I’ve written two blogs this week. Actually, I’ve been trying to not write this one. But it kept tugging at me like a little kid, wanting a mother’s attention.
I’m in Arkansas, three states away from Raleigh, North Carolina, where my son and grandgirl live. I’m living my life, marking things off the calendar, feeding dogs, going to the grocery store, checking the mail, and tending to whatever else comes my way.
Hurricane Florence has been an undercurrent all week. I’ve been watching her via the computer since Tuesday, when she was doing her ballet spins in the Atlantic Ocean and approaching the U.S. It was the biggest hurricane I could remember. 500 miles wide, category four - and forecasters said its eye was headed for Raleigh. I watched, and I was stunned.
My Arkansas son assured me, “It can turn, Mom. They often do turn.” He knows weather patterns.
My North Carolina son was not sure yet. “I think I’m staying put, but whatever I do, I’ll choose the smart thing. You know I have a sick cat that I have to think of, too. Your grandgirl is situated. Do not worry. She will be okay.”
Vagueness and unknowns. Many mothers were probably hearing such answers, as those in the Carolinas were trying to figure things out.
I looked at the blue screen again. The hurricane had a rhythm. In a way, it was beautiful like a Van Gogh painting. Beautiful but dangerous.
Hurricane Florence. She’s definitely the storm of my week. I have let her take up residence in my mind. She just pushed her way in and plopped down on the couch.
She turned one of my days upside down.
First, I know nothing about hurricanes. Trying to learn, but I know nothing. More familiar with tornado patterns.
Second, I could not focus. I’d start a load of laundry, then remember my plan was to clean all the lamps in the house. I’d cleaned two, then I’d think about the meat I needed to thaw for supper. Off to the kitchen. (I never got back to the lamps.)
Third, I kept losing track of things. My eyeglasses, for example. “Where did I put them? They are always right here.” I wandered vaguely through rooms, checking here and there. Once I forgot what I was looking for and looked in the refrigerator!
I came across a little pink gizmo (my granddaughter must have left here), and I couldn’t figure out what it was. It looked serious enough that I didn’t dare pitch it in the trash, but what was it? It might be exactly what she used to help her tie quilts. An integral part of her play. Neither my husband nor I could figure it out. I promptly put it somewhere, hoping she’d remember its use.
You get the idea.
Fourth, I did my mother’s trick of just staying busy. Laundry, cooking, cleaning. It was a distraction. None of it soothed my soul.
A sister called and told what she’d seen on television. She had questions. I had no answers. Nothing was comforting.
I tried to smile when my husband shared that the door on my car was an easy fix. My heart was not in it. I said a perfunctory “thank you.”
I teach a little lesson to children on Wednesday nights. I was stressed but went anyway. I’m one of the teachers.
The lesson was about the beginning of the world, Genesis, Adam and Eve. Everyone in the room spoke of God’s goodness and His amazing miracles. I tried to breathe in the scriptures we read. God is unafraid of any beast, any disobedience, any storm, any devil out to kill and destroy.
He is God and in control at all times. Yes. I just need to keep my faith steady and trust that He is big enough and all is well.
Where was that mantra I’d used a thousand times? I remembered: I am safe. My family is safe. All is well. God is in charge. God is trustworthy. I am safe. My family is safe. All is well....
It suddenly came to me that I needed to be thanking God for His power, His miracles, what He would do in the midst of this storm. Jesus would be right there in the middle of it with His people. God could use it for good.
Now it is Thursday evening, and I have heard more from family. Scattered out here and there, but safe.
I choose to slow down, bow my head, thank God for his power over circumstances. I put my worries into His hands. Like handing a friend a bowl of potatoes, like receiving a plate of sliced fruit.
Blessings - help others and stay safe,
P.S. This is for sharing. My permission is attached to it. Stay safe and well.
Photo taken by Jimmy Durmon of his iPad while watching the weather at www.noaa.com, Friday, September 14, 2018.