Weathering the Storm

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I was pretty excited the other day to hear we were going to get to the 40s this week. Little did I know what the 40s would do to the great amount of snow we had laying around. Add in some rain to that mix and you really have a water event.IMG_5506

Once again, our river is nearly as high as it was last fall! This time it is complete with ice blocking the flow of the river, ice floes in the bottom field and ducks floating blissfully on that same field.

Yesterday my husband spent time digging “canals” crisscrossing our yard in an attempt to get the water away from the house. He spent time doing that and plugging in a sump pump to keep the water out of our basement. I will have to say that Iowa weather is never boring. Personally I am ready for boredom when it comes to weather.

I also had forgotten the mud that would accompany such a fast melt. This is not your basic mud….this is boot-sucking mud. You have to walk very carefully in this mud. If you don’t you will find yourself with a very wet muddy sock and your boot stuck where your foot used to be. It is probably an incredible workout program.

Most of the schools around here are only running their buses on the hard surface roads. I totally get that as our short stretch of mud gravel road is not really negotiable anymore. I will have to say that it does keep things interesting.

With all this water around I am reminded of a verse that says, “When you go through the deep water.” Isaiah 43:2. I am struck by the fact that is says WHEN not IF. It also promises that we will not be swept under. I find that to be a great comfort in every circumstance.

IMG_5508And so I watch the waters rise, I hear the wind howl as the rain changes between snow and rain; as if it cannot decide which season it is, and I slip and slide over a yard of mud, ice and running water.

I hear of communities in Iowa, South Dakota and Nebraska that have taken huge hits with water damage. Dams and bridges washed away, homes flooded with basements collapsing and entire businesses gone. It makes our flooding look fairly minor. There is definitely perspective to all things.

So much of life is perspective. It is good to take a step back and realize we are not alone. In the storms, in the high waters, in the mud and ice….we are not forgotten. We are not in control and for that I am eternally grateful.

May your weekend find you safe and warm. May you keep your head above water and may you find blessing in the floods of life.

 

Sometimes you just need to bow your head,
say a prayer and weather the storm.

Unknown

 

 

Faith and Farmers

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So many things in life take faith. In the years I have been married to a farmer I can testify to the fact that farming is one of those things.

Every year my husband diligently heads off to the field to prepare and plant the crop he hopes to harvest in the fall. Some years that works out really well…..and other years not quite so good.

This past year we experienced some of the worst flooding on our fields that we have ever seen. We watched that water come up, go down, come up and again, very slowly go down the second time.

My farmer husband patiently (sort of) waited for the fields to dry enough to get back in them. He would walk out to the bottoms and stand in the middle of brown dead corn. He never said much when he came back…..he just waited and wondered what the best course of action would be for those fields.

This past week I witnessed an act of faith. I saw him once again haul out the disk and planter, prepare that bottom piece of field and plant it. It is rather late in the season but he has faith that there will be something that can be harvested from that piece. He is a quiet witness to perseverance, hope and faith.

I am reminded that we have never experienced a total crop failure like those farmers did in the 30’s. I often wonder how they kept hope alive when the rains never came.

It is a good lesson for me to learn…..that things are probably never quite as hopeless as it looks at the first look. That with a little patience and perseverance things might turn around….that sometimes the only thing you have is faith and the hope that faith brings……and that is enough.

“A farmer has to be an optimist 
or he wouldn’t still be a farmer.”

Will Rodgers

 

“He makes grass grow for the cattle,
and plants for people to cultivate-
bringing forth food from the earth.”
Psalm 104:14

 

Remembering The Flood of 2014

Flood 2014

Flood of 2014

 

The weather has been really hot the last days and very humid. It would be so easy to complain about it (and I do) but I keep trying to remember that it can always be worse.

Two years ago the view from our porch was very different than it is today. After days of rainfall an earthen dam built by the WPA at a state park in Minnesota gave way.  All that water made it’s way downstream and some ended up by us….actually a lot ended up by us.

Typically the river is in it’s banks safely behind the line of trees in the photo above. Typically you can put on some boots and walk across it as it is a very shallow river…usually.

Normally we have a 30 foot cliff that looks over the river…..not two years ago. The photo below is the top of that cliff and the “lake” beyond my husband; is our cornfield

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Looking back; the eeriest thing about the flooding was that you could hear the river.  Normally it is a pretty quiet little river. Two years ago you could stand on the porch and instead of hearing the usual tractors, wind, and birds you heard water rushing through the fields and through the branches of the trees.

We were fortunate compared to many. We lost some acres of crop due to flood waters but others lost possessions and homes and all the memories that go with those items. There are bridges that were washed out on many gravel roads and they have still not been repaired.  For those living on those roads it has been an adjustment.

It was a blessing to see how people, churches, and businesses all banded together to get entire communities and families back on their feet. The people in this area are amazing.

I told someone recently that I am a “glass half-full” kind of person. I can usually see the bright side of most things (at least after awhile I can). Watching the waters come up two years ago made me realize exactly who was in control of my glass and that I really did not even own my glass. I was reminded that God had this and I should trust Him.

There are so many things in life I have no control over……other people, circumstances, jobs, weather, health to name a few. I might think I have control and then along comes a flood of some type and I realize, once again, that God is God and I am not. I am reminded I can only see this small portion of my life, but God can see the beginning and the end of my days. For that I am grateful.

May you have a blessed weekend!

 

When you go through deep waters,
I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up;
the flames will not consume you.
Isaiah 43:2  NLT

 

For more photos of the flooding of 2014 please click on the link below.  This young man is a storm chaser, friend of my son, and a great photographer.

Brent Koops Photography