If someone woke you up in the middle of the night and told you that you had 5 minutes to grab what you needed to survive, what would you take?
Would you run through your home, grabbing family photos? Money? Your laptop? Your children? And, what about food or water?
What do YOU need to survive?
It’s an interesting question at best.
Really think about it before you answer because your “needs” may surprise you.
At best, they were eye opening for me.
Now, I’m not saying someone came into my home and had me pack a bag, but my husband and I decided some time ago that we would downsize and move.
Yes, in the midst of a quarantine and a pandemic.
And, yes, I have once again been reminded of what I need to survive.
By that, I mean “who” and “what”. And, as I was packing, I made sure to choose wisely and ask myself “why”.
We have had to walk by Faith through this adventure.
We didn’t know what the next announcement would be, if one of us or a family member would become ill, or what to expect from one moment to the next.
I don’t do well with the unexpected, so this was a huge test for me.
I view my life as one big lesson.
I picture God standing up at the head of classroom, coaching me, challenging me and showing me how far I have come with Him by my side.
I definitely am not ready to “graduate”, but man oh man, I am learning a lot!
Through this particular journey, I have definitely come face to face with some old demons.
Fear of the unknown.
And the material world around me.
I never really thought of myself as a “material girl”(sorry, I’m an 80’s kid….Madonna shoutout).
But, I think I am….
With this recent move, I have learned it is ok to let go……
And let God.
As I have done my entire life, I deal with the gross, wretched part of the emotion and then I flip it.
I flip into the lesson and make it beautiful. Why? Because this life that God envelopes us in is just that. Beautiful.
It can sometimes be ugly or difficult…or sad, but there’s always a rainbow at the end.
I always seem to look back and say, “Ah, I got it. That’s why.”
And that’s the rainbow 🌈 moment.
Ever do that?
Go through a storm and then reflect?
As humans, we see the clouds billow and start to panic. We hide from it’s power. We go inside and live out of fear.
But, what if we approached the storm instead? What if, just once, we grabbed our umbrella and God’s mighty hand and walked INTO it with Him?
Tell me, what if?
Well, in my experiences of being “forced” into the storm, you find that it’s really not that bad.
Now, don’t get me wrong….it’s uncomfortable and scary, but the accomplishment you feel after…and the lessons you learn….the next storm, maybe won’t be so bad??
Now, here’s where the beauty begins.
Let me just preface this, by making sure you understand….. you’re gonna get wet!
You will be tired.
You will cry.
You will find weaknesses inside that you didn’t know existed.
You may have to give things up that you thought you needed.
You may fall.
You may scream.
Where’s the beauty in that???
In the rainbow, friends.
It’s all in the rainbow 🌈.
Because, guess what?
You will rise again.
You will reflect and see just how strong you are.
You could have never imagined conquering the obstacles you were about to face, but you did.
You couldn’t see past the dark, ominous clouds, but they passed.
And, you didn’t think you could carry such a heavy load(or, in my case, a huge bookcase), but you did!!!
And, now imagine the foundation He has built for you to weather the next storm in life.
And, we know, without a doubt, another will come.
Maybe not in the form of a pandemic, or a major move, or quarantine, or illness, job loss, or anything of that nature…but the clouds are on the horizon. And, next time, you will be more prepared because of this “lesson”.
Now, back to what you would grab if you only had minutes and limited space.
I have been gently reminded what I need to survive.
If I woke up without _____________, could I go on?
Because I did.
My answer is that I am beyond blessed.
And my home and heart are full.
I have “more” than I probably deserve. A whole storage unit full. An adorable home with so many beautiful “things”.
I didn’t have to “pack a bag” in 5 minutes…I was blessed to have the time to choose. And in doing so, I chose wisely.
You see, I realized it wouldn’t matter what state or country I moved to.
It’s not the address that makes a home, but WHO resides inside.
For me, it’s 1.), Jesus….then, my husband and my dog.
My heart lives in this home, and it’s full of LOVE and 45 years of LIFE.
This home will be decorated with the laughter and new memories when family can come to visit and painted with LOVE inside.
I found that what was most important for me was so much more than tangible items. The “things” that mattered the most to my heart were the emotions that the items captured.
My 4 children’s newborn clothes.
My Grandmothers aprons.
Halloween costumes (especially the Batman mask and feather boua).
And so much more.
And back to those rainbows? I had a rainbow 🌈 moment after my Dad’s passing. You see, he didn’t really “leave” me anything. No books, fishing poles, not many pictures or hobbies. I was crushed at first. And then, the Teacher stepped up to board. He reminded me of all the nights I was woken up by my Dad to sing country songs. I hated those songs and the hours he would keep me up telling me his life stories.
You get it, right?
My rainbow 🌈 was the moment I saw that my Dad left me the greatest gifts of all.
A book of his life, in my mind, that I will have forever.
Songs(that I’m finding also tell a story), and so many snapshots of he and I at that dining room table, singing to Hank Williams Jr in the middle of the night.
I sing those damn songs now.
I play them loud. And laugh, smile and sometimes even cry.
Thanks, Dad. ♥️
What he left me is priceless…there isn’t enough money to purchase those gifts and there isn’t an amount I would take to sell it away.
My heart has felt so much in the last 4 weeks.
Sadness for the lives lost from the virus, Hope for all of humanity, excitement for the renewal that is upon us and absolute gratitude for my life and all who reside in it.
As I sat on my sofa, in my new home, on Easter Sunday, I was in awe.
I had my “rainbow” 🌈 moment.
“I get it, God. I hear ya loud and clear, and I thank you.”
Through this pandemic and “Great Pause” in the entire world, a Bible phrase keeps flashing in my mind.
“ Whoever finds his life will lose it and whoever loses his life for My sake will find it”♥️
We are being forced to Be Still, friends.
Think about that.
For the first time in most of our lives, the world has literally SHUT DOWN.
Maybe it’s so God can heal it and turn it around?
We must embrace this moment in time.
We must not be afraid to weather this storm, but to grab God’s hand, an umbrella and walk into it with Faith.
The first step is always the hardest but remember this promise too…
“FAITH is being sure of what we hope for and certain of which we do not see”
He’s GOT us, friends.
You may get wet, but His warm light will dry you once again.
I leave you with this thought today so you may find strength in the midst of this tornado we are in the middle of.
Let GO and Let GOD.
And, as I tell my kids when something doesn’t go their way…
“Trust in God…He May have something better in mind”🌈
Much love to you all.
Make sure to pack lightly😉