Surviving Hurricane Harvey

I'm here. Today is Day 6 since hurricane Harvey slammed into our city. I haven't posted much because the creative corner of my brain is completely shut down. It's also Day 6 since I've had electricity in my home or studio. I'm weary. I'm tired. I'm hot (it is August in South Texas!). I'm trying to not be outwardly grumpy. ✝️ As I get frustrated and overwhelmed, I have to remind myself how blessed I truly am. My house is still standing. My roof held on. Everyone I love most in the world is ok. I have Timmy who has been my rock. As I look around my city, I see so much devastation. So many people had lots of property damage. So many have had to leave their homes as the Guadalupe River continues to rise. I see huge trees completely uprooted and laying on their side. Harvey wiped out electricity leaving our city so dark for several days. Harvey also kept us from having running water in our homes. Roofs were torn off homes and businesses. No gas was available for our cars or generators. All grocery and convenience stores were closed. Hospitals had to be completely evacuated. Our beautiful city looks like a war zone. But I am also seeing something else. ✝️ As soon as it was safe to go outside, I saw our city step up and fulfill Jesus' last commandment to us "Love one another." I spent two days at my beloved church (Faith Family) where Convoy of Hope, Medical International, Billy Graham Ministry and Samaritan's Purse set up. I was one of hundreds of volunteers who came to help despite not having electricity or water in our homes. On Monday it was still raining sideways but that didn't dampen the spirits of anyone. Everyone put on raincoats, boots and a smile. Everyone was working together to prepare. Droves and droves of cars lined up and weary people were received with a smile, encouragement, groceries, water, cleaning supplies and medical care. Volunteers stood in the rain for hours. I walked around and asked people "do you need to be relieved?" Everyone said no, they were fine. No one wanted to stop helping! The second day was the same, more people were served in the exact same way. Volunteers also loaded food and water in their cars and went out to distribute throughout the city. In addition teams of people went out with Samaritan's Purse to help people clear trees and debris from their homes. This is just a small part of what is happening in this city! HEB gave out food, ice and water the day after the hurricane. Food trucks opened up and fed people charging little or nothing for their food. People and businesses are collecting food, clothes and other supplies and driving to other little towns around us who were also hit hard by Harvey. People are rescuing lost and scared pets. I could literally go on and on with what is happening here. There is help being given out in every corner of this city! ✝️ Yesterday my mother and I were outside of her house (she had major damage) and we are trying to figure out what to do, where to start. A truck pulls up and 3 men and two young boys jump out with a chainsaw and offer to cut down the huge tree that fell on top of my mom's house! The wind and rains are gone so even though the temp was close to 100 degrees they carefully AND cheerfully cut the tree and carried each trunk, branch and twig to the curb. I couldn't help but get emotional at what a blessing this was for my mom. It was a weight off of all of our shoulders!! They even nailed a tarp to the roof so nothing else can get in. As they were finishing up another couple showed up with hot dogs, chips and cookies and fed the tired and hungry guys! No one would accept any money for their time. They just wanted to do their part to help those who needed it most. They will forever be angels in our eyes!! ✝️ I also have to brag on our first responders. Every single one of them left their families at home and served our community from Friday through Sunday (or Monday, I can't keep track of my days!). ✝️ I am so proud of my fellow Victorians. I know our city will be better than before. As my friend Dusty Kemper told me today "God gives us back 7 times what the devil tries to take away!" Can I get an Amen! ✝️ So yes, I'm still here. I'm not pretty. I'm sunburned. A bit grumpy. I don't smell great. But I'm alive. I love you and am praying Psalm 91 over every single one of you. Most importantly, I'm proud to be a Christian and a citizen of Victoria, Texas!! God Bless Texas!! ✝️

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