*In a Nut Shell

Never a dull moment

We have seen some dark moments for sure, but never dull.

I don’t mean dark like “terrible; where is the way out of this trial?!” sort of dark, just the “lights out!” sort of dark.

Last night, our house was hit by lightening!!

It was really loud and really shocking and really bright.

And then really not bright. ;)

I was holding my phone after having just plugged it in before going to bed when it happened. There was a literal glow/spark in my hand and I felt the electricity shoot up my arm and then down both my legs.

Felicity was in the bathroom and was so disoriented by what happened, she couldn’t find her way out so got pretty freaked out.

The boys and Anastasia stayed sound asleep, but the older girls were all awake for it and were shaken. Faith said she could feel it in her head.

All is well this morning though! The power company came out and had to replace the switch to switch us back on, but we are up and running again. The girls are tired and my hand is still tingling and my legs are achy, but all things considered, we are doing great!

I’ve been checking all our things that were plugged in and it all seems to be in order. At this point, the only damage done was to my phone cord and it is fried. I got zapped real good!

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Thank You Jesus for keeping us safe!

This now brings me to ask the question:   Should I go buy some scratchers and a lotto ticket?!

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*In a Nut Shell

Normal

A few days ago, I read this post about the social pushes on women from a regular woman’s perspective. 

I agreed with about 99.9% of everything she said. And I don’t even go to work. Nor do I have to struggle with maybe having to go back to work, especially after having a baby.

Not to mention all the points on being healthy, or the me time, or being the “it guy” in day to day life.

So. Much. Pressure.

It brought to mind a recent post one of the moms I follow on Instagram shared about how everyone only shares their life’s highlights all over social media and how we spend our time competing with someone else’s 5 minutes of glimmer when in reality we are all drowing in something and we need to be supporting each other in those things.

Each person, each family, is on their own path toward Heaven doing their normal. I call it “their normal” because the truth is? There is no such thing as normal. There is only the idea of normal. So, we all have to choose the path of normal that is best for ourselves and our family and move forward without comparing to someone else’s normal. We are all on our own path and in different stages or phases of that journey.

In the end, we are never going to win at this life if we don’t strive to impress God and Him alone.

The reality of social norms is that we will never win because there are no social norms. You are going to be persecuted if you don’t persue a career or return to work 6 weeks after you have a baby, and you’re going to be persecuted for leaving your little baby home to return to work. You simply won’t ever win.

Don’t let society’s “normal,” or your Instagram Following List’s “normal,” or your ever growing Facebook Friend List’s “normal” dictate what your normal is.

Choose the moral normal that fits you and your family best and work at that. Allow only room for growth and not going backwards. Your normal is for you and my normal is for me.

We are not in a competition.

We will not compare.

However, we will support each other because we are all following Christ. Like Christ needed Simon of Cyrene, we too need all the help we can get!

*In a Nut Shell

Easter Pascha 2019

Today we celebrate Christ’s resurrection into Heaven for by death He has trampled death.

In the Eastern Church, Easter is called Pascha which means the feast of all feasts.

At Divine Liturgy on this Bright morning, it begins with Paschal Matins, processing around the church. When we end up at the closed door of the church, the priest reads the Gospel about finding the empty tomb, bangs on the door three times, and says “Lift up your gates, O ye princes; and be ye lifted up, ye everlasting gates, and the King of Glory shall enter in.” From the other side of the door comes the question, “Who is this King of Glory?” the priest responds, “The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord, mighty in war. Lift up your gates, O ye princes; and be ye lifted up, ye everlasting gates, and the King of Glory shall enter in.”

When everyone has entered the church, we begin to sing the Paschal troparion “Christ is risen from the dead! By death he trampled death, and to those in tomb He granted life.” It is sung over and over, the church resounding with the triumphant sound of loud stomping on satan when we come to the words “trampled death.”

Throughout Liturgy and continued these 50 days following during the Pascha celebration until Pentecost, the priest and deacons say three times, once in Greek, Aramaic, and then English:

“Christ is risen!” and the congregation responds “Indeed, He is risen!”

What a fantastic day! May your celebrations be deep and holy on this glorious feast day and throughout these days following to Pentecost.

God bless you and Happy Easter! He IS Risen!

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*In a Nut Shell

Oh Great Week

In the Eastern Church, Holy Week is called Great Week. The following post is in no way a complaint, only a “whew! what a week!” post that I feel must be typed about because #blueflame and #sanity.

It all started on Palm Saturday. We got blasted with a hail storm and lost over 10 of our new 17 chicks. So sad. And so stinky too! We put them in the fire pit, but Daisy took each of them and put them in holes all over the yard for another day. As the week has gone on, new chicky babies bodies keep popping up and well…gross.

Then, on Wednesday eveningewe had severe weather warnings with more hail expected. We took all necessary precautions and hunkered down for what ended up being strong winds and a bit of rain.

Better safe than sorry!

Right?

Thursday morning was business as usual getting up and at ’em with getting kids off to school. I had planned a trip to Costco and the grocery store for later that morning so after I fed the little kids breakfast, I headed down the hall to start getting ready.

Then I heard this really loud crash and crunching sound from the other side of the house where the garage-turned-playroom is. I immediately freaked out and ran out as I envisioned the humongous tree that is on that side smashed into the house and my little kids hurt.

But there was nothing going on. Anywhere. Just more crunching and crashing noises.

What in the world?

I looked out front and saw trees and branches falling everywhere and power lines all over the place. And then it started to pour rain.

I called 911 to have fire department assess the situation and determine what the next steps were, but based on how our house is set back from the road, they only went to the vacant house in front of us. I waited for them to come down the driveway for about 15 minutes, but they drove away.

What in the world?

So I called again and the chief called me back and said not to worry. Only communication lines were down and they called the appropriate company to come out and fix it. I responded that that was fine, but there was no power in my house and that they needed to actually come down my driveway, away from the street, and check out the problems we were having here.

They came back and still sorta only hung out at the street, so I disobeyed orders and went outside to flag them down to us. As the crew came down the driveway, their faces just fell. They stopped, pointed, gasped, pointed, walked, stopped, pointed, gasped… You get the idea. By the time they reached the front door they said “Wow! You really are a mess back here! We didn’t even notice you when we were here the first time.”

I have taken great measures to make sure our house is easy to find because in the event I had a middle of the night seizure again, we need to be found. I even explained to the operator and the chief when he called that I was tucked far back and to follow the address signs.

So they called the power company and went on their merry way. About 30 minutes later the power company came, but they once again hung out at the top of the driveway near the street. So, I went all the way out to bring them down to see all the problems in my front yard, not just along the driveway.

What was along the driveway?

Well, we had trees and branches everywhere. There were two power poles not doing their job as one snapped in half and the other one appeared to be like obliterated with part of it on the ground and the other part hanging in the tree.

There were wires on the ground, stuck in branches, some just “free” due to snapping and some frayed and still connected to their poles. There were frays at the poles that were still intact as well as partial wires hanging from them.

When the power guy walked down the driveway with me, he said that they were not prepared to handle the severity of our situation. They thought they were just going to have to rehang some wire. As we walked and talked and got to the side of our house, it’s there we saw it:

The entire electrical main that connects the house was ripped off the wall and in all sorts of pieces!!!!

He said he was going to call in the big crews for new poles and new lines to be run. Then  he told me we were going to have to get a permit from the city and a good electrician out to fix/replace the house portion then have it inspected before they could bring power from the final pole to our house. Oh, and the city was going to be closed tomorrow (Good Friday) so inspection wasn’t very likely.

So we might not have power until Monday or Tuesday. And, what was the beginning point of origin or the cause? That remains inconclusive. I think that it was lightning that hit one of the poles or a tree and caused the domino effect with enough force to pull the box from the house.

God saw fit to move things along for us, though! He literally blew the storm away and brought some sunshine to the dreary day and the dark house and the power crews got here from all corners of DFW to get things cleaned up, new poles up, and new lines run. They were finished by 7:00 that evening and told us to call them back for a reconnect once the electrician fixed the house up.

Friday morning brought us some more sunshine after a decent, dark night. Thankfully all of this is happening when it is neither too cold or too hot! A group of wonderful electricians came and got right to work first thing after having gotten a permit on Thursday before the city closed.

Oh, did I tell you we are on a well and haven’t had water and toilets because pumps need electricity?

Yeah…

The guys worked diligently and got a brand new panel on the wall by after lunch time, then we foubd an inspector who was willing to leave his yard work on his day off to come a ways away to inspect it and get the ball rolling on getting the power company back.

Power company was confirmed. ETA? As soon as they can… In real time, it was about 2:00 but they didn’t get to us until 6:00. Thankfully, Lowell’s company had a small generator and let us borrow it so we were able to keep one fridge going so we didn’t lose the $1,200 insulin we just bought.

Alleluia! We got our Bright, Easter, Pasch Sunday a little early! Lights were on and we were on our way back to normal by 7:30, flushing toilets and all! Each of the crews who helped us along the way we’re so incredibly kind and wonderful. I will be so grateful for them forever!

Then this morning, Lowell went to hop in the shower but the drain was just not draining at it’s typical slow pace. It was really, really slow. So he started getting to the bottom of it when roots and dirt started coming up through the drain and into the tub.

Seriously?

A few phone calls in, and an emergency plumber later, complete with ripping up tile and subflooring, we need to rip open some bedroom walls and replace some old cast iron stuff under the house, and hope that’s all there is but can’t say for sure until it’s all ripped open and exposed. And the earliest it can happen is Monday, but we have to wait for everything to line up. I am not worried because even with as hectic as this has all been, God has been good with making things fall into place and happen in decent time.

This has been one incredible, Great week. And it truly can be said to be Holy as well because even though we didn’t get to partake in any Triduum services due to being homebound while waiting for crews to come and go, or for live wires to be moved from behind the vehicles, nobody has lost their cool. We are all on the smelly side ;) but that is something we can work on slowly but surely.

Happy Easter everyone! Here are some pictures of our “storm” and I will try to snap a few of the kids tomorrow in their Sunday best.