A Note On Success

I saw this posted the other day, and it caused me to pause…

“Cancel telling kids college is the only way to be successful.”

I’d have to somewhat agree a bit, but might I throw a bit of a curveball and some kindling to that line of thought?

Success is an attitude of the heart and mind as well as the actions of the body and emotions.

It’s a lifestyle that begins when you wake up everyday by the thoughts and choices you choose, which in turn, can create successes or failures.

It can last for a lifetime if you think well, choose well and have determined follow through…

So, I guess I’d personally say, “Don’t cancel the thought of “college only”, and don’t cancel the thought of “trade only.””

My suggestion would rather be, the better approach is to decide to be successful by who you are more than what you choose to do, and THEN, what you choose to do, do it well and with purpose and watch successes come more easily!

Slay On, My Friend

(Google)

The common slogan in our modern culture seems to be, “Make love not war.”

…No, maybe that was more of the 60s, but it is definitely a “Make peace, not war” desire.

Yet, peace is not always possible except on the other side of war.

Had we claimed peace on the day of Pearl Harbor, where would we be today?

Had we put down our weapons and declared all was well in the middle of Hitler’s regime, what would our nation look like in 2021?

Had we allowed the towers to fall with no retribution, would we really have a world of calm from chaos?

There will enter giants in this life that we must pursue as David pursued Goliath on the battlefield.

There will be lions that step out to devour, and we had best draw our swords first as Baniah did in that pit on the snowy day.

If we don’t, we will only be taunted, pursued and eaten viciously while we say, “We just want to live in harmony.”

Our enemy has no mercy for us.

He cares not for our troubles, pains or weakness.

Reality proves he seeks our demise and strategically plans for our destruction.

So, lest you become confused by the lull of the common welfare state.

Lest you become seduced by the brazen agenda of those who secretly desire you to fall,

Pick up your shield, dear one.

Not one moment for the drama.

None of it for a show.

Simply for survival and for life renewal.

Stand your ground and fight for what is rightfully yours.

Do not back up, hesitate or surrender.

Fight that giant and take him down.

Slice through that dragon and render him a heap.

Stomp that foe into the ground from which he came.

And slay on, my friend. Slay on.

We Need Each Other

Sometimes, it’s quicker to just finish the project solo.

Less instructions, less redirection, less headache.

Sometimes, it’s quicker to just deal with the issue on the fly.

Less confrontations, less explanation, less mistranslations

Yet, a partner brings double time finished and a companion in the battle.

Sometimes, it’s easier to live life single in the distance.

Less expectations, less missed opportunities, less disappointments

Sometimes, it’s easier to survive away and alone.

Less conversations, less misspoken, less overdone

Yet, a friend brings laughter and a lightened load.

Whether we see it as truth or not, we need each other.

We need one who is sunshine and one who is rain.

We need one who is the ocean and one who is the shore.

We need one who is the mountain top and one who is the valley.

For if we are all the same, where is the growth?

Where is the challenge?

Where is the change?

It’s not for me that I live, and it’s not for you that I die.

It is for Him and Him alone.

And He created a ‘we’ to fulfill His purpose and plan.

So, let’s get to it.

Penned -MG – 12/17/21

Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

Galatians 6:2

Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

Ecclesiastes 4:12

As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.

Proverbs 27:17

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

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

Contemplation

Somethings in life just don’t make sense.

You can look at it sideways, upside down, and with one eye half open, and it still won’t seem rational.

You can shake it, turn it, flip it, and it will be just as complicated.

You can kick it, throw it, even stomp upon it, and it will not be put on solid ground.

Somethings in life just won’t unravel, no matter how hard you try.

There should be a beginning and an end.

There should be a start, a go, a pause and a stop.

There should be a forward, a return, a left and a right.

Somethings in life just refuse to be easily understood.

If you keep beating against that wall, all you will receive is a busted head and five bloody knuckles.

If you keep walking down that street, all you will find is pain, suffering and utter chaos of soul.

If you keep turning over those rocks, all you will discover are the same nasty worms, devoured soil and littered weeds you found before.

Somethings in life will remain in darkness.

Somethings in life will rebel against any sanity.

Somethings in life will have to be contained in phantom answers if you are to crawl to rest.

So, let the tears roll down the shoreline, and let the shattered dream fade with the night.

For in the morning’s light, you can find hope.

As your heart is seeped in peace, and your mind is consumed by His grace.

Penned – MG – 10/29/21

For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning.

Psalm 30:5 nkjv

Finding The Silver Lining

The moment I took this beautiful picture of the sunbeams bursting through the darkened sky, I was headed into the funeral home.

The other day, I posted a blog of finding fun and adventure in times when nothing seems to be going right and plans are tough.

After a day that refused to end, I had to drive 30 minutes, to meet up with my son because he was in need; so, we met at a new station for yummy coffee and snacks to make the drive a little less tedious along the way.

Sometimes, you just have to search for those silver linings in the midst of the hard.

Sometimes, those silver linings are what brings a glimmer of hope along the desperate path.

It seems as if life just closes in at times. Those difficult moments become strenuous and pressing, until they are like four walls of concrete that have been given permission to move to the center, all at the same time.

I believe I’m not the only one who can attest to this fact; the past two years have confirmed this reality.

It feels as if the days are getting longer, lingering beyond the set hour to make it seem those midnight bells will never ring.

Sometimes, that silver lining can be allusive, hidden, even to the point of appearing as a mirage on a desert floor.

Sometimes, you’re gonna have to squint your eyes and grit your teeth, maybe even tilt your head a bit to see past the darkened day to that silver lining just beyond the rain.

Yet, if you will seek, you will find.

If you will knock, the door will open.

If you will but thrust your grasp into the hand of the One who holds tomorrow,

You will find the silver lining.

For He will make sure of it.

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.

Matthew 7:7 & 8

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

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