Love, Said the Sky

Abuse Survivor, birds, Christmas, confidence, contentment, Faith, family, freedom, memoir, mercy, Peace, Redemption, rest, Trust, Vulnerability, wisdom, wonder

“We will enhance your beauty, encircling you with our golden reins of love. You will be marked with our redeeming grace.”
‭‭Song of Songs‬ ‭1:11‬ ‭TPT‬‬

Pink Embrace

I returned to a book in the Bible yesterday, read all eight chapters of the odd one, the complex one I avoided, the one that confused and confuses, the one that felt oddly sexual and therefore, made me feel dirty, caused me to withdraw, decide it didn’t belong.

The timing of the reading was brought on by something unintentional. I’d been scurrying around, doing busy Christmas things, avoiding the onslaught of bad news and stuffing down my frustration over Christmas not being the way it should.

For no real reason I began to wonder how many of us really believe God loves us, not in an occasional way when a song makes it seem so or in the touch of a loved one, the smile of a baby, the surprise of a special gift?

My sister in law gave me a present wrapped in thick paper sprinkled with holly berries. We weren’t supposed to exchange I told her, just the crazy “white elephant” thing, that was the plan.

I looked across the room at her, the distance of the living room rug and she said,

“Your mama told me to get you that.” And our eyes met, both puddled and the room went silent.

Inside a box, a cream colored canister adorned with a “red bird”, a cardinal.

She added, “because of your book.”

Two days later, I’m recalling my waking thoughts. I wondered how often my thoughts of God’s thoughts lean more towards correction, self-loathing, self-condemnation and whether I believe the ugly of me more often than His love.

Whether I believe God thinks these ways of me too.

I wondered again how many of us really believe we are loved, are longed for by God.

“It is you I long for, with no veil between us!”
‭‭Song of Songs‬ ‭1:7‬ ‭TPT‬‬

In comparing the two, how much of our thoughts are devoted to measuring up, second guessing our pasts, taking inventory of our wrongs or not yet good enoughs?

What amount of our time and thought is devoted to being embraced by God, truly believing you are loved?

That God is love.

That love fully believed will bring peace, will model, actually exude peace and strength.

The cardinal canister is on my kitchen counter with a little ceramic sparrow resting on top, resembling a knob, a daughter memory.

I’ve decided it will be a vessel for answered prayers and things God causes me to see, I’ll scribble onto strips of paper, leave them there forever as love’s legacy.

Because I didn’t think of it on Saturday, today I’m certain.

My mama knows about the book I’ve written, about to be published, called “Look at The Birds”. It is she who always told me “don’t stress”, not to worry.

Her hands and God’s made me brave, made it possible.

On Saturday, the family who travelled a couple of hours, the ones who felt safe in coming and were able, headed back home.

Me too, traveling the road from my daughter’s and buffeted by the most glorious pink aura.

No one around, country roads empty, I took my time to see clearly, God had been with us and He will continue to be.

He loves us so.

I believe and my believing will lead to peace and strength.

Now, I turn to the words of the Song of Songs, a poetic book of the Bible, an allegory written by Solomon.

“This divine parable penned by Solomon also describes the journey that every longing lover of Jesus will find as his or her very own.” Introduction, Song of Songs, Passion translation.

I find the place I read last week, the words that didn’t make me question, didn’t cause me to shut the book, confused over the passionate tone.

I’m instead, more certain of God’s extravagant love. A tear forms in my eye as I understand love.

My season is coming.

“The one I love calls to me: Arise, my dearest. Hurry, my darling. Come away with me! I have come as you have asked to draw you to my heart and lead you out. For now is the time, my beautiful one. The season has changed, the bondage of your barren winter has ended, and the season of hiding is over and gone. The rains have soaked the earth”
‭‭Song of Songs‬ ‭2:10-11‬ ‭TPT‬‬

Closer every moment to victorious.

The bondage of winter will end.

Continue and believe.

Peace Walking

Christmas, contentment, daughters, Faith, family, hope, memoir, Peace, Prayer, Redemption, rest, Stillness, Vulnerability, wisdom, writing
Noticing God, Being Noticed by God

I’m certain God is intentional. On Monday, I believed this. My body tight and my soul sullen, I bundled up to walk.

My pace is swift I’ve been told. There’s motion in my movement, I swing my arms. I reckon there’s a rhythm in my ample hips. I walk on. It has its benefits.

I exited the trail onto the last cul de sac. The yellow leaves fluttering from the trees, adding to crunchy cushion under my feet. I turned the curve and a leaf affixed itself to my sleeve. I smiled and walked on.

“I’m with you.” I was certain of the message, the brilliant interruption. Around the bend and back uphill, the brittle yellow leaf lingered despite my pace. It wanted to be seen, it wanted my acceptance of its message.

“God is everywhere. Don’t forget to notice.” me

It’d been months since I jotted that sentiment, a long stretch of days just walking to let go worry and angst. God said “See me, I see you.”

“You are so intimately aware of me, Lord. You read my heart like an open book and you know all the words I’m about to speak before I even start a sentence! You know every step I will take before my journey even begins. You perceive every movement of my heart and soul, and you understand my every thought before it even enters my mind.

Yesterday, I walked again. Accompanied by my daughter and her daughter, the baby in her wagon all dressed in pink and her mama matching, her cap was pink.

We talked about Christmas, talked about random things.

Then my daughter looked at her child and shared a little story.

Sitting outside or walking I can’t recall, my daughter said a giant yellow leaf cascaded down from a tree and in front of the baby’s face before resting at her feet.

My daughter said she told her, “Look at that beautiful leaf, Elizabeth, just for us from God”.

And then together they gave thanks, the baby and her mama said,

Thank you, God.

I imagined her sweet little toddler tone. I remembered my yellow leaf of Monday. I knew then, why I didn’t settle down and write about it and then yesterday I knew again.

Now I know. Now I know.

God knows.

You’ve gone into my future to prepare the way, and in kindness you follow behind me to spare me from the harm of my past.

With your hand of love upon my life, you impart a blessing to me.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭139:2-5‬ ‭TPT‬‬

On this evening before Christmas, I pray your pace is slowed enough to notice.

To notice your path even though exhausted or uncertain is fully known and most of all, I hope God sees you, you see God and that you hear Him comforting you with the sweetest tone of all, the words,

“The pace of peace is easy, it’s slow, it’s me with you as you go. Come back, daughter. Walk with me.”

Merry Christmas friends!

Peace is a promise God keeps. Remember this with me.

Believing or Not

Advent, Angels, Art, Christmas, contentment, courage, Faith, freedom, grace, heaven, Holy Spirit, hope, mercy, Peace, Redemption, rest, Salvation, Trust, Truth, Vulnerability, wonder, writing
“Nativity’s Child”

I sat with one last piece of watercolor paper in the pad, a pencil sketch of a woman’s face I had started was faintly there, not completely erased.

I added oval shapes of angel faces, a few more realistic and scattered to give an idea of angels all over the page, floating above the baby Jesus with his mother, Mary in the corner.

I’d had a moment earlier when a friend wrote about the “multitude” of angels and I couldn’t stop myself from the thought

Could it be? It seems so unbelievable, there are angels, they are real and as much as I prefer not to borrow a song’s lyrics, “there are angels among us.” (The band, Alabama)

And now I’m inspired again. It’s just that simple, no it is splendid, this new fervor.

“The Multitude”

My beliefs in such things mysterious to me are easy to hold as hope and not as reality.

Someone used the word “resplendent” in a message contrasting their feelings and faith as tender and yet, resplendent.

What a beautiful word, an adjective meaning brilliant, shining, impressive or magnificent.

I again thought of that unbelievable night, the night that Jesus was born.

I am thinking now of its significance.

The significance of seeing and believing in a way that is so much more than a poetically written ancient story of a mysterious man born to a young virgin.

The weight of believing or not. Faith that is not fiction.

“Redemption through the death and resurrection of Jesus must be considered fact, a deeply personal unwavering belief, otherwise that very gift of mercy, redemption will never be fully experienced, only vaguely hoped for.” me

So, I cradle the ceramic baby in a basket and I see it more than decoration, I see it truly, fully.

An old man in the Bible, Simeon had been waiting for the prophesied Messiah. He met Jesus with his parents and he worshipped, praised, and acknowledged.

“Lord and Master, I am your loving servant, and now I can die content, for your promise to me has been fulfilled. With my own eyes I have seen your Word, the Savior you sent into the world. Simeon cradled the baby in his arms and praised God and prophesied, saying:

He will be glory for your people Israel, and the Revelation Light for all people everywhere!”
‭‭Luke‬ ‭2:28-32‬ ‭TPT‬‬

An elderly woman named Anna, both had been waiting their whole lives to see the Jesus their God had promised.

“While Simeon was prophesying over Mary and Joseph and the baby, Anna walked up to them and burst forth with a great chorus of praise to God for the child. And from that day forward she told everyone in Jerusalem who was waiting for their redemption that the anticipated Messiah had come!”
‭‭Luke‬ ‭2:38‬ ‭TPT‬‬

Resplendent, the aged faces of these two must have been, like the sight on that angel and starry filled night of Jesus’s birth.

Resplendent were the colors, brilliant and vivid on another evening, the rich reds of the Son of God’s blood covered body, the darkest daytime night before the curtain was torn and God illuminated for all the reality of what occurred, a death for our sins, the reality of God’s offer of mercy. A vivid scene that must be believed and remembered.

Many doubted, many still do, honestly admitted needing proof.

“Then, looking into Thomas’ eyes, he said, “Put your finger here in the wounds of my hands. Here—put your hand into my wounded side and see for yourself. Thomas, don’t give in to your doubts any longer, just believe!”

Then the words spilled out of his heart—“You are my Lord, and you are my God!” Jesus responded, “Thomas, now that you’ve seen me, you believe. But there are those who have never seen me with their eyes but have believed in me with their hearts, and they will be blessed even more!”
‭‭John‬ ‭20:27-29‬ ‭TPT‬‬

I suppose the choice is up to us, us earthly people. We can choose to believe or not.

A life of faith only faintly evident or one fully committed, resplendent!

Thankful today for the angels, the believers, the doubters like me.

Very surely grateful for redemption, for mercy unmerited, for grace.

Thankful for words and the peace of mind, presence of the Holy Spirit gently nudging my using them.

Continue and believe. He’s not finished with you yet.

Thoughts And Angels

Angels, birds, Christmas, contentment, doubt, Faith, grace, heaven, Peace, Redemption, Stillness, Vulnerability, wonder

“But Mary treasured all these things in her heart and often pondered what they meant.”
‭‭Luke‬ ‭2:19‬ ‭TPT‬‬

Luke’s description of Mary’s reaction on the night of the birth of Jesus caused me to consider the God who knows me.

The same God who knew Mary, the young woman, a virgin who was visited by an angel and told,

“this is your assignment from God”.

You will give birth to the Savior of the world. You are a player in the miraculous plan of God to make an eternity of peace possible for all.

I’m humbled as I think of the tiny bit of peace giving I could give and yet, tend to be inconsistent, tend to often need more and more grace.

And God continues to give it, continues to understand me.

I sit on the rainy morning in a quiet house, thinking of which direction to go next, asking God to guide my painting back to the place that was His idea.

Asking forgiveness for time spent on comparison, for bitter doubt over unmet expectations.

Where are you feeling vulnerable or maybe you’re not?

Maybe you don’t think so heavily. Or maybe your vulnerability is not shared. That’s okay. God sees and comes near with understanding.

I sit a little longer, let the sounds be my comfort. I open my Bible to read about angels, drawn towards the reality of them. My interest is peaked.

I’m excited again. I may begin to paint angels again and not simply call them women.

God is near. God is doing a new thing in me today, actually continuously.

“Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared in radiant splendor before them, lighting up the field with the blazing glory of God, and the shepherds were terrified! But the angel reassured them, saying, “Don’t be afraid. For I have come to bring you good news, the most joyous news the world has ever heard! And it is for everyone everywhere! For today in Bethlehem a rescuer was born for you. He is the Lord Yahweh, the Messiah. You will recognize him by this miracle sign: You will find a baby wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in a feeding trough!” Then all at once, a vast number of glorious angels appeared, the very armies of heaven! And they all praised God, singing: “Glory to God in the highest realms of heaven! For there is peace and a good hope given to the sons of men.”
‭‭Luke‬ ‭2:9-14‬ ‭TPT‬‬

I imagine the sky that ancient evening as blue as coal tinted silvery. I can see the figures, angelic in form and with a beauty translucent. I see Mary cradling the baby she was chosen to deliver.

I sense her awe down deep in my soul and I know the same aching.

I know the awe of being rescued.

Redeemed, given grace towards restoration.

Have you heard about the alignment of the stars predicted next week?

Talk is it may snow here on Christmas Day, here in South Carolina we may get to sit next to windows and be quieted by the rare occurrence of falling snow.

We may be gifted with unexpected beauty.

Quietly now I’ve journaled notes to myself about God and me.

God cares about you. God loves you. God has a purpose for you today. God is orchestrating miraculous unseen things for your good and His glory. God is in control.

God can be trusted.

I think of Mary again, of the way she didn’t fully understand even after her baby boy was born and perhaps even through all His days on earth, she was simply a participant in a life chosen for her that was miraculously complex and simply required trust, acceptance and surrender.

I pray I embrace the ways of Mary, pondering so many things and still believing expectantly.

I pray the same for you.

Sitting longer than I felt I should today and refusing to call myself lazy, I rest a minute more

And then far off the geese approach and I listen to them as they make their presence known.

“Here they come.” I hear my mama and I ponder.

I wonder if the angels told her.

Your daughter needs reminding,

“She is seen and loved and known. God is for her.”

Continue and believe. Christmas came.

Christmas comes.

“For today in Bethlehem a rescuer was born for you. He is the Lord Yahweh, the Messiah.”
‭‭Luke‬ ‭2:11‬ ‭TPT‬‬

Moon, Sun and Messengers

Abuse Survivor, Advent, Angels, Art, Christmas, contentment, courage, Faith, grace, hope, obedience, Peace, Redemption, Stillness, Trust, Vulnerability, wisdom

All sorts of people and places are all conniving it seems in a way to keep me pressing on.

Unbeknownst to most, they are cooperating with God.

Yesterday, I turned my phone towards the window and captured this candy color view, the dashboard angle now making me think an angel must’ve been my passenger.

I parked my car, turned to one side to see the same orange horizon laced with branches and turned to see the brilliant circle of moon shining.

I thought,

“I’m bordered, one side sun and the other moon. I’m secure.”

Some point I stopped waking up with one palm raised and the prayer, “Woke up well, thank you God”

I’m afraid I must’ve grown tired of the affirmation.

Or it’s just shifted.

In my journal instead I scribbled.

I’m still here.

God is still with me.

Then opened the Passion translation of Psalm 136 and I John, the Book.

Scripture of the day now also messages from God just for me.

“Give thanks to the Lord over all lords! His tender love for us continues on forever! Give thanks to the only miracle working God! His tender love for us continues on forever! Give thanks to the Creator who made the heavens with wisdom! His tender love for us continues on forever!

Praise the one who created every heavenly light! His tender love for us continues on forever! He set the sun in the sky to rule over day! His tender love for us continues on forever! Praise him who set in place the moon and stars to rule over the night! His tender love for us continues on forever!”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭136:3-5, 7-9‬ ‭TPT‬‬

Then, the tone of continuing continued. A post on FB from a wise man:

“The greatest regret for a child of God will come from finding out that Jesus had to use someone else to do what He told you to do.” Cleve Walker

“Wow.”, my comment.

I sit in the warmth of Wednesday morning. The light landing the way I love it and I wonder if others agree, I love my home so much more at Christmas, I love the peace of the sparkle and soft light. I love the glimmer of blue against gold all mingled with evergreen. I could gaze there all day, accept this gift of peace.

“Woke up well, thank you.”

I’m still here, God is with me. I have things to do.

Continue and believe.

Believe.

Sameness of Days and Faith

Advent, book review, Christmas, confidence, contentment, coronavirus, courage, Faith, grace, hope, Peace, Redemption, Salvation, Trust, waiting, wisdom, wonder

“O Lord, you are my lamp. The Lord lights up my darkness.”
‭‭2 Samuel‬ ‭22:29‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Early mornings, I travel towards the unveiling of day. On cloudless days the color is thick as I turn from the main road to the more obscure. When I arrive and allow my car to rest on the hill, I gather all my “grandma day” things and pause with the view.

I have so many pictures of this place. On Wednesday, I decided there was no need for another, like most everything now, different day, same thing, I am apathetic over the view.

I looked away, no longer fascinated by the morning, the warm orange and one dot of star up above.

The sunrise held no promise that day, not for me.

Later, I opened the mailbox and was surprised by the gift of a book I’d not ordered but had been helping to launch, “The Advent Narrative” by Mary Geisen

I opened it and thought, the place my eyes land will be the light I need, the lifting of this heavy fog, lingering dull headache that refused to let up. Earlier, I talked to someone who is depressed, recovered from COVID but still very compromised by these days, lingering is his malaise.

I told him, “All I can offer you is to rely on your faith, have faith.”

As I spoke those words, I heard my own tone, a tone of uncertain belief in faith as the answer when the wait for God’s reply has been too long.

I held Mary’s book in my lap, imagining hours and days of compiling her thoughts into words, interspersing scripture as reference and deciding to present the book as a play with three acts, three scenes in each. How unique, how intentional to write this way I thought, pulling the reader in, promising us that if we trust the process, “wait for it”, the story will make sense.

“For it is in the middle, the not yet, the in between, that God does some of His greatest work.” Mary Geisen

The wait is lingering longer than any of us expected, the wait for relief from worry over family and frustration over unresolved conflict and division.

I had grown quite weary. Bored, even of the sameness and stupor caused by this pandemic. I just wanted it all to be over and I told God so.

He answered slowly, an unveiling in quiet ways. A conversation via text led to my summing up my feelings in a way that finally felt honest, helpful.

Because ever since I’d told my brother to have more faith, I’d been wondering exactly where mine had gone and just how small it had become, had become nothing more than a vacant word.

My cousin and I were in agreement, we both longed for our dead mamas’ comfort food. We wished for the impossible to be, we longed for what we remembered to represent goodness to be good for us again.

I remembered when my faith felt that way, like the sweet embrace of a kind adult telling me everything would be okay, the hand of my grandmother against my cheek with no words just assurance. I knew then, in this time of waiting for better, my faith is growing.

That must be why it felt so tiny, my recognition of it expanding to take me to bigger things. When I told my cousin I wanted the comfort of my mama too, it led to clarity, the pain I was feeling ached from growing.

“I know. These are very hard almost nonsensical days. I’m not a prophet or anything but I do believe God is requiring of us a new kind of faith, a faith that doesn’t expect any evidence of its worth at all…I’m beginning to see just how shallow my well is…maybe I’m all pretty words and no substance.”

And the day improved from there. Errands needed to be fulfilled and the mask requirement was still in place. The line stretched long at the post office as I stood in my tape marked place. I looked at the other masked faces wishing I knew their feelings. Were they angry, afraid, cocky over their fancy masked protection?

The eyes are not telling stories in the way they used to. Have you noticed?

The crescendo is building, the day we hope for by faith. My faith is growing. I know this for sure. No wonder it felt so little, I needed to allow it to grow. I am seeing myself more clearly.

I waited and I said Psalm 23 to myself over and over, the passage that quells my chest tightness, contains the promise I know is God’s. My favorite clerk called out “Next!” and his eyes greeted mine as I asked if he was doing okay. He was tired, he said and I thought to myself as he coughed, turning away, I really hope he will be okay, hope relief comes soon, relief of the tiredness of these days.

“Peeling layers of life back to reveal our innermost being is demanding work. The harder we push away from what is good, noble, pure, and lovely (Philippians 4:8), the more God gently loves us. He has a way of softening the edges, sliding through the cracks, and entering our darkest places. God is the image bearer, light-keeper, and grace-gifter.” Mary Geisen, “The Advent Narrative-The Life You Didn’t Know You Were Already Living”

The Saturday morning sunlight is creating a pattern of undeniable hope on my lap. I’ll not ignore it, the glorious sameness of grace, of hope, of faith.

I am growing, God is waiting with me in the waiting.

Purchase this book filled with truth, inviting wonder here:

The Advent Narrative: The Life You Didn’t Know You Were Already Living https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08M83XF7Q/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_fabc_GzsUFbEG90YJM

Christmas, Come Soon

Children, Christmas, coronavirus, courage, Faith, grace, grandchildren, hope, Peace, Prayer, Stillness, Trust, Truth, Vulnerability, waiting, wisdom, wonder

The two homes on the cul de sac are inviting Christmas early. One changed overnight from a massive friendly ghost inflatable to a same size “Frosty” snowman waving at me as I walk by. The second, more subtle a view, the front door open to allow my peeking in, a tree lit simply in a corner. One reminding me of great big joy and the other a decided upon peace.

“Charlie Brown”

The tree is up early in my granddaughter’s room. My daughter, a teacher exhausted over what may come next for her students, watched Christmas movies with her baby, sang songs about jingling bells and dressed her in pink peppermint pajamas.

All of it, beauty!

The deciding to celebrate Christmas in November and groaning in our hearts and souls for a star, a sign symbolic of hope.

Jesus was born and everything changed.

And now centuries later, we are still longing for Christmas. We are so very weary, so very.

“A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices.” O’ Holy Night

“Baby’s Tree”

The air was crisp on our walk this morning. We danced along with music in my pocket, looked towards the sky and we rubbed our hands on the cool ground and moss pillows on the hill.

Christmas, I wondered last night before sleeping, how will it be? Will the animosity over politics, vaccines, mask wearing or not wearing ever end?

Will Christmas be quiet this year, requiring less frantic buying and limited travel, limited dining together?

Will we be home alone?

If so, will we know this is God’s will for this time, His idea?

Will we trust in Jesus? Will we keep believing God sees us?

“Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has he in anger shut up his compassion?” Selah”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭77:9‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Will we open our Bibles, find comfort in the likemindedness of the psalmist? Will we be reassured of His goodness because of the evidence of more goodness than we can possibly recall?

Will we see ourselves in the Gospels as we reacquaint ourselves with the birth to resurrection story of the baby born in a manger, Jesus?

Moss “Pillows”

I pray I am able, pray I avoid the trap of worry, of not knowing the last word in this season’s book and I pray the book becomes one of lessons with resolution not a cliffhanger waiting for the sequel.

Christmas, come early. Come sooner than later. We long for your star. We long for the peace it promised then and promises still.

“I love Thee, Lord Jesus
Look down from the sky
And stay by my side
‘Til morning is nighBe near me, Lord Jesus
I ask Thee to stay
Close by me forever
And love me, I pray…” Away in A Manger”

Be near us Jesus, as we continue on the paths you place us.

Christmas, come soon. Find us as we find you again. Find ourselves remembering the meaning of Christmas, you, a Savior born for every single soul.

Maybe An Angel

Abuse Survivor, Angels, birds, birthday, bravery, Children, Christmas, contentment, curiousity, Faith, hope, memoir, Prayer, Redemption, Trust, Uncategorized, Vulnerability, waiting, wonder

The corner of my eye caught the flash of what I decided was red.

A red bird it wasn’t.

A sparrow bounced about on our porch. I watched wondering why I was so certain of the red.

Hope, I guess. It was hope and then acceptance over the tiny bird who made me smile, brown not red.

All the Christmas was put away and the boxes tissued the ornaments, lids taped together.

The baby Jesus, solitary without the ceramic lamb, camel, wise men, Mary or Joseph. It rested on the old chair.

Baby Jesus was all alone this year.

Partly intentional because I had no space, Christmas was minimal this year.

The little baby Jesus nativity piece was just in the middle of the shelf under all the stockings and a centered pinecone wreath.

I don’t think anyone noticed.

Or they kept it personal.

The message,

Christmas is about Jesus.

I didn’t tell them, not my children, other family or friends.

Gatherings were crowded, food and gifts.

Baby Jesus was among us.

“What is the price of five sparrows—two copper coins? Yet God does not forget a single one of them.”

‭‭Luke‬ ‭12:6‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Faith is a personal thing, its sharing should be softly serious.

The name Jesus conjures different thoughts for everyone.

Mostly, kept to ourselves, faith growing at our own pace.

The baby all alone, my decision over Jesus.

Not lost on me.

Maybe they knew, said us too.

Remembered what to remember.

I drove later to the busy side of town. The highway widens on the way to support the growth and is bordered for a little bit by fields of pines.

A corner lot had a cluster with a bright golden light in the middle. From a distance I noticed the flash of bright yellow and up close in my passing I saw the most luscious yellow and full of leaves maple.

It seemed not a leaf had been lost so far.

The thought of it lingered and I imagined if I’d had passengers with me, would I have said “Oh, y’all look at that tree!” ?

Or kept it to me because well, it wasn’t lost on me, me intersecting with a beautiful tree; but, if I shared it with others, would the beauty be lessened?

I wonder.

happy birthday to a rare bird

This sentiment was for me on my last birthday.

Yes, birds and me.

Rare!

I’m known by my children.

Their acceptance of me,

It is not at all lost on me.

Errands complete except for one and the roar is not letting up in my ear, not debilitating, just annoying.

Reminding me I’m human and aging.

Remember you’re not invincible. Your physical is affected by your mental, Lisa. Slow the rush, calm the hurry.

Then I choose the “go to” prescription.

I go to Panera for a sandwich.

Something about a sandwich still makes the most sense.

In the parking lot of the office supply place, I devour the roasted turkey, the bacon, the bread. I arrange the soft avocado so as each bite makes a pattern.

Sandwich joy, again.

Indulgence becoming belly fat.

Not lost on me.

I want to be alone with my sandwich.

A little beat up truck pulls into the spot directly in front of me.

Faded white, weathered and dented old Chevy S-10 (my daddy drove a forest green one about the same year model. I try not to remember.) The truck is so small, like a toy and on the bumper is rigged up a gold and green wreath, faded red ribbon and the big word dangling, “Noel”.

Curious. Now I’m curious.

They talk for a minute, both look up to see me eating.

Then the passenger, a beautiful woman in either church or funeral dress steps out. Her hair is coiffed in a side bun, her flowing dress a cobalt blue and her pearls are perfection at the collar.

I watch as she beats on the window and then the man dressed more casually emerges with her cane.

Distinguished in his “dungarees” he is.

His skin the color of a Hershey bar and his strong jaw bordered in perfect grey, he follows his female companion and glances into my passenger window.

He nods. I smile and he smiles back.

He saw me watching them and it was all good and I decide since he decided to drive around with “Noel” on the front of his truck that he loves Christmas.

That he loves Jesus too.

Not lost on me, the little things of yesterday.

The satisfaction of seeing a sparrow instead of a cardinal.

The flash of brilliance amongst the predictable.

The “Christmas man”, simple and stoic companion to a beautiful woman.

He watched me eating yet another sandwich and with a nod told me.

It’ll all be okay.

Noticing God, I sometimes call it.

Maybe it’s really noticing everything.

And I can’t help remember now my little boy son’s response one day…

What if he’s Jesus? JAS at age 7 or so.

Maybe an angel, maybe there are some here.

Christmas Moves

Abuse Survivor, Advent, Christmas, Peace

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.