My heart is torn in two for two reasons....
Firstly, my heart ripped apart the first time I saw pictures of this devastation. Sheer pain is the only way to describe how I feel. My community is suffering so greatly. I watched this tornado live as it moved across the horizon on Wednesday...I had no idea of the damage it was doing to my city. Our mayor today, in a response as he was being interviewed by FOX, said that 1/7 of our city is GONE. It is just GONE! Leveled! It truly looks like a bomb went off and it is SO BAD that is doesn't seem real.
Secondly, my heart is torn between the grief I feel for the victims and the gratefulness I feel that IT WASN'T ME! I live a mere 10 miles from the path of the tornado. It wouldn't have taken a whole lot for the tornado to have veered closer to our house.
I took my daughter for a walk in our neighborhood this afternoon. You would never guess that just a few miles away...they are conducting a search and rescue effort for other people's loved ones. I find myself praying over and over for God's comfort for those people. I can't begin to fathom their pain. I watched a video of photos from the aftermath put together with Casting Crown's "Praise You in the storm" song in the background...I cried for the whole video. I am still in shock...I'm just now beginning to mourn. I know God is bigger than this. I know His strength will uphold this city. I know that those of us that still have our homes and families need to be strong for those of us that don't. Me and my city are forever changed by this. The face of Tuscaloosa will never be the same and my heart will never be the same. I will praise Him in this storm. I pray that His glory and mercy shows brightly and His arms hold on tightly to those hurting.
Monday, April 25, 2011
I seriously don't know if we could have crammed any more (mostly fun stuff) into this past weekend!!! We started off the craziness on Thursday at 7 am with a visit to the dermatologist for me to get a cyst in my back removed. I've had it for over 10 years now and it had gotten quite big...so it was time to say goodbye. That went really well and I'll spare you the pictures, although I did get David to take some so I could see what was going on...I'm weird...I already know that. Ashlyn had a fun packed day with GrandMary on Thursday and Friday! She plays so hard when she is over there that she is Worn Out! when she comes home. Saturday morning we got up bright and early to get ready to go to Easterfest. Easterfest is a community outreach that our (new) church had done for the past few years. It is a free event with lunch, inflatables and games and (this year a 10,000 egg!) Easter Egg Hunt. We were told on Sunday that they felt that a safe, conservative estimate of the turn out was 2,300 people!!!! It was great fun and Ashlyn participated in her first Easter Egg Hunt! She got two eggs...one for each hand and we left the rest for everyone else. :o)
We left Easterfest and headed up to New Market (close to Huntsville) to meet our "Long Lost English Cousin". We had SO MUCH FUN! It has been entirely too long since I've seen most of my Dad's side of the family and I missed them very much! Most of them hadn't met Ashlyn yet so it was fun to introduce her to all her relatives. Natalie is a sweet, beautiful, lovely person and we really enjoyed spending time with her and her husband, Paul and son, Kieran! Besides the accent...they blended right in!!!
Sacked out on Uncle Joe's lap. She Loves her some Uncle Joe!!!
Next weekend is another crazy one! Southern Dining Resources is doing concessions at Panopoly (apparently not pronounced like it's spelled-found that out this weekend)...an arts festival in Huntsville. I'm planning to take off work Friday and go up early to visit the family a little more! Lots to do before then...so I guess I'll get busy now!
Friday, April 22, 2011
I once read an email about a disease that spread across the entire world. They searched high and low for a cure and they needed a donor who was immune to the disease to complete the cure. They tested everyone and finally found one little boy. His parents were told that their little boy was the key to the cure and they were so excited and so proud. Their little boy would save the entire world! They were presented with the forms to sign-and that is when they were they were told that since he was the only carrier...they would need ALL the blood. Put into a modern perspective...it's even harder to fathom the sacrifice that was made for us.
Today is a solemn day for me. Today I am focused on the massive price that was paid for my sins. Yes...Jesus died for everyone's sins, but he also died for MY sins. The one's I have committed caused a need for Him to DIE FOR ME so that He could wash my heart clean. What a love!... Today I am looking inside my heart and asking God to search my heart and show me the ugly things that need to be cleansed. Thank you Jesus for your sacrifice on the cross.
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
April 18th just a few years ago would have been a very different kind of day for me than it was this year. Public accounting is a different kind of animal than industry accounting. I am so very thankful that God has provided me with the job I have now. I truly appreciate that I don't have to sacrifice time spent with my family for the first four months of the year. This just reminds me that our prior experiences shape our perspective on future experiences. Had I not had struggles in my past, the pleasures of the present wouldn't be as poignant. I love the time in my life that I am in right now. I love watching my little girl grow up. I love supporting my husband in his endeavours. I love that there is a new challenge always around the corner. I am hard on myself alot...always have been. I want to do everything perfectly and already know how to do it perfectly...but the truth is...life is a learning process. I mess up...I learn...I grow....I try again. There's only so many hours in the day...and sometimes you have to sacrifice finishing a project or cleaning the house or grocery shopping...so you can enjoy spending time and making memories with the ones you love. Some days that's easier to do than others. Some days it drives me crazy and I get completely overwhelmed with everything that needs to be done...but others I can just be content and know that I'll do all I can in one day...and the rest will wait. I'm just trying to take one day at a time these days. :o)
Monday, April 18, 2011
Ladies and Gentlemen...She's starting early!!!! Not even a whole 8 months and she's already got Daddy's Credit Card!!!! Ashlyn treated us (compliments of Daddy's credit card) to a fabulous brunch at O'Charley's after church yesterday. Ashlyn was such a good little baby!!!!...as usual. She is typically so well-behaved in public. I took her with me on Saturday to get a MUCH NEEDED pedicure (we're talking some ugly before toes!). She just grinned and cooed the whole time! Everyone commented on what a pretty baby she was and I can't count how many times they said "She is such a good baby!". I said "thank you"...but what I really wanted to say was "I know." - I'm pretty sure that wouldn't have been what they were expecting to hear. :o)
I wish I had enough room to post the random shots I get while I'm trying to do these onesie pictures...some are quite hilarious!
Friday, April 15, 2011
Ashlyn finally likes a baby food!!!!
I sent these sweet potatoes with her to preschool and her teacher was as surprised as I was when she ate them and liked them!!!! I think it's quite funny since short of brussell sprouts...these are my least favorite food in the world!!! (Not counting that I don't like ANYTHING spicy - I'm sure Ashlyn will put Tabasco on everything just like her Daddy). It is funny how much she looks like me, but acts like David. My little picky eater!!! Maybe she'll also get the tall and skinny gene from her Dad-even though he eats like a horse!
Friday, April 8, 2011
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Spring is just around the corner!!! We have had one warm snap...then it got colder again...now it's getting warm again. As par for the course in Alabama...all the flowers are confused, pollen is everywhere and everybody has a runny nose!!! Ashlyn and I had a little photo shoot while waiting for Daddy to get ready for church...(Yes...we were ready first!!!! Write it in the calendar cause it will probably never happen again!) I love to put her in little dresses! Having a girl is SO FUN! I thought it was funny in Oklahoma this past Christmas when my Granny scoldingly told me that..."She is NOT a doll". I know she isn't a doll...but she sure is one cute, tiny, precious, beautiful, lovely little model. :o) It doesn't matter what you put on her...it always looks darling!!! P.S. This child LOVES grass! She picks is up and studies it very carefully and throws it around. Surprisingly, she hasn't tried to eat it yet...I'm sure that's coming.