So Many Broken and Bruised

I do not own or posses this pic.
Website: https://pixels.com/featured/mirror-reflection-loriental-photography.html

I look around at the festive gathering and underneath the smile, I see the broken and bruised.

I breathe in the cool breeze and wonder how the atmosphere can change so quickly.

I gaze across the room and fight the tears welling up as I see her laugh to hide the pain.

She wears her smirk as a veil to cover the scars that run too deep.

She flitters past to appear all together, never lighting too long to allow searching eyes to peer in.

She waved goodbye before the stories could resurface and the truth could be revealed.

Yet, in the final farewell, I saw the unshed tears held at bay by the dam of poise and finesse.

I heard the longing in her slight tremble when she claimed she’d be alright.

I watched as her frame faded into the night and wondered what shadows would chase her past the midnight.

Oh, how I wished I could bring her back.

I yearned to call her name and beg her to stay.

I looked in the mirror to see a remnant of her image peeking through the lighted reflection.

If she only recognized His love is still there waiting for her surrender.

If she only perceived His grace is still hanging on right where she left Him.

If she only realized His mercy never walked away.

She could come to know all the healing that she needed are the very things she left behind.

PENNED – MG – 11/27/21

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 Sit and Soak, Again

Sometimes, you’ve just got to sit and soak and let the weight of the world be washed away.

And sometimes, when you’ve already done this, you’ve got to do it again…

You alone are the Lord;

You have made heaven,

The heaven of heavens, with all their host,

The earth and everything on it,

The seas and all that is in them,

And You preserve them all.

The host of heaven worships You.

Nehemiah 9:6 nkjv

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

But a Vapor

I attended a funeral today of a dear friend whose husband was in the chair talking to her, and then, he was gone.

On the same day he left, I made a call to my grandmother because it had been 19 years; since, we had to say goodbye to the love of her life.

In a few weeks, I’ll be present for my father’s memorial, to say goodbye and try to find the right shelf for the varied emotions.

Our lives are but a vapor, here today and gone tomorrow. Are you ready?

This is the month for awareness of miscarriages, infant loss and the fight of breast cancer.

My friend posted the other day the names of her three boys in heaven, and I added my oldest, too.

Just today, I counted five women whom I know personally are walking through, or who have just walked through, this painful and fearful journey; yet, each one of them have come out swingin’.

Our lives are but a vapor. Not a one is promised our next breath. Are you ready?

Don’t maintain that you’re invincible.

Don’t hold on that you’re healthy.

Don’t keep steadfast to the hope that you’re young.

We have no guarantee. We have no contract, no agreement, no treaty with death. He can come at anytime.

Yet, rest assured, he can only come when the Creator of life says, “Now.”

Love a little deeper. Forgive a little faster.

Hold a little tighter. Lean a little stronger.

And pray.

Pray like you’ve never prayed before.

Penned MG 10/9/21

One Without The Other

[I do not own nor possess this pic: Google.]

I read today all the notes in the article stating what a “cool mom” she had for attending all his travel games when she could’ve been at church or at work or in the bed sleeping.

I heard the praises she made as you fussed at that teacher, really giving her “what for,” after she had the audacity to flunk the test over a little glancing over the shoulder when all the kids need is just a little break from all the stress and demands.

I watched as your job gave you that award for all your hard work and extended hours that took you away from house and home for days and weeks at a time.

Is this what true achievement is now?

Are these “successes in modern culture” what show you’re full of vigor and forthrightness?

Is this what true purpose has come to?

I read the comments that say, “You’re a cool mom” because you sat with your kid at the tattoo parlor yesterday.

I hear the accolades of how great a job you did while allowing your daughter to “spread her wings” and try out the pride of life. After all, it’s the latest and greatest and “will bring her the best destiny.”

I watch as the news pours in on the wonderful attempt you took last week to bail your son out of jail for the fifth DUI since he was 16 because he promised to quit … again.

Is this what true love is now?

Are these strides to be “popular with the next generation” what show you’re full of compassion and admiration?

Is that what true affection has come to?

It seems the world has turned upside down. It seems we have reduced it all down to a common denominator. We are calling good evil and evil good, and yet, we stand here wondering why there is so much hatred, so much strife and so much utter destruction.

There is no internal goodness that brings you to right without an ultimate Truth.

There is no natural tendency toward mercy without an equal balance of justice.

One can never truly live without the other.

For where all mercy is driven, the sin goes without correction.

For where all justice is prevailed, the chance for grace is long forgotten.

One must have the other in a beautiful symphony called life,

And the only ability they have to meet is through the eyes of the One who knew no sin yet became sin to bear our wages of immediate death that we might live eternal…

Penned 7/16/21 – MG

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. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

2 Corinthians 5:20-21

Lost Soul

You were just a lost soul no one could hold

Traveled the world wide but never stayed close to home

Restless, renegade, rogue

That’s the life you tried to embrace

You were just a wandering soul no one could understand

Followed the stars and searched the land but never stayed too long

Rugged, ravaged, relentless

That’s the life that chased your dreams

You were just a weary soul no one could confine

Drifted beyond the horizon but never stayed in port

Regrets, remembrances, recollections

That’s the life that you left behind

You were a broken soul only One could redeem

Sailed close to water’s edge but never stayed the anchor

Reconstruction, renewal, redemption

That’s the life He has waiting for you

Penned – 8/6/2021 – MG

RIP JLH 8/5/21

I will both lie down in peace, and sleep;

For You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.

Psalm 4:8

Memories and the emotions they bring can be so difficult to put into words, but sometimes, a song will do…

When You Have To…Make it An Adventure

When you have to go to Fl for a memorial, stay in a place you’ve never been but want to explore.

When you have to go, but a hurricane is barreling in, drive on down to The Keys and stay a night in comfort, away from the howling wind.

We he original Mrs. Mac’s, on Key Largo, has the most amazing key lime pie!

When it’s raining in paradise, make a drive to a fun dive and remember the sunset from yesterday.

When the dockside you want isn’t open and other places are too full or the hours are funky, just stop searching and try to enjoy the mediocre food you find at a cool dive.

Skippers food is decent,
but this blonde sundae is to die for!!
The key lime wasn’t so great.

When you get burned from the less than desired cuisine, have a do-over at the hotel convenience … sit out on the balcony and enjoy good food, good service, and sweet conversations with both the waitress and your love.

Gus’s Grille at the
Marriott in Key Largo is great!
The apple pie is delicious!
The key lime pie is scrumptious!

Feels like island time already.

When you have to plan for the days ahead and make some decisions, sit out by the island waters, under a tiki hut, in a bamboo chair swing, and let the coastal breeze wash all over you.

When you can’t bring your boys with you, and they made because they missed the adventure, you stop by a favorite to bring our home to them…and enjoy a slice yourself in the beautiful garden out back.

The Blonde Giraffe Key Lime Pie Factory has the absolute best key lime in the Keys!
Their expanded garden is a wonderful place to sit and take a breather,
and of course, to enjoy your slice!

When you have a free place, save a little money and head back to your original destination after the storm has blown through.

But take the long way through the swamps. It’s a prettier, more laid back experience.

Remember, you’re here for the adventure.

When you find your place to be amazing, but the beach town to be a little less than, go exploring nearby.

Remember, you’re here to make a memory.

When the days have been upside down and the busyness of life is taking a toll, take a little stroll along the seashore…or maybe two or three.

Along the way, stop and smell the roses, or take in the sight of the massive, gigantic trees, as it were.

The pictures just don’t quite do it justice.
The dimensions of this tree are mind-blowing!

When you see that the feasts prepared are good, but maybe not great, find the one suggested and let it remind you why you make a meal an event.

Matanza’s By the Bay is absolutely amazing!!
Be sure to get the salted caramel cheesecake and the pb pie…OH. MY!!

Amazing food, beautiful scenery, and fun conversations can bring the two of you back to younger days, deeper love and a stronger friendship.

When you have to go to a memorial, to be there for a friend, make it an adventure along the way.

Remember, it’s not always about the destination. Sometimes, it’s more about the time spent together and dreams fulfilled.

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.

Philippians 4:8
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that
take our breath away.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7

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