Wednesday, August 29, 2007

2nd Katrina Anniversary

Two years ago today, who would have know the journey God had for us! Honestly, things are a little weird today, and since blogs are ultimately about rambling, I will do just that. Honestly, I will not try to be eloquent and not even articulate . . . today is an emotional day. Not one in which I will sit in pity or even in tears, but much more of a pensive day. Who would have known August 28th of last year that our world was about to be turned upside down? Since the time of our evacuation our lives have been, I don't even know to explain it . . . but anything but "normal" or "stable." As we have been in many different places outside of New Orleans, Katrina has been just a part of history. We often hear it talked about, but as we hear people talking about the devastation of Katrina, it is strange to feel as though you are the only ones in the room who really have something to say about it. To us, it wasn't just a storm, it was life changing. Over the last 2 years, Ron and I have dealt with our grief very differently. Ron thinks about Katrina every day. I don't. Not to say that I was affected less . . . because today on the 2nd anniversary, it is I who am having the emotional struggle. Moving back to New Orleans several months ago has been weird. For those of us who have lived outside of the city since Katrina, the world "moved on" and we were kind of dragged along with them. As we spoke in churches or with different people, our story was the same, a story of God's sovreignty, His provision, and His grace and love. Since we have moved back to New Orleans we have returned to a harsh reality. The truth of Katrina victims. Ron's internships allows him to counsel with Katrina victims almost daily. A billboard across from the semianry campus says "no, your'e not crazy," Katrina is often a topic at church or Bible studies, and 2 year later, "so how did you fare the storm" is still an elevator conversation starter. The rest of the world may have moved on, but New Orleans hasn't. The physical devestation is still very real, and so is the devestation of so many hearts. God is alive and well adn working in New Orleans. I feel blessed that God has brought us back to this broken city. When I was there before, New Orleans was simply where I went to seminary, a place of transition. But this time, I feel as though I have come home. Our Katrina story has been a positive one, a story of triumph and God's protection, but 2 years later, the scars on our hearts still hurt. I would be lying if I said the "things" we lost didn't matter. They did. The relationships lost hurt. I often ponder where we would be if it weren't for Katrina. Ultimately, it doesn't matter, we are thriving in the center of God's will and every time my heart aches in grief, I often go back to my journal entries those few days after Katrina. "God you are El Elyon--Most High . . . What a lesson at a time like this. As New Orleans lies in masses of water and all of our worldy possessions are soaking up the flood waters, I am reminded that you are the Sovreign Most High. Hurricane Katrina is and will be for your glory and pleasure, the levee breeches were and are for your glory and pleasure. Your sanction was over that, and while I know your heart breaks for my city, as does mine, your plan is to draw men to yourself." --9/2/05

This was something the Lord gave after reading from Isaiah, it has helped me often in my grief and understanding of Katrina, and I know it will help me through numerous other challenges the Lord asks me to walk through.

"You are God and there is no other
Though the winds rage and the storm howls
You are God and there is no other
From you came Creation adn from you destruction
For you are God and there is no other
AS the flood waters rise and the screams muffle
For you are God and there is no other
As chaos abounds and order is lost
For you are God and there is no other
AS lives are lost and homes are destroyed
For you are God and there is no other
You are the Giver and Taker of life and in Your hands we rest
For you are God and there is no other
It is Your hand that reaches down and rescues your own
For you are God and there is no other
Your tears fall and your heart breakss
But you are God and there is no other
Lives lost and families scattered
But you are God and there is no other
We draw near to You Sovreign Lord with no asnwers of why and yet no doubts of your faithfulness
Open up your floodgates and rain down your grace, mercy, love, adn Salvation.
For YOU ARE GOD and there is NO other!!!

So, today is a day of reflection and sorrow, but even in my grief, I look back and praise Him for what He has done and what He has doen with us over the last 2 years. We may not understand His will, but we must trust! For, He is God and there is no other

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Our Hiatus!

So, I apologize for our lack of updating! Just when we were beginning to feel settled in New Orleans, the kids and I came on a long trip to Florida. As the fall semester started, we knew it was going to be difficult for Ron to settle into school and internship so we decided the best things would be for me and the kids to give him a few weeks to get settled into the new routine without us there vying for his attention. What were we thinking! We miss him terribly! Eliana is once again confused about where "home" is. (When we moved to New Orleans, she spent 2 weeks knocking on the door crying to go "home." Anyway, things are going incredibly well, and we are loving getting to spend time with my family, but we miss Ron! "Phone Dad" just doesn't cut it! We look forward to really getting settled into our new life in New Orleans in just a couple of weeks. Eliana is excited about starting a new Kindermusik class, and she will also start gymnastics this Fall!

God continues to teach us so much in this chapter of our lives. I have always been a planner, and would love to have the rest of my life planned out yesterday, but God seems to never allow that to happen! So, we are just taking it one day at a time. Seminary has seemed to consume our lives over the last forever and while our growth has been substantial and our relationships valuable, I eagerly await the close to this chapter of our lives! As we look towards Ron's graduation in May, I would love nothing more than to "move on." But God has not promised us this, instead He continues to urge me to invest where He has put us now and to invest regardless of our time here, short or long. We are currently attending First Baptist New Orleans and I look forward to where God will place us to serve Him there. Please continue to pray for us as we seek His will in where to jump in.

OK, so I know I have been slow on getting updated pictures, but I promised and we finally took the kdis to get them done!