After the Storm

prayingLast night I watched the news and was truly saddened by what I saw.

The town of Moore, Oklahoma, was pretty much devastated by an EF-4 or 5 tornado which was a mile wide and, according to the news, even up to two miles across during part of its life.

My thoughts and prayers go out to this community which is dealing with so much.

It was very hard to watch the news and see entire neighborhoods flattened to nothing but the foundations.  And, the schools and local hospital there were severely damaged as well.

Watching the meteorologists and news reporters get emotional is tough as well.  You know many of them have seen so much in their careers, that you realize how bad this really is when it affects them.

A resident there who is 72 years old said he would be fine.  He mentioned that in life you accumulate a lot of junk and now he’ll get to start over.  He gets a do-over.

Would I be that positive in light of what happened?  I don’t know.  Do you think he was in shock or just trying to make the best of an unfathomable situation?  I was impressed with his positive outlook I must say.

And, I salute all of the first responders, the firemen, policemen, the national guard, emergency response staff, doctors and nurses, search and rescue people, and those who repair our power lines.  All of these men and women have stayed up all night trying to help their community.

The Red Cross will be there as well to help in the rebuilding effort.  My question is with this much damage, where do you start?  One man answered that question – I think either the mayor or city manager — who said first we find the people and go from there.

As I put my son to bed last night, I wept with happiness that I had a bed to put him on with a pillow under his head.   Some people don’t have that anymore and that is heart breaking.  I suppose more so is having lost a child or spouse or other relative or the not knowing if they are alive or not.

Today I am thankful for my family and friends and some things that I have often taken for granted.  I love having a wall in my house to hang a favorite photo on, a refrigerator full of food, a washing machine to clean my clothes, a blanket to put on my son as he sleeps, a sink to wash my hands in, a sidewalk in my neighborhood to walk on and visit with neighbors, and a night stand where I have my Bible.

Lord, please help this community and the amazing people who live there.  May they find their loved ones and be able to stand with one another to rebuild.  May we who don’t live there do what we can to help.  May you provide comfort in these hours of need and loss.  Amen.

To give to the rebuilding efforts, we can contact the Red Cross.  From what I understand, they are asking for blood donations as well as money.  Please see their Ways to Help web site for more information –

Amazing Strength

handsI heard an amazing quote in the sermon at church yesterday.

This was a quote by a man named who had been diagnosed with a brain tumor: “I don’t know why God has me on this path, but I am looking forward to the journey.”

What? How can you look forward to a journey of a tumor in your head?  I was floored at this comment.  What a man of amazing faith!!

This comment truly did give me pause.  Is my faith that strong?  I like to think so, but am not totally sure.  Do I truly know that my Lord and Savior could get my through something like this?  I have to admit it would take a lot of prayers and support.

I do know that God works in mysterious ways and can make all things good.  But knowing in my head and living it are two different things.  Lord, help me have a strong faith in you and know that you will always provide for me.  Amen.

There are many people dealing with cancer, chemotherapy, treatments, surgery, and major pain.  I do, however, admire them and their strength to deal with and live through these trials in their lives.

One person who has been an inspiration is Robin Roberts of “Good Morning America.”  She recently returned from a 5-month medical leave.  She had a bone marrow transplant and now has the immune system of a child.  From what I understand, it is improving but will take time.

It has been so good to see her back on the air.  She looks different since she lost all of her hair and she has lost some weight from all she’s been through.  But she is still beautiful — both inside and out.

Robin was very frank with her illness and treatment and agreed to have the journey recorded to show on ABC.  It was amazing to see her at her most vulnerable, yet also comforting.

She is a strong woman of faith and despite all of her pain and trials, she is positive.  She knows that if you let the negative get in, it can take over.  Robin, you are truly an inspiration!!

If you are dealing with this kind of pain, please know that the Lord is there to comfort and help you through it!  And, friends and family can help you as well.

I know that people often question God when something like this happens.  I think that is only natural and we can’t help but ask “Why Me?”  I heard someone who had breast cancer say, “Why Not Me?”

That was another profound statement that made me do a lot of thinking and soul-searching.  I do know that Jesus is with me not matter what.  He didn’t promise that life would be easy, but did promise to always be there.  That is an amazing blessing.

I think it’s also great to have support of our loved ones.  Marriage vows include “in sickness and in health.”  May we truly be able to live that vow and be there for one another!

My prayer for you is that if you are dealing with this pain or diagnosis that you will be comforted to know that Jesus loves you and always will.  And, that your family and friends can help you through this painful time.  God Bless!!

Love You Pam and Bob

Patti and PamLife is so very precious!!

This thought crossed my mind last night as I heard about my cousin Pam’s husband Bob.  He’d had a mild heart attack and was at the hospital.

I was concerned, worried, and my mind reeled and the praying began.  Last night, he had surgery to repair his aorta.  As of this morning, Bob is doing well and recovering.  That is truly an answer to many prayers!   And, I must say how relieved I am.

My cousin said that he made quick friends with one of his nurses who later dropped down on her knees and prayed for him.  Isn’t that awesome?!  I sure thought so.  The prayer support for them and their daughters spread like wildfire!!

Pam is one of my absolute favorite people.  We have been close since we were teenagers!  The picture is of the two of us at the beach in San Diego a few years ago.  I love her like my sisters.  And, her husband is one of the nicest, friendliest, and funniest people who I have ever met.

I remember the first time that Kirk and I met him, it seemed like we’d know each other forever.  Have you ever met someone who you instantly clicked with?  We had that instant connection with Bob.

Thanks to the good Lord above, and a great staff of doctors and nurses, and much prayer support that Bob came through this ordeal with flying colors!!  I too am so happy for Pam and their beautiful family.

Love you both so much!!  I am so looking forward to seeing you in a few months and enjoying many laughs!!

A Week Of Words

calendarHello and Happy Friday! Are you as happy as I am that it’s Friday?  I am so ready for the weekend.

This week I heard and read a lot of things that I have been thinking about.  I decided today I would publish some of those random thoughts, ideas, and quotes.

Some of these items are from my journal that I re-read this week and some are new items.

***”Dear Jesus, I love you God and love all in the world, except those who are bad,”  Ian said in a prayer.  I wrote this in my journal since it was one I wanted to remember.

He is at the age of learning the difference between right and wrong and there is no compromise or in between for him.  I told him that we still should love the bad people too, since that is something that God tells us to do.  They need love too, I told him.

***Another prayer of his that touched me was — “Dear Jesus, please don’t take me up to Heaven for a long time.”  This prayer made me cry, to be honest.  The fact that he is thinking about Heaven and leaving the earth already is amazing to me.  Also, it is amazing that he already can believe that there is a Heaven.  Jesus did say to have faith like a child and Ian certainly has that faith.

I wrote it down since it was such a beautiful prayer.  Little did I know the next day, there would be a death in the family.  As they say, from the mouths of babes.  He is such a sensitive little soul.

***At some point in the Super Bowl, there was a boy doing an activity who represented children who have taken a pledge to get one hour of activity per day.  At first this struck me as a great idea.  However, the more I thought about it, the more I though oh brother and how sad that things have changed so much.

We have truly changed in this country when a child has to plan to be active.  I remember growing up this was never an issue.  Since television was limited and we didn’t have our own phones, iPods, iPads or even computers, we had lots of time to play both inside and outside.  We didn’t know any differently and often had to be dragged in at dark from playing outside.  I remember Mom yelling at us to come in for dinner.  “But, we aren’t finished playing yet, Mom.”  But she insisted.

It is sad that we no longer can safely have our kids play outside on their own but instead have to be constantly watching them.  The innocence has gone, I guess and that is very telling.  In my family, I have noticed how much happier and better Ian can sleep at night when has been active during the day.  He loves to run outside around our neighborhood and also play at the playground.  I do my best to let him be active each day.  After all, I need it too!

***Here are some house rules that I saw a while ago and re-read again this week.  They are ideas of truly what I want to have in my family.  We try each day to live like this:

  • In this house, we do second chances
  • We do grace
  • We do mistakes
  • We do real
  • We do I’m sorry’s
  • We do loud really well
  • We do hugs
  • We do love
  • We do family

Isn’t this cool?  I mean, who wouldn’t want to grow up in a house like that?  Teaching and showing Ian that we do love him, we do say we are sorry when we make a mistake, and that it’s okay to make mistakes is very important!

We also have been teaching him that as part of a family, there are jobs for him and all of us to do and others to think about.  He is a great help in the kitchen and with laundry.  He’ll tell me, “Mommy, I want to cook with you.”  I say, “Okay Ian.”  Even though it’s often a messier kitchen, I so think it’s worth it.

***Books A Million posted a picture on their Facebook page this week about the birth date of Laura Ingalls Wilder.   She wrote a series of books that I loved as a young teenager — starting with “Little House on the Prairie.”  This series was a fascinating look at her growing up years.

I especially remember how excited Laura and Mary were one Christmas at getting a doll, an apple, and a peppermint stick.  That was all they received and they were thrilled and over the moon with excitement.  It was a good reminder that having a few gifts of real value are much better than a load of stuff that you don’t really appreciate or even remember a few weeks after you receive them.

This Christmas my motto was “It’s not the presents, but the presence.”  We in my family took this to heart.  It was great to spend a lot of hours together and visit, have a few gifts for the children to open, and raise money and help some needy and worthy causes.  You know what?  We all enjoyed it, including Ian who was thrilled with the items he did get!

*****What are some of your words of inspiration, thought, or appreciation from the week?  I’d love to hear from you and I am sure the other readers would like to as well!  Have a great weekend and God Bless!!!*****

After the Storm

“Rainbows apologize for angry skies.”  ~Sylvia Voirol

“The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.” — Dolly Parton

These quotes came to mind yesterday when I saw this picture of a rainbow over the dark New York skyline. This picture was posted on ABC News Online.  Thanks to them for sharing this image with us!

The promise of a new and better day was very fitting for those who have lost so much.

Hurricane Sandy has affected so many people and will be around for a while it seems.  There will be much to clean up and it will take a while before life gets back to normal for millions of families.

I have been watching the coverage on the television and have been stunned and brought to tears by the devastation in so many places.  Wrapping my mind around entire towns under water or sand is hard to do, as is realizing an entire neighborhood was wiped out in a fire.  And, there are the tourist places where ferris wheels, roller coasters, and boardwalks will never be the same.

My prayers go out for all of those who have lost so much — their homes, their towns, their favorite vacation spot, and maybe the life of a dear one.  I can’t even imagine what they are dealing with.

The strength of the people dealing with the aftermath has been amazing to behold.  I salute all of the first responders, the firemen, police officers, members of the coast guard, paramedics, nurses, doctors, electricians, lineman, all utility workers, and so many more people.  These people are running to help others and try to restore normalcy to people and their communities.

Thanks also to the Red Cross for their quick response, FEMA, and the various state emergency response agencies, the National Guard, all volunteer agencies, governors and mayors who have been working with the President in response to this disaster and helping get aid to those who need it.  Collecting items for people has been a great thing to see.  In addition, I have been pleased to see politics put aside, however briefly, to help our citizens rebuild their lives and homes.

Most of the coverage I have been watching has been on ABC News.  These journalists and meteorologists have done a great job in reporting what has been happening.  They have looked defeated and frustrated at times and that is to be understood.  They were out in the worst of this storm to let us know how serious things were.  Thanks to this crew and others who have kept us informed.

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, I wanted to thank God for the simple things in my life that I sometimes take for granted.  I realize this week, however, how precious these are.

I am thankful for:

  • Running water
  • Heat to stay warm on a cold night
  • A refrigerator keeping milk and cheese cold
  • A telephone to talk with a loved one far away
  • E-mail for updates from others
  • A cup of hot coffee in the morning
  • A yard full of standing trees
  • A hot shower
  • Lights to read my books and Bible
  • The hug of my son and him saying, “Good Morning Mommy”
  • The kiss of my hubby before bed and in the morning
  • A house with no damage
  • A television to track the storms
  • Friends who are well and healthy

If you were directly impacted by this storm, may the Lord be with you as you heal and move on with your life.

I hope that we can all get back to normal and remember to appreciate how truly special normal really is!  God Bless!