None of the 10+ expected inches has yet to arrive, but the gusts have begun, snapping in half sturdy oak bean poles loaded heavy with a summer's worth of bountiful vines.
Husband and I sit and look at the already swaying trees that line our driveway. We remember aloud comparable storms--Gustav, Andrew--and talk about this being some trees' last night towering majestic overhead. How many will lay low by tomorrow at this time?
All the limbs in our forest are loaded heavy with thick, green foliage like in the early Spring, the result of six inches of rain just last weekend. This leafy weight combined with the stress hiding inside the bark from two previous summer's worth of severe drought and the hurricane force winds to come is a recipe for great tree loss.
That is what overwhelms me the most right now--not the thought of losing my life but memories of former storms' aftermaths, weeks worth of sunup to sundown cleanup.
But it is these times when we are most overwhelmed that God calls us most to lean on Him.
That reminder was brought home mid-morning when I fell to my knees, not in prayer but as I tripped over little children shoes while I carried inside one last washer load of rags and towels before the storm hit.
With both knees swollen and sporting a pair of shiners, I was forced to lay low this afternoon, give my body time to repair itself. Yet, in the back of my mind, I was fretting already over this inconvenience. How was I going to clean up the hurricane's mess to come if I were on injured reserve!?
In the midst of all this frustration and uncertainty mixed with a little fear over the unknown to come, God reached down to give me and my family a reminder that He is still on His throne.
This evening, husband and I sat outside while the children ran around with felt flags tied to bamboo held high. Apparently the gathering gray clouds moving rapidly across a sky eerily back lit by the setting sun brought to their young minds the thought of going into battle.
Unprompted, they began marching and singing in unison. "Onward Christian soldiers marching as to war, with the cross of Jesus going on before."
And there it appeared overhead. A rainbow, not just a sliver, but a whole rainbow that stretched from one side of our home to the other.
By 1:00 in the morning, the meteorologists say we'll really begin to feel the storm's wrath. We pray for the storm to pick up speed and go north where the waters are needed, sparing us the 10+ inches of rain and the 16+ hours of tropical storm winds.
But, no matter what comes, God is in control.
He is here in the midst of the storm.
Writing in community with Jennifer @ Getting Down with Jesus--a day early, but God's timing is perfect.