Pack your bags

What would you do if you were given three hours to pack up whatever you could fit into you car and told to leave for higher ground?

Thousands in my own state had to answer that question today.

{pause}

Two weeks ago we returned home from our amazing white Christmas holiday in America. And as great as it was to be in the comfort of our own home, we came back to a very unwelcome visitor: Mold. On everything.

Mold had crept it’s way over our walls, attached itself to doorways and furniture, covered bedding, infiltrated clothes, freckled Levi’s toys, ruined curtains, smothered picture frames, and found it’s way into more things than I can list.

Welcome to life in the tropics. (There’s nothing glamorous about the rainy season folks.)

And for the last two weeks we have been bleaching. Scrubbing. Washing. Vinegar…ing.

It was the great Adriel vs. Mold show-down that was sure to go down in history as one of the monster battles of our time. (I mean seriously, just a few days in I ceased counting at 13 loads of laundry, and I’ve probably almost doubled that since.)

To say I was irritated by the attempted mold coup is an understatement.

My distain was ugly, my resolve was fueled, and I was determined to have the last word.

{unpause}

Today as I watched the unfolding news of floods literally taking over entire neighborhoods, communities, suburbs, and cities in the central and southern parts of Queensland, I felt foolish for my level of disturbance at my own little mold battle.

I felt foolish because I have en entire house full of stuff and I was upset by having to clean and sort and salvage it all. And by “all” what I really mean is all that stuff that I probably don’t even need.

And I realized that as I was aggravated by having to care for all of my stuff, there are people a few hours away from me who have lost entire homes, properties, and livelihoods. And still others who are dealing with the tragedy of death amongst it all. (It is reported that there is a death toll of ten and counting… and that 78 people are still missing. Officials say these numbers are bound to rise.)

It’s shocking. It’s riveting. It’s frightening. It’s surreal. It’s terrible. It’s heartbreaking.

They’re calling it “the full wrath of a perfect storm”.

Suddenly that epic mold battle shrunk down to its rightful size: a teeny weeny, itty bitty, tiny little mold disturbance.

Needless to say I’ve gotten my attitude in check. I’ve reminded myself of my priorities. I’ve counted my blessings.

Because really, in the grand scheme of things, what I treasure is here:

And if these boys were with me bundled up in a car headed to higher ground… that would be enough.

Sure, I’d like to grab my hard drive (full of precious photos and years worth of writing) and my stack of hand-written journals. I’d like to grab my few remaining photo albums and maybe my (completely replaceable) laptop and camera and bible.

But if I couldn’t grab those things… life would go on. It wouldn’t go on as I’ve known it, but it would go on.

Of course it would.

I don’t know how I would cope with packing up my car to flee to the hills. But I do know that if my precious husband and son were right there alongside me, I would count myself among the lucky.

I am blessed.

And today I’m reminded of that in a very poignant way.

Dear friends, when is the last time you really took stock of your life and what is precious to you? And please, would you take a moment to remember and pray for those who are right now dealing with the loss of loved ones and life as they once knew it – here in Queensland Australia, but also in countless other places and situations around the world?

with both heartbreak and immense gratitude,
Adriel

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