Well Monday morning Gustav hit. The winds were crazy, 80 to 90mph gusts. Siting in my room upstairs I could feel the house shaking. Coming downstairs I saw that a tree in our front yard had already fallen over. Around 9am we lost power. A few pieces of siding flew off our house and our outdoor ceiling fan lost a blade that almost flew right at our window. But by Monday night the worst of Gustav had passed us, but the real storm was only beginning.
By Tuesday morning the temperature in our house was quickly rising. By lunch it was 85 degrees, plus the typical Louisiana humidity. What was worse was that because we have our own well when we lose power we also lose water. No showers, we couldn't wash our hands, and worse, we couldn't even flush our toilets. It stunk... literally. Lying in my bed Tuesday night I was so hot I couldn't sleep and since my room is right next to the bathroom a rather unpleasant odor kept floating into my room... I woke up Wednesday morning in a pretty bad mood and unfortunately the rest of my family wasn't doing much better. Since Tuesday my daddy has been working from 5am till after 9pm so he wasn't home much and we were all missing him. So Wednesday night I was lying in my bed hot and nasty and feeling pretty sorry for myself. I was miserable.
But then I heard my brother mention his friend Emily-her whole family had sat in a hallway during the storm monday waiting for a huge tree that was partway uprooted to fall right on their house. One had already fallen on the back portion of their house. And then I heard about a friend of mine who described his house as a hotdog since it had a tree right down the middle of it. I went riding around our city that day only to see many many huge trees uprooted and several that had fallen on houses. My friends van got a huge dent in it because a tree limb hit it. While lying in bed I began to realize how blessed I was. Even though I wasn't exactly comfortable, compared to allot of people I was only experiencing slight discomfort. I realized that I had been incredibly selfish and slef-centered throughout the whole thing. Only thinking of myself and my problems and how terrible my life was. I really needed a reality check. I knew I needed to praise God even in the midst of my storm... even when I wasn't exactly happy with my circumstances. I had allot to be thankful for. My family was safe and I was safe. We had food and water and a roof over our head. That was more than allot of people had. I got my Bible out and started reading Psalms (by flashlight) and started praying. I had the best quiet time I'd had in a while. Thursday actually turned out to be a much better day. Three people called that morning to offer us warm showers at their house and a neighbor invited my sisters and I to go swimming at his house that afternoon. One of my good friends came swimming too and she talked about how she was actually enjoying not having power-getting to do everything the old fashioned way and spending allot of time with her family and stuff. I was like wow. Here she is going through the same thing I'm going through but she's actually making the best of it and praising God throughout the whole thing. I was amazed (you can read her blog about Gustav at www.daybyday-lydia.blogspot.com). Well Thursday evening our power came back on-Praise God! And I have to say I appreciated it way more than I ever have.
Looking back on it I can't say I would do it over again but there are definitely some positive things that happened because of Gustav. I had the opportunity to read some really great books. I spent allot more time with my family than I usually do. One night we were all so hot none of us could sleep so somehow we all ended up in my parents room and just hung out and talked for a while. And we often sat out on our porch (the coolest place to be) and just talked about whatever. My grandmother came and stayed with us too. That was a unique experience. Because we hardly ever see her it was a little awkward at first but as the days went by we became comfortable in each others presence and actually enjoyed each others company. I also had allot of time to spend reading the Bible, praying, and just spending time in God's presence. Something I can be too busy for at times. So even though it wasn't a totally pleasant experience I learned to praise God, even in the storm.
Blessed Be Your Name, In the land that is plentiful
Where Your streams of abundance flow, Blessed be Your name
Blessed Be Your name, When I'm found in the desert place
Though I walk through the wilderness, Blessed Be Your name
Every blessing You pour out , I'll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord, Still I will say
Blessed be the name of the Lord, Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord, Blessed be Your glorious name
Blessed be Your name, When the sun's shining down on me
When the world's 'all as it should be', Blessed be Your name
Blessed be Your name, On the road marked with suffering
Though there's pain in the offering , Blessed be Your name
You give and take away, You give and take away
My heart will choose to say, Lord, blessed be Your name
oh and how could I forget. I also had the wonderful opportunity of talking with Ryan this afternoon. It made my day a whole lot brighter ;)