How’s That Breath of Yours?

 

Have you ever been talking to someone, and you feel like holding your breath, because theirs is so overpowering? Have you ever tried to keep your composure while the person speaking to you is breathing an aura of STANK all around your head? Oh! It can be downright suffocating, can’t it? You just want to put a clothespin over your nose, a mask over your face, or even just hand a piece of gum to the person as a great big sign that says, “Please! Go brush your teeth!”

5d10e5a9a3c0f525123ffbbb8c3c474a

pinterest

Did you know, HOW we talk can provide this same type of atmosphere? Our words can create an air of pleasantry or putrid disgust around the person to whom we are speaking. It is all in what we talk about. If our talk is of positive things, the atmosphere we create will be like a breath of fresh air, a mint filled aroma or even bubble gum popping fun. However, if our conversation is filled with negativity, gossip or the tearing down of another, it can be as if we just bit into an onion, forgot to floss for a year or even had a mouth full of rotten garbage. Nobody wants to smell that mess!

fullsizeoutput_919

pinterest

Let our words be pleasant. Let our speech be charming and cheerful. Let our conversations fill the air with a beautiful aroma, one of which everyone will desire to be a part. There’s actually some truth in momma’s old adage, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all!” 😉

il_340x270-515826714_qt44

easy.com

 

 

 

Advertisements

Living and Dying

Originally posted January 31, 2015…

Just came from the hospital… thankfully, not as a patient today, just a simple visitor. Yet, my heart aches deep inside for those I met, those I passed as I walked the halls. A wife praying over her husband, doctors can’t seem to find the source of infection. A mother, elderly, awaiting dialysis and hoping to heal from her fall. Others along the way, broken, battered and bruised. Some dying to live, others living to die.

You never know someone’s journey unless you walk alongside them. Some come in smiling, only to leave weeping. Others come in desperate, scared, only to leave rejoicing for one more chance. We are none guaranteed our tomorrows. We are not promised our next breath.

Are you ready for the end? Are you prepared for that last sigh of life? Some live like there are no goodbyes. Some trade the beauties of today for the sorrows of tomorrow. Some just wander aimlessly, never really living, not immediately dying, just simply existing in the nothingness.

Can I challenge you today? Can I spark a flame within? Live deliberately. Make your choice to breathe. Die with grace. Never give up a moment simply to clutch what might have been. Never let a minute go by that you forget the joy of living for the sake of sorrow, regret or even fear.

Grasp today by the neck and don’t let go until it’s done. Drink in the sun. Soak in the rain. Take it for what it gives, and make the best of it. Don’t shrink away from the pain. Don’t boast in the joy. You may see it change in the next millisecond. Appreciate and love those around. Forgive and forget when you can. Impact your world for good. Love deep. Laugh much. Live full.

This moment is a gift! Open it. Enjoy it. Share it with those around you. It can never be returned. It can never be saved for another time in space. It is this moment. It is this day. Live it to the fullest in every way!

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Life is so Short

  Life is short. It stops for no man. Stop. Inhale. Breathe. Make the Moments Last. Cherish those you love longer. Don’t let those memories be lost simply because you haven’t the time to remember. Don’t brush away the tears simply because you don’t want them to see. Pause and ponder. Look up and wonder. Gaze into the eyes of a child, and remember what matters most.

There is a host of generations quickly coming behind us. What will we leave them? What will we say? Will we win them, or will we toss them away, believing they weren’t worthy of our cause? Those stepping forward will come with or without us. They will keep marching forward. Time does not stop simply because we wish it to. If we refuse to lead them, someone else will, and then, we will weep.

It is our choosing. It is within our grasp; yet, it is just like a lifeline thrown to the drowning. If we don’t take hold, the rescue can be lost, and death will eventually come. We must decide who, when, how, and we must do it quickly. If we turn away, they will keep advancing with their drum beat deafening our ears. We may be able to hold the line, or we may just be trampled under their feet.

Penned – 8/25/15 – MG

Wednesday’s Ode #11

Today, I’d like to be headed toward what I am going to give tribute: the mountains! Oh, how I love the mountains! We live near the North Georgia Mountains, and every time I get near, every time I get even a glimpse of them, I have to take a couple of really deep breaths and just close my eyes and let everything else simply slip away. 

    I am, specifically, in love with the N.GA mountains and the Smoky Mountain National Park; however, I have been to the Rockies, as well as, several other parks and mountain ranges along the East coast, and I love them all!! 
  There is just something about standing at the base of an ancient hill that has withstood the test of time. Those ranges have stood strong amidst rain, blistering heat, earthquakes, snow and mankind. Their strength precedes them. Their peace hovers around them, and it can be felt with more intensity the closer you get. 

Some fear the mountains, because they are unpredictable and unwavering in the raw elements; however, I have found my time spent hiking, walking, or simply gazing up at the trees, is always refreshing, revitalizing, and it reequips me for the days I have ahead. Some grow frustrated and restless as they draw near to the sheer size of the mound; yet, I find myself longing for moments of solitude in their midst. They are a fortress, a refuge, a high tower upon which I will lean and find rest. They bring me peace, strength, and even, wisdom, as I gaze at their majesty. They are a constant reminder to me of their Creator and mine. 

I just love, love, love the mountains!! My heart is longing to escape to that fortress even now. …Hmmm, I wonder if I could possibly squeeze in a trip to them today…or at least, over this coming weekend! 🙂

Fall Into It (4)

Fall into PEACE

Fall into peace like you’re falling back onto your incredibly soft pillow top or down mattress (or whatever you prefer), and you’re about to get the best night’s sleep you’ve had in your life! Perfect peace doesn’t depend on the situation or the persons involved. It is a quiet knowing of the soul that says, “Everything’s gonna be alright.” It’s a settling within that is beyond settling. It’s a peace that surpasses all understanding. It’s that moment when “all hades” has broken loose, and you sit back and breathe…and maybe even chuckle, because you know within your heart and soul that no matter what may come, “All is well with my soul.”

Fall Into It (2)

Fall Into GRACE
Fall into grace like a refreshing swimming pool on a hot summer day. It’s a gift. It’s free. We don’t earn it. There’s nothing we can do to get more or less of it. It allows us to breathe the fresh air. It helps us to continue breathing when we’ve lost a loved one, and we feel there’s no air left to take in. It helps us to stay on the straight and narrow when hell is knocking at our door, and it gives us strength to stand when we feel that same enemy has busted down the door and is about to overwhelm us. Grace gives us an escape from the temptations. It gives us rest for our souls. It gives us tenacity for the journey. Receive that grace to take one more step. To live one more day. To breathe one more breath.

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. 🙂

Do You Know Him?

Death can be so sudden, or it can be so painfully slow…Which is the harder one to accept? I believe they both have their griefs and sorrows bound up in time…For we were never actually meant to die…If God could have allowed, we’d be in the Garden of Eden at this very moment, enjoying every precious moment with Him and all our fellow mankind. Oh, how I wish we could be there forever rather than here on this dying sphere called Earth.
 
In death, I believe, we can see the hand of God…If we will take a moment to open our eyes and look for Him…Whether it be in the precious memories of our fallen loved ones, in the sweet echo of a baby’s laughter near the graveside, or in the joyous celebration of our loved one’s home-going…He is there…He is always there…longing and waiting for our last breath here on earth that we might breathe our first eternal breath in heaven.
 
So, I ask you today, “Do you know Him?” Do you know His life-saving redemption? Do you know of His life-cleansing blood? Do you know His life-changing salvation? Do you know His life-ever-after promise? Do you know Him today? Or do you just know of Him?


He loves you so much, and He longs for you to spend eternity with Him…If you don’t know Him, or if you have walked away from that once desired friendship with Him, will you take just a minute today and ask yourself, “Why?” Why not surrender your heart to Him today? Why not be sure of where you’ll spend eternity when you draw that last breath? Why not allow your loved ones to be sure of where it is you will spend eternity?

Get to know Him today..
.

20140910-113619-41779724.jpg