Monday, May 9, 2011

The Blessing of Relationships

Some big things have happened since the last post...

After living in Jackson, TN for 7 years, you would think that I was used to tornadoes; however, the tornado that struck from Mississippi to North Carolina was much different from any other I had seen. That morning we knew that the day was going to hold bad weather, but several storms had already ripped through in April.  John went to Tuscaloosa to study  for exams, and I stayed here and worked at the church like any other day. Since our house is not exactly "storm safe", I went over to the Lavender's house which had a basement. The storm came and went in Aliceville, not half as bad as what we were expecting, but as we continued to watch the weather, we saw the tornado heading straight for Tuscaloosa, a place where everyone around here has loved ones. We watched it intensify...and then we saw it hit Tuscaloosa. It was unlike anything I had ever seen. They kept saying that it was headed toward the university, but by God's mercy, it changed course right before it got there. I knew that John was locked away in the law building, probably one of the safest buildings possible, yet cell phone service was sparse which caused me to worry. Thankfully I was able to get in touch with John shortly after the tornado hit, giving me the peace of mind I needed. Shortly afterward, the power went out and stayed out for about 15 hours.

I was one of the least affected people; everyone that I know made it through the tornado.  However, the stories from others will will make you cry. Please continue to pray for those without without their mothers, fathers, roommates, children, etc. Pray for those who lost everything. We know that God has a reason for everything and nothing, no matter how bad it may look to us, is outside of God's control. Pray that God will pull people closer to Him through this difficult time.

Lake Forest Ranch
We went on a spring retreat with Riverwood (Tuscaloosa, AL) and Westminster (Greenwood, MS) to Lake Forest Ranch in Macon, MS.  We enjoyed fellowship with one another, worshiping together, and listening to a four part sermon series from Brian Sorgenfrei, the RUF Campus Minister at Mississippi State University, on Jesus's first impression. 

Group from Aliceville.
Riverwood, Westminster, and First Pres.
Worship leaders
Who knew these could be so much fun? Anna, Katie, Rebecca, and Mary Pat
This might be my favorite picture from the trip!
Oliver and Rebecca playing games.

Trip to Birmingham
I took a quick weekend trip to Birmingham to see some of my former roommates, Allyson and Megan! Friday night we ran into Briana, Meredith, and Katy at O'Henrys. It was such a welcomed surprise! Saturday morning we went to Panera for breakfast (I miss coffee shops!) with Katy followed by some shopping in the Summit. It was so refreshing spending time with such good friends. Girl time is always a must! God made us to be in relationship with others, and it is so evident! God uses others to encourage and strengthen us. It was exactly what I needed!
Wonderful former roommates!

Look who surprised us at O'Henrys! 
Allyson, Megan, Meredith, Katy, Briana

Allyson, Briana, Meredith

Katy and Megan

Katy, please don't move from Birmingham!  I love seeing you!

As I look over this post, it's evident that I have a lot to be thankful for.  First, God has blessed me with a WONDERFUL husband. I haven't really bragged on him yet in this post, but he helps wash dishes, hang pictures (even when this is the last thing he wants to do), wash cars, and just serve me in everyday ways. I am loving married life! I am so thankful that God protected him in the tornado. Secondly, even though they weren't mentioned in this post, I am thankful for my family. Happy Mother's Day, Mom!  They have supported and loved me through everything! Third,I'm blessed to have so many wonderful friends!  It really is a time of rejuvenation when I am able to spend time with them. Lastly, I am blessed with an amazing job where I get to walk through life with Junior and Senior High students and show them Jesus! Plus, I might be a bit biased, but I have some pretty cool students. To summarize, praise the Lord for relationships!!!

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