Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Story of the Apple and the Rose

For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.             
                                      (Ephesians 2:10)

Hello, my friend.

I was looking down the lane for you today.

Come in, come in....:)

I've just been dreaming of gardening...of an English Cottage...with a rose bush...and an Apple Tree growing there...and I have saved a little story for you...

But, this little story for us today is worthy of a gentle little sit down. So, I'll be glad to get you a little tea...

or some coffee perhaps?

While we sit down to this little video beloved friend :) You are WELCOME here. Please settle in and enjoy this sweet parable just for YOU.

 My Precious friend, if you have EVER compared yourself to another (like me), this sweet story is for you. You are of immeasurable worth, truly. There is NO other creation on this Earth like YOU.

This may take a moment to load (perhaps a minute)...another scone perhaps while we wait? (this video played much more smoothly on my computer in full screen mode)

(This young man is from the Bible School at our ministry here in Kansas City ~ so many hearts in love with Jesus in the young people around us. ~ There's only one thing more beautiful than a young heart in love with Jesus--that would be, an old,old heart in love with Jesus--is there anything more exquisite? ♥ )

And...Looking across the table, I see you today and ask,

"What kind of a creation are you today?"

A  Rose?

An Apple?

A Bird?

I was driving one of Graham's teenage friends home the other day and as we were spying out the window for possible deer in his neighborhood he shared that this is the animal that has always been a reminder of how God made him ~ jumping high over obstacles ~ running free...
How about you?

Love to you...the only one who is...YOU, today. I am So glad God had you in His heart to create YOU...before the foundations of the world. YOU are Made by the Worthy one...and this brings great and glorious worth to your life. YOUR life is a unique gift to His world and He has love from His heart Just for you.

        Be so Blessed Today, My Dear Friend,

Love, Gillian

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Favorite Hour

Not an unusual day. But I make a promise to my almost 11 year old. After schoolwork we'll try out those binoculars from Christmas.

The day whirls by for him and for me and after schoolwork and play practice and a special drink date at Sonic with sister Ashley you might not think the boy NEEDED anything extra...his cup was full...his day looked complete. Even as he drank a huge Coke with Ashley he was thankful and said, maybe now I won't need to go out with Mom.

But he remembered the promise.
And so did I.

They head back with stories of the day and I exchange ours and he was surprised when I suggest for him to get his coat back on for we are goin' on our nature date.

"REALLY?" He smiles BIG.

"You don't need to Mom. I'm o.k."

{But would I be o.k. without YOU,son? ~ Be o.k. letting you go today?}

We each were not needy but needed to fill our promise to one another.

We head into the smaller car and I feel my Mama's heart begin to climb, sitting next to this one, looking so big and innocent in his big jacket, binoculars around his neck.

He looks over at me kinda shy like.

"Mom, don't tell the boys. I don't want them to feel bad."

I don't understand I tell him.

"Don't tell the boys that I am so special or something. They might feel bad that I get to do so much great stuff."

My feelings catch. Oh, my a large family this usually is not an issue!...I was just glad to have a moment to shower on you...and you felt like a favorite one...Don't FORGET Mama..these moments mean more than you could EVER know.

{Pssst...they EACH are my favorite ones!!}

We take a SIMPLE 5 minute drive. We have to get back in an hour to cook dinner for eight...but he owns my heart for this hour...

There is a business complex with a pond...near a bridge we have watched being built near our home...we pull in the parking lot and deliberate about which spot and where and what to bring or leave on our journey down around the pond...

I am getting motherly and he shouts out, "COME ON, MOM!!!!" and he pulls my arm so that our arms are locked and we are heading down at a run to the pond.

My buddy and I share the time God has made...and the beauty

And WHO said that boys were only all about ugly things and tails and such?
When I see life though this set of eyes... All SORT of beauty is reflected back to me.

Oh, my precious reflect the beauty of the world back to can I have amnesia to the beauty before me in my days?...but it is...what we passed by on so many errands and in our to and fro..And here WE are, my little friend...

Throwing rocks...and finding a surprise under the ice...

Watch out!! Sharks!!

And, {Be Still my Heart} he says, "Well, I guess that's just a part of adventure."

He actually blew into his wet shoe to 'warm it up' next!!!

Next, we look at ALL the differences in pond ice, hiking all around the pond and make it to the bridge to get all blown around by icy wind. He takes my hand {protectively!} as we cross the street...and we walk down the bridge sidewalk silly and slow while the world {most likely my neighbors and friends} past us by...headlights turning on...a truck beeps hello...we can't look back...we are on a journey...just us in the world...

We had to go in an hours' time and it was Anderson who says, "Awesome, MOM! Should we be getting back?" Like he is awakening to remembrance of other promises to those back home... We run back, over the road, down an embankment, and around the pond to the car, laughing and acting out, acting like 11 year olds :). Real JOY was found in one hour's time.

Taking time for the great rewards of the little moments. Digging in for them... finding LASTing treasures!!

Love, Gillian

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

How do you Measure it All?

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

In the midst of the dishes and the commute to work,
Or on a hilltop gazing at the stars.
In the fray of the busy and the strain of the frazzle...
On the jogging trail in an early morning's run.
In the tears and the laughter,
And at the bottom of the laundry pile.
In highest accolades,
And hidden in lonely,dustiness.
In the striving and the resting,
In our hearts desires and dreams,
And in our entertainments.
In our giftings and our failures,
Before our family and in our friendships.
In what we build up and choose to tear down.
In together times,
And in the Secret Place.
In one Life's footprint on this blue world,
Going around and around SO fast.
There is a question that follows us into every moment and place.
What is the Measure of Man?
It is simple but vital questions to answer,
"Where was your gaze?"
"To Whom did you give your Heart?"
"Did you KNOW the One Who MADE Love?"
And, "Did  you Learn to Love from Him?"

"But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."     (1 Samuel 16:7)

The measure of a man is the measure of his heart
The measure of a man is the measure of his love

You don't measure me like man may see
You're looking at my heart, the core of me
Your eyes of fire see differently
Keep me in the gaze of love

The measure of a man is the measure of his heart
The measure of a man is the measure of his love

When it's all been said, when it's all been done
When the race is run, well it all comes down to love

Did you learn to love? That's what You will ask of me
Did you learn to love? Not about my ministry
Did you learn to love? Not about my money
Did you learn to love? Did you learn to love?

[Read more:]

Love, Gillian

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Incredibly Cute Truth

I believe this pleases Jesus' heart SO much!
A tiny little role model for us all!! ~ You GO, Baby!!! ~ Shine,Baby,Shine!!!!

"He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

“See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven." (Matthew 18:2,3, and 10)

Monday, January 23, 2012

I am a REAL Bunny ...and so is she...

Oh, little Velveteen Rabbit...its not like I'm mad at you or your story is heavy sometimes...I don't want another one...I'm just saying,

"Ouch, it HURTs to be a bunny."

And I hope I do not offend you when I let you know that I have decided that I am not going to take your definition any more as a statement for my life as an adoptive mommy.

  Did you not say,

"Real isn't how you are Made, It is a thing that happens to you."?????


There, I SAID it.

I AIN'T REAL cause of my difficult circumstances

or in the moment that the beloved child whispers it in my ear.

What "happens" to me does not make me.

I am not a product of the days events --be they pleasant or hard, or of  my thoughts and expectations, or of fleeting feelings from one day to the next.

I am not what the other "bunnies" say I am

or who I am in those little eyes...

Or What I sometimes see when I look in the mirror on an especially hard day...

You didn't get it completely ,Velveteen Rabbit---although I just love you so...

Cause I find my Wisdom in another another story...of a young, perfect KING who came from a far off heavenly land...He left His Father's come and find this ole find me in the garden...all dishelved and burnt on the rubbish heap...He found me in my helpless failings...and while I was quite lifeless and stuffed with sawdust and other junk...

He stooped down to make me REAL..

to BREATHE REAL Life into me

and He tells me...He has begun to show me that...

Oh, His promises are much GREATER than those nursery promises little rabbit...

I am alive, I am REAL because of ONE who burns with Life and Hope on my insides.

I am a REAL Bunny.

And here is a secret my gentle little friend,

Your story does not end with becoming a real bunny.


And there is a Bunny Shepherd who has ointment for our wounds.

Now you will know thirst and hunger...

But there is the gardener in the midst of the bunnies who IS the living water AND the Bread that brings life...

You will have an awareness of will have to be a little warrior

but He will cover you with His great big shield, and under it you will find security and victory.

for Real Bunnies still have fire to go through...beyond the bonfire of the toy pile...

But it is  REFINING fire.

And it really is O.K.

For once  this type of grooming session is over, and I have been through so many lately little rabbit,

You will find that "toy fur" burnt off to reveal...not a Real "me" but "Christ IN me...the HOPE of Glory".

Behold, the new WILL come, little bunny...

My Story

 O.K....Here is my very real story from last week.  I want you to to have this view so that you may know a bit more how to love and support adoptive moms.  Perhaps know how to more fully love an adoptive child?  And if you are "stuck" in suffering...that Jesus is your answer to.  There IS hope for you, my friend..

First, the REAL High

We hit the highs and the lows here at the Tucker house last week.  We celebrated an 11th birthday, my husband experienced a wonderful first week of continued training for ministry, and my children all had an unusual blessing of encountering God at school all week in their assembly times...God was especially present and visited the kids with much power and joy...true revival broke out this week among the students.  The joyful worship rocked their building and broke out of the assembly time so that for three days, the schedule of classes were pushed back as the kids experience the fresh presence of God in Worship,prayer, and in God's movement on them in restoration and in healings.  More, Lord!  I love that He broke this out among children--it has been so powerful!!
There were kids that were delivered of self-hatred.  There were kids that wept over love for God. There was prayer for our city, prayer for our nation. Adoration, Worship.  They prayed over each other for hours.  Joy came. So did travailing prayer.  These kids have been crying out for God to visit them. He came.

                                             [Our Ashley and friends this week]

This is what "revival" looks like.  and He started with the children--how like Jesus who put children before Him and instructed us to look like them!

Genuine revival has Christ walking within it. "The Hope of Glory" changes our lives...He truly does.  The kids all of them--carried this home and our home was been so full of the tenderness of the Holy Spirit's love.  It was one of those weeks, so full of  glory that it takes your breath away...

To add, the children's school was not the only place where God was blessing His people in this way last week.  As Richard came home from his Bible classes and from the prayer room at International House of Prayer the SAME wave of God's presence and love was moving in his classes and in the prayer room.  All classes were cancelled so that  they  could just move into a solemn assembly and worshiped with  expectancy.

  There was MUCH JOY on the mission's base. Healing was a part of God's strong presence in our midst. Richard was blessed with actually seeing God's power move in love in this way. On Saturday, Richard was ministering at our Saturday service.  He was laying hands on and praying for anyone who had a need.  There was a man who had a condition with his hands that he had had for over ten years, it made his hands gnarled and curled up with pain.  As Richard prayed for him, the man's hands began to straighten!  The two men joyfully continued on asking for Jesus' healing until Richard watched the man's hands relax and straighten.  It was powerful~ the man felt so loved~ and this was only one of the miracles that swirled around us this weekend!

In the Midst of the Garden...

With all this beauty...that we have asked for, fasted for...pressed into God in prayer for...and as we saw it breaking would think we would have been immune from any pain or trial last week.


It made me a TARGET for attack...and since our enemy is not fair and is a MEAN BULLY he targeted my adoptive mother's heart and my little bunny, Ava.
You see, if Jesus was breaking out...if so many kids were getting delivered and this is truly what Mama Gillian has been declaring with much strength lately...then a surprise attack...could it knock her down so that she and Ava might not receive the promise of healing all around them?...

 Nothing happens to me that does not pass through  my loving Father's hands.

and like I said above, my circumstances do NOT determine who I am or what my destiny is.  But OH, this does not take the pain away as you walk through the fire...

 Thursday could not have been sweeter...Anderson made sure all the other siblings felt included in his celebrations and it was Ava who got to share about her brother who tickles her and makes her feel "all loved and tickley" we laughed and played and ate too much cake...and after the party there were snuggles for little girls and a book read by an older sister and a special connection at Bible time and singing that blessed us all...

Kids were excused to get on jammies before one last game before bed...and as our little happy bunny went downstairs...

A serpent was waiting...
and a lie was hissed in her ear...

It may have been something like,

"Are you REALLY part of this loving family?"

"Is this REAL?"

"Come on, are you a REAL Bunny?  Who do you think you are?"

And my little bunny looked down at something that she considered to be shabby...and then she tore up her little girlie room. 

I was setting up the game, that is one of my little bunny's favorites, and as she entered the room she declared in a really loud, kind of overly cheerful way,



she turns to the other adoptive child in my home who had just had SUCH a normal, great day...and birthday days can be a trigger for him so this was a huge victory for him and that tongue that lied to her now lied to him,


... and words, what are they?

  They could have been passed for childish expression until..

They continued and continued for the rest of the night...

until...I went down to get something for my bunny and I saw the ripped up bunny's nest downstairs in her room.

A firey dart tried to find its way into my Mother's heart...this is familiar war ground...
familiar battle over the identity of this little soul, and who she is

familiar battle over who I am as her mother...

and all I could say, inside my heart in that moment was,

ouch. OUCH! OUCH!!!!!

I tucked my bunny in bed with many kisses and prayed fervent, silent prayers in the only name that has true power, Jesus' name over her.

Sword, Shield...Engarde!!

Oh it's ON, serpent. This mama bunny is a warrior bunny!!

And yet, the words picked on me as I went about my chores..I carried them into prayer ..and they bothered me through the night..

Friday morning is a work morning for me at my children's school.  I LOVE my job!  I am the school's librarian.  I joke with my husband that I'm the fun kind of Librarian not the bun kind!!

Friday, my bunny and I spent the morning getting the house in order and then driving to work.  All morning long I was followed literally around by my bunny who repeated over and over that I was not REAL and that our family was not REAL.  I am not exaggerating that EVERY word that came out of my little girl's mouth was on this subject of REAL.  It was wild and I was acutely aware I was under attack and that so was my little bunny.  I tried leading her into a loving conversation about her birth mom , tried to trace her story with her...but none of this satisfied.  hiss,hiss, was continuous in her ears that morning...poor little bunny...and all the language was a searing wound in my heart...

I cannot express how intense some of these times are with our adoptive children as they wrestle and rework the puzzle of who they are.

..the problem arises when not all the puzzle pieces can be found...then what???

And the question of this morning was, "am I REAL?"

"am I REALLY in a forever family?"

am I REALLY a blood daughter, loved like all the rest in this nest?"

...And the question intended for me was,

"Has everything you have poured into this child...

...all the "hair falling off" REALLY MADE ANY DIFFERENCE?..

ALL those times you served and laid it all down...

ALL those prayers...

all the trust you believed to be building up...where is that now???

...Listen, here she is declaring right now that

'any mother could be her mother after all'

and that

'maybe we should get some more moms for our family, or another mommy for us wouldn't that be better?'.

and' living here is o.k. but...'

..Have you REALLY become her mother?"

The language and the questions continued...but as I turned off the car in the parking lot of school, something turned on inside of me.  It was a declaration.

"This is attack and for Ava's sake and mine I am going to make a stand.  I am going to RESIST this until it flees from her and from me today.  There is a victory coming for this little girl.  I'm not backing away.  I see this for what it is, attack.  I'll stand and wait for deliverance."  Sometimes, as the Word says, all we can do is "stand"...

It wasn't over yet

As we walked into the building and talked to a lovely friend at the sign in desk I felt nauseous.   My stormy day did not seem to "fit" with the revival that was going on in the building...or maybe it was perfectly fitting!! was 11a.m. and I still heard the vibrations of worship from the teenagers coming through the walls next to the auditorium as I made my way to our little library...

As I turned on the light and started to re shelve books I felt overstimulated among all the books...

One of the administrators, who I love, suggested I display the books that day in a way that would draw the children's eye more.  I started turning the faces of the book covers around to greet and face the children...while I bunny was at my side...the subject was the same one as the rest of the morning.

Wow, was this truly going to last ALL day?

  A lady popped her head in the library and greeted us.  The distraction was wonderful!  As I shelved, we visited a little...

"How are you?""

I wanted to shout, I"M TERRIBLE!!  and scream and tell her that I feel like the WALKING WOUNDED...don't you see my head wound?  Can't you SEE it?...but I was held back...and this was good for...
You would not believe the next question that came out of this well-meaning mouth...I don't fault Peter, we can say glorious mysteries that are right on in one minute and then in the next , if not dialed in and listening to God's voice ...out of that same mouth...we can say words tailored by the enemy...

"Hey, I've been meaning to ask you,

How many REAL kids do you have?"

Oh no, you didn't!!
Oh, yes, she did.
It was that kind of a moment.
It was that kind of a day...and this was the PERFECT fire for my heart.

"Well,"  I looked down at the books in my hands, and then over at my bunny,

"I have SIX REAL KIDS, right, Ava honey?"

Ava came over and clung on my leg.

{People,people... please NEVER ask this question to an adoptive mom and especially in front of her child!!}

But I knew why I was getting the question...and I was going to keep standing until I saw Jesus step in and bring HIS message to my little girlie and my heart that day.

We dove into our little project and then had the LOVELY distraction of six classes worth of students coming through the room.  Ava played mommy to her dollies and pretended at my feet and looked through books and hugged sweet children who I helped to match with books.  Its a great job!  I took it because I believe that finding the right book is all about blessing that child's uniqueness and identity.  I have prayed that the children who find their way into the library will also be blessed by love's presence through Jesus' simple love through me and that they may walk out confirmed of their beauty as hearts are revealed as they choose their books...

That the Librarian and her child were  needing confirmation this day was and unexpected turn of  events among the collection of books..

As one group of students went out, the books needed refreshing...more needed to be pulled out and displayed..and I was handed this returned book...that had just made its way back to needing to be reshelved.

It was the Velveteen Rabbit.

The more I live in Christ, the more I find that He, the most beautiful of authors, writes my life in just this way.

"Hello, sweet Jesus, this is from you." my heart prayed.

It was a beautiful edition of a well-loved classic that I have read over and over and mulled over through my years.  Recently I have found that not only I but my adopted children as well identify with this little rabbit...

I had just a moment to "pet" the beautiful pages of the book ~ if you love to read you know of which I speak! ~ and then I propped it open to the page of the little bunny, REAL and dancing all among the other real bunnies.

"In your name, Jesus, this is who I am in you.  This is who she IS in YOU.  We are REAL in you.  YOU are my REAL."

Our last group of students came into the library, it was one of my favorite classes--my son Bruik is among them and I have watched and love them grow for a while now.  One of my FAVORITE children in the class is a precious little girl who is full of life and glory.  She is FUNNY, she is WITTY, she is so loving and has a real gift for connecting to God's heart and understanding His ways.  She butts heads with my little Bruik half the time and the other half of the time squeeze hugs him with love. She is a blessed special needs girl who is wiser and more spectacular than most girls you'll meet.  and, oh, yes...she's also been adopted...and is SUCH a blessing to her astounded mom who comes to me with precious stories of this incredible creation--I JUST LOVE HER.
So this little girl is trying to pick out a book and this day she is having a BEAR of a time finding JUST the right one.  "Do you have any mysteries, Mrs. Tucker? thanks don't want a mystery...oh,oh,oh!! I KNOW what I want."..and the choices went kind of on and on that afternoon...until the check out computer is about to be shut down and this little one is the last child along with me among the shelves.  She was the LAST student.

She slowed.  She stopped....right in front of the Velveteen Rabbit book...
I don't really know why I did it but my hand came in front of the book--almost guarding it from her view...
I did't want to have this conversation. Today. Right then. With her. Precious her.

What about THIS book?

I heard myself talking in that falsetto adult voice, "OH, this is a GREAT book, honey." Smile.  I felt uncomfortable.  I half lied. "Its a story of a toy bunny that becomes, REAL."

She looked up at me through her little glasses. "HMMMNnnnn."
She's thinking.
I'm nailed.

"Isn't there something about a sick boooooy in here?  and  some tooooys?"

"Ah, Hem...Yes."
She looked  like she was grasping for something lost...
"OOOOooooh...Mommy read this book to me"  She looks like she is searching....for something forgotten...for something that may not be so pleasant..."

"Tell me about the fire, Mrs. Tucker"

She looked up at me as if to say, 'Don't lie to me, Mrs. Tucker. They burned that bunny. Tell me the Truth Mrs. Tucker."

She was waiting on me for an answer about the broken bunnies.  And, Lord, I don't want to give her that answer....she's not the broken one anyhow in this moment...I am!...

And in that moment, we looked down to see the page that she had turned to in the beautiful old  book.  It was blue, and at the center of the illustration was a gorgeous fairy and dancing bunnies all around her.

"OH! I remember!  There's an angel!!, " she sighed and smiled BIG..."Tell me about the ANGEL, Mrs. Tucker."

"Oh, yes." She smiled.  "That's what I remember."

She picked up the book and hugged it to herself. Then,  "I won't be needing this."  She set it back gently on the shelf,  and turned to land on her final decision... after several other final decisions...she plucked up a fluff bit of book called,"Pinky Dinky Doo" and I totally laughed out loud and sailed a goodbye toward her as she bounded out of the room to check it out. :)

Later, after my shift at school and piano lessons that fill my home with the reminder of what is glory...I was still feeling tattered...

like a big ole bunny...

But settled and at rest.  Ready to continue to press in to being a REAL mom to all of my REAL children.  I was deciding on dinner as well as deciding to keep standing on Truth even though I had not seen it in my parenting of that day...when I heard another little person sit down at the piano...and worship sounds started coming from the piano... REAL joyful noise, the kind that God mentions and asks for in the Psalms...

And my family is my witness that I actually heard my little bunny turn not only into a REAL bunny but metamorphosis into a SONGBIRD.

Now, worship and speaking out Truth is a gift from God that He will bring on this little one in certain sweet times, and had I subcombed to the attack and fought with HER instead of the lies...we might have missed out on this GLORIOUS moment...really...our warfare is THAT REAL.

Little Ava's hands were making BEAUTIFUL sounds on the piano
Chords...musical progressions...melodic notes...REAL melody...

Richard and I gathered in the kitchen, catching each other's eyes, "Are you HEARING THIS?"

And then this clear little voice started singing...the bunny is a songbird!!

"OOOOHhhh, Jesus...I just Looove you...
You made me on purpose.  And everything you make is REALLLLLly Goood.
I want to be with you every day.  You are the hero and I want to be with you every day.

We NEED you, come to us, Jesus!
We NEED you.
Come to US.

Oh, there's worship and there's the pain! ...and I'm growing...I'm GROWING UP LIKE A DAISY (the meaning of her African name we gave her, Aday)

Yeah, I'm growing up like a DAISY in the house of the Lord.
We NEED YOU, Jesus!
Come to us..."

She sang and sang and we cried and Richard put his head down on the counter in the kitchen and shook with laughter that is the surprised kind that comes when God just puts his glorious foot down in your midst.

Oh, don't ever stop! my Heart cried out!  You are worth the "stand"

And then we heard,

"Fill our house with angels are fillin' it Right now...I feel you comin' to us...just fillin' our house UP with your angels...We NEED you Jesus...We worship you..."

Who's the Mommy?  Who's the REAL Daddy?  He showed up in that moment.   Who are we REALly?  This turns out to be the WRONG QUESTION.  So take that, enemy!!

The question that sets us FREE was asked 2 millennial years ago by Jesus, the King of all broken hearts and the Shepherd of all "bunnies and songbirds"

...the question is, "Who do you say that I am?"  and when we get this before us...and find our identity in Him...when we lose ourself in THIS fire...we raise up out of that pire with power, life, and REAL joy in knowing that He who is IN us IS our HOPE of GLORY.

  He is enough.  He is THE solution for each of us.  Because HE is REAL, I live.

  Because HE lives there is INCREDIBLE HOPE for my children. ~  All six of my REAL kids!

Love, Gillian

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Prairie Gold

"The Golden Time of Day"  ~  I think I'm made for "such a time as this".

So as we were driving along and they asked to stop here in this grassy prairie field to chase and play around...I couldn't resist!

They burst out of the van ~ all loud and full of puppy energy...or maybe they were horses...galloping across the pastures...or fleet-footed like deer...or little rabbits making cozy nests all hidden within swaying walls of tall grass...but in a moment they looked so small as they headed for the horizon and their voices blended in with the sound of wind brushing through the tall grassy weeds and wild grains.

Go my for the horizon...

  Like a day at the beach does, nature's vastness hushed us and swallowed us up in beauty. We were lost in the gentle majesty of reeds bowing down  in the late afternoon sun.

  This was yet another tabernacle.

  Another place TO tabernacle with the creator who cannot be contained in buildings or structures--who bursts forth in in majesty and heart-pounding wonder.   It felt so sacred, standing here, brushing my hands lightly across fuzzy dried seed stems, stroking them, petting them...and considering the weight of glory of a moment and a place... meditating upon the ONE who IS Beauty...who was blowing wind all over us in this gentle,golden moment... loosing strands of my brown hair to play and dance across my face... to join in on the choreography  of life all around me...

I spun around, like the little girl who used to spin around in the shallow end of the pool, splashing my hands all across the surface of the water...and when the world drew into horizontal lines again of stripes of amber and tan and cobalt and white, I heard them calling me, a further invitation into the sacredness of this moment..."Mom, PLAY with us!!...CHASE US, MOM!!..."for a moment, I held back.  But my heart overcame my default setting of "staid adultland" and I ran...

The boys are faster and finer than Mama in all things athletic but we laughed and teased and they LET me catch them after they hid in the grasses and it got SO quiet that all that I could hear was the sound of the wind breathing over the prairie and the sound of some sweet bird song near a thrush of creek nearby.  I caught them and spun some until we were all dizzy and the sky touched the Earth in slants and circles.  It was glorious!

And look, do you see the light on Bruik's face?  Highlighting him?  In this moment...all his tender beauty shone forth...I want to ever see my children in golden light.

Big brother Graham had his turn shaking out his little siblings and swooped them all up with muscles that have grown strong with service and discipline over the last season.  He's a kind sheepherder of the youngers, a strong young man, a diligent laborer.  We are so very proud of him.  He's amazing at industry.  At this time in life, one does not impart manhood to the son for it should already have been formed over the years into his very nature.  But it is almost time for the blessing and the release.  He has become aware of have we.  It catches in my heart when I see him at full run.  It won't be long...  In this moment,  I saw the man to be.  Running for that horizon...into the golden light....across  swaying harvest fields...with purpose, with fire in his eyes...

And my heart beats so fast, with such awareness in these moments, for I know that we are made for golden light...that our lives are being refined "like the gold" if we are setting our gaze on the beautiful one, Christ Jesus...that we tabernacle with a God who has a golden sash around His waist, who IS the Beloved of Heaven...who prepares a place for us with His tent with Him...NOW, it is possible in every day, in every moment...

and forever...

My heart worships, it sings like the wind blowing over the prairie can it not?!

Love and Blessing,


P.S.  Hopefully in the next days and weeks we will be journaling here about our current ministry calling and more stories about this. :)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

And I laughed :)

...from my prayer journal...

I was hurriedly working around the house...trying to get a family of eight out for an earlier session at the huge conference we were attending almost each day that week...

Spraying down and curling up tight,pretty dark curls into a sweet hairdo with a flower, packing out a cooler filled with several meals and snacks to last us through into the last night hours, filling up backpacks with bible studies materials as well as props for our littlest flower as she played at our feet...slipping 6 boy legs into jeans that we had laid out the night before and finding shirts to up the dishes in the sink...shining up the counter as we headed out for the Annie our Wonder Dog just ONE more hug and walk and begging her not to leave us "rewards" on the carpet for our absence like she had the previous day...of course glancing in the mirror for a ten minute fix...they are all in the car now and I am still running after last minute items and my forgotten purse...its upstairs...and I run up the stairs...and in to my bedroom...

I see an unmade bed...and...

Some Christmas toys that had not been put back after a night and a morning's play...

Extra dishes have migrated to the sink!

There's a coffee cup from yesterday on my bathroom counter, and dog hair floating on the floor, clean clothing heaped up on the dresser awaiting its turn to be put away...just waiting for me to come home again... and a huge sigh begins to well up within me...

its a familiar one

...There I was weak and hurried and not knowing how to

make sense of time.

And, I spoke something out,

That may not be what I want

...painted all over with words...

but i said it anyway...

"I hate this!!"

"I have SUCH a MESSY Nest!!!"

And of course, what I was meaning was,

"I dislike you, Gillian, for being SUCH a MESS!! ~ How COULD You??!"

And in that moment,

I can feel it as if it were right NOW,

for it is one of those NOW moments in which HE comes

and walks HIS Truth into MY Now...

In that moment, YOU,God, YOU gave me a picture of many

Soft Feathers -- Piled Up in a Colorful Heap

In a nest

I saw them.

And I felt the gentle sound of your laughter and your pleasure all around me.

I REALLY Heard YOU say,

"I love your messy nest."

And, shocked I replied,


"But, God, How could you love THIS? It's awful!! It's a wreak!! It's SO out of sorts!!!"

And YOU said back.

"I love your messy nest. This is JUST the place where I want to grow them. Where I am growing you."

"I love you."

And, like my Sarah our "great" of grandmothers,

I laughed!!

And my heart danced back with smiles, now so much lighter, because of the One who smiled down all over me and hugged me in my midst.

I carried this sweet revelation with me down the stairs and out the door as I got in the car...and saw YOUR smile again as I peered in the rear-view window at those crazy, precious chickies in my nesty car...

I hovered closely over this bit of NOW Word woven into my every day.

And, in this, I became ever so much more knitted into "likeness" to YOUR heart and mind...

For, newly, I understood in this moment that,

What I often criticize, YOU LOVE!!

And, I can be MORE Critical and way "OFF" of what is true than THE MOST HIGH!!

I can not see what YOU love until my eyes are opened..

So, also, I can too easily turn to criticizing what is beauty

and ascribing value to the lesser things...

Give me eyes to see...what is real...

And ears to hear YOU when YOU speak...

Love, GG

Sunday, January 1, 2012

"They're Doin" It!!"

My noble friends, You Gotta see this!!


In fact... I'l "GiVe YoU YoUr MoNeY BaCk" if your heart does not burn and cry out with joy as you listen to the video below!! :)

We just laughed as our hearts burned with agreement with Allen Hood, the president of our Bible School here, as he spoke to a crowd of 25,000 this weekend.

We cried through this talk.

~ you can hear it at timer on the video 2:14 ~

Our tears said, YES!!! in agreement for Allen spoke out what God is calling this generation to. AND, they poured out in streams of great joy for we have great affection the beautiful Hood family.

All semester, our Ashley has been in a college-level course that Allen led at The Daniel Academy, called, "Excellencies of Christ". Ashley has come home with a bright heart and has been searching out her beloved, Jesus, in a way that is baptizing our home with firey love for Him that is touching us all...

I have been so blessed by the warmth and wisdom of Allen Hood's wife, Rachel. This family ( they have 3 wonderful boys), is a picture of love lived out so well.

In this video, Allen and his son, Samuel articulate SO WELL What our lives are about before God and what we are up to here at the International House of Prayer.

EVEN SO, we cried with tears of love and swelled up joyful admiration and affection over our dear friend, Samuel Hood, Allen's son, who we has become our dear friend and brother. He opens the time of prayer for his Dad.

Samuel faithfully pours into our sons, Anderson and Jack every week, teaching them piano in our home. He drives over to our little home here and walks in our door with joy and fire in His eyes.

He lays a hug on my kids and jumps with them on the trampoline. He models well what excellent love would look like, coming from an older brother. And he also spurs on some pretty great "Godly brotherly competion" :)~ HEE!!~ as he arrives with reward dollars in his pocket and creative ideas for games for them. It works!! ;) My little boys look for Samuel in the halls of their school...and they are not ignored...but are searched out and singled out as significant as this older teen loves them as well in public as at our house.

On Piano Lesson afternoons, our house swells with music as piano,guitar, and voices sing out to Jesus. Every week is a gem, but I cried the day I heard Samuel tell my boys about making their instrument sing out to God.

"Guys, the Bible says that 'even the rocks would cry out' if we did not give our praises to God. so we are going to let our instruments sing worship to God today"

The Joy and Passion for God is contagious and my little boys are caught up with the joy of the privilege of getting to worship Jesus.

Oh, they are SO little David's on their instruments and as they SING...

...not just a copy of other's style but NEW songs and sounds...

And the example goes further than Piano lesson afternoons...I see this tenderizing of little hearts, joyful expression in music in practice times...

... And, more importantly, rising up the steps from our den, individual,unprompted worship times with God

I have been tickled to witness attempts to reach toward one another in more love as brothers...

And, recently Anderson stepped into his first audition to be a singer for a worship team here, was received onto the team and is enjoying bringing his love for Jesus before other boys and girls...discipleship at its best everyone!! Its a beautiful thing!!

that one generation would tell the goodness of the Lord to another

HOW Different this is then MY memories of staring at the wind-up timer on my piano as a little girl...counting down the insufferable minutes!!...

Yet...not too different of that same young child, a little girl in the 70's who would go into her room to meet with Jesus there...and who would FIND Him waiting there for her every day as she sang and loved to talk with Him and search out in her Bible and in her own heart this living,breathing Word with love and affection for her...who then, in the 80's grew to know the joys of a guitar and a voice lifted before her brothers and sisters in praise and then before the hearth and its babies and toddlers in the 90' continue to feel the joy of the Spirit's counsel and joy pouring forth in song and praise through each decade ...

and now,in a new millenium...

He is STILL so INCREDIBLY precious and worthy...

That there is EVER treasure in the hidden places...

And joy in worship...

that song is increasing in her heart And on the Earth...


She finds her children... searching Him out...

TRULY He is LASTING,WORTHY, the only value and joy and light of Life...

Truly only

ONE THING is worth

all our time'

all our focus'

all our admiration and affection,

and that ONE THING is a PERSON I adore and WILL search out,


(Psalm 27)

Samuel speaks here (on the video before his dad's talk) about children being raised in an environment SATURATED with the Lord.


consecrated to Him.


I want YOU to know, beloved friends,

ANY of you...who have hearts for God.

Who are on a walk with Him...

or who have children...

Maybe some that you are crying out in prayer over...

Maybe perhaps one that is caught up in the dark Spirit of our Age?

I really want to encourage you, where ever you are, right now, in your walk.

You AND your kids CAN live lives full of light, loving God with sincerity and joy.
He is RIGHT HERE. And as we reach for Him. He swoops us up with great desire for us in His Presence and Love. We are SEEING it in kids and adults all around us...

We are living it for real in our family...

Samuel says, "At the end of the day, I want my Life to be worship to God." and "I want my life to be an instrument of praise for Jesus."

Amen, preach it, brother, Samuel.

For Real. There are REALLY kids like this out there, you all!!

It is NOT too late for holiness and passionate love for God in our generation and in the generation coming up RIGHT behind us. Oh, THIS truly is our normal in Christ. It can be our inheritance. It REALLY can be.

Any family can make a choice for the very highest for their kids in God. Friends, we don't have to seat belt ourselves in to our culture. We really don't have to "lose" our teens into rebellion as they age up or even in the "tween" years. we don't have to lose our children to media or hand-held entertainments,video games, and computer screens. There really is more for them...and for us...and its NOT too late!!

We have met many kids like Samuel, who have bright spirits...who are so full of Christ's love that the love is contagious and sets many hearts around them on fire..who are disciplined and are already discipling the next generation after them..

Who are preaching out,

Searching out the greatness and the goodness of our incredible God...

Who are bright and shining lamps in this day...

and who I want to BE LIKE!!...

We know and are experiencing that God is increasing His Presence in this next generation...GOD in His greatness has let this next generation catch a vision of God that is FAR beyond Sunday-only Christianity...and its BEAUTIFUL!!!! look in the fire in their eyes...I will give my life as a foundation to lift these ones up...for as parents in this generation...our ceiling will be their floor...

Many of you have asked us, "But WHAT do you DO as Intercessory Missionaries...

"what's the point?"

Some sweetly :)

..some not so sweetly ;)

but that's really o.k....

for, we know...that


, what we are called to...

it IS counter cultural...


It is actually quite normal according to the example that we find in the Bible....

We found our hearts so stirred as we looked at the words on the pages...and then purposed our lives to truly obey them in a literal, every day walking it out..

THIS (video below) is an EXCELLENT description of our hearts, our passion, and our daily vocation.

24/7 Prayer is only our constraint... :) God is infinitely worth MORE than 24/7 prayer!! :) We GET to do prayer. It's our privilege of being born again. Because NOTHING compares to Him...

and HE truly is our greatest reward.

And this brings such real joy for we truly are "hard-wired" for Him!! :)

It's happening, oh,its taking place!!...God is answering the Lord's Prayer, "as it is in heaven"...they are never going back...You NEED to know and hear these stories...and hear Allen's humor :) For,as he says, ..."God is going viral!!" :)

Oh, people, this is SO GOOD!! PLEASE take a moment on the first day of your New Year to consider the most Glorious ONE and What He is about on the Earth right now. What YOU are invited into.

HEAR how God is worship to Him lifted ALL OVER THE EARTH!!

SEE the "such a time is this" that we are living in!!

I hope you REALLY LOVE this video...we heard so many people talking about their hearts were incredibly impacted as they laughed and enjoyed the joy and humor in it as well.

We love you! Blessings in Christ!! We're NEVER going back!! :)

"...for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations"
(Isaiah 56:7)