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Online Bible Study

Monday, September 24, 2012

A week AFTER the fire....

Here we are, a little over a week after a fire destroyed our home.  It turns out my husband’s mini-refrigerator in his sports room (man cave) was credited with starting an electrical fire.  The firemen and/or insurance company made the decision to CONDEMN our home – so our home will be rebuilt.  Honestly, I haven’t been back inside our home.  It’s not that I’m fearful; I just don’t need to see it.  I know it was real and the damage was extensive.  The “stuff” can be replaced – the memories are in my heart.

The day after the fire was a Sunday – The Lord’s Day!  I KNEW I needed to attend Worship to thank God for our many blessings.  I was grateful to be alive and surrounded by all of my family members.  I have learned over the years (and the difficult times/events in my life) the easiest place for me to find healing is in HIS HOUSE (with HIS people).  I find the tears fall effortlessly.  It might be because I am surrounded by so many special brothers and sisters in Christ and I feel SO at home there.  Or it might be because He moves me when I am in His House.  Or it might be both!  I do know I feel extremely close to Him when I’m there and I can’t begin to explain the feeling.
I was moved to tears over and over by the generous gifts poured on our family by our Church family.  I was able to take the girls shopping that night and begin to purchase clothing for school (which meant the world to them)!

The next day was Monday, my 50th birthday.  It’s funny, turning 50 was a LOT easier than I thought it would be – your perspective changes when you could have easily NOT turned 50!  After spending the day making calls to turn off utilities and running replacement errands, I didn’t care if we celebrated my birthday.  My husband came home and surprised me by taking all of us out for a celebration dinner.  I had no idea my son Peter, his wife Chelsea, and my sweet granddaughter Harper, were coming to join us!  We enjoyed a WONDERFUL evening together and at the completion, a realization hit me.  My three children were all at my side – healthy, alive, and happy!  I was TRULY a blessed woman!  I snapped a photo to capture the moment (along with some other celebratory shots!).
As the week wore on, I began to search for a reason(s) I wasn’t devastated.  The one thing that continued to come to mind was when our Church building burned in 1999.  It was our youngest daughter, Kristina’s, very first Sunday in Church.  That night the steeple was struck by lightning and our Church burned for several hours.  The following Sunday morning, we met to Worship and thank the Lord at the Jewish Community Center located next door.  We sang about being on fire for God!  The way the leadership dealt with the situation in such a positive way affected my life more than I initially thought.  I think I’m able to be so positive because I’ve been there, done that.  As always, I’m grateful for my Church family!


The eve of my 50th Birthday! September 16, 2012

On this night, the eve of my 50th birthday, I am truly grateful for my many blessings.  As I ponder the events of the weekend, I am reminded of how easily and quickly everything can change.
I need to provide an update on God’s intervention over the entire weekend.

Saturday morning, both my daughters were  away.  They spent the night at friend’s houses.  Christopher was in Pittsburg, awaiting the BIG GAME (which turned out to be a disaster – not that he noticed or cared).  Our office has been working Saturdays for a few months, but due to my pending travel scheduled for today (and the closure of the HRBT) the decision was made for none of us to work.  Otherwise, I wouldn’t have been home either (which would have been devastating!  I can’t imagine how far the fire would have traveled in our neighborhood if 911 wasn’t called when they were; not to mention that Mandy would have been in the house too).

I awoke somewhat early – but had no intention of getting out of bed.  I was planning to enjoy several moments or hours of peace (and allow myself the opportunity to play with my new ipad – birthday gift from my husband).  Our bedroom is located directly above the room where the fire started. 
All of a sudden, I heard our Bassett Hound, Roxie, howling in the back yard.  She is normally very quiet, so I was extremely worried.  I jumped out of bed and ran downstairs to check on her.  I opened the back door and was surprised to see an uninvited visitor; a raccoon.  I’m not sure if Roxie was scared of it or wanted to play with it – but I was worried she would get hurt.  I ran to the porch and called Roxie to come inside, then made the decision to start a load of wash.  Realizing the day was going to begin, whether I liked it or not, I planned to take Mandy on her routine morning walk.  I proceeded outside in my pajamas (as I do almost every single day) and was greeted by the most amazing, beautiful breeze.  I walked to the end of the street and returned to take my Zo Zos on her walk.  As I opened the front door, I saw smoke in the kitchen.  I walked in and looked down to my husband’s “man cave,” where I saw an orange glow.  Working for the Navy, our fire safety video prepared me to GET OUT FAST!  I knew I had no time to do anything, but stood at the bottom of the stairs knowing Zoe was in the upstairs bedroom.  I left her upstairs and ran next door to ask the neighbor to call 911 (one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my entire life!).  I remembered Roxie was on the porch, so I ran around back, pulled her off the couch, and put her in the back yard.

Honestly, I thought the firemen would be there quickly, extinguish the fire, and rescue our Zoe.  That didn’t happen.  Although they were quick, they were not quick enough.  I stood on the street and due to the black smoke, couldn’t see my home at all.  I was totally amazed that our Church family gathered with me, for HOURS, watching the 6 or 7 fire trucks, extending love as well as needed assistance.