Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Black Forest Fires

Many of you already know about the forest fire that so quickly started a few miles north of us just a week ago. A tragedy in so many regards as it comes just one year after the Waldo Canyon fire that blazed over the mountains toward the city summer of 2012, with a housing loss in the 500's as of today. Personally, though not immediately affected, it was sad to watch an area with so many personal memories,  burn so quickly. Even more difficult to watch family and friends be displaced and so uncertain of their future.

In the midst of it all, I do love the opportunity that it provided for us with the children. The girls went through the obvious thought processes of fear, wonder, uncertainty, and confusion. But we chose to speak with them openly and honestly about it, not painting fear, but rather matter-of-fact conversations that would mentally prepare them and put them at ease.

One such conversation stemmed from a hasty comment of fear that the fire would come and burn us up in our home. "What would we do if we lost all our stuff?" "Are we able to run faster than the fire?" and the list of questions went on. What a great opportunity to talk to the girls about being prepared, watching the news and knowing the timing of things so that we gave ourselves plenty of time. We also talked about stuff and how it's just that - STUFF. Stuff can be replaced, but what is most important? As the girl's rattled off answers to that question, we were able to boil it down to people and memories. As long as family and loved ones are safe, along with those special memories, everything is fine. I certainly do love the moments when we get to remind our children of what is truly important - not just the stuff.

We also were able to have the conversation about how the fire started. Mia, being the benefit of the doubt giver that she is, said that she thought maybe someone was roasting marshmallows and then the fire got too big. Or, she said, maybe someones electricity got too hot. Both plausible scenarios in my mind. Lilia thought maybe it started in an armpit - very seriously.(You should see her serious face) So, we flushed that out a little bit and she finally came to the conclusion that maybe an armpit start wasn't as possible as originally thought.

Finally, on Saturday, we got some rain. The first thing I heard as the girls came charging down the stairs is "MOMMY!! we prayed for rain and God listened!! He really listened!" What a beautiful reminder to the girls to always bring things to the Lord in prayer because he DOES listen.

Their sweet hearts continue to pray for the fire, those who have "broken homes" now, and thank Him for the firefighters who "save people." Such sweet moments and lessons that came out of such a tragedy.

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