I’d intended to post another installment of my house tour series today, but as I sit here at my desk, baby enjoying her morning nap and my coffee cup refilled, all I can think about is the sound of the chainsaws and wood chippers as crews on our block take down dead trees and limbs in preparation for Hurricane Florence. We live in central Virginia, hours from the Eastern seaboard, but our area is nonetheless deep into preparation for torrential rains on our already soaked soil, and heavy winds potentially late tomorrow or early Friday.
Yesterday we checked our downspouts and staked down the trampoline. Neighbors were cleaning gutters and laying down their arbors. I’ve filled my fridge with mason jars of water, and am planning to venture out again today in hopes of finding some flashlight batteries (Wal-Mart was sold out yesterday).
A couple of months ago our area was hit by a tornado, which our kids and some neighbor’s homes are still recovering from, but it’s crazy to think how different that experience felt because there was no notice at all- just the sirens and phone alerts telling us to take shelter immediately, and before we even knew what was really happening, it was over. In contrast, this knowing-it’s-coming business, this casually preparing over the course of days, even a week, feels incredibly odd. I’m literally folding laundry and chatting on the phone, and at the same time pondering if I should clean out the bathtub so I can fill it with water to potentially use for washing and flushing the toilet if the need arises.
I can only image what the evacuees must be feeling right now, as they pack to leave their homes, knowing they could return to a literal wreckage. What are they bringing? What decisions must they be making right now in terms of preparing their homes as best they can? And preparing their children, as best they can, for what could be one of the most traumatic experiences of their lives? To not know if they’ll have a home to come back to, even a town to come back to?
What feels more appropriate for today, rather than gab about my house decorating, is to just take a moment to focus on gratitude –for family and friends, for freedom, for jobs, for a home– and to remind myself that this world, and all it’s shiny things, are oh so temporary. I love repeating Psalm 46:10 when I’m fighting the urge to freak out- “Be still and know that I am God.” Wherever you are today, friends- perhaps preparing for Florence, or thinking about loved ones who are in it’s path, or dealing with some other type of storm like illness, finances, or a painful relationship, remember, through all of the “hurry-up-and-do-something” bustle of trying to get ready for life’s winds, to be still deep within your spirit, and to rest on the one rock that no storm can ever, ever wash away.
Until next time, stay safe and at peace, dear friends.