Friday, November 4, 2011

Thankful November: Day 4

I'm thankful for...the memories...
Top: My dad fighting the fire.
Bottom: Fire and smoke pouring out.
On what seemed like a normal early June morning, my cell phone rang. Upon opening my groggy eyes, I saw it was my mom. I was not surprised as we talk all the time, but slightly annoyed as my 6 hours of sleep was just not quite enough. The words she spoke were enough to send me flying out of bed and practically to my car to drive the 12 hours home to Nebraska. After a lot of uncontrollable tears, she had me convinced that driving home was not the answer. Instead, I sat at home and cried all day long. Our family owned business, Ohlmann Building Center, was burning to the ground. To add to it, my dad and brother, who are local volunteer firemen in our small community, were battling a blaze that was destroying the only place they had ever worked. The business that we had all grown up helping at was going to be gone.

Out of God's great mercy, no one hurt or harmed in or while fighting the fire. The day following the fire, we were open for business. (The back shops and lumber area went untouched) Now almost one and half years later, we have a completely new and beautiful building. A building that far exceeds anything we could have imagined. It's real pretty!

While this whole thing seems tragic (and at the time it did feel that way), it has proved to be one of the greatest blessings in our lives. As a family, we grew. We were reminded that buildings and possessions are but "things" of this world. We were reminded how the Lord gives and the Lord takes because all things belong to Him. We are but His stewards. We were reminded to trust. To trust in His timing, His will, His plan. We were reminded that He promises us that He will always work things out for our good.
 "And we know that all things work for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28
We were reminded how great of a community we lived in and how important our church family was. The outpouring of support and love was beyond our comprehension.

And we learned to cherish the memories. The fire destroyed the building and many precious heirlooms (100 year old business has some neat treasures inside) but it did not and will not destroy the many memories we all have of "growing" up at Ohlmann Building Center. I can still picture my grandpa (and then my dad's) office as if I could drive there today and walk right in. I can still remember what it was like getting a chance to use the cash register for the first time! I can still remember how much I despised cleaning the men's employee bathroom -- PIGS!

So today, I'm thankful for the memories!

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