Whimsical Wednesday

Oh, the deadlines, test dates, pictures, invitations, test scores, applications, conversations and far away visits that happen in the last lap.

The tears flow unexpectedly and without warning. The memories flood in like a cold, hard rain, and the expectations burst forth like a bright ray of sunshine.

There’s apprehension, excitement, fears, doubts and joys to be had.

Your heart desires to hold on tightly, clinging to all that has been, not wanting to extricate or even peek ahead.

Yet, your head knows the day comes and waits for no man, understanding this is all you’ve worked toward since the day your eyes first met.

Your hands acknowledge the time is beckoning him to fly, and there will be no flight if they don’t release their grasp.

Your soul understands if there is no surrender, his wings will be clipped, and the sorrow will be grave for all involved.

Your feet can feel the earth begin to tremble; you question is that the ground or the foundation of your dreams.

For they’re no longer your hopes, your visions, your aspirations; they must become his as he pursues the calling within.

The smiles savored and the grief in farewell is intermingled with the confidence and exhilaration of the promises yet to come.

As you cheer him on for this last lap that will count for a lifetime of yesterdays and tomorrows.

Penned – MG – 12/10/19

Don’t Hide the Scar

*A little late to posting today. My apologies.

I saw this picture the other day, and it struck a chord in my soul. Sometimes, we work hard to hide the scars we’ve obtained through the valleys of life. Many times, a scar leaves us with the memory of what is broken and marred. Often times, we try to cover the scar with a smile, a laugh or a seeking to remain in the shadows, thinking somehow, if the scar is never seen, the wounds and the pain will magically disappear as well.

I have found this statement to be so very true. “Never be ashamed of a scar. It simply means you were stronger than whatever tried to hurt you.”

Growth, strength and healing is all in perspective. Let truth be your guide. Let love be your light, and let hope be your destiny despite the scars with which you travel.

Hold your head high and embrace those things that remind you of the struggle, of the wrestling for the next breath, and always remember, your scars don’t make you a victim, unless you choose for them to be.

My Hearts Weeps No More

You converse with me

But no one is standing there.

You laugh and tell me the stories

But no one is smiling.

You rewrite the history to fit your look

But no one hears the news.

You embrace my form and shed a tear

But no one sees your charades.

You reach once more for my hand

But my heart weeps no more.

Penned – MG – 10/21/19

Whimsical Wednesday

Where does the trail of life lead you?

Do you run down it, trees and grass, asphalt and people, just a blurt around you?

Do you saunter down it, the environment just there for your parade?

Do you drag your feet behind, dreading every step as you draw closer to your destination?

Or could you possibly walk, pausing along the way to take in the sights, breathe in the air, let it consume you in the moment?

Could you possibly stop to smell the roses and count them, one by one?

Don’t miss out on what’s right in front of you because you’re looking too far behind or searching too far ahead… ❤️

Penned – MG – 10/9/19

Homemade Happiness

I have this in the center of my kitchen table. Our kitchen is kind of the “hub” of the house. This table sees a lot of activity throughout the week. This table gets family meals, single-man breakfasts (when my son is headed to work at the crack of dawn and no one else wants to get up), late night homework binges, random board game ambitions and Sunday afternoon chillin’-on-FB-and-WP time.

I found this trivet, as they call it, and I knew I needed to sit it in this spot as a constant reminder to myself, our boys, and anyone who enters our home, of its vital truth. Too often, in today’s society, especially in the realms of media, we hear so much of what will bring happiness, what will bring fulfillment, what will bring an inner peace to one and all. Some claim more money, materialistic endeavors, fame, fortune, popularity, and even more political based ideas and agendas, will bring you all the happiness you need.

Yet, I wish I could scream this phrase from the rooftops and write it in the sky for the world to see. Happiness IS homemade. Happiness is found within rather than “without.” In all actuality, happiness is never truly found…

You see happiness is simply a feeling that will come and go with the trials of life. It is an emotion that will rise with the next success story and plummet to the depths in the next failure. Happiness does not last longer than the event with which it enters.

Oh, but JOY does! Joy is that homemade “happiness” that doesn’t just rise on occasion or fall with common mistakes. Joy is birthed within one’s very soul, and it can sustain the midnight hour of grief, sorrow and pain.

So many mistake happiness for joy, because it brings a smile to your face and a spring in your step. Others replace joy with the temporary seduction of happiness, because a greedy heart is satisfied or a fearful mind is momentarily calmed. Yet, this kind of happiness dwindles when the storms of life roll back in with the tide of broken hearts. This kind of happiness dissipates as the rocky road of despair and doubt settle in for the long haul.

No, joy comes from a deeper source. Joy is a state of being that, often times, can’t be described in mere words, but rather, it must be experienced. Joy like this is only found in the One who gives life, the One who brings all things good, the One who knows every intricate part of you and me and who has unfathomable, unforgettable plans for each of us.

Yeah, He is the only One who can give you this kind of JOY. He is the only One who can give it, because He IS that joy, and that joy is Hope in Him!

Be the Fire

No one said this life would be fair. No one said you’d always walk along a path of daisies and roses. Sometimes, life just stinks, and you have to live through the pain and agony it presents.

Sometimes, this life is going to be set on fire, and you’ve got to decide whether you’re going to grab a bucket and put out the flames , stand your ground and walk through the blaze, or lie down and become the ashes. The choice is yours, and no one can make that choice for you.

You can be destroyed in the fire, or you can slow it to refine you, strengthen you and teach you. If you decide to lie down and allow it to consume, you must know that your life may not be the only one that is devoured. There may be children, grandchildren, friends and family. Often, we do not realize, we stand as a shield for those coming behind.

If you choose to walk through, the road may not be easy, and it may get hotter and more strenuous before it gets better, but there is one who promises you will not be diminished from the inferno.

His name is Jesus.

And He loves you.

With God by your side, the flames may lick at your being, and the temperatures may rise beyond comfortable, but YOU WILL MAKE IT. He will walk beside you. He will guide you, and when needed, He will carry you.

Give Him a chance. He will not disappoint. He is able. He is faithful. He is true, and His promises are unbreakable…inflammable…in-consumable.

When you choose to walk through the flames with Him, you become resilient to the wildfires. You become a pillar of stone that cannot be singed. You become the firefighter who rescues others from the flames.

Not Meant for You

This might seem a little strange to have as a post for Valentine’s Day, and I almost scheduled for Friday instead of today. Then, as I thought about it, I decided what a great post for such a day as the celebrated “Love Day.” I’ll tell you why…

Sometimes, we have to realize another person’s rejection isn’t because of us, but rather, because of them, Not because of who we are, but rather because of whom they are… Or maybe, whom they cannot be… Because he/she wasn’t meant to be in our future. I saw this image posted one day and thought this one tiny sentence says so much! Someone out there needs to hear this today…

Yes, sometimes, the removal of a person in our lives is because of a stupid action or dumb choice that we have made, and that will be another blog for another day. Right now, I want to take a minute to speak into someone’s life who is hurting, and you’re wondering how in the world it could have come to this. You are wondering how could that person have rejected you after you worked so hard, you loved so deeply, and you gave so much.

You keep rolling the memories back through your mind. You remember the sacrifices you made. You recall the smiles you offered to cheer their rainy days. You recollect the extra miles you walked just so they wouldn’t be alone. You reminisce the hurdles you jumped and the mountains you climbed just to remain faithful and true to the love you believed the two of you shared.

This brokenness you are experiencing, I cannot claim to feel as deeply. This betrayal and rejection that cuts like a knife, I cannot pretend to completely comprehend. I am not there, living in your shoes.

Yet, I can tell you, this season will bring more growth and more wisdom than you could ever imagine. I can share with you, there will come a moment when the breathing doesn’t feel like suffocation within your bones. I can say to you, there will come a day when the sun will shine again.

It may not be today. It may not be tomorrow, or next week, or even six months from now, but if you are able to find the Hope that I have found, His grace can and will be sufficient. He can bring beauty for ashes. He can bring joy for mourning. He can turn your gray skies to a brighter day and work all things for your good…the good, the bad and the ugly!

He can show you that the person who brought all this pain wasn’t rejecting you, he or she just wasn’t meant to be a part of your destiny. They weren’t meant to share the precious love you have to give. They weren’t meant to be there when you accomplish those life long goals. They weren’t meant to be a part of the rejoicing and celebration. They weren’t meant to take part in your eternal joy.

So, let them go.

It is not as much your loss as much as it is theirs.

As they walk away, take a deep breath and realize, your future is brighter without their shadow. 😉

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Go out and celebrate! ❤️

17 Years … Have We Forgotten?

Written yesterday, on the 17th Anniversary of 9/11…

Consumed with memories today…

I will never forget the feelings as I sat on the bed in a hotel room in Cleveland, Tn, on this day 17 years ago. We were in town for a funeral, and I was holding JGrizz in my arms. He was only one month old. My mother knocked on my door to tell me what happened, and I didn’t believe her until I turned on the news. I sat in disbelief, shock, fear and grief as I watched all of the events play out. It felt like a nightmare, a terrible, never-ending bad dream.

How could this be happening in our nation, America, the home of the free and the brave? It was so overwhelming; it was almost hard to breathe. We went to The Blue Hole (a beautiful rock filled area on the Ocoee River) later that day just to try to collect our thoughts and the gravity of what this horror meant for our country.

Then, just days later, I watched with pride, honor and respect as men and women began pulling together as communities, people of all races, backgrounds and walks of life began looking past themselves to something bigger: the rebuilding, the protection, and the defense of a beautiful nation. Firefighters, police officers, welders, construction workers and so many others would come in droves from all over the country, on the backs of big rigs, stop at red lights in NY and be cheered on by the business men and women who were waiting to cross the streets to try to carry on a “new normal” workday. The builders rebuilt and mended the broken walls while the New Yorkers tried to make some semblance of understanding of their, now, broken city. Hope was slowly seeping into every crevice, chasing away the shadows, as love ones were pulled from the ruble, as small miracles were found along the way.

Everyone went the extra mile, wanting to leave no one behind. Everyone worked hand in hand, side by side, to restore the life, liberty and pursuit of happiness upon which this nation was founded. Bravery, chivalry and just sheer, raw, unapologetic guts and strength were applauded that day and each day thereafter.

It was a horrific tragedy, an unimaginable crisis that brought this nation together that year, because the pain, destruction and new purpose for healing was bigger than any trivial opinion, any mindless political jargon, and any petty argument brought about by boredom and self-exhalation. Let us NEVER FORGET what happened that day and the days, months, and years that followed. Let us never be so consumed with the frivolous manic speeches of today’s media and the inessential accusations and fallacies that it takes this kind of world shaking for God to once again get our attention as a nation.

Pray now, church.

Let us NEVER FORGET.

*I do my own not possess either of these pics. Found in a simple google search.*

A Trade Off

Sometimes, I have to remember that I don’t have to continue in my weakness, thinking somehow, it’s going to magically turn into greatness. When the Scripture says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” (Philippians 4:13) that’s what it meant!

I am only strong when I admit my weakness and allow Christ to rule and reign in my heart AND in my actions! I am only refreshed when I throw my weakness into His greatness! I am only encouraged and able to carry on when I release my pride and stop pretending to be strong and realize I am only strong because of Christ living inside of me!

Thank you, Jesus, I don’t have to muster up some pretend faith to be a valiant warrior when I am just a truly, the warrior is a child. Thank you for trading my weakest moments with Your strongest power! Thank you that you are able! You are faithful, and You are strong! ❤️

Freedom of Forgiveness

I saw this post on FB today, and I thought it an awesome subject upon which to post. This is so very hard, sometimes, but it is so very true. The quicker we learn this lesson, the better, and the key to unlocking its truth is in the freedom of forgiveness.

I have found the quicker you can truly forgive someone who has hurt you, the less like them you will become. Over the years, I have watched family members, friends and acquaintances who have “claimed” forgiveness was in their hearts, but as you listened to them talk about the certain person or circumstances, all you heard was bitterness flowing from their souls. As I’ve watched these year after year, I have seen how, slowly over time, they have become more and more like the person who hurt them, the one whom they haven’t forgiven.

You see, the unforgiveness you harbor within your heart will fester and soak in anger and disgust. Eventually, that unforgiveness takes hold of your soul and buries a root of bitterness deep beneath the surface. Once the root of bitterness takes up space, it will consume and override rational thought, peace and even at times, your own sanity.

Learn to let go. Learn to forgive. Learn to show mercy and grace. It doesn’t mean all is well at the snap of a finger, and it surely doesn’t necessarily mean reconciliation is on the heels of the forgiveness. Some things just get lost in the pain, brokenness and years.

Yet, it does mean your heart can heal. It does mean you can grow and learn and dream once again. It does mean you can grasp hope, embrace love and be consumed by an inner peace that will no longer be easily shaken.