Monday, September 26, 2011

The Littles

(The blog entry below was written entirely by Jen Little.  In case you missed my introduction in the previous post...the Littles were one of thousands of families who were personally effected by the tornado. Here are her thoughts...)

Of the hundreds of stories my pal Alissa could have chosen to voice, I'm honored to make the list. Quite honestly, I'm not the writer she is. I've never before blogged, I'm nowhere near as witty, and I admittedly have a hard time letting people "in"... Especially in a "let's voice our thoughts via the most public forum possible" sort of way. Nonetheless, here’s my attempt to pen my thoughts on the events of May 22nd.

First, let's get one thing straight. I don't think my personal account of the day is any more special than the next guy's... Quite the contrary. I arrived "home" shortly before 8:00 pm that night to find a remnant of the place my husband and I had painstakingly renovated destroyed... The place we suffered our family's lowest lows and most recently celebrated one of our highest highs in when we brought our now 10-month old home from the hospital. But the fact that we weren't home when it happened seems to put our devastation in a "lesser traumatic" category than many other accounts I've had the privilege of hearing since that day I lovingly now refer to as "the hangnail". You see, I was not home, my family is still intact, we still have transportation, and my hubs and I are both still gainfully employed at  amazing workplaces that have graciously allowed us time and support to piece together life again. We also found ourselves well-insured and surrounded by tremendous networks of support. So when I talk about how life has changed, I do so through the filter of realization of just how blessed we truly are.

I’ve been overwhelmed with the outpouring of love and encouragement. As the one who's most often on the giving side of things, I have found it difficult to accept the compassion and support shown us over the last several months. Random cash being passed with a handshake, checks showing up in the mail from people we've never even heard of, offers upon offers for help, resources or moral support. One of the coolest examples we’ve experienced so far was in something as simple as a Christmas tree. Whatever your religious disposition, it seems nearly everyone these days does some sort of holiday decorating. Our family is a little quirky in the fact that our first Christmas together we got an aluminum Christmas tree. Not the new-fandango kind you can get at Walmart, but the eclectic, antique kind you normally only saw at Grandma’s house when you were a kid. And not just the tree, but this beaut was complete with its original electric color wheel. Naturally, the 11 year-old tradition blew away with the rest of the house and was added to the list of items we’d need to find a replacement for. Little did I know, though, that soon after the final demolition of our home, I’d have an even bigger and better (and yes, another antique) show up on the front porch of our rental home in a large cardboard box. That’s just an example of how detailed and caring my Father in Heaven is… He cares about the seemingly insignificant tidbits in life just as much as the big, “important” things like personal health and shelter.

In all this rambling, I hope you hear my heart. I’m not dismissing the fact that I have days when I feel new waves of grief and loss. I’ve learned as the days pass by and the "business" side of disaster are taken care of, the emotional side hurts more than ever. At times I feel ripped off and that my hand has been forced and I'm having to make major life decisions which would typically take weeks or months in a matter of days. But in all the loss there is peace and hope. There is abundance and I’m praying like mad I don't screw up the opportunity I've been given to exhibit the Lord's strength and grace in a time of major adversity. I desire wise counsel in decision making and to share the love and abundance I’ve been given with others. If you've got something precious you often want everyone around you to know about it… well, that’s where I’m at.  

The Littles

Aaron & Jennifer

Demolition Day

Birthday Celebrations

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