Learn to Dance

I saw this pic the other day, and please forgive me, it hit me all wrong. Yes, I do understand the concept. I do understand that everyone wants to not feel broken. I do understand that being happy and free feels so much better than being heartsick and broken beyond repair. I get it.

I’ve had my share of brokenness. I’ve had my share of broken dreams, broken promises, broken images, and broken foundations in my life. I’ve had more than my share of tears shed through the years. I’ve experienced more than some and not as much as others. Brokenness is not comfortable, enjoyable, or even a bearable element of my soul.

But I cannot embrace the cultural trend that forgetting from where I came makes me more joyous, more loose, more free to live. I refuse to welcome the notion that to obliterate my past makes me a better, more balanced, human being. I will not accept the propaganda that tells me “a forgotten past brings a brighter tomorrow.” (*chosen words before seeing similar quote online. No correlation or reflection. Unaware of that author, quote or beliefs.)

When someone is hiking up a mountain, forgetting from whence you came will only cause you to lose your way back down the trail. When someone goes on a long extended trip, obliterating the road map will only cause you to never return to home.

When someone tries to erase history, history is never truly erased. What has been has been, and there is no way to live as if it never existed. That is just pretending, and pretending just makes you as a child.

Being a child is wonderful while you are of a physically young age, but once you have crossed the threshold of maturity, that immaturity only makes you look like an ignorant fool. (…and yes, those can mean two very different things.) So then, you have to look yourself in the mirror and ask yourself the hard questions…

How old am I? How old should I be acting? Will I live my life in immaturity, ignorance and foolishness, or will I live in maturity, knowledge and wisdom? The choice is truly yours.

I choose to walk in integrity, maturity, wisdom and truth. I choose to embrace my past, my pain and my brokenness, even the shattered pieces that may always carry a shards of irreparable moments. I will carry on, even if I walk with a limp, and even if my scars are evident for all to see.

I choose to be full of joy. I choose to have peace. I choose to love and be loved. I choose to have life and give life.

Is it hard? Heck, yeah! Is it uncomfortable? Always. Telling you that’s it’s not would be returning to those childhood days of pretend and make believe. Life is so much better than the fairytales. Not because it never rains and not because there is no pain, but rather, because through the rain, I learn to dance, through the pain, I learn to sing.

And this song and dance is better than any mythical enchantment I could ever dream. This song and dance gives birth to a beautiful melody called life created by an unimaginable symphony of experiences and awakenings. Without these notes on the pages of my soul, I could never leave the legacy of song for my children, my friends, my family, for one who is ready whom I may never know.

So, I will choose to dance even when it’s raining and even though the storm brews darker. I will dance and sing, and sing some more, to bring a little memory of sunshine through the pain; so, the legacy will live ever more brightly for my children and those who are to come.

**Listen to this.

*I do not own nor possess this song, video or photos. These are all from simple Google search.

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Good Friday or Bad?

Today, many of us celebrate what we call, Good Friday. The day Christ died on the cross with the promise of rising in three days. The day the earth shook, the sun darkened, the veil was torn, and the believers were scattered with their dreams of majesty shattered. The day the Holy Lamb of God was beaten, bruised, pierced by those who hated Him and forsaken by the very Father God who claimed to love Him.

So, if all this bad happened on this day, how can we call it Good Friday? How can we join together to celebrate such a horrific, gruesome, unimaginable death? How can anything good be taken from such a terrible day that is forever written in the annals of time?

If you don’t know Him, I can understand why you’d wonder. If you’ve never realized His love for you, I can believe your confusion and doubt. If you’ve only heard of Him in storybooks and seen Him portrayed as “just a man” in cults and Hollywood box office hits, I can comprehend your skepticism, ridicule and even rejection.

But for me, I know Him on a personal level…

He was there before I even took a breath. He was there when I was in my mother’s womb, and her guidance counselor tried to convince her to “get rid of the dilemma,” because, after all, she was just 16. He was there when I was born six weeks (8 wks to today’s standards) too early and fought for life for those 10 days in that tiny incubator.

He was there when I was six months old, and my alcoholic parents split up. He was there when my four year old self waited by the door with packed bags for a father who never showed up. He was there when my twelve year old self received a “new daddy” who took us away from a comfortable, small town to a great big city with so many unknowns.

He was there when I met the man of my dreams and said, “I do.” He was there when our first child never grew in the womb, and we buried him under those great big oaks at my childhood home. He was there when our firstborn aspirated meconium, and we were told by a young nurse that it could be fatal. He was there when our second son fell off the changing table onto a tile floor while being babysat. He was there when I lost my precious grandfather to cancer, the man who had protected me, loved me and cherished me, the man who been my “Daddy” for so many years. He was there through all of the grief and sorrow.

The stories could go on and on with so much more detail, but I won’t bore you with my life story. I can just say, with 100% confidence, He was there. In my darkest days and in my happiest hours, in my finest moments and in those times that I wish to never be repeated, He was there.

He has always been there.

So, I call it Good Friday, because I know He was there hanging on the cross pouring out His blood for me for redemption. I call it Good Friday, because I know He rose just a few days later with the promise of victory, and heaven and eternity for my soul if I just believe. I call it Good Friday, because I am a witness to all that has come from His sacrifice, His love and His grace just in my own life.

I call it Good Friday, because often times, out of the bad, the horrific, the most unimaginable things comes such beauty and goodness and promise that you can’t call it anything but GOOD!

Watch and listen…

https://youtu.be/Is6weMrenls

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.

Be Destiny Minded

I read this statement today somewhere today and I thought, “Wow. Yes, I receive that.” Sometimes, we just have to let people walk out of our lives and never look back. I’m not talking about your spouse or those in whom you should place investments of time, love and attention. I’m talking about those people who habitually bring pain and drama into your life. Sometimes, you just need to walk or let them do the walking to maintain your own sanity and well being.

Some people are just not meant to be part of your destiny, and you have to allow them to leave; so, you might be able to live. That’s not being mean. It’s not be heartless, and it’s not even being apathetic.

It’s being wise. It’s using common sense. It’s using the brain God have you to make a better life, not only for yourself but for your children, your spouse, and your friends who are close enough to be impacted by the crazy situation you’ve allowed yourself to live under.

Live for your purpose. Focus not only on the present, but focus on your destiny. Realize what and who is beneficial to that dream and to that end result. Recognize who does not impact these things for good. Let them go.

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.*

No More

You always come when I’m feeling fine

You come haunting, taunting, pushing the line

You always come when I’m feeling down

You come accusing, assaulting, screaming until I’m bound

I’ve listened to your guile, your awful protests misaligned

I’ve received your vicious hatred and allowed it to confine

I’ve been consumed by this overwhelming, nagging fear

I’ve stood paralyzed and dejected, feeling you ever near

Yet, today, I’ve had enough. I am done.

No more will you ridicule, insult and spew lies like a gun

No more will you have control of my feelings, emotions and thoughts

I am vanquishing you for my price has already been bought.

You have no more authority. I suggest you now leave.

If you try to remain, your dignity will be relieved

I am free from your bondage. Looking back will not be my game.

I am released from my captivity. Going forward, I have a new name.

Penned – MG – 5/19/18

The Voice

It’s steely nails claw at my flesh as I pull away.

The cloak of darkness lies thick against my skin.

It’s weight so heavy, I can hardly breathe.

It’s burden so deep, I fall to my knees.

The voice calls from afar, but I can’t hear it above the screams.

The invitation comes to my soul, but I shield it with the shadow and pain.

The longing drifts in, taunting, haunting, but I look away past the cage.

The voice calls in the distance, but I can’t hear it above the heart’s rage.

I cry out, hoping he will hear.

I run, searching for the freedom.

I stumble. I fall. Always two steps behind.

Always dragging back to the days that unwind.

When will this turmoil end?

Does He not see my torment and suffering?

Does He not hear my heart shattered and bleeding?

When will the rescue come needing?

The voice calls to me once again.

The invitation is sent deep within, I am tempted to shun it thrice more.

The longing gently woos the mind, guiding me through the mire.

The voice whispers but to my soul, it is an echo across the chasm of my desire.

Ever near. Ever drawing me back.

He promised to never forsake.

He promises to never leave.

All I must do is believe.

Penned – MG – 4/25/18

I Will Hold To Hope

You left so many years ago

I thought the time could never be restored

The years changed us. The years let go.

I believed we’d always be strangers passing and more

You returned for a bit

I thought maybe a relationship could grow

The days changed us. The days in our heart lit.

I believed we’d not restore years but maybe a new life we’d know

Then you left again, maybe this time forever

I thought things could be different, an alteration from things destined

The moment changed us. The moment of surprise severed.

I believed it could be new but now your old self may win

I can not determine what may come

I will pray it’s not what I feel and what I see

I do not know what tomorrow will sum

I will hold to hope and believe safe and secure is where you will be

1/26/18 – MG

The Pain Refines Me

Yeah, painful people bring a deeper character to my soul. Painful people are like sandpaper on my heart, and God uses them to polish out those rough, fleshly, selfish places I’d like to hide. Painful people should really be seen as a joy when encountered. For when they inflict the pain, it’s the perfect opportunity for our God to do three things: 1. Polish our soul a little more. 2. Fight our battle for us 3. Comfort our hearts in a way we’d not experience without the pain.

Yeah, painful people can be for our good and can bring out the best in us…if we’ll let them.

now, if I can just remember this and embrace it the next time that pain comes along. Lol. 😉😂

Where Do You Run?

When the trials of life settle in like a cold, hard rain, where do you run?

When the pain beats in your chest in rhythm with your own heartbeat, how do you keep breathing?

When all seems lost, and the world feels as if it’s closing in around you, what do you do? Who do you call?

Some run to a friend. Some run to a lover. Others find solace in a bottle or a pill. Still others fight it, deny it or even lash out at all those around like a wounded animal.

Yet, can I tell you there is One who will never fail? Can I tell you there is One who will bring comfort and strength, grace and peace?

His name is Jesus, and He’s reaching out His Hand. He’s calling to you in the rain.

Can you hear Him? Just say His Name.

*I do not own nor possess any pictures in this post. A simple Google search led me to each.*