I Survived!


Well, my phone acted like a fish this last Monday evening. We had had a wonderful evening with friends, out on the lake, watching the sunset, docking at a great restaurant to enjoy a delicious meal, and we were headed back into the marina to call it a night. The sun had set, and the sky just had the last few remnants of the beautiful color and light. I decided I needed one more picture to add to the beautiful collection I had gathered throughout the evening. I aimed and attempted to click the button. 

All of a sudden, the phone literally flipped out of my hand, bounced on the seat, flipped once more and splashed ever so slightly into the lake. I promise you, had it been a fish, it wouldn’t have surprised me, because it seemed desperate to reach that water! Had it not been so shocking and annoying to lose all that information and photos in an instance, it would have been quite comical. 

So, I’ve spent the last 3 days pretending to live back a few decades when you actually had to tell someone where you’d be and wait until your arrive at the given place to actually talk to someone. I’ve spent the last 60+ hours using my Mac to do a little texting communication and to check FB and to blog. It’s been an interesting week, and I can say, I survived! 😂 For those of you who think you can’t live without that little handheld black box of communication, you might want to try it…maybe not by dropping your phone in the lake, but maybe by allowing it to sit alone by itself for a few hours in a day. I stand as a witness, it can be done. 😉

It actually was nice to not have the pressure of answering phone calls, checking for text messages and following up with Messenger messages. It was nice to be able to tell my family exactly where and when I was going to be somewhere and allow my boys to depend solely on their father while we were a part. It was nice to have hours on end of quiet and focus without the distraction of the phone. Actually, this separation from my phone happens more often than you might think, but the presence of it was always near, and to not have it there was both enlightening and strengthening. 😊

If I’m being honest, I’d have to confess, it was not so nice, however, to not have my calendar to keep up with appointments and to wonder if my sweet memories held in photographs might be returned. It was, also, not so nice to not have the convenience of google when I needed it at my fingertips to look up bits of information. Yet, it was doable, and everything in the world didn’t fall apart due to a simple phone loss. Yeah…

Oh, and my almost 16 year old son was sweet enough to allow me to “hold” his phone for a few hours while I drove to and from Atlanta one day this week. That was both surprising and refreshing. Miracles do happen. Imagine that! 😂

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Your Wake of Tears

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 

It’s All Gone

When our words are cross 

Time stands still

All the joy is gone

And I can’t find my will

When our looks are stern

Clouds roll in

All the fun times are gone 

And the wages are sin

When silence is strong 

Darkness falls

All the laughter is gone

And the buildings are walls

When you’re not with me 

Life turns gray

All the sunshine hides

And I can’t find the day

Please come back to me…

Penned – MG – 5/11/17

Live For The Eternal

As I visited with my ailing relative today, I was reminded again of how sweet heaven will be when we are all there together. There will be no more sickness and no more pain. Our loved ones will never die, and we will never worry about crises, heartaches, destruction or even the threats of such. We will say no more goodbyes, and the trivial things of this world will have all been lost.

If I had but one piece of advice to give, it would be this: No matter what you seek in this life, all things will eventually fade away, only those things which are eternal will remain. Never allow the temporary pleasures to blind you from the eternal treasures. Live for those who matter, and let all the rest simply fade with the time of life’s journey. Recognize and acknowledge your reality. Cherish the ins of value, and make sure you are both ready for the other side; so together, you might worship your King in eternity…

Happy Mom’s Day

I usually have the Friday’s New Angle and the answer posted here on Fridays and Saturdays; so, I thought it might be appropriate to go ahead and wish all of you a HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY! …and for those who almost forgot, here’s your chance to go get that card and gift! 😉

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I hope you have a WONDERFUL day, and even if you’re not able to spend it with your children or your mom, I hope you are able to spend it with someone you love! My prayer is your day is consumed with good memories, well wishes and lots and of love and joy!

However, for so many, this day is filled with dread, with tears and even a little anger or frustration for the mother or spouse who has already said goodbye in this life. When Mother’s Day rolls around for those in this category, often, the feelings can be so overwhelming they would rather the day simply pass on like any other and not be mentioned. For these, I say, “God bless you, and I pray you find peace today. I pray you find grace for your pain, and I pray you find joy in your place of grief.”

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Losing a mom is like no other loss one can experience. I have heard it described as losing your best friend, losing your right arm, or even losing a piece of your heart you truly realized you had until she’s gone. Probably the best description I have heard was from my mother-in-law, who has become like a second mother to me. She said (my paraphrase), “It’s as if, all of a sudden, I had a great big hole open up in my life. You don’t know what to do with it. You can’t jump over it; you can’t fill it in, and the pain of it is almost unbearable. Sometimes, you contemplate just jumping into the hole, thinking that will make it better…People say time will heal the pain…No, the hole is there for the rest of your life. It never gets filled back in with the passing of time; you just learn how to manage it and begin to walk around it.”

Miss-you-mom-died-cant-stop-crying-tears-smilesCan I encourage you today to take notice of those who may be grieving during this “fun weekend” we call Mother’s Day? Can I urge you to let your heart mourn with them and allow your arms of love to reach out? They need your words of comfort, and they need thoughts of grace. These days are not easy for so many, especially when it is the first (or even second) Mom’s Day they have gone without her…

 

Dear New York

In honor of the fallen today, I am reposting this that I shared last October… We will never forget. 🇺🇸🗽

New York, your towers once stood so tall.

The face of pride and success for all.

Terror crept in without even a sound.

Inside your walls, their evil did pound.

My heart is broken, my eyes fill with tears.

Please know our God still lingers near.

I cry for your loss, your distress and your pain.

Now is not the time to worry about your gain.

Turn your eyes and look t’ward Jesus.

He will help heal your wounds. He must.

Look up and see your Savior’s great love.

He comforts as He sends His sweet dove.

His hand is just, sovereign and true.

If you’ll surrender, He can make you anew.

He longs for you to love Him and to serve Him.

Before all your lights are, once again, made dim.

Please don’t linger, turn away or wait.

Please do not put off till it is far too late.

He longs to hold you, to love you, to mend.

But He is a good God, He will now not force you to bend.

There will come a day of not another breath.

Every knee will bow, every tongue will confess.

He is the Lord of Lords and the King of Kings.

That day will be too late for your heart to sing.

His return is, oh, so very, very soon.

Turn your eyes to Him before the great boom.

He desires to help you, to cleanse you from all vice.

He loves you; He died for you. For you, He paid the great price.

Penned – MG – 9/11/02

A New Beginning

“It’s not the end. It’s only a new beginning…”

A good friend shared this revelation with me as he had just been diagnosed with a curable sickness and was beginning to learn to eat differently and take some new medications in order to feel better…all at an age well over 60. 

I said goodbye to a precious woman the other day, a goodbye that will last until I see her again in eternity. She was a strong lady of character, dignity and grace. Her family is starting each new day with her absence, learning to grieve, to cope, to live again. 

Some great friends of ours moved away to another state months ago. We probably won’t see them but maybe once or twice a year now. They are greeting new friends and learning to grow and adjust in a new home, city and surroundings. 

Our sons started a new school endeavor this year. They are no longer taught in the classroom but now receive all their instructions virtually through the Internet and tutoring videos. They are beginning to transition and learn new ways of communication and knowledge gathering. 

In all these things, and in so many more, we close one chapter in our lives; yet, another is quickly opened. We may no longer have the comfort zones of our past, but in the new, we learn to thrive. That’s what life is all about. 

So, when changes come and transitions must be made, try not to be drowned by losses; look to what is ahead. Those things, and those people, will surely be missed, but if we remain stagnant in our grief, we will never be able to embrace the new which is ahead. We will never be able to start on the new beginnings, and growth will fall beyond our grasp.

So, reminisce over what was; cherish those memories. However, don’t stay there without forward motion, or you will surely miss the sweet moments which can be treasured ahead. 

One of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite authors might sum up this little thought…

“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” ~ Dr. Seuss 

Happy Father’s Day

*Lengthy post alert (just a little 😉)*

Father’s Day invokes so many thoughts, feelings and emotions for so many. To look through social media lately, you’d think every woman is “Daddy’s Little Girl,” and most men are “Dad’s Best Bud;” yet, for many, like myself, Father’s Day is filled with a pure mixture of emotions.


You see, as a small child, I hardly ever saw my biological Dad. He was an alcoholic, worked as a merchant marine and was off to sea more often than he was at home. His father wasn’t really present in his life, and he didn’t know how to be present in mine. Sure, he promised to call, promised to come, and I’d watch and wait for hours.  At four years old, I’d even have my bags packed by the door, waiting for hours on end, only to realize, in the moments of crying myself to sleep, that he wasn’t coming, once again. I do have a few fond memories of him from my younger years, and I still hold those tightly in the treasure chest of my mind, but I don’t call him Daddy anymore. As an adult, some things have changed, and we have slowly begun a new relationship, but those days of “Daddy’s little girl” have faded; for some things are simply lost over time and just can’t be regained. The emotions found here are disappointment, forgiveness and resolution.

There was another man in my life with whom “Daddy’s little girl” took on a totally different meaning… My grandfather, or as I affectionately called him, Pa”T,” stepped into my life and became the daddy I never had and of whom I’d always dreamed. He was bigger than life, purely a man’s man, rough and tough as leather but tender as a rose petal when it came to me. He treated me as a jewel and loved me with a fierce, protective love. I grew up learning what true love in a marriage should look like, what kind of man to look for in a lifetime partner and how that man should treat me through the years. In 2002, I had to say goodbye to my Pa”T, and my life was forever changed. The emotions found there are admiration, devotion and respect.  

Steve came into my life when I was at the young age of twelve. He married my mom and tried to become the father figure I had never had and the dad he had never known to be. He taught me so many things over the years. He taught me a love for the Smoky Mountains and an appreciation for God’s creatures and all of His creation. He learned to listen to my teenage chatter and helped me to see beyond my selfish adolescence to the beautiful scenery of God.  He taught me kindness and patience, but most of all, he taught me about the miracle love a father can have for a child who is not biologically his. He became the earthly father I needed who would, one day, give me away to my lifetime love. The emotions found here are appreciation, recognition and acceptance.  

Not to overly extend this little list, but I’d like to add another, if I may…my father-in-law. I guess, there are some who wouldn’t really want an “in-law” on their dad list, but I choose to, because what he has brought into my life, few other men have. He has taught me a spiritual wisdom far beyond his years, a sense of authority and confidence in God which conquers fears and intimidation, and a love for his children that surpasses personality differences, life changes and even direct conflicts. The emotions I have found here are encouragement, fortitude and honor.

 On this Father’s Day, all of these men and all of these emotions turn me to the one father figure who has been present throughout my life and even before I took my first breath. He has been here before the beginning of time, and He will remain beyond the time frame of my understanding. He is the Author and Finisher of every life ever known to be, and He is the picture of pefection. He is the best Daddy that could ever be hoped for or even imagined. He is God. He sees our faults and our failures, and He still loves us! He knew us before we were born, and He makes great plans for our future. He thinks of us as His precious creations, and He longs to have strong, unmovable relationships wth us. He redeems us from our sins, and He’s promised to come back for us again one day. I’d have to say, He thinks we’re pretty special! The emotions I find when thinking of Him are so many of these I’ve already mentioned all wrapped up in awe and wonder for who He is, who I am not, and how He could love me so much!

I have found that no matter the emotions I may uncover for the earthly fathers I have, my Heavenly Father is beyond amazing and beyond my comprehension. He is worthy of all my praise and all my adoration, and with Him guiding me through this life, He is the only Father I need for all the hopes, pains and dreams I may encounter. He is all I need.

No matter the emotions this day may bring to you, remember, you have a Heavenly Father who loves you and longs for you to come to know Him. Just talk to Him, spend time with Him, and you’ll soon find out what being a real daddy is all about.

Happy Father’s Day to all dads out there. I say thank you to the ones who have played such an important part in my life, and I say an extra, great big thanks to the One who has taken the most vital role of all. He holds my hopes, my dreams and my very life within His hands…My heart just stands in awe. ❤️

Happy Valentine’s Day

IMG_9457 As I sat in a memorial today to celebrate the homecoming of a life well lived, I thought about love, life, faith and death. I thought about the wife of the deceased who had been married for 53 years. I thought of the precious lady who sat beside me who, just a few short months ago, had said goodbye to her husband after so many years of loving each other. I thought of the young man I would see just a few minutes later, who just lost his wife to an organ transplant failure. Surrounded by so much grief, I wondered how it could possibly be Valentine’s Day today.

So many getting ready for their ‘hot dates’ tonight. Others bragging about all the candy, cards and roses they had received. My husband and myself exchanging our love just a few hours before, yet, waiting to truly celebrate until tomorrow because of all that we were a part of today. I thought of those who grieve today. I thought of those who are heartbroken, abused, deserted, lost and alone. It’s not such a heart-filled, sunshiny day for those. What do we say to them?

What do we say when our hearts are so filled with joy, excitement and laughter? What do we do when their grief seems to cast a shadow on our smile? Do we tell them just to “Get over it…tomorrow will be brighter…you’ll simply feel better later on…?” Are we really that shallow to forget how it feels to have a shattered dream and an empty heart? Are we really that naive not to know? What are we to do?

As I sat beside my widowed friend, and as I said goodbye to my other friend’s man, my heart broke for their brokenness. My eyes shed tears as they shed. My day was just a little more gray as I encountered my third friend’s grief in saying goodbye to her daughter-in-law and comforting her weeping son. Yet, as I walked away to go have a Valentine’s lunch with my little family, I breathed the air in deeply and thanked my Father above for these moments, not just the joys of my men but, as well, the pains of my friends. These times when I truly see reality. These moments when authenticity, vulnerability and honesty are raw and unedited, exposing the tender hearts within.

For, it is in moments like these when we grow a little wiser. In these hours, we learn to love a little deeper and let our trust become more secure. If it weren’t for the hard places in life, we would never learn where our faith truly lies. We’d never realize the value of a friend, the depth of love in our family, the importance in a given moment. It is said, “There is more wisdom in the house of mourning than in the house of laughter” (Paraphrased, Ecclesiastes 7:2). As my heart broke again and again for my friends, it caused me to appreciate, even more, the later moments with my men. It caused me to be keenly aware of my husband’s handsome smile, my JMan’s innocent laughter, and the love behind JGrizz’s witty remark, “Of course, I love you. It’s Valentine’s Day, isn’t it?” 😉 These precious occasions made me live life a little fuller.

So, as this Valentine’s Day is coming to an end, maybe you’ve spent a wonderful day with your love(s), maybe your dealing with a broken heart from a love that’s been lost, or maybe you’ve recently had to say a heart wrenched goodbye as your love entered eternity. Maybe this day just doesn’t seem as cheer-filled as it once had been, but no matter the circumstance in which you find yourself tonight, I pray you will hold tight the love you have, the joy you once had and the memories you’ve made along the way. I pray you’ll look toward the future and know He is still in control. Look forward and see that there’s still hope. I pray you hold all theses things close to your heart and realize there’s a heavenly Father above who’s looking down and sending you His eternal, unconditional love. YOU are the object of His affection tonight. He truly loves you! His love for is beyond your very hopes and dreams. His love for you died that you might live. ❤

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” John 3:16-17

The Chasm

So many hurting souls

So much sickness

So much pain

They hold onto hopelessness

They hold onto chains 

 

So many broken lives

So much confusion

So much strife

They hold onto faithlessness

They hold onto knives 

 

My heart weeps at the loss

My spirit grieves at the void

The chasms of empty souls deepen

As all wisdom is forsaken

And all fallacies are breathed in 

 

My eyes strain from the hurt

My hands grasp for sanity and relief

This canyon of death is all-consuming

As they jump for loss of reason

And crash to the end, never resuming 

 

There is only on chance of survival

Only One can mend this paroxysm 

 

So many truths to give

So much forgiveness

So much love

He holds the very breaths we breathe

He holds the good gifts from above 

 

So many fulfilling promises

So much mercy

So much grace

He holds the moments within His hands

He holds our very life to embrace 

 

Penned – MG – 10/30/14