With all the talk of Hurricane Dorian over the past week, I realized just how similar my life is to a hurricane. Sometimes we gain momentum. Sometimes we stand still. Sometimes our wind speed picks up. Sometimes our winds die down. Sometimes we think we are heading in one direction…and then the path shifts and just kidding, we are heading in a different direction. I feel like the pictures below do a pretty accurate job of expressing the last 3 months of my life. Notice the panicked look on my face in the 3 pictures I am. I am holding on for dear life. While Dan’s expression in the top left picture is staged and posed….my panic is actually real panic. In the bottom right picture, Dan is causally holding on not phased one bit and I am hunched over with a death grip afraid of what might happen next. Pretty much sums up my life.
Today marks 3 months since we made the journey from Wisconsin to Florida. Somedays I think I am still in the eye of the hurricane. Somedays I feel like I’ve been hit by the 145 mile winds of the hurricane. Somedays I think, “hey, that hurricane wasn’t so bad.” And somedays I forget all about the hurricane of my life and remember that God is the one in charge of this crazy Wilke hurricane and He has the perfect path for us…if only I’d live in that hurricane more often than I do.
First of all, we are all safe and secure down here. The days leading up to the hurricane were crazy nuts. It’s like a snow storm is heading towards us and we won’t be able to dig ourselves out….but different. The gas lines were CRAZY. So many gas stations were out of gas. Water was a HOT item. All the stores were out of it and I thought for sure we’d die of dehydration. As I walked into the grocery store one night to “stock up” on any dry items that were left, the manager was unrolling a stack of water. It was like people came out of nowhere and started grabbing cases!! I stocked up on food and since school was cancelled, the hurricane food has almost all been eaten. Good thing Dorian shifted! The kids originally had school cancelled the whole week which we were all pretty pumped about…and then an email came out today that said “just kidding…Dorian shifted and school is back on.” BOOOOO. We have off tomorrow when the wind and rain will probably be the strongest and then back to school/work on Thursday. You know when a big snow storm is coming and the kids are super excited to get a ton of snow and be freezing cold and they don’t care about it because school will be cancelled? It’s the same with a hurricane. The kids were SO disappointed it shifted because clearly we won’t be getting snow closings anytime soon down here! It was their only hope for a weather related school closing! We are prepared and learned what to do and what not to do. We will be ready for the next one. This is one of the reasons we picked to live in Ocala. It is in the center of the state and while we will see some effects of hurricanes, we should be much safer here than if we lived near the coast…hopefully.
Last Thursday, my nephew Christian, headed back home to Wisconsin from his short visit to see us. We, of course, had to let him do Disney with us for a day! He had never been to Disney and we gave him the choice on our one free day to do Disney or the beach. He picked Disney obviously! The rest of his visit he spent chilling at our house while we went to work and school and even got to stay home with Lanie one day when she was “sick.” (cough cough). Somehow her little tummy was hurting one day and I didn’t have time to fight it. So home she stayed with her favorite “Christchy” playing board games and swimming. It sounds like she was real “sick” doesn’t it?
The day Christian left to fly back to WI happened to be the day that the new Star Wars land opened up at Disney. Guess who made a pit stop on his way back from the airport? With no preplanned passes or bookings, Dan made it into the land flying solo on the new ride and walking around, taking in the sights and sounds. He was one happy dude. Then on Sunday after church, we logged onto the Disney app and saw the extremely low wait times and booked it to Hollywood Studios so the boys could get a look. While I have never seen a Star Wars movie (nor do I particularly care to) the boys loved it and were pumped to be there. Sometimes you just gotta take one for the team.
In the midst of my life, Hurricane Wilke, I have been in a funk pretty much all. the. time. I haven’t gotten back in the grove of life yet. Pieces are starting to fall in to place and I can feel myself coming back to “myself.” Yesterday I decided to start decorating for fall. I know, I know, it’s only early September and it was over 90 degrees here today, but I do love to decorate and I had the time so decorate I did. It felt good to dedicate some time to do a little of what makes me happy and fills me. Then I made the mistake of running in to Hobby Lobby today and they have all their Christmas stuff out yet! It is AMAZING in there!!! I stayed my course and got the one thing I needed and then casually asked Dan on the ride home if it was too early to buy Christmas decor. He said yes and I fought a good fight. We have compromised on just buying some wrapping paper during my next visit to HL. They have the BEST wrapping paper and if you don’t get it right away, some of the good patterns don’t get restocked. Good thing we have off of school again tomorrow, I think I “need” something from Hobby Lobby! 😉
And…for the BEST news now….other than the hurricane shifting and not having quite the impact we thought it was going to have…our family is officially a licensed FOSTER FAMILY!! You guys, I can’t even begin to tell you how full my heart is just soaking this all in. This journey started a year ago when we began to apply for our license in WI. After having our license for a month, we decided to make the move to Florida and close our license in WI. I was devastated. I knew for sure God was calling us to do this and I just couldn’t understand why. Well, last Friday we got our official all clear and we wait on God now and His perfect timing. We did get a call the very first night, but we weren’t equipped or prepared to take in the sibling group that needed a home to go to. I feel so unprepared to take in a baby, but yet at the same time, I feel incredibly prepared. While we don’t have a lot of material things at all, we have an entire family with open hearts and open arms ready to love a sweet little child when God needs us too. It’s the weirdest feeling. It’s like I am an expectant mom, in my third trimester, knowing the baby could come any day…but yet, it’s not my baby and the feeling of overwhelming love is still there. I can’t wait to begin this journey with Dan, the kids and with you guys! I know for a fact that the foster journey is going to be a hurricane of it’s own, but hey, I’m getting used to the hurricanes of life!
Today as I thought about this hurricane season we are in…both literally and figuratively, I was once again reminded that God is in control. The glimpse of a rainbow peaking through the storm is exactly how I am feeling. While I feel like we are in the middle of the storm some days, I feel like I can see hope and a future in what God is doing with us in Florida. God will see us through any storm. God will direct us and lead us. Some days I am holding on for dear life like I’m riding on the fastest roller coaster…well let’s make that most days, and when I can remember God is driving that crazy rollercoaster, I can see God’s goodness and faithfulness peaking through even on the darkest of days. Where have you seen God’s goodness today? Sometimes, it takes just the smallest thing to remind you of the greatness of God!
Now please…I’d like the hurricane season to be over. Both Hurricane Dorian and Hurricane Wilke.