It's a quiet Saturday afternoon and you are relaxing at home.
It's cloudy outside, but no rain.
Without warning, the power goes out.
A few minutes later, you get a text that the power is out in the entire country.
What do you do?
What goes through your mind?
Do you call your family? Check on neighbors? Do you stay calm, or do you panic? Do you figure it's no big deal - or when you get that text do you start imagining that it's the end of the world?
This happened last week in Central America. A power failure in Panama took out power in parts of that country, the entire country of Costa Rica, and parts of Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, and Mexico.
It was a cloudy Saturday afternoon. My wife was at work and I was home with our 3-year-old daughter.
The power went out. But since this happens every few days, it wasn't any cause for concern.
But then I got this text from my wife:
Here were my thoughts:
1:30 pm “Uh oh… I’ve never heard of that before… 'The power is out in the entire country'?!"
1:35 pm "OK no problem - We just need to keep the fridge closed so the food doesn’t go bad."
1:45 pm “Hmmm this could be a problem. We have food but what if the water stops working? I’ll fill up a big container of water.” (I fill up a giant water cooler bottle)
2:00 pm “If the power is out in the entire country, it will probably be out for more than a few hours. Maybe a day or two? A few weeks? Oh boy…”
2:01 pm (I text a friend in the U.S. who asked what the weather was like. When I try to look up the temperature, my phone said “no service”)
2:02 pm “No cell service. Oh no. This is a big problem. What if I can’t get in touch with Shannon? What’s happening in the rest of the country? Chaos?”
2:03 pm “Is this the end of the world?”
2:04 pm “What if the ice cream in the freezer melts before I get to eat it? I’d better eat that now before it melts.”
2:05 pm (I eat the ice cream sandwich from our freezer)
2:08 pm “That was a pretty selfish move… I probably should have been more concerned about our neighbors than the ice cream melting. I wonder if any neighbors are in trouble? Can’t think of any that are older, or that live alone…”
2:37 pm “Maybe I should call our pastor to see if the church is rallying people to go help anyone who’s in trouble?”
2:38 pm Power comes back on
2:39 pm (Sigh of relief) "Oh good, it’s not the end of the world.”
I text Shannon to let her know the power is back on.
I learned a few lessons that Saturday. Next time there is any kind of emergency, I need to:
We are grateful that this power outage was quickly resolved and we don't know of anyone that was hurt by it.
But it could be different next time - and we will be prepared.
Are you prepared for an emergency? What's your plan - what will you to prepare and to respond when it happens? Comment below and let me know.
Recently we took a bike ride to a waterfall we’ll call “Waterfall #1” near our home.
It hasn’t rained for about 3 months so it was just a trickle of water, and most of the landscape around it was brown.
Compare that to what we’ll call “Waterfall #2” which we visited a year ago.
When we visited Waterfall #2, it also hadn’t rained for about the same amount of time, but #2 was full of life.
As I thought about these two waterfalls, I began to wonder if my family is like Waterfall #1 or #2.
Waterfall #1 dried up when there was no rain.
Waterfall #2 was still strong and fruitful – everything around it was green – even with no rain.
There may not always be rain providing for and sustaining our families.
But if we have been intentionally building into our family, and storing up for the dry season, we will still flourish when there is no rain.
We can begin preparing today for the next dry season that is bound to hit our families.
If you have stories about how you do this already or struggles you’ve had with this, I’d love to hear them in the comments below.
There is one thing we can all do together, today – we can check out the Thrive Community.
So what’s it all about?
First, and most importantly, the Thrive community provides some foundational resources to get your family started right away on the path from launch to legacy.
This experience will be unlocked one week at a time and delivered in manageable, bite-size sessions you can process at your own pace.
Then, you’ll experience four key components each month:
In addition to all of this, what really makes the community THRIVE is the connection with other families in the community. Initially, you can engage with other families in our private Facebook group available only to other THRIVE members. You can ask questions, get encouragement, and find inspiration.
So, be like Waterfall #2. You can start today by checking out the Thrive Community.
Have you ever been overwhelmed or stressed?
This past year I’ve spent too much time being unfocused and overwhelmed for no good reason.
But a few months ago I did something small that got me out of my own head (which was consumed with self-centered thoughts and overwhelmed).
For a local family, a volunteer team replaced most of her roof, replaced her floor, and some walls.
Here is a project our church completed this month – Conchita’s home.
Click here to check out the video.
And yet… I did not help in any way.
We finally found a long-term rental in our budget.
Where did we go wrong?
We forgot what was actually important.
We focused on the technical stuff like a short commute, square footage, # of bedrooms, etc. and lost focus of how actually living in this home would fit in with our family’s values and mission.
Instead of looking for a home with x square feet, we should have focused more on whether or not we’d have opportunities to build relationships with neighbors, because we value community.
Instead of looking for a home with a nice kitchen, we should have focused more on the opportunity for 2-year-old Grace to have kids nearby that she could play with, because we want to teach Grace how to be a good friend.
At some point, we’ll move again.