Jennifer*

She had a way about her that made everyone feel loved.

She wasn’t an ordinary little girl. No, she was just a cut above.

Her laughter could warm the coldest of any hearts;

From her welcoming eyes, you’d never want to depart.

Now to the Promise Land, she’s gone far away,

Never to return or come again to play.

We all will miss her sweet little smile;

But if we’ll hold on, we’ll see her in just a little while.

She has been made complete by the Great Physician.

Her mind and her body, both now, in great remission.

She’s probably dancing on those streets of gold,

And most likely, hearing all His stories yet untold.

If you could see her at this very moment,

She might just be praying for your life’s atonement.

If you could hear her message as she calls out your name,

She might just be telling you to not remain the same.

“The Master is coming for you; I know it won’t be long.

Please, don’t wait forever, or you may sing a sad, sad song.

What a terrible disaster to live your whole life through,

And in the end, not give to Him your love which is so past due.”

Penned – MG – 9/20/03 

*Wrote in tribute to a precious little girl I knew who lost her battle with cancer when she was only six years old…

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Grace and Mercy

Bruised, shaking fists
Clenched, knuckle-white hands
Twisted face

Tightly closed-shut eyes
Letting in not a droplet of light
A life branded by pain
Where is the grace?
Where is the mercy?

A life cut short.
An unexplained sin.
A life-long disease.

The wounded, wound.
The pained cause pain.
The abused, abuse.

Oh, God, my heart grieves.
My eyes weep till tears are no more.
My knuckles are bloody from the pain.
Where is the grace?
Where is the mercy?

The flowers are denied their bloom.
The sun refuses to rise to give any warmth.
The wind will not send the breeze.

The world has turned gray.
The laughter is silent for miles.
The innocence has been hidden.
When will this pain end?
When will this grief hide?

This brokenness, a bloody mess.

These wounds and scars too deep to heal.
We clutch at life. No heartbeat is felt.
The air is toxic. No breath can be found.
Where is Your grace?
Where is Your mercy now?

It is found at the cross.
That bleeding, broken, wretched place. That is where Your grace abounds.
As You watched Your own Son die, You saw our sin. You saw our redemption.
It was there, Your grace and mercy from death began its prevention.

We only see what isn’t.
The grief. The emptiness. The death. We live with the loss.
The regret. The shame. The failure.
We see only the holes on the canvas of life.
Never realizing the void can be filled again with a joy that overflows, a love that is unconditional, a grace that is unending.

In the pain, knowledge is built.
In the sorrow, wisdom is rendered.
Emotions raw and undone.
Words broken and unsung.
How can we find this grace?
How can we receive this mercy?

Run into His loving arms.
Take His guiding hand to lead, to love.
Living breathless or breathless living.
Living fully or lifeless living.
More than alive or just less than dead.
We choose. We decide. We live life or death.

Penned – MG – 1/23/15

Joy and Gratitude

2015/01/img_9402.png Is the height of my [abundant] joy dependent upon the depths of my [grateful] thanks?
– Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts*

As I read this book, and ponder this thought, I am challenged to live beyond my current state of stagnant being. I have more to give. I have more to experience. I have more to live.

Too often, we miss the abundance of joy, because we fail to recognize our lack of gratitude that is blinding us to His truths. When we humbly appreciate His grace, when we kindly receive His mercy, these are the moments we truly live. We are freed from the weight of expectation. The cage of our own ideals is broken and crushed. We are able to take flight and fully live.

Grace. Thanksgiving. Joy. The true meaning of life. The true life to living.
Joy in the moment. Life in the minute of giving thanks… These are all wrapped up in heartfelt conversations with Him.

This is why I have begun my own personal list of one thousand gifts. I need this like I need air to breathe. This will be my eucharisteo, my praise, my joy. This will be my message of gratitude to my Creator and my God.

I began 2 days ago, and I am just shy of reaching 100. Will you join me this year? This list to 1,000 may take a little while to pen down, especially if we do it right. Will you join me in reading her book; so, you can further understand this incredible concept and, with me, become challenged to live fully right there in the place you have found yourself to be?? Will you join me in penning your One Thousand Gifts?

“The only real fall of man is his noneucharistic life in a noneucharistic world” -Alexander Schmemann, For the Life of the World: Sacraments and Orthodoxy*

*Both quotes from One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are, by Ann Voskamp. Find her book and more info. here.

**I do not personally know this author, not have I been asked to promote her book in any way. I have simply been inspired by her words, and my hope is others will read this and be inspired as well. 🙂

A Living Poppy in a Doughnut (reblog)

Wow. Simply amazing, and a wonderful memorial to WWI and all those involved.

Heavenhappens

A Living Poppy A Living Poppy

Before Christmas I wrote a post, “Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red”, about the spectacular poppy installation at the Tower of London to commemorate the centenary of the start of World War 1.  I meant to follow it up with a post about a huge ‘living’ poppy that was created locally at GCHQ.  But 2014 ended as it had progressed, with accidents, emergencies and disasters of a medical, rather than domestic kind!  Now that my own personal Annus Horribilis has ended, and a new year has begun, I am determined to continue with my blog.  So here is my belated post on poppies and peace.

I have mentioned before that I live near ‘The Doughnut’, which is the local nickname for the building which houses the Government Communication Headquarters, GCHQ.   Being an important part of our country’s security service, we rarely find out what is…

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Ever Striving

We work. We strive.
We sweat. We strain.
For what gain?
We toil for all these earthly things.
We forsake the precious for the temporal.
Eternity waits; yet, we strive.

We push. We pull.
We twist. We bend.
For what end?
We scrape to grasp the material.
We lose hold of the treasure for the momentary.
Eternity groans; yet, we strive.

When will we see?
These are as things shouldn’t be.
We abandon the truth for a lie.
We sell our souls only for what money can buy.
The sacred forgotten. The value has been lost.
We can’t even see it’s our very lives that it costs.

Penned -MG – 1/23/15

An Open Letter To My Daughter On Her First Date – by Scott Dannemiller

Wow. This is wonderful. Every little girl should have a Daddy who believes in her, and every little girl should receive a letter (and a date) like this! ❤

Kindness Blog

Scott DannemillerDear daughter of mine.  You reached a milestone tonight.

Your first date.

Every dad dreads this day.  And, I must admit, I am very much like every dad.  So, to ease the sting of the first date and assure you were treated like a queen, I took matters into my own hands.

I asked you out.

The good news is you enthusiastically accepted.  No doubt my probability of success was buoyed by the fact that you believe I am a superhero, capable of throwing your giggling, 36-pound body into the air to unspeakable heights, and catching you again before you konk your head on our food-splattered wood floors.

And who wouldn’t want to date a superhero?

Don’t get me wrong.  I am certainly not naïve enough to think that my doorstep will never feel the heavy boots of a poorly dressed, angst-ridden, mouth-breather intent on breaking curfew with my little…

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The Battle Rages

There is a war down deep within.
It is a battlefield of purity and sin.
A struggle for what can be and what forever has been.
The one we feed the most is the one who will always win.

Everyday, this battle rages.
It has continued throughout the ages.
Through sin it has promised, death, its only wages.
Proven again and again throughout history’s pages.

A flesh-filled life gives in to every whim
It holds you in its grasp as your light slowly dims.
The lamp of salvation burns, the wick is always trim.
Hope fills the void, joy overflows the life that once was grim.

A life of peace, to you, He longs to bring.
Hope, love and joy in abundance, He has these things.
He takes away the pain. He heals those life stings.
Your name is called, throughout eternity it rings.

Away from heartache and brokenness it is you He tries to lure.
To the end, he wants to take you if, faithfully, you’ll endure.
Every ill thought and lifeless promise, he longs to allure.
Your precious heart, when freely given, always, He makes pure.

Choices to choose come like a tidal wave.
The easy and popular, the flesh always craves
To choose long-lasting peace, your heart must be brave.
It is your soul He wants, for eternity, to save.

Penned – MG – 1/23/15

Your Rest

Sometimes, I’m consumed by the cares of this world.

Many times, the weight of this life becomes suffocating.

My thoughts and imagination, around my head, they swirl.

But then, I see a glimpse of Your face, and it’s intoxicating.

The stress and strife, they weaken in light of Your grace.

Your yoke is easy and Your burdens are light, just as You said.

The worries of my soul are lifted as I come into Your holy place.

Your grace is so sufficient, and my neediness is fed.

Thank You for Your comfort and for Your peace.

You’ve done all You promised; how could I ever forget?

I praise You for Your rest and much needed release.

Thanks for Your provisions and the plans for me You’ve set.

You are holy and so worthy of all my praise.

Thank You for Your love and for saving me from me.

I will worship and adore You for the rest of my days.

Of all my passions and desires, I pray the most You will be.

Penned – MG – 8/19/03

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Draw Nigh To Him

Life is so very, very seared;

Be sure not to let it pass you on by.

Jesus promised that He would always be near,

But first, unto Him, you must draw nigh.

His love for you is very, very deep;

Sometimes, it can almost seem intoxicating.

Yet, He is such a gentleman, merciful and meek;

His love is never made to be suffocating.

This world is so very, very impure;

It will always turn your ’round and ’round.

He longs to give you a hope and a future;

He wants to free you from these chains you are bound.

His time is so very, very uncertain;

We cannot know the hour or the day.

Turn to Him before they draw a curtain;

Surrender your heart or be eternally swayed.

Penned – MG – 10/31/03

Fog & Hugs

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JGrizz said the other day, “Ya know, mom, fog is like a great big hug…like a great big hug from God.” As I looked out across the water, with the fog hovering like a blanket, I couldn’t deny the closeness, the feeling of being embraced by the fuzzy white haze. Then I turned my thoughts toward heaven and thought of how much He loves us, and how much he blesses us everyday, even in the smallest things, just to show us He cares.

If we will but open our eyes to see, we will realize He sends little “hugs and kisses” from heaven all throughout the days, weeks and even years of our lives. It may be in the gentle smile of your newborn babe as he looks at you with his innocent love. It may be in the beautiful sunrise breaking through the trees, sending a tense warm to your face. It may be in the joyful giggles of your little girl who wants ‘just one more’ push on the swing. It might even be in the quiet reflection of your teenage son as He ponders over the fog settling upon the waters and believing God has sent him a hug.

We drove across a dam early one morning, and it was so foggy, I could hardly see to drive. All of a sudden, I saw a rainbow, as my eyes followed its path, I realized that we were going to drive right through the rainbow, almost as if it were a tunnel! It as one of the neatest things I’ve ever seen! (In the last pic below, but wasn’t real clear on the picture). Going through, I had this thought, “Aw, thanks God! You sure know how to make a girl feel loved and blessed!”

He sends us visual messages through so many venues. All we have to do is step back, take a deep breath and really see Him. Jeremiah 29:13 says, “You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart.” It’s true, and He doesn’t hide when we seek Him. He always keeps His promises. All we have to do is look for Him.

So, next time it’s foggy, don’t get scared or annoyed, just wk outside for a moment; let it surround you, and receive your great big hug from God. 🙂

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