Today, I’d like to share a sweet and encouraging blog I’ve just recently found. Amy’s Brew is thought provoking and inspiring. I do hope you’ll jump over and check it out. I believe you’ll find a lot of grace, hope and love in your destination. 😊
Recently, I had lunch at the Swan Coach House in Buckhead, Georgia. If you want to see the Old Southern Belle style of Old Atlanta, this is your place! It is rich in history and character.
Behind this restaurant is the original Swan House (mansion) steeped in even more history and character. It was amazing to see the richness of decor, even to the detailed carvings above the door frames entering the library study. It seems this family spared no expense, lavishing the halls with beautiful furnishings of the time and even building out the master closet wth marble and huge vanities and closets. The gardens, lush and magnificent, capturing the attention of Hollywood with the filming of The Mocking Jay and various weddings of the area. It was simply breathtaking.
Yet, as we traveled up the four flights of stairs to the very top floor of the house, we entered two rooms which were very plain and practical with no decorations or fanfare. It became apparent this was the former slave quarter and the ironing/folding/cleaning room. The slave’s room was said to be very close to what the actual room had been like. There was a bed with a simple quilt, a dresser with a few essentials, including a handwritten note on “How to prepare a perfect evening (bed) turndown,” a little side table with a fan, and a rocking chair by the window.
In comparison to the rest of the mansion, this room was so unattractive, it shouldn’t have made much, if any, impact. However, as I walked over to the gigantic, porthole-like window, I was struck in awe of the beautiful view. It looked out over the magnificent gardens below, and I began to imagine what it might be like to live as the slave within this home.
The work would probably be unimaginably difficult, taking care of all the household chores, caring for the children (the children’s room was just down the hall), taking those four flights of stairs everyday to go to and from the various duties throughout the home. Oh, but that view kept drawing me in. It was simply breathtaking.
I could imagine sitting by the window at night, gazing up at the full moon that might shine through. I thought of the early rising sun, chasing away the dark of night, the dew glistening in the gardens below. The work of the day ahead shadowed just a bit by the beauty which greets you in the morning light.
In this life, we will have trials. We will have tough times, hard work and difficult obstacles which will threaten to overwhelm us. Yet, we must push through to survive. We must set our sights on the important things, and our perspective must be in the right place to not only survive but to thrive.
What do you see before you? Do you see pain? Do you see difficulties and turmoil? Do you see brokenness and despair?
Or do you see an opening to life, a porthole of hope, a window of beauty that will sustain you through the storm?
God is Big. I mean REALLY Big. He doesn’t slumber, or grow tired, or even grow weary. He understands where you are, because He is understanding. He can wisely guide you, because He is wisdom. He will give you strength for weariness, because He is strength. He will give you power for weakness, because He is All Power. He will show you mercy and grace, because He is so gracious and kind. He will give you love, because He is love. He is the Creator of all things and the Creator of you very soul.
He’s the only One, True God, and He’s absolutely crazy about YOU! If you don’t know Him today, just check Him out. Just say His Name, “Jesus.” … You might just be surprised at what, or Who, you find. 😉
As I sat there preparing for Father’s Day weekend and enjoying a great lunch with my little family, we received a text from a precious friend who is about to say goodbye to the love of her life who has fought valiantly in his battle with cancer. Just an hour prior, I was speaking to a mom who tragically lost her husband last fall and listened while she shared her heart of the struggle, challenges and faith to which she clings. My mind thinks of so many more who will shed tears instead of celebrating this Father’s Day…
We are never guaranteed tomorrow. We are not even promised our next breath. Cherish the moments you have. Make the encounters account for more than just whispers on the wind…
Almost fifteen years ago, I said goodbye to the one man whom I loved as a Dad. He was my grandfather, but he was with me every step of the way. No one will ever be able to take his place in my heart. I miss him to this day, and I will always cherish the memories we made.
After 40+ years of brokenness, my biological dad and I have a reconciled relationship of acquaintances being built. It will never become what it should have been, and even though, my heart still aches for the little girl who had dreams for what could have been, I appreciate the reality of what is. My soul breathes a little deeper with the hope we now have.
Thirty-two years ago, a man walked into my life and became a father he’d never had the chance to be. To many, a stepdad is just a man, one who lives in the house, pays the bills and sets the rules. This man came in and became a father. He had his own mistakes, and I had mine. We kind of grew into this thing together. It might not be the best father-daughter scenario, nor one of perfection, but it is one of love. For that, I am grateful.
No matter where you find yourself today, whether you are in your Daddy’s arms, or at the graveside, saying goodbye one more time, or saying hello to a new relationship, or trying to figure out what to do with all the pain and sorrow of those yesteryears, there is One who will be there for you always. Place your heart in His hands, for, He will carry you through, and He will never leave you. ❤️
Today is Friday, and that means it’s time for me to share a new “friend” with you! I love this time of the week, because there are so many incredible bloggers out there, and I get the privilege of highlighting one each Friday. 😊
Today, I’d like to share with you Let The Spirit In. Rev. Beene has a unique way of sharing a spiritual truth within her everyday living experiences. I only came across her blog this week; so, honestly, I cannot say I know, understand or even agree with all of her Biblical standings, and I will not pretend that I do. However, the few posts I have read thus far, one on the Spirit, one on gratefulness, and one on spiritual discipline, have been incredibly encouraging to me. I hope you will check out her blog and be encouraged as well. 😊
Read this Scripture today, and even though, I’ve read it before, it seemed to come alive to me once more. “Lord, You are my portion and my cup…” He not only is what fills me, but He is the vessel which holds the filling, the portion. He is truly all we need!
Our pastor’s sermon this morning was titled, “Surrounded by Miracles While Still Asking for a Sign.” He talked about how everything around us is a miracle. We live on this little blue marble, which circles this great big ball of fire, while a sphere of rock illuminated by that ball of fire controls and maintains our ocean tides, all hurling through space, while all surrounded by rock and death and other masses of fire. This tiny blue marble has the perfect conditions for life and oxygen, wind and rain. All the while, we have this heart beating within our chest over which we have absolutely no control, and we still sit here demanding God for a sign. We keep saying, “God, I don’t see any miracles today. I don’t see Your hand moving as it once did. I can’t see any miraculous acts declaring Your glory and power.”
How blind are we? How wicked is our wayward heart? There are miracles all around us, we just fail to see them. Our eyes are not given to us to see. Our eyes are given to us to look through. We must allow Him to give us the right perspective. We must allow Him to cause our eyes to see.
2 Kings 6:17, shows us how the Lord does this. Elisha was surrounded by the army of Arameans who were commanded by the king to kill him. Elisha’s servant saw this army and was afraid while Elisha didn’t fear. He knew God was on his side and would win the battle. Elisha prayed this prayer for his servant, ““Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.” (2 Kings 6:17) That’s a pretty big difference in just a moment of time. God gave him a new perspective.
Sometimes, we must have a new perspective to see clearly. There are times in our lives when God isn’t going to answer the prayers we pray the way we believe they should be answered. There are going to be moments when things don’t make sense, and we wonder where God is and if He has forsaken us. There will be other days when we get into the mode of comparing our lives with someone else’s and wondering why God is blessing them so much, and we just seem to get the skimpy leftovers of life.
That is when we need to remember this scripture in Psalm 16. This is when we must remember the story of Elisha and his servant. This are the very moments when we must ask God to give us the right perspective that we might see His miracle right here within our own chest.
I pray He’d give you eyes that you might see. 💗
Too often in our society today, young people are taught to do what they want, when they want, and whatever they want. They are intensely guided to be whatever they feel like on that particular day, or even hour, and they are excused for any outbursts, irresponsibility and even wrath. They are coddled and cradled with every whim of desire.
Please understand, I don’t say this out of judgement or anger, as some might want to claim, as any disagreement in this culture is also taught to be certain judgment and hate speech. No, this comes more from a heart of disappointment and sorrow. Too often, our young people today are deprived of strength, dignity and grace because of this mentality of neglect and immaturity. They are robbed of knowing true respect and honor from hard work, self evaluation and strong decision making for the choices presented in their lives.
It seems there is more cultural pressure to remain a child well into the adult years, and then when this choice is made, they wonder why they don’t have the respect and honor from their elders that they so desire. They cannot see that, as an adult, the lack of standards and values does not make you a more intellectual and affluent human being, but rather, it causes you to appear more childish and infant-like. Then they wander aimlessly through life with empty eyes and hollow hearts blaming all those around them for the pain and lack of life they live.
This is a sad state of affairs I see before me, and although, I am not able to change the whole world, and I may not be able to impact all those around the globe, I can start within my own home. I can start within my own community, my own neighborhood, my church and my city. It only takes one small match to start a wildfire. It only takes one youth to change a nation.
Let’s start right here, right now…
“How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word. I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Praise be to you, LORD; teach me your decrees. With my lips I recount all the laws that come from your mouth. I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches. I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word.”Psalm 119:9-16 NIV
Today is Friday, and this is the day I get to share a new blog with you. I always love this time, because there are so many wonderful blogs out there to be shared! These blogs have inspired me, encouraged me, or simply challenged me, and I hope for you, they’ll do the same. 😊
Joyouslyhopeful is a great blog where you’ll find encouragement and an incredible story of survival. She wrote Broken Pieces last year, and if I remember right, that’s how I found her blog. I love the picture in this post and the symbolism it gives. We are all broken pieces which make up His beautiful masterpiece. Her personal story is one of broken pieces becoming a magnificent masterpiece.
I hope you will check out her blog today. Enjoy!
Your words constantly tumble out, as if no one truly understands.
Your mouth moves methodically,never caring where the next victim lands.
Your phrases spin detailed webs to catch your prey and bleed.
It is like a blood-letting, all believe the lies you cast are exactly what they need.
When will you see the tragic damage your envy has brought?
What destruction has your venomous language been wrought?
Why do you persuade and manipulate, claiming all the time it’s not yours still?
Who will be the next one on the list as you close in for the kill?
For an endless time, my eyes have witnessed this harm, the anger your ambition brings.
I can no longer remain within the vicinity of your grasp and strings.
I am leaving your wake of tears for I have shed too many to regain.
It is in wisdom and grace and love and peace where my heart will now remain.
Penned – MG – 5/20/17
There’s not much more I can say to this, except to say, this is so very true. A deceased pastor friend of mine, who lost his wife of many years, once said, “I don’t want to get over it, I just want to learn how to handle it.” Grief if never easy, and it never totally leaves you. Just when you think you’ve moved beyond the pain, it can come about like a cold, hard rain. Time never really heals the wounds, it just helps to allow you the ability to breathe one more time…