Hurricane Irma & the “Love You Because” Challenge

I started writing another post for today, but it was hard to finish when something else is so heavy on my heart. Along with everything else going on in the world, the disaster of Hurricane Harvey in Houston has been overtaken in the news by the quickly approaching, larger-than-life Hurricane Irma.
I’m from Tampa, and currently go to school in Tallahassee, so this storm is something ever-present in everyone’s lives around me right now.

If you aren’t from Florida or the south or even the United States, then you might not be aware of the massive hurricane hurling towards my beloved state, but a quick Google of “Hurricane Irma” or a look at any weather radar will show you all you need to know… As of this morning (Saturday, September 9), Irma’s set her sights on barreling straight through the entire state of Florida (and moving westward by the hour, more towards the coast of my family and I) and continuing up into the southern states.

Irma’s already plowed through the Caribbean islands, briefly weakening from a Category 5 to a 4, only to regain strength back up to a Category 5. She’s not messing around.
I don’t mean to over-dramatize anything, it’s just difficult to try to prepare for the disaster that’s coming in the next few days.
I’ve decided to stay put here in Tallahassee, for fear of sparse gas and bad traffic if I were to try and evacuate, especially with the westward movement of the storm, which will also be hitting the cities I’d evacuate to… My family in Tampa is also bracing for impact at our house there.

I know the entire state is about to be affected, badly, along with all the nearby islands and southern states, which is cause for the other half of this post’s title, the “Love You Because Challenge”.

Life is short, and the future is unknown, so tell the people you love that you love them. I’m not saying we’re all doomed from this storm, but it will be rough, and recovery will be long and hard. The power will be out in many places, for long periods of time, and you never know when cell service will go out.
So I challenge you, regardless of where you live or whether this storm is anywhere near you, to reach out to at least one person that you love, and tell them why you love them.
Text them, call them, email them, and tell them that you love and appreciate them, and that you’re thinking of them. Tell them to pass it on, and tell someone that they’re loved, too. It’s not hard, it’ll only take you a minute, but I know it’ll help brighten someone’s day.
You never know how much someone might need to hear that they’re loved, and we don’t say it enough.
Especially in difficult times, we have to stick together and lift each other up. Accept the challenge to spread some love today, before you even close this web page (unless you’re on mobile, then close this page and open your messages). Get on the phone and get to saying “I love you because…”
You won’t regret it.
I texted my big sister, my family, and started an “I love you because” chain in my sorority Facebook group.
How are you going to spread the love? Leave me a comment below with a “<3” or let me know who you reached out to if you accepted the challenge, I’d love to hear how you’re helping to shine a light in the dark world today.
Be safe friends, and say some extra prayers for everyone in this storm.

20 Comments

  1. Keisha Russell
    September 9, 2017

    Such wonderful advice! Prayers to you & your family in Florida and to all who are suffering due to “Irma.”

    Reply
    1. kristenshaneblog
      September 9, 2017

      Thank you Keisha! Blessings always

      Reply
  2. Celina Waddy
    September 9, 2017

    <3 praying for your safety!

    Reply
    1. kristenshaneblog
      September 9, 2017

      Thank you!

      Reply
  3. Kaitlin
    September 9, 2017

    Praying for you and your family as you guys prepare for Irma. It’s crazy to see all that’s going on in our world right now. It is so important to cherish the time and seasons we have and let those around us know how important and loved they are. Thank you for this challenge– this is a great idea!

    You will be in my prayers!

    Reply
    1. kristenshaneblog
      September 9, 2017

      Thank you, Kaitlin! And I totally agree. Blessings!

      Reply
  4. Veronica
    September 9, 2017

    I have a friend who is in Florida right now who has chosen not to evacuate and who I’m basically worried sick about. Thanks for writing such a genuine and caring post, really encouraged me somehow. Praying for everyone’s safety there :/ ❤

    Reply
    1. kristenshaneblog
      September 9, 2017

      You’re so welcome, I’m glad you enjoyed it. I hope everything works out alright for your friend! It’s a crazy time for all of us. Blessings!

      Reply
  5. Talisa
    September 9, 2017

    Hi Kristen, just came over from your IG.
    My mom was actually supposed to be in Miami for a week-long work event next week Wednesday, and Miami is one of her absolute loves, she’s always there. We both adore Florida and so I am just hopeful that the storm takes a ‘surprise’ change of course and hopefully weakens. I am truly afraid for Florida. My mom experienced a Category 4 hurricane once and to put it plainly, it is not nice. Scary in fact, no matter how old you are. Category 5, I can’t even begin to imagine.

    Truly just praying for a change of course & for God’s grace. Can you believe another hurricane is due (Jose, I think) and may take the same path through the islands that were already destroyed?

    Heartbreaking, this hurricane season has been.

    I am taking up the Love You Because challenge. Even though the people I will share the love with may pretty much be already sick of me telling them how grateful I am for them 25/8😅

    Reply
    1. kristenshaneblog
      September 9, 2017

      I doubt the event will go as scheduled with everything that’s about to happened… My university is already closed for the entire week, and the storm hasn’t even hit yet.

      I’m also praying for a change of course, but the storm has been continuously migrating west, closer and closer to my hometown and school.

      And yes, it’s insane that there are more storms right behind this one.

      I’m so glad you accepted my challenge, but that sounds like a good problem to have! It’s better that they always know you love them, so good for you! 🙂

      Reply
  6. Paige Kilton
    September 9, 2017

    Hi Kristen,
    What a great post! Although we often take for granted that others we love know how we feel about them, we should verbalize those feelings. Thanks for the reminder. Life is full of unexpected events and surprises. We just have to have faith in God that He has a plan and will see us through. Thinking of you all and praying that you weather the storm well. Please keep us posted on how you are as the communication lines allow. I love you!
    Aunt Paige

    Reply
    1. kristenshaneblog
      September 10, 2017

      Thanks, Aunt Paige! I’ve taken shelter for the night at FSU’s Civic Center. The storm is weakening and looking a lot better already, and hopefully won’t hit too hard in Tallahassee, but still projected to have at least 60 mph winds and heavy rain tomorrow. Thank you for your kind words, love you!

      Reply
  7. Adele
    September 10, 2017

    Kristen,
    I’m reaching out and telling YOU why I love you.
    I’ve been praying for you since before you were born. I know your parents better than I know you, but through them, I’ve watched you grow into such an amazing young woman.
    I love your creativity, and your big heart. Thanks for this reminder to tell people why you love them.
    Stay safe. I still pray for you and your family every day. Extra prayers today for everyone in FL (including my Theresa in Jax).
    Give an update post storm.

    Reply
    1. kristenshaneblog
      September 10, 2017

      Thanks so much!! I really appreciate your support and your sweet words! I appreciate the extra prayers. So far it’s looking much better than originally expected for Tallahassee, but I’ve taken shelter through FSU for the night, just in case!

      Reply
  8. Karolee
    September 10, 2017

    <3
    Thank you for the wonderful post my dear Godchild! Stay safe in Tallahassee.
    With love to you and your family
    Karolee Stauduhar

    Reply
    1. kristenshaneblog
      September 10, 2017

      Thank you thank you! xoxo

      Reply
  9. Allison Marie
    September 10, 2017

    I absolutely love this! I accepted your challenge 🙂 Also, I’ll definitely be praying for you all!

    Reply
    1. kristenshaneblog
      September 10, 2017

      Thanks so much, Allison! I appreciate the support and prayers. I’m glad you decided to spread some love!

      Reply
  10. Pia
    September 10, 2017

    Thank you for this wonderful challenge! Praying for you and all the people of Florida!

    Reply
    1. kristenshaneblog
      September 10, 2017

      Thank you, we need it! I’m glad you like the challenge 🙂

      Reply

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