We have been away from home for the past week. Hurricane Ike was gonna force us out, so we left early last Wednesday, hoping to miss the traffic from the coming mandatory evacuation. We decided to go to Ft Worth to stay with my mom. My immediate family is all there.

It’s a strange thing to drive away from your house and wonder if it will be there when you return. It was great to know we’d see family and be safe with them, but still. . . .there’s just an ominous feeling that overwhelms you. As you laugh and enjoy visiting with each other or participate in the activities of the day, you can’t escape the passing thoughts of the destruction going on in the place you call home. Even the most joyful moments are tinged with a hint of anxiety – maybe it’s a lack of faith, but it’s definitely real. In spite of the forboding feelings, we tried to make the best of it. We even had some friends who called is a “Hurrication” – and they defined it as a vacation forced upon them by a hurricane. Our “hurrication” included a visit with my mom and family, a trip to the park, a trip to the Ft Worth zoo, a visit to Scott Crenshaw’s new church (New River Fellowship), visits with Joe Torrez (my old youth minister), with Leroy Krolczek (Mike and Patti’s best friend), and with Hans Googer (an old youth of mine.)

After our last evacuation, Miranda and I have gotten pretty good at the whole thing. We can drive away and still feel confident that everything that really matters to us most is in the car with us. It’s nice to know that we’re not too overly attached to our stuff.

I don’t want to finish this post with the view that everyone had a “hurrication” like we did. I recognize that there are many in our community, some close friends who have extremely difficult circumstances to return home to. We will be a part of the efforts to clean up and restore our community. As Miranda and I drove through town today and saw the destruction first-hand we felt very blessed to have had so little damage ourselves. I also noticed how many people were sitting out on their porches and in the yards just talking and being neighbors to one another. It’s our prayer that these circumstances will bring out the best in people and God will use it to draw us closer to one another. As the Genesis 50:20 says, it may have been intended for harm, but God intended it for good. Maybe by the end of all the relief efforts, we’ll all consider it a “hurrication.”

Anyway, here are a few pics from our “Hurrication.”Pettin_the_calf






With_cousin_jaycee Playing_soccer_with_tanner_2

The Other Shore

When Edouard (tropical storm) came through Lake Jackson last week, Miranda and I left and went to her parent’s house in Pearland. We weren’t overly concerned, but didn’t want to risk anything since it was threatening to be a hurricane. Anyway, we packed a few things together and took the dogs with us too. On the way home, I was thinking about a song by David Wilcox called “Farthest Shore.” The lyrics talk about he and his wife going swimming in a mountain lake. They say,

“We dove right in, keeping just what we were born with, our memories, knowledge and our dreams.
As I swam away from our possessions, I imagined they were gone forevermore,
and for once, I was glad that all I treasured, would still be with me, as I reached the other shore.
Let me dive into the water, leave behind all that I’ve worked for, except what I remember and believe.
And when I stand on the farthest shore, I will have all I need.”

Anyway, I was glad that night too ’cause everything that I treasured most was right there with me in the car. Miranda made a great point too when I told what I was thinkin’ about – she was happy that the things we cared about weren’t things at all – it’s nice to know that our stuff doesn’t control us and that we’d still be happy without it all.

I guess ultimately, what I realized is that God is enough. It’s nice to know that we could pack everything important in a car ’cause that says something about our priorities. Of course, Job went through the real test  – even losing the people who would have been in his car.  Not sure how I’d handle that one – but you know, one step at a time. This was a significant step for me.

Lord, thank you. Thank you for showing this to me. Thank you for the freedom that comes in knowing this. Make me more like You. Help me to treasure the things that You treasure. I know that there will be a day that I come to a new shore and as long as You’re there, I know it’s gonna be great. AMEN!

PS – Mom, I hate to say it, I would have lost all the family pictures you gave me. I’m hoping to get them all scanned into the computer later this month. Maybe after I graduate.