Good Morning Gorgeous,
It’s a brand new day. A fresh new start.
Today, the National Guard arrived and set up distribution centers for ice, water, and supplies.
We’ve been unable to get ice, so we tried to get in line at one of the distribution sites. The line was 1.2 miles long and after waiting 45 minutes and only moving a few cars, we turned around.
This was a line we saw for propane.
Gas lines are even longer. Christy waited 1 hour and 40 minutes yesterday and the station ran out of gas when she was almost to the pump.
Lines of a couple of hours are common right now. A friend texted me yesterday that she waited 8 hours, but she did get gas!
Propane and gas are so needed because its how people are powering their generators and grills. Also, the supply is low because many gas stations are damaged or without power.
Next, we saw that the pet store was open. So we stopped for live bugs for Ayden to feed all his critters. They were open and Ayden was super happy!
Many of the stores are cash only, because they are running on generators with no internet access to run credit card machines.
And on the way home, we saw two people pushing a grocery cart with bags of ice. My kids were laughing as I made a Uturn and drove right up next to them to ask where they got their ice.
It was Publix, but when I got there only 5 minutes later, the last bags available were sold.
No ice. And thats okay. We are fully stocked otherwise. We froze a case of water before the hurricane and 3 gallon jugs of water. These frozen water bottles have kept our freezer cold for the past 4 days!
Tonight we cooked up the last of our frozen foods. I’ve cooked a meal each evening for our friends and family. Tonight was Tilapia, hotdogs, ribs, pierogies, and Christy brought yellow rice.
We sat as a village, thanked God for His goodness, and ate together. We are thankful for each meal even while drinking warm water bottles because I couldn’t get ice today! Our last few cold ones are keeping the milk cold.
And just as I was settling in for the night, there was a knock on the door, and Ayden and Addy’s dad showed up with a large cooler of ice! So our milk, coffee creamer, butter and such will be spared. It’s the little things right now.
Just as recovery efforts get underway, more awful news rolled in. Two of our precious islands: Sanibel and Pine Island will no longer be habitable right now. They do not have services to sustain life: food sources, electricity, running water, communication, emergency services, or any way to get on or off the islands. The bridges to these beautiful places collapsed during the hurricane. These islands were home to many. They have their own post offices, schools, and run as their own cities. I have several friends who teach at Pine Island Elementary.
These islands are popular vacation destinations and they are dear places of quick respite and rejuvenation for locals. On days off and holidays, these are the places that many of us head to for recreation. They are quaint cities that are filled with mom and pop shops and very few corporate businesses. They are little untouched sanctuaries. And now they are deemed unable to sustain life. Rescue efforts to pull out survivors are still going. They are air lifting survivors. And the only other way there is by boat.
Our community is coming together in beautiful ways and we will rebuild. Currently there is a strong sense of disbelief. We’ve never ever experienced anything like this. The damage is extensive and far reaching. The hurricane was long. Well over 10 hours of hurricane force winds and I haven’t seen any area of our county untouched by the storm.
Still no power for most people. Water is returning for some.
People are smiling and so so kind almost everywhere you go. There’s a thankfulness for life and breath in our lungs.
And through it all, God has been here providing in supernatural ways. He is weaving eternal treasure into the losses. He is growing our friendships. People are meeting neighbors they’ve never spoken to. People are meeting needs as they see them. And our community is being strengthened in the unseen realms even though our physical realm appears demolished.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank You Lord for Your goodness. Thank You for the treasures that are being mined as we navigate this recovery. Lord, thank You for how You weave goodness right into heartache. You are good and we place our eyes on what You say over what we see. Please provide healing, supernatural peace, and rest to those who are recovering.
In Jesus’s Name,
Blessings and Recovery,
And if you came across this post and you haven’t yet accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, may I encourage you that by choosing Him you receive eternal life in heaven, BUT ALSO abundant life NOW. Following Him is the most precious adventure you have ever taken!! All you have to do to get started is to pray and receive Him as Lord. The Bible says to confess Jesus Christ as Lord and believe with your heart the precious gospel message that Jesus taught. Repent of your sins which means simply to ask Jesus to forgive you and then choose to walk away from them and go in the New Direction that God is calling you to. Confess or speak that you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who died for you, that He was resurrected from the dead, and ascended to heaven. And that you recieve Him as your Lord and Savior. That you are sorry for your sins and you recieve His FULL and complete forgiveness for every wrong you’ve ever committed. And that you are choosing to follow Him now and leave the ways of the world behind for the things of Jesus!!! And if you mean that with your heart, you are saved and set free to live a new life free of sin! The Bible says you are now a brand new creation! Old things have passed away and new things have come!!! The Bible also says that all of heaven rejoices whenever a person is saved!!!! Just imagine the party being held in heaven on your behalf right now!!