So much.

Boy, I have neglected this – since January…and it’s supposed to be a daily thing for me…and it’s usually something I do I on IG and FB – but today… there is just so much.

First, why the neglect? I think I am just a bit overwhelmed with little blessings at the moment..and perhaps that stems from focusing on Thankfulness for so long…that means ‘mission accomplished,’ right? Maybe…I’m going with it. It seems at every turn I notice something that I am so lucky to have in my life. My children, my home, my animals, music, my family, true friends, new friends, a sunny day, a warm cup of coffee, a comfy couch, more quilts than a family should own, a wealth of books to read, a smile or laugh or encouragement…an amazing church family…plenty of food, a great pair of boots (yep…I love my boots), financial opportunities, amazing children, and opportunities for them, their friends…I could go on for DAYS! And yet I don’t…and so, here I am…

And so you just can’t pick one thing…or it seems frivolous…or pretentious…but it’s not, at all. To live a life of gratitude…is such a blessing. Does it mean that my life is perfect? No of course not. There are struggles…some days too many to count…or just one so overwhelming that you can’t see past it…but so comes the gratitude…for the blessings…big and small.

So much. Especially in the wake of the devastating tornado that hit my community this week, I look around and see the sun shining, hear the birds singing…see my husband going to work and my children laughing and going about their day as if nothing happened…though they feel the hurt and destruction more than I know…some of those most impacted just 10 minutes from my front door. Some, having been students at the schools damaged, within walking distance…

Today, I am most especially thankful for our safety, our security, our home…our ability to help. Did I show up for clean up duty at our local ‘ground zeros’? No…but we did pick up some of the debris that blew into our neighborhood…no damage other than a few downed tree limbs…praying for those that had such severe loss that the remains of their homes and businesses ended up, quite literally, in our backyard. I am thankful that my home is still standing. That I didn’t have to venture out. That I can stay home with my children while we all process the tragedy. Should we have gone out and done more? I can honestly say, no. With current health limitations, I would have been more in the way…more of a bother than a help…and so I chose to do what I could with my children…to just have a day to digest everything, check in with our friends and family, and do what little I could in our little pocket of the world. And stay out of the way…off of the streets clogged with clean up crews, first responders, folks just trying to get to work and have a little bit of a sense of normalcy.

I am thankful for the promise that our Lord is with us through the wake of the storm and the pain and struggle that comes with it. I am thankful for outlets to digest this. For the kindness of friends and strangers across the country who are loving on this community and those most severely impacted…and even loving on me…one friend wrote…’I know you are safe, but how are YOU?’ She has a great deal of experience in being a part of a team of folks that show up in disasters to be the feet on the ground…and knows all to well the psychology of this sort of thing…and she knows me just enough to know how deeply it would affect my heart…yes, I’m physically ok…but, still, my heart and soul, like so many others, are impacted…there is a feeling of loss, pain, grief, and also uselessness…you’re not quite sure what to do with yourself…and sometimes NOTHING has to be enough…this community has a history of coming together and taking care of each other, and they showed up BIG TIME yesterday…I am so thankful to be a part of it…and thankful that it was ok for me to just be here, out of the way, picking up a little bit of trash and being available to my littles…

I am thankful that I don’t TRULY know what it is like to lose everything…I did experience a house fire as a child, and we pretty much had to replace everything, but I was so young, and so many people showed up…and we had the resources to rebuild and replace…it’s really not even REMOTELY comparable to the loss that took place yesterday. Yes, I have suffered much greater loss than that fire…but not today…Homes, businesses, streets, hard work and so much love poured into these things…completely lost…not to mention the lives loss. The loss is unimaginable to most of us, yet we feel something of it…I think the toll, over the entire spread of the storms, is now nearing 30 precious souls. I am thankful that I just have little bit of trash in my yard, on my roof, and in my trees…may that debris be a reminder to be thankful for what remains…and a reminder to pray for those who did not fare so well this week.

This community is so strong and united and I am so proud of each and every one of you…for every breath and step that you to take to love each other, to recover, to clean up, to just GET UP…and be…

I am thankful for each of you, and so very much.

💜 Cindi

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