Monthly Archive: September 2017

Island Update 2.0

Island Update 2.0

It’s almost 2 am here in Punta Cana. It is eerily calm outside, the wind is blowing in from the east, but it isn’t unpleasant – knowing what lies on the horizon is what makes it unsettling. This area is now under a hurricane warning. Irma is battering Barbuda and Anguilla now and will continue westward. The eye appears to be tracking just north of this island, but with sustained winds of 185 mph and gusts clocked over 201 mph it’s going to be scary.

We were not able to get a flight before the storm hits so we are making plans to ride it out. The southern part of the island is outside of the hurricane warning so we are relocating there. While we believe this is the safest option, we also know that no matter where we are on this island we will feel the hurricane. The last I saw, hurricane force winds are being measured as far as 60 miles from the eye with tropical storm winds and additional 160 miles out.

As always, God has been good. He’s given us a fantastic travel agent to get us in a safer location and a wonderful local contact to guide us in decision making and help in an emergency. We will make the transfer to the new hotel tomorrow morning (we hope) and give us time to settle in. Currently, the storm track shows Irma making landfall here late tomorrow or early Thursday morning. We will continue to update you from here as things change.

Be praying for the people in the Caribbean – they are going to need it!

Joshua 1:9
“This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Until tomorrow,

How it looked today

Please be praying got the people on thsee islands!

Island Update 9/5/17 – noon

Island update…

We are in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic on the Isle of Hispaniola. If you are weather aware you know Irma, a category 5 hurricane, is headed this way. Yikes!

Yes, we are aware – no, we cannot get a flight home before the storm hits. What we can do is alert our prayer warriors. We are talking with the resort, our travel agent, and contacting travel companies on our own. If we cannot get to the states we are looking at other options not in the line of the storm. And if God doesn’t provide any of those options, we trust that He has a reason for us to be here – we just don’t know what it is yet. As we learned with Kayleigh, sometimes we don’t understand what God is doing when we are in the storm, but His plan is always perfect.

If we cannot get out here are a couple positive things – first, the resort is well prepared for this kind of event with plenty of food and bottled water. Second, I was raised by a Green Beret that taught me to always be prepared. We traveled here with basic first aid, blankets, solar charger, and our own water filtration system, just in case. Always be prepared, never panic – words of wisdom from my Da.

We are certainly staying aware of the situation, but we refuse to worry.

I will go back to making regular updates on the page until we get home. Will you please follow along with us and cover us with prayer? We are so blessed to have an army of people behind us.

Much love – Until tonight,

Isaiah 55:8-9
8 “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. 9 For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.

this is what it looks like now…

This is the current projected track – we are the blue dot…

Finding God’s Beauty in the Storm…

In the past 15 months, our family has found itself in an unexpected season. A season, that by most standards should be nothing but sorrow and grief – but because of God’s amazing goodness, this season has been one of beautiful blessings filled with more good than bad. I’ve never doubted God’s sovereignty or His plan through this journey – He is perfect. I often don’t understand, all I have is blind trust and faith in the unseen.

What I find beautiful now, is how God continues to open our eyes and allow us to see what He has been doing – giving us glimpses of the many layers of His plan. It is mind-boggling when you begin to see how intricately He has woven all the strands together. How each step compliments another, or how a certain decision – that may not have seemed particularly important – becomes the foundation of something much bigger. Only God can orchestrate something of this magnitude – and we are just one little family. The fact that he knows us all so intimately, and loves us each so extravagantly is awe inspiring.

While I have many things I am incredibly thankful for through this journey, the growth in my relationship with Tim is one I hold dear. Before Kayleigh’s diagnosis we were together, we loved each other, but we were not always on the same page. Now, while far from perfect, we are a team – two pieces of a whole. Statistically, that is amazing. So many couples that lose a child simply do not withstand the storm. I can certainly understand why – the magnitude of the grief is crushing, people grieve in different ways (and we often do not understand each other’s different grief methods), when we get lost in our own grief we miss how to care for our spouse, and so many more emotional landmines pop up daily.

I have found myself thanking God for this relationship growth, but not truly understanding how it came about – until yesterday. As I read “You and Me Forever” by Francis and Lisa Chan the answer leapt off the page… this blessing has nothing to do with Tim and I together, it has everything to do with our individual relationships with Christ. Wow.

Kayleigh’s diagnosis drove us to our knees. The journey was hard and the only way we could survive was by holding tight to the only One who had the answers. As we both traveled our individual journeys with the Lord, our marriage strengthened as a byproduct. What a wonderful gift from the storm, but what a high price to pay for the lesson. However, I have also discovered that the high price makes me treasure every piece more. Each blessing is a piece of Kayleigh’s legacy, and oh how I pray that we will be good stewards of His blessings.y prayer is that we will not hoard them for ourselves, but share them with others – pouring out our love and gratitude at our Savior’s feet.

So, I will write. I will continue to share with all of you what the Lord is teaching us along this journey – and hopefully, it will help you along your own journey, which in turn keeps Kayleigh’s legacy alive. Isn’t our God good?

“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” Romans 8:28

Until later,

P. S. We have run away to paradise to recharge, celebrate 15 years of marriage, and just be together. It is lovely… but a storm is brewing (shocking right ?😉) – Hurricane Irma is a potential threat. Would you please pray for our safety? My hearts desire is that the storm will rerouted back into the ocean – leaving all countries alone, and allowing us to finish our trip, But, whatever it does, we need wisdom to make good decisions and for God to grant us traveling mercies to get us home safely.

Thank you friends, we love you 💜