Thursday, October 20, 2016

trying to find normal

My sweet daughter came in with these flowers and our grandsons last night.
Always good times when they come.
So thankful for them.

Bubba is working feverishly trying to get the condo right again.
Our insurance adjuster for the contents of our unit
comes on Saturday morning to add up our personal damage.
This is what I have chosen for the new flooring.
Very driftwoody.
I love it!

All of the water that ruined everything 
came in the window and door that is pictured below.
The were both closed tight and locked.
That was some powerful wind to drive it inside like that.

The front room is empty except for the sofa
which is going soon.
It got wet and will need to go,
It is almost brand new.
After the floor and other repairs are done,
we will paint and it will be like a new unit.

The repair of the common structures is up over two million.
The oceanfront units were damaged the most extensively.
Our condo fee pays for this insurance.
Matthew turned out to be quite the destroyer down on Tybee.

I have never seen so many tress down in Savannah in my lifetime.
All of the streets are lined with cut up trees.
There is some really good firewood for the taking.

These boys....I love them.
It is so good to have them here.
Thankful...for all of God's good, good gifts to me.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

It came back

One day short of one week after Hurricane Matthew swept through,
 we have our "bundle" back....
TV, Cable, Land Line.
Thanks Comcast!
Better late than never I suppose.
It's just the things we get accustomed to,
when they're taken away,
some of us
some more than others,
have a tendency to grumble and complain.

I am going to devote this post to sharing some of the damage
that the hurricane did to our place at Tybee.
Two weeks ago you wouldn't have been able to see the ocean for this vantage point.
Last year the beach got renourished.
The dunes were standing high and proud.
Today, the dunes are all gone.

The bottom of the pool was covered with seven inches of beach sand.
As you can see,
 today, they were still trying to vacuum it away.
Out in the boat channel there are dredges.
The rest of the beach dunes landed out there.
The dredges are removing the sand from the channel 
so that the boats can safely maneuver up the Savannah River.

The bike racks didn't fare so well.

Fences down and guard gate arm bit the dust.

Across the street,,,tree on boat.

Ceiling fan on the deck...

The ceiling on the deck after the fan was removed.

Most all of the fence was destroyed.

Rain came into our condo under and around the front sliding door.
Most of the tile was destroyed 
as well as the sofa.
Bubba and I spent the morning there today
assessing and getting ready for the insurance adjusters to come.
We brought a lot of our things home...deck furniture etc.
There is so much work to be done,
But the main structure is in good shape and we will come back.

While we were working today
 I was enjoying this view and the sound of the waves.
We are so thankful that all of the damage is repairable.
We won't be able to rent it out until January 2017.
Looks like I will get to enjoy a redo.

God is good always, no matter what happens, He is always good.
To God be all the glory for all the great things He does!!

Monday, October 10, 2016

washed clean & blown away

The story of Matthew....
a big mass of swirling wind and rain,
a hurricane,
a menace,
a cause for a mixture of excitement and dread.

At the first of last week, 
my heart had been in Palm Beach Gardens,
Amanda and her family had just gotten into their new home.
It looked like it was going to be a direct hit on them.

They fled to Tampa.....
to escape the storm,
but primarily to get Eli a brace for his leg while they were there,
Thankfully, Matthew took a jog east
 and missed them completely.

Here, by the way, is a picture of Eli in his brace.

we then watched the storm come up the east coast of Florida,
through all of our favorite haunts,
and then,
 low and behold,
we got on the Weather Channel which is a very rare occurrence.
Looks like it is coming our way.
It did!!!

It started raining on Friday morning at 8:00.
It never stopped until Saturday around noon.
The wind didn't start until bedtime on Friday night.
Never heard wind like that before.
"It breathed out loud gusts and never took a breath."
(this is a quote from my husband)
It howled all night and into Saturday morning.
and then...
It was gone, 
just like that.
The rest of the day I walked around the house,
looking out the windows
at the damage.
For us it was minor,
For Savannah and the islands it was much worse.

All that to say...
How good God is.
We were spared once again.
He revealed His glory in the power of the storm,
but not one life was lost in our city.

In the days before the storm,
the skies had been dark and gloomy,
unable to shake the bands of the powerful hurricane.

Saturday night,
just before dark,
I was still looking out of the windows.
Across the street just the tops of the trees were lit up,
shining bright.
God blessed us by returning the sun
and lighting up the sky with His brilliance.

And then, as if all that wasn't enough,
We got Fall!
Sunday was the first day since April that was not hot and humid.

Thank you God for all of these blessings and so many more!!!

Friday, October 7, 2016

hurricane flowers

The rain started at 8:00 this morning.
Its been pretty steady all day.
Very little wind,
Quite calm,
with the occasional wind gust that reminds you,
Hey, we're having a hurricane here.

I have been glad for this day.
I even tried to take a nap,
but the tornado sirens kept going off and I gave up.
(One tiny funnel was spotted up near Fort Stewart and the warnings went nuts.)
Haven't heard any more since then.

Savannah is quiet.
Nothing much is open, not even the Cracker Barrel.
One restaurant on River Street
did open and they drew a huge crowd.
The line to get in went on forever.

So thankful that Amanda and Mark were spared.
When they left yesterday morning
they didn't know what they would come home to,
Her text just a little while ago made me so glad,
Just a little debris down.
Electricity was up and running.
They had no damage to speak of.

She tried to get us to come down there this afternoon,
but we couldn't get through the storm going south on I-95.

Our worst will be during the night.
Matthew should be gone by in the morning.

I love storms.
Wouldn't have missed this one for the world!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

two storms

A storm blew up in my heart this morning....
something that made me very sad.
I never saw it coming.
Haven't been able to calm myself yet,
the peace hasn't come.
I got busy with mundane tasks getting ready for the hurricane.
Yet, my soul is vexed.

I think it so amazing that God always has me reading something pertinent to my life.
Yes a real storm is coming,
sometime tomorrow evening so they say.
It's hard to get information because of all the sensationalism.

God's word....
This passage speaks for itself!

"Those who go down to the sea in ships, who do business in great waters;
(the sailors)
They have seen the works of the Lord.
and His wonders in the deep.
For He spoke and raised up a stormy wind, which lifted up the waves of the sea.
They rose up to the heavens, they went down to the depths;
Their (the sailors) soul melted away in their misery;
they reeled and staggered like a drunken man,
and were at their wits end.
(the sailors)
Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and He brought them out of their distresses.
He caused the storm to be still, so that the waves of the sea were hushed.
Then they (the sailors) were glad because they were quiet; (the waves)
so He guided them to their desired haven,
Let them give thanks to the Lord for His lovingkindness,
and for His wonders to the sons of men."
Psalm 107: 23-31

I am praying for both storms to be still, 
the one in my heart 
and the one in the ocean.

God's word is the only thing that brings peace to my soul.
Thank you Lord that Your word was written down and preserved for us.

Monday, October 3, 2016

the cone of uncertainty

Bubba just hollered down from upstairs.....
"The storm is turning west."
I hollered back,
thinking that west meant out into the Atlantic.

Then I went to NOAA.
West was not good news.
Not only is Amanda and her fam in the cone,
but we are too.

Of course, it is still more than 1,000 miles south of us.
It could change many times before this weekend.
It's a powerful storm,
one to be watched closely.

Bubba just hollered down again,
"The Weather Channel actually mentioned the city of Savannah"....
they never do!
Must be serious!

Love the weather...
should have been a weather girl!

Sunday, October 2, 2016

not without hope

Believers are not without hope!

Even in the darkness of this world,
whether it be 
financial ruin,
hope shattered,
depression that will not relent,
or any other of the many tragedies that plauge humanity,
we have hope.

Our hope is not that these evils will end 
and all will be well with us,
no, our hope is in Jesus and Him alone.

Our pastor, Bill,
 preached on I Thessalonians 4:13-18 this morning.
I came to the service
 feeling somewhat hopeless,
and left filled to the brim with hope.
Bubba and I could not stop talking about this message from God Himself.

Basically, here is the truth.....
Non-believers consider us a bit "wacko" for believing this passage,
and rightfully so.
It does seem a bit strange.
This gathering of God's people in the sky with Him....
not something that happens everyday.
But it is in God's word and therefore we can be sure it is true.

So, here is what God's word has to say....
Paul was speaking to the persecuted church in Thessalonica.
He was giving them hope to keep living and serving in spite of the darkness of the times.
Many had lost loved ones and were worried that those who had died were lost forever.

Paul comforted them with these words...
"We do not want you to be uninformed about those who are asleep (dead),
that you may not grieve as those who have no hope."

How can this be?
How can we be sure that what you are saying is true???

Here it is....
"For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again (and we do)
even so God will bring with Him
those who have fallen asleep (died) in Jesus."

and there is more...
"For this we say to you by the word of the Lord,
that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord,
shall not precede those who have fallen asleep (already died)."

How do we know this is true?
By Jesus' resurrection from the dead
and by the Word of God.

How will this happen?
"For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven.....
He's coming back!!!
This time His feet will not touch the ground, though.

What will we hear?
......with a shout,
with the voice of the archangel,
and with the trumpet of God;

What happens next?
....and the dead in Christ shall rise first,
Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together
with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air
and thus we shall always be with the Lord."

Yay!!! so exciting!!! Can't wait!!!
But what do we do in the meantime while we are still being hurt and persecuted in this world?

""Therefore comfort one another with these words."

I have just described the rapture of God's people.
It is real.
People have been waiting for years for it to happen.
It can happen anytime, 
maybe today.

My hope is not that my life will be perfect with no more sadness nor sorrow nor pain.
My hope is not that this unrelenting depression will suddenly leave me.
My hope is not in anything of this earthly, temporary existence.
My Hope is in Jesus Christ,
His resurrection from the dead,
and the truth of God's word.

Pure & simple, there is no other hope.

* So much of this is from Bill's sermon.
I give him all the credit and God all the glory,

"Even so....come Lord Jesus."