How Grateful Are You?

I do not own or possess this pic. (Google search)

It’s that season when everyone is “supposed to be grateful.”

There are commercials, radio broadcasts, and talk shows proclaiming who’s grateful and why.

There are magazine articles and social media posts sharing the gratitude of the heart or how to show it.

But it always makes me wonder, “Why do we have to show our gratefulness only at this time of year?”

That may sound like a ridiculous question, but let me take a moment to explain…

Gratefulness is not simply a coat we should take out of the closet one season a year.

It’s not something we should dig out if the winter clothes to cover our shivering hearts.

It’s not a trinket we should wrap around our necks for the he holidays for all to see so beautifully.

Gratefulness should be a chosen lifestyle.

It should be an attitude we allow to arise in our souls with the sunshine and to glow through the night as the moonlight.

It should be as a keepsake with which we can’t depart.

Something we must carry with us at all times, whether there is someone to see the display or not.

Gratefulness should be a lifeline that sustains us on the highest mountain tops and the darkest valleys below.

It should be the countenance of our face that glitters in every season.

It should be our very heartbeats that remind us of every blessings, every beauty, and every gracious moment that has touched our lives.

It should be the very breath we breathe for every day we remain on this revolving planet.

…in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

1 Thessalonians 5:18

For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving…

1 Timothy 4:4

A merry heart does good, like medicine,

But a broken spirit dries the bones.

Proverbs 17:22

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

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

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

Monday Musings

I Loved You From the Start

You were so tiny when into this world you came

My life changed in an instant, never to be the same

You stole the show wherever we’d go

Your laughter was contagious, and you let everybody know

I whispered in your ear, you can reach for the stars

My hopes for you, I never wanted them barred

Your dreams and aspirations were so far apart

I knew I loved you from the very start

You were full of so much love and joy

I was thrill God blessed us with a baby boy

You ran and jumped, climbed and dove

Into every mischief and plaything sent down from above

You grew into a man before my very eyes

As you started stepping out, the devil tried to fill your head with lies

Sometimes you would succumb but other times you would fight

I kept pleading for you to always seek out the Light

I’d sing the song of old, hoping you’d remember

Calling you back home each and every December

Your dreams and aspiration were so far apart

You held them deep within your heart

You reached out strong to find your own way

You always had your own walk, keeping conformity at bay

You’d run headlong until you’d hit a brick wall

We’d be there when you’d ask to help heal from the fall

You’d tumble and struggle, forgetting the One

I’d pray and I’d seek, begging Him to awake my son

You’d come back around, dazed and a bit fogged

Yet,, stand back up, never allowing your soul to get too bogged

I wondered if those prayers ever made a difference

Knowing deep down, He would bring you deliverance

Your dreams and aspirations were so far apart

From them, your demons must depart

One day, it was as if the door opened and swung wide

Not to fame and fortune but to the Father’s side

All the tenacity to succeed changed to purpose and hope

Now His ways are always higher in your vision scope

Look what God has brought within your heart and mind

Your life is full of joy from boyhood not friction from the grind

All your goals and achievements have taken a different road

Now, you’ll reap a harvest for the good that you have sowed

Keep chasing all there is ahead of you

The end is giving glory that He is due

Your dreams and aspiration now aren’t so far apart

And He has so many more for you deep within His heart

Penned – MG – 10/5/20

Monday Musings

I wonder how often this is true for us. In this “Me Society” where we live today, it seems so much is about being happy, being satisfied, being fulfilled, even at the cost of someone else’s happiness and satisfaction.

I wonder where we went wrong.

When did it get so important that you’re made happy that it doesn’t matter if, in the process, I am made desolate?

When did it get so determined that your satisfaction could be at the expense of my daily living?

When did it become ok to demand the freedom of one race, one party, one organization or one people group at the detriment of anyone else who might disagree?

Where did we go astray?

Maybe when we began believing the life of a tree was more important than a human.

Maybe when we began determining which life could live and which could die by our own hands.

Maybe when we began believing we could actually give life and take away life by our very own hands and believed we shouldn’t suffer any consequences for the decisions we made.

Evil is evil, and it has been the same since the beginning of time.

The difference today is too many have began calling evil goo and good evil.

And when these things become the norm, no one can escape the fall.

So, where will we go? What will we do? Who will we turn to?

We must go back to the beginning.

We must go back to the moment we went astray.

Return to that place in time and start anew. Repent. Make new choices. Make amends.

It is possible. But we have to see past ourselves to actually make a difference.

Monday Musings

In 2019, I’d never have guessed I’d have face masks hanging from my shower wall awaiting to dry.

In 2019, I’d never have thought of driving into our favorite North Georgia mountain town to find one great restaurant after another either closed early, have outdoor seating only, take-out only or have such dismal cleaning abilities that you’d not want to eat there.

In 2018, I never once worried about whom I could hug on a Sunday morning or whom I couldn’t, unless she was a visitor and then, I’d give it pause to not seem too much.

In 2018, I never once thought about how many people across the nation were dealing questions of, “Should I go or stay?”

In 2017, we had concerns around the world about sickness, desolation and fear; yet, we faced it together. We faced it with purpose.

In 2017, we glanced through the hour glass of time, wondering what the future might hold; yet, we glanced with hope, with promise for a better tomorrow.

In 2016, we had disagreements and didn’t see eye-to-eye; yet, that was a “normal” with which almost all of us could live. It was ok to disagree. It was ok to be at odds.

Life just went on.

I wonder how much has to change in 2020 to wake us up from our slumber.

I wonder how many have to be lost before we realize “that normal” is no more and “this normal” is here to stay.

We have to quit “glorifying yesterday” in order to live for tomorrow and be present in today.

We have to quit pointing the fingers and finding the blame in order to live determines and strong.

If we are to not simply survive…

If we are to choose to THRIVE, then, it starts with you and me…

It starts today…

And it must start now.

“Almost universally, when people look back on their lives while on their deathbed […] they wish they had spent more time with the people and activities they truly loved and less time worrying about aspects of life that, upon deeper examination, really don’t matter at all that much. Imagining yourself at your own funeral allows you to look back at your life while you still have the chance to make some important changes.” — Richard Carlson, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff…and It’s All Small Stuff

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 COVID-19 Has Taught Me

I know the present pandemic isn’t quite over, and for many, it has brought a whole new normal. I grow angry at those who perpetuate the fear, and I am broken-hearted for those who have lost so much. I neither trivialize nor magnify this crisis. I live with precautions; yet, I absolutely refuse to live in fear.

When I am surrounded by media outlets constantly trying to manipulate the masses to think a certain way, or even act a certain way, I have red flags and sirens immediately go off inside my mind. I stop, watch intently and listen beyond the headlines. I read more, seek more and yes, even pray more to find the absolute truth not the perpetuated and opinionated half truths/half lies.

So, with all that being said, I’d like to tell you what I have learned during this 2020 pandemic… (These are in no particular order…just thoughts brought from heart to pen and paper.)

1. There are many things in life which I thought I needed, and I have found I can live without.

2. There are many things in life which I thought I needed, and I have found I was right.

3. You can confine and restrict, but the old adage stands true, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”

4. School can be cut out from the children, but they will learn in more way than you first realized.

5. Even in brokenness and poverty, kindness can override…and the opposite is also true.

6. Even in health and prosperity, selfishness and hatred can thrive…and the opposite is also true.

7. We all need our friends and our support systems.

8. We all need our downtime and to be alone with our thoughts.

9. If you are always the smartest person in the room, Leave. You’re either not as smart as you think you are, or you’re not surrounded by enough challenging people.

10. Your wellness and happiness does not depend upon your wealth, your posterity, your location nor your relationships

…neither does it depend upon your poverty, your failures, your content nor your friendships… but these all (good and bad) can make a defined difference in your life, your destiny and in your legacy.

11. Some people are angels, no matter their circumstance.

12. Some people are devils, no matter their circumstance.

13. It can be very comical what people will buy in a panic.

14. It can be very heart wrenching what people will need in a panic.

15. People are resilient when given a chance to choose.

16. People are assiduous and persevering when left without an easy alternative.

17. Our older generations are valuable, genuine and full of tenacity.

18. Our younger generations are cherished, authentic and full of vigor.

19. People who have determination and purpose can thrive in adversity and in abundance.

20. People who live in fear can be controlled by those who appear to have the confidence to give direction.

21. People who live in doubt can be contained by those who appear to know the answers.

22. If you can believe in the Creator of this universe, He will give you hope, grace and peace like you’ve never seen.

23. God is God, and His name will be glorified in the good, in the bad, and yes, even in the ugly.

Friday Fun Day

On Saturday…and a week late!

(Please, forgive me!)

Stop and take a deep breath!

Step out from those four walls that confine and remember there’s a higher authority.

Shut off that TV, and take a walk; take a drive; or just sit in your backyard and soak up some sun.

Do something to remind you there is a God. He is still in control, and He still holds you in the palm of His hand.

He is more than able.
Just rest. Just trust. Just believe.

Romans 8:37-39