Oh Glorious Day!

Oh Glorious Day!

Many of you know that my parents are about to board a plane to begin to the journey down here to see us.  Oh glorious day!  I can’t tell you how ecstatic I am!!  We left PDX airport in the middle of March, making a stop-over in Virginia to say goodbye to dear friends, and arrived in Panama on March 29th.   It’s been 7 ½ months since we’ve seen any of family “in the flesh” and in the words of our Bella, “that is just too long, Mommy!”  I agree.  One of the downfalls to having a wonderful, loving family, in case you were wondering, is that when you are apart from them, the pain is much greater!

Because of Dad’s uncertain health (he’s been living with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia for over 25 years now, a beautiful miracle and incredible gift to our family!), it’s difficult to make long-term concrete plans.  They thought it would be best if we didn’t tell the kids.  It would make for a great surprise (after all, who doesn’t like a good surprise, right?  I actually don’t usually like surprises, but I digress…).  On the chance that his health would prevent him from making the trip, then there would be no tears of sadness and disappointment.

This little “secret” has been very hard to keep from them!  Countless times over the last few weeks I’ve caught myself right before saying to one of the girls, “When Nana and Papa come…”!  They are positively going to go nuts when they see my parents on Monday and I think I will too.  Bobby has had a couple of “slip ups” that we have attempted to recover from (next time I’m going to keep secret visitors a surprise for Bobby too). ;)  Just kidding Hon, I love you and wouldn’t do that. :)

There were times when inside I too felt like I just wanted to blurt it out!  “Nana and Papa are coming to visit!!”  “Let’s make a paper chain to count down the days!!”  “Let’s draw them pictures, and paint paintings, and make them a card, and bake them some brownies, and think of special things to make their room look welcoming!”  because these are things we do when we have guests.  And when someone we REALLY love and have been missing for so long is scheduled to come, we really want to go nuts.  We clean some more!  We freshen up sheets and towels!  We scrub showers and toilets and sinks!  We buy special foods to make yummy meals!  We put out fresh flowers and put up a big WELCOME sign!  Then we clean some more until every last dust bunny, dead bug, and dog hair is removed!

Bobby and I have attempted to let the cleaning fest begin and get the room ready, without of course revealing the full purpose of the frenzy, but the kids are not dumb.  They know something is up.  We keep trying to play it off as a general, much needed “deep clean” of the place (which is very true), but they probably sense some inward excitement on our part that we are having a hard time controlling.  I hope that we don’t spoil the surprise in the next 36 hours.  Hee hee

As I sat with Jesus this morning, praying through my prayer requests, listening to my iPod and pouring out my heart to Him for the better part of the morning, I was reminded of the ultimate Guest that will arrive for us all one day.  We don’t know when because it will be like a “thief in the night” but we DO know it will happen.

Part of me feels a little bummed that we can’t know the “exact time” when He will arrive.  It would sure be a lot easier to know when to prepare, wouldn’t it???  But that’s part of the point, I see.  God knows our human tendencies would come into play.  He knows that even the best “planners” out there still know that there’s no point to preparing today for someone’s arrival if they aren’t coming for another year….or two, or ten or twenty!  If you vacuum, sweep, dust, mop, etc. today, in all likelihood you’re still gonna have to do it again in another 12 months.  Even if you readied up a bedroom in your house, and closed the door, leaving it pristine, how would it look in a month?  In 5 years?  In 20?  There will be dust and dead bugs to take care of (this is ESPECIALLY true here!), and probably a nice water ring in the toilet to contend with too.

And for the procrastinators in the world…well, let’s just say they might tackle their lives at the last minute with more gusto than some, but there wouldn’t be a lot of wiggle room to deal with last minute crises!

The time to prepare is now, people.  To act like every day might be our last.  To empty the garbage, to get rid of extra baggage that weighs us down and causes clutter in our lives and homes.  Now is the time to wash that dirty laundry, instead of just living with the pile of smelly clothes.

Check out a few things God tells us.  I know it looks long, but if you read nothing else, please read this:

“Behold, I am coming like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake, keeping his garments on, that he may not go about naked and be seen exposed!”  Revelation 16:15 (Dear Jesus, please help me not be nakedly exposed!)

For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, ‘There is peace and security,’ then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief. For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness.”  1 Thessalonians 5:2-5 (One thing about going into labor is, you can’t really do much to prepare at that point.   You can do all kinds of buying, cleaning, deep breathing classes, for about 9 months leading up to the “big day” but when those contractions come, that’s it.  What’s done is done, and there aint a lot you can do about the last chapters of that Hypno-birthing book you never finished reading!  This is scripture of promise though too. We are children of the DAY.  We should not be surprised because we are not in darkness!)

But the multitude of your foreign foes shall be like small dust,
and the multitude of the ruthless like passing chaff.
And in an instant, suddenly,
    you will be visited by the Lord of hosts
with thunder and with earthquake and great noise,
with whirlwind and tempest, and the flame of a devouring fire.” Isaiah 29:5-6
(Wow.  In an INSTANT Jesus will appear….and it isn’t going to be a calm, quiet thing either.  What a grand entrance it will be, have you thought about this lately?  My first thoughts are, man, it’s gonna be scary!). :)

But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into.  Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”  Matthew 24:43-44 (The analogy of a “thief” brings up all kinds of questions in my mind, but the bottom line is:  be ready.  At night before you go to bed, you probably check the windows and doors in your home.  When you leave your house in the morning, likely you do the same.  How much more should we do this in our spiritual “homes”?)

 “Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning, 36 and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the wedding feast, so that they may open the door to him at once when he comes and knocks. 37 Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes. Truly, I say to you, he will dress himself for service and have them recline at table, and he will come and serve them. 38 If he comes in the second watch, or in the third, and finds them awake, blessed are those servants! 39 But know this, that if the master of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have left his house to be broken into. 40 You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”  Luke 12:35-40  (Here it is again, that reference to a thief…so thinking in “thief” terms, if we KNEW the exact day a thief was going to come into our home, I’m pretty sure we’d do whatever it took to protect ourselves.  We’d lock doors, maybe even go out a buy some more locks!  We’d be alert, so as not to be caught off guard.  We’d be looking out the windows and would prepare ourselves, dare I say, with a gun? :)  We might even call some other friends or neighbors over, and we’d definitely have our phones ready to make an emergency call if we needed!  Bottom line:  I doubt we’d go to sleep that night, but would do whatever it took to be awake and ready!).

“But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.” 2 Peter 3:10 (Let that sink in….Wow.)

“…I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God. Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you.”  Revelation 3:3-4

I want to be ready!!  And I sure as heck don’t want to be NAKED (and trust me, you don’t want me to be either!).  I mean, I want to be SO READY!  I don’t want to have dirty floors, unsightly moldy showers (you know the black I’m talking about, right?), messy beds, piles of unwashed laundry, or even just a few little cobwebs and dust bunnies floating around….I want to be READY!!

You know that feeling when someone shows up unannounced and asks to be shown around your home?  It will ALWAYS happen on a day when your house is more disorderly than normal and your undies are hanging up to dry in the laundry room.  It’s like a law of nature.  You know that instant ugly feeling you get in the pit of your stomach as you take a big gulp, smile and say, “why yes, of course, come see my messy house!”  Ya.  I don’t want that feeling.

I want everything to be beautiful!  I want to be prepared and have things in order.  I want tidy beds, neatly folded clean clothes, fresh flowers on the table and chocolate cookies baking in the oven!  I want a BIG OL’ “Welcome!” sign out.  Something that really says, “I have been waiting for You to come!  I can’t believe You’re actually already here!  Come in!  I’ve done all I can to prepare things for You!”  OH GLORIOUS DAY.

The good news is this is one “secret” I don’t have to keep, and neither do you!  We can shout it from the roof tops, at the gym, in class, at work, at Costco, or on the street corner.  We don’t have to take care of our cleaning secretly…no people, we can deal with our junk and let everyone know WHY we’re getting rid of it, if we want to.  We don’t have to worry about letting the cat out of the bag and having to cover our tracks.  We GET to share this secret.

Here’s a song, “Glorious Day” popularized by one of my favorite bands that’s both a gospel message and an encouragement to remember He is coming (what a glorious day that will be indeed).   I got to see these guys in concert for one of my wonderful friend’s birthdays (one of the best memories I have with you guys, Tom and Kari!).  I love “revamped” hymns, and this is one of them.  Originally written in the early 1900’s, and titled “One Day”, it was given new life and also happens to be one of Ellie’s favorite worship songs.  I believe it is anointed!

And for your viewing pleasure here are some snap shots from the past several weeks.

First days of school at home!  Here’s my cute Kindergartener.

And my fabulous fourth grader!

Lots of great “nature walk” specimen around here. I thought the shirt was appropriate although I don’t think the camera quite captured all of the dirt on this boy

Sorry, our internet connection is very testy and slow lately, so that’s all I can load for now.

Until next time… ;)

Shirlene

 

6 Comments

  1. Germaine
    Nov 3, 2012

    Have a fabulous time with your parents. I have thought of you often, knowing how excited you and your folks are about seeing you soon. And the squeals from the children will echo on and on.

    Blessings to you all.
    Germaine

  2. Jennifer
    Nov 4, 2012

    wow, what a beautiful post! I do not want to appear alive and well, but be dead inside. Please, Jesus, help.
    I feel all giddy with excitement too for you and the kids! Reading your words I got a little anxious and made me long to see the delight you all share in your reunion…glorious day indeed!
    thanks for your post my dear friend!

  3. Cam
    Nov 4, 2012

    I LOVE it when you BURST with righteous truths!! Keep right on preaching… I’m listening. :)
    I can’t wait to hear how Monday goes!! Take pictures if you can

  4. Nelle
    Nov 4, 2012

    Oh yes, glorious day, come! And may we be READY! What Truths you communicate so effectively, sister! Thank you!! I NEED to hear that, and remember, and meditate on that, FOCUS on that EACH day! I am giddy right along with you and have tears in my eyes just thinking of your sweet reunion! Praying for your parents smooth and safe and quick trip to you!
    All our love!

  5. Alice Mathis
    Nov 4, 2012

    Praise God they were able to make the trip. I pray you guys way to much fun! Love you guys.

  6. Katie Y.
    Nov 6, 2012

    Shirlene, This was an amazing post! It was so annointed and it definitely convicted me. Thank you for sharing from your heart and reminding us all of how important it is to be READY!! I’m so happy to hear that your parents get to visit you guys. Have a wonderful time!

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