Not Sought After

I almost hurried to finish what I only had one day to complete. It would be my first time not submitting, my first time not trying, my first time not getting all optimistic and hopeful that this time I’d surely be selected.

“Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭27:14‬ ‭NLT‬

Almost midnight, I get a message with just a question, “What has become of “Colors”?

Accountability, an unexpected “ding” and my reply was ready. “Work in progress. Truly.”

He replied with thumbs up.

The message sent by someone maybe seeming an unlikely supporter, wise one, writerly and truthful.

He’d read the first chapter of “Colors” as he calls the book, and he understood clearly when I spoke strongly of wanting not to be just a cute little inspirational writer, I wanted to be true, honest, brave.

All those things and now, most of all though humble and hopeful.

Closer to me and my story for them, for others, for God.

Ready to convey Hope and Healed in a way others see healing as not just possible but potential and probable.

So, I didn’t submit for the fourth time (actually, maybe fifth) to the well known platform for Christian women writers.

I wasn’t prompted by God with anything to say. I knew the words would be just mine and they’d be impulsively conjured up and confident only in me, not Him.

Yesterday, I told someone I’d always found humility to be tough, tough for people who have already had such a hard time with finding themselves worthy.

It can be so conflicting sometimes to believe in good things, to believe ourselves deserving and hear voices that shout loudly inside that warn of pride.

Thinking less of ourselves does not mean thinking ourselves less than what God says.

Maybe humility is simply thinking more of the me God sees and knowing oh, my lord how much more that is, and is not pride it’s just believing without stopping believing.

I decided I make humility harder than it is.

When all it is, is focus, keeping right my focus. Humility is simply modesty aligned with prayer and an open mind to God’s ways more than mine.

Unexpected encounters are the confirmation of why the best things are never sought, always unexpected.

It’s our seeking that leads to pride, the seeking that starts with hope, starts with maybe just an innocent sweet yearning for good.

We might even call it God’s blessing because we know He loves to bless His children.

But, we’re human. We get off track, get impatient over the wait. Insecure over our worthiness.

We get driven and determined over what started as a meek imploring, hope for something to quickly off the rails crashing towards an object or accomplishment that we can NOT live without.

If it doesn’t happen this time or doesn’t happen at all, who am I now?

Who was I ever to God?

We ignore God maybe, then. We begin to believe we should have it, whatever the it is and our motives change.

Our motives change from humility to pride.

No longer do we want what God wants.

We want what we want.

And if we’re not alerted by our soul’s stirring, we act impulsively, we react from our ingratitude for what hasn’t happened yet.

Because we’re human and we can make our way work, we decide to handle the matter, we get things done!

So, two encounters unexpected last night. Two people sought me out in a noisy boisterous crowd.

The first to tell me she starts every day with my Instagram post. I hugged her and I hugged her again. Such a small offering, a few words, maybe a paragraph that’s all I give.

We hugged again and I told her, “It’s just God every morning speaking straight to me and I just share it.”

She smiled as if she saw that, she saw that

I’m imperfect and seeking.

The best place to be.

Humility is no more than that.

The more we find God, the less we look elsewhere for our worth.

Another person, I believe maybe four hugs this time we shared. Overwhelmed and feeling guilty, she decided to resign from our Board of Directors.

I told her I would miss her, I understood, I still hoped to see her.

My husband was standing with us and she told him she just “felt so guilty” about all the things she should do but, she knew she couldn’t.

He pointed towards me and said, “She knows.”

Then she told us what her husband said to her, a comfort and confirmation.

“If you’re feeling guilty it’s not because of you, that feeling, that discomfort, it’s God trying to tell you something.”

Esssentially, her guilt and her discomfort were negative emotions and God never wants us to feel badly about ourselves. He wants us to come to Him to ask for understanding, for guidance, for ways forward.

We don’t need to make tough decisions on our own, they’re always going to leave us conflicted, angry, resentful and divided unless we align with Him, diligent in prayer.

Closer to knowing Him, His ways, His will.

I told her I’d just come to this truth recently, that God does not bring us guilt, doubt, dismay.

We are human in this human and imperfect world. We grasp for understanding when we’re not capable of ever understanding all.

We grasp for what measures our success and what we gauge our contentment by.

Our grasping is always striving, never submission, never settled and waiting for what comes when it is

Not sought after.

The deadline came and passed for the submission. A half-hearted morning prayer was uttered that day “God, give me words that mean in courage.”

Moments, really were all that happened between the reluctant ask and the confident decision, not now, not hurried, not for you, Lisa Anne, not for you.

Because all of my encounters with people and places and platforms that hold my words close and up for others to read have thus far been unexpectedly given, I am completely sure they came from God.

Humility is most of all, prayer and patience. Closer to being the one He knows and Has wonderful unsought after plans for.

Prayer and patience…

Aunt Boo

Love Every Morning

I reach for a cup every morning, thoughtful or not. I’ll grab the big one that says I’m the universe’s best mom or the one from a long ago trip my son took.

A favorite is the “sunshine” cup, from my sunshine, my daughter, bright yellow with a little hope reminder in the bottom you see when your coffee runs out.

If I’m open or uncertain or meh, I’ll just go for the cream color from the set.

Today, I went for the Valentines mug, not a gift from anyone, it ended up at the office and then my desk and now home. To be honest, it was a donation and we promptly ate all the Hershey hugs and I claimed the empty mug.

So, today I took the mug from the shelf and I’m drinking creamy coffee sweetened with honey because I know it’s true.

It’s true every morning. All I need is provided. Many of the gifts I cherish, He has provided.

Every morning, every minute, I am without a doubt reminded.

God loves me.

Loves me more.

Loves me despite sharp words spoken, selfish moods and motives and mostly my less than focused focus on Him.

He loves me meek.

Loves me mindful of Him.

Regardless though,

Loves me more.

“I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.”

‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭31:3‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Linking up for five minute Friday writers on the prompt “provide”. I am so thankful that God’s provision of love never runs out . Happy Friday!

And I Can See

All the things that held us back,

hold us back,

cause us to want to stay in the places our troubles and trauma, causing us to believe wrongly

have made us feel disabled or unable.

Even the troubles we were born into, had no control over.

Jesus says it’s not your fault nor your parents’.

The thing holding back, limiting your vision, troubling you.

That’s the trouble that will reveal in you, bring to the light for the world to see

my great plans and purpose, your transformation from this troubled past through me.
Those are the places we’ve been healed

are still being healed from.

Those are the things that God wants to use to show himself evident in our days.

The places He wants us to show others His glorious healing for them too, to say

And I can see.

“It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins,” Jesus answered. “This happened so the power of God could be seen in him.”  Jesus
‭‭John‬ ‭9:3‬ ‭NLT‬‬


“So the Lord must wait for you to come to him so he can show you his love and compassion. For the Lord is a faithful God. Blessed are those who wait for his help.”

‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭30:18‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Of all the things I love, I love to catch him thinking.


Something I heard the other day about dogs, I still don’t believe. I believe it was a well known speaker/preacher and he was talking about us in the world and oh, I don’t remember.

He was trying to amuse us I think, comparing man to dog, interjecting a point to cause a chuckle, caused me to ponder, I might have even tilted my head to the side, possible eye roll. (?) My facial experiences have a mind of their own.

For the life of me, I can’t remember where or who or why he said what he did.

But, I do remember he said that dogs don’t have thoughts and don’t really have roles or purposes on the earth like we do.

Expectations like being kind, loving, non-judgmental, welcoming to those in need and serving where God places us to serve and doing so without demand or self-seeking.

I was thinking this morning about my prayer yesterday. It was uncomplicated and it was almost happened upon, unsolicited, unquestionable.

A prayer of surrender, which is typically oh, here I go attempting again to be everything for everyone so that I can say my all is everyone’s all and take what you need because I have everything I need.

Work, commitment, a task…surrender has always felt like work.

Never felt like open ended sentence, open minded acceptance.

the action of surrendering.


capitulation, submission, yielding, succumbing, acquiescence; fall, defeat, resignation

“the ordeal ended with their peaceful surrender”

What came from my heart yesterday was a sureness of God being purposeful in my life, an acknowledgment that He always has been; but, now an acceptance of this truth and a joining in of my part.

My prayer, simple:

I surrender to your preparing, Lord.

I am acquiescing. I am subtle in my surrender, accepting, allowing, waiting with calm and quiet confidence.

Lord, I am acquiescing.

What a beautiful word, the thought of it, a new favorite.

acquiesced; acquiescing

: to accept, comply, or submit tacitly or passively

The morning told me right away, your sleep was more settled and you are slightly changing, surrendered still, not striving and stressing. Continue here.

Colt waits for me to rise from my morning place.

He expects my rising slowly for a second cup of coffee and his food poured and fresh water given.

He waits. He knows my lingering, accepts it and joins in the mood. He sits for a minute, oblivious to me and looks towards the morning, surrendered to our day.

The day that has become his, this I for one believe, he’s happily thinking.

Colt and I, acquiescing.

Linking up with Jennifer Dukes Lee at Tell His Story here:


Sweet Spot

The blanket’s all stretchy from my toes and it’s folded tightly underneath my feet resting on pretty footstool.

Pillows moved to the end of sofa, my Bible, my books, my pencil and my pad, these are my morning things.

My eyes move towards the mantel and rest there, reminding of the sea, the abstract I got right, one I decided I’d keep.

I long to stay here, paint later, then write, I long to be a home woman.

I am in my sweet spot. I’m exhausted from other places, I want to stay, to paint, to write.

I told my husband, told my daughter. They’ve heard it before.

I’m tired of other things, things I don’t enjoy; but, have to do, I call it “peopling”.

I long to be selective with where my energy goes. I long to stay in my sweet spot, to do work that feels like treasure not toil.

Retired last night thinking this and woke with the same.

Then, remembered, it’s not me who gets to choose timing. I’m not the keeper of doors closing or opening wider. I just do what I can where I am and let God do the rest.


Yes, If I’m honest it’s not that I’m weary, it’s more that I’m waiting, excitedly and expectantly.

Like up to bat and on a hitting streak, I can’t wait to get back in my batters box, my painting desk, my writing desk, my sweet spots.

Closer to the wholeness that God will use, tired of the halfheartedness of before.

Maybe not so tired of what I have to do; just more sure of the sweetness of my sweet spot and the seeking His will there.

Going out into the work world and returning here every day.

“Therefore thus says the Lord: “If you return, I will restore you, and you shall stand before me. If you utter what is precious, and not what is worthless, you shall be as my mouth.”

‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭15:19‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Rambling and all over the place today, still linking up with FMF on the prompt of tired.

The Space, it Changes

I can’t remember the last time I captured the magnificent.

Used to be, walking was captivating, interruptions were awe and for a time, I told myself all the people in their houses are watching,

Saying, “she’s taking pictures of the sky again” or the geese or the sun painting shapes on the trees or the occasional feather at my feet.

But, the geese are eluding me now, the birds have fluttered past all together, singing see ya later, I lift my eyes,

so long, they sing.

Fleeting moments, they fly.

Seems I’ve lost my seeing.

Today, I tried a new thing. Midweek Motivation, usually yoga, stretch and breathe; today it was different.

Something akin to tai chi, an intentional exercise in noticing the physical for me.

The space that I allowed the settling of my intention, I decided “assurance”, was my belly.

With a weighted pillow holding me secure, I listened as the instructor suggested imagining the flow of river from belly, limbs and feet river to ocean, making space free and pathways clear.

And then an exhale, the intention, the sought after thing, “assurance”, a reply was an echo and I responded, thoughtfully, “I have it.”

Then, prompted to consider that place that held your intention, is there a change?

Yes, a lightness, a making for more space.

The space, it changed.

I considered the skies without bird, the moments I missed seeing the geese and the wide, wide spaces God has shown me of late, His intention.

I believe there’s room, room to grow, space to be taken up in new rooms by me.

I’m certain there’s room.

“…confident I will see the Lord’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living.”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭27:13‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Wisdom, Beauty, Small Changes

I changed things up this afternoon.

The place where I sit every morning, is different now. I swapped out shallow basket weave tray for old wooden box that now holds my pencil, Bible and books.

The pencils and pens that rested there before are now sorted and pointing up to show their colors, they’re now living in a little caddy with the bottom missing, so I got it real cheap.

Heather came over and we walked and we talked and I broke a branch of pear tree blossom.

Brought it in, let it rest in little jelly jar and I remembered how my mama used to be on Saturday afternoon, late.

I’d walk in the back door and the den would be different, she’d found something out junkin’ and she’d rearranged the room around it.

We might sit and she’d talk and I always left my heart fuller and more wise.

The conversations slow, pensive pauses, insight straightforward, yet soft enough I held it, never considered it obtrusive, it was welcomed, her wisdom resting with mine just barely started.

It’s a generational thing, the wisdom unfettered, the joy in small changes.

My daughter walked with me this evening. I didn’t let her know; but, I could barely contain myself in my notice of her beauty.

The sun going down, the spring chill of breeze bringing her hair towards her cheeks, her loose ponytail bouncing.

And we talked, her wisdom rooted deeply and decidedly, not pulled right nor left and maybe some of it mine; but, most of all hers, my mama’s and a yes, just a little bit, mine.

“She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.”

‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭31:26‬ ‭NIV‬‬

The Sound of Sigh

It was audible. The whole house, empty and I’d heard it once already. A peaceful type awakening of thought wrapped up securely, held safely down deep.

The bottom of the soul’s well, causing a welling up.

That’s what a sigh sounds like, I believe. A bringing up to our surfaces, the soul’s regrets, letting them see the light and to leave us better, leave us in peace.

John was born for that, to show others Jesus as peace, Jesus as redemption, not regret.

Someone saying they had so much more to say and I remembered my regret.

My “ohh” came out all gravelly like the sides of my heart somehow roughed up the edges of my words and my voice was a sad sigh tarnished by memory.

I remembered regretting coming back home that night. And I remembered what I said by her bed.

I sighed, my understanding audible.

My voice muffled by the knot in my throat as my daughter shared what her friend said her husband said, his father gone before he had the chance to say more.

I sighed; but, not for long, I listened instead, stopped my taking of another’s grieving thunder.

My sigh changed then, from oh I know to hopefully more, I understand.

Same morning, I’m thinking of what I missed finishing the day before, good intentions stolen by circumstance and once again, I regretted not painting, not writing, not following through.

I opened my little book called “Joy and Strength” to the place chosen for the 2nd of March.

And again, the sound of sigh, this time a sigh of affirmation and of hope.

This one, “Ohhh”, more like “oh, my goodness, oh, my soul,

Oh, how amazing, oh, the love of God”

I sighed, “oh” again, the sound softer then, a validation.

I believe that love reigns, and that love will prevail. I believe that He says to me every morning,

“Begin again thy journey and thy life; thy sins, which are many, are not only forgiven, but they shall be made, by the wisdom of God, the basis on which He will build blessings.”

Thomas Erskine

“Oh”, I sighed, a prayer, again today.

Heavenly Father today I begin again.

Steady my heart, give me opportunity to remember and sweetly sigh, “oh” as I walk along the path of peace that you have made so amazingly free and possible despite my past sins worthy of many regrets.

In Jesus’ name and because of mercy.


I’m afraid I never can finagle all my thoughts into words in five minutes. I’ll link this post with the others though. I’ve already read so many very good posts on regret from others, I’m joining the conversation.

Bare Branches and Strong Spines

“You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book?”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭56:8‬ ‭ESV‬‬

The tree limbs are starkly dark. There’s no denying the contrast against the clarity of cloudless day.

It seems the season has come early and the barren aged tree is ragged, unadorned, and the limbs exposed.

I was drawn towards the blackness of branch, the hard and seemingly morbid lack of promise for new.

Surrounded by delicate fragile blooms of white, pink, yellow popping forth from little green capsules of petal, my gaze rested, enthralled by the trees still winter barren.

The thought of it wouldn’t let me go, I’d promised a friend a Bible and then it just became sort of an oh well, nice thought… I don’t think she really expected it kinda thing.

And I said shame on me to ignore such a simple request, to let it fade into the place of “just a thought” suggestions, hopes, pleasant ideas.

How shallow and self-absorbed I felt.

So, I made my way back to the mega store with the discount everything and perused the shelves immediately inside the doors.

Children’s books about bunnies, books with spaces to fill in color, cookbooks, romance, how-to do anything books and Bibles.

I was looking for the Bible with the robins and sparrows on its cover, pretty colors subtle with brown of feather, coral on bellies and touches of blue on wings.

It was not there. I scanned over about a hundred covers, collecting titles I’d heard of, wondered about, decided to keep four with me.

Similar assertions they all made, promises that might be inside the pages, chapters all exploring doubts and fear and failures.

New writers writing about old things in hopefully new ways.

For a moment I considered, “Are we all just a community of tortured and tragic souls?”

Women who believe in Jesus but struggle to believe in ourselves?

Does every single book attempt to affirm for us what in our hearts we know but lose our grips on, occasionally needing to hold on again and longer?

Do we need to be broken so that we can remember His brokenness?

Do we need to be lost and looking all over the place, bumping into people and places here on earth, never fitting in and then remembering oh, my heavens…we were made for heaven, not here?

I sat at my desk the other morning, feeling as if all I do amounts to nothing and stuffing down my frustrations over people and things not measuring up as they should.

I thought about my longing to write, my assurance of God wanting me to write about the “lost years” and the women who never considered me a lost cause.

I resented my days filled to the brim, my heart ached with guilt that I might never finish my telling and it becoming memoir bound together and held by strong spine.

I was afraid of not fulfilling God’s purpose.

The thing He named my treasure.

Then, I sat in the empty space of my large office, on my desk are little vignettes on either corner, newly picked petals and a painting I’m saving for someone, paperweight, a penny on heads and I remembered.

God sees what you don’t say, Lisa.

There’s not a fear he doesn’t know, not a sorrow he can’t understand.

There’s no disappointment He’s not abreast of and hoping you’ll hold on through.

There’s no struggle He does not see.

I thought of the books I’d purchased.

One about freedom, one about being the you God made you to be, one, by Rev. Billy Graham and the last one about leaving the childhood church scarred to find the grown-up church of mercy, grace, of Jesus.

So, I reconsidered my concern over all the books about walking a walk of faith that included all the trips and falls and failures.

I reconsidered how that might be too much. I realized it can never be enough.

Never enough likeminded souls seeking a closer walk with Jesus.

Never enough joining of hands and hearts to say, I understand, it’s progress not perfection and let me tell you how far I fell before I figured how to stand again.

I thought of David again, how he struggled with being chosen to be a fighter. I thought of the emotional cries for help, pleas for rescue as well as his praises to God for provision.

The Book of Psalms, a menagerie of misery and yet, innumerable expressions of praise.

The Book, like the ones on my shelf, stories of struggling people turned toward God.

Maybe we need even more stories.

Maybe mine.

“For you have delivered my soul from death, yes, my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of life.”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭56:13‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Almost 30 years ago, a friend had mercy on me. She said she “wasn’t gonna let me go.”

Today, she got a Bible in the mail.

There were no tiny birds on its cover; instead, the teeny tiniest little flowers scattered on pale green stems.

I found the ribbon inside and marked the place, added in light pencil, an angel in the margin, then ever so faintly, I circled the number of the promise.

The one she loves most.

God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns.

Psalms‬ ‭46:5‬ ‭ESV‬‬

God in my midst, I’ll not be moved. My help comes with every new morning.

Joy, strength, quiet beginnings and chances again made new.


I’m linking this post up with Jennifer Dukes Lee at Tell His Story. If you ever struggle with what it means to leave your past behind, Jennifer’s truth on how Jesus feels about our past gives s new perspective. Three words I’ll hold onto, “Keep your mat.”

If I Were

I was stern with someone last week. My discernment was laced with condemnation when it became a confront to what I’d noticed, what I’d found wrong.

Seconds ago, I texted an apology.

I pray it’s received, three days late, after all.

My work role requires confronting some days, and some days are hard. When work coincides with loss of a pet, worry over doctors appointments, and lingering concern over good things for grown children.

So, the balanced scales of the helper in the helping profession tilted heavy towards chastise, not guide.

I acknowledged it, was attentive to what the heart knows and the mind refuses to hide.

This morning, I read a writer’s truth that had the balance I need, just enough spot on conviction from God’s word to be sure it’s for me and then a tone of encouragement, a tone of “okay, now you know, do better”.

And then, I opened my Bible to read the little Book of Titus that inspired her reminder to me of how others should see me live.

But first, my Psalm for today, the 51st.

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.

Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭51:12‬ ‭ESV‬‬

And then, quietly pencilled my truth, my “if I’m honest” revelation…

If I were a speaker, a teacher, a preacher, I’d want to be a balanced presenter.

I’d want to encourage in a way that surely gives hope for those not fully and consistently living their potential as God sees, knows, and filled them with, their promise and purpose.

I’d want my instruction to be because of my own knowing, not my curt examination and self-righteous critique of another.

If I were a teacher, a preacher, a speaker

I’d long that my words be my brave and possibly shocking truth, not some occasional and wobbly walk, falling to waysides with regularity.

If I were a teacher, I’d hope I’d include a talk on how this meander in our walk is a part of our journey; yet, not the map God has designed and that that’s why He is merciful and patient

and clear in His giving of directions.

If I were a preacher, a teacher, a speaker or advisor

On many days it’d be best that I’m wordless, my words depending on my ways, not His will, His way.

It’d be best I keep quiet.

Because on those days, I am prone to judgement, frustration and feel my efforts are futile.

On those days, those mornings like this morning.

Oh, it’s so very good to be made right, to listen, to apologize, to examine my heart and invite, simply invite the clean slate of new day made new with my repentance.

Reconciliation, that’s it, morning is sometimes simply reconciling the day, the week, the moments of before.

“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭51:17‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Profit and loss-like, losing the excess of self and gaining God through His holy deposits into my soul.

Balanced to begin again.

Teachable, more and teacher less

and hopefully differently.