August 27, 2011

When the storm comes ... Go camping


When Isabelle tore through our town eight years ago, we had just been married for two. In between jobs and states, we were home again-- living with my parents. We had no children … just a crazed kitten. My sister was home too with a child and a cat. My brother as well-- here for training nearby with a family back in Alaska. The house was near full for the first time in years. We were job hunting, house hunting, life-hunting... 
And I took my first job as a nurse- night shift on the ICU- and I was all backwards. Craving dinner for breakfast and packing lunch at 6pm-- missing my husband while I slept through the light hours and he through the dark.

We knew that storm was coming and I finished my shift to drive the interstate home. The sky was hazy, eerie green and that little blue Saturn moved alone across empty lanes of road. Everyone all tucked in at home … waiting.

And I got home just in time to join husband and company. We took front row seats at the kitchen table while the clouds rolled in. We stayed right there for hours.

And when it all picked up and the dark sky grew darker, the mood felt a little ominous. The wind howled ugly and the trees bent and stretched. In our woodsy neighborhood, those trees started to fall under the weight of the wind-- just cracked and crashed to the ground. We all sat quiet with wide eyes. When the trees groaned and leaned, we shrugged our shoulders up to our ears—ducked and winced in unison—then waited those few seconds while trunks fell heavy through others before landing with a THUD.

My Army dad, ever assessing the risk, looked nervous. And that made me the most nervous of all.
Because when dad isn’t certain … no one else is certain either.

And what do you do when your rock starts to feel a little shaky? When everything around you points to a potentially wild ride? When you can’t will the elements to behave?

I sat in my corner seat at the table and we braced for a storm-- lanterns lit, supplies at the ready.

And when I couldn't take my eyes off of those trees, the fear got the best of me. 
So I decided to go camping— under the only roof that doesn’t collapse under too much rain.

I flipped through the Book that doesn’t break and looked for Him who can’t be undone.
I built a tent and while the storm raged outside, I sat quiet under words. 

Praise the LORD, my soul.
LORD my God, you are very great;
you are clothed with splendor and majesty.
The LORD wraps himself in light as with a garment;
he stretches out the heavens like a tent
and lays the beams of his upper chambers on their waters.
He makes the clouds his chariot
and rides on the wings of the wind... (from Psalm 109)

Because it helped to know that He knew...

And we rode it out and all was well and it could have been much worse. We lost some trees and we lost all power and for a week this town was unshowered. The lawns looked like lumber yards;  the men stayed out too long with chainsaws.

And today this little family is perched at the kitchen table, bracing for a gal who goes by Irene. The yard is too wet and later tonight, the wind will howl wild. The trees are tall and too close to this home. I'll try not to jump ahead to "what-if."

We will likely camp out again, with flashlights and little girls and that Book that reminds me He is bigger. I'll sit tight with the knowing that He isn't nervous ... and that even this whirling-dervish girl isn’t out of His control.

There’s a storm coming around these east-coast parts. Have a camp out too?
Stay safe and we will see you when we see you, friends?!


  1. Abby, thank you for writing. It is a gift to me. Stay safe...

  2. ohhhhhh I can write a comment-----
    well, now I'm speechless
    what can i say---
    such beauty for my heart and soul---thank you and love you!!!
    Been thinking about all of you all weekend :)