The Great Dayton Flood

Last week I didn’t get the post up , that I had intended,

So I will do my best to get them up this week! 🙂

A week and a half ago,

My dad and I headed over to the The Dayton Art Institute

For the Social Media Preview night of the new

Exhibit, “Storm, Watershed and Riverbank”.

The Great Dayton Flood happened Easter weekend in 1913.

As I mentioned, my dad was my date for the evening.

When the invitation to the event showed up in my e-mail,

I asked Aaron if he would mind if I asked my dad to be my date.

Dad is a bit of a Dayton Geek.

In a good way,

He knows so much about the history of our fair city,

So I thought this would be right up his alley.

It was great to spend the time together, but even

Better to discover some interesting things about the city

While finding a photograph with the hotel where his dad stayed

When he moved to Dayton.

Dad had never seen it, so it was fun!

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It lives in this picture, but if you want to find it you

Will need to go there to see it.

Considering that my father is my resident Dayton Historian,

I asked him if he would write about the flood itself.

So here it is: (He wrote it a week or so ago)

One century ago this week, Dayton, Ohio and the entire Miami Valley were devastated by a massive flood as torrential, seasonal rains supersaturated the ground and the resulting runoff brought the Wolf Creek and both the Mad and Stillwater rivers to levels above flood stage. Their surging waters met the already swollen Great Miami River in the heart of downtown Dayton. The resulting floodwater broke through the earthen levees and rose up to the second story windows in just a few hours, stranding merchants, families and others throughout the business district and the adjacent neighborhoods. Horses, wagons, railroad cars and entire homes were carried through the streets by the rushing waters. Entire blocks were destroyed by raging fires as people fled from attic to attic of adjacent buildings to escape the inferno. Over 300 souls were lost. Dayton was changed forever. The story is depicted in photographs, original art and relics in The Dayton Art Institute’s exhibit of The Great Dayton Flood of 1913. The exhibit also covers the aftermath, recovery, preventative improvements made to the rivers and even future plans for making The Great Miami Riverfront a focal point for the further revitalization of downtown Dayton.

The history of the flood is interesting,

And I remember hearing stories as I was growing up,

Of people stranded on rooftops or people rowing boats

Through city streets to help rescue the stranded Daytonians.

In the next 3 photos you see the same house photographed at

6 a.m.

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8:30 a.m.

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and 11 a.m.

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As you can see, the water rose fast and the people must have been terrified.

The most amazing part of the exhibit is the

Parallel photographs.

The DAI hired an artist to recreate the images in the current location of the original.

It was so helpful to see the before and after.

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The DAI also features some of the upcoming river based projects!

This made me excited as I think of the fun that could be had

If the community had the opportunity to utilize our river!

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The exhibit is beautiful and respectfully done.

I highly recommend you make your way out before the exhibit ends, May 5.

And a special thanks for my dad for joining me!

If you are interested in hearing more from my dad,

Hop over to Eastwood Eagle Watchers

Where he posts about the eagles that have made Dayton their home.

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The Snow Is A Window To My Heart

It has been over a month since I last posted.

It isn’t for lack of fear fighting

Or life happening.

It is, in fact, the exact opposite!

Over the last month, God has asked me to trust him more.

He has asked me to fall into his arms and he has held me.

I have.

It is has been amazing!

Today is the Monday before Easter.

Snow is still falling onto the 6 or so inches that accumulated last night.

I am not a fan of snow.

I do not like it. at. all.

But today, I am making a point to acknowledge the beauty that snow creates.

It really is pretty.

Our dogwood tree would normally be covered in buds, maybe even

Blossoming already.

Oh how I long for the beautiful pink and white flowers that usher in

The fresh promise of warm weather,

Bare feet,

Bike rides,

Skinny boy legs streaming from shorts.

Today, however, I am thanking God for the beauty of this moment.

It is not easy for me.

My heart longs for warm weather,

And my boys are itchin to run free on open fields.

That is not what God has given us.

That is not what He desires for us.

So my heart sits in sin.

The weather is allowing me to see how I put my wants

In front of His desires.

In front of what he has given me.

Isn’t what He has given me enough?

Why do I always want more??

Why do I feel like I deserve warm weather?

When I look at it, I deserve death.

Death apart from Him.

But He has saved me, through no payment or doing of my own.

He has sacrificed His Son, and I am feeling sorry for myself,

Because I have to sit through another snow,

In my warm house,

With my Children,

AND a cup of hot tea.

And I have the audacity to find discontentment

Instead of thanksgiving.

You see, my friend, this is what I have been learning.

God has been showing me how I fall short.

He doesn’t leave me in my mess,

He offers salvation, forgiveness, help, love, peace.

He offers Himself, nothing less.

SO while I sit here this morning,

Trying to be sincerely thankful for the snow,

I still fail.

In my heart, I don’t want it,

Even more, my desire is to be more like Him.

It is a process.

One I pray I will continue to walk through until he calls me home.

As the week goes on, I plan to share some fun we have been having

Around the Dell house.

I know the tone of my posts has been really heavy,

I am not apologizing for it, but I do want to lighten the mood around here.

One of the things God is showing me

Is the importance of balance.

I feel I tend to be pretty heavy on here,

And I want this to be a place where I can share

Fun times and serious matters.

So, my next few posts will be fun ones. 🙂

In December I will celebrate 6 years of blogging, you think I would have

A better handle on it by now.

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He Carried Me

Okay, here goes.

I have been sharing how God is mightily

Working in my life, moving mountains

And giving me opportunities to conquer fear.

Today I want to share with you a major fear I can cross of the list,

Well, mostly.

If you know me, you may know how afraid I am of guns.

With much encouragement from my husband,

I was prompted to face my fear.

Let me explain, I was not just a little afraid of guns,

I was a shakey mess of tears at the thought of hold a gun.

No joke!

When we went in to the gun store where we eventually took our course

I left unable to speak, crying, and barely keeping

Down my breakfast.

We were only there to register for a class.

I didn’t touch a gun.

I didn’t hear one fire,

But knowing I was surrounded by weapons,

WAS. TERRIFYING.

I thought I would pass out.

That led me to more doubt and fear that I would actually be able to

Face the fear, let alone conquer it.

I had about a month from the day we signed up for our class

Until the moment of truth

When we actually took the class.

The class we enrolled in was a 2 day ordeal.

One day of class instruction and

Half a day at an outdoor range.

I wouldn’t talk about the class,

Until a few days before.

I couldn’t put words to the enormity of the fear.

I didn’t want to think about it,

Let alone talk about it.

My husband encouraged me to hold a gun.

Just to prepare myself a little bit.

But I just could not bring myself to do so.

So we went to class.

The morning of the class, 

God washed me with his grace.

I slept well the night before.

I woke up refreshed and ready to learn.

Ready to face the day ahead.

It was truly amazing.

The class was a long 8 hours,

We both learned a lot.

 I made it the entire first day…

Without touching a real gun.

It was fine.

It was actually more than fine.

It was a sweet time with my wonderful husband.

To God be the glory.

Day 2, that is another story.

That is what I thought anyway.

To my surprise, it was not that bad!

At all!

We spent some time in the gun shop talking about different guns.

It was all quickly overwhelming me and

I felt the pink leave my cheeks,

My heart began to race,

And the entire room went fuzzy.

There it was.

FEAR!

I held the tears as long as I could,

But the pressure of the water,

Broke the dam of my mind.

The tears started to stream down my cheeks.

I felt Aaron’s hand grab mine as he encouraged

Me, with words of affirmation

And scripture of truth.

I went to the bathroom and I let the tears flow.

I started to freak out and considered leaving.

I almost let the fear consume me,

AGAIN.

But then I remembered,

1John 4:18

“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.

For fear has to do with punishment

And whoever fears has not been perfected in love.”

I started confronting the fear with the truth

And promise of this verse.

I am not perfect.

I am afraid.

Why?

I am a child of God.

And God is perfect.

He is LOVE.

He is pure.

Because I am His,

I become like Him.

He is at work in me.

I can see growth.

I can see Him becoming more,

Becoming bigger than me.

Daily.

In small ways.

This is where comfort lies.

There is no punishment in that.

There is

Love

Redemption

Peace

Grace

AND HOPE!

I knew in that moment,

He was bigger than the fear of shooting.

He was asking me in that moment,

“Do you trust me, my child.”

And I answered, outloud in a bathroom in the middle of a

Gunshop, of all places.

YES.

I believe you.

I trust you.

And you know what??

Not only did he carry me.

He showed His power.

He granted me comfort.

Focus.

And in the end

A conquered fear.

I would not go so far as to say I loved shooting.

I would not say it is how I want to spend my free time.

Nope, not at all!

But I can safely say that fear has been sent into the pit of hell.

I feel confident that I can handle myself

Around a gun.

I do not think I can fully explain the enormity of this

Moment, but trust me when I say,

God moved.

I am one step closer to flying.

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Consuming Fear Meets Unspeakable Joy

The last few weeks have passed so quickly.

Fear is alive and bucking inside my heart and mind.

There is a difference in the way I am reacting to my fear.

I am calling it by name and praying against it.

The most amazing part of this journey, continues to be

How I am finding a community with the women who are in my life.

I don’t know about men, but I really think ear is

An issue most women struggle with every day.

I cannot tell you how many people have spoken to me,

Messaged me, or e-mailed me sharing the fear that

Consumes their lives.

It confirms the leading I have felt to share the story of my journey.

There are others, just like me, who want to be free of this sin.

Each day I make an intentional step to face a fear,

I am overcome with the amazing JOY that comes with the decision to

FOLLOW JESUS.

The joy is immense.

It is free.

It is contagious.

In the last week, or so, God has been faithful to reveal fears

And He has been faithful to carry me over the threshold as I enter into more of

His presence.

This week, I will share  some of the recent experiences where God is

Giving me the opportunity to grow.

I hope you are encouraged in your journey

And I hope you continue to reach out to me or those

In your inner circle.

Fear, like all sin, grows deep roots

Within the crevices of our hearts when left alone.

Don’t be silent any longer.

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Moment by Moment

Oh, my.

I wish I could truly put words to the feeling that is

Rushing through my veins,

Pushing forth the very blood

That flows through my body and gives life to my heart.

I wish I could compare the magnitude of its power,

But nothing seems big enough.

To try to sum it up is like trying to experience the wonder of the ocean

By looking into a shot glass filled with tap water.

The feeling is not so much a “feeling”,

Rather, the promises of scripture

Unfolding within my minds eye

 And enveloping my heart with truth.

I can almost feel it erasing the doubts.

I am in shock.

The monster, that is fear,

IS.

LOSING.

ITS.

GRIP.

It has not even been a week since I stepped foot

On the path of this journey.

It has only been a few days,

But I tell you, dear friend,

I serve a Mighty God!

He can move mountains.

He can calm storms.

AND HE CAN FREE ME FROM FEAR.

And you know what?

He is.

One fear at a time.

Moment by moment.

Day by day,

He is making me free.

Some of you have sent me messages, or left comments,

And I want you to know I am praying for you.

You are not alone.

I would love to know if you are walking this journey,

The journey to a life filled with less of you and more of Him,

With me.

Please leave comments,

OR

Send an e-mail

dellgirl1(at)sbcglobal(dot)net

If you are struggling with fear or another stronghold of

Fear in your life.

I would love to walk with you on this journey.

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Facing the Mirror

1 John 4:18

“There is no FEAR in love,

But perfect love casts out fear.

For fear has to do with punishment,

and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.”

Wow.

I let the words wash over me.

I write them down,

Type them,

Print them out.

In order to face the fears I feel the need to name them.

God has brought to mind,

In a prayerful moment,

Image upon image of moments of fear in my life.

It was almost like watching a slide show of still shots.

Each moment painful and cuts deep.

I will try to discuss them here as time moves me through this journey.

The first image is one I hold to tightly.

I let it pour over me.

It fits like a glove, because I wear it daily.

I slip my arm through its sleeves

And my legs into the warmth and comfort of its pants.

There in front of me, a mirror.

Tall, unflattering.

The reflection is bright.

Fake smile on my face.

Sadness deep into my eyes.

Hurt welling up on my quivering lips.

This fear is failure.

Images of me, 50lbs less.

Images of me regaining all but 10 of the 60 lbs I once lost.

The fear has such a grip on me it has been the hand

That feeds my weight gain.

It has been the root of the decisions to daily replace

Spiritual comfort with the comfort of unneeded calories.

It has grabbed ahold of the air I breath and offered

A mask of solution, hiding the truth of the deep need for

The food of the Lord.

The lie that I can’t lose weight has been dished out

In the form of extra portions, poor decisions, and unhealthy snacking.

Satan has fed me hand over fist.

And I have eaten.

The food leads to disappointment.

The disappointment to discontent.

The discontent to depression.

This I finally see.

The ugliness and reality of the foothold of  the fear of failure.

I swallow hard.

I disrobe.

Literally.

I stand alone in the bathroom, robe in an empty shell

Resting at my feet.

And I weep.

I am overcome with sadness,

It is followed by a strange sense of joy.

I take a moment to look.

There are scars.

Some visible.

Some invisible.

Many scars.

Stretch marks from babies.

Those are happy marks of life.

Marks I treasure.

There is a scar from kidney surgery.

Long, hugging my right side, since 2008.

The scar of the surgery that saved my life.

That is a happy scar.

The foot long scar down the center of my back.

The surgery that restored my body to near pain free, in 2010.

There are 2 scars on my lower abdomen.

Precious scars that brought forth the life of my precious boys.

 Those scars are hidden.

Their reminder lost in the folds of the result of years of over-eating.

Years of pain-covering placebo’s.

Years of trying not to reach out and just feed the pain.

As I scan the image that is the 34 year old woman I have become,

I am struck with the truth of the verse.

“There is no fear in love.

For fear has to do with punishment,

and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.”

When I look at the ugliness of self hate,

Written across the billboard of my naked body.

I weep.

I step into the shower and let the hot water

Pour over me.

I pray to my Father, my ABBA.

I weep more.

I sing to Him.

I praise Him.

I ask Him to take this fear.

I ask Him to show me how to remove this bondage that

Fits me like a second skin.

I realize I am not alone.

In that moment,

He is with me.

I feel Him look at me with love.

His words rush my mind and my face feels flush.

He loves me with a perfect love.

His answer is to fill myself with more of Him.

What does that look like?

How is that done?

By seeking.

By studying.

By asking.

By praying.

By loving Him.

By trusting that He is a God of love.

That is how.

There is no shortcut.

There is no easy way out.

It is going to be a painstaking walk through

Deep valleys and strongholds that I must walk if I want

To fly.

I want to fly.

I want to soar in His goodness.

I want to delight in Him.

 I grab my loofa.

I add soap.

I wash.

I pray.

I pray God’s love over my body.

I pray for release from my pain.

I trust in His healing.

I let the soap run off and watch the water

Carry it down the drain.

I pray my sin is washed with it.

I dry off.

I slide into my robe, once again.

I sit and I type.

I feel refreshed and redeemed,

Like I have been granted a second chance.

I pray.

I hope.

I rest.

I start to fly.

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Ready To Fly

In need to write.

For me, to write is to process.

I have so much to share, so much to unwrap

As God had been doing some major work on me lately.

I don’t know where to begin,

So I will just start.

I feel so raw, so vulnerable.

So ready.

Ready for change.

Ready for surrender.

Ready to live.

Ready to fly.

Over the last several days,

Longer really,

God has graciously, lovingly

Been showing me a major sin issue in my life.

I live afraid.

I have acknowledged this as a sin,

But not done anything about it because,

Well, I am afraid.

I know it makes no sense, but it is the reality of the situation.

I am afraid of almost everything.

My fear can be paralyzing or subtle,

It can be loud or quiet.

The fear of surrendering this fear to God

Is scary because it means I must trust.

Trusting is hard.

Truthfully, I can’t imagine life without fear.

Honestly, I can’t picture it.

I have been reading

One Thousand Gifts

By Ann Voskamp.

I have been awestruck by the way God

Is using the book to speak directly, into my heart, to

The sin which He wants to weed out of the garden of my heart.

Seriously.

It is unreal.

So I write to you, to tell you I am making the commitment

To trust God,

To walk through the thick mud that resides in the deepest

Chambers of my heart.

I will get dirty.

I will want to stop.

BUT I cannot.

I will not.

Because if I do,

I will be rejecting the prompting

Of the God of the universe.

The God who sent His only Son to die for me.

The God who is not a God of fear,

But the God of LOVE!

As the days and weeks go on

I will share the journey that brought me to this post, this decision.

I have gone back and forth, whether or not I should write about this,

But I feel pressed to type the words.

I know I am not the only child of God that struggles with sin issues.

We are all sinners.

I know how alone I have felt for the last few months,

And I am beginning to see why.

I pray my journey will encourage you.

I pray God reveals more of Himself to you during this process.

I ask you, dear reader, to pray for me.

Pray for vulnerability, consistency, and daily commitment.

Last night, I broke my silence to a dear friend.

I shared the struggle I was having.

God brought her to me last night,

And I am so thankful.

I will share more of that story in another post,

But I want you to know she prayed for me,

The night before,

Not by name, but in faith that God would bring someone to her.

I am that someone.

I do not know what is going to happen in my heart,

But I will trust fully, intentionally

That God will carry me as he does all of His children.

I will leave you with the overwhelming,

Chest pounding,

Breath-taking

Realization

That God laid upon me last night.

If I live afraid,

I do not trust.

If I do not trust,

I do not believe.

If I do not believe,

I call Him a liar.

Oh the audacity, that I , a child,

Live in that reality.

My lack of trust, my active and all consuming fear reduces

GOD,

My Father,

My Savior,

To liar.

Oh how the ugliness of sin in its raw form pains me to write.

That is why I must change.

That is why I must walk through this journey.

Oh how sweet life without fear will be.

I believe HE has the power to tear down the walls,

Of a lifetime and layers and bondage of fear.

For I know He desires sweet communion.

And, my friend, I long to see more of Him and less of me.

Here goes…

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