Six months ago today we went to church.
Six months ago today I traded my sister-in-law a daughter for two nephews and went home to get ready for my son's 11th birthday party.
Six months ago today 4 boys played in the sprinklers in the yard while I made vanilla buttercream frosting.
Six months ago today I agreed with my father-in-law that we should move the party to our house instead of their pool because the weather might get yucky.
Six months ago today I asked my husband to take the boys to my in-laws for a quick swim so I could get the house ready.
Six months ago today two of the boys came back with my mother-in-law.
Six months ago today we ignored a tornado siren and sat in the kitchen eating chips and dip.
Six months ago today the sky got really black and I called my husband's uncle and asked him how close he and our aunt were with my son and nephew.
Six months ago today the kids and our friends went down in the basement when the second tornado siren began wailing.
Six months ago today I stood in the doorway to my garage and stared up the street looking for a truck.
Six months ago today the world began spinning around us and my ears popped over and over.
Six months ago today I yelled at my family to get into the storage room and sprinted down the stairs with my dog.
Six months ago today I heard our house being ripped apart as I leaned over children in our basement.
Six months ago I placed my son and nephew and aunt and uncle and father-in-law into God's hands.
Six months ago today God gave me tangible proof of what a better caretaker He is of my family than I could ever be.
So much has happened.
So much has changed.
So much I've forgotten.
So much still confuses me.
So much inspires me.
Six months ago we said good-bye to a lot of different things:
...our old home
...our old neighborhood
...my short term memory
...my 8 year-old's easy going nature
...my 11 year old's ability to let US be caretakers and HIM just feel taken care of
...enjoyment of summer rainstorms
...my ability to get through a day without crying.
But six months ago we were introduced to a new way of living:
...that is based on people and not places
...where I only need LITERALLY one pair of jeans and some sneakers
...when giving one more hug and one more story truly matter more than my schedule
...when the presence of God actually feels like a blanket over my shoulders
...that is rooted more firmly in God instead of my worldly surroundings.
Now I have certainly had quite a few experiences since May 22nd that I did not really expect to have
We lived with my mom for a few weeks....
I personally helped bulldoze my home...
We bought two houses...
I saw the president...
We got a puppy...
I learned how to tell if clothing had insulation in it by how it felt on my arms in the first 30 seconds...
I saw Barry Manilow...
Quite a busy six months, I'd say.
Our house was totaled partly because it had a cracked and shifted foundation.
Rather poetic, don't you think?
I will venture to say that 6 months ago.....
more foundations shifted than just the one on our house.
My eldest son says that one thing the tornado has done for him is make him pray more.
I'll second that.
I know I felt God so so very close to me right after that storm....and definitely in those first few weeks when I ran on nothing but adrenaline and coffee.
He was so present.
I realize He's always present....but when we are blatantly open and raw and stripped of all defenses....then He can move in close.
And He did.
And He was.
Now....as I move on into a new normal....I don't always feel Him quite as closely.
Is He still around?
Without a doubt.
It's just me who's let all my "life junk" get in between me and Him.
I miss it.
Now don't get me wrong....I certainly don't miss the psycho-chaotic-confusing-emotional-mindbender that those first few weeks (or can I be honest? First few months is probably more appropriate.) brought....but I miss that closeness and utter/complete dependence.
How very very lucky I was to be able to experience that without experiencing an enormous devastating loss.
And although there are so so so so so so so so so many things I can't seem to remember from these past six months....
I won't forget how it felt to have His arm around me and hear His voice in my ear.
And because of the gift I've been given....the gift of shifted priorities and changed perspectives.....I can work toward that closeness again.
I can build my firm foundation from the ground up.
Hopefully it wont take 200+ mph winds to shove me into His arms....