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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Great is thy Faithfulness is her song!

Today is Kaitlin's birthday. She is an amazing photographer
Carl's personality twin
Hard working, gift giving
and My favorite daughter of all times!

Andrew's birth was a traumatic experience for both he and I.  I really thought I would never have any more children.  When I was in the hospital the night before Kaitlin was born (29 years ago when you had a c-section, you had to check in the hospital the night before your surgery) I had a panic attack about the birth.  All the emotions and memories of Andrew's birth flooded me and almost overtook me. Almost is the key word.  I saw Jesus that night in the form of a nurse.  She came in at midnight to take away my water and saw that I was awake.  She told me that it was almost morning and to get a big drink.  The Holy Spirit brought a verse to my mind- Lamentations 3: 22-23  The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every MORNING; great is your faithfulness.  Wow!!  I slept after that because I knew that it was morning and His faithfulness was already there.  Andrew's birth on a scale of 1-10 with 1 being easy and 10 being yikes, was a 15.  Kaitlin's was an 8, still a hard time but we made it.  We serve an Awesome God!

Every since Kaitlin was a little girl I have told her about her story and that His faithfulness is great!  When we sing this song in church we are reminded again of His faithfulness at her birth.  

I am so glad God gave Kaitlin to us!  What a gift she is to so many people but especially to me!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Miss Adorable, swinging really high and St Louis

This past weekend Carl and I were able to go to St Louis and meet our new granddaughter.  How precious to meet someone so new.

Here is Marisa with her daughter, the fabulous Miss Adorable.  Marisa is holding a print that Kaitlin gave her for Marisa's birthday which was May 17th.  The print is by Mindy Lacefield .  Kaitlin and Marisa both knew Mindy at UALR and now Kaitlin has the privilege of working with her.  Both love her work and this picture made Kaitlin think of Marisa.  Marisa was thrilled to have this print.
Here I am introducing myself to my granddaughter.  I told her that we will play paper dolls and have tea parties and play dressup.   She smiled!
On May 17, 1982 I was in St Louis at this hospital giving birth to Andrew.  John and Marisa live near here.  As we drove to the park to take Mr Wonderful we made a quick stop to get this photo on May 17 2014.  32 years- hard to believe.  I am so thankful for all the joy that God has given our family through Andrew.
How do I love Mr Wonderful,? Let me count the ways... I love his little voice and all his words.  I love seeing life through his wonder of it all- birds, dogs and the thrill of swinging.  Gpapa did get that swing too high for me and I did ask him, for my sake, to not push W so high.  There were several children that wanted Gpapa to push them but their mothers said NO.  He was too busy with W anyway!

 Since I can't stand and run like he and Gpapa can I would find a bench close by as they played.  Mr Wonderful always kept track of me and if he couldn't see me he would call out Bubbles?  Bubbles?  I would head his way so he could see me then he was okay.  Other children asked their mothers where the bubbles were, saying they heard someone say bubbles?  I just smiled!!!!

Below Mr Wonderful is watching Frozen.  He loves the movie except the part with the monster.  John doesn't miss a beat as he carries on a conversation and provide protection for his son at the same time.  so precious.
Miss Adorable was awake and looking all around!
Below is a moment I caught when Gpapa and W are sliding.  Check out the grins on both their faces.  I hope W always thinks that his Gpapa can do anything!  I just wish you could hear the laughter that these two shared!
  I did let Gpapa hold Miss A for a few minutes so she could meet her amazing Gpapa!  All she knows is love and being taken care of and isn't that a wonderful thing and how it should be.
So I am home now and planning our next trip and what I should take to St Louis.  Children are such a great blessing!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Tornadoes, solid rocks, and illusions

Sunday night the 27th.  The day the tornadoes came through Little Rock.  Kaitlin and I were home.  We didn't go to small group.  We realize in retrospect that because of all the trees that fell on Hwy 10, we would not have been able to get home.

We knew the skies were getting dark that night but that is not unusual.  We settled down to watch The Amazing Race.  Ed Buckner, a local weatherman, broke in to the show and told us that folks in the ferndale area should take cover. Then we lost internet and power.  We ran into the stairwell.  Kaitlin grabbed two blankets and her shoes and I grabbed my purse (why?  not sure).

The noise we heard was not a train but just a very strange noise.  Folks asked us if our ears were popping and the answer is no but probably because Kaitlin and I were singing Be Thou My Vision.  That is the only song that I could think of.  It wasn't really a duet because neither one of us could sustain a verse because of our tears but together we got through most of the song.  It was not lost on us that soon we might be in His vision.

We had charges our phones earlier in the day when we knew the weather could get bad.  A very special thank you to all those who texted and called to check on us. Those calls were our lifeline.

When we ventured out of the stairs we noticed that our windows were covered with sticks, mud, pine straw and leaves.  We had pine straw stuck in the wood siding on the outside of our house.  We didn't have any limbs down that we could see and wondered what had happened.  We live up on a ridge and when the trees are leafed out, we are in a tree house.

Then we heard ambulances and chain saws.  We saw lots of red tail lights below us on hwy 10 as traffic was at a standstill.  We didn't know why at that time.

Carl wanted us to leave right then because more bad weather was headed our way but Kaitlin and I felt the need to stay put.  I think at that time we were in shock.  With no power, we had a fitful night compounded by me getting a migraine and Kaitlin seeing a mouse in the house!

At 6 the next morning we talked to Carl and he had us a motel room.  We grabbed a few things and left.

 Nothing prepared us for what we were about to see.

Just below the ridge we are on is one spot the tornado touched as it made it's way through Arkansas.  When Kaitlin and I saw the devastation we both burst into tears.  We live in a rural area with lots of trees.  On either side of the road about 150 trees were either up ended or just gone.  The 'just gone' is what is so unnerving.  There are 5 houses in the area that was hit.  Three have/ had beautiful fences the enclosed their acreage.  A small part of the fence was standing, some parts had trees smashed through, some is on the ground and some is just gone. The blue tarps were on roofs when we saw the houses.  The houses were all still standing.

We arrived at our motel at 7am.  We climbed into bed and turned on The Weather Channel.  We dozed on and off all day and were asleep by 8 or maybe 7 that night.  Again, a big thank you to all those that called and texted.  JanR invited us for supper but we were already in our jammies by 5pm and in bed.  Our power was back on about 4 pm.

We were up early and left the motel at 6am and headed home.  We were better prepared as we saw the destruction this time.

My friend, Sandy, came over that morning.  When she entered our house she was crying.  She hugged us and through her tears she kept saying that it was so close, it was so close.  Our tears began anew because it was so close.  JeffR from church came over that morning too.  He swept off our windows, moved downed limbs and with his blower he made the yard look more normal.

As friends call as they drive out our way, the text or the words are always the same- it was so close.

This year my verses to memorize are from Psalm 46- God is our refuge and strength,
    a very present[b] help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
    though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam,
    though the mountains tremble at its swelling. 
these verses take on a whole new meaning now.  The only solid rock we have is God.  Security in anything but Him is just an illusion.

Yesterday two very kind men from FEMA came by.  They gave us their card and asked if we sustained any damage.  We said that we hadn't. They commented on the damage so close to us.  Yup, it was close!

Here are a few things we have been pondering since April 27-
God is sovereign.
What awesome power is contained in a tornado to do so much destruction.
When we help bring order to the chaos that the tornado brings we are a picture of Christ.
God is sovereign.
All tornado damage is not visible. We carry such minor damage on our insides and I pray for those who have major damage.

I pray for as they minister to those who have lost more than houses and stuff and memories.

ready to head home after a good nights sleep in our motel
Bad weather is predicted in AR today.  I would be lying if I didn't say that I have a sinking feeling in my tummy.  I plan to sing hymns today as I wear my bicycle helmet around the house.  The hymns help my insides and the helmet helps me with the illusion that I am safer wearing it.  I will also set aside time to pray for those who lost things that can never be replaced and count my blessings.

You count yours too today because we never know...


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