Maybe An Angel

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

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.

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!

Breakfast with Daddy and Mama

Not intentionally, I sat in the section where the older men gather for breakfast.

I didn’t want to sit next to the windows, not cold just chilly.

I’m out with a list of errands, early and sans makeup or shower.

I longed for my daddy as one came and then another.

Comparing ailments, discussing Georgia football, reading the wrong day’s paper they discovered.

I listened.

I had been thinking about Christmases of before, about hard memories, about what Christmas sometimes does to people.

Still, I missed my daddy, he left me too young.

So, I finish my meal and then sip on strong coffee.

I’m listening to their commentary and their kindness as the biscuit maker from the kitchen’s early shift rounds the corner to join them.

They catch up with one another.

The tone is pleasant.

The biscuit maker and I, we belong.

I miss my mama and my daddy at Christmas.

I’ll be attentive to who they may have been had they been allowed to be here still.

My daddy would be talking with the biscuit maker, mama too.

She’d be joining in.

She’d know right away why the biscuits were “too flaky”, what the chef had done wrong with the dough.

The gentlemen are talking behind me now,

I’ll gather my tray and go.

Give them a nod, have a good day.

They’ll wish me the same I believe.

Now I go, I go in peace towards Christmas.

Peace and Us

We held hands in the foyer and prayed and the closing words to Jesus were that we’d be like light, peace in the places we go, that the peace we know we’d hold in the rooms we’re in with others.

That we’d bring light.

How does your light shine?

I ask myself this morning.

Is it sporadic?

Does it dim

And then annoy with incessant flashing

Like harassment

Like hurry?

How does your light shine?

Is it steady?

Inviting?

To be depended on to welcome back in

to a place of peace?

Does it say

Peace is here?

How does your light shine?

Is it left untended to

To die without power

Without the source for burning?

Does it stay so close knowing it can never shine on its own?

How does your light shine?

What is hiding

Showing?

Is it certain like a promise

Dependable like home?

How does your light shine, your peace, your gaze towards hope, your soft assurance of what you know?

Others will see, others will know and seek.

Peace, peace like the light you bring.

Peace, light and love.

Believe.

Peace is for us.

“O Lord, you will ordain peace for us, for you have indeed done for us all our works.”

‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭26:12‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Happy Sunday.

Tiny Stars and Light

The dog is most content. The laundry is waiting, the errands not even yet listed.

Morning is moving slowly and yet, soon, too quickly for all I need to do.

I’m aware of the need to accomplish a bunch of things.

Instead, I sit. I ponder.

Look beside you, glance around.

What do you see that’s idyllic?

Like playing “I Spy” to occupy your toddler, what’s in your world that’s only beauty?

Idyllic?

Charmingly simply.

I have books on my shelf that I once turned in direction, only the buff colored pages showing, no idea which book was which.

Back then, I found it clean and easy.

Not busy,

Now, I’m looking over and the sun is making stripes on the titles, like an abstract painting as the morning comes in.

Idyllic.

Framed photos next to me are dotted with the reflection of lights on the tree.

Last night the stars were sprinkled the same.

Vast sky, tiny brightness.

The puppy is at peace, he is my anchor begging me stay still.

Stay.

I am thinking of the waking thought God gave and the words of a friend yesterday.

Before praying I remembered the words to a peppy southern gospel song.

God will make a way for His children just like He did when He parted the sea.

I got out of bed to calm the shrill bark of the pup and quickly turned back to kneel and pray first.

Thanked God for wise friends who reminded me of His good will and gave my concerns for others needing beautiful surprises, resolutions to unexpected problems.

Left them there.

Coffee in hand, warm in the “You are My Sunshine” mug.

How can I not see the light?

I have been rescued, been blessed.

Reading less, thinking more.

I should hurry. I rest.

My coffee is now cold and still I just sit. I’m watching the patterns the sun is making on the throw pillows the chairs.

Beautiful. This beauty in December on a Friday.

The room is now daylight so I’ll switch off the lights on the tree, I have no centerpiece for the table and stockings are not yet hung.

Maybe today I’ll finish.

Not lazy, just making allowances to be okay with less than perfect.

To be content with simply okay.

To be well. To be at peace.

Look around you. Find light today and give it more than just a second.

Treasure it.

Christmas is not a competition.

Allow the buzz of activity and social media and traffic to continue all around you.

Engage on occasion.

But, then rest and rest some more and consider.

Consider your life a gift, a gift because of a baby in a manger.

Imagine the flurry of activity around the new baby, the excitement, the panic, the questions.

Mary rested and considered the miracle of Jesus.

“But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.”

‭‭Luke‬ ‭2:19‬ ‭ESV‬‬

More like Mary I’m hoping to be, Christmas this year, in me.

Looking for light in little things and small places, reminding me of tiny stars on a long ago evening.

I’m fascinated by the charmingly simple things now.

The less than spectacular photos shared by others draw me in.

Less covetous of the grandeur of others. Show me a photo of the “little in your life”, the way the light is landing where you love to live.

These are the compelling stories to me, the little places inviting ❤️ or a comment.

Light in. Let it. Join me in looking.

Meeting hope there.