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When Love Looks Like Lumber

by Kelly Crawford

Friday: a volunteering group of contractors from GA throwing up walls to our house in a day! Lumber never looked so beautiful to me.

PROGRESS! It’s a beautiful thing! (See what happened here, here or here if you’re new to Generation Cedar.)

Just wanted to share an update with so many of you who have prayed, sent love and precious words of encouragement, thoughtful gifts and monetary donations to help us as we rebuild our lives.

Let me first just beg you all to accept my deepest gratitude. I have earnestly tried to send (and am still sending) personal notes of thanks to the many of you who have given of yourselves in different ways to our family, but I know I have lost track of addresses and have fallen so short in my efforts. Please know that every word, every letter, every gift and every prayer has been tucked and treasured in our hearts as a family even if I have failed to thank you personally. I wish I could list every gift, every perfect word at just the right time, every meal, every gesture given to us. There are literally hundreds. And I want you to know EVERY one has been a blessing. Not one has gone unseen or thankless. From our closest friends to people across the sea we’ve never known, this disaster has brought us the opportunity to bond closer and to meet so many of our brothers and sisters otherwise we would never have touched. From a milkshake coupon in the mail to unbelievable contributions, all have been equally received with the tenderest of thoughts toward the giver.

The devastation we have undergone may have overtaken us to the point of desperation were it not for so many of you and our friends and surrounding churches and neighbors giving of yourselves to refresh our spirits and bring us the daily encouragement we need to persevere. Words fail me and tears well up as I try to convey how thankful we are.

The Lord continues to show Himself strong and faithful through His body–YOU, who have come alongside us and literally held us up when otherwise we would have fainted. I have never felt more vulnerable and raw, but also never more caressed and deeply loved. This, I think, is the beauty of walking through the fire…to know the love of God in a way never imaginable.

You will never know what your love has meant to us.


Many of the volunteer teams that come from out-of-town/state have stayed in the basement of my parents’ church. My brother’s team from CO, in their optimism, found the noise of the cots to be a memorable part of the trip so they made a short video to document their memory. (Thank you, dear ones, for sweating and working so hard in my flooded, steamy basement, also optimistically named “The Crawford Sauna”.)


“Sleepless in Alabama” from Grace in Pagosa on Vimeo.

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Jennifer July 1, 2011 - 3:39 pm

Homes are being rebuilt! *smiles tearfully*

Word Warrior July 1, 2011 - 3:58 pm

Yes…I went back and clarified, this is OUR house!

Jennifer July 1, 2011 - 6:54 pm

Praise God!

Kelly L July 1, 2011 - 5:57 pm

So happy for your family to be rebuilding already!!! Also, I would have paid any amount of money to go sleep in hotel if my cot and neighboring ones sounded like that. It was funny for 16 seconds. Those LOVING people. To work hard and hear that at the end of the day. The video was hilarious…because I was not there. 😉

Danielle July 2, 2011 - 7:58 am

Seeing that lumber made me tear up as well. How wonderful! Praising God with you!

Loved the video:-)

Danielle July 2, 2011 - 7:59 am

Forgot to say, loved the last guy with the Dora pillow case!!!! LOL!

tamela July 2, 2011 - 8:05 am

The video was a treat~ Just love the guy with the Dora pillow case~ That was lots of fun to watch~ Thanks for sharing and many blessings to all

Kim M July 2, 2011 - 9:51 am

I am so happy for you all, and the video was HILARIOUS! I know you all are looking forward to moving in!

Joyce July 2, 2011 - 11:56 am


Word Warrior July 2, 2011 - 12:09 pm

I would appreciate your prayers for patience today…as encouraging as it is to see our walls going up, my husband called this morning and said they had discovered that the entire backside of the basement (the part underground) was beginning to cave in. Looks as if we’ll have to dig half the basement up and replace the walls. Very discouraging…more time and money.

6 arrows July 2, 2011 - 12:16 pm

Praying for you, Kelly, and for the safety of everyone at the site. God be with you all.

Kelly L July 2, 2011 - 3:51 pm

My daughter and I just prayed for patience, wisdom, discernment, understanding and peace. Now I am off to take apart one of our toilets and fix it. You have given me perspective, which is always a good thing. 😉

Donna Hebert July 2, 2011 - 1:02 pm

Oh Kelly, I will let my family know how to pray for you all today. Hang in there as you already have. Sending big hugs to you from Maine. (((HUGS)))

Dawn@OneFaithfulMom July 2, 2011 - 3:21 pm

If it gave me goose bumps, I can’t imagine how you must feel. Praying for the basement issues. I know you will be so overjoyed to be back in your home. That is some kinda beaufitul lumber!!

Ashley Tucker July 2, 2011 - 3:34 pm

The Joy it brings to me to see walls above the basement that saved your lives. God Truly is AMAZING!!!!

jen in AL July 3, 2011 - 9:04 am

So amazing!!!!!! We are continuing to pray for you all. especially as i read your comment above that reminds me that sometimes things move forward 1 step and 2 steps back. 🙂 God is so faithful. I have to keep reminding myself that surprises to me are no surprise to him. Hoping to see your sweet family soon. Walls! what a beautiful sight all those people loving and working is. love and blessings,jen in al

Linda July 3, 2011 - 3:06 pm

Patience, yes. His mercies are new every morning.

My kids loved the video… “What’s that noise? That guys sleeping on a Dora pillow!” *chuckle* So thankful for the hands and feet that are helping you rebuild.

Stephanie R July 4, 2011 - 12:26 am


Melinda July 4, 2011 - 6:52 am

It’s beautiful to see the work going on at your new home. I’m sorry about the basement wall having to be redone, but it is much better to find out sooner than later. (I know you know that already.) I will be continuing to remember your family and thousands of other storm survivors in my prayers for comfort and wisdom in carrying on.

I also wanted to say that I have wondered many times why God’s people have had to suffer and lose so much in this round of storms. I wonder why the Crawfords and not us? When I see videos of the damage in my area, I wonder why did that building stand and the one next door collapse? I am praying that the storms and other disasters we have experienced in our nation recently will be the beginning of a Great Awakening like we have never seen before! I cannot imagine the anguish or grief you all have suffered, but I can see God working in lives, using this terrible event in wonderful ways to draw His people and lost people to Him.

Word Warrior July 4, 2011 - 9:58 am

Thank you, Melinda…yes, I see a new work of God in our lives almost every day…even in the refining fire, which is not so pleasant, He draws me to Him in a way never possible. “Nothing in my hands I bring…” has been the truth revealed to me through this.

Melinda July 6, 2011 - 11:13 am

I just read your new post. Thank you for sharing as God takes you through the refining process. This is a reminder we all need to hear. I especially need to hear it right now.

Jill J July 4, 2011 - 1:08 pm

Praise God!! They are beautiful walls indeed!!!

Really enjoyed the video! You need things like this when events are so trying. 🙂 Laughter (a joyful heart) is good medicine!

Charity July 5, 2011 - 7:28 pm

My 4yr old little girl pointed to the little girl on the video and asked, “Is she the little one that said roll over?”, to which her wise 5yr old big sister responded, “No, ’cause no one fell out!” 😉

Still praying for you and your family!

Carolina Jackson July 9, 2011 - 9:14 pm

You are not wasting any time and that is great! you may indeed be in your new home for Christimas!

As a European, what i do not understand is why are there so few houses built with bricks and morser, especially with all that kind of natural desasters. In Europe all houses are made of brick.

All-in-One “How the Tornado Affected the Crawfords” | July 22, 2011 - 3:42 pm

[…] When Love Looks Like Lumber (First building update) […]

Marsha Grimes July 28, 2011 - 3:03 pm

Your blog makes me realize how fragile life is and fast it can be gone. The new house looks awesome and we learn as we go. Your picture looks like my sister-in-laws house. She lost everything in a house fire back in February and the new house looks where they are in building the new. God Bless you and your family!!!!!

Cheri September 13, 2011 - 2:12 pm

What a hilarious video! Love the Dora pillow at the end! I hope the basement issue gets resolved ASAP and that you get your brand new home move-in ready for Christmas!

God Bless

Rodger Vahle December 27, 2011 - 6:02 am

Hello there! Great post! Please do inform us when we shall see a follow up!


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