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Whitney McKendree Moore
553 followers -
Purposed to sing and tell of God's Divine Reversals and to help others do the same.
Purposed to sing and tell of God's Divine Reversals and to help others do the same.

553 followers
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THE BEGINNING OF AN ENDING?

Recently, I discovered a sadness that has been hiding in my heart: a sadness I have been hiding from and helping to hide because it is giant, amorphous, ubiquitous, and was probably born when I was. The name of this giant is Grief, and it is a towering, terrifying, cruel creature.

That’s as far as I have gotten, but it is definitely progress. Has this Grief been revealed to be healed? I think so, and am inspired by this photograph called “The Beginning of An Ending.” Thank you, Jo Chaney, for this gorgeous picture, and thanks in advance to anyone who cares to chime in with experience, strength, and/or hope to share!
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CAROLS WITH KIDS?

I collect excerpts of writing that strikes me in a Goodreads group called “Snippets That Inspire.” Today’s excerpt is from "Bird by Bird" by Anne Lamott, and it captures the song of children any time of year:

"There are index cards on my desk that record things I thought of or saw or remembered or overheard … there is even one from years ago when I was walking along the salt marsh between Sausalito and Mill Valley. Bicyclists were passing me on both sides, and I wasn’t paying much attention until suddenly a woman rode past wearing some sort of lemon perfume. And in a split second I was in one of those Proustian olfactory flashbacks, twenty-five or so years before, in the kitchen of one of my aunts, with her many children, my cousins, on a hot summer day. I was the eldest, at eight or so, and my aunt and uncle had just gotten divorced. She was sad and worried, and I think to soothe herself and help her wounded ego, she had done a little retail therapy: she’d gone to the store and spend several dollars on a lemonade-making contraption.

Of course, it goes without saying that to make lemonade, all you need is a pitcher, a lemon-juice squeezer, ice cubes, water, and sugar. That’s all. Oh, and a long spoon. But my aunt was a little depressed, and this lemonade-making thing must have seemed like something that would be fun and maybe hydrate her life a little, filling her desiccated spirit with nice, cool, sweet lemonade. The contraption consisted of a glass pitcher, with a lemon squeezer that fit on top and that had a holding tank for the lemon juice. What you did was to fill the pitcher with water and ice cubes and sugar, then put the squeezer -- with is holding tank -- on top, squeeze a bunch of lemons, then put the lemon juice from the holding tank into the pitcher. Finally, you got your long spoon and stirred. The lemon googe and seeds stayed on top in the juice squeezer. The whole thing was very efficient, but if you thought about it too long, totally stupid, too.

So there we were in the kitchen, the five cousins and me, crowded around her as she proudly made us lemonade. She put the cold water in the pitcher, added ice cubes, lots of sugar, put the juicer lid on top, squeezed a dozen lemons, and then began to take glasses down from the cupboard. Wait! we older ones wanted to cry out, you haven’t poured in the lemon juice. Stop! Mistakes are being made! But she got out jelly glasses, plastic glasses, a couple of brilliant aluminum glasses, and poured even servings. There we were, six anxious black-belt codependents, unable to breathe, with a longing for everything to be Okay and for her not to be sad anymore. She raised her glass to us as a toast, and we took sips of our sugary ice water, and my aunt’s hands were so lemony from cutting and squeezing all those lemons that she must have tasted lemon. We all stared at her helplessly as we drank our sugar water, then smiled and raised our glasses like we were doing a soft-drink commercial, and held them out for more.

I perfectly remembered, there on the salt marsh, the crummy linoleum on my aunt’s kitchen floor, graying beige speckled with black, and how it wore away to all back near the sink, and how at it’s most worn place, rotten wood showed through. And how all those cousins, some so young they must have thought ice-cold sugar water was about as good as the getting got, stood at the sink with us older kids, in a ring around my aunt. And how close I felt to them all, how much a part of the wheel.

It touches me deeply, the poignancy of the crummy linoleum, of my aunt’s pain and her pride in her lemonade-making machine, of all the ways in which we try to comfort ourselves, of her wanting to make us better lemonade, of us wanting to make her better, the enthusiasm with which we drank and held out our glasses, as if we were hoisting steins at Oktoberfest. And I hadn’t remembered any of this in twenty-five years.

Now maybe I’m not going to use it anywhere. All the index card says is “The lemonade-making thing.” But it’s like a snippet from a movie, a vignette of a family in pain, managing to survive, one of those rare moments when people’s hearts are opened by disappointment and love, and for just a few minutes, against all odds, everything is more or less Okay."

This post is an invitation to my Goodreads Author Page, where (I hope) you will look around, perhaps leave or a snippet in the group under the Community tab. Here's the link:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4952008.Whitney_McKendree_Moore
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THE SWEET GRASS?

A dear Sister in Christ used to describe being in God’s Presence as “like being in The Sweet Grass.” This photo is picture of a something actually woven from sweet grass, and it caused me to miss that Sister when my husband and I were decorating our new home for Christmas 2018. I miss her, who is far away, and I miss our times of praying and singing together in the Warmth and Light of God’s Presence, our times in The Sweet Grass.

Today, I am grateful for three Sisters who returned me there by singing Christmas carols together yesterday. It seems the LORD is infusing Life into my hopes and dreams by revealing the footwork I need to do so that my prayers can become reality. I find His Guidance in His Presence. I turn every care to prayer in there! God is healing the holes of my broken heart by the unconditional love He has for me. Gladly I go there, deep into The Sweet Grass, to receive it.

This post is an invitation to engage honestly, soaked in love. I seek to offer practice in saying what we mean and meaning what we say without saying it mean. Chime in if you care to share!
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DO YOU HAVE A PERSONAL PICTURE OF HEAVEN?

As a follower of Christ, I have come to believe the BIBLE reveals the Will of God; that is it God-breathed; that it is the WORD Writ; that it is trustworthy and true. Thus, as I contemplate the coming of Christmas, I celebrate how God imparts to human hearts the blessings of Heaven.

I recently read a wonderful consideration of “The After Life” that delighted me and caused me to ask my favorite kinds of questions:

What if it’s true?
What if it’s not true?
And myriad questions along the spectrum in between.

The description is found in the last chapter of a book by Julian Barnes entitled, ”The History of the World in 10-1/2 Chapters.” It is called "The Dream" and is a vision of the after-life that is deliciously well-written; a “rollicking read” on the edge of outrageous; a profoundly thought-provoking form of fun.

This chapter makes me yearn for a seminar to discuss it and whether we can ever know where we are headed before we leave this life. I would love to hear what other people think and would relish finding a safe place to share whatever we envision as our personal pictures of whatever we think happens when we die.

This painting is mine. It is by Claudia Wood Rahm and is called “Living Stones.” All I want for Christmas is to find two or three others with whom to gather around “The Dream” chapter by Julian Barnes and share (if we dare) our honest thoughts about it.

What think you? Do YOU have a personal picture of what happens we die? Chime in if you care to share!
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EMMANUEL?

Twelve-Step recovery has revealed to me that “stinking thinking” is what led me to rely on my own wits and wisdom instead of consulting with God. I remember “self-reliance” and “self-sufficiency” being encouraged as the responsible road in life; I do not remember being taught to seek God’s viewpoint or that it was even possible to do so.

Apparently, I was wired to choose unwisely. The Twelve Steps have shown me that, if I am given a list from which to select a single item, I will invariably select the one that is (for me) the worst possible choice. I don’t know why; I just know that's what I tend to do.

So, for the last many years, I have been starting each new day in Step Eleven, seeking knowledge of God’s will for me and the Power to carry it out. The best example I can give is my choice (our choice) when it came to being parents. My husband and I were of the opinion that remaining childless actually meant being child-free. We had seen so many divorces; we had heard too many times that having a baby was when the fur really begins to fly.

Then, in 1990, at this time of year, a babe was conceived in me. You already know this was not something we had ever wanted to do or be, committed as we were to echoing the marriage of Zelda and Scott. But, when we reached the age of forty-three, God over-ruled our opinion and intervened. We'd been married for twenty years.

Thankfully, we were both in recovery by then, so we knew the Serenity Prayer and ended up with the Wisdom to know difference. When our child was born, we named him (unwittingly) such that his monogram initials were EMM. Echo Emmanuel, which supposedly translates to mean "God is with us.”

The other day, a dear Sister in Christ telephoned, and we ended up recalling how much this child was not wanted. “Look what the Lord has done!” she exclaimed, and we wept together to think I how close I'd come to choosing the worst option on my list.

I wrote about this in a book called “Whit’s End: Breakdown to Breakthrough” which is my way of sharing how God intervened to give me what I didn’t even know I was missing. A child, a son, a man now; a kind, encouraging, brave, sweet man: a helper and a healer whose birth made us a family… a tripod… a trinity.

If you, too, are suffering from “stinking thinking,” take a LOOK INSIDE at Amazon Books or on my website. Here’s the link:<a

href="http://www.recoveryinthebible.com/store">www.RecoveryintheBible.com/store</a></p>

FYI, this photograph was taken by the lovely Jana when we were visiting them this summer. It is this year’s Christmas card from our family to yours. May God bless us, everyone! And may God be with us: Emmanuel.
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IS THE REVERSE ALSO TRUE?

Jesus said the sum of the law is first, to love the Lord your God and, second, to love others as you love yourself. Recently, I heard an addendum that sounded like the reverse: love yourself as you love others.

Can both be true? I say YES because they do not cancel each other out. What think you? Chime in if you care to share! FYI, this photograph was posted on Twitter by World of Animals.
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AN INVISIBLE QUIVER?

As you probably know by now, I have recently been stuck in what has felt like solitary confinement. Today, I am grateful to report that the pain is subsiding, and that what I have learned in “the awful” is a lot, not the least of which is that there’s a quiver full of arrows available to me. The catch is: it’s invisible.

It was “by accident” I discovered that, as torturous as pain can be, it can be countered (to some degree) by strong diversions. My husband and son and some very good friends have helped me see an unseen quiver full of arrows. From it, I can select, aim, and shoot an excellent arrow to “numb down” the pain and, sometimes, a fiery arrow to actually see the pain burn up and turn into cinders.

I am not minimizing the agony/anguish of being trapped in pain. Trust me, I’m not. But I am shocked at the effectiveness of these invisible weapons that I didn’t even know I had. Target practice has now begun, and they are working for me in ways that have nothing to do with common sense. I guess everyone has their own unique collection of arrows in their own invisible, personal quivers. For me, all the arrows in mine pertain to being a poetical, spiritual person: one who prefers allegory, metaphor, and parable over current events or political topics. My favorite kinds of conversations are about matters that matter to me, whether debating big ideas or singing about them.

When you can’t read, you can still engage, by phone at least; by watching films; by listening to podcasts and guided meditations; by mindless activities like stuffing Christmas cards into envelopes or completing pages in a coloring book.

My quiver is no longer invisible, and my arrows are no longer inoperative. The arrows are, to me, like butterflies, because I've had to actively chase them and catch them for my quiver. Ergo this image from the winter I spent coloring, back in 2015 when we lived in Old Saybrook. I generated enough colorings that year to fully illustrate my entire songbook. FYI, it is called "Sing Hallelujah!"
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BLINKING THROUGH THE PEEPHOLES?

As a rather intellectual/cerebral person, I was accustomed to thinking it presumptuous for us (mere mortals) ever to deign that we could know the Will of God.

Presumptuous? What if it’s not only possible, but actually the Will of God for us to know the Will of God? And not only that: what if God’s Will is for us to know God personally, interactively, actively?

I’m thinking about “The Screwtape Letters” and Wormwood’s claim that such notions are pathetic. Hallucinations. What if we have black sacks pulled over our heads and we are hoodwinked, standing bereft on the shore, blinking through the peepholes?

What if we CAN know? How could we know that we could know? Just asking. Chime in if you care to share!
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FUNNY AS HELL?

As you may already know by now, I collect quotations as I read and, occasionally, I select “faves” to share in a Goodreads Group called "Snippets That Inspire." Today's excerpt is from Lemony Snicket in “The Wide Window” as follows:

“Stealing, of course, is a crime, and a very impolite thing to do. But like most impolite things, it is excusable under certain circumstances. Stealing is not excusable if, for instance, you are in a museum and you decide that a certain painting would look better in your house, and you simply grab the painting and take it there. But if you were very, very hungry, and you had no way of obtaining money, it would be excusable to grab the painting, take it to your house, and eat it.”

Chime in here to leave a quote, or stop by to visit my Goodreads Author Page (FYI, Goodreads is GR8). Here's the link:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4952008.Whitney_McKendree_Moore
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COMING TO?

A sweet Brother posted recently that Advent means “coming to” and Christmas means the Babe is Born. I love this, because it implies an adventure, an exploration, a journey toward that blessed Birth.

For me, it’s the Second Step: I came… I came to… I came to believe… I guess I needed the need to believe. That need finally compelled me to seek, to ask, to knock, to learn to listen, and (at last!) to find and follow the Star.

Chime in if you care to share! FYI, this photograph was posted on Twitter by Welcome to Nature.
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