The Look of Love

  I wrote this post for Women Connect last week – it’s a little bit of a follow on from my last post Love is Sweet so I thought I would share it here.

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity. Proverbs 17:17

IMG_2063Love –  well its more actions than words isn’t it? And sometimes seeing love up close in action well – it’s astounding. A few weeks ago I saw love in action in a big way. It wasn’t grandiose or loud or self seeking. It was everything the opposite – a labour of love – it was people, serving and doing  and continuing to do even when they were tired and sweaty and hadn’t drunk enough coffee. People motivated purely by love and a desire to serve and be a blessing and help make something special happen.IMG_1834Love – it takes all shapes and forms and that day I saw it moving furniture around, carrying boxes, unloading cars, setting up tables, hanging lights, ironing tablecloths, arranging flowers and a hundred other things. People determined and generous in giving there time and energy and staying the course with a shared purpose in mind.  A moment and a day to come together to serve and to celebrate.

IMG_1783Hearts are knit

Friendships  are sealed

Family is forged

It was humbling and inspiring.

And I saw this.

He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love. Ephesians 4:16 NLT

On that lovely day, as in life, there are those – thank God – who join in and run along beside you and who keep you running till your reach your destination. In fact they run ahead and show you the way when your slowing down and not sure your gonna make the finish line. And it’s not in them to bow out half way through, they stay the distance. Those ones – they save your life,  they are worth more than gold.  These are the ones I want with me when things get tough, when the rubber hits the road, when adversity comes.  They don’t go when the going gets rough, they move in closer, they do more, they stay long and I’ll be forever grateful that God has given me those kind of people in my  life.

And then there are those on the sidelines – those who cheer you on, urging you forward, handing you coffee and water and whatever else you need, offering words of encouragement and doing what they can but in fact do far more than they know.

Every part doing their part. And with this sort of unity I know we can move mountains, I know we can overcome in this life.

IMG_2070 It reminded me what church family is really about.

“so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other” Romans 12:5

And it reminded me too that I was treated like family long before I felt like I was family. The love and generosity shown to me when we first moved here to Wollongong  stays with me. Ethan – just a little thing then – in hospital for weeks with a broken leg and Olivia on the way. There were women from our church – and others –  who hardly knew me but who gathered around and visited in the hospital, and brought food and drank coffee with me and prayed and talked and kept us company and then brought more food again – for weeks.  That kind of love you don’t forget. That kind of love changes you.

IMG_2074Humbling, inspiring, astounding.

And Success is showing up and kneeling down. Success is faithfulness, success is faithfully showing up, success is faithful obedience, success is service, success is kneeling down to serve and going lower and decreasing, so He is lifted higher and He alone increases: Success is showing up and kneeling down.  (Ann Voskamp)

IMG_2063Big love and a heart full of thanks to you all today. Tracey xx

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Love is Sweet

Well you might have guessed with a total of zero posts coming your way this past month that I might have been a little distracted – – – well you guessed good. In actual fact I’ve been a whole lot distracted but – – – I have a lovely excuse.

IMG_1948 Over a year ago I was asked to help plan and decorate a wedding and well that wedding finally came around last Saturday. So for the past month final planning has been in overdrive and I have been up to my pew ends in fabric and flowers and table settings and a million other little things that go into making a wedding day everything the bride and groom want it to be.

IMG_1938Lets just say I’ve been a little preoccupied! I managed to feed Ethan and Olivia and get them to school most days but that was about it. On the day itself – with three separate areas to decorate and only gaining access to the venue at 7.30am for a 2 o’clock wedding well we were all a tad busy – crazy, chaotic busy – last minute, got it all done by the skin of our teeth kinda busy. Funny at times, heart poundingly frantic at times but we got there.

IMG_1837All I can say is a thousand times thank you to sisters and dear friends and church people who turn up and move furniture and arrange flowers and hang bunting and make punch and wash up and so many other things and just keep going and going until the job is done. Unbelievable what people will give and do.

And I found out this  – – – – Rome can be built in a day – just!

IMG_1922IMG_1929The end result – a wedding was had and a beautiful one at that. Magnificent in fact. Was everything exactly perfect and the way I had planned it in my mind – ahhh no. Did it matter – no again. Some things turned out way better than I had imagined and other things well they came together even though I didn’t get to tweek and play with them till they were perfect  as I like to do. No time for tweeking – darn it – but lovely anyway –  apparently perfection isn’t necessary for a wonderful time to be had. Who new?

IMG_1930 IMG_1932The whole day reinforced this to me. The decorating – its important and its so worth the effort because of this – it sets the stage. It says to everyone- this day is something special, this is a day and a place and a moment to stop and take notice and remember and celebrate. A lovingly decorated space – well it has a way of drawing people in, it intrigues and delights and just does the heart good. This as well – it creates the jumping off point for the really important part – the people and the love.

IMG_1923When a group of people gather together who all share a common love and excitement for the couple being wed, when theres clapping and cheering and cake cutting and newlyweds smooching, poems being read, kind words being said, memories being shared, glasses raised, delicious food being shared – its for want of a better word – magical.

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The glow of warmth and love, the happiness shared, the sense of celebration – that’s  whats remembered. And it goes and happens without every tablecloth being perfectly straight or every cushion and flower placed just so – (which is the only thing I seem to notice in the photos but I’m sharing them anyway !!).

We remember the love.

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IMG_1950So this week even though my back is sore and my feet are numb and I can’t get myself off the lounge for very long  I can wholeheartedly say love is sweet and decorating Rick and Sues I do’s – best fun ever.

Thanks for reading but don’t head off yet  – why not stay a bit and  read my my latest Women Conect Post’s here