Refuge from the Storms

“Where could I go?  Oh where could I go?  Seeking a refuge from the storm.  Needing a friend to help me in the end, where could I go but to the Lord?”  That’s the song I’ve been singing lately.  I really like the words and the catchy tune too.  Don’t ask me to sing the tune though…you’ll regret it I promise.
            That’s what this spring has been like for many others and us too I suppose.  I know my last few posts have been whiney in nature and that’s not my intention for this blog.  However, I think the Lord is just really really trying to teach me something lately.  Since February, I’ve had a specific financial prayer asking the Lord to pay off something this spring that would be such a great blessing.  However, he hasn’t chosen to do that, at least not yet.  That’s ok, He’s still good and I’m not shaken by it.  I knew going in that his answer could be no.  Yet, instead of answering the way I desired, it seems like the opposite has happened and we’ve had so many outgoing expenses that our heads are spinning.  Just as we are all hearing of strange unexpected tornados hitting down every week around the country, we (personally) are having financial tornado hit down every week.  It’s a good time to seek refuge In the Lord.
            As a matter of fact, one of the reasons I haven’t blogged lately was because of one of these little tornados of ours.  Just last week, in the midst of finishing school, planning a housewarming for someone, getting ready to sign people up for camp and preparing a house for guests, I developed an abscessed tooth.  It was under a recent crown I had to have.  Now, people who know me well know I’d rather have another child than have dental work done.  The crown itself was a feat of bravery in my life on which I was standing tall and waving a flag.  Not long after getting it there seemed to be some pain.  So after working up my blood pressure and driving to the dentist while shaking all the way the dentist simply grinded it down to fit better and it didn’t hurt at all.  I just about passed out in the lobby from coming off of my own adrenaline though.  But, when this abscess started, I had to have 2nd man step in and take over.  I spent two days in utter pain.  By Tuesday evening I was in tears from the excruciating spikes of pain running through the side of my face and head.  He drove me up Thursday morning and they said the dreaded words…Root canal!  I’m ashamed to admit I broke down and cried right there in front of the whole dental staff.  Then when it was finally over I broke down again at the price!  2nd man was not pleased.  Oh, he wasn’t mad at me, but he wanted desperately to find some way for this to be the dentist’s fault so we could get a discount.  Sadly, this didn’t happen. 
            Thankfully, I was able to push through the recovery to get my house in order for our family from Pennsylvania to come visit.  We’ve had such a fantastic time.  The last time they were here, Jessica and I were both pregnant with our now four-year-old daughter and son.  It was June and 103degrees outside.  Needless to say we were both quite miserable.  So, I’ve been praying for good weather this time.  The Lord has been so gracious in this area.  Where we live, you can see storm fronts that are 20, maybe even 50 miles away.  Each evening we’ve been seeing these massive storms that never hit us.  Monday we had a great time outdoors picnicking and fishing and the rain didn’t come until right when we got home. 
            Some of this I am hesitant to be humorous about because one of these storms was the same front that hit Joplin, MO and leveled the town.  We take our Jr. campers to that same area for camp each year and I am just devastated for these people.  The very Wal-Mart and other stores that we’re familiar with are just demolished.  The hospital where I’ve been treated myself a few times…decimated.  It makes me shiver in the awe of what massive destruction weather can bring. And my prayers are with those affected by it.
            However, yesterday, we decided to take our families to Tulsa to The Incredible Pizza Company.  2nd man and Jessica have another cousin that lives down there and they are about our age with a young family as well.  We grazed our way through the pizza buffet and games all day and then decided to go across the street to the mall.  While there we realized, via the age of the smart phone, that there was a significant storm traveling across Oklahoma.  Realizing we shouldn’t drive into it we decided to wait it out at the mall with, apparently the rest of Tulsa.  I mean really, I was shocked at the amount of people at the mall until a lady explained to me that Tulsa doesn’t have storm shelters except the mall, so people go there when there is a storm.  Eventually they herded us all into the shelter/hallway/stairwell.  During our little family reunion in the stairwell, Brett (Jessica’s husband) decided that he wanted to see an Oklahoma storm, so he went to the doorways with about 50 other people.  Let’s just say he gained his second wind (no pun intended) after that.  With sirens blaring and wind blowing he finally was able to be coaxed back inside to calm his worried family, but he had to take some time to calm down himself.  When we finally got home at 11:00 that night he thanked 2nd man for a great day from beginning to end.  We were pleased to be able to give him a true Okie day. 
            Blessing number 2 for that day was the road condition.  We desperately need new tires on our truck.  When we went to get them replaced, the store didn’t have the ones we wanted or could afford in stock.  So traveling out of town came with some trepidation.  However, because the wind was so strong that night the roads were completely dry all the way home, even though it rained torrentially just moments beforehand.  God is soooo good and gracious in his provisions.  We may be spinning from the rotating door of our bank account, but God has provided so much more than we can count: safety, rest, the blessing of family, the blessing of family that we enjoy J healthy children in my arms, food on my table… I could literally go on and on.  I truly feel safe under His wings right now and no rush to run out. 
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