Moments

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away.”

I have that quote framed in my bedroom – a gift from my mother-in-law for the husband and my first married Christmas. I have been a fan of that sappy-love-story quote for quite some time, and as I wake up and see it every morning, I continue to try to make it a part of my daily existence.

I haven’t written very often this summer, even though, ironically enough, my last post was entitled I’m Back. However, in my literary absence, Mr. Six Eight and I did take a two week jaunt through five states…enjoying every moment along the way.

Joplin, Missouri…talk about taking your breath away.

Somewhere between Missouri and Alabama…the midwest makes for the longest alphabet game ever. But, I love it.

New Orleans, Louisianna…where we celebrated four years of marriage and ten years together.

Gulf Shores, Alabama…where each morning when I woke up I was reminded of what God’s beauty truly is. Somehow sunshine, sand, ocean waves, and my husband constantly reminding me to apply sunscreen have the ability to bring peace to my heart.

In just a couple weeks my life will be bombarded again with school, coaching, and work. And as grateful as I am for all my opportunities coming up in the future, I am beyond grateful to have had the opportunity to spend such precious moments with my happiness.

ang

 

 

How We Respond to the “Bad Stuff”

Last night as my husband and I were laying in bed he asked me if I knew what tomorrow was. I’ll admit that at first I didn’t know. I thought to myself, but I couldn’t come up with anything. I knew it wasn’t any of our anniversaries, and I usually remember all the specifics, all the way down to what I was wearing, to anything important as it relates to our relationship.

Right about the same time he asked me, a commercial previewing the nightly news came on the television. That’s when I remembered.

One year since the Joplin, Missouri tornado.

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My husband asked if I remembered where we were when it happened. Of course I do. We were at our duplex here in mid-MO, we had just gotten some dinner, and we were preparing to cook it. At first when news came on about tornado development I didn’t think too much about it. Tornado watches, and even warnings, are fairly common in the midwest…but nothing ever really happens.

And then came the devastation. I continued to watch the news, and my level of concern continued to rise one-hundred-fold. Proof of the disaster kept appearing all over my television and it was evident in the news reporters…speechless and shedding tears.

There is one thing in life that becomes more apparent the older I get. Bad stuff is going to happen. Inevitable and simply out of our control. However, it’s in how we respond to the “bad stuff” that shows greatness, growth, and an immense amount of faith.

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I remember watching the feed on twitter that night as the news of the Joplin tornado continued on through the night. I remember my heart sinking each time a new, higher death count was revealed. I remember listening in terror to the youTube video of someone hiding in a gas station as the twister came through. I remember sending up prayers each time someone posted the description of a loved one they were missing.

But I also remember all the people jumping to help. Doctors, nurses, policemen, firefighters, construction workers, and ordinary, everyday people. So many people wanting to help that they had to turn away volunteers. I think that in this moment of time, humankind’s true compassion was more apparent than ever, and I’d like to think that the people of Joplin felt that they were not alone. That they were loved.

I haven’t been to Joplin since I graduated from college there four years ago, but this summer I plan to visit the city that I visited nearly every other weekend for three years and spent a year living there myself.  I have only witnessed the tragedy through photos and news stories, but even a year later I’m sure there is still evidence of it.  But greater than the proof of the disaster, I am sure I will see evidence of teamwork, hope, and the greatness that can be achieved when people all come together for a common cause.

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We will recover and come back stronger than we are today.”

With God’s help they have, and continue to do so. Please send your prayers to the people of Joplin today, and remember to count your blessings.

ang