Sunday, June 29, 2008


The engagement of my daughter to a wonderful young man and soldier!!!

Her dad and I, as well as our families, wish them all the best in the world!!! They are beautiful together, and we know God has great things in store for them.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

I'm lovin' it!!!

There are few things in life that compare to spending time with your kids. When you haven't seen them in six months, it's almost overwhelming. Spending time with my son today has been absolutely WONDERFUL!

The moment I saw him I started crying because I was no longer looking at a kid; I was looking at a man. He came walking out the door with this huge smile on his face as I was pulling up to the house and I couldn't hold back the tears. He looks so good! Being here with my son is better than I even imagined over and over in my mind. We're also spending the day with his girlfriend, Hannah. Getting to know her better has been wonderful, too. She's a sweetheart...and beautiful!
God has been so good, and being here has been such a huge blessing for me. Yesterday I surprised friends and my old boss at the company I used to work for and that was a lot of fun! Popping my head around the corner of my old boss' office, just like I always used to do, was so funny, and walking up to people's desks and surprising them was so much fun, too. I also sat and talked with friends I had not seen in over nine months and it felt as though I'd never been gone. We talked, and laughed, and looked at pictures. Oh...and time holding all these babies was great! They are all beautiful! This little one we, as a church family, prayed for for a long, long time. Finally getting to hold this precious answer to all our prayers was so special. I thank the Lord for allowing me the opportunity to see everyone, and I especially thank Him for the opportunity to spend all this time with my son. I can't wait for all my kids to be together again (next Friday!!!).

Friday, June 27, 2008

Back in the great state of Texas!

Two planes and 11 hours of traveling later, I finally arrived at the place I once called home. I must say though, it was well worth it! I'm spending the first two days with my friend, Allyn. She's always a source of sunshine in my life! One of the toughest things for me was when several of my close friends had their babies and I couldn't be there to see told them not to let them grow too quickly so I could still see them as babies. I'm so glad I arrived in time to not miss this adorable stage...

I've already discovered there are a few things I'm no longer used to since I've moved to the Pacific Northwest:

1. Air-conditioning! Wow... Being that I'm so cold natured, I think I like that about where I live now. I might change my mind if it ever gets really hot, but for now I like it that way.

2. Warm weather all day long...from that first step out the door in the morning, to late in the evening. It's definitely something I don't experience anymore. I missed that so much that I'm going to try not to complain when it reaches 100 degrees!

3. Super-friendly people. It's wonderful to be back in the south!!! It's no longer awkward to smile at complete strangers...and they even smile back! :)

4. Sweet Tea...without me being the one to make it! I can get it in the restaurants and they know what I mean when I say I'd like tea. It doesn't come to me in a tiny tea cup, hot.

Today I'll have the opportunity to go to my old company and see old bosses and friends. This evening I'll be spending time with some of my friends from our church family. I'm really looking forward to all of it! Tomorrow I'll get to see my son!!!!! I REALLY can't wait for that! God is so good and I thank Him for the blessing of being here for a short while. I already miss my husband and pray he is well back home...poor thing has to work like crazy, with no end in sight. He's so happy I got to come here while he's out in the field and not really able to spend much time with me this summer. (Remember to pray for our Soldiers who are sacrificing greatly right now!)

Sunday, June 22, 2008

A Young Soldier

This morning, as I entered Chapel, I noticed a young man sitting about the same place I typically sit (somewhere in the middle on the left side, unless my husband is preaching...then I sit up close to the front). I didn't want to make him feel awkward by sitting right next to him, but I felt certain the Lord was leading me to sit there anyway.

I politely asked him if anyone was sitting next to him and he said no. The praise team had just began to sing, but I still felt as though I should introduce myself, so I did. When I did, I noticed he had to be similar in age to our oldest son and I immediately thought, "Is this to bless me or him today?" About half-way into the 2nd song, I heard his voice. It was much like my own son's. Even though I'm less than a week away from seeing my son (for the first time in six months), it made me cry.

Later, during our welcome time, we talked again for just a few more minutes. I learned that he's been in the Army for almost three years, and that soon he will be going home. He said he's getting out and that it's been really tough. I wanted to know more and wondered what caused him to feel that way. Did he just miss his family, or had he experienced something more? I may never know. What I do know is that it's tough, real tough, to be in the military right now...especially for our young soldiers coming right out of high school, and they need our prayers.

I don't know exactly why the Lord had me sit there this morning, but I do know that I was touched. Hearing him sing, seeing him open his bible and read while they were making announcements, and just the look of a young man who seemed to love Jesus blessed me today. Maybe it's being a Christian in the Army that has made it difficult for him. I don't know...but I can almost bet it has! Whatever the reason, I know that I will be praying for him, and the other many young soldiers just like him.

You may never have the opportunity to be impacted by looking into the eyes of a young soldier who wants to go home, but my prayer is that you will still pray for them. Pray for strength when they are afraid or feeling alone in this big world. Pray for comfort when they miss their family. Pray for guidance when they feel uncertain of what tomorrow holds (especially with all the uncertainties they face with the war still going on). Pray for the peace of God to reign in their lives when nothing makes sense. Pray for their protection and for those in leadership above them. Pray for their moms and dads, who have a hard time not being able to see their sons or daughters often. Especially, pray for those in harm's way. Pray, pray, pray...

Friday, June 20, 2008

Somewhere in the Middle

I was cleaning my kitchen, listening to Casting Crowns, when the lyrics of one part of the song, Somewhere in the Middle, caught my attention. The words, "somewhere between who I was and who you're making me, somewhere in the middle, you'll find me..." first caught my attention. I was singing the song without even thinking about it when I felt the Lord asking me to listen. Then the words, "...will we trade our dreams for his, or are we caught in the middle?... Lord I feel you in this place and I know you're by my side, loving me even on these nights when I'm caught in the middle..." echoed in my ear and I felt like weeping.

I had to stop and turn it back to that song again so I could really the whole song. Not singing, but listening. What was God wanting me to hear?

There are moments when I can't really explain what I am feeling, but "caught in the middle" probably fits best. I realized that today. There are days when I love where I am, what we're about and where I see God at work. There are days when I don't feel that way. Days when I feel disconnected from other Army people, other chaplain families, and I want more. I wonder if there are others out there feeling just like me, but I don't know how to ask. How do you bring it up? How do you ask other women if they feel connected? I don't know!

I was talking with one of my friends earlier this morning, sharing the feelings I've been having from time to time, knowing she understood and many times feels the same way, and I realized maybe there is some way for me to reach out to those who are feeling like us. Maybe there is a way to bring us together to find encouragement in one another. Maybe some how, some way, I can help bridge the gap for others who might be feeling the same way in my area who haven't voiced it, and feel terribly alone in this adventure, to those who feel engaged.

I thought I could never really voice this on my blog because...well... I wasn't sure how I might come across when I say I feel disconnected/not a part of a group, but then the Lord reminded me that if we never speak up we might possibly never make a difference, and it may be just what not only I need, but many other chaplain wives/military wives need.

I don't have the answer. I only ask that people join me in prayer about this, or let me know if you, too, feel disconnected from your chaplain community or military community and maybe we can work together to come up with a way to connect people. I know there are programs and activities out there that are supposed to help, but sometimes it's just not what works for some people. It doesn't mean it's wrong, or not being done the right way. I'm not at all saying that. I'm just asking the Lord to show me how to connect/help other people to feel connected in maybe a different way. I want to make a difference in my community, and if it means that I have to make myself vulnerable I will.

I don't want to walk into a group of people and feel alone, and I don't want anyone else to either. How can I help? I know God will give me the answer in his timing, and that I need to remember always that He is right by my side in this small struggle. For those reading, I pray you know I love living God's dream for my life and my family. I love that He called us to this, and we will follow wherever He leads. With any walk of life, there are struggles. If the Lord desires that I feel the disconnect and that I just continue to lean on Him then I am willing to walk this road. But, if He's calling me to speak out for His glory I will do that as well.

As I was about to close this, the song Tis so Sweet to Trust in Jesus began to play. How amazing is that!

Jesus, Jesus, how I trust you! ...oh for grace to trust you more... I love you, Lord. Thank you for walking this road with me, and before me. You knew the struggles I would face here. You knew long before I ever did, and yet you've allowed it. It's for your glory we are here, and I will continue to trust you every step of the way. You are my friend. You are the one who comes to me when I feel disconnected. You've given me a wonderful husband, wonderful kids, and a few wonderful friends here and I thank you for that. And, for the moments when I feel disconnected to my community, allow me to see other people who also feel that way and reach out to them. Amen.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

It's quiet here...

Tonight by husband is working late...really late...and our twins are asleep (in Texas) and my daughter and her boyfriend are out on a date. I don't remember the last time it was this quiet around here. I have a lot I need to do, but I decided I'd enjoy a few minutes (well...what turned out to be a wonderful hour and a half) on the phone with my friend, Sheryll, and some time online catching up with my bloggin' buddies. Then I can get back to work!

The moving/settling into the new home is going well. My daughter and I took a long walk by the lake this morning and then tackled the garage. It was nice to get a huge job that laid before us finally done. The walk by the lake was wonderful. It's probably my favorite part about living here. My daughter talked about loving the area because you can smell the outdoors here, not the city life we were accustomed to in Texas. I never really thought about that before she said it, but it's definitely true. The scenary was breathtaking as we rounded the corner and saw the lake before us and the sun trying to peek through. It made me look forward to my trip to Texas where the water will be warm and I can swim in it.

While it's summer back in Texas, it feels more like early spring here. We finally have had some warmer days lately, but it's still nothing like Texas. I am almost always in a jacket, and the kids tell me I can wear shorts, but if I try to I'm just too cold. I am looking forward to waking up to warm weather and going outside to read my bible on my visit to Texas! I know...some people might think that is a strange thing to look forward to, but I love to wake up early, grab my bible and head outside and then later going for a long walk. I hope to do that every morning when I'm visiting my family at the lake!

It's just a little over a week before I go and I'm getting excited. At least once a day I imagine walking towards my son and giving him a huge hug. It's been six months since I've seen him and God knew I could only make it a little longer. I miss him like crazy!!!

Well, my daughter's home...gotta go!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

As for me and my house...

This picture (above) moves me to tears every time I see it. I love the relationship pictured here, one of father and son walking side by side, talking about the things of life. It's a picture of my husband and our oldest son last summer when we met him in Alabama while my husband was in chaplain training, and not too long before our son would go off to follow in his dad's footsteps and enter into the military.

I love how he has taught our boys to enjoy God's creation, and that together they enjoy it all the more.
And not just the boys...time with his daughter is precious as well. I love moments like these when you see them together, just enjoying each other's company and all that God has provided for us to do as a family. I know there are times when it is hard for dads to relate to their little girls (or big girls), but this isn't one of those moments. The world seems to stand still when father and daughter connect. There are many things this dad has taught his children. The most precious and important thing being that they should love the Lord their God with all their heart. I remember one Sunday morning, when he was preaching from Joshua 24 and the words, "Now fear the LORD and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your forefathers worshiped beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.", flowed loudly from my husband's mouth (as they did Joshua's). I remember chills running down my spine. I knew that he meant it.

He wasn't just reading what Joshua said to the people. He was asking the men and women of our church to do the same and proclaiming to everyone present that we would serve the Lord and, even though I had heard him preach that passage before, and knew that he lived a life that upheld that statement, I saw something in his eyes that day and I knew his heart was burning for the Lord! He was honestly and wholeheartedly proclaiming what was in his heart, and of utmost importance, and I was in tears.

The man that sits beside me on the couch or calls me on the phone to ask me how my day is going and to tell me that he loves me, the man that shares his dreams and disappointments with me, the man who works hard every day to provide for his family and serve his country and our soldiers, the man who loves and plays with his children...that same man knows the importance of choosing who you will serve and standing up for what is right, even when other people don't. He knows what it means to serve the Lord and the blessings that come from following Jesus. That's the man I love, and that's the man our children love. We all are blessed to have him as the head of our household and together, hand in hand, side by side, as a family, we will serve the Lord!

Happy Father's Day, babe! I love you more than I could ever express. You are a wonderful husband and father to our children, and we are all blessed because God chose you to lead this family. Thank you for leading by example!

Two special people, two special days shared...

Tomorrow is Father's Day AND my mom's birthday. They will also be leaving for a mission trip to Uganda so I'm posting this a little early.

Mom, I love you! I wish I was there to give you a hug and tell you this in person, but know that I'm thinking of you. I know you will have a special birthday as you will be leaving the country to do what you love most...mission work. I pray you have a wonderful time sharing the love of Jesus with the people of Uganda.
Thank you for leading a life that glorifies God, for caring about people and where they will spend eternity, and for giving of your time to GO and TELL people about Jesus! I admire you for that, mom.

Not only are you a wonderful mom, but a wonderful granny as well. Thank you for loving on our kids and for spending time with them. Thank you for taking them to fun places, like Colorado...
I know they think the world of both you and Pops! When it comes to Santa and Mrs. Claus, you two are the best! (haha)
One of the many joys of having young grandparents...sometimes they act a little goofy with you... Someone caught you both on a good day! (haha) I'm not sure who it was, but it ended up on my computer and I just saw it. Nice socks! :)

On a more serious note...I love you both very, very much and thank the Lord that he gave me parents that love and serve Him and lead by example. You are very, very special to me! Thank you for all the love you give. I miss you and can't wait to see you again.

See you in a few weeks!!!

Your only daughter

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Random thoughts...and a few photos

This morning I took our twins to the airport to put them on a plane, all by themselves, to go see family back home in Texas. It's one of those moments in time where you feel very nervous as a mom...when you have to step back and let go a little. It wasn't easy!

Walking out of the airport, all by myself, I realized it's only a matter of time until I'm going to have to let go a little more...and it, too, won't be easy! Hearing their voices on the phone, just four hours later and many miles between us, was strange. Knowing they were safely there was a great feeling.

It's a lot like the feeling I have when our oldest son calls. When I hear his voice, and he tells me he's doing well, I feel that same sort of relief.

Today, and every day, I thank the Lord for my family. They are very, very precious to me. I pray that the twins have a wonderful time with their extended family, as I'm sure they will, and I look forward to joining them in just a couple of weeks. It's only a short while until I get to spend time with my oldest son, too. I can hardly wait!!!

Everyone, but dad, will get to be in Texas for a few weeks. I was teasing him tonight, asking him what his favorite restaurant was and telling him I would go eat there for him. That's the least I can do for him...

Anyways, I'm rambling... here's a few pictures from the last month that I haven't posted yet.
Camping...we had so much fun! We burned lots and lots of wood! This was our "hicks out in the sticks" picture. The next few pictures are from one of the boys track meets.
Dad always had lots of good advice for his boys... I loved watching him teaching them, knowing all the while it was taking him back to his high school days...
Every single time we take some sort of family photo it feels weird to me. I feel the hole left when this one child is missing. I miss him so much. I miss those hugs and can't wait to spend time with him again...
Boys - I love you and miss you already. Have fun in Texas!!!
Son - see you soon!!!

P.S. Hopefully, soon I will have some photos of the new house to post. I'm still working slowly at the decorating, as I'm trying to spend time with my husband as much as possible, too. We all love the new house. It's such a blessing!

Monday, June 9, 2008

(Another) Home Sweet Home

That's three moves in less than a year! Well, more like 3.5 if you count the move into the hotel when we got here. It required a lot of moving of our personal belongings that we could fit in the truck and car on the drive up here so I definitely count it as some sort of a move! It's nice to be here. We all really like the new house. We had everything unloaded in our new house by 4:30 p.m. I couldn't believe it!

That same night we spent several hours setting up rooms, finally crashing about 11:00 p.m. It felt good to finally rest, and know that we could take it easy and unload as we wanted to, for the most part. All the kids had their rooms completely set up by 10:30 that night. I, on the other hand, had our room set up - sort of, but there's still a lot of decorating to be done. I kind of like the simplicity of nothing on the walls but my curtains.

I'm going to keep this post short and sweet as I'm tired and ready to go to bed, but I wanted to at least get online for a few minutes to tell those who've been praying for us "thank you!" We really appreciate it! My husband has the week off, for the most part anyway, and the twins will be heading to Texas on Thursday, so I probably won't be posting much this week...but I hope to be next week.

Friday, June 6, 2008

It's moving day...

It's been a long, hard week... and I've got the bruises to prove it. For someone who bruises very easily, moving boxes and furniture can be a little tough on the body. I look like someone hit me across one of my shins with a bat, and I'm not even sure when or how I got that way. I was so tired last night that after I finished cleaning my oven I could not for the life of me figure out how to get the racks back in. I called my neighbor to help, feeling like a total idiot.

I wish I had not packed my camera cord so I could download the pictures of my huge pile in the dining room (I will post them later!). I felt a great sense of accomplishment last night when I laid my worn out, soar body down to go to sleep. I had completed probably 98% of my to do list and it felt good knowing that my husband could come out of the field and find our belongings ready to be moved and the house cleaned and almost ready for inspection.

My living room and dining room are filled with boxes and furniture from all areas of the house. I pulled and pushed (and groaned) just about everything but our beds into the living room so that my husband could exert as little energy as he might have left when it comes to carrying it out and loading it in the moving truck. Anyone who has been to my house knows we have a lot of bulky furniture, so knowing it won't all fit into the house we are moving into was a big disappointment to me.

I finally came to grips with it yesterday. What won't fit, or what might make the house feel smaller, will go in the garage. After all the packing and all the cleaning, I'm thinking that giving it all away might be nice! We have several moves before us. From the words of Shelby in my favorite movie, Steel Magnolias, where she tells her mom she's going to get her hair cut short, let me just say, "I feel the need to make things as simple as possible!" ...oh how I would love to just sit back and watch that movie right now...

The twins just got out of bed and the first one to walk into my room said, "In just two hours we will have our new house!" Then the other one walked in a few minutes later and said, "Aren't you excited?! We're moving today!" They can hardly stand that they have to go to school today. They've repeatedly told me that they want to go straight to the new house when I pick them up from school.

Knowing they are so excited and looking forward to this move makes it all worth while. I pray they love it as much as they think they will, and that they make good friends in the neighborhood. One day when we drove over to look at the house it looked like a children's camp. There was children EVERYWHERE. We could barely drive down the street! Many of them were very young, but I did see a few that looked to be their age.

Well, I better get off here and eat breakfast. It's going to be another long, hard day...especially for the man of the house who hasn't been home and hasn't gotten any rest all week.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

New Attitude!

Today has been much better. I am almost finished with my room (where the bulk of the hard work seemed to lie), and then I can begin cleaning. My husband is in the field all week...hence, that has a lot to do with me being tired and cranky. I've now officially done the packing without him for three places since our first year in the Army. Even if he was home, I wouldn't let him do the work. What he does every day far outweighs the things I have to accomplish for this move. I did hand him a brillo pad while he was taking a shower on Monday morning before he left for work! Praise the Lord for one - least favorite - cleaning job accomplished!

I wanted to take a few minutes just to say that I am grateful for a husband who says the tough stuff. He speaks the truth in love. I needed to hear, "You've only had negative things to say about our new house." I realize that isn't good for anyone, and no one likes to be around negativity. My poor friend, Sheryll, has been so good to me these last few days when I've not had a lot of positive things to say. What a great friend she is! Just being around her makes me feel better. And, holding her new grandson yesterday was relaxing and wonderful. He is adorable!! It took me back to when our twins were so tiny. You forget how little their features can be. I loved it when his tiny fingers wrapped around mine. Here's a sweet picture of grandmother and grandbaby...The twins are excited as can be about the move. They get their own rooms, and we're just steps away from the lake where they can fish anytime they want to. It doesn't get much better than that for two young boys! Thank you to those who are lifting me up in prayer. I really appreciate it!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


"...I will strengthen you and help you..." (from Isaiah 41:10) jumped out at me this morning. I have been tired, run down by the weight of the work that I've been doing to prepare for our move on Friday, along with all the other things we've had going on with my husband's battalion, and I'm trying not to let it get the best of me. How do I know I'm tired? I hear it in my voice! Every time I open my and let the complaining and negativity out it's a reminder to me that I need to put my attitude in check and rest. I caught myself saying, "I can't wait until the weekend..." a lot lately, rather than enjoying the days at hand. I find myself not excited about our new house because all the packing taking place in the old one. That's not good!

The house is getting closer to being all packed up, but the hill is still steep. We Army folks get a "to do" list from housing about 5 pages long, filled with all the cleaning that must take place before final inspection, and that's where I feel overwhelmed. Looking at it just makes me cringe! I finally decided it might be better to make my own list, that somehow that might make me feel less overwhelmed. When my daughter saw it she made the comment, "That's not too bad, mom...only three pages now."

Trying not to complain hasn't been easy, and I've failed miserably this week. I realized just how bad it was when my neighbor asked me if I was excited about the new house and I found myself having nothing good to say. We peeked in the windows this weekend, as they are preparing it for our move in and no one lives there anymore, and both my husband and I gasped at the very small living room. "Remember you're right by the lake and closer to his battalion so you'll save on gas (it's up to $4.05 on post, and anywhere from $4.10-4.19 off post)" - that's what I keep telling myself!

Taking a long, hard run was good for me yesterday. It kept my mouth shut and my mind focused on finishing the run before me. It's funny...that's probably the best I've felt running all week! Maybe the stress is good for something after all. Ha! Getting into the Word and praying has helped even more. Well, it's back to the boxes and paper and then off to have breakfast and see my friend Sheryll's new grandson. That will be a nice break...

By the way, sorry to whoever reads this for being negative! I am grateful for so many things and just venting...