Monday Musings: Lessons Learned from 2020 and COVID-19

This has been quite a year for so many, and some would say this has been the absolute worse year ever, others would just say it stinks. I’m not sure there’s many at all who would say it’s been the best year; yet, maybe a three year old could have this perspective.

I will say it’s not been an amazingly wonderful year; it’s certainly had it’s challenges. However, I’d have to admit, it’s not been the worst year I’ve ever experienced.

Some of the worst years of my life were the year after my grandfather passed away, or the year we lost our first child after trying to conceive for 13 months, or the year I battled depression for a good half of the year… yeah, perspective always brings sunlight into the day.

Yet, there are some things this year of 2020 has taught me, and I thought I’d add it to my previous lists written near the beginning of all this

1. No matter what comes into my life, with God, I can walk through fire and I can stand in the rain…even if I have to grab the fire extinguisher and maybe a boat paddle!

2. Regardless what the days bring, you still have a choice to take another breath and move forward or clamp down on oxygen and lie down to die…I choose to breathe.

3. Despite the ugly, the tornadic, the chaos or the devastation, there is always hope, you just have to search for it…often times, it will be buried deep within.

4. Although, there may be confusion and uncertainty, if you know the right source from which to draw strength, you will have an endless supply…the Source is your key.

5. Life brings with it all kinds of ups and downs, doubts and fears, turmoil and challenges, questions and very few answers; yet, when you have a firm foundation, those specific answers may not always become easier to find, but the principles to these will be as sure anchor doe your soul.

6. Everyone needs a friend. Choosing to live out your life in isolation and avoidance is just a waste of life! … choose friends carefully, but choose them.

7. Having the courage to call out when you’re in trouble can be scary, and it definitely will make you more vulnerable than many of us like to be, but honestly, having moments of vulnerability brings humility back into our prideful flesh…and the courage it takes to ask makes us all that stronger.

8. Life has been known to bring us lemons, and sometimes, they can be the sourest ever grown, but if you’ll add a little sugar, you’ll find that lemonade to be quite refreshing… mind you, sometimes, you better add a lot!

9. No matter the clouds that brew overhead, always remember, there is a sun still shining. You may not see it today or tomorrow, but keep looking up, and it’s bound to eventually burst forth and warm up your skin.

10. If you believe there is no hope to ever be found, just stop in your tracks, take a deep breath, and place your hand to your heart to feel that beat…if there is still a rhythm, then there is always a glimmer of hope.

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.

Hebrews 10:23

Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming.

1 Peter 1:13

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people…

Ephesians 1:18

Do Something

George Floyd Memorial
Minneapolis, MN

So many words are spewed about

So many syllables are given out

This one says you should say that

That one says you should use this format

So many demand justice and revenge

So many scream inequality must end

This one brings a torch and a brick

That one brings a hand that constricts

How does this violence bring harmony to souls?

How does this hatred bring peace to console?

Can’t you see the only answer is unified prayer?

Can’t you see the only action is our hearts stripped bare?

May we search deep within for the sin that lies dormant.

May we recognize the enemy of the cross is our torment.

Our battle is never because of my skin color or yours or because of a simple nod.

Our battle is always with the one who steals, kills and destroys the children of God.

Penned – MG – 6/10/20

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” 1 Peter 5:8

Do Something

George Floyd Memorial
Minneapolis, MN

So many words are spewed about

So many syllables are given out

This one says you should say that

That one says you should use this format

So many demand justice and revenge

So many scream inequality must end

This one brings a torch and a brick

That one brings a hand that constricts

How does this violence bring harmony to souls?

How does this hatred bring peace to console?

Can’t you see the only answer is unified prayer?

Can’t you see the only action is our hearts stripped bare?

May we search deep within for the sin that lies dormant.

May we recognize the enemy of the cross is our torment.

Our battle is never because of my skin color or yours or because of a simple nod.

Our battle is always with the one who steals, kills and destroys the children of God.

Penned – MG – 6/10/20

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” 1 Peter 5:8

Where Do You Rest Your Eyes?

Going through the recent pandemic experience, I have noticed something about human nature. I’ve always known this to be true, but throughout this season, I have seen the evidence portrayed more vividly than ever before.

Where you rest your eyes in life will determine where you end up.

Just as, if while walking along a path, when you never once glance down, you may trip over a tree root or sidewalk, you will trip up in life if you constantly hold your head up in pride and never kneel down in humility.

Just as, if while running along the road, when you never look up, you may run into a tree or get run over by a car, you will run into a wall of anxiety and get run over by an avalanche of fear if you constantly keep your head down and never look beyond your problems.

Just as, if while climbing a mountain, when you refuse to persevere, you’ll never see the beautiful sunset in the horizon, you will be blinded by life’s circumstances if you consistently give up before you achieve the end goal.

Where your eyes search, there you will remain.

Where your eyes reside, there is where you will find your heart.

Take courage to seek peace.

Take courage to seek truth.

Take courage to seek faith.

“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

Matthew 6:33

Waterfall Thoughts

You rush here and there

Never seeing

Never hearing

Never understanding

You race like the cascading waterfall

Never resting

Never seeking

Never breathing

You tumble down with no regard

Never thinking

Never feeling

Never caring

You crash on the rocks of turmoil

Never weeping

Never laughing

Always pretending

The pools of serenity whisked away

Never stopping

Never pausing

Always escaping

The waterfall never ends.

Penned – MG – 5/23/20

Friday Fun Day

On Saturday 😂

Well, it’s been a while, and really, Friday Fun Day is way overdue!

My apologies. I suppose, I’ve been a bit distracted from writing lately, or at least, from writing the “fun stuff.”

So, without further ado, let’s have a Friday Fun Day, and since today is Saturday, there’s no better time than the present! 😉

Don’t delay! Get outside. Take a road trip. Hike a mountain. Ride a bike. Stroll along the beach, or maybe just step into your back yard, beyond the chaos and the noise.

Breathe deep.

Exhale slowly.

Remember, the Creator of the Universe loves you.

Although chaos is all around in our world, He can bring perfect peace to your heart.

Just speak His name. Take a moment to talk with Him.

He will listen. Your heart will be changed.

And your Friday Fun Days can begin even on a Saturday. 💕

Peace, Peace, America 🇺🇸

I used to sing this song to my boys as I rocked them to sleep at night.

No matter how rambunctious or adventurous their day had been, miraculously, it always seemed to calm them.

I wish I could symbolically “sing” this over our nation tonight…and even our world.

It may be a bit old fashioned, but maybe take a minute to listen…

https://youtu.be/lZtuYAgHIvU

Fight Right

You scream for justice as you violate another’s land.

You demand equality while you jeopardize another’s family.

You shout revenge at the same moment you take another’s life.

How does this fix the problem?

How does this restore the home?

How does this heal the land?

Your actions beings more frustration.

Your words brings more confusion.

Your temper brings anger.

It’s a never ending cycle.

It’s a never relenting emotion.

It’s a never healing wound.

Violence can never bring resolution.

Looting only brings more revolt.

Riots only being more rebellion.

Can you not see the turmoil?

Can you not see the pain?

Can you not see the death?

There is but one answer.

There is but one relief.

There’s is but one solution.

Lay down your arms.

Lay down your venom.

Lay down your hate.

We can change this world only when we change our hearts first.

Now, go start a revolution.

A Call to Arms, Peacefully

We are to bring peace to this crazy world.

Peace, love, hope, and joy

How can you bring peace when you’re full of anxiety?

How did you bring Hope when you’re hopeless?

How can you bring courage when you’re fearful?

We are His ambassadors!

We are to bring His message to this fallen world.

Have we forgotten our place?

Have we forgotten our calling?

Rise up! Take your place!

This place is a disaster because the church is a disaster.

We have just as much divorce, drugs, anxiety, etc., as the world has.

This should not be.

He called us out to be separate, a royal priesthood, set a part for His will and His way.

We’ve spent too much time trying to fit in, to conform to the norm.

Rise up! Stand your ground!

Our fight is not against flesh and blood.

We have forgotten our enemy while he has lulled us to sleep.

We have grown lazy in our opinions and agendas, forgetting Whose opinion matters most.

We’ve got to return to our calling.

We’ve got to return to the mountain.

Don’t shutter because He’s mighty.

Praise because He’s holy.

Worship because He’s gracious.

Shout because He is merciful and just.

We serve a King not a people.

We are an army to storm the gates of hell not lie in the puddles of our own ambitions and desires.

Rise up! Take your place in the kingdom of God!

This world is desperate for a Savior.

Can you hear Him calling?

Can you hear their cries?

How can you ignore it?

Why do you walk away?

If you do not fight now, you will lose the very things you clinched so tightly.

They are like sand sifting through your hand.

We are Ambassadors of Christ.

Grasp the things of His kingdom.

Seek Him first.

Chase Him, church.

Arise, oh daughters and sons! Arise!

Take your place and reap the harvest!

“Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.” 2 Corinthians 5:20

What is Hate? What is Love?

If a man dying underneath the blended knee of a cop doesn’t make you heartbroken, we need to re-evaluate.

If a cop dying underneath the violent barrel of a another man’s gun doesn’t make you cry, we need to re-evaluate.

If a man dying underneath the treacherous hands of another’s man’s hands doesn’t make you sad, we need to re-evaluate.

If a man’s reputation dying beneath the slanderous words of another man doesn’t make you somber, we need to re-evaluate.

If a man’s wellbeing dying beneath the murderous actions of another man’s hate doesn’t grieve your heart, we need to re-evaluate.

It is not the color of one exalted above the other.

Racism does not come in only one dark shade or another.

It can be as black as a shadow that has never seen light or as white as sunlight that has never known darkness.

If you only proclaim it comes from one group or another, we need to re-evaluate.

May we all remember, media spews only their personal biases, and our reposts only refuel their cause.

May truth be revealed to our hearts as we each turn back to HIS ways rather than our own.

May justice reign as we call it out from ALL sides, rather than just one.

May mercy prevail as we seek His heart instead than our own.

May we all re-evaluate our hearts, our thoughts, our actions.

And may we return to His cause and not “theirs” … whomever you choose “theirs” to be.
(*note: grammatical errors of “you/we” are not accidental)

Proverbs 6:16-19, “These six things the Lord hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to Him:

A proud look,

A lying tongue,

Hands that shed innocent blood,

A heart that devises wicked plans,

Feet that are swift in running to evil,

A false witness who speaks lies,

And one who sows discord among brethren.”