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Showing posts from 2009

Elizabeth’s story

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Luke 1:5-7, 23-25, 57-58

Elizabeth's story is proof that even the most upright in heart will endure suffering… A purpose in the pain
Have you ever stopped to think…If Elizabeth had not been barren, the birth of John would not have been so miraculous. Also, it would not have coincided with the gestating Jesus. Timing is everything with God!
Within herself, she possessed the DNA that could be traced back to the very being of Aaron, the Levitical priest. She no doubt felt the pressure to carry that line and legacy on through her offspring. Elizabeth's suffering through barrenness in the end brought about the "voice crying in the wilderness" to prepare the way of the Lord. It also brought to life the hands that would baptize the Savior.
Elizabeth never quit: she never let her circumstances move her from her continuance in faith.
Upon learning of the pregnancy, Elizabeth was faithful to give all honor and praise to the Lord, stating "[He] has done this for me". T…

Red/White/Blue

While attending an Army formal affair for my husband's battalion where many soldiers and their spouses were in attendance, I was privileged to observe something that captivated me. In keeping with tradition the ceremony included the posting of the colors. As the color guard began their journey, all in attendance immediately jumped to their feet, standing straight and tall. Each eye was fixed on the flag as it made its way through the room. Their gaze was steady yet revered. They seemed to hold their breath, waiting with anticipation until those precious colors had come to rest and silently presided over the evening's events. Such esteem, such respect is seldom observed anymore. Yet on this night it flowed with ease, practiced and rehearsed many times before. Before me each soldier in attendance was dressed in the best they had, looking stunning and decorated. While the drum roll played, I tried imagining them in their field uniforms in the midst of battle, covered with dirt an…

Thanksgiving '09

Chaplain in Action

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Here are a few recent pictures of Tim and various aspects of his job. In the first 2 pictures he is performing the invocation for a Change of Command ceremony for Bravo Company, 319th MI BN. The 3rd picture is Tim with all his field gear as he headed out for 3 nights/4 days. Go Chaplain, Go!

Fleeting flowers

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This week at PWOC (my weekly on-post Bible Study) I was blessed with an unexpected gift. Two gifts that is. One I could take with me in my heart and one I could bring home in my hands. This week's devotional was based out of I Peter 1:24. "All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands forever." Our speaker brought with her a bouquet of gorgeous flowers, an exact replica of one her husband had sent her when he was deployed. The flowers were perfectly in bloom. Each color was vibrant and each bloom succulent. Even the greenery was luscious. As believers in Christ we were reminded how much like that bouquet we are. Collectively we make up a beautiful collection of souls when we gather together, giving off a lovely fragrance to the Lord. Some of us are the grand, colorful lilies and some of us are the sprigs of green that give the bouquet fullness. Others off us are like t…

Sweetest Baby Girl

Jordan Nataleigh, what a treasure you are! You arrived earlier than expected into our lives, and Mommy had to face one of her biggest fears…leaving the hospital without you. As little as you were (6 pounds, 18.25 inches!) you challenged me, stretched me, and made me grow as a person, as a nurse, as a Mom, and as a woman of faith. What a joyous day when we brought you home! You were already on somewhat of a schedule and quickly adapted to sleeping well at night. You were crazy about your brother almost instantly. He can light up a room with just his smile and you quickly figured out that he was fun and funny! At just a few weeks old you would reach for your Dad's scratchy face when he would hold you close. You and I bonded easily as we spent many, many hours together as a 'nursing couple'. You are sweet and pleasant; you love to smile and can't wait to catch someone's eye so you can flash your cute smile at them. You have the most petite cry! It is more like a squea…

New movie from Sherwood Films (producers of Fireproof)...

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Winter

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Since January 2005, for whatever sovereign reason, the Lord has taken me on a journey of studying suffering in the lives of His saints. Though not actively seeking this path, I have found myself time and time again learning of the purposes for which God has called Christians to suffer. From sermons to studies to self-experiences, I have been drawn to take a deeper look at that which is dreaded but inevitable. Bro. Brent Summerhill, pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Cabot, Arkansas, (my home church) is currently preaching through a series on Joseph's life entitled Roots Grow Deep in Winter. This series has put into words that which has been formulating in my heart over the last four years. Maybe you are like me, and grew up with the idea that as a Christian life should be grand. Doing right should equate to the 'good life' and those who were having hard times were getting their 'just deserts'. For the good Christian, life should be 'heaven on earth'! And suf…

Words of HOPE

I discovered a book that was released earlier this year entitled "Rain On Me - 40 Day Devotional Book" by Holley Gerth. I have not read the entire book (it's on my Christmas wish list), but I did discover an excerpt available on the author's blog (Heart to Heart With Holley). I don't typically like to quote from other people (I prefer original writings :) but this was too good not to share. For me it summarizes some of my innermost thoughts quite well... I wear two rings. The one on my left hand is a symbol of love for my husband. The ring on my right hand is a small silver band with one word on it…HOPE. This month marks the five-year anniversary of the reason I bought that little ring. My husband and I have been on the journey to starting a family all that time. In a way it feels like forever and in another it seems incredibly short. When we started down that road I thought hope meant believing God would give us a child. As time went on I discovered true hope is…

My little cowboy

"Snips and snails and puppy dog tails; that's what little boys are made of." I love masculinity...



"Sugar and spice and everything nice; that's what little girls are made of."
My sweet baby girl...

Reflections and projections

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Today I took the time to slow down enough to reflect on "this time last year we were..." I like to do that from time to time in order to see how far we've come or how much we've changed, and also to trace the Lord's hand in our lives. This time last year, the final details were coming together for us for the Chaplaincy. Tim was getting ready to quit his "day job" and spend a month at home with Dylan before CH-BOLC started. We were "entertaining" the idea of child #2 (didn't take much entertaining!) and we were spiffing up our house to put it on the market. I can honestly say that the last year has had more changes in it than probably our 10 years together combined. Changing and quitting jobs, entering the military, conceiving a child, selling a home, being apart for 3 months, moving, buying a car, having a child (prematurely)...whoa, head is spinning! Life now is good, but it is very different. My days were once filled with nurse work from…

The best laid plans...

Today I had 'one of those days'. You know 'em; not alot went right and everything seemed like a struggle. Upon wakening this morning, I had an extensive agenda for this day. A doctor appointment for myself, going to the Wally-Market, house cleaning, laundry, etc. All good things, nothing selfish, just trying to 'get it all done'. But I do believe I can say with confidence that the Lord had other plans for my day. My plans were derailed and I found myself on several detours. My son's coughing and neon green nose necessitated another doctor's appointment (2 appointments in one day, really!?!?) This turned into a 2 1/2 hours visit to the clinic with a sick 3 year old who does not feel his best and a 2 1/2 month old in tow. The funniest part was when they sent us for a chest x-ray to rule out pneumonia and the 3 year old exclaimed he needed to potty while the baby exclaimed she needed to eat...yes, at the same time! After fumbling through that, finding out that…

Family Pumpkin Carving 2009

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In what has become a Raburn tradition, Tim spent some time last week carving out our family pumpkin. He really has a knack for this and Dylan and I just sit back and watch in awe (well, I sit back and Dylan circles Tim like a vulture!) With the reality of a scheduled deployment next year will have to find a way to carry on this tradition next fall. Maybe we will carve a Tim face in honor of our soldier. Hooah!

Pictures from the Pumpkin Patch

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Our good friends AND neighbors, Anna Kaye and Ms. Laura

Dylan and Anna Kaye

Mothering...and other memories

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I recently read an article in a religious magazine about a mother who, much like an employee at a corporation, turned in her 'resignation, effective today' to her family. In the resignation, she detailed how she could no longer 'work under such conditions' and was feeling overwhelmed by the number of constituents under her. While the article was written completely in jest, it got me thinking about this life of motherhood. Mothering (in particular, family-making and the formative years) are quite the challenge. I myself am considering writing a book chronicling the years I am spending raising my God-given gifts called children. I do not have sufficient enough material yet to write said book, but I already have a working title. It will be called, "Outnumbered: raising kids without raising hell". But I digress... In my recent attempts to find the balance (that, I've been told, "will come") in dividing time between 2 kids and housework, I have been …

Timely Words

"My understanding, my feeling, about the importance of the Chaplains Corps is so great that it would be difficult indeed to think of the most important of all of those things for a two or three-minute chat with you this morning. I would like to bring my thoughts right down to the present. "We know that America now must remain strong, by which I mean militarily strong, to sustain in the world the concepts on which our civilization is based, the ideas of the dignity of man, of a government based on religious faith. So it seems to me, as long as we have to do that, as long as our young men must respond cheerfully to their military duty, whether it be in the Reserves or the Regulars, and must do it as a national obligation, your task is especially important. It is to bring home to them, to their fathers and mothers, and indeed to the whole world, how much this is truly a crusade, a crusade for decency, not carried out on a militant basis but on one where we stand firmly behind t…

What is an Army wife?

The Lord is beginning to make me increasingly aware of those around me who are temporarily living alone while their soldier is defending our country's freedom. In my circle of friends, there are at least 8...and I've only been making friends here since early May. At a post like Ft Bragg, deployment is inevitable and more than half of the post can be deployed at any one time. Now, though, those soldiers who are deployed have names and faces that I recognize, and they have families and spouses that I know and love dearly. Those amazing women who, as the patriotic hymn says, "more than self their country loved" and have made the lofty sacrifices necessary to send the head of their house and love of their lives into harms way. What is an Army wife? She is one who endures obstacle and inconvenience for the sake of life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and her husband's calling and career. She can persevere through lengthy absences with nothing but pride for her cou…

Finding my voice again

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It has been quite sometime since I have been in the blogging groove. It is definitely something I miss when I don't do it. I guess the best way to describe my love of blogging is that it gives me a voice. A voice that I wouldn't otherwise have. A voice that allows me to express the inner-workings of my heart, to showcase what God is doing in my life. To flesh out things I am going through and PRAY, PRAY, PRAY that God can take this mess of jumbled words and use it for His glory to help someone else along.

I have discovered about myself that at the times when my blog is stagnant it is because that voice inside me is silent. Life keeps pressing on, things are busy, and there is plenty that I could write about. But sometimes at the same time, for a variety of reasons, my heart does not want to put to the pen what is really going on inside. The past 6 weeks have been such an example. Yes, our little bundle of joy came early and the last 6 weeks have been busy as ever. Some might t…

She's here! (well, she's been here for a little while)

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5 weeks later, I finally have a moment to post! (Better late than never ;0) Jordan Nataleigh Raburn made an early appearance into this world, but not beyond the knowledge and care of her heavenly Father. She arrived Saturday August 1st, 2009 at 12:39pm. She weighed 6 lbs even, and was 18.25 inches long. Not bad for 35 weeks!! She spent 10 days in the NICU (which I WILL blog about at some point...such an experience) and came home to be forever ours on August 11th. She is a delight and a sweet joy. She nurses like a champ even though she was given bottles for a good while in the NICU. She likes to be held and talked to and cries very little. She is a GREAT sleeper and her big brother can't keep his hands off of her. More to come as time allows...right now we are enjoying the 10 day paternity leave the Army provides :)

Countdown to baby!

I guess infrequent bloggings are my new norm! The summer has been so busy for us. Combine that with my ever-increasing tiredness and you might can see why I haven't spent much time on here. Facebook statuses are about all I've had the energy for! At this point I am just shy of 34 weeks pregnant with this sweet baby girl. Her room is coming together and I feel mostly prepared for her arrival...as prepared as I can, I suppose. We have been praying for her health, safe arrival, and her transition into our family. We are also praying for Dylan's acceptance of her and his 'bound-to-change' behavior...that it will be as mild as the Lord sees fit to allow! I think I am already seeing some of that in him, maybe partly because he senses change and partly because I just cannot keep up!! Just moments ago he was circling me at full speed in our living room/dining room/kitchen area like a buzzard...or like Dash from The Incredibles! He is also in a phase where he does NOT like …

Pictures from our July vacation

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Here are recent pics from our vacation and time with grandparents (my parents). Dylan had his first trip to the beach and he thoroughly enjoyed it. He kept referring to the ocean as "the swimming pool at the beach"! The pictures of the picnic are from Tim's battalion organization day.

Powerful Prayer

OPENING PRAYER BY RETIRED NAVY CHAPLAIN JOHN P. SAUNDERS AT THE ABA 2009 MEETING Eternal God, our Father, thou hast been our strength and help for the past 234 years, and You are our hope as a nation for years to come. Thank you Lord for the privilege of living in America. Thy divine providence led our forefathers in building a nation upon the principles or righteousness, justice, liberty and individual responsibility. Your goodness and blessing through the years made us the greatest nation on earth, a nation of free people who delighted in the law of God, believed in the sanctity of human life, and the sacred vows of marriage. From our humble beginning we were known as a Christian Nation because we believed in the teachings of Jesus and worked to insure that Godly men were elected to high positions of government. You continued to bless us and we became the wealthiest nation on earth. As years passed we gradually became apathetic, independent and self-serving, forgetting that faith in…

Life and such

I checked out my own blog today and couldn't believe how long it had been since I had posted! Time is really moving fast these days. It seems that the weekdays just fly and then it is the weekend again. Dylan and I have been enjoying our neighborhood pool since it opened Memorial Day weekend. Tim is making his presence known amongst the troops and has been busy with his Chaplain duties. We are narrowing down our decision on which Chapel to attend for worship. There is a Chapel being held at a community located 20 minutes from here but it is an on-post community. We have to drive off-post and then back on-post again to get there. It is just starting but God is definitely working there.

I have been trying to be a visible presence along side Tim as well as I attend different meetings and functions with the Army. I want to be an example for Christ whenever I can and I also want to be known amongst the troops and spouses as someone who is approachable in case they need to tal…

Hope for the Home Front

PWOC...Oh, the Army's acronyms

Today one of my new found Chaplain's wife friends and I (and our kids) went to the Protestant Women of the Chapel (PWOC) Bible study this morning and had a great time. Today was called “Tea and Testimony Time”. They sat us at tables and each table had a “hostess” who had brought her own teacups and saucers as well as china pitchers and we each had a different flavor of tea packet in our cups. I was blessed to have a Vanilla Chai packet in my cup (my favorite)! We had a time of worship at the beginning and then several other worship songs were sung throughout. They gave out awards and nice bags to many of the ladies who had served or led Bible studies. This was the last meeting for this semester, so several of the ladies got up and gave a testimony about what PWOC had done for them or meant to them this year. One lady testified that through PWOC, she had come to know Christ and eventually her husband did too. He has now been sober for 9 months through the power of Christ and her li…

The heavens declare

As I sit and write this, I am in the backyard of our new home in North Carolina and it is a gorgeous day in May. It is a perfect 73 degrees outside and there is a gentle breeze. I am rocking in one of the chairs that goes with my new patio furniture set given to me by Tim and Dylan for Mother's Day. I am looking at the lush green grass and trees that surround me. And I am listening to the silence that surrounds me, except for only a few chirping sparrows and cooing doves. The dogs are quietly resting in their pen and Dylan is fast asleep. The house is all clean and I feel better than a pregnant woman should! This is truly a beautiful moment. No, it is not a dream...it is reality. And I am savoring it. After the months of seperation and transition that we endured, this is truly a moment of Heaven on Earth, a blessing from the Lord. I am truly thankful to Him for all he has done to bring us back together as a family, to get Tim off to a good start with his ministry, to give us a hea…

Pictures of our on-post house

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Here are a few pictures I took of the outside of our on-post house. It is a nice, newly refurbished duplex in a GREAT neighborhood and we are happy here. Since I took these pics, the lawn care guys came and trimmed back the tall bushes so they're not quite so bushy!!


Front view of the house

Left front view of the house

Left side view of the houseRight front view of the house

Carport view (the couch is gone!! Sold at the post-wide yard sale!) The post-wide yard sale went well for us...we were able to rid ourselves of alot of things that we can't use/don't need/don't have space for anymore since moving here from our larger house. And we made a pretty good profit too! We got to know some of our neighbors better and met some new neighbors. All in all it was a great day! God continues to bless us here and we continue to find our joy and satisfaction in His presence.

1 week and hundreds of boxes later...

We have officially been in our on-post house for 1 week now. This week has been chaotic to say the least. I knew how much stuff was in our storage unit, but seeing it get unloaded AGAIN here at our new house overwhelmed me all over again. I have had to constantly remind myself that these 'things' are not just 'stuff' but 'blessings from the Lord'. We basically went from a 1650 sq ft house to a 1320 sq ft house...with most of the same stuff :) It has been a challenge and physically exhausting (for a pregnant girl) to unload all these belongings, sort through them, and find a home for them. Today we had 15 feet of trash lined up at the street for trash day! Praise the Lord for decluttering...it feels SO good! Next time we will declutter BEFORE we move. Thank goodness for the post-wide carport sale this Saturday!! Fortunately, Tim had requested 10 days of "permissive leave" so he has been here every step of the way. I could not have done this with out hi…

Dear Jordan,

Your daddy and I are busy deciding on a middle name for you. We haven't quite figured it out for sure, but there are a few things that we DO know for sure. Even as little as you still are inside me, just 20 weeks big, we love you oh-so-very-much! You will come into a world where you are as loved as a little one can be. Your daddy is extremely excited to be having a girl, since he's already got his boy. I think he is looking forward to spoiling you and watching you wrap him around your tiny finger! I can't wait to hold you and smell your sweet skin, and see how much you look like your brother :) Jordan, besides being loved already, the thing your daddy and I hope the most for you in this world is that you (and your brother Dylan) know how wonderful and real God is. We are spending our lives following His voice, not because we are afraid of Him or because we have to. But because we want to and we love Him with all our hearts. We know that He is as real today as He was in the…

The first 2 weeks

We are coming to a close on our first two weeks here at Ft Bragg. It hasn't been too far from what I expected, with the exception of the fact that we have been living in a one-bedroom hotel! Tim does PT early each morning with different soldiers from the companies in his battalion and then comes home for breakfast and a shower. Dylan and I get to eat breakfast with him (which is a real treat and different from our former life where we all got up at different times). Tim is also able to come home for lunch since he works so close and his lunch breaks allow plenty of time for that. His day finishes up between 4:30 and 5pm and then he is home for the evening. I'm sure there will busier days and times when he can't come home to see us so much. In fact, I know he will have to be "out there" some lunches and evenings with his soldiers in order to meet them where they are with God's message of hope. But I have so enjoyed having him around and being a family again. P…

Easter 2009 -- He is risen!!

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Here are a few more pictures from our morning. It was cold here at Ft Bragg for our sunrise service.
And here is the first of my "belly shots". This is Jordan and I at 19 weeks. There really wasn't much to photograph until now. The bump is kind of hard to ignore at this point!

Easter festivities

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The slide show above is of our family picnic as we gathered just before leaving Columbia. Both sets of Dylan's grandparents were there, as well as Aunt Liz and Uncle Robert.

This morning we spent some time exploring the post. We drove around and looked for street signs and landmarks -- only getting lost a couple of times! :) After lunch and a nap we took Dylan to what was listed in the paper as an "Easter Egg Hunt" at the local youth center on post. We decided to skip the beforehand festivities (who schedules a kid's event to start at 2pm? It's like the universal nap hour!!) and just to go for the Hunt. We arrived a couple of minutes before the Hunt was to begin. The best way to describe it is PANDEMONIUM! There were about 300 kids jockeying for position as workers threw thousands of pieces of candy on the lawn of the youth center. At the blowing of the whistle the kids took off and scooped and foraged the candy. Not exactly the representation of the mea…

A day of fasting and praying

Today the Chaplain's at Fort Bragg (and possibly other posts) are Fasting and Praying for suicide prevention. Last year the army saw its highest suicide rate in 3 decades. Please pray that these men and women serving God in the military are able to reach the hurting where they are and keep precious lives from being lost outside of the warzones.

Trusting in God

The past 2 days my mind has been continually meditating on Psalm 91:1-2:
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust".

The Lord has been taking care of us in amazing ways, but this transition has been rough. The 3 of us are basically staying in a hotel room that has 2 double beds and a mini fridge, freezer, and microwave. There is one kitchen with a stove and sink for the whole building, and it is downstairs. Oh yeah, and no elevator...and I'm 19 weeks pregnant :) Now I know that's not exactly what some would call "suffering for Jesus" but it has been stressful trying to figure out how the 3 of us who have not been together much will now survive in a 300 sq ft space for 15 days. It is SO good that we can be together and I have missed our "family". But I am definitely longing for our house (should be ours by the 20th) and some …

Transition so far...

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