Beauty for Ashes

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.
Isaiah 61:1-3

this was our home

Last Friday, my house burned down.  Even as I write it almost a week later, it is hard to believe it really happened.  I had just come home from a quick run and was getting dressed as fast as I could to take my in-laws out to enjoy the sunset at the Oasis.  Kyle was on his way home from work to meet us there.  Torey (thank God she wasn’t there) was on the prayer team at a retreat for incoming freshman at a&m.

I heard Carolyn yelling my name and came out of my bedroom.  The flames were already almost to the top of my kitchen window.  We both picked up phones struggled to dial 911 in the panic.  I always imagined I’d grab photos albums, a precious quilt, or a computer if my house were on fire.  But there was only time to get out.  Just as we called 911, the windows in the kitchen were already cracking.  The last thing I saw as I made sure my in-laws and dog got out the door was the first flames falling in a diagonal line into the study I had loved so much.  When I went back in seconds later to get Carolyn back out (she’d gone back in because we couldn’t find Billy—he was on the side of the house and was fine), the house was filled with thick dark gray smoke.

our study

This was the first miracle:  We were less than 30 minutes from leaving for dinner.  If the fire had started any later or we’d left any earlier, our Barnesy buddy would have died and there would have been much less—if anything—to save.  But no one was hurt.  Even our sweet dog.  The day after the fire, I wrote down some of the ways God showed His love and kindness (yes, kindness) in the midst of this.  I have been completely overwhelmed by His faithfulness and the love of more people than I can count.

the living room

Here are a few things I remember:

  1. Everyone was saved.
  2. Including Barnes
  3. Devin and his friend ‘just happened’ to be driving back from Hamilton Pool, see the house on fire, and stop to see if they could help.  They called 911, saved my jeep, and otherwise helped us in the first seconds of horror.
  4. Our neighbors Ron and Mary Jo cried for us before we cried for ourselves.
  5. Our neighbors across the street brought us inside out of the 100-degree heat while the firefighters worked.  They gave us ice water and welcomed our friends and family as people began to find out what happened and show up.
  6. The last of the firemen went back in repeatedly to try and retrieve my wedding ring (which they couldn’t find) and my computer (which they could).  They had four men in the kitchen looking for my ring as darkness fell.  They tried so hard to find it.  They did find my aggie ring, the ring Torey gave me for mother’s day, and my diamond and pearl studs.
  7. Jay and Jonathan waited until the firefighters were done to take the first and most precious things for safekeeping.

I have lots more miracles and kindnesses to tell about in the coming days.  Stay tuned.

the dining room


3 thoughts on “Beauty for Ashes

  1. Again, I am beyond thankful that your lives were spared. Thank you for sharing the story. How quickly our lives can change. I”ve seen this in so many different ways. I know you have too. The awesome thing is to see how God truly does give “beauty for ashes” and “make ALL things beautiful, in His time…”. It’s a process.

    I hope to see you this week-end. Packing me “sifting” clothes.. ;>}

    Love you

  2. Pingback: Where have I been… — The Growing Rose
  3. Pingback: One Year Ago « terra firma

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