Hit By A Mack

Have you ever felt like you were hit by a Mack Truck? Maybe you’re not familiar with the term. Growing up in a rural community in Northwest Florida, we used this term anytime we felt like a sickness had just taken hold of us, or maybe when someone had had a rough night of sleep (or sometimes, even with an alcohol binge). We’d say, “I feel like I’ve been hit by a Mack Truck!” Or “You look like you’ve been hit by a Mack Truck!” 😂

Now that I’m older, I’ve still used the phrase from time to time; however, once I realized what a Mack Truck really was, I’m kind of thankful that was just a phrase. For surely, being hit by a Mack Truck in reality would leave one much worse than what I have felt when using the phrase. When I’ve claimed this destructive weight has hit my life, I suppose, I’m almost whining in comparison to what it would really feel like for that 5-ton vehicle to slam into me.

Sometimes, we do overstate our life conditions, don’t we? Yet, when we’re in the middle of the storm, it’s often hard to see beyond the tornadic winds we are experiencing. So, if you’re feeling down today, or maybe you’re even feeling like a Mack Truck has invaded your solitude, just hold on a minute, and let the chaos pass.

You can make it through, if you’ll just not give up. If you quit now, you’ve let that 5-ton machine win, but it doesn’t have to end that way! Get up! Even if you have to crawl to the curb and signal for help. Sometimes, you may have to lean on someone to help you through rather than being “Mr./Mrs. Independent.” That’s ok, cuz we’ve all been there… both with the Mack Truck and with making it through with the help of a friend!😉

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. 💗

Grief: Learning to Breathe

Learning to BREATHE AGAIN is a normal process of grieving. Grief can be caused by so many variants. It can come from the loss of a physical being through death, both tragic or long-term illness. It can be from divorce, tragedy or abuse. It can even be from a severance of relationship due to danger or destruction.

I do not claim to have all the answers to this process of learning how to breathe again when grief invades. I do not claim to have all the knowledge afforded to those much older, wiser, and more experienced than I. However, I would like to point you to one resource I have found, and I believe it can help you on your journey with grief.

This resource, coupled with my personal faith in Jesus Christ, and intertwined with a host of leaders in my life, is helping me to learn the process of healing and enabling me to share a newfound hope with others…

Shameless Shout-out: I have begun listening more to Dr. Laura Schlessinger on XMRadio, and I just love her no-nonsense truth speaking! I appreciate how she deals with problems, people and the process of living. She gives incredible advice on grief, love, emotions, people, life, in general, and so much more!

Sometimes, when you are walking through the journey of grief, you need others to help you along the way. Sometimes, you need professionals who can give you proper perspective and appropriate approaches to this new you, this new life and this new “normal” you will encounter once grief enters your world. Sometimes, you’ll need to start listening to someone smarter than you, in order to simply learn to breathe again.

Dr. Laura is someone I would recommend to add to your resources, as you begin this journey of learning to breathe again, and as you walk this path of grief. The following pics are from her Instagram page. I encourage you to find her on any social media site, as well as, on XMRadio (Triumph 111) and start listening!

If you are a person who doesn’t just want to cope for the rest of your life, but you want to learn to breathe, to walk, to run, to even fly, listen to her and to people like her. If you are a person who appreciates self-improvements and learning how to deal with challenging situations and people, you will not be disappointed!

*Disclaimer: I am not recommending her as a spiritual advisor or counselor, as she never claims to be a pastor, teacher or even Christian instructor. She is simply a truth speaker who is not afraid of confrontation or spouts of emotional outburst and will “tell it like it is,” no matter the situation, conflict or difficult outcome that may result from the truth being told.

Friday’s Friends #17

Today is Friday, and this is the day I get to share a new blog with you. I always love this time, because there are so many wonderful blogs out there to be shared! These blogs have inspired me, encouraged me, or simply challenged me, and I hope for you, they’ll do the same. 😊

Joyouslyhopeful is a great blog where you’ll find encouragement and an incredible story of survival. She wrote Broken Pieces last year, and if I remember right, that’s how I found her blog. I love the picture in this post and the symbolism it gives. We are all broken pieces which make up His beautiful masterpiece. Her personal story is one of broken pieces becoming a magnificent masterpiece. 

I hope you will check out her blog today. Enjoy! 

Always There

As I walk down the halls of the hospital and enter through the ICU doors, I am reminded one more time how precious and how unpredictable life can be. When the storms rage, we hit our knees, crying out to our God, begging for mercy and grace.

Yet, sometimes, I wonder why we do not call on His name before that moment. Is it because of self-reliance? A strong will? Stubbornness? A rebellious heart? Or just a simple determination to make it on our own until we realize that thought doesn’t work as well as we thought it would? If we could actually see His great love for us before the storm, I wonder if we might turn our hearts toward Him before the rains came. 

He is always there, from the moment we take our first breath to the time we breathe our last. He is there in the midst of our celebrations, and He is there in the depths of our despair. Often, we do not see Him, because we are blinded by our own fleshly nature or our own hidden pain. 

Our blindness does not change His presence nor His ability to hear and see us. He is there, awaiting our call, at every moment of every day, all we have to do is call on His name. He will answer. Every. Single. Time. 

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For What Are You Searching?

I watch you from a far

You scrap and scrape for the par

They are all like crabs within the barrel

Pulling you back, never caring your life is imperil

 

You wander from place to place

Always wondering how to save face

This life you’ve contrived is only a game

Always shielding your heart but finding the same

 

Lost and confused, bended and broken

Those you gathered only gave you a token

You thought you were reaching your highest goal

Only to find all the searching has only found an empty soul

 

I long to help you, to lend you a hand

Yet, you push me away, stating it is alone you must stand

My heart cries to see your stubborn desolation to stay

Praying one day you might realize He is the Only Way

 

Penned – MG – 1/24/17

Just Roll With It

“Roll With The Punches” … Definition: term is used to explain how boxers will often angle themselves in certain ways to help lessen the impact of incoming blows. 

Sometimes, you just roll with the punches. You know what I mean, don’t you? Things just keep piling up, and there seems to be no end to the “punches” that life is doling out. There seems to be no relief to the amount of “adulting” we have to endure. 

I have found there are times when “the rain just won’t let up,” or “”the hits just keep coming,” and if you’re going to survive, you’re just gonna have to roll with it or DIE! You have to make a decision in that moment. Are you going to give up and quit, or are you going to dig in for one more round, one more punch, one more hard blow before the bell rings? 

As Christians, we’re called to roll with the punches. We’re encouraged to endure till the end. We’re to finish the fight, complete the race, and finish it well. Acts 20:24, “However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.” Romans 5:3-5 tells us, “Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” Finally, Hebrews 12:1 reminds us, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” 

Our ‘commission’ from God to endure, to persevere is not simply so we can suffer through hardships, and it’s not just so we can prove to the next person how tough and strong we are. No, we are encouraged by God to finish so that we might be a witness for Him. 

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We are stirred to continue on so that we might share our story with others and they might see Him through our faithfulness. We are inspired to remain steadfast, regardless of the obstacles or the hinderances, in order to inspire someone else along the way that they might see His goodness, His love and His grace. After all, this earthly home is not our destiny, this is just a season. We have an eternal home to which we look forward with desirous anticipation! 

So, get up! Dust off those gloves. Get that grit back in your eyes. Get ready to swing, and roll with those punches! He will give us strength for each and everything we encounter. He will never leave us nor forsake us, and He will always fight for us! With God by our side, we cannot lose!! 

Lean On Me

I had a ladies board meeting, with 6 other women, this past week and another leadership meeting, with ten of them, at the end of September. They are all incredibly different from me, and yet, we have so much in common. I said to them, “It is amazing and such a blessing to be in a church with a group of ladies who can be so strong and confident in the person God has called them to be, and at the same time, be so humble to love, accept and help one another to become a great team who works together in unity.” We didn’t become this kind of team by chance. It has taken a lot of love, a lot of grace and a lot of truth to bring us to this point, and most of all, it has taken us being there for each other when someone hits a “low spot” along life’s journey.

In Galatians, Paul tells us, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ…Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” I wonder, how well are we carrying one another’s burdens? I’m not talking about just being all caught up in this one’s latest drama or that one’s most recent crisis, and I’m not referring to how much gossip we can share with our neighbor. I’m talking about genuinely carrying a friend’s burden, coming along side that person who is hurting and weary from the journey and helping to share his load.

I’m talking about taking about taking the load, NOT upon ourselves, but joining in prayer with that person, and helping her to lay that burden at the feet of Jesus and helping him to see a ray of sunlight through his storm. Maybe it’s a note of encouragement, maybe it’s a little gift, or maybe it’s just sitting by her bedside for an hour simply sharing in the moment, even when you could really be a thousand other places getting a something done. 


This is the kind of burden-carrying that fulfills the law of Christ. This is the kind of load-lifting that reveals His love to the world around us. When He said, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” It wasn’t just a cute cliche. It wasn’t just a nice follow-up statement to His command to love Him first.

He loves each and every one of us, because we are His children, regardless, of our differences or similarities to each other. He longs for us to love each other as He has loved us. One of the best ways we can do this is to pray for one another and help each other with the loads we carry. The more people who help in lifting a heavy load, the lighter the load is for each individual.

What Will You Choose?

What are you choosing today? Are you choosing life, or are you choosing death? Are you choosing joy, or are you choosing sorrow? Are you choosing peace, or are you choosing chaos?

You might say, “Well, you don’t know my circumstances. I can’t choose anything! I am a victim.” Yet, I have to disagree. You may not have control of your circumstances, but you do have control of YOU! You can choose how you handle those circumstances, and you can choose how you react to whatever you are facing.

Just as you cannot control or change the wind and the storms that come, you may not be able to control or change bad things from happening around you or even to you. However, you have complete control over your emotions and your actions. You can decide, right now, how you will react to those bad things. Will you “flip out,” refusing to be consoled or comforted? Will you become angry, lashing out in anger? Or will you take a deep breath, step back and assess the damages, and approach the situation with peace and wisdom? Will you handle the chaos with the kind of strength and grace that helps someone else along the way?

You have the ability to choose today. Choose life. Choose peace. Choose joy. Your choices not only impact those in that present situation, but they can impact others for generations to come.

What will your choices leave behind?

Withstand the Storm

 

palm-tree

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The palm tree is very agile and remains stable through the most torrential storms. The roots go deep and wide and even grow stronger when storms come. The trees can brace against the 120 mph force winds of a hurricane, and they can double over in height to withstand the effects of tsunamis and tropical cyclones.

 

When storms come into our lives, it can be challenging to remain grounded through the downpours and gales. It can be almost unbearable at times. When the waters rise above our heads and the weight of the waves come crashing all around us, we can find ourselves bending and swaying to the rhythms of grace, or we can find ourselves breaking and uprooting from the stress and strain.

The key to this survival is not found in worldly possessions. It cannot be found in strong friendship and a healthy family life. It can’t even be found in self confidence, strong will or a determination to live through the crisis. All these things are good things, and they are definitely an added bonus, but none of these things will sustain us through the most difficult moments of our life.

Only if the root of our soul is anchored in Christ, will we stand. He is the only Rock we can cling to that will not break us but will strengthen and sustain us.

Commit to Him today before the storms begin, and you will find He is faithful to see you through that storm! We cannot wait until the winds begin to blow to make sure our faith is secure. When we are grounded in Christ, we will obtain the grace to withstand the storm. We must remain committed to His Word and keep our trust in Him, and we will survive whatever may come. If you find you are in the midst of a storm today, commit to Him even so. You will be amazed how He can carry you through!

 

psalm-92palm

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