Friday, September 26, 2008

Calm after Chaos-September 19

Readers, thank you to all of you who prayed for the Houston region during Hurricane Ike. Your prayers were felt. They became part of our shelter through the high winds and water.
As usual, leave a comment here or email me at to have your name entered into a drawing for my new co-authored Christmas book, A Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts. Or visit to enter to win a basket of Christmas goodies worth over $200.
The photo is of daughter Sheryle's house and the pine tree which poked holes in roof and let water rain down in nearly every room. But she and others with similar damage are the most fortunate among those who had losses.

First, let me say how sorry I am for all the misery suffered in the South East due to Hurricane Ike stomping through our region. The most sorrowful is the loss of life. Less traumatic, but still devastating, others have been stripped of all the belongings that had rested on their patch of real estate.

While the national news, for the most part, has moved on to current stories, this region will be embroiled in sorting out claims, removing fallen trees, and patching up lives for many months to come.

During any storm in life, the violent disturbance can become a schoolmaster. Here are a few things I observed during Hurricane Ike. Trees are magnificent creations. A positive observation is that a grove of them can block fierce winds, but trees can also crash on homes, ripping apart dwellings and taking lives. But they are used in repairs, too, when lumber is used to shore up roofs damaged by their many cousins.

The same wind can blow a home off its foundation and leave an empty barrel upright, unmoved. The wind blew Jan Tickner’s “Hallelujah!” sign off her back gate, but it didn’t blow the hallelujah out of her soul.

Storms cause friends to rally, to ring us up with offers of prayer. Before the storm our cronies phoned from Africa, Ohio, California, and Arkansas. Emails flooded in from friends in Tennessee, Missouri, Florida and many other places. After the event, friends offered to send money to help. We declined their offers, but the gestures will linger as silver linings.

The human faces in our area reflected so much. There were plenty of smiles, but there were also those looks of resignation, saying we’ll manage, we’ll come through this. After eight days of no electric power and coping with all sorts of clean up activities, weariness settled on some countenances, especially those who had not regained electricity.

On the lighter side, on day seven without electricity or running water, we had our first hot shower at a relative’s home who had power restored. We then trekked to Chick-fil-A
(open for limited hours) in our fresh laundered clothes. We felt way over dressed in our clean jeans.

Doing without made me appreciate the most basic, taken for granted things in life -- refrigerators, electric pumps for wells, air conditioning, tap water, hot water heaters, dish washers, and washing machines. It’s tough seeing your neighbors’ lights shine, while just across the street you still have no electricity. I said to myself several times. “Thou shall not covet. Thou shall not covet.”

Storms test us. Heavy oaks topple and delicate crape myrtle blossoms hang on. Storms and their aftermath become perfect times to lend a helping hand and shine a gracious smile toward your neighbor.

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  1. I came over from A Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts and wanted to let you know that we continue to pray for the residents of Texas whose lives were forever changed by Ike.

    "Storms test us."

    Well, said. I'm glad your daughter was okay. What a picture!


    P.S. I have a giveaway at my blog right now if you are interested.

  2. Bless you and your family and praise the Lord in all things!

  3. Anonymous9:57 AM

    I knew Houston would rise to the occasion and be the neighbor Texans have always been...My Aunt and her children and a couple of cousins at points North of Houston weathered the storm well. My aunt, 72, rode it out in her Apt. on the east side of Houston...I doubt she will do it again...Her faith kept her praying all night and God saved her and hers...I praise God for all good things and now, in this mess we are in in America, I am still praising Him for His goodness and MERCY...Mercy for those who got us into this and are trying to get us out...Mercy to those who's God is mammon...If they could only see Him and seek Him and turn from their wicked ways, our house of Reps. and the Senate would be a better place, our America would be a better place, and our God would be in our schools, abortion would be illegal, unnatural affections would be turned...Sounds like a fairy tale, but it can happen, with the help of GOD...