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.