I'm sorry to say that all too frequently, my poor husband has to remind me: "Steph, we really need to get some food in this house! There's nothing to eat!" Which is why you'll find "groceries" an important part of my gratitude list concerning the earthquake. But there is so much more. I have been wanting to do this since the beginning, to keep a record of the many things for which we thank God throughout this experience. Here I've listed twenty. It's a start.
My Earthquake Gratitude List - 20 Things
1. We were all together when the earthquake hit. It would have been so hard emotionally and logistically to have the kids at school (Owen especially, as he is across town and must evacuate.)
2. We were not in the Zofri mall, where we had been less than an hour before. Nor were we downtown, where we had been less than half an hour before.
3. We very quickly made it home. Just to be in a familiar place around familiar people made such a difference.
4. We lost our dog, but against all odds in the midst of the chaos, God brought him back to us. I consider that a gracious and merciful gift for our children's peace of mind.
5. We had friends join us to spend both nights of tsunami evacuations post-earthquakes.
6. A distanced relationship was reconnected through this experience.
7. New friendships were forged during difficult days.
8. On Monday (the day before the earthquake), we purchased two carts' worth of groceries.
9. On Friday (four days before the earthquake), we purchased four 20-liter containers of drinking water.
10. After the earthquake, a friend from church stopped by with an industrial-sized bag of rice and other dry goods as a gift to us.
11. As such, we had the means to provide a place and food to eat for our family and neighbors in need.
12. Because of prior water cuts, we had stockpiled quite a collection of bottled tap water in 6-liter jugs.
13. Our home was not severely damaged.
14. Our family and friends were kept safe.
15. Communication with my sister in Santiago was available immediately after the quake.
16. Communication via internet was available at the church on the second day, to enable communication with our parents stateside.
17. We now understood why God had not allowed us yet to purchase a home.
18. Had we moved away, we would have been disconnected from the support system found in our long-time neighborhood.
19. Had we moved downtown (as planned, and which still remains a possibility for the future), we would have had to evacuate our home and most likely would not have been adequately prepared as yet.
20. God allowed us opportunities to minister in tangible ways - for instance, loaning our cars to displaced friends for a place to sleep several nights.
Reflections on an Earthquake, Part Five
Reflections on an Earthquake, Part Three
Reflections on an Earthquake, Part Two
Reflections on an Earthquake, Part One