Friday, April 29, 2011

Dancin' till 11 -

Tonight the Fosters held their annual Spring Dance at their homestead, and it was a jolly, laughing, hysterical, joyful, sweet fellowship and singing-stomping-swirling-spinning night of dancing. I do believe that we had as good of a time as last year, maybe more, as we were able to drag the Hope family and the Michel family to join us. Thanks for coming, ya'll!! SO glad you did. :D

What a blast, and since I know Becs is gonna love this.....I blogged tonight. Yes, I did. ;)

Barberville pictures will be up, when I am good and done with them. Aka: a few weeks. :) So settle in, and those of you goin' to more music festivals, have a great time, and have some swate tae for us all. ;D You know who you are ....

Now I'll let pictures do the talkin'!

Morse Family Band/Jackson Creek played the music (they are awesome) and Matt Morse did the calling, and did an excellent-unbelievable job with it. Thanks, Matt!

Carrie the Courageous in swirling motion, dancin' with her little bro, Andy.

The overexposed pic that I couldn't throw away, because I loved it too much.
My beautiful friend, Lauren, who is .... beautiful. (hey, it's late. have pity) We've also decided we want Nikon D3S's. It's true. If anyone wants to donate to our fund, we will be thankful.

As the light started to fade into sunset dusk, and I was dancing, Dad took this pic - it's grainy, and I adore it. Plus, do you see the adorable lights? ADORABLE LIGHTS. love.

The dancers - awaiting the call. There's Matthew - the blur.

When I showed several people inside the Foster's house, they looked at me like "why can't I have this house?", and I don't blame them. I adore the Foster's Homestead. It's wonderful. Thank you so much, Foster family, for hosting such a special event! We enjoyed ourselves up to the brim and beyond. :)

What it looked like at night - and Dad took this one too! Way to go, Dad! There's something about all the lights and the slight silhouette that makes me start singing Sinatra. (now count how many s's were in that sentence)

On the bottom right: Andy, Leah, Joseph, and Lauren. :) Cheerful dancers. (and more lights)

Playing with the dark and the candles, pie and cake and reflecting glows. :)

We had such a special time at your house and dance, Fosters! I know I can say that my knees hate me, but the memories will be sweet and precious for a long long time! :D And that is probably the only time you will ever hear Danny Boy sung so dramatically through speakers. And next year, we must have the Irish Parent Dance, because it's too wonderful not to. :)

We love you, Morse Family, Jackson Creek and the Foster Family!!!
With gratitude, and really sore knees, and memories of dancing under the stars till 11,
~ Jean Marie ~

The tally is in. There were 9 "s's" in that sentence alone, and apparently I need another word that isn't called "adore" because I adore it too much. oh wait. heh heh heh. ;)

P.S. The tally is ALSO in - I blogged 19 times in the month of April. It's a new record for a month for me! Hooray, hooray, hooray!! :) And this is my 390th post. :) Neat-stuff. As always, thanks for reading, and leave a comment if you'd like, saying "hi!" or tell me where you are from! :) God bless, ya'll.

One Princess to another -

Message from Lady Jean Marie to Lady Sarah Elizabeth -

"To her Royal Highness, Daughter of the Most High King,
Lady Sarah Elizabeth Magee.

Our most loving greetings to you and your royal family,
with congratulations to the entire Magee family and England
for the wedding of your future king and queen early this morning!

Needless to say, the Fambrough family eagerly looks forward to
her Lady Sarah Elizabeth Magee's wedding at some future day,
when the Lord so wills,
with more anticipation and joy than any king or queen could generate. :)

and looking forward to our own royal wedding day, the marriage supper of the Lamb,
the Church, bought for the King, reunited at last!

With love from the Fambrough Family to the much beloved Magee family,
Lady Jean Marie Fambrough IV
Her Royal Highness, daughter of the King Jesus
Proud Southerner of the United States of America,
April 29, 2011"

Lady Sarah Elizabeth Magee's message in return -

"To Lady Jean Marie Fambrough IV
Her Royal Highness, daughter of the King Jesus,
Proud Southerner of the United States of America

My heartfelt thanks for the delightful surprise of your congratulatory message,
both from yourself and from your noble family.

It was with much excitement that I watched the marriage of our Prince
to his beautiful bride, now the Duchess of Cambridge.
And although I must confess my own marriage (should that ever take place)
will not be on such a regal scale, it will fill me with even greater joy -
as would the wedding of my noble friend,
Lady Jean Marie Fambrough IV.

And of course the greatest wedding of all, is, as you say, yet to come.

With my love to all the dear members of your right royal family,
Lady Sarah Elizabeth Magee
Privileged to be under the reign of her royal majesty the Queen,
and Daughter of the Most High King."

(Photos taken of the royal Princesses by the Princess Lauren in November 2010)

"Breathe me back to life" -

It's late .... and I'm finishing school. But I've got music playing in the background and it won't let me go. I was trying not to blog, but I just have to write and listen to these words over and over.

Because something broke last week, and it is always underneath my words. This week I spoke on the phone, and I realized that what I spoke, I couldn't fix. Only God heals.

As tears ran down my face in grief, the shadow of my favorite bird swooped through my vision. The bird above, hidden by the roof, the shadow dark against the bright light, slicing past the grass, into the floor and past my house .... in a surreal moment that is my special and rare reminder that God is with me. Mercy, bend down to me, and breathe life in me. Breathe hope in me. Breathe trust and peace and restore what has been lost. Redeem my years. Redeem my heart from brokenness and burning ashes into the garden of Your grace.

Bind up these broken bones! Mercy, bend and breathe me back to life...

I absolutely love the voice of Audrey Assad. Listen and read ....

"You could plant me like a tree beside a river,
You could tangle me in soil and let my roots run wild,
And I would blossom like a flower in the desert ...
But for now just let me cry.

You could raise me like a banner in a battle,
Put victory like fire behind my shining eyes,
And I would drift like falling snow over the embers,
But for now just let me lie.

Bind up these broken bones,
Mercy bend and breathe me back to life,
But not before You show me how to die.

Set me like a star before the morning,
Like a star that steals the darkness from a world asleep,
And I'll illuminate the path You've laid before me,
But for now just let me be.

Bind up these broken bones,
Mercy bend and breathe me back to life,
But not before You show me how to die,
No, not before You show me how to die.

So let me go like a leaf upon the water,
Let me brave the wild currents flowing to the sea,
And I will disappear into a deeper beauty,
But for now just stay with me,
God, for now just stay with me."
Praying for all my friends who are suffering and grieving -
For empty arms tonight. For treasured, smudged picture frames kissed a million times.
For arms finally filled after waiting and waiting, and for siblings gone on before.
For hurts unspoken and undiagnosed diseases and saying goodbyes.
For no-one to buy a grandma card for, and for too many sympathy cards in the P.O. box.
For realizing we cannot fix and we cannot heal, but our Precious Savior can ....
and we hold onto our Hope. He is Life, unending. Come and drink of Life everlasting.
I love you, dearest friends. My prayers are lifted up for you.
~ Jean Marie ~

"Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice,
and your joy no one will take from you." ~ John 16:22

Thursday, April 28, 2011

"Amen, Miss. Eunice" -

If you are like me, you woke up this morning from a fairly good sleep. You slipped over the side of your bed and stood up on the same floor that you do every morning, you made up the covers on your bed, and you walked around your perfectly safe house that stood firmly on its foundation.

Just like you did the morning before. and the morning before that. and the one before that.

You didn't spend the night in a closet, and you weren't cramped in a small space, only to step out of your closet and realize that sunlight was hitting your face, where there used to be a wall.

If you are like me, you got up this morning, and realized with sinking dread that the death toll had risen overnight and that even though you still had a house and safe family - that others didn't.

Tornado storms have been sweeping through the South, and wiping out towns. Towns. Storms producing 100 tornadoes and the death count at 248 people across 6 states.

There's a very short list at the top of what I fear:
1. God's wrath.
2. Losing the people I love.
3. Tornadoes

and everything else falls under that. and most of the South over the past 3 days has had the last two of those in a severe abundance. How heartbreaking the loss! Lives and houses - gone. Gone. Torn apart. Devastation.

My mind was trying to absorb the impact of the pictures and failing miserably, and then I heard this from a sweet little white haired lady from Alabama on the news. With clasped hands, her white curls blowing in the wind, she said with deep fervor "It is a blessing that I was not here, and God can do with it as He will.". AMEN and oh Amen, Miss. Eunice.

Our God is in control. He gives tornadoes and takes away homes. But that doesn't mean our hearts shouldn't hurt for all that has been lost, and especially for those who have lost family members. Please be praying for all these families, for the South. Just looking at the tornado footage scares me. Your lives and homes and cars and everything could just be - gone.

Here are two articles I read this morning -
Doug Philips on the Lee family in Alabama: A father of 13 died last night with his wife and family. As I understand, some of the children are still in the hospital. Please hold this family close in your prayers.
The Crawford Family - who lost their home, but God saved them all, and 3 other families!

but please keep in mind all those who do not know Christ .... that through grief and loss their hearts might be turned to our great Savior and Healer of pain, our Lord Jesus. That in their devastation, they might find hope everlasting in God as King and Lord over their hearts.

Please pray with me.
~ Jean Marie ~

P.S. and keep FL in mind as well, the storms are lessening, but are expected to move through tonight. Pray they dissolve into nothing!

Monday, April 25, 2011

I:Heart:Pets -

Sunburned-face. Glorious April day. Lucy Mae at 6mo. old.

The last time I:heart:faces did a contest on pets, my dog, Mopsie had just died. I saw the contest and tried not to be hurt. I tried not to think about. I tried not to care. but I did.

I cried that night because I missed her so much, my little Pomeranian best friend.

I looked at some of the photo entries and then just made myself stop. Life hurt so much.

but then. :) God blessed me richly. On December 18th, 5 mo. of aching after Mopsie, we went to a home in our hometown, and looked at a crew of adorable, rumbling black and tan dachshund puppies, and one came running over and wanted into my lap, and didn't want to leave.

I sat there, trying not to sew my heart onto my sleeve, trying not to fall in love in case it wasn't the one, she tumbled off, she chewed on some things, she came running back. Up on my lap, up to kiss my face, down to rumble around on me, her little not yet 8wk. old self, then up to kiss me again. I held her up next to my cheek and she stilled. Then kissed my cheek.

and I was in love. No doubt. at all.

When we got in the car, her tiny tiny little body held up on my shoulder, tucked under my chin, and her little puppy squeaks letting me know that she wasn't sure about this whole car thing, my seatbelt on, and pulling away, I suddenly realized she was mine.

Tears filled my eyes and spilled down my face as I choked out my thanks to my Momma in the front seat, and as Lucy Mae whimpered a little, and snuggled closer, something healed that had been broken. And every day since, it's healed a little more. God has used her friendship and love to me to heal places that nothing else can touch. What a gift!

and now you are either sniffling or have left. ;)
I love you, my Lucy Mae!
~ Jean Marie ~

Enjoy the other AMAZING pet entries at I:heart:faces or enter yourself! thanks for visiting!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Death has no hold! -

It is early on Sunday morning, and I just pulled a pan of Hot Cross Buns from the oven, their steamy aroma filling my house with bakery smells of Cardamom and sweet bread.

a faint hum filled my head, the words obscured until I realized what I was inwardly singing -

"Low in the grave He lay. Jesus my Savior. Waiting the coming day. Jesus my Lord."

I felt giddy. Like it was my wedding day, and I was dancing around the kitchen in excitement, SO FULL is my joy on Easter Sunday! It's like holding back in quivering hope, drawing in that deep deep breath, eyes sparkling with what's to come, hands clasped in anticipation, you breathe in and THEN -

With a mighty triumph o'er His foes.
He arose a victor from the dark domain,
And He lives forever with His saints to reign!

It's impossible not to feel the deepest most incredible joy on Easter, even if you are mourning or grieving the loss of a loved one, or knowing you soon may have to say goodbye for now....

This JOY AND KNOWLEDGE runs over all that and floods over everything that we know and hold dear in these words that "Christ arose, death is swallowed up in victory!"

He is RISEN and has promised us life everlasting that begins when we end upon this earth, this brief short life is the little while before the grave, then after the grave, we awake to life in fullness and everlasting of Heaven and Risen fully, made new and pure and holy!

On Resurrection Sunday, our lives as children of God was sealed with the blinding knowledge that the grave could not hold the Son of God, Christ has conquered Satan and death and all!! Our most joyful day is this upon Earth, why God sent Jesus for Good Friday, to ransom His children to be with God forever! Let it amaze and astound you to the deepest part of your soul! Let you sing and rejoice, for you are redeemed forever, and we can never be parted from our Lord!

~ Hosea 13:14 ~
"I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death.
O Death, I will be your plagues! O Grave, I will be your destruction!"

"Up from the Grave He Arose"

"1. Low in the grave He lay -
Jesus, my Savior;
Waiting the coming day -
Jesus, my Lord.

Up from the grave He arose

With a mighty triumph o'er His foes.
He arose a victor from the dark domain,
And He lives forever with His saints to reign!
He arose! He arose! Hallelujah! Christ arose!

2. Vainly they watch His bed -
Jesus, my Savior;
Vainly they seal the dead -
Jesus, my Lord.

Up from the grave He arose

With a mighty triumph o'er His foes.
He arose a victor from the dark domain,
And He lives forever with His saints to reign!
He arose! He arose! Hallelujah! Christ arose!

3. Death cannot keep his prey -
Jesus, my Savior;
He tore the bars away -
Jesus, my Lord.

Up from the grave He arose

With a mighty triumph o'er His foes.
He arose a victor from the dark domain,
And He lives forever with His saints to reign!
He arose! He arose! Hallelujah! Christ arose!"

"He is not here; He has risen, just as He said." Matthew 28:6

I do not recognize this hymn, but the words are too precious and true to pass by!

"This Joyful Eastertide" #284 Trinity Hymnal

1. "This joyful Eastertide, away with sin and sorrow!
My Love, the Crucified, has sprung to life this morrow.

Had Christ, that once was slain,
ne'er burst His three-day prison,
our faith had been in vain:
but now has Christ arisen, arisen, arisen, arisen!

2. My flesh in hope shall rest, and for a season slumber,
till trump from east to west shall wake the dead in number.

Had Christ, that once was slain,
ne'er burst His three-day prison,
our faith had been in vain:
but now has Christ arisen, arisen, arisen, arisen!

3. Death's flood has lost its chill, since Jesus crossed the river;
Lover of souls, from ill my passing soul deliver.

Had Christ, that once was slain,
ne'er burst His three-day prison,
our faith had been in vain:
but now has Christ arisen, arisen, arisen, arisen!"

He is Risen, He is Risen Indeed!! Our Lord and King liveth forever, and so shall we!
Hallelujah, what a Savior!!! A joyful Eastertide to you, my dearest friends.
~ Jean Marie ~

Our Easter Sunrise Service at the river - what glorious rejoicing!

Friday, April 22, 2011

"Awaiting the Final Resurrection" -

Today I journaled (which I rarely do these days) and knew I would be blogging this. It was too much of God moving my heart not to. So this is all straight from my journal to my blog. It's a long read, but if you care to take a walk up to Calvary with me, then do so with a full heart, eyes filled with tears, and clasped hands in joy of Eastertide.

~ Good Friday, April 22nd, 2011, 1:43pm ~
"So much of life is waiting. Waiting on God's lead and plan, waiting for the fulfillment of His promises, waiting for answers to prayer, waiting to see what He does with life, and mostly ... waiting for the Final Resurrection. Waiting for the restoration of the Saints.

As this week has neared Resurrection Sunday, the pressure has been building and building inside of me until a few minutes ago, sitting reading a book whose words alone give room for tears, and in the background words rising and falling in a conversation. The surrealness of the moment hit me so suddenly I blinked. I closed the book, set it aside, covered my face with my hands and began to weep. All that pressure .... and I just snapped. Grief turned to shaking sobs and sobs turned to whispered whimpers and turned to tears streaming down my face, dripping through my fingers and down the backs of my hands. And the veil seemed so thin right then - as if I could just say the word and the heavens would be opened to see all of Christ's glory and I could be there forever.

Awaiting the coming Resurrection - could it be the hardest wait? Tears continued to flow as I thought through the past year, for the first Easter Sunday without Mr. Gilchrist, Mr. Dale, for the second Easter Sunday for friends without their J., the sweet and dear babies this year who have gone on before their aching parents, or for the joy and mourning of last Easter Sunday, when Audra's due date came and went the day before, and Melody already risen dwelling with our Risen Lord. When my friend's siblings are dying. When I ache for the restoration and healing of those I love, and Jesus says "No.Wait and see the glories I will do. Wait." And so we wait.

And Lucy Mae hears me and cries at the door, aching to come inside, as I stand at Jesus' gate and cries to be comforted and close to the One I love, and so I let her in, and her kisses wash away the tear tracks on my face.

I think upon the last year and sorrow fills me as I realize how little I have loved God and how much I have loved me. In the quiet bedroom, sobs shake my chest as I realize these tears are for deep repentance for my sins. I had been so angry because God had taken and had not answered. He had given more grief than I expected and had not healed as I asked. He had done His perfect and holy will and blessed us for our good, and I had doubted because we were hurting and people were going to Heaven. So I repented, rocking back and forth, anxious in my grief and realization of how this has hindered my love for Jesus.

What a humbling and devastating view it is to look upon the cross at Calvary in view of yourself! For I put Him there, all my sins and shame and punishment He bore once and forever! Living in continual Easter-tide ... it has been upon my mind for weeks. Living constantly in the redemption and forgiveness of the cross, dying to the outward man and new life of the inward man, death to earthly life and life to Everlasting Life in Christ's death and resurrection. It is not enough for once a year - I must live continually before and in the shadow and spilled blood availed for me at Calvary and the earth-rending joy and Christ-given renewal at the risen Lord of Easter morning!"

2nd Cor. 4:16 (I wrote out vs.' 16-18 in my journal)
"Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though the outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day."

Here I stopped, picked up my camera and headed outside. My mind was spinning, and I knew I would be blogging and needing that visual picture for myself of what I was writing down.

The outward man = fading away, dying to self, dead, dust.
The inward man = new, living, bursting forth out of the dusty shell, renewed again and again by Christ, pure, perfect, tender, alive.

I sat down on the scorched earth and dead grass of our lawn and dug a hole. Scraping my fingers into hot sand and dirt, blackening my palm to throw the dust into the air and past my camera.

The dust and dirt are blowing away ... so is the outward man, as God strips it away ...

Come and leave the dust of the outward man at the foot of Golgotha.
Look up and see the Lamb of God who taketh away the sins of the world.

2nd Cor. 4:10 "always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body."

"He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities;
the chastisement for our peace was upon him, and by His stripes we are healed."
Isaiah 54:5

"Man of Sorrows", what a name, For the Son of God who came,
Ruined sinners to reclaim: Hallelujah! What a Savior!"

"Bearing shame and scoffing rude, In my place condemned He stood,
Sealed my pardon with His blood: Hallelujah! what a Savior!"

"So there at the cross we died to our outward man when Christ put to death our condemnation, and in Christ's resurrection our inward man was fulfilled to every length of promise and is renewed to life eternal, forever! And so Christ's payment upon the cross seals our adoption into a continual Easter-tide awaiting the resurrection in spirit of each of our souls when we die and the Final and True Easter morning and Resurrection when our bodies will be made new when Christ raises all the dead to make a new Heaven and a New Earth! And all this is true! Amazing! See 2nd. Cor. 5:1-8"

See the Amaryllis that bloom every Easter, they grow and grow inside, all covered up, and then BURST forth a few days around Good Friday and Easter.

The inward man is being renewed day by day!! Christ indwelling, Emmanuel, God with us!
We are bursting forth from the dusty shell of the outward man into the brilliant tender newness of the righteousness of Christ, both imputed and also growing in the Spirit!

~ Romans 6:4-9 ~
"Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.

For he who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him."

We can fully hold onto the inward man, grasping the hold more and more firmly as our outward man passes away, because we know that in Christ, we shall never die, nor shall we ever be separated from Him or His love for us. The inward man continues to break the shell of the outward man, pushing up and outward until that day when we see our Savior, and live forever with Him!

So back inside I went. Teary and dirty. Amazed that God made the Amaryllis to bloom exactly over the days that the Earth rent and shook when the Son of God died and rose again.

Back to the journal:
"And so we look out to the coming Easter Day of being with Jesus forever. For on Good Friday when we hear the ring of hammer against nail, and whip against flesh and see blood pouring out and dripping, streaming down, the Wellspring of Life flowing out for the redemption and price paid for His children. We weep and mourn at the thought of our sins that crucified our Lord. The Lamb led to the sacrifice and to the slaughter, obedient to His Father unto death.

"There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus." Romans 8:1 ~

"My sin, o the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part, but the whole, is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, Praise the Lord, O my soul!
It is well, with my soul. It is well, it is well with my soul! "

Samuel Rutherford -
"Fall down and make a surrender of those that are gone, and these that are yet alive, to Him. And for you, let Him have all; and wait for Himself, for He will come and will not tarry. Live by faith ... He cannot die whose ye are."

.... and so while we live in this continual Eastertide, we make a full surrender of those we love, we surrender our inward man to be renewed constantly by the waters from the Wellspring of Life, and we await the coming Resurrection Day of glory and triumph, life everlasting.

"O blessed is the soul whose hope hath a face looking straight out to that day"
~ Samuel Rutherford ~

"Guilty, vile and helpless we, Spotless Lamb of God was He,
Full atonement, can it be? Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Lifted up was He to die, "It is finished!" was His cry;
Now in heaven exalted high; Hallelujah! What a Savior!

When He comes, our glorious King, All His ransomed home to bring,
Then anew this song we'll sing, Hallelujah! What a Savior!"

Amen! Full atonement, yes it's true! God's Son shed His blood for me, to pay the price:
"Sealed my pardon with His blood!"! Look upon the Savior upon the cross and see the depths of His love for you, His treasured child He died to save. Can there be anything greater to revel in, than the deepest joy of knowing Christ has made us His, never to be separated by sin or death?"

"Behold! The Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world!"
~ John 1:29 ~

Oh, to live always in this Easter-tide of joy!
~ Jean Marie ~