Today’s Airstream Almanac post was supposed to have been published at Wolf Creek Park on Lake Livingston.
We had a two week reservation there – to enjoy the lake, tall pine trees, and our annual family reunion scheduled for Labor Day weekend.
But, Harvey. The storm that tried to steal Texas.
First, I must catch you up on the family reunion part of this story.
Our family tree is tangled; storms the size of Harvey have flooded our family with divorce. The rebuilding has taken more faith and forgiveness than years.
Extended family takes on a new meaning with remarriages – making one family holiday gathering at Christmas or Thanksgiving more an occasion for marital discord than joy and thanksgiving.
So – about 10 years ago – we invented our own holiday.
Everyone – and I mean everyone in our family – makes it a priority to come and be a part of the family festivities.
We schedule this non-traditional tradition sometime in the fall – and when Christmas and Thanksgiving finally roll around, everyone is free to go and be with whoever they need to go and be with in more traditional ways.
Joy and thanksgiving are free for the celebrating, no matter what branch of the tree you’re hanging on.
Christ-giving 2017- thank you, Harvey – is going to last more than a day. It started for our family before it was even supposed to begin.
You see, one of the homes Harvey decided to pick on was “ours.” Depending on where you start to draw the family tree – it might be a distant relative, or a close one. No matter.
Two days after we all sadly agreed to reschedule our pilgrimage to my sister and brother-in-love’s lake house, Christ-giving started early – refusing to be postponed.
Devastation makes great room for love; love looks like demolition some days.
We are often proud of the “young” men in our family – today is one of those days. You go, girls! You, too. Heroes with hammers. Dealing with devastation, because love rebuilds.
Our family should know.
As I type this blog, still 250 miles away from kin and chaos, the mix of geographical distance and relational intimacy offers an interesting perspective.
Just like the Grinch, Harvey has been undone in his efforts to steal Christ-giving.
Perfect has been redefined – or maybe just restored to it’s original meaning.
Perfect doesn’t mean everything’s all right; perfect means we’re connected – and working for each other’s good.
Great need is a place for great love.
Here’s what you did for us, Harvey –
You didn’t steal Texas, anymore than you stole Christ-giving.
Texas lives on bigger than ever now that you’ve disappeared from our radar. You just woke us up.
Alarm clocks rang for men with boats.
Fishermen get up early; you woke up fishers of men.
I don’t know the record for catching people – but Houston claims the title. As someone posted on Facebook, Texas needs to erect a statue for “random average dudes in a bass boat.”
Churches woke up, too – and left their buildings.
Heroes with hammers. Devastation makes great room for love; love looks like demolition some days.
Real people grabbed “perfect” and redefined her. Perfection as we’ve known it got blown away; thank you Harvey.
Perfection is connection.
Big chaos hit the pause button on monotony and pettiness.
No one within a hundred miles of the Texas coast has had time to argue about politics or race or statues. Texans have been too busy with purpose and people, and other heroic things.
We’ve watched real conversations make a beautiful recovery in our great state – popping up like wildflowers after a spring rain. People are present; people are raw. People are real.
Groups pics have replaced selfies; thank you Jesus.
Monograms have lost their value. “Mine” has become worthless; now it’s “ours.”
“Hand-me-downs” have become “hand-me-ups;” it really is more blessed to give than receive.
Hope became a road trip; thank you Harvey. You invited a whole country full of heroes to the Love-giving event on the Texas coast – and we are grateful.
I think rain climbed 52” up the gauge in Houston; you can’t measure oxytocin on a rain gauge – unless you want to measure the human chain that ransomed the elderly man before flood waters had a chance to steal him.
“Available” took over first place in the race for what matters – pulling ahead of both “qualified” and “prepared for this.” We saw it coming when “heroes” knocked out “celebrities” in the first round.
There’s more love than water in our homes and streets since you left our state, Harvey.
The good news is – love doesn’t drain away; love restores. We’ve seen it before. Just look at our family.
Tomorrow – maybe even later today, certainly next week and next month and next year, and for years to come…we’ll need more love. Truck loads. Boat loads. Arm loads.
The good news is, love expands our hearts more than water expands our sheetrock.
This restoration project is as big as Texas – and from what I’ve seen, we’re awake now.
Awake and alive. Purposeful, more than perfect. Content in our connections instead of just in our homes.
Caring for and caring about – everyone. Each one.
Love restores; love rebuilds. Love cooks. Love cleans. Love cries. Love laughs. Love lasts.
We’ll return for an update on Christ-giving – or maybe “stay tuned for our continuing coverage” is a better way to sign off this issue of Airstream Almanac.
God bless Texas – some more.
If you’re new to Airstream Almanac – we have a purpose, too. You can read about it on this Airstream with America page of our “currently under repurposing work” website. You might enjoy lingering in volume 1 or 2 or 3!
We’d love to hear your stories – in words when you leave a comment. If you want to tell us in person, leave that comment, too – we’ll add you to our travel plans.
Thank you for connecting with us – “at the table with America – rebuilding our great nation one conversation at a time.”