1. I've mostly spent the past four days feeling extremely grateful. Grateful that my family was together and safe, that we had power and water and food and even a luxury like working Internet. I've been thankful for first responders, community volunteers, meteorologists, and friends and family who check on each other. And a special shout-out to the two meteorologists to run www.spacecityweather.com, providing factual, current, non-sensational updates and forecasts.
2. While there have been some disheartening accounts of people behaving badly, it's been inspiring to see and hear people rallying around each other and reaching out to neighbors in a very broad sense of the word (have you heard about the Cajun Navy? Yeah, that's just pretty awesome). Stressful circumstances can bring out the worst in people, but they also bring out the best too.
3. There's nothing like a natural disaster to remind you that your not in control. It's an exercise in trusting God and leaning on Him.
4. Along with being out of control is that feeling of being helpless. Of watching heartbreaking news footage or hearing the reports of damage and flooding and knowing it's not over by a long shot, but knowing there's nothing you can do at this moment. But sometimes one of the best ways to help is by staying out of the way and not adding to the chaos (especially when you've got two toddler/preschoolers in to think about). So I wait, knowing that one day the sun will come back, and opportunities will pop up for me to get my hands dirty, and I simply pray that I will see them and jump in with both feet.
5. It's hard to think about life beyond the twilight zone bubble, but I know we'll get back to regular day-to-day life eventually. We'll stop watching too much tv (sorry kids). On a side note, I didn't finish the book I'd started which surprised me a little -- we've had a lot of extra down time, but not as much with keeping routines somewhat normal for the kids, plus I'm rewatching Friends right now too -- but I'm about halfway through Buried Heart, by Kate Elliott. Things are getting good!
5. I've been really touched by all the friends checking in on us, some I expected to hear from and some I didn't. Each text or message was a real bright spot.
Please keep praying for Southeast Texas, and hug your loved ones today!