Insert Grace Here…

…finding grace to help in the time of need…

Greater Than Gustav

It’s just after 9:00 p.m. on Monday, September 8.  I think….it’s the 8th, right?  Things are a bit fuzzy.

Our power came on around an hour ago!  PRAISE THE LORD!  A week without power….  Here is where I get real with you.  We are indeed blessed!  We have been fortunate in that we have not suffered loss beyond the minor structural damage to our home.  So many people had trees caving in their homes.  I cannot get over the trees down everywhere.  Many people are still without power.

This is where I feel their pain.  While I want to maintain an attitude of thankfulness throughout this process that is far from over, I have to be honest.  This storm has chipped away the facade of Christ-like character that I was certain I emulated.  Understand that is not intended to sound pious.  My weaknesses have ever been before me.  This week, however, I’ve been very “weak”.

In one week Cammie will leave for basic training.  One week.  Her last day of work was a week ago Friday.  Just before Gustav visited, she quit work to have time to just “hang out” as well as spend with family.  This has been the most devastating part of the storm for me.  We had intended to have Sophie’s second birthday party this coming Saturday, the 13th.  Sophie will turn two on the 19th.  Cammie wanted to be part of the celebration.  We thought a lot about whether or not we could pull something off.  With Ike brewing near the Gulf while we are just receiving power and facing the aftermath of Gustav, the probability of pulling off a last minute party is highly unlikely.  The turnout would be very important as we had hoped for family and friends to have time with Cammie as well.  Cammie has graciously accepted this.  Sophie is none the wiser.  It is Mom whose heart is broken.

Instead of the quality time I had imagined, this past week we have emptied our refrigerator.  PRAISE GOD it’s clean!  We have slept in the humid Louisiana weather.  PRAISE GOD for Joe’s cousin Jake!  His power came on Thursday and he loaned us his generator and two a.c. units.  Joe drove to Slidell(…through storms coming and going and he got lost, mind you…but you didn’t hear it here 😉 ) to pick them up.  We have floated from home to home taking baths at friends’ and relatives’ homes with power or generators and gas hot water heaters, washing clothes and sharing meals cooked on their grills as well as home-made meals.  PRAISE GOD for friends and family!

Understand I am thankful for the blessings.  But I am tattered from the process.  A whiny toddler with sporadic fever and vomiting isn’t fun with orwithout a hurricane.  Remember the niece with strep and Scarlet fever?  I was certain Sophie had strep.  No strep!  She was seen today and apparently has nothing more than the “Hurricane Gustav Virus”.  Now, I’ll tell you like I told Ginger in my email I sent her.  Don’t go Googling that phrase.  You’ll find no virus.  I’m coining the phrase if you do.  Indulge me a moment while a chase a rabbit…the email I sent Ginger was sent with the aid of the generator after Joe realized that we had cable and therefore, the internet.  YIPPEE!  Oh, the glee!  And the irony.  Power is down.  Life is disrupted.  Cox–our cable/internet/land line provider–trucks have lined our one-street subdivision today.  We receive these services before we receive power.  Anyway, Joe hooked the generator up and I sat with glee before my inbox.  Just as I was typing away, I heard a series of beeps that had me wondering about warnings of a very early arrival from Ike.  It was our alarm.  Power on!  Sophie has learned the word “lectricity” this week.

Needless to say, tempers raged.  Utility companies were unfairly blamed.  Traffic, hot days even after the generator arrived because gas is just too high to run it during the day, running to and fro for food, hot water and a bit of sanity all fed our frustration.  Teens were wrongly accused.  And I thought I lost mind at one point.  When Sophie first threw up in the car (there were two times…..the second being exponentially worse), I called Joe frantic.  I was meeting him at his mom’s.  Traffic was bad.  I needed Pull-Ups.  I wasn’t sure if I should pull over or just head on to his mom’s.  I called him and said, “SOPHIE, JOE JUST THREW UP ALL OVER THE CAR SEAT!  WAIT….” 

Pause.  “WHAT,” he questions.

But I’m cracking up and can’t tell him.  Funny stuff losing your mind.

Enough whining.  At least I had the material.  It would’ve been much funnier if you’d been there. 😉

I want to thank everyone who prayed, emailed and commented.  You have been a tremendous blessing during this time.  Please continue to pray for those who have suffered loss of loved ones, homes and livelihoods.  It is indeed of the Lord’s mercies that we are NOT consumed!  His compassions FAIL NOT!  Thank you, Lord!  He is greater than Gustav.

Also, please pray for our sister, Katie.  She had a seizure at work and fell on her face on a concrete floor.  I saw her today.  It broke my heart.  Now I know why my Mom told me not to come up to the hospital.  I’m told she looks “much better”, however, her face was very swollen, extremely bruised and her eye….I don’t have adequate words to describe it.  Suffice to say I could never work the medical field.

Off to don my eyemask and sleep in my cool home.  Thank you, Lord Jesus.



  Audra Krell wrote @

Goodness Gracious Rena, God is good, isn’t he? You are right, you are pressed but not crushed, struck down but not destroyed. A little worse for the wear, but you have Him and he’s got you and all your loved ones, your precious Sophie, Cammie and every tear you’ve cried, right in his hands. Rest now my friend, rest in Him. Joy does come in the morning, it just might be in the morning, one week later! Praising God for you and continuing to pray!

  Rachel wrote @

So glad to hear you guys are doing better. After seeing BR, I was really worried about you!

And don’t worry – the fact that you RECOGNIZE when you’re not as Christ-like as you should be shows more growth and maturity than you realize. 🙂 I’m still working on learning to recognize it in myself more!

  wanda wrote @

SHEESH! What a whirlwind week! I am so sorry to hear all of your trouble! We chicks need to just blurt it all out when we get in these situations.
I always feel better when I do.
As for all your hot button issues….
I will pray for you. Your sweet daughter that is leaving. Your sick one. The accused.
Hubby who’s dealing with you ladies….sister who’s hurt, OUCH! And your temultuous weather!!!! Those hurricanes!!! Eeeeeeerrrrrr!

Hang in there, sister. You are on the way up it sounds.

  Jody Martrain wrote @

I love you Rena! You make me laugh – The phone call to Joe cracked me up…I needed that, thank you!
Your blogs are amazing…
Logan also had the “Hurricane Gustav Virus” – And I too thought he had strep. Thank God it wasn’t and he’s finally feeling better.

Talk to you soon – Love you.

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