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

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

Do Not Fear

Isaiah 43:1-3

But now, this is what the Lord says—
he who created you, Jacob,
he who formed you, Israel:


“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.

When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.


When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.

For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior…”

Isaiah 43:16-21

This is what the Lord says—
He who made a way through the sea,
a path through the mighty waters,
who drew out the chariots and horses,
the army and reinforcements together,
and they lay there, never to rise again,
extinguished, snuffed out like a wick:

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!

Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?

I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.

The wild animals honor me,
the jackals and the owls,
because I provide water in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland,
to give drink to my people, my chosen,
the people I formed for myself
that they may proclaim my praise.”

(Not so) Whimsical Wednesday

Listened to this song for the first time today. Don’t know why I haven’t ever heard it before, but it speaks a message today. On this 18th anniversary of a horrific day in our history, I will remember. I will cherish, and I will never forget.

It’s not about a political party. It’s not about a race, a religion, or a heritage. It’s not even about a personal opinion or thought.

This was a day that radicalism thought it could rule. This was a day when hatred filled hearts surmised they could win. This was a day when evil consumed souls believed they had the upper hand and could bring down a powerful, mighty nation.

9/11 will forever be a day of remembered terrror, heartbreak and death. Yet, 9/12 will forever be a day remembered of a nation uniting to bring rescue, support, encouragement and comfort. The two days shall ever be etched in the memory blanks of my legacy.

This is a realization of what purpose can expose. This is a revelation of what a common bond can bring. This is a testament of what unity can do.

For evil and for good.

Never forget these days in your retelling of truth and of history. Share the brokenness, revel in the heroics and cherish the patriotism. Never forget, a people bound together in one cause, one focus, one goal can accomplish the unthinkable.

America, never forget.

Satisfaction in the Small Things

It’s so funny, but this little thing I did today brought such great satisfaction in a moment. Two years ago, I had bought one of those bulk packs of pens at Costco, and over time, the pens run out of ink, one by one. I kept them all in a drawer, as they are refillable. I just didn’t get the refills, because this was a bulk pack of 20; so, I had plenty of ready replacements.

As it probably happens for many, after loaning pens out, or having a pen in every notebook and journal you use regularly, that pack of 20 started to dwindle, and I kept seeing the pile grow in the drawer, knowing I needed to get the refills. Yet, I would remember at such inopportune times that I never made the order.

So this week, I finally bit the bullet and order the pack of refills. Tonight, I refilled all the empty pens in the drawer. It was quite a feeling of satisfaction knowing I have pens ready and waiting once again. Yeah, I guess, I’m a bit quirky like that. 😂

I’m curious to know. What’s some little thing that brings you a sense of satisfaction?

It Is Time

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 “grace-filled” or “judgement-filled.” It just is, because God deems it so.

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.

We’ve come to the place where we’d rather argue, 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. 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. Yet, he could never have brought them to freedom had they not listen, followed and obeyed him! He was not God, but He did show them God, and they chose to receive.

Whose hero will we be?

Whom will we follow?

Sometimes, My Heart Just Grieves

I’ve had several conversations over the past few week with friends who are going through incredibly tough seasons of life, and, as I think back through them all, my heart just feels heavy tonight. Many days, these conversations cause me to seek good, practical advice, Godly wisdom and a lot of scripture to encourage, admonish and uplift their weary hearts. Often, these stories told cause my spirit to rise up in righteous indignation over injustices done. I encourage them to fight, to never give up, to seek God, as well as, to seek their personal well being at all cost.

Yet, sometimes, like this evening, my heart just grieves over their losses and their pain. I wish I had a magical wand that could, somehow, make all the heartache, fear, doubt and turmoil just disappear. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?

If you’ve not experienced sorrow yet in your life, well, just keep on living, because it will come. If I can give you a piece of advice, both for those going through the trial and for those who are listening to the story, find someone to lean on. Don’t ever try to carry your burdens (or theirs) alone. You aren’t meant to.

Especially, for those of us who call ourselves a Christian. God never set up the Body of Christ for you to walk through this life experiencing all the brokenness it can bring and travel that painful journey alone. Find yourself a good church family, a wise pastor, spiritual leaders, and pour your heart out. Let them pray for you. Allow someone to come alongside you and help carry those burdens!

If you’re the one always walking alongside helping to carry the weight, you’ve got to learn to lean as well. You can’t always lean on those hurting, because they may not be ready to help carry you; however, you can find someone stronger than you to lend a helping hand. You’re not Superman! (Sorry to bust your bubble!)

Learn to lean. It’ll help you stand stronger.

Learn to release tears. They will wash your soul and help you to breathe deeper.

Learn to grieve. It’ll help your heart be real.

Learn to take a hand. It’ll help you to walk steady on that road to eternity.

Video is not mine. Simple YouTube search.

Video is not mine. Simple YouTube search.

Listen to both and be encouraged today. 💗

Just say, “NO!”

SOMETIMES, we just need to learn to say, “NO!”

We heard this statement many times on television through those anti-drug commercials of the 80’s. We heard it month after month, encouraging all to not give into the enticing voices of culture and drug dealers who would lie and say, “Just a little won’t hurt you!”

Yet, we seem to have moved further and further from the totality of this sentiment as we’ve become a “tolerant society” that seems more bent on pushing one agenda or another rather than actually saying, “No” to many things to which we need. We seem to have risen to a new level of “tolerance” where every cultural opinion must be agreed to, or we risk being called a racist, fascist or just simply a bigot. As I’ve stated before, just because I disagree with you does not mean I hate you.

I disagree with my husband at times; yet, he is my best friend, my confidante and my love. I disagree with my children, especially when their decisions will put them in dangerous situations; yet, I love them so much, I’d lay my life down for them. My loyalty may not run as deep for you or for those with whom I disagree and do not know personally, but it does not mean I harbor hate within my heart simply because of my disagreement.

Yet, because of my own experiences, life choices and personal convictions, you and I may not agree on all things. Ya know what? That is completely ok! You may live your life quite differently than mine, and that’s ok, too. That’s actually part of living, and that part of being an individual and having your own choices.

Being of different opinions is okay, too. However, when those opinions begin infringing upon someone else’s personal wellbeing, there should be a wake up call. When those agendas or disagreements come with an expectation of agreement and are followed with a demand of approval or a threat of consequences if not adhered, then, a separation and distance should be put into place for those involved.

Sometimes, we just need to find the courage to say, “No,” and stick to our decision. Sometimes, we need to find our backbone and settle into the boundaries we have set for a dangerous relationship or a rebellious child or a consistently wounding acquaintance and resolve to leave it there. Sometimes, we need to cut the ties with that toxic person in our life with whom only turmoil and chaos resides.

Sometimes, for our own sanity, peace of mind and personal wellbeing, we must look at the “appointment book” of our life and reply to their request,

“No, Thursday’s out. … Yeah, Friday’s out, too. … How about never – is never good for you?”