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 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!