Saturday, July 11, 2009

Thoughts on a Rainy Sunday

Several people have asked me why I've stopped blogging, or at least writing so much. There are many reasons for this. One, admittedly, is Facebook. I post a lot of thoughts there, so the blog gets pretty much ignored. Then there's the fact that I completely and utterly decompress to Jon, so by the time I think to write about a given topic, I've probably already talked about it to death! Oh, then there's the small matter of being in school full time right now (should have my BA next spring!!!), and trying to do what I can to get ready for a new baby next month. (NEXT month? What??? When did THAT happen?)

The other reason is actually similar to why Jon stopped blogging. I started this out to chronicle being a Chaplain's wife, and I have few new experiences anymore. It's just life. Redstone is different from Hunter, which was different from Stewart, but at the end of the day, it's pretty much the same.

And, honestly, many of the things I would write about, I'm not really comfortable putting out there in cyberspace for anyone to read.

After listening to a story yesterday on NPR, Jon and I had a conversation about what it would look like to move "back home." I'll admit, there are times moving back to Cedar Springs seems appealing. My parents now live 4 hours away from there, so it's not "home" in that sense, but it is where I grew up. Every time I visit, I wish I could stay longer. Most of our siblings live within a 45 minute drive of there, and what I consider my home church - the one I went to and worked at in my early 20s - is just 10 minutes away.

But could I do it?

When Jon was in Iraq the first time, our plan was to go Active Duty. Long story short, that didn't work out. He came home in May of 2006, and we weren't sure where life would take us. We ended up moving back to Atlanta to work. I remember being completely terrified of this. Away from Michigan? Away from my family? Away from home?

But you know, home isn't Cedar Springs anymore. Home is not Savannah nor Huntsville. We often say that home is wherever we both are, but when he is deployed, I certainly don't consider THAT home! Many people use the phrase "Home is where the Army sends you" - and I think that right now, I tend to agree.

I feel more at home with other spouses than I do with friends from Michigan. I feel like I could walk onto any Army post and be integrated quite quickly.

A couple weeks ago I was on the phone with a good friend from high school. We used to do everything together. She got married a year after me, had a girl 7 weeks after Sophie was born, and had a baby boy in March. In that way, our lives have remained similar.

But really, they couldn't be more different. She lives in the next town over from our high school, in a small community. She is happy with her life, and I'm happy for her.

But it's not for me.

My life is the Army now. Jon and I have talked recently about how intimidated I used to be by it all. The first few social functions I went to I was scared to death. I didn't know when to stand, when to sit, how to interact with people. It was all so unknown.

Not anymore. Changes of Command, Hail & Farewells, Coffees, FRGs, even Memorial Services - they're all a part of life. I can tell rank by glancing at a Soldier's chest (though I'll admit, I still have to mentally count rockers), Taps playing at the end of the day has become common, and all my friends know exactly what it's like to have a husband overseas. I am more comfortable here than I would be anywhere else. I appreciate the diversity of people I meet, and I realize that, regardless of rank and position, that's all they all are - just people. People who introduce me to worlds quite unlike mine, people who might look at things differently.

I'm not done blogging. You'll still get your Sophie updates :-) - and I'm sure many more once Baby Boy arrives! And I'll still fill you in about what's going on now and then - but as far as the "Army firsts" - I think those are getting fewer & further between. And I'm realizing that what it means to be a "Chaplain's wife" is different with every person, every post, every year. I have other Chaplains' wives as friends who view this ministry vastly different than we do, so their experience looks different. So, I'll keep telling my story - just don't be surprised if I continue to not update very frequently. (If you DO want to know what's going on in my life, though, add me as a Facebook friend - that's a better way! :-)


Amber said...
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Anonymous said...

Hi! You don't know me, but my husband is a Reserve Chaplain and will be going active duty (Lord willing!) in the next year or so. I've really enjoyed reading your blog and looking at what real-life chaplaincy is like. :) Anyhow, I had a question for you that I hope you can answer. Would you mind if I emailed you about it? I know you probably don't have a ton of time on your hands, so I won't be offended if you don't get back to me! :) - Amber (