Happy Way of Life #8

I was outside literally two minutes or less, finally finished, I made my way to the spot I sit and watch the blue cool pool water paint patterns on my feet.

I’d been cleaning like crazy, Friday night instead of Saturday morning.

I was raised that way.

On Saturday morning, nothing happened until we cleaned.

My mama handed out assignments and by noon you’d have thought our house on the poor side of town was tucked away behind stately gates.

I adhere to her pattern, my daughter and son do too. We like things straight.

We like our places put together and pretty.

Now, it’s morning and I have Saturday’s day about to unfold. I’ve been awakened by a text, “You up?”

“In bed, awake”, my reply.

“Get ready.” her instruction.

Last night I tried to remember my mama’s particular words and I couldn’t. I tried to bring to mind her philosophical response, fashioned in blunt reply.

What I miss most of all are Saturday morning calls, coaxing me not worry…to let these two be, to know that they are good.

I can’t recall what it was, the thing I said just like her. I wanted to remember, tried so very hard.

I had to let it go hoping it comes back when I least expect.

Because last night, I sat in my spot, magazine by my side with a splash of wine in pretty glass. Relax, Lisa Anne.

Relax now.

Don’t stress. Let it be. Pick your battles. It’ll be fine. The truth always comes out and again, stress’ll kill you.

Momentarily, I heard the sound.

The arrival, I was ready.

Closer to me, at just the right time, I tilt my eyes towards heaven, and there are three.

The geese, the geese.

Mama always said, “Here they come.”

And yes, they did.

Again.

Happy Mother’s Day tomorrow in heaven. I’ll keep looking for you, mama, in my every single thing.

I’ll be listening for your reply.

Happy Way of Life #7

The page is marked by words that meant something sometime and now, again, a torn off strip of paper, a verse.

“God will make this happen, for he who calls you is faithful.”

‭‭1 Thessalonians‬ ‭5:24‬

The pages shimmy softly under the swooshing breeze manufactured by hovering above fan.

I read what I somehow had not read before, yet left the blue torn slip in this very place.

A poem:

“The World I Live In”

I have refused to live

locked in the orderly house of

reasons and proofs.

The world I live in and believe in

is wider than that. And anyway,

what’s wrong with Maybe?

You wouldn’t believe what once or

twice I’ve seen. I’ll just

tell you this:

only if there are angels in your head will you

ever, possibly, see one.

Mary Oliver

Believe.

Believe and see.

Happy Way of Life #6

Creativity is either bliss or burden.

No one might ever understand, your own little ways,

Only you.

I found old beaten down wood, peeling white chips on muddy tinted grain, a “2 b’ 6” the shop owner said.

I decided it must’ve come from a little place in a house in the country, a kitchen with a window that looked out on wide, wide field the same color, the field, a cushion of green.

I asked my husband to make three of the one and I’d forgotten sort of.

Until home from work today and he’s done, the pieces leaning against the back door for me saying, Here, I did this.

For you.

I’ve added white sheathed gowns to all three, shades of peachy pink on soft tilted faces will come later.

But for now, the green on old wood, the white paint thick and the shape of shoulders, hinting a disposition.

Brings me joy.

We decided today, a friend and I that creativity makes you vulnerable, you try and feel fulfilled or you attempt and over attempt and wonder

oh, my goodness why do I continue?

But, you go back to the place where you tie the apron thick with paint around your waist or you sit and take a deep breath until the authenticity of you comes through in nouns and verbs and considerations.

And you know, you know God made you different, made you to not cower; made you to create.  Me

Made you unafraid,

Of you.

I’ll go back to the old desk covered in splattered thick colors and I’ll return just as soon as I can to the desk neatly sorted, copies of my words on white sheets and I’ll write there.

The desk that looks out on the birds.

I’ll have the courage to become me again, the one who paints angels without faces without caring who wonders why and writes stories about hope lost and found and grace.

my happy way of life

more to follow

The Stranger

On my way tonight to workout, he was walking.

On my back home, I saw him too.

90 minutes passed and the place on the side of the road, barely off the road in the high weeds, where he was again made no sense at all.

He should’ve been farther along; yet, there he was again, on my way.

I remembered, I thought if I see him again, I’ll know it’s true, true like my son suggested one day in a little boy whimsical way,

“What if he’s Jesus?” Childlike chastising my questioning comment directed towards someone standing on the edge of the exit ramp holding a cardboard sign.

Now, I’m thinking again, yeah…what if?

You should know I only tell true stories and you must know I find all sorts of stuff significant when I see it. I consider it God.

About three weeks ago, I stopped by our local printer to collect items ordered for work.

“What is he doing?” she asked, “walking up and down the sidewalk with that stick?”

I told her I’d ask him and I did, asked him if he was okay.

He needed to be pointed in the direction of the soup kitchen, so I directed him four blocks down and two over.

He smiled, said, “Do I know you?” “Did you go to high school in Hepzibah?” he asked.

“No,” I replied.

Then he told me his name, adding angel as a surname. Told me he was an angel and then said: “Jesus loves you.”

I smiled, said, “I know, you too.”

Then on a drizzly Sunday one week ago, Colt and I were out back. All my day’s plans go awry because of an emergency with an employee, I’d be going to work.

Tennis ball toss, the command given “drop” and again and again until I turn towards the back porch.

I see him, a male form bent over shoulders heavy, walking down my road, holding a big shepherd like stick.

“Oh…it’s him.” The Labrador sees and hurries up to the fence, makes a squeaky sound, not at all resembling bark or growl.

He never barked, sort of sighed, pulled the sound of dog startle back in as if he knew him, knew there was no need for noise.

There was no call to fear threatening.

Then he watches body next to my hip and his nose on the cold link of fence. I watch, feet tiptoed and neck craning as the man who says he’s an angel crosses in front of my house and on down the road.

I know right away, I’ll turn that way instead of my normal when I go. I’ll leave for work and I’ll hope on my way he’s there.

Cheese crackers, granola and a Cliff bar in my lap, I drive down the hill and turn the curve and he’s there.

He’s making his way up the hill. No one around on Sunday morning church time, I slow my car, window eases down and I say,

“Good morning.” My hand through the window meets his and he’s surprised by my giving, he thanks me for the food and then stores it in deep pockets of a jacket dragging down by so much wear.

“Jesus loves you.” He says and then adds,

“I love your hair.” I smile knowing no way he could know the gray I’d just felt depressed over, the flatness of strands due to age and the daily angst over cut or grow out.

I drove on remembering the time before when he said he was an angel.

Tonight, I saw him the third time I told myself would “seal the deal” if it happened, make me sure of providence and certain of angels.

I wondered why he’d only walked a block or so in the 90 minutes between seeing him and seeing him again.

I considered why he’d kept appearing on my way and then I pondered all who might avoid him and worse yet might not see him in the very close to dark dangerous road.

I hoped he’d be okay. I hoped he has headed someplace safe.

Then I realized he’d be one Jesus would pause to notice. He, one of the least of these, a wandering soul and lost mentally maybe.

But who am I to say He’s not already done so; this man walking tall with a stick the height of his shoulders and telling me, others, whoever that he’s “Angel John” and that Jesus loves us.

Who’s to say who’s angelic or not or why I might see him and believe more wistfully, more surely and more unexpectedly that there are angels among us and that those angels know Jesus?

Who’s to say who knows?

Yesterday, I gathered up my angel figurines. I’d been noticing all the clutter collected and decided they no longer belonged on the desk. My eye drawn to them seems it has begun to feel their placement was all wrong.

I moved them to my bedroom, tucked them together collectively on the shelf just above my pillow.

I’m believing more than before and unafraid to say so, believing because of who and what and where I’ve seen God and probability of angels, love, and grace among us.

And strangers with contagious smiles despite missing teeth who make confident proclamations of Jesus and love and not at all coincidentally cross my path.

Some would say homeless or crazy or not worth much at all…

“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”

‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭13:2‬ ‭ESV‬‬

But, who are we to say

or he, a stranger?

 

I’ve just read a post from Jennifer Dukes Lee about helping another along the way. Who’s to say when we might need help up or when we get to reach down.

Vist here: http://jenniferdukeslee.com/learned-movie-can-imagine/

image

 

Trees and Me

I’ve a friend who invites conversation by asking, “Where did you see God today?”

And I’ve loved it so, the thought of it.

But, even more, my own thoughts and ponder,

“And what did He say?”

I find God in places happened upon, causing my pause.

A puff of moss amongst high weeds, a purple flower on a single stem, I consider it there for me, burst forth, break through it seems to say.

Morning was a compilation today of happenstance and truth.

The sameness of my journal, the place where thoughts land and the habitual sometimes same old requests I pencil in carefully, thoughtfully certain.

This one’s a slate grey blue and has a delicate copper colored lettering “notes” in its center.

I’ve many journals, pages full, I bet you can only imagine.

This morning I read via Anita Ojeda that journaling is medicine. It wasn’t news to me, still, I felt it new.

This one, “I know this much is true” kinda truth came a little more alive today and so it’s included in my journal.

Memoir means you intentionally write about your past events in order to understand them better. In the process, you’ll find healing. Anita Ojeda

It occurred to me this is the reason I’m only able to write a paragraph here and there when it comes to memoir.

Other places and subjects, even here I can let flow a thousand words or more.

With memoir, I’m tentative.

Maybe it’s because the content is so precious, so precariously cusp teetering like as far my healing, that its power must be approached gingerly, intentionally and not at all hurriedly.

And sometimes I think time might be running out and my season might be winter forever, that my story might never burst forth.

Others, I think I’m just lazy.

This morning, I prayed a prayer for me. The words were not typical, the request new and softer, different.

The place where I’d been asking for strength or courage or forgiveness, clarity or ability to obey,

I asked for love. Love, instead.

Lord, order my day I pray and help me to do the right things in light of your love for me.

Amen

I especially love this one old tree. When we walk, I can’t turn my eyes from its frame. We turn back and I pause every time because I find its twisted trunk and aging limbs so sublime.

I don’t think it has another season, yet I see small buds on leafless limbs. I’m waiting to see, is it just not time?

Will the fruit of pecans cover the ground come August?

Will its branches continue to reach towards the sky regardless?

The tree, this beautiful old tree it tells me there is time and purpose and plenty of it still.

I almost skipped my Bible this morning, knowing I must get my butt in gear. My passage for April 10, Psalm 92, “How Great are Your Works” it begins.

And I am amazed again at the never accidental nature of my God.

“The righteous flourish like the palm tree and grow like a cedar in Lebanon. They are planted in the house of the Lord; they flourish in the courts of our God. They still bear fruit in old age; they are ever full of sap and green,”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭92:12-14‬ ‭ESV‬‬

And mostly that there’s always time to grow, to bear the fruit of hope, so that others may hope as well.

And that perhaps, some things held onto for very, very long must die before new will fully live.

Like being okay with not finding four leaf clovers in a cluster of clover.

Drawn in by the vibrance, caught off guard by the possibility, stymied by the enormous beauty, I look but am satisfied despite finding the one “lucky one”.

I’m seeing God everywhere and I’m noticing, noting clearly and contentedly my need to continue on.

Who’s to say how we grow, when we’ll burst forth unforced.

When the bud might open or the branches stay barren

Only God can make trees. Only God can make me.

Trusting More

I barely heard him over the crowd. He mentioned “trust” to her as she shared their big plans and hopes. “You know the place, Proverbs 3:5-6…” he said.

Mentioned trust, then looked towards me, and added, “Of course you do, you’ve got her.”

It was a gift, to be known as one who talks of God and trust and love to my children so that they know.

They know.

Such a pretty night, just the slightest breeze and the aura of a singer and a guitarist had me optimistic.

The singer’s voice gritty, heart and soul in his movements and melodies. The guitarist, honed in on his part; both, phenomenal talents.

Doing their thing, for us; but, seemed mainly for themselves, the satisfaction of sharing their souls’ song and string.

The vibe was easy, the night was soulful and my soul was full.

Leaving the day behind to happen upon a friend, see an acquaintance in the distance, people who’d otherwise be postured with just a nod of notice, reaching out arms for an embrace and saying more than ever before, glad you’re here.

I was taken to a place of letting go.

She took me there, my daughter. The night was splendid, turned my day around.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.”

‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭3:5-6‬ ‭NLT‬‬

A mom stopped by yesterday to pick up a painting, a gift for her mother.

I’d leaned it against an empty chair and had two days with “her”.

Checked it over to be sure the paint and layered words were sealed, added a card denoting my life verse and contact info to the back.

Then, saw the place where trust had been revealed from under layers of paint.

And smiled, fascinated by my creation.

“I love this girl.” I told the buyer when she arrived and explained I love her not in an accomplished way or even satisfied over technique or tradition.

I’d realized earlier that whether it’s a paragraph or a painting, there’s a joy that comes that I’m not sure I can explain.

You step back, sit back and you know.

“This is me, this is mine. I’ve conveyed something that is sincere, genuinely me.”

Then you trust it more, you trust this thing God made you to discover.

You trust that painting, writing, singing or strumming unfettered and unfiltered are a part of His plan.

‘Tis so sweet…trusting more.

‘Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,

Just to take Him at His Word

Just to rest upon His promise,

Just to know, “Thus saith the Lord!

O’ for grace to trust Him more.