I live in Tornado Alley. And the tornado season of 2011 is now the worst since they started keeping records about tornado season.
My husband and I sat down with our children, just before bed, and talked to them about what to do when the tornado sirens go off. For real, I mean. Because the sirens go off every Thursday at noon. And nothing like familiarity to assure that no one takes it seriously.
Did you know that 75% of all tornado warnings don't actually end up with a tornado? Thank heaven for that, but the downside is that people may not consider the remaining 25% a genuine concern.
At any rate, we talked about where to go (the storm cellar if you're home) and what to do (don't stop and look for your stuffed animals), and so on. Good stuff, I thought.
My poor little six-year-old daughter! She was terrified! She has heard us talking about Joplin, and she has seen the pictures and the video clips. When it was time to tuck people in, she grabbed my hand and whispered, "Mommy, will you help me say my personal prayers so I'm not too afraid to go to sleep?"
So, after the lights were out and everyone else was settled, I climbed up onto her bed and cuddled up to her, and listened to her say her prayers. And then I held her close and we talked about life, and God, and dying, and not living in fear because God is in charge of our lives.
I am grateful for comforting words. It's not like what we say changes our circumstances. But it helps us to deal with them. I am glad I can comfort the hearts of my little children when they are worried or confused. I know I have clung to words of comfort from others in my own times of fear and uncertainty. I am grateful for friends and family who comfort me, and for the opportunity to do the same.
What are you blessed with today?