The Sweet Perfume

Over the last month or so, I’ve been trying to get consistent with walking daily through my neighborhood. I’m not crazy consistent, but I’ve definitely done better than before I started. Ha!

Our neighborhood is beautiful, and it has plenty of curves and hills; so, I feel I’m getting quite the workout, and the whole thing, all cul-de-sacs (5) included, is just shy of 1.5 miles. So, I try to make 2 loops, which gives me right at 3 miles. Woohoo!

The weather was absolutely perfect today. The humidity was extremely low, and the temp was maybe in the high seventies by the time I stepped out my front door, right at sunset, to try and get in a full 2 loops of walking before it was too dark. I asked my youngest son to go with me; so, I wouldn’t be by myself, and he wouldn’t be left home alone. So, he rode his bike alongside, while I walked. Well, to be more accurate, he rode past me and waited at the top of the hill before crossing the main road while I tried to speed walk to catch up! Lol! 😂

We crossed the road and proceeded to the other side of the neighborhood and down the hill. The sun was shining; the birds were singing, and the breeze was blowing just a bit; so, it felt glorious as I tried my best to catch up to my son who had coasted and proceeded to fly, down the moderate incline to the next cul-de-sac.

As I reached the cul-de-sac, the most beautiful fragrance reached my nose, I closed my eyes, and it was as if I was transported right back to my 5th grade year and my 10 year old self. I was standing in my front yard taking in the beautiful fragrance of the giant magnolia tree standing 100 feet tall (or at least, that’s what my 10 year old, little girl mind believed). I remember standing beside that tree, climbing way up in it’s branches and, sometimes, just staring up at it for hours, believing I was just as big and strong as that lovely green giant.

When it bloomed, we would take down one bloom at a time, bring it in the house, set it in a small bowl of water, and place the bowl on the dining room table, letting the fragrance fill the house. We would repeat this everyday, as the former flower would begin to wither, until the tree had no more blooms to share. It was glorious.

As I made my loops through the neighborhood today, I would pause beside that big lush tree each time, savoring the wonderful aroma, while cherishing those sweet childhood memories, and then I’d continue on my way to finish the tiring, but rewarding, three miles before dark. I even had my son go by and savor the beauty, hoping he would make a little memory, too.

As I finished my walk, I was reminded, again, of the sweet perfume of the beautiful magnolia tree, and I thought of several sweet friends who are walking through a tough journey right now. Their journey is hard and painful, and it even seems to grow a little darker at the moment; yet, they hold on tight to their faith, and we all hold onto the Hope, believing a brighter day is just around the corner for them.

That Hope is sweet perfume in the midst of struggle. That faith is the sweet fragrance of the magnolia tree in the midst of the sweaty, tiresome walk they are walking at this very moment. And I know, as they hold onto their faith and that blessed Hope, one day soon, this journey is going to be but a memory, with those sweet fragrances of the magnolia tree, to remind them of His grace and love in the midst of their storm. 💗

Be encourage, sweet friends. Enjoy the fragrance of beauty along this most difficult journey, and know I am here praying for you, and believing for your brighter tomorrows!

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The Gift

You came in without warning. You stole my heart and promised we’d be forever. Our days together were sweet, thrilling and unforgettable. We learned to love, to endure and to persevere with one heartbeat.

We didn’t just survive the storms. We learned to thrive and to conquer. They shouted, “Dreamers!” They mocked, “Too good for truth!” We grasped hands and promised to squelch their sneers and scoffing.

The years came like a blur. Children, diplomas, anniversaries and goodbyes. It was a fairy tale others dreamt to have. We were fighting the odds and winning with a high score.

The squall rolled in without alarm. We trusted what had been would always be. We held our hearts in our hands and exchanged the promise once more. For we knew this is not the end.

What will be will always be.

Penned – MG – 5/31/18

*I did not make, nor do I possess any rights to this video. Simply shared from YouTube.

Fight For These

Red, White and Blue

There is nothing new

Diversity, Poverty, Equality

The war has always been these

 

You claim I don’t care

I claim you come to scare

Selfishness, greed and self-centeredness

Our pride is the only thing we caress

 

This nation was founded on freedom

The lives that died were someone’s son

Will we really trample on their graves today

Simply to gain ground for our own way

 

Red, White and Blue

To her foundation we shall remain true

Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness

Fight for these and nothing less

 

Penned – MG – 5/27/18.

Warrior or Weeper?

I posted a similar pic the other day, using the same phrase; so, please, forgive me for being redundant. But this has been my motto for the last month, and yet, when I look back, I think this has been my motto for quite a while now…

Sometimes, I just have to remind myself to get back in the fight.

When you’ve fought so long to become someone, the person God has called you to be, there are moments when you just grow weary in the well doing. When you’re helping someone else through the battle, you know all the right answers to give them. You have faith to cheer them on. You believe they can and will make it through.

Yet, when it’s your battle… you know, that one you’ve fought your whole life and you thought it would surely have ended by now. Yeah, that one. When you’re in the middle of that battle, it can get wearisome. You can grow tired. You can become lonely and afraid that this is never going to end!

But can I encourage you? One warrior to the another? One child to the other… (because after all, that’s really all we are, aren’t we? Little children in grown up bodies who have learned to fight, frustrate, forge and forget.)

You were made for this! You have been equipped to win! You have been fashioned for this fight, and just as a trained boxer can get weary in the last round, all you have to do is stand and find your knock out punch!

So, raise your sword one more time. Lift that shield just a little higher. Take that next step toward your enemy and show him you will not back down.

You can do this! You will make it! WIN!!

“Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” Ephesians 6:13

Need more encouragement? Check out this blog post and this one, too.

Fear or Fire?

When troubles come, what do you do? Do you cower, shivering in fear? Do run away and hide? Do you stand, paralyzed by indecision and doubt? Do you run to the flames, ready to encounter what comes?

How you endure the heat will often times dictate who you become when the embers cool. What wisdom you to use to conclude your decisions will often determine your promotion or your failure. The whys of your choices will always impact those who follow.

“And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15

“Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” Romans 5:3-5

Fight Right

Too often, we fight the wrong enemy. We fight with the wrong weapons, and then, we wonder why we’re struggling and losing the battle we’ve engaged.

Ephesians 6:12, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age,[a] against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

Wage war with the right enemy, or you will constantly be “spinning your wheels” in conflict but never achieving a resolution. Face your foe with the right weapons, or you will constantly be losing ground and be receiving wound after wound, never winning the victory.

Hebrews 4:12, “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

No matter the battle, No matter the giant, with God by your side, YOU CAN WIN!!

Romans 8:31, “If God be for us, then who can be against us?”

Fight for Your Life

Sometimes, life is gonna come and kick you in the teeth. It’s gonna hurt. It’s going to be beyond painful. It’s gonna feel like you could die! No, I’m not trying to speak doomsday, and I’m really not trying to be negative. If you haven’t encountered a battle in your life, just keep on living. It’ll come. That’s just life.

Yet, we Christians weren’t called to just lie down and take it! We were not designed to cower in fear and run in retreat when the fire gets hotter! We were never destined to lay down our weapons and walk away from the battle He told us to win!

So, RISE UP! Reforge your sword! Pick up your shield, and walk toward that battle! Reclaim that ground that was lost! Fight for your life and WIN!!

2 Corinthians 10:3-5, “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

Ephesians 6:12, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

Ephesians 5:13, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

Romans 8:31, “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”

Ephesians 5:10-11, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.”

The Struggle is Real

Somedays, the confidence in who I have become is almost mesmerizing…to myself. Other days, the struggle is real…so very real. Does anyone else go through this?

Often, I wonder if anyone else actually goes through the struggles of purpose, pertinence, and passion. I walk through life with a limp and wonder if I’m just simply destined to embrace these struggles for eternity, never really getting beyond them, just settling for a toleration, a sort of cease-fire, until the moment of intimidation or fear of rejection creeps back into view. I watch as many of my friends seem to have it all together, or at the least, are so comfortable in their own skin, in their own calling and in their own life choices that they don’t seem to battle the same mind games and moments of hesitation.

Then, I see from whence I’ve come, and I see those who have gone before who are still struggling for this place of significance and value. I see those who have won the battles and those who are still wallowing in their demise. This is the moment my determination and fight, and solidarity with Scripture, comes into clear focus. I realize in this moment, there is no turning back. Retreat is not an option. Failure can not be part of the equation.

Philippians 3:14, “I press toward the goal for this the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

Hebrews 12:1, “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

The struggles we face aren’t only given to us for our own learning, our own character-building and our personal faith-strengthening. The victories on the other side of those struggles are not only for us and our own celebrations. These are to be a witness to those coming behind us. These are to become testimonies which help someone else to achieve more than we ever imagined. These are to stand as pillars, mile markers and ancient boundary stones to mark the way for those coming behind, to help them find their way through similar struggles, and to enable them to achieve more victories than we ever thought possible!

So resist that urge to quit! Keep up the struggle for as long as it takes, and win that fight toward your destiny! Clear the path, and strategically change those battle lines to victory, and set those boundaries in place that scream to the world you have won! So then, all who encounter these will know, “There is hope! You can fight and win, too!”

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.

Stand Tall

Remember…

You can do this hard thing that opposes you! You can persevere! So, stand a little taller. Hold your sword a little higher, and fight! Fight to win!

“What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31