Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Petting Zoo

This week Sophie and I went on her first field trip! We have been going to a morning Play Group twice a week. Sophie loves Play Group - and so do I! It's sponsored by Army Community Services, and they have a huge building with all sorts of fun toys, plus an outside play area with outdoor toys just for Sophie's age. I have enjoyed getting to know other moms, and Sophie literally runs to the building when we gets there and... shall we say... it's a struggle to leave...

Sophie also LOVES animals. Didn't get it from me, that's for sure. "Dog" was her second word (after the ever-important "Dad") - and we don't even have one! (Notice in the first video how she got distracted by the dog - that happened several times that morning). So, I knew that she would enjoy this trip - she had a blast! It took some convincing for ME to feed the animals, but when I saw all the 2-year-olds around me not sharing my trepidation around the goats, I had to toughen up.. ;-)

You can click HERE to see the whole set of pictures (plus some with her new sandbox and table & chairs).

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Life at Redstone

If you've read my blog for long, you have heard me "wax an elephant" about how a military Chaplain has a very unique roll - that of a religious Government employee. Each Chaplain has a different take on what exactly that means, but regardless of your personal view, what the job looks like on a day to day basis is different with each unit. And not only does the kind of unit/ mission affect the day-to-day work, but so does the Commander and his/her expectations.

Contrary to what many people think, the main function of a Chaplain is (typically) not pastoral ministry in the "church" sense. There is a large amount of counseling, plus meetings, staff work, training, etc. While there are some Chaplains who fill the pastor role, those jobs are few and far between - and even then, he probably shares the pulpit with all the others stationed there.

All that background is to say that this job is very different than what he's done, in a lot of ways - more on that in the future...

To make a long story not quite as long, Jon has started a contemporary service here! We have only met for two weeks and are about to undergo some changes (moving to a bigger chapel and meeting on Sunday evenings instead of mornings), but it has been refreshing for us to be in this kind of ministry. At this point, he's doing it all - leading worship, preaching, presiding over communion - everything. On top of that, he's doing a Bible study on Wednesday evenings. Though it's very different from his other roles, we are really enjoying this aspect of the Chaplaincy.

On a personal level, I'm loving it! I get to do a lot of those things that pastors' wives do that I never have. Or, things I did as a church secretary and miss! (Seriously, I get a ridiculous amount of pleasure from building Power Points for the service...) I am just beginning to build relationships with a couple female Soldiers and look forward to doing that more.

Jon and I have always made it a point to function as a team - "whatever we do, we do together" - but here, more than ever before, I feel like a part of his ministry and what he's doing. Of course, he still has the Soldier aspect to his job - and he can keep that! As for me, I will continue to lay in bed while he gets up to run every morning! :)

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Stepping Out

Most people who know me casually think I'm outgoing. I'm not. I would typically be MUCH happier at home - even socially, I like to get together with one or two other people, not groups. AFTER I know you, I'm not quiet - but it takes every ounce of willpower to go say hello to someone I don't know. I have always felt pretentious doing that - I thought that if someone had any desire to meet me, THEY would come up to ME. What I've realized, though, is that most people don't just walk up and introduce themselves, which makes it REALLY hard to meet them! With each new place we've moved, I've tried to overcome that a bit more. I'm happy to say it's starting to work!

Earlier this week there was an FRG meeting - the first they have had in a couple years - perfect timing! :-) Unfortunately, Jon had gotten a call right before it started to meet with a Soldier, so he wasn't able to make it.

There were probably 25 people there or so, which, for having never done it, was a great turnout. I sat with the Commander and his wife, who I think were the only people in the room I had met before (Jon & I have gone to a couple Battalion softball games - fun! Reminds me of church leagues... except with cussing...). I quickly got to know the other people at our table, and after we ate, I met everyone else! It must be pointed out that Sophie is a GREAT buffer and way to meet people...

Contrary to my previous belief, no one blew me off and acted annoyed that I said hello like I thought they would! ;-) As much as it's out of my comfort zone, Jon sometimes reminds me that, as the Chaplain's wife, it is appropriate and good for me to take initiative to meet people like that. I look forward to getting to know them better!

Sophie and I have also started going to a play group that meets twice a week (though it's indefinitely canceled due to the swine flu... er... I mean N1H1...). The other moms there are super nice, plus it's great to watch Sophie interact with other kids her age! They have TONS of toys, both indoor and outdoor - once Sophie realized I wasn't just dropping her off and leaving, she was ready to explore!

Some other exciting things have happened, but those will have to wait for another day! :-)