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Showing posts from 2010

When your heart feels hurried...

I couldn't have written anything better myself than what author Holly Gerth wrote in this devotional. Hope it ministers to you this holiday season. Merry Christmas, frinds!

When your heart feels hurried...
'Tis the season to be busy.
There are gifts to buy, meals to make, trips to take, decorations to be hung, songs to be sung, places to go, people to see…
It's December 1st and I'm already tired. Anyone else?
I read the words... Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10
But how can I be still when there's so much going on?
Of course, the first answer is to simplify my life.
Yet the kind of stillness God is talking about isn't just about my circumstances. It's about being still on the inside.
I have stilled and quieted my soul; like a weaned child with its mother. Psalm 131:2 What is a weaned child like? One that has learned to stop asking for more, more, more and instead simply rests in the arms of love, love, love.
My hurry and stress come from that want of more.…
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Time marches on

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So much has transpired since my last post...namely TIME! Hallelujah for that one! We are one week shy of the 4 month mark. Now for those of you who are not math-savvy, that is 1/3 of the way through our year, or 33.33%! Ohhhh yeah!


October was full of autumn events like a pumpkin patch trip, trunk-or-treating, and a fire station trip. The weekend of Halloween this crazy mamma did a trunk-or-treat on Friday night, trick-or-treating on Saturday night, followed by another trunk-or-treat on Sunday after church. Whaaaa?!?!? What was I thinking?! Needless to say I was taaaarrred and never so excited to see a Monday in my whole life! I have got some work to do with my four year old, though, for next year. He quickly lost interest in collecting candy at each of our outings and instead opted to put himself whole heartedly to the task of being "in character" as Bibleman. What is that about??

Oh, and baby boy, Mamma needs more chocolate next year.

Veteran's Day weekend I had the gre…

Savoring the season

It is the start of the fall season. The air is crisp and clean. Gone is the swelter of summer; here, for a while, is the air which feels neutral on the skin. This weather is what I imagine it like in heaven -- simple, clear, non-distracting. I love watching the seasons change. While I know God does NOT change, the way He cares for us and reaches out to us changes like seasons throughout the course of our life -- as we grow and mature. To me it seems that God likes variety, creativity, and fresh starts. Each and every winter somehow feels familiar yet new. Only a loving Creator like ours can accomplish this four times a year, each year. As I write this I am sitting in the comfort of the swing in my parent's backyard. The air is light, the breeze gentle, the sounds delightful -- birds in the trees singing their praises, squirrels in the branches busy preparing for winter, the soft rustling of leaves overhead, the faint ringing of the wind chimes. Occasionally the wind gusts for a br…

Just another day in Army life...

"Army life is a tough life." You will hear that from time to time, and there are times that it is very true. Countless nights in a lonely bed, drying tears of children who miss Daddy, worrying about a loved one's safety...to name a few. But then there are other occasions that are just darn fun and cool. Today was one of those occasions. The Billy Graham Association sponsored an event called "Rock The Fort" here on post. It was kind of like a fair, kind of like a concert...and it was free! There was great "fair" food, plenty of bounce houses, a craft tent, as well as a huge concert stage where some great Christian bands would play. But the highlight of the day was when my 2 kiddos got to watch the Golden Knights parachute down and land less than 100 ft in front of us. Talk about thrilling! My 4 year old couldn't take his eyes off of those paratroopers! And when it was over? Well, he asked me if they could do it again, of course!! It was truly a spe…

7 weeks down...

Whoa...I blinked and 7 weeks of this deployment passed me by. Life has been hectic & crazy at times, so blogging has not been on my radar screen. Changing diapers, disciplining kids, maintaining my outlets of ministry, and personal Bible Study have been lighting up my radar screen. Yes, Bible Study. It is a committment that I made to the Lord during this deployment -- to faithfully study His Word and present all my cares to Him in prayer. It has been a life line to my soul. However, this has meant letting alot of other "things" go that I would like to be doing...like blogging. But, I believe in the end God will bless my efforts as I see the fruit that His Word brings about in my life. On the husband-front, Chaplain is doing well. He always sound so positive and upbeat, despite what I know is going on over there (all the yucky, unpleasant stuff of war). He told me the other day that except for missing me and the kids, he is loving it over there...mostly because, he said, …

A marathon, not a sprint

My life as a happily married single Mom has begun. We are now located in our new abode and ALMOST all the boxes are unpacked. All except for a few in Chaplain's study/our guest room. And, no offense baby, but they are not a pressing matter. Rest assured that they will get unpacked long before your R&R. The move was not as tough as the last one, but somewhere in the midst of it all I remembered that I was 6 months pregnant for our last one. That made a HUGE difference in my energy level. My mom was so gracious to come and stay for nearly 2 weeks as we packed up, moved over, and unpacked. The kids and I are really enjoying this new home; the extra space is wonderful! My son can turn cartwheels and do flips and I do not have to fuss for fear of him running into something or things getting knocked over. I am trying to figure out what our new day-to-day routine will be in this new house. It is taking some getting used to having a second story. I have to stop and think, "Okay, …

A year begins…

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Deployed. Down-range. In theater. These are all terms the Army uses to describe that time when men go off to war. I dislike the term "in theater" because this is anything BUT an act or a show. I also don't like "deployed" because I picture little green men catapulting across a living room floor (I don't know why). I guess down-range sounds better; kinda makes it sound like they are just on-post down at the range. Takes a little of the sting out of it. I guess I prefer to call the whole situation "ouch"…'cause it hurts, oh-so-much.

My Chaplain-soldier left earlier this week and it has truly been the hardest week of my life. Nothing major has gone awry, but the pain of separation has at times been unbearable. He will likely be gone for 12 months, which is unfathomable at this point. We are taking it one day at a time. We have been blessed to hear from Chaplain often as he has been in an adjoining country awaiting a flight to his ultimate destina…

Casing of the colors

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Today our family had the opportunity to attend my husband's unit's "Casing of the colors" ceremony, which most army units/brigades do in preparation for deployment. It was a well-attended ceremony held at our brigade's parade field. Many of the soldiers from all of the units in our brigade were out in formation in the field. The commanding general for Fort Bragg was also in attendance. "Casing the colors" involves calling the soldiers from each unit to attention, having them inspected by the brigade commander, and then packaging up the flags in preparation for movement to their deployment location. Upon their arrival, the colors will then be displayed again while the units carry on their mission downrange. This highly traditional ceremony was a great way to give a tangible, visual element to what probably seems to our son like a theoretical deployment. The pictures below are from this event. Notice how the flag is unfurled in the first picture and encas…

D-D-Deployment

Deployment. It's the "D" word in the Army. Not for everyone, but for most spouses it is. Ours first is looming just around the corner. We are past the 30 day mark. What does it feel like? Like a highly-anticipated, long-dreaded visit from that relative you hoped you'd never have to meet or see again. But you know he/she is coming, so you'd better prepare. That's what we've been doing. Everything from Living Wills to Power of Attorneys to Advanced Directives. The Army was kind enough to give us 2 weeks of "Block Leave" with their blessing and encouragement to spend time with family. We (minus the baby) chose to spend half of our Leave at Disney World. This was a fantastically phenomenal experience and will be a well-spring of memories during the long months ahead. The trip itself, the sights and sounds, the smells, the time…will all serve to bind us closer together and will impress into our minds perhaps for a lifetime. And now we are in the seas…

Blah, Blah, Blog (the last three months)

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In April, I had the opportunity to accompany Chaplain to San Antonio for a week-long Strong Bonds training event. The Army paid our tab and we were trained in several different curricula which we can use at future Strong Bonds events. This was an incredible blessing to be co-trained with my Chaplain-husband and also to be able to spend one-on-one time with him (kids were at grandma/grandpa's!) so close to our anniversary (10 years on May 13th!). What an awesome privilege and perk brought to us Chaplain wives by the U.S. Army! If you are an Army or Air Guard Chaplain wife, training events are happening around the country several times a year. I highly recommend that you seek out this opportunity and take full advantage of it! Not too long after this training even (2 weeks later, I think) Chaplain and I put together a retreat which took place at the Great Wolf Lodge in Concord, NC. We used Mark Gungor's Laugh Your Way To A Better Marriage…which was a huge success. I wasn't …

The Mother Download

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Today I was reminded by my sweet husband of what this day was like for me (for us, really) 5 years ago. It was a tearful one, full of dashed hopes, fading dreams, and fertility tests and treatments. One year later, Mother's Day four years ago, was quite the opposite scenario. It was a tearful one as well, but for sweeter reasons. You see, between Mother's Day 2005 and Mother's Day 2006, we not only found out we would become parents, we actually became parents! All in the span of a year's time. Wow…just thinking of it gives me flashbacks and goosebumps. From the valley of shadows of grief and barrenness to the mountaintop of joy and parity. How labile our emotions can be as humans, subject to our circumstances and points of view. Praise be to God who is an ever-present constant in the emotional storm.
I was recently reading a fiction book based loosely off of the book of Hosea. In it the author used the phrase "divine privilege" to describe the Lord's gift …

The Seafood Sermon

One of the duties I enjoy in parenting my children is the having the privilege to share the word of God with them. With Dylan it is soooo easy because he LOVES a good story! He will often come up with a scenario and ask one of us to come up with a story to go along with it…on the fly! So it is no surprise that any Bible story captures his attention (and I am praying his heart too!). Each week we get out his "Cubby" book and learn his lesson for the following AWANA session. It is one of the highlights of both of our weeks! This week's lesson was on The Five Loaves and Two Fishes. I wasn't sure how this one would go over, seeing as he has heard it many times before…but by me utilizing hand gestures and props his attention span was great! I kid myself if I say that those lessons are only for him, because so many times the Lord speaks to me through those simple lessons. This time as I read our passage my mind focused on the interaction between Philip and Jesus. The Scrip…

The twilight zone

There is this point between fully awake, squirming, reaching for all things reachable and zonked, passed out, eyes-slammed-shut sleep where a transient state comes over a baby on his or her way to bed. The last two nights I have found that place with my baby girl, and it is SOOO sweet. Lying in my arms she is looking up at me, square in the eyes, and I am doing the same to her. At times it seems like she is almost looking through me as she teeters on the edge of blessed slumber. I wish I could know what she is thinking. What thoughts go through her young but vibrant mind? Is she noticing the color of my eyes, the shape of my face, or the crookedness of my teeth? Or, during this twilight time, can she see the shape and form of the heavenly beings that I have prayed would come and surround her crib as she sleeps? Does she watch them with delight as they decend with their cheerful faces to be her companion on their nightwatch? Or does her face display the contentment and security she fee…

Easter 2010

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Pictures from Our Resurrection Egg Hunt at Chapel NeXt @ Linden Oaks, Easter Sunday.

StrongBonds -- Myrtle Beach

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Tim put together a StrongBonds retreat for his battalion over the weekend and I was blessed to be able to be apart of it. The location was great (Myrtle Beach) but the weather was non-cooperative. Thank goodness Myrtle Beach has alot of other great attractions to see. If you don't know about StrongBonds, it is a program that the Army funds and the Chaplains run with the mission of strengthening families, marriages, and single soldiers (who will one day be having marriages and families of their own). One of the ways the StrongBonds program is carried out is through retreats that are hosted away from Post and usually in nice locations. This particular retreat we focused on the PREP course (relationship enrichment and problem solving) and had 10 couples (plus kids) with us. These retreats are one of the biggest ways I have been enabled to be apart of Tim's ministry. He allows me to teach with him (on the curriculum that I am certified in) and we also --hopefully-- model what a he…

My sweet babies

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Sleeping soundly, alarm clock resounds

Jump in the shower, dress for the day

Grab a cup of Joe, doctor it up

Await the awakening of my angels

Baby girl coos, a sound so gentle

Snuggle time before the rush begins

Warm fuzzy p.j.'s and a gigantic smile

A wet diaper smell, daybreak's light

Nursing sweetly, praying over her head

Another door creaks, big brother's up

Tousled hair, stuffed animals in tow

Morning breath, smelly but sweet

Hugs all around, breakfast prep begins

Front door opens, Daddy back from PT

This is the stuff of our mornings.

One of my favorite things to do with my children is to listen to music with them, in particular music with a Christian message. I love having the word of God in their ears and on their lips. It is THE EASIEST way to get your kids memorizing scripture…even as young as 2 or 3! We have one CD in particular that I love to play over my kids, especially at night. It is an "oldy but a goody" by Michael Card called Sleep Sound in Jesus

Life goes on...

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Many, many times over the last month I have wanted to just sit down and blog. Call me nerdy, but it is therapeutic for me. It makes me organize my life (or at least my thoughts about it) and helps me trace God's hand through all the ups and downs. Alas, I have not done so as of late. BUT...I have done alot of other things. I feel like I am at a place where I am caught up (at least for the moment! :) in life. My sweet Jordan is in a stable routine and my baby boy has recenty turned 4!!! We are have adjusted to the dynamics of being a family of four and the fluidity of our day-to-day routine. And so, now to catch up...


The Lord is doing great things in the life of the Raburns and is taking better care of us than we deserve. This semester I began a Bible Study entitled "Sacred Marriage" (based off of the book by Gary Thomas). It is an incredibly indepth book that has more to do with our relationship to the Lord than our spouse...but the kicker is that when that "verti…

J's dedication to the Lord

Wordless Ones by Michael Card

In your loving arms we lay This wordless one so new; The incarnation of our love We dedicate to You. Hopeless, yet so full of hope We make a solemn vow, Not knowing when their time will come, Not knowing even how. And thugh it seems we try and make A promise that is true... We really only claim for them The promise that is You. The holy sleep that falls so deep, A blessing from above, Will now embrace our little one In simple trusting love. We offer you this child who's only ours for just awhile; How could we keep it back from You When You gave Your only Child?

He has made me glad

The song playing in my head…

Praise God for Christian music!  What better way to get positive words to stick in our heads?  Today, this encouraging tune is milling around in head.  Thought I'd share it; it's a good one!
Walk On The Water

You look around and staring back at you
Another wave of doubt
Will it pull you under?
You wonder
What if i'm overtaken?
What if i never make it?
What if no one's there?
Will you hear my prayer?
When you take that first step
Into the unknown
You know that he won't let you go

So what are you waiting for?
What do you have to lose?
Your insecurities
They try to hold to you
But you know you're made for more
So don't be afraid to move
Your faith is all it takes
And you can walk on the water too

So get out and let your fear fall to the ground
No time to waste, don't wait
And don't you turn around, and miss out on
Everything you were made for
Gotta be, I know you're not sure, more
So you play it safe, you try to run away
If you take that first step
Into the unknown
He won'…

A Southerner and a Jew

What could a dark skinned, curly haired man wearing sandals have in common with a fair skinned, blonde haired gal who says "Y'all"? Not much, or so I would have thought. But the more I learn of Paul in the New Testament the more similarities I see in that analogy.
Paul, or as I should say Saul, was a man steeped in religion and tradition (think "Fiddler on the Roof"). He prided himself on just how many rules he could keep and how methodically he could do things. And all of this was not just some obsessive-compulsive tendency. It was his legacy, his religion, his hope of salvation.
And what about that southern girl? Well, chances are she comes from a long-line of whatever she comes from. She grew up in a home where "It's always done this way" and "saying Grace" were frequently heard. She probably also grew up in church, cutting her teeth on the same pews that her grandparents sat in while her parents got married.
Now in the south, we know…

What it’s like

From time to time, I have become aware that there are those who are following my blog. This is truly a humbling thing that floors me. I write not to have followers, but to journal and capture our journey as it comes and goes. The Lord has called us to this ministry of Chaplaincy and I want to faithfully tell our story. My hope is that those who are considering this lifestyle will find my words helpful, full of hope, and heartfelt. There is a link on my blog site that will allow you to jump back to the beginning of our story …to get the full picture. But, let me attempt to "nutshell" it for those who are considering the Chaplaincy as a career. {I use the male pronouns by default; I understand that there are some female Chaplains in the military}. What is required of an Active Duty Chaplain is a seminary degree and at least 2 years of experience in the ministry, among many other physical requirements. A Chaplain will also have to have an endorsement from his faith group that s…

TwentyTen

2009 has definitely come to a close and 2010 is beginning to feel more like a new friend than a distant relative. Our Christmas was a busy one as we logged 2900 miles in our Acadia while away from home. We left on December 18th for Arkansas by way of Alabama. As we headed on our trek we got news that Chaplain's grandfather, affectionately titled "Pawpaw", was in his last days. Dementia and other systemic health problems had taken its toll on Pawpaw and his time on earth was coming to a close. After a night's stay at my parent's and dropping off the pups, we made our way to Little Rock. On the 21st two days after we arrived we got word that Pawpaw had headed to heaven to have an early Christmas. So the next day we made the journey back to Alabama for the viewing and funeral. On Christmas Eve, we back-tracked to Arkansas and enjoyed Christmas with Chaplain's family, including his sister, brother-in-law, and D's and J's cousins. It was a great Christmas …