When Your Load is Heavy

Where do you go when your load is heavy? Who do you turn to when the weight of the world seems to be on your shoulders? What do you do when all feels lost, and you don’t know what to do?

Sometimes, life just stinks, and there’s not a thing you can do to change it. The rain has been coming for weeks, and now it’s pouring, and you find yourself without an umbrella or raincoat; then, the lighting strikes, and the thunder rolls on and on.

Poemhunter.com

What do you do in moments like these? What is your reaction, your response, your thoughts in the midst of the torrential rains? Do you run for shelter or fight the elements? Do you grow angry and frustrated or just sit down and wallow in your tears of pity?

My thoughts turned here as my heart grew heavy today while I read a post from a friend who is having open heart surgery this morning. It was sudden, no real signs of trouble, but she just didn’t feel right. She has significant blockages, but her arteries are too small for a stent. The doctor said he is going to do as many bypasses as he possibly can to assure the best life she can obtain. She is a single mom of two college age children, about to finish her degree and just landed a great job.

I struggle with these questions as I listen to an update from another friend who has had an incredible year of troubles. Her body just developed a disorder where her arteries naturally create blockages. She’s had over a dozen surgeries and procedures over the last year, and she’s not eligible for a heart transplant. She now goes to cardiac rehab simply to obtain the best life she can possibly have with the condition,  and even this treatment can cause heart to have an episode  due to over exertion and stress. She is married, and her husband is currently overseas completing his job assignments while she is in the states dealing with all of this without him.

My heart wrestles with these scenarios and ponders the possibilities as I read yet another status from a friend who daily struggles with a condition of Anaphylaxis where she can simply awake in the night and have to inject 2 or 3 epi’s into her body just to have the time to get to the ER before she takes her last breath.

Each one of them have their own fears, doubts and questions as these circumstances play out in their lives. Each one have share both their hopes and their trepidations in living with these conditions. And each one amaze me time and again by their unfailing faith in their God. For all of these dear friends of mine know the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

I cannot adequately tell you of the hope He brings in times of struggle. I cannot clearly express to you the peace He gives in moments of crisis and distress. I cannot give you a description that truly describes the abundance of His unconditional grace which you will find when you believe.

Yet, I can tell you this. When you believe, and when you completely surrender your heart to His, you’ll know what I’m talking about. You will realize the hope my friends have found.

I pray you find Him, and I pray He reveals Himself to you in such a way that you have no doubt, no question, no way of denying what we have found to be eternally true.

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Tuesday’s Treats #105

Tsarske Selo

Location: Kiev, Ukraine

This restaurant is so authentic to Ukraine, and if you are visiting Kiev, you need to place it on your “must see (and eat).” The atmosphere is set in rural country inn or home, and as you sit at your table looking throughout the restaurant, you can almost imagine being in someone’s countryside home. It is very cozy and comfortable. The waiters and waitresses are all in traditional Ukrainian attire, and most evenings, there are a variety of singing groups who will come to your table and serenade a song or two.

The food is delicious, and if you can’t read the Ukrainian on the menu, no worries. Just flip it over for English; however, not being too familiar with authentic Ukrainian dishes, I opted to be safe and got the chicken Kiev. It was absolutely delicious! The lattes are tasty, and one in our party got the cherry dumplings and said they were scrumptious. The bread they serve before hand is tasty, but if you’re American, you may be surprised they don’t serve traditional dairy butter with it. They serve a beet horseradish, a very spicy mustard and a “butter” made from pig fat. This is, actually, a staple of Ukraine that came into play during their long years of famine. It is a little too greasy and not too tasteful for my liking, more akin to pure lard, but for the Ukrainian natives who were hosting us, it was an appreciated topping. They also serve before the meal small, square pieces of toasted bread with a pickle and a little square of pig fat (kind of like a substitute for bacon). The bread was tasty with a hint of garlic, but I skipped again on the fat square. It all definitely adds to the authenticity of the restaurant, and I wouldn’t change a thing!

In the evening hours, a groups of Ukrainian singers will come to serenade, and apparently, there are different groups. My husband was here in September, and there was a group of all men who sang traditional Ukrainian songs, and one man whistles like a bird. I watched the video, and it was amazing! The night we were there, it was a duet. The woman played the accordion and sang, and the man had a deep, burly voice and distinguished mustache. They sang strong and beautiful, singing of a handsome fella loving a beautiful woman.

It was simply a delightful evening, and I hope every time we are in Kiev, we might get to visit this restaurant. You leave feeling just a little more Ukrainian than when you walked in.

For more information, please check out their website and their Trip Advisor rating.

Like a Lion

Be a lion today…

the grizzle grist mill

Too often, as Christians, we allow the enemy of our soul to defeat us, because we forget the promises we have been given. Too often, we lie down in the muck and mire of our lives and allow our circumstances to overwhelm us to the point of suffocation. We lay down our weapons, and we back away from our destiny, because the way seems too long and the fight appears too hard. We read the Scripture that the enemy is like a lion looking to devour us and we believe it, forgetting the rest of the verse that tells us to “resist him, standing firm in the faith!”

We have been given the weaponry to defeat what comes against us! We are notmeant to be wimpy, noodle-spined children of God. We are children of a risen KING! Weare destined to win this thing, not because we are so strong nor…

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I Will Hold To Hope

You left so many years ago

I thought the time could never be restored

The years changed us. The years let go.

I believed we’d always be strangers passing and more

You returned for a bit

I thought maybe a relationship could grow

The days changed us. The days in our heart lit.

I believed we’d not restore years but maybe a new life we’d know

Then you left again, maybe this time forever

I thought things could be different, an alteration from things destined

The moment changed us. The moment of surprise severed.

I believed it could be new but now your old self may win

I can not determine what may come

I will pray it’s not what I feel and what I see

I do not know what tomorrow will sum

I will hold to hope and believe safe and secure is where you will be

1/26/18 – MG

Sometimes You Just Have to Walk

Yeah, you heard me right. There are times in your life when the best thing you can do is walk. Walk away from the anger. Walk away from the pain. Walk away from the confusion and strife. Walk away from all the drama that one person is bringing into your life again. And again. And again.

Now, there’s a whole blog I can write on endurance and perseverance and determination not to quit when the going gets tough. In fact, I’ve written those, and this post doesn’t change that. I am, also by no means, giving you permission to walk out on your spouse, your kids or your job. Use some common sense, and don’t try to justify your own desire for freedom from the commitments you’ve made. 😉

However, there is something to be said about getting drama out of your life. Over the years, I have watched too many people simply stay put in the midst of drama that they were never meant to be. There are people in this world who live their lives from one crazy crisis to the next, and they live with the expectations that you should live it with them. No, you should not.

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If you are an adult, and you are surrounded by drama that someone else is creating, ask yourself, “WHY?” Why is the drama going on, and why do you feel you have to be a part of it? If it doesn’t concern you, why are you still there? If it does concern you, is it legit yours to own, or is it simply stupid drama drummed up by this other person?

Answer that “Why?” Do you need something from that person? Do you feel obligated to him or her? Do you feel an expectation to stay? (Again, why??) Do you gain some sort of self affirmation when you are in the midst of their drama? Do you simply need to feel needed?

Answer the “Why?,” and I promise you, you’ll realize you can walk away from this needless drama (or you’ll recognize your own fleshly desire for it). Drama causes strife. It causes unrest. It causes chaos and disorder. It can even cause health issues and sickness. It is not good. Walk away. Avoid it at all cost.

Sometimes, true love is shown by no longer being a crutch, an enabler or a punching bag for someone else who refuses to grow up and be somebody. Sometimes, you have to fight for who you are to become, and sometimes, that fight is walking away from needless drama in order to find and sustain the peace and clarity you need to live your life as it should be.

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Our Heart’s Desire

Yep. It’s a daily struggle, a daily, deliberate exercise of picking up my cross and following Him. … Just keepin’ it real. … How about you?

the grizzle grist mill

The soul longs for solitude; yet, it loathes the loneliness. We seek out friends to fill the empty space only to push them away when times get tough. We pull them close for the thrill seeking adventures and shove past them for the broken dreams and torn up paper houses. It’s a constant push and pull to gain the happiness for which we seek.

The mind yearns for stability; yet, it rejects true wisdom and grace. We search for the highest success and desire the richest affairs only to plummet to the depths of despair as we fail the test over and over again. We chase after dreams and compare with the elite, always trying to get ahead only to cheat and compete, biting and clawing at anything or anyone who might come close. It’s a constant push and pull to gain the happiness for which we seek.

The heart cries…

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The Pain Refines Me

Yeah, painful people bring a deeper character to my soul. Painful people are like sandpaper on my heart, and God uses them to polish out those rough, fleshly, selfish places I’d like to hide. Painful people should really be seen as a joy when encountered. For when they inflict the pain, it’s the perfect opportunity for our God to do three things: 1. Polish our soul a little more. 2. Fight our battle for us 3. Comfort our hearts in a way we’d not experience without the pain.

Yeah, painful people can be for our good and can bring out the best in us…if we’ll let them.

now, if I can just remember this and embrace it the next time that pain comes along. Lol. 😉😂

Fight, Flight or Freeze?

Mashable.com

What do you do when the storms of life come? We all have a natural instinct to fight or flight, and some just simply freeze, regardless, the size of said storm. Each of these reactions can cause us to find victory or defeat, depending upon the needed reaction for the given moment.

The difference between your success and failure through the storms of life will be the awareness you have and the wisdom you use to determine the reaction to what comes. Sometimes, you must stand and fight that demon coming against you, because your victory comes through the conquering of that bully that’s trying to suck the very life out of you. Sometimes, you better duck and move, because dodging the lighting bolt and getting out of the way will be your safety and survival. Still other times, staying out right where you are will give the needed time for your army of support to come to flank you on either side, and through that needed help of family and friends, your faith and your God, the battle is won!

So, no matter what your natural inclination is when the storms come, the most important thing is to use wisdom to know the best reaction to act upon. Sometimes, your very survival will be dependent upon the wisdom of that one moment.

Tuesday’s Treats #104

Ostannya Barykada (or “The Last Barricade”)

Location: Kiev, Ukraine

From the secret code needed to gain entrance into the hidden door to the walls covered in Ukrainian memorabilia, the restaurant surrounds you with the pride and patriotism of Ukraine. You cannot help leaving feeling like you’re taking a bit of Ukraine home with you.

The menu is in both Ukrainian and English; so, don’t worry if you don’t speak the language. Be sure to start with the warm bread that is a bread bowl with melted Brie inside. Oh. My. Goodness. Yum! It is rye bread of which I’m actually not a big fan; yet, when paired with the cheese and jam, it is absolutely delicious! The chicken Kiev and fried potatoes and mushrooms are absolutely incredible, as is the steak and cherry dumplings. We weren’t brave enough to try the mashed potatoes with catfish, but one in our party did get regular mashed potatoes, and they were quite tasty.

The whole experience is definitely worth the effort to find this hidden gem in the middle of Kiev. I found an article on the restaurant, and I will share it here, as it doesn’t seem they have an actual website.

Got Character?

What do you do when things don’t go your way? Do you pitch a fit, and throw a tantrum, get mad and not speak to anyone?

What do you say when you are falsely accused, maligned or slandered? Do you strike out in revenge, slander right back and fight and claw to bring about your own deserved justice? Do you take the “martyrdom high road,” and manipulate the ones accused with guilt and shame to bring retribution? Or do you recede into nothingness, pretending you don’t care, it doesn’t matter, and you don’t matter anymore?

How do you react when everything falls apart, and it seems the world is closing in around you? Do you cry, scream, become apathetic or create scenarios of denial all around you?

Life brings with it sufferings, unfair events and painful injustices. Sometimes, it will kick you in the teeth and, just for the fun of it, kick you again when you’re down. Sometimes, it just is what it is, and there’s not a blessed thing you can do about it.

What you do in those critical moments will determine your character, integrity and stability in handling far more than that moment for all to see and know for a lifetime. What you say and do in that moment can make an impact for life.

So, I ask you again… what do you do in those crucial moments? What do you say? How do you respond? How do you react?