Tuesday, August 7, 2012

From the tarheel state to the volunteer state

Two months.  Two months ago today we started our journey from the East Coast inland.  We coupled our move-time with chaplain's leave-time and took our sweet-time getting to our new home!  A trip to our see our Alabama family was followed up with a trip to a Florida beach, sans kiddos!  Tim and I enjoyed our chance to be alone together, altough with an impending move-in of all our wordly goods looming over our heads it was a bit hard to fully relax.  God was good, as always, and enabled us to get through the whole relocating process safely and enjoy our family along the way.

Chaplain has been assigned to an aviation brigade and is the chaplain for one of their battalions.  He ministers to alot of helicopter pilots and their support personnel.  It hasn't been too drastic of a change for him coming from an intelligence unit to this aviation one.  He is also settling in at his place of ministry within our chapel.  God has blessed Fort Campbell with a beautiful, new chapel that rivals some civilian churches in terms of space and stature.  It will house the weekly AWANA meetings as well as PWOC.  This past Easter Sunday was their first Sunday to have services.  We excitedly anticipate what God will be doing in and through this chapel ministry!

At this duty station we are living off post.  God provided a lovely home for us to rent from a Christ-centered couple who have been very kind and generous towards us every step of the way.  Good landlords make ALL the difference!  On the down side, we just traded a street full of military families who were like family to us for a street full of people we don't know and are having a HARD time getting TO know.  This has been a real shock to my system and to the kids' too.  They went from having 6 friends to call on within a 300 ft radius on any given day to knowing NO one.  A couple of families reached out to us right away, and for that we are grateful.  We are building friendships with them and their children.  But the openness and instant sense of community, the immediate sense of having things in common is definitely gone.  We are having an ice cream social in our driveway this weekend in the hopes of luring out more families.  I don't mean to complain; our home is lovely and the community is a nice one.  Being military and living off post isn't bad, it's just different.  VERY different.  It makes you feel less, well, military!  Not hearing the bugles every day, not seeing soldiers do PT from your kitchen window, not being 2 blocks from the barracks... it's just different.  Who cares? you might wonder.  Why does it matter?  In the grand scheme of things, it doesn't.  My husband is still Army and his day job is the same.  Still, I think I felt that I could be supportive of and be a part of Army life better when we were living on the post.  I am wondering, and only time will tell, if chaplain will like it here better.  Maybe he will come home and feel like he is truly off duty, with little to no signs of military life anywhere.  A silver lining, perhaps.

Another decision that our family has made is to homeschool.  There were many factors that led to this decision, the biggest was God's conviction on my heart that this was best for our son at this time.  I am considering this a God given adventure that was meant to be handled one day at a time (with a li'l bit of prep work beforehand ;-). Curriculums have been selected, lesson plans have been made, and a start date has been set!  At our last duty station, the Lord provided several outside-the-home ministry positions for me to take part in - I am so grateful for those opportunities and learned so much about the Lord and about ministering to others.  I am not sure what the Lord will have me be involved in here, but I know that the bulk of it will be home-eduating my kids.

For now?  We are sucking the last bits of life out of our summer!  Woohoo!  Thank you so much to all who prayed us through the journey of the last two months. I dare say I speak for all of us when I say that we are not looking forward to another PCS anytime soon!  But it is such a comfort and encouragement to know that when we do, we have you all to lift us up in prayer.

For God and Country...