“Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and all that is within me, bless his holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits,”
(Psalm 103:1–2, ESV)
We have been awestruck by the devastation the extremely cold weather caused around Texas. The pictures of ceilings that dropped on the floor exposing roof joists and utilities are mind-boggling. The broken pipes causing water to flow through peoples’ homes like floodwaters and waterfalls is heartbreaking to see. Now that the temperatures have warmed, almost half of the Texas population are on a boil water order, that is if they can even get water. Then to add insult to injury, electric utility bills for just one week of arctic cold weather are in the $1,000s for individuals. Mere words are not enough to describe all that has and is happening.
Yes, we were impacted by the polar vortex that blew into Texas. However, the impact on us was minimal in comparison to that which other Texans are enduring. As the Psalmist wrote, “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits.” We have indeed been blessed!
We stayed warm and had plenty of propane to heat our trailer living quarters and the basement area where our utilities are located. The school was gracious to bring us two extra bottles of propane just in case we ran out. (We were reminded of Elijah and the widow’s endless supply of oil when our first propane bottle just kept on supplying propane and only ran out at the end of the severe temperatures!).
We filled up our fresh water tank so we could simply draw from it because we do not have a heated hose for use in these types of conditions. However, there were short sections of water lines that received insufficient heat in the basement and froze. Even though we were not able to have water flowing from our faucet, the school never lost water and we were able to walk a few yards to the guest house near us to fill our water jugs. At least we never had a white-out condition of blowing snow while walking back and forth from the guest house!
When others were without power for hours and even days, we only experienced a loss of power for 30 minutes at a time. At the height of the blackouts, we would have power for 90 minutes with only a 30-minute break without electricity. However, this would never have been a problem anyway, as we could have remained off the power grid for several days with our solar system and batteries, with the batteries supplying the power needed to run the furnace fan.
We did lose a few hours of work when we couldn’t make it down the icy, snow-covered hill to the shop but the school was not concerned and checked on us regularly to make sure we were doing okay. We are so thankful that He protected us amazingly well during this trying time. All we can say is “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name!”