We Don’t Know

Angels, Art, Children, curiousity, daughters, family, grace, grandchildren, heaven, memoir, Prayer, Stillness, wisdom, wonder

“For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish:”
‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭2:15‬ ‭KJV‬‬

People watching must be a generational thing. Gift or curse?

It can go either way.

My granddaughter loves to sit on the front steps, at the foot of the walking trail, on every bench on the sidewalk of every busy street or tiny town square.

She’s watching.

Cars, people, birds, puppies or any thing that captures her curious attention.

My grandmother was the same.

Plus, she’d strike up a conversation with any stranger she’d catch in a pause. They’d be trapped into listening. She might talk about us, or she might talk about her two daughters or she might just go on and on about embroidery or fabric or her support pantyhose the doctor prescribed.

Yesterday, I complained to others and myself about a woman who invited herself to my lunch table. She reeled me in talking about painting. My voice joined in. We compared our stories about creativity.

But, then she kept on.

And on and my information overload anxiety coupled with my not so sweet fatigue of “too much peopling” likely began to show on my face.

Soon, their lunch was done and her husband introduced himself to a lone diner, an older gentleman in plaid shirt and old black glasses, shoes worn down from shuffling.

I noticed.

He was thrilled when the woman began talking. There was no disdain over too much peopling as they lingered at the bar.

Later, my daughter and I shared similar but separate stories. Two women in two different grocery stores we concluded were wealthy because of their attire and because of the cash in hand. But, both wore signs of something wrong in their expression, something that said wealth or whatever couldn’t fix it.

I wondered.

I remembered the lunch counter talker, the way she’d comforted her husband as she shared just enough information for me to know that he’s a cancer patient. I remembered her caress of his bandaged and blood dried arm. I thought of her whispering something as she looked closely at the bend near his elbow.

The grocery store women, the waitress with the earrings in her cheeks for dimples, the woman who talked too much in the restaurant.

All made in the image of God.

Sheep like me in need of the shepherd.

In need of someone to talk to ‘cause we’re lonely, in need of grace as provision when what we own isn’t enough, in need of acceptance when we long to be accepted.

Myself, in need of a sweet repentance when my conclusions about others are tainted by anything other than love.

A love that loves to notice, invites conversation and a love that is patient and tolerant, curious authentically even

When “peopling” feels too much.

Lord, help my noticing of others always have the aroma of love.

And help me continue this “generational love of peopling ” that my Grandma started.

We miss you down here, Doris Evelyn Peacock.

The Shepherd’s Way

bravery, confidence, courage, curiousity, Faith, hope, patience, Peace, Redemption, Stillness, Trust, waiting, wisdom, wonder

“7:00, not 6:30”, she reminded me on that particular night before morning.

The difference meant daylight, farm trucks and people headed in from the country.

Tops of the fields green with grass before becoming hay glistening like gold.

Cats creeping from their tentative sleeping place, homes lit by just one light.

The difference meant driving straight into the rising sun, so spectacular I refused to blind it with my visor.

And so, for a stretch of road I couldn’t bear to look away, only to creep ahead slowly by memory.

Day unfolding to not sure what, only that I had been sweetly awakened to life yet again.

To take hold and keep it, the difference in the day in the morning a little later.

And hoping to hold that awakened state of my soul a little longer.

7:00 not 6:30, sun not moon, seeing only what I can, not around the curve ahead.

Sometimes forgetting the way, lost in my own directions, returning like David or the questioning one, Thomas, to the way safely and surely forward.

The shepherd’s way.

“He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭23:3‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Father, help me to follow your lead.

With A Song

birds, Children, confidence, contentment, coronavirus, courage, curiousity, family, grandchildren, hope, memoir, Peace, praise, Redemption, Vulnerability, walking, wisdom, wonder

“And Job died, an old man, and full of days.”
‭‭Job‬ ‭42:17‬ ‭ESV‬‬

The dark age spot on my right cheek has garnered by granddaughter’s attention. She’s announced to her mama that I need to see her doctor.

She’s reached the age of noticing, good things, flaws and unspoken thoughts too.

Last week, I saw a little boy I first met in 2019. He remembered me. He announced to his mama, big sister and me, “She looks older!”

We laughed at his precocious behavior and I came back with “Well, I’ve been through some stuff…you know…Covid!”

Then we all just nodded towards one another and got back to the reason I was there, a family adopting this sweet and observant sibling.

A trip through my phone’s photos confirmed my aging. But, also how the world gone awry because of pandemic changed other things too.

Try it.

Look back, see if your face and others’ seemed to see things differently back then.

2017, 2018 and ‘19 early.

Less vacant expressions as now, less steely clinched jaws in posing, less uncertainty in linking arms in photos and less open and freely given embraces.

More hesitance, more lost eyes seeking something, what…

Who knows?

Less of need to tout your faith that was bigger than fear. More sure of sure footing and solid faith.

So much more sure, it was less necessary to announce it. I suppose I should say what’s clear, these words are realizations of myself.

Someone will know maybe upon reading this. Was Job sitting in a pile of sorrowful ash-covered questions the entire book of the Bible marked by his name?

Job, a man who honored God was the chosen soldier of faith to see if he’d surrender the battle or hold on unwaveringly to his relationship with Holy God and faith.

Stricken by the trial and test, his life gone awry.

His wife told him give up and die; his friends hung with him for a bit until saying clearly it’s you that’s wrong.

“And they sat with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his suffering was very great.”
‭‭Job‬ ‭2:13‬ ‭ESV‬‬

I wonder if he just kept sitting, unable to stand when his friends became devoid of empathy, questioned his plight.

“But now it has come to you, and you are impatient; it touches you, and you are dismayed. Is not your fear of God your confidence, and the integrity of your ways your hope?”
‭‭Job‬ ‭4:5-6‬ ‭ESV

Monday was a dark blue day, I named it. By evening the blue lifted.

Tuesday, before breakfast, we baked a promised cherry pie and then “skipped to my Lou my darlin’” together.

Something’s happening, last month it was chocolate meringue. Little things, joyously small, sweeter than the cliche’, I’m doing them, I’ve decided.

Baby steps towards allowing joy, being less afraid something or some world event will snatch it away.

My wondering over the trials of Job came as we set out barefooted. The ground was cool and my granddaughter ran way ahead, stopping here and there to gather sticks.

I’m a lover of his story, longing to understand more is the pull of me towards my Bible. I’ll not find details of when he found the strength to stand up, but I can still wonder and I can allow his struggle and recovery to help me recover.

How long was his lamenting conversation with God and was his rising again gradual or all of a sudden…were his feet weak and prone to wobbling or was his recovery smooth and sudden?

I told my cousin yesterday, I feel like we’re all in recovery and we’re apt to slip ups, prone to dismay. We need to say so, if just to ourselves and wait, watch and know the fog will lift, we will see clearly how to walk again.

I’m growing, but not fully grown. I’m walking with strong stride and steady steps, but still not able to walk on my own.

We wound our soft sticks together into an oval, twisted the knotty vines and tangled branches. I carried hers and she, mine.

Laid them on the counter among the flattened wildflowers from our pockets and we drank lemonade on the porch steps together.

Singing a silly sweet song and talking to the crows

This world is not my home, I’m just a passin’ through and you belong among the wildflowers, Lou, Lou skip to my Lou

became our Tuesday song.

“I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.”
‭‭Job‬ ‭42:2‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Sing your song. Walk on.

Stay With It

Art, bravery, Children, confidence, contentment, courage, curiousity, Faith, grace, grandchildren, hope, patience, Peace, Redemption, Stillness, Vulnerability, wonder, writing

Last week, I added paint to the largest canvas I own and then added more only to cover it all in a veil of watery white. The original didn’t say what I wanted. I don’t yet know what I want it to exude, suggest or be a place for that story to be displayed.

I set it aside. No hurry, it will be there. I’ll not regret my decision that the first felt wrong, I’ll stay with it, in time it will come.

“Nothing good comes by force.”

This three page practice of writing is subtly changing me deep within, with my faithfulness to it.

“Most of the time when we are blocked in an area of our life, it is because we feel safer that way.” Julia Cameron, The Artist’s Way

I’m late to this book. That’s okay, I’m sticking with it.

Every morning, I write the names of my children, circle them individually and then loop them together, encircled. There’s no magic in this practice, only a commitment to continue.

There’s not a greater sense of assurance of God’s provision towards them, of goodness beyond my control. No, it’s really simple.

It’s an act of service, an act of love, my choosing to stay with it, this act of subtle intention.

By choosing this unspoken and barely articulated prayer, a comfort has come.

Love is not selfish. Stay with it.

The kitchen counter was covered with every cookbook my daughter owns with a little girl dressed like Cinderella plopped in the middle.

There was no recipe for cake for which the pantry had all the ingredients. So, we decide together with a bit of exuberance,

Chocolate meringue pie!

Cocoa powder, sugar, flour, milk, butter and egg whites all imperfectly measured were stirring together in the mixer sans vanilla extract and cream of tartar for little mountains of meringue.

Standing at the stove, an excited little chef beside me, I realized my wrong. I mixed everything together when I was supposed to add the eggs later.

I kept stirring the watery muddy mixture. She asked “Is it ready?”

Not yet. I kept stirring and glancing over at her and the mess we’d made, multiple bowls, measuring cups, egg carton and sprinkled flour.

I kept stirring, making up how I’d make it up, “Sorry, grandma did it wrong.” I’d tell her and then we’d either paint or play or I’d climb into the “jumpy house” with her.

But, it thickened. I’d lowered the flame and kept stirring and slowly, slowly and by surprise, I achieved filling for a chocolate pie!

Chilled and poured into the waiting crust, we added the translucent mixture for meringue.

Later, we shared a slice and celebrated.

Delightful, pure delight it was.

What if what you’re afraid won’t come true actually might? What if doubt takes up so much space in your mind that when delight comes gently knocking, you barely believe it.

You don’t let it in?

May His abundance never scare you, the possibility of it, the thought that it just can’t be true.

May you know its truth.

May you fathom what you decide is too beautiful to fathom.

May the peace you see in others allow you to never lose the same wonderful peace inside of you.

May others see peace in you that you don’t always see yourself.

It’s not of your making, but it’s every second there.

Stay with it, the way of love, peace and waiting. The way of enduring hope.

Of even more grace.

The way of continuing and believing.

“You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus,”
‭‭2 Timothy‬ ‭2:1‬ ‭ESV‬‬

I’ll return to the large canvas when it is ready for my peaceful intention. I have an idea.

It’s fresh and new, its perspective

There’s no rush. Only that I choose to stay with it, to not fear the size of canvas or the abundance of its story.

Never lose your wonder, my prayer for you.

God is good, still very good.

About To Bloom

Abuse Survivor, Art, bravery, contentment, courage, curiousity, Faith, Holy Spirit, memoir, mercy, patience, Peace, Prayer, Redemption, testimony, Vulnerability, waiting, wisdom, wonder, writing

Everything’s about to bloom except my orchid. But, I’ll not give up. The leaves are bright green cushions comforting the base of the stalks. The soil is laced with the thin fallen blooms of before. I know the morning is soon. The morning I turn towards the sun striped wall and I see the buds fat with flora.

Blooming

Prayer and patience, I think.

The tiny grocery store hyacinth I bought to think of my Grandmother will be transplanted to the front yard. Spring, not this, but the next, I’ll look out my morning window and see the green breaking soil. I’ll wait then for delicate dainty hyacinths to bless the space around my “Angel girl”.

I’ll remind myself. I will remember. I waited and it was good to be hopeful, to be patient prayerfully.

The Valentine’s Day bouquet is refilled with fresh water. A day lily amongst the pink and purple will soon open, soft tangerine.

I’ll wait, not like snapping my fingers for things. I’ll wait and keep watering what God has planted in me. This is my contribution.

I’ll look towards the orchid and I’ll see its dust colored branches stretching and curving towards the window. I’ll see it going after what it can’t live without. I’ll know what is needed for growth and I’ll keep watering, keep writing, painting, praying and I will rest quietly because quiet waiting is always best.

I’ll be willing to trust, simply planted and willing. I’ll remain rooted and I’ll not doubt the nourishment I’m given from My Father. I’ll allow it to change me from the roots to the branches to the sharing my story.

I’ll not doubt possible blooming. I know it will come and not just for me.

For others too, weakness made strong, broken made unbreakable, redeemed with a story worth sharing.

I pray it’s the same with you.

Continue and believe.

“For there is hope of a tree, If it be cut down, that it will sprout again, And that the tender branch thereof will not cease.”
‭‭Job‬ ‭14:7‬ ‭ASV‬‬

I’m linking up with others, prompted by the word “Stretch”. What an interesting prompt,

FMF link up.

Robins, Ponds and Dreams On Purpose

birds, Children, courage, curiousity, Faith, love, Peace, Redemption, rest, Stillness, Trust, Vulnerability, wisdom, wonder

“And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.

And this hope will not lead to disappointment.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭5:4-5‬ ‭NLT‬‬

As quickly as possible, she glided just in front of me, eye level. The robin with the determined forward facing beak and the copper like an old country barn belly intersected my path.

Colors

Last night I dreamt of white camellias mixed in with the crimson ones, a dream that followed a nightmare so vivid I sat straight up and startled my husband. He called me from work, confused over the brazenness of a bad dream occurring after I’d had such a love-filled day. He was worried.

Told him I was better. Thoughts we hide away like to come to the surface, I suppose. They refuse to go unattended. They become weapons in the hand of our enemy until we bravely surrender them to God in a lamenting letter or prayer.

So, I journal. I sit. I give God time to come and comfort.

To teach.

Wisdom

Simplicity is calling. I heard the birds waking up early outside my cold quiet home and I let my pen rest, closed my journal.

Could this be prayer?

Prayer mostly listening, uncomplicated by words or prescriptive wisdom?

I listened as the birds continued singing.

We looked for ponds yesterday and found them on the narrow country roads.

The sky was as blue as a diamond found next to the ocean.

The ponds as flat as stepping stones, little rippling at all.

“Here’s another one!” I announced to my granddaughter and she gazed so sweetly satisfied in our togetherness in noticing the water.

Yesterday, the robin met me and I kept driving to see my daughter and hers, felt the determination of a bird assuring me, better is coming.

Soon, it will be Spring. I saw other birds on Saturday, but it’s the robin I’ll remember.

The robin saying, “Set your intention. Your story is not yet finished.”

Your teachers are everywhere, saying this is the way, keep walking in it. (Isaiah 30:18)

Life is a beautiful, simple adventure.

Plump robins, blue skies scattered with white puffs, happy green fields anticipating Spring and flat fishing ponds hoping to be spotted, evidence of good, evidence of God’s intentional nature.

And interspersed in the noticing, friends I feared I’d forgotten too long remembered me, separately in the same day and I was a tiny bit amazed.

grace and love

God is everywhere. Don’t forget to notice.

Yesterday morning, I journaled a tender question. I asked God if my friends I call my “colors” are disappointed in me.

Time so quickly passing and I’d lost touch, gotten complacent with our stories and wondered if it matters.

One by one, I heard from four friends yesterday. Two of them, it had been over a year or more. I share such a tender question here so that you’ll see, along with me.

God knows. He noticed.

Continue and believe.

You are loved.

Radiance

Angels, birds, courage, curiousity, grace, hope, Peace, Stillness, Vulnerability, wonder
The Cardinal Tree

On the curve before the yellow house adjacent to the bare tree peach orchard is a place of radiance.

Afternoons and occasional mornings, the cardinals flutter in front of me.

Several, seven or so.

A flash of happy crimson.

I love to think they know it’s me, that it’s not just their scheduled gathering that I pass by happenstance.

I love to believe, a group of red birds may be just for me,

Intentionally.

As if they know, Lisa will be passing by, she may have the baby.

She may be alone. She may be tired.

Perhaps, she’s hopeful.

A college of cardinals, waiting just for me.

Speaking bird language.

Here she comes! Let’s fly upward, let’s make a happy scene!

Let’s show her we see her.

Let’s encourage her to carry on.

“Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.””
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭19:26‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Majesty Displayed

contentment, courage, curiousity, Faith, heaven, Peace, Stillness, Trust, Vulnerability, wonder
Earth Mixed In

Yesterday, I paused at the end of the road, amazed at the sunset and the one first star. I snapped a photo (I thought) of it, but instead I captured the glory of life here against the heavenly sky.

All day long I’d been thinking of “your majesty fills the heavens” in between thinking of one sentence in Psalm 23…you lead me on paths of righteousness, for your name’s sake.

Often, a verse will captivate me all day. The truth of God placing me on a path that leads to righteousness and it being for the sake of sharing His goodness and name enlightened me in a new way.

Yesterday, I meditated on Romans 8:28, realizing again in the same way, God lays out our days and we often wonder why this interruption, why this lingering trouble, fear or frustration.

The house at the end of the road has a brilliant Christmas display. Santa Claus on one end and Reindeer the other. In the center in vivid gold glistening with white lights are two angels over a manger. In the middle of this impossible to ignore yard decor, is Jesus.

God with us, Immanuel.
The Lord is near.

“Your righteousness, O God, reaches the high heavens. You who have done great things, O God, who is like you?”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭71:19‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Notice God today.

Juxtaposed.

Grace, Even More

Christmas, contentment, courage, curiousity, Faith, grace, Holy Spirit, hope, memoir, Peace, Salvation, Stillness, wonder

There was no room for them in the inn. Luke 2:7

Let Him in.

Flipping through the pages of this worn book, I’ve been anticipating today. Before it was December 24th, my thoughts have been on this one verse.

There was no room for them in the inn. Luke 2:7

There was no place for Jesus to be welcomed, no place that could have possibly made space for him, Mary and Joseph. So, they walked on until they found an obscure place that would be suitable. Although no one would take them in, Jesus was born and Mary sat and pondered the majesty of it all.

Nothing could stop God’s plan, no earthly inconvenience or obstacle.

I think of “no room in the inn” as a metaphor for the busyness of life, the inconvenience of accommodating Jesus. That may sound harsh, but I believe it can be true. As hard as we try, we fill our schedules and our spaces until we don’t have space for our Lord and Savior.

There was no room for them in the inn.

Yet, he came and he continues to come, born in us as we continue to believe into our being born again

Or maybe you decide to let him in brand new today. Ask for his nearness. Believe he is God’s son who died for you. Confess your sin, the truth that you’re not able on your own.

Let him in.

He giveth more grace, astounding unmerited favor.

On this Christmas Eve as day turns to dusk and then clear starry night, give God room. Let his peace live in you.

Merry Christmas all!

He giveth more grace. Grace to those who refused space to a young woman pregnant and weary, she and baby’s father.

Grace was given those thousands of years ago as Jesus came and they with all the others, the innkeepers, the shepherds, the scholars, the wives and children saw Him, Immanuel.

With them, with us.

Surely, many believed firsthand in this grace, this light of the world.

Maybe some did not.

May it not be so with you.

Selah.

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)