Dec 28, 2011

3 Days Until Go Time

It has been awhile, but nothing new has gone on really. He's just been working like mad getting all his paperwork in order. He's made tons of phone calls, got our home finances simplified for me (hopefully), and has been taking it easy with us. He purchased a binder that is about 3 inches thick with paperwork. He has to have about 3 copies of every piece of information. Today he is going to get all his stuff packed. It's kind of a mistake on his part though, because I know he will unpack and repack at least 2 more times! :) Here's the packing list:

Chaplaincy School Needs

Cash:  $(I can't publish how much he is taking....he would NOT like that.)


12” Flat Ruler
6 x 9 Steno Notebook
Ball Point Pens—Black
8 White Undershirts
10 Pair Underwear
10 Pair White Socks
2 towels
2 Washcloths
5 Pair Black Dress Socks
Razor & Blades
Nail Clippers
Shower Shoes
White Mesh Laundry Bag
2-3 Civilian Outfits
Running Shoes
Shoe Shine Kit
Cleaning Suupplies
Small Box of Laundry Detergent

Optional but Allowed:

iPod & iPad Charger
Phone charger
Ibuprophen etc.
Alarm Clock
Wallet/Checkbook & Debit Card

PCS Orders
Copies of Prescriptions—None
Medical Records
Immunization Records
Oath of Office
Direct Deposit Information
Original Birth Certificate
Original Social Security Card
Driver’s License
Original Marriage License
Originals of Children’s Birth Certificates
Originals of Children’s Social Security Cards
Recruiter Contact Information

Saturday morning, we'll get all 4 kids loaded up quietly in the van to drive him to the airport. His parents and my mom want to go also. His flight leaves at 8am. We are both getting a little sad. I haven't cried yet, but I came very close last night. I'm pretty sure I'll cry on Saturday. He doesn't report until Monday, so he'll have a day or so to explore, if he chooses to. I think he'll go to a chapel service on base on Sunday.

I know we signed up for this, but when he's been gone in the past for various mission trips, it has only been about 2 weeks. The first few days are great, but then by the end of the first week, I really begin to miss him. I guess that's a good sign, huh? I keep asking him if he's sure that he has to train, can't he just skip through that and take us to Japan already? He says is stinks knowing that we have to be away from each other for 3 months and knowing that it's the right thing to do. True.

Hopefully in the coming weeks, he'll be able to post information about where he's at. If not, I'll do my best. I asked him to take photos, but he isn't that kind of guy. I hope he'll get in someone else's photos then.

Dec 9, 2011

Counting Down

Life has been VERY fast paced these last few weeks. We moved a couple weeks ago, and closed on our house last Thursday, and it seems like time is flying by. The decision to choose the Navy, the CARE board, and my commissioning service seem like they were ages ago. In reality it has only been a few months. Now we are in a countdown until I leave for ODS and Chaplaincy School. I'm hoping to have my travel itenerary in a week or so.

Wednesday was our last time leading the youth group at our church, and I am truly going to miss each of those teenagers. They are great people, and I wish them the best. This Sunday will be my last as as pastor. I already know it will be difficult to leave the people and this ministry, but I know this is where God is calling me to serve him at this point in time. This gives me great peace (Eph. 1:11-12).

With all this happening, the reality of January is starting to set in. The last week or so I have been getting all my paperwork in order and purchasing the items I will need for ODS. We sent off for our tourist passports and are working on applying for our DOD passports. I have talked to many people in the process, but I can never seem to find the right person the first time. It seems as if I must talk to the whole department (or multiple departments) before I get ahold of the right person. I was truly frustrated and decided to pray about it. Later that day, I was connected with a LT who went to Japan right after ODS and she was able to guide me through this process. Funny how God works, isn't it!

For me (Mr. H) time with my family is starting to take priority. Strange, how knowing you'll be gone for 3 months will do that to you. Last night as I carried our middle son back to bed I got a little emotional as I thought, "Who will do this when I'm gone?" There are a lot of things I would like to do before I leave, but I'm not letting them get in the way of being with my family. I've seen this attitude in some of the soldiers I've worked with before, and never fully understood it. Now I do! It makes me even more grateful for those who have gone before me and those who serve today. The men and women of our military make great sacrifices to ensure our freedom. If you see a soldier, sailor, or marine (past or present) make sure you thank them for what they do!

T-Minus 23 Days and counting until ODS begins. . .

Nov 10, 2011

DEERS and Renting

It's been over a month since my husband has been commissioned and he's still not been entered in DEERS (Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System). What's taking so long I wonder? Maybe they're waiting until it's closer to time for him to leave. I don't know.

On another note, we put down a little on a rental in a town about halfway between where I live now and where my family lives. We were all set to move there and even looked at it and had a tentative move-in date. Then a duplex in my hometown (SL--where most of our family is) came up for rent. I let Mr. H. know  "I would love to live in it, but that since we sort of committed to the other one, we could make that work too."  He remembers it more as a "if you don't let us live here, I'll be mad at you forever..." :)

He contacted the guy with the duplex and we have a move-in date of the 15th. He also called the owner of the house and let him know that our situation changed. 

I've been packing some, but not a whole lot.  We don't have a lot of "stuff" I don't think. I hate to pack up the kitchen or bathroom because that's a last minute thing. I do a lot of baking and cooking and I'd hate to need something that's packed in a box somewhere. Although I do a pretty good job of labeling my boxes. I put what's in it and where it goes in the new place. Or maybe everyone does that...?

A side note: please be praying for our church as they look for a new pastor...

Oct 28, 2011

Selling and Looking

Our house went on the market on a Saturday morning. It was under contract in 8 days! I think it's a rare thing since we live in the middle of nowhere in a town of 400. It is such a blessing of course. I stand amazed at how the Lord has worked in our lives in the last few months. To think of how wicked and undeserving we are, and yet he continues to show us His love and bless us more and more.

All that's left is to get the appraiser's report that our house is worth what we're asking for it. If not, then we'll re-negotiate with our buyer.

Today, we're going to visit my family for the day. There's a house we're going to look at renting also. Another thing to give God the praise for. I was getting a little nervous that we wouldn't be able to find someone to rent to us for only 5 months. Well, in the last few days, I've located 3 different places that will do that. Only one is in  my hometown, but the other 2 aren't too far away either.

There's a house in the bigger town a few minutes away, and that one really appeals to me because it's bigger and convenient. The only drawback (well, besides the person not replying to my emails...) is that it's across the street from Fred Phelps' Westboro Church! I'm not sure I want to subject my children to anything they might witness over there! On the other hand, it's close to McDonald's, Wendy's. and Sonic!

Once we set a closing date and we find a rental, I'll be set. Except now I notice myself dreading him leaving for 3 months. I think about who will fix my computer (TeamViewer will be a lifesaver), who will shovel the snow, how will I find someone trustworthy to fix my vehicle if it needs it. I have a dad, 4 brothers and a brother-in-law in the area, but they've all got their own families, so I can't expect them to be at my beck and call.

Mainly when I think about him being gone, I just put the thought out of my head. I refuse to dwell on that until it happens.I'm going to eat up these next few months of just being together.

Oct 7, 2011

Our Lieutenant JG

It's official...well, assuming he graduates from ODS and Chaplain School. HE WILL!

Last Monday was Mr. H.'s commissioning service and it was so cool. It was only a 39 second ceremony. Yes, really, 39 seconds. He had to repeat something like this:

"I, ______________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according the regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God."

I'm not sure if this is EXACTLY what he said, but it's pretty close.

We had some family and friends attend, driving almost 2 hours for the short ceremony. It was really a very cool event. One that will go down in my scrapbook.

Sep 27, 2011

Questions, Questions, Questions

Mr. H and I have been scouring the internet looking for info on Okinawa. He has been submitting paperwork to whomever will take it since we have NO ONE appointed to help us with this process. I think we're supposed to have a "sponsor" to walk us through this move, but we haven't gotten that contact info yet. His recruiter is young and just isn't too familiar with this process yet. I hoped he would have given Mr. H. a name of someone to contact, but he didn't.

He submitted our housing application last night. I thought they would look it over and let us know which housing type we would get. But not, we have to attend a class within 2 days of arriving at Okinawa, THEN we will know where we'll be living. So apparently, this is my first taste of me not being in control. I mean, I won't know what my house will look like, what the floor plans are, what to pack for it, until 2 days AFTER arriving!? I know all you seasoned military wives are laughing right now...

In spite of that, I'm okay with it. Since all of this is so new, I'm just along for the ride.

Sep 22, 2011

Duty Station Choices

Mr. H. received a phone call on Tuesday from his recruiter. His commissioning service is scheduled! I can't wait. Any friends and family who would like to attend are welcome to. I have no idea what the address is. The service is at 1pm on October 3rd in KC.

The same day, Mr. a phone call from his detailer. A detailer is the guy who advises Mr. H. on his chaplaincy career. He gave us 6 choices:

Crete, unaccompanied
Japan, deployable
Japan, non-deployable

Crete was out for me. I didn't want to start our military life off with a separation like that. Japan (deployable) was out for me because once again, I didn't want to start out with him being gone AND in a foreign country all by myself with 4 kids. At first my choices were California or Florida. Georgia didn't seem exciting enough. Mr. H. wanted Japan, deployable, above all the others.

Mr. H. and I discussed the different assignments and what his "job" would be at each one. His heart's desire is to be deployed with Marines/Navy. So, I decided that he should do what he wants to do. Why not start off with something you're excited about? So, we chose Japan, deployable.

I'm excited and nervous all at once. I'm excited to begin this phase of our life, but I am a little nervous about being in Japan by myself. I've been researching it like crazy in the last 2 days. It looks beautiful, housing looks fine, and there is so much to see and do. Ancient ruins, an awesome aquarium, Tokyo Disneyland, deep sea fishing, beaches all over the place.

Our island is pretty small and there is at least one million people living there. Check out this map. If you "grab" the map and move it around you can see it in proportion to the rest of Japan. I have heard that the island is about 450 square miles, with 1.3 million people living there. Let me put that in perspective: the county I live in is 800 square miles with only 7,000 people! This will be a whole new ballgame for us!

Check out these photos. Feel free to vacation here with us! Start saving for that 15 hour flight!

Sep 13, 2011

He's In!

Mr. H. went to Washington (this sounds like a book title...) last Wednesday-Thursday. His plane was to arrive at 6:30pm Thursday, but instead, kept getting delayed. The 4 kids and I were pretty much in the van for about 4 hours waiting for him. The airport has nothing for little kids, so it was either lock them in the van or chase all 4 of them in different directions at the airport. Thank goodness for laptops and DS's.

We were told that he would hear back 1-5 days after the interview. I expected to hear something on Tuesday (today), but he received a phone call on Friday afternoon. His recruiter called to let him know that he was recommended by the board for Navy chaplaincy. He came bursting through the house and I thought something bad had happened the way he tore into the house. He got it all out in spite of his jumping and whooping and hollering (really, I've never seen him this excited). We were thrilled, of course! Our oldest son said he was embarrassed to see Dad so excited! :)

However, our hearts are breaking for our friends right now. Please hold Mr. and Mrs. T. up in prayer because I am sure they are devastated. We know that the Lord's ways are not our ways and all we can do is fully trust Him. And I know sometimes that doesn't seem good enough, does it?

Mr. H.'s mom and dad took our kids this weekend and he and I got a lot done on the  house. We're getting it all ready to sell. Houses aren't moving too quickly in this area, so we're putting it on the market asap. We have to trust the Lord in this, too.

Next up for Mr. H. is his commissioning service in KC. We don't know when that will be exactly, but after his security clearance comes through and his commissioning documents are done, that date will be set.

Then, he's off to ODS (Officer Development School) in Rhode Island. We will be separated for 3 months. The longest we've been apart has been about 2 weeks and I missed him like CRAZY!

Sep 5, 2011

It's a Small World

So, I started this blog and didn't really expect to get many followers. It was just a place for me to write about our journey in case anyone else was going through the same thing. Well, it turns out that I got a few readers and even a few followers! That was a surprise to me really.

There is one family (hello, Mr. and Mrs. T!) that has been reading this blog for a few months now. I had no idea that they were following, who they were, or where they came from. I was totally oblivious to the fact that they were even aware of what I wrote.

Anyway, our lives have intersected dramatically in the past few days. You see, Mr. T's family is pursuing the Navy Chaplaincy also. So they are right where we are. And that's not too odd, right? But the crazy ridiculous thing is that Mr. T. and Mr. H. will be roommates in DC this week! How crazy is that? I think it's amazing that the Lord would put them together.

Mr. T. and Mr. H. were copied on the same email from a Navy Chaplain so Mr. T. contacted Mr. H and addressed his email to "Mr. H." (I still don't really know how they put 2 and 2 together about Mr. H on the blog and Mr. H. in real life.) So, now we've already struck up a friendship with these two. There's nothing like having a friend who is going through the same thing that you are! Their future, also, is riding on the results of this week's interview. It's a scary and exciting place to be, but makes it even easier to know that you have friends who are there with you.

I don't believe in coincidences. I believe the Lord orchestrates and plans "coincidences." What a great thing.

And, the latest is that Mr. H. will receive his itinerary for the DC trip tomorrow. Then we'll really know what's what.

Sep 2, 2011

The CARE it stands now.

Mr. H. did get invited to the CARE board on September 8th. We were under the assumption that every applicant was guaranteed this final interview, but we have found out differently. You are invited. We were thrilled to hear that he was going and even more excited that it was by invitation only!

Then  his chaplain recruiter called back and said there was a snag....Since his paperwork went through so close to the September 8th date, he may not be able to make it. This Chaplain said to block the two days off next week because more than likely he will be going, but just a head's up that he may not be able to squeeze in. Ugh!

So now we are planning on him going next week, but preparing just in case it doesn't happen. If he does not make these boards, he'll make the October one. Which seems like an eternity away!

We're praying for patience.

Aug 26, 2011

Just Waiting...

Mr. H. received a phone call last week that his paperwork was all ready to go. I've done a lot of reading on this whole chaplaincy thing and it seems like there's always a snag with someone's paperwork. So, it's totally from the Lord that his is complete with no hiccups or last minute changes. We were hoping to get it completed quickly so that he had a chance at going before the CARE (Chaplain Accession and Retention Evaluation) board on September 8th.

This week he received an email that the chaplain above his recruiter had looked it over and passed it on to his supervisor...moving up the chain of command, as he put it. This particular Chaplain said he was hoping he would hear back by Monday if the CARE board has a spot for Mr. H. Apparently, the Navy will only look at so many applicants per board. If Mr. H. doesn't get a spot, he will wait until the October board.

So we are patiently waiting until Monday. It can't get here soon enough.

Aug 18, 2011

Here We Are. . .

[The following is a guest post by Mr. H. himself!]

As of right now, I have completed all the requirements for becoming a Navy Chaplain.  All my paperwork, interviews, and physicals are complete!  I heard from my endorser (The Evangelical Church Alliance) this afternoon, and they have endorsed me and sent the required paperwork to the Navy Chief of Chaplain’s office.   We have told the church what we are doing, and the news is quickly spreading throughout the community. 

With everything complete, I am waiting on word from my recruiter about the September 8th Board in Washington D.C. If there is room on the board, the Navy will fly me there and put me up in a hotel for the night, and then fly me home after the interview.  If not, I will wait until October.  I may or may not be escorted to Washington by one of the chaplain recruiters who cover this area.  I am still awaiting the word on that.  After the interview, it should be a few days before I know what the Lord has in store for us.  We are nearing the final leg of this part of the journey, and wait expectantly for what the Lord will do. Mrs. H. and I believe we are called to this ministry, and expect a positive result from the board, but the whole thing is ultimately in the Lord's hands (Isaiah 49:4 NLT).This far the journey has been exciting, emotionally draining, and fraught with last minute changes of plans and appointments.  We are glad to see it coming to a close, yet we know that the journey is often an important part of the process.  We will keep you posted regarding the date I actually go to Washington!  Thanks for all your thoughts, prayers, and encouragement during all of this.  

Here are some of the highlights of our journey so far (in no particular order). . .

1.    Identification with the lives of multiple Bible characters.                                                                                                                                                                         Joshua—Mr. R.’s exhortation to read Joshua 1:1-12 was a key motivator  in my decision to pursue the Chaplaincy as I realized God would be with me "wherever I go," and that I needed to be "strong and courageous"  Further identification with Joshua came as a result of the teaching of Steven Furtick in his book Sun Stand Still.  He brought out the fact that when Joshua commanded the sun to stand still there was a period of time between his command and the realization that God was actually going to do it.  (Joshua 10:9-15).  I feel like I am in that position right now.  We've told everybody where God is leading us and what we believe he is going to do, but we must wait to see!                                                                                                                                                    
Paul-- Acts 20:22  "And now compelled by the Spirit I am going to Jersualem, not            knowing what will happen to me there."  Replace "Jerusalem" with "Washington D.C." and I feel like I am standing in Paul's shoes (Hopefully I won't be put in prison).                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
Beniah-- 2 Samuel 23:20  "Beniah chased the lion into a pit and despite the snow and slippery ground, he killed it"  Thanks to Mark Batterson's book (In A Pit with a         Lion on A Snowy Day) about taking risks and grabbing opportunities by the tail (no pun intended).  In his book, Batterson exposed the reasons why people no longer chase lions, and refuted every single argument I had for not taking this chance to follow the Lord.  I thought I had a pretty solid case for staying put, but the Lord showed me otherwise.  Whether I become a chaplain or not, I know that I will never have to look back and wonder "What if I’d tried?”  I have complete peace that I have been obedient to the Lord (1 Samuel 15:22)!

Moses-- As always, my heart resounded with Moses’ experience with God in Exodus 3.  I never felt like I was good enough or qualified to take this step, but with the Lord’s help, I will be able to handle whatever he brings my way!
2.     The support and encouragement I was given by various people during every step of this journey.  I am unbelievably grateful to each of you who have encouraged me, prayed for me, counseled me, or provided references and recommendations.  I expected a great deal of resistance, but almost everybody has been unbelievably encouraging.  I thank the Lord for each of you.  Your support, encouragement, friendship, and tears mean more to me than you will ever know.                                                                              

3.    MEPS-- While most people dread going through the MEPS and having their medical history, bodies, and background scrutinized, the MEPS experience was a good one for me (aside from all the medical stuff, nobody really wants to strip down to their boxers with 10 other guys and perform various exercises under the watchful eye of a retired Lieutenant Colonel).  As an officer candidate, I was given preferential treatment at the hotel before heading to the MEPS.  I was standing at the end of the line of 43 recruits (Most under the age of 20, and all thinking I was 19) when our liaison remembered he had an officer recruit going to the MEPS.    After barking orders, ridiculing others, and exuding the typical gruff persona of a drill instructor, he said "Where is my officer candidate?"  I raised my hand and he promptly asked me what I was doing at the back of the line.  He escorted me to the front of the line, told one of the other recruits to make me a cup of coffee (which I didn't drink) and then dropped the attitude.  He became very cordial and told me what I needed to do and, made sure I sat in one of the leather recliners in our waiting room. He "instructed" the other recruits in no uncertain terms to stay out of it.  Later when it was time to eat he said "Sir" to get my attention.  When one of the other recruits responded to “Sir” he rebuked him saying, "I said 'Sir,' I was talking to the officer candidate, sit down."  Then he put me at the head of the chow line!  I swear, I've seen a lot of stuff in my life, but that . . . was . . . awesome!                   

The other awesome experience at MEPS was the camaraderie I had with the recruits going through the same process I was.  In the middle of the chaos of the morning, I remember sitting there feeling like I was "home" and knowing there is no other place in the world I would have rather been at that moment The feeling of being "home" is a common experience for me any time I set foot on a military installation or spend time with soldiers.  It is like nothing else I have ever experienced.  I hope to serve with the soon to be Marines and Sailors I met that day and look forward to the day where a military installation (at home or abroad) is our home.                                                                                                                               
4.    The killer soundtrack.  During the last few months, several songs have provided me with encouragement, and opened my heart up in worship to God in new and unexpected ways.  “Light Up the Sky” by the Afters reinforced Joshua 1:9 and always reminds me that no matter what happens, God is with me.  “Our God” by Chris Tomlin stirred me to action with the reminder that “If our God is for us, then who could ever stop us, and if our God is with us, then what could stand against.”  “Take Me into the Beautiful” by Cloverton has inspired me in more ways than one.  I’m not sure why “Manifesto” by The City Harmonic made this list, but I have listened to it over and over during the last few months.  There is something freeing about the high-pitched “AAAAAAAAmen” throughout!
5.    My ordination service.  As a requirement by the Navy, and the ECA I didn't really know what to expect, or how important this would be to me.  Although I am not big on titles, ceremonies, and pomp and circumstance, the ceremony with Chaplain H., Chaplain S., and Chaplain R. was incredibly meaningful.  Although they gave me a hard time about joining the Navy, they may eat those words when they are standing in a desert and I send them a picture of my family lounging at the beach or me preaching on the deck of an aircraft carrier at sunrise in the middle of the Pacific.  (I probably shouldn’t speak too soon, because if I become a Navy Chaplain, I may end up in a desert with them if I get assigned to the Marines or Seals.)  Plus I’ve heard rumors that as a Navy chaplain I may get a sword at some point.  The Army can’t touch that!

 The experience was great partially because it was awesome to be with the chaplains, but mainly because Chaplain R. and I knew each other prior to the service, and his prayer was an incredible blessing to me.  Whether he knows it or not, he and his wife have been invaluable assets to Mrs. H. and I as we have gone through this process.  Mrs. H. contacted his wife, Mrs. R., through her blog and Mrs. R. was willing to meet with Mrs. H., answer her questions and be an encouragement.  After Chaplain R. returned from Iraq earlier this year, he and his wife took the time to meet with Mrs. H. and I, answer more questions, and help us sort out what God was doing in our lives.  He has also offered to let me "shadow" him at Ft. Riley for a day so I can get a first-hand glimpse of a chaplain in action.  From what I understand the Army and Navy chaplains have similar roles, and I am looking forward to this experience, even though I will be working with sailors and marines.  (BTW, Chaplain R. the Greek text of 2 Timothy 2:4 is strateuo meaning “to do military duty” (warreth in the KJV) I think we can all agree that "sailor" is an acceptable (better) translation there). 
6.    My growing relationship with the Lord.  Throughout all this, I have learned (relearned?) several things about God that will stay with me as I follow him in the future.  If you know me at all, you probably know that I am a very private person, and everything I have expressed so far is way beyond my comfort level. With that in mind, I am going to keep these things to myself, but I would be glad to talk with you about them on an individual basis.  Let me just say that if nothing else comes out of this, I will have a strong foundation, and greater confidence in following the Lord wherever he decides to lead me in the future!  Sometimes you have to step out by faith, and trust the Lord to take care of you.  (Around my church, this is called "getting out of the boat" as a result of the Bible study I lead about Peter walking on water.  This spurred our church building project, and the phrase has stuck with the people for almost 5 years.  In my mind there is a certain irony to the fact that if I leave to become a chaplain, I will be "getting into the boat" (ship), literally.  Sometimes, I think God must have a great sense of humor!)  If you believe God is prompting you to do something that seems a little different, risky, or challenging, I would encourage you to GO FOR IT!  You will not regret it and your relationship with God will never be the same.

Aug 14, 2011


He passed MEPS, with no problems. We didn't anticipate that there would be any problems. But, it's a praise all the same.

He found out via the Navy Chaplain Corp Facebook Page that he would be required to have another interview. His recruiter didn't tell Mr. H. that, so he called and got that knocked out over the phone. Mr. H. has a fantastic recruiter. He has done things quickly and efficiently. I think that he just doesn't deal with a lot of chaplain candidates and so he didn't realize all that they have to do compared with a regular officer or even an enlisted guy. So, I'm not complaining. I am glad that Mr. H. was able to do it all over the phone.

The next step was with the ECA. They require one last interview with an ECA member and an ordination service. There is a local army chaplain who will do this for Mr. H. and I guess will do the ordination service the same day. He is responsible for finding a few other ECA members in the area to form an impromptu committee who will do this. He said he will set this up for Tuesday, but we haven't heard back from him that it's a done deal.

We are waiting for Mr. H. to get a copy of his social security card in the mail so we can run that to his recruiter this week. (He didn't have it with him at MEPS.)

Mr. H. made the announcement to the whole congregation today. People were finding out and those who aren't regulars were hearing it from townspeople, so he felt like he needed to say it from the pulpit. I'm glad that's done with. Several people were excited and sad at the same time. A lot like how we feel about leaving here, too.

Aug 4, 2011

To the Government's House We Go....

Mr. H. has MEPS tomorrow. Tonight the Navy is putting him up in a hotel near MEPS. When he got there, he had to sign in. When he leaves, he has to sign out. He has to return by 9:30pm and be in his room by 10:00pm. He said he had to sign a form that he wouldn't cuss, misbehave, wear inappropriate clothing, tear stuff up etc. Seem like odd rules, except that Mr. H. is the oldest one there. He's at the hotel with about fifteen 17-18 year olds. The military appropriates a special room in the hotel with a large TV, gaming consoles, and a few computers. He told me that most of these kids are shipping out tomorrow. They all have to share a hotel room, but since Mr. H. is going to be an officer, he gets his own room. I bet that made him happy. While there, he also gets a free supper and breakfast.

I asked him if I needed to call him in the morning to make sure he's up. He has to be in the lobby at about 4:45am I think! Pray for him tomorrow. I'm not exactly sure what will go on, but prayers couldn't hurt. Just pray that it goes well and that they don't find anything "wrong" with him.

He found out this morning that he has to wear his glasses at MEPS tomorrow. Well, he's been wearing glasses that only have one ear piece. They balance on his nose and one ear. He has to wear them and tip his head up a bit. So...well, that won't do for MEPS. He had me run to the eye doctor and see if he had any frames that would fit Mr. H.'s lenses. He did! So, $60 later, he's ready to go.

Aug 1, 2011

Things Are Moving Pretty Quickly

I've heard the military has a motto that goes something like this: Hurry up and wait. Of all the military blogs I've read the last few years, I swear they have all mentioned it at one time or another. So, really, I expected to hurry up and wait a lot with Mr. H's process. But it's not. happening. that. way. He has an interview last week, which went well. He spoke with his recruiter today and got some dates. Here we go:

Friday: MEPS. The Navy's putting him up in a hotel in KC on Thursday night....because he has to be at MEPS at 5:45 a.m. I can't remember the last time Mr. H. was up that early!

August 25: All his paperwork must be submitted to go before the boards in....

SEPTEMBER 8th! Originally we thought his paperwork would go before the boards in late October. Meaning, we might not find out if he made it until then or early November. So, now we're looking at mid-September! Yikes! It's kind of nerve-wracking and definitely exciting all at the same time!

I think what the September boards mean is that he will be flown to Washington DC then. I could be wrong on that, but I think that's what he told me.

Mr. H. would love your prayers. He's getting pretty nervous about right now.

Jul 28, 2011

Results & ECA Progress

It sounds like the interview went great. While Mr. H. was in KC, heading to the meeting spot, the Chaplain called him and switched locations on him. When Mr. H. got to the interview, the Chaplain mentioned that he was glad Mr. H. could rearrange his plans at the last minute because that's what military life is all about. So, we are wondering if switching the plans last minute was kind of a test. Anyway, Mr. H. passed!

Towards the end of the interview, Mr. H. was told that he will make a fine Navy Chaplain. I don't know how much weight this guy holds, but it does sound like he will write a good recommendation for Mr. H. and that can't hurt.

He was emailed a list of questions that he was to answer and bring with him. While I would love to share his answers with you all, I don't have his permission and he's funny about that kind of thing. I will tell you the last answer though, because I'm with him on that!

Some of the questions Mr. H. had to answer were the following:

1. Tell me a little about your spiritual journey, and how you came to discern a call from God to ministry.

2. Why do you want to be a Navy Chaplain?

3. What is your concept of Institutional Ministry?

4. What has been your experience working with clergy of other faith groups. And do you feel you can minister to a Muslim, or Wiccan, etc.?

5. Will you be able to work with/for men/women?

6. What has been your greatest challenge in ministry?

7. What do you think is your greatest strength?

8. How have you and your family dealt with the possibility of you going into harm’s way?

9. As a pastor in a civilian parish you’ve been “in charge.” How do you feel about working on a staff with multiple chaplains and being the junior person? What if you don’t agree with the senior person on how he/she is handling things?

10. What would be your dream duty station if you could be detailed anywhere you wanted to go? ITALY

Next up is scheduling his MEPS appointment. If that all goes well, he will be flown to Washington DC to meet with a board of chaplains. Mr. H. would like for me to go (on his dollar), but I don't know if that will work out. I don't exactly know when this will take place. I think there's a board meeting in September and one in October. We don't know if we'll have all our ducks in a row by September, so we'll see.

We received an email from ECA that all of Mr. H.'s endorsement paperwork has been filed. Now we wait for them to approve him. In the email it said they can process up to 200 applications at any given time. I have been pleased with how quickly they've responded in the past, so I don't think it will take longer than a few weeks.

Stay tuned.....

Jul 24, 2011

First Interview

Today, Mr. H. has an interview with a senior chaplain in Kansas City. I know he's got a few hours of travel to get there, plus he's nervous. Please pray for him if you think about it. I have no doubts that he will do just fine. The chaplain emailed him a list of questions that Mr. H. was supposed to fill out and bring with him. When I read through Mr. H.'s answers, I just knew the Navy would be crazy to reject him! I'm not sure what happens after the interview or what the chaplain will say to Mr. H., but I'll post the results, if there are any!

Jul 20, 2011

It's Really Happening....

We're on this rollercoaster now, baby!

We've been meeting with some of our deacons and their wives for the past few days. Most of them expected that we would tell them that we're leaving for another church. None of them expected the whole Navy thing. ALL of them have been supportive and promised their prayers. Such a blessing to us to have a great church family. People who really care about us and our lives.

Mr. H. has a Men's Retreat coming up this weekend-- he's actually leaving this evening. Anyway, he's going to be gone until Sunday. A few days ago, he was contacted about meeting a Chaplain in KC for an interview. He decided to meet up with him on Sunday afternoon. He'll be driving there from Oklahoma.

Pray for him please! He's nervous! He isn't sure what to wear to this type of thing-- any ideas? I don't know what we learn from this interview, if anything. I'll keep you posted!

We'll be on vacation all of next week, so I might not have updates until after that.

Jul 19, 2011

Why, Oh, Why?

Awhile back, we decided to go full force with the Navy. The Army recruiter was kind of being...not nice. He basically told Mr. H. that he's not qualified to join the Army as a chaplain. Okay, that's fine, we like the looks of the Navy anyway. Thank you, Lord, for closing that door and making it obvious to us that the Army is not where we're supposed to be.

Fast-forward to July 9th. We get a voice mail from the Army chaplain recruiter. He's just checking in to see where Mr. H. is at in the endorsement process. What? Why would you care-- you said he wouldn't get in anyway. So, he calls Mr. H. again on the 14th (Mr. H.'s birthday). He said they had a lot of chaplains leave/retire and now they're taking about 90% of those applying to fill all those spots left vacant. Um, what, Lord? We did pray for open doors, right? Is this an open door?

If you know Mr. H., he takes days and days and agonizes and analyzes and frets and worries about things. I was gone to Iowa for a mini vacation with some family while Mr. H. was busy at home worrying and wondering about what to do. He sought advice from his deacon friend and his wife. He asked me about it. I would waver. I think he would enjoy the Navy more, but this door to the Army is WIDE open.

In the end, we decided that we would stick with the Navy. For a few reasons. It seems like a good fit for Mr. H. Lots of different opportunities. He had already begun the paperwork for the Navy. And for me, one last reason....if we went for the Army, what kind of glory do we give God? The job was practically handed to Mr. H. Where is the Sun Stand Still in that? Could someone look at this situation and see that God did something BIG? I didn't think so myself. If Mr. H. gets into the Navy (which is quite competitive), then we will have no doubts that the Lord made the sun stand still on our behalf!

Mr. H. made the call to the Army recruiter and said no thanks. Mr. H. called the Navy recruiter and continued the process. Right now, he's still working on his security clearance. He's still got to go to MEPS. It sounds like that will be scheduled pretty quickly. MEPS is the Military Entrance Processing Station. It's like an amplified physical. Then he also has to be interviewed by a Chaplain when he comes to the KC area. I'm not sure when that will be scheduled.

His entire packet (paperwork, MEPS info, interview info) will go before the board in October sometime. Depending on when that is, we'll know by late October to mid-November whether or not he was accepted as Active Duty  Navy. As I understand it, he will then leave in January for 12 weeks of "camp." The first 5 weeks will be Officer Development School in Newport, RI. Then, he has another 7 weeks in Fort Jackson, SC. There will be a week-long course for me to attend, if I choose to and then there's graduation for Mr. H.

During or right after his schooling, we will find out where we're going to be stationed. My daughter and I are hoping for Hawaii. :)

Please pray for us, as we're letting our church families know this week. Some will know today and some will find out on Sunday at the Men's Retreat.

Jul 12, 2011

Security Clearance

Mr. H. is working on his security clearance. In fact, he has been for the last few nights. Apparently, it's a pretty long form. He is able to do it online, save it, and come back to it again and again to finish it. To give you an idea of what he's doing, it's a lot like this form. This form probably isn't the exact one he's filling out, but I imagine it's similar. This one is 21 pages long!!!!

There is so much paperwork that he has to fill out, it's ridiculous. But I'm glad the military does this. All this leg work would probably deter some from joining. If you don't want to work a little, you don't deserve this amazing opportunity!

Mr. H. told me the other day that he feels like he's alive again. I was thrilled to hear that from his mouth. It seemed like for awhile he was so down in the dumps. I, too, feel as though our life has a little more purpose now. I can't wait to see what the Lord has in store for our family. I KNOW it won't be all butterflies and rainbows, but I also know the Lord will be right by our side.

Yesterday Mr. H. met with a group of pastors where he told them about our plan. They were very excited and quite encouraging it sounds like. Mr. H. is always surprised when people find out and they don't insult him or think he's crazy. (Well, I suppose some of you think we're crazy, but hopefully in a good way.)

Here's a link about the Navy Chaplain Corp
Also a Facebook page
And last, but not least, a youtube video. (By the way, how AWESOME would it be to go to church on top of an aircraft carrier, which can sometimes hold up to 5,000 people!?)

Click photo to see larger.

Jul 8, 2011

Heart Murmur, Be Gone!

Mr. H. went to the doctor today to see about the heart murmur he had as a child. In 2004, our doctor did not hear it, but it had to be confirmed again for the Navy. Our doctor did not hear it today, so that's a praise! He will put it in writing so that Mr. H. can submit that with his Navy paperwork.

Mr. H. is busy, busy with all his Navy paperwork. He just finished his essay on why he desires the chaplaincy. He has a professor that he is going to ask about reading it, just to see what he thinks. I thought it was a very good paper. He's a good writer though.

Jul 6, 2011

So Much Has Transpired...

Okay, here we are....up to date....

Mr. H. is submitting his ECA paperwork today. He has all his personal and ministerial references ready to go. Because of this, we had to tell a deacon (and his wife). This particular deacon was very supportive and excited for us. He even admitted to the fact that he had once thought about joining the military. So we know that they are praying for us.

We told our families this past weekend. His family first. They sort of knew a little bit anyway. I had sent out an email to my entire family (my 4 brothers and their families, plus my parents) letting them know that Mr. H. and I had something to discuss with them. In the meantime, we all had a family wedding reception to attend. Everyone kept asking us what our news was. These guesses were tossed around: moving, having a baby, Mr. H. taking a job at his alma mater. My middle brother said, "I know what it is." But he wouldn't tell me right then. So I walked him out and HE KNEW WHAT IT WAS. Seriously, he said, "Mr. H. is quitting the church and becoming a military chaplain." How could he have known?

Anyway, my family gathered in one room on Monday, July 4th. Mr. H. told them. I expected some hesitancy and there was some, but nothing major. Mainly concerns and questions about it. Most of them voiced that they were supportive and/or excited about it. I can't tell you how good it feels to have our families knowing and praying for us.

So, after much consideration, Mr. H. and I feel as though we are being called to the Navy, and not the Army like we had expected. Mr. H. spoke with his Navy Chaplain professor and the Ft. Riley Chaplain suggested he look into it also. So for the past 3 years, we've been thinking Army, and now the Lord is showing us who's in control by pointing us towards the Navy. WE ARE SO EXCITED!

I know I have one Navy wife follower and I would LOVE to hear from you about any tips/advice. I'm going to try and get some more Navy wives' input also.

Jun 28, 2011

Journal Entry dated 6-19-2011

Today's Father's Day! Happy Father's Day, Babe! 

Mr. H. received a reply from my brother. He said it sounded like a great ministry. We thought he might not like the idea and express that to us. So his response was a pleasant surprise.

Mr. H. has to find a reference that's not related to us, so we need to do that before we submit our ECA info. We know a retired Chaplain that we're going to try and meet up with. I hope he will be willing to be a reference. I believe the ECA requires 2 ministerial references who have to be ordained. Plus, it couldn't hurt to have a chaplain reference, right?

On his resume, he has to list a supervisor for his current job. He doesn't really have one as a head pastor, so he'll put a deacon's name down. That means we'll be telling a church member about our plans. I think he'll keep it confidential. It's just one more person knowing.

I wish we could fast-forward to the day we get the call that he's been accepted. Reading Sun Stand Still taught me that the process our our Sun Stand Still prayer is just as important as the outcome.

Jun 27, 2011

Journal Entry dated 6-15-11

He's been workin' on ECA stuff again! Whoo-hoo! He also looked into Navy Chaplaincy. Chaplain R. suggested this. He said it was a good idea to be a little familiar with other branches. It will either change our feelings towards the Army or confirm our calling to it.

I emailed a chaplain candidate's wife (hi, Natasha) and asked her if her husband would answer some questions for me. I asked the same questions I asked of the Fort Riley Chaplain. This one was very gracious and answered them too. I forwarded them on to Mr. H. to read.

I really can't explain the peace I have had since he's made this decision to go forward. It's like I'm not stressed out one bit. I feel as though he and I are on the same page--let's begin the paperwork, etc and see where this thing takes us! Then we can put it behind us and will have gained some experience, knowledge, and faith in the process.

Since my family's July 4th celebration is around the corner, I'm getting butterflies in the tummy. Nervousness and excitment! 

After emailing my brother, Mr. H. hasn't received a response yet. It's been 5-6 days. I think he's on vacation and just isn't around to check email. Mr. H. is hoping that his response will be positive and he'll see that as a confirmation. 

I'm still praying my Sun Stand Still prayer...

Jun 21, 2011

Journal Entry dated 6-11-2011

I got angry again. I even insulted him. I got emotional. I may have even cried. I told him I was at my wit's end with his wavering.

The next morning, he showed me a list of things that he had to do to get endorsed by the ECA. Not only did I see the list, HE HAD SOME ITEMS CHECKED OFF!!! I know he's been positive before, but I feel the wind of change now. He even sent out 4 emails to let 4 people in on this. He also called his Dad. last night he spoke to my mom about it.

I'm so excited that he's really doing this thing!! He's getting it through his head that it's not about him. The Lord will use him. This will all be for God's glory and not Mr. H.'s.

Jun 19, 2011

Journal Entry Dated 6-8-11

Last night, we met the Fort Riley Chaplain and his wife for dinner. On the way there, Mr. H. had me write down a list of questions to ask him. I'll list them out, along with this particular chaplain's answers. Keep in mind, these answers stem from this particular chaplain's personal experience.

1) What's your typical day as a chaplain? He pretty much said he rubs shoulders with soldiers, building relationships with them. He also counsels a few days per week. There's some goal-setting, vision-casting. Some paperwork, but most of this is done by his chaplain's assistant.

2.) What are chapel services like? Do you get to preach/teach much? He is about to be put on a rotation for preaching. He conducts field services. Mr. H. worries about not being able to preach/teach much. He feels like that's his gifting.

3.) What are the rules about sharing the gospel? It sounds like he can't go up to Joe Blow on the street and witness. What he can do is witness to anyone who steps foot in his office. That's why it's important for him to make friends and "be seen." So the soldiers will be more apt to come to him.

4.) What does the future of DADT mean to chaplains? He personally doesn't seem to think much will change. His endorser won't allow him to marry homosexuals. If they come to him for counseling or advice, he would let them know that all relationships are not right unless one has a relationship with the Lord. He also said that he believes those in combat will not publicly come out.

5.) How does being in the Army affect your family life? He said he feels like they have tons of time together. Soldiers get time off for moves, after deployment, 3- and 4-day weekeds, etc. He felt like he has more days off than when he was a youth pastor.

Anyway, the time with them was good. However, I can't say that either one of us came away fired up even more for the chaplaincy. I'm not sure what this means, if anything. He invited Mr. H. to come shadow him a few days this summer. Also, we were invited to a BBQ at the end of June.

Mr. H. says today it makes him not want to join (what a surprise). Give him a few hours and he'll change his mind!

***If you have a chaplain husband and you're reading this, feel free to forward my questions on to him. We would LOVE to hear from other Chaplains!

Jun 17, 2011

Journal Entry Dated 5-28-11

Mr. H. has been down in the dumps. I feel terrible when he's in a poor mood. I want to fix it, but he doesn't need me to. Yesterday we barely spoke to each other. On our way to my nephew's wedding, I let it all out. You see, the longer his bad mood went on, the more stressed and angry I became. I told him that we should really get moving on this Army thing, if it's what we were going to do. He alluded to the fact that I was forcing this on him. To which I incredulously said, "Do you mean that? Do you honestly feel that way?" He shot back with a definite NO. I didn't really think he thought that. He just chooses to say that so that if he doesn't get in, it could be my fault. :) No, he would not really blame me, he was kidding.

At the wedding he told me he had a plan. He said his plan was to find his endorsing agent. That also means being ordained. He will need to find references.

I want him to write a list of everything he needs to get this thing moving. More importantly, I want to see him get things crossed OFF that list!

Jun 15, 2011

Journal Entry Dated 5-26-11

I sort of lost my temper yesterday morning with Mr. H. I get tired of his wavering. So I kind of yelled at him and told him to choose SOMETHING! After I yelled, he told me that he had begun to fill our his endorsement packet. So I felt bad for yelling at him because he was doing something.

He and I are so different. When I decide I'm going to do something, I plow ahead and get it done. He moves very slowly. And I can understand, but it's just not how I work.

Mr. H. said he quit filling out his endorsement info because he needed his recruiter information. What I would have done is called the recruiter and gotten that information. Well, Mr. H. kind of waits around for a day or two before getting what he needs. I still have no idea if he called the recruiter or not.

Jun 13, 2011

Journal Entry Dated 5-22-11

I just read an archived live chat with a chaplain. I'm feeling discouraged. He said a few things:
1. Protestant slots are slim
2. Need the 2 years of post-seminary (though he said nothing about seminary while pastoring)
3. The Army is reducing their force number

Even though I hate to hear these things, I feel like the Lord is still in control. If he wants us there, we're going there!

I just worry about looking dumb if it doesn't work out. And then the song "I'll become even more undignified than this...some will say it's foolishness" comes to mind.

Lord, thank you for handling all this for us. Thank you for already having a plan. Help us to be obedient.

Jun 11, 2011

Journal Entry Dated 5-21-11

On the way home from our nephew's birthday party, we discussed this venture. He said that he has to try, if nothing else. He's afraid if he doesn't, he'll wonder for the rest of his life..."what if?" I was glad to hear him say that because it sounds so adventurous and out of character for him

We talked about how and when we'd tell our families. I don't really know what to expect from my family. They are mostly outspoken (like me) and not very tactful (like me!). Regardless of what they say or think, this is what we feel the Lord is calling us to and we have to walk in that.

Anyway, we decided to tell his family first. I think they'll be super supportive. I'm wondering about telling them over July 4th weekend. It's really the nearest time that the family would be together.

I think we need to get moving on this. He thinks he'll get his packet ready before this fall, but I think that's pushing it. But if we do get going on this, it would be nice to have everyone's support.

Just thinking about sitting down with my family in a few weeks makes me nervous. To tell someone makes me nervous.

I think we'll wait a little longer to let church people know. I'm torn on this. On one hand, it sure would be great to have them behind us. On the other hand, I don't want to tell them our plans and then he not get accepted.

Mr. H. is also thinking about his references for his endorsing agent. He needs 2 licensed individuals and 2 personal references. He thinks he'll ask my brother and our chaplain assistant friend. Who know about the others?

I've been reading Laura's blog about being a Chaplain's wife. She has some fantastic insight! I have devoured a lot of blogs, but most of them don't begin at the beginning, so they're never at the place where we're at right now.

Jun 10, 2011

Journal Entry Dated 5-18-11

For the past few weeks this verse has been rattling around in my head...."For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord. "Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Mr. H. emailed the Fort Riley chaplain yesterday. He replied and he's going to set up a time to get together with us and his wife. So excited!!!

Jun 9, 2011

Journal Entry Dated 5-17-11

The recruiter didn't call last night. Mr. H. said it didn't matter because if he was supposed to join, it wouldn't make a difference what the recruiter said (about the waiver looking bad). He's right.

He told me he'd really like to sit down with the Fort Riley chaplain. so I found his contact information and wrote it down for Mr. H. I told him his homework was to call or email him. I noticed he took the info with him when he left for work. Hopefully he'll call him! Maybe get a meeting set up or something.

I feld like last night Mr. H. really felt like he should do it. He finished a book and said he was too much of a wus. Also he mentioned that he hfelt like if we pursued this, he would be selected for Active Duty. He's not been that positive before. A good sign.

Last night, we went to town as a family. We bought ceiling fans for our room and the living room. Then we ate at Famous Dave's to celebrate his graduation. (He received his MDiv from Liberty--Summa Cum Laude!). Then to the library and Wal-Mart. It was nice to be together as a family.

I'm thinking of taking a break from my direct sales company. It's just not as fun as it used to be. I kind of dread leaving the family. Plus, with summer ball and homeschooling, I'm not sure I'll have time. But I have gotten someone else to take my other group, so that will make a difference.

Jun 7, 2011

Journal Entry dated 5-16-11

Once again, he's being difficult. Saying he's not going to do it...He's lying. He's so not like me. I tend to jump in and not think things through too well.

I just don't get what the big deal is? So what if he doesn't get accepted to Active Duty? Maybe he'll love the Reserves. And heaven forbid...he just may get selected for Active! :)
He told me the other night that he considered West Point when he was younger. ???? I swear I did not know this about him.

I feel like every day he puts if off multiplies into weeks in the future. The boards are done every so often. CH-BOLC is done twice/three times per year. Then there's MEPS. Will he pass all those tests the first time? Will he need/get waivers on time? Will his recruiter be a help or a hindrance?

So our prayer is a big one. It's our Sun Stand Still prayer. That the Lord would open doors for Active Duty.

We've been discussing whether or not to share this with our families. On one hand (mine), they could be praying for us. On another hand (his) they would know our business. I guess I'll continue to pray about that one.

I'm not really sure how far in the process we can go without telling someone.

I know he's more concerned about messing up and taking us with him. I think if we go through this process and he's rejected, he'll find a job quickly. He's a smart guy. but he doesn't believe in himself. So he'll never see my side.

I'm praying that the recruiter he's been talking to will call today with good news. Last time he's talked him him the recruiter said a waiver is a black in "you're not qualified for the Army." The endorser he spoke with said it wouldn't be a problem. You see, it seems as though Mr. H. needs a waiver for not having the post-seminary work. Nevermind he's already had about 9 years of ministry experience-- 6 years paid.

I will be updating later.

Jun 3, 2011

Journal Entry dated 5-12-2011

Yesterday Mr. H. received a phone call from a chaplain recruiter. He told Mr. H. that he'd try and get him a waiver for the post-seminary experience. (Mr. H. just graduated in May 2011 with his MDiv, but he's been a youth pastor/pastor for 10 years).

Let me begin from Tuesday. I contacted Ray Chitwood regarding the likelihood of Mr. H. getting in. He emailed the information to the chaplain recruiter. The recruiter called our house and then asked for Mr. H.'s cell phone number. I was a tad nervous because I was afraid Mr. H. would be upset with me for contacting the army on his behalf. I was nervous all afternoon until he got home from work. He asked me if I'd been "meddling." I said sort of and explained what I had done.

Instead of him being upset, he said the guy offered him a waiver which Mr. H. didn't even ask for. The recruiter said he'd check and call him today. I'm not sure if he will get back to us that quickly, but we'll see.

Mr. H. went to work today and called me about 9:30am. He said with all the "opportunities" right now, he's just going to walk in them until doors close. He's learning to trust!

He has 2 stipulations for the Army thing:
1. Get a waiver for the post seminary thing
2. Active Duty or nothing.

He says this is his "Sun Stand Still" prayer. Just this week, I prayed the same thing. I said to the Lord that I know He can grant us Active duty and asked Him to make it happen.

So we wait....

Jun 2, 2011

Journal Entries dated 2-10-11 and 5-10-11

I'm meeting a chaplain's wife on Saturday.

I had lots of questions written out for this lady. She probably thought I was a freak! If you're a chaplain's wife, did you have women contacting you via a blog or email to ask questions of you? What did you think about that? I can't express enough how little information there is out there on this kind of thing. You ladies who give up your time to answer our questions are SO appreciated!

I suppose these entries all sound the same. He decided to do it...he decided not to...on and on and on. Now we're on the "not." 

I think he wants the Army to call him and ask him to join! :)

He's read Chazown, Weird, and Sun Stand Still in the past few months. With each one, I swear at one point he mumbles something about joining the Army. Whenever he's around soldiers he wants to join!

He told me yesterday that the urge to join was gone. I pressed him, and reminded him of the books he's read. Then he sheepishly admitted that the desire was indeed still there.

Lord, where will you have us? We'll go anywhere and do anything!

I haven't heard back from the chaplain's wife I met with. She's the wife of a chaplain at Fort Riley. I bombarded her with questions and asked to hear her story. I had a great time. She said she'd contact me when her husband got back home so we could all get together. Still nothing and she expected him home in March.

All my homeschool books are bought and we're ready to roll!

May 31, 2011

Journal Entry dated 1-21-2011

I just finished Crazy Love by Francis Chan. Made me want to live my life differently.

While reading it, I thought of how being an Army Chaplain family is like being missionaries. Now, I don't know if this was a God-given thought or making a circle fit in a square.

When Mr. H. doesn't talk about the Army life, I assume he's moved on. Reading "Chazown" by Craig Groeschel, I realize how he seems made for that. I think he possesses all of these qualities:
tough, brave, relational, Biblically-sound, great teacher, great listener, enjoys structure, non-judgmental.

Something I found today online regarding the Army's values: loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and courage. Mr. H possesses all of these!

May 30, 2011

Journal Entry dated 1-14-2011

Thanks to all those who have fought for the freedom of our country! You do not get enough credit, that's for sure.

This is an old journal entry:
More talking last night. Mr. H. told me that he emailed our friend who's a chaplain's assistant. I read the email, in which Mr. H. states he's "in the process of choosing an endorser," he feels "confident that God is leading in this direction," he's "compelled to move forward...." Now why he can tell this to his buddy and not me is beyond me! He acts confident and sure, but with me I'm left wondering "is he or isn't he?"

We talked about different scenarios of how we'll tell people. We will tell his family first. I am without a doubt that they'll be supportive. Then, onto my family. Who knows what'll happen there?

My other brother was left with a bad taste in his mouth where the military is concerned.

I imagine one of my other brothers saying "WHAT?" But I doubt he'll be a jerk about it.

My last brother and his wife won't say anything rude. In fact, I think they'll be semi-supportive.

My niece and her husband probably won't say anything, but I doubt they'll think it's awesome.

I think that in the moment, everyone will be so shocked that they won't know how to respond. Then, I imagine there will be lots of questions. I think in the end, they'll all come around, but they may need some time to let it soak in. 

Mr. H. said we'd share info in April. A long time away....

How did YOU tell your family/friends/church about your journey in the chaplaincy? I realize ultimately it doesn't matter what they say, but I'm just curious about how it went down for my readers. Maybe you have some tips or advice on how we can do this with our family, etc.

May 29, 2011


We keep going and going and going....Still talking about it. Monday night I told him to quit being a wuss. It sounds terrible, I know, but come on! If he were working at Raytheon where no one knew our business, he'd be applying already. It's this "not wanting people to know my business." Ugh! I get tired of hearing that.

He went to work for our friend today and then told me he had thought about what I said about him being a wuss.

I asked him to just send for a packet. He's afraid that he'll need to get a letter of recommendation from someone in the church. Then, everyone in the church would know. Yes, eventually that would happen.

I traveled to Minnesota with a friend who is a sergeant in the army. When I told her about what the recruiter had told Mr. H, she kind of came unglued! A few of the things she said were: the recruiter probably was just lazy and didn't want to start a bunch of paperwork. She also said that in the Army, if you want something, you've gotta work for it. Mr. H. will struggle here! But he also needs to learn that not everything will be handed to him and/or easy to do. There's nothing wrong with working for something.

A few weeks ago (early December maybe), I posted a comment on a blog that a chaplain wife wrote. I never heard back, so I let it go. (They live on a post near us). On Saturday, her husband updated the blog and replied to my comment. So, now I guess I'm going to meet her sometime in the near future so I can ask a bunch of questions. Then, when her husband comes back in the spring (he's deployed), all 4 of us will get together. Kind of crazy. Hopefully talking to a real life Chaplain will get some things cleared up for us.

May 28, 2011


Mr. H. finally spoke to a recruiter yesterday. He told Mr. H that the Army is being very selective right now. He said Mr. H needs about 5 years of post-seminary experience. Only 1/3 of those who applied were chosen. So I guess he's definitely looking at the Reserves first. Only, Mr. H. doesn't really want to be in the Reserves for 5 years. The least he could do is be in for 3 years (the standard commitment) and then get out at that time.

Mr. H is ready to trash the idea. He doesn't want to try something he's not successful at already. If he did do this, people would know his business. And he thinks they'd think he was a failure if he wasn't chosen for Active Duty.

I am going to encourage him to proceed anyway, but it may take him awhile to do just that. He's an analyzer.

I'm curious to know if the 1/3 chosen were of those qualified or just of everyone. I think he would be in the top 1/3, but Mr. H says I'm biased.

I don't know why God would put this in our hearts (2+ years) if this wasn't the route we go.

Clarity, Lord! Oh, and I suppose patience.

I told Mr. H that we could be at war next month again and they'd take more on. Who knows?

May 27, 2011


When I prayed, I asked God to speak regarding the future, whether the chaplaincy was for us. I read out of 2 Corinthians, Proverbs, Psalm, Isaiah, and 1 Samuel. So the words I read were: armies, soldiers, deployed,  battle. I have to wonder if it's a coincidence or is He really speaking? I did ask Him to "hit me upside the head." But would He do something like this?

Yesterday was Mr. H's day off because he wanted to  hunt. About  2 hours into his hunt, he called to tell me he shot one. So he came home earlier than expected.

His plan this week was to call the chaplain recruiter from Texas. He was so busy that it didn't get done. I kind of forced him to call yesterday. No one answered and he left a message. As far as I know, he has not gotten a call back. He left his cell and home number.

After he made the call, I felt so nervous! Mr. H. said he felt fine, and that it felt like the right thing to do. So now, we wait to hear back. I'm driving myself nuts, trying to learn all I can about becoming an army chaplain.

***Not a journal Entry:
What's with recruiters? Why do they not follow through? They say they'll call back, but never do. Does anyone familiar with the army have an answer for me?*** 

May 26, 2011


Another journal entry....

Okay, we're back to the chaplain thing. We let the idea drop to the back of our minds. Mainly because of summer vacation and school beginning.. A week or so ago, he made an executive decision...we're going for it. If the Army won't take him as Active Duty, he's going to join the Reserves. If he does that and then volunteers to be deployed, there's a better chance of becoming Active duty after the deployment.

He hasn't had a chance to call the recruiter, but today's the day I guess.

I'm a little excited and a little nervous. There's just so many questions. People will have to know our business before it's a done deal. If he does the Reserves things, the church may not want to keep him on. Or they may cut his salary. He hates the unknown. I really would doubt that the church would decide to fire him.

I just told him that he needs to poop or get off the pot. Mr. H. thinks and analyzes stuff to death, so I know he's had this on his mind for ages!

So as the saying goes, we'll hurry up and wait.

May 25, 2011

6- 17-10

Mr H. called the guy from LBF regarding endorsement.

June 18th, 2010
After speaking with LBF, Mr. H. was discouraged. It sounds like the guy kind of blew him off. He said to contact him in April of 2011, which seems really late. He almost acted like he didn’t have time to take Mr. H’s call seriously. He also said that Mr. H. needed 2 years of ministry after graduating (from seminary). We have never heard this. He also mentioned that Mr. H. would have to be in the Reserves for 2 years before joining Active Duty. Once again, we have never run across that info before.

So knowing Mr. H., I wasn’t surprised when he wanted to give up. It would make for a long haul if he kept giving up at every snafu. Thankfully, Mr. H. called a few other endorsers. One’s pretty conservative (like more conservative than he and I really are), one was Evangelical Free and requires yearly dues of $125, and one is “Gospel” something or other. This last one seems to be more in line with our beliefs. I think they’re mailing him a packet of information. After the LBF guy, I told Mr. H that he just needed to call the chaplain recruiter. He did and left a message.

The lady he spoke with (Gospel maybe) said 30 candidates went before the board, and only 5 made it. AND only 2 were protestant. She acted like the Army isn’t in need of protestant chaplains like they were a few years ago.

Mr. H. came home from work and asked me what I thought about him just going to Officer Candidate School instead. He was busy opening a boat part, so we didn’t get a chance to discuss it in depth.

We both felt a confirmation on June 5th, though we were in different places. So I feel like there’s something to this. Maybe we assumed he would be a chaplain, but maybe this OCS is where it’s at. I have to trust that the Lord will work His plan if Mr. H and I can trust and obey.

In talking with Heidi (chaplain assistant wife and my friend), I realized that God made me the way I am “for such a time as this.” Army life might really agree with us. For example:
1.      I enjoy moving. Packing, unpacking, new place to explore, different house.
2.      I don’t collect a bunch of junk. It would get old moving junk all the time.
3.      I don’t make good close attachments to people. So it’s no big thing when they or I move.
4.      Mr. H. has always felt like he needed to finish and get his MDiv. Which he needs to become a chaplain.
5.      He and I are not super attached to our families. We don’t have to be with them ALL the time.
6.      Also, God has impressed upon my heart recently to start spending more time with our families. I guess because later on, we’ll be too far away? Mr. H. has felt this same thing.

June 18th (again…later)
And So the Southern Baptist guy tells Mr. H. the same thing—the Army isn’t “hiring” like they were. The need just isn’t there. Hmmm……what are you doing, Lord?

Now, while reading my journal entries from last year….keep in mind that I was new at all this stuff. I had no idea what was what! I still am NO EXPERT. For instance, I now know that a lot of endorsers require dues of some sort. 

May 23, 2011


From my journal:

The first time Mr. H mentioned it to me, I probably laughed it off. Then we kept watching Band of Brothers over and over. I'm sure he must have mentioned it a dozen times before I knew he was half-way serious. I didn't think it sounded like him at all. Not that he couldn't do it, but that he wanted to. Then I thought maybe it was because of all the Band of Brothers we were watching.

We spoke with a chaplain assistant friend about it. He, too, was considering the idea. But it was nice to have a sounding board. Our friends PCSed to Germany and we let it alone for a bit.

And then we chose April 2010 to fast. I have been frustrated with our school system since we moved here so part of my fast was to glean whether or not we should homeschool. I was torn really. I thought I could handle J and A, but I was afraid that I couldn't teach S how to read. Which he's already doing that without my help! Thru the fast, the Lord revealed to me that we would do it (homeschool). I still was a little uneasy about S. I did tons of research on it and spoke to Mr. H about it. He was pretty firm that we not do it this coming school year. Part of his reasoning was that the school employs him as a sub and he needs that money. So, we know we'll do it, just not yet.

Which leads me to our other reason for fasting in April. We decided to ask God for direction with our future ministry. Do we stay here, apply for another church, or pursue a career with the United States Army?

During the fast, I was praying for both issues, but my main focus was the homeschooling.  I was shocked after the fast when he revealed his thoughts. He said that he still felt called to be an army chaplain! He asked the Lord to remove that desire if it wasn't something worth pursuing. He didn't. So here we are.

At one point, he had contacted an Army chaplain recruiter...For some reason, Mr. H quit talking with him. I suppose it was because Mr. H found out he had to posses an MDiv before the army would take him.

I called up an army chaplain recruiter last week to get some questions answered. We found out that Mr. H can begin Army paperwork within 6 months of graduation. In the midst of all this, I realized that he graduates in May 2011. Not December 2011. So 6 months before May is November 2010-- only 5 months away! I sort of panicked then. In 5 months, we're beginning our quest into the Army?! Are we really that close?

There is information out there on this, but not enough. Most of what I've found out has been from reading blogs of chaplains and/or their wives.

May 22, 2011


I’m not really sure how to begin this blog, so I’ll try not to lose you.

My purpose in starting this one is because there’s not a whole lot of information out there about this process. At least that’s how I felt when I went looking.

For a quick history of us:
We’ve been married for 12 years and have gone through:
*4 kids (10, 8, 6, ½ years)
*youth pastor job (him)
*pastor job (him)
*scrapbooking business (me)
*Master of Divinity (him)

These are the highlights in a nutshell.

Here's what led us to where we are now:
About 3 ½ years ago, my husband got Band of Brothers for Christmas. I swear we’ve seen every episode about a million times! Anyway, that February or so, he mentioned something to me about joining the army as a chaplain. I laughed it off and told him he’d been watching too much Band of Brothers. Apparently, it was much bigger than either one of us thought. Because, we never quit talking about it and now we’re officially starting the process.

I began a journal about a year ago so my plan is to post those entries here. You’ll see the date I post it here, but I’ll also include the actual date I wrote it.

I will not mention names or places because we haven’t really told anyone else about this yet. Soon, but not yet.