Beholden

SO much to be grateful for… before I move on to sharing more about the Holiday class (which was amazing and I plan to share sources), and various shop/buy local opportunities, discount codes etc,  I just want to post first about gratefulness.

source

This has been a hard year for many in the Houston area and frankly the entire country and around the world.  It seems like the world is just going crazy.  My babies called me last night from their grandparents’ home to tell me a criminal was on the loose and an officer had been shot. (He was captured but not before he fatally shoot a Texas DPS officer, please pray for that family, so awful) The way my boys talked, being “brave” almost like it was just normal stuff made me so sad.  My heart broke not just for the downed officer and his family but also for my boys who are growing up in this new “normalcy” of violence and daily tragedy in this country.  I know this isn’t a political blog and you don’t come here for social commentary.  But its been rough.  Home, family and safety feel more precious to us than ever. I could go on and on about Hurricane victims and dusty empty homes where there was no turkey and no football this thanksgiving…just shells of former homes.  But rebuilding is going on and people are huddled together.  And I am BEHOLDEN to those stories, our Maker, our HOMES and good friends.  



Erin and Ben Napier say gratefulness and being Beholden is their secret sauce.  And I think they are on to something…it can be everyone’s secret sauce.  No matter the circumstance just like 1 These says! It’s not always easy or fun but it is good and right and God sees it.  Our little people see it.  And others feel it.

I am grateful to be a part of Ben & Erin’s BEHOLDEN issue of Good Grit Magazine….Good Grit has an awesome mission to celebrate all of the good and positive things of the New South..the makers and people and places that make up this special region. Thank you FrenchBlue Photography for taking images of my new home and Buff Strickland for sharing images from the homes of the O’Donnells and Bethel families.  

Photos in article, above: portion of photo of Bethel home in Houston, me shown in our new living room with same old toile pillows! 

FrenchBlue photography shots of our new kitchen and front door!

I will blog again soon about which specific images are which home and what one particular living room looked like during and after the flood…  If I can get to the place where I can stomach to post those images.  The homeowner has given me permission and FrenchBlue took some eerily beautiful photos. For now, know this. I am grateful for you my readers and clients.  For colleagues and work opportunities and patience and kindness from each of you as I have navigated my new normal.  In some ways the 3rd year of divorce has been the worse..still trying to get sea legs for sure.  

God is faithful.  and I am BEHOLDEN.

Now let’s prepare our hearts for advent and the birth of King!

Note: There is still so much need in Houston as the holidays approach, click here to be a part of Becki Griffin‘s Gift Card movement to get immediate help in the hands of families with needs!  There are so many ways to give but this is one way she has found that truly works.

Hurricane Harvey- guest post

I want to share a specific story with you from my dear friend Becki Griffin of Curious Details.  Y’all have heard me talk of Becki often, she is a Houston area stylist and photographer and works with amazing people including Country Living and others. She has been a creative force in my life and also a true friend in hard times. Becki is also the funniest and most down to earth person I know!  She is a bona fide true East Texas girl.  Y’all, her sister and parents have directly been touched by the flood waters of Hurricane Harvey and I have asked her to share her sister Suzette’s story here. Suzette is a servant in every sense of the word, literally her job is youth ministry at her church in Vidor, Texas near Beaumont, but it isn’t just her job she lives her entire life that way. She is the type of person who would love to be coordinating meals for people and shoveling mud out of people’s homes right now. But sometimes people like Suzette and her family are the ones hurting and need help too but they don’t want to have attention or light shined on them and their need….but Becki insisted that Suzette allow her to set up a Gofundme campaign for their family need and tell their story.  Sisters are amazing that way!  I can just imagine Becki saying to her “look this is gonna happen so just accept it;” Oh to have such a sister and love!  Thank you Becki for letting me share with my readers Suzette’s story that represents one of thousands and the specific needs of her family.

I continue to encourage everyone to give online if you can to organizations such as Samaritans Purse and the  JJ Watt charity, as well as some smaller more localized church efforts that locals recommend and trust including Christ Community Church and Bayou City Fellowship.  I am working on a permanent page here with more info and links in one spot, including Amazon wish lists for local charities and specific families I know of . . . Until then you can donate directly to Becki’s family here.

 
Hi this is Becki,
 
My sister Suzette has served as a children’s youth minister at her church for 12 years.  
She has two daughters that live with her and her husband Kenny. They are a humble, hard working family just like yours and mine.
Kennedy is 18 and a college freshman.
Kaitlin 14 is in 9th grade
In 2009 they lost their oldest daughter Rachel in an auto accident.
 
 
 
Their home is in Vidor, Texas. They have evacuated twice. The latest was Thursday yesterday late afternoon. Today, they are safe at a family lake house north of the flooding. They have been able to source non-perishable necessities they can keep with them if they need to be on the move again. They are basically flood gypsy’s.
 
When Harvey moved east of Houston, it strengthened and pounded their area which is just east of Beaumont. When they saw that the water was going to flood their house on day two of the storm for them, they were able to save a few belongings and the things that were most important to them.
 
 
Among those were keepsakes that belonged to Rachel. As you can imagine, these items are sacred to Suzette.
 
As of this morning, water rescues are still going on in Vidor. Interstates are closed and there are few ways to get out and even fewer to get back in.
The Neches river is expected to crest today and residents aren’t sure how much higher the water will rise before it recedes.
 
Establishing flood insurance claims  and FEMA claims take time. It will be days before adjustors are able to get to the homes. The only thing they can do today is get to higher ground.
 
To assist Suzette’s family in their immediate need I have created a GoFundMe Campaign https://www.gofundme.com/ratclifffund This is a safe way for anyone to donate directly to a family that’s been affected by the flood and gives them immediate access to money while they wait for their claims to be processed. Flood insurance doesn’t cover the contents of their home. This includes their appliances and possibly their a/c unit. They will need materials for clean up like fans and window units to dry the house out.
 
As of today Suzette isn’t sure where they will live while repairs are being made. It’s too early to say for her and so many others. It feels like things should move much faster, especially since the sun is shining today. But until the water recedes, and the electricity comes back on,  we wait. 
 
It has been so difficult to watch this play out and all the while I can’t get to them. The interstate was flooded. But I’m doing everything I possibly can to help them from Houston. That’s why I established the GoFundMe in her name. I am also accepting deliveries and storing them for her. 
 
{Suzette and I last summer}
 
I can be contacted through my email becki@curiousdetails.com to answer questions about donations or deliveries. 
 
The first step is to wait for the high water to recede. Then clean up. Then repair. They have a very long road ahead but they are family that leans strongly on their faith. This is not the hardest obstacle they have faced as a family and they are certain God’s promises will carry them through this. 
 
Their family motto is Rachel’s favorite scripture, ‘love never fails’.  Suzette’s heart is with her community and the children at church. She is determined to get back home and help anyone she can there.
 
Thank you to everyone that has prayed, texted, supported, loved and contributed to my family. We are so grateful. 
 
Becki
 
 
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