Life Isn’t Fair

One that is evil is left to keep living.

One that is good is taken too soon.

One that is friendly is kept among friends.

One that is lonely is left alone to the end.

Life isn’t always fair.

Life doesn’t always make sense.

Everybody has a story to tell.

Everybody has a scar that shares hell.

That one who hurts the most has to reach to another.

That one who drains the life takes even the morsel.

That one who cries the longest must be silenced.

That one who glares the hardest is allowed the violence.

Life isn’t always fair.

Life doesn’t always make sense.

Everybody has a story to tell.

Everybody has a scar that shares hell.

There is One who bled while others were hailed.

There is One who winced while others scoffed.

There is One who was pierced while others were passive.

There is One who died while all others lived.

Life isn’t fair, but there is a hope.

Life doesn’t always make sense, but there is a love.

His story is the redemption to tell.

His scars are proof He conquered hell.

Penned – MG – 5/9/22

And He bearing His cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha: Where they crucified Him, and two other with Him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst.

John 19:17-18

…who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.

1 Peter 2:24

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

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 Quest for Christmas

Sometimes, it’s almost mind-boggling to think how, throughout the year before, we long for Christmas to get here. We dream of it, talk about it, plan for it and prepare so many things to perfectly progress for the precise moment it will arrive, and then, the day itself seems to pass almost as quickly as it arrives.

Yet, for those of us who claim to be Christians, it does make me wonder, do we do the same for the coming of our eternal King?

For He IS coming, and we will be with Him for so much longer than Christmas Day will ever have been.

Are we getting ready?

And are we urging others to be ready?

Just as we’ve asked, “Do you have your tree up?” Maybe we should also ask, “ Do you have your heart ready?”

Maybe just as we’ve asked, “Do you have all your presents bought?” We should also ask, “Did you know, your soul has already been purchased with a price?”

Just as we inquire, “Are your family members coming?” Maybe we follow that with, “Are they headed toward heaven as well?”

Because if we are ready for all the Christmases we could ever live through, but we miss the one event that only happens once in a lifetime, we will regret it forever.

If we have all the presents in the world bought and perfectly wrapped, yet we miss the very present that has been provided to us for free, then in comparison, all the rest is just trash.

And if we enjoy company with our family and friends during the season, but we fail to show them the way to Christ, all those seasons will fade for the eternity in which we will miss them.

Let us not lose a moment.

Let us not miss an opportunity.

Let us never ignore the Hope.

Our time is too short, and their lives are too precious to lose…and so are ours.

Whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.

James 4:14

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

Let It Live Elsewhere

I read this, and it settled in like a long awaited truth to my soul.

This idea of letting go of pain, of allowing it to be placed somewhere outside our body, outside our mind, can be so healing.

When we hold pain and sorrow, it only brings more agony and anxiety.

When we constrain the heartache we’ve lived, it only brings more shattered dreams.

It only brings more grief and breathlessness.

Don’t restrain the tears.

Don’t stop the weeping.

Don’t halt the search for peace and joy.

But do allow that gut wrenching, earth shattering, all consuming knife within your soul to be let go.

If pen and paper bring an ease, then let the words fly as if being chased by a cobra.

If paint and canvas bring a breath of fresh air, then create the masterpiece of a lifetime.

If a song can be sung or a lyric be written, then allow the harmony to find it’s way as a raindrop finds the groove in a muddy hillside.

But clear that affliction from your thoughts.

Issue that grievance a pardon or prison sentence to far away lands.

Surrender that anguish from your heart and begin to breathe again.

Freedom comes with the release.

Now, go live.

And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”

Revelation 21:4

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ. Now if we are afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effective for enduring the same sufferings which we also suffer. Or if we are comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation. And our hope for you is steadfast, because we know that as you are partakers of the sufferings, so also you will partakeof the consolation.

2 Corinthians 1:3-8

The Lord is my shepherd;

I shall not want.

He makes me to lie down in green pastures;

He leads me beside the still waters.

He restores my soul;

He leads me in the paths of righteousness

For His name’s sake.

Psalm 23:1-3

The Hidden Battle

Memories of you swirl around my head as I swat them away like flies.

I fight feelings of anger and grief as I pick up the shattered pieces of my heart.

I struggle to paint the smile I’ve learned to wear so well as if it’s an extra skin.

I look into the mirror and despise what I see because the reflections of the past come shining through.

Thoughts of you roll through my brain as if they have stolen permission to remain.

I battle the turmoil within, trying to make sense of the void and chasm of pain.

I wrestle with my flesh to hide the sorrow so I might glance with kindness on another.

I gaze at the pictures you left behind and loathe the resemblances that cannot be shred.

Recollections ramble through my mind as that one calls your name as I look away.

I resist the hatred that threatens to take hold, as I reach out openhanded for His love.

I assail the bitterness I can taste as if it were delights for my fancy and raise my hands in praise.

I search and await His hope that is beyond this present state of being and take confidence knowing it won’t be long till His rescue is complete.

Penned – MG – 12/1/21

And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

Romans 5:3-5

Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.

Matthew 18:21-22

As Our Children Grow

As our children grow, we can learn so much, and we ourselves can grow

If we will only listen.

We can learn to love freely, to speak kindly and to forgive graciously

While we structure consistently, discipline conditionally and disciple unrepentantly.

Mercy must always be balanced with justice.

Wisdom must always be stretched with faith.

Grace must always be enveloped in truth.

One cannot live without the other, and the other cannot thrive without the first.

Our children can bring light to our weary souls, and we can bring comfort and security to theirs.

As our children grow, we can learn so much, and we ourselves can grow

If we will only listen.

We can learn to laugh without limits, seek without fear and be consumed with wonder

While we instill honor for the past, respect for the future and gratitude for the present.

Progressiveness is forfeited when yesterday is forgotten.

Tradition is failed when the future is ignored.

Existence is sacrificed when reality is shunned.

One cannot succeed without the other, and one cannot flourish without the origin.

As our children grow, we can grow, too.

As our children learn, we can learn, too.

As our children spread their wings to fly, we can soar alongside them

If we will only instill truths from the beginning and step aside for their liberation.

Train up a child in the way he should go,

And when he is old he will not depart from it.

Psalm 22:6

Just Let the Tide Roll In

There are moments in our lives when words won’t come and tears have flowed too much.

There are days when clouds cover like fog and sunshine has struck a famine.

There are seasons that seem never ending and years that seem to move forward like molasses.

It is in these junctures that we must find a mountain side, a lake’s edge, a sunrise crest.

We must seek out the shoreline and let the tide roll in.

For it is at the break of the horizon that your soul will find rest, your mind will discover clarity, and your breathing will once again stabilize.

It is here when you are reminded of peace and joy, strength and even faith.

For this is where you will find Hope.

So, just let the tide roll in.

Let it wash over you and let it purify.

Penned – 11/2/21 – MG

You rule the raging of the sea;

When its waves rise, You still them.

Psalm 89:9 nkjv

Happy Father’s Day

For so many, Father’s Day can come with a roller coaster of emotions. Every little girl or boy wishes to have a Daddy who loves them, protects them, guides them and defends them, but sometimes, that’s just not how life turns out. And sometimes, we’ve had to say goodbye long before we’re ready.

Sometimes, rolling into the Father’s Day weekend, every thing can be just fine, and then, all of a sudden, you just cloud up and rain. You feel grouchy and agitated for no particular reason. You just want to sleep a little more, isolate a little longer, or pull back a little deeper.

You can’t really put your finger on it at first, and then, the tears roll down like a drenching spring shower, and you realize you really do miss him. Maybe it’s because he was bigger than life, filling the void deep within. Or maybe he was too absent, dropping in whenever he felt suited him, but left you waiting by the door with your bags packed foe a visit way too many times to count.

Or maybe, it’s never a missing or actual longing for him because he was so broken that he tried to break you in ways only nightmares can speak of; yet, the tears come for what could’ve been, should’ve been, and for what never could have been imagined…

So, for all those whose Father’s Day weekend brings with it a bit more complicated feelings than what you’d hoped for, know there is a God who sees you, and He longs to fill that void, heal that brokenness and mend those wounds that you’ve tried desperately to hide or ignore.

He truly is the best Dad a girl could hope for!

A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families, He leads out the prisoners with singing…

Psalm 68:5-6

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

What Do We See and Who Do We Seek?

Today’s been one of my reading days…

I’ve been catching up on articles that have surprised, challenged or even overwhelmed my thoughts on normality and what “being good” is all about… no, I don’t look at life through sheltered eyes, and sin really doesn’t “surprise” me.

Yet, what overwhelms my heart is the truth of Scripture that tells us (paraphrased), “The fields are white with harvest, but the laborers are few.” …and they are SO few. We are so burdened with the cares of this world, I’m not sure how many lost we actually see in our day-to-day, and if we do see them, do we just keep on walking by trying not to offend?

What boggles my mind is the rampant demand in our culture to call good evil and evil good. There is a new “common norm” that is flowing like a rushing River. All those opposed to it are hailed as evil, trying to build a dam to stop the flow, and some in that parade even give the confusing claims to Christ while shouting everything He hates is good and everything He loves must be from hell itself. Others stand on the wall of the dam screaming at the water, describing all the nastiness in the liquid but never giving it hope to see that the dam isn’t there for its detriment but rather for it’s transformation to something better.

What challenges my soul is how I can reach out in love AND truth to share His story, even if it might be just one life at a time. How can we create a culture that loves God, hates sin, seeks His perfection while compassionately love the imperfect-ed around us?

Can’t it start with just one? Doesn’t it start with me and you turning our accusing fingers back at our own hearts and kneeling at the foot of a bloody cross and repenting?

Oh God, help us to have eyes that SEE the lost. Help us to have a heart to CARE that they’re lost, and help us to have the courage to SPEAK Your Truth! Your children have been silent for far too long…

“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 will I hear from heaven , and I will forgive their sin, and heal their land.”

2 Chronicles 7:14

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