Sunday, April 12, 2015

Go into all the world

Well, here we are, two weeks into our first real deployment.  Week one was really hard.  But week two was better.  There have been a lot of tears from these three over missing Daddy, wanting to know when he is coming back, and just a lot of emotions for us all.  By far the hardest part for me has been seeing my babies' broken hearts, holding them in the day and night crying and calling for Daddy.  My own heart broke even more with that.  And yet, we are surprisingly good.  Tears bring healing and often emotional relief and peace comes even to these tiny hearts when we pray for it.  

And through all the tears and the broken hearts, we have had, and will continue to have, some wonderful teaching moments about what is truly happening while Daddy is on his "special assignment".  One of the bible verses that Cole memorized this year is Mark 16:15 " Go into all the world and preach the good news to everyone".  What a perfect verse for us to lean on in these months.  Cole and I had a long talk about this verse.  That THIS is what Dad is doing on his assignment and why he had to go.  That Dad was called to live out the gospel of Jesus Christ.  What a privilege Brenner has to go to a dark place where God is hated and he gets to bring comfort, counsel, truth, compassion and kindness to those serving and maybe even those who live in the area.  We talked about how we all need to have a heart for others and boldness in Christ and it was God's prompting that led us to full time Chaplain ministry.  And while for the last 15 months that meant applying Mark 16:15 to the base 6 miles away, the next 7 means applying it to a different part of the world that desperately needs the peace, love and mercy of Jesus.  

I miss so many teaching moments in my kids' lives, I am sure of it.  With busyness or selfishness, I know that I have not seen or not taken advantage of a moment to further explain something important.  But what an awesome 7 months I can have with the kids, encouraging them in their prayers for Dad and his ministry, for peace and the protection of life in the middle east, for wisdom for our nation's leaders.  Months where they can look back and remember that Dad was a part of something for our country and for our God that he was called to do, but that really we are ALL called to do these things where he has called us as followers of Christ.  I have a challenge now in front of me to be sure that we are living out that same verse to the best that we can.  

Friday, March 27, 2015


So with Brenner being just days away from leaving and us having a hundred things to do, I thought I would stop being productive and look at pictures from our Hawaii trip.  

We decided that in the month leading up to Brenner's deployment, we were going to try to spend as much time as we could doing fun things.  
We did not want the last month to be just a countdown to the inevitable.  So of course, when we were deciding where to go and what to do, the obvious choice was back to Hawaii.
We hopped flights there and back on Air Force planes, which is fairly long and painful but free.  
This time we were able to stay with my brother and sister in law and since they are both so busy with work and school, it was great to get the extra little times with them. 
We did not pack in nearly as much travel or activities as last time which ended up being a great thing. 
Our trip went by crazy fast and was not long enough, but we are SO thankful to go and get to spend everyday at the beach, go hiking, snorkeling, eat great food and Ted's bakery pies, make dozens of sandcastles, meet Kekoa the puppy, hang out with family, visit an old friend, each the best snowcones on the planet and just relax.  

Thursday, March 26, 2015


You know what the worst part about my husband deploying?  
For me, it is not that he will not be there to help with the kids.  It is not that I will have to mow the grass.  It is not that I will not be able to run early in the morning or he will not fix my omelette for breakfast.  It is not that he will be 12 hours apart from me.  The absolute worst part is that he will not be there for me to physically touch and hold.  I will not be able to hold his hand as I fall asleep, give him a hug first thing in the morning, have his arm wrapped around me in church, sit next to me at dinner and just physically have him next to me.  I will miss that.  I am already missing that.  And the talks.  Every night, the hubs and I come together and just talk for a while, just us.  No tv or kids, just us. 

And so, for us, the most important thing for us to do before he left was to take a couple of days to have just with him.  For me to hold his hand non stop for two days without little hands demanding attention.  For us to talk about our fears and the realities of the 7 months before us without interruption.  For me to cry on his shoulder.  Just because my heart hurts that he is leaving.

And we were able to take those couple of days in Napa, California.  We rode the wine train through the vineyards, walked through one of the local wineries, slept in, watched tv and talked and talked.  It was so beautiful and definitely somewhere that we wanted to go to while we lived in the area.  

There is something so important and necessary to every marriage about spending time together.  It does not always have to be a getaway, because that rarely happens for us, or even a date.  But finding quiet time at the end of the day has become so important to us and has greatly deepened our marriage.   Making time to talk about the every day as well as the hard topics has brought us so much closer.  And especially when you have kids, finding that time can be so hard.  We are so thankful that we had time to be together.  

And while we were away, our sweet friends and fellow chaplain family kept our kids for us.  Here are a few pictures that I stole from her blog.  There are not many people that the girls will choose over me.  They usually do not like to leave their mother's side.  However, when we dropped them off at the Goecker's house, Clara Beth asked if I could leave now.  A sure sign that they were in great hands :)

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Chap, Chap, Chaplain

So for the last 14 months, Brenner has officed out of the Med Group here on base.  The idea was for the chaplains to be where the people are as much as they can and this has allowed SO much more interaction with people than I think he would have gotten at other places.  He has loved getting to know this group on base.  At the last Commander's Call for the group, the Col. asked everyone to attend so that they could say goodbye to Brenner.  He was so touched!  He had also prepared this song for them to show his appreciation and love for his job and the people he gets to work with.

Brenner is a man of many talents :)

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