The irony of waiting is that it does not mean doing nothing at all. It means not doing things you know are not yours to do, things like anxiously putting yourself in places that might bring notice, like checking to see if a painting sold when you know you’ll find out at the already established time, it’s not calling four times when the caller shouldn’t be you but from the one you’re set to hear back from.
What waiting is, is knowing God is working and you keep moving you don’t sit still.
You move unburdened because you know He knows.
You left it with Him.
It’s a glorious walk that becomes a free run on a day all of a sudden you notice you’re not as heavy as before, oh, again you can run.
And so you run with music in your soul and your ears. You run. You run as you wait for your triumph to unfold.
I told myself feelings are not facts and I do believe it.
Add that little saying to all the others, Lisa Anne, over time your happy heart will override your frenzied mind.
Will cushion the knowing that’s gonna grow you, will soften the edges of you, will be a plump pillow for your head at day’s end, sweet rest for the soul.
I listen to a whole lot of stuff when I’m walking, wisdom and or lyrical voices.
I’m particular with my listening, not my favorite thing to learn from tones that are “chipper”.
Cut out the pretty words. I crave what I already know, just need a voice confirming on a firmer note.
I’m down to just a few now, podcasts that are good fits for me.
Yesterday, I silenced my phone.
I paused the voice that was the same as so many with a similar exhortation.
I already knew. I already know.
I’ve got extra blank space now. I’m not sure I’ve ever had so much room in my thoughts for things to grow.
I’m challenged to accept the void of activity. I resist the not knowing what may be next or not come at all.
I walked bored with others’ knowledge and I saw the geese behind their mama all swimming in a row.
But, first I heard them, the rhyme and rhythm of their following along.
I paused then walked on.
I turned the steep sharp corner carefully and hearing a rattling engine moved to the far edge of the high grass.
I was prepared; but, not to be startled, an old van, a bearded tank top man and a head down in the darkness passenger in his midst.
“I’m walking.” I answered when he asked if I needed a ride and then added, “I walk everyday.” wishing I hadn’t added that and hoping he didn’t hear.
He drove away.
I approached the place where the Labrador loved to sit and I heard the croak of a frog off someplace and I remembered the creek of my childhood and those simple and yet complex days.
We walked every day. We took off to our simple shady quiet place.
I turned towards home and saw the bright blooms of summer, found the hidden key, let myself in and then double locked the door.
Later, I told the neighbor, I’ll be walking a new way, find cut throughs through yards. She said okay, suggested I leave one ear without music.
I told my husband.
He listened and agreed on new ways to get to the cul de sacs, the neighborhood and finally the trail I love.
I mentally made a plan.
I expected to be afraid in my sleep, awakened by the encounter of the ones in the old tagless used and beat up van.
But I wasn’t.
I considered the possible intent of the man and I am responding accordingly, not afraid,
I’m changing, I’m listening. I’m learning.
Feelings do not write your stories.
Listen more to what you are seeing now.
Your story was written so very long ago by the one who knows you now and then and in all the days to come.
“O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do.”
Psalms 139:1-3 NLT
Notice the one who takes unending notice of you.
You, who God made fearfully and wonderfully well.
“Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand!”
“In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” But you were unwilling, and you said, “No! We will flee upon horses”; therefore you shall flee away; and, “We will ride upon swift steeds”; therefore your pursuers shall be swift.”
Isaiah 30:15-16 ESV
Pursued by everything others say you need, promising it will turn your door’s key to peace causing confusion, exhaustion until you return.
Return to the place that simply lets you be.
The place God says this is you.
This is yours.
The places with no parameters, expectation or restraint.
I stood in front of my new easel for three hours last night. I, thanks to the newlyweds, have a proper easel.
It stands tall to accommodate large pieces.
I painted a piece in a newly free way of layering. Colors in little prism like squares creating ideas of form and figure.
I’ll layer a little more later.
This morning I pondered the biblical idea of abiding.
Of remaining confident when there’s no reason to be sure simply because you know you are close to God.
You slow down long enough, briefly at first until you discover, I am okay, I’ve been at peace a little while now.
Of being where you are even though you can’t see clearly where you’re going.
“For we live by faith, not by sight.”
2 Corinthians 5:7
Of starting and allowing God to lead, much like a blank canvas you approach and begin with a certain color to continue with sweet consolation.
I like what this is saying. I am content with what I’ve conveyed here.
I’m so glad I began again, taking away what was planned and letting another idea develop.
Stripping away the too many perfect layers to leave the impression of a beauty, imperfect and spontaneous.
Yes. I cannot wait to be back there.
Abiding is simply staying in the place you feel most safe.
The place of the little corner room, soft songs about grace and love blending blue-grassy vibe with truth about staying here.
Where you belong, the place God made you for, the place of quiet confidence.
Present with God.
The place you sense most clearly that you are known, your longings have been observed by God, the place you believe you matter, you are a part of God’s story.
The morning story that reminds you, mercies are new all the time and His faithfulness has surely been great every moment.
As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.” John 15:9
Where do you go that causes you to wonder why your return was delayed?
Do you sit with your fingers on keys finding soft notes at first becoming clearly stronger as time passes, you and the piano, maybe a guitar or a horn?
Do you put your hands deep into the soil and seed of flora or bright vibrant leaves?
Do you allow them to linger when you realize your hands are mingling with growth, God’s glory?
Do you sit with no agenda watching the anticipated rain come in?
Linger longer in the places that mean abiding for you.
Rest for our souls, maybe long overdue.
Space enough to remember.
You are strong.
Stronger than you know.
Continue and believe.
This piece is a mixed media collage using acrylic, paper and oil pastel. It is 20 x 38. Comment if interested.
I can’t stop loving the little tiny yellow petals that fell easily from the sturdy lantana stem.
I don’t think lantana is meant for little jars or pretty vases.
It must be meant to spread its growth and simply keep growing in the ground in which it lives.
But, I needed bright for pale hydrangea and it wasn’t intentional to have the discarded pieces there, still it was to me so beautiful, the falling away and remaining a bloom.
If you pay attention to the answers you give to others, the words you offer in a conversation, you’ll see that these are the truths that God is revealing in you.
I am growing.
On more than a couple of occasions I’ve offered up “God is changing me. I am growing.”
June’s newsletter will be about just that: How redemption isn’t fully experienced until we believe we are worthy, until we believe our lives can change from victim to victor.
That we are certainly redeemed by our acceptance of Jesus; yet, we are still walking around in our sorrowful and afraid stances until we begin to see…life can be good for me, I can live and breathe redeemed.
Redemption becomes more than a word from a verse in your Bible that you only say you believe.
Redemption keeps growing until it brings healing.
You can subscribe here: Visit our page: https://mailchi.mp/8aace4f5e35a/redemptionseries
(Maybe you or someone you know is ready to move from sort of believing to knowing fully that life can be hopeful, forward not always focused on before.)
Maybe we have similar stories.
What will you do in June or maybe, what will June do in you?
Maybe you’ve started growing in some way and you are sort of excited over the possibility of new views of you, seeing yourself in a new way.
Maybe less striving and more sitting back to see.
Maybe it becomes easier like an all of a sudden realization of “Oh, it’s been a while since I felt my old way.”
I didn’t expect the past three months or so to teach me so much. I never expected to be so optimistic over my future with really no tangible reason.
Maybe it’s because optimism and hope are inward things.
Paul wrote letters about how Jesus changed him. His only hope was to be as certain what he left behind changed others. His words are for change, for growth, for grace.
“May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.”
2 Thessalonians 3:5 ESV
I pray June brings continued growth as I intentionally pursue it.
May it be the same for you.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. II Thessalonians 3:18
I mean I don’t ever sing with unleashed joy in the car or even in the shower.
I do love music and I’m fascinated by those who sing freely.
No surprise, music and lyrics just somehow seem to live in me.
Like most every single thing, songs become thoughts.
I sometimes wonder how there’s enough space for all the swimmers in my ever growing pool of deep thinking.
I wake with words lots of mornings, a hymn or an old Southern song…
Kinda crazy, ’cause you won’t find “The Gaithers” on my Pandora.
But, the room was cool this morning and I woke with ease and thought of
“What can I learn about myself today God, to help me see the Lisa you know?”
Then, the tune, a swaying sort of call…
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus…there’s just something about that name.
So, I rose and began my day in search of wisdom.
A mind more aware of God’s helping and of me. This I seek.
I landed in Proverbs before the second Thessalonian letter and circled back to Psalm 120.
Proverbs gave me this kernel, my interpretation of verses 5-8 of the fourth chapter.
Wisdom comes when the dust of the lesson settles.
I’m fascinated now by the Enneagram, only vaguely interested before.
Once I realized I most accurately lined up with “4” I wanted to say, oh, no more.
It was too much me, too clearly conveying my responses to life and most everything.
I wanted to abandon the idea of me, the one who looks back not forward and the one who likes to play pretend in response to hard things and therefore, just sort of fairy tale them away.
Or write tragically stories with scary ending, never a mediocre story, always unrealistically happy scenes or worst case scenarios. Reading this truth of me makes me cringe.
But, acceptance is the first step to healing I believe.
Oh, so me, bravely honest in calling myself out.
Or the one who anxiously seeks to be known and understood, the one who feels most everything in ways that make no sense to anyone else at all.
Unless, they’re a 4.
I was unhappy with the spot on “fourness” of me.
But with understanding comes the prize of a well guarded friend named wisdom.
“The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight. Prize her highly, and she will exalt you; she will honor you if you embrace her.”
Proverbs 4:5-8 ESV
Knowledge comes when we are quiet and willing seekers, open to learning more in every situation and in every day.
“In my distress I called to the Lord, and he answered me.”
Psalms 120:1 ESV
Who am I to say where learning comes from?
Intelligent researchers and compelled understanders who were open to learning created a list of nine personalities, perspectives called stances.
I am open to seeing myself from their perspective because I am open to becoming a student of me.
Strange it may seem that a book about numbers could bring clarity to what I consider my calling, that the progress I’ve made towards healing might be complemented by wisdom compiled by humans.
Not really, we’re all here on earth to be helpers one of another.
Helpers towards the place our creator will most clearly be seen through the works of our minds, hands and the peaceful countenance in our eyes.
Clarity in increments.
“…that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 ESV
Heavenly wisdom and earthly knowledge working together to make me more of what God sees.
If you sense I’m still a little tentative in my Enneagram quest for knowledge, you’re quite right.
Still, as the prophet Isaiah taught, God places teachers everywhere to remind us that the bread of our adversity only serves to guide and teach us and that others on our road have insight we should know.
Learn every day.
Continue and believe.
Believe and continue.
Jesus, what can I learn today to be the Lisa you know?
I am open to knowing now.
To asking, calling, singing softly every day…
“Jesus, Jesus, Jesus Let all Heaven and earth proclaim Kings and kingdoms will all pass away But there’s something about that name.”