Are you a chaplain spouse? Do you love to write or is it something you’ve been interested in? Read on, my friend…
A few years ago, I came across a dissertation paper that was studying officers’ spouses. The study found that as the service member was promoted in rank (and the spouse became a more senior spouse), there was an increase in isolation which led to increased depression and anxiety.
That part may not surprise you. But then I came across one sentence that said that the increased isolation these spouses experienced was very similar to what was commonly seen in a pastor’s wife.
Because I, too, am a chaplain’s spouse, I realized that it is quite possible that our community struggles with a double whammy. This was what fueled my passion to do the Anonymous Chaplain Spouse Survey in 2015 and 2016. My research, along with many conversations with senior spouses, has confirmed what many of us know to be true. That being a chaplain spouse (although quite fulfilling) also brings difficulty that we must be willing to talk about. Whether it is real or perceived, chaplain spouses tend to feel some of the following:
- Isolation from family, friends, and sometimes military spouses we are assigned around
- No consistent church home/community (especially active duty)
- An internal struggle to be involved out of calling vs obligation
- Difficulty with being authentic/vulnerable for fear of feeling weak or jeopardizing a spouse’s career
- Watching or experiencing your chaplain’s experience of burnout and stress
- and so much more.
I am looking to create a space for chaplain spouses that is authentic and safe.
Part of this will include content available just for chaplain families. Which is where you might come in.
I am inviting chaplain spouses who are interested in writing to join me in creating authentic meaningful content for our community. If you are interested, here is what you can expect.
Content contributors can/will:
- Remain publicly anonymous if desired, but must be confirmed as a chaplain spouse
- Touch on authentic topics for our community
- Write content that breathes life into others rather than be divisive
- Have the option to write content that is faith-based
- Find community in an ad/political free platform
UPDATE: Due to the wonderful response and great questions, here is a list of FAQs
I am thrilled by the response already; I think there is a definite need in our community and I’m excited about what’s ahead. I’m getting some great questions on what a contributor could expect, so I hope to answer a few of your questions.
The Lifegiver mission statement is purely to “provide a place for honest conversation and breathe life into our community.” Although that sounds pretty vague, it hopefully sets the tone for positive content while remaining authentic.
1. Is there a commitment?
Not at all. For those who wish to write regularly, I will definitely consider it and welcome having new and fresh content. I personally work better when I have deadlines each month, but you may be in a place where you want to write as you feel prompted by a topic. If you are working on a piece, I wouldn’t mind getting a heads up though!
2. Is there any payment involved?
At this time, no. I have heard from many people that they value having a place that is ad-free. In order to keep Lifegiver a free resource, as well as a nice platform where people want to come, I do not take sponsorships. I have hesitated reaching out for contributors or team work for a long time because I have not wanted to “ask” for more than what I know you already give to the community- especially as a volunteer. However, I also want to be obedient to the prompting I feel to give you a place to both give and receive positive, encouraging content.
3. How will you decide who will be a contributor?
I am not currently turning people away from this opportunity as of yet. I would definitely encourage you to turn in any brief writing samples you may have. If you are just beginning, that is ok, too! We all have to start somewhere. Just like a family, I expect to have various writing styles and experience. The great thing about a blog like this is that I can create categories like devotionals, educational, PTSD, support, etc.
However… Any articles, or behavior, that is divisive, destructive, or does not have healthy movement forward will not be included as it does not align with the mission statement.
4. Will you be including faiths other than Christian?
As of right now, yes but with some limits. This may change, but it would not be helpful to our community and in line with the calling of a chaplain family to not be inclusive. There will be limits to faiths that are attempting to proselytize through the blog. This is a place of support. I will also have the ability to create categories on this if necessary. Limits on this also go back to being filtered through the mission statement.
5. What topics can I write on?
What is most important to me (and I believe to the community), is that it is authentic, relatable, and has movement forward. In other words, I would love for content to deal with tough topics that are rarely talked about openly, even if they feel negative. I only ask that the piece ends in encouragement and movement forward.
Consider writing on topics that other chaplain families are wrestling with and experiencing! Please try to steer away from personal blog style writing where you are documenting your own journey. Feel free to share parts of your story, but use your story make a point or make it more relatable to what someone else is experiencing. For more on this, consider watching my video on “Telling Your Story“
6. What is the process of submitting an article? All correspondence can go to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Turn in a brief writing sample if you have one.
- Send me an email on a topic you would like to write on.
- Consider asking for feedback from me or other chaplain spouses on your topic.
- Start writing! Aim for 800-1000 words.
- Send in your article and wait for editing.
- You will receive your article with edits; approve or appeal any changes until an agreement is made.
- Article is submitted and waits in the Lifegiver queue for publishing. You will be notified of the dates of your publishing.
A note on editing:
Please know that all articles will be screened and possibly go through some editing before they are made public. I know first hand that it is quite vulnerable to have someone edit your work. If this is new for you, I understand completely! I promise you will value it as it may even sharpen your skills as a writer! Your article will not be published without your final approval 🙂
7. Do I have to make images for my article?
Not if you don’t want to. If you feel especially talented in this area, I am open to it. More on this to come…
Some extra inside information:
I hope to launch this blog soon on a new Lifegiver site that will be separate from my site, which will make it more inviting. Even bigger, I hope to make a portion of this site a safe community for chaplain spouses where there is room for discussion, anonymously if desired. More to come on this as well, but I wanted you to know where this special blog is headed!
If you are interested in this exciting opportunity to serve, email email@example.com
I’m so excited to do this with you!