Dear Family and Friends:

I can’t help but feel mixed emotions here.  I would never choose to leave you and it breaks my heart, yet I know all my dreams are fulfilled in my heavenly home with Jesus and C.S. Lewis.  I can finally have all the deep conversations I want without wearing any of you down.  LOL

I cannot write letters to all of you, but I want to speak life to each of you.  You have, truly, loved me well.  As hard as this challenge has been, I have experienced more of God’s intimate love through this valley than I ever would have known on the mountain top of this life.  Traveling this with you has indeed been a rich blessing; As I write this, I’m truly grateful.  Bucky, Hope, Ashlyn, Megan and Kathleen stepped up in my need, all of you are my heroes.  Family:  ALL of you, I could not have done a day of this without each of you.  Friends:  You anchored me in the land of the living.

“I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.”  Psalm 27:13

Thank you for honoring the girl beneath the disease.  Thank you for supporting my journey home with your prayers and your generous presence.  Each of you, and I mean this with all my heart, made a Kingdom of difference in my life, in health and in sickness.

Today is for tears, but joy comes in the morning.  I remain part of the Kingdom dynamics in your days.  We’ve much Kingdom Play to engage, our journey together has just begun….I love you more,

“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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Legacy

 

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 “Fallingwater” Stained Glass by Frank Lloyd Wright

It is my constant prayer that my girls will absorb, live into and share the extravagant love of Jesus.

Still, I’m seeing unique fragments of light in each girl that continues to my enjoyment and challenge me to reflect through them.  Certainly they are more than a simple one in the complexity of the kaleidoscopic design of their Creator.

Hope:  crescendo of melody

Ashlyn:  prisms of color

Megan:  intuitive intention

Kathleen:  compassionate complexion

Look, dear readers, for fragments of light in family and friends.  God wants to use you in piecing together His stained glass window of His love.

“Legacy” by Nichole Nordeman

The Heart of Music

Legacy when done with love I believe is not just temporal but eternal. When intention is passed down in the way they should go, a chord is struck and heard across the heavens.  It not only catches God’s ear but it composes a new melody in His heart.  As parents or grandparents we are called to live out and call forth family giftings that speak the Hands of God’s Glory.  It’s not about the “gift” it’s the intention of calling forth through the generations.  His “craft” of Hand: cooking, academia, sports, etc.  Speak it through the legacy of your children.  Watch relationship carry “strings” of Glory into eternal script that lights up the heavens and reflects into our relational lives.  Pass it on.  To Him be the glory forever and ever.  Amen.

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Two Celebrations in One

In Honor to our Megan, Salutatorian, 2014 High School Graduating Class

In 1st grade, Dunham has a tradition to make a time capsule that your parents hold in safe keeping until the weekend of your graduation. You are allowed to choose what goes into the time capsule, for example, stories you wrote, pictures of special memories, old school t-shirts, strings that measured your height in your 1st grade year, journal entries, etc. After the Baccalaureate every student that was there in first grade takes their boxes and opens them up while family watches. It is such a fun time, the students reminisce together about 1st grade memories while families share in the experience/teary for moms.

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Happy 18th Birthday Megan!!

Tres Leches (Milk Cake)-Megan’s Favorite Birthday Cake
Servings: 24
“This light and fluffy tres leches cake recipe uses four types of milk and is topped with whipped cream, making it extra moist and delicious.”
INGREDIENTS:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour/cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup white sugar
5 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups whole milk
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed
milk
1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
DIRECTIONS:
1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour one 9×13 inch baking pan.
2.Sift flour and baking powder together and set aside. (A fun way to cheat on sifting is to whisk ingredients.)
3.Cream butter or margarine and the 1 cup sugar together until fluffy. Add eggs and the 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract; beat well.
4.Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture 2 tablespoons at a time; mix until well blended. Pour batter into prepared pan.
5.Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 minutes. Pierce cake several times with a fork.
6.Combine the whole milk, condensed milk, and evaporated milk together. Pour over the top of the cooled cake.
7.(I do whipped cream topping day of…Don’t forget to chill bowl and mixing whisk.) Whip whipping cream, the remaining 1 cup of the sugar, and the remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla together until thick. Spread over the top of cake. Be sure and keep cake refrigerated, enjoy!

 

Meg’s Birthday Cake

Tracey’s Favorite Recipe Website

 

Ten Ways

This Post is dedicated to Murphy Toerner

I was ready to learn 🙂

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Since then, many of you have showered me with these gifts.

Many of you have generously allowed me to make clumsy attempts with my offerings.

Many of you have received with the LORD’S graciousness.

THANK YOU!!!

Love is our Kingdom Playground with ten new “toys” :  promise, forgive, trust, enjoy, share, answer, pray, give, speak, listen.

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.

Shower Wheelchair