Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Living In My Life

I’m looking out our front window at trees (upright), houses (intact), and cars (unmangled.) To say that I can’t imagine the chaos and destruction in Joplin and other tornado-touched places around the country is a huge understatement. I really can not imagine it. Whatsoever. At all.

I sit in my lovely home where I have toothpaste, and oatmeal, and toilets that flush and my heart goes out to the women in those devastated places who have so few belongings that they would probably be thrilled just to find a rubber band in the rubble that would enable them to pull their unwashed hair back from their faces.

As I think of them, I think of the blessings in my life here and now. The unnamed and often unnoticed blessings. They are everywhere—ephemeral and fleeting. They are also unguaranteed. No one can promised me that what (or whom) I love will still be here tomorrow. Because tragedy happens.

We had a bad storm late last night. In the blink of an eye, it could have turned into a tornado. And this morning, I could be the one rummaging through the mangled remnants of our home, looking for precious pictures, old journals, and special blankets from my children’s childhoods. Instead, I am freshly fed, freshly coiffed, and am sitting in a comfortable leather recliner next to a contented, snoozing dog. I am very aware how blessed I am. And I am very aware of my responsibility to pass the blessings along.

This past Sunday, our church received an offering for Convoy of Hope, a crisis assistance ministry that goes immediately to whatever place on the planet disaster is happening. Although I can’t travel with them to Joplin--or other ruined cities--I’m glad that the money our family gave on Sunday can. And maybe, just maybe, that check we put in the offering plate might go toward buying some oatmeal and a toothbrush for a Joplin mom who just wants to feed her family and clean up a little.

It’s so simple, really, the things that we truly need. And it’s so amazingly scary how quickly even our simplest, most precious things can be yanked away from us.

So today, I am making it a point to just be thankful for simple things. To be thankful for life. To be thankful to have a home, a family, a town, a life—all intact.

Although I certainly love my house and am thankful that it still stands strong, I’m especially thankful today that those whom I love the most---my husband and children--are alive. There are women in storm torn cities across this country who were not able to say the same as Wednesday dawned over their broken lives.

More than anything that I might ever do, or ever own, it is my family who puts the living in my life.

And I am thankful.

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11 Had Something To Say (Just click here!):

Sue G said...

I love when your journal entries are of the "poignant truth" type. I'm just so sorry this one was prompted by the devastation in Joplin. I can't imagine the emptiness and overwhelming feeling of such loss.

I remember seeing a local Chicago talk show about 40 years ago. A man was the guest, and he was talking about a fire that claimed his wife and four children while he was at work. The fire destroyed everything, and this precious man was left without ONE photo of his family. It impacted me so much that I gathered some photos of my kids, purchased a safe deposit box at a local bank, and stored those photos for years.

Fortunately, I never needed to claim them under dire circumstances.

I pray that all the people affected by this season's turbulent tornado weather can rebuild their homes while God helps them rebuild their lives.

Karen C said...

Simply beautiful writing and how I'm feeling this morning. So thankful for life and my blessings, and praying for God's peace and comfort for all those affected by these terrible storms.

Anonymous said...

Great post Becky. Thank you.

Jessica said...

The tornado that went through North Minneapolis on Sunday touched down just two block north of my parents house and tipped over boxcars in the railyard only a mile from our house. I'm so thankful that we were spared, yet my heart breaks for those who were left with nothing. Thank you for this beautiful post.

leeanne said...

Beautifully said Becky. I, too, ache for eveyone that has suffered such loss in Joplin and elsewhere. And I, too, am so incredibly thankful for my family and our safety thus far.

Random said...

What a beautiful family! And what beautiful photographs! I love this post. Thank you for reminding me and everyone else of what real luck and love and life are about.

lifebythecreek said...

Ahh Becky. You understand, better than most, how fragile life really is. Most of us only glimpse it through "sound bites" and video clips on TV, and because we are fast becoming an ADD nation, we skim from disaster to disaster without truly connecting. (Remember Japan? Wait.. how about Haiti? or Katrina? too far back... memory banks are full.. right?). But you've been to the edge and had to look over it. You know. Live. Laugh. Love. And most of all.. Believe...
xoxox..

Miss Judy said...

Wonderful post Becky, tho I was a little disappointed at not seeing a photo of your puppy. I said to my husband while watching the news about Joplin, "where do they go tonight? How do they get there? What and how will they eat?" Such misery!! So sad. I just keep praying.
Hugs & Blessings,

Anonymous said...

Lovely.

Anonymous said...

so beautiful and so true.

The Pennington Point said...

It's amazing and heartbreaking. I need to stop more and be grateful. Thank you for the reminder. Lisa~