Monday, May 10, 2010

new & improved website

We are so thrilled to finally have our new website up and running.

For two women who are NOT technically savvy, this process has taken us longer than we originally hoped. Although this is our new and improved website, like anything new it probably has its glitches and typos. If you see them, let us know so we can fix them.

Hope you have fun clicking through our pages...
visit us

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

after the rain

Yesterday was one of my favorite days of my life. Anyone who still has their life and their loved ones is feeling thankful right now. So many in our community have lost so much. Although our house stayed safe and dry and we had water and electricity, I was separated from my kids during the worst part of the flood. We had very spotty Internet/phone connection, so only once in a while were we able to get through the line to find out they were okay. In fact, they were more than okay, happily playing with cousins at the grandparent's house.

Both of my kids had minor issues when they were born. My son had to be swooped away to have his lungs cleared. My daughter had the cord around her neck when she was coming into the world. That moment the nurses and doctors said my babies were okay and placed them in my arms, those were the best moments. Ever. Like yesterday. The grandparents delivered my exhausted, dirty children to me and even though they are so very big now, I wanted to hold them forever. I even sneaked into their room in the middle of the night for some extra snuggling.

I wake up this morning READY to do SOMETHING to help in all of the devastation that surrounds me. I have been wondering how I can help, what can I do that would be truly beneficial to my community.

If you are familiar with Maslow's hierarchy of needs, you know that some of our basic needs (the foundation upon which the rest of our existence is built upon) are: breathing, water, food, sleep, excretion, employment, resources, housing, safety.

This brings me to one of my favorite books, The Only 127 Things You Nee {a guide to life's essentials}. The author, Donna Wilkinson, says your foundational needs are a healthy body, a good night's sleep, regular exercise, clothing, shelter and safety. You are probably very aware right now of the people around you who do not have their basic needs met. Being the amazing women we are (with tender hearts and a powerful desire to help), I bet you, like me, can't stand not being in the midst of the relief. Right now, I am on the edge of my seat waiting for my kids to wake up so that we can find out how to help in the Bellevue area.

And then I remember the words I tell women every day, the words inspired by my friend Melinda in her blog, Secure Your Own Mask First, "When traveling with small children, please secure your own mask first." Precious women who I know to be the caretakers of the men, women and children of this world, as you are assisting those traumatized by the circumstances around us, you MUST secure your own mask first.
What does this mean for you (and, yes, for me)?

If you are one of those not directly affected by the flood, if you still have shelter and clothing... then take care of your body,
eat healthy food,
get exercise

(don't push your body beyond it's capacity, an injury will make you completely unable to help),
and get a good night's sleep
Make sure your children are getting the same.

The recovery from this disaster will take a very long time. Let us not use up all of our resources by Day 2. Don't let yourself get so exhausted that you can't even help yourself. Remember in times like these there are always layers of need.

Right now we are in the Heroic Phase. This is a time where we are struggling to save whatever and whomever we can. It is a time of great fear, anxiety and shock and it usually lasts up to a week.

In the next 3 to 8 weeks, we will be entering the Honeymoon Phase. An overwhelming gratitude for what we have, what we have been spared from, a new appreciation for any walls and floors we can call our homes. During this time relief efforts will be at the highest.

Then hits the Disillusionment Phase, which will probably last until the rest of the year. Reality will set in, outside help will diminish, insurance issues will become frustrating. We will struggle with the fact this town will never be the same, that our many losses can never be recovered. There will be much grief, anger, sadness and isolation.

For years after this one, we will be in the Reconstruction Phase. Life will begin to feel normal again. We will be proud of our city, what we have overcome and the progress we made working together as a community.

(Check out more information on these phases of disaster relief from Georgia Disaster Relief. )

So, my message to you today is don't wear yourself out being the hero (unless, of course your job/skills lend you to being a helper during this first and short phase of disaster recovery). Save your resources, especially your emotional ones, for the long haul.

Guess what else we all need?

According to Wilkinson, The next layer of "essentials" are love and connection, a sense of control, mindfulness and acceptance, the ability to be real, physical and mental exercise, a sense of oneness and connection, time for reflection, a sense of awe and wonder, a sense of purpose, and meaningful ritual.

There is nothing like a disaster to give us the opportunity and drive to pursue these "above and beyond" essentials. Remember there is a time and seasons for everything. Pay attention to what phase you are equipped to serve and when you need to store up so you are ready to give when it is your time. It is not selfish to take care of our self it is ultimately self-less, so that you are fully equipped when your time to serve presents itself.

P.S. I wrote this entire blog to myself.