Generation Cedar

In one sense it seems like such a short time ago since April’s fury turned our lives upside down. But it has been 1/2 a year ago today.

It’s so difficult to describe the roller coaster of emotions we’ve experienced. Deepest grief from the loss of our dear friend and neighbor, Tom, and for the many others in our community and surrounding areas, has certainly lessened the impact we experienced.

And yet, going along in what was your normal life and having every element of it turned upside down and/or erased is no easy road.

The hardest thing, logistically speaking, is that we can’t really begin to “find our new normal” because we are living in temporary housing, waiting to go home. Everything feels like it’s on hold–our eating habits, our daily routine, our normal activities–as if “life will begin” once we go back home. In the mean time, life is; and so I try to make if feel as normal as possible for our family.

“I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.” Isaiah 46:4

And I’m reminded of those who can’t, who will never know normal again, and I feel ashamed for having even had the thought of a “hard day”.

Nutshell: we are building quickly and God is amazing. Period. So far my husband has overseen the whole building project (it still costs less for him to be out of work and do that than to hire a GC–and can I just say, my husband rocks!) and most labor has been volunteered. PRAISE GOD FOR YOU ALL!!! Aaron and I have lamented numerous times how much we wish we had had the presence of mind to photograph and journal all the volunteers that have sacrificed their time and families for us. We cannot say “thank you” enough for helping us rebuild our home so quickly!


Hubby, our two skilled friends, Ben & Alex and my son, Ashton after a hard day's work. Aaron and Ashton really enjoyed working with these guys!

We hope to be able to move in by Christmas, having the main level completed and finishing the basement (where all the kids’ rooms are) once we move in.

My Dad, (who brushed death with a massive heart attack the morning of the storm), has had to be re-hospitalized twice to have stents redone but now seems to be doing great and is working hard as ever, building their house.

The verse God instantly gave me at the hospital that morning with him–“He is mighty to save”–which I “chanted” all the way to the OR, and would later dwell on through the cold, devastated night, has proven to be a beacon of hope for us in a thousand ways. Perhaps you can find strength in it too:

“The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17

I am continually overwhelmed as I reflect on the love of so many and the provisions God has made daily for our family. We cannot express our gratitude enough to you, to our church family and all the surrounding friends who have walked beside us during this time of testing. My faith grows more and more as we rest on the Rock, our eternal Foundation.

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21 Responses

  1. It’s beautiful! Looks like the original 🙂 What a special story. And I still have my own home, so shut up about yardwork and vaccuming, Jennifer!

  2. So beautiful and encouraging, Kelly! I just love the pictures…and I recognize that door on the left!

    Amazing that it’s been 6 months. My 4-year-old daughter loves to watch videos on your site, and today she wanted to see the ones from April 30, I think, where Aaron and others are showing the damage after the tornado. And now look how far you’ve come!

    Praise God for His great goodness! Love to you all.

  3. So glad your rebuild is coming along so nicely. And the door you picked out looks great! Blessings to you and you keep finding your new normal!

  4. So glad your rebuild is coming along so quickly. And the door you picked out looks great! Blessings to you as you keep finding your new normal!

  5. May I just say, the house is lovely, and because of that I agree that your husband rocks. You rock, too, Kelly, because you’ve held things together for the past 6 mos AND encouraged the rest of us on top of it all! You go girl!

  6. Kelly,

    That is beauitful. I am so happy to hear that people are still working together. I do hope you are in your new home by Christmas and you can find your “new” normal.

    It has put me in awe of the Lord watching you walk thru this time and holding close to HIM. Thank you for sharing all that you do.

  7. It is so good to hear this update! Praise the LORD for HIS faithfulness to you and your family.

    Sending a ((hug)) to you, my friend!

  8. So amazing!!! We are praising God for all the ways He is pouring out His love on His children! So good to see them standing on your new porch! lots of love and hugs, jen

  9. Thank you for the update. Your house is looking wonderful! LOVE the long front porch (trying not to covet here ;D ) Praising God for his strength and provision during this time of trial!! I have John 16:33 as my computer background which says “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” I marvel at His lovingkindness and peace that is so evident in your families life. May God continue to sustain you as you transition into your new home!

  10. This is such a precious update. I am so glad to hear you may be in by Christmas. I may not know you “personally” but I am so very very happy for your family.

  11. Yay! So happy for you and your family!!! God is so merciful and good! Seeing His lovingkindness in action is an encouragement to me!

  12. This is just THRILLING to see!

    “How good is the God we adore,
    Our faithful unchangeable Friend!
    His love is as great as His power,
    And knows neither measure nor end!

    ’Tis Jesus the First and the Last,
    Whose Spirit shall Guide us safe home,
    We’ll praise Him for all that is past,
    And trust Him for all that’s to come.”
    J Hart

    Praising Him, with you! 🙂

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