Tuesday, November 17, 2015

November 17...

Big feelings today... Remembering our sweet baby son Scott Andrew born November 17, 1986. He was only with us for a couple of hours but he will always be loved and remembered. 

Two years ago today 
Our first look at the destruction
And then November 17, 2013... 

Within a few days after the tornado I heard the expectation for rebuild was 2 years. I remember thinking #1 that it could not possibly take that long, #2 we would never survive two years. Two years later... It took that long and we indeed survived, sometimes feeling as if we were hanging on by a thread, but always knowing we were securely held by our good, good Father. I have been reminded how very weak I am, and how strong He is. I am fearful, He is trustworthy. I am ever-changing, He is never-changing and always faithful. I am anxious, He is peace. I am shortsighted, He is Sovereign.
Then and Now
We still miss the home that will always live in our hearts. At the same time we are more than grateful for our beautiful new home. So many people to thank like Joe, Chuck, and Caroline at CT Gabbert Construction (and a host of amazing sub contractors), Jerime Gendron of Gendron Landscaping, A1 Fence and more.
Cheery yellow door :)
We so much appreciate the leaders of our beloved community. They have been amazing. working tirelessly to help all of us get home as painlessly as possible, sometimes under next to impossible conditions. Washington as a community is well on the way to recovery and ready to move forward.
Making some new memories 
Support and encouragement from friends, family, and strangers held us up on the hardest days. We still feel worn physically and emotionally. We will never be the same people we were before this two year journey, we are better in some ways, some ways not. With home pretty much finished and our insurance claim finally closed (in spite of a rocky beginning they ended up covering us well) it feels like we are ready to turn the page and move forward. Hearts and bodies are not as easily restored as the wood and brick of houses, but thankfully we can continue to trust the One who promises: “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.“ Jeremiah 29:11 NLT. Two years ago today I posted a scary picture and the following words to let friends and family know we had survived: "This is what is left of home, but we are safe and God is good :)"   We still are and He still is. :)

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

A Glittering Handful of Diamonds...in the Mud

I was challenged today by this familiar verse from Ecclesiastes, along with these words from Shauna Niequist: 

"I believe this way of living, this focus on the present, the daily, the tangible, this intense concentration not on the news headlines but on the flowers growing in your own garden, the children growing in your own home, this way of living has the potential to open up the heavens, to yield a glittering handful of diamonds where a second ago there was coal." 

I am so happy and grateful to be settling into our lovely, comfortable new home, but also find that I can be easily distracted by the mud that literally, completely surrounds us. Sucked in to the muck of a second Spring with no grass or flowers, things that made my soul feel peaceful. Obviously, patience is not one of my strong points :p  The yard is going to be a long, expensive, labor intensive process but wise King Solomon says it is time to eat, drink and be glad so joy can accompany the toil :) So here's to seeing "a glittering handful of diamonds where a second ago there was coal"...or mud :)

Friday, January 23, 2015

All Things New

I'm not a big resolution girl.  I've kicked around this "one word" for the year idea that is recently so popular but never really had the desire to jump on. However, the last few days and weeks one word has been kind of hounding me. I am surrounded by it or the need for it. That word is "new." The first verse  memorized for Beth Moore's Siesta Scripture Memory Team this year was Revelation 21:5 "And the one who was sitting on the throne said, 'Look I am making all things new..."  I realize the verse is talking about heaven but I think it might also have broader application. Scripture is full of reference to being made new. There are certainly many things that I personally need to have made new or at least improved a lot!  

The day is rapidly drawing near when we will finally move in to our new house. Anyone who knows me, knows how desperately I have been longing to go home, but it will be a far different home. As a matter of fact, about the only thing familiar will be the piece of land that home sits on. Not any familiar houses nearby (but thankfully many familiar neighbors), no familiar furniture, and very few familiar belongings. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to purchase new stuff. We have rarely ever purchased brand new furnishings.  Most of our things were either repurposed or refinished or something that had been in the family for a long time. This was partly from necessity and partly because I have always loved old things as well as taking something old and making it into something that is uniquely mine.   I truly look forward to our beautiful new home filled with furnishings I could only ever have dreamed of owning, yet part of me will still long for the old, worn out, familiar things that made home home. Our house will be a beautiful, convenient, shiny, new blessing.  I am sure it will fairly quickly, but not altogether painlessly, become home as it fills with the love of family, friends, and new memories. 

Even seeing the beautiful new things that await me in my new home I honestly would not hesitate for one fraction of a second to go back to our pre-tornado home. Maybe it won't always feel that way, but I suppose because of the trauma associated with home and belongings being so dramatically and completely torn away there will always be a little longing.  It has been work...long, hard, often full of tears and heartache
work to rebuild home and I plan to fully embrace and enjoy the beautiful new blessings we are being given. 

I think we (at least I) similarly tend to cling to familiar and comfortable habits and actions whether they are old and need to be replaced or not. I want to be the new person that God wants me to be, becoming increasingly more like Him, but too often I let comfortable and familiar win out over the work required to change for what is better.  

2015 is going to be the year of new, some things my choice, some things not, not only in our home but hopefully so much more. It will undoubtedly continue to involve work...long, hard, sometimes heartbreaking work to trade physical things as well as habits and actions that have become familiar and comfortable for what is new, but I believe God to be faithful to His promise to make all things new.