Thursday, June 9, 2011

thoughts after a tornado

So, on Sunday afternoon, May 22, I was cutting some watermelon up to eat after getting back from shopping. I was getting on Facebook to tell how excited I was that Gram's had just purchased a 24' x 53" swimming pool for the it started loading, the first post was from Pastor John Swadley....(our pastor from Joplin)

Under the house in the crawlspace with my family. Praying for all my 4 state friends.

May 22 at 5:58pm via BlackBerry

I dropped my salt shaker and ran out of the door to tell Daniel who was working on the space the pool would be going(he was working with a tiller and later Gram's told me she thought he was hurt...that didn't even dawn on me!) I was already trying to call my mom who I feared was at home alone as my little sister was on her honeymoon and I didn't know if Christina and Izzy were still with her..she is on oxygen and I knew she wouldn't be able to get her portable out on on alone....all circuits were busy! I kept calling and texting. we had turned on the tv and they were already showing St John's. I was in such shock(I know that is was no where near what those who had to endure were, just how I was feeling at the time) I was so worried that mom would have no oxygen and was alone and I was telling Daniel to call and text and I was crying. Finally, after what seemed like FOREVER, mom sent a jumbled text to Daniel and said she was ok.

Daniel got a call from our long time friend Chad and he told us the apartments we had lived in were gone...I lost it, we had lived there for over 10 years-the kids don't remember another home. We had so many friends in the complex and we had no idea who had made it and who didn't. We started going through our phones and texting. the kids were at Grammie and Pawpaws...I wasn't ready for them to know what exactly was happening. I felt like time was standing still. My new and very dear sweet friend Anna came over and sat with me, as did my SIL Stephanie. I had the worst feeling of guilt that I wasn't there to help anyone. That we had moved and were ok. BUT, then as we talked, I knew God had protected our family in such a big way. When we decided to make this move, many didn't understand, but we felt as if God told us to GO and we were just being obedient. Now, that does not in any way mean it was easy!! It is one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. Moving our children from everything they had ever known,changing school and not being with thier friends, leaving our church family we love so much, leaving my family, leaving our apartment that was our home-where we had brought our baby girls home, just leaving all of that was so tough. We have all had some really tough times here. School was a challenge for my kids-they had always done great and now I had one who cried everyday about going. I was so lonely-now, don't get me wrong, we have family here, and my SIL has been great about us spending time together, but, it was so hard not having my sweet friends all around me, I missed them and couldn't even call much because it hurt my heart to talk to them and I didn't want to seem unhappy, because really, I love living here. it is a small town, life is slower paced, we were able to get pets, my kdis are trying to grow a garden...I mean, it is a new life and it is good. I remember people saying they couldn't believe we would move where there were hurricanes and I always said, well, i can outrun them, but I can't outrun a tornado. I don't take that as lighly as I did before. We made a choice not to send the kids to school on Monday...we told them what had happened and we let them cry and then we put them to bed, but I couldn't stop watching. it was so unreal with each new viddeo they would show. This was my home, this was where our life was. I was up and down all night checking on things and I just couldn't sleep. the kids stayed home and Gabi had an awards ceremony at school, so I took her and got her awards. I had told the principal why the kids were not there and in the awards ceremony, she told everyone and told them that we were going to be collecting itmes for Joplin as well as monetarty donations. I had a lady give me a sizeable check right as we were leaving. We went and opened a checking account for donations at our bank. We came home and I was glued to the internet in hopes of finding all those we love. Facebook proved to be an amazing tool in helping the victims of the tornado! with each person we got texts/fb posts from, we kept praying! I almost forgot it was my kids didn't! I kept getting sweet FB messages from my Joplin peeps and I was just thinking-you have much bigger worries than my birthday! we had a baseball game for Logan so we headed out...after the game we came home and they surprised me with a sweet little party. I kept getting messages that said how glad everyone was that we no longer lived in the apartments, because they were gone. I got pictures and that was hard. Tuesday, both boys had awards ceremonies and got many awards! Dawson got the Pres. award for excellence, pe, computer, student of the month, a/b honor roll and he recieved over all best male 6th grade student and won a BIKE!! Logan got a/b honor roll, social studies awrard, and the "Babe Ruth" award for being the best athlete in the class as well as perfect attendance. We had another baseball game and after the game while in the drive thru for food, we saw that the sirens were going off. We started praying as we waited, thanking God for His protection from this storm. We prayed all across town. We were so thankful when we saw it had passed!!! Wed, I sat and just stayed online seeing who needed answers they might not be able to find and found what I could for them. I posted on the storms up by KC, keeping my sister that is there updated when all she had was phone. It's not much, but for now, it is what I can do.
this is the article about our family and how God moved us here and we are planning a trip over Father's Day weekend to bring supplies. I really wanted to come this weekend, but we feel like there are many planning on being there this weekend and in a few weeks, there may not be as many. I have received so many donations already! Our local baseball assoc is gathering things as well as many others who are helping us to gather items! I had a gal come to my van at school today and give me money to buy items! I am overwhelmed with emotions as I see people who went through Katrina here help those we love in Joplin! I know God has plans that are so much bigger than any of us. I remember in BSF talking about how we can see this tiny little bit, but our God can see everything!

It was all i could do to not sit at the computer for the past 2 weeks non stop. We went to Ft Walton Beach for a family mini vacation. it was so fun! We all needed the getaway....we are home now. we have been having VBS at a local church that Debbie(my MIL)is doing crafts, so I have been helping her. The kids and I will be heading to Joplin on June 17th to deliver items as well as visit with friends. We can't wait to be there and lend hands where we can!!!

I am praying for you Joplin, as is the rest of our family and our friends! We love you!!!!