Yesterday marked the one year anniversary of being back in our home and I can honestly say it's been the best year yet. Sure there have been some ups and downs but the ups have far outweighed the downs.
Next month it will be two years since we were hit by yet another devastating F5 tornado. So many asked us what our plans were after getting hit again. Our response, "re-build". Their reply? "In the same place?!" Without hesitation, our answer was, "Yep!"
I have a long history on this little acreage we live on. I basically grew up out here. My Great Aunt Lydia at one time lived on and owned 140 acres of this land. After the 1999 tornado, she gifted us 5 of the last 19*ish acres she still owned. My grandparents and sister also built houses out here shortly after.
It's like the best of both worlds here. We are in city limits but out far enough to feel like we are in the country yet we are very close to the conveniences of the city.
As a child, I spent many, many summers out here trying to catch crawdads down at the creek, petting and feeding the horses at the ranch next door, running through the alfalfa field (that our house now sits on) and setting up lemonade stands at the end of my great aunt's driveway….so. many. memories.
I had the best childhood out here and I want my girls to experience that, even if only a little bit of it (there's no way I would let them run free like we did back then). I love that they have space to run and explore….to be unplugged from the TV and video games (although they get plenty of screen time).
Seeing them happy makes me unbelievably happy so if anyone asks me why we did it…why we rebuilt in the same place after two tornados, I will tell them I did it for my kids.
Despite the cost it took to get here, the past year has been one of the best years for me. I am a living testimony that God really can make beauty from ashes. I am beyond blessed and will forever be thankful for the trials (and triumphs) that got me to where I am today.
"and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor." -Isaiah 63.1