Saturday, October 21, 2017

Bumps and All

Before we arrived at the pumpkin patch I told my daughter she could pick out any pumpkin she wanted. Usually she picks the bumpy ones, and I say 'are you sure that's the one you want? Look at all those ugly bumps.' This time I stood back and let her go. To my surprise she picked a smooth one;  yet it still was not void of imperfections. How would we feel if God only chose certain people for His kingdom? Guess what? Perfection does not exist. He chose us all, with all our bumps and imperfections. God's love is unconditional. I'm pretty sure we are anything but ugly in His eyes. We were beautifully created in His image- perfectly imperfect. No matter what we've been through His desire is for us to realize His grace and love is never ending. Once we accept this we can, in turn, share that love with others- bumps and all.      
'In the pumpkin patch of life always be true to your UNIQUE self'~ april XO

Monday, October 2, 2017

Irma's Impact

While Hurricane Irma visited the Sunshine State, my sweet T & I were hunkered down with a few of our favorite things, safe from Irma's wrath. It was an emotionally charged week leading up to Mother Nature's impending disaster, which left most of it's devastation South of us. With it's flip flop track no one knew if they should flee or just prepare to ride it out. When hurricane Jeanne whipped through, we lost our roof to a mini tornado and was displaced from our home for 9 months. While I'm usually worried about hurricanes, that one was the least of my worries- go figure. At any rate, I knew I wanted my daughter with me as she's always been. Her group home was evacuated along with multiple neighborhoods, but she would stay with me regardless.

Initially I almost drove to Georgia, but Irma dropped from a category 5, to a 4, and finally a 3, so I figured we'd stay. An 8 hour car ride into the unknown, with a special needs young adult probably wasn't the ideal situation. My gas tank was full, but gas was scarce and traffic jams were inevitable. My anxiety level was at an all time high, especially when the hurricane intensified and was tracking straight for us here on the West Coast. A friend invited us to their work place, which could withstand high winds and they had a generator. The decision to go hunker down there was made. I was trying not to incur panic onto T, and keep things as light and normal as I could, but she's one smart cookie. Seeing me pack, then moving again to yet another location she became anxious. She wanted to leave immediately, began crying and lunged towards the door. I remembered breaking down in private the night before. I told her not to be scared, mommy would be with her, and everything would be okay. I tried to believe it myself.. And said a prayer with her. She calmed a bit, and smiled. Her safety was key.

The realization that those you love, and all you have, could be ripped from your life so quickly hits you with a force of a cat 5 hurricane mentally. Preparations were underway, as the TV projected Irmas whereabouts and final destination. Friends and family from out of state were voicing their concern. During the storm surprisingly we both slept soundly. The following day partial power was lost and the generator didn't kick in, so movie time for T was interrupted. Those who have children on the spectrum, or with any special needs know how this turns out, as routine is of the utmost importance- major behavioral meltdown. My nerves were shot and my legs were bruised- but we got through it like any other.

Post Irma we thanked our lucky stars our lives, our homes, our community was spared with minimal damage, as sadness for others who weren't washed over us. Clean up began, power outages rampant, and with businesses affected we were already mentally and emotionally drained. It was apparent there was no getting around  physical exhausten as well. We either heard of, or experienced those who take advantage in vulnerable times; but the light of so many angels in disguise surpassed the negative. God places people, situations, and opportunities in our path. I allowed my fear to overpower my ability to trust in Him.

When faced with adversity that is when our strength is found. Irma's impact taught us that leaning on one another, having a tiny bit of faith, and finding hope along the way builds a foundation of strength that will supercede anything that may come our way.