Glory, Grace & Gratitude

Every single word, verse, poem, prose, etc. within The Tea Room (unless otherwise stated) was written by Brenda Dwyer and is protected and copywritten.
Do not copy, reproduce or otherwise share this content without express permission by the author. 2008/2009
glory, grace & gratitude ...

"Let me be joy, be hope! Let my life sing!" - Mary Carolyn Davies

Prayers, Praises & Good Thoughts
2010: So much to be thankful for this year! Every year has its ups and downs. I thank God that this year was filled with far more ups than downs.
We did experience a very emotional year. Some years are fraught with sadness at the loss of loved ones aren't they? Whether the loss be due to a passing relative or perhaps the loss is due to a termination of a friendship, someone moves, someone "moves on". Tragically, loss can come when familial ties are broken or irreparably damaged. Loss has many forms with one result ... sadness combined with a need for healing.
I thank God for being with us and helping us to heal during the difficult times!
Well, here we are moving towards 2011 at a very rapid rate. I am finding that as I age time seems even more valuable than the day previous. There is a "knowing" that comes with age ... a realization of the preciousness of life. I don't think I ever even really understood before the importance of each moment and the value therein. Let us go now into our day and see just what awaits ...
They Say "Time Flies"
So Let Me Prepare My Wings and Take Flight ...
Spring is here! Spring is FINALLY here! My soul soars!!! I love the tender buds of life that spring forth everywhere I look. Renewal sure is refreshing! My heart is full every time I breathe in!
Ok ... it's allergy season and I talk as if I have a sock in my mouth most of the time because my sinuses have a mind of their own.
How is it that my body dare betray me when I am supposed to be out running around like a joyous little nymph oooing and aaahhhing over this precious little bud on the tree or that tiny little plant popping up? Instead I stand at the kitchen window with kleenex box in hand and sniffle and sneeze. Let me just make it perfectly clear though that I AM NOT COMPLAINING ... oh no no ... quite contrary! ... I AM STILL REJOICING for everything is BEAUTIFUL and ALIVE and I can't help but feel it in my veins. Thank you Lord for all of it ... the beauty of the world reawakening and even the allergies that cause me to take pause and "breathe" it all in. lol Besides, time flies and my allergies will soon be behind me and I will be out mowing the grass while listening to Kenny Chesney sing (of places that my heart is so fond of) on my iPod.
Now ... where did I leave those wings???
Christmas 2009
I was mezmerized by the very lights I had hung on the tree short weeks before. Somehow, on Christmas morning, they had transformed into a more brilliant and promising hue. They dazzled. There were gifts under the tree that were wrapped in beautiful paper and topped with frilly bows. The gift tags that hung limply upon them sparkled with all of their glittered edging. Just a wisp of the tree skirt was still visible here and there. It seemed to peek out with it's maroon and gold ruffled edge adding one more pretty detail to the room. I wanted to soak it all in and to pretend that this year it was what it once was ... a Christmas of my past. I found my mind drifting back to a simpler time ...
The tree may or may not have been much to look at ... you could say the same of the gifts underneath the lush green branches.
I knew Christmas was all about the birth of the baby Jesus but the thing that I looked forward to most were the gifts under the tree on Christmas morning. Pure and simple ... the thoughts of a child.
As I grew up and had children of my own, some of my most cherished memories are seeing their little eyes light up on Christmas morning upon seeing those presents under the tree. Such innocence, such abandon, it has always done my heart good to witness it. It is what I miss most of all about Christmases now. My children seemed to just glory in the day regardless of the gifts or the lack thereof on Christmas morning.
Children don't react to Christmas now the same way they used to. I remember days of hoping for gifts under the tree and not even having a clue as to what they might actually be. Now I see (even small) children making a clamorous effort to get to the gifts placed under the tree with deliberate expectancy and they can almost tell you what is in the box before it is even opened. I often see the same children carelessly discard this package or that if it doesn't meet with their expectations. So sad.
I pray that somehow we can bring back the message of Christmas to our youth that seems to have been forgotten. Christmas should be a wondrous, magical time for children ... a true reflection of the world receiving the greatest gift of all.
As I ponder this, I know that the very thing that mesmerized me, as a child and year after year is the essence of Christmas. Christmas is a time for that which seems impossible to instead be shown as possible, indeed.
Okay ... now let me translate from English into what my husband refers to as my "Brendaesque" lingo ...
I overslept ... the clock read something like 8:12AM and I panicked! I had to get that turkey in the oven before 9AM! As I am thinking about that ... I start thinking of everything else ... First of all, even though the turkey was "fresh" our nice, icy cold refrigerator had decided to chill it a bit too well (for the three days it was in there) and so the bird was going to require a cold water bath before it could go into the oven because Lord knows I didn't want to leave the giblets and neck inside while it baked away. (That bag that the giblets are packaged in can put off a pretty foul odor if it gets heated at all). Not to even mention (although here I am mentioning it) that I needed to prep the giblets for the stuffing.
So ... 8:15 and I have decided that a quick trip to the potty ... and then a full blown run to the kitchen ought to have me back on track in no time.
(So much for sleeping in when there are no children living in the house anymore.) In a truly olympic effort of trying not to waken the bear (my husband) I run on tiptoe around the house and try to quietly separate metal pans, etc. that will be needed in the day's meal preparation. Somewhere amidst that madness I realize that the tree lights are not plugged in. You guessed it ... I try to hurry and get all of the lights plugged in, the table set in all of its Christmas finery, the dishes kept up ... pots watched, ovens turned on and monitored, whip up this, whisk that, mix mix mix something else and then HALT!!!
Somewhere around 8:30AM my eyes find themselves rooted to the tree about 30 feet away in the living room. Tears begin to flow as memories (not consciously recalled) come flooding back and I can almost hear my children's voices and see them in awe of the majestic tree and the gifts underneath. My children, I knew, couldn't be with me this year on Christmas Day ... they will be here this Saturday instead. Just as quickly as I had that thought another one interrupted ... an image of my father with his eyes closed, a white sheet draped over his still body. He passed on Christmas day, 1994 from this life into the beyond and the tears just kept falling. I will tell you this, those tears did wonders for our turkey this year! (JUST KIDDING!!!) I did not baste the turkey with my tears ... that is just part of my crazy sense of humor sneaking in (right on cue) when things start seeming just a bit too sad.
I had told those that would be in attendance this day that 3:00pm would be dinner time but that they were all more than welcome to come whenever they wanted. So ... everyone started showing up around noon and believe it or not I had managed, by then, to shower, dress and have the meal timed just right to even surpass our 3pm dinner time and serve around 2pm instead. This made everyone happy. After dinner we opened gifts and that's when I felt my heart lurch.
Time changes things. (period)
Children grow up and out and I find that some traditions hold fast while others fade and I am saddened. I love adventure, I love change (silly me) FOR THE MOST PART ... but not at Christmas. Christmas was the one day I always held onto tradition the tightest. However, having said that please allow me to say this ... I am old enough (and I hope wise enough) to realize that NEW TRADITIONS CAN BE FORMULATED and established and even embraced and I found that little frown that tried so hard to creep itself upon my face Christmas morning was chased away when ...
I had emptied the dishwasher's last heavy load and had put everything away. The countertops and cooktop were once again sparkling. Daisy and Bella were tired and they kept pawing my ankles and shins with their tiny paws in hopes that I would pick them up and cart them off to bed. It had been a long day. I had a smile on my face because someone who means so much to me (and yet who hasn't been in my life much lately) found her way to our table today and I was so very thankful for that. Bob had been a wonderful host and the day was behind us. I bent to pull a plug out of the wall socket to turn off a cute little snowman in the corner and then I turned ... before me was the tree ... still lit. The only thing left lit in the entire room ... all of the overhead lights and lamps had been switched off earlier. I saw tradition standing before me and once again I wept. Tears of joy, this time. It was as if the Lord were reminding me, one more time that every Christmas will always be magical ... ALWAYS. Now that's tradition!!!

Whispers of winter fill the air and the butterflies go off to who really knows where ... -bd
Soothe my soul, oh Lord, satisfy my thirst, answer my prayer.-bd
Sometimes I feel so weary with the weight of this life. People can be so judgmental, so quick to accuse. It just makes me think about how my choices effect those around me, those I love the very most.
Lord, you know my heart. I never mean to cause anyone pain in this life, never mean to say hurtful things, never mean to be intentionally mean to anyone or totally disregard anyone and yet there are little moments here and there that I do exactly that ... the very thing I loathe. Lord, if I am about to speak without thinking ... please slow my tongue and allow me to see the effect of my words before they are spoken. I love all of the people on this earth Lord ... because YOU do. I love them all. I pray for them. Those who are broken, hurt, those who seem callous and unfeeling especially ... what happened to them Lord? How did they become "broken"? It is not easy to pray for those who intentionally harm others and yet don't they need prayer the very most? I ask that you allow me to see them through YOUR eyes. Father, please help all of us to be a little slower to anger, a little quicker to show compassion and more eager to be involved in our families, our churches, our communities and make a difference. Lord, please help each one of us to realize our place in your plan, the reason for our existance.
When I think of you light fills my soul and song fills my heart and I am drawn to a place of peace which surpasses understanding. I love you Lord God, I love you with every breath of my being. I know there are many times in any given day that we all fall short of your glory. NONE of us are worthy of your mercy, your love, your faithfulness and yet you sent JESUS to hang on that cross for all of us ... even one of us. You love us so much that it is hard for me to grasp. I must cling to the truths of your word for if one day goes by without YOU being at the front of my mind ... my day is a waste and life feels especially cruel. I adore you Father, I thank you Jehovah God for being the great I AM. You cause me to sing and be filled with joy. You remind me continuously of your love, your mercy, your forgiveness.

"Why so downcast oh my soul
... put your hope in God"


judge my heart oh Lord, find me completely in awe of you; striving to do my very best -bd


In you, Lord, I have joy, I have hope, I have love, I have solace, I have refuge ...
there is nothing, absolutely nothing more that I need
no matter the hour of my imploring ... you are always there to hear me, to help me, to console and to love me
to the parents that introduced me to you ... my thanks
to the friends that encouraged me thru you ... my thanks
to the hands that have helped me up when I have fallen ... my thanks
to the shoulders that have soaked up my tears ... my thanks
for my brothers who have prayed for me all of my life ... my thanks
for the ministers that have ministered to me ... my thanks
to the brothers and sisters in Christ who have embraced me and lifted me up ... my thanks
to a country that allows me to worship freely ... my thanks
I am so very thankful, so very humbled, so very happy
in you, Lord, I have joy, I have hope, I have love, I have solace and I have refuge.


Hi Brenda, Thanks for all your efforts to start an online venture. Its going to be a blessing for you Im sure. I know as long as we strive to help others in everything we do then it will be a success. People seem to look for a retreat to talk and share don't they? I certainly have my own issues and look forward to friendships in the area. Sometimes Im a downright emotional mess. But I strive to pray for others in their needs and please God as best as I can. Life has its surprises. ok ...nice to read about your new website in the Bristol Banner. Happy New Year. - Cindy

This is great :) -Jackie Stokely
"Momma, where do angels come from?" "Why do you ask honey?" "Do they come from heaven ... does Jesus send them here?" "What do you think, sweetie?" "I think Jesus sends them to babysit us so we won't get hurt." -bd

did i know you Lord, in another life
one that was void of stress and strife
is this why i cling like a wounded soul
to thoughts of you when the world is cold
did i know you Lord, did i sit at your feet
did your love fill my heart
did i feel it complete
were there lions and lambs there -
did they lie in a field
were peace and tranquility
the harvest's sole yield
did i know you Lord
in my mother's womb
did you send me there -
to that watery room
only to be freed into this world
here and now
to live this life - then one day
"take my bow"
and bid this earth a pleasant good-bye
then on wings of angels
to heaven i'll fly
and kiss your face
and look into your eyes
and marvel at your trust ...
letting us all live our lives
knowing one day
we'd come back to you
for to be with you is heaven -
you're love; pure & true
- bd
hush little baby
please don't cry
momma will never
leave your side
fear may come
sorrow too
momma will shelter
you -
don't be blue
whatever you need
i will try my best
to provide it for you
so that you can rest
i pray you'll grow strong
that you'll love God true

i pray you'll stay strong
as He watches over you
may your life be happy
my baby
and full of love
may you always remember
to thank God above
may your days on earth
be long and blessed
til the day you lay down
for your final rest
one day i'll be gone
but i'll leave love behind
so when you feel you're lost;
your way you will find
so hush little baby
no worries here
as long as you have mommy
and God so near!-bd
it's a new day
it's a new
it's a new
renewal ...
oh how

you are never alone
The economy has a lot of people worried right now. It is understandable. Many are out of work and don't know how they will pay their rent or mortgage or keep food on the table. Fear is our foe ... not our friend. The only way to get our community back on its feet is to keep our dollars circulating in it. If we allow fear to keep us from stimulating our economy ... we will shut it down. History beckons us to remember.
May you find all the answers you are seeking. -bd
Nean, we received news that your
father passed on. Our heartfelt
prayers are with you. -bd
Jasmin, know that I lift you up
every day. I know your struggles
are, for now, offset by your
excitement. Having a baby
growing inside is one of the most
miraculously wonderful
experiences of being a woman.
Trust God ... He alone can see the
big picture. All is well. -bd
Sara, there is rarely a day that
goes by that I don't consider
you. You are one of my heroes in
this life. Your strength and the
demonstrate for your
husband is a gift to us all. You
and Mike are always in my heart. -bd
Shawn, wow ... you little cancer
survivor you! I wouldn't have
expected anything less. You
amaze me over and over again.
You never complained ... always
just kept going, taking care of
your husband and two young
sons. You continually give all of
us love and rarely ask for
anything in return.
I thank God for you! -bd
worry no more!

sometimes when i am all alone
i hear a whisper of wings
just over yonder
yet i never pause to ponder
the faint smell of roses hangs in the air
chasing away any ounce of despair
sometimes i feel the presence
of heaven so close
that's when i miss you ... the most very most
Cory, I want you to know that I am praying for you and that I have asked several people to join me in praying for you. I hope one day soon you will see this after you are well again and realize what a wonderful Father we have in heaven. I love you to infinity and beyond! 2/4/09 -bd
I'm thinking of you ...
So many people with so many concerns. I just want to lift them all up to you, father. Please guide them, protect them, provide for them and give them peace that surpasses undertanding. In Jesus' name ... Amen. -bd
Ask and it shall be given
Seek and you shall find
Knock and the door will open
Al, Deb, Ryan & Angie,
I forgot to pray for wonderful neighbors after Dan moved away but the Lord had a wonderful surprise in store for us! Welcome to CR 8! We hope you love it as much as we do. May your years here be blessed! -bd
I called my mom to see how things were going with her and we had a wonderful conversation ... so much so that it finally dawned on me ... we are talking just like we used to a few years ago ... a girly talk with lots of detail of our lives shared back and forth. Tears poured out of my eyes and I just had to stop her mid conversation and tell her how wonderful it was to be able to experience this with her once again. What a blessing!
Thank you Lord for the RAIN, it sure is refreshing! -bd

you are long gone now
but i still pray for you
still miss you
still love you
love never lets go - bd
i was once broken
and tired
weary in my soul
you told me happiness
was just inside
you implored me
to touch my heart
to feel life
to rejoice in it's simple
yet complex capability
it made me smile
but most of all
you saved me
- bd
I know you feel like an outsider
I, too, used to feel I didn't belong
people can be cruel, unthinking
remember ... we are all at different places
on this walk.
There is a simple solution
Trust God, forgive & pray for the offender
and believe that with time
healing will happen. - bd
when you told me of your loss
i felt something
deep inside
slip away
when you cried
in agony at unfairness
i cried with you
when you felt you couldn't go on
when the unthinkable
became thinkable
i did the only thing
i could
i lifted you up
& trusted God to carry you
and now look at you
you are like a Phoenix ... rising from the ashes.
God is so good. - bd

Even when you declare you are at your weakest
you infuse me with strength
I have watched you experience hurt and disappointment over and over again
I have seen you well up with sorrow
consider it ... then dismiss it
When I first met you I was cautious and had to live every day by faith
I chose to trust God for each long moment
my husband had died so suddenly, so unexpectedly
under the very least likely (for him) set of circumstances
The first week there were people with me all of the time
the following week there were three people who visited as they could or were asked to
Then there was just me ... and God
Next thing I knew ... there you were
offering your help, your solace, your caring
I do not pretend to know what God thinks about this thing or that
except for what the Bible teaches me
and His word declares that God's understanding is not our own.
I have experienced this first hand.
For here you are, life goes on and my cup runneth over. -bd
Trust & Obey

i was the tears that fell down your cheek
your strength when you were feeling most weak
i was the blood that coursed thru your veins
i was the indissoluble umbrella
when upon you life rained
i noted your reason, your conviction, your steadfastness, your heart
at the point which you ended ... there did i start
i knew you in the womb
i knew your life ... your every breath
all the way to the tomb
i loved you and yet
you never knew me, rejected me, sent me away
and now we must part my beloved
for there's no other way
It's hard sometimes to love myself. It's hard sometimes to love others. Pictures of you hanging on the cross remind me to be less selfish, more giving. Thoughts of you bring love to my heart and fill my cup until it runneth over. You always remind me of why it is vital to love. -bd
daddy ... you've been gone for 14 years now. it seems like it was just yesterday that i kissed your face good-bye for the very last time. i love you so ... and i miss you like crazy. i had no idea there would be such a void that no one else will ever be able to fill. "this one's on the house ... you don't owe me a thing!" -bd
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