All Promises Forgotten

There’s a wide empty field there. An expanse of open where the sunbeams fall in different ways through the trees.

A sound sometimes catches me, a squirrel, a bird or so soft it could be just the movement of the weeds.

Yellow pops of joy on top of tall green.

I consider this midpoint on the trail, the level place before I shift to jog and then struggle up the sudden steep place of a curving hill.

Then round the corner, oh it feels so free!

I am effortless, I swoosh past the houses. I careen.

There is no easy stride without the one that requires an inward decision to keep going.

There is no bliss over arriving finally without the questionable continuing your journey.

Today is the day between the dark death of Jesus Christ and the glorious morning a mourner discovered the empty tomb.

Today is the middle day, the day marked by all promises forgotten.

Jesus told them it would be so.

A little while, and you will see me no longer; and again a little while, and you will see me. Jesus, to the disciples. John 16:16

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Yet, it was so very hard to believe.

The miracle of it all.

I believe.

Much of life gets hard when we are in between. This morning I read that God keeps all of His promises.

I’m prone to worry over whether or not that could be true for me, that’s the human in me as was the human in Jesus.

In the garden he prayed, if it is possible for me to achieve what is your will for every human, the creative works of your hand, if it is possible,

Father, God maybe you have another plan.

“And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.”

And when he rose from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping for sorrow, and he said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Rise and pray that you may not enter into temptation.””

‭‭Luke‬ ‭22:41-42, 45-46‬ ‭ESV‬‬

In what ways have you suffered?

What memories have you that represent redemption, foster continued hope?

What years of depression and dismay have you survived?

Here’s an example from my Instagram on yesterday:

Why I believe in redemption. I open the mail thinking it’ll be just a copy of my diploma, instead it’s an emotional chronicle of about 10 or so years. I lost my art scholarship, came home to try Georgia Southern. Some things happened because of me and to me. In 1982, it ended, Academic Suspension. 10 years later, I began again and graduated “In Good Standing”. #thecolorsofmybible #redemptionstory #nevertoolate #beginagain

Everything is restorable.

Struggle yields hope.

What is meant to destroy, through Christ, seeking His will, pairing it with human discipline and determination, is a redeemable starting point for a story.

I’m not who I was.

Happy Easter weekend.

Continue and believe.

Known and Seen

“Garden Girl”

It sounds very clinical and not necessarily positive at all,

To think God views us in an “under the microscope kind of way”.

But, He kinda does ya’ll, if you consider He knows everything.

“But even the hairs of your head are all numbered.” Jesus

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭10:30‬ ‭esv

That’s a miracle in and of itself.

Confirmation that He knows.

He knows which leave will fall first to the ground. Which morning bird will be the very first to sing, initiating a harmonious chorus.

Miracle it is, we are known and seen!

Miracles are everywhere. You might remember a few, decide to see it this way if you believe every second of every day plays out like an orchestrated performance,

God as the maestro, your life the powerful selection of calming peaceful repose in string, or crescendo arrival of horns fading into acceptance on delicate keys.

Yesterday met me with sincere congratulatory conversations.

One led to the question of what now or next?

I was bold, said I’m hoping to combine my nonprofit skills acquired in some way with my faith.

Perfect timing it was, a fellow faith based professional needs a grant-writer. We will meet next week, come up with a contract.

I said something along the lines of wow and then rambled on. She allowed me and calmly, steadily informed me.

This is God’s confirmation. You are taking the right steps. J.

I smiled, chills making their way down my calves to my feet.

I woke this morning after a sleep that was preceded by a conviction.

I’ve let some of my attitudes and behavior steer off course, turn corners fueled by pride, trying to keep my hands in and on things that are not mine.

Dangerously close to misrepresenting who I say I am because of Jesus.

“Fools’ words get them into constant quarrels; they are asking for a beating.”

‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭18:6‬ ‭nlt

It’s a miracle!

Why so? It’s a miracle because I’m heeding what I heard God say over the voices in my world all in agreement with my bitterness, my resentment, my pride.

It’s a miracle that we get to hear God. There’s no other way to say it, God knowing me and saying so…

It’s a miracle.

I heard Him over the rallying behind me voices that say my attitude and pride are justified.

He knows the number of the hairs on my head.

He knows my ways. He knows and told me gradually yesterday and into now,

“Lisa Anne, get back to the place you are known. The place and temperament that I gave you and called you to use to show me to others.

Get quiet. Let your confidence stay quiet.

Ask forgiveness where it is needs to be offered.

Listen.

Because if you don’t you will miss out on the miracles I’m making in advance for you.

Move on, let go, accept that you are not in control.

I am.

Only control what you can, your attitude, your countenance that comes by staying closer to me and your willingness to retreat otherwise you will surely stumble, busting your butt on your pride.

You will fall flat on your face.” God, this morning.

What’s a miracle? Being known so well by my God, more than anyone will ever know.

Even more so, every single one of us is fully known the same.

God is everywhere. Don’t forget to notice. me

(And now my blog has a category called “pride”)

God Believes in You

April’s newsletter is the first in a series of seven stories of how nothing is wasted with God, stories of women redeemed.

It begins like this…

When you didn’t or don’t now see evidence of Him, He sees you. When you knew very little of Him or forgot all you knew, He knew and knows you. When your hardships enslave you, cause fear and dismay, God cares for you. When harm came your way and it seems nothing or no one intervened to prevent it, God kept you, protected you. 

 I know this to be true. I am here to tell.

So are you.

Lisa Anne Tindal

What Are You Hoping For?

I turned to Proverbs.

A thing I used to do, one a day corresponding with the date.

Proverbs 13 begins with talk of integrity and wisdom and continues to a verse I’ve heard and read before.

“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.”

‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭13:12‬ ‭ESV‬‬

I stayed there a minute. I quickly underlined the verse then decided I’m not really sure I understand the word, “defer”.

I google to see.

I discovered I’ve been wrong all along, thinking defer is like an out of my control detour caused by circumstance.

Actually, it’s not that at all!

What are you hoping for? What are you heartsick over?

Hope deferred is a goal discarded, a dream, a treasure you’ve decided was not a part of God’s measure.

That maybe, after all, His provision of what it takes to follow through, He just ran out of that inspirational juice when He got to you.

What a crazy thought. His love never ends. His providence is immeasurable.

That’s not up for us to decide. Who can fathom the mind of God?

Hope deferred, postponed or cancelled like on the back burner plans,

makes our hearts sick.

I rise now and I shall go and sit at my desk rather than my morning spot. I will work on the pending words that represent just one of my hopes.

I won’t put off my hope today

Nor, tomorrow. My April newsletter will continue. (sign up form popped up here, hopefully 😊)

What are you postponing, forgetting, deciding “not God’s plan” when we really mean I simply don’t believe.

Don’t defer your hope.

Continue and believe.

Desire fulfilled is a tree of life. Proverbs 13:12

The Gift of Memory

A friend is praying that God would give me memory.

I’ve lost something I haven’t needed in years and I cannot find it, my college diploma.

Yesterday, my pregnant daughter asked if I remembered a certain pain and I didn’t, so I blamed it on one thing I did remember harshly…when it was actually another, my lack of memory,

Then told her it’s true what they say.

You don’t remember the pain once your baby is here.

I’m wondering if my friend’s prayers are stirring my memories as a whole, of all sorts of things.

I woke with first thought, prayer.

God, help me to know you more.

There are disjointed possibilities in my life, a new one popped up yesterday. I gotta circle back around, finish multiple things, my mind and plans chaotic over stuff begun and not finished

My thoughts are all over the place.

I make the coffee, open the door for fresh air and I remember.

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.”

‭‭James‬ ‭1:5‬ ‭ESV‬‬

An elderly couple lived below us, my younger brother and me. We were not quiet apartment dwellers. We were single and in our 20’s. We frequented “River Street” in Savannah and found our way back home safely, how?

God only knows.

I watched them on Sundays, they’d come and go clutching Bibles, holding hands.

I avoided them in my comings and goings until one day in the stairwell, I came face to face with the husband, a sharply dressed gentleman.

I asked, “How can I know God’s will?”

He answered simply, “Know God.”

That was two decades ago and his answer left me hanging, left me lacking not longing. I wanted so much more than an answer so broad.

I desired a quick list or an easy plan.

I wanted it “one and done” for me, quickly fix me, God, I know you can!

Perfection, I yearned for, had no understanding of grace, God’s patience, His allowance of progression.

How in the world could we imagine God’s will as only quick when, after all, He has us and the whole world in His hands? He orders our seconds, minutes, hours and days. Their unfolding, He knows.

I understand the simplicity yet mystery now.

His pursuit of me is graceful and grace-filled.

There’s no end road to knowing God’s will.

It is a beautiful unraveling, a revealing of splendor and clarity and abundance as we go.

As we go unaffected by our daze and confusion only illumined by His spirit, His dwelling within us.

How do we know God’s will? I believe we remain quietly intent in our pursuit of Him.

He knows. Just ask Him.

God is everywhere. Don’t forget to notice. me

Linking up today with others at Five Minute Friday who are writing on the prompt “Lack”. https://fiveminutefriday.com/2019/04/11/fmf-writing-prompt-link-up-lack/

Lace and Roses

“And there was evening and there was morning, the third day.”

‭‭Genesis‬ ‭1:13‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Pink Happy Morning

I’d love to know all the birds by name, be able to identify them by their conversation, their song.

A cardinal intruded politely on a catch up session with friends yesterday. We were laughing and agreeing on our take on things when it happened.

It flew in front of us, a brilliant display. I announced, “a red bird”. They smiled, knowing my story and because they both know I’d never say “cardinal”, not the proper way.

I woke this morning not as I planned, 5:00 a.m and I had it all mapped out in my mind, finish what you started last night when both you and your printer stalled.

Instead, three times slapping at the 6:30 bell, I slumbered well.

Prepared my coffee grounds to discover my French press is not going press the way it’s supposed to again today.

I turn towards the birdsong remembering my mornings before, let the Lab out, notice the coming day.

I miss him, I miss those days.

Touching the morning, allowing it to touch me.

So, I stepped out to pay attention.

I noticed mist, a lacy veil above the moist green grass, the sky, a pale pink horizon and roses are early bloomers, startling red!

Back inside to correct the coffee, I leave the door open to listen, allowing the morning to come in.

Settled in my morning spot with little time to sit, I think and say it again.

Lord, order my day. Amen

The geese are on their way to the pond. I hear them.

Hear my mama, “Here they come!”

Begin again, start again. Rise and walk new ways.

God knows your hopes, mercy leads the way. Follow the sure pattern, soar with ease and sure direction.

Faith.

Continue and believe.

Beyond Comprehension

In the midst of an unexpected prayer. One not timely or ritual.

I realized as I spoke my thoughts,

a prayer.

Faith is not something comprehensible.

Faith is continuing while lacking understanding.

Faith is a commitment to things like love and possibility,

the deep down wish it weren’t so undeniable hope that holds out for what might be.

I want to hold out, love when love is not logical.

Believe when there’s no evidence of payoff for my belief.

I want my faith to be my noticeable default.

Learning as I Go

I’ve been productive. I am into Pinterest again and if I was successful, my readers can “pin” my pics if they so desire. I am out with the Executive LinkedIn and in with the new season…artist, writer, leap of faith taker!

I attended a writer’s conference yesterday and found it super beneficial. I highly recommend them, Serious Writers Academy. It was small, there was conversation, there was no competition or need to be farther along or better than. The facilitators were outspoken, funny and expert. There were important take aways for me. 

Engaging with others who need to believe in redemption, not need or even want to know me… is what I believe is God’s plan for me and my story. So, I’ll be making myself engaging and relatable. 

I have a relevant story someone may be searching for. 

Today, I heard the song by Casting Crowns, “Only Jesus”. The lyrics that proclaim I don’t want to leave a legacy, don’t want people to remember me…only Jesus. I’m glad Jesus knows most proclamations of such are pretty tough for us. So tough for me I told Him so, said I don’t really know how that’s supposed to be for me. I have no idea how to do what I do for you.

I continued on, decided to just do what I can today. So, committed I have been this afternoon. Readers can pin my pics, someone may connect with me on LinkedIn. I corrected Mailchimp just in time for next week’s newsletter, the first in the “Redemption Series”. 

It’ll begin this way… 

I ran just as far as I could, moved away from him and had big plans. He found me and well, I knew I’d never try running again. 

Don’t worry, it’s only the intro that’s about me. I’m fascinated with Hagar and how she came to be with Sarah and then ran away once, thrown away the second. She was found by God, the God who saw her. 

The preacher, this morning taught us through David and Psalm 61. Taught of how we are much like David, how resting is trusting and he added,

“We are all learning as we go.”

I paused at the recollection of yesterday. I had decided the very same thing. I am learning about writing. I am learning about the need to branch out, hold hands with others, how my story in a way depends on them. How they might unbeknownst to me, be depending on me as I depend on HIM. 

Although I am a victim, I am no expert on trauma recovery. I know the lingo, I understand the flight or fight. I know how triggers creep in. I know how damaging before can be to now. I understand the pull of hanging on to harsh resentment, fear, and unforgiveness. 

I also know mercy and though I don’t fully understand it. I know it is irrevocable, the offer I accepted to believe in the life of Jesus and in His death redeeming all my damage and the damage done to me. 

I know mercy more every day. Will know even more tomorrow. 

I have a few hundred followers, some know me as a believer. Others might only wonder, might see the hints I give. 

I don’t understand how to live for “only Jesus”. I don’t suppose it is meant for me to work that in a fully understood plan. I suppose it is meant for me to invite as many others as I can close enough to read my story and to understand mercy as the balm for their trauma.

A mercy that doesn’t require perfection, a mercy that will never say no. 

Subscribe to hear more of this “Redemption Story” Email me if you have comments, I’d love to hear your redemption story. 

Continue and Believe

Save

Know What?

I woke up and asked myself a hard question.

Is being known for my writing more important than God? Has writing become my shiny thing, my idol?

Jesus knew people. Knew their intent, their hearts, their broken paths towards whatever was important to them.

I smile when I imagine Him teaching, redirecting those around Him, in His own way saying, “Hey, you know what?”

My friend, Judy tells a story about her grandson. As a toddler, he prefaced every sentence with “You know what?” I think he may be in college now and I’m thinking this young man is surely wise.

We learn as we go.

What I’m learning in these days of trying to continue and believe are small, tiny hard lessons. Naturally, they feel enormous to me. But, they are teeny tiny when I consider all the good God has made possible for me.

The widow had two coins. I imagine her approaching Jesus through the rich and condescending, more successful donors. She gave her all to Jesus, unphased by them. Jesus gladly accepted her all and she wasn’t concerned with anything other than her significance in Him. There’s a lesson here; bypass the critics, bypass the false encouragers. Go straight with your gift to Jesus and place it in the palm of His hand. Repeat as you are able. Give from what He gives you. Little is much in the eyes and hands of our Father!

“While Jesus was in the Temple, he watched the rich people dropping their gifts in the collection box. Then a poor widow came by and dropped in two small coins. “I tell you the truth,” Jesus said, “this poor widow has given more than all the rest of them. For they have given a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she has.”

‭‭Luke‬ ‭21:1-4‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Jesus knew I needed to be reminded today that what I have to offer might be met by scoffing, even laughter in the eyes of others more lofty, farther along than I.

I’m taking some things off my plate today. I’m making every effort to make my gift of writing small again.

Thank you for the redirection, God. When I give to others seeking affirmation or notice, I may be rejected. My contribution may be seen as too small, my presence may be unwelcome. Thank you for your words which lead to me making sense of mine. Thank you for the courage to keep giving it all, my small gifts, my very few coins. Because of mercy, Amen

Questions and Bullets

My Bible flipped to the place where the verse I call “life” resides.

I’m afraid I’m guilty of pulling out content that fits whatever fits my mind’s contextual angst.

I believe God knows my ways.

Today I focused on mercy and grace, the verse that comes right after a chastising people who fled in their unwillingness to believe what God gave to be their salvation.

I made two lists with bullets and questions this morning and it started, that pressure creeping up heavy, fire in my chest.

I’m in a pivotal time.

I could continue and believe and be quietly confident or I could tuck tail and run, falling apart and making a scene.

Because there are some things I’m uncertain of, panic I internalize.

I glanced just now towards the blue feather I saved in the middle.

A verse underlined with a bracket on the edge…the heading, “A Rebellious People”.

“And now, go, write it before them on a tablet and inscribe it in a book, that it may be for the time to come as a witness forever.”

‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭30:8‬ ‭ESV‬‬

The thought of it jumped off the page, the word rebellion.

I wondered if God’s words through Isaiah about stubborn people who were unwilling to hear God’s instruction

Were God’s words to me this morning.

Is it rebellious of me not to believe? Am I stubborn and panicked when the timing is not my way? Have I forgotten how he led them to safety and goodness.

Have I forgotten how He has led and kept me?

Don’t I remember the times before?

Is God saying, you are meant for keeping records of all this and of before?

That for someone now and for many others to come, it will be a witness of me through your struggles and your surrender?

Your remembering I am gracious and waiting to show mercy is a remembrance worth sharing through words, don’t you see it, Lisa?

Question marks are still there, next to tasks and challenges to consider.

I’m leaving them now to go church and worship. Be surprised again by what God is going to tell me.

I’ll leave the anxious list for now, the bulleted questions.

They’ll be waiting for later or tomorrow and I’ll know more clearly the way, I know.

“He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry. As soon as he hears it, he answers you. And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself anymore, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.”

‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭30:19-21‬ ‭ESV