Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Love Letters to Mimi

Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.

Just about a week ago, on August 23, 2011, my precious Mother ~ in law,  Laurie B. Tucker,  passed away into the arms of Jesus.  She was 68 years old.

Mom Tucker "ran the race of her life" WELL. ~ with so much Grace and Faith and Beauty. 

  She was a superb mother and raised three Godly children.   Her husband, Richard was her best friend  and they enjoyed 46  rich, joyful years of  marriage. I loved all the visiting times I have had over tea with her for it was then that I got glimpses of her heart for those who did not know Jesus, or her love for God's word, or her tenderness for her family.  She loved to be around her family and her laughter was a gentle breeze around the family table.  Her voice was musical.  She had enjoyed years of professional opera singing and solo singing for many large churches.  One of Richard's special memories of his mom growing up was hearing her singing and piano playing in his home.  He also remembers rocking in her lap and resting his head on his mama as she sung his favorite song, "Jesus Loves Me."  Mom Tucker was a WONDERFUL teacher.  She enjoyed many years of teaching and some of her favorites were with underprivileged girls in Atlanta. 
 I lOVED hearing her stories!   Having grown up in Atlanta,she was a southern girl at heart and could tell a colorful,tender, or funny story in a way that slipped quickly into your heart.I loved seeing all my children grouped around her as she would tell them and teach the littles....And even more, to see our children each have their turn with Mimi to sing praise songs at the piano--well it just doesn't get better than this in a family!! 
She was diligent and hard working ~ quite a role model for self discipline and self denial for others. As well as a wonderful model for me when I was a young homemaker!  For years, through the course of  many different visits, we would hear her get up very early in the morning to get an early swim in at the Rockville, MD pool.
  She also did retreat leading and was absolutely gifted at encouraging large groups of women.
She loved to be amidst her twelve grandchildren.  I loved talking to her about her "tribe".  I loved walking into a room and finding her with her bible or a devotional...I loved hearing the story of how when she was five she walked down to the front of the Billy Graham Crusade...and began a walk of love that day...I love that she loved people and was such a dear friend to so many women.  

There is much more to be shared about Laurie Tucker.  
She was a truly remarkable woman.

She ran her "race" so well.

And finished it in grace and triumph...

For the last two and a half years she had wrestled with ALS (otherwise known as Lou Gerick's disease).  This is the terrible disease that paralyzes a person's body progressively.  While her body gradually shut down, her spirit remained joyful.   I am told she never complained, so great was her dependence on God for her strength of heart, soul, and body.

On August 23, 2011, Our mom/Mimi went to be in the literal presence of Jesus.  Her passing was like her illness, a drawn out endurance of pain and struggle but threaded through with such grace.  She was surrounded by her beloved Richard (senior) and two of her children and their spouses as they prayed and sung hymns over her.  The entire family ~ ours especially included in this~ keep the fires of prayer and watch burning continually during this week and still now.  It was very difficult to be eleven hundred miles away from our family as they suffered a travail we wanted to shoulder with them. We are immensely grateful that in another week's time we will get to journey to Maryland (Washington D.C. area) to join our family and celebrate Mimi's life.  We will be joining Richard's father,brother,sister, six young cousins, and a very close extended family including Laurie's Mother, Rachel and her brother and sister and their families.  Please pray for the Tucker/Bunte/Wormald families next week.  Laurie was greatly beloved and will be acutely missed.  Please pray for travel mercies for so many traveling from long distances.  And that Jesus will be greatly glorified at her celebration/funeral service next Saturday ~ she would greatly have desired this!

And please, keep Mr. Tucker in your prayers over the next season.  his love for his precious wife was an epic one and deserves much honor and thanks to God who is the only one who can pour that kind of "BRAVEHEART" love into a heart.  He never left his wife's side and tended to all her needs day and night week after week until it became year after year of loving care.  How we admire his endurance as well as Mrs. Tucker's.  The loved well to the end... may we all.

Richard Jr., my husband, is grieving but so thankful also for this relief for his mother.  I am blessed to have days to tend to him as he grieves and processes his love for his mother...and so another Tucker generation walks in the good footsteps of  forever marriage vows...Thank you for lighting the way, Mom and Dad...of the walk of love.

We are having a sad and sweet time with the children.  They adored their Mimi.  They will each need the closure of next week and also to represent and honor their unique love for her as they stand with the other precious grandchildren of Mimi.  Mom Tucker  told me several times, that she loved the way her Mother~in law passed away...to the touch and the sounds of her grandchildren surrounding her bed and singing hymns all around her.  She would then ask, "Don't you think that's so beautiful?"  We will be gathering her grandbabies next week to honor her good and precious name...more precious than silver...more costly than gold is a good name Proverbs says. 

We each in our family look forward to next week to:

 Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gates.  Proverbs 31:31

My children came up with these descriptions of their grandmother this week (I loved being their scribe) :)...

Mimi Tucker was a






Full of Life


Lover of God

Lover of the Bible


These are some of the words that my children have shared with me this week as they have considered love for their precious Mimi. And I would say, praise such as this from the "mouths of babes" is most precious indeed!!

Please feel free to click on the "smilebox"  below to listen to the love letters they have spoken over their precious Mimi.  Please allow a little moment for all of Ashley's video's to load--go back to them--they are precious ;)--if you click on a video and want to see another---just click on it again to return it to its place.

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We love you, Mimi!! We love you, Grandpa!!  We love you Family!! We love you dear friends of the family!

May blessings ring like bells.  You are loved,   You are loved,  You are loved.

Love, Gillian

Friday, August 26, 2011

Leaning, Leaning ...

We are praying for the East Coast as Hurricane Irene nears...

We believe this storm is not a coincidence...It is a severe mercy intended to provoke hearts toward repentance--

and back to WHO is


--Love for God-- first -- and a seeking of understanding and knowing of who He is and what He feels and wants for us on a personal level and for our country. ...

to shake us .... and to wake us

up...upwards in our hearts to Him again...

There are many,many in America who need to turn from their own ways and seek God's leadership and fathering over their lives... (even for those who go to church and who believe that the Bible is true) ...a turning back is in order...we believe this storm and the earthquake are not a coincidence...or an unusual "happening"

We believe God is asking,

"Who do you say that I AM?"

We each have to answer this question. It is before us every day.

For those of you who love and seek God...who may find yourselves in the path of this storm...we have a testimony of the wonder and goodness of How God is a refuge to those who seek Him.

--I'm not talking about a one time cry out and then a forgetting of His face but for those who LEAN on Him...this is for you...

...this is also for those who want to turn away from their own way...who feel an awakening in their mind,emotions, and spirit as they trace the storm line on the T.V. with their eyes... and who may have felt the earth shake under their feet this week...and felt weight...a shaking...in their hearts...

Its time!...

...to turn away from selfishness and greed, from days spent on our own thoughts and ways with no consideration of what God's heart and ways are...

From drawing lines against Israel.

For being complacent in not standing for her...

(PLEASE be in prayer over the decisions our government will be making in the next 30 days regarding the lines in Israel)

For the same complacency with the horrors of human trafficking or abortion--the blood that calls up from our ground...

For dullness of heart toward God...for no love or worship toward Him...and yet we were constructed to worship so we instead turn our worship to materialism, Social Networking, and Pleasures and Business that fill up the hours of our day...

Turn back! Tonight!!! You can hide yourself in the name of Jesus, America...I love you, and that's why I speak so strongly here today...

We have a testimony about Jesus.

In May 2010...a devastation flood came to the Nashville area...

It was one of the severe mercies or judgements that He is allowing to come to America, to awaken her...back to Him...

God's beloved live in each these regions. We have heard miracle story after miracle story of how God protected the apple of His eye --those who seek Him first, not perfectly but in their way of living He is first--have been kept in obvious ways in Earthquakes in California,in floods in America, during Katrina,in Tsunamis in Myanmar, Tornadoes in Joplin...I would love to tell the stories we have heard ...they are beautiful..and fill us with courage...I will tell some... we see God's hand bringing labor pangs to the Earth as well as preparing the beloved heart of His bride all in the same stories...

Our Story

Our neighborhood in Franklin, TN, a suburb south of Nashville, is backed by the Harpeth River. One afternoon as it rained and rained the river went over the 100 flood plain line and then the 200 year plain..."No..it couldn't be...we watched from back streets and windows in our kitchens and bedrooms as the water filled our neighborhood swimming pool, then crested over the soccer fields, then rolled down the road from the club house toward the 200 homes in its path..

Within a few hours it crept toward the home we had brought so many of our babies home to



...soon flowing down our street.. filling up the land up to our mailbox level...

Times like this move too quickly and at the same time feel like a terrible slow motion movie--like you are watching yourself and experiencing this trauma all at the same time...by early evening...

The National Guard carried away our neighbors to places of safety...many neighbors of these 200 homes doubled up with the rest of the homes in our large neighborhood...many neighbors suddenly became roomates in the other 200 or so homes nearby...some had to flee in canoes..and on ATV's and boats...

Richard says, after he gathered our family into safety, that God burned on his heart to now turn and head back into the rising waters to find who may still be in the homes in our street. "I'm going with you!!" Our 8th grader, Graham insisted. Richard and I exchanged the same glance. We knew it was dangerous and at the same time saw the light of God's zeal and love in our young teens' eyes. "Let's get out there, son." They waded out into the night.

My 6 foot 5 inch husband waded through flood waters that by now were up to his waist, Graham's chest. By this time the river water had a current in it and all sorts of debris...gasoline...cat litter boxes...toys...trash...home items...all brushed alongside them...Their hearts were captivated with the those trapped and too weak to get our of homes...they carried out the elderly, helped a precious lady and her children that rented this home of ours at the back of the community get out, they found handicapped who were tethered to machines and chairs,hoisted little children on Graham's back and Richard's high shoulders, wrestled with and took scratches from terrified pets as they removed them from the pushing flood...these were the treasures to be saved of this night...

Dry, inside a home we had previously joked over, calling it, "The Ark" for it had so many dormer windows, one for every one of my children and foster children :)that year, we waited out that night in worship...

We claimed God as our Shepherd...we prayed in the name of Jesus...we LOVED Jesus...we claimed His blood's power over us...we sang in the refuge of God's "wings"...

He shook us and flooded us with... LOVE and TRUST and ADORATION of His leadership and goodness in a way that simply did not "match" the circumstances..

All through the watches of the night, I snuggled our eight children on the floor in the living room, and sung and prayed with worship praise from a 24/7 prayer and praise prayer meeting going on online.

As the children slept, I worshiped...I asked for God's hand to cover His beloved ones... and as I sat before Him, He flooded MY HEART...with His warm Presence...and with His love...all night long..

I listened in awe to the power of God's hand as the flood poured over us, He spoke back to me,

He really did.

He began by pressing an entirely new request on my heart. I could actually SEE in my heart what He was pressing on me to ask for. It was so powerful. He gave me this picture of a Shepherd with a long staff, standing in my backyard, I knew the Shepherd was Jesus and that I was to ask Him to put down His staff in the water...that, like the Red Sea, the waters would obey Him...I also felt strongly led to ask that the waters would not cross the threshold of our home...I did not know why I felt this so strongly on my heart but I prayed for these things many times that night...

Richard came in around 2 in the morning, covered with mud and oil and who knows what other substances that had been floating in all of that flood water..Most of his clothing he just discarded...after cleaning off..exhausted, Richard knelt next to me in the living room with all of our sleeping lambs there... there we waited...ON..so different than just waiting...we believed and bowed down to worship Jesus and to wait...on Him...

During the early morning hours...way before dawn...God's quiet voice spoke this clearly to my heart:

"Therefore let everyone who is godly pray to you while you may be found; surely when the mighty waters rise, they will not reach him."

"Therefore, let all the godly pray to you while there is still time, that they may not drown in the floodwaters of judgment."

"Therefore let everyone who is godly offer prayer to you at a time when you may be found; surely in the rush of great waters, they shall not reach him."

(Psalm 32:6)

and I stood upon it...it was a clear "NOW" Word of promise for our family.

I claimed it for us, for an neighbor who needed encounter from Jesus, and specifically for another family that God pushed and pushed on my heart that night ...I prayed for many but these were the lambs God laid promises on my heart for that night...

We had to wait for 3 days

To see what had happened to our home.

And, on that third day, as we waded to the back of neighborhood that day... we saw devastation...the majority of the homes around us were completely flooded--they had taken water all the way up to the 2nd story of their homes.

And at our home...the water had come to the yard...and then had stopped...at the threshold of our door...although it had filled the crawlspace and a garage area...not a drop entered in. There was a visible line where the water had held back at each of the three entrances to the home.

The only other dry home on the block was our neighbor who we have interceeded for over 10 years...as we gave one another a tearful hug the next day, our words were:

Gillian "Oh, we were PRAYING for you!! Look what God has done!!"

Neighbor "I KNOW you were praying. I KNEW you were that NIGHT!! I FELT it, Gillian!! and you know what? I WAS PRAYING. The night of the flood I was praying to God, to Jesus, and (he whispers) to the Holy SPIRIT!!"

May the storms of life--May the shaking s cause us to get down to worship.

Hide yourself in Jesus. Worship Him, consider Him, even as the storms come, let them tenderize your heart for Him and you will experience His glory. He IS our only refuge in the storm.

Oh, East Coast, we love you. We look forward to hearing your testimonies of how you ran into God and found refuge. Press into Him ~ He watches over His beloved in wondrous ways.

Love, Gillian

P.S as I write this, my little daughter, Ava (5 years) is singing, "You are my rock and there is no other!,You are my ROCK!!"

The LORD is good, a strong refuge when trouble comes. He is close to those who trust in him.

(months later I discovered what the staff means in the Bible. That it is a symbol of authority and leadership...the threshold represents the place where the diety of the home resides--to cross it would be to cross the god of the home--God was directing me that night to ask for his LEADERSHIP and to claim Him as our shepherd, as the only TRUE GOD ~ the authority of our home)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Oh, HELP us, Jesus

If we are a friend of God we will love the poor from our heart, through correct thinking,in loving and specific action,in selfless giving...for as we give to them...we are giving to the Kingdom of God's ROYALTY. The way we love the poor is literally the way we love God.

He who is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and He will reward him for what he has done.

Proverbs 19:17