Friday, April 29, 2011

Aftermath Uncertainty

I sat in the closet with my brother, uncomfortable but scared to move as my parents stood in the porch and listened to the characteristic roar of the tornado passing too close for comfort. We would exit our home to find, over the next few weeks--schools, houses, and lives lost to the monster behind that roar.

Fast forward thirteen years and nineteen I am again. However, this time I am in the closet with my husband and I now know the roar that can only mean destruction is nearby.

Just a few minutes earlier we watched with horror as the tornado roared through Tuscaloosa. We prayed together but really did not know what to say to the God who created the world and everything in it...maker of heaven and earth. I KNEW that he could direct the storm away from us or lift it back into the sky. However, I also knew that He could direct it right at our home...for His glory. Which would it be?

We continued to squirm on the couch until we heard these words "If you live in Hueytown or Pleasant Grove...take cover" and at these words, the power went off. We grabbed couch cushions and the phone and ran to our "safe place."

About fifteen minutes later, we exited our safe place to a yard that was eerily quite and unscathed except for pieces of insulation and shingles littered here and there, a sure sign that destruction was not far away.

So here we are on the other side of the disaster...completely safe, with power and all the necessities, and yet completely lost as to how to move forward. How do you go on living as normal when you recognize how close you came to death? How do you clean your house and scrub your kitchen without thinking of those who have no house to clean? How do you eat a yummy meal and sleep in a warm bed? It is the same feeling that you get when you come back from your first trip (or your second or your third) to a impoverished country. How can we go on living as normal?

I believe that we cannot. So, we pray and we seek ways to no longer live for ourselves. We don't feel guilty for all that we have but rather use it to help those who have lost everything. If you have ideas of ways that we can help or families that we can assist, please let me know!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Early Dismissal

I arrived at school this morning to find that buses were delayed and school was closing early. So, after approximately zero minutes of quality instruction, we headed home.

What have I been doing since then? Glad you asked!

1. Dusted off the crock-pot and started some chicken tortilla soup.

2. Worked out with Jillian

3. Finished an assignment (my LAST ONE) for school

4. Explored in the garden and discovered one bloom.

Please note the professional irrigation; I'm so very proud to have this in my yard.

5. Up next...couponing!

Hope that you are enjoying your stormy Wednesday just as well. Stay safe and dry!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Treats

Baby birds in the ferns! A reminder of the new life that we have in Christ

It was a sweet first easter together, together we read the Easter story and then were able to worship together this morning. I am so grateful for a husband who leads us in the Word.

After church we spent time with the family. Mom was a wonderful hostess and prepared a quite yummy meal! The best part: strawberry cheesecake. I think I will have another bite in just a few minutes. I did ride my bike for about an hour today, so perhaps I earned a few extra calories. :-)


Friday, April 22, 2011

flabbergasted friday

why do crunchy things get soggy when they're stale, but soggy things get crunchy?

FYI--stale granola bars are somewhat soggy

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Tenacious Tigers

The award to Minor High from Exxon Mobil was 10,000. That's right: dollar signs and lots of zeroes :-)

Here's a link to the Exxon Mobil commercial:

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Celebrating Academics

Tomorrow we are having an academic pep-rally. That's correct: a pep-rally to honor those who work diligently day after day, whose season never ends, and who rarely get to experience the thrill of a buzzer beater (except in Mrs. Waters class where you have to turn in your work to the basket before the buzzer sounds and sometimes that can be almost as thrilling as a last second half-court shot) or the encouragement of the crowd's chant.

At first I found this idea a bit strange, but it is growing on me. I'm excited to recognize my AP kids and honor their efforts. The reason we are having the pep-rally is because Exxon Mobil is coming to honor the school, our AP program, and specifically one of our students who was recently featured in an Exxon mobil commercial (look for it!!!). They are awarding the school and the student with some sort of prize. Not sure what it is yet but we're hoping for dollar signs and lots of zeros. I'll keep you updated.

So, all this to say, celebrate academics!!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Adam is the new author for the day!

So I'm new to this whole blog thing, but apparently you post thoughts and such for the world to read here goes nothing!! Since Sybil usually shares much of her work and life inside the home, I thought I would share some of what's been going on outside...the usual grass cutting and weedeating is ever present, but the thing I'm most excited about is our garden! When we first began looking for a house I made known my desire to have a backyard space big enough to have a place to grow vegetables and such as I have done this as long as I can remember. Well we found us one, and though it's not huge, our garden is just right and I am happy to report is starting to grow...the tomatoes and peppers are all looking happy in their new home and all of my seeds are beginning to sprout! We've got much of the usual garden veggies like squash and zucchini, okra and beans, and even cucumbers and sunflowers. (one of Sybil's favorites!!) We have in our backyard a beautiful silver maple that is at least 50 years old. (this according to our neighbors who have lived next door for 47 years) This type of tree if you are not familiar with it is truly stunning in the sunshine with a light breeze blowing. The tops of the leaves are green while the underside is silver (hence the name silver maple) and with a light breeze blowing through the tree it appears to shine as the leaves reflect the sunlight...what a perfect way for God to remind His children we are to be reflections of His life and love! Writing this reminds me of a poem by Cecil Frances Alexander
Maker of Heaven and Earth

All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful,
The Lord God made them all.

(insert side note here...there is an author James Herriot whose books about his veterinary practice in rural England have titles borrowed from the first stanza of this poem, I highly recommend them!)
Each little flower that opens,
Each little bird that sings,
He made their glowing colors,
He made their tiny wings

The rich man in his castle,
The poor man at his gate,
God made them, high or lowly
and ordered their estate.

The purple-headed mountain,
The river running by,
The sunset, and the morning
That brightens up the sky,

The cold wind in the winter,
The pleasant summer sun,
The ripe fruits in the garden,
He made them every one.

The tall trees in the greenwood,
The meadows where we play,
The rushes by the water,
We gather every day,

He gave us eyes that we might see them
And lips that we might tell
How great is God Almighty,
Who has made all things well.

In other aspects of life, my new job at Children's has been truly awesome. It has sparked some thoughts though. I will preface these thoughts by saying first and foremost I am not a parent and because of that have no personal basis for what the parent/child relationship is like. And though I've been a nurse for almost three years now, nothing in my previous experience nor in nursing school prepared me for some of the social issues I would have to face...all that being said... How do you tell a little girl who is going to surgery that her mom couldn't find a way to get to the hospital and so she will have to go to the OR alone? Or what do you tell the little boy who was in a wreck that claimed the life of his mother when he cries out for her? What do you say to the couple who just adopted a little boy and nine weeks later find out he has a disorder that will plague him the rest of his life? These are just some of the thoughts I have had in the past several weeks. In all of them however God has been gracious to provide answers to these questions. In the gospel of John 15:12 Jesus tells His disciples, "This is my commandment, that you love one another just as I have loved you..." When you get right down to it, that's all I'm there to do, sure I can give some medicine or draw some blood, but it's the holding a hand, or rocking a child, or offering up a quietly uttered prayer on behalf of a child; that seems to me to be loving as Christ does. It is listening as new parents are faced with seemingly impossible news and then encouraging them to seek God and His strength rather than their own. It is hugging a grandmother who has health problems of her own and who has been standing tirelessly by her grandson's bed and assuring her that God tells us in His word that He is sovereign in ALL things. So, this is life around the Waters house in H-Town, if you're ever in the neighborhood, stop by and see us!