Grief

Grief sucks.

That is all.

… … … … …

No. That is not all.

Here’s an open message to whomever needs it:

Don’t just leave your relationships hanging through this life.

Show up.

Be present.

Be engaged in their lives.

If they’re the jerk, then have the ability to speak truth when needed.

If they’re toxic, then have the guts to remove yourself when needed before you follow suit.

If you’re the unimaginable fool, then have the courage to admit it and make it right.

And for goodness sake, if it’s truly mental issues that keep you from them (or them from you), then get help for all involved, and do it now.

The distance isn’t worth it.

The void isn’t fair.

The heart wrenched cries are undeserving.

The questions when you’re (they’re) gone are too complicated to add to this process of grief.

The pain that is left in the wake of this kind of ignorance, in the dawn of sorrow, can be beyond capability.

And if you’re the one experiencing the anguish of brokenness:

Don’t allow that heartache to consume you to the point of disengagement.

Keep breathing.

Keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Get up in the morning.

Even if you must crawl.

I know it’s hard. I know it’s beyond hard.

And I know no grief is the same.

No one can tell you the “perfect way” to grieve; it is a different theater of actors for all.

But you can grieve right

Grieve in truth.

Grieve in love.

Grieve in reality.

And grieve with HOPE.

Hope is the only reason to even walk through the pain.

Hope will carry you though this life and allow your heart to beat and your lungs to exhale even when you’d rather fall into the grave.

Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-14

Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.

Psalm 62:5-8

Living in the Overflow

We all live in the overflow…

But which overflow you choose is vital to your vitality and peace.

You can choose to live in the overflow of anxiety: no peace can be found here, no rest for your weariness, no strengthening for your bones, no joy for your sanity.

But this choice is on the list. It’s your decision to pick it from the bunch.

You can choose to live in the overflow of anger: utter rage will consume you, suspicious and discomfort will be your bed and pillow, every moment filled with drama, every relationship teeters on the edge of fire.

But this choice is on the list. It’s your decision to pluck it from the bundle.

You can choose to live in the overflow of nothingness: no happiness can be found here, no purpose for your apathy, no relief for your depression, no clarity for your fog.

But this choice is on the list. It’s your decision to pull it from the plunder.

You can choose to live in the overflow of sorrow: grief will swallow you, tears will be your blanket, every second enveloped by brokenness, every friendship walking on the knife’s edge of the grave.

But this choice is on the list. It’s your decision to grasp it from the pile.

Or you can choose to live in the overflow of grace: no loneliness can diminish you, no indifference can devalue you, no hatred can murder you, no fear can unravel you.

It is your choice. You have the ability to select from the narrative and create your own story.

The freedom of truth is waiting.

Come and drown in the overflow.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 15:13

Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.

John 8:36

Stillness

Stillness

http://empress2inspire.blog/2022/01/30/stillness/
— Read on empress2inspire.blog/2022/01/30/stillness/

Psalm 46:10, “Be still and know I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”

The Daddy-Daughter Dance

February… Oh, how it begins the painful dance of my heart each year.

It’s not that I’m angry. It’s not that I’m hating what I see. It’s just a longing within my once little girl heart that will never be fulfilled.

The beautiful pictures plastered all over social media bring sweet memories never beheld. Precious relationships promising treasured protection and defense for all her days.

His large frame casts a shadow not of harm or destruction but of love and nurture. Her petite form is sheltered, cherished and adored. They stand in parade for all to appreciate and celebrate.

I am thankful for his place in her life. I am grateful for her desire for his strength and fortitude. I truly am.

Yet, my heart breaks time and again for the wee little one standing at the door, her packed bags awaiting his never return. She forms her own dance, spinning, twirling, hoping for his hand; yet, he never extends it.

Someway, somehow, she makes it to the One who holds the key. With tears streaming, hopes shattered and dreams crushed, He takes her into His arms, and swirls her life into a new masquerade where she can smile again and forever more be held where she always wished to be. ❤️

The Lord your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.

Zephaniah 3:17

Parenting 101 – Balance

Joey and I have talked about this from time to time, and as I began to blog this morning, I ran across this thought in one of my notepads.

Thought I’d share it for a parent out there who needs to hear it…

There is a great balance in the weight of parenting. It truly takes both parents to survive.

You’ve got to find your niche. Find your balance. One of you will be good at one thing; the other will be better gifted at others.

Here’s a simple illustration:

One of our sons had a project to be done. It was started late, of course. I helped till midnight. I’m a night owl and pretty detailed. I stayed engaged till the job was done, and for this reason, I was very knowledgable of what was needed for the completion. This isn’t bragging; it’s just the facts as we both could see it.

The next morning, Joey dealt with a cell phone issue for another son. There was no blow up. No arguments. He just prompted the convo, said what needed to be said, and it was done. And honestly, it all came out much smoother than I would have ever made it to be!

It takes two. As parents, you have to figure out your weak spots and allow the other parent to balance you. Be honest. You’re not the best in all things, and neither is he.

You don’t have to be all things to your child. That’s God’s job. Be who He called you to be. Immerse yourself in His gifting.

I can’t scream this loud enough: Stop fighting to be “supermom/superdad.” You’re not created to be all things for all moments. If I could shout this from the mountain tops or paint a thousand billboards to make this message clear, I certainly would.

This isn’t a competition. You don’t have to be the best, nor do you have to demean your spouse to make you look better! You figure out what you can do and learn from your spouse on the rest. You don’t have to be the only hero.

When you struggle to be the hero, you only become a narcissistic hinderance in your child’s life.

Read up on narcissism. I guarantee you. You don’t want to go there! 😉

Happy parenting!

I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.

Psalm 139:14

Whose Hero Will We Be?

I’d like to ask our modern culture and our “evolved” Christian believers, “When did we get to the place where Truth cannot be spoken for fear of offenses and sin cannot be confirmed for fear of judgement?”

If we are a follower of Christ, Truth is absolute and irrevocable, and sin is sin, not just “grace-filled” or “judgement-filled.”

When did we get to the point where we care more that we not offend someone than we do about their very souls? When did we get to the point where we work so hard to preach grace that we forsake the reality of sin, hell and an eternal death?

If we read the Bible, from the front cover to the very last page, God is so very clear: the wages of sin is death.

We’ve gotten to the place where we’d rather argue, and too often quite hatefully, with our brothers and sisters in Christ over the possible offenses taken or not taken over an issue rather than the merits of truth.

We’d rather drum up dissension over the intentions of someone’s words rather than seek His Word for His truth on the subject at hand.

We’d rather slash the hearts of our fellow kinsmen, and in turn, wound those who are listening and trying to find their own answers, rather than speak with love AND truth and let the Holy Spirit bring forth His conviction and mercy.

It sounds too much like the arguments of old, when men and women would argue over the color of the pews and the length of the choir robes while their babies were battling issues of sex, drugs and rock and roll.

It smells too much like the wayward youth of decades past who fought so hard for their independence and their owns rights that they forsook the ancient boundaries set before them to show them The Only Way.

It looks too much like the sly dealings of darkness who always brings forth confusion, contention and chaos in order to distract, disengage and devour those who are most vulnerable and afraid.

Wake up, Church. Lift up your eyes.

Look upon the One whom we have pierced! Gaze upon His torn flesh, His stripes, His pierced hands and feet.

He was wounded for OUR transgressions.

He was bruised for OUR iniquities.

It was not for someone else but for you and me.

It was for our own prideful stance. It was for our own arrogant words.

Not a one of us is not guilty. Not a one of us is worthy of the mercy and grace He gives.

It is time for us to stop claiming our own opinions and laments as Gospel. It is time we stop doing what is right in our own eyes.

Lives are at stake.

The innocent lie within the balance.

It is time we all repent.

Moses stood between the children of Israel and God’s burning wrath. Moses stood between the children of Israel and the armies of Pharaoh.

Moses cried out to God for their lives to be saved.

Moses was their hero. God was their Savior.

Whose hero will we be?

…if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

2 Chronicles 7:14

Your Potential Extension

Potential…

Everyone has potential…

Sometimes, you have to wait on it…

You wait on your potential, wait through your potential and you wait for your potential to arrive. Waiting on your potential to grow and mature can sometimes be exhausting! It can be slow growth with lots of changes and adjustments.

You wait through your potential change and development to arrive at your giftings and abilities.

You wait through your potential shifting to get to your potential extension.

Have you ever met someone who seems to be a “skys the limit” kind of person? It seems they can do anything, be anything they desire, with no limitations?

This is what I’d describe as a potential extension. There is no limit to their potential, because it has extended beyond themselves.

This is where you find yourself awaiting the potential’s arrival or the limit of your potential.

It’s not a “sit down and wait” kind of potential.

It’s not a place of apathy and laziness, “simply growing old and fat,” awaiting your potential.

It’s not a “looking at the clock, awaiting the change to come to you” kind of potential…

It’s a place of pushing, striving and extending your limitations to reach further than you ever have before.

It’s a place of stretching and learning to thrive in your potential as if you have no limitations.

It’s a “how high can I jump and still land on my feet” attitude, a “let me try to fly just once” perspective.

This is your potential extension.

Are you ready for your stretch?

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Philippians 4:13

Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:12-14

Reduced to a Box

His life was one of a restless heart

Never staying long to bury the roots

He’d come in with the wind and leave in a whim

Like a bull’s entrance into the gate

And a butterfly’s flight back out the door

His smile was one of mischief and charm

Never intending to leave a scar

He’d laugh easily and bring delight to the room

Like an otter’s dip for a swim

And a squirrel’s scurry through the forest limbs

Yet, his absence was one of deep canyons and chasms

Never able to bridge the loss of time and space

He’d search to find solace in the bottle once again

Like rabbit seeking shade in the shelter of the croc

And a cat finding the comfort of a strange prickly friend

His life was one of reconciled grace

Never destined beyond that one purpose

He’d discover that love and then enter in

Like a starfish tumbling inside the wave

And a bird of prey diving for its mark

His legacy is one of complicated honor

Never being understood or truly embraced

He’d not be reduced to a box full of memories

Like a bear hibernating behind the winter snow

And a turtle buried beneath the frostline mud

Penned – MG – 1/20/22

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 6:23

…but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.

John 20:31

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

John 3:16

The Sound of a Lonely Heart

Do you hear it?

The steady buh-bump of a heartbeat

It’s almost monotonous as it beats on and on

Sometimes, it will jump ahead and run a race for a bit

Yet, usually it’s just the faithful buh-dump that continues to march along.

All by itself

Do you hear it?

Late at night, you can hear its inner groan

As the sighs are taken and the tears are falling

Sometimes, the moan becomes a wail as eyes burst forth with life

Yet, usually it’s just the haunting sound of the broken beats

Do you hear it?

The silence is deafening, as there are no words to fix the dull aching thuds

Sometimes, the echo of the night is all that can be heard through the suffocating stillness

Yet, usually it’s just the steadfast weeping of a lonely heart.

Penned – MG – 1/19/22

What is Your Prison?

Is it pain? That gut wrenching pain that keeps you up at night…

Is it anxiety? The anxious, breath stealing, clammy-palm, lightheaded kind that overwhelms in a nanosecond…

Is it fear? The kind that breaks you out in a cold sweat in the midnight hours, yet no one is there…

Maybe it’s ambition… the driven force that is like a wrecking ball on a chain…

Maybe it’s arrogance… that blinding air which suffocates the most innocent of life…

Maybe it’s vengeance… the fierce, unrelenting thirst for justice that can never be quenched…

Or could it be suspicion? The overwhelming doubt that holds onto the gate, never seeing the broken latch…

Could it possibly be oblivious joy? The happy go lucky laughter that overrides the wounds or visible scars…

Everyone has a prison that is waiting

It can be a prison of lost hope or broken dreams

It can be a prison of lost love or shattered trust

There are bars that threaten to invade and slam shut around your very soul.

But the doors can swing wide.

The prisoners can go free.

You just have to accept the key.

Penned – MG – 1/19/22

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me,

Because the Lord has anointed Me

To preach good tidings to the poor;

He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,

To proclaim liberty to the captives,

And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;

To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord,

And the day of vengeance of our God;

To comfort all who mourn,

To console those who mourn in Zion,

To give them beauty for ashes,

The oil of joy for mourning,

The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;

That they may be called trees of righteousness,

The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.

Isaiah 61:1-3