Friday, May 27, 2011


Most of you who read my blog know this fact about me: I like to be in control.

God has been showing me OVER AND OVER the past few months that, I am NOT in control. And I really think I should start grasping the concept.

First the wreck, then McKinley's diagnosis, then other family situations, and this week.. the tornado.

Sunday evening, Craig and I were relaxing at home, and I was looking at facebook, when I saw a facebook status about what was happening in Joplin. Two of my best friends from college live in Joplin, and one of them, I knew was traveling through Joplin on that day. I, immediately, called/texted all of them.. and could not get through to anyone. My normally laid back demeanor (ha), went into freak out mode. The first phone call I got was not what I was hoping for, it was a friend, who was fine.. but couldnt find her parents. She was understandably upset. Then the phone hung up. I told Craig, that I didnt know what to do. My pregnant body started reacting to the stress of the situation (I will spare you the details), and Craig told me I had to settle down, or we would be going into early labor. As the night went on, all of the people that I love were fine. Thank goodness- but their poor town and friends and neighbors desperately need our prayers.

After the horrible situation in Joplin, we were supposed to get our own bad weather in Oklahoma. Although our weathermen can be a BIT over the top, they really do help people stay safe. I think that if you are going to live in tornado alley, you want to live in Oklahoma, where our weather teams really DO have some fantastic technology. Since living in Oklahoma, I have never come in CLOSE contact with a tornado. I have witnessed horribly tragic tornadoes come through areas around where I was living at the time.. but never getting close enough that I was scared for my safety and my family's safety.

For days, they were telling us that Tuesday was going to be a really rough weather day. As Tuesday got closer, they got even more dramatic about it. I was really hoping that they were going over the top, JUST to help prevent a tragic situation like Joplin. They kept saying that everything was right for our state to have numerous tornadoes that would be huge and stay on the ground for a long time. Schools started closing early.. they put out warnings to not be driving in the city during the late afternoon. They were seriously scaring me. I left work early and went and got Jackson at his babysitter's. Craig was able to leave work early.. which I was thankful.. I did not want to be the only responsible adult at home.

Although, I LOVE our home.. it is not the most safe when thinking about tornadoes. It is a very open floor plan, and most all rooms share an outside wall. I had always thought that we would go into our master closet.. but after seeing the destruction in Joplin, it made me 2nd guess that decision, because it shares a wall with the garage. If the tornado brought the cars into the closet, a crib mattress and jackets would not protect us. So we decided on Jackson's closet.. which is small. But we couldnt think of anything better.

It seemed like all the tornadoes were going to go north and west of us. And then one popped up in Chickasha and was headed STRAIGHT to us. And I mean, STRAIGHT. I slowly started freaking out. All three of us stayed out of the closet for as long as we could, but as it was getting SUPER close, Jackson and I went to the closet. We were both in winter jackets. I kept wishing I had a helmet for Jackson.

Ok. Let me tell you alittle bit about Jackson. The boy does NOT sit still. And he gets HOT. Easily. So, imagine trying to get a 2 year old to understand why he is wearing a winter jacket and sitting in his closet with his pregnant mother, also in a winter jacket just because. He did fine for all of 2 minutes. And then he started getting fidgety. I tried to tell him that we had to stay in there because we could die. Although he understands the majority of what I say, I am pretty positive, he did not understand what that meant.

Then the electricity went off. Craig came to the closet. We tried to put the crib mattress over all of us, in this tiny space. Jackson is screaming. This was not going to work. So we moved to the hallway. We closed the doors and had the crib mattress. We hear the rain and hail. And the sky is DARK. Jackson is HYSTERICAL. Screaming. Almost hyperventalating. At this point, I couldnt do anything but just sit there. I was REALLY trying my hardest to remain calm. McKinley did not move the entire time. Our radio didnt have batteries, so we only knew what was going on because I had sweet friends texting me over and over again to make sure I was ok. They were sending me updates on where the tornado was, and sending me pictures of the radar on TV. It got eerily quiet. Everything stopped. Well, except for Jackson's screaming, which now led to him throwing up. He was upset. And he has my gag reflex.

When we felt like it was safe, we got up. Our house was fine. Totally totally fine. But then I saw police cars flying down our highway. I told Craig, something happened. And something DID happen. The tornado leveled neighborhoods about 1 mile south of us, and about 2 miles east of us. It went right down the heart of Newcastle. It hit our old church, it hit some families homes that went to our church. We were safe. Others werent so lucky.

My heart was racing. And my heart was sad. The only thing we lost, was Jackson's scared tears, his dinner and electricity. We had so much to be thankful for.

Another perfect situation, where I had ZERO control. Craig and I werent even sure we were making the safest decision for our family by staying in the hallway. ZERO control. We were protected. Thank you Jesus.

We are going to get a storm shelter. We have to. We feel like we do not have a choice in the matter. He is not always going to be able to come home and be with me. I can NOT imagine going through that situation with not just one, but two children. And then hearing the story about the sweet mother in Piedmont, who was home with her 3 children.. they got in the bathtub like they were supposed to, and 2 of her 3 children were ripped out of her arms and died. No. WAY. We have to get a storm shelter.

Pray for Joplin. Pray for Newcastle. Pray for Piedmont and other surrounding areas that were affected by the tornadoes. Pray for my heart as I continue to learn to surrender all control, to someone who knows WAY more than me. :)


Scott, Stacy, Maddie, Elle and Lola said...

So glad you all were safe!!! I didn't realiza it had gotten that close to you!!! Way too scary