Yesterday I wrote about the challenges in the last year and that I hope we are heading for a break. So that’s what I thought? Guess again. Now with plans to leave my home in coastal Georgia and travel to Florida there are three storms in the Atlantic! I just want to yell at God and say “GIVE ME A BREAK!” By the way, it is ok to yell at God. He can take it.
So now we are watching hurricanes and hoping that we get a miss. My brother-in-law will be with our dogs. He is flying in tomorrow. I bet he wished he had never agreed to this!
Well, life goes on and we cannot control mother nature.
I am sharing a poem I wrote about life:
Life is very strange its patterns like paisley swirl on fabric
blending colors and shapes our life takes strange twists unexpected directions
and we are unable to see the form from within the design our viewing point
deep in the weave we can only see one color at a time
and cannot know the beauty of the whole
and even though God allows us to choose colors and patterns he alone can see the beautiful design
We are in the middle of a winter storm. Since I live in the south this weather is unusual. I can’t remember the last time that it was below freezing here. Ice covers the roads and everything is closed. No problem for me. I will stay inside and enjoy the fire. Kids are delighted to have a day off. It seldom happens.
(Marsh grass covered with ice.)
I don’t know what tomorrow will bring but then do we ever?
Life itself can be icy and leave us in a shivering in a cold place. There are so many things in life that we can’t control and weather is one of them. Maybe some day science will find a way but I like it this way. It doesn’t make things easier (when hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, etc. happen) but it is real. If we really think about it the only thing that we actually control is ourselves and our reactions to things. Choices bring consequences good or bad and that choice is up to us.
This fact makes it doubly hard when dealing with some mental aberrations. It is easy to feel that we are in a morass and there is no way out. It doesn’t seem as if we have a choice and that there is nothing left to do. The only way out becomes suicide. For those of us dealing with anxiety and depression suddenly not being there at all seems like a relief.
However, there are people who are doing away with themselves slowly by means of alcohol and/or drugs. This way can be devastating as it strips the person a little at a time. Each day they slip away a little more until nothing is left but the drug of choice. The drug takes away their ability to think clearly and reduces the chance of making a different choice.
With all these depressing thoughts we need to look toward the light because we do have a choice. We can decide to reach toward the light. We can seek help from others whether friends, communities or therapeutic help. Hope is still out there. As long as we are breathing there is hope. Life can be difficult but we are alive and a new day is out there.
My granddaughters have said that I give them hope since I have found ways to cope for 77 years. I am still here. I have joys and sorrows, good and bad but life is worth it all. Mostly I have found peace. Gather your strength and hope.
Today we are just sitting here with rain and wind. So far we still have power. We also have a generator for back up. We are just slightly off the coast of Savannah with more islands and lots of marsh between us and the barrier islands. Our tides can be 8-9 feet normally and is any surge hits us at low tide it will be meaningless. The kind of surge projected at this time for us would barely come up over our river wall and onto a small dip before it would reach our lawn. Odds are we will see some wind with things blown about but hopefully not falling trees. I hope we got those out last year.
I have been thinking about some of the reasons that people are leaving churches. Just as with most things the reasons are varied. I wonder if some trend can be drawn from the whole, We have blamed at lot of it on the business of families with both parents working and that is one cog in the wheel. Parents have little time to spend with their children and (hopefully) use the weekend to do that. Many young un-marrieds have said that they find the members of churches do not live out what they espouse and are therefore hypocritical, Of course there are those who feel that the progress of science has made God less believable. All of these things are possible. So what is it about church that is important and why does it help?
In today’s world people are more disconnected from each other than ever before. When people lived in small towns being connected was easier. You might not like everyone but at least you knew them. Today many of us don’t even know the people next door to us. We have little actual support from others and in some cases no network of close friends at all. Church has been a place to find those things. Admittedly, there are some other places cropping up to take that place but most do not have the openness to encourage strong relationships.
This may seem like the wrong reason to go to church but it is an important one. Jesus had his friends around him. They were just as dysfunctional as the rest of us. We all need people to support us. We can study our faith while alone but to practice it we have to be in community. We cannot live it out alone.
Next week may be an interesting one for me. At the moment it looks like hurricane Irma will make landfall right across my home. If it does this will be two hurricanes in two years. One of my friends said that if we are hit again she is just going to put up a for sale sign in her front yard and pray that someone is not afraid to live there.
We have just finished with the last of the repairs from last year. We have insurance but it only pays for damage to the house and we are responsible for anything outside which sounds fine until you realize that we had to remove at least five downed trees for quite a lot of money that had to come out of our pockets. I’m not sure I can face it again. The thing is I know that I should not be complaining with the devastation in Houston. It will take that city and surroundings years to recover.
The devastation this hurricane will leave behind in places like Haiti that have no infrastructure will be horrible. They are being pounded with 185 mile an hour winds which is the highest winds only reported one other time in recorded history. There will be many deaths, loss of homes, food, medicine and much more. In the last ten years Haiti has been hit by two earthquakes and several hurricanes. Please pray for them and the others who have been and will be in the path of this storm.
I am anxious and not thrilled about putting up storm shutters which at my age (76) and my husband’s 79, will not be an easy task and then removing everything from the yard and nailing down anything that can’t be moved. I keep reminding myself that these are the things we deal with in life. We choose to live here (but we may change our minds after this) and so we will deal with what nature brings. At least with a hurricane..unlike a tornado…we have warning and can get ourselves and our dogs out of harms way.
My hope is in the Lord who made heaven and earth.
Life is never boring. Now nature has handed the people around Houston a major catastrophe. This may not impact us individually but we need to think about what something like this can do….feel compassion and help where we can.
Last year we were hit by a hurricane head on. It was just a category 2 hurricane when it hit us but the way it functioned caused more damage than usual for a hurricane of that size. For the fist part of Matthew we were pummeled by 12 inches of rain and minimal winds. After the eye was past the winds came. We have a lot of pine trees. Usually those trees are snapped off by winds but do not fall over. Unfortunately, the rain loosened the roots and our islands were devastated by fallen pines. These were at least 100 foot trees. Many houses were hit by more than one tree and some were completely destroyed., We were lucky to only have one tree on our home. Now I worry about it happening again this year.
There is a point to all this remembering. At almost one year later we have finally repaired the damages from Matthew. When I think about Houston and surrounding areas I know that the damage from winds was bad enough but the floods have been devastating. Some people will never recover. For others it may be years before they are settled and comfortable somewhere.
I do wonder about our weather and what is changing. We have not done our earth any favors. We are called to be stewards but good stewardship does not leave the land in worse shape. Some of climate change can be from the normal cycles of the earth but we have gone way overboard to injure “this fragile earth our island home.” (from the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer) If we continue the way we are we will soon extinguish ourselves.
All of us are called to do whatever we can to help. We must pray for and help the hurricane victims in whatever way we are able. Each of us must also do what we can to help the earth. We may only be one person at a time but each thing helps. We may inspire others to help too.
Pray for all those who have experienced tragedy due to weather.