Sunday, December 14, 2008

A "suite" update

Because of the fire, our insurance is putting us up in a Marriott Residence Inn. The boys love it because they get to ride the elevator and take turns pushing the buttons. Lincoln loves it so much that he forgot to get off one afternoon when we got to our floor. I was holding Porter and starting down the hall when Ethan yelled, “Mom! Lincoln’s trapped in the elevator!” Sure enough, I turned around to find the doors closing on Lincoln. The elevator started to move, and I could hear him screaming but couldn’t tell if he was going up or down. I ran down the stairs with Porter still in my arms to see if the doors would open on the first floor. They didn’t. I could still hear Lincoln screaming at the top of his lungs. I ran back up the stairs to our floor, and when the door opened, a friendly little Hispanic family was coddling Lincoln, trying to get him to stop crying. He jumped into my arms as I said my thanks. Needless to say, Lincoln is usually the first of the elevator these days.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Pictures - as promised

It still astounds me how quickly a fully furnished, three-story, solid log home was reduced to nothing more than concrete and 2 feet of ash. Kinda makes one think about one's priorities, hmm?

Align Center

Looking up from the bottom of our driveway

The beautiful chainsaw-carved eagle head prow

Our BBQ - looks like we'll need a new one.

Where our large covered front porch and stairs used to be.

Standing by the shed looking at the house

Monday, December 1, 2008

How Firm a Foundation

On my way to Thanksgiving dinner last week, I was thinking of what I was most grateful for. Needless to say, nothing on the list this year contained any worldly value - it was only those things that we talk about "taking with us" to the next life: Relationships, health, testimony, etc. Elaine and I had been talking about the words to "How Firm a Foundation" last week, and I just kept coming back to the fifth verse:

"When through fiery trials thy pathways shall lie,
My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply;
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine."

As you can see from the pictures, the only thing standing from our "fiery trial" is the concrete foundation. The entire house and everything in it burned in the fire, but the foundation stood in the end. Likewise, the fire burned nearly every piece of our material life, everything of material importance to us. Our worldly valuables are gone, but our "foundation" still stands - testimonies of the gospel and the value of our family, immediate and extended. The only difference is that, as a result of the fire, the concrete foundation of our home is weakened with cracks and fissures - not strong enough to support the rebuilding of another structure. Our personal foundation, however, was only strengthened by the fire - becoming stronger and more firm, maintaining "structural integrity" enough to rebuild our lives on.

I am grateful for my foundation in the gospel, my testimony of the importance and eternal nature of families, for my parents and Greg's who are such examples to me, and our families and loved ones all across the nation who put everything aside to show their concern and love. I think I feel better prepared now than ever for what the future will bring; a time when all we have of value is our faith and our families because that is what we have now, and with them we can overcome anything.