In the Storm

We’re in a Tropical Storm right now here in Florida, with enough rain to make you think to build an ark and enough wind to blow you over.  Except that in this very minute, it’s calm and there is no rain.  But when I look at the sky, I know it’s just a momentary lapse, and the worst of the storm is yet to come. Okay, truth is that I can’t see that from the sky.  But the Weather Channel, along with my local news give us the warnings to heed- there may be flooding, tornadoes, downed limbs and power outages.  Thankfully they stand in the gap to share how to stay safe instead of us relying on our own instincts which so often fail.

See?  We're under that black mark in the middle of the image- completely covered.

See? We’re under that black mark in the middle of the image- completely covered.

It’s really not a big deal though.  I’ve sat through more Hurricanes and Tropical Storms than I can recall, from before I can recall.  I’ve lived in Florida all of my life but two years, and those two years were on the coast of Mississippi where we rode out a few as well.  It’s just part of life.  And in the summer when we have a break from the storms?  Wildfires my friends, wildfires.  So many that your nostrils burn from the smoke, your eyes water just by opening a window, and you pray that a Tropical Storm will come along to drench us again.

No matter where you live, there are natural forces to be reckoned with though.  I can’t imagine being startled by the shrill of a unexpected tornado siren in the Midwest.  Or being woken by a violent shaking that rattles the walls and leaves you hoping that the earth doesn’t open up and swallow you on the West Coast.

I like the storms I’m used to.  I know where to turn for information, how to prepare, and how to keep my family safe.

In life I feel the same.  I like the trouble I know and fear the unknown.  But the really cool thing is that we also have a guide, someone who stands in the gap and helps us and comforts us.

No matter what type of storm we face, we don’t have to rely on our own knowledge or instincts.  In fact, when we do is when we get into the real danger.  It’s such a comfort to know that God is more reliable and knowledgeable than the Weather Channel, and more prepared to deal with disaster than the Red Cross.

In Hurricanes, Tropical Storms, or the storms of life, He is our help.

There’s no need to have all the answers, just to know where to get them.

~  Anita ~

 

Shelter Safe

Our church has some amazingly talented people, especially in music.  Last week as this song was sung and the words flowed through my heart, I did stand in awe.  It is based on Psalms 46, and says:

You’ve been our home, You’ve been our shelter safe
For young and old.  For generations past.
We stand in awe, Of a God so great.
We stand in thanks, Of your faithfulness.
Oh Lord, you’ve been our dwelling place.

my aunt, JoAnn

I’ve heard it many times, but I needed the reminder that the things that I’m battling, the issues my family is dealing with and our friends are hurting over, that those are not new.  30 years ago, my grandmother had already seen heartbreak and loss greater than I’ve been able to imagine.  My God is the same God who watched over her and the same God she worships today in heaven.

He was shelter for my parents through losses that included my Mom’s sister and my Dad’s twin brother, both as teenagers. Even when they didn’t want the comfort or couldn’t see it.   

I hurt for friends who hurt today, I ache over my own tired and worn out spirit, and I can so easily get self focused on that.  But my pains and struggles are no greater than those before me, and I think to the end of my Grandmother’s life and the fact that after all of that, she still knew the true joy and peace that knowing Him brings.  God was her shelter and will be mine.

My own family legacy of losing those we love at a young age can sometimes grip my heart with fear for the future, and for what my boys’ will need shelter from.  But I read those words and know that God will protect them and be their home, just as he was for generations of our family.   

What are you facing?  I encourage you to look for comfort in the shelter of Him.  

Tribute for a Mom

This Mother’s Day I’ll be eating breakfast my guys cook and wearing a fancy hat to church. This Mother’s Day my mom will eat in a camper and test her search skills.This Mother’s Day I’ll have sweet hugs from my sons. This Mother’s Day my mom won’t have her son here to hug, so she’ll work towards a certification for leading searches. This Mother’s Day I’d like a jewelry box. This Mother’s Day, my mom wants the gift of being able to help bring someone’s child home.

Since Austin isn’t here to say ‘I love you’ or ‘thanks’ I’d like to say it for him. Thank you for being willing to sacrifice so much for him, for me and for others. Thank you for loving us always, teaching us about life, pushing us when needed, supporting us no matter, teaching us the value of hard work and to never give up.

Austin talked to you when no one else, knowing you would comfort but always help also. He respected you and loved you. If here, he would say thanks in a simple and quick way, but would mean it deeply.

Though I have my own methods, I hope and pray that my boys grow to know what Austin and I always knew- that they are loved by us and by God, and can never stray so far to be out of our love. Thank you.



Mom with Monica Caison, being presented with a CUE Keeper of the Flame Award, 2011

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