I don’t know where to start. What a journey! What a day! What a time to be alive and to do something useful! My first order of business upon arriving home was to hug Kael. CHECK! He saw me and his little squishy face lit up and I got some great hugs and precious kisses. I didn’t get to see Sam until about 4:45pm because he had to drive someplace far away for work so they could bring more cars back to the dealership. Hugs and kisses for Sam…CHECK! My arms fit so good around his neck, such a happy place to be.
These two weeks I have been gone feel like ages, my trip was a little longer than I expected by a week. A week ago the tornado changed our town and our lives; I am still trying to prepare myself for how different everything will be. I feel very nervous when I think about it…so right now I choose not to think about it. I have only seen our house with garbage strewn about. Insulation coats our roof, and some of the roofing is slightly blown up. There are sheets of metal wrapped around trees in the field across the street, but other than the metal and the litter you would think everything was normal.
I loved reading Sunday with Sam yesterday. I went through a range of emotions as I read it, a little irritation (“GET IN THE CLOSET!”), a little frustration (‘You felt like a sitting duck so you decided to drive???’), a little understanding (‘I guess you didn't know what actually just took place’). Watching the video was hard on me, I raised my voice at Sam several times in the video and had to remind myself that he had no clue what had truly just taken place and he also had Kael with him so he was limited with what he could do. I am grateful to both Sam and Colby for taking the time to document their experience. Hard to read and watch, but I am sure the experience in person was a lot more intense. I am back home now and just so grateful to have a home, and most grateful to have little squishy cheeks to kiss (Kael), and a strong neck to wrap my arms around (Sam).
Caleb and I flew into Kansas City at 5:20pm yesterday. The blessings for me started when we arrived at the airport. My wonderful sister Robin volunteered to drive around with Caleb while I checked my ridiculously heavy bags (filled with clothes from Shane’s closet to donate…more blessings). Honestly I couldn’t have done it without her. The line was 35 people long and it was moving slow. I would have been pulling my hair out if I had to guard four bags and a carseat and corral Caleb. When I FINALLY got up to the counter I asked if I could purchase the extended seating for more leg room. The man from Frontier Airlines was looking at my driver’s license when I asked this and realized I was from Joplin. He looked up and said “You have been through a lot…I can extend it at no charge and I will put you in a seat that has no one next to it, so you and baby can have some room.” !!! Yes those are exclamations in the middle of nowhere, because his gesture of goodwill was a HUGE blessing.
Robin came around with Caleb and the man at the counter had already told me to just bring the carseat up when I came back in, he had a tag ready for it and made it super easy on me. Security was a breeze, they were so helpful and took the laptop out of the bag for me and then repacked it which was no easy task because I packed that thing like Jenga! I got to board the plane early, so Caleb and I prayed as the plane filled with people. We were sitting at the front where the higher priced seats are and I knew what people were thinking when they saw me trying to tame my toddler who was in the middle of his “I am two, who are you?” act. So we PRAYED. I said, “Caleb are you ready to pray?” “Okay,” he replied.
“Dear Jesus, keep us safe. Watch over Daddy, and Kael, and Grandpa, and Grandma, and Auntie, and Uncle, and Maddie, and let Caleb sleep the whole flight. AMEN!”
And Caleb said “AMEN!” So I knew we were in agreement. I proceeded to tell him that amen means “let it be,” and that this was now our deal. This is a true story…His eyes closed as the engines roared and he was asleep by the time the wheels left the ground. Three hours later I had to wake him up when the wheels touched the ground. PRAISE GOD! People around me were pretty impressed. I told them that it was because we prayed about it.
It was 88 degrees in Kansas City when we landed, very different from the 55 degrees in Seattle. Grandpa picked us up and took us back to the farm where we visited for a while and then we enjoyed some leftovers. I like leftovers, you get to have a little of everything. We don’t do a lot of leftovers at our house, I usually make just as much as we eat. Caleb ate like it was going out of style. I don’t know where he put it all! He must have been hungry from sleeping so long; exhausting work sleeping.
After we enjoyed dinner we went outside with Grandpa and played. Caleb is Caleb Conrad and this is his Great Grandpa Conrad who he is named after.
They swung on the swing.
They dug a hole.
They looked at Grandpa's garden.
Grandma got in on the fun this morning and they had a good laugh before we said “good bye.”
Caleb said “good bye” to corky.
And he was ready to hit the road...
And off we went to pick Colby up from the airport and start the 3 hour trek home.
Today I took it easy. I enjoyed my family. Tomorrow I will go work and venture out into my new world.
God, I know you have a plan for me. I believe that you are guiding me because I am doing my best to put you in control of my life. I am trying to live a life that you would be proud of, that you can use. I pray that you will give me all the strength and compassion I need. I pray that you will give me many opportunities to serve the people and help heal the wounded hearts of my Joplers. I will move my feet and open my arms. Put me in the right place at the right time and give me eyes to see the opportunities that you are placing in front of me. Thank you Jesus, thank you father, thank you for your love for me. AMEN!
It’s time to get out in the field, and either plant, water, or harvest…Let’s get to it.