Monday, September 8, 2008

A Very Present Help

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble" (Ps. 46:1).

I’d like to start out by thanking so many of you for your prayers and kind words of comfort during this past week as we dealt with the blow of Gustav. After going through all the challenges of Katrina only 3 years ago, I must say I had many concerns as I watched this storm approaching.

Now I can report that I’m so blessed to say that God was faithful to show Himself mighty in the midst of the storm! We were surrounded by His divine protection as the winds blew, and He sent the right people at the perfect time to help us out when we needed them.

We are especially grateful for our neighbor, Gerald, (who just happens to be a builder) that lives in our subdivision. He came over in the middle of the storm with a roll of plastic sheeting and helped Rick get up a temporary patch in our attic to cover the hole where the tree fell through the roof.


Oh, how beautiful is the body of Christ!

The next day one of my youngest son’s friends who was staying with us during the storm called his dad (who just happened to be a roofer) came over and put up some blue tarps over the roof that made the damage water-tight.

God’s hands were upholding us each day, and now looking back, my heart is so grateful for the many wonderful provisions He made for us during this storm.

After three long hot and humid days without power, my brother-in-law made the 2 hour drive from his house to bless us with food, ice, two generators, and a small A/C window unit. Wow, I thought I was in heaven, literally! Once again all we could do was to gave thanks.

So, what lessons did I learn from Gustav?

♥ I’d say first and foremost, our God is FAITHFUL. What the enemy tries to use to bring us down, God turns around to show Himself mighty on our behalf.

♥ I got to meet many of our neighbors, as we all went into survival mode and spent time outside of our electricity-free houses.

♥ I improved my cell phone text messaging abilities. ( yes, I’m slowly learning)

♥ I got to spend lots of precious time with my daughter-in-law and my two beautiful grand-daughters who stayed with us during the storm. They kept us entertained with their silly antics and child-like faith.

♥ I had lots of time to read the word, and completed my first week of homework for Breaking Free! Now, if you’ve ever done a Beth Moore study, you know that is a MAJOR to-do!

♥ Well, the list could go on and on, because in all hardships and times of testing there are always abundant blessings if you look for them.

Yesterday, as I pulled up for church, I noticed the doors all opened around the building. I was greeted with a warm smile and an ice-cold bottle of water. It was only then that I realized our church still did not have electricity. It didn’t matter; it was still a full house! Half of the people attending still had no power, but were eager to gather together to worship and bless our God.

In closing, I would ask that you would pray with us that this new guy in Caribbean named IKE, will dissipate over Cuba, or just be blown far off to the west where no one will be in his path! It would be very difficult for our state to take another hit this soon after Gustav. I already do not like watching the weather report these days!!

Again, thanks so much for your prayers and thoughts!


Here are some pictures of our house hours before the storm and how it quickly digressed!

18 comments:

Melanie said...

Susan, I'm so glad you all are well. I've thought of you more than once over the last week or so and been praying for your safety. So glad you have had so much support from family and friends.

Will continue praying.

Sharon said...

Susan - I'm so glad you guys are all OK. Thanks for posting all the pics - cool display book. Let Dave and I know if you need anything... we didn't have any damage... but are also still on generator power. God is good... the 11am service was crowded too - and one of Dave's relatives went up for the altar call!! God is so good. Much Love - Sharon :)

Kristin Amato said...

Wow! Those pictures bring back a lot of memories...messy and HOT memories! =) There were some good laughs and special times shared, too. Thanks so much for letting us ride out the storm with y'all. You are always a blessing!
Love you guys!
~Kristin

Amy@saved by grace said...

Susan I am so glad to hear from you..... Praise God things are getting better for your family. Ike, can you believe this. Another one just 10 days later. We are keeping close eye on it also As I am just over the state line in Texas. Praying it steers away from you and I..... Keep us updated as you can.

Renee said...

ouch!!! Pine Tress are a beautiful thing when they are standing tall (I remember the ones at your mom's log cabin) but they are not when they want to meet your house...My husband and I stand in agreement with you about Ike...I know Kristen wants Jason home. Pat says Ryan should be home on the 15th. So, we are standing in agreement that Jason will be home for the birth of his son. Love ya

luvmy4sons said...

So glad that God carried you through it. It is so encouraging to see you look at the blessings in the midst of the literal storm. May God continue to bless you.

LAURIE said...

I am so glad to hear that you and yours are safe. God is so faithful to us and He is our shelter in our time of storm. What a wonderful testimony of how God will work thru people...glad to hear you had such a strong support group around you. -Blessings, Laurie

Maxine said...

Susan, Thank the Lord you're alright! I had no idea you were in the path of the storm to that extent! It's so good to see your thankfulness for all the blessings that were in the midst of it all. Take care and may you be protected from Ike.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Glad for all of God's provision during this time! Thanks for sharing your heart and your pictures.

peace~elaine

Marsha said...

I'm so glad you are safe. I'm sorry your home received damage, though. Hopefully Ike will STAY AWAY!!! I'm praying.

I'll be over at Laced With Grace tomorrow - my devotional is on the storms of life based on Psalm 46!

Michelle Bentham said...

How much more grateful I am after seeing these pictures that you all are so okay! Praise our God and Father who has delivered you through this storm and blowing the wind right out of the next one.

You know I prayed and prayed that Gustav would lose power instead of gain it as it blew through LA that morning. I believe that it did really lose its gusto even though it still was obviously a damaging force. I am so, so grateful you are doing okay. It was my honor to pray for you and I will continue to do so.

He calms the raging seas and gives us a hiding place in the shelter of His wing. I am sure you know that full well. What beautiful babies... Love You, Friend.

Victoria said...

Susan, so glad to hear from you and that you all are well. God is faithful to provide even in the midst of the storm, isn't He?

Love to you-
Sheryl

Sheryl said...

Susan-you just got a comment from "Victoria" but it was actually me! I was helping her with her blog and obviously did not sign out, now I am back tracking to all the blogs I have visited. Oh brother!!

haha
Love ya,
Sheryl

Tami Boesiger said...

SUSAN!!

I'm so glad to hear from YOU! I've been praying for you and your family. And can I say what an amazing woman you are. You've been through so much, yet maintain your sweetness. What a special lady. Your attitude touches me, making me wish I was more like you.

hazel eyes said...

Although I'm no longer in harms way of hurricanes, I grew up in Houma which is where all of my family lives now with the exception of one sister who is in Thibodaux.

Where do you live?

I can really learn from you here as you come up with a list of blessings that resulted from the storm. Sometimes in my "storms" of life, it can be so hard to find those blessings.

I will be looking for those now. Thanks to you.

Tracy said...

I've been away for nearly two weeks. You were often in my thoughts and prayers as I watched the weather reports. Glad to know you are safe and well.

With continued prayers,
Tracy

Tiffany Stuart said...

Susan,

I am SO happy to know you are back and safe. And I loved reading how God used others to help you. Wow, those pictures were hard to look at knowing it was your home that got hit. Your attitude is amazing and your gratitude is contagious.

I look forward to chatting again. I prayed for you lots and missed you. Welcome back.

Lots of hugs,

Tiffany

Laurie Ann said...

Susan, so glad you made it through. The body of Christ is beautiful indeed! God is so faithful to us, and I'm so glad that things weren't worse than they were.