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You can always be stylish, even cleaning up tornado debris!

I believe life is all about perspective. Your perspective or attitude towards a situation can make or break you. I once heard someone say that, “Suffering is unanimous while misery is a choice.”

I think we often forget that we are actually making the choice to continue in our state of misery rather than trying to find the hidden beauty in a situation. To remain joyful when life isn't going according to plan requires a lot of hard work. If you wait around until you FEEL happy it may never happen.

Please don't miss understand me. Being sad and being miserable are not the same thing. And I'm definitely not saying my life is perfect BUT I figure if I can gain wisdom in the detours and joy in the adventures along the way my life has been successful.

I know what you're thinking, That's easy to say when life is sunny and you're completely right! Not too long ago I got the chance to “put my money where my mouth was” so to speak.

You see, several years ago, we had a tornado rip through our city. It did massive damage throughout and my neighborhood was hit dead on.

Luckily, I wasn't home but immediately, reports started flooding in of houses gone, trees down, smashed cars, you name it. I have a loving father who waded through waist deep trees and debris for a block to report back that there was something sitting on the foundation but it was too dark to tell what kind of issues we were going to face.

In the end, it took nearly a day and several blocks worth of walking for me to see my house. I was terrified of what the daylight would reveal and naturally, I imagined every horrendous situation possible, borrowing trouble as my grandmother would say.

But when I did finally get there I saw the most beautiful sight in the world. My little house sitting there missing windows, siding, parts of the porch and roof. The fence was gone, there were trees EVERYWHERE and the front yard looked like the city dumb. Inside the carpet was wet, my bed was full of glass and the walls were covered in mud BUT it was still standing.

There were still window frames to put glass back in and walls to re-side, glass to vacuum and a vacuum to do it with. I had spent all night pacing the floor over what may have been lost and not once did I think about what may have been spared.

It wasn't until I saw the devastation first hand that I became truly thankful. I spent the next day gladly picking up trash and limbs while appreciating the absurd little things I found along the way, like the lamp that was sucked out of my storage room and destroyed yet the bulb didn't break or the pine cone I found wedged in my shoe and the one in my closet and the one in my bed and behind the dresser. Yeah, I own a lot of pine cones now!

I try not to view my little home in the same way as I did many years ago. My house isn’t new or renovated or pretty and it’s easy to get jealous of friends with their HGTV ready homes that you can't afford, especially when the air goes out and the pipes burst and that one outlet makes more sparks that you feel comfortable with. My house hasn't changed but I hope my perspective HAS changed enough to love my dear little home in spite of its idiosyncrasies because it is a blessing from the Lord and I’m so grateful that it is mine!

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