Blessings in the busyness

“One of the most convicting things I have recently come to realize about
Jesus is that He was never, not once, in a hurry.”

Mark Buchanan,
Your God Is Too Safe: Rediscovering the Wonder of a God You Can’t Control


(blooming lilly / Julie Cook / 2018)

It was Sunday evening after a long busy day—
7:30 PM, and I was sitting in my car in the Publix shopping center
in Atlanta near dad’s house, aka my son’s, waiting for my daughter-n-law who
had run in the store.

She had run in to pick up a few items for my son who would be staying behind
while the rest of us hit the road back home to Carrollton.

Ode to the logistics of our lives right now.

We’d spent the day visiting my dad’s side of the family…they all had wanted my
94-year-old aunt to be able to “get to know” her new great, great niece.

My aunt is in a word, a hoot.
She’s never met a stranger.
She is elegant and high class yet one of the funniest people you’d have the
pleasure of spending time with.

She still drives, solo travels, drinks… and yes…smokes regularly.

And has been a widow now for nearly 10 years.

She’s old school Atlanta and old school southern.
But not pretentious whatsoever.

She was my dad’s sister-n-law who had married, what I always said, was the better
of the two brothers.
She married the older and more “normal” of the two—and so we’ll leave it at that.

Growing up, I did feel a bit intimidated by her and their whole side of the family
as my parents were quieter, more subdued and not social whatsoever.
We were a more casual family, more simple and yet more splintered and dysfunctional.

Yet she always went out of her way to make me feel welcomed and a part of their clan
when I’d be sent off for weekends to spend time with my older cousins.

There are only two of my dad’s “people” who remain—his sister-n-law and his first cousin,
both now in their mid 90’s.

Today, it was my cousins and me who are now the grandparents…
Complete with greying hair, extra pounds, wrinkles, pains, and wobbles.

These are the days, these sorts of gatherings, of which are now both few and far between,
which only make me long for day’s long gone…

Yet as I sat in the parking lot of the grocery store, I grabbed my phone and pulled up
the latest homily offering by my favorite rouge Anglican Bishop.

It was a homily offered for the third Sunday after Easter and focused on the
Resurrected body of Christ and the Renewed Mind…

A comfort as I sat in my car, on a chilly, wet Sunday evening,
ruminating over the whats that once were, as I sat pondering those yet unanswerable whats will be…

Day 8 in ICU, stymied

A quick update this Saturday evening…
Chrissy is on day 8 in ICU—-
Unfortunately there has been no more gains, no more progress.
Today her extremities are losing blood flow as the blood is routing to the internal organs.
They will administer a blood thinner hoping to get a flow to her hands and feet.
She remains heavily sedated and continues on the ventilator.
My sister-n-law’s rising hope has leveled off and is, I can tell, now retreating.
Tonight, this father’s day eve, her father will be spending the night at the hospital.
The irony of spending Father’s day with your grown daughter who is fighting for her life in an ICU unit is not lost on our thoughts….
I appreciate the continued prayers and will offer updates as time progresses.

Do not keep silent, O God;
Do not hold Your peace or be still, O God.

Psalm 83:1

updates on prayers

I wanted to share the most recent information regarding our niece… the one for whom I asked yesterday for your prayers.

Chrissy remains in ICU.
What prompted this current crisis in her body and of her system is yet unclear, but the crisis does remain….

However…..

Yesterday the family was given very little hope.
She had been placed on a ventilator Sunday but fought its presence.
She has developed pneumonia.
She was placed into a coma yesterday in order to allow the ventilator to do its job.
Her vital signs continued to fail as her kidneys began to shut down.
Yesterday was a heavy day as feelings and thoughts were not optimistic.

At the same time, prayers have continued.

Last evening my sister-n-law and husband spoke over the phone. My sister-n-law was barley hanging onto the rope in her life…yet a knot has been thankfully tied at the end.

Late last night I had a clam concerning Chrissy….this after a day of dread and doom.
Never one to trust these “mood” swings, I dismissed it as I continued to focus on healing.

This morning I still had the calm.

As I headed to Atlanta this morning to see my dad, my husband called telling me that Chrissy had actually had a “good” night….that they would use dialysis on her today to “jumpstart” the kidneys…

It was then that my sister-n-law text wanting me to share her deep gratitude for everyone I had asked to pray for Chrissy—she doesn’t know about my blog nor of my asking all of you.
She’s just knows I’ve asked friends to join in prayer.

I debated whether I should tell her about the “calm” I’d experienced as I didn’t want to throw out false hope or what in her desperation may sound trite and empty…but I went ahead and shared that I felt late last night as well as this morning that Chrissy was going to beat this.

She didn’t text back immediately and I feared I had overstepped my boundaries.
Then suddenly she responded…
She told me that when she was driving home last night late from the hospital that she too had a calm to wash over her. She felt that Chrissy was going to make it.

I then told her that we would continue to claim that.

My sister-n-law is a quiet private individual–she is also very emotional and I’ve known that seeing her child, no matter a grown woman, in such dire shape, has taken the mother in her to a place of utter despair.
For her to share with me that she had felt a calm was / is huge.

As of this afternoon, Chrissy is thankfully hanging in there.
The dialysis will begin shortly…

So once again, I ask that you continue with me on this journey of prayer.
Please know that I thank you and that my sister-n-law Gretchen thanks you as well—she just doesn’t know how many of you there are…..

a need for prayer

“The function of prayer is not to influence God,
but rather to change the nature of the one who prays.”

― Søren Kierkegaard

“Prayer is not asking. Prayer is putting oneself in the hands of God,
at His disposition, and listening to His voice in the depth of our hearts.”

― Mother Teresa

DSCN3257
(broken sand dollar/ Santa Rosa, Beach, FL / Julie Cook / 2016)

I’m a huge believer in prayer and the power found in this sacred and mystical transcending form of communication.

I’ve lived long enough to know that not all prayers are answered as we often hope or even expect.
But I know that there are indeed answers—
I know that there is a powerfully innate connection that takes place when we earnestly seek the presence of the Creator…

We are told …
“Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for,
it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.
For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”

Matthew 18:19-20

So I come before you this evening to ask for your payers…

Our niece, my husband’s younger sister’s middle child, was rushed to the ER yesterday morning and remains in ICU.
Her potassium levels are deathly bottoming out for reasons yet discovered.
She is not responding to the emergency treatments.

Her father, a physician, told us this morning that “they” were being cautiously optimistic but his face told us otherwise.

Her name is Chrissy…she’s a 44 year old wife and mom.

The obvious prayer is that Chrissy be made well…
but I know that there is more to just praying for a “miraculous healing”

I know that prayers must also be said over and for her husband Bill and 14 year old son Eli.
Prayers for her brother, sister and their respective families…
As well as for my sister-n-law and her husband…

Prayers are offered for the nursing staff and the doctors…those charged with solving the mysteries and saving lives.

I believe that many hearts and voices raised in unison create a powerful force.

I ask if you will please join me in this time of needed prayer….

Thank you….