Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Competing with Horses

If you can't carry the weight of emptiness, 
how are you going to carry the weight of fullness?

If you are not able to descend into failure,
how are you going to be able to ascend into success?

If you cave in under the pressure of loneliness,
how are you going to hold up under the pressures of publicity.

I found these words as I flipped through my old journals this morning.  I hesitate to write them here, as they seem to be too profound to come out of my pen. I realize though, that there is wisdom in us beyond our comprehension at the time it was given. But only the long and arduous climb up to the pinnacles and down into despairs of life itself can chisel those words into the depth of our reality. 

We so easily forget that words, through their deceptive and frivolous use have lost their original power and are not reality anymore. But every once in a while something fresh comes our way, something piercingly true and it is because of this that I write them here, as a reminder to myself, most of all.  And who knows, perhaps someone else may find the humbling blessing and sobering encouragement they carry.

If you have run with footmen and they have tired you out, Then how can you compete with horses? If you fall down in a land of peace, How will you do in the thicket of the Jordan? Jeremiah 12:5

Tuesday, September 03, 2019

Perfect Storm

Being the hurricane survivor veterans of 15 years and counting, we thought we had it figured out.  From Charlie, Jeanne, Frances, Irma, Michael – each uninvited guest coming our way taught us something new. Over time, we’ve developed a routine that encompasses a variety of preparations we tweak each hurricane season as fresh, tested-in-real-life data becomes available to us under the category of ‘Experience’.

One big item we learned early on became house cleaning. I know it sounds counter intuitive to bother with cleaning the house before the hurricane, but short of a complete disaster and losing your house or at least a roof, this strange ritual of housecleaning makes a huge difference in the days preceding and days that follow the storm.  Sometimes we lose power, and sometimes even water supplies can be limited, so having empty laundry basket keeps us from experiencing a different kind of emergency, like no clean underwear. After being surprised by Charlie, our first real hurricane, this became a must for our family, right along removing or securing projectiles around our house.

This year, with monster hurricane Dorian’s path threatening central Florida, we raised our housecleaning to an unprecedented level by cleaning out our garage.  It seemed crazy keeping all our worthless junk safe under the roof while leaving our only vehicle outside exposed to the mercy (or mercilessness) of Cat 5. 

With the car in, we could sigh a big sigh of relief. We did everything we could, the rest is in God’s hands. There was a huge sense of satisfaction knowing,


I even remembered how with the disruption of the routine, and easy access to the stockpiles of convenient (read ‘junk’) food,  the biggest hurricane battle tends to be the one with the bulge. 

“Not this time!”  I was determined and stock piled on peaches, pears, apples and bananas, carrots, celery and home-made hummus.

Then, we waited. And waited. And watched and waited. And started nibbling on our healthy foods while binge-watching weather channel.  The storm was intensifying, getting more threatening, bigger and bigger, and slower and SLOWER, until it stalled over the poor Bahamas battering it heartlessly with Cat 5 squalls.

It was supposed to arrive on Sunday here, and it’s Tuesday and it STILL isn’t here.

We actually polished off our healthy hurricane stash while the hurricane was still hundreds of miles away!! Yesterday we made a quick Walmart run to restock but while we were getting peaches, grapes and milk, I noticed that their Bakery Department must have over-baked and had all these amazing goods on clearance – pumpkin and apple pies, apple fritters, plain donuts and Persian cinnamon rolls... for pennies!!! Who can resist that???

As they say, "The road to hell is paved by good intentions"...

We came home loaded, promising ourselves self-control, then making powerful excuses justified by ‘all the stress that hurricane caused us’… and ‘we were doing so well until…”

And the storm is still over three hundred miles away…