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.

Right In Front of You

You run to make the meeting. You spend hours on the phone with this one and that one. You break the bank to make your presentation the best of the year. She’s standing right there awaiting your love.

You seek solace in a bottle. You long for companions at the club. You stay awake roll your eyes are glazed while shooting the thugs and chatting in the mic. He’s sitting close by, hoping you’ll see his smile.

You teach them your ways are better. You display for them your desires are richer. You prove your love is beyond them; yet, you can’t see their hearts breaking as you leave.

You call those who never return. You search out those who only use and abuse. You rush after those who never give back one ounce of the admiration you seek; yet, you can’t see their hearts breaking as you turn away from the very one who holds the love you seek.

Right in front of you. Your ambition has blinded your vision. Your selfishness has clouded your hearing. Your pride has seared your knowing.

Right in front of you. Slowly, she finds another who will adore her. Eventually, he discovers others who will see him. Finally, they have all left, and you are standing with no one. Right in front of you.

Penned – MG – 6/1/18

*I did not make, nor do I own any rights to this video. Simply shared from YouTube.

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.

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

Sometimes, You Go Back

We are constantly pushed forward. Always looking ahead. Never glancing back. Leaving it all behind. Never to return…

A few days before Mother’s Day, my husband reminded me of this old song I sang in church years ago. It’s a song about being thankful and satisfied with all the blessings we have in life. He said, “You need to download that song. It was a really good song.” Often, he has a way of rekindling the embers within my heart that I’ve let lie dormant for too long…

On Sunday morning, this same man who knows my heart so well, made references in his sermon of what kind of person I was when he met me, of how he married me because he not only loved me, but he liked me even more, and several of the reasons why. All of these moments of reminiscence put me in the mode of deep thoughts throughout day…

So, on the evening of Mother’s Day, you would have found me sitting on the floor of our bedroom, searching iTunes for all these old school songs from my childhood and teen years, making myself a new playlist. Now, when I say old school, I’m taking “child of the 80s” throwbacks. If you’re younger than me, you might have never heard of these. If you are of my age or older, you probably know the ones I’m talking about…

Songs like: Steve Camp’s “Do You Feel Their Pain?” and Amy Grant’s “Father’s Eyes,” Rez Band’s “Shadows” and “Silence Screams,” 2nd Chapter of Acts’ “Which Way The Wind Blows,” and even Keith Green’s “Summer Snow.” Yeah, I was definitely walking down memory lane. Reminders of childhood. Reminders of days gone by, lost by the years, forgotten by past sins, neglected and packed away by the demands of the here and now.

As I’ve listened to these old tunes all through the week, reminiscing of the days of old, I have come to realized there are moments when you must go back. You don’t go back to stay. You don’t even go to hang out for a while. You simply step back to those moments and pick back up the precious values and pieces of your life that you were never meant to leave behind.

Sometimes, we leave behind treasured shards of our person that were broken, shattered or severed from our heart because of evil, tragedy or abuse. Just because we are wounded, God never meant for us to leave the good with it. Just because we lost ourselves to sin, busyness or just the chaos of life, doesn’t mean He meant for us to leave the love and grace He gave to us in the beginning.

Sometimes, we must step back and snatch those cherished things away from our buried past in order to become the complete whole person He desires for us to be today. Sometimes, we must remember in order to move forward. Sometimes, we must reminisce in order to live on.

However, a note of caution when you do this. It can be very tempting to stay in that place, to just remain in the days of old, to never return to the daily grind, thinking somehow it will be easier and less painful than the growth demanded in present day. Yet, if you remain, you realize that truly those things don’t fit you anymore. They are like an old jacket discarded, no matter how much you move and struggle to make it adjust, it’s too tight across the chest. Your heart has out grown them, because He desires new things for you, bigger and better things for you now.

Pick up what you must and move beyond quickly. Return to the present to be the stronger, wiser, and more complete warrior whom He has destined you to be! He has incredible plans ahead! Get ready! 😊

**Note: I do not own nor possess any of the linked songs or videos above. These are tagged from a simple google/YouTube search.**

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?

Pinterest

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.

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…

Power of Our Words

The words we choose to use will bring life or death, and it is up to us to choose the right one. For the last few weeks, I’ve been doing a study on the power of our words, and today a friend shared an incredible video to illustrate this fact of power portrayed through the letters we string together to communicate with our world.

This video got me to thinking… What if you could actually see the impact of your words on a daily basis? What if, when you spoke, the skin of your child turned brighter and healthier or darker and less healthy, all depending upon the words spoken? What if the hair of our spouse became glossy, healthy and beautiful or dry, brittle and profusely damaged, all dependent upon the conversations we had with him or her? What if mold built up within our homes when we spoke ill words and fragrance was spewed when we spoke kindness? What an interesting orbit of living we might have.

I believe if the immediate impact of our communication was seen more easily, it might just alter our interaction with the world around us…

I watched this video this morning, and it led me to several others who performed the experiment. I will share it with you at the end of this post. It is amazing. Our words have so much power, and we must choose wisely to bring life and not death into the lives of those we love.

*Note: I did not create nor do I own or possess any part this video. This comes straight from YouTube.

Love Me Challenge #14

img_1768-2

Sometimes, we think we’ve overcome certain fears, and later on, we realize we have to face those fears once again. So, I’m going to share a time when I simply overcame FEAR itself…

It was the summer of 1993, when I had returned home from college. My parents had just moved to the mountains of East Tennessee a few years before, and my room was now a “studio/attic” room on the top floor of their house. I began waking up in the middle of the night with a paralyzing fear. There was a large, double window on one end of the room, the wall I was facing when I awoke each time, and it seemed as if two great big eyes were staring at me. I know, I know, for some this might sound like it is being written right out of one of those cheesy 1970s cheap horror flicks. However, I am here to tell you, I was petrified. I had always battled fear as a child and young adult, but this fear was so debilitating, so overwhelming, I would just lie there in the bed, unable to move, speak or even hardly blink.

This went on for about 2-3 weeks, and the consuming fear of falling asleep was causing me to stay up till the wee hours of the morning, only to fall asleep exhausted and awake to the paralyzing fear just an hour or two later. My mom would just tell me to pray, as I didn’t really give her much detail of what I was going through. The books I’d read would advise me on all kinds of nightly routines to combat the fears and prepare my body for sleep, and the soft instrumental music I’d play seemed to help as I drifted off to sleep but would be off by the middle of the night (remember, this is the early 90s. I didn’t own a iPhone with a playlist built in. 😉 ) It seemed nothing was helping to change this terrible cycle of sleep and fear into which I had fallen. About 3 weeks into this “rollercoaster ride,” I was talking to a former pastor’s wife and describing to her what was going on. She very gently encouraged me to read the Bible more, concentrating on verses dealing with trusting God, combating fear and standing on the promises of God. She encouraged me to memorize one Scripture, 1 Timothy 2:7…

2timothy1

ptl2010.com

She, also, told me to just speak His name. I asked her, “What if I can’t speak His Name?” For, I had not been able to call out to my parents during those times or speak a word of anything. She said, “Then, you just whisper it, and if you can’t whisper it, you close your eyes and think His name in your head until you can.” Ok, now that I was armed with “weaponry,” I was miraculously healed that night from all my paralyzing fears, right?? Unfortunately, I have to say, “NO!” That night, when I was awoken once more by that debilitating fear, I started trying to quote the Scripture that I had not yet fully memorized, this all in my mind, of course. (Remember, I couldn’t speak, because the fear was so great.)

All I could remember was, “God…isn’t…fear.” Oh yeah, that’s just great! How can I battle this fear when I can’t even think of a Scripture to quote in my mind? Then I remembered my pastor’s wife, her sweet voice telling me, “Just say His name.” So, I did. I said, “Jesus” inside my head just as loud as my mind would scream it. I screamed it over and over again, and evidently, I drifted off to sleep after about 30+ repeats. This rolled on for about a week before I was able to whisper His name and the Scripture I was memorizing. After about 2 1/2 weeks, I was speaking this Scripture each time I awoke, speaking the name of Jesus, and very peacefully, drifting back to sleep.

After 6-8 weeks, from the very beginning, I no longer had these “night terrors,” as I now call them. I cannot tell you why I had such a battle, and I cannot answer the questions as to why God didn’t just instantaneously and miraculously heal me from that paralyzing fear; however, I can tell you this, I emerged from that period in my life with a stronger faith and trust in my God. I can tell you that I have not dealt with that type of ‘midnight fear’ again. I can also tell you that I have been able to use this story, over the years, to help people who have battled with a spirit of fear.

I have found that, throughout my life, sometimes, God doesn’t answer our prayers exactly the way we want Him to, but if we will allow Him to and trust Him to, He will answer them exactly when and how He needs to in order to fulfill His glory in our lives.

I do hope this story will encourage someone out there who has battled or is battling fear. He is a good God, and He can help you. ❤

*This is a song set in a Christmas setting, but it is a wonderful reminder to FEAR NOT…         I hope you enjoy…

*I do not own any part of this song, these lyrics or this video. Copied straight from YouTube. Song by Travis Cotrell.

PS. Happy Valentine’s Day!! Love the one you’re with, and share your love with those around you!

It’s Your Time

6129634869_1223fc448a_b

flickr.com

We are all given time to fill with each new day. What we do with that time is according to our own choices. We can waste it away, regret it or fill it up with good things, fulfilling hopes and dreams. What will you do with your time?

I love the conversation between Frodo and Gandalf in LOTR as Frodo is fretting over having received the ring and Gandalf gently reproves and encourages him in his quest. It is so true that each of us, at some point in our lives, seriously question our purpose, our quest, our destiny. In those moments, we must hold onto hope. We must hold onto the reason we began this journey toward our purpose.

We can live our lives constantly looking back, regretting the choices we have made. We can live in present day, only basking in the here and now, never planning or plotting, simply remaining where we are, who we are and with whomever we find ourselves. Or we can keep moving toward our hopes, our dreams, our destiny. It will all be determined by what we decide to do with the time that is given to us.

So, what will you do today? Will you live in the “glory days” of yesterday, always looking behind, tripping over the step ahead? Will you live your life in the here and now, never planning for tomorrow, never moving beyond where you are today? Or will you keep taking one step at a time toward your goals, your dreams, ever reaching for what is ahead?

ce10ced16f9803ce43345dc473ea0a2b

pinterest.com