We took Ali with us today to have the opportunity to give away some of her toys, and to help serve our community.


We fixed Hot Dogs, Hamburgers, and served BBQ donated by Jim N Nick’s to tornado victims and volunteers.

And I am not naive in thinking that what Ali saw today won’t give her nightmares or make her afraid of storms,


But she needs to understand.


That a mere twenty minutes from our house, children can’t go to the library anymore.


And they can’t go home anymore.


And they can’t play at their friend’s houses anymore.


She needs to understand why Mommy is busy helping “tornado people” and can’t play with her sometimes.


She needs to understand how blessed she is,


And how great her desire to help others should be.


And above everything, I want her to understand the heart of those suffering much.


29 thoughts on “Twenty Minutes Away.

  1. Wow Rachel! This is a very powerful post. I think it is a good thing that Y’all took Ali because you are right she needs to understand. I hope that she doesn’t become too afraid of storms or have nightmares.

    I loved the last picture it was the most powerful and meaninful one. It shows the power of Faith and God even in the worst of times.

  2. How blessed she is to see first hand such a wonderful example of selflessness and sharing. I hope it’s something she never forgets.

    1. Thank you! And thanks for tweeting about it. I really hope more people allow their children to be involved – it’s just so hard to conceive the pain unless you actually go there.

  3. It still hurts to see those images, but knowing everyone, even the littles, are helping means so much. We’re all in this big world together. What a wonderful community you all have. I know it means the world to those who have lost so much. Thanks for being there.

  4. I love that you are teaching her what “missions” is all about without going overseas. Its something we all need to think about more.

  5. You are such a wonderful mother, and I think it’s so amazing how you have been able to see beyond the physical needs of day to day and see the inner benefit to both your daughter and yourself. Good for you, and thanks for the encouragement and reminder you’ve been to me!

  6. The pictures and level of destruction are just incredible… I’m sure it will have a (hopefully ultimately positive) impact on her and her little view of the world.

  7. Wow! So glad that you ARE twenty minutes away and safe. My heart aches for those who have lost everything. And yet among the rubble God is still in control. It’s a powerful lesson for Ali.

  8. With fear of the storm will come respect for the storm. She is a very bright girl and will figure it all out. I think you did the right thing. I love the post, very powerful. I did not have power for a week so I did not get to see the news. These pictures are the first I’ve seen of Pratt City.

    1. She doesn’t seem negatively affected, thank goodness – but she does seem to have a better understanding for those that are hurting because of the storms.

  9. My boyfriend and I have served in Pratt City several times. The devesation is unreal. There’s so much to do. I wish I was able to do more.

    We met a lot of great people at Scott School as well. Ms. Trudy a trooper to be organizing everything in the kitchen. Frank, who’s in charge of the Church of the Highland’s command center, is an amazing guy. Who stepped forward to serve when it all began.

    This tragedy has brought forth both the best and worst in people, but thankfully, more good than not. Thanks for serving, Rachel.

  10. I hope this is a very positive eperience for Ali but she understands not all storms have this result. At age 5 my mom made me go to Tuscaloosa to see how the orphans lived to help me be thankful for all I had, it worked. I also had nightmares for years to come and she unfortunately lost many nights sleep for the lesson she taught me. To this day I can see those little babies in that horrible place. However, you know how ultra sensitive I am. I have tears as I write this, I love all you have done and brag to everyone of how you thought of what to do for these people. I am so proud of you. I did not mean to be a downer.

    1. She seems fine, thank goodness – no nightmares or anything, but she does seem to have more compassion for those hurt by the storms… seeing orphans does sound a bit traumatic!

  11. Wow, this is such a great post. That last picture is beautiful. What a wonderful testimony of faith. I’m sure it was kind of scary for Ali to see these pictures but what a powerful lesson you have taught her of compassion for others!

  12. It is important for Ali to see. It will definitely help her become a stronger, more compassionate adult.

  13. Beautiful post. Is beautiful even the right word? I think it is awesome to show Ali what is happening. She will always remember the lessons learned during tragedies like this. She is seeing the devastation but she is also seeing the love of Christ through those giving of themselves.

    1. I hope so! It’s so hard to tell if a 4 year old will take away what you want them to take away from an experience like that. But so far, it seems to have been good for her.

  14. It is still heartbreaking to see the destruction that the tornadoes did that day. But as we traveled to Tuscaloosa yesterday, I was so encouraged to see businesses and homes with signs bravely proclaiming “We will be Back”!! Now that is the spirit of Alabama!

    1. It is heartbreaking, but also so great to see the Alabama heart and spirit. Everyone has pitched in to help, and it’s been wonderful!

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