Finding The Silver Lining

The moment I took this beautiful picture of the sunbeams bursting through the darkened sky, I was headed into the funeral home.

The other day, I posted a blog of finding fun and adventure in times when nothing seems to be going right and plans are tough.

After a day that refused to end, I had to drive 30 minutes, to meet up with my son because he was in need; so, we met at a new station for yummy coffee and snacks to make the drive a little less tedious along the way.

Sometimes, you just have to search for those silver linings in the midst of the hard.

Sometimes, those silver linings are what brings a glimmer of hope along the desperate path.

It seems as if life just closes in at times. Those difficult moments become strenuous and pressing, until they are like four walls of concrete that have been given permission to move to the center, all at the same time.

I believe I’m not the only one who can attest to this fact; the past two years have confirmed this reality.

It feels as if the days are getting longer, lingering beyond the set hour to make it seem those midnight bells will never ring.

Sometimes, that silver lining can be allusive, hidden, even to the point of appearing as a mirage on a desert floor.

Sometimes, you’re gonna have to squint your eyes and grit your teeth, maybe even tilt your head a bit to see past the darkened day to that silver lining just beyond the rain.

Yet, if you will seek, you will find.

If you will knock, the door will open.

If you will but thrust your grasp into the hand of the One who holds tomorrow,

You will find the silver lining.

For He will make sure of it.

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.

Matthew 7:7 & 8

A New Fall Resolution

Fall is coming! See it peeking through!

It’s the second day of October, and I’m over here goal setting. I know it’s not the first of the year, and well, those “New Years Resolutions” don’t usually pan out anyway.

I’m just going to make a commitment here, kind of for accountability. Of course, it’ll be more for my own accountability, as those of you reading don’t usually “get on to me” anyway (lol. 😉😂), regardless, I’m going to put it out there. … of course, now that I’ve said that, there are some of you contemplating the task. Haha!

As I talked to a longtime friend yesterday, I was reminded of somethings that I’ve allowed to fall to the wayside of my life. And I am committing now to try to blog at least 2x a week (and to increase that after the first of the year). I’ve been SO slack the last two years…

Covid kind of turned my life upside down a bit, not because of the sickness nor the shutdowns, as Georgia has remained pretty open the whole time, but rather because our lives went into a bit of overdrive for a season. Our church remained as wide open as we could, in various stages, and we tried to get to all our people via internet, phone calls, drive-in services, in house services, etc. So, my “job” overran much of my writing space, and we just started doing what we needed to do to keep our people connected and to know we still loved and cared for them even if they couldn’t get to church.

Then, this year, when everyone hoped to “return to normal,” things didn’t seem to slow down one bit! Early in the year, we had a major staff transition, and much of that “work load” fell to me until the new staff member had transitioned. And so now, about 6 months later, things are lightening just a bit. Whew! I’m so thankful! And all of this was combined with continued Covid issues, confusion from the media on all fronts, continued families going through things and really, this part has probably been amplified on various levels because of Covid. … Side note here: I HATE Covid. Just wanted to make that clear.

I told someone the other day, I am just a bit weary. And it’s quite difficult to explain, because it’s not in anyway that I want to quit, or even change what we are doing!! I truly, absolutely LOVE what we do, where we are, and who we minister to (and really, that statement should be reversed: I love the people, the town, the job, and I’m so thankful God has placed us here.)

This might sound cliche, but it’s the truth. I consider this a high honor and blessing because there are so many pastors who are “running out of steam” and just quitting the ministry all together. That just breaks my heart, both for them and the people who followed them. When you’re called to ministry, it’s never easy. Really and truly, it’s not supposed to be. It’s a cross, but when you’re called, and you’re giving it daily to Christ, it shouldn’t be a weight that burns you out. But I digress, that’s a sermon for another day.

I do believe the “reprieve” is coming, and we’ve just got to hold on. Because it may not be until Jesus calls us home; however, in the meanwhile, we’ve got to find those “breathing moments” in the midst of the chaos. And I believe, THIS is where my weariness has come creeping in… Somewhere between the day to day grind, the grief of losing my father, the twisted up vacation we had this year (that really amounted to two days snatched here and there; although, we were gone a week), the various ministry trips, and truthfully, the lack of writing, has all equated to my feelings of fatigue.

Well, not that you needed all of that explanation, but I suppose, I’m writing it for my own benefit and remembrance… and maybe a bit of therapy. Haha!! … I know I desperately need to get back after it, my writing, if for no other reason but for my own sense of solitude and peace. Writing brings a sense of calm to my heart and a discipline to my soul, and it helps me to fall into a cadence of thinking that is needed in my life.

So, this is why today, October 2, 2021, I am making a resolution for change. It might not seem like much to someone whose writing doesn’t bring them joy, peace and strength, but for me, it’s like knowing that walking will help your overall heart health and not doing it means certain death. It’s either make the change immediately or slowly walk the downward slope toward dying. I choose LIFE … and life more abundantly!!

…And since I wrote yesterday, that’s two blogs down this week. Woohoo! Haha! 😂 Thanks for reading and indulging my New Fall Resolution.

The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

John 10:10

*UPDATE 10/17/21: I am adjusting this goal just by 1. After a couple of weeks, I am realizing that 3x – week may have been a bit too lofty of a goal after such a long stint of none and then once a month in the past year or less. So, as of now, I am adjusting to 2x a week, and I don’t think that’s unrealistic. I will strive to increase this in 3-6months. 😉

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

Whimsical Wednesday

Sail on, son. Sail on.

Sail past those trials.

Sail past those pains.

Sail past those failures.

Sail past that shame and regret.

Embrace the sun and soak it in.

Soak it in deep, cuz you’re gonna need it to survive.

Not just to survive but to thrive.

Let the moon of His shadow light the way through the dark.

No matter the abyss of the unknown, the rays of His promise will chase away the haze.

The winds of this world blow hard, always wanting to knock you off course.

The waves of this culture devour fast, always seeking to destroy peace, joy, and clarity of mind.

Stay the course, son.

Never become distracted by what was, what is or what one day might be.

Keep Him at the helm, and you will find a steadier voyage.

Keep Him at the forefront of navigation, and you will find your destination not far ahead.

I may not always be present in form, but you can rest assured, I am always near your heart.

And you will always be held tenderly within mine.

“But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”

2 Corinthians 4:3-6

Whimsical Wednesday

Let me glide on the sea of glass…

Let the wind rustle my hair as it whizzes by…

Let the sun deepen the glow and bring strength to my soul…

My mind settles from all the distractions…

My eyes rest from all the blinding pain…

My ears relax from all the blasting rain…

Just breathe deep…

Exhale slowly…

And my focus can return…

My vision can reform…

My hearing can be revitalized…

Just another minute… and another…

Just a little while longer…

And my heart can begin to sing again…

“But now ask the beasts, and they will teach you; and the birds of the air, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you; and the fish of the sea will explain to you. Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this, In whose hand is the life of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind?”

Job 12:7-10

Monday Musings

There is so much truth in this statement, it almost hurts to embrace it.

If you’ve never hiked a strenuous trail, this may not be a reality for you.

If you’ve not experienced the deep exhale of stiff action after a treacherous climb, you might not quite understand.

But if you’ve climbed Brasstown Bald in Georgia for the first time on a hot August afternoon…

If you’ve used your trekking poles to achieve the heights of The Chimney Tops in the Great Smokies…

If you’ve had to take a break as you traveled toward the top of Mount Mitchell in the Blue Ridge…

If you’ve had to slow to catch your breath as you stretched toward the heights of Pike’s Peak in the Rockies…

If you’ve questioned your abilities as you pushed toward the peaks of Mount Rainier in the Cascades…

And if you’ve ever struggled in life to achieve more than the day before… if you’ve stayed up all night and the next day just to get the job done… if you’ve beat your chest through the turmoil, the heartache and depression just to reach the other side of sanity…

Then, you might just understand and appreciate this statement.

Because if you’ve ever climbed the malicious mountain to experience the refreshing breeze and behold the overwhelming landscape of the summit , you’ll fight and claw to encounter the next ascension.

“Lord, by Your favor You have made my mountain stand strong…”

Psalm 30:7a

Whimsical Wednesday

A little late is better than never…

How far will you travel to seek your heart desire?

How deep will you search?

How high will you climb?

How treacherous will the adventure become?

Are you willing to go?

Life can be as fulfilling, heartbreaking, thrill-seeking or peaceful as you want to make it.

Live with no regrets.

Survive with no remorse.

Let your heart soar to new heights and rediscover something new to you!

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.”

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.”

The Bottle

My feelings for you are all bottled up inside

The anger, the pain, the hatred, I so try to hide

I question my motives, my sanity, my right

You seemed so loving, never knew you’d take flight

I drown the sorrows, the fears deep in the bottle

I cry buckets while your smile I want to throttle

I doubt my rightness, my justice, my defense

You appear so pure, resentment doesn’t make sense

I cast the bottle out to the farthest sea

I dredge the shore seeking solace to be

I wonder my blame, my guilt, my freedom

You presume release, to my heart you say come

My thoughts of you have sailed with the ships

The forgiveness, the peace, the praise is on my lips

I stand firm in my liberty, my love, my claim

I have long forgotten you, my rejoicing in His reign

Penned – MG – 2/29/20