Saturday, May 18, 2013

Happy Saturday! 

Happy Travis and Sarah Chrystie!  It was such a beautiful wedding - full of extraordinary joy, kisses, dancing, eating, music , laughter, family, friends  and most important…love. 

I am in the process of clean-up at our house. I found the top to the dining room table this afternoon and have begun washing the dishes from the rehearsal dinner. The silverware and plates are done and tomorrow I finish the dishes, glasses and begin on the linens, tablecloths, chair covers and the bandana scarves we used as napkins.

I really need all of this to be done and put away before I begin class on Monday morning.  I will be taking an intensive study class from 9—5 every day next week and I will have done an entire semester in 5 days. 5 long days, but still only 5 days. Pretty cool huh? The class is on feminist and womanist theology and the Old Testament. I think it is going to be awesome. I love studying the Old Testament. The stories are great!

Prayer:  Holy and Loving Lord, thank You for the joy that Your love brings when two hearts are joined together in marriage. How awesome it is that Your first miracle occurred at a wedding.  Lord, I ask you to bless Travis and Sarah. May they always see through Your eyes when they speak to each other, when they make decisions, when they agree and when they disagree.  Please comfort them when they look through Your eyes and know that whatever they seek will be found in Your holy Presence. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen.

“I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”

Genesis 28: 15

I have a confession to make. Last night I sat on the front row of the guests gathered at the YWCA to witness Travis marry Sarah. And as much joy as I had for them and for us I remember another time I sat in the front row of a gathering of family and friends to celebrate the life of Casey and of my Mom. I cried tears of joy for the wonderful addition of Sarah to our family and tears of sadness for the two who were not there.  The memories flooded over me and I never thought that just sitting in the front row of this space in God’s Holy Presence would bring these emotions and memories to the surface.

These conflicting emotions are the ones that don’t always make sense and are unexpected, but cause us to look to God for help to sort them out. The presence of God is clearly stated in the passage for the evening. We are given the promise of God to remain with us and watch over us. The promise continues to say that God will not leave us and will remain faithful to us.  We can be assured of this promise because of the Helper God gave us in the Holy Spirit which never runs out of strength. Trust is the way forward even though we cannot see it.  So when the road is kind of rough let us cling to God and let God uphold us.

Prayer alert:  Our friend that we have been praying for the last few months had a CT scan on Tuesday. The scan came out clear and we are hallelujah grateful and praising God for His healing power, grace and tender mercy. This friend will have to continue on maintenance chemotherapy for the remainder of his life, but we will take it!  Please give thanks and keep him in your prayers.

Another gentleman that I have mentioned before and have asked prayers for is not fairing as well. The cancer is spreading through his bones and other vital organs and treatment is not working. They are meeting with home hospice on Monday. Please pray for this family. His name is Stephen Baker. 

The interesting thing about both of these men is that they have both chosen life. One is choosing to remain on maintenance chemotherapy for the remainder of his life to keep the cancer at bay. The other is choosing to live his life without the side effects of chemotherapy and to work with pain management. Please continue to pray for these two courageous men and their families. Thank you. gc

Take joy in the journey and remember that hope does not disappoint.  Wear comfortable shoes, pray with a heart filled with gratitude and get some sleep. Love you all, Bruce and Gaylene.

I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am only moved by what I believe and I believe God.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Happy Hectic Wednesday!

Thank you for the prayers for Travis. He is feeling much better today.

Well, the dishes are all washed, the glasses have all been washed and de-stickered, the napkins have had their stickers removed, have been washed and ironed (40 napkins!) and the table cloths and chair covers are in the process of being de-wrinkled. The candle holders are packed in styrofoam. The napkins still need to be tied, and the cupcakes placed in their boxes at the YWCA and, if the time permits, I still need to make the bows to go on back of the chair covers. It has been a busy and very productive day. Rehearsal dinner is tomorrow night and I am just about ready.

Prayer:  Lord of my busy days, help me not to sweat the small things. Even though I want the events to be perfect for Travis and Sarah and the guests, the most important thing for each of us to remember is that You are present with us and where You are, perfect love is present. In this night where we will celebrate the marriage love that You created let us give thanks for the gift of marriage. Let us also give thanks for the families which are present who have raised these children in faith. We pray that as we surrender them over to each other that You will remain with them for the remainder of their lives. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen.

“On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night.”

Psalm 63: 6

I would love to tell you that I am sleeping well, but that would not be true.  I lay down to sleep for the night last night and my prayers have become really long with praying for those who are sick, praying for Sarah and Travis and all of the wedding details. I am not nervous, but I am somewhat anxious. I want it to be perfect for Travis and Sarah.

But I know what God’s perfection is. When I am trying to sleep I need to remember who God is and ponder God’s perfection. God’s perfections are Love, Joy and Peace. I have found comfort in the names of God:  Shepherd, Savior and Prince of Peace and ever mindful that God is King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

In all of the excitement I am most trusting that Sarah and Travis have invited Jesus into their marriage. They love each other and they love Jesus. A mama can’t ask for much more. Please pray for these precious ones and for me to get some sleep!

Take joy in the journey remembering that hope does not disappoint. Wear comfortable shoes, pray with a grateful heart and get some sleep. Love you all, Bruce and Gaylene.

I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am only moved by what I believe and I believe God.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Happy Monday!

I took Travis to the doctor today. He has a raging sinus infection. The doc gave him an allergy shot, a bag full of nasal spray and a prescription for a Z-Pak. Please pray that he begins feeling better really soon. He was still pretty miserable when I took him home this afternoon.

Also, please pray that the swelling in my foot goes down enough by Friday night so I can fit into my shoes for the wedding. I know in the grand scheme of things this seems like a silly prayer, but I really want to wear them to dance with Travis and Bruce on Friday night. I can put make up on the area to cover the bruising, but I really want to wear my “dancing shoes.”

Prayer: Holy Lord of tender Presence, in just a few more days Travis and Sarah will stand before you and pledge their love for each other borne out of love for you and by Your love of them. Please continue to be with them, calming them, keeping them focused on You.  In Jesus name, I pray. Amen.

“Our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.”

2 Corinthians 4: 17

These two precious people who are about to be married are people of faith. It is said that marriages are made in heaven, but they have to be lived out here on earth. Travis and Sarah are going to experience times of great joy in their lives and they will experience difficulties and disagreements. It is my prayer that these two will remember how they feel each other right now and give thanks for the times of joy and find ways to give thanks when times are difficult and they disagree.

Compared to the eternity we will spend with Jesus, our current difficulties and tough times are light and momentary, according to the scriptures.  When we practice giving thanks we are making a habit of recognizing God’s presence especially in the midst of tough times. We grow in God’s likeness and share not only in the joys, but in the sufferings and in the glories as well. When we are thankful as much as we are able then we progress from Glory to Glory.

Take joy in the journey remembering that hope does not disappoint. Wear comfortable shoes, give thanks with a grateful heart and get some sleep. Love you all, Bruce and Gaylene.

I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am only moved by what I believe and I believe God.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Blessed Sunday and Happy Mother’s Day!  

I enjoyed worship with Bruce and Geni today and then on to Blue Mesa here in Arlington for lunch. The wait was two hours but they were well prepared for large crowds. They had erected two canopies and had complimentary ice water, tea and orange juice for the patrons.  The brunch was amazing!  But for me the company was the very best.

It was also a day of moments remembering loss. I have lost my Mom and a son and I had a meltdown. But I learned something. As I was sitting with tears rolling down my face I figured out why the losses hurt so much. The hurts are so great because Mom and Casey were such great people and helped shape my life. Mom modeled unconditional love with her every breath and loved her family with an all consuming passion. Casey taught me to be a Mom and how to have courageous faith no matter what.  As the day of Travis and Sarah’s wedding approaches with incredible speed I miss them even more.

Prayer:  Beloved mothering God, You created all of us in Your image. Thank You for all of those mothers who have been mothers of faith. Thank You for the family that You chose to raise me and for the family You gave me to raise. Thank You for my mother who was wise and knew how to love greatly and for the son who also lives with You who also learned to love greatly.  I have a great investment in heaven. Lord, please let the investment of faith that goes back through my mother continue as our family increases by one at the end of the week. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen.

“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”

Galatians 5: 22

After my meltdown yesterday I sat and gave thanks for Mom and Casey and then gave thanks for Geni, Travis, Bruce and Sarah. God was very near yesterday and treated me with gentleness, protecting me from longing for those who I no longer have and reminding me of those who continue to fill the spaces in my heart.

When circumstances are stressful it is easy to become emotionally overwrought. God can soothe the frustrations and fill us with joy by staying tenderly present. This week when those around me are getting anxious I am praying for gentleness of spirit and the ability to not join in the storm. I pray for the joy of the Lord will override all of the anxious moments so that we all remember that God is near in all we do. I also pray that God lets those whom we love who are invested in heaven to peek in and rejoice with us.

Take joy in the journey and remember that hope does not disappoint. Wear comfortable shoes, pray with a heart filled with gratitude and get some sleep. Love you all, Bruce and Gaylene.

I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am only moved by what I believe and I believe God.

Prayer: My friend Casey went home this week. He goes back in for more tests tomorrow. Please continue to keep him in your prayers.

Travis has a vicious sinus infection and is going to the doc tomorrow. Please pray for him to be completely well before Friday.

I managed to break my little toe last night. It is purple and my shoes for Friday are barefoot sandals, with ankle straps and bejeweled strap across the toe. I plan to wear these shoes and dance. Please pray for my toe to be healed by Friday!  Thank you all prayer warriors. gc