How my chaotic soul survived Hurricane Irma's threatening impact. Tips on reviving, replenishing, and flourishing your mama heart in Christ, even in chaos.

How my chaotic soul survived Hurricane Irma’s threatening impact

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Last week, my husband and I loaded up our motor coach and headed to Florida, never suspecting Hurricane Irma’s threatening impact.  I was ready to get refreshed, renewed, and refocused, beachside.

Well, that turned into a hurricane nightmare.

The previous week, I had a telephone conversation about thriving and refocusing with my blogging friend, Marva, who lives in the British Virgin Islands.

Irma severely impacted her home. (See how you can help here)

I asked prayer from friends, family, and readers for clear direction on how to refocus and scale down on my rat race.

Hurricanes bring great perspective. 

Clearly, five days of anticipating total annihilation readjusts one’s perspective on life.

How my chaotic soul survived #Hurricane Irma's threatening impact. Tips on reviving, replenishing, and #flourishing your mama heart in Christ, even in chaos.

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Traveling into Hurricane Irma’s threatening Impact

We didn’t mean to head into a monstrous storm.  I jokingly snapped a photo, saying, “Category 5, here we come!”, never expecting it to hit the gulf of Florida.

How my chaotic soul survived Hurricane Irma's threatening impact. Tips on reviving, replenishing, and flourishing your mama heart in Christ, even in chaos.

When the weather channel first predicted the storm, it was projected to hit the tip of Florida and head east.

Reality:  It ripped straight up the west coast and into the gulf, right in our path.

Obviously, we lived.  I can’t wait to sit down and chronicle the events of that mind rattling time.

(Including my diary musings on, “What’s it like to die in a hurricane?”)

The night the Eye of Irma came to town, sucking up half the water in the bay, I pictured myself and 22 others climbing atop our roof while the streets below became one giant, flowing, Central Avenue Pasadena River.  Along with the rest of the world, I’d soaked in and grieved over Houston footage during Hurricane Harvey.

How my chaotic soul survived Hurricane Irma's threatening impact. Tips on reviving, replenishing, and flourishing your mama heart in Christ, even in chaos.

Projected path of Hurricane Irma from early on

How I prepared my soul for the chaos

When I planned to study Crystal Paines new course on the beach, Say Goodbye to Survival Mode, I never DREAMED it might be by death.

But as reports became more dismal, I most certainly thought I was going to die.

Say Goodbye to Survival Mode became the opposite of itself, if you know what I mean.

More like, “Hello, Survival Mode!”

During the days leading up to Hurricane Irma, I dug into my Bible, clinging to passages like Psalm 139 and Proverbs 3:5, 6.  I meditated on the Word during dark, night hours (upon awakening in a state of panic and sweat).  In quiet moments throughout the day, I hit my knees in prayer as never before.

And I didn’t care about Facebook growth, or algorithms, or Instagram followers, or email, or the hundred and one ways to snag blog readers.

I just prayed.  And waited.  And helped cook, prepare, and stock our shelter for 23 people, 7 dogs, and a cat.

I said goodbye to survival mode, alright.  I discovered what was important, but it wasn’t by “digging my toes into the Florida sugar sand”.

It was by living life on the edge and by realizing all this stuff?

Is just stuff.

Before the storm hit, I had one day early in the week to actually sit for a few minutes on the beach.  I finished Crystal Paine’s Say Goodbye to Survival Mode course.  I made some choices.  It was WELL worth the investment of the course to get some grounding.

But God didn’t want my vacation to go the way I did.  He had other ideas in store for my “survival mode life”.

When it came right down to it, my relationship with God was the only thing I truly cared about.  If I was going to die, I wanted to die right with God – but even more than that, I wanted to die experiencing His peace that passes all understanding.  I snuggled up in the shelter of His wings time and time again.


Unexpected opportunity in the wake of Hurricane Irma’s threatening impact

As I headed into Florida, full of hope and dreams of flourishing on the beach, I received an email that changed my focus just a smidgen.

I was asked to be a contributing speaker for an online conference for women who desire to passionately pursue God and His Word. They have sought out remarkable women from all over the country who have encountered many of life’s challenges. These tenacious ladies have pressed into God’s Word and His promises rather than give into defeat.

Their interest stemmed from my book on mom anger, Count to Nine, 9 Liberating Steps for Mom Frustration and Anger.

Mama life is FULL of chaos.  Mostly GOOD chaos and not life threatening chaos.  And yet, we flounder to flourish in our faith in these ongoing, chaotic days.

As I struggled to draw near to God in my near-panic attacks, I thought about all the times I lost my temper when my kids were young.  I knew right then, had I put the tools in place that I did during this storm, I would have come out with more wins than losses.  Here’s a little snippet of my interview for The Flourish Conference with Mindy Koker:

My book holds the tools to flourish in times of adversity (like kid’s back talking, toddler’s food throwing, and baby’s constant crying). I know this because I researched them myself, putting them to use in the now Gigi days of toddler tantrums.

They work.

Because I have learned to draw near.  To grow my roots down deep and thick in the Word.  To listen to the Spirit.

And to flourish.

Do you want to learn how to thrive even when life falls into chaos?

How to flourish in mommy chaos {starting when you sign up}

Over the course of 5 days, 15 speakers (including yours truly) offer hope as they share candidly about their brokenness that became new life through the power of a faithful God. Sharing their personal stories with the desire you too may become fruitful in faith, family, and life.

These ladies transparently open the stories of their lives: the good, the bad, the ugly, and the beautiful. They show no one is too far. No one is too stuck to reach out today for God’s mercy to rescue them.

Here’s how the conference works:

Each day you will receive an email with that day’s three video interviews. We hope that you can set aside time for an encouraging glimpse into the lives of these ordinary-yet-exceptional women who open their lives to reveal how you can flourish in practical ways on a wide variety of topics such as prayer, fitness, financial management, home organization, parenting, Bible study, and more.

Check out the line-up of speakers over the next five days:

How my chaotic soul survived Hurricane Irma's threatening impact. Tips on reviving, replenishing, and flourishing your mama heart in Christ, even in chaos.#theflourishingconference

The Flourish Conference Schedule

Day 1              Established in the Word

Faith           Sarah Frazer: Studying God’s Word in your Everyday Ordinary Life

Family        Sarah Ann Good: The Family Bible Study Toolkit

Life —             Jessi Fearon: Flourishing in your Finances

Day 2              Cultivating New Life

Faith –             Lara Casey: How Writing the Word can Transform your Life

Family –          Marie Osborne: Discovering Real Joy Right Now

Life —              Sharon Hines: Creating Success at Home

Day 3              Flourishing in the Courts of God  

Faith –             JoDitt Williams: Delighting in the Word of God

Family –          Jennifer Thorson: Teaching our Kids Self-Control over their Words

Life —              Brittany Ann:  Putting God First

Day 4              Connected to the Vine

Faith –             Asherita Ciuciu: Quiet time for Busy Women

Family –          Ruthie Gray: Nine Liberating Steps for Mom Frustration and Anger

Life —              Sara Borgstede: How to Lose Weight and Honor God with your Body

Day 5              Planted in the House of the Lord

Faith –             Arabah Joy: Praying the Promises of the Cross

Family –          Caroline Allen: The Well-Ordered Kitchen

Life —              Laura Krokos: Finding God’s Calling for your Life

The Flourish Conference is over-the-top encouraging and equipping. The best part is that its FREE to watch.

Get signed up HERE and receive a FREE Conference Guide and FREE BONUS scripture art print featuring the conference theme verse Psalm 92:13.


 Sign up for The Flourish Conference

How my chaotic soul survived Hurricane Irma's threatening impact. Tips on reviving, replenishing, and flourishing your mama heart in Christ, even in chaos.


Ya’ll, I am so happy to be alive.  I’m happy to say I’m writing this while admiring the view overlooking the crystal waters of the bay area.

My soul is refreshed, renewed, and refocused, but the transformation came in the eye of a storm.

Learn how your mama soul can receive that too.  Join me for The Flourish Conference – it’s live now!

As I write this, I wonder – did you weather Irma or Harvey during the past two weeks? I’d love to know your story. And if you didn’t, yet are facing a rough, chaotic storm?  Reach out and share that too so I can pray with you.  God is your refuge, mama.  A very PRESENT help in the time of trouble. Don’t forget that.


7 Ways Bible study calms an overwhelmed mom; Learn to study and interpret Scripture on your own and grow your faith with short bursts of time in the Word.

Comments 2

    1. Post

      Nope – you’re not too late!! It starts whenever you sign up. They had some initial trouble with the links, but everything is up and running now – I’ll email you. <3

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