Thanksday #94: Snowpocalypse Edition

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They’re sitting at the kitchen counter with snacks, giggling at the Dino-Puffles on ClubPenguin.com. She’s got her fuzzy peace-sign pants on and he’s changed his clothes for the third time — from pajamas to his football uniform to his soccer uniform. Earlier we watched Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 and then he had his “football game” while she and I snuggled in the chair.

The snow came to the mountains quickly yesterday and after just 20 minutes of school we all got our kids home — in our four-wheel drive cars on our unpopulated roads covered in powdery snow, not ice.

We’ve all been home together for more than 24 hours — warm, clothed and fed — and my heart is so full I could burst.

Meanwhile in Atlanta, my friend who’s pregnant was in her car for seven hours trying to get home, and her husband got home hours later after abandoning his car and walking five miles. I’m thankful she wasn’t the woman who gave birth in her car. I’m thankful her husband got home safely.

Family members of ours had friends who slept overnight at the school while jury duty kept another one from being all the way across town, inevitably stuck for the night. I’m thankful they were able to get home and were all together last night under the same roof.

One friend didn’t get home for over eight hours, which included abandoning her car and walking miles home with her daughter. I’m thankful she made it home safely.

Another spent the night work while her child spent the night at school. Her child thought it was the coolest adventure ever. I’m thankful they had warmth and shelter and could rest knowing each other was safe.

Some other friends live close enough to walk to and from school and were able to get to their kids quickly and back home quickly. I’m thankful they stayed outside helping cars that were stuck, and providing food and drink to those who needed it.

My news feed on Facebook last night was bleeding with people desperately trying to make it to their kids, to their homes, to any shelter they could find whatsoever. Prayer after prayer escaped my lips as my stomach wrenched trying to imagine not being able to reach my children, or my husband, or my home.

I cannot even begin to imagine.

And as quickly as my news feed bled desperation, it suddenly began bleeding hope as friends began offering homes to stranded strangers, as businesses stayed open and provided shelter, as four-wheeler owners offered to make runs anywhere possible to get people home.

“A giving person will receive much in return, and someone who gives water will also receive the water he needs.” (Proverbs 11:25)

I’m thankful that when it really matters, people put aside differences and simply see each other as brothers and sisters in need, and reach out like a good Samaritan to simply help.

I’m thankful that Facebook became a place of reassurance, help and hope. I’m thankful the news feed was filled the heart of Christ last night instead of arguing, gossip or slander.

“Get beyond yourselves and protecting your own interests; be sincere, and secure your neighbors’ interests first.” (Philippians 2:4)

As my kids are snuggled warm in our nest, and our house is filled with laughter, food and warmth, I know I’m blessed. But as I watch brother helping brother, and friend helping friend, I realize that those in the thick of it…they are the ones who are truly, eternally blessed.

“Don’t hold back—give freely, and you’ll have plenty poured back into your lap—a good measure, pressed down, shaken together, brimming over. You’ll receive in the same measure you give.” (Luke 6:38)

I’m so thankful to those who provided prayer, shelter, food, vehicles, provision and help in any way whatsoever. May it be poured back into your lap pressed down and shaken together. God is smiling on you.

“I tell you this: whenever you saw a brother or sister hungry or cold, whatever you did to the least of these, so you did to Me.” (Matthew 25:40, Voice)

Please continue to pray for those trying desperately to reach each other and home. 

What are you thankful for this week?

The Fears of After (FMF #40)

I link up with Lisa-Jo on Fridays for a writing flash mob…throwing caution to the wind and gathering to share what a few minutes of free writing can buy. 

Today’s topic: AFTER

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GO.

The squabbles in the back seat reached a crescendo of “let me do it!” and “no, let me do it!” and I had to remind my 9 year-old that her 3 year-old little brother can, in fact, do it.

She let go and fell into a slump with her head on her hands. I wanted to ignore it — I really, really wanted to — but felt that all-too-familiar gentle nudge that I shouldn’t. So I pulled over to the side of the mountainous road and asked if she was okay.

With huge tears in her eyes she lifted her head exclaimed, “I don’t want Paxton to grow up! I want him to stay little forever!”

Ah. 

I rubbed her knee and looked deep into her eyes. “Oh honey, I know you do. It’s exactly how I feel every day about both of you. But you know what? He’s still going to love you more than anything, even after he can do things for himself.”

“How do you know?”

“Because you do a lot of things for yourself without my help, but you still love me, right?”

She nodded and dried her tears and joined in on what her baby brother was doing.

I know what she was thinking — that after he grows up he won’t want to sit with her at the computer playing games anymore. That he won’t hold her hand when they ride the carousel. That he won’t want her to sleep on the top bunk on the weekends. That he won’t choose her over anyone else to play with.

That she won’t confide in me anymore and will turn to a friend instead. That the day is coming where she won’t choose me to put her to bed, regardless of the arguments we had that day. That she won’t hold my hand while we walk around Target, or want to do American Girl Mommy and Me games together.

Ah.

I know those fears of after. And they make me want to fall into a slump with my head on my hands, too. But like my girl, I have to embrace the changes and choose to see love even when I feel unwanted.

Because the love never goes away, it simply grows up.

STOP.

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