If you want to know where I've been...you should check out my new blog, Life After Daycare. I've been over there for a while now and I really like the view! Make sure you update your readers, bookmarks, etc.
Yesterday at 5:00 p.m., the house my best friend Amy Hall's family has lived in for the past 13 years, caught on fire. By about 5:10, the home was gone, along with the cars in the driveway, all the family's possessions and two sweet Chihuahuas. Luckily, when Mrs. Hall discovered that the house was on fire (she heard a noise in the garage, went out to check, and found flames), she was able to get her elderly parents and herself to safety before flames shot out of the roof and all of the windows. Mr. Hall was at work and her youngest son, Joey, who I have known since he was a baby (and let the record state that he said "Rachel" before he said "Amy") was not home at the time. Amy is currently a MBA student at Notre Dame and thus, was out of state, as was their middle son, Daniel, who was in North Carolina. Thank GOD that everyone is okay. But there is nothing left.
You have to understand something about this house: It was a HOME. Some of my fondest memories in middle and high school are with this family in their previous house, as well as this one. This home often played host to random teenagers, at all hours of the day and night. Birthday parties, youth group events, you name it, friends were invited over for it. The Halls have done a lot for me, and countless others, just by opening their doors and their arms. They had the attitude that says, "what's one more?!" My heart is breaking that there is nothing left of this place; this great storehouse for love, laughter, tears, and memories.
And you have to understand something about my friendship with Amy. We have been through a LOT together. I have very few friends that know EVERYTHING about me, and she is one of them. And if you knew what she has been through, and what her family has been through, and now...this?! It makes me want to scream and yell with rage over the injustice of it all. If you know me, you know that I am fiercely loyal, especially to that small group of friends. And I would do anything for Amy (or any of you, close friends who are reading this--you know who you are) and her family. Not only because they've done a lot for me, but because I just love them. And if you knew them, you would too.
So here's what I'm asking. Please go here and read their story. Watch the video. Go to otherOrlando news websites and look at other pictures. See for yourself. Their house is gone. Then go here to Brantley Balloons and follow the directions to donate to the family. Yes, they have insurance. But come on people, insurance takes time, and they. have. nothing. Their youngest son is a senior in High School, and a star athlete. Do you remember being a senior in High School? Yes, things are just THINGS and I'm sure that as Christians they know this too. But let's face it and be real and get past the preachy stuff. People need things. Can you help financially? Please, if you can, do. If you can't, please leave a comment here with some words of encouragement for the family. A prayer, a verse, anything. I'll give it to them. I'm sure they'll read it here on my blog. Let them know that we're here for them. I'll start it off:
Amy, "Wherever we go, whatever we do, we're gonna go through it together"
2 Corinthians 4:7-12 - But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show us that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that His life may be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.
...that's how I answer when people ask me, "Rachel, how's it going?!" That's a perfect description. Because it's going and I'm following and forward motion is what it's all about.
I was sidelined by some sort of stomach bug on Tuesday, and I'm only just now, on Thursday, starting to feel more like myself. Remember the Atkins Diet? Or South Beach? Where you seriously limit your carbohydrate intake in the hopes of losing a massive amount of weight whilst still eating massive amounts of bacon? Well I'm here to tell you that those diets are just creative, focused ways of limiting calories. Because I ate nothing but toast for 2 days and lost about 4 pounds. That's right folks, all carbs, all the time (although really not too much--I couldn't stomach loaves of toast or anything), and I lost 4 pounds that I didn't mean to, or NEED to lose.
So there you have it, the Boldman diet. Two pieces of toast with a little bit of butter, 3 times a day. Lose yourself some poundage, America!
I have no idea why; I think of all sorts of great stuff to write, but I just...don't.
As we all know, unless you've been living in your parents' bomb shelter for the past few days and haven't come out yet; it is now 2011. As the new year is upon us, I could do what many bloggers have done and go back through my old posts, highlighting some of the, well, HIGHLIGHTS of the past year. But I'm going to be honest with you. The highlights were not very high at times. In fact, they were quite low. And I prefer to stay in a little measure of denial and so I choose not to go back through them and give the situations the honor of being clicked-on. There is still a lot of healing to be done, even though it's been a while now. I sincerely, SINCERELY hope that this year, especially the first few months, are better than last year. My husband has some thoughts on the past year and the one coming up here. He's kinder than I am. I guess the truth is, if given the opportunity, I might not be so nice or so discreet.
This January we find ourselves in a small beach town on the east coast of Florida. We are living in an apartment called "The Hiding Place" for a little while, and the title is appropriate because I still find myself wanting to hide and rest. There isn't much resting to be done, because I start work tomorrow, and Zeke started school today. But many, many worries and burdens are alleviated by our living here. And for that, I'm thankful, even if we are in close quarters. It's here that we'll live and grow and laugh and get sick and make our way back to community.
I hope you'll join me here for some of that journey. I'll be writing more regularly in the new year and I'd love to have you. Come "hide" with me.