Manna From Mayhem || Flood of Family

For many weeks I have pondered starting a weblog journaling my quest to discover God’s hands working in the middle of my chaos. I know so many women who are overcome with their responsibilities to work, home, and family, yet we rarely talk about it other than to throw out the obligatory complaint about how our husbands don’t help or our kids are the messiest people on the planet. We need support from other women experiencing the same issues! It has been my prayer from the beginning of Muddy Feet Photography that God will use this business for much more than beautiful images, so I have decided to insert this journey smack in the middle of MFP. These journals are entitled “Manna from Mayhem”, and I hope you will find them an enjoyable part of the Muddy Feet blog. We know God provides manna each day. It’s part of our daily walk to rifle through the mayhem and find God’s provision for that day. It is my sincere hope that you will find something here to sustain you and inch you forward in your own journey. I’m certainly not qualified to write such a journal, but I hope God will take my pitiful efforts and use them to speak to someone when they need Him most. And so, my mayhem and God’s manna…

Last weekend, we traveled North to Carter, MS, to help my in-laws move. Not the “you got a beautiful new home to enjoy” type of move.  This was a “the water is coming and you gotta go” move. They received word early last week that backwater from the MS River would flood their community, and thus began a week of disorderly evacuation.

I felt a convoy of emotions throughout the weekend.

Utter disbelief that a front yard miles from the nearest water would soon be four feet under.

Overwhelming sadness walking through a home that has been occupied by Charlie & Mabel Jordan for the better part of 65 years and now stands empty, save a picnic table holding disengaged wooden doors.

Mourning for the gorgeous fields of wheat, only two weeks shy of the harvest, that will never be gleaned.

Grief for the farmers facing the double whammy of losing their homes and their income.

Family swept in Friday and had my grandparents-in-law moved completely out of their home and into their rental in less than 24 hours. I’m talking about food in the pantry, clothes in the closet, let’s sit in our easy chairs and have a cup of tea setup. I’m baffled by how they did it, but they did.

Saturday morning, my kids & I drove into a frenzy of activity at my in-laws home. Furniture loading, box packing, and decision making all occurring rapid-fire. The tension ebbed and flowed, as did the laughter. The gravity of potential loss stayed with us, but I also felt uplifted by fighting the good fight. The more we buzzed and moved and made something happen, the more I felt rooted in this family. No one sulked about giving up their Saturday. No one moaned about their sacrifice. Our parents, grandparents, uncle, aunt, sister, or brother needed our help, and together we were one big, bad moving machine.

In the preface of a horrible event, I was reminded why God gives us family and friends that feel like family. They help us when the burden is too much. They take the next step when we can’t move another inch. And they allow us to repay that favor and be there when it really matters. It is impossible for us to understand God’s love for us, but family gives us an inkling of its force. My in-laws could not have physically completed this evacuation on their own. My days-away-from-being-85-years-old grandparents-in-law certainly couldn’t have done more than leave it all to drown. But, others swarmed around and made the impossible happen.  God gives us these beautiful people to push and pull and love us right on through the worst of days.

As these waters creep in and swallow the possessions of so many, I pray for those who do not have a family to pick them up from the soggy bottom. I pray for God’s mercy on the Carter community and so many others sure to be affected. If you are lucky enough to help someone reconstruct after this tragedy, I hope we hear God’s persistent love with each whack of a hammer. A love I cannot fathom but can show to my family by being there to help them and pray them through the coming weeks. 
These pier steps on Wolf Lake are supposed to angle down.  Sunday they were flat.  Tuesday the pier in the foreground was under water.

 So much sweat and effort will be lost when the fields go under.  Not to mention the money that sinks with it.
The Carter store survived the flood of 1927 and has a high water mark above my head.  We celebrated her 100 year anniversary just a few years ago.  Many tears will be shed if she doesn't survive this time.

Doors piled high in my in-laws home.  Their home was built in 1919 and most of their doors are solid wood.  Definitely worth the effort to save them.


  1. This is absolutely beautiful, Erin, & it definitely touched me. I have not had the pleasure of meeting you but my husband & I are very close friends with Patrick & Kacy. This past hunting season my family was welcomed, with open arms, many times, to your in-law's in Carter, Ms. Carter is a beautiful place with an amazing family & lots of history. My heart and prayers goes out to your wonderful family, their home, store, and land... Family, prayer, & faith in God is what will get them through this. My own family's home, on the river, has been taken over by this raging flood also, so I know this pain & can relate to this very well. Thank you so much for sharing & you have an amazing talent!
    Love & Prayers For your Sweet Family!
    Alicia, Curt, Connor, & Ethan Spencer

  2. Beautiful Pics Erin. Carter is a Beautiful community with the biggest hearted people I have ever has the pleasure to live among. From JD, to Mr. Charlie, from Ed, to Mrs Hines.... it just really doesn't get any better. The flooded pics sadden me, however, the one thing I know is that I am not the only one that loved that community. Before you know it, the farm pick up trucks will be sitting outside the store covering the parking lot. Ed will be fussing at someone to get out of the way of the pump, Mr Charlie will be riding over on his mower, Eric will buzz in and buzz out like only he does. Scott will come down and tell a story about his boy, and JD will be pulling up at the end of the day for a little R&R and to watch a game on the tv at the store.
    It will be back.... No doubt in my mind.

    Have a Blessed weekend yall.

    Allen Jones