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

Monday Musings on a Whimsical Wednesday

What brings you JOY today?

What brings you JOY at Thanksgiving?

What brings you JOY on the “off days” when the holidays are through, and the workweek begins anew?

Can you even describe it?

Is it too lofty to grasp, or do the words overwhelm as your tongue struggles to form a word?

JOY cannot be found in circumstances or possessions.

It cannot be obtained in people or holidays or even in feelings.

It must be held deep within one’s very soul.

It must be allowed to live and breathe, as if it is a living being inside.

JOY can overwhelm and consume…

If you will simply let it.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 15:13

You will show me the path of life;

In Your presence is fullness of joy;

At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Psalm 16:11

Friday Fun Day

Sometimes, you’ve just got to be whisked away by the sun, the waves and the wind.

Even if it is only in your mind’s eye that you sail away…

Happy Friday Fun Day!

Friday Fun Day

Sometimes, to have a Friday Fun Day, you need to just sit by the rushing waters and let all the cares of this world wash away with the falls.

Sometimes, to find your peace, you’ll need to pause the calendar and step away.

Sometimes, to find your laughter again, you’ll need to take notes from the bubbling brooks and rustling trees.

Never get so lost in today’s “to do’s” that you forget about you.

Never get so consumed in the agendas that you forget those you value and love.

Now, go have yourself a Friday Fun Day! 💗

“He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul.”

Psalm 23:2-3a

Whimsical Wednesdays in my Musings

Since I missed Monday Musings today, I thought I’d add it today’s whimsical thoughts, as I feel a bit melancholy today…

I don’t feel bad, and I’m not necessarily sad. I just feel a bit more somber than most days.

I suppose, it’s mostly because today is my grandfather’s 94th birthday. But he’s not here to celebrate. He’s in heaven.

We said goodbye to him 18 years ago (on Oct. 6); so, today is not a new day or even a surprise from what it has been for many years now.

Yet, I always miss him on these days. My life was changed that day, and as much as I’m so thankful I’ll see him again one day on the other side, it doesn’t change the fact.

I miss him deeply. And today, I’ve had a thought time shaking the invading blues.

The sun is shining brightly, the breeze is blowing slightly, and it’s a warm 79 degrees here in Georgia. My life is blessed, and I really cannot complain.

In fact, I am overly blessed, and he’d never want me to be sad, even in his absence. So, I’ll put a smile on my face until I feel it down deep in my soul.

For he is no longer in pain. He is no longer suffering. He is rejoicing in our eternal home, and I will see him again.

So, as my heart continues to heal, as it does with time, memories and purpose, I will lift my hands today and worship my King.

For He is worthy of that worship, and it changes me in the midst of my obedience.

…And it makes that smile sink a little deeper to the depths of my being to bring sunlight through the rain.

“Why, my soul, are you downcast?

Why so disturbed within me?

Put your hope in God,

for I will yet praise him,

my Savior and my God.”

Psalm 42:11

“The Lord is my strength and my shield;

my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.

My heart leaps for joy,

and with my song I praise him.”

Psalm 28:7

Saturday’s Musings of Treats and Whimsical Fun Days

Well, this week was so jam packed, I didn’t even get a chance to sit down and write. The last 10-14 days have kind of been like this, but this week, I didn’t have the extra to add words to the page.

So, today, I thought I might conglomerate them all as one. 😂 I thought the title turned out quite original (lol); now, let’s see how the blog will end up. Maybe great. Maybe a little less than good. But it really doesn’t matter. You can at least say I tried!

A few weeks ago, I threw a little dessert together that I thought I’d share. It’s pretty simple, and you can pick up most items at your local grocery store, and you can adapt it to your personal preferences.

I started with a simple lemon pound cake. I just happened to have Sara Lee’s lemon loaf. I added a couple of scoops of key lime gelato (I love Talenti Gelato!) and dropped a handful of strawberries, raspberries and blueberries on top. And then, I drizzled caramel over all this.

Oh, it was so yummy! Truthfully, because it was a cooler day right at the end of September, I was wishing I’d had this “grand thought” back in the summertime; however, that didn’t hinder my enjoyment one bit!

This one thought, of enjoying a “summertime dessert in the fall,” led me to thinking, sometimes, we can miss celebrating a moment we should be celebrating!

We can get so bogged down with past regrets or future ambitions that we aren’t present in the moment we’re living. Yes, we need to deal with the past at times, but we should be able to put it in it’s proper places. And we should be pushing forward toward those goals and dreams we have ahead, or we’ll never get beyond where we are.

Yet, if we are seeking so hard after those things ahead, or we become overwhelmed by the sorrows OR joys of the past, we will miss what is right before our very eyes!

So, take a moment today.

Breathe I deeply and exhale slowly.

Let your eyes focus and settle in on those things and those people before you.

Cherish the laughter; embrace the tears.

Walk through the days with purpose and diligence.

It’s not always about where you’ve been or even about where you’re headed.

Sometimes, it’s simply about where you are and who is there with you!

Now, go give yourself a treat today and have a whimsical fun day! 😊

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls & hard work.

Thomas A. Edison

“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

Friday Fun Days

Yeah…

That’s where it’s at.

Now, go have a great Friday Fun Day for yourself!!

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

What’s it like to be a cat?

To laze around all day, plopping down in front of my owner to beg for a belly rub…

To come when the garage door opens to receive shelter foe the night…

To run when I hear the food bag shaken, alerting me to dinner being served…

To purr and knead as my person strokes my fur to show her eternal love…

To return to the wild at next dawn’s break to run and climb and lie in the warm sun…

To repeat again and again as I remain a prisoner to my person, never truly being free…

Yet, freedom is in the eyes of the beholder…

And I suppose, a pampered life is all I see…

Monday Musings

Am I growing old before my time?

I was always told I’m an old soul…

Am I aging with grace and wisdom?

I’ve always been told my heart’s river runs deep…

Am I deepening my knowledge or my love?

I was told to love wisdom is to understand His loving kindness…

We have a choice in life…

We can assemble all those memories, and we can only see the pain and injustice…

Or we can gather the joys one by one, pick out those moments of serene peace, select those tiny miracles that don’t happen every day…

And relish in the here and now while looking forward to that beautiful ever after…

I think I’ll choose the beauty…

I believe I will grasp the sunshine…

I will strive to always opt for the good…

Never ignoring, but rather, discarding the hatred and violence that threatens to distract my journey…

And I’d suggest for you to do the same…

It is possible…

If you will believe…

“Whoever is wise will observe these things,

And they will understand the lovingkindness of the Lord.”

Psalm 107:43

“Get wisdom! Get understanding!

Do not forget, nor turn away from the words of my mouth.

Do not forsake her, and she will preserve you; Love her, and she will keep you.

Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore, get wisdom.

And in all your getting, get understanding.

Exalt her, and she will promote you;

She will bring you honor, when you embrace her.

She will place on your head an ornament of grace; a crown of glory she will deliver to you.”

Proverbs 4:5-9