Trials

It’s Been a Crazy Week in the Great State of Texas

img_4121

This was our backyard on Monday. It was cold. Very cold for southeast Texas. Our power went out early Monday morning. My husband left for work, and I thought for sure our power would come back on soon. We never experienced any long power outages in the 8 years we have lived in Houston. We have survived crazy tropical storms, and Hurricane Harvey with no lengthy power outages or property damage.

I was sure we would be fine with power and heat returning that day. I was wrong. As the day continued and our house got colder I realized the power may not come back on. My husband found the very last available hotel room so we could get warm for the night. By the time Tom came home to pick us up the hotel had lost power. We all breathed a collective sigh, and hopped in my warm car.

The heat in my car felt incredible. I was able to calm down for a few minutes and relax a bit. As we drove through our neighborhood and down the road, it looked like the apocalypse with absolutely no light whatsoever. Pitch black everywhere until we got farther down the highway. Suddenly businesses were lit up but closed. Why did they have power and we didn’t?

Every restaurant, gas station, and store was closed. We found a 7-11 that was open. It was like an oasis in the snow and ice. We dined on pizza and it was actually pretty good. The hot meal was a blessing. Arriving back at our dark icy cold house was not easy. My husband, myself, and our two sons made the best of it. We layered up our clothing, and blankets, and tried to get some sleep. Tomorrow would be better and the power would come back on, we hoped and prayed.

That night I pulled my chilly head under the covers looking for any amount of warmth. I couldn’t help but think of all the homeless people, and those living in poverty around the world who sleep like that every night in the cold. Thank you Lord for heat.

Day two started out with power and a hot cup of coffee. But it didn’t last. By mid morning the power was back off. We continued to make the best of it, and focus on what we could do as we waited for the power to return. My oldest son and I were in the backyard enjoying the sun when we heard an odd sound. Water was pouring out of the pipe at the side of our house in two spots. Dylan ran to turn off the main water line.

Day three ended with the power coming on and off again for short periods until it finally came back on for good late Wednesday night. We still had frozen pipes but we were warm. Hallelujah!

Our dinners have been cooked on the barbecue grill and camping stove. I boiled water for coffee on the grill. Our pool water has been used to fill up toilet tanks. We have plenty of bottled water and canned food. We haven’t showered all week and we are a bit funky, but we are healthy and safe by the grace of God.

We have hauled so many buckets of water from the pool to the bathrooms it’s like living in another century. When all modern conveniences are gone you have to work a little harder to cook, clean, and use the bathroom. Almost everything is a chore. Each day just trying to keep warm, cooking food, hauling water, and getting through the day is tiring. Thank you Lord for electricity, and plumbing!

I can live without many things like internet, cell phones, and even indoor plumbing. Not sure I would want to live without heat. The cold is very difficult, especially if there is no place to get warm. Being constantly cold in temps as low as 12 degrees was not enjoyable. I have had some very cranky moments this week. Tired of being cold. Tired of no power. And pretty ticked a few times that the energy company purposely made the decision of “controlled outages” to balance out supply and demand.

Another pipe burst today inside our house as the water finally thawed and we turned our water back on. The water is currently turned off as we wait for a plumber to arrive. My husband is very handy and can fix almost anything but he can’t find copper pipe anywhere. He has waited in line at the Home Depot twice for hours only to find all plumbing supplies are sold out. Getting a hold of a plumber right now is impossible. Thank God for a connection through a friend of a plumber. Thank you Lord!

It’s been a long exhausting week. We are just one of millions who went without power in Texas. I kept thinking of all the elderly, and vulnerable people who were stuck in the cold inside their homes. We have been very blessed during this entire crazy storm. God has provided food, water, shelter, and even a plumber for us.

Thank you Lord for modern conveniences. I take them for granted.

Thank you Lord that you are faithful and true. You always get us through the storms in life.

I am looking forward to a hot shower and I can’t believe I’m saying this, doing laundry.

If you have gone without power this week please share your story. I’d love to hear from you!

I am grateful for each of you who follow my little blog and each of you who stop by to read it. This is my condensed story of a crazy week. Thanks for taking the time to read it.

Love you all,

Meghan

If you need prayer send your request here: meghanewhiteauthor@gmail.com

Father God,

Thank you for taking care of our family through this crazy cold week. Provide for all those who have broken pipes and water damage, and have struggled during this storm in Texas. Bring peace, comfort, provision and Your amazing presence to each home and heart. You are bigger than our storms.

In Jesus Mighty Name,

Amen

Faith, God

God Will Rescue You

img_3282

I love to sit on the patio and read my Bible in the morning. I feel a little closer to God when I’m outside. The other day, something on the pool noodle caught my eye. It was a medium size brown spot that I thought was a butterfly. A closer looked revealed this adorable tiny frog.

This little guy looked so happy just chilling on the pool noodle. I had to get a picture. I followed the flow of the water, and I think I scared him. Mr. Frog, that’s his name now, jumped from the pool noodle and quickly swam away. He tried to climb the tile with no success. He kept clawing, and grabbing the side, but he couldn’t get out of the pool.

img_3270

As I watched Mr. Frog struggling, I recognized myself. I have gone in waters I should not have. Flailing, sinking, and trying to claw my way out of situations that I put myself in. If only I had just listened to God. 

Have you ever ignored something God told you NOT to do? Do not go to that place. Or, do not get involved with that person, or do not get involved in that deal. Or, do not spend that money, or a million other things. We want what we want.

We tell God, I’m fine on this fake log. I’m just relaxing in this calm water. Nothing is going to happen. What we are really saying to God is, I know better than you do. I really want this and I deserve this. 

Then the water changes, and the foam log flips. We are sinking fast, so we swim like crazy to the side of the pool, but our efforts are in vain. We just keep slipping deeper. Every attempt we make to fix our problem makes it worse. We are stuck.

img_3287

God is our rescuer. He is not watching us from the side shaking His head, or pointing a finger at us. God is in the rescue business. He is waiting with open arms, and an extended hand to help us. We just need to reach out and ask for His help. God will never turn us away.

He will respond to the prayer of the destitute;

he will not despise their plea.

Psalm 102:17 NIV

It does not matter if we made the bad choice. God’s love for us is beyond any mistake. God’s not going to give up on us, or turn us away. He knows our heart, and He knows what we need. Yes, there will be natural consequences from our choices, but God will walk us through whatever we have to face. He will make a way.

So we say with confidence,

“The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.

    What can mere mortals do to me?”

Hebrews 13:6 NIV 

Do you need God to rescue you? Are you in a jam? A pickle? Up against a wall? God does some of His best work in impossible situations. Just ask Him to help you. Be patient. Trust His timing and trust His answer. God is faithful.

Love you all,

Meghan 

If you need prayer please go to my contact page. 

P.S. I rescued Mr. Frog. No frogs were harmed in the writing of this post.

img_3289

Jesus, Trials, Uncategorized

Scraps of Paper

C2C0ABA0-AE6D-49F1-B88F-94085E8B1E1F

December 24th, 2012 I crawled into Houston after a red eye with my then seven-year-old son. I was completely disoriented after closing on our house in Oregon weeks before. Exhausted, I stared out the window of my husband’s car in a daze. The sun felt wonderful after leaving the cool Pacific Northwest. Pick up trucks were a plenty and the Christmas decorations were over the top, which I loved. These were my first impressions on our drive to the hotel. I was tired but hopeful that this move was a good decision.

Week six of being stuck in a hotel, in a city where we knew absolutely no one, I was being brought to my knees. Everything took longer than it should’ve. My car was being shipped and took an extra week. I was trapped with two kids and our cat, and no car, since Tom had to work. It wasn’t supposed to be like this. We should’ve stayed in the hotel for about a month, and then moved into our house. Hahahaha!  It’s funny for me to think about now, but quite painful then. We were stepping out to the unknown, trusting that this was God’s plan.

When our loan fell apart for the home we made an offer on in November, I fell apart. That was the final straw. Tom and I were so sad. The home that we fell in love with was what kept us going as we waited. We thought we at least had a place to live taken care of in all of the unknowns. When that was taken away we were at a loss. Do we start all over looking for a new home? That would mean weeks more in a hotel. Possibly months. This sounded awful.

“Lord, where are you?”

“Why did you move us here?”

“Is anybody looking out for us?”

God was looking out for us. We knew it, we just didn’t feel it.

My Bible was packed away in storage so I would look up scriptures online. The scraps of paper are how I survived those weeks. I didn’t have real paper to write on, just whatever scraps were sitting around the hotel room. I scrawled out verses that encouraged me and reminded me of who God is. My youngest son even drew an adorable picture on one of the papers.

Sometimes we only have scraps to hold onto. It’s not pretty, but it gets us through. The amazing thing during those weeks of unknowns was that I had some of the most incredible moments with the Lord. That’s how trials work. When you’ve got nothing left but Jesus, He does remarkable things. I remember one night I couldn’t sleep and I told the Lord I’m just going to pack up my car and my kids tomorrow and drive back to Oregon. Back to what was familiar. The next day He brought some relief in my desperation.

Thankfully, God showed up in a huge way for us and fixed the loan on the house within a couple of days of it falling apart. We ended up staying in the hotel eight or nine weeks. There are worse things to deal with. Way worse. For me, it was a test of my faith as we were in the dark. I reached out and found Jesus standing there, ready to comfort and encourage me. My prayer times were in the tiny, gross bathroom during those weeks. Again, not pretty, but effective.

I keep those little scraps of paper on a memo board in my closet, which also doubles as my prayer closet. They remind me of God’s faithfulness. He has carried us through every trial and will continue to carry us. My memory can be short of God’s goodness to me. So, the trials come and flush out my doubts and weaknesses. And He shows up. And He does wonderful things. Things planned long ago. The trials will come until we go home to be with Jesus forever. Until that time, He promises to be with us always.

“And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20b, HCSB)

 

Love you all,

Meghan

 

 

Heavenly Father,

Thank you for your faithfulness, even when we are not faithful. You are good and perfect. I lift up all of those who are in the dark right now. The trial is painful as they wait for you to show up. Comfort them, carry them, encourage them. Remind them that you are still in control and you have a beautiful plan for them.

In Jesus mighty name,

Amen