Go and Keep Going

I walked although I didn’t feel okay, not okay enough to walk and believe it’d make it all okay.

Strange how a thought can be powerful and then have no truth at all, none.

On the way to church this morning, I decided I was strong back then, I just didn’t know it.

I decided I oughta be able to rewrite some things told me, a common trauma therapist response.

Meant to let the one bound by past trauma be excused, let off the hook…you couldn’t leave because you didn’t know you could.

“You weren’t equipped…you weren’t equipped to seek help. You weren’t equipped to leave.”

Strange how sure I was in my conviction that such a thing should never be spoken to one kept captive by abuse, medicated and numbed incapable.

Sure enough I decided that bit of therapeutic prescription should never be used, that instead we should be saying.

You are capable of change, have deep down inside a reserve of ability to run and not return, that you do have choices and at any given time you can strike out towards safety, towards love and your very own freedom.

But, something shifted, put me back in that beaten place, caused me to doubt my significance and for whatever reason I couldn’t shake it and I didn’t believe walking would help.

But, I walked anyway. I walked at an easy pace. I felt the ache of heavy legs, knees getting old and instead of being mad about it, I slowed.

I walked slowly.

The clouds, the sky, the dusk all spoke.

You are able. You are equipped.

Why did I suddenly out of the blue stop my believing in possibility?

And then believe again.

No telling.

No telling really.

Other than the sky saying it’s all okay and you’re right, you were right in your thoughts about strength and freedom and choice.

You are equipped. You always have been.

So, I walked into the dusk buffeted by clouds like bird feathers, swept up like open hands toward heaven.

Made me think of hope.

Caused me to know I am able.

Free now although not free then.

Free.

Continue and believe.

If I could say anything to one trapped by abuse or manipulation or addiction forced upon them at the hands of a possessive, abusive partner, I’d say with all assurance, “You are equipped, you are able, you do have a choice…now, go and keep going.”

This I believe and it’s making all the difference for me.

I believe now, I was equipped. I was able.

Still am.

I’m certain of it.

Where You Are

All my days are in you, God.

This thought, my waking one on a free Friday morning.

The Bible says we’re worth more than sparrows and that God knows the number of hairs on our heads.

Still, I find myself wanting to keep it all under control, worry over what I need to do to become what I’m not yet.

A trio of black crows gathered out by the woodpile on Thursday.

I pointed them out to my granddaughter, acknowledging their being so close, not flying above us anymore.

We talk about the birds as we watch from the windows cold to the touch of our hands.

Foggy mornings cold to southern girls like us, cooped up and positioned for curiosity.

We had three days like that.

Then the sun came.

I woke this morning thinking about the sovereignty of God, of peace and of that being a relief.

About realizing that every moment holds peace if we accept that in every circumstance, every craziness or every seemingly unfair lull in meaningful activity, God is in it with us.

Be at peace.

What a relief to accept every single moment as God’s orchestration.

Either of needed rest or of unexpected yet longed for relief.

I’ve often found myself on the edge of a forlorn cliff deciding to sit and be at peace or to jump for relief, either running from my anxiety or demanding evidence of God knowing me, finding me worth knowing.

Truth is found over and over in the quiet place. His Spirit is relief.

Yesterday, I was escorted back home from the winding roads bordered by overgrown splendid trees, bright moss clinging to clay ditches and a wide sky with soft brushstrokes of clouds like meringue.

I noticed the birds.

I decided they were the ones from Tuesday.

A trio of hawks led me back to the main road and I held up my phone thinking this is for you from God.

Saying good, see you’re seeing me, Lisa.

I wanted to remember the threesome, the hawks swooping and swaying above me as I turned from my third grandma day back home to paint.

I am learning to live aware of all my moments.

To live peacefully, momentarily.

To remember the things God is saying about His will being found by me.

Be where you are.

Notice God there.

I saw that the grass my daughter picked from the pond had faded and told her I loved it more, the softer color.

She paused, maybe she saw it.

Peace as a centerpiece.

The will of God is found when we accept ourselves in the places He places us, changes us.

When we give fully to every calling, each one of value.

Not anxious over what is unfinished or not even begun yet.

Be where you are.

Life and peace, this is your life and this will be your finding peace.

Life and peace.

Singing “Deep and Wide” to an eight month old and watching her eyes, seeing her awareness of love, her noticing God.

Allowing this captivating exchange.

Treasuring it.

Standing in front of the easel, taking time to nourish this calling. Creating from a closeness with my Creator, not worried over whether someone will want it.

God’s work through your hands, think of it this way and be sweetly, simply amazed to be an artist.

Writing without seeking acceptance, writing your one and only story.

Writing for those God knows need your words. Don’t consider that small, never see that as a small calling.

Listening to my husband who loves lyrics like not passing this way again. He’s so subtle. Aging is a melody, it is best done together.

Be what God has shown me to be for my adult children, available and unrelenting in my belief and God’s in them.

There’s no need for analysis or expert advice.

Keep being their mama!

There’s a peace here, it’s a heart and mind decision, sacred in relationship.

Be who God knows you’re on the cusp of becoming and look for His assurance, not others’.

Be who you are.

Relieved in that acceptance and aligned with the one who made you.

Soar.

See, you are loved.

“So here I am in the place of worship, eyes open, drinking in your strength and glory. In your generous love I am really living at last! My lips brim praises like fountains. I bless you every time I take a breath; My arms wave like banners of praise to you.”

‭‭Psalm‬ ‭63:2-4‬ ‭MSG‬‬

What a gift, I decided.

Relief.

You, where you are.

Continue and believe.

Knowing Birds

I should become educated on birds and their differences.

Birds I decide are hawks because I think of my daddy are usually buzzards.

My husband or daughter will tell me and I’ll cling to the hawk story because I like it better.

Still, they interest me. I notice.

I am fascinated by what looks like freedom to go and to be and to live with beautiful ease.

Three birds in the distance careening in a weave.

They were funneled through the foggy sky.

Flying together for me to see and then dipping down in the valley behind the tall pines for a minute then showing themselves again.

Then, the sound, the “ca-caw” told me they were crows which I only recently learned are different than the raven.

The raven, a little more special I have learned.

Still, I watched and I wondered where are they going, are these even the same three birds as before?

Then the fog began to let blue and sunlight through and three birds played, the same or maybe another trio danced a waltz of synchronicity just for me.

“The wind blows to the south and goes around to the north; around and around goes the wind, and on its circuits the wind returns. All streams run to the sea, but the sea is not full; to the place where the streams flow, there they flow again. All things are full of weariness; a man cannot utter it; the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.”

‭‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭1:6-8‬ ‭ESV‬‬

And I didn’t wonder as much as before where they’d been

Or how they chose to go where they go or how they know anything at all.

About flying, about existing with no worry.

They just know.

They just know

whether I know anything for sure at all.

Like chasing after the wind or trying to measure the depth of the ocean with my toes.

Like trying to stroke the ebony feather of a beautiful bird, a crow.

Not a hawk, an eagle or raven.

But splendid in the sky, fantastic just for me and my stories all my own.

Like Solomon, I’m convinced it’s all complexity and it’s all worth ponder.

Brave and beautiful and curiously compelling.

Life and knowing.

Like a bird.

Knowing as they go.

Some things are worth knowing only a little or really nothing at all.

Like flying in the fog, it surely must be just knowing all is well, the wide sky is wider than they know.

“For in much wisdom is much vexation, and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.”

‭‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭1:18‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Tomorrow I’ll consider the raven, the sparrow, the birds playing in the wintry shrubs.

And I’ll be satisfied in knowing the so little I know.

Here Again

For a day, almost two, this site sort of went away.

Went back to an old image, an old place.

I thought I’d downgrade.

Not having a whole lot of “Lisa money”.

Regret came real quick when I saw the ads about toes and fungus.

‘Bout the same time my cover image with my very own coral painted toes in the green clover changed to a long ago cover, grayish colored journal.

Did it matter I wondered and decided it did. Writing here since 2013. How degrading a steward of my words I’d be if I didn’t give them a happy place to be.

So, lesson learned.

Don’t panic.

Revisit.

Begin again.

Keep making your reader curious.

Keep writing in a way that doesn’t put your words in the last chance clearance aisle.

Because, if you’ll allow yourself to believe it.

You’re not there either.

You’re making your way to the front of the store display.

Celebrate with me, if you will the places God keeps placing me:

An article in Fathom Magazine and a featured artist in a real live gallery!

God keeps giving me reasons to continue.

Continue and believe.

Look Again

I saw the something where the other had been proposed.

Painting over.

Left alone, a tiny bit tired over the way it hadn’t developed the as my heart hoped, strived for, imagined.

Look for good.

Look for God.

The tiny bit of light, the sunlight landing on one square of a blank canvas, painted dark and waiting for something.

The spot became water, I changed my idea of what a now finished piece would be. I left it, came back and saw it differently.

The piece did not turn out the way it began.

We don’t know what God has in mind for what has begun in us, what situation has come, has caused us to “come undone”.

We can’t predict the outcome. We can only be faithful to work in progress or thought not finished.

Faithful in our trust, faithful in our decision to continue surrendering

Our lives like blank canvas to his hand a broad stroke of brush or detailed pencil points added.

Pick back up.

Begin again.

Art imitating life, pieces coming together.

Look for God today. Look for good that is likely hard to see. Look for good in everything.

Look for God. Pray.

Trust. Wait.

Continue and believe.

In the Pause

If I hadn’t stepped away from the large canvas covered in colors I’m not happy with

I’d not have texted my daughter to check on her daughter’s fever.

I’d not have gotten her good word,

Walk it out. HB

If I hadn’t told her I was unhappy with the painting.

If I hadn’t said “Yep.” with such resolve I may not have walked at all.

It’s cold.

Not too cold.

Sun still and I told myself as I struck out I’d been walking this way for a while.

This walking strongly, walking as a prescription, walking fast, walking with a song.

Long time.

If I hadn’t decided to pause to notice the squirrel I’d not have tilted my face to find the 3/4 moon against blue vastness.

I wouldn’t have lingered happy with the way the sun glazed the crinkly branches.

I would not have noticed the male cardinal on the tip top skinny gray and fragile limb.

Color so red. I rested.

I paused and then walked.

Again.

If the sun had not been fading down I’d not have seen my shadow like a reflection on the side of a house.

The shadow showing in the forward force of my arms, my legs, my shoulders, what I felt.

Determination

And going, going.

If I hadn’t taken the long way around over dread of sundown, I’d not have heard the few lines about story in a song.

Bear your cross as you wait for your crown. Tell the world of the treasure you’ve found. Elevation Worship, Come to the Altar

No, if I’d not paused from frustrated creating, I’d not have been restored.

To again be creative.

Different, new.

Growing.

Bursting in a slow promise.

Walking, a pause at the altar

Laying down burdens and writing new stories.

Pausing for treasure.