This morning, Holy Spirit whispered to me, “Why did God create humans?”
My answer was for a relationship, for fellowship, and He created us with free will so that our worship would be authentic and genuine.
For some reason, this answer didn’t sit right with me today. Even though it’s what I’ve always thought. Today, it made me pause. It made me question. It made me ask, “God… why DID you create humans?”Read More
Friendship is so beautiful.
I’m sitting at my best friend’s house out of town: power, AC, showers, running water, doing laundry, internet access, paying my bills online, filling out FEMA assistance, grilled burgers, and my daughter is being spoiled. I’m the most relaxed I’ve been in about a week.
A day to shift the load onto someone else, who is able and willing to take it. Not only willing but calling for it, asking for it, just wanting to do whatever they can to help.
It’s walking the neighborhood and cleaning up everyone’s yards, not just your own. Taking laundry out of town with you so you can bring back clean clothes. Being willing to get out of your truck on your way to wherever you need to go, to help someone out who needs it.
Praying for each other. Crying with each other. Leaning on each other.
Texting friends out of state to look up information because no one in your county can get access to search anything up and said friends immediately search and get back to you, because it’s at least something they can do and they want to do something, anything, to lighten the load.
Giving up your 5 gallon of gas because your friend sat in a gas line for two hours and just before they got in, the station ran out of gas.
Friendship is this and so much more and is currently everywhere I look. I see small and large acts of kindness all around. In each neighborhood, across the county, on the news. I’m so thankful.
A sweet friendship refreshes the soul. Proverbs 27: 9
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 It’s better to have a partner than go it alone.
Share the work, share the wealth. And if one falls down, the other helps.
A friend loves at all times Proverbs 17:17
And a final word… keep doing it. Keep being a good friend. As we move from the initial shock to the long haul mindset, keep being a friend in all the ways you can.
So speak encouraging words to one another. Build up hope so you’ll all be together in this, no one left out, no one left behind. I know you’re already doing this; just keep on doing it. 1 Thessalonians 5:11
4am again. Hey there.
Life is weird. Time is almost non-existent. Days? What is today?
Sleep is approximately 10pm – 3am, then again 5ish – 7ish. There’s no time for naps.
Not that I’m doing a lot. It’s just that everyday things take 4x longer than normal. Going to get gas is a 3-hour event. Assuming they don’t run out right before it’s your turn, requiring you to start the process over again.
“Running” into the grocery story requires a wait in line to begin with and you’re not sure what you’re going to find inside.
Target, Aldi? Nothing cold. And lots of empty shelves.
Publix? Oh, how I love you, Publix. You are a Florida gem. Thank you for real food to cook on the grill! Well, my bestie’s grill.
Turning on a light? Well, first you’ve got to pour that gas you got into the generator, fire that baby up, plug the things in, and then… then you have light. Or whatever it is you used to just flip a switch to turn on. Turning something on with the flip of a switch is now a dream of the past and hope for the future.
Taking a shower is no longer just hopping in and turning the knob. Now it requires finding a place with running water – a place that is not currently my home.
Getting an ice-cold drink? First requires you have ice…. Which has been scarce. In fact, that might require a 45-minute round trip drive into Ft. Myers and hopefully they don’t run out before you get there!
Oh! And bathrooms… there’s no just flushing the toilets. You do your business, then scoop out pitchers of water from the bathtub to “flush” everything down and out.
And driving… that’s weird, too. Because everything looks different. Power line poles bent over the roadway or lying flat. House after house after house with roofs stripped of shingles, vinyl walls exposed down the wood, massive trees pulled up the roots, debris and destruction everywhere you look. Street signs missing. Every intersection without power, without stop lights. Houses flooded. Entire roads of cars bumper to bumper for miles as people wait in line for gas, wait for hours.
And news? Outside information? Social Media? Email? What a luxury that is! The information blackout of the first few days and still, now, the difficulty of finding information is maddening. Need to look up insurance number? Find an adaptor for the generator? Figure out where there is gas or food or ice available? There’s no more googling on the go. Now, you text (because text is the only reliable form of communication at the moment, at about 80%) so you text your questions to your friends out of state or at least other parts of the state and have them do the googling for you. Then wait for the reply. But no screenshots, you remind your friend. They won’t load. Just basic texting of words.
Life is weird. Nothing is easy or simple.
But God. God is still good. And God is in the details. As I grapple with the things of daily life right now, I keep putting my eyes on Jesus. My peace comes from Him. My rest comes from Him. My desire to reach out and encourage others – that’s from Him. And when I fail, as I did much of yesterday, He forgives.
Like Peter, who walked on the water with Jesus: When His eyes were on Jesus, he was fine. He walked on water! He was above the power of the wind and waves and natural elements! But when he took His eyes off of Jesus, he began to sink. He began to panic.
When I find myself panicking, getting frustrated and angry, feeling discouraged – I know I’ve taken my eyes off of Jesus and put them on the circumstances around me. So I turn them back to Jesus. I lock eyes with Jesus, as my friend said recently, and I call on Him. And He restores me. Fills me. Gives me 2nd chances. Brings me a calmness that doesn’t make sense.
And even when I have to do this over and over again throughout the day, it doesn’t matter. Because every time I turn to look at Jesus again, to lock eyes with Him, He. is. there. Without fail, every time.
Thank you, Jesus, for always being there. Even when life is so, so weird.
Waiting for the headache to ease off.
Eating some cinnamon Chex.
But then, yall have or are going to hit a wall soon, too.
It probably won’t be something big. It will probably be nothing but, in the moment, feel like everything.
You sat through 12 hours of a hurricane, got right to work with cleanup after, have helped others, fed your family, searched for gas, seen the devastation first hand… and you lose it because the zipper gets stuck on the suitcase.
Can I tell you, that’s normal? Let yourself have that moment. And a few thoughts to go with that…
Take care of you. If you’re going to get through this, you have to take care of your own basic needs that, are honestly too easy to overlook right now but, are so important.
1. Drink lots of water. For real, stay hydrated.
2. Eat. You know, meals and stuff.
3. Sleep. Take naps if the nights are hard.
4. Take all your vitamins and medicines. Nows not the time to slack.
5. Talk to people. Friends, family, a counselor. Don’t hold everything in. Digest what’s happening in a safe way.
6. Give yourself and others grace. You are all doing the best you can.
7. Take time to look at all the blessings. God is in the details here. The way a neighbor you’ve never met walks over to help. The prayers said for you and over you. The hordes of people flowing into the state to help. All of your family and friends that are safe. Maybe even start a gratitude journey and really notice and record all the things you have to be thankful for during the aftermath of Hurricane Ian.
If you are reading this, I pray that God blesses you with His peace and rest, and a heart of gratitude. In Jesus name, Amen.
I am in a spiritual battle and I am Your warrior. Thank You for giving me armor to fight with!
I put on the belt of truth. I know who You say I am and I will not listen to the enemy or my feelings. I am a child of God and I am loved, important, and special because Your Word says so.Read More
Dear Lord Jesus,
I recognize and accept that the battle is spiritual and I am in a war. I am a warrior, a spiritual sniper, and a kingdom fighter. Thank You for the armor You have provided!
I put on the belt of truth and use it to expose all the lies of the enemy. I commit to Your truth as the guiding force in my life and I will speak it all day long – not my feelings, knowledge, gut instincts, or past experiences – but Your Truth! Your truth holds me steady, strong, upright, protected and energized.Read More