Saturday, March 28, 2009

Release/Publication Date

My Sweet husband and I have been blogging our experience via blogspot... but only in private, in secrecy... it is hard.  Oh how I want to have a release date for this blog! 

Our congregations do not know yet.  We are told to wait to tell them until we are closer to our departure date.


There is a new road to go down.  We are excited.  God is with us!

We are told that the parishioners will appreciate not knowing for so long.  That months of preparing to leave will hurt them.  So we wait to tell them.  I feel awful about this.  I know their pastor (my man) is going to be in pain when he announces that he has accepted this Call.  

Release/Publication Date: unknown

God is so awesome.  He has calmed us, he continues to show us his sweet Grace and Mercy.  I am thankful. 

I spent the day yesterday with a friend in the hospital.  How I thank you Father, that you provide such people to care for our ill.  How I thank You that you care so much for us, even knowing our littlest need.  You are awesome!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Call!!!!!

1524 Central Standard Time

I received...THE CALL.

My recruiter called as my family and I were leaving the house to exercise at the local community college walking track. He said, "Congratulations, you have been accepted into the United States Army as a Chaplain. You are assigned to Chaplain Basic in September." He also said that he LOVED to make these calls.

My initial thoughts...what a privilege. To serve my Savior and to serve my country is a privilege few are called to do. Yet, I can't tell my congregations just yet, until orders have been received and I have been sworn in. My recruiter informs me that this could take 60 days...more 'hurry up and wait'. But somehow, it seems so different. I KNOW I'm going in so to wait for paperwork, etc, is ok with me.

Suddenly my family and I will have dramatic changes in our lives. Where will we live for the next two years? Will we live overseas, our first choice or one of our three stateside choices which are in order:

1. Washington State
2. Alaska
3. North Carolina

Still, so many questions, but HE is the answer. We are all SO excited. God is good, but He is always good even when His answer isn't what we hope.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Army Wife Talk Radio

Okay, so if you didn't know, there is an awesome group of gals who have an informative talk radio program for Army Wives.  Really, check it out... it has been a great introduction to me as I anticipate  Army life!

And check out these cool t-shirts they have over there.  

BTW, I love to put the archived programs on my sweet little pink ipod and

Thursday, March 19, 2009

continued wait time

Yup, if you pray for patience, you will wait!  LOL  We have been waiting for the March boards to meet and let us know if we are Army bound.  How my sweet husband wants to serve God by serving his country and the young men and women in the Army.  Dedication and perseverance are so evident in this man, as well as the willingness to share the gift of Grace that Christ Jesus gives.  So, although it never happens to be the last week of the month, it seems this month the board is meeting next week... the last week of the month!  Patience!  Meanwhile we read blogs and dive into spring cleaning.  As you see here

Another item we are wondering about, along with where the family will live during CH-BLOC, will pay be on time, where we will move to our first duty station, and how God is going to provide all these things (we know He will, we are just curious as to how... but we have total faith that He knows exactly what we need and when we need it), we prayerfully consider how we will inform our congregations, and then this happened:

and so we wonder how a new chaplain will get around his new post.

Oh, and BTW, it is still SNOWING!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

How this all got started...

When did it all begin?
I grew up in the Army, enlisted in the Air Force in 1985, out in 1989, so the military has always been a part of my life.  I've wanted to return ever since I've been married, since 1990, but one thing prevented me...a seizure.

I had a single grand mal seizure in 1988, which forced me out of the Air Force.  This prevented me from going back in the military, until recently.

In 2007 a recruiter suggested I enter the Army National Guard because they desperately need Chaplain's.  He said I should just 'give it a try' and see what happens.  So, I began the process and it began with, sadly my weight.

I weighed in at a hefty 227, the heaviest I had ever been.  So I worked on my weight and the Army worked on waivers for my seizure.  Toward the end of 2007, in November I notified the congregations I serve that I am considering the National Guard, which would require time on my part (one weekend a month, 2 weeks a year).  Well, not many were excited about this new drain on my already busy schedule.

So, after much prayer and discussion with my wife, who said, "I will support you no matter what decision you make", what a great wife, she also said, "If you're going to do it, just do it full time."  So I notified my recruiter that I intend to stop the process and once again put the Military out of my mind.

October 2008; I began to think about it again.  In fact, I never really stopped thinking about it.  One day I called a recruiter and began the process of going through the waivers.  I called my endorsing agency and started filling out the paperwork for receiving an Ecclesiastical Endorsement from the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod.

November 2008; My recruiter told me I had received all of the waivers and was clear to continue the process.  He suggested my paperwork be presented before the February Chaplain Accession Board and June Chaplain Basic.  I was SO excited, but...

January 2009; There's always a 'but' in the process.  Since I weighed in at one time above my weight requirement, I had to make a trip to Milwaukee MEPS for one weigh in.  After exercising like crazy, I weighed in at 205, well below my limit.

Another HUGE problem and potential deal breaker.  The military doctors wanted me to have an EEG done to make sure I am 'normal'.  "Oh no", I thought.  "Well, this is it", I remember telling my wife.  If the EEG comes back abnormal, I'm done.  Oh, and we need this right now.  'Hurry up and wait' starts and so does some frustration.

January 2009; Thankfully we live in a small town and the doctors are not THAT busy so I was able to see my family doctor to get a referral to a Neurologist, who would after an examination declare me fit for duty, and then he would schedule an EEG.  This all happened in 3 days.  God was clearly working.

I wake up with a terrible headache so I drink my normal 34 oz. of Green Tea (with caffeine) and take a migraine pill (with caffeine) and go to have my EEG done.  Little did I know that caffeine affects the EEG results, but they didn't.  God's gracious hand was on me and the EEG came back normal.  I AM NORMAL, at least that's what the EEG says.  Others say differently.

Still January 2009; I submit all of my paperwork including Ecclesiastical Endorsement, waivers, EEG results, recommendation from the Neurologist at the required deadline, but it's too late.  I have to wait until the March Board.  Aargh!  'Hurry up and wait'.

February 2009; Lent starts and the only thing left on my packet for the March Board is the Accession Interview with an Army Chaplain.  Well, we live in the UP of Michigan and are 12 hours from the closest Army Post.  

My schedule suddenly becomes packed with things to do including 3 Bible Studies a week, 4 worship services a week, shut ins, and the normal things we pastors do.  I had hoped to get this interview done before Lent, but didn't get the call until a week before Ash Wednesday, on the 18th.  So, the only time we could schedule this was the 28th of February, the last day of February.  I was told to 'hurry up' and get this done as it needed to be done before the first day of the month.  Aargh!  

February 2009; My wife and I drive from Michigan to Fort Leavenworth Kansas, leaving 7 am on Thursday the 27th.  We drive 16.5 hours through a massive snow storm in the Minneapolis area.  We arrive at the hotel at 10:30, skip the hot tub, go to sleep, wake up at 8 am, my wife cuts my hair, we take a shower and go to the interview at 9 am, have a wonderful interview at which time the Chaplain indicates he will recommend me for Active Duty, and then we drive 13.5 hours home.  Two days, 30 hours in a car.  

And now...we wait.  March Accession Board meets March 24th and everyone tells me I should find out the results within a week, by the end of the month.  Then orders, swearing in, packing and Basic in June.  All should move along after the end of the month.

My recruiter tells me EVERYTHING is done.  We'll see about that, but according to the steps from the Army everything is done.  All waivers are through; nothing to hold me back.  

Ultimately, if God is calling me, which I believe He is, then indeed nothing can stop it.  See how God worked in my life?  How is He working in yours?

Monday, March 2, 2009

The "Call"

I continue to have faith that God is working in my husbands heart towards a new Call.  In our church body we view the office of ministry as a unique Call... one that is taken with great joy and trepidation.  

My husband is a great pastor. 

 He loves the people.  

He puts the best construction on situations. 

He clings to Truth as the Lord holds tight to him.   

I will be sad that he must leave his parishioners, yet proud of his determination to remain faithful to God's Call and His Word.  

Am I Scared?  Yes.  But who can deny the Call?  

Am I Excited? Yes.  We love adventure and change.

Most of all I feel privileged... to be a part of the wonder of Christ's ministry, to see my husband search for the Will of our Lord in service to the young men and women of the Army.  

The Chaplain's Wife

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Telling my congregations

No one in either congregations I serve knows about my call to the US Army as a Chaplain.

I agonize over having to tell them.

I have grown quite close to so many members and have been there with them as they say good-by to their loved ones and hello to new members. I have seen them cry from news of cancer, only to have God perform a miracle and put them in remission. I have sat in a car with 15 youth as we travel to a Youth Convention in Minneapolis for 10 hours and thanked God we missed the bridge collapse by a few short days. I LOVE BEING A PASTOR...

But, the Lord is calling me to serve Him and His people in the US Army so I continue to pray,

"Not my will be done, but Yours!"

Telling others will be filled with mixed emotions. My family and I will look forward to the next challenge and a new home, hopefully in Europe. Image courtesy of

But we will be filled with sorrow as we leave. God knows and we trust His guidance.

Hurry Up...and wait!

Finally, I have completed ALL of the steps necessary to have my packet presented before the March Chaplain Boards. The interview with an Active Duty Army Chaplain on the 27th of February went very well. He recommended me for Active duty...phew! Now, we wait. The Board meets on the 24th of March and we may know within a week, but they (the Army) say within a month.

The Beginning, Again

Well, we are going to back track and start at the beginning.

It all began the last week of October 2008.  Pastor Wright (Ed from here on out) called the recruiter for the U.S. Army Chaplaincy Program.  Actually my sweet man has been going through months... maybe years... of prayerful contemplation concerning the Army and being a Chaplain.  We decided that he could begin the process, and if God doesn't close the doors we would continue on... and on.... and on.  

He hit a few bumps along the way, as all chaplain seekers do.  

November -He had to get an age waiver.

December-Traveled to MEPS in Milwaukee, WI for a physical.  (And the dreaded weight/body fat test- that would have sent me running in the other direction fast!)

January 2009-Another waiver for a seizure he endured while on active duty 20 years ago... which lead him to a neurologist for EEGs and such (which were fine-like the 20 years weren't evident enough!).

  He has returned all of our background paperwork for security.

And was approved from our church body (The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod) for an Ecclesiastical Endorsement (after traveling to Fort Wayne, Indiana for an interview). Missed the February chaplain "boards" for approval... shoot.

February-Traveled to Fort Leavenworth to interview with a Senior Chaplain, through the worst snow storm of the year! SIXTEEN hours down, THIRTEEN in return, the very next morning.  The interview was well worth the trip though!  We had a great experience with the two chaplains and one assistant that we spoke with.  

And now we wait again.  Trying for March Boards, June Basic...

More soon about family, duty station, church announcements and such!

The Chaplain's Wife