Thanks a lot, Irma…

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Thanks a lot, Irma. 

You destroyed the homes of so many people, and caused damage all over several islands before intruding on our great and beautiful state of Florida and leaving a big mess to clean up.  More personally, you put me in panic mode for almost a week before you arrived.  You made my fear I’ve had since B’s death of surviving a hurricane without him, come true.  You gave me so much anxiety that I didn’t sleep through the night for a week.

Thanks a lot, Irma.

You made me so tired that I cried at the drop of a hat over the silliest things, to the point that my children probably worried a little about my sanity.  You made me so overwhelmed over where we should go to weather the storm, that I couldn’t even think straight.

Thanks a lot, Irma. 

After you were gone, you caused our power to be out for days and our Internet to be out for much longer, making it impossible for me to work from home like usual.  You forced schools to close for a week and a half, and children all over, including mine, to be behind on schoolwork that piled up and had to be completed from home. You made us all stir crazy and hot, as we tried to continuously be reminded of all we have to be grateful for.

 

So really… thanks a lot, Irma. 

You made our community band together in a little more unity than usual, as we all got ready to endure the worst.  You made all of us stocking up at Costco have to help each other load our cars in order to claim a shopping cart.   You made those of us standing in line at Target carry on conversations with the people in line around us, instead of the usual burying ourselves in our phones while we wait.

Thanks a lot, Irma. 

You caused friends to step up and remind me once again that though life can often seem so lonely, I am not alone on this journey.  You used our church body to be the hands and feet of Jesus, both being a sanctuary for us during the storm, but also coming alongside to assist us with numerous needs we had after the storm.   You even brought neighbors we hardly ever see to our doorstep on the days after your departure.

Thanks a lot, Irma. 

You brought linemen from all over the country to help our state restore power to homes and neighborhoods, reminding us of the beauty of sacrifice, and the importance of diligence and excellence in whatever career we are called to.   You took us out of our comfort zones and allowed us to step up to help others who had needs much greater than our own.

Thanks a lot, Irma. 

You brought quiet, dark evenings at home full of board games by lanterns and books read by flashlights.  You gave us a respite from the normally busy schedules of school aged children who are involved in several extracurricular activities this fall.  You pretty much froze life for a little while, causing us to make some sweet family memories together.

And because of all that, you helped to remind me once again that God really does bring beauty after storms if my eyes keep looking for it.

So for all that, Irma… thanks a lot.

I never, ever wanted you – and I hate the damage you brought to so many.

But I will never, ever forget you.

christydsiggy2013

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Rediscovering my “why”…

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If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, you know that I have a big place in my heart for Compassion International, and the work they are doing around the world to offer sponsorships for children in need.  I am happy to blog for Compassion and share its mission with others because I think it’s important.  It’s been awhile though, since I’ve mentioned anything about Compassion.  Lately, it’s been easy to go through the motions a little as I follow through with the sponsorships our family has – writing letters, praying, and sending financial gifts – just as part of our normal routine.  Why?  Because it’s something good and important to do, right? And because the kids are oh so cute, of course.

That is, until I went to see the movie “Lion” this past weekend.  Wow wow wow.  If you haven’t seen it yet, you must get yourself to a theater soon and experience this remarkable  movie that was based on a true story.  Just be sure to bring a full box of tissues along.  Because this story is so sad… but so hope filled too.  I won’t give away much, but the challenges and poverty that the main character has to overcome, and the way these hardships follow him throughout life until he is forced to face them and find some answers – well, it’s amazing.  It was so very eye opening to the needs of children around the world today, and the reality of hope seeming so hard to find when you don’t even know where your next meal will come from or where you will sleep that night.

To be honest, I’ve had a few days lately where I just want to throw a pity party because my life is not often going how I planned for it to go.  It is amazing how quickly I can go from a “praise God” moment to a “woe is me” moment when I stop focusing on what really matters and get hung up in my own story instead of remembering that this is God’s story, and HE should be the one getting all the glory.  But when the reality hits me once again of the poverty and need many people are currently facing, I realize how trivial my little problems are.  And I remember all of the blessings I’ve been given by His grace alone and not through anything I did to deserve them.  It helps me get my eyes off myself and focus on giving His love to others as a result of His giving His love so lavishly to me.

This is why I probably need our sponsored Compassion children in my life even more than they may need me in theirs.  Because their story really has nothing to do with me.  God will find a way to provide for them, I wholeheartedly believe.  But the sovereign way that He has chosen me to play a part in showing them His love in tangible ways is such a beautiful gift.  And when I choose to say “yes” to His work in action, He reminds me how great He is and how small I really am.  It’s quite humbling.  And it becomes my constant and better “why” as I move through my own moments and days.

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So, why do I partner with and promote Compassion?  Because I believe I have been given the opportunity to encourage the precious children we sponsor that their Heavenly Father sees and loves them.  To remind them that He has a plan for them, no matter how hard life might seem right now.  And to invest in their present and future so that they see His love in tangible ways, and hopefully choose to follow Him. The cause of Compassion International is a beautiful thing that is impacting thousands around the world even today.  If you want to learn more about how Compassion International is changing the world one child and future at a time, check out the following video below.

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The Beauty of Silence…

I’ve got a confession to make.  I’ve come to the realization that I think I’ve got a “frenemy.”  Maybe you too would be honest enough to admit that you have one of those in your life?  Both a friend and an enemy… the oxymoron of complicated relationships.  My frenemy, however, is not a person – but a spacial awareness in life that I find myself facing regularly and trying to battle through.  And that, my … {…Read More}

Why honesty {to ourselves} is the best policy…

I think sometimes, the hardest person to be honest with is myself.  Anyone with me? I would consider myself a pretty honest person.   I guess you could say I’ve been blessed with a pretty strong conscience that sends flares off to the rest of me if something’s not right.  I desire peace with the people around me at almost any cost, which isn’t always a good thing for my own well being.  But it does … {…Read More}

When Crickets Chirp…

If you are one of the few precious people who read this blog, you may have noticed that I’ve been quiet for awhile.  Like… pretty much since before Christmas.  Way too long.  Maybe you’ve heard the crickets chirping here. 🙂 Sure, I’ve done a few product reviews and those are always fun, but I really haven’t taken the time to express my own thoughts in awhile.  To be honest, I haven’t really known what to say.  … {…Read More}

And so it begins…

It’s been a good summer… but a long one. I love my littles dearly, but summer now means I have to be intentional about having adult conversations. I think the combination of the heat, the length, and just a lot of overall hard going on all around us – well, it’s had me quiet and a bit discouraged.  This world can do that, I’ve learned, and I think that’s ok.  Those hardships help us to … {…Read More}

Germinating.

Sometimes, the Farmer chooses to plant seeds a little deeper in the ground.  It takes work for them to pop through the ground and breathe in the deep refreshing air and sunlight with newly formed and growing leaves.  It takes time to see any results.  It’s really dark down there, under that rich soil.  But the soil is full of nutrients that the seed needs in order to grow.  The Farmer also knows that the … {…Read More}

I am not enough.

I am sure you’ve heard the saying that “it takes a village.” I’d be the first one to raise my hand in agreement. But I’d also be quick to go a step further and assure you that it also takes an Almighty God directing that village. At least that is how it’s looked pretty clearly in my life lately. And I don’t know if I could function a full day without that truth. I am … {…Read More}

I choose to dance.

It’s late and I never write this late, so perhaps none of this will make any sense – but that’s ok, because I write more for myself anyway, and it’s been too long since I stopped and shared my thoughts.  My kids have been on spring break this week, so any daytime writing time just hasn’t been a possibility.  I think the words just keep piling up in my head and heart until they just … {…Read More}

Just breathe.

One of the things I’ve begun to do to help me through this grieving process is running. Yes, I know some would call me crazy – but believe me, I needed it. Something that keeps me healthy, gives “me time” with worship music coming through my headphones while my children are well cared for, helps me feel better about myself, helps cut down on stress, and gives me goals in otherwise now pretty mundane days … {…Read More}