House Fire Update

Today is 4 1/2 months since our house fire. Let me tell you that this has been a real up and down ride. In a lot of ways the first six weeks after the fire were the easiest in terms of being emotionally/mentally/spiritually strong (below I am showing the state of mind we were in during those six weeks - it is a blog entry I wrote that never got published). I also preached a sermon on those six weeks on August 29th which listen to here...on our church podcast. Don't get me wrong those times were hard as we moved from my parents house to one hotel room then another, to a borrowed house, to another hotel, and another hotel, and finally to a mobile home. Everything was so uncertain, but I felt strong and confident.

The second six weeks were probably the most difficult where I struggled to keep my head above water, where things got very dark for me emotionally and spiritually. The last six weeks have been a slow and arduous climb out of that dark place. Let me just say that I don't know how I would do this whole thing without a faith in God that just has held me up over this whole thing.

We are still living in our Mobile home (we call him "Moby") and we are able to see how things are coming along as insurance restores our house. We have a garage and a roof, and the framing inside is nearing completion. We are told that the house will be ready by the end of January...we aren't holding our breath on that.

We have so many friends who care about us and have supported us. Thank you so much for that support. When we heard about a family near Steinbach that lost their house and their husband and father to a fire, we hope they have the kind of support that we did/do.

Here is a blog post from a time about three weeks after the fire:

On July 21st we had a house fire. As soon as we were out of the house we stood on the front lawn as a family and realized that anything that we had in that house was not necessary. Everything we needed was right there in that little huddle of five people crying out to God. We have learned a lot in the last three weeks and it is now difficult to imagine what it would be like if this had not happened. As a family we have had our ups and downs for sure, but these last few weeks have been very full of moments where we have looked at each other and been filled with love and thanks that we still have who we have in this family. I would not want to go through this ordeal with any other family but this one.

Ben (9) is such a brilliant mind, he loves adventure and he looks at this whole ordeal as an adventure, he wants to be a part of the decisions and he understands enough about life to begin to figure out how insurance works and to realize the effort that people are going to in order to help us out.

Hannah (7) is the emotional barometer of our family. She wears her emotions on her sleeve and many times when she shows those emotions I recognize them in the rest of us. She is so filled with love for each of us and always loves to cuddle and comfort.

Owen (5) is so much fun! He really doesn't understand a whole lot which makes it great for him. He loves life and just brings us so much joy.

Nicky (##) is truly the love of my life. This whole experience has showed me that more and more. There have been so many times that I have looked at Nicky and said through tears, "I wouldn't want to go through this with anyone else." We have been married over 14 years, and I really think our love is deeper than ever. She helps keep me real, she helps me to laugh, she helps me to cry, she is so great at caring for and about our kids, she is still very concerned about caring for other people (if not more because of this whole thing), she looks into my eyes and truly understands me and yet still loves me. What else could I ask for?

We don't have a home, we don't have most of the things that fill a home, but we have way more than we need. We are so blessed. People have been so kind to us. We get notes of care on Faceboook, on this blog, email, and in our church mailbox. We have people who call us up, people who invite us over, people who bring us meals, people who bring us comfort, people who bring us presents, people who offer us their home, and people who can break my heart with a look of care and love in their eyes. We are in such good care. I don't know how people would survive all this without people like this around them. Most of these people come from our Church do people get through life without one?

We have grown to love so many people through this all. One of the things we have been learning over the last while (and it has culminated in this experience), is to allow people to help us. We like to do things on our own, and if we can accomplish something on our own, we will not ask for help. We are realizing that as people help us our community grows and we grow to love our community. Thank you to all the people who help us!