Friday, December 10, 2010

It's the Holiday Season!

I have so much to catch my blog up on so I shall waste no time. :)
BABY GRIFFIN
I just realized that I had never posted what gender our baby is! Back in September, I had the technician seal in an envelope the secret of whether our baby was a boy or girl. Stephen was scheduled to be at a port within the next 3-5 weeks so I wanted to save the surprise for us to be able to find out together. His ship did not have working phones or internet usually so our skyping/phone "dates" were only available once every 4-6 weeks. When he finally got the chance to call, he excitedly said, "open the envelope!!" So I ripped it open and discovered that we were going to have a precious baby GIRL! :) We were so excited and still are. Ever since that day I have been seeing everything in shades of pink, flowers, bows, and butterflies. We have been thinking about names for our future children for years and this has always been a favorite...
Tierzah Analyse Griffin
The first name we discovered in Song of Solomon 6:4 "Oh my love, you are as beautiful as Tirzah, Lovely as Jerusalem, Awesome as an army with banners!" The name Tierzah (we added an "e" :) means: She is my delight. It seemed quite fitting and we can not wait to meet her! Tierzah is still due on January 21st 2011 and I am currently 34 weeks prego!

This picture was taken in October at Dam Neck beach when I was 27 weeks. My sister came to visit for a couple days and we caught the last of the "warm" weather and rays at the beach.


ThanksMas with Mom and Sisters
Me, wee Scottish Mum, Shantell, Serena
My mum, sisters, brother in law, and 4 nieces and nephew came to spend the week of Thanksgiving with Stephen and I in Virginia. It was SO special to all be together and a huge treat for us to get the opportunity to host! We are scattered between CA, IN, NC, and VA so it's not everyday that we get this family time. Since we will not be seeing each other for Christmas we decided to combine Christmas and Thanksgiving this year. :) In this photo, we were getting ready to go out to The Melting Pot for some girl time. I love my family and look forward to our next gathering!

ELROD FRG Night Before Party
Stephen's ship, the USS ELROD, was scheduled to arrive back to Norfolk on November 13th. However, due to a storm they had to avoid while crossing the Atlantic...the ELROD was delayed 2 days and came home November 15th instead. Two days does not seem like very much compared to the many days we had already waited, but those were the longest 2 days I've ever experienced! It was definitely a discouraging time for everyone... so having this party to celebrate what we have already accomplished as those "holding down the forts" was much needed and appreciated. I had a great time getting to spend time with the other spouses and friends I've had the chance to make during this deployment.
...and two days later...

The ELROD came Home!
Here they are backing up to the pier....

We could not be happier or more nervous/excited to meet our loved ones!

Me and a fellow navy wife getting to go meet our hubbies for the first time...

My very first hug after 6 months!! To my surprise, about 7 or 8 Chaplains that work at Norfolk came to the ship to welcome Stephen home also. :) Our friend, Chaplain Driskell offered to take pictures of Stephen and I getting to meet each other. These pictures are priceless to me now!

He was even more handsome and adorable than I could remember! My sweetheart got our baby girl a teddy bear and flowers for me. :) I think we must have said 1,000 times, "I can't believe you're home...I can't believe you're actually here!" I soaked in his smell, touched his face, and kissed him like it was our very first. I'm SO thankful for his safe arrival home and we've been enjoying each other's presence for the past 3.5 weeks! Here's a little of what we've been up too...

Chaplain Anniversary Dinner
(Picture on the top right hand corner of blog)
Two days after Stephen came home, we got to attend a dinner cruise with many other Chaplains and their spouses. It was a very special time for us and I thoroughly enjoyed getting to see my hubby get dressed up! :)

Stephen's 30th Birthday
November 29th I got to take my sweetheart on a date for his birthday! The day before his bday, we spent celebrating with some of his family in Richmond, VA. They made his favorite steamed shrimp, Maryland Cream of Crab Soup! SO yummy. Yes, the secret to Stephen's heart is definitely fish! I love this man with all my heart and feel incredibly blessed to be his wife and team mate. I have yet to meet a man as wise, understanding, adventurous, compassionate, fearless, handsome, irresistible, and surrendered to Christ like Stephen Thomas Griffin. I LOVE YOU, BABE!!

The Nursery
Stephen and Mac Mac were resting in the picture after putting together the crib, dresser, other great hand-me-downs we received from my sisters-in-law! God has totally been providing for things that we'll need for Tierzah. We're definitely feeling blessed above and beyond!

Christmas Time is Here!
This picture is of our back deck on the 1st Sunday in December! I was SO excited to get even this tiny bit of snow. :) Of course, it melted later that afternoon but it already had made my day!

First fire of the winter season! It's so much more enjoyable with my hubby here.
Thank You, Lord, for bringing him home safely and the wonderful people You've crossed our paths with this year! Please be with those who are still currently deployed or are making their way home for the holidays. Amen














Sunday, October 3, 2010

Deployment Continues...but Count Down Begins!

How does two months past by so quickly?! I guess time always goes by quicker when looking backwards. I've heard it said that the years fly by...it's the days that take forever. Throughout this deployment, I have have come to truly believe that!

I'd like to share what has been keeping me busy and what I have been up to in the form of pictures. Here we gooooo! :)

August

Corl Family Reunion, PA
Stephen's family (mother's side) all gathered together in Pennsylvania this year for a reunion. His grandma and grandpa Corl had 6 children...who made 25 grandchildren...who made 26 great grandchildren! :) A very large, exciting, and Italian family who I am SO happy to be apart of. In this photo are those of us who were able to make it to the reunion representing a small portion of the Griffin Clan.

Trip to San Diego, CA....Mallory and Pete's Wedding
My friend flew me out to California for 10 wonderful days to watch our friends, Mallory and Pete, get married. It was such a beautiful ceremony and she was a gorgeous bride. I've known Mall since we were little girls...we're like sisters...so this was super special to get to see!

The Melting Pot with some amazing girlfriends!
Sara, Amanda, Mallory, Julie J, and I were able to get together while I was visiting San Diego and had a girls night. You can't go wrong with chocolate fondue, right? :) I've known these girls forever so it was neat to reminisce about old times and just be in awe of where we are all at today. I'm so proud of them and the incredibly beautiful women they have become...inside and out!

My Wee Scottish Mum :)
My mom and brother still live in the San Diego area so it was fabulous to spend time with them. They were kind enough to give in to me wanting to get authentic Mexican food and Rubios Fish Tacos almost daily while I was there! I am telling you...there is no other place that can do "Mexican" like southern California. If you get a chance to visit SD, ask where the nearest Taco Shop is and get some rolled tacos or a Carne Asada burrito immediately. It's that important and it will change your life. :)
September
Nags Head, NC
Some of my in-laws were heading down to Nags Head for Labor Day weekend so I joined them. This was just a day after Hurricane Earl passed through the east coast. The weather was perfect for the beach and the waves were huge! I ate lunch at the pier, spent time with the family, sat on the beach, and then headed home that evening.

Labor Day
A couple days after I went Nags Head, my in laws stopped by my house to visit on their way back home. Here's a picture of some of them enjoying the cooler weather on our deck. It was so nice to have company when usually it's just me and Mac Mac here. :)


Grandma Corl's Poker Night, DE
My mom-in-law, Linda, invited me to come up to Delaware with her, my sis-in-law, Cheryl, and two nieces. In this picture is Stephen's Uncle Rick, Aunt Lisa, Grandma Corl, Mom-Linda, and Aunt Norma. It's been so nice getting to know all of them better since we've lived on the east coast! This was also a special night as we celebrated Linda and Rick's birthdays.


Scrapbooking for Soldiers, MD
After our time @ Grandma Corl's, we drove down to Southern Maryland to attend a Scraping for Soldiers event. This was my first experience in the land of croppers and it turned out to be a fun day. :) The proceeds went to putting care packages together for soldiers and buying phone cards for them. As you can see, I worked on my wedding album...it's only been 3 1/2 years since I've been married. lol To my credit, I did make a digital wedding book...but this gives me the opportunity to use some creative juices. It was nice to have my sis-in-law, Deborah and mom-in-law there for me to ask them questions...such as, "How do I use this tape?" :)


Chaplain Spouse Dessert, VA
Here's a picture of 1/2 of the spouses that were able to make it out for our Tidewater Chaplain Spouse Event. This was my 2nd time getting to attend one of these get togethers and I had a great time. It's so nice to be able to meet other spouses and to hear their stories of where God has brought them. I enjoy the encouragement and humor that everyone brings to the table about the crazy adventures they've each been on in the military.


Griffin Ladies Retreat and Cirque du Sole, DC
Linda (mom-in-law) planned a retreat for her girls to stay at Wyndham's National Harbor resort in DC. She prepared studies for us to go through together on Drawing Near to God, Our Priorities, Our Perception, and tools to create a Personal Development Plan. I really enjoyed sharing this experience and being able to hear what God is doing in each of their lives. They are all incredible friends and sisters that I've been blessed to gain through my hubby, Stephen. Oh yes, we did also get to go to Cirque's show, Ovo. I've been able to see two other Cirque shows and this one definitely competes for 1st place!
Me
I'm 23 weeks prego in this pic and enjoying my 2nd trimester! My sweet hubby comes home in 6 weeks and I am thrilled to death. I can't believe we've made it this far and the light is finally coming through at the end of the tunnel. YAY! :) I'm officially able to say, "See you next month!" ::Sigh:: It's a challenge to remain focused and still take it one day at a time. I never knew that I could grow so much closer and even more intimate with Stephen while we've been thousands of miles apart for the past several months. God has truly done something special in our relationship in spite of the distance between us. I'm SO grateful for this as separation can be incredibly hard and strenuous on marriages. Don't get me wrong, we have had very tough, discouraging, and lonely times too...but it seemed like God came through and met us right where we were at to provide comfort, peace, and encouragement. He's given us grace exactly when we needed it! I have so much more to share but I think I'll save it for another time. :)
































I wanted to share in the form of pictures what I've been up to and what has been keeping me busy over the past several weeks. Here we go! :)












Friday, August 6, 2010

Our Tiny Little Secret

BABY GRIFFIN @ 11 weeks!!


For those of you who have read my blog posts or know Stephen and I personally, you know that over the past 2 years we've experienced the joy of being pregnant twice and heart break of miscarrying twice also. In February of this year, while Stephen was in Chaplain School we buried our second little one at a cemetery in Columbia, SC. It's been a painful growing experience but we can't wait to meet our little ones in Heaven one day!


Well... exactly 3 months later, we found out that I was pregnant again! :) I took a test the morning that Stephen was supposed to deploy and it came back super positive. Needless to say, we were SO excited and thankful to find out together. It is such a wonderful gift! One month ago I got to hear our baby's heart beat for the first time and see it squirming around. I got a huge lump in my throat and couldn't hold back the tears as it was so incredibly overwhelming to finally see a healthy baby! I felt...feel so blessed. Stephen was thankfully at a port in the Middle East and was able to call me after that appointment to hear the long awaited news. We cried together over the phone (well, I'm sure his eyes were just sweating) and even though we were thousands of miles apart it was a moment shared that I'll never forget!


Today, I had my second appointment and I'm now 16 weeks prego. :) Still full of nerves, I waited in the room for the midwife to come in. I answered the questions that were being asked but all I could focus on was being able to hear our baby again. Finally, she lathered my tummy up with the goo and...(sigh)....at last I heard those precious, little, speedy thumps of the heart beat again! I cried (again) and laughed at the same time. :) Maybe my hormones are a little crazy these days? I can't feel the movement yet but from all the noises we were hearing the midwife said the baby is quite a mover!


Even though I've been pregnant before, this has been my first time experiencing lots of nausea with vomiting. I know that's gross but the Dr's reassure that it means everything is going well. So, I just praise the Lord every time I'm hovering over the toilet, sink, or whatever is close by. ha! Just kidding. Although, it has encouraged me on more than one occasion. :) Besides feeling fatigued, I noticed that my usual carnivorous self suddenly could not stand the smell or sight of any kind of meat. Thankfully that is starting wear off some! During my first trimester, I bought a Prenatal Yoga DVD to make sure I continued working out. :) Well, that did not last long as there were many days I was so tired that I barely had enough energy to walk my dog! But at the end of the day, all of these "little" discomforts are worth every moment. I'm enjoying my journey so far and for as long as God allows.


Stephen and I definitely appreciate your prayers as we have 3 months left before he comes home, 6 months until the baby comes, and the steps ahead are very new to us! Thank you!


"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see" Heb 11:1



Saturday, July 31, 2010

Deployment Pics from Chaps!

Stephen has been able to send just a couple pictures that others have taken over the past few months and I wanted to share them! It has been an incredible opportunity for him to serve as the Chaplain for the Elrod. I'm pretty sure he'd agree with that. :)

Stephen meets with a group of guys for Bible study most nights, throughout the day he has meetings, and he has also been named "The Fun Boss" as he helps to keep moral up on the ship and helps to plan MWR events. :) Those who know Stephen...or even have spent a small amount of time with him...know that "fun" is an essential part of life! He usually always has something to smile about, a joke to make, and a silly-random song to sing. lol I noticed immediately how quiet our home became without Stephen there to fill it with joy. However, six months separated from each other is nothing compared to lives being impacted forever! "It will be worth it all..."

Here's Stephen with a few guys getting baptized

Here he is on one of the Steel Beach Picnics. Very excited because he made a goal during a Corn Hole Tournament....pretty sure his team won. ;-) GO BABE!

Chaps with a poker face on during a Spades Tourney. :) He's so cute!

Chattin with a fellow sailor...

I believe this was after a weapons assembly competition. And yes, pretty sure his team won that too. ;)
Definitely looking forward to being with him again!! I'm SO proud of him and so thankful for his sacrifice. It's been a wonderful and painful growing experience and we're praying that it strengthens our relationship with one another and individually with God. We know that it's only by His grace that we make it through each day!
Thank you to those who keep him and many other service members in prayer!





Wednesday, July 28, 2010

News From A Far Country...

I have come to cherish every email I get from my hubby while he's away. I read and re-read each line sometimes to make sure I didn't leave anything out. :) I can imagine his tone of voice and I usually have the cheesiest grin on my face the entire time. I'm very thankful for email and the fact that most of the time it is working well. I haven't heard his voice in several weeks and I feel like a giddy school girl looking forward to our next skype or phone call!

As we come up on the 1/2 way mark of this deployment, I can look back and see the challenges and rewards we've both experienced. I see how God as given me comfort and peace during my loneliest and darkest moments. It's been humbling at times having to ASK FOR HELP :) while Stephen has been away. I had to call my landlord a couple months ago to have him walk me through the steps over the phone of fixing some outlets in my house. Thankfully, he was very patient and I felt very accomplished after fixing the problem! Being the knight-ess in shining armor as been new for me as well! Last week, in the middle of the night (of course!) I heard one of our alarms going off. I never heard this one in particular before so I figured someone was either trying to break in the house or there was a fire. The funny thing is that I was SO tired that I was more annoyed than scared that someone "just had to break in when I was exhausted and really not feeling up to it!" ;) Anyway, I began to search the house wearing my very intimidating pink pj's, armed with a shot gun, and a sleepy puppy in tow. After an hour of looking for where the noise was coming from, I finally figured out that it was the smoke detector running low on batteries! :) Those are just a couple of my funnier home-front stories.

God has also sent strangers into my life to become dear friends and has fulfilled in my life Luke 18:29-30, "Yes, said Jesus, and you wont regret it. No one who has sacrificed home, spouse, brothers and sisters, parents, children-whatever-will lose out. It will all come back multiplied many times over in your lifetime. And then the bonus of eternal life!" The Message I'm so grateful for such a gracious God! I totally do not deserve His constant protection, provision, love, discipline, mercy, and grace. I can't imagine going through this journey without Him.

For any other military spouses going through a deployment, a fellow Chaplain's wife introduced www.excellentorpraiseworthy.com to me and it is a wonderful devotional site for couples separated through deployment. My husband and I have done several together and it's a great way to stay connected.

In the month of July, I got to visit my sisters and brothers-in-law in Richmond, VA for a weekend. I spent a week with my sisters in North Carolina and had a great visit catching up with them. And just this past week, my friends from California flew out to visit for a week. I thoroughly enjoyed my time with them and already miss having a full house! :) Needless to say, I've been staying busy. I'm looking forward to the next 3 months with all the challenges and blessings it will bring!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

On the road again...

That has been my theme over the past few weeks! While Stephen has been gone for about 6 weeks now, I have been making the rounds visiting family. Of course, any traveling experience is much more fun when Stephen is there but I tried to take lots of pictures for him so he wouldn't be left out. :)

Towards the end of May, I was able to visit my sister, Serena, in Indianapolis. She and my adorable niece, Paisley, have recently gotten settled in there and I had a blast spending time with them. It was short but very sweet! Living away from my hometown, friends, and family has really taught me to cherish the moments I do get to spend with those I love. This is probably old news to the seasoned military wife who is always on the move...but I'm still learning. :)

In the second week of June, I had the privilege of watching my oldest sister's kiddos in North Carolina as their anniversary gift. I was glad that I could spend time with my 4 nieces and nephew for a week. Especially since we have always lived so far away from one another, it's great to be "near" (5 hour drive) my sister and her family again.

My sister-in-law, Deborah, had my newest nephew last week! Caleb Lee is such a precious little boy. :) I stayed in Maryland for almost a week hanging out with family and snuggling the new baby whenever I could. It was great to catch up with everyone! I feel quite blessed to have such amazing in-laws. :) And the fact that we all live within a few hours drive is more than I could ask for. I didn't realize how encouraging it would be for me to be around family during my first deployment experience. It's been awesome! God's good like that.

Other than that, I've been able to keep in touch with some of the other spouses/girlfriends of the sailors on Stephen's ship. That has been another source of encouragement as we can email or hang out and understand what the other person is going through. I'm looking forward to the Beach Day this Saturday for all the families of the Elrod. There is a fabulous bunch of women that come together to lift each other up! I'll admit that staying connected is not something I'm terribly good at naturally....or something I feel like doing sometimes....but I know how important it is in life and I sense how important it is during deployments. So...I'm thankful for these women, my family, great neighbors, and dear friends that God has been using to bless my life. :)

I've been reading a devotional called, Faith Deployed, and I read a story today about a woman who was going through her son's toys to get rid of old or worn ones. She talked about how they came across a coloring marker bag and this is what she says, "I pulled out an old scrap of paper, and Caleb and I sat down on the floor of his room to sort the good ones from the bad. As our system developed-pick up the marker, take the cap off, scratch a doodle on the paper-Caleb and I took turns saying "weak" or "this one's good" as we threw the markers in the respective containers. The stronger markers stayed; the weak ones got the trash bag. ...Aren't you glad God doesn't do that to us? There have been so many times in life, particularly during our recent deployment, when I felt so close to being dried up. I was so tired and so weary of being the one holding it all together; taking care of the house, caring for our little boy, being the encourager to my husband on the other side of the world. I wasn't bursting with color; I was barely making a mark. But God in His incredible way always knows how to infuse me; how to strengthen me; how to bring me back to the original condition he created me to be. If there is anything I have learned from this deployment it's that God is glorified most when we can only do the least. "

I could really resonate with that story. :) It reminded me of something my husband said in a sermon... "God doesn't have expectations...He has expectancy" I like that. I feel like letting out a big sigh of relief every time I think about it. lol

Lord, thank you that you just want me to come to You as I am with a heart of humility and obedience. Please continue to remind me of this! Thank you that I can be honest with You. Please be with all the military men and women serving abroad this evening. Be with their families and loved ones back home as well. I pray for encouragement and protection as they live a difficult yet honorable lifestyle. Help us to learn to draw nearer to You.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Anchors Away




My sweetheart and I left our house around 0430 with Stephen's possessions in the car. His side of the bathroom sink and his nightstand were wiped clean of the usual trinkets that lay there. He tried to fit me in his duffel bag as a stowaway but decided that Chaplains probably shouldn't do that. ;) We got some Starbucks goodness on our way to drop him off at his ship. We shared laughs and jokes holding each other's hand in the car. Then the moment came to say our final "farewell" and we wept together one last time. The intense and immediate ache that was in my chest is indescribable. Knowing that the last hug and kiss I gave him will have to suffice for the next 6 months creates a lump in my throat and knots in my stomach. We dried our eyes and put on our best smiles for each other. Standing on the pier amongst parents, girlfriends, spouses, and children of the sailors on board the USS Elrod, I tried my best to hold back tears. We all watched our sailors move further and further away from us until we couldn't see them anymore. What an intensely emotional moment! I firmly believe in "blessings in the storms," though. While on the pier, God allowed me to meet a new friend and we shared laughs to encourage each other. :) When it was time to leave, I ran into another newly made friend who had stopped by knowing that Stephen would be leaving. And when I finally arrived home, my wonderful new neighbor asked if I'd like to go see a movie with her and gets some dinner with her family that night! How awesome is that? I was showered with so much comfort and encouragement that I didn't have time to go home and have a pity-party for myself. God used these people, my friends, and family to wrap HIS arms around me and remind me that I'm NEVER alone!


Since then, I've been able to keep in contact with Stephen via email. I'm enjoying a week at the beach with some of my family and loving every moment. I can sense God's extra dose of peace in my heart. It's amazing how much I get to lean on Him, trust Him, rely on Him, and find protection, peace, and rest in Him during these tougher times. I've been reading, Hope for the Homefront-Winning the Emotional and Spiritual Battles of the Military Wife, for the second time time now along with it's Bible Study book. It's been perfect! I would definitely recommend it to any of you military spouses out there. I'm looking forward to the unknown 6 months with God given encouragement and comfort. As unimaginable as it seems to me right now, I trust that all things are possible through Christ who strengths me!
I'd like to post a prayer that Stephen prayed over the Elrod's intercom for their nightly prayer:
Heavenly Father, we thank you for yet another beautiful day at sea. Thank you for preserving us and keeping us safe.

As we press forward towards our objective, I pray that you would continue to help us as we train and hone our skills. As the Psalmist wrote; “For you equipped me with strength for the battle; you made those who rise against me sink under me.”

Lord you have equipped us and given us the tools that we need to accomplish our mission. Give us courage to meet the challenges set before us, and may we continue to trust in you, our shield, and our defender…for our true strength lies in you.

Lord, we ask that you would be with our loved ones back home, comfort them and give them peace.



Amen!



Sunday, April 18, 2010

Settling In...


We finally got our HouseHold Goods! It took a while because for some reason the Personal Property Office was unable to locate our containers. :) It gave us a good scare and added to the exciting adventure of PCSing. After 7 months of not seeing any of our stuff, we completely forgot about the things we were unpacking. I think Stephen and I both love condensing so we were pretty excited about taking a car load of stuff that we know we will not use here down to our local thrift store. We've been working at getting things in order for the past 4 days now and it's coming together! It's starting to feel more and more like "home". :) I'll post pictures of the rooms once we get finished. I'm so thankful for what God has blessed us with here!
The pictures I've posted with this blog are from our time here so far. Above is a picture that we took while visiting family in Duck, NC near Nags Head. We had a great time soaking in the salty beach air and eating some AMAZING fish tacos while out at dinner with the fam. Seriously, those were the best fish tacos I've had on this side of America. I would drive an 1 hour and 20 mins to get those again! :)



Easter! This was the first Resurrection Day Celebration that Stephen and I have been able to spend with his side of the family. We congregated at Stephen's sisters house in Maryland and had a great time just being near family. All of our family members are always on my heart and in my prayers. I'm learning that God just might love them more than I do. ;-)


Kayaking! The beige house on the left at the end is ours. This is the view as we were kayaking down the river back home. Stephen and I both really enjoy kayaking (even though he does most of the work) :) so this is something we are taking advantage of while the weather is still nice. From what I hear, it's about to get nice and humid/hot with lots of mosquitoes around here. Yikes. Well, that will just give me more stories to tell I'm sure. Ha! Stay tuned.



Again, us kayaking around the neighborhood.



Stephen and I were getting some of our utilities turned on and we might of been stealing a quick kiss when this WWII veteran came wheeling up behind us. He jokingly barked some orders for us "secure the happiness". :) Stephen tried to tell him that his rebellious wife just couldn't keep her hands off of him and it was all her fault. ;) Anyway, we stopped to talk with the veteran and thank him for his service to our country. He then went on to tell us a story about a sailor he knew who kissed his wife in public and was then put in jail for the night! I couldn't believe that. Times have definitely changed! I thought this would be a neat picture so I snapped it with my phone camera. I'm grateful for generations of service members sacrificing for my freedom and this country.
Ok, so I saved the "best" for last. Stephen had only been checked in here at the Norfolk Naval base for 1 week when he was able to meet with his boss about what his new duties would be. To make a long story short, Stephen will be leaving in about 5 weeks to serve as the Chaplain for the USS Elrod for their 6 month deployment. Yep, I said it, the "D" word. It's an exciting opportunity for Stephen to do what we came here to do. How do I feel? Excited. Scared. Concerned. Hopeful. I know that absolutely NOTHING is brought our way that has not first been given approval of by God. I've been doing a personal study about the attributes of God over the past couple months and I'm seeing firsthand how God has been preparing my heart and mind for this news. He's SO loving and merciful! Thanks God. I'm sure there are some really tough and challenging moments ahead. I can't even imagine 1/2 a year without Stephen, my best buddy! But like I heard in church today, there is no one who can be our "everything", cure our loneliness, give us lasting happiness and joy...no one but Jesus Christ!
With all that said, please keep us in your prayers! Mostly importantly, pray for the sailors aboard the USS Elrod and their spouses and families back home. This is my prayer for tonight:

"Eternal Father, strong to save, Whose arm hath bound the restless wave, Who bidd'st the mighty ocean deep, Its own appointed limits keep;Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee, For those in peril on the sea! O Christ! Whose voice the waters heard And hushed their raging at Thy word, Who walked'st on the foaming deep, And calm amidst its rage didst sleep;Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee, For those in peril on the sea! Most Holy Spirit! Who didst brood Upon the chaos dark and rude, And bid its angry tumult cease, And give, for wild confusion, peace;Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee, For those in peril on the sea! O Trinity of love and power! Our brethren shield in danger's hour; From rock and tempest, fire and foe, Protect them wheresoe'er they go;Thus evermore shall rise to Thee Glad hymns of praise from land and sea."



Monday, April 12, 2010

Graduation!


On Monday and Tuesday of, March 29th-30th, I was able to attend the Chaplain Spouse Orientation at Fort Jackson. It was so nice to have to opportunity to meet other spouses who were going through the same experiences and adventures! We got to exchange our own war stories and learn from spouses who have been riding this wonderful roller coaster for 20+ years. :) It was a lot of information to squeeze into just two days but I felt so encouraged to be brought up to speed to where our spouses had been at for the past three months. I can't wait to meet some of the wonderful women again down our Navy Life road in the future!
Stephen and his fellow Chaplains graduated on Wednesday, March 31st. I was SO proud of all of them! Of course in my opinion, Stephen was the most handsome of them all. ;-) I'm allowed to say that because this is my blog and he's my hub. The motivational speaker for the graduation was Vice Admiral Ann Rondeau. She gave a challenging thought to the graduates...to approach their new duty stations as missionaries approach a new people group. To make sure they learn (in this case) the Military language, procedures, and protocols in order to have the opportunity to build relationships with those they desire to minister to. This is what I took away from her speech....to have the mindset of being a "missionary to the Military". I'm so thankful for this opportunity to serve God and our country! Stephen and I feel so humbled and blessed. We KNOW there are going to be difficult challenges ahead but we're only promised today and have to take it one day at a time.
Here are some of the photo's I took of the ceremony and reception:
The Chaplaincy School and Center at Fort Jackson, SC
Chaplain's hanging out at the reception
My new friend, Sarah. A fellow Chaplain Spouse!
Tracie...another one of my new Chaplain's spouse friends!
Chaplain Stephen Griffin receiving his certificate from (left) Vice Admiral Ann Rondeau, and (right) Chaplain (Capt.) Michael Langston
After saying our good byes, Stephen and I loaded our car FULL of our belongings and drove 6 hours to our new home here in VA. We're SO excited to finally begin this new journey!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

PCSing

Stephen has two more weeks of Chaplain School left here at Fort Jackson, SC! We're approaching the end of this 3 month training journey and will soon be able to get settled at our new PCS (permanent change of station) in Norfolk, VA. We had been searching the Internet feverishly for a home to move into and feel like we have been totally blessed with our find! I thought I would post some pictures for family and friends to see. :)
The home is about 15-20 mins away from the Norfolk Naval Base NAS tucked away in a quiet community. Military Housing was not available for us so having to commute through traffic may be the only down side. The backyard goes down into a little creek/river that flows out to the bay...this alone may have sold us on the house! Stephen and I love to kayak, entertain, and have Bible studies, and feel like this house was designed for all three.
The view entering the living room. Fireplace, Kitchen entrance, and stairs are to the right and to the left is the Guest Bedroom and downstairs Bath.
Another view of the Living Room facing the split level stairs and Kitchen entrance
This is the 3rd bedroom located upstairs that will be our Work Out Room :)
Master Bath with His/Her sink! Coming from our house in SD with a super tiny bath...we're SO excited about this.
View from balcony of Master Bedroom of deck and creek/river in the backyard
Master Bedroom with Fireplace
Family Room
Full Bath and Closet in Family Room
View of Living Room facing Guest Bedroom/Bath, Front Door, and Stairs.
Guest Bedroom
Downstairs Bath
Kitchen
Picture of Creek/River in backyard
Kitchen area on Deck...makes me excited for summer BBQ's!
God never ceases to amaze us at how He provides over and above what we could ask or think. We are now beginning "The Move" process with the military and are told to just think of it as an adventure. Haha! :) I'm sure many stories will come out of this experience so stay tuned!
Well, that's all folks! :) If you're ever in the area we'd be more than happy to leave a light on for ya!