The Pale Moon Rises

You said you loved me to the moon

I was your sunshine

I was your baby love

Then I began to shine

I searched to grow beyond

You grasped for the reason

You clung to the control

Then I moved into another season

You and I would never be the same

I walked away from your consuming flood

You sought love from so many facades

I could not remain as you drained the blood

You said you loved me to the moon

You told them I was your jewel

You made the endless promises

Then I realized you only wanted the moon to rule

Penned – MG – 7/15/19

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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

Yesterday or Today?

I saw this quote while at lunch the other day, and it triggered me to purpose and a challenge of heart. It made me think of so many I know who constantly live with regrets, remorse and shame. It reminded me of my own tendency to return to what could’ve been, should’ve been, and would’ve been, had it not been…

It brought me, once again, to the recognition that yesterday is what it is, today is here, and as long as there’s breath in your lungs, everyone has a shot at tomorrow.

The question is not whether today will come, rather, the question should be, what will you do with what you have received?

Use it well. Make the memories. Cherish the moments. Savor what is yet to be.

And as my husband loves to say, “When it comes to living life, ‘Drive it like you stole it!'”

I’m an Alien 👽

I’m an alien. I don’t belong here. This is not my home. I am walking this path set before me but a moment.

I am a traitor. I turn on you and myself. I make promises I can’t keep. I claim the best when the worst shows its face.

I am a monster. I am not myself. The beast feasts on flesh; it’s so hard to quench it’s thirst. I must never give in.

I am a child in my Father’s arms. I am bruised, wounded, and scarred. I cannot walk this journey alone. I must keep my eyes focused on His heart, mine in His hand.

I am an alien. This is not my place. I am only here to show you what I have found. Come with me someday soon to our new home abound.

Penned – MG – 6/2/18

“Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul.” 1 Peter 2:11

“For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ…” Philippians 3:20

“All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a country of their own. And indeed if they had been thinking of that country from which they went out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them.” Hebrews 11:13-16

*I do not own or possess this video. It inspired this post, and it was only found by google search.*

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.

Comfy Cozy

Comfort zones are so… well, comfortable. They’re nice and cozy. They’re places of no discomfort, no pain, no adjustment, no change. They are places where it’s easy to do what you do, and you have no fear of failure, intimidation or rejection. Comfort zones are where you can set your course “steady as she goes” and not worry about a thing.

Comfort zones can also become the place of stagnation and mediocrity. If you remain in your comfort zone long enough, you’ll never grow, you’ll never be challenged, you’ll never have to face the fact that you could be wrong in your methods, your words or even your mindset and how you approach life. When you choose to stay here for decades upon decades, you can even begin to regress.

The huge oak trees never become massive shelters in the forest without the acorn moving beyond the comfort of the warm soil. The flower never becomes a beautiful rose or a lovely tulip that comforts at the graveside without the moving and sprouting beyond the tiny seed that once was. A child never develops a skill that can affect the world until he goes through the needed the process of learning, development, and training that causes him to step beyond where he began the process. Growth simply doesn’t happen without change.

Even so, you and I never become mighty men and women of strength, character and grace without those uncomfortable moments that draw us out from the shadows and force us to adjust to the new, the uncomfortable, and yes, the changes that come.

If we constantly refuse to adjust, we will constantly stunt our growth. If we constantly stunt our growth, then we may remain in that comfort zone, but we will have nothing to show for it at the end of our days. Once something (or someone) grows comfortable, unyielding, unmovable, and stagnant, what purpose and what value does it really hold at the end of life?

How comfy are you??

The Salt Marshes or The River

I have a question for you…

Do you live in the salt marshes of Christianity or in the River of God’s glory?

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You can be a Christian and not experience the fullness of His glory. You can live a good, “saved” life, following His commandments, yet, never comprehend His overflowing joy and complete peace. You can go to church every Sunday, work the nurseries on Wednesdays, pledge your loyalties to every youth and world missions project and still miss out on all He has for you.

Although, I have to ask, “Why?” … Why would we ever want to live beneath His potential for our lives? Why would we ever be “okay” with second best or just comfortable with less than His best? Why would we ever settle for something He knows we don’t need or even detests?

Yet, so many of us do just that! We choose to live in the salt marches of Christianity, and we completely bypass the river of God’s glory. Sometimes, it’s fear that holds us back, or maybe it’s those past pains that blind us from the reality of His promises.

Often, it’s schedules and agendas which consume every moment and spin us out of control, shielding us from the clarity of truth. Too many times, it is the sin of our past, our present, or the contemplation of sin in our future, which binds us to the salt marshes and refuses to let us venture beyond what we’ve always seen, heard and thought to be truth.

It is time to break free. It is time to live in His fullness rather than the anemia of our fears and failures. It is time to move out, beyond the norm, and step into the river of His glory.

You will find He is waiting there just for you.

*Note: I do not own nor possess any part of this video. This is from a simple google search to YouTube.

Hold On Tightly

I want to be so close to God that His nature is mine. I want to walk so close to Him that our steps combine, and I find myself tripping over His. I want to be so in tune to His voice that I hear nothing but what He longs for me to hear.

Yet, I find myself time and again, wandering on this path He has set. I find myself distracted from where He is, and I end up tripping over my own fleshly desires and appetites. I get clouded in my vision and become reduced to a straining-to-hear-even-a-whisper MESS of carnal reasoning and wisdom-like-faith filled with nothingness.

Why do we slip so easily? How is it that we entered this race so passionately, only to realize we may not endure till the end? I have found it is so similar to a child’s journey through life. As a babe, he clings desperately to his mother in exteme demand for his every need and desire. As a toddler, she learns to toddle along, still needing help but ever learning strength and resilience on her own. As a teen, he pushes back, needing space and independence to find his voice in this world. Finally finding adulthood, flying to depths beyond and, often times, wishing that we could one day return to the comfort and security of a mother’s arms.

Maybe, that is why Christ said, “…unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven...” (Matt. 18:2-4) Maybe, we work so hard to become “all grown up” that we forget to hold tightly to His hand. Just maybe, if we held tighter to His hand, we would find our steps are sustained by His grace rather than our own strength. Maybe, we would find this journey of life just a little more endurable, not because we have easier days of circumstance, but because we lean so heavily into His presence that He carries us through those moments rather than us trying to walk through them alone.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6

 

 

Just Hold On

 

wave

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Sometimes, the world feels like it comes crashing in like a tidal wave. You feel as if you’re drowning under the weight of all that is around you. You feel like you must move, but it seems as if your feet are stuck in the muck and mire of circumstances. 

You cry out to those around you, because after all, you’ve learned not to swim this channel alone; yet, even through the conversations, the prayers and the support, you feel as if you’re barely treading water. It’s as if one false move will cause your foot to slip, and you will begin gasping for breath again, bobbing up and down in the water, struggling to make any headway.

In that moment, He is still there. He has always been there, and He always will be. He made a promise, and He cannot break His promises, because He is beholden to every single one. He will never leave you nor forsake you. Even when you can’t feel Him. Even when you feel as if He is no where to be found and your prayers are hitting the brass ceiling above. He is there. He was always there, and He forever will be.

Hold on, child. Do not waver. Do not turn away. Hold on with all your might. Hold on with every. single. breath. For you will breathe again. You will come through this season. You will see the beautiful rays of light again. It may feel like an eternity, but you will not be shaken when you hold onto His eternal hand.

… Honestly, I don’t know how He does it, and when you’re in the middle of the storm, it can really feel like a cheap cliché that Christians throw out to sound spiritual. However, I can speak from strong conviction and from personal experience. He IS a God who NEVER fails. He is faithful and true. I don’t know how people live without His strength in their lives. I have found peace and hope in Him that I could never find on my own. I have found a love that sustains through it all.

He will not fail you. He will not turn away. He loves you. He promises to deliver, and He promises to return again to take you home. Just hold on.

“Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:5b

“You whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, And called from its farthest regions, And said to you, ‘You are My servant, I have chosen you and have not cast you away: Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ Isaiah 41:9-10

 

 

Grace and Mercy

Bruised, shaking fists
Clenched, knuckle-white hands
Twisted face

Tightly closed-shut eyes
Letting in not a droplet of light
A life branded by pain
Where is the grace?
Where is the mercy?

A life cut short.
An unexplained sin.
A life-long disease.

The wounded, wound.
The pained cause pain.
The abused, abuse.

Oh, God, my heart grieves.
My eyes weep till tears are no more.
My knuckles are bloody from the pain.
Where is the grace?
Where is the mercy?

The flowers are denied their bloom.
The sun refuses to rise to give any warmth.
The wind will not send the breeze.

The world has turned gray.
The laughter is silent for miles.
The innocence has been hidden.
When will this pain end?
When will this grief hide?

This brokenness, a bloody mess.

These wounds and scars too deep to heal.
We clutch at life. No heartbeat is felt.
The air is toxic. No breath can be found.
Where is Your grace?
Where is Your mercy now?

It is found at the cross.
That bleeding, broken, wretched place. That is where Your grace abounds.
As You watched Your own Son die, You saw our sin. You saw our redemption.
It was there, Your grace and mercy from death began its prevention.

We only see what isn’t.
The grief. The emptiness. The death. We live with the loss.
The regret. The shame. The failure.
We see only the holes on the canvas of life.
Never realizing the void can be filled again with a joy that overflows, a love that is unconditional, a grace that is unending.

In the pain, knowledge is built.
In the sorrow, wisdom is rendered.
Emotions raw and undone.
Words broken and unsung.
How can we find this grace?
How can we receive this mercy?

Run into His loving arms.
Take His guiding hand to lead, to love.
Living breathless or breathless living.
Living fully or lifeless living.
More than alive or just less than dead.
We choose. We decide. We live life or death.

Penned – MG – 1/23/15