Light and Life, These Days

Angels, birds, confidence, contentment, courage, curiousity, Faith, grace, grandchildren, memoir, Peace, Prayer, rest, Stillness, Vulnerability, waiting, wisdom, wonder

I wonder if I’m more observant of the light because of darkness so early or if it’s a needy seeking of quietness with myself leading to peace with God.

I found a feather next to the pretty bottle we store our found feathers, my granddaughter’s sweet solution I adore.

Left for Finding
Light of the World
Known

“In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
‭‭John‬ ‭1:4-5‬ ‭NIV‬‬

And God said, “Let there be light.” and there was light. Genesis 1:3 ESV

Thinking of light and darkness like knowledge vs. mystery or questions vs. answers, certainty vs. doubt, I found John 1 and had a quiet little cry.

We don’t know it all, but we do know light, love and hope.

Light is trust.

“We are conformed to Him in proportion as our lives grow in quietness, His peace spreading within our souls.” T.T. Carter, Joy & Strength devotional

In quiet confidence is your strength. (Isaiah 30:15)

Heritage

Abuse Survivor, bravery, Children, contentment, courage, curiousity, daughters, Faith, family, grandchildren, memoir, Redemption, sons, Trust, Vulnerability, wisdom, wonder
Knowing Comfort

There’s comfort in understanding more clearly. There is new perspective found in new knowledge.

I calculated the years of my daddy’s life events one evening. I recalled the information about the grandfather I never met, the details of his murder.

My older brother is good at research. He is skilled in looking into causes of things. He’s intelligent and a seeker of knowledge.

As I read of the circumstances of my father’s father’s death and then his mother’s passing later, I felt a veil lift, a veil that brought empathy, greater understanding.

From my calculations based on my father’s obituary and the details my brother shared,

My daddy was 13 when his daddy was taken from him. He grew into adulthood with his mama and siblings then went to Korea for how long, I don’t know.

He came home from war. Two days later, his mama died of a massive stroke. The grandmother I wish I’d known, along with the grandpa who contributed to the handsome man with the gentle spirit

And at times, tortured soul. No surprise.

I began to think of how life is such a mix of mystery and truth, vague recollections of family dynamics we just gloss over, afraid to look bravely enough at the vulnerability and pain of those we knew and know.

There’s a story buried, deeply concealed under most everyone’s story.

I believe this.

There’s me and three siblings who have raised wise children, children who are resilient even if they’re unclear how come. There are grandchildren who deep within have a yet untapped stream of strength from whence they don’t yet know.

I believe this.

Today, I sit with a sleeping kitten close by. I smile as I think this wouldn’t surprise my mama or daddy, even those long lost grandparents.

I smile because I imagine them wondering what took you so long to accept the truth of you.

The quiet one who is most satisfied quiet, the complex one always hoping someone will understand. The creature much like a cat, letting others near on her own terms.

I imagine my grandmother seeing me making notes and writing in my Bible. I see them all content in their contribution to who I am and who I’m becoming.

I see them happy about the heritage I’m creating for my children and grandchildren, even if messy or often unsure, always unseen, but hopefully remembered, my prayers.

They see, alongside my Father, my secret prayers.

Mystery and truth, I’ve come to believe that’s life,

life as a follower of Jesus who keeps following and life as a human in this wrought with pain world.

In the margin of Deuteronomy’s chapters, I find sketches of women, underlined reminders of being humbled by God.

I find a drawing of a door with the words above it “the secret things belong to the Lord.”(Deuteronomy 29:29)

I see notes to self to “pray big prayers”. I discover a sketch of the earth with my words “In His hands we dwell.”

The book of Deuteronomy, a retelling of the teachings of God by Moses, a reluctant teller of stories, a rescued child chosen by God although he was certain he was unworthy.

I see God in the history, mystery and truth of my family. I pray the same is said in the mystery of me.

“The Lord heard you when you spoke to me, and the Lord said to me, “I have heard what this people said to you. Everything they said was good. Oh, that their hearts would be inclined to fear me and keep all my commands always, so that it might go well with them and their children forever!”
‭‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭5:28-29‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Continue and believe.

Overcomers, we are.

A heritage.

“And he brought us out from there, that he might bring us in and give us the land that he swore to give to our fathers.”
‭‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭6:23‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Finding Words

bravery, confidence, curiousity, fear, memoir, Vulnerability, wonder, writing
continue and believe

Among a crowd of frenetic students changing classes, a presence walked up behind me. I’d found myself caught up in a crowd that made no sense, I was just searching for the hallway to the laundry room in what others said was a nonsensical place.

I lost the landlord, a woman with a snarky pride over her Air BnB that she denied was in disrepair. She scurried through dark hallways and then she wasn’t there. I returned to the place where the others had complained about my clothes left in the dryer. There another led me through the toddler nursery. A cat slipped by my feet and joined in our fast walking. Suddenly, I’m in a room filled with cats and dogs. We pause to confront the property manager who asked “Where the hell did you go?”

I gave no reply. A cat vomited on my foot and the frustrated helper sighed.

I struck out on my own again, ready to gather my laundry next to my chest and begin the long trip back home from this less than idyllic weekend getaway.

That’s when the students were thronged together, they chattered and marched or had heads down persevering.

The man measures his steps to match mine. Asks, “Why the sad face, are you lost?” He comments about the owner, agrees with the rooms being in disrepair. He walks beside me.

I’m hesitant, but turn to see an easy smile, a jawline in need of a shave and a glint of hazel eye.

He points me to the door that leads to the laundry, has my warm clothes in the dryer.

Quickly and cautiously I say, “I gotta hurry, gotta get back to South Carolina.”

He walks on his way.

I gather my laundry and think of describing the encounter with the stranger who showed me the way, of the satisfaction of finding words to fit emotion. In my dream, I wrote a story about the kindness of a stranger.

The kindness that gave me comfort in the finding again of just the right words.

I decided to write here about this dream not as an invitation to interpretation or to cause you to consider how deep or a little crazy I might be. On both I concur. No, I had a dream that made me think of writing as beauty and I woke to think, maybe, just maybe I will write. I haven’t shelved that dream altogether. It’s still a joy.

Listening To The Season

contentment, courage, depression, doubt, memoir, Prayer, Stillness, Vulnerability, wonder
The New Book

Tears came with a knowing nudge,

“you”

and the kitten climbed the skinny crepe myrtle higher,

leaves fell like feathers and I underlined, then reread.

“Doing those deeply unfashionable things…slowing down, letting your spare time expand, getting enough sleep, resting…is a radical act now, but it is essential. This is a crossroads we all know, a moment when you need to shed a skin.

If you do, you’ll expose all these painful nerve endings and feel so raw that you’ll need to take care of yourself for a while.

If you don’t, then that skin will harden around you. It’s one of the most important choices you’ll ever make.”

“Wintering, The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times” by Katherine May

Finding God

Angels, Art, bravery, contentment, depression, doubt, Faith, mercy, Peace, praise, rest, Teaching, Vulnerability, waiting, wisdom, wonder

I lost my glasses on Monday, the cute ones, the ones a little bolder than my typical tortoise or black. Like most people my age, there are spare pairs everywhere. But, not on Monday.

We drove down the pretty road bordered with deeply rooted trees. Her mama had left a forgotten treat in the mailbox.

So early in the day, my readers must have slipped from my pocket or fell from my lap.

It’s an interesting dependence I now have on them, like a security blanket for a baby.

I catch myself thinking I have a pair like a headband only to pat the top of my head to be sure they’re there and find only hair.

On Monday, I was without them. I warned people I responded to in texts. They were unbothered by my typos.

By the end of the day I was managing just fine. My daughter didn’t find them on the road and I decided, oh well they’re just gone.

I gathered my things in the passenger seat once I was at home. Glanced down in the space between seat and console and saw a strange sight. I decided my husband had left some stuff in my car.

A little glass case, black with faux fancy logo with a pair of readers in the color peridot. I lost them so long ago.

Not as fancy as the blue, but I loved them and missed them.

Why am I writing about finding reading glasses?

It’s the thought that came after, the clarity in a sweet message from God.

About good in God’s time and God’s way, about the way answers come when we accept we don’t know, can’t be in control of everything.

The way God is the very best at the “art of surprising”.

On Tuesday, my granddaughter wanted another treat. It was close to lunchtime and she had a slight runny nose, but would never tell her grandma she was feeling bad.

(Memories of her strong mama here, rarely voicing a need or trouble.)

I let her lay on the floor, not flailing but fussing. Let her let her mood play out, allowed her to reconcile what she wanted with what her person in charge decided was best.

From the kitchen, I heard her whine change to elation.

“I found Gamma’s cross! Grandma, I found Gamma’s cross!”

She ran over and handed me the tiny gold cross, the one Gamma lost months ago and we all searched until we settled on not finding and stopped searching.

I called Gamma. Told her “Guess what?” and quoted our precious granddaughter.

She found the cross.

Under the couch, found when a little toddler tantrum decided to get quiet and lift the fabric of the couch to hide underneath. How she spotted it is really nothing short of a miracle.

No one else would’ve looked there.

Yesterday, we had a sweet day together. The back seat of my car strewn with a used pull-up, tiny books, little cards and juicy cups, and “guess what?”

My fancy blue glasses.

Hmmm, a surprise.

I had a thought yesterday as I listened to the words of a popular song “My Jesus”.

I thought “I don’t feel the nearness of Jesus now.”

I told God that very thing, asked Him to help me see what’s blocking my view or maybe, just to show me it’s okay to not always be searching, rather to wait for his revealing.

Gamma and Grandma both wear crosses, I suppose it’s one of our granddaughter, Elizabeth’s favorite things, our necklaces.

And our bracelets.

Yesterday, she sat in my lap and asked about every charm on my bracelet, the tiny artist palette, the little girl and boy silhouettes, her mommy and her uncle. She spotted the tiny angel, a gift from my husband prior to her birth. She said “That’s like my angel”, an angel her mama’s grandma gave her when she was just a baby.

One charm she skipped over is the circle with the missing charm, a tiny mustard seed enclosed in glass. Lost so long ago, I stopped searching.

When I called Gamma, teary with excitement, she called our granddaughter “my angel” and I agreed.

She added, “Now, let’s wait for her to find your mustard seed!”

“That would be something!” I said.

The sketches on the thin pages of my Bible often overlap with faded color, the Psalms especially.

Finding God

Abuse Survivor, Angels, Children, Faith, family, grace, Peace, rest, surrender, Trust, Vulnerability, waiting, wisdom
Angels Always Near

“You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭139:3‬ ‭ESV‬‬

I lost my glasses on Monday, the cute ones, the ones a little bolder than my typical tortoise or black. Like most people my age, there are spare pairs everywhere. But, not on Monday.

We drove down the pretty road bordered with deeply rooted trees. Her mama had left a forgotten treat in the mailbox.

So early in the day, my readers must have slipped from my pocket or fell from my lap.

It’s an interesting dependence I now have on them, like a security blanket for a baby.

I catch myself thinking I have a pair like a headband only to pat the top of my head to be sure they’re there and find only hair.

On Monday, I was without them. I warned people I responded to in text. They were unbothered by my typos.

By the end of the day I was managing just fine. My daughter didn’t find them on the road and I decided, oh well they’re just gone.

I gathered my things in the passenger seat once I was at home. Glanced down in the space between seat and console and saw a strange sight. I decided my husband had left some stuff in my car.

A little glass case, black with faux fancy logo with a pair of readers in the color peridot, my birthday stone.

I lost them so long ago.

Not as fancy as the blue, but I loved them and missed them.

Why am I writing about finding reading glasses?

It’s the thought that came.

The thought about good in God’s time and God’s way, about the way answers come when we accept we don’t know.

The way God is the very best at the “art of surprising”.

On Tuesday, my granddaughter wanted another treat. It was close to lunchtime and she had a slight runny nose, but would never tell her grandma she was feeling bad.

(Memories of her strong mama here, rarely voicing a need or trouble.)

I let her lay on the floor, not flailing but fussing. Let her let her mood play out, allowed her to reconcile what she wanted with what her person in charge decided was best.

From the kitchen, I heard her whine change to elation.

“I found Gamma’s cross! Grandma, I found Gamma’s cross!”

She ran over and handed me the tiny gold cross, the one Gamma lost months ago and we all searched until we settled on not finding and stopped searching.

I called Gamma. Told her, “Guess what?” and quoted our precious granddaughter.

She found the cross.

Under the couch, found when a little toddler tantrum decided to get quiet and lift the fabric of the couch to think. How she spotted it is really nothing short of a miracle.

Yesterday, we had a sweet day together. The back seat of my car strewn with a used pull-up, tiny books, little cards and juicy cups, and “guess what?”

My fancy blue glasses.

God is good always. Always present, always waiting for us to find Him.

I had a thought yesterday as I listened to the words of a popular song “My Jesus”.

I thought “I don’t feel the nearness of Jesus now.”

An honest admission that confirms feelings aren’t always the most accurate assessments of our joy or our pain.

To admit a lack opens our hearts to a closer examination of whether we’ve been working too hard to find God and forgetting He’s never left us.

Like the glasses, appearing when I decided I’d never find them, they were waiting for my discovering.

How does it make you feel to know that God is sovereign, knows everything?

David understood.

His sinful choices, his wandering away always led to an unrelenting confession,

God you never left me, I once again lost my way.

Choosing to know God knows everything about me is either scary and vulnerable or it is surprisingly and steadily comforting.

It’s our choice.

Either way God never misplaces us, forgets where he left us or refuses our finding when we go on our own way.

There’s a tiny mustard seed charm lying somewhere that came unglued from my bracelet.

It’s been lost so long I’ve stopped searching.

Gamma and I are hoping our angel finds it. Boy, that would be some surprise!

But, if not all is good with my faith.

With God and I

It is well with my soul and God is close.

Prone to wonder and wander.

My Father certainly knows my way.

“God, I invite your searching gaze into my heart. Examine me through and through; find out everything that may be hidden within me. Put me to the test and sift through all my anxious cares.

See if there is any path of pain I’m walking on, and lead me back to your glorious, everlasting way— the path that brings me back to you.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭139:23-24‬ ‭TPT‬‬

Continue and believe.

Find God today.

Choose Today

bravery, confidence, contentment, courage, depression, doubt, grace, grandchildren, Holy Spirit, Peace, Redemption, Trust, Vulnerability, wisdom
Love is Yours

After the sleepover, I discovered my granddaughter had placed the little heart in the little hand.

I remember being captivated by my grandmother’s things, wanting to hold them.

Longing to understand their worth, her little trinkets, her jewelry, her talcum powder and Jergen’s cherry lotion.

They were her.

I woke this morning with a few words

“Choose this day, choose life or death.”

Incline Your Heart

I found the passage in the Old Testament, the historical account of Joshua’s life.

The battle of Jericho, the passage telling us to be strong and courageous, God is with us.

And this one, with the last few words you may find in a home, often a gift for newly married.

“And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell.

But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
‭‭Joshua‬ ‭24:15‬ ‭ESV‬‬

These are strong exhortations to people in battle, to choose God’s way or the other gods of their history.

For me, they mean simply “choose life” today.

Choose love or fear. Choose trust over doubt. Choose bravery over insecurity.

Choose to not forfeit your day to anxiety or depression over uncontrollable circumstances.

Choose to be light rather than heavy.

To let be what will be with a satisfied spirit.

Grace is enough. The grace you’ve known and the overflow that is promised.

Choose forgiveness over fretting.

Choose Today

…incline your heart to the Lord. Joshua 24:33

The little heart still rests in the hand.

The heart left on my doorstep by my pastor as a love offering in sympathy of my mama’s passing tells me

Love goes on.

I notice my orchid, revived and repotted has tiny tissue paper buds this morning.

Life continues.

Choose today.

Choose to live.

Pray and Remember

Art, confidence, contentment, Faith, Holy Spirit, painting, Prayer, Redemption, Vulnerability, waiting, writing

“Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”
‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭33:3‬ ‭NIV‬‬

I’ve been searching for the best description in words for an idea for I’m guessing…years. I prayed this morning asking God a simple thing, not a God-sized problem, really just a task.

I have an Artist Market on Sunday. I don’t know what or how much to take for my display. I thought of asking the question in an Instagram story, a little poll. But, I’ve not had much success with this, I don’t think my graphics are fancy enough.

What would be wonderful is if I had a friend to help me say,

“Okay, this best represents you, so let’s decide what you should display so that not you so much, but your message is on display.”

See, here’s the thing. I prayed with coffee and a kitten on my lap. I prayed that very thing.

God, help me to choose what best represents your redemptive work in me and conveys that very grace to others.

I let the prayer rest, the one that came with such accuracy. The word I’d been searching for, “representation” came like a friend with flowers at the door, a “surprise” with her hello.

A representation, a portrayal of someone or something. May it be so, Lord.

May I be so.

And may I remember this chilly morning when an answer came quickly.

May I remember the one that came in the swirl of leaves at my feet yesterday. Even in the flurry of thoughts, a gift of clear comfort came.

May I remember your presence.

May I remember the one that came in reply to sullen surrender of a situation, with honesty over my muddling through the motions of trust. May I remember when I accepted what is not mine to change, a happy unexpected gift came.

May I remember the unrivaled power of the secret prayer spoken honestly with a friend.

My friend and Savior Jesus.

Oh, he knows and loves me so well.

Say your prayers.

Remember the answers.

Taken Note Of

Children, confidence, contentment, courage, Faith, family, hope, Peace, Prayer, rest, wisdom, wonder
Thursday

I opened the tattered devotional to the pages marked Day 4 and found the list in faded blue ink. There are names of people here who aren’t here any longer.

The name of my pastor back then, other family, friends and I think a friend of my son from his middle school years, Will.

There’s the name of the little boy, Noah who was pretending to drive and put the SUV into reverse. He ran over and killed his mama.

There’s the prayer of surrender to and acceptance of outcomes. There is the word “thanks” for my home and husband.

There is the tender request for my children still children back then, I asked God to give them joy.

That prayer is recorded. My request is unending, no expiration.

Joy for them, joy unexpected.

“You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book?”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭56:8‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Recalling my restlessness last night I decide if there was something fearful to have play out in a series of dreams like short films, last night I dreamt an entire season.

No cause known, nothing unsettled, I decide it’s because I gave my mind no rest yesterday. I was on overdrive towards organizing all the tasks to come.

My second evening of adding running to walking, I came home to discover we had no hot water. So, no shower to help unravel the day.

All of this hurried unexpectedness led to no rest.

All is well. I am fully known and loved.

I shall move now into Thursday.

Remembering God.

He steadies me. I don’t have to take control.

The way ahead is safe as are my thoughts, questions and prayers.

Safe and sound.

Settled already.

“Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you. Mark out a straight path for your feet; stay on the safe path.”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭4:25-26‬ ‭NLT‬‬

A Calendar

bravery, confidence, Faith, hope, Prayer, rest, wisdom
Acceptance

The 2022 calendar started with a sketch and then replies to the question, God is…?

This led to the thought of the characteristics of a loving and sovereign God, a Father who instills us with His characteristics.

I have an artist website in addition to this blog. https://www.lisaannetindal.me/

The calendar can be purchased here.

I love it.

I have no other way to express this.

The sketches of thoughtful women remembering God and remembering their strength because of His.

It’s a work of my heart first, then my hands.

He keeps His promises. In a time of never or not knowing, I hope you know

God knows.