We have all heard the phrase ”weathering the storm.” But what does it really mean and what tools do you use to weather the storm? The storms in your life may be big or small. Some of the storms may be just a part of life, and yet, we may bring some of those storms upon ourselves. But no matter what, we always find a way to cope and eventually weather the storm. Take for instance natural disasters. We have seen these occur throughout history and some very recently. Along the East Coast and the Gulf of Mexico there are hurricanes. In the Midwest we have tornados. And in the West they have earthquakes and wildfires. No matter what the natural disaster I am sure that those affected the worst immediately were thinking how am I going to get through this. In that moment there is despair, hopelessness, and confusion as your life is turned upside down. But what we have seen time and time again is that people come together and help their fellow mankind. In time houses are rebuilt and communities are restored with the help of others. Some of the storms are just an everyday occurrence. If you work outside the home I would venture to say you have uttered the words “I have to put out some fires.” If it is a small enough storm you take care of it on your own but many times you tackle it as a team and come up with a solution and “put out the fire”. Perhaps you’re dealing with a personal tragedy like the death of a loved one. I like many of you have felt that, and as the tears were flowing I immediately thought of how am I going to get through this, how am I going to weather this storm. In those times many of us rely on our faith to see us through that darkness, but we could not make it without our family and friends to help us cope with the emotions at that time. Unfortunately, some people actually create their own storms through the actions or decisions they have made in their lives. How do they weather the storm? Some may never get the help they need to be able to ever weather the storm that was created. But some do find the courage to right this ship, accept responsibility and forge ahead usually with the help of others. When I received my diagnosis of Lou Gehrig’s disease, I immediately felt I had a storm that would swallow me up and spit me out. In many ways I can say I am weathering the storm day by day. Many people who are in a difficult situation find this coping mechanism the only way to get through the day. Unlike most of you, I have a pretty good idea of what the future holds and because of that, I have learned to live for the day. That doesn’t mean I have given up on the future, but rather, I appreciate the gifts that God has given me on that day and take nothing for granted. But I could not weather this storm by myself. As you know by now, I have my faith, family, and friends who help me daily. I have had so many people step up to help make my and my family’s life easier. People like Beth, Sara, Randy, Vicki, Julie, Mark, Carrie, and so many more who give me rides, bring us food, or help with some light housework. I could not be weathering this storm without them. So the next time you are faced with adversity or a mountain that seems too high to climb, remember you can and will weather that storm. You will find strength were you had none, and you will find that your family, friends, and neighbors will help you overcome the obstacles you face along with faith at the core.