Friday, April 29, 2011

It is such an honor to post concerning the Alabama Tornado Relief Effort on behalf of my dear friend in the Sisterhood of PW’s (preacher’s wives), Mrs. Lisa McKay. I talked to her for a long time this morning, and cannot tell you how the chills ran up and down my spine as she shared. In fact, when I saw her name on my cell phone as a call coming in, my heart began to race. She has not been far from my thoughts or prayers the past 3 days.

First and foremost she wants everyone to know that she and her husband, Rev. Luke McKay and their four children are safe. Their home is uninhabitable at the present, but it can be fixed and will be! They had much devastation up and down their road. Lisa was so thankful and yet grieved, in that place where joy and sorrow meet. Thankful for her own family being spared, and grieved to tears at the pain of others.  In the words of Lisa, “It is like God reached down His Hand and cupped His palm over my home as the tornado jumped and skipped all around…” More chills. More tears. More praise.

She and Luke and the kids were in the crawl space of their home and she said she was praying and crying out to God Psalm 57:1 over and over…

Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me,
for in you my soul takes refuge.
I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings
until the disaster has passed.

She said she was praying, “Lord either take all of us or none of us, don’t leave part of us…” Can you even imagine? The children were telling each other they loved each other. For those of us who have or have raised squabbling siblings – that in itself will make you cry. Let’s all commit to pray that the terror of this will be erased from their memories by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Lisa also said that yes – a tornado sounds like a train and she cannot even describe the terror and feeling of doom as they were huddled together waiting…waiting…waiting. And to hear the sound of your man crying out as well…

They had neighbors that were killed (pray as members of the Otts family grieve) and another neighbor where the concrete slab foundation of their home was literally “wiped from the face of the earth,” only 200 yards away.

And now, at Lisa’s request – the purpose of this post is to let you all know that another local church in the area, Chestnut Grove Baptist is the “HUB” of all collections, donations, etc. for the relief effort in their community. They have a fund set up that is ongoing for benevolence called “Chestnut Grove Needy Child Fund” where the tornado efforts will be pooled. This is the address of the bank where the funds may be sent:

Citizens Bank
Attn: Chestnut Grove Needy Child Fund
PO Box 147
Valley Head, AL  35989

The donations are tax deductible and receipts/thank you's will be mailed!

Following are pictures that Lisa sent me…with her text beneath the pictures:
 More of our road I'm just now seeing.
This is the landscape for miles.

 Behind the house.  My backyard used to be a dense pine thicket.

 The trees miraculously began falling horizontal to the house
where we were hiding underneath.

 We were in this crawlspace...

Front of the house. All trees blowing directly perpendicular to it.

I love you Lisa, and we are praying for you. And you know there's a guestroom here at the farm with YOUR name on it!
Your friend,

1,000 GIFTS, #111 to #129

Monday, April 4, 2011

Continuing to count His gifts, all is grace...
111. Spring Break, a week away from work...what a gift.
112. A birthday lunch with my Mom and sisters - sweet times for sure.
113. Dinner with good friends in a quaint restaurant that was featured in Southern Living Magazine. Yesterday Cafe is known for buttermilk pie. (But my mother-in-law's buttermilk pie is better!)
114. Spending time with my daughter-in-law Erin one afternoon during spring break.  She and Carrie are both such good little mommas, it blesses me so. Long answered prayers. 
115. Help planting my moonflower seeds...Gran Jan's JOY!
116. New porch swing with a special spring that makes it bouncy and fun!
117. Extra time to read, one of my favorite things.
118. Signing up to take a machine quilting class with my bff Lanie!  Can't wait! First class is Tuesday...
119. Attending two bridal showers back to back on Saturday and the JOY of knowing the bride of one and the groom of the other for most of their lives (the blessing of serving in one church for almost 23 years).
120. A long long visit with my mother-in-law and the chance to serve her by helping her buy groceries and then putting them away for her. She needs assistance with a walker now, so getting around takes lots of effort. It was good for me to s-l-o-w down...
121. New ferns on the front porch - a sure sign of spring for my gardening delights!
122. A crop duster flying low over the farm and bringing great JOY to Zeke (and Gran Jan and Pop too). A beautiful day full of God's blessings. (Pop & Zeke are in the picture below.)
123. A word from my son that brought about some deep personal reflection.  A good thing. I love my two boys very much. Sometimes I forget they still need their mom even though they are grown MEN.  It's a different season...this empty nest.
124. The first grass cutting of the season - I love the smell of a freshly mown lawn.
125. Cherry blossoms...I love Spring in the South.
126. The delight of texting back and forth one afternoon about the JOY of old hymns with my friend Beth, and we especially lingered long over "How Firm a Foundation."  We had church across the miles. We are "same season sisters."
127. Avocados on my them.
128. Balancing my checkbook...quickly...the first time.
129. Being awakened by my little grandson very early one morning last week...and when I opened my eyes...we were eye-to-eye. Sweet.

Thank you for sharing in Gran Jan's JOY!



1,000 GIFTS

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