Saturday, January 25, 2014

A New Kitchen After Hurricane Sandy

It’s been over a year since we’ve enjoyed these luxuries;
See our new oven, microwave, cabinets, counter tops (almost done), and ceramic tile

A foot of snow and bitter temperatures didn’t stop Samaritan’s Purse volunteers from coming to our house bright and early this week. They drove twelve hours from snowy Michigan just to help us. God knows what He’s doing and His timing is always perfect. When this group made plans to come, they didn’t know what awaited them in Long Beach, NY, but they came. God has a reason for every volunteer that comes here. Every day my heart overflows with gratitude, and I’m amazed at the love and Christ-like qualities these people exhibit—and the work they accomplish. Thanks to the volunteers and Samaritan’s Purse staff, we almost have a kitchen again!

If you haven’t read about our trial, read my past blog, Five Kids and a Flood or my poem One Time for the quick summary of our crazy time.

Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Good Morning! It's a New Year!


A warm day in November 2013

It’s a new year, a time to reflect on the past and look forward to the future, to learn from experiences and seek God’s guidance for those to come. In January 2013, my family and I finally moved back downstairs after two months of the seven of us living in a ten-foot square space. When the Post-Sandy gutting and de-molding was finished, we didn’t care that we didn’t have a kitchen, a bathroom, doors, or finished floors—we had space to breathe again. 

Sometimes, as weeks passed, I felt thankful, but my mood would often swing from frustrated to angry to guilty back to hopeful. The next day I might wake up depressed and anxious, wondering if life would ever feel normal again. I had wanted to start a blog for a long time, and thought, “Why not now since my life is a disorganized mess? A blog would be a great escape.” It was the right time, but I couldn’t decide on the right title. On my own, I wrote pages of bad ideas, but one morning I prayed for inspiration. As I rode my bike to work against the wind, a song played in my head, the same song that cheered me up every morning as I battled the breeze and the trek uphill over the bridge: “Good Morning” by Mandisa. I didn’t know all the words, but the chorus and the message always made me hopeful. Every day begins with a new morning, full of opportunities to see God’s goodness. I needed a new outlook, God’s view of my life. “It’s a New Morning” was just what I wanted to share in a blog.  

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. His mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning. Great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23 

I hope these lyrics to Mandisa’s song lift you up. As you begin this new year, remember the hope He has given us: it’s not just a new morning, but a new life in Him for eternity.


By Mandisa

Wave away my yesterday
Cause I’m leaving it behind me.
Hello sunshine, come what may.
I feel something new inside me.
I hear the birds singing
Now my alarm’s ringing
Get up, get up, hey! 

It’s a good morning!
Wake up to a brand new day
This morning,
I’m stepping, stepping on my way
Good morning,
You give me strength,
You give me just what I need
And I can feel the hope that’s rising in me.
It’s a good morning 

Now I’m smiling and I’m kissing all my worries goodbye
Got the feeling, if I spread my wings, I might even fly
You are my truth, my way
Give me the strength to say
Get up, get up, get up
Cause it’s a good morning, hey!