life after the storm

Harvey.  Oh, Harvey.  I feel like this storm is now a defining moment in the lives of everybody that endured it.  There will be the life before Harvey and the life after Harvey.  I hope that in the days and weeks to come the people continue to find the good in other people and the situation.  I hope they remember how our communities pulled together and loved so well.  I hope they remember the countless hours upon hours of community service that our neighbors have sacrificed in order to rescue and rebuild.  I hope after the pain and fear from the storm continues to subside they can see the blessings brought forth by the storm.  I hope they will always remember that you can’t do life alone, so love your neighbors – all of them; always.  I hope that as houses get rebuilt people not only regain a sense of home and security, but forever cherish how fragile life is and how each new day is truly a blessing.  I hope that my boys never stop playing water rescue with their cars and airplanes and never stop talking about how daddy is out helping people.  When they play they are acting out what they see – and this storm has let them see their daddy in a whole new light.  I hope that as people drive through neighborhoods and see piles and sometimes mountains in people’s front yards they have compassion.  I hope that they remember that even though it is “stuff”- it is someones life.  I hope they remember that among the carpet padding and wood floors there are precious photos, handmade masterpieces from their children, baby books, a child’s favorite toy, great grandmas heirloom china, and so on and so forth.  I hope that they remember that yes ‘stuff’ is replaceable but some of it was not stuff, some of it made up a small piece of their soul, a memory so special, that it can never physically replaced.  I hope that this storm has changed you as it has changed me.  I hope you are walking on the other side a little more broken, but a little more stronger.  I hope that you continue to be the best ‘yes’ you can be to others in need of help or just a hug.  I hope that you continue (or start) to count your blessings every night – you truly honestly never know when life will shift.  I hope that each and every day you tell your loved ones that you love them.  I hope that you show grace to your neighbors, whether it be in traffic or as they work on home repairs – give them grace – we are all just trying to find our new normal.  I hope that if you didn’t already love Texas, Mattress Mack and JJ Watt that you do now. Lastly, I hope that you have a renewed hope – in yourself, in your future, in the world.  Harvey will not be the last storm in your life.  The next storm you endure may or may not be another hurricane.  Maybe it will be loss of a loved one or a job.  Perhaps a big move in life or an emotional roadblock.  Always remember who you are and where you have come from.  Without some rain, you will never have a rainbow.  Pray, endure, grow, change.

Oh Harvey…

You spun up in the gulf, just as quick as it could be,
With a bullseye on the Texas coast, headed straight for my friends and me

All the models showed you growing, and dumping lots of rain,
you’d thought you’d get the best of us, and drive us all insane

As you slowly came ashore, we all watched your true devastation,
You showed us all your strength, but we’ll overcome it without the slightest trepidation

Not the power outage nor the flood, and your wind surely was no match
As we came together as Texans, and the hospitality bug did we catch

Our friends, our family, and neighbors, we are all one in the same,
you won’t break our spirits in the slightest, this is just a part of life’s game

Deep into the night, the volunteers came in droves,
driving our small john boats through the neighborhoods, and all their intricate coves

With a full boat of people, and the 90 HP Mercury chugging along in the flood, it didn’t matter who we were saving, we all came from the same blood

When the times got the toughest, we just looked up to the sky,
and whether it was raining or it was sunny, we smiled without a sigh

All was going to be ok, with all of us on the same team,
we are stitched together like the Texas flag, and we wouldn’t break a seam

Once the flood waters recede, I’m sure you’ll still hear your name,
but it will be because of the great human nature, and not your selfless sought after fame

We are friends helping friends, not asking for anything in reply,
just knowing that if there’s an issue, we just raise our hands into the sky

You see you don’t mess with Texas, we’ll stand up hand to hand,
Like if you were the devil down in Georgia, in the song by the Charlie Daniels Band.

I will give you only one thing, you were a test for us for sure,
but nothing a helping hand, a human heart, and a Texan cannot cure!

God Bless!!!

-Poem by my talented and loving husband, Andrew

On a lighter night, right before Harvey hit I returned from an Epic 2 week road-trip and I cannot wait to share it with you!

XO,

j

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Pray for Texas

I wish I had some great words or truth to speak right now, but I do not.

I am helpless.  I am exhausted.  I am scared.  I do not know what is happening to our great state and to my hometown, Houston.  I do not know why it is happening.  What I do know is we go like to go big in Texas.  And my God, my God,  I pray that none of you or your loved ones ever beat the records that Harvey has created.  I pray that this IS truly an 800 year flood as they are calling it.  My husband is out right now doing boat rescues and the text reports I am getting from him are nothing short of devastating.  This natural disaster is catastrophic friends, it has reached a level that no one could have predicted and it is not over yet.  I do know that there is hope.  I know it is hard to see, and for many a thought that they truly cannot even process right now.  So, with my very last drop of energy I am going to have hope.

I have been {glued} to social media and the news these past few days.  It has probably not been the best for my mentality, but those are my people out there suffering.  They are my family, my co-workers, my neighbors, my best friends.  Most importantly they are my brothers and sisters in Christ.  They are fellow humans and to someone they are a brother, sister, mom/dad, neighbor, best friend, etc.  I have witnessed civilians leaving their families in order to go rescue others.  I have seen shelters created and stocked with items in a matter of hours.  The news has shown me devastation, but sprinkled in with that is hope.  It is showing me hope, not only that flood waters will recede {because they will}, it is showing me hope in all of human kind.  As my sons little show talked about tonight “If God puts someone in your path that needs help, help them.”  Houston is helping each other out.  Neighbors are opening their doors and their hearts.  The souls of Houstonians and surrounding areas are awakened and shining with the light of our Lord and Savior.  We have combined as one and we WILL survive Hurricane Harvey.  Not only will we survive it, we will be S T R O N G E R because of it.  In the truest sense of southern hospitality, you were never welcome Harvey and you showed up anyways.  We tried to play nice and accept your rainfall.  But 11 trillion gallons of rainwater and hundreds of tornado warnings later we showed up too and ultimately we will win, so you can go on and move on now Harvey, the hospitality crew is giving you the boot.  Bye, bye.

“In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means Christ Jesus.  So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation.” -1 Peter 5:10
“When I see the rainbow in the clouds, I will remember the eternal covenant between God and every living creature on earth.” -Genesis 9:16
I have been waiting for the rainbow pictures to start appearing in my news feed and tonight I saw 2.  We are next my friends.  Hang tight, hold onto hope – Our rainbow is coming!
XO,
J

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