“Need” in Whispers

Enter with me where time and place stand still. Beyond me and my circumstance, His Hand reaches through the veil that hides the reality of His Kingdom, Thy will be done. My family and close friends witnessed the heavenly host fight for me through the song of Plumb.

Close friends, Frank and Gaye gifted us with tickets to the KLOVE Christmas concert. Plumb filled the church with her voice to bless us with Christmas carols and her song, “Need You Now” (I’ve featured on another post). I’m gonna tell you I bawled like a baby. It touches every fiber of my faith. There are no words to express the depth of where my suffering meets her song journey. As she stood side stage, I could see her silhouette out of the corner of my eye. I had closed my eyes to Worship names into the Chris August song. I heard the angelic rustle of satin closing in… And I felt her soft cheek brush my tear-glazed cheek, her beautiful curls tumble over my flat unstyled hair. (lol) My eyes fluttered open to the wonder of Plumb whispering in my ear. (She gifted me with a glory of hope token, you will have to read my book for this revelation). Truth tickled joy alive as she…Prayed something like this,”Lord, I don’t know what this precious sister is going through, but I ask that you put your arms around her. Embrace her circumstance so she knows more of your love. Oh Father, be here for her so this will be her best Christmas ever. Amen.” She kissed my forehead, and we locked moist eyes. I felt time stop and Plumb saw into my story. Not being able to speak or move, I put all I had in gratitude and love in my eye language back to her. My hand so wanted to reach out of my heart to touch her. The moment felt so ethereal. “I love you,” she said with the authority of His Kingdom. I heard the love of Jesus telling me, through her voice, “I will bless the sacrifice of your suffering far and beyond your expectations” (Eph. 3:20).  I squeezed my face to emulate a hug. She touched my head and was gone as quickly as she came.

I had to work hard to get my composure back from such a significant blessing.

How do you thank someone for stopping time in the face of minute and hour hands that threaten to press the life out of me. Time is not the reality that govern our days and nights. Love governs His Kingdom. God’s love comes down at Christmas (Point of Grace), to remind us it is timeless, extending into eternity.

Merry Christmas Plumb, I love you too. Thank you for singing Jesus into my heart.

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Dew-Kissed and Clipped

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As a thoughtful gift, a dear friend sent glorious flowers.  I pondered the deep colors and became aware how fragmented my feelings are at the moment.  I can’t “feel” the warmth of the beauty.

“God”, I cried out, “this is so not like me.  I am use to the whole experience and then some.”

As He usually does, He rarely answers me directly.  I heard Him whisper “I was up early and saw my flower still kissed with dew.  I hand clipped each flower for you.”

You too have hand clipped gifts through out your day.  If you can’t feel it to the fullest yet, stop and give thanks.  It is part of His intimacy with you.

Celebration of Communion: February 1, 2014

 
Special thanks to Gabe Hilliard for gifted logo design and to Janet Dearman for beautiful wreaths

Special thanks to Gabe Hilliard for gifted logo design and to Marlene Aucoin for beautiful wreaths

Communion is shared when the Body of Christ comes together with The living blood of Christ. On the night of February 1st, We were breaking bread. It was a full table. His love was the centerpiece. I picked up a knife and spread gratitude on a generous slice of bread like butter, it melted in my hands. I rolled into our church gym to the worship song: “Stand” by Britt Nicole.

It wasn’t your typical serving of communion. Master planners were Jeff Hilliard, Keith Mayeaux and Herman Soong. It looked a bit different with love offerings all over the transformed gymnasium: Special thanks to Kathy Drake and Susan Mayeaux. Local restraunts served fantastic tastings generously “out of pocket.” Heartfelt thanks to “Nothing Bundt Cakes,” “Central DeAngelos,” “Little Village,” “Tallulah,” (Renaissance Hotel), “Snos,” “Pimanyoli’s,” “Bistro Byronz,” “Mestizo’s.” Karen Neyland and Jeanenne Kogler hosted the restaurant placings. Anne Eunice,  masterfully organized the facility.

Extravagant silent auctions donations, presented by Dr. Herman Soong and Connie Frank-Soong,  raised much interest and successful financial benefits. Special thanks to Team Gleason and his two top ‘bid” signed Saint’s Jerseys, K.G.Jewelers and his numerous tempting pieces of jewelry (one of which is going to grace the neck of a lovely March bride), Katherine Rutledge and her artistic rendered paintings, generous Williamson Cosmetic Center, exquisite Sarko Oriental Rugs and practical Total Tire Solutions.

People “behind the scenes”are the critical components to any successful venture: Carol Babb, Sally Barry, Evelyn Blalock, Ken Drake, Candy Bourgeois, Donna Embree, Don Fitzgerald, Sherry Fox, Steve Fox, Alan Jordan, Kenneth Gravois, Lisa Haller, Emma Mayeaux; Bucky’s strong-arm office support: Michelle Jenkins, Tracy Graves, Lindsay Hirschey, Stacy Leger, Marla Rodriguez.

Live music played melodies noted in God’s Grace. Our school jazz band, our church worship leader’s piano blessings. Thank you John Gray and Ken Drake. I rolled up to stringed quartet to close my eyes and allow the music to nurture and minister to my classical trainings as a violinist through high school. For a few moments I was cloistered in that precious place music takes the soul where words cannot tread. They asked if I had a request for their final song. Before I could answer what was on my heart, they began to play. Pachabel’s Cannon in D was one of my beloved string pieces in High School and it was played at my wedding. You’ve guessed God’s intervention that night with the favor of this song. I bowed my head and allowed the tingles to wash over me head to toe.

Communion was most powerfully evident in GOD’s presence. It was an embrace of three hundred plus (many people present in spirit that could not be there that night) people that did not even know each other. His love was the common circle of connection. In that embrace, God released His provision over the cost of this expensive disease, with participation and blessed donations at a current (because you’ve asked) $48,200.

There are no words to express our losses. There are no words to communicate the the height, width of depth of love for our Lord, each other or many of you. There are no words to grasp the the humble gratitude for the rally around our hearts and needs. I have to believe that God’s grasp holds all your goodness in the land of the living and reaches into eternity. The only direction we can move with your generous prayers, labors and loving provision is forward toward God’s account of life. Communion is rich life-giving mystery, we can only begin to comprehend. Thank you for participating in a night of celebration, teaching us a great lesson of our God. We beg your forgiveness to those that provided and have not been personally mentioned.

A dear friend sent me the following quote that sums up our life dynamic:

“I will have to endure the bad I do not deserve; I will also get the good I do not deserve. I dread experiencing undeserved pain, but it is worth it to me if I can also experience undeserved GRACE.” from the book

“A Grace Disguised” by Jerry Sittser

Thank you for your loving communion of  GRACE.

Bucky, Tracey, Hope, Ashlyn, Megan and Kathleen 

Pictures to come. . .

Your First Provision

The shower wheelchair:  when discussing shower wheelchairs with a rep, I’ll never forget his comment on comfort, “It is only a shower chair. What do you expect?” I did not respond to him. But to you, I’ll tell you this chair granted me the first shower free from fear, pain, and intense physical struggle to maintain balance in two and a half years. So to that rep that showers in comfort every day, I kindly say, “The comfort gives life to those in desperate need.” This first purchase with your provision brought tears of comfort and intense relief. Thank you.

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Monday’s Manna February 17, 2014 “Duty”

This youtube had 251,289 views: WOW!!!

I can strongly relate to this journey.  Can you?

I’ve had this distant connection between my disease and the Cross of Jesus. (Pain is all too good at creating distance 😦 ) Their relationship (the Cross and the guard) seemed mere acquaintance at best.  I don’t believe God gave me ALS. I do believe God shoulders the brunt weight of the load. This moving illustration “connected the dots” about my duty and obedience within. 🙂 I felt His personal request to hold my disease from His Cross perspective. (The choice here is to carry the worldly pain or hold the entrusted privilege of guarding my post at His Cross.) Their relationship embraced the intimacy of close friends, re-united. “Can you hold this cross for a while, Tracey? I’ll be back love.” He asked. So I see myself as we did some directing toward “loyalty” while marriage and parenting continued “normally.”

Things have changed now, hurricane force winds blow and rain beats down with steel-like pellets. No more “directing ” here, putting every ounce of effort in keeping it upright. Their relationship is strained to a breaking point. Then I see him face down. The Cross fallen. I am really seeing myself there. My heart breaks. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve left my guard post, collapsed in exhaustion and/or grief.

I “wake up” stunned. I see the cross laying fallen. I remember a faint sense of duty. I’ve got to pick up the conviction of privilege before I can rise and pick up the shared suffering of the Cross. I do pick up the cross of my disease to begin the cycle again.  (I can even relate to the bad hair day.) Their relationship is restored. When The Lord says,”You must have been through so much. . .” I just melt and start pouring out all my woes.” Thank God for the pervasive grace and mercy of our Lord and Savior.

We’ve all have crosses to bear. Each cross-bearing circumstance is unique and the person’s tolerance is different based on many determining factors. Today’s manna moment normalizes our humanity and glorifies the divinity of Christ. At some point we may “direct” with a smile only later to collapse. Only Christ can hold the weight of the Cross. But we are exposed to the suffering of the Cross to teach us our weakness and the supremity of His strength. In the process of carrying our own Cross we learn things about ourselves and our Lord, without which, we would never have the intimate knowledge of the holding empowerment with the Cross.

Hitherto: Part Three, I’m a Wannabe Walton

Yes, I’m still camped right there. On that Hitherto Devotional from Streams in the Desert.

Today, I’m referencing the “evening farewells” of The Alpine Shepherds.  They sing goodnight to each other in singing of the Lord’s goodness.

 “Let the echoes gather till a very storm of Hallelujahs break in thundering waves around the sapphire throne, and then as the morning breaks we shall find ourselves at the margin of the sea of glass, crying, with the redeemed host, “Blessing and honor and glory be unto him that sitteth on the throne and to the Lamb forever and ever!” 

I grew up like an only child because my brother and sister were 16 and 14 years older than me. Much love was poured out on me with two sets of ‘parents” as a little one. My dad died suddenly when I was seven years old, our house felt empty. As, I got older, I was lonely in a house with just my mom and me. I knew I was deeply loved. My mother did the best she could. I don’t know how she managed with so little income and losing her husband, suddenly, in the prime of their dream. 😦 (A brand new home and new position as head of Special Education Department.) I experienced a sense of a second home at my cousin’s house. Praise God they welcomed me there with a wagon load of kids and a boy and girl cousin my age.

Hence was born an awareness and need for community early on in my life.  We are made for community :). Patterned after three best friends: Father – Son/Jesus – Holy Spirit, we are our best selves in community. Our families are our community. Our schools are our community. Our churches are our community. It’s the places designed to gift us with opportunities for intimacy, authenticity and challenge us to grow.

There is no prefect community, except in The Trinity (Father/Son/Holy Spirit). Each and everyone will “let us down” and disappoint us. In that normalcy of our human experience, we live and learn abundant grace and mercy. Let it go. Let the expectations go of a perfect community. If our hands are holding tightly to broken pieces of the picture, it will leave a bloody mess. In the letting go, our hands heal and are open to receive His goodness.

I miss my communities. I had rich, sweet, abundant Christ-Life in all of them. It’s such desperate missings, I keep my heart turned away from the loss. Can anyone relate? It seeps in just enough to process it, but it’s all just too big to swallow. But I must let go of what was, to embrace what is. . .

There is much goodness in the “land of the living.” Callings of goodnights rock our souls in love’s sweet echoes to lure us into the dreams God’s destiny holds. I grew up watching and living through The Waltons. I’m a wannabe Walton 😉 It wasn’t perfection that called to me from the television epic, but the goodness reflected there. I use to marvel at how the mom, Olivia, would open her Bible, without a word, when her face flared with anger.  Enjoy the echoes of goodness here with me.

Okay, so we are not The Waltons. 😉 Hitherto: We are made for community and to experience it’s goodness. Find a way to echo God’s lovingkindness at the close of your day.

  • Light a candle
  • Hold that hug
  • Send a tuck-in text
  • Read a devotional out loud
  • Speak a blessing over someone
  • Leave a love note on a pillow
  • Share a youtube worship song
  • Share a cup of warm tea and cookies: Listen
  • Warm a blanket in the dryer with a Scented dryer sheet

We need it. You need it. I need it.

Let our goodnight echoes gather in His Throne Room.

http://www.focusonthefamily.ca/parenting/school-age/goodnight-blessings-making-the-most-of-bedtime-discussions

See my Pinterest Board: “Goodnight”

Hitherto: Part Two

Wasn’t that Post yesterday soooooo beautiful??? I do love this book, Streams in the Desert by Cowman. I was first introduced to it during a friend’s grief process. i think what really sings (not speaks) to me is the unique communion of beauty with the bane of life in Christ. I’ve literally lived/camped out here since I received this via email from a friend. I’ve been under “the green boughs of mercy” and the “strong pillars of lovingkindness and faithfulness which bear up my joys.” I have not wanted to budge an inch!!!

please visit: truevineimages.com

please visit:
truevineimages.com

Here’s my hitherto. . . One of most precious memories, I was on weekend retreat and we had free time. I took a quilt and pillow and lay down under an aged, twisted Oak Tree. It was one of those rare weather-graced days: Puffy, dream-laced clouds in an azure blue sky, a cool breeze caressed the sun’s warmth in tune to a prefect touch. I had often looked up into the sky through the trees, but never lay down in a posture open to the etherial expanse of sky.

I lay down, feeling the moist ground come through the quilt, but was soon drawn into the “boughs of mercy” and I could feel this tree bearing “up my joys.” Peace, I found that day.  The canopy of tree and sky immersed me in it’s framework of majesty. I felt so very much “me” in this sanctuary of space in God’s Land of the Living. I relaxed into quilt-circus-and-pillow-620x465 an intimate embrace that eased me into a deep sleep.  I woke sometime later on my own. I lay there for a few minutes not wanting to break the “magic of the moment.” I did eventually get up, reluctantly, but I gathered myself together. I felt like I was spread out everywhere. What sweetness, Lord!!!

  • It was one of those experiences that defines one’s faith and solidifies one’s identity in Christ.
  • It was one of those experiences that is forever etched on one’s heart.
  • It was one of those experiences that is bookmarked in the story of our lives.

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Beyond Words

Words cannot. . .

Embrace love

Hug

Comfort

Heal a broken heart

Touch

Break the silence

Carry a melody of hope

Exist once spoken

Hold Truth

God can. . .

Where words fail, God bridges the great divide

His Nature

His Music

His Life

This was my bridge today:

“Where words fail,

music speaks.”

― Hans Christian Andersen