However, I will unfortunately always remember our boys' first week home as marked by our state's tornado destruction.
Our family, personally, received very little backlash from the storms. We were without power for less than 24 hours. We never lost water or phone lines and were able to offer our water and showers to friends nearby who did.
Sadly, though, we have dear friends who were affected much worse by Wednesday's deadly tornadoes.
About 5 or 6 years ago, one of my closest friends, Robin, began taking me to a monthly Bible study led by Kelly Crawford (www.generationcedar.com) and Kathy Broddock (www.teachinggoodthings.com). The things I learned and the women I met changed my life.
I remember meeting Sherry Lee. She was expecting her 13th child, and I thought that made her an official "supermom." Maybe "the" supermom. I was only to learn that it wasn't the number of kids she had that made her so special. It was the gentle and quiet way that she mothered and directed and disciplined and taught them. As I observed her children, I realized how the fruit of our parenting shows up in our children's lives. I was making mental notes and soaking in all I could.
I realized that these ladies met together with their husbands and families every Sunday night in the same little cabin (just next to the Lee's home) for a (family-integrated) Bible study. My husband began to take us, and the studies and the leader and the families made such a big impact on our lives. My husband was so impressed with Sherry's husband, Tom Lee, and has used him as an example in sermons countless times as an example of a godly husband/father who was committed to leading his family in the faith.
I am sorry to share that the Lee family was tragically devastated by one of Alabama's deadly tornadoes. The same F5 that plowed through Tuscaloosa and lifted up at the edge of Birmingham but touched down before ravaging the Lee's and the Crawford's and the Boyd's little community.
The Lees' home collapsed upon them, trapping them for hours. Several of their 13 children were injured, and Mr. Lee was killed.
Below is an interview with the Lees' oldest son. God is definitely glorified through this family.
Also affected by the storm were the Crawfords. This family is another testimony of the Lord's grace and goodness, even in the midst of great trial.
The Boyds are another precious Christian family who live very close to the Lees and Crawfords and saw and experienced the power and destruction of the F5 tornado, yet testify of God's faithfulness and love.
These families are fine examples of persevering through trials. They definitely need our prayers, but I think, also, our admiration.