"Don't tell God how big your storm is, tell the storm how big your God is!"

I heard this quote 2 times this week in 2 different places!

Tonight, my sister-in-law's mom had this picture on Facebook . . . It makes me smile even though it's a tough thought!

When the girls were little (Tessa especially), they were scared of storms.  I remember Rick tenderly taking her out on the front porch and holding her tightly while they watched a storm rage - lots of lightening and thunder - but Daddy held her close, she was safe, and she was no longer afraid, SHE TRUSTED HER DADDY . . . the storm was big, but to that little girl, her Daddy was bigger!  With that image in my mind, and KNOWING how much "that" daddy loved his little girl, HOW MUCH MORE does our Heavenly Daddy love us? It does in just a TINY way put the Lord's love into some kind of earthly perspective!

That same little girl who wanted to run to the basement just hearing the weatherman say there was a storm is the same beautiful young lady who stood on a deck in Alabama with me earlier this month taking pictures . . . 

. . . taking pictures of a storm!  A beautiful fireworks display put on for us by our loving Heavenly Daddy!  And thanks to the strong, loving, protective arms of her earthly Daddy, she no longer feared the storm, she enjoyed the beauty of it, she praised God for His majesty proclaimed in it!

. . . "and though my heart is torn, I will praise you in this storm"
~Casting Crowns~

These thoughts are going through my mind tonight as I'm praying for the Lord to calm my inner storms . . . 

Right now, Tessa is in Chicago (competing, having fun and falling in love with Broadway shows!).  Taya is on her way to Lansing for "Acquire the Fire" a Christian youth event (where she gets to see Lecrae - which she is pretty pumped about!).  She also finished up Segment I driver's ed tonight and got her learner's permit and drove us home from town!  Kajsa is sleeping next to me right now, but is spending a night at a friend's house tomorrow night so they can make a "solar powered hot dog cooker" for extra credit for Science Lab!  I'm so glad that my girls are growing and blossoming - despite this storm that they are going through.  I'm so thankful that they've continued to look to Jesus to calm the storm.  I'm so PROUD to be their mom!

It didn't "hit" me until this evening that 6 months ago this weekend, the girls all had something to do on Friday night too, so Rick and I went out on a date!  With 3 kids living at home that didn't happen all that often!  We wanted to go to our favorite place (The Landing), but they were full, so we decided on the new Mexican place in town (LaCabana).  I LOVED my meal, he wasn't so crazy about his.  We ordered fried ice cream - he let me have most of the chocolate sauce.  I wore a black turtleneck and dress jeans.  We talked and laughed, we talked about it almost being hunting season (Rick's FAVORITE time of the year).  We talked about the girls, and how proud we were of them.  We talked about the big kids and the grand kids . . . we talked about everything and nothing . . . I was so thankful for my nice, tidy, happy, uneventful little life that I was living . . . pretty free of any major storms . . . . 

but . . . unknown to me . . . 

  It was our last date.  

Little did I know THAT 6 months ago.  I'm so thankful that God gave us that night.  It was nothing spectacular.  It was the most spectacular night of my life (in retrospect!) . . .  it was our last date.  A night I will always remember!  A night I will always be thankful for.  A gift the Lord gave me, though I didn't know it at the time what a precious gift it was!  

Here we are, 6 months after that dinner out at LaCabana's . . . the girls still with plans for their Friday night, and me, yes, still praising GOD, even in this STORM, even though my life doesn't seem so tidy and uneventful anymore . . . though it still is "nice" and it is still "happy" - just in a different way.  

I wish Rick and I were going on a date TOMORROW night.
I wish Daddy was still here to hold me and/or the girls while we feared a storm.
I question why US and why THIS storm.
I wish there was some way to explain our storm to others - because it's really a "lonely" storm.

I am praising God.
I am telling my storm that MY GOD is bigger.
"I raise my hands and praise the God who gives and takes away . . . I lift my eyes unto the hills, where does my help come from?  My help comes from the Lord, maker of Heaven and earth"
~Casting Crowns~

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