The last day of 2015. As I type this, we are back home, my office window is open and it feels more like spring than it does winter. I keep looking over my shoulder every few minutes to watch the colors of the sky change as the sun goes down. I just got back in from a run around the neighborhood with Bishop and I am grateful for all that is.
The last few days haven't exactly been easy. Our holidays were pretty good - good because we got to come home, good because we were with family, good because we had safe travels, and good because we have each other. But, Saturday we received news from our tenants that our house in Missouri had flooded from the torrential amount of rain that hit the area. It has been stressful. And our insurance doesn't cover the damage. I won't lie - I have had some moments of despair, and I'll admit that I had a minor meltdown on Monday as we were driving to Joplin. It was hard to keep things in perspective and it was hard to remember that somehow, good could come of this. That it might be a blessing in disguise.
In the days that have passed, I have come to a place of acceptance. I have my moments of panic and "what are we going to do" freak outs, but overall, I'm in a better place about it. Good can come of it. I just may not be able to see it yet. And I share all of this to be transparent and to keep myself in check - life happens. It's ugly, it is beautiful, it is wonderful, it's difficult. None of us are spared. I have had to let go of the mentality of "But, we've worked so hard! Why did this happen?" and instead, tried to see what could go right. And, when I look back at this last year and the myriad of difficulties that came with it, I can see that beautiful and amazing things came out of situations that didn't seem like they could get better. Situations that didn't seem like they had any answers or possible good outcomes. But, here I am. Here I sit in South Carolina. After driving for 13 hours yesterday, Chris and I turned onto our street and we both celebrated coming home. And that's something in and of itself - that this feels like home. That it is home. That our lives here are good even when it's hard.
And another thing that put the whole thing into perspective: When we were driving back yesterday, we went through a little town just this side of Memphis in Mississippi. I am getting emotional just typing this...the town had been hit by an EF4 tornado. We could clearly see the path the tornado took as we drove down the interstate - it was eerily reminiscent of what we saw in the aftermath of Joplin's tornado. It made my stomach roil and my heart tighten. On our way to Missouri, we had stopped for lunch in that little town. We ate a sandwich at McAlister's, let the dogs out and took care of them, stopped by Walgreens, and then loaded up and got back on the interstate. We got to the other side of Memphis that day and drove through a vicious storm when we crossed into Arkansas. I told Chris that I was afraid it would spawn tornadoes. And it did. It spawned one that touched down on the very road we had just been on 45 minutes before. We missed that storm and the tornado that touched down in a span of less than an hour.
My heart hurts for them and there's some survivor's guilt that I still struggle with to this day after my experience in Joplin. And, just like then, I don't know the answer. I don't know the why. But, I do know that there are worse things than a flooded house.
As always, I hold Convoy of Hope in high regard. They are out helping victims of the storms and the flooding that has occurred all across the Midwest, and I'm sure they would appreciate any donations you could make. So grateful for people like them.
So, on this last day of 2015, I am grateful. Grateful for -
A Creator who takes care of me in the most amazing ways - who loves and guides me
My husband & our crazy Circus of animals
The good I can't always see until much later
That we are making a home
Courageous & beautiful things that feed & nourish my soul
Food that nourishes me
Yoga & running
Kindness & compassion
The colors of the sky at sunrise & sunset
The smell of the Earth after a rain
Open windows & fresh air
Homemade bread with butter
Bird's nests & found things
Good books & good music
A community of kindred spirits & amazing souls
And you - I am grateful for you who come to this journal & read & support & send me love & encouragement. Thank you.
I am blessed. I just have to remember that.
Happy New Year's Eve, friends. Here's to looking for the good.
Sites I Dig
The Road is Home
The Seed & Plate
Sharon Covert Photography
The Define School
The Noisy Plume
Sarah Gee Photography
Fox & Owl Studio
The Stork and The Beanstalk
Mellow Yellow Photography
A Simple Little Journal
What I've Been Reading
The Girls by Emma Cline
A Land More Kind Than Home by Wiley Cash
Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
Never Broken by Jewel
Hold Still by Sally Mann