Favorite Things Monday: After the Storm Edition

I love a good holiday weekend. I love having off on a Monday. We are ending out the day totally worn out. And we earned it. It’s still quite hot but we still braved the water with kayaks and the Town Lake Trail. It got too hot. My kids were able to hang in there with us for 45 minutes on the water, followed by a 6 mile bike ride. Family movie night is starting and we are all just plain done.

We get to do this today. It doesn’t get past me that while we have had the chance to rest, many in our state are assessing damage, cutting out sheetrock from flood water, removing debris and some are still just having to wait.

I’m going somewhere with this, so please hang with me.

My cousin Mackenzie just turned 22. I am so incredibly proud of who she is and who she is becoming. I love how the maybe unconventional age gap between my mom and her brothers allowed me to born when my cousins were in their early teenage years, then they had kids when I was a teenager…and then I had kids…you get the pattern. They are an incredible joy in my life and their lives are a constant source of celebration to me. Mackenzie has been fierce since she entered the world and she is just getting started. I remember every bit of the day she was born and the years living in the same house. I remember when she was a baby…a fussy baby. I was 14 that summer and I get the memories of walking a fussy baby back and forth on that long front porch, singing songs, trying to calm her down and put her to sleep. I cherish those memories. I remember it was something so simple that put her little world back together.

Then a giant flood hit my family. Loss is such a mean thing. The sting just pounds over and over. What broke my heart in an especially heartbreaking way was how life would never again be simple and the seemingly simple things that could put Mackenzie’s world back together no longer worked. There were no right words, no special song, no walk on a front porch, no jokes, movies or silly games. Nothing could fix what was broken. The only way to fix it would be to turn back time and stop the tragedy altogether. And I couldn’t.

A giant flood has hit areas of our state. It has caught people off guard with flooding, sudden loss and devastation. It has driven a lot of people to donate money and necessities. It has driven many to feeling completely helpless. I don’t blame them. We can’t turn back time. We can’t stop or change the storm. Many of us can’t rush in and fix what is broken and even if we could, what used to be is no longer and there is no “fixing” that. I don’t know about you but I know this for myself and a lot of friends around me; we are doers and fixers and when we can’t do either we get overwhelmed. When our hands feel tied, we feel helpless.

Here is what hit me this week:

We may be helpless, but we are not powerless.

I believe that prayer actually does make a difference. That God moves mountains, heals hearts, restores families and homes and no one is hidden from or can hide from his sight and his love. I believe that God can do far more with what I give than what I could do with what I hold on to.

We are not without hope. Those who have lost are not without hope. Those who are grieving are not without hope. There may not be turning back time to keep tragedy from happening. The old and simple ways of making someone’s world right no longer fix whats broken but I have to keep telling myself the truth: We are not powerless.

Love big. Give extravagantly. Listen well. When you can, go and do. When you can’t, give and pray.

We are not powerless in the face of pain and devastation.


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