Must Be Me

The geese were carrying on a lively conversation over my shoulder.

I stopped on the curve. I owed them my attention. They used to captivate me so.

And now don’t really.

Not sure why.

The dangerous turn where people just don’t care.

Drive way too fast, using our quiet neighborly place as a shortcut, cut through, toss your trash and beer cans out place.

I paused to talk with the father and daughter in their yard. The little girl’s a twin and her sister’s got a fever. She’s solving a mystery her daddy told me.

The result of a week filled with “Scooby Doo”.

I watch as she pieces together her clues, little slips of paper her daddy hung in the trees, hid near the wagon.

I notice he’s patient.

His twin daughter, the one most inquisitive.

“Merry Christmas” she told me, three times or four.

Then her daddy, a police officer reminded me to be careful, people drive too fast and then he told me that when he sees me walking he prays I’ll be safe.

I told him I have to walk, don’t worry, I’m careful.

I’d be a shell of myself if someone told me to stop walking.

So, I walked at dusk on Christmas Day.

It was joyful.

Cutting short my route because of talking to the daddy and daughter and well, because I’m slow now, slower than three months ago.

Vertigo scared me then gave me permission to eat bread.

Sandwiches, I decided.

I’ll just eat sandwiches now.

And it’s been six months since my feet have stood still on either side of the number on a scale.

Last week someone told me to keep being me.

Just be you. DK

I have been thinking of it since.

So, today is day two of walking solitary again with words or music in my ears.

My bones feel inflated, the rub of joints and hips; but, today was better than yesterday and so on and so on.

Thinking I’m not able but trying anyway.

30 feet or even less, the left heel moving weight to the toe and then the right and the left and the bounce, bounce of the headphone wire against my chest.

I’m elated although I don’t go far.

The geese caused me to pause as I rounded the curve.

The sky has swept the slate clean and I can’t explain it but there’s a freedom in my feet.

There’s a light sense of new as the horizon replied with a sky that said love.

And I’ve added maybe 90 seconds of running to a 15 minute walk and I’ve given myself permission to be okay with the accomplishment of that.

Okay because it is me and I, after all.

Must be me.

And someone told me to keep being me.

Someone else told me they pray for me.

Neither of the two I will forget.

No, I’ll keep going.

Keep going towards you, Lisa Anne. You’re closer than you’ve ever known.

I’ve just read that DK who can’t fathom how significant his three words were…the just be you that has set the tone for my 2020 thoughts, has experienced loss on Christmas Day and so, I pray for him. I pray for peace in a time and a thing that makes no sense, the heavy weight of his loss. I will pray the kindness shown to the one he’s lost will be in turn, known by him.

One or Both?

I’ve just scribbled out the words to my December newsletter.

Months ago I considered quitting.

Quitting because of my perception of a very low number of readers.

Okay, not perception.

Reality.

Now, I’m in a new place.

Not just a cute ending to a post but a decision.

Continue.

Continue and believe.

Still, there are timely decisions to be made and those decisions don’t feel insignificant.

They feel like the can’t avoid nudging in my journey in writing and in art.

Deadlines and expiration dates, a place that’s not working when people ask

where can I find your art?

And I’m so unskilled when it comes to technology.

Plus, I’m not rich.

I am leaning in to 2020 with the awareness of the need to be more visible.

More confident…a little less quiet?

To take myself seriously.

To understand that’s not pride; but, it is that same surrender.

Surrender, the word you keep circling in your journal.

Surrender and acceptance of God’s call for me to continue.

Create art and words that tell redemption’s story.

Emanate from the mercy you’ve been shown while making others curious over God.

Curious over mercy.

Advice?

I could use some.

Stick with WordPress and try again to make it a place for art and words?

Switch to just basic WordPress, no art, no buying, just blogging about God and love and small things?

Create a separate and clean space for art, commissions, engagement?

Professional.

I read or heard last week or the one before and I’m believing it:

To be an artist or any creative you must take your creativity seriously.

I’ll add my takeaway.

Others knew you when art or writing were just “hobbies” or eccentricities of you, you deep, you, inside your head too much. Many still believe this is true. Don’t be sidelined or offended.

Take your art seriously. Others will eventually. Often it’s strangers who believe most in you, the you you’re becoming.

If you’re one of my strangers, allow me to make this my Merry Christmas and Happy New decade and year to you!

Thank you!

Thank you for helping me continue!

I hope you do too.

Christmas Moves

I never had one until now.

$3.99, yes!

I positioned the fuschia blooming plant on the shelf.

Brought Christmas into the little room.

The room with no windows, private, quiet.

The fuschia withered and so

I moved.

Now next to the little teeny birthday card that called me “rare”.

The Christmas cactus in makeshift pot will rest.

And I will watch it bloom.

Christmas makes me think of before, places, people, homes and moods.

Can shift me from hope for the day to acceptance of sameness of before.

I shall move now.

Find light.

Place my heart in the place of new.

Find a new growing spot.

Well lit, spacious.

Room for hope to bloom.

Known Soul

“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭139:14‬ ‭ESV‬‬

I step out and see the stars I called beautiful last night are concealed thickly.

The moon not nearly as spectacular with an iPhone 7 than my real life view, is big and spectacular.

You won’t see it in this photo.

It peeped through the clouds and their shape was like a little square surrounding it, like an opened box.

My thought?

I agree with God’s ideas.

I agree and am curious over God’s intentional forming of me, my physical form and my tender soul.

Yesterday, I sold two nudes. I talked with the buyer, a stranger about the evolving of my art.

The shape and shaping of me.

She was not interested and yet, I continued.

Perhaps for a more secure understanding, a clarifying for myself of God’s message.

Saying it is good to understand you are wonderfully made. It is good to be unashamed of your hips, your delicate shoulders, the lean one way or the other that has brought curiosity, even disapproval and notice of others.

These tiny framed views from behind of women resting, sitting, every one different are intriguing.

Makes others calm, draws the eye and the soul closer to our maker, I believe.

Bodies holding souls.

We are.

Souls only God fully knows.

I am listening. I am listening to His explanation of me.

My maker.

God knows.

Much is being said about the Enneagram and it’s all over the place, “What’s your number?”, the question of the day.

I was an avid listener although I have no books.

I determined I was a 4, no surprise to many and I took in every 4 podcast I could find, I listened, I spun with the ideas of my stances and stresses and how I’d always be this, just needed to know myself more.

And then I quit being pulled in, I quit listening to experts on me.

I told my cousin I tired of feeling doomed by my number, I tired even more though of the Enneagram talk feeling so cliquish, cultish, a sense of unable to understand ourselves wandering people barely able to survive on our own.

The curiosity and draw of me through the Enneagram had become an idol, a tad bit controlling.

Pulled from wanting to grow based on what God knew and knows of me.

My grad student son told me he’d never heard of it, didn’t need to know a number to know what was good in him and what he could improve.

Still, I kept teetering. Everyone was on the “number train”, I better keep riding.

Until I decided no, something feels like I’m losing my footing, going off the rails God has me on.

Something in the soul of me that is growing daily more translucently known and understood by God said stay away from this number knowing, its complexity is pulling you from me.

So, I’m not listening now.

I’m knowing God made me and life messed me up, detoured my route, caused me to muzzle my soul with my physical choices and torments.

The soul is so quiet.

And yet so very vocal.

So strong.

Such an articulate speaker of me.

I shall listen to my soul and know the wonderful me made by God, understood by God.

I’ll keep pursuing the closeness of me to God, and according to my soul.

He understands me.

No need for numbers or books or trending conversations, not for me, at least.

I’m done perplexing over the complexity of me. Instead, I’ll celebrate my intricacies and know every tiny bit is God’s idea, my soul shall sing its one and only song.

Continue and believe.

No more fixing of me by me.

Such Peace

The air is cool and there’s the sound of drizzle that’s not rain, just the dripping down of its remnants in the branches and needles of the pines.

I hurry the puppy, “Go”, coaxing him to do his business and he goes, knowing my feet won’t be walking out any further.

I wait.

The thing my husband has positioned by the fence that borders the pool, a wind gauge or whatever is only twirling slightly as if God’s hand is near.

Something I can’t see is brushing the fan blade that propels the flat tin, a decorative piece.

Maybe it has a function, no idea.

This wind gauge was gifted to my father in law. His son brought it home.

I wait, cold.

The turning of the metal windmill gauge type thing now rhythmic in its pattern.

The light from a neighbor’s yard giving me a patterned silver glint, the light shine compels me, I stand still.

Expectant.

The pattern.

At peace.

Found this morning after all sorts of ways it’s felt stolen.

We long for peace at Christmas, expect it, I’ve decided.

My husband can’t repair the laundry door I slammed from the hinge by accident.

The puppy ate the remote and some Christmas ornaments.

Some people I love have some things not falling into place.

They’re impatient and because I love them, I’m impatient too.

Things like this happen at Christmas. my husband said.

And we’re frustrated and worried and we wrongly equate our anxieties over scarcity and over money.

What we are really pondering is.

Where is my peace?

Where is the peace that came at Christmas? I thought I knew it so much better this year.

Is it in your space now, your world?

Is it possible?

Do you need a reminder somehow?

Maybe hoping God could send you an angel to confirm what you believe of Christmas?

I’ve said before, I’m no expert at scripture. I open my Bible and I’m intrigued by a passage, a verse, a document describing others and God.

Gideon didn’t think he could do what he’d been chosen to do.

The Book of Judges begins on page 200 of my Bible. That’s enough to tell me these are ancient words about Israel, about other gods, about anxieties back then over how to be saved.

Gideon names the place the angel answered his request to be sure of His calling.

The Lord is peace.

This is the place he decided to believe in the Lord, to believe in a peace worth pursuing.

“Then Gideon built an altar there to the Lord and called it, The Lord Is Peace. To this day it still stands at Ophrah, which belongs to the Abiezrites.”

‭‭Judges‬ ‭6:24‬ ‭ESV‬‬

I’m certain I won’t find peace in any venture I strike out on on my own. I won’t find it in a crazy gift exchange family gathering and I won’t find it in my world, the world of overly energetic puppy, tech issues with my TV, calendars I’m trying to sell, orders for paintings, manuscripts that need editing but are stagnant because I’m afraid to try again.

No, I won’t find peace in any of this.

“And Gideon came to the Jordan and crossed over, he and the 300 men who were with him, exhausted yet pursuing.”

‭‭Judges‬ ‭8:4‬ ‭ESV‬‬

I will find it in the places I’m met by it, find it in my pursuit.

Find it in the places I bring it with me.

Hope others feel it to.

Continue.

Continue and believe.

I will find it in what I believe. That it’s true God chose a baby to save us. It’s true that Jesus walked among imperfect people like me and that he loved them the way he loves me, you too. That it’s true this world is angst and trouble and hurry and mean people. It’s true that He is peace.

The baby, the Savior.

Nothing else will do.

Is such peace.

“ I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.”

‭‭John‬ ‭14:27‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Hope and Strength 2020

It has been a happy exchange.

Not handing over a calendar or two in exchange for $25 each.

No, the happy exchange or the occurrence, I should say is to see the pages turn.

To see the faces meet the drawing of the faces of the images I’ve drawn.

To sign the backs of them

Because of mercy, LT

And to say, wanna hear something crazy…I hadn’t intended to sign them that way.

I changed my mind from the more formal “to God be all glory”.

Later, I discovered the theme for my birthday month, August, is “mercy”.

Every detail, He knows.

If you’d like to purchase a calendar, just visit my shop and order through PayPal. If you can afford it, add shipping of about $7.

Thanks so much!

Your Gift

Whether you believe or not

It is true.

You’re gifted.

Your gift?

Your story, the truth of it, what that truth has taught you, what God desires you not keep boxed up.

Your gift is your belonging because of or despite your story.

You’re gifted with stuff you should never stuff down

Nor keep tightly wrapped

Nor keep it hidden in the darkness of your heart.

The events that made you, the hard, the happy, the glorious.

There are times I believe it’s essential to remember the before things, it’s beneficial to not forget the ugly so that you can smile when you communicate to others the pretty.

I told a story twice yesterday. The story of this drawing, a drawing in my Bible, a print I call a “margin girl”.

The professional gently turned the pages of my Bible, she positioned the page on the scanner.

With the first of my five she asked what I called it and I answered.

Made well.

The drawing depicts the story of the woman who touched the hem of Jesus’s garment and was made well.

We examined the print closely together, the lines so clear, the color so vivid.

I thanked her.

I told her that this is one of my favorite stories.

She paused and said she didn’t know it.

So I told her.

I told her I wonder if the color is too graphic, the deep red that encircles the woman’s gown that represents blood, years of incapacitating menstrual flow.

She listened as I continued with remembering how Jesus was intentional in finding her. He wanted her to know her faith had made her well.

Told her.

Go in peace.

Later, I sold this print and three others. I stood with two women who knew this story and now, the story of God and my art.

Now, they know that little bit of my story.

Not kept hidden, wrapped tight or concealed for dread of paralyzing trigger.

No, our stories are gifts.

We’re gifted and we’re givers.

Share your story, feel your soul open wider, your heart expand to allow others in.

Know the glow they’re seeing, the soft fire in your eyes.

No, you don’t see what they see.

But, oh my goodness you surely feel it.

So, that thing or things that made you stronger, wiser, sure ‬‬and surer of mercy and grace?

Give it to others.

“And he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

‭‭Luke‬ ‭7:50‬ ‭ESV

Your gift.

Share and give.

And continue.

Continue and believe.