Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Feels Like Its Raining All Over the World

We're flooded. I mean, is it time to build an ark or what?? The first day of Fall in Georgia has been marked by a 100 year event of flooding and record breaking rainfall. When the rain started over a week ago, I was so excited, and I was happy all week long as the rain continued to pour...and pour everyday. We've been in such a drought for so long that the rain felt like a real blessing from heaven.

Yesterday, as the rain continued to fall, without relent, my attitude began to change somewhat, into one of worry. I spent the day at home, cooking veggie beef soup, turning on all the lights, lighting candles, and doing housework. Every now and then I would peek out the window, and out the front door, wondering if the rain would ever stop. It rained nonstop from about 7:30 a.m. until late into the evening. My poor dogs were finally forced to go outside, in the pouring rain, simply to relieve themselves. Of course, my old girl, Sophie, was a bit insulted.

Last night, as news spread of the flooding south of us in Atlanta, and the deaths that followed, my worry deepened. I kept a close eye on the creek that runs below our house, thankful for the small bluff my house sits on, and the deep creek bed. Worry also turned to aggravation as we realized our dock at the lake, the one that we've had to move out more and more as the lake fell more and more, was now partially covered with water. Happy to have a full lake, not so much to think about recovering a partially submerged dock.

This morning as I took Youngest Son to school, I was anxious to see how the pond down the road, and the Etowah River that we travel over, had fared in the flooding rains. If it wasn't so dark, and the rain so heavy, I would have taken pictures. The Etowah was over the banks in some areas, and had risen to cover the canoe/kayak dock at the river park. As I crossed the bridge, I took a hard look at the muddy river, as it raged. The water was up way too close to the bridge. The pond down the road had flooded its banks and was up into the backyard of our neighbors who live there. I wondered if she had worried yesterday and last night. If she had peeked out the window like I had, watching the water as it rose.

Most of all this morning, I thought of all the people along the Chatooga River, not too terribly far up the road from us, who had such terrible flooding. I thought about those south of us in Atlanta whose homes were flooded, whose belongings were gone, whose lives were forever changed or lost by the flooding. This is not something we see in Georgia. Not something that happens to us.

So Fall has officially arrived, blowing in with a flood of rain and destruction. I'm not sure whether to pull out my Fall decorations, or build an ark. I know one thing...I need some sunshine. I'm a solar powered girl and I'm running out of energy.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Ohhh...with a little whine thrown in

Remember these?

And how I was bragging that I'd almost eaten them all?
Ummm hmmm, at least a couple a day? Well.... this... led to....


But I still love me some North Georgia apples... just not so many.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

September Apples

I had an "alone" day a few days ago, so I went here, to the apple farm The apple farm is located just up the road a bit, into the beautiful mountains of North Georgia. I chose a day when I knew it would be quiet, and uncrowded, just the way I was feeling.

I bought some of these Honeycrisp apples. I've already eaten most of them. If what they say, "An apple a day..." is true, I should be in doubly good shape.
I also bought some of this. Good, homemade apple bread. I didn't need this. No, not at all. But it looked so good, I bought it anyway....I've almost eaten all of it too. Does that cancel out the good that all the apples did for me?

Monday, September 14, 2009


"But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded."
2 Chron 15:7

Do you ever wonder sometimes why bother? Maybe you've just cleaned the house, it looks all pretty and shiny, and the dogs come running through with muddy feet, or the kids track in grass and dirt?

Or, maybe you're trying to make a difference in someone's life, lend a helping hand, a listening ear, and it doesn't seem to make that difference?

This verse was in our church bulletin yesterday, and it jumped out at me, grabbing my attention. Maybe it was because I've spent so much time lately trying to figure out the what and the why in the things that I do.

I work for a domestic violence center. Sometimes working with victims and survivors of domestic violence, but mostly working out in the public schools, with children and young people of all ages, speaking in the classrooms about family violence and teen dating violence. I haven't always done this work. Last school year was my first year. I come from a background of business and management and politics. I'd never worked with masses of kids before. Often I felt challenged, disillusioned, and exasperated, especially when working in middle school classrooms. What is it with middle schoolers anyway?? Can they care about anything other than cutting up with friends or texting? I was so thankful when summer arrived and school was out.

As I've faced the arrival of a new school year, with dread I must admit, I've found myself often thinking, "God help me. Why am I doing this? Those kids don't care." In the midst of that dread and questioning, I think God has reminded me of those kids, those few out of thousands, whose faces and body language betrayed their silence, whose story was written in their eyes, as they absorbed and realized I was talking about them, about their families. Or the kids who were desperate enough to write me a secret note, requesting to speak privately with me, and then told me the stories of what they live with, the violence and abuse...those that said "Help me." Or, "Mom won't listen to me. What can I do?" Maybe God is teaching me, that sometimes the work is hard, unpleasant, and often seems useless. Maybe I'll never see the fruits of my labor. Maybe I'll never know the one child that took what he heard that day and tried to make a difference. Or, knowing that I may never know what becomes of the young boy that cried as he poured out his fears to me, the secret he has kept for so long.

Sometimes your work may not be where you envisioned yourself, or be the ideal position that you thought it would be. Maybe sometimes God puts us in places that we'd rather not be, to do something thats not always comfortable, but that has a purpose. Even if we don't always understand what that purpose is or why we have to be the one to do it. But maybe, if the work makes a difference to only one life, only one impact for good, isn't it all worth it?