Learning How to Sail My Ship

“Lovely weather so far. I don’t know how long it will last, but I’m not afraid of storms, for I’m learning how to sail my ship.“-Louisa May Alcott, Little Women.

Here it comes… Sometimes you can see it brewing off in the distance and try to prepare and batten down the hatches. Sometimes it comes up out of nowhere and all you can do is hold on, try to gain your footing, and tie yourself to the mast. Life’s storms of tragedy, trauma, difficulties, hardships, tough situations…none of us are immune to them. We all experience them yet somehow they are unique to each of us. Death, divorce, betrayal, loss of job, dreams, relationships, health issues, injury, poverty, hunger, addictions,…storms, storms, storms.

I was helping my son today with his science and we were looking into cyclones and  thunderstorms. I found myself wandering in my mind to where real weather storms became life storms and making some comparisons..


A tropical cyclone is really a generic term for a storm of certain wind speed (74mph). It becomes a hurricane, typhoon, or cyclone only because of where the storm originated–north or south of the equator and east or west relative to the Atlantic or Pacific oceans. They are really all the same thing even a tornado is essentially a cyclone on land. The next step is to categorize the strength of the storm 1-5 based on wind speed. And finally give it a name.

I have never been through any of those storms. I was in a 6.9 earthquake, a rather large storm in the Cape Cod bay in a row boat, and numerous thunder and lightning storms along the way.

I can’t imagine the power and devastation…

So whether your cyclone comes from finances, family, health or somewhere else–you need recognize that its a life storm and its coming your way–get prepared.

And no matter what its named (addiction, cancer, divorce,  unemployment, bankruptcy, loss of dream, …) or how strong its winds blow you CAN withstand and survive this storm. You need to know that from the start.


No matter what name we give our big life storm’s and no matter what direction/area of life they come from:

  • We ALL experience them in some form

I want to tell you that it WON’T happen to you and I pray that it won’t but in reality I don’t know of anyone who can journey through this life without encountering a storm of two of varying strengths. So knowing that going in helps A LOT. It helps us to be prepared–not afraid of every rumble –but wise in building up our resources as a person AND as one who is part of a community of support. We can’t do it alone and what effects one effects the whole community.

  1. Take care of yourself: physically,  mentally, emotionally and spiritually. You are your greatest ally and resource not just for your storm but for those around you, too.

2. Be a part of a community: volunteer, join a club, go to church, build friendships.

3. Be prepared: we can’t predict everything that could happen but we can do what we can and that’s what matters-do something because every little bit helps.

  • We all experience their various levels of devastation

Some storms seem small to those on the outside but every storm is powerful when its yours. For some a broken arm is tragic; for others loss of job is devastating; and a death in the family affects us all. Keep kindness and compassion fully stocked in your storm pantry. These two go a long way in times of trouble.

  • We need help to each other rebuild.

We can’t stop the storms but we can help hold on during them and we certainly can help rebuild after. I don’t have a lot of money to help out but I have a little to make a meal, buy a pizza or a pack of toilet paper. I can’t fix a roof or rebuild a house but I can sit with the wounded, offer a blanket, clean the house, do some laundry. When we all step in to help we become like a community of ants. They are small but have you seen them carry a huge chunk of food 20x their size? And ALWAYS remember to pray for each other. Prayer can move mountains and calm the seas…or at least those in the middle of the storm.

“I will not fear the storms of life but I’ll ride upon the waves.” Julie True

Go ahead and save some extra money, stack your pantry with canned goods, stock you medicine cabinet, take your vitamins, and buy whatever insurance you think you need–all of these are good things to do and I encourage you to do what you can to be prepared BUT in the end how we care for ourselves and each other is what will make us stronger and get us through the storms.


No craft this month just do one thing to be more prepared. I have started a savings account and have some extra canned goods in the pantry. I have joined a group through my church and am teaching my kids some added responsibilities. Are you aware of any storms on your horizon? A friend’s horizon?

Make sure in our preparing we stock up on these, too:

Kindness and compassion.

Courage and Strength

Faith, Hope and Love…these things remain…at the end of all things


Ships in harbor are safe but that’s not what ships are built for.-John Shedd.


Heidi Mull, crafting hope, learning how to sail my ship.







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