Monday, August 26, 2013

Trying To Get Over The Devastation!

The Rancher's Daughter...
is at The Rancher's house.

Mom happened to call in last week at a time when I couldn't hold back the tears,
and was just feeling so lost and not knowing what to do and where to turn.
That ole Rancher daddy man of mine and her put me on a plane
to come out and see them.
They told me it might clear my head and maybe they could help me to figure out a plan.

So let me go back and tell you all what happened since the morning
 I woke up to sloshing in water.

I do believe I was in shock.
Most of you know my hubby is living and working 1800 miles away in North Dakota.
 I didn't have him to lean on.
I called Tory. 
Her and her soldier man immediately drove down,
as well as another young soldier and his wife.

My son in law walks into my house,
looks around and is completely stunned and says,
"John'aLee it will take me 3 weeks to get all of this water out with the shop vac I brought.
This is a major job. Pack your bags, your going home with us. We can't do anything until it stops raining."

As I got in the car to follow them home, Steven said to me, "Where do you want to go to lunch?  You name it. We're taking you out!"
(I can look back now and see that this is when all of the little miracles and blessings started to take place.)

The next day the kids thought I was crazy when I told them I needed to head back to the house to get orders and Block of the Months out.
I said, "I will just have to slosh around in the water and do the best I can."

But that is what I did.
 I arrived at the house, unlocked the door, opened it, and
a wave of terrible mildew smell hit my nostrils making me feel sick at my stomach.
Had mold already set in?

I went to the very back bathroom of the house, the only dry place to sit and think.
I couldn't think. All I could do was start to bawl.

I called my best friend Nancy.
It took her an hour to try and knock some sense into me. She realized I was in shock and not thinking straight.
"John'aLee," she says firmly, "you have to get help!"
"No Nancy, we were taught to take care of our own problems. Clean up our own messes." I respond in between tears.
It wasn't until she told me that I might be hindering the work of God, that I started to listen to her.
She knows my new son in law isn't a believer, but he was drawn to Tory who is and married her, so she continued with, "John'aLee you have to call your church family. That is what they are there for. You would go and help them if they needed it. And maybe just maybe God's plan is for Steven to witness them coming through in a time of need and helping you. Are you going to not let them happen?
What if there is someone there who is needing to give, that God is working with. Are you going to deny them that?" She continues to plead.

Man these were hard things to hear. She knows that if God lays something on my heart,
no matter what that I will do it.

"Okay, Okay, " I say giving in, "I will call for help."

I hang up with her, and my daughter Brooke calls in.
She's never heard her mother in a state like this. 
She is used to seeing me strong, always fixing things. Never needing or asking for help.
I can hardly speak to her. After my call with Nancy I felt so helpless and defeated.
I knew with my back that this mess was not something I could take care of by myself.

Brooke takes charge.
"Mom, give me the name of just one person in your church. One name is all I need.
Still trying to hold out, I say, "No Brooke I can't do that!"
This after I told Nancy I would.

Brooke gets a little emphatic.
"Mom, you know I will find a number. You know I will call Grandpa or find out who 
the ministers are there. 
You can save a lot of headache and time for me 
by just giving the number!"

So softly I did.
I gave her the name and number of a 76 year old widow
who I have become good friends with. Who had kind of taken me in when I started going to church here.
But as I did, I felt like every bit of my being was broken. Completely defeated.
An utter failure.
 I can't explain it.

A few minutes later, Brooke called back.
"Mom, Labenia is on her way with help. 
Also, I have paid the deposit on a storage unit right down the street from you. It was the last one available. They said down there that they have been inundated with flood victims.
So go down there, finish the paperwork, and put it in your name."

The day before when Steven had walked in, he told me that everything was going to have to go in storage before the house could even be dealt with.

I hope I never forget the scene that played from that point;
Labenia walked in and took charge. She told me later that she could see I was in shock.
She started directing people. She went to Lowes, bought piles of bubble wrap, tape, tape guns, boxes etc.
The church people showed up in droves. Immediately.
Even the dear little 4 foot something 85 year old lady whose house we go to bible study at on Wednesday nights. 
She was hauling in boxes, packing up my china. There was no way she was going to be left out!
And they worked, and worked and worked.

Tory, Steven and baby Kash showed up too with the crockpot of beans and ham hocks 
I had put on at their house before I had left that morning.
They brought loaves of my homemade bread too.
You talk about 'breaking bread'.
It was a true picture of that.
In amongst all the turmoil, people were dishing up themselves bowls of beans,
toasting bread, slathering it with butter,
laughing, happy, cheering me up.
There was not one unhappy person there!

The Guitar Man flew in the next day. 
Over $700 for a one way ticket!
I told him I didn't care what it cost. He had to come and NOW!

And that's the way things went until the very end. 
Until everything was in storage.

I'm going to lose about half of all my belongings if not more.
I was talking to a man yesterday who knows a lot about mold.
He told me everything needs to get thrown out except for things that are very dear keepsakes.
The spores will not go away. And that actually the house needs a match lit to it.
It's very serious business. Nothing to be messed with.
I asked him what he would do if he were in my situation, 
and he said walk away from it all!

So as of now, we are just trying to come up with a plan.

Being here at Mom and Dad's,
getting some godly counsel, options, looking at things with a little clearer head,
the Guitar man and I are getting closer we hope to figuring it all out.

It's 3 in the morning and I need to get some shut eye, so I will write more later.

For all of my faithful Quilt Along followers,
I will get back to the quilt just as soon as I can.
My life is upside down, and it is very hard for me to disappoint you and let you down with something I started.
But please know I will continue and finish this quilt with you!
Just give me a little time to piece my own life back together.
And oh yes....
prayers are gladly and  humbly accepted.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart....


  1. oh johna'lee, i have been thinking about you so much. i was hoping to hear better news than this. however, you and your family are safe and that is what matters. all of the 'stuff' will work itself out. i know how difficult this must be for you. i believe things like this happen for a reason. you just have to hang in there and see where this all takes you. my prayers and thoughts are with you. let me know if there is anything i can do to help! big hugs!!! joyce

  2. Oh John'aLee I am in tears for you too but as devastation hits God is ever so faithful to us..I am so pleased you let the Church Bless you, we are taught to be His hands and feet. I too have been so humbled this last 6 months having people help me when I so wanted to be in control and do it myself....But I have let them be a blessing and let them help me...God wants to open new doors for you and I know and pray He directs you and Mr Guitar man in the right direction... Rest in the care of your Mum and Dads home...and Don't worry about blog quilts and quiltalongs...we will still be here when you can return...the most important thing is you take care and get settled again..Be Blessed sweet friend Hugs Dawn x

  3. Johna Lee, my prayers are with you! What a blessing for your Church to help.....You wll have to look forward and not backwards. Trust God and He will direct your path.

  4. I am so happy to hear from you - you have been in my thoughts and prayers since the 'soggy morning'. Please, take care of yourself first - bottom line.

  5. You're in my thoughts and prayers.

  6. Oh Johna'Lee! So sorry to hear about your home but so thankful you are ok and so thankful that you have the help you need!

  7. You continue to be in my prayers.

  8. I am so very sorry! Yes it is hard to allow folks to help us but some times it is the best thing! What does the insurance folks say? No Flood insurance? There are folks here who have recovered from this type of thing after hurricanes so hoping for you all a better outcome as well!

  9. I can understand why you are in shock. My friend house got hit with hurricane sandy and it is the mold that is so destructive. Your DH is there and your church family will help you, they are a blessing.

  10. I am so glad you took a few minutes and caught us up on what was happening! I have checked back and forth to see if you posted. I am so proud of your church family for coming through when help was needed. God does have his hand on a lot of people and their actions. I hope and pray things will look up for you in the coming months. Stay strong and all the best. Love and huggs

    Jennifer from Texas


  11. Oh, Johna'Lee, I wish I was there to help! I can't imagine the pain of this experience. I am glad your friends, family and church family stepped in and helped accomplish the needful, difficult task. You will surely be in my prayers, and I know God will be mindful of you. He already has been, hasn't He?
    Our little weekly sewing project is of minor consequence at a time like this. You take care of you--or let others take care of you!

  12. Bless you. I pray you will feel God's presence - always. I pray you will know you're not alone. You're loved and supported by people you don't even realize. Moment by moment you will handle this. Moment by moment.

  13. Blessings to you and your family - church families are the best aren't they? It is a wonderful feeling when we can be the helper, I don't know why it is so hard to accept help, but it is. Just know that all the people who are helping you love you!

  14. I am so happy to see your words again. I was very sorry to hear of your flooding. Wishes and prayers for better days and brighter moments are coming to you from me. This is trite but from the bottom of my heart I am pleased that your troubles are with stuff, precious as it is and not the loss of life. It seems like you are blessed with a wonderful family and friends. Bless you.

  15. I wish I was there with you to give you a hug!! You are an amazing person, Mom. We know it will all work out, because you always stay in God hands. xoxo

  16. (((hugs)))

    I can't even think of anything to say to help...I've been following your blog for a while, and enjoying the glimpse into your life. You are in my thoughts and I wish there was a way I could help. Please take care and try to find something each day to smile about. It sounds like you have amazing people in your life and they are truly a treasure.

    Stay safe...Vivian

  17. Hooray for church family! There's no shame in accepting help, especially when you'd be the first to give it! I hope your plan comes together soon. Thinking of you all xx

  18. My Dad was a military man, and we were also taught to just take care of ourselves and not to ask for help. My preacher son had to remind be not to only learn how to give but to receive. It's very hard to do, but look at all the people who were blessed by blessing you.

    More prayers from Texas!

  19. I can only imagine what you are going through. you are in my thoughts and prayers.

  20. I will continue to keep you in my prayers. Sometimes we just have to allow people to help us especially when it is too mcuh for us to handle alone. I knew people would step up to help you once they found out what had happened. Just take it one day at a time you will get through this.

  21. Praying that God will provide and believing that He will.

  22. Some have to be independent of necessity, there will be times like that later in your life-you seem to have such a wonderful network around you. Allow them to support you, it will enrich their lives as well as yours. You will have the opportunity in the future to help some of those people yourself in some way, so lean on them now! Sending you positive vibes xxx

  23. Johna'Lee, sweetie the main thing in life for you at the moment is to look after yourself. Thank goodness for family and friends and the help they have given you. At times as you have found out, it is time to accept the help of others because they genuinely want to help you. You are always there for others so it's your turn now. Accept all of the help with the love it is given. You are in my thoughts and I hope and pray that things start to look brighter soon for you.
    In ways I can relate as we experienced devastation like this when the earthquakes hit us all here in Christchurch, New Zealand. The sense of numbness and loss is so hard to describe, it is something that you never expect to experience and I hope you never have to in this form again.
    Remember everyone is here for you.

  24. I too have been worried and thinking of you since your last post. I'm sure it is hard to think straight through all of this but you are strong, you will come through this. Your friends will still be here when you are able to come back. As everyone else has said, take care of yourself first. Big hugs.

  25. Ohhh my dear, this is just devastating...and to have your hubby so far away...I would still be in shock....thank the LORD for church families and family on a whole. YOU take one day at a time, and every day you will be witnessing miracles...surely there will be brighter days ahead...

  26. My thoughts and prayers to you and your family.

  27. I am so very sad for very hard this is for you and your husband. You are fortunate to have a church family and your own that are so supportive and helpful. Yes, do count your blessings for there are many even some you can not even see.

  28. blessings on you, dear heart...and know that you are being lifted up by your friends and will survive this..."for He is like a refiner's fire..." and you will be better for it in the mother always said "keep your chin up" (an old texas saying)...nancy in nashville

  29. I want to just wrap my arms around you and tell you everything is going to be ok, but I can't make a promise I can't keep. I can tell you that God doesn't give us more than we can handle. If we can't handle it, we need to turn it over to Him. Your faith is astounding, that will get you through all this turmoil. He loves you and has put strong, faithful people within your grasp. Hold on tight to Him and His promises. For my part, you will be prayed for and lifted up.

  30. Johna'Lee, my heart goes out to you. I wish I lived closer so that I could help or at least put my arms around you and give you a hug. I am thankful for Nancy who discerned that in your despair, God is working to bring you and your family closer together. You have walked through so many trials, and I know the feeling of losing hope. BUT GOD is always there. HE does not allow anything to happen to us without it first passing through HIS fingers. There is hope at the end of this tunnel. God is ever faithful to care for HIS children. As hard as this seems, be thankful for HIS mercy and grace. I will be keeping you in my prayers.
    "Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him." James 1:12

  31. It's still so hard to hear about all you are facing. But is so good to hear that God is wrapping His arms with some human flesh to bless you while they dig in and do all that work. What dear people you have around you! I know you are looking to Him for comfort and strength. My prayers continue!

  32. Johna'Lee, I only came across your web site purely by chance and have been doing your quilt along since then. If I live anywhere close I would be there in a second to help out too! Let your friends and family help all they can. That is God's way of helping you. As a fellow believer I truly believe that. Take care, enjoy your parents, and we will be here when you get back:) God Bless!

  33. I can't begin to imagine what you are going through.
    My eyes filled up when I read about how all your church friends rallied round. I'd like to think that my church community would be the same!
    I'm sure your quilt along members will be willing to wait until you are ready to continue.
    My thoughts and prayers are with you.
    Teresa x

  34. Holy smokes!! Aww, John'aLee - what a trial to get through. :( Good for your friends and daughter for helping you break the threshold and call in the help. Normal everyday life, and the regular snafus we get ourselves into are, indeed, things that we should be strong, independent, and just take care of ourselves. But tragedies like this are more than one person can or should deal with. There is nothing wrong whatsoever with recognizing that this is one of those times and that it is actually an opportunity for many people to affirm their humanity to themselves and help you out. That opportunity you allowed them is a blessing to them as much as to you. I'm so very sorry that you will lose a lot of stuff to mold. But I'm betting the man gave you the straight-up worst picture of the outcome, and that the reality is something less drastic. I can imagine only a tad of what you're feeling regarding the loss, after being on evacuation status with only what we could fit in the cars to pull away with. But hang on to that truth that "It's all JUST STUFF." The most important things in your life sound like they're safe - enjoy your children and friends, an let them wrap you in their helping arms without feeling like a failure. You're helping them, too!

  35. Oh John'aLee....I've been away from home for several weeks...this is the first I've seen of your plight...please know you and yours are in my prayers even as I write.


  36. Hello, John'a Lee I was happy to see you on here again after the terrible flood you experienced..You just hang in there and take the support from your family and friends as you would do for them if needed. You are safe and with your parents and things will eventually work out when your plan comes into force. Our prayers are with you from Australia.

  37. I'm soooooooooooooo sorry this has happened. Sending light, love and prayers your way. It is such an awful thing.

  38. Been thinking about you John'a Lee and hoping things are getting better on your end.

  39. you have been in my thoughts and prayers since the 'soggy morning'. Please, take care of yourself first - bottom line. Travesti