Generation Cedar

My Dad and I have had a few “post-tornado” talks. The first few days were very hard for him as he witnessed all he had invested physically and emotionally in the last 26 years lying in a heap.

Honestly, I think we all grieved more over “Poppy & Granna’s house” being gone–the farm in general–as it is the place where I grew up and the only place my children have ever known.  It was our little country paradise.  It was familiar and full of memories.

In our discussion about how suffering most often brings out the best in humanity, I commented to him,

“The thing is, God is not so nearly concerned with our stuff as we are; He’s much more concerned with our spiritual state–our response to suffering, that’s what matters.”

And I think that test is both for those who are “victims” and for those who are looking in.

It’s been a strange revelation as this crazy thing has played out. Ironically, just weeks before the storm, I said to my brother (who was trying to coax me to move to Colorado), “You don’t understand. I really love being here….I love our home. I really love “sameness”. . I don’t like change.” (Hee hee)

I’ve always reveled over the picturesque farm we’ve called home for almost my whole life, delighting in the beauty that surrounds us, reminding our children how blessed we are for such physical comforts. If you had told me it would all be destroyed tomorrow, I would have been wrenched with grief at the thoughts. I would have told you that I “couldn’t handle it”.

“He giveth more grace as our burdens grow greater…”

But in the moment it was snatched away I was forced to reckon with the question of real treasures.

My Dad summed up in a letter what we all feel, and I’m so thankful to have been raised by a man whose faith is built on the Rock, whose faith seeped into my heart and now braces up my life when much of the physical has crumbled.

“In 30 seconds all the years of work, sweat and tears, our houses, barns and possessions were all gone.

The test had come. Where were my treasures? At that point God completely called my hand and I am grateful to say, truly, they are in Heaven and not being burned in the trash pile…Praise God from whom all blessings flow!” –Gary Liverett

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-21

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20 Responses

  1. Praise God! What an incredible heritage of faith your family is blessed with! What Glory the testimony of your words gives Him! Thank you for standing firm in the Truth of His provision and Grace! Still, we pray that your lives can return to some semblance of “normalcy” soon. You are on our daily prayer list in our homeschool. Our children have you on their hearts.

  2. I am so THANKFUL that my treasure of a friend is still with me here on earth! Along with her family that have become my family, whether they like it or not. ;o)

    Not many women/girls have dads that are full of so much wisdom and love. You better thank the Lord for him everyday!

  3. You have quite a daddy. You are so blessed, Kelly! I agree with Kathy…. so thankful you all were spared!

  4. Thanks for sharing this, Kelly. I cannot fathom what you all have been through and are going through… but you are still encouraging others. That’s a great testimony.

  5. Immensely touched by what you and your father have shared in this post and asking myself today ‘Where are all my treasures?’ – something to ponder deeply as we live in a house surrounded by trees in a country where the threat of summer bush fires is ever present and something we are always reminded to be prepared for. We do our best to prepare our home and property but the question I have not really asked is ‘Have I prepared my heart?’

  6. I am so immensely proud and inspired by how you and your family have responded to this event. You are faithful in turning to God and honouring Him, and I think it’s wonderful – what a great example for Christ you are being! I only hope that I can be as faithful should I ever be in a similar situation.

  7. What a wise Daddy who built on a sure foundation! We continue to pray for you and your family. I was just thinking yesterday how the rest of us just go on to the next soundbite and yet you all are in the middle of a long journey of rebuilding. Your blog helps us remember all who are in the middle of that journey.


  9. WOW!!!!!!!!!!! Love this post!!! Your family is such an example and my what a testimony you guys have. My husband will be back this weekend, just want you guys to know this all has changed lives!!!!!!!

  10. What a beautiful statement and testimony. I love it! WHat blessings you will have for generations to come because of his great faith!!!

  11. What a blessing to have that realization…. not very many are so blessed. 15 years ago (6 months before I got married and was still living at home) my parents home was completely destroyed by fire along with almost everything we owned. Gone, in a moment! I was also blessed to realize that true treasure is not found here on earth. As time has gone on I try really hard to hang on to that fact and be very deliberate about not being attached to things, but rather focusing on relationships and my future in heaven!!! What a blessing you have found and you are indeed blessed to have such a wise father. My prayers for your recovery! You are so much farther ahead than many others since your heart knows the ultimate truth. It is NOT easy, my friend and you will have days that are extra hard. However, if you keep a constant reminder going to yourself that your treasures are in heaven you will get through it!!

  12. I don’t believe you realize just how much your ministry through this tragedy is affecting the hearts, souls and spirits of others. When I first read of your tragedy, I have to admit that I was almost jealous. To be able to have the slate wiped clean and start over would be a blessing in some ways, for me. We accumulate so much temporary nonsense in our lives and we allow it to rob us of our focus on the eternal.

    Hubby and I are in prayer over this. He’s working a job that provides for his family and takes care of our temporal needs, food, shelter, clothing, etc. But, his job pulls him away from home for extended periods. We ALL feel the burden of the loss of a father in the home. (I am reminded of the Lee family when I miss my husband.) We are in prayer, wondering what the Lord is calling us to do about this circumstance. Your tragedy has been a witness to us about the importance of so many things on an eternal level recently. I thank you for your faithfulness.

  13. We are remembering yourselves and the Boyds, and especially the Lees at this time. As I do the dishes, or teach Maths, or lie in bed waiting to sleep, you are never far from my heart. That’s what the family of God is like: here in Scotland, I feel a bond with people in the USA whom I’ve never met, but who are (and who *feel* like) my brothers and sisters.
    What a test. We *know* our treasure is to be only those things that are of eternal value…. but I have never been put to that test. I know nothing of what tomorrow has in store, and this very test may be in my providence soon. I pray that I would treasure nothing to such an extent that it would tear my peace in Christ apart….
    I pray for you all – that when the ‘drama’ of what happened dies down, and when people begin to get on with their lives, and when day-to-day life begins to grind you down, that God will uphold you with His strength and in His love.
    Blessing to you all from a sister in Christ,
    Anne, x

  14. I have sat (post storm) in my living room alone and wondered what I would miss deeply. As I sat looking around from object to object, I feel the inner tug of, “oh my photos”, “oh my books/cookbooks”, and the list went on and on. Then I imagined what I saw that day at your place. Some of your books drying out, some of your photos that were left wet, some of Ashtons art, and in that moment knew that God was all that mattered. As long as I had him, all of these material things could be replaced and I would move on. God is bigger than your present situation. God is bigger than your 2 bedroom, cramped current home. God is bigger than no job. God will see you, and all the other victims of this storm, through this time because he knew of your suffering before time began, and knew how you would be comforted. There have been many lessons learned during this time and I know if we continue to seek God, many more will follow.

  15. Reading this post underscores how life really is all about relationships, not things. What a precious gift of God that while we store up treasures in heaven, we can at the same time get a taste of heaven by having a relationship here on earth with His Son. When trials draw us into deeper relationship with Christ, that is indeed a mighty blessing!

    And how blessed we are also when God puts eternally-minded people in our lives to speak words of Truth. You and your dad are exactly right, Kelly, that our treasures are in heaven, and our spiritual state is what matters to God. Aren’t Christian fathers such a blessing, teaching us these wonderful truths all through the years?

    Your entire family, including your parents, are in my prayers. I praise God for your bold witness in your time of testing. Press on, dear sister!

  16. There is so much you are walking through and learning from this situation that the Lord has and is taking you through. Thank you for sharing your experiences, your heart and CHRIST all along the way.

    with prayers and love

  17. I came over from Jen’s Conversion Diary. Thank you so much for sharing your heartbreak and your struggles. I spend far too much time fearing tornadoes (a constant part of life in the springtime in Kansas). I think reading your posts are helpful for me as I fight to battle those fears in the realization that faith in God and love for my family would get us through the worst. You and your family are in my prayers.

  18. Dear Kelly, I cannot imagine what you and your family have been through. I pray you would all feel the Lord’s arms around you. Praise him that you are all safe. Over several months your ministry has blessed me and now I thank you for your extraordinary witness in these circumstances. May God bless you, your family and your community. Romans 8:33-39. Anna, England x

  19. Hmmm…My house was hit by a tornado growing up. We were out of our home 10 weeks, I do remember that felt long to us. My father many years later has passed on. You know, I would like to talk to him about his thoughts at the time. I will have to wait to have that conversation. How wonderful for you to be able to look straight in his eyes and say, “You are so wonderful, do you know that, dad?!”

    Good Daddies are a marvelous thing.

    (good to meet you at the conference. Praying for you!)

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