So we had a bit of excitement at the Freeman home earlier this week!
This last Thursday, when picking my kids up from my moms house, my mom randomly grabbed me as I was getting in my car to drive away, and prayed out loud while hugging me, asking God to protect me and my family. It was random and had a bit of intensity to it so it kind of hit me off guard and confused me a bit. I even laughed in confusion and said, “What was that about? Do you think I’m gonna die or something?”
Later that night, while getting ready for bed, I was struck with an intense and almost panicked desire to pray for my kids and my families safety.. my two year old, Thyme, was sleeping in my bed, and I actually picked her up as she slept and hugged her tight and pleaded out loud in almost near desperation, asking, “Please please please God protect my family!” I didn’t know why I felt that intense urge to plead for protection… but I felt almost scared of losing one of my kids or my husband.
So I drifted off to sleep that night with a strange sense of dread. Well, fast forward 1am that night.. I woke up to the whole house rocking from what only can be described as an impact. The walls shoot with a lateral blast, and things fell off the wall as the ground shook. I also heard a loud crack / BAM, and then there was a bright flash of light. I literally thought meteor strike or bomb. Not joking.
It was terrifying. It woke all of us up, and due to the nature of the “explosion” and the brightness of the flash, I seriously thought it could have been a bomb of some kind and for some reason my mind was going back to the idea of air raids, like from World War II and I kept thinking, “What if another impact is coming? What do we do? How do I keep my kids safe?” Like, in the back of my mind I thought that MAYBE some foreign power was attacking the Central Valley of California to take out our food supply (since we provide the majority of produce for the nation). I never expected to feel such a degree of fear and helplessness concerning my kids safety before.
I pulled all the kids close and Jonathan got up to inspect outside while I kept the children together huddled up in bed and told the kids to calm down, that everything was going to be okay.. the power was out so it was hard to figure out what was going on. I reached for my cell phone to check the news, but it was completely dead. (I am notorious for not keeping my phone charged!)
Jonathan announced from the living room that the neighborhood appeared to have power, that it was just our house that was out. I got up and looked out the window to see a power line hanging across the window.. and when I followed the line, I saw our HUGE backyard tree toppled over and sprawling out the length of the entire yard.
It turns out, the rain had caused the tree in our back yard fell over… like, completely. Roots ripped out if the ground, entire tree on the ground. It NARROWLY avoided falling directly on top of us by about 7-8 feet. The base of the tree trunk was about 15 feet from our heads, so if it had fallen toward the house, the trunk would have landed right on all 5 of us in bed (all three kiddos were in bed with us when it fell). It would have crushed us.
I followed the line to see a power line laying in the rain puddles and the pouring rain in our back patio, and our dog Thor heading out to “inspect it”. My husband had to run to the back door and call him back inside before he got himself fried and I had to keep the kids distracted until I knew Thor was safe inside. (It would be just like that dump dog to get himself electrocuted… this is the dog that tried to eat fireworks as they are sparkling every Independence Day.)
Once Thor was inside, we called the fire department to secure the live wire, and we sat in the dark, rattled to the core, physically shaking thinking about the “what ifs”.
I am positive that God guided that tree down and kept us safe. The bulk of the weight in the tree was all positioned over our bedroom and house. Yet it fell in the ONLY part of the yard it could fit without taking anything down except power lines. The tree literally fills all the empty space in our back yard like a puzzle piece! If it fell on us, it very well could have killed us, the part over our bed was the huge knot of branches at the top of the trunk that spans our whole bedrooms width!
I am still in shock and awe over Gods providence and I am certain the urges to pray for the Lords protection was a nudging of the Holy Spirit!
While sitting in the cold and dark living room, burning the last of our candles and unable to find our flashlights since the toddlers decided they were toys, our neighbors Cat and Kirk (aka, BEST. NEIGHBORS. EVER!) came over with flashlights and hot coffee (since I couldn’t make any with the power out!) and sat up with us until the power company finished untangling the lines from the downed tree. I can’t even express how lucky we are to have these two as friends and neighbors!
The neighbors joining us for a mini party in the dark, with flashlights and coffee at 2am!
Anyhoo, after this mini emergency, I realized how woefully unprepared we were in regards to emergency supplies – only a handful of candles, no flashlights, dead phones… so I am going to post some recommended emergency supplies from Ready.gov in case anyone else wants to update their emergency home kit:
Supplies to Have on Hand for a Power Outage
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
- Extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Cell phone with a fully charged backup battery
- Candles and matches
Reminders for Power Outages
- Be careful about candle placements to avoid causing fires.
- Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed. Most food requiring refrigeration can be kept safely in a closed refrigerator for several hours. An unopened refrigerator will keep food cold for about 4 hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours.
- Put on layers of warm clothing if it is cold outside. Never burn charcoal for heating or cooking indoors. Never use your oven as a source of heat. If the power may be out for a prolonged period, plan to go to another location (the home of a relative or friend, or a public facility) that has heat to keep warm.
- Turn off or disconnect appliances and other equipment in case of a momentary power “surge” that can damage computers and other devices. Consider adding surge protectors to important outlets.
So that was our near death adventure! I am still a bit rattled at how close we came to having that tree crash down on us. I am also amazed at how FORCEFUL the tree was while hitting the ground… amazing! Anyhoo, God is SO GOOD and we are SO GRATEFUL for his mercies here at the Freeman home! Also, check out this message I got on my Kombucha bottle later that day… #fail!
The girls were SO UPSET the tree toppled. “Is the tree gonna be okay?! Can daddy fix it?!”