“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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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

Monday’s Manna Moment: Jesus Wept/March 3, 2014

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Author’s Pre-post:  This was the first verse I understood. I had much grief in my life, beginning early on, with the loss of my dad, suddenly at seven. I got this about my Jesus. I cherished He got this about me. As an adult I’ve always been a “crier.” Some tears were born of pity, some compassion, some righteous anger, some grief, some joy but always because I love. I love deeply with intent of God’s goodness. With this desperate yearning. . . .there could be “more Kingdom” in a different choice, in a different circumstance or in a different perspective.

Tears are because we love. 

This is a great 30 minute podcast by gifted Timothy Keller:

“Praying Our Tears”

Press the play arrow and it will download for you to pray through to “Kingdom Size” your perspective on tears. God bless you.

Redeemer Presbyterian Church

www.redeemer.com

Redeemer Presbyterian…

Ministry of Tim Keller in New York City. Online audio and other resources.

Dearest Daughters: If I Could

Hopie, Ashie, Megums and KMay,

If I could open up your hearts, to pour, without loosing a drop, this would be my pitcher.

All of you know the piano connection to the music of the heart. Some of you better than others. 😉

From the deep longings of a woman’s heart, rain and water droplets wet the dry places of want. I remember, so often, watching rain droplets on glass, and everything in me, being at home in that moment. I wanted to soak up each and every one.

Let this speak to the Lord of your wants, Let it go in as deep as it will go now (Murphy Toener) and come back often. . .

  • to hear your heart longings spoken
  • to have your wants filled
  • to have your fears healed
  • to be delivered into more of yourself
  • to have your precious wants washed on with His love and mine

When you watch/listen, look for the little girl playing the violin in the rain.

If I could, I’d write a Momma’s love song, to grow into, just for you.

If I could, I’d play it on my violin, flawlessly just for you.

If I could, I’d make the melody linger in your heart, for love’s sake, just for you.

If I could, I’d make the rain wash each note with God’s goodness just for you.

If I could, it would be a wet witness of His Love and mine just for you.

My little girl, never knew to expect you, but you are all she could ever have dreamed and then some. 🙂   (Pinterest Inspired)

Monday’s Manna Moment: Mark Hall: The Well

So excited when I found this. It’s not easy to receive water from The Well. This is a calling of openness to receive from you. I want to do the poring, my pitcher is full, Yet, God has emptied my glass and created a new thirst within me: parched to the core of my being. And then, there is you and you and youYou know who you are 🙂 You pour into the glass of my life with pitchers full to brimming;  crystal clear, refreshing water that quenches dry places I never knew I had until now, in this challenge of my life. My husband and daughters see your wet witness of Jesus’ love from The Well. Our pathway to The Well is forever worn by the steps of your feet. Our thirst forever stirred because of The Water you offer. Our story to the towns people expressed with joy because of our meeting at The Well.

Thank You, Jesus for the pitchers in my life, Amen

With Love and Joy, tracey

Woman at The Well

Will you walk to The Well with me? For the day is hot and I thirst.

(As you read, watch for green highlighted words, links to tell you more :))

John 4

New International Version (NIV)

Jesus Talks With a Samaritan Woman

4 Now Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that he was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John— 2 although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples. 3 So he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee.

4 Now he had to go through Samaria. 5 So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.

7 When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” 8 (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)

9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.[a])

10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”

11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”

13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”

16 He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”

17 “I have no husband,” she replied.

Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. 18 The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”

19 “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet.20 Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”

21 “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know;we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews.23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit,and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

25 The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”

26 Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.”

The Disciples Rejoin Jesus

27 Just then his disciples returned and were surprised to find him talking with a woman. But no one asked, “What do you want?” or “Why are you talking with her?”

28 Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, 29 “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?” 30 They came out of the town and made their way toward him.

Blind Corners/Joy Revealed

We have these blind corners. They hurt. We can’t see what’s just past the current location. There is no “google map it” for our lives :(. For me, it’s a sense of just holding on. . .

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I’ve often thought that physical/emotional/spiritual pain causes spiritual amnesia. It’s that fog, despite His promises, that there is nothing around the corner. . . The blindness experienced is sheer misery. It forges a depth of holding. . .It’s not “pretty!!!” I’m angry, shut-down, sobbing or gritting my teeth with all the strength of presence I can draw on from my Jesus just to hold on. . .

2 Corinthians 5:7

In the blindness of a tough moment, there is a small quiet voice, that tells me life is worth holding onto. . .There is joy coming “in the morning.” (Psalm 30:5)   This what God revealed after holding on through the cold/damp misery. . . So, turn the corner with me and see what’s worth enduring into Faith that Christmas joy comes in the morning. . .

Ashlyn’s Christmas gift from the family. Meet Ashlyn’s new buddy “Ollie.” How priceless is the sheer joy of someone you love?  I could not “see” this coming. Hold on with tough love in your misery of the moment, okay? You cannot see, but by blind Faith, a corner turn and your “joy that comes in the morning” is revealed!!!

Welcome Visitors from India 🙂 Blessings!

The Beauty and The Bane of Grief: Part I

The Deer’s Cry by Lisa

Image Found: inpiration.org

Image Found:
inpiration.org

Do we really need to talk about this at Christmas? Well yes, it’s the “white elephant” gift in the room. Holidays bring our longings, our losses and our love to the surface as we navigate that mystery of what we know could be without the fall of sin and the shadow it casts upon the earth.

The Truth is Christmas lends itself to tears. Tears of joy at our Baby Jesus’ birth, tears of loss, tears of hope, tears of need, tears of beauty, tears of missings, tears of healings, tears of reunions, tears of break-ups, tears of profoundly precious, tears of frustration, tears of priceless memories, tears of dreams, tears of devastation, tears of promise, tears of anger, tears of hallelujah, tears of grief. . . 

My husband, my girls, my sister, brother and a few friends have all held my grief. What a precious privilege it is to be held while the loosely stitched woundings of our hearts split open again and again and again. The binding pressure of love on a wound is painful. I was told once in a group of women I met with, all much further in their faith than I:   Jesus places His Hand into our profuse bleeds of life. . .The intense pain of His pressure is sharp at first. . .But the pressure of His love. . . slowly stops the bleeding. . .And the life of His compassion binds up our woundings to provide for healing and restoration.

Psalm 116:5

Today I share an email I got from a friend Kay. Thank you Kay. XO I found it so clear and practical in it’s scape that I am convicted to share it here:

15 Things I wish I knew about grief

http://identityrenewed.com/author/identityrenewed/

1. You will feel like the world has ended. I promise, it hasn’t. Life will go on, slowly. A new normal will come, slowly.

2. No matter how bad a day feels, it is only a day.  When you go to sleep crying, you will wake up to a new day.

3. Grief comes in waves. You might be okay one hour, not okay the next. Okay one day, not okay the next day. Okay one month, not okay the next. Learn to go with the flow of what your heart and mind are feeling.

4. It’s okay to cry. Do it often. But it’s okay to laugh, too. Don’t feel guilty for feeling positive emotions even when dealing with loss.

5. Take care of yourself, even if you don’t feel like it. Eat healthily. Work out. Do the things you love. Remember that you are still living.

6. Don’t shut people out. Don’t cut yourself off from relationships. You will hurt yourself and others.

7. No one will respond perfectly to your grief. People–even people you love–will let you down. Friends you thought would be there won’t be there, and people you hardly know will reach out. Be prepared to give others grace. Be prepared to work through hurt and forgiveness at others’ reactions.

8. God will be there for you perfectly. He will never, ever let you down. He will let you scream, cry, and question. Throw all your emotions at Him. He is near to the brokenhearted.

9. Take time to truly remember the person you lost. Write about him or her, go back to all your memories with them, truly soak in all the good times you had with that person. It will help.

10. Facing the grief is better than running. Don’t hide from the pain. If you do, it will fester and grow and consume you.

11. You will ask “Why?” more times than you thought possible, but you may never get an answer. What helps is asking, “How? How can I live life more fully to honor my loved one? How can I love better, how can I embrace others, how can I change and grow because of this?”

 12. You will try to escape grief by getting busy, busy, busy. You will think that if you don’t think about it, it’ll just go away. This isn’t really true. Take time to process and heal.

13. Liquor, sex, drugs, hobbies, work, relationships, etc., will not take the pain away. If you are using anything to try and numb the pain, it will make things worse in the long run. Seek help if you’re dealing with the sorrow in unhealthy ways.

14. It’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay to need people. It’s okay, it’s okay, it’s okay.

15. Grief can be beautiful and deep and profound. Don’t be afraid of it. Walk alongside it. You may be surprised at what grief can teach you.

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Blessings to you in the beautiful bane of love this Christmas.