Monday, May 25, 2009

Rerun - Captivity of Grace

Hospital Chapel in Nicaragua

It is official. Sadly, as of today my former blog "Teacups and Time" has been officially deleted. **heavy sigh** I am grateful for all that precious little corner of cyberspace brought to me. I share a post that was originally found there.

I enter the sanctuary hungry and tired this crisp morning. The sum total of who I am seeks to be satiated. Many things have attempted to gratify but in them is found only a temporary release. Soon, the appetite returns more ravenous than before. At this table, the banquet is set and the feast is to begin. I wait with anxious expectation for the honored guest to arrive.

I am not left wanting or waiting long. Soon, upon my cheek I feel the warmth of His breath whispering softly to my spirit, “You are my beloved.” In His embrace, I feel the letting go of all that binds my spirit to the emptiness within. In the gentleness of His caress, I sense the beckoning to draw closer.

As I gather here, I find Him vivid, palpable and alive. The totality of who I am has hungered for this encounter. In my want, I have struggled for this moment. At this table, my striving is surrendered to His presence - my doing is captured by His being.

A captivity of grace – may I never find release!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Early morning wanderings

These early morning moments are the times I catch up on my blog reading. I am often given pause for the day in the words I read. This morning was no exception.

The voices we give to our words whether spoken or written have impact. Today, I was taken to my knees not once but twice. I just feel compelled to encourage you to visit these to blogs.

"The Ebb and Flow of Faith" at What I Learned Today...


"Please Include Me" at Getting Down With Jesus

May your wanderings today find pause in your hearts!


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Mary is perched there like the Walm*rt greeter, the first person you see when the elevator doors open.

All similarities stop with her location. She isn’t handing out smiles or stickers perched upon a stool. It is more of an empty, hollow gaze that pierces back from a reclining chair.

An uncomfortable gaze it is. Not because she makes it so but rather because I take it as the bitter drink of this place. Gratefully, she doesn’t speak, at least not much more than an incessant chorus of “yoyoyoyoyo”.

Weakly, I smile as I quickly walk by. Out of the corner of my eye, I see what flashes for a brief moment in her stare, a glimmer of hope. As briskly as I pass, it fades from her eyes.

Expressive aphasia causes this one the difficulty of sharing her needs. It has stolen from her the ability to communicate with ease and understanding. In her, I see my reflection.

While I still have this gift of gab, I have of late been unable to give voice to that which lies within me. This affliction of mine is not physical. Sadly, I fear that would be easier to accept. For now, I am stuck wondering.

Do others see in my gaze emptiness? Maybe a fleeting glimmer of hope? Do others pass me by because I can say no more than "memememe”?

How do I articulate in words that which has hidden so deep within me?

Others have memories – I do not. Others have reasons – I can’t think of any. Others have excuses – I could make some up.

What I do have is feeling that something isn’t right. I feel defeated by an enemy I cannot verbalize.

Shame is a prevailing sense of worthlessness that leads to the false belief I am what I am. I cannot change. I am hopeless.
Robert S. McGee, The Search for Significance

My truth doesn’t reside in this brokenness.

It's in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.
Ephesians 1:11 The Message

My truth is found in The Truth – Christ. There is no confusion and shame in His presence. It is grace – amazing and abundant.

Receive and experience the amazing grace of the Master, Jesus Christ, deep, deep within yourselves.
Philippians 4:23 The Message

It is there in the depths that healing grace meets my shame. Truth is restored and a voice is regained by the touch of One who cares.

As I prepare to leave, she is still there waiting. I start to pass by but I stop instead. I kneel down and touch her arm. “Mary, how are you today?” She smiles and with great effort haltingly speaks, “I am well, thank you.” With that, her hand covers mine. Her eyes no longer empty but shine back gratefulness. As I stand and turn toward the elevator, I smile back knowingly.

Grace reflects back grace.


Friday, May 15, 2009

Rerun #3 - Be Still

This was originally posted on my Teacups and Time Blog last January. I have made a few changes. After visiting Without Wax today, I was prompted to share this post again.

Be still and know that I am God.
Psalm 46:10

I have felt a call of late. It is beckoning my very soul into its presence. It asks nothing more of me than to be quiet. It would seem at first glance that I am being asked the impossible.

The frenetic pace of life has infected me with its virus of restless and wandering thoughts. I am tainted, contaminated but thankfully, not terminal.

So, I wait.

In the quiet of my surroundings, I wait. Loudly and impatiently, I wait.

There is a mystery in silence.

Surrender and healing draw near.


Be still and know that I am GOD

You are the Alpha and Omega. All things are created by your hand. Nothing, absolutely nothing happens without your knowledge. Great are you, Lord, and mighty in power. My existence is by your hand. My very breath is whispered from your lips.

Be still and know that I AM

You were before anything was. You are here now. You will forever be. What You are I am not nor will I ever be.

Be still and KNOW

It doesn't come easy. Good things rarely do. Priceless items like wisdom and knowledge are treasures to seek. I know very little, save the fact, I want you Lord - morning, noon, night, inside, out, above, around and below - only to know You.


Quiet me. I create my own clamor. Incessantly, even when I don't want to, I do. Turn my very being away from the outward things and toward you.


Exist in Him.
Exist for Him.
Breathe Him alone.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A Morning Song

There is something beautiful in this dark hour. A deep penetrating quiet that floods my soul. It washes over me with such ferocity I can't help but soak it in. As others sleep, I sit.



You're my place of quiet retreat; I wait for your
Word to renew me.
Psalm 119:114
The Message

Sometimes I hear with great clarity.

Other times, the clamor within makes the listening difficult.

Today is a little of both. Often the case when the day ahead promises a fullness of time and responsibility. Yet, here in this dark we meet.

Your Presence and my soul unite. The muse of my heart awakens to the joy found in this morning. This marrying of The Holy and the hungry gives rise to praise.

A fitting start to the day.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Falling like rain...

Gratitude and humility are overwhelming me. Pouring down upon me much like the incessant rain that is falling outside my window.

I know that long before this earth existed I was on God’s mind. I was and remain an object of His focus. In Him and through Him, all the broken pieces of my life have been made whole and holy. I bow my head in humility for I know that I deserve none of it. While He has never taken His focus from me, my eyes have not held the same gaze. Yet, still, grace and mercy flow…

I know that I have been placed here and now, much like Esther, for such a time as this. I have been given opportunities to live the life of faith that I profess. In Him and through Him I am equipped for the task. He supplies all my needs, all my strength to accomplish the task He has set before me. I fall to my knees in humility knowing I deserve none of this. While He has the task prepared, I have chosen my own endeavors. Yet, still, grace and mercy flow…

I know that I have been loved completely and sacrificially. Loved to such a depth that I cannot fathom where the beginning differs from the ending. I fall to my face in humility knowing I deserve none of this. While He loves me beyond my comprehension, I fail to love beyond my own irritation. Yet, still, grace and mercy flow…

As the raindrop falls freely from the sky, so does this grace and mercy fall from Heaven.

I cannot stop it.

I don’t want to stop it.

Without it my existence would be unbearable.

With it my existence is given new life.

Join in with others for a Thankful Thursday at Truth 4 the Journey and at Lynn's

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Just for Fun ... 30 Day Shred


That is something you do to lettuce for tacos

Or maybe cabbage for coleslaw

Or what about cereal made from wheat

That is not what you do to an out of shape 40+ year old body. At least that isn’t what most relatively sane people would think.

So here I am, bouncing through the blogosphere and I stumble upon more than one bloggy page that is touting the merits of the “30-Day Shred” by Jillian. Desperately in need of kick-starting my floundering exercise routine and still not ready to jog a mile or two, I was interested. 20 minutes a day – sounded like a good way to ease into things.

I should have known there was more to this blog-o-mercial!

I laugh at TV infomercials.

Why didn’t I do the same here?! Could desperation really cause this one to surrender to all that she knows is good and right!?

Why, of course!

Now, mind you I purchased this vexatious video at my local T*rget store. Please give me some credit for not calling some 1-800 number and buying every additional accoutrement possible to enhance my shredding possibilities.

So, this morning we met, this Jillian – the jiggle crusher, and me. It wasn’t pleasant. It wasn’t pretty. And, it was only 20 minutes.

20 minutes of pure, unadulterated torture. My jiggle along with every other part of my body has been crushed, annihilated and incapacitated. Who knew that 20 minutes today would leave me crawling for the remaining 23 hours and 40 minutes!

Will I do it tomorrow?

I think the better question is – will I walk tomorrow, upright like a homo sapien should!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Rerun #2 - Ancient Fears

This was originally posted on Teacups and Time. It was my last post before I lost access.

He sits alone.

He has for the last three days.

He never asks for much but people like him never do.

He has taken care of himself for the last eighty plus years. It isn't in him to ask for help, which is probably why he sits here now in a wheelchair after his second fall in less than six months that required a surgical repair.

He tries to be strong but you can see it in his eyes.




He is worried the Mrs. doesn't want him back home. She has said as much. Joking, I think. I hope. Yet, he sits alone, again. So, I am not so sure she was laughing.

In him I see what I fear, loneliness and loss in my ancient years. It's the blight that infertility has left on my spirit.

Don't get me wrong, I am realistic enough to know that children aren't a magical guarantee against loneliness. Nevertheless, an empty quiver provides no protection at all.

In this meeting, I am confronted with what I do not want to encounter. Not now. not here. Not with a stranger. So, I avoid. This moment is not about me. It is about him.

We sit.

He tries to talk. I can tell it isn't easy. Not for him. Not for me.

His chin quivers as he weakly smiles through jagged teeth. He speaks, hesitantly and softly, "Today --- (sniff) --- is --- our 59th --- wedding --- anniversary." Quickly, he looks away. So, must I. Neither one of us can see the others tears.

His for what he is missing now - the fears of an ancient.

Me for what his missing means - my ancient fears.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Rerun #1 - The Scream

This was originally posted on my Teacups and Time blog last summer. I hope you enjoy.

It was awful. It was horrifying. It was terrifying. IT WAS RIDICULOUS! Eleven women alone in a beautiful log cabin in the woods of West Virginia. Eleven strong, Godly women…okay, maybe ten strong, Godly women and one “Chicken Little” thrown in for a good laugh!

I am always happy to give joy to someone.

So, here we are all tucked into our beds for the night. Eleven rhythmic breathing women, enjoying a rest in the midst of a busy retreat – then it happens.


What is a girl to do!

Two of us were in the great room – everyone else tucked safely behind doors. As my heart was racing, was it a dream? Did anyone else hear it? Where did that blood curdling shriek come from? My roommate was also startled awake…so I knew that I didn’t imagine "the SCREAM".

However, no one else moved. No doors were opened…no one checking to see if anyone else was awake or okay.

What was going on?

Jenn, my roomie, wisely whispers, “Why is no one else moving or awake?”

"I don’t know. Where did it come from?" I whisper back.

We determine it must have been downstairs and Jenn bravely offered to check it out.

As a side note, Jenn was in the military. I wasn’t. At least, she had some training. She's "The Brave One." So, off she went down the stairs with me trailing, not-so-bravely behind her. Then she stops on the landing before turning the final corner into the basement. She looks back at me and in the bravest whisper I have ever heard she says, “If I scream – RUN!”

On that note, I stepped back 2 or 3 steps to prepare my get away! She rounds the corner….nothing, no screams. So, I creep ever slowly after her. The doors and windows are locked. The two girls in the bedroom downstairs – sleeping! Everything looks normal and safe. So, we tiptoe back upstairs and into our prospective sleeping spots.

Our eyes were closed but our ears were working overtime!

Would you believe that, as if on cue, it starts to storm! It was right out of a horror film. Large windows that were casting eerie shadows as the lightning lit up the dark sky. Two girls, still wondering why no one else heard “the SCREAM." One girl, rewinding every horror movie she ever saw as a teenager.

WAIT, what was that?!

Quietly, the floors were creaking above us, as if someone was trying to softly maneuver around. It was dark and we couldn’t see into the loft. We did know that we didn’t hear any doors open.

What is a girl to do! Why, go get reinforcements, of course!

So, the “brave one” and the “not-so-brave one” jump out of their prospective sleeping spots and slowly walk up the staircase. The creaking and shuffling continue. We slowly, ever SLOWLY creep up the steps – “brave one” first. (Remember, I had to leave a few steps in between us in case she screams and I need to run.) The “brave one” is nearing the top of the stairs, she musters one last look my way and then turns the corner…she screams, “Oh no, it’s Isunji!” With the “Oh”, I had already ran back 3 steps and with the “it’s Isunji” I ran to the top where the three of us were laughing hysterically.

Okay, maybe only two of us were laughing, Isunji was still recovering from the fright of hearing someone creeping up the stairs toward her. Then a few more ladies woke up. Apparently, nervous laughter can be rather loud at 2am.

We found out that “the SCREAM” was a friend having a nightmare.

We also found out that this log cabin isn’t insulated between floors but it is between walls. So they all knew who had the nightmare; that she prayed with her roommate and that she was now sleeping soundly.

Top 5 Lessons I learned…
  1. Don’t watch horror films – they stay with you longer than the popcorn you ate while watching them.
  2. Always have a “brave friend”.
  3. It is always good when a friend “has your back” (even if it is a few steps away).
  4. It is good to have a friend to run to for help (even if she has no idea you are coming).
  5. Remind yourself where your confidence belongs…

“The Lord is for me, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?” Psalm 118:6


“The Not-So-Brave One” – AKA Chicken Little!

PS: The names have not been changed to protect the "innocent"!

Formerly known as...

Little did I know that I would be in the same boat as the singer, Prince. He once was known as a symbol (not even a name) and the moniker “artist formerly known as Prince.” Now, he has ditched the symbol and is back to being called Prince.

How am I like Prince? Well, I am Denise formerly known as “Teacups and Time” in my little piece of the blogging world. I am happy to say that is where all similarities stop. I have not chosen a symbol for my new blog name. It is words. I have a lot of them running around in my head. Words, that is. So, let me introduce the new me, I am Denise from “A Sacred Longing”, pleased to meet you!

I like this better, I have to admit. It speaks truer of my spirit. There was nothing wrong with Teacups and Time. I often joked that at one point in my life it was the two things I wished I had more of, teacups and time. When I was starting my very first blog last year, it was the first thing that came to mind that wasn’t already being used. So, I went with it. It really didn’t define me in any significant way. It was comfortable. Stepping out in the blogging world was intimidating to me. I am grateful that I had something warm and familiar – even if it was just the name.

As I became more comfortable in sharing my words, I knew that the name didn’t really fit anymore. Like many things, it is easier to hang on to the old than to begin something new. So, it stuck. That is, until a series of unfortunate events placed my blog in disabled mode. Now, it mocks me from the computer screen. I can see. I can read it. I can’t do anything else. I had two choices – give up or go on. For me it was simple, step on.

A Sacred Longing came easily. It is the cry within me, a yearning for more of what is holy and true. So, here we will journey, my words and me. I hope you will join us. It is always more enjoyable to walk this life with friends.

In an effort to recover some of my blogs, I will be occasionally posting them here. I hope you won’t mind.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

A Night's Reprieve

The veil of this day has softly fallen and night has quietly crept in. As the light began a retreat to its resting place, I found myself drawn to the silence of darkness and to its sweet, soothing stillness hanging heavy in the air.

I greet these hours of dimming light with much welcome for it has not been an easy day. I can feel its enveloping solitude permeating my soul. I hunger for this. Right now, I need this. Difficulty has been this day.

Unexpected and unwanted visited me early and stayed well past their welcome. Neither had I greeted with much fondness. Yet, the lack of a warm and welcoming greeting never caused a moment’s hesitation in their appearing or in their staying.

Finally, in this darkness, I find relief.

It calls for release. It demands a letting go of all that called itself today. I gladly relinquish my claim to all the anger, frustration, angst, pride and hurt that invaded my day. I give it all away - what was good and what was not.

Today there was more of not.

Tonight there is a reprieve.

Tomorrow will be a new day.

(Now there is a new blog)

Friday, May 1, 2009

Longing for this?

This is not what I have been longing for. It hasn't been something I even remotely thought I would need to do but a convergence irritations and frustrations have led me here.

I had to close an email acct that my other blog was attached to. I thought I had fixed it by assigning another email account but alas, I didn't.

Now a horrid message appears, "your blog has been disabled."

Any attempts to correct it with the help of Google have been, in two words, frustrating and useless.

So, here I am. This new place and me. We are working it out, so please be patient.

This isn't easy. Change rarely is when it wasn't wanted in the first place.

For those of you who visited my other blog, I hope that you will come back here.

For those of you who are meeting me for the first time. There is more to see but you may need to look at my disabled blog until I can figure out what to do. It is Teacups and Time .

So for now, I will work on this one.
Hello there!

I am so glad that you stopped by my little place in this bloggy world.  I guess if you are here then you probably want to know a little about me.

I am a simple girl.

I am married to the most wonderful guy and have been for a very long time!  Wouldn't trade one minute - not even the bad ones - of all our years together.  We don't have children but we have the two most spoiled dogs that have ever lived! 

Christ is my Savior.  I grew up knowing about Him but not really knowing Him.  One day that all changed. 

I wish I could say in that one moment I changed to perfection forever, but my friends, life with Christ is a journey lived out each and every day.  Some days I do the right things.  Some days I mess up royally.  Everyday I can rest in the grace that He loves me no matter what. 
I long to see Him in all my moments.  He is there.  I have just missed Him for so long that I don't want to miss one more opportunity!  

Here at A Sacred Longing I gather my heart and my thoughts in the seeking of the Sacred in my daily moments.  I hope that you want to walk alongside.  It is a pilgrimage, you know.  One that is made much better in the company of friends.

© A Sacred Longing 2009-2011