Wednesday March 18th about 7:15 am I was laying in bed next to my baby I had just fed, and was starting to fall back to sleep…..when my bed, my bookshelves, my dresser all started rocking like a boat. It sounded like a freight train was in our house and my mind raced…..EARTHQUAKE!
I grabbed my sleeping baby in one arm and started running quickly for my children’s room on the other end of the house. The noise had woken my sweet children up and I grabbed my daughter who is two years old out of her crib and yelled for my son to stop crying and to get out of the bunk bed. We stood under the doorway and the shaking continued….a 30 second earthquake seems like ETERNITY when you’re in panic mode.
(They continued to stay under the table for breakfast just to be safe)
After the biggest rumble was over, we ran for the dining table and went under the table to hide. In retrospect, we were probably safer under the doorway…but again, my mind was still processing what happened. In fact, I text my brother down the street “Earthquake?” Could it have been anything else?
His reply “Yes, you ok?”
My reply: “Yes…you?”
After I realized what was going on I immediately called my husband who was at work. I came to find out he also had been in the earthquake, and they were evacuating his building because the earthquake had created a power loss, they were using flashlights to get out.
Next….I wondered how my parents were?! My parents live two yours south of us, but I didn’t know where the epicenter of the quake was. As my dad answered my phone I was relieved and also on the verge of tears…it doesn’t matter if you are 34 years old, theres something about hearing your parent’s voice that makes you feel vulnerable and at peace to spill your emotions. I told them my experience quickly and then hung up to watch the news.
The news was on and informed us that the epicenter of the earthquake was only 7 miles away from our house and it was a 5.7 earthquake.
To some who have lived through many earthquakes 5.7 may be moderate, but for someone like me who has only been in two earthquakes now….I was completely on edge!
However, when you’re the mom, you have to put on the brave face.
My two-year old daughter was petrified and refused to come out from under the table for a while.
The MANY aftershocks did not help my daughter, as she heard each aftershock she sprinted for the table again.
The texts and the calls from neighbors and friends and loved ones came in.
In my mind…I was still processing.
Still processing because I had already been social-distancing the kids for quite a few days and it was hard enough…throw an earthquake into the mix and I was a BALL OF NERVES to say the least.
In your mind you always go to “could’ve, would’ve, should’ves.”
Things like: we should have talked to our kids about earthquake preparation, we need more definite 72 hour kits, where is THE best place in our house to go when there’s an earthquake? I should move pictures from above my daughters crib…..and the list goes on…..
And then your mind flip-flops and the GRATITUDE seeps in. Your emotions are so OVERWHELMED with joy and gratitude that your family was ok and that nobody was hurt. Were we scared and shaken up? You bet. Could it have been worse…yes, much worse.
As I started picking up the pictures and books, and random items that fell off of walls and shelves, etc….I came across this quote that had fallen off of my kitchen windowsill:
This quote meant more to me than it ever had before. It was a reminder that God is in all the pieces of our lives. God has “his people” reach out to you in times of need. Even if “his people” are going through the same tough experience as you are, just knowing that someone cares, and someone wants to lift your burdens is more “God-like” than anything I know.
And you know what else this quote made me think of?
It made me ponder what TRULY is important in life.
Notice I NEVER once wanted to check how cable was working, or how my clothes were, or if my car had a scratch from something falling on it. I wasn’t worried about all the decorations on top of my kitchen cabinets that I had spent time and money on to look just right in the house..and the reason being is because NONE of that mattered. None.
The ONLY thing that mattered during and right after the earthquake were my family, my friends, my loved ones, and my Heavenly Father that kept us safe through it all. That’s it.
What a reminder that the temporal things, the things you can buy….you can lose so quickly, but they didn’t every bring you true JOY to begin with. It’s the people, and the relationships that always matter the most when tragedy strikes. And yet, how ironic that we tend to, at times, put those loving relationships on the back-burner and place the “temporal items” on our “top priority” list.
(*the actual quote I’m holding here)
Maybe it’s watching “your show” instead of playing with your kids, or shopping online, instead of connecting with your husband….the list goes on.
Am I hear to give you a guilt trip?
Nope. Just perspective…because you better believe this 5.7 Earthquake gave me perspective.
And maybe, just maybe…that’s what God can foresee in the long run…..
After an earthquake “his people” tend to shake up their priorities a bit…hopefully for the better.
I can tell you, that my focus shifted a lot just within those few seconds of a 5.7 earthquake. And as I sit down to write this, I keep telling myself…”Don’t let it take an earthquake to remind you of what is and has ALWAYS been most important in life.”
So during this time of social-distancing…
Take time for those things that really matter.
Send that text, make that phone call, stop and enjoy some time to talk and play.
Because we all know that those will always be the things that makes life worthwhile.
I would add from my religious standpoint to take time to PRAY to the Lord not just for help and guidance but thank Him for all the many things we are blessed with daily. I believe the Lord can help us and heal us through any amount of pain and struggle. The Lord is always there for us, no matter the time of the place, and His comfort He provides is beyond anything else in the world.
I will stop here so that I can take the oh–so crucial time with my family that I love.
Until next time,