“The fire is near your house. What do you want us to save?” The phone call from a friend came soon after a text from my neighbor.

The text read “Mandatory evacuation where we are because of the fire.  Will keep you updated.” I knew there was a brush fire in our hometown, but didn’t realize how close it really was as we are 1200 miles away.

“What do you want to save?” kept ringing in my ear. Peace filled me without a prayer. I knew my family was safe and most of the things in the house could be replaced.

The theory of ‘it’s just stuff’ hits hard when you have to make a quick decision. What matters the most?

My family.

My faith.

My memories.

We are all away from home, spread across the world. Safe.

My foundation of my faith filled me with peace immediately. Thank you, Jesus.

My memories. Immediately regret filled me. All those pictures that I have been meaning to scan. Years and years of memories. My youth. The hubby and my dating years. Our wedding. My babies. Moves. Houses. Travel. Baseball. More moves. A different house. More travel. All those memories I can easily recall in the Rolodex of my mind. The concrete evidence is all piled in boxes in the den closet.

“My pictures,” I told my friend. “I’m on it,” she replied. Thank you, Jesus, for good friends.

After the call, I turned to Facebook. The place many dislike because of the drama. The place I know I can get a prayer chain chugging along in mere seconds. I posted:

  • Our neighborhood in Florida is being evacuated because of brush fires. We are in Pittsburgh. Please pray everyone stays safe all of our neighbors and friends. Stuff can be replaced. Lives cannot. Thank God for good friends who look after our house when we are gone. Pray!

A like. Then another. A friend asked to share. More likes. Comment upon comment. The peace of the Lord continued within me as prayers were being rapidly shared.

A phone call from another friend who was at the ready to go to my house and save all that she could. Tears fell. Joyful tears from a grateful heart.

I knew that no matter what happened to our home I would be thankful for the safety of my family and I would cherish the love of good friends. I pray that would be my response. Thankfulness, not anger. Peace, not turmoil.

Another text, “Everything looks good for right now and it looks like the fire is definitely moving away but I will keep checking on it.”

A check of the local TV station: Winds have shifted. A little while later: 100% contained.

Close call for us. Neighbors lost their homes. Sad day at the hand of flames. A wonderful day of gratefulness for friends, family, and prayer.

Today we were not the ones to lose our house. I am praying for those who did. Praying for peace and comfort. Praying if it had been us that I would have been thankful in all circumstances.

I continue to pray for the brave firefighters and first responders who work diligently to save all the homes, families, and animals. Praying for the fire that is still raging south of our home. Praying that 100% contained is something we see soon.

I am going home in a few weeks just to check in. It was a trip I planned to get a few things done in my writing. Now my plans have changed. I will be scanning pictures. Putting memories on hard drives. Storing them where flames cannot reach. And praying for friends as I hug them in person.

What would you save if you knew you only had minutes before a fire ravaged your home? Do you use Social Media for drama or prayer? Do you have something you need to do before it is too late? Save some memories?