Thursday, March 22, 2012

Rainbows, Thunder, and Carys Yellow

It's been 11 months since my babies were born. It seems so strange that it's already been so long. I wonder if thinking about everything that has happened will always bring such a rush of emotions, and I have a feeling it will. Although, the rush of emotions has already evolved over the past months. It's different and will always be changing (oh, how often I long for the stability of Heaven), but we will never again be without the impact of our babies.

Paxton is growing fast and curious about EVERYTHING. He even took a step on his own last weekend. He loves to laugh and play with his rubber ducky. He's getting good at showing me where it is, or where other toys like his little stuffed penguin are. He loves to explore. I can't help but wonder what Carys would be enjoying if she were here. I even Googled recently to see what other girls named Carys enjoy. I may never know this side of Heaven, but I do very much enjoy things that remind me of her.

I didn't know when we were planning my maternity pictures (with Shannon Rice Photography) why I was so set on using the bright yellow umbrella, but it has become an icon for me. Now, I associate that bright, cheery yellow with my baby girl. In my mind, it will always be Carys Yellow. The forsythia bush blooming in my yard, the daffodils by the front steps, cheery yellow smilies... I love that they make me think of her.

We've also had a lot of rain lately, so naturally that makes me think of her. Rain, rainbows, and wind that blows her windchimes. I've only seen a rainbow one time in the past 11 months, but it was a fitting. People send me pictures of rainbows when they see them. I love it. They remember her too.

A few nights ago, I kept waking up through the night to the sound of rain and thunder. In my half-asleep state, I marvelled at how storms allow an opportunity for us to experience God's power. It reminds me of a moment in Jamaica whan Aaron and I were on our honeymoon. We'd gone to a cooking class on the beach, and stayed to chat with another couple as the class ended and the rain began.

Soon after the rain started pounding on the tent above us, the thunder and lightning began. The lightning seemed to be just a few miles out from the beach. I felt very vulnerable there on the beach and the sheer power of the thunderstom was both scary and exhilarating. I felt God's presence.

The feeling of God's powerful presence is not something often experienced on a clear, calm, sunny day. Sometimes it takes the storms to reassure us that God really is bigger and more powerful. I think we need the reminders.

1 Corinthians 2:4-5
New International Version (NIV)

4 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, 5 so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Historic Tornadoes

The news called tonight's outbreak of tornadoes "historic." There were tornadoes to the north of us and tornadoes to the south. There has been so much destruction, especially in the community of West Liberty, Ky. We watched the storm tracker on the local news from the hallway, since the safest room of our house would be the bathroom nearby, in the center of the house with no windows. It's a sick, helpless feeling to watch it on the screen, knowing there is nothing we can do about it.

My mind raced to think of people who may not have heard just how bad the storms were, but there's no way to call EVERYONE. I prayed. I realized how tense I was when the storm was past us and I started to breathe easier again. Paxton played, then fell asleep.

Two things really stood out to me as I watched my baby sleep and watched the storm crawling over the tri-state area on the weather maps.

I thought about how stressed I felt during the storm and how peaceful Paxton was. He had no idea of the danger that raged such a relatively short distance from our home. I wonder how much God protects us from knowing. When we want our why's answered, or our wants met... God knows what He's protecting us from when He says "no", or nothing at all. 

I also thought about the helpless feeling. When tornadoes are coming, it's easy to fear for the safety of your loved ones (especially when you know they're out in it, trying to get home). It was also a check for me. I know what's coming, and I know there are so many people who are not prepared. We never know when we will go out into eternity, and I know I have a duty to encourage as many people as possible to seek out the love of God. God has a plan for each of us. God has a plan for you. His plan includes a life in Heaven when you've left this world, but if you don't accept that gift, you'll never see the peaceful beauty of Heaven. The gift is there, He's already provided it for you. You have the choice to ignore it or take it and find an eternal joy. I know I have loved ones who aren't ready. I know I have readers who aren't ready. There's a storm coming. Please.... listen to what God has to tell you! Be still and watchful. God has something for you to see!!! HE Loves YOU.

**** Please be praying for all affected. ****