Experiences for which I am so grateful:
Chicago beef with au jus and hoagie buns, mac & cheese, corn on the cob, and the best cake in the history of bundt cakes arrived at our door this past Friday night. We had a slightly stressful day with an unexpected doctor appointment and a long day at work, and when the doorbell rang, our small group friends, the Batemens’, marched inside carrying our dinner. They were headed to a restaurant with their daughter for the evening all dressed to the hilt, but on their way, they brought us a homemade meal and one of Roxanne’s latest cake creations, soon to be a page in her new cookbook.
Gold, yellow, navy. Patterns of varying pieces of cloth, stitched together by servant hands into a lap-sized blanket covered in love and prayer. Our small group had lunch together on Saturday, a day when Sam was supposed to be feeling great but was feeling a little less than. No one would have known since he does not complain. After lunch was over and we were finishing conversation, Linda presented Sam with a beautiful new chemo blanket made by the quilt group at our church, chosen especially by Linda and prayed over by her group.
I love Sam. And his blanket. And his blanket giver.
It was in the middle of church on Sunday morning, during an announcement, of all things.
Almost audible, that voice said, “It’s time to start writing, Rhonda.”
And this week, several times through devotions and prayer time, the point has been made, that to move forward, it takes one small step. One thought change. One word on a page.
So this weekend, I will begin. I am not an outline person and have never been an outline person. I have very disorganized thoughts. I am Vice President/Head, Process Procrastination. Random Rhonda. But in order to start writing, I have to put onto paper what swirls in my head – after the brain-unloading storm, then I’ll worry about Operation Organize by Outline.
We met an angel on Sunday morning. His name is James. He is 1st chair cellist in heaven, I am sure, although he told us he goes to school in St. Louis. He played music that needed no words and ushered us into worship. We cried real tears. They were tears that happen when God reveals and His Presence surrounds, although that should be continually all day every day, but on this particular Sunday morning, we entered worship with palms up, and God sent James to provide the music.
I am grateful for Roxanne’s talent of hospitality blended with her gift of food creation.
I am grateful for Linda’s sweet soul and her ministry of thoughtfulness through stitching and sewing machines combined with prayer.
I am grateful for that still, small voice that speaks so clearly to me and continues to prompt.
I am grateful for angels who manifest themselves in human form via cellists and seamstresses and chefs.
This morning, this former music “leader” read Psalm 40, one of her most favorite chapters in the Bible.
This is my story, this is my song…and I am so very grateful.
Psalm 40 – CEB
For the music leader. Of David. A psalm.
40 I put all my hope in the Lord.
He leaned down to me;
he listened to my cry for help.
2 He lifted me out of the pit of death,
out of the mud and filth,
and set my feet on solid rock.
He steadied my legs.
3 He put a new song in my mouth,
a song of praise for our God.
Many people will learn of this and be amazed;
they will trust the Lord.
4 Those who put their trust in the Lord,
who pay no attention to the proud
or to those who follow lies,
are truly happy!
5 You, Lord my God!
You’ve done so many things—
your wonderful deeds and your plans for us—
no one can compare with you!
If I were to proclaim and talk about all of them,
they would be too numerous to count!
6 You don’t relish sacrifices or offerings;
you don’t require entirely burned offerings or compensation offerings—
but you have given me ears!
7 So I said, “Here I come!
I’m inscribed in the written scroll.
8 I want to do your will, my God.
Your Instruction is deep within me.”
9 I’ve told the good news of your righteousness
in the great assembly.
I didn’t hold anything back—
as you well know, Lord!
10 I didn’t keep your righteousness only to myself.
I declared your faithfulness and your salvation.
I didn’t hide your loyal love and trustworthiness
from the great assembly.
11 So now you, Lord—
don’t hold back any of your compassion from me.
Let your loyal love and faithfulness always protect me,
12 because countless evils surround me.
My wrongdoings have caught up with me—
I can’t see a thing!
There’s more of them than hairs on my head—
my courage leaves me.
13 Favor me, Lord, and deliver me!
Lord, come quickly and help me!
14 Let those who seek my life, who want me dead,
be disgraced and put to shame.
Let those who want to do me harm
be thoroughly frustrated and humiliated.
15 Let those who say to me, “Yes! Oh, yes!”[a]
be destroyed by their shame.
16 But let all who seek you
celebrate and rejoice in you.
Let those who love your salvation always say,
“The Lord is great!”
17 But me? I’m weak and needy.
Let my Lord think of me.
You are my help and my rescuer.
My God, don’t wait any longer!