels weird to say that - that we will be leaving in 6 weeks! I can't believe it. The third week in August I'll leave the company I've been with for 3 1/2 years. It's been the best job I've ever had by far and I'm leaving some great friends, but I feel my heart being pulled more and more every day to the new things that God has in store. I miss my husband SO MUCH that sometimes I just want to pack up and go. I know I can't...but I sure want to!

I don't get to see all my friends from our church very often anymore and I really miss them. I had hoped we would have more time together. They are very sweet, precious people to me that I love very much and it's been very hard to not have a church home. God gave us seven wonderful years together so I just praise Him for that and continue to trust Him in all things.

Well, I think it'll do me good to stop thinking and just sit back and read a while.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Jeremiah 33:3 says, "Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know." Calling, searching, seeking, longing...

Monday, July 16, 2007

Gathering Stones

So Joshua called together the twelve men he had appointed from the Israelites, one from each tribe, and said to them, “Go over before the ark of the Lord your God into the middle of the Jordan. Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever.” (Joshua 4:4-7)

On Sunday morning (July 15, 2007) we had a family devotional before heading out for the day in Alabama (where we met Kevin for the weekend). This is the scripture the Lord gave Kevin to share with us. Imagine the faith it took to take that first step, and then to walk across. Imagine the excitement AND fear that ran through their minds. Imagine how safe and blessed they felt when they made it across on dry land. Imagine going back and picking up a stone as God continued to hold the water back.

I can only catch a glimpse of what that must have been like. We're not crossing the river Jordan, but I believe we feel some of what the Israelites must have felt as they walked closer and closer to the water's edge. What will it be like over there? How will life be different? Will we endure pain and hardships? Will our children be happy? What if it's not what we envisioned? What if our children and their children don't continue to tell the story of how God blessed us? What if...

What if we're not faithful to the Lord and do what He asks of us? That's the only question that really lingers in my mind. I don't want to be found unfaithful. I want to build memorials and tell my children, grand-children (some day) and great-grandchildren (much, much later in life) all that the Lord has done. I want praise the Lord and glorify Him for all He has done and for the Mighty God that He is. So, I'm gathering stones. Not literally (although that might be a good idea), but through journaling. I'm jotting down all that God is showing us and the blessings we've received. I want to walk through the river with the Lord and, no matter what the outcome, be found faithful.

We have stones that we are pulling from this experience in our lives that serve as reminders to us that God is with us. One, the trip I made to be with Kevin two weeks ago - God allowed us to be together. He provided the money for me to go. Two, the trip we made this last weekend. Again, God provided. My car was fixed and cost me very little. Three, our oldest two were able to get off work and go with us. Even though my car is small, and we were a little cramped, we had a wonderful time together. It was a huge blessing to have that time with them and meant a lot to all of us to be together. We see God's hand in everything we are going through. He is right here beside us, bringing comfort and peace, joy and blessings. We're building a memorial as a family, and it's something I wouldn't trade for the world.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The whole gang...together again!

We've traveled 11 hours so all I'm posting is a few pictures. We are home and had an awesome time. Only wish we could have stayed longer...

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Here, safe and sound

...and happy to be all together again.

The trip went really well. In fact, the last three hours were my favorite! We all talked about so many things...from silly things that made us laugh to more serious things like what they want their lives to be like when they are older, goals and dreams, and just so many other interesting things. I can't thank the Lord enough for my children and who he has created them to be. They are beautiful...inside and out!

Funny moments in the car:
About 8:00 p.m. we went through the drive-thru at Arby's. Immediately, Darby was complaining about his sandwich because I didn't get it with cheese. A few minutes later, while I was driving along and they were eating, I made the comment, "This is such a pretty drive!" To which Darby replied, "I know, that's why I said it needed cheese!" I replied with "huh?" and he said, "you know...cheese...it's liquidy!" He thought I said, "This sandwich is pretty dry."

Same food, different story...
Dillon found a hair in his roast beef sandwich. He not only found it, but began to describe it and we all got sick and threw ours away. Karl paid for it so it wasn't easy for him to just chunk it. As he threw it away though, he said, "Great...glad we just wasted my money!"

I didn't think this was funny, but the kids did...
About two hours into the drive, I was sound asleep when Karl slammed on the brakes and screamed at the top of his lungs. My son...

Sweetest moment of the trip...
When we arrived around 12:30 a.m. and Kevin opened the hotel door and the kids ran to him, saying, "daddy!!" and hugging him.

We are blessed to be here! Thank you, Lord, for bringing us back together as a family and for getting us here safely. Thank you for a beautiful day!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Alabama Bound!

We're taking a road trip to Alabama for the weekend so we can be together as a family. My husband can only drive 300 miles so we'll make the rest of the journey...about 700 miles. I was reading one of the twin's email to his dad and he said, "I can't wait to see you this weekend, dad, and it is worth the drive." I thought that was so sweet!

I definitely think it is worth the drive...especially when it may be the last time we all get to be together as a family for quite some time. That's not any fun to think about!

Well, the twins are telling me I need to get to bed (they've been so cute about this all week). We've been going to bed early and reading. I'm reading a wonderful book called Redeeming Love (everyone should read it!); one of the twins is reading Jesus Freaks; the other twin is reading My Side of the Mountain. I love it when I see Dillon getting excited about what he is reading and wants to read it to me. Darby wishes he would hurry up and finish it so he can read it! Evidently, My Side of the Mountain isn't as good.

My family is so precious to me. I praise God for the opportunity to be together this weekend!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Here it is, Lord. I give it to You.

Jesus said, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

Today has been a difficult day. My brakes started to give me trouble and the kids and I have a road trip planned for this weekend (since they haven't seen daddy in 6 weeks). I called my mechanic and he was out on vacation so I had to find someone else (and anyone who has had work done on their car knows how much fun that can be...if you find a good one, you hang on for dear life!)

I got a call that they wanted to show the house around 12:30 and it was 11:30 and that always stresses me some when I'm not home and can't really see what everything really looks like. (I know, I know!) I knew the yard still needed some weed-eating done and there was no way for me to get to it with my car 10 feet in the air, the tires off and one hour notice.

I had to schedule our move online and the application seemed to go on and on and on, and I needed answers I didn't have and Kevin was in training so I couldn't ask him. Then, I had to guess at when I thought might be a good time to pack up everything and let them take it away and possibly have an empty home weeks before we actually move. All the while, trying not to think about the fact that we really need our house to sell soon...

At work I'm trying to find someone to replace me and have 300 resumes to go through, as well as everything else that I have to accomplish on a daily basis...and I had all the other things listed above happen to interrupt my day.

I miss my husband (and, no, it doesn't matter that I was just with him for 10 days...he's my best friend), my kids miss their dad (I'm am grateful we will spend a day and a half with him this weekend), time is drawing near for us to move away from our oldest kids...which is harder and harder for all of us to think about...

I could go on...(but I won't)

And, yet, at the end of this day, the Lord gently says to me, "Come to me, Laura, for you are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your soul. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

How can I argue with the One who knows me better than I know myself! I will rest in You, Lord. Here is all my worry and stress...I give it to You. Thank You for carrying this load for me.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Chaplain Burton - You make me proud!

Continue to work hard...
I'm praying for you...
May the Lord keep watch between you and me when we are away from each other.
Genesis 31:49

Monday, July 9, 2007

Sad Day

I'm here at the airport, waiting to board my flight back home, and they have free high-speed Internet. I just have to say I can't wait to see my kids, but I sure wish I was just picking them up and bringing them back to live with my husband. It is tough to leave him. It's tough to leave the new friends I've made and what seems like home to me. I no longer feel awkward when I go on post. In fact, I love it!!

Yesterday we went to three different chapel services. Each one very different. My favorite was the Warrior Chapel, where we worshipped with hundreds of other soldiers...most of whom just arrived for basic training. It was an overwhelming feeling to look across the room. I thought a lot about our son and him leaving for basic in just a few short months (if not sooner). I am so glad they allow them that time of worship.

Well, we are boarding this little plane...which I hate (not just getting on the little plane, but especially, the leaving!).

Friday, July 6, 2007

My military blogger/online friends...meeting face to face!

These are people that I know God placed in my life for a specific reason. They have ministered to me in so many ways over the last month. God never ceases to amaze me in how he puts people in our lives at just the right moment. This is not an easy process - to think about your spouse serving in the military - especially during a war, knowing they will be deployed at sometime in their career - probably numerous times, moving far from family and friends and all you know, and so on...BUT God puts people in our lives for reasons just as this. These women have ministered to my heart; they've become friends.
It was a lot of fun just sitting around talking about everything. Heather (to the far right) I've already talked about in the "We finally meet" post, but I have to say it again, "She's great!" I love spending time with her and her family. We're already trying to figure out reunions...
Amy (to your right) is a chaplain candidate and she has an awesome blog. Many people at the picnic knew her because of it! Her husband is currently serving in Afghanistan and they have two small children. She has a heart of gold and great passion for the Lord. Rachel (on your left) is married to a chaplain who's here training with Kevin and has three small children. She, too, has a heart of gold and is such a sweet, sweet person. Her children were with her when we met and they are adorable. Amy flew to Rachel's (having never met her face to face), and they drove here. Yes, people would say that's crazy, but I say it's God working. We had a great time together!
Chaplain Ken and Andrea (above) I also met through reading Chaplain Ken's blog and Andrea commenting on my blog. They are super nice people with three beautiful children...one of which eats worms! ha ha! She is so adorable. (Reminds me of myself when I was younger and how I wanted to just hang out with the boys.) Chaplain Ken preached a great 5 minute sermon at the picnic. I didn't know whether to say Amen or HOOAH (army talk) though. I can't believe how much they can pack in a 5 minute sermon (chaplains have to be able to do that!), but I didn't feel like I missed a thing!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

I could only begin to imagine what was running through his mind as we looked out across the field and saw thousands of soldiers. Some of those very men may be ones that he will minister to in the months and years ahead, while other soldiers are already on post where we will move soon awaiting his arrival. What's it all about, Lord?
Are we truly grasping all that You, God, have in store for him as he speaks and leads and serves our soldiers? I think not. Only time will allow us to see what it is You have in store for him, for us, for our family. You are our Guide and Compass through this grand adventure. Only You can calm the thoughts of "how are we going to do this, what's it all look like, what are the sacrifices we will make, who will come to know You because of his faithfulness to serve You..."
You are the Calm.

You have this puzzle in Your hands. I thank You for the pieces of this picture we can't fully see yet...all the while trusting You because we know You have a plan and purpose. Thank You, Lord, for using us to furthur Your kingdom. Help us to remain faithful and to let You lead every step of the way. Help us to give it all to You and let You use us as you see fit.
Not our will, but Yours, Lord!
Thank You, Lord, for allowing me to be here with Kevin. To experience some of what he is experiencing. To hear his laughter and see the smile on his face every day because he knows You have placed him here for such a time as this. For the joy I see in his face as he is fulfilling the plan and purpose You've set before him. Thank You for the thousands of soldiers serving our country, and for the chaplains that minister to them. Thank You for your love for mankind. May we share it each and every day!
Thank You for these other chaplains that You placed in Kevin's life and the great time they are having together. For the laughter. For the love they have for You.

Thank You for their beautiful wives that I've had the priviledge to get to know. Thank You for their lives that they've been willing to share with me. For the laughter. For the stories that tell me who they are. For the love they have for their husbands. For their faithfulness to You that speaks to my heart as I am with them. For the love they have for soldiers and their families. Thank You for this piece of our puzzle that has forever changed my life. I am grateful, Lord.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Fun in the sun on 4th of July Chaplain's picnic

We spend a lot of time with these three other families. I wish our children were here with us, and Heather and Scott wish their daughter was here, but it's still been great. Last night, after spending the morning and afternoon together, we sat around one of the couples tiny apartment in a circle and ate pizza and told stories. Mainly the guys told stories...they have lots of them about what they are going through here. One of the biggest blessings for all of us women is watching them have such a great time together and hearing what goes on from day to day. God is good! Later we all went to see the fireworks. It was an amazing feeling to be there with all those soldiers and celebrate the freedom we have and remember those who've lost their lives for our freedom, truly amazing! We know we look silly in our life jackets, but it wasn't an option!
The captain of the ship... although he did let one of the kids drive!
The day was filled with laughter and friendship and care-free moments. This picture of Katie (below) really just says it all. We had a lot of fun just getting to know each other and enjoying the beautiful day...it really was one of those "let's just have some fun" day.

Happy 4th of July!

Today we are going to the lake with all the chaplains in training and their families (those that came to visit). We are really looking forward to it. I'll finally get to meet Amy, Rachel, and Andrea whom I've been talking to online for a month now. Heather and I have already met and it's been great. We've gotten some of the other women excited about blogging when they return home. It's amazing how much it helps you to read what others are going through and communicate with them. I know as our spouses deploy in time it will be very comforting to talk with those who are experiencing/have experienced it. Amy is already experiencing it since her husband is overseas, and we've all already learned a lot from her. She's also a chaplain candidate so she's gaining insight from us and other chaplain's wives as she already has a group she meets with at home. I think that will make her an awesome chaplain! She'll be able to minister to soldiers and know what it feels like for the family at home as well. Well, I better get off here and get ready to meet everyone! I'm so excited about today!!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

New friends...

Kevin and I are grateful for the new friends God has put in our lives. We will miss them greatly when we all go our seperate ways. These are all chaplains in Kevin's squad and their wives/children. We had dinner, ice cream and lots of fun together tonight. They are a great group of people.

Thanks for a great time!

Someone needs to hear this...

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Trust the Lord in ALL things, whether they seem big or small. He is working out His plan and purpose in your life.

Monday, July 2, 2007

We finally meet...

This is my friend, Heather. Our husbands are attending CH-BOLC (Chaplain Basic Officer Leadership Course) and have become good friends, and we met through my blog. We spent the day together, since we are both here at Fort Jackson visiting our husbands, and had a wonderful time. I never once felt awkward being with someone I just met. In fact, it was a huge blessing for me. We're really looking forward to Wednesday when we will meet more of the people we've met through the internet whose husbands are also here in training and one whose husband is away at war (Amy). We tried to find some of the other spouses (like Rachel's) but they all look too much alike in the same clothing...
Can't wait to meet the rest of you that I've gotten to know over the last month!
2 Corinthians 1:2-7
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
The God of All Comfort. Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.

This is what the Lord had me read this morning and it really spoke to my heart. This is what God has called me to be about. Over and over again I hear women say reading blogs and speaking to other wives has brought them a lot of peace and comfort. I pray my life will always be an extension of Jesus' love for others, that I can comfort and love on those who need it. I know we're not being beaten and imprisoned like Paul was referring to here, but it applies to us today as we will endure much for the cause of Christ, as our spouses will endure much for the cause of Christ.

Thank you, Lord, for the vision you have given me. To comfort and love those who you put in my path; to share the love that you have shown to me and to be a light in this world so that you may be glorified. Thank you for your word. I love you!

Just journaling...

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Today we came back from the beach and went on post so Kevin could show me around. It felt very awkward (not in a bad way) to see so many people in uniform. Even though we’ve been in the military before, this felt foreign to me. I was nervous, but excited. I’m not really sure why I was nervous, but I was.

Tonight we had dinner with one of the other men here for chaplain training and his wife, Heather. I’ve written about her before. It was so awesome to finally meet! They are really neat people and I see now why our husbands connected. It was a blessing to talk and laugh and enjoy each other’s company. We all hit it off like we’ve been friends for years.

Later in the evening he had to be on base for check-in formation so I went with him. Heather decided to join her husband as well so we sat and talked about it all. After that we went to meet Eddie's and Herb's wife. We all stood around and talked for probably an hour. They're on base and their little one bedroom apartments were nice. I fear that if Kevin moved into one of those I'd really hate leaving. It felt like a home...and it's hard enough to think about leaving a week from now. All I want to do is fly my kids up here!! If our house was sold and I didn't need to work, I'd be here for the summer with him for sure. It feels so wonderful to be where we belong now. As the day passed on, I prayed, "Lord, we ARE where you want us - I feel it! This is good."

While Kevin is in training tomorrow, we are taking a trip to the Billy Graham Library with Heather and her son. I’m really looking forward to it. It will be nice to get to know them better and see the library. This was her son’s request, and, after meeting him, I see why. He’s such a nice young man. It’s always nice to meet teenagers who seem to have their head on straight! He reminds me a lot of my children...wish they were here!

Kevin has a lot of homework tonight and will have to get up early in the morning so I’m trying to stay quiet and not be a distraction. Not so easy when you’ve been apart for a month, but I’m sure tryin’…

It’s tough to get online here so I’m typing everything up on a word doc and just waiting for the moment when it finally connects. It’s nice knowing I don’t HAVE to do anything this week. In fact, it’s more than nice…it’s wonderful!!

Note: As you can tell, I never got online last night. I couldn't get it to work until this morning.