Tag: change

10,000 Reasons • When Gratitude Kickstarts Joy

https://chronic-joy.org/10000-reasons-when-gratitude-kickstarts-joy/

by Chronic Joy® | IllnessParenting | 2 comments10,000 Reasons When Gratitude Kickstarts Joy

y 👈Audio

GOD LACKS NO CREATIVITY EVEN IN THE LABOR ROOMS OF CHANGE

Two years ago our gentle teenager began to steadily turn into a stranger we could hardly recognize. A new medication put an end to his seizures a year later, but the trial had just begun.  

We broke into raggedy worship … surrounded by the prayers of dear family and friends. ~ R.Noel

God lacks no creativity even in the Labor rooms of Change!

Two years ago our gentle teenager began to steadily turn into a stranger we could hardly recognize. A new medication put an end to his seizures a year later, but the trial had just begun.  

Light fell through the Emergency Room’s glassed-in ceiling and onto Johann’s face as he sang, “Whatever lies before me, I will be singing when the evening comes. Bless the Lord oh, my soul …10,000 reasons and forever more …”  10,000 Reason. Matt Redman

BLINDNESS ISN’T EASY ON ANY COUNT

Johann sings while waiting. Ah, yes. Blindness isn’t easy on any count, but today I froze as he sang the words – “When the evening comes???”

As he waited on a stretcher near the CT scan unit of Nimhan’s Hospital’s Neuro Science Department, an orderly changed the sheets to Johann’s favorite color – lavender. How could she have known? Was this a sign that total healing would follow? Johann, now 19 and blind from birth, can detect a few colors and has light perception.

Ma, I love the lavender …” he said.

I bit back tears, nodding a muffled reply.

IT WILL PASS

When Johann’s seizures finally stopped, his aggression began. He was 18.  “It will pass,” friends said.

The girls and Johann had a beautiful childhood, sharing music and fun, sharing games with a brother they were proud to be seen with. Now there were blows, bites, scratches, rage, and verbal battery. We went to parks on sunrise picnics, did road trips, prayed, wept, clung together as a couple, and individually with each of our girls. But when we went out in twos, Johann would scream in panic, running past the gate in search of us.

A kind new doctor changed Johann’s medications gradually while withdrawing earlier prescriptions. Dearest Lord God, now we must have withdrawal combat too?

EVEN IF YOU SLAY ME

“Brace yourselves,” the doctor said, his face filled with a compassion that scared me. The months that followed were a Gethsemane place for us. Here we would taste the bittersweet of Job and Daniel, “Even if You slay me…” Job 13:15Daniel 3:14-18

 Johann adopted us at age one. We were all being brought up together by God in His Kindergarten of Faith, but now, was He letting us out on our own?

The first hint of Johann’s illness started around his school final exams. Johann refused to touch his Braille. His dimpled grin receded faster as December stretched into January. We guided him to hand write, “I know my Redeemer lives…” then pinned it up where we could all see it. We were clinging to sanity.

How long?” I frantically texted our second daughter, Kitsy, who was across the room. To avoid trigger words, we texted each other.

God won’t put something in our laps that we cannot handle. Unsure how long Ma, but I’m willing to wait,” she replied. Was it just yesterday that Kitsy had screamed, “I – I want my brother back!” Now she was beaming and serene?

RAGGEDY WORSHIP

This is what happens.

One of us sinks, but another perks up with unthinkable faith or Scripture leaps out from a calendar. The movie, Hacksaw Ridge, spoke volumes to us. It is easy to fall into self-destruction, but God lacks no creativity even in the labor rooms of change.

Johann sings with the voice of an angel. His seizures took that from him, but from the pit of that hell, he began to sing again,10,000 Reasons, a song that brought me to tears. Johann was singing! Yes, with a crackly sandpaper voice, but he was singing!

We broke into raggedy worship, in the midst of cushions-flying-at-our-heads-and-worse, but surrounded by the prayers of dear family and friends. Often, I would stare at the predawn sky. God was and is present, like in those days, those three silent days after Gethsemane: “… a Rose trampled on the ground, He … thought of me most of all.” (Above All, Michael W. Smith)

OUR PRAYERS GREW DESPERATE

Lord please help me through the noise of my questions. Give the girls some joy today. Help my husband, Jeff.

About this time we also experienced professional setbacks. Could it really get any worse? It could. You cannot re-route through Gethsemane if you want to finish with colors.

Some of my own prayers irritated me. “Thank you Lord for the trials You send us.” Gratitude was the best thing we could do – thanking God for a little bird in the window, for a relative who sent a gift, for a glorious sunset, or even for Johann’s question, “What is happening to me?”

GRATITUDE KICKSTARTED JOY

Yes, it did and some things I have no words for.

I began to blog and paint again. A friend called asking why I had dropped off social media, and asked if I would consider an art book contract with a Christian publisher. The theme? Hope for the Hurting. My head said, “No,” but God nudged me to say, “Yes.” So I did.

Jeff started painting too, and though he is not one to be poetic, he titled it, Autumn Blush. It was soul harvest time. Our daughter, Kitsy cooked offerings of love. This once hyper, young teenager was turning out exotic recipes in the midst of COVID-19 lockdown rationing. Our eldest daughter, Vihan, had begun a fellowship for those her age and older, and we now joined her online — not easy to do with Johann intolerant of a particular chord on the guitar or insisting on rocking right in front of camera, yet his presence reaches more people than we think possible.

As I write, light falls through the curtains and Johann asks what I’m doing. I tell him I am writing about his song, 10,000 Reasons, and he smiles his lop-sided smile.

SING LIKE NEVER BEFORE

Outside a Koyal bird calls. There will be rain tonight after a sweltering Indian day. Ah, Lord God, more reasons to bless Your name even if our son isn’t well yet.

“Sing like never before, Oh my soul.”

Worship Him for His Spirit of matchless comfort in the presence of our frail humanity.

Unconditional healing is God lifting our innermost being, no matter the ordeal. Oh, the awe of holding hands with God, of being loved by Him in the midst of pain, learning to love Him back and to love each other unconditionally, like He does.

We are learning.

y 👈Audio. Read by RaylaAudio Player00:00


We were in tears recording this. It was a healing all by itself. … Very special hugs from our son who knows you are praying… ~ Rayla Noel

Rayla Noel lives in India with her husband, their three children and a God who never runs out of Creative Ways to help them graduate from His School of Faith.My Grace is sufficient for you; for My Power shows best in weakness2 Corinthians 12:9 AMP

No, not inside!

My daughter took this pic of me the day before her 25th bday Oct2019. Now its all changed so fast. Did you even know we’d miss our little easy trips in a time when there were no ‘untouchable surfaces’?

We grew from ponytails and little shirts to grown up wear & tear. We learned to rise when we stumbled; learned to be patient with new fatigue. We got new ways of doing old things. We matured, we regressed, we sat down and broke a little then mended. Hey. I’m not giving all that away.

God and life taught us how to take pressure, ride it like a bike to the beach somedays! Now I must sanitise my trips every which way one can and cannot imagine, fine. But I’m not adjusting my inner balance, I’m not going to make any ‘Covid’ feel it owns me, in any grip of fear. Not going to let my home believe for one moment we are victims, though we must be careful of a whole new array of things. We will not court dragons and dance with demons, but we will not forget we walk among angels.

I am not about to go from being a child of God into a frightened bear: a sore one with claws that gnaw my insides, hehe no. I will remember the ways in which I’ve grown and outgrown childish thought processes: oh no, there’s no monster under our bed. There may be a physical threat, but not anything that dare touch our spirit.

So we cannot go out as much but we can go in and remember everything else.

Everything else better not be forgotten for the sake of a sick virus. Nope. I like to think of the Human Self as a person totally under the control of One who brought you & me this far. That’s all I’m thinking on. It frees my mind. It reminds me of when I first learnt to bike.

We were in Gujarat, western India. Dad told me he was behind me….. he wasn’t. I was so sure he was there, I went on ahead. Was a few minutes before I realised he wasn’t holding on. He was there a few meters away, but I was on my own. It did not matter though, I still felt he was holding on. There was no new aloneness. He was right there.

I feel that now, the heavenly Father who brought us this far, mayn’t be visible but He is there. The ride ahead may have its bumps, but we got this life, this bike: we got our lessons, we can’t lose it now, we cannot forget….

FOR YOU MY GOD, HAVE GIVEN US THE SPIRIT OF POWER LOVE AND DISCIPLINE, NOT FEAR AND TIMIDITY…!”(quote,Bible)

Do join us for SUNDAY Family Fellowship here

@raylarn

Positively Shameless

Just got this beauty (Pl check details below) from my very talented friend Shilpa W., also performing;

Theatre Narrative, Social Drama
~childhood sexual abuse & aftermath
March 14th & 15th only.
Venue: SHOONYA,
BANGALORE
Details, below.

if you’re in Bangalore or planning to, do not miss it. (Description*).

My guess is, it’s going to be intense, tight scripted with merciless precision to details that must exclude kiddie viewership, though- it just might involve kiddie victim?

Ofcourse, that is the sickening brute act of abuse: it has zero respect for age, innocence or ‘shame’.

I love the Title, and what this can do to create awareness in a Decade that’s seen #MeToo, and some amount of shame like never before.

Ach. But Shameless makes for gut-wrenching reality that facilitates Change. Change in perspective, awareness, offensive defense….ugh, why does that last one smack of Dark Age suppression?

As I post this, I hear the nag of a chainsaw at another tree outside our home. Hmm.

What does an everyday Citizen do:

kick up fuss & dance, yes, must. Tiring though, and you might either run up against or crash a bull dozer besides! That perhaps is what a 2020 everyday Citizen is counting on.

I’m thinking on parallel lines here, of long-stacked child abuse, and other routes of suppression in homo-sapien existence that might take a whole few bodies of humans to redress.

You got to drag (generational?) skeletons out of closet, ignore stench, rid that closet of access to you forever, reduce it to wood ash: reap from it, having sown seeds of shame-stunning radical change effective from a back date you do not want to remember if you’re a ‘victim’ but,

one could choose to.

(Victim: Sheesh. Another ugh word. Say Survivor, say Winner: a more Advantaged human now, all for the experience that tried to take your teeth).

Shame is probably the most misrepresented word in the history of humanity. Shame is what makes us cover up, hide, fake it, smooth over, wear lipstick over bruise.

Shameless – that is a whole other kind of what we were made to be, in the face of de- humanizing factors, especially that, those.

I’m stoked. It’s time!

Way to go girls. 👇You must be seen.

Positively Shameless,
2 shows
March 14, 2020, 7 p.m.
March 15, 2020, 4 p.m.
Rs.250/-
BOOK YOUR TICKETS HERE

*Venue: Shoonya – Centre for Art and Somatic

Open to adults and adolescents with parental supervision.
Now in its fourth iteration, Positively Shameless is a devised ensemble theatre performance based on aspects of childhood sexual abuse that endure into childhood. It interweaves personal narrative with social commentary to create a playful, dramatic act of resistance and revelation that challenges the shame and silence that often surrounds survivors. By foregrounding physical expression, the play acknowledges the site of violence, resistance and reclamation, to be the body. Positively Shameless was originally created in 2016 by seven women in Bangalore who continue to form the core group of this project. This theatre piece has since been performed across different parts of India and the United States. Positively Shameless has captured the attention of diverse audiences for its refreshing tone (critical yet hopeful), artistry and emotional complexity.
It will be performed in Shoonya Centre for Art and Somatic Practices, Bangalore on 14th and 15th February 2020, following which, it travels to Rotterdam to perform in the ICAF (International Community Arts Festival) and then NYU (New York University).

SHAME: Synonym: embarrassment, humiliation.

Joseph’s lost head & that Other fantastic Noel!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDyUSTT9sC4


The First Noel by Vihan Damaris.
A Carol that has our family name(Noel) hehe! And that’s our daughter. Do listen if you would.
Crib by Cheshire House inmates, Mumbai: a lady with one arm, Mikai, the paralytic…

We took them out one by one. Joseph has lost his little clay head and there’s no time to fix him back so I cover his torso with a tiny cane head piece. Can you spot Joseph?

Our son Johann is blind and yes he put out each figure like last Christmas, but this time, post seizures/ meds, he cannot concentrate. His hands shake and I do not insist that Joseph goes next to Mary, so it’s all askew. Does it matter, I wonder.

Would the real Joseph have been quietly seated next to new mom Mary? Wouldn’t he have lost his head, even just a wee bit,with this surreal pregnancy of his betrothed, a ferocious Herod, … the details of that divine birth blow my mind each time. My spirit fills with gratitude that over the years, Christ has not stayed in clay, but has gazed into my life with very real presence.

Confusing pic👆? Our tiny Tree from a Shopping complex. I’d love to think those are two fairies legs!

The reality of Christmas is fantastic. A Divine Babe that grew to face a Cross, a resurrection garden, He would walk through walls to get through my heart of stone.

May the heart of you be warmed warmed warmed this season, with Love Divine from the Manger to the moon and back.💓