Saturday, March 28, 2015

Cinderella, Roller Skating, Anniversary, Vegeance! Praise Report!!

So much joy to report. 
So much delight, hope and encouragement. 
So much to praise. 
So very, very, very grateful.

I'm a week behind in my praise reporting. 
So there's a WHOLE lot on my grateful heart. 

Maybe if I attempt to go chronologically I can hit at least a few of the highlights. 

1. I got to spend a week in Ohio with my daughter and our #WonderPeeps! 
This is the sunrise out the back door on morning #1. 
It truly looks like a direct bridge to heaven! 

Let me be frank. I am worn out by airports, flights and cross country travel. There are times when my sleep patterns get erratic. Stress contributes to both: my weariness and my lack of quality sleep. When my human foibles and weakness wash over me, I am again surrounded by absolute evidence that our heavenly Father has the creative capability to design just the exact reminder that speaks to my direct need.

That morning sky looked to me as though our Creator was breathing new life right into our existence. A bridge. Heaven's concern showered directly into our midst! Thank you, God! 

Several of you dear friends have asked how I am holding up of late. I have had one verse resonating through me on a daily basis. It is awesome to be able to tap into that kind of strength. 

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." -- Philippeans 4:13

2. It was an amazing week, filled with amazing moments that are suspended in time. I made a concentrated effort NOT to be the photographer of my life, but just the live-r of it. Consequently there are fewer than 'normal' number of pictures and I'm OK with that. It is awesome to store those personal moments in my heart rather than the memory card.

It was an incredible JOY to spend some quality time with my own daughter.   

We had our own mother-daughter date night and got to go to the movies together. 
What a blessing. 

Over and over and over again, I had evidence before me, of the strength of the woman I have been raising over the last three decades. She's funny. She's bright. She's clever. Goodness gracious, I think you could even call her inspirational, but then I do have a bias. She's holding her head up and rising to every occasion as it presents itself. Wow. Awesomeness is not nearly strong enough to describe her, but it is at least in the right ballpark.

Just like Cinderella, she has a thing for shoes!

"Her children rise up and bless her."  -- Proverbs 31: 28

3. While visiting I was able to take her mini-van with 100K+ miles on it, into an auto-shop owned by a friend. This kind-hearted business owner changed the oil as a gift. No matter how many times I attempted to tuck some $$ under the desk blotter and attribute it to pizza, it kept ending up back in my purse. Saints live in our midst. Sometimes they have grease under their fingernails. Thank you God for taking care of this need, please bless him for his kindness in this time of need. Allow us to pay it forward in another chapter. 

"And my God will supply all your needs."   -- Philippeans 4:19

4. We had the amazing opportunity to have a three generation roller skating party. Old school. At the roller rink. With rental skates. Collision of disco balls and digital light show. I hadn't been on roller skates in this century. I had quite a bit of trepidation over the mere thought. 

Lacing up my skates I had more than a single flash of fear. Think of all that could go wrong at my age! I eeked my way out onto the rink with itty-bitty baby walking steps. The first 7 minutes would have been hilarious on a video. Hovering near the wall. Eek eek, eeking along. 

Then it all came back! Like riding a bike. There was muscle memory for sure, but something about the disco lights and thumping base, transported me back to my own youth. #Rinkrat. All of those possibilities ahead! 

With all of those laps around the oblong course, dodging the newly initiated, I began telescoping my grandchildren's sliding along, into memories of teaching my own daughters, and cobbled that together with the feeling of my stick straight 70's 60's hair down my back while catching a glance from a hormone crazed tweenie-bopper. LIFE. Potential and possibilities and time elapsed and projected simultaneously. Hilarity is a gift from heaven. Laughter is the perfect medicine for whatever ails you. I've always known that, even speak to that to my audiences, but FEELING laughter? Hallelujah! 

Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.” -- Psalm 126: 2

5. Laughter! Exercise! Oxygen! Pop music! Pulsing lights! 

PLUS a photo to document at least a glimmer of the experience!
Three generations on wheels. 
Dancing along and building skills together. 

But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord's love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children's children-- Psalm 103:17

Let's just conclude that portion of this past week on that happy note. Many blessings. Much love expressed over the course of an entire week together. We also went to church together and had a late March, 'pre-emptive birthday party' since we won't be in Ohio in April. 

To say that everyone was surprised by the presents is an understatement. Buying bicycles and riding them down the aisle at Target, with a crash into the shelves of towels is captured for your benefit and amusement on Instagram! Watching your #WonderPeeps grow into their new bikes is a treasure beyond measure.

"But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever." 1 Timothy 5:8

And then I flew home on March 24th, just in time for our wedding anniversary! 
Here's what I shared on Facebook, on that channel. 

Hubby Allen has always been at the center of all the family fun! 

6. {Our Wedding Anniversary-- My eighth 'cancerversary'} Today's a BIG day in the grand scheme of my life. Today we celebrate our 21st wedding anniversary!!! For those of you that have known me longer than 23 or 24 years, you know what a miracle has been wrought through God's divine blessing upon my life. From the most devastating and humiliating chapters into the most glorious.
Meeting Allen and having his support for these two decades+ has literally allowed me to morph into "Debbie Clement" and the writer of songs, the illustrator of books, the dreamer of dreams. There are no words adequate. His encouragement has genuinely allowed me to contribute BEYOND the one school building where I was contributing when we met and make a little dent into the wider world. He has provided for my children and taken them into his heart: paying for their advanced education, walking them down the aisle, loaning me to them for seasons as needed: no questions asked. He has been the 'step' parent that STEPPED up. Over and over again. He promised me when they were barely into elementary school that he would pay for their braces and prom dresses (which sounded absurd and ridiculous at the time) and that is exactly what he did!!!

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. -- I Corinthians 13: 13

7. Then you add all of the above to the fact that today is also my 8th cancerversary (of my first diagnosis) and you get all misty eyed, too. Don't you? He has stood by me, when I couldn't 'stand.' All of the subsequent surgeries, and treatments, radiation burns, medicinal side effects, drains, fatigue, infection, complications/lymphodema, sorrow and grief...... he has been my biggest cheerleader and positive light.

Raise a cupcake in our honor today. Sprinkle it with polka dots. PLUS you have my permission to toast us with an umbrella drink on this WONDERFUL Wednesday!

2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.  -- Ephesians 4:2

P.S. Here's the picture from last week, just in case you missed it. 


Call it Karma. Or Grace. Or a God-Wink. 

Spring has arrived and so has the season known as spring-cleaning!

Hubby surprised me with the most amazing anniversary in the history of anniversary presents! Talk about surprise! More on that over the year ahead. Too big of a cat to let out of the bag just yet. Let's just suffice it to say that the hardest working man in the world has given me an incredible gift-in-the-making. In any case, we had a serious conversation about spring-cleaning. He encouraged me to lighten my closet. 

Introspection ensued. 

I said out loud, to no one in particular: 

"What if I went through my closet and chose things to donate to others with trust and belief that my extending kindness, would result in answers to my own prayers." 

And so I began. With an entirely different attitude and perspective. I picked out a suit for a woman needing to go on an interview. I picked out a formal dress for someone heading out to a significant evening full of memories in the making. Quilted jacket for a fellow quilter. Too many sweaters for sunny Florida. You get the idea. Bags and bags. I went deeper and deeper and said a prayer over each piece that had brought me pleasure in the past, with the trust that it could support someone else in the future. 

Into the car and off to Goodwill! Bingo! Came home. 

In less than three hours: 

A.) I got a FB message from a dear 'library-lady' friend of mine that she is needing a Debbie-fix for her community while we are in Ohio in May. 

B.) I got an email from a 'middle-man' who carries my books and CDs, that they had received word from a conference planner that they want me to give a KEYNOTE for their upcoming event. 

and MOST amazing of all?

C.) I received an email from a certain BELOVED early childhood presenter that she had referred my name, for an event that couldn't fit into her over-stuffed calendar. This beloved one has never given my name out before, but chose that EXACT moment in time to do so. {I will happily live the rest of my professional life accepting the crumbs from her generosity.} 

OK. You do the math. Seriously. I need to generate new revenue, new opportunities, new gigs. That has been my continual prayer. My immediate prayers have been answered. AGAIN. 

7"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8"For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.…  -- Matthew 7:7

Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. -- Mark 11:24

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. -- James 1:5 

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 1 John 5:14

I really have been raised to be a child of the New Testament. 

There's one final verse that brings me a LOT of solace these days, 
it is quoted in the NT, but began in the Old Testament. 

"..... leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY," says the Lord.  Romans 12:19

It is mine to avenge; I will repay. In due time their foot will slip; their day of disaster is near and their doom rushes upon them." -- Deuteronomy 32:35

Thanks for your support! I am so appreciative of your pins!

Thanks for your support! I am so appreciative of your pins!
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