A Dramatic Mother’s Day

We went to one of my oldest friend’s wedding this weekend. We were inseparable as young girls. When we pretended to be characters from movies (Cinderella, Pocahontas, Snow White…) neither of us got the short end of the stick. Rather than one being the princess and another being a stepsister or a dwarf, or a bad character, we chose to play as twins. (Who says there can’t be two Pocahontases in the story?) My family moved when I was nine, and while we don’t write letters incessantly like we once did, she is very special to me, and it was an absolute honor to witness her make a forever commitment with the one she loves. It was a beautiful wedding in the rolling hills near Austin (Lago Vista, TX), and the venue was on a cliff overlooking a lake. Gorgeous!

Yesterday we were about 2 miles from home, and the severe weather alarm on my phone went off.  It said “Imminent threat: Tornado watch in this area. Take cover NOW!” Um, okay that’s not exactly the welcome message one desires to receive when driving home. But to make matters worse, it LOOKED like there was a tornado brewing right over Providence Village. It felt like we were driving into the eye of the storm. I laid on the gas. Joel told me I need to slow down, but I said, “No, I need to get HOME!” I was pretty freaked out. (He said it looked horrible too, but given the fact that he and I are both conservative drivers, I can understand why he wouldn’t appreciate my Need for Speed driving style…) We went inside, and Joel went to take a nap. (We were both exhausted, and he had already asked if I minded if he went to sleep when we got home.)

Normally I would feel much better once arriving home, but the kids got to spend the weekend with Peepaw and Grammy, and Mom was on her way to my house… with my kids! When we first got the warning and saw the terror of the approaching storm, Joel called my mom, but she didn’t answer, so he left a message. He told her about the alert, that the storm looked pretty severe, and suggested that she turn around. After getting home I tried calling my mom a few times… No answer. I also sent her a couple of text messages. (Joel wasn’t any happier about the kids being on the road than I was, but he rightfully recognized it was out of his control.)

I had a better view of the funnel cloud, but a neighbor in a different part of the community took this picture.

I had a better view of the funnel cloud, but a neighbor in a different part of the community took this picture.

I am not one to stress out. Joel has helped teach me to be easy-going, and I believe in the sovereignty of God. When I am tempted to stress over something out of my control, I pray for peace. I prayed and prayed while waiting for my children, but my heart was beating a mile a minute, and I couldn’t stop myself from shaking. I acted like a zoo momma who’s been separated from her babies: pacing back and forth, looking out the windows, watching the clock like a hawk. And the minutes creeept by.

As I watched the clouds out my back door, over the course of ten-fifteen LOOONNG minutes, a tornado began to form. The clouds were making a great circle over our neighborhood, including my house. As the clouds circled more quickly, the circle grew smaller and more concentrated over my neighbors’ houses about a quarter to a half mile away. I watched as the funnel cloud began to shape, and the point began growing longer and longer, getting closer to the ground with each passing minute. Finally, when the funnel cloud reached halfway to the ground, it began spinning with less vigor and concentration. Wisps of cloud began shooting outward, and the funnel dissipated. I have never seen such a sight! It was incredibly surreal and seemed to happen so slowly and quickly all at the same time. It was as if time had stopped, and all I could see was this mammoth of a storm threatening my neighborhood and my family, heading right into the storm.

By the grace of God, a tornado did not touch down in our village on that Mother’s Day, the storm remained North of the road which my parents and kids were travelling, and my Heavenly Daddy brought my kiddos safely to my grateful arms! A very happy Mother’s Day gift indeed. I could have done without the drama, however, I was reminded once again that most things we stress over do not come to pass, so worry is never a good use of our time. I did what I could and should have trusted God more with what was out of my control. The fact is, bad things happen every day. That fact doesn’t make God any less good or powerful. He is in control, and I trust that if tragedy does ever befall my family He will give me the strength to endure.

Speaking of Mother’s Day, I think my mom is confused. Every Mother’s Day I try to bless her and communicate how special she is to me. http://shop.heidijhale.com/But she always outdoes me! I don’t think she realizes that I’m the one that should be lifting her up on this day every year. Despite my best efforts, she always blesses me so much more! She is a special mom, and I am so honored to call her mine. She has blessed me in more ways than I could even number. I love her so much, and I know everyone else does too! It is fun for me to watch other people appreciate her and express how much she means to them, because she deserves it. Pam Ream/Gleason/Fortner has blessed so many lives, and I look forward to the day in Heaven when she will see the whole picture of the multitude of lives that were touched by her work here on this earth. I love you Mom! Thank you for all that you are! And for being mine. 🙂

This is what my mom got me for Mother’s Day. (It will have my 4 kids’ names, of course.)


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