Fabric of Friendship: A Stitch in Time

This post is dedicated to my fellowship of Christ: Friendships that God has used to teach me the fabric of friendship, stitches in His time, and what carries the wait/weight of Glory in relationships. Thank you dear friends, I hope you *know that you know, that you know WHO you are. . .

Can you guess my favorite slide?

My friendship conversations are limited at best. This is a huge loss/grief producing place in my life. They are going on all the time in my mind and heart, but they are shared, in very limited discourse. Emails, Texts, Boogle Board, Notes written on my phone, occasional typed out words. . .It just is what it is. I don’t know what to make of it. I have less to say, fewer answers and I prefer to listen. It’s just part of this journey. And in it’s frustrations and pains, God means me for me to  make the best of it. God help me and  YOU.

If I may share a text conversation in part with a friend:

“You are texting great stuff I’m so thirsty to interact over, but I can’t right now. CanI pick up my thread tomorrow? I’m so glad to hear from you :)”

 My Response: “I’ve tucked the needle in the fabric of our friendship to be picked up later. 😉 You are worth the wait/weight of Glory”

The fabric of friendship is woven in wait, pieced in place and stitched in time. Waiting is much more than we allow it to be. The wait can carry the weight of Glory. Waiting has the weighted potential value and to make space for what is meaningful and Kingdom Building.

Waiting for color and pattern to emerge, waiting to pick up the needle and piece what God brings together. It won’t look like you expect it to quilt out, but we have to ask ourselves, does that diminish the beauty? Because the pattern does not meet our expectations, we fail to see His Hand in creating it? God help us. . .to see. . .

Needle and thread

Needle and thread

And here is just one aspect of what carries the weight of inside Glory into the wait outside the wall. . .

“YOU ARE WORTH THE WAIT (weight of Glory). “

Have you ever received those words, intended to strengthen you? Have you ever offered those words, intended to express the weight of glory another carries? They are words that enlarge perspectives, change lives, shift Kingdom dynamics and pierce relationships with stitches of Glory. Stitches that piece color and pattern to resemble the face of Christ. And yes, the piercings of the wait/weight of Glory, draw blood. Life blood that heals and speaks Jesus.

Make it personal:

It’s worth waiting/weighting for your smile to return.

Even though they are late again,  he/she is worth the wait/weight.

The character in that child, is worth the wait/weight.

The wait/weight of disappointment is worth what comes.

Intimacy in marriage, is worth the weight/wait to trust.

Loneliness is worth the wait of companionship.

Questions to Ponder out with the Lord:

What carries a weight/wait in your life?

My response (I don’t have answers anymore, only humble responses): legacy of love

Do you tell God, He is worth the wait/weight of glory?

My response: Not yet 😦

Who, what, when and where for which you would wait/weight a lifetime?

My response: My Lord’s Embrace, A marriage that honors my husband, daughters that appreciate and encourage their differences in a sisterhood with the Lord, a best friend, to speak of word of Kingdom difference, To enter into the Kingdom as a child, Kingdom play, To share a life of joyful gratitude, Healing.

*”know, that you know, that you know” ~ Murphy Toerner/Murphism

Walls and Boundaries

Image found: empoweredeveryday.blogspot.com Quote: Crossroads, by Wm. Paul Young, pg. 205

Image found: empoweredeveryday.blogspot.com
Quote:
Crossroads, by Wm. Paul Young, pg. 205

Pain. Fear. Distrust. All these dynamics play havoc on our needs for walls and boundaries. Do all of us struggle with walls and boundaries? I think so. Discerning between the two is difficult at best,”life-quenching” at it worst. Pain creates vulnerabilities and the need for protection, safety and security.

I’m struggling with these concepts and that what this quote by Wm. Paul Young brought to light in my thought life as I read on the balcony with Ashlyn yesterday.  I want to embrace all God has for me, my family and friends. I don’t want to put up walls that keep me inside of myself, and keep others out. Others including God. Still, I don’t want to let others into my pain, or let my pain out on them.

If you too are struggling with walls and boundaries, let’s make the choice, together to move from our thought life into our prayer life. . .

Dearest Papa,

I know I’ve put up walls in fear and distrust of You and life around me. The truth is, I don’t know what You have to offer in my security or my safety. Help me work within your will to dismantle my walls for Your best in my life. Help me work with the Holy Spirit to establish boundaries that ‘honor’ your life in me and in the people around me. Help me relax in your “tender embrace” and let my prayers puddle at your feet. One day, ‘I will no longer need walls.’

In the name of Your Son, that walked the walls of our hearts, Amen

************************************************************

The Mending Wall by Robert Frost

Image Found: Wikipedia: Stone wall at Frost's Farm in Derry New Hampshire, which he describes in his poem,  The Mending Wall

Image Found:
Wikipedia: Stone wall at Frost’s Farm in Derry New Hampshire, which he describes in his poem,
The Mending Wall

Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
And spills the upper boulders in the sun,
And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.
The work of hunters is another thing:
I have come after them and made repair
Where they have left not one stone on a stone,
But they would have the rabbit out of hiding,
To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean,
No one has seen them made or heard them made,
But at spring mending-time we find them there.
I let my neighbor know beyond the hill;
And on a day we meet to walk the line
And set the wall between us once again.
We keep the wall between us as we go.
To each the boulders that have fallen to each.
And some are loaves and some so nearly balls
We have to use a spell to make them balance:
‘Stay where you are until our backs are turned!’
We wear our fingers rough with handling them.
Oh, just another kind of out-door game,
One on a side. It comes to little more:
There where it is we do not need the wall:
He is all pine and I am apple orchard.
My apple trees will never get across
And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.
He only says, ‘Good fences make good neighbors‘.
Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder
If I could put a notion in his head:
‘Why do they make good neighbors? Isn’t it
Where there are cows?
But here there are no cows.
Before I built a wall I’d ask to know 
What I was walling in or walling out, 
And to whom I was like to give offence. 
Something there is that doesn’t love a wall, 
That wants it down.’ I could say ‘Elves’ to him,
But it’s not elves exactly, and I’d rather
He said it for himself. I see him there
Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top
In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed.
He moves in darkness as it seems to me~
Not of woods only and the shade of trees.
He will not go behind his father’s saying,
And he likes having thought of it so well
He says again, “Good fences make good neighbors.”

*************************************************************

Below is a link to the Toronto Sun’s Article and photos of the 10 Most Famous Walls

http://www.torontosun.com/2013/05/28/worlds-10-most-famous-walls

What Do Women Do More Than Men, What Boosts the Immune System And Makes You More Attractive?

Quilted Smile

According to the NURSINGSCHOOLS.NET, Article on Fascinating Facts About Smiling:

1.Forcing yourself to smile can boost your mood: Psychologists have found that even if you’re in bad mood, you can instantly lift your spirits by forcing yourself to smile.
2.It boosts your immune system: Smiling really can improve your physical health, too. Your body is more relaxed when you smile, which contributes to good health and a stronger immune system.
3.Smiles are contagious: It’s not just a saying: smiling really is contagious, scientists say. In a study conducted in Sweden, people had difficulty frowning when they looked at other subjects who were smiling, and their muscles twitched into smiles all on their own.
4.Smiles Relieve Stress: Your body immediately releases endorphins when you smile, even when you force it. This sudden change in mood will help you feel better and release stress.
5.It’s easier to smile than to frown: Scientists have discovered that your body has to work harder and use more muscles to frown than it does to smile.
6.It’s a universal sign of happiness: While hand shakes, hugs, and bows all have varying meanings across cultures, smiling is known around the world and in all cultures as a sign of happiness and acceptance.
7.We still smile at work: While we smile less at work than we do at home, 30% of subjects in a research study smiled five to 20 times a day, and 28% smiled over 20 times per day at the office.
8.Smiles use from 5 to 53 facial muscles: Just smiling can require your body to use up to 53 muscles, but some smiles only use 5 muscle movements.
Babies are born with the ability to smile: Babies learn a lot of behaviors and sounds from watching the people around them, but scientists believe that all babies are born with the ability, since even blind babies smile.
9.Smiling helps you get promoted: Smiles make a person seem more attractive, sociable and confident, and people who smile more are more likely to get a promotion.
10.Smiles are the most easily recognizable facial expression: People can recognize smiles from up to 300 feet away, making it the most easily recognizable facial expression.
11.Women smile more than men: Generally, women smile more than men, but when they participate in similar work or social roles, they smile the same amount. This finding leads scientists to believe that gender roles are quite flexible. Boy babies, though, do smile less than girl babies, who also make more eye contact.
12.Smiles are more attractive than makeup: A research study conducted by Orbit Complete discovered that 69% of people find women more attractive when they smile than when they are wearing makeup.
13.There are 19 different types of smiles: UC-San Francisco researcher identified 19 types of smiles and put them into two categories: polite “social” smiles which engage fewer muscles, and sincere “felt” smiles that use more muscles on both sides of the face.
Babies start smiling as newborns: Most doctors believe that real smiles occur when babies are awake at the age of four-to-six weeks, but babies start smiling in their sleep as soon as they’re born.

Honor – Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology Online Part II

Please take time to read this Christian framework on the word honor.  Honor – Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology Online.

Honor: Part III Personal Application

KKDL Surprise School Presentation

I know I gave this concept, three posts in one day. This is a huge “bandstand” for my heart. I doubt my girls have ever heard me talk about it, but Oh I hope they have experienced it or witnessed it with enough clarity to recognize it. If not, it’s not too late. I’ll get right on it. Starting with this post.

This post is dedicated to bestowing honor on my daughter, Megan. With deep regard and respect, your mom and dad.

The concept of honor: How often do we even use that word, more or less experience it or offer it. We are really missing out friends. The parenting article is correct, “honor changes people and relationships.” Bakers’s definition frames it in Kingdom terms for us so we understand it is not something to be entered into lightly, honor is a weighty matter.

We are to give weighty honor to our Lord, Jesus Christ. That sense of honor we bestow upon our Sovereign God, is also meant to communicated to one another. What are we doing with this dynamic? Ignoring the Kingdom Building Potential is has in our marriages? In our parenting opportunities? In our life-giving ministries? In our “chosen” friendships?

I’m going for the bottom line on this one. I think we under utilize honor because, we don’t understand it and feel others have to earn it in some high degree have to earn it. None of us, or rarely few of us will ever “warrant” honor in our simple lives, but does that mean we are called to live our lives without it??? No. God longs to Honor who He created you and I to be. . .God does not wait for perfection to honor your creation in Him. So don’t you and I have to start somewhere?

Honor is something we grow into. . .Receiving it, Offering it, Experiencing it. . .

*Honor your child because he was honest, not because he is 100% truthful

*Honor your spouse because he or she works hard, not because grumpy is not all over their demeanor

*Honor your parents because they made some attempt to love and provide for you, and yes, they left you wounded 😦

*Honor your body because it is God’s temple, not because it resembles anything in the media

*Honor that friendship because it was chosen just for you, not because he/she never hurt your feelings

*Honor an effort to do something right, even though it was fraught with mistakes

*Honor the teacher that makes you crazy, they have something to teach you

*Honor a faithful employee, even if he/she is slow to learn

Honor is something we are called to “play/experiment” with. . .

*Write a note, I want to honor your _________ with my appreciation

*These flowers are just my way of honoring your _________ in our friendship

I’ve noticed others seem to honor your __________. I respect that about you too

I want to honor your sincere efforts with your _______________, left’s celebrate

You honor God in the way you __________________

Our family feels honors with your friendship. Thank you for how you _________________

Who you are in Christ is not unnoticed by me. I’d like to honor how you ________________ with a small surprise

How can I best communicate honor to you, the father of my children?

How can I best express honor to you, the mother of my children?

Honor is something that starts moving God’s Kingdom the moment you press into it and it continues moving the Heavens into Eternity.

Uploaded on Apr 10, 2008

Chariots of Fire is a British film released in 1981. Written by Colin Welland and directed by Hugh Hudson, it is based on the true story of British athletes preparing for and competing in the 1924 Summer Olympics.

Men: Let God Pick Your Battles

Armor of GodBattle At Aslan’s How: Naria (link to song)

This post is dedicated to the men that have had the most profound influences in my life: My Dad: Merle F. Warren, My Brother: Toby Warren, My Friend: Bill Benton, My Biology Teacher: Mr. Ginn, My Husband: Bucky Elofson,My brother-in-law, Don Sherman, My friend: Steve Eagleton, My friend: Curtis Tupper, My Friend: Frank McArdle, My Friend: Herman Soong, My God Son: Sean (In chronological order). Men to be: The Husband’s of my priceless, cherished, beloved, daughters.

Men: This is for you. It is to honor you. Who you were, are and will be created to be in the Lord Jesus.
Women: A note to you: Love them like they are already there. . .Like they have arrived at their God-given destiny because God loves them like He seems them tomorrow, not today.
Tracey: Note to Self: Be vulnerable, honest, true to your calling as a wife and a wordsmith, and above all others, honor/respect your husband.

I am speaking/sharing here from places of weakness and mistakes and misunderstandings on my part. It was not until a few years ago, that I became painfully aware I was afraid of men. Now I understand, I was not afraid of “men,” I was afraid and deeply intimidated by their strength. Men: your strength of voice, words and gestures go much further than you are aware with women. It does not take much to leave a “positive or negative impression.” Take that to heart, please.

My fearful, distant posture was not about the men in my life. So do not jump to any conclusions here :). It was about my gentle nature, my tender sensitivity and the fact that I grew up without any males in the household. Just my mom and me. My first male teacher, terrified me. Men move differently and there is power to their momentum. (Give me abundant grace here!) Mr. Ginn, my first male teacher: Biology. One day he asked me to stay after class. I remember it like it was yesterday, trembling knees, shallow breaths and clinging to the ground I stood on with my toes. He looked me straight in the eyes and said. . .(He it comes, head to ground), “Tracey, young lady you are not working up to your potential.” (I looked up, slightly.) “I’ve been watching you in class, and I believe you could be a great student. Mediocrity is not your thing. I want you to strive to do better on the next test.” (I had made a C.) You are dismissed.” I started making As hence forth, with a few B’s for blessings sprinkled in there. I wonder if Mr. Ginn, knew he went to battle for me that day. He battled against my insecurities and self-doubt and brought my victory of success to the fore front of my life. He believed in my best.

My husband Bucky, the Godly battle against this disease, has armored Him with the armor of God. He battles everyday against my doubts, terrors, insecurities, pains, progression of the disease. I think most of the time, he is not aware of what battle field he is on, but I am. I know well, what the fight is and I see the battle fatigue in his eyes. I see the battle “wounds” inflicted on him for my behalf. I press into prayer for his perseverance. It is my victory he puts first, not his. My victory for life. (We are learning, God defines “victory.”)

I would have to write a thesis to include the battles these other men have fought bravely for on my behalf. On the behalf of my family, they entered battle fields, sometimes, unknowingly. Bill, Steve, Frank, Curtis, Frank, Herman, Sean and son-in-laws to be. . .Know I give great honor to each of you to victories sought for God’s best for me and my family. Know your efforts, did not go unnoticed and are recognized by our Lord and in my life. Each of you, in your own way, taught me lessons of “strength” that moved me past intimidation and fear into respect and honor for the best in you as men of God.

Men: Let God Pick your battles. Fight for life, love and victory for your loved ones, your business partners, your church body, for your ministry. It’s when we think we “fight” for ourselves, that the battle gets dangerously skewed. Your destiny in Christ gets shifted off course when you allow yourself to determine your battles. Do not be deceived on the battle field of life. . .Let God, pick your battles. You will both win, He will get the Glory, and you will shine in His Light. Do you think my husband, ever thought he would have to fight for my life? Yet it is this very battle that has brought the Godly Best out in him. My girls see it, my family sees it, my friends see it. He wears the armor of His destiny on the battlefield against ALS. Fight for love, do not fight a battle that defeats love. Who wins? Not you, not God. If you fight the wrong battle, you leave behind you a bloody field, death, woundings with no victory. Yes, it can be that “bad.” For God’s Glory, Never minimize the potential of a victory for love.

Women: Look for the battle the men in your life fight you may not even “see.” And yes, like in the movies, men do come out of “battle” unaware of the scrapes, the bruises, and cuts. And the wife, in the best sense of who she is created to be, “sees” the woundings and “dresses” them. It’s just what men do, it is the fight for victory for which they are created. “Oh, am I bleeding, I did not notice.” Would you ignore a man trailing blood through the threshold of your home? Yes, neglect is that “bad,” blood trails through your home and you do not see the pulse of life lost in it. Honor their victories, because His wins are your wins. The victories you both claim for Christ build Kingdom hearts in marriages, in partnerships, in families, in ministries, in friendships. Seek to respect how God sees your husband. Seek to honor how God desires honor. Seek and intentionally affirm the small things that build great men of God. Respect in how God defines respect of your husband, respect in how your husband defines his need for respect, respect him for who he is destined to be in Christ. For God’s Glory, Never minimize the battle fought on behalf of love.

Toby, Don, Bill, Steve, Curtis, Frank, Herman, Sean and son-in-laws to be. . .Know I give great honor to each of you, to victories sought for God’s best for me and my family. I press into sincere respect for your destiny in Christ. I trust the influence of your strength in love. (That is beyond huge for me. Honestly, that is one, I’m still growing into. . .Could that be true with other women? I wonder?)

Men, do you know why you need to armor of God? You cannot win a victory for Christ on your own. You cannot protect your heart in battle. You cannot step into a battle for love without His Truth. Kingdom Battles Are Never Won Alone.

“Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.” Ephesians 6:13

I offer this to you with the humility of not doing the whole male/female thing well; my misunderstanding of Godly strength in men;  a slow growth curve of  navigating with the men in my life now with honor and freedom. Thank you, God for forgiving me and giving us new opportunities for Your Best for Each of Us. The lost art of “honor,” may it rise in Your Kingdom Come, Your Will Be Done, On Earth as it is in Heaven, today. Amen

God created magnificence in masculinity when it moves though, with and in HIM.

The “General” commands you step forward into your honored place in His Royal Army. . .

Kingdom of Heaven Movie Trailer

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9y_LPFSlwi0

Homesick for Heaven? Part I

This Post is dedicated to an amazing acorn in waiting. . .Sean

I used to text with a friend, and we had a girl “friendship” code. . .”I’m so homesick for heaven.” That spoke volumes to both of us without the details girls thrive within for connection. Think back with me, when was the last time you were homesick? Do you remember the pit that sunk like a deep hole all the way to your toes? The helpless feeling of “no remedy” except time and the grace of the Lord? No quick fixes there. . .It is some painful 😦 Ooch! Ooch! Ooch! Nothing about that desperate homesick feeling is pleasant. It works the heart over with pressings in places we did not know existed until the desire to return to our home washes over us, sometimes in waves of nausea. (Don’t give up yet, the goodness of the Lord is coming.)

The redemptive (restoring, growth producing) aspect of it, produces sweet fruit. In the dynamic of homesick for our earthly homes. . .we want the familiar, the security, the warmth of people that care for and embrace us. It develops an appreciation for “what” is so easy to take for granted. It grows a calling to be in relationship with those most important to us. It defines or needs and deepens our roots.

This is not our home. And to be honest (authenticity gives life!) the more homesick you are here, the more heaven struck you are for what each and everyone of us were created for. . .So here is what I just thought, and I believe this was a God-given inspiration. . .I just looked out into my back yard, and I “saw” a gorgeous southern oak of old with moss and the deep sweeping branches planted upside down. . . .

This is my New Years gift to you. I purchased this tree for you from color box because the concept is really just that significant and because I love my readers. So Happy New Year! Enjoy your gift and ponder your roots!

This is my New Years gift to you. I purchased this tree for you from color box because the concept is really just that significant and because I love my readers. So Happy New Year! Enjoy your gift and ponder your roots!

Homesick for home, homesick for heaven turns us upside down and our roots reach up instead of down?

Ponder this “Kingdom Thinking” to challenge our perspective. Part II to come. . .