Blackout 2003, The Day The Lights Went Out

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Hard to imagine, but today marks the 10-year anniversary of the nation’s largest blackout that hit eight states and turned off the lights for some 50 million people. Where were you when the blackout hit? I was 21 and away at college. My roommate and I initially thought the power was just out in the surrounding areas near our school but we quickly figured out that the problem was much bigger than we thought. Cell phones wouldn’t work, street lights were out which made it hard to get anywhere and stores, ATMs and gas stations were out of commission. Since we couldn’t cook any food and most food joints were shut down, we went to a nearby female professor’s house for dinner. It was a hot summer day which made for a hot summer night on the second floor of our apartment. We lite candles and tried to study to drown out the heat and silence but it didn’t work. The next morning we were awakened by a glorious voice yelling my name; it was my dad!! My dad was outside my apartment window calling my name, he had come to take us home! We still didn’t have use of our phones and my roommate’s car no longer had any gas so we would’ve been stuck if he had not arrived! Once home, my family fired up the grill and we ate meals and endured the blackout together. It was a unforgettable experience; almost everything was shut down and all we could do was wait.

As I watched the news last night with my husband, experts said even though it’s been ten years since the blackout, the situation could happen again?! That’s sad and kind of scary to know that ten years later the situation potentially happen again, thought they said the probability is low thank God!

So, WHERE WERE YOU THE DAY OF THE BLACKOUT? What was your experience like?

STOP Trippin & START Trustin

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Hey you, YES YOU! STOP trippin and START trustin!! Remember God’s got you. I know it looks bad. I know you’ve been waiting and praying and waiting and praying but so what, keep trustin, keep believing!! I promise you, God hasn’t forgotten you. Even though it may look bad, remember that He’s BIGGER, He’s STRONGER, He’s ABLE and He’s FAITHFUL!! God cares about your needs, He cares about your pain. He has awesome plans for you. Don’t let life beat you down. Get up, talk to God, seek His face, and follow HIS plan. Seek encouragement and godly counsel from those around you. We all need help, we all need support. I just want to encourage you today to know that you’re not alone. This battle is not yours, it’s the Lords! Get up, put your boxing gloves on and get back in the fight. Below are your tools to fight the feelings of fear, failure anxiety today. Read those scriptures, mediate on them and hide them in your heart. Today will be an awesome day and victory is headed your way!! AMEN!!!!!!

Nehemiah 8:10 AMP Be not grieved and depressed, for the joy of the Lord is your strength and stronghold.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Luke 12:6-7 Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. 7 Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand

To Mrs. Willis With Love

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My mother in love went home to be with the Lord this past May. She was an amazing woman and it’s honestly still hard to believe that she’s no longer with us but I know she’s partying with the angels. She was an awesome cook, baker and decorator. If they threw parties in Heaven, I know she’d hook Jesus up with the most beautiful spread made with all the fixings. My MIL was full of many talents! When I thought about starting to write in my blog again, several topics and ideas came to mind. I started thinking about everything that’s happened over the past seven months and my MIL came to mind. I dedicate this post to you, Margaret Lee Willis, forever in my heart.

Dear Mrs. Willis,

I sit here tonight thinking of you. I smile at the thought of your smile. I can picture you cooking and decorating the house for the countless parties we hosted. I see you sitting on the couch singing to our daughter Elyssa and finding pure joy in every minute that you got to spend with her. You took your role as a mother and a grandmother very seriously and I’ve always admired and respected that about you.

Though it’s easy to allow myself to be sad that your no longer here, I choose to rejoice instead. I rejoice because you’re no longer in pain. I rejoice because you’re rejoicing with the angels and spending time with our Savior. I rejoice because you raised an amazing man who is the best husband and father and for that I am forever grateful. I rejoice because the Lord will give us the grace to carry on your legacy.

I wanted to say thank you for loving me. Thank you for showing me how to throw a fabulous party! From Rebecca’s Sweet 16, to countless birthday parties and even 3rd Sunday Family Dinners.Thank you for throwing us the biggest and best engagement party. Thank you for making my Tea Party Baby Shower so elegant and unique. Thank you for being so excited when Elyssa was born and for being there to help whenever we called. Thank you for being a woman of faith, a true Proverbs 31 Woman. You were a blessing to me and so many others and I thank God for the time that he blessed us with you. Because I know Jesus, I will see you again and until that day, I’ll just say, see you later.

With Love
Joanna

Life With Two What To Do?!

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On June 13, 2013, I became a mommy of two! Two car seats, two cribs, a double stroller and a house filled with toys and pink clothes and bows galore!! Our oldest daughter Elyssa, is now 28 months and she is smart, sweet, funny, full of energy and curious about everything. Our baby girl Elaina is now eight weeks and she holds her head up, laughs and loves to nurse. Our girls keep us on our toes but they keep us laughing and enjoying every moment.

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So the title of this post is a very valid question; life with two what to do!? How do you chase a toddler around the living room when you have a infant crying to nurse, a husband who has needs and a house that’s in desperate need of a cleaning?! For me the answer is simple, breathe, ask God for patience, wisdom and grace and let my love for my family keep me going. The word of the month for me is organization. I’m trying to stay on top of the housework and the laundry so that I don’t find myself overwhelmed. My helpful husband and I work opposite shifts so he cares for the girls while I’m away and I care for them while he’s away. He cooks sometimes, I cook sometimes. We try to keep the laundry from piling up and try to keep Elyssa’s toys from consuming the whole house. Some days I say forget it and I just enjoy my family and pretend as if I don’t see the piles of clutter lying around.

As mothers we’re usually the first ones up and the last to go to bed. The ones doing majority of the cooking but the last to get to sit down and eat. We work hard to make sure that the house is run smoothly and somehow have the courage to continue to add more children and more responsibility to our plate as the years go by. WHY do we do this to ourselves?! I know my answer, I love being a mom. I love nursing, serving, cuddling, teaching, playing and watching them grow. Being a wife and a mom is the hardest but funniest and most rewarding job I’ve ever had. I was made to do this! I don’t know what I will do when Elaina becomes mobile and I have two girls to chase around but you know what, God will give me the grace and the energy just like He continues to do now. Parenting a two year old is no joke and I don’t always get it right but I’m grateful to God for a hands on husband and the support system that we have around us.

Being a mother of two for this first 8 weeks has been lots of work and lots of fun. I will post about my mommy experiences as times goes by. Until then, stay strong mommies and know that you’re doing a great job!!