Together again

Our time of separation has finally ended as I arrived at Ft Jackson last Thursday evening. It was so good to be with my husband again -- to see him and talk with him. We got to share a neat surprise soon after my arrival. I brought with me the envelope which contained the gender of our child written down on paper. I had the ultrasound done earlier in the week but was sworn to secrecy by the Lieutenant until my arrival! So very "Army"!! By the way, IT'S A GIRL!! The picture in this post is of Kanuga, a retreat center in North Carolina. The day after I arrived, the Army bused all the Chaplains and as many of their wives as could come to this retreat. The best way to sum it up is that it is a retreat designed to show us how to put on a retreat. Part of the hardship of being in the military is the toll it can take on families. This program called "Strong Bonds" was developed by a Chaplain to be used to strengthen marriages and families as well as prepare single adults for married life. It has been a pleasure to be here for many reasons, the first of which is getting to be with Tim. The retreat setting has been nice, quite a change of scenery and pace for both of us (even with the excessive amounts of rainfall we've had!). Also, the material and information presented is real and practical. It is required that it be applicable to people of all faiths, so it is basically spiritually neutral. This has bothered me at times because God, Jesus, and the Bible are so instrumental in maintaining our families and marriages. Jesus is the basis for everything! But keeping in mind that all truth is God's truth has helped me to remember that no matter what psychologist "discovered" a theory, God created it! One other thing I wanted to blog about is my take on these Chaplains. The sheer number of guys (and a small number of women) is almost overwhelming. The morning we started out on this trip we all met at one location and all 100+ of them were lined up in formation. Talk about intimidating! They come from all different backgrounds, faiths, denominations, families, states (and countries), and personalities. Some of them are LOUD and some of them are introspective. Some are excited and eager and some are nervous and anxious. Some of them are on a "spiritual" path that isn't leading to heaven. But for the most part, they have one thing in common. As different as they are, they have all heard, felt, and answered two calls. One to serve their Lord and one to serve their country. The more time I have spent around them, the less intimidating and more personal they have become. They are pastors, youth ministers, men with a heart for ministry who have humbled themselves to be servants and submitted themselves to the grueling ways of the Army. The biggest things I feel for them are pride and gratitude. It is also my prayer that those who are sharing Christ with our nations soldiers will see fruit in their ministry as lives are changed for Him!

Finishing a tough leg of this journey

Our 12 week seperation is coming to a close. And I am so ready for it to be over. I want to be careful in how I say this because I don't want it to seem at all like I think God has abondoned us during this time. He hasn't. But all the same it has been tough. A reflection on the things that have happened during the past 10 weeks:

  • 10 weeks of early pregnancy (blechhh! and zzzzzz)

  • Turning 30 (woohoo!)

  • Dealing with nausea

  • Getting an offer on our house

  • Counter-offering

  • Getting an acceptance on a counter-offer

  • Having a buyer try to back out

  • Having a buyer change her mind on backing out

  • Dealing with nausea


  • Valentine's Day

  • A violent stomach bug that won me an ER trip

  • Making repairs on said house

  • Packing, packing, packing...

  • Moving

  • Dealing with nausea

  • Dylan's 3rd birthday

  • Tim's birthday

  • Dealing with 2 very unhappy but loved dogs

  • Maintaining a paying job :)

  • Trying to keep stability in place for Dylan

  • Managing military movers moving our "stuff" from storage to storage

  • Preparing for life at a new PCS (permanent change of station, for you civilians)

  • Several trips to AL and SC

And that's just what I can remember at 11pm at night!! Whew. It makes me tired just looking at the list. But the awesome thing is that God met every need at every turn. Some days I felt like a conqueror, and others I felt like I had been granted just enough grace for that moment. Surely, Lord, You were my shield, protecting me from harm and destruction. Truly, Lord, You were my strength when I was weary from the pregnancy or just the chaos. Defintely, God, You were our portion to provide what we needed day-to-day. Undoubtedly, You were my deliverer who brought me through it all.

The Lord was faithful to instill a vivid memory in Dylan of his father and a longing to be with him again. Thanks to the technology of cell phones and web cams, we have stayed in touch more than I ever dreamed. One thing I know is true: you can't outgive (or out-serve God). It seems like the more we give of ourselves to Him, the more He heaps out on us. I am eagerly anticipating what God will do as we begin life at Ft Bragg...we WILL resist all attempts to become Tarheel fans!!! Go Bama!

I feel somewhat selfish for talking about all that I've been through without mentioning that which Tim has endured. However, he reminds me that I am fighting a battle of my own...on the homefront. One that is no less important than his; just different. Soldiers are only as strong as the families that support them. My prayer is that in blogging my experiences others might come to realize that they too can do this...that anyone can give their all, their life, to God and watch Him trace their journey. As the song says "Jesus commands my destiny". For God and Country...

And the blessings continue...

This week we found out that we should have the keys to our new house (okay, well, duplex) on or before April 20th. Alot sooner than we expected!! The movers are coming next week to transport or worldly goods to Ft Bragg. Yay! And I leave in 2 weeks to attend a Chaplains & spouses retreat with Tim in North Carolina. Double yay!! After that a 3 day training seminar is scheduled back at Ft Jackson which Tim and I will attend. Then it's time for graduation and the big move! It is all (finally) happening so fast. I can truly say that I have been able to let go of the things I am leaving behind here but the hard part is preparing my heart to leave the people who are so dear to me and my family. I'm not sure I'm ready for that.

Tim is doing great; they are really going through alot of intense mental/emotional counseling training right now. I am praying that it doesn't just stick but it sinks in with Tim. I know that the state our country is in right now just carries over to our soldiers -- and they are hurting. Last year the Army saw its highest suicide rate in decades. I pray that the Lord will place Tim in spots where he can share the only true Hope with these men and women who would rather die than live.

As for our precious pups, I brought them (and Dylan) to Mom and Dad's to "live" for a while until we get a house and a fence. They are free to roam here and I know they will be fine until we can be together again. I will have to watch out; they may get spoiled!!

The latest on us and a great picture

In a recent trip to Ft Bragg, we looked at the housing that was available on post. After prayer and discussion, we decided that we would choose to stay on post so we can get acclimated and so we can afford for me to stay at home. Staying on post means all expenses (except phone, internet and cable/satellite) are paid for by the Army. The housing was actually fairly nice and the neighborhoods were very family friendly. It won't be anything like the house we just moved out of but we did not go into the military to get rich and live in fancy housing. We are here to serve and the Lord will accomodate us along the way as he sees fit.

We completed the paperwork to be placed on the waiting list and found out that we are 15th out of 38...which is better than 38 out of 38!! So all we lack is 15 people to move out of our neighborhood in the next month and we will be good to move in!! :)

While reading the blog of a chaplain's wife friend of mine, I came across a thought that I'd like to post here, giving credit of course to her as the author (thanks Laura!):

"This journey is not about me. It's not about my husband or our children. It's about God Almighty being glorified! "

That is something that in one form or another I remind myself of each and every day. Without this reminder, the days become too long, the wait is too hard, and the struggles are not worth it.
Thought this was a great picture of Chaplain.

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