"For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace." John 1:16

A place for us to document and share the grace upon grace we have received.


Monday, April 30, 2012

Getting Old in a War Zone

I turned the magic "40" a couple of days ago (Apr 28) so got to experience the momentous occasion in Afghanistan. Having just returned from Kuwait the day prior on an overnight flight (so no sleep for 24 hours), I actually slept through most of my actual birthday. However, thanks to a number of efforts from Amy, my Mom, and my JC2RT teammates (particularly Jennifer Hatzfeld), my birthday was a special one, despite being so far from home. I found out the office in San Antonio even had a full blown birthday party. I apparently even attended in the form of an anatomical skeleton dressed up as me! Watching the video of my actual birthday party was a bit surreal, and the caricature of me was quite funny (and I will confess too close for comfort)! Thanks to everyone who made the day special. Here are a few of the birthday photos from Afghanistan:








John

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Welcome Home!

The month of April has been a busy one for our family! It has been a long several weeks, emotionally and physically draining at times, but I am so thankful for many things!  We had some hard "good byes" in Ocean Springs and we had some sweet  "hellos" in Texas!  It never really gets easier moving even when we are going back to a situation we are familiar with and love. To pick up a family and move across states with 5 children and a husband overseas is still fairly crazy...but it is done!  Now just the re-adjusting, organizing and figuring out life here...I want to tell you all more, but after non stop days, I think I have hit my wall and am exhausted!   I am trying to catch up a bit, but did want to post a couple pictures!  We are so thankful for the meals stocked in our freezer, the milk in our fridge, the help unpacking, setting up the trampoline, the computers and internet, the childcare, and the list goes on.  I am amazed at how many people just knew what they needed to do to help...they said "there will be time to chat later, lets get unpacking!"  And we did!  I get tears just thinking about the love shown to our family in this journey.  It is not over yet...John is still in Afghanistan (actually right now I think he is in Kuwait for a project) and even after he gets back, we will have to be apart a bit...but for now God has brought us back to our home in Schertz....and we are thankful!  May we be faithful!
Lily rubbing mommy's feet with lotion...they hurt!

Lily feeding Daddy a crouton on Skype

Logan in a pair of John's overalls

Good Bye Ocean Springs

The neighbor's made a going away sign

Good bye dinner with the Crawfords (neighbors in MS)

Welcome Home to Texas!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Halfway to Home


Before anyone criticizes my interpretation of the lyrics, I am fully aware that this song from Building 429, Where I Belong, refers to the fact that as believers, we are in a sense strangers here on Earth (Psalm 119:19 and 1 Peter 2:11). Our home is in heaven so Earth is not where we belong in the eternal sense. However, since these song lyrics are not the inspired Word of God unlike Scripture, I am going to take some liberties and twist its meaning to suit my own state of mind at the moment. I officially hit the halfway mark in Afghanistan today! That being said, I can definitely say consistent with the chorus of this song that Afghanistan is fortunately not my home!

"All I know is I'm not home yet
This is not where I belong
Take this world and give me Jesus
This is not where I belong"

We will no doubt look back on this experience as one of the best of our lives. After all, Amy and the kids are headed back home to San Antonio on Wednesday, which in all likelihood would not have happened absent my deployment. Similarly, I belong at home with Amy and the kids (not Afghanistan!) and am looking forward to a safe return in only another 3 months!

Here’s to halfway home!

John

Friday, April 6, 2012

100 Days and Counting

I've officially been in Afghanistan now for 79 days, which leaves 100 to go...almost in 2-digit territory! In other terms, I am 44.1341% (precision counts) of the way through. The flip side is that I only have 55.8659% of my deployment remaining. I have "expired" 1,896 hours or 113,760 minutes or 6,825,600 seconds. This means I only have 2,400 hours or 144,00 minutes or 8.640,000 seconds left. Of course, if you count from the time I left home for pre-deployment training (which was ~12 days) rather than when I arrived into Afghanistan, the math gets more complicated.

But, who is counting anyways!:) In simple terms, halfway is just around the corner and then it's downhill from there!

John