Friday, August 31, 2007

Graduation Day!!!

This afternoon my husband will graduate from the Chaplain Basic Officer Leadership Course! I couldn't be more proud of him. What you see him wearing is a part of his chaplain kit. It can be worn while preaching. There's also a camouflage one for wearing while preaching in the field. Way to go, Chaplain!!!

Chaplain Spouse Training - Day 3

Yesterday's seminar was as some would say "a roller coaster ride" as we discussed everything from children in the military to deployments. We had more time to ask questions and you could tell from the questions we all wanted to know more about personal experiences. We had Q&A time with four chaplain assistants, Q&A time with four chaplain wives and then one chaplain wife talked to us about her experience with four different deployments (over a 25 year span with two kids in all different stages of life). It was very interesting and she was hilarious! I loved her positive attitude and creativity, and she gave us some great ideas. The Red Cross also came and spoke. I found that to be very helpful and it gave me a sense of security knowing how they will work for us should we ever need them.

Our husbands/soldiers joined us for lunch again yesterday and that was wonderful. We had a great time getting to know other chaplains and wives during that time. I was also thrilled just to sit there beside my husband and really soak in what was taking place.

There were several times yesterday that I found myself still thinking, "I can't believe we are really doing this" (with great excitement). I'm so proud of my husband and the hard work he's done to get to this day of graduation. I know he will be an awesome chaplain and I can't wait to see him in action. The next few days are going to be very emotional for both of us as we move forward - saying good-bye to good friends here and then at home, saying good-bye to our family, and then finally getting on the road to a totally new place - somewhere we've never even visited. We are excited about this new adventure, but saying good-bye will be very tough. I know the Lord will be with us and bring comfort and strength to all and I praise Him for that.

Without Jesus in our lives this wouldn't even be possible so we give Him all glory, honor and praise! This journey truly began many years ago when we surrendered our lives to Him and we're forever grateful for His love and forgiveness that brought us to this place.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

CH-BOLC Graduation Banquet

Some of Kevin's closest friends. I know he is really going to miss them.
These are the other new chaplains going to the same post as us. The boys had a really good time, but I think the one thing they liked most was being with their dad. They were all smiles and we loved having them there with us!
It was a great night and I'm still amazed at all God has done. We're so honored to be serving Him and the men and women of the Army.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Chaplain Spouse Seminar - Day 2

I noticed today that I forgot to mention anything about the relationship aspect of the seminar. I've met some really neat women and it's been very encouraging to get to know them and also to learn about all the many ways to meet other chaplain wives once we arrive on our new post. I'm very excited about the PWOC (Protestant Women of the Chapel). Not only because of what they said, but because I observed the women who came to bring us lunch and how they interacted with each other. The saying is true - actions speak louder than words!

Today we learned a lot about moving and all the many things you need to know about moving as a spouse - like packing, housing, helpful organizations to contact once you arrive at your new post, searching for a job when you arrive, etc...

The best part about today, and the one thing I wish we would have had more time with, was when they had Q&A with other chaplain wives who've been there and done that so to speak. Not only was there great questions and helpful answers, but, again, watching how they interacted with each other was meaningful to me. I'm excited about what's just right around the corner now!

We also had a chaplain and spouses' luncheon today at the Officer's Club and now the spouses have the rest of the afternoon off to prepare for this evening. The luncheon was really nice. The best thing about it...sitting next to my husband! I'm loving every moment we get to spend together and, after talking to wives whose husbands deploy just weeks after they arrive at their new post, I'm going to cherish every moment! Love on them while you can, right?!

Tonight we have a chaplain banquet and we'll get all decked out again. This time we're taking the twins with us. They are so excited, and I'm excited about taking them. I know it might get a little boring for them, but I also know how much it will mean to them to be there with us. We won't always take them, but as their dad ends his time here in training, and they begin their new life as Army kids (notice I didn't say brats!...they tell me they aren't brats, and I agree...) we feel it is important to include them.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Chaplain Spouse Seminar - Day 1

We started out the morning in chapel with over a hundred chaplains (camouflage everywhere!). It's only a 20 minute service so it's quick and to the point. I kept wishing it was my husband preaching because it's been months now since I've been able to hear him preach. The twins went with us and then I took them to the youth building to spend the day with other chaplain kids.

They both said the best part about their day was leaving. Well, one said, "when we left" and the other said, "walking out the door"...with a little humor and smiles on their faces. They didn't like the carrots and spinach on their lunch plate too much...but all is well now as we are hanging out waiting patiently for their dad to get to the apartment.

I, on the other hand, had a really good day. It was very informative. We listened to a lot of different people speak about a lot of different things, but it was well worth the time it took.

I enjoyed learning about how the chaplaincy came about and where it stands today in the military. I also loved what the commandant said about chaplains - "They are called by God and enlisted by our nation." He also said, "They march with permission into the most intimate places of people's lives." He challenged us to decide to be a part. It was a challenge because as military spouses we don't have to do anything; it's not required of us, but we should want to join in. He said, "Do it together. It's a mission for God!" I'm so excited about what God has in store for us. I know we are in this together and I wouldn't have it any other way.

The commandant's wife lead the seminar and she's such a neat example for us. She's extremely sweet (hugging everyone, including her husband after he spoke) and humble and you see the great love she has for her husband and God. It was a blessing to hear her speak and observe how she interacted with others. I loved hearing all the ways God has worked in their lives. I thought what she said about the military community was really neat as well. She said, "It's a friendly world; where you move and your neighbors bring you cookies, introduce their kids and give you their number should you need anything." She also gave us a lot of great advice like, "Put it in His (God's) hands and go where He sends you. The Army thinks they are deciding where you'll go, but God's the one really deciding that." She talked about their very first assignment and how she felt the first day he left for "work" and it was beautiful. She assured us "if you allow God to use you and do what He has for you, you will NOT be disappointed."

I could go on and on, telling of all the things we learned and how God spoke to my heart through each part of the seminar, but that would take forever. Each part was very helpful and I've got LOTS of notes! I can't remember who said it, but I loved what they said. "Be yourself. Be who God created you to be, and love those God gives you to minister to." I know each of us were touched by what we heard today and will be better chaplain spouses because of the things we learned and experienced.

The one thing that struck a cord with me was when one of them spoke about leaving his son in Texas to move and the grieving process that took place. I fought back the tears the whole time. Afterwards, I talked with him for about 20 minutes. I never know when the tears are going to come these days, but they flooded as I spoke with him. I know I am feeling many things, but the one thing I often find myself wondering is - how will my husband feel as we are driving away from our son and daughter. I know it is a great sacrifice for him to leave them and I know that day will be very hard for him, too. It brought some sense of comfort to hear him speak of his tears and thoughts. I guess sometimes we just need to hear stories that are similar to ours and know what they went through, not necessarily advice.

I look forward to sharing all this with my husband when he gets back to the apartment, and sharing more with friends and family when I return home!

Army Chaplain Wife

Today, as well as Wednesday and Thursday, I will spend the day learning what it means to be an Army Chaplain Wife. They have classes and other things planned for us. The boys will be with other chaplain kids during this time so my biggest prayer this morning is that they have a lot of fun! I'll update later...

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Is this for real?

I keep feeling like I'm just on vacation - like none of this is really for real. I told my husband it still hasn't hit me that we won't be saying good-bye again this time. It's just so hard to believe!! I'm so excited about the fact that when I pack my bags at the end of the week it'll include packing our stuff together!
We had a lot of fun in Charleston. We went to eat at Bubba Gump's again - which the twins loved! They also loved swimming in the ocean. The waves were really big this time. I think one of the twins and I caught a few too many of those waves and had a little too much salt water to drink because we both felt sick the rest of the evening. Today we visited a plantation. It was HOT, but really beautiful. All the pictures below are of the Boone Hall Plantation - the oldest, working plantation in the United States. We shopped at their store down the road and the peaches were the best I've ever tasted, and they had grapes almost the size of a golf ball. We also bought other things, including Apple Butter Jelly, which I've yet to find any that compares to my Papaw's. The boys just had to have biscuits last night to try it out. I must say it runs a close second to Papaw's.

This was the drive in to the plantation. Beautiful!

Friday, August 24, 2007

We're here!!!

It was a LONG drive, but worth every single minute of it! We are all thrilled to be together again. We could hardly wait!! One day longer might have been more than the two of us could bear, I think! Every one of us was smiling from ear to ear as my husband opened the door. I didn't really want to share him with the boys, but they had been apart from him much longer than I I let them in for a quick hug!

The twins were watching a funny movie in the backseat with their headphones on and all I could hear was the laughter. It caused me to repeatedly look in the rear view mirror at their beautiful smiles. It was the highlight of my time in the to getting out of it upon our arrival (ha!). I finally got out my camera and took a blind shot.

It's been so much fun watching the boys take it all in. After spending some time showing them around the Army Post, we came back to the apartment to unload the car and get ready for bed (really early) when they noticed the playground and basketball court outside our bedroom window. I smiled as I watched them walk over, put their basketballs on the ground and jump on the swings. I wondered what they were talking about. I later observed another little boy walk over to play, who probably spotted them from his apartment window, and wondered if they would be friends by the end of the week. I never worry about whether or not they will have a lot of friends because I know they are best friends!

It takes me back to a time when my husband and I sat on a park bench on base in Germany, just a day or so after we found out we were going to have another child, watching our daughter play by herself because her older brother was with a friend. We discussed what it might be like for this new baby to grow up so much younger than his/her brother and sister. Little did we know God had already taken care of that! A few weeks later we found out I was carrying two babies and they would have each other. Today it comes full circle and I thank the Lord for giving our boys each other. I'm so glad they are best friends and love each other so much.

My husband is now resting peacefully next to me and I'm listening to the neighbors moving around upstairs. I guess he's used to it by now. I don't really's a reminder that we are all in this together! I want to be more sensitive to others and as I write this I'm thinking about that. My kids are much older now and it's easy to get them in bed, but I pray I will be sensitive to others who don't have that same luxury.

It is good to be here, and I'm not just talking about the location.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Only four hours away

...once we wake up in the morning that is! I drove 12 hours today and am resting at a hotel now. Every time I would get really tired, or was hurting because I'd sat so long in one position, one of the twins would say, "Just think about daddy, mom. We're almost there!" He cracks me up!

My husband is in the field until about noon or so tomorrow. I know he's getting excited about us getting there, even though he's got to be worn out. I could hear it in his voice! I feel the same way (although driving for a whole day doesn't even begin to compare to what he's going through!). The best part about it - we don't have to say good-bye this time!!! (Well, maybe not the best...but something I am really happy about!)

My parents walked us out to the car this morning and hugged us all good-bye. I think they were probably thinking what I was - in a week and a half it will be good-bye for who knows how long. I tried not to really think about too much while I was driving. It's good to just think about the week ahead and being with my husband again.

The twins are so excited about being with their dad again and seeing what the Army Post is like. They were too young to remember anything about our life in the military before so this will all be new to them. One of them is overly excited and wanted me to drive the rest of the way tonight. There was no way...but it is good to know we can sleep in and only have to drive four hours tomorrow!
In just two hours we'll be on our way to see my husband!!! And, the best part about it, this time we won't have to say good-bye!

I've been waiting for this day for three months. It's amazing to me that it's finally here. I've had this day on my calendar since he left; I've had this date as part of my password at work; I've had it etched in my mind and I'm so happy this day is all about starting something new in my life. I leave behind a lot of things that are special to me, that have helped me grow and will always be a part me, but I look forward in great anticipation to the new things that God wants to do in my life.

I still got up early like I would had I been going to work, but today it was to go sit outside and watch the sun come up and pray. In the days to come I plan to do the same thing, as well as cook breakfast and visit with my husband before he heads off to training (which will be 4 a.m. instead of 5 a.m.).

Two weeks from today we will be on our way to our new home. That's still really strange to think about...only because we will leave behind the older children. I'm glad I still have a little more time to prepare for that. I'm excited as can be about the move, but I only wish we could take them with us. I know God will help us all through it so I'm not going to worry!

Thank you, God, for this beautiful day and the sunshine that fills the sky. Thank you a new day and new adventures. Keep us safe as we travel. Amen.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The End of a Chapter

The book isn't finished, but this chapter is closed. Everyone who called to see how I was today asked how it felt to be unemployed. "Weird!" was my response. I thought I was doing fine this morning. I even thought I wouldn't cry...but...when I went to hit the send button on my good-bye email to the company I lost it completely! I found this quote last night and it really says it all...

How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard. - Carol Sobieski and Thomas Meehan, Annie

When we were praying about the chaplaincy it meant a lot to me that my husband asked me if I would be willing to give up my career. I thought about that again today and would still say yes in a heart beat. My desire is to follow Jesus wherever He leads us. It was a great time in my life, but I know God has bigger and better plans in store for us. I'm not going into this blind either. I know it will be tough, BUT I'm trusting the Lord to supply all our needs and looking forward to this new chapter in our lives.

Friends and family - thank you for all your prayers and words of encouragement today! It meant a lot to me and I'm grateful to have you in my life. I know there will be more tears because I will miss you all greatly, but that's OK. You're worth the tears and the hurt I feel leaving you. I like how one of the people at my company responded to my email and will end this post with it. GO GOD!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

5 more days...

I am definitely counting down the days when I can be with my husband again! It's hard for both of us to believe he's been away for three months. We're also praising God for the times we got to see each other when we didn't really expect to be able to that much.

I'm still visiting my parents and will leave my boys here for my return on Wednesday. I have three days left at work and then we're off. I probably should have made my last day Friday, but we just couldn't really afford to do that. I'm hoping I'm not on a roller coaster ride of emotions those three days (at least at work).

Today my sister in law and I tried a new church and the music was awesome! It felt so good to just worship the Lord. Nothing else mattered to me this morning. I just wanted to worship the Lord. The sermon was about touching Jesus. So many times we are looking to be touched by God, but we were reminded that the Lord delights in us touching him. The scripture reference was Luke 7:36-50.

Now one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, so he went to the Pharisee's house and reclined at the table. When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee's house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.
When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is–that she is a sinner.”
Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.”“Tell me, teacher,” he said. “Two men owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he canceled the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”
Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt canceled.”“You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.
Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven–for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little.”
Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”
The other guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”
Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

It's a great reminder!
I didn't publish this earlier today. I just arrived home since my daughter and I decided to stay later and spend more time with the twins and my parents. The twins didn't want us to leave. They tried to talk me into not going back to work. I must admit, it was tempting. I want more time with my daughter!!! We talked all the way home, eventually crying about what is about to take place. It's so hard on us to know we're going to be separated by many, many miles soon; plus she'll be separated from her dad, twin brothers and, in just a few months, her older brother. I'm so glad we stayed longer and got the opportunity to talk for so long. It was a beautiful day!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Today we are celebrating our daughter's 18th birthday by having family and friends at the lake for a party. We've got the cake, the food, the gifts...everything is ready. We're only missing one thing - DAD! It's hard to think about the fact that he might not always be able to be with us for birthdays or holidays. I'm sure those times are coming, just as this one did, but during those times I pray we can help him to feel connected. I know it must be much harder on him than it is on us. Today we will call him when we get ready to cut the cake and wish her a happy birthday. It won't be the same without him here, but at least we can somewhat share in the moment.

Only 6 more days...
This time next week we will be back in each other's arms and enjoying our family being together again. I can't wait!!!!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Be Thou My Vision

This evening my husband was telling me they sang a hymn today that he didn't think he had ever heard before but loved. I don't know why, but "Be Thou My Vision" immediately came to my mind before he ever even said it. Read the words...

Be thou my vision, oh Lord of my heart
Naught be all else to me, save that thou art
Thou my best thought, by day or by night
Waking or sleeping, thy presence my light

Be thou my wisdom and thou my true word
I ever with thee and thou with me, Lord
Thou my great Father, and I thy true son
Thou in my dwelling, and I with thee one

Riches I need not, nor man's empty praise
Thou mine inheritance, now and always
Thou and thou only, first in my heart
High King of heaven, my treasure thou art

High King of heaven, my victory won
May I reach heaven's joys, O bright heaven's sun
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall
Still be my vision, O ruler of all

Words and Music by Eleanor Hull and Mary E. Byrne

The music is simple, but the words are so powerful! As I listened to him talk about it, and how awesome it was to hear all the chaplains singing it, I knew it really did mean something to him. I've thought of this song several times over the last few months. I told him had he not said the name I was going to ask him if that was the song.

When we hung up the phone I thought to myself - here we are hundreds of miles apart, yet so connected by what God is doing in our hearts. Jesus Christ is our vision and our treasure. I love hearing what God is doing in my husband's life, and it makes me love him all the more knowing he is fully surrendered to whatever God's will is for his life.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


I've finally come to this place of complete peace in what is taking place in my life. The house is empty and it feels good! I'm ready to move on. Last night I went to bed very early and just rested. That felt really good! I can't remember the last time I got to do that. I know my husband is really anxious for us to join him. In fact, we are both counting down the days. That feels good, too!! I can't think of anywhere else I'd rather be than with him!

Sunday evening some very good friends of mine had a farewell party for me. They are very special people in my life, and it was good to spend the evening together. They wanted to know what life was like for my husband now, and it was very exciting to get to tell them all about it. It's so encouraging to have their support, knowing full well they could have chosen not to give it when he told them he would no longer be able to be their pastor. I cried a lot, but that's OK. They mean a lot to me and they're worth the tears! My life is forever changed by knowing them. I can't imagine what my life would be like if I hadn't known them and been touched by their unconditional love and friendship. As I said my good-byes, I felt at peace with leaving.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Smiles, laughter, children

This morning I MADE myself lay in bed longer than my typical 5:00 a.m., only to be blessed by waiting on my twins to awake to take a walk. I love taking long walks here. My parents have a beautiful house on a lake and it's so relaxing to take walks and look at God's creation. Today it was more about laughter and enjoying their company though. The twins, two of my nephews and I went walking. We all had our headphones on walking to the beat of our own songs when I had the idea to play Follow the Leader...but not the way it's normally done. Whoever was stepping out in front (we'd call out names to go up front) would call the shots.

They did the funniest things. From running to walking in the craziest ways to dancing in the streets. If anyone had driven by they would have thought we were completely nuts! They were so hilarious!! I haven't laughed that hard in a while. Children are a blessing from the Lord. God's word tells us that. I believe it! I love my children so much. I love all my nieces and nephews. I am blessed to have so many surrounding me...reminding me to be a kid and enjoy the simple things in life! Thanks for a fun morning, boys!

I've been worn out for weeks now and today is a new day! It's good to know all is packed and on its way to our new home. Now I can focus on resting and enjoying my family more!! Praise the Lord!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

It's Real...

I'm officially moving! It couldn't seem more real...well...I guess it could. Tomorrow I'll probably be saying it again and meaning it more. There are boxes all over the place and tomorrow they will take it all away. I am feeling it, too. I'll be honest; I cried some this afternoon after the movers left.

My daughter came to stay with me tonight. She called on her way home from work to tell me she wanted to do that. I was happy about that (not that anyone could tell because I'm so worn out...but I was!). I need to sleep, but I'm not sure how much I will. We'll probably lay there a while, in my boxed up room, talking about old times. I already miss her. I know...I say that a lot...but I will!

I had the Realtor send me some pictures of my house today. So, here's two of my favorite rooms...where our family gathered to spend time together, where we shared Christmas together (opening up presents and talking about Jesus' birth), where we laughed together, cried together, sometimes had long, difficult conversations, read the bible together, sang together or just listened to our oldest two play their guitars for us, wrestled, sat by the fire, watched television, ate together, painted (One day the twins and I painted so long I was sick as could be from the smell of the paint, but we were having so much fun together that I continued on.), chatted with friends and family, celebrated birthdays, looked at pictures or home videos together, had ladies' bible studies...I could go on and on.

Isn't it great that we can take our memories wherever we go!!!

Maybe I'll add the outside once I actually move. It just seems sort of crazy to me to put a picture of the outside of where you live online...

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

I'm trying not to stress about the movers coming tomorrow. I feel like it's neverending work trying to prepare! It'll be weird to live in an empty house for two more weeks, but I'll sure be glad to see this part of the move over with!!

Yesterday I packed up all my belongings at work and brought them home so it could all go with me. There was some sort of miscommunication last night with our night-shift guy and he cleared my computer as well. He had this terrified look on his face when I walked in this morning. I keep my desk clean, but had lots of stuff so he thought I had left since it was all cleared off. Oh well...I was just glad I had finished clearing all my files yesterday. That would have been awful had I not!

Exactly two weeks from today I will walk away from an awesome job. I have some great friends that I will miss very much, and it's been a very rewarding job, but I'm willing to do whatever the Lord asks of us. I know I was there because that is where the Lord wanted me for the last three and a half years so I've got to trust Him with whatever the future holds. As I just typed that last sentence this song came on...

I am not skilled to understand what God has willed,
What God has planned
I only know at His right hand stands one who is my Savior
I take Him at His word and deed
Christ died to save me; this I read
And in my heart I find a need of Him to be my savior
That He would leave His place on high
And come for sinful man to die
You count it strange, so once did I
Before I knew my Savior

My Savior loves, My Savior lives
My Savior's always there for me
My God He was, my God He is
My God is always gonna be

Living, dying, let me bring
My strength, my solace from this spring;
That He who lives to be my King
Once died to be my Savior
That He would leave His place on high
And come for sinful man to die
You count it strange, so once did I
Before I knew my Savior

(My Savior My God by Aaron Shust)

Perfect timing to hear a song that says what you feel in your heart! God is good! We sang this at church on Sunday, too. I LOVE it!!! Especially when I got to hear my son singing it. He has an awesome voice and doesn't even know it.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

It's Who I Am

"It's no longer what I'm going to do; it's who I am." Those are the words my husband said to me as he tried to make sense of what he was feeling after watching emergency room footage from a military hospital in Baghdad while in training yesterday. He watched with sadness as doctors, nurses, and medics worked frantically to save the lives of the soldiers who had been wounded and as a chaplain ministered to the living and prayed over the dieing.

There was something in his voice that I'd never heard before. I wouldn't say it was fear, more like he KNEW God was preparing him for something he's never even come close to experiencing before. He was hurting for one chaplain sitting behind him who had lost his brother in the war in Iraq last year. It's very sobering to hear him talk about it. I can't even imagine what it was like in that room, but he said it was deathly silent as they went on break.

I know had I not been at work I would have sobbed uncontrollably. I don't fear what God has planned for our lives, I only pray for strength. For my husband, I pray that the Lord will always protect him; not only physically, but mentally and spiritually. I pray He will be used mightily in the lives of many soldiers and that God will direct his path. I pray for the soldiers and what they are facing daily as this war goes on, as well as the chaplains who are ministering to them. I hope people everywhere are praying for them and supporting them. Whether or not you agree with the war is beside the point. We should ALL be praying for and supporting our soldiers!!

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Experience the Savior

They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.” John 4:42

My prayer has always been that people would see Jesus in me, and would want what I have for themselves. In spending time with the Lord this morning I came across this verse. It's so beautiful. In John, Chapter 4, we tend to focus more on what the Samaritan woman experienced that day. She encountered Jesus and her life was forever changed!

This morning I found myself focusing more on those who heard her testimony and believed. (Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in Him because of the woman's testimony. John 4:39) Her experience with Jesus caused her to tell others and their lives were forever changed!

I don't want my life-story to be about me. I want it to be about what Christ and what He has done in my life. I'm not here writing about my military life experience really. I'm writing about what I know God himself did in our lives to lead us to this place, and what He continues to do.

The greatest story I can ever tell is how Jesus Christ changed my life and my husband's life. We are on this path because years ago we encountered the Savior. When Jesus reveals Himself to you, you realize He sees you just the way you are. He knows everything about you, even your sin, yet He loves you unconditionally. There's no greater love than this. Jesus died on the cross for our sin, not His own for He was without sin. (This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 1 John 4:10)

If you're searching for truth, my prayer is that you found it here. If you are seeking answers to your empty heart, having tried everything to fill it, Jesus is reaching out right now. If I can help lead you to the Savior, let me know! I would love to share more of what God has done in my life, and lead you to experience the same thing. Leave me a comment with a way to get in touch with you. It's the most important decision you'll ever make, and your life will forever be changed!

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Creation calls out His name!

The voice of the Lord is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the Lord thunders over the mighty waters. The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is majestic.
Psalm 29:3-4

It's a God thing!

I never really knew blogging would be the avenue by which God would minister to my heart so greatly. Not only in the release that comes from writing my thoughts, but especially in the friendships that God has blessed me with through this simple site.

It's a God thing! That's the only way I know how to describe the friendships I've formed over the last few months. I asked my friend, Meredith, if I could blog about her and her family and how we met and what God has been doing in her heart lately. She agreed and, although I know I won't give justice to what has taken place over the last two months in my writing, I pray it will encourage other chaplain wives (or soon to be) to get out there and meet new people and share your life story with others. You will be amazed at how much it helps you walk this road.

To Meredith. Thank you for allowing me to share your story. God has been glorified in your life and the life of your family. He has brought you so far as you've surrendered your will to His. I am blessed to know you! You're such an encouragement to me. Thank you!!Meredith's husband has felt the Lord calling him to serve as a chaplain for some time now, and after sharing it with her it became something that felt very difficult for her to imagine her family doing. One day her husband found my blog and sent her the link and that's where our friendship began! Over the course of about a month I've watched her heart change so much. God is at work, and it's been wonderful to get to walk a small piece of this walk with her.

I'm going to let some of her emails speak. We have this very large strand of emails and I loved looking back at it this morning. The one that made me laugh the most (now, not then!) was when my emails weren't making it through and she was trying to reconnect. Her email came through - "I think I might be freaking out today..." and I responded with, " I emailed you back. Before I rewrite, let me know that you got this! P.S. Don't freak out!! We'll talk!"

"Hi Laura, Thank you again. I am feeling better today. It's not any less scary but I have talked to Dave and it helped to find out that he is scared of the same things but still feels strongly this is where God is leading us. He had just preached a sermon on Sunday about Paul and how difficult serving God was, how he faced dangers on the sea, in the cities, from Jews and Gentiles, etc. But it was all worth it for the joy of the end result. He reminded me that God does not often call us to something in our comfort zone. If He did, we would have little reason to lean on Him. I'm thinking it will almost be easier to glorify God in what I do when it's harder to do those things because it will so obviously be all Him!"

"I'm feeling a little like my life is about to spin out of control. I guess because it sort of is. I'm about to hand over the control to the army. But, ultimately, I handed over control to God when I made Him Lord of my life and now I have to trust that He is in control and will continue to direct us."

"I was reminded this weekend of Isaiah 40:31 which has always been a favorite verse of mine but has recently taken on a new depth. I've found myself wondering if I am strong enough to be an army wife. Then, I was listening to my girl's Bible songs in the car and this song came on. I realized that if my hope really is in God then He is my strength. He'll give me the wings to soar above the fear and doubt that assuage me, He will make me run and not grow weary, walk and not faint. And when I do feel weary, faint, or weak, it's because I have lost sight of Him and the fact that He is my strength."

Some might ask why the email clips? Because if I can reach out to just one more wife who is searching for answers or encouragement I believe hearing what other women are going through really does help. We are NOT alone in this! And, I pray no one ever feels they are. I also love how it shows Meredith's tender, surrendered heart.

I'll end with the one email clip that sort of says it all...Meredith wrote this to me, but I say it right back to her and the other women who are ministering to me, sharing their stories and loving on others. "Thank you for talking with me and sharing with me. It's already helped bring me down a notch or two. I'm sure I'll have good days and bad days but it's good to know there are others out there who understand. Thank you!"

This House is not my Home

Home is where your heart is! We hear that all the time, but it's so true. My "house" is staying here, but my "home" has already begun to leave. My heart is pulled constantly right now. I've had absolutely wonderful times with my husband when I visit, and when I'm with him I'm away from some, if not all, of our kids, and now I'm here at the house packing up all our belongings and my husband and kids are all doing their own thing. The twins left this morning for church camp with my brother's church. They are so excited, and I'm so thankful they have something to do to not have to think about all the other things going on right now. Our daughter is back at her house, and my oldest son is soaking up every moment he can with friends before they go back to college and he leaves for the Air Force.

I stayed up very late cleaning out closets, after my sweet parents, nephew and his girlfriend came by yesterday afternoon to help me clean out my storage unit and attic to prepare for the movers. I didn't give it a lot of thought last night because I was working so hard, but this morning I sat down to email a friend whose husband just surrendered to the chaplaincy and this is what poured from my heart...

"Today is a new day! I stayed up until 2 in the morning cleaning out closets COMPLETELY! It was such a weird feeling knowing I am cleaning out the house I've lived in for many years now. I guess being in the military before helped me not to get too attached to "things" (like my house). I never made it my main focus, and, for that, I am grateful. I did shed some tears as working in the closets caused me to see the marks on the walls from where my kids marked their height over the years. It reminded me of their spiritual growth and how the Lord has truly worked in their hearts."

Although I am grateful to God for the healthy, beautiful, caring children He's given us, I'm so much more grateful for who HE is in their lives. All of my children have given their hearts to the Lord and He's the one who created those beautiful hearts. God is very real to them. I've watched each one of them grow spiritually over the years, and that's the biggest blessing in all the world to me and my husband. HE is the one getting them through all the changes and putting the excitement there for new things to come. They, too, trust Him and know following Him is what's most important in life.

It's not this house that I will miss. It's the living together as a family. There's a lot going on in all of our lives right now. Each one of us is dealing with our own feelings, but the one thing we are all certain of is GOD IS IN CONTROL and He will continue to bless us in the different roads we take in this life. Our love for each other is VERY strong, and nothing will ever change that!

Friday, August 3, 2007


Lately, the Lord has had me right here:

Wait for the Lord, be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. Psalms 27:14

But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope. Psalms 130:5

I've never waited so long before for something from the Lord, but over the last few months God has really been teaching me to wait for His perfect timing. I've been begging and pleading with Him to bless us with the selling of our house, but it just hasn't happened yet. I always thought it would sell very quickly. Everything else fell into place when we made the choice to surrender to His will for our lives, why not this? I don't have that answer, and it is tough to come to grips with the fact that there is absolutely nothing I can physically do to make this house sell now, but I do know He's teaching me to trust Him with everything.

Don't get me wrong, I've done all the work to prepare the house to sell. It has been cleaned from top to bottom, painted, organized; the landscaping up to par, fresh flowers out, candles burning and the smell of cookies in the air...I think I've tried everything humanly possible, except run out in the street flagging down people with a huge sign that says, "Buy my house!"

He takes care of His children. I believe that with all my heart. Maybe not in the way we expect it at all. In fact, it may just be that He wants us to learn something about Him and His sovereignty or about ourselves. Much like the way we are with our children sometimes. I'm not at all saying God is trying to discipline me either. He just may want my faith to grow! There's more to life than just getting our way. We must trust the one who sees so much more than we do. That's not always easy, but it is beneficial for both - we grow/He is glorified!

I'm beginning to wonder if there is something in the future that, because I am going through this, God is preparing me for. I know that to wait doesn't come easy for anyone. There's so many other things to think that God could be preparing me for, which make waiting for this house (material possession) to sell seem so unimportant. I'll take a house not selling over waiting on my husband to return from war or waiting to see my older children because we are thousands of miles apart any day!!

I have friends who are going through much more difficult circumstances than I am. Mine pale in comparison. To those of you who are waiting on the Lord - trust Him, hold tight to His truth, find peace in your Creator and allow Him to be your Strength. I'm praying for you!