Thursday, July 20, 2017

Tornadoes and Trees and Inner Storms

Two tornadoes swept through our Bellevue, Ne community last month, two days before Father's Day. The aftermath made our neighborhoods resemble a war zone. Collapsed roofs, siding torn from houses, streets blocked with tree limbs and debris.

Children's bedroom in neighboring subdivision
Branches snapped off the three giant cottonwoods in our backyard, wreaking havoc on our neighbors' properties.

One of our smaller downed cottonwood limbs crumpled the neighbor's fence.

One huge limb smashed a hole into the backside of our next door neighbor's roof, punched another in the front of it, then crashed down lengthwise across his boat and Jeep.
Enormous branches filled the other neighbors yards.

Damage to our home? Zero. Nada. None.

My husband surveyed the neighbors' wreckage and shook his head. "Our trees need to go."

He'd been saying that about my beloved cottonwoods ever since we moved into our home eleven years earlier.

Day one of tree trimming. (Jake bought home 3 Symphony bars to sedate me.)

 Even though I love basking in their shade, I also know those trees are old, shallow-rooted, and potentially dangerous.

Looking at them made me wonder what other potentially dangerous things I cling to.

  • Grumbling at my family?
  • Complaining about slow drivers blocking my path?
  • Grousing when things don't go smoothly enough to suit me?

Those things don't seem dangerous compared to a rampaging twister, but
  • Murmuring and complaining keeps me focused on negative thoughts. 
  • It causes storms to develop in my heart and mind. 
  • My bad attitude affects others.

Who wants to be around a grouch who's thundering about, squalling if she doesn't get her way?

The bible says,

"Do everything without complaining and arguing," Philippians 2:14

"...Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many." Hebrews 12:15 

When inner gales are gusting, I use a praise break like this one to tame the tempest.

Psalm 100
Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth!
Worship the Lord with gladness.
Come before him, singing with joy.
Acknowledge that the Lord is God!
He made us, and we are his
We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving;
go into his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good.
His unfailing love continues forever,
and his faithfulness continues to each generation.

Focusing on God's love and faithfulness calms my internal storms. How about you? 
What settles you when the tempests are raging?

Click on the links below to see photos of the twister's aftermath. By God's faithfulness, not one person was injured by the tornadoes. storm pics storm photos

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