In Which I Quote The Apostle Paul and Anne Lamott

March really did come in like a lion. We felt the wind blow through our family, shaking us up. Waking us up. And the wind burns and the wind deposits a chill in the bones of man.

spencers wreck

And the greatest of these is Love.

Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love

1 Corinthians:13 – The Message

And sometimes prayers are best reduced to “Help,Thanks,Wow” as Anne Lamott suggests in her new book about prayer.
spencers wreck 2

The best of the three is love. Really.

I know this in a newer and newer way. I have known it. But there must be many definitions of “know” like the Greek has four definitions of love. This knowing takes on a richer covering of understanding. Like the tapestry has more colorful threads. And the weaving is more exquisite and intricate. This tapestry of knowing love.

March 1 knocked us around a bit. And then on March 4th it knocked us around a little more. Sweet daughter was driving when a blue hand crank smashed her windshield as she was motoring down the highway. At highway speeds. And minutes after or before, trauma blurs time, I fell down the stairs and we were really shaken up. The green and purple and blue running around my flesh was an outward sign.

But days after the highway shake up, we are still numb in our rejoicing. That the greatest of these is love. And that God protected our child.

But the hands and feet of Jesus were at work in our suffering. And the body of Christ was loving us through all of our pain. And we prayed a variation of “Help, Thanks, Wow” as Anne Lamott writes in her book on prayer because sometimes these are the true cries of the heart.

We look at the blue metal hand crank and we say “wow”. And we look at the impact on the windshield on the passengers side where there was no passenger that day. Wow, truly. Because we hear the mechanic when he says how close this was to going all the way through.

But we are even more amazed at the friendship that erupted on the scene of the accident. Our friends who came and loved our daughter. The father, mother, and child, a trio of angels ready to love our family in a difficult time. And we say “thanks”.

Our hearts are ready for the lamb part of March. The lion part is still growling and roaring a bit. But God…is growing our faith and showing us Love through His body. The body of Christ.

As I fell down the stairs and wept and shook, I was helped by two godly men. My husband and his accountability partner and best friend. And I wept at the trauma that appeared to be coming in rapid succession. The kind that leaves you shaking and asking and what’s next.

But what’s next is more Love. Because love wrapped around our pain. It bound our wounds and eased our suffering. March 1st left us shaking a bit. We had to pull together and move forward from unexpected change. And love together, The Patient One and I. We processed a big change in our lives under the mantra of we are moving forward.

But forward was paved by love to the left and love to the right. We were hemmed in by it.

Without the pain, without the trauma, without the shaking up in our lives we would have missed this action verb breaking through into our lives.

God allowed us the privilege of seeing Love cover us up. Friends blanketed us with words of encouragement, refocused our pain, and checked on us with words, written and spoken.

angel

I read the words of a blogger friend to The Patient One. And his response was “keep banging away.” We do feel like this, often, we writer/bloggers. That we are just banging it out.

But if I can bang out love, words of love, manifestations of love and God’s grace then bang away I will.

Though I wish there were a more poetic expression of writing than banging. But I bang like a loud cymbal or a drum if I am not writing and speaking of love.

So today I swim in the ocean of Paul’s beautiful words, again. And again. And every wedding and every occasion I can dive back into to this beautiful truth, I will.

When you have soaked in love and bathed in love and basked in love, you want to give it.

These days leading up to the cross, to the Lamb of God, I want to bang out love and point to the amazing love of Christ on the Cross.

Oh I am ready for the Lamb days of March. But I am grateful for what the roaring lion showed us too. And I want to pray “thanks” to a God who loves us so much it is sometimes unfathomable. Often incomprehensible.

And “thanks” to those precious friends who love us when we are hurting and scoop us up when we fall down. Broken, bruised, banged up but loved.

The best of the three is love. Truly.

Joining Jennifer today for #tellhisstory, Ann and Emily for Imperfect Prose

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Through A Daughter’s Eyes-The Call And Reflection

Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life”.–Mary Oliver

Why I Am On The Art Bus”–by my sixteen year old daughter

When I first heard about this journey I was so not sure if I wanted to go or not. I was thinking I would have just gotten out of school so why would I want to get back on a bus again the first week of summer? I know, so selfish and so not the right state of mind.

So then I began to pray and pray about it. I felt the Lord was calling me to go. There I would be the youngest on the bus with not much experience. However there is nothing that I love more than art, children, and Jesus Christ. The more I thought about it the more excited I began to get. This was my calling and the Lord was telling me to go.

Telling people about Christ and having an art studio on wheels is just so amazing. Watching people love on this bus just brings so much joy to my heart. The fact that we can bless others as well as the Lord with the bus is just so incredible.

I have learned lots of thing while along this journey. Number one, patience is key. Trust God no matter what happens. This brings me to one of my favorite verses…”Be cheerful no matter what happens.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-19. Throughout the trip I was reminded that He has a plan for us and the bus and even if we were not able to see it, He can.

I can’t believe I ever doubted being apart of this team. This again is where I will thank God. He let me see that He wanted me to be apart of this and I thank Him again for giving me the ability to be able to listen and to obey Him. I was blessed with many new friendships on this trip that I wouldn’t trade for the world I thank God for that, also.

I can’t wait to see what the Lord has in store for it/us when we bring it back home. It can’t be anything but good. This has been one amazing journey and I am so glad I was called to hop on board!

 

A Bubble Bursts In Brooklyn

I think there is a child in Brooklyn that is waiting to teach me how to blow bubbles and to make it art and to point others to Jesus through art, bubbles and a giant yellow school bus.  Did I mention that I do not like big yellow school buses.  Kinda like I do not like green eggs and ham.  Not at all.  Not any way.  Not here or there or anywhere.  But the Great Art Bus Adventure goes on.  I know a tree grows in Brooklyn but so does a boy who blows bubbles reallly really well and needs Jesus. wishing grace…..wynnegraceappears for Brooklyn and soon in Brooklyn from Brooklyn.

If I Were A Phlogger……..

{Thank you for being here.  You may want to pop over to my Facebook Page and “like” it.  That would be a huge gift and another way to follow this blog of mine. And you are invited to scroll down and sign up to follow daily via email. Isn’t housekeeping fun.  That was my little bit of housekeeping.}

And did I say thank you for popping in and reading and just being here.

Today I am counting gifts at A Holy Experience with Ann Voskamp. You may enjoy her blog, her book, or her Facebook page.  I have.

It has been a gift to count gifts often, shifting that lense a bit to one of gratitude.

Today I am counting in a phlog format.  That is I am adapting to  a photographer’s blog format, a phlog.

Yes, I may have heard of everything now.

Come along with me as I count some gifts in my world.  Gratitude can be contagious. You may think of your own as your read. (This list is not cumulative because that is not how I am rolling with this.  It is a bit unorthodox, and I do not have a journal just for my gifts, though I wish I did. But I know that God sees a grateful heart. Or, gosh I hope He does.  One day I may have my gratefulness act together.)

* A fun lunch with The Patient One and my sweet girl.  This is the before of a crazy menu offering that he was brave enough to order.  My stomach hurt when it landed on the table was brought by the server to the table.


My tummy hearts reliving it. But the gift was in having the impromptu meal as a trio and finding what really was a lovely restaurant. Quirky menu.  Outdoor seating that allowed us to bring the momma lab.  And there was a cool breeze which you can’t see because the ginormous sandwhich is blocking the wind.

And this was what was left.

*Grateful for time with children. Relaxed time. Celebratory time. Even though one was missing, sadly, The Patient One and I focused for awhile on man/child and last but not least, growing up way too fast, daughter.

*Very special time with man/child and his very special friend on her graduation weekend from College. Very happy, calm, relaxing, and a day you just cannot imagine repeating — EVER.

This bird is about to fly the coop and take his feathers and all of his joy right out of our door in a matter of weeks. So every moment of soaking him in, and the man he is becoming is bottled up Joy, pure and simple. And this mother soaked it in with her eyes and her camera.

My imagination narrative is that he is dreaming of his future and what it will feel like to live outside of our home. In reality, he is probably daydreaming and watching his momma lab swim.

*Grateful for this momma lab to be. It was not easy but she is finally expecting her first litter of puppies in a few weeks. Our family is gathered around this event as if it were a person child on the way to join our family, not a furry person whose puppies will all be lovingly delivered to new homes.

I rather like this phlogging idea. I may have to make this a regular feature.

*I slipped away from friends and family for a moment to glance out at an amazing view. I love chairs, weathered, inviting, so full of potential. I am happy just to photograph them. I am grateful that they represent respite, and calm, relaxation and a slowed pace, all of which we experienced this day.

* The Patient One and I rode out to look at a house which our man/child may rent after he graduates from College in a few weeks. During our scenic tour of this wonderful island, I fell in love with all the potential this community holds for his new life. And I dreamed of his days becoming a man away from us.

*And oh, my beloved Mother’s Day cards. I am so grateful for the words, and the handwritten sweetness inside both of these. It is a gift to see that middle son can actually print so neatly. I know he tried his best to write plainly and clearly. That was the gift. And that he was fifteen minutes late for church, as opposed to missing completely, because he stopped to get the card before church….well the gift is he made it to church and had a some what acceptable reason for making it just in time for the sermon. I almost gave myself lock jaw, I was so tense waiting for him to arrive. I glanced over my shoulder a hundred times nervously searching  once or twice expectanting him to arrive any minute.

The Lord is teaching me patience. I am a VERY slow learner.

He is working on Pride issues too, as I did not want to be the momma in church on Mother’s Day with the missing kiddo.

I know I will remember this card FOREVER and will lovingly place it in a memory box.  The memories of my prideful heart racing and of his walking in to church on the very late side of the service will fade.  God is good that way.

* And I am grateful that I learned a little of the phlogging format. I am loving living behind my little camera lense, gazing at gifts and counting them not often enough.