Mud and Moon

Abuse Survivor, Children, contentment, courage, curiousity, Faith, grandchildren, Peace, Redemption, rest, Stillness, Vulnerability, waiting, wisdom, wonder

The moon is my favorite along with the color blue, the crescent curve and the hue called cobalt.

Crescent moon like a tilted uncertain smile, saying okay hang on, hang on.

And the cobalt like the ink from a broken pen, the thick fluid, jam from a jar.

I love the others, the sky, the teal, the baby; but, the strong cobalt calls me closer.

The half moon or the full in its brilliance are spectacular.

Still, I favor the crescent one.

Today, I watched a toddler persist. The country path that leads to her home had puddles of rain yet to dry up.

We walked towards one, I reminded her of her shoes, not her boots and she approached and then walked on.

One puddle, the largest of all and she paused.

She turned to find a pebble and then “plop” it went in the water and then she found a big brittle oak leaf.

Intent on tossing it into the puddle, she carefully skirted the edge of the muddy water.

But, the wind swept lightly across her little knees and then again and again, the brown leaf was swept up in the wrong direction.

I heard a little sound, like “umph” but, I saw her not frustrated, simply understanding.

Then she came from a new angle and she dropped the brown brittle leaf in the center of the puddle.

There!

Then, we walked on, “ready set go”.

I’m wondering now if there’s a color of water that I love, a thick colored watery taupe.

An oak leaf resting as we walk back by,

The cobalt of the morning sky allowing a strip of coral in.

My day began this way.

I welcomed the beauty, flipped my phone towards the windshield and I sensed the tone for my day.

Persist.

But, persist calmly. Consider what you value.

What you’ve decided decides your value.

Muddy water mid-morning then a cloudless blue sky against white spindly trees, I am reminded of the value I place on things decided by others.

The things I believe might mean my arrival. I remember now the persistence of a toddler when the wind was against her.

The wind picking up the leaf so lightly and the little hand that decided quietly,

keep trying.

Thoughts of an expression, “lightly child, lightly” reminding me to not try so hard that my trying becomes striving, obnoxious, an idol, not a quiet and important mission.

I am remembering the first time I read this thanks to a blogger friend, David Kanigan.

“It’s dark because you are trying too hard.
Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly.
Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply.
Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.” Aldous Huxley

A collision of faith, nature and wisdom plus the plucky persistence of a toddler.

What are you chasing? What have you not valued that is yours?

The writer of Ecclesiastes sounds much like Huxley to me.

Small matters matter.

More than chasing other, anything other than moon and sun and birds and mud puddles.

“I have seen everything that is done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a striving after wind.”
‭‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭1:14‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Being Refined

Abuse Survivor, Art, bravery, confidence, courage, curiousity, Faith, Holy Spirit, memoir, mixed media painting, painting, Peace, Redemption, Stillness, Trust, Vulnerability, waiting, wisdom, wonder, writing
Beauty Remains

There’s an odd tree near my home. Its branches are grey and twisted and it half stands half reclines in an empty lot.

It is solitary with only tiny tender pines trying to begin their lives nearby, bright green fan like needles on the skinniest of branches.

I’m not an arborist. I know this tree is old, “gnarly” comes to mind. It has pods of some sort and pale white tiny blooms in the Spring. I’ve yet to see it produce a nut or fruit. It still has a few crinkly leaves furled and scattered.

It has lingered long.

Planted in the empty lot or the lot owned by someone and long neglected.

A decade or so ago I began to notice, this leaning tree keeps staying, fascinating me. It is steady although it has no real reason, not attended to by anyone other than God’s good rain and sun.

I’ve just gotten word from a gallery telling me thanks for your submission, our walls are full.

We have enough for display.

I downgraded from a website for my art to Etsy. The decision surprised me with the ease, and the peace, the still today peace is keeping me.

The desire to be an artist feels like an ache, a wound that keeps reminding you to take it slow, slow movements bring lasting health and renewed fervor.

This I know. The change is internal. I am being refined. I am growing. I know because this time, I have told this change, welcome, come on in, stay a bit.

A crazy thing happened on Sunday morning. I heard a sound above my head and thought, an animal in the attic…a big one. At last, I’d convince my husband and he’d believe me, those squirrels are living above our bed.

Later, I went to make the bed and discovered branches curled against my window. The pretty poplar tree had been uprooted by nature and leaned in a precarious way against our home.

Home alone, I walked out in rain boots and pajamas to see the bulbous root upturned and the trunk resting against a patio table. The discarded table saved our windows and our roof. The tree is now cut into pieces by our sweet son in law and only debris remaining.

I am wondering what caused it to fall.

Today, I read a passage in a devotional referencing a verse about being refined.

I will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried. Zechariah 13:9

I thought of what it means to be refined, how I’d always equated being refined with having more polish, more finesse, what had been started becoming a final result that stood out from the rest. To be refined would feel as close to perfection as possible, a pleasing object to gaze upon, a showpiece worthy of applause.

I know the metaphor of life’s trials and traumas being a symbol of the fire of the silversmith, the heat melting the substance so that it shines smoothly.

Deep Roots, the Gnarly Tree

I’m realizing it’s not about shining, the refining God wants us to understand and allow.

It’s an inside transformation, a change in our souls that leads to changes in mindsets and goals.

A change maybe we and God only know.

To be refined, all impurities are removed from a substance, it becomes internally pure.

A Canon named George Body, born in 1840 describes it this way,

“His loving eye is ever eagerly watching for the moment when the purifying work is done. Then, without a moment’s delay, He withdraws the fire, and the purified soul is removed from the furnace. See, again, it is when the image of Christ is reflected in us, so that He can see Himself in us as a mirror. Raise your eyes, then amidst the flames, and see the Face of Jesus watching you.” George Body

Stand like the old tree, stronger because of the nature of its own depth and fiber and because of the refining hand of God.

The strength is inner, the strength that was brave when it said call yourself an artist.

Keep creating.

“Love Story” 16×20

Keep it quiet. Keep it confident. Keep it grounded.

Remember, your theme is redemption.

Redemption, not kept to yourself.

Find me on Etsy (LisaAnneTindal)

Becoming

Abuse Survivor, Angels, Art, bravery, confidence, courage, curiousity, Faith, grace, hope, memoir, painting, Peace, rest, Trust, Vulnerability, wisdom, wonder, writing

Yesterday I sat in the dentist chair wishing I had music as a buffer, a distraction to help me not think of what the hygienist was thinking about my aging teeth.

Instead, I chose the Psalm again, the 23rd one and I made it a new song.

On repeat.

“Lord you are my shepherd. You are right here beside me and you’ve always made sure I somehow had all I needed.

And sometimes you’ve given me abundantly more, so much more you surprised me.

I think you must know how much I love surprises, love it when someone thinks of something I might love and then there they are, gifting me!

Lord, you’ve been such a giver of gifts for me. You’ve been with me in the scary places I got trapped and the days of sorrow like a tunnel narrow and winding so the light seems it’s not coming.

You’ve helped me out. You’ve given me reason not to be afraid again.

And again.

Lord, you’ve displayed the best of me for others to see, displays I’d never create on my own.

You show me off, you don’t let the gifts you made in me stay hidden. You help me see what is possible.

You refill my creative cup over and over like a beautiful feast, I return to the paper, the canvas, the brushes in the jars of water.

And I create quietly and certainly.

Lord, thank you for creating me.

The me I am becoming. The one unafraid to honor you, to be an influence that causes curiosity over Jesus.

The me, deep thinker and no longer bothered by that often misunderstood depth.

You made me this way as if to say, ‘here’s who Lisa is, she’s a keeper!’

Thank you for shepherding me, for being so gentle and wise.

For being sure of me becoming me and for doing so very

Patiently.”

Amen.

“I delight to fulfill your will, my God, for your living words are written upon the pages of my heart.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭40:8‬ ‭TPT‬‬

Peace Resolution

bravery, contentment, courage, curiousity, Faith, Forgiveness, freedom, hope, memoir, Peace, Redemption, rest, Trust, Vulnerability, waiting, wisdom, wonder, writing
New Year’s Eve Thought

In a year that was “novel” in so many ways that robbed our peace, being at peace was my solution, at least my constant reset.

I didn’t and don’t watch the news, I stopped scrolling when something was being proclaimed about Jesus that contradicted what God’s word said. I avoided conflict and although I shared my opinions and beliefs at times, I ended up realizing people who disagreed would counter with comments that hurt.

At some point, I decided that people who disagreed and spoke up were just trying to maintain control. I mean, in a year that meant so little control, being ticked off and being outspoken was, I suppose the one thing many people could control.

But, in conversations with others, only just one or two, I kept going back to “being at peace, so that I can be peace for others.” And I learned this was something impossible on my own.

Today, the last day of 2020, God brought it all together. Peace is accepting your present knowing God is protecting you from being damaged emotionally by revisiting your past, saving you from stepping back into it, and trusting that He knows your tomorrow, that your future is providentially good, better than you could create without Him.

So, be at peace in your present. Look for evidence in nature, happenstance and the faces of those you love that say…Jesus is here.

“And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭30:21‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Thank you for encouraging me this year. Be certain of one thing, the things God tells me to share here quite often astound me! Also, feel like way “too much Lisa”.

Still, someone needs peace too, otherwise God wouldn’t give me words about it.

Happy New Years Eve, be at peace.

Continue and believe.

Think less of what you didn’t accomplish, follow through to completion and more on the things that surprised you as givers of peace picked for you.

I love a vignette! Here’s the third word in the trio of “yearly words”

Victorious2021.

Makes sense although it feels mostly only like “I hope so.”

Tying up the words, “hopeful2019” and “endurance2020” with a stronger faith, one I’m cooperating with towards “victorious2021”

A victory that has no lofty goals, only peace.

In Time

confidence, contentment, curiousity, Faith, hope, Peace, rest, Stillness, Trust, waiting, wonder

A friend has been sharing the continuous bursting forth of her garden roses despite winter, despite December.

We had our first frost. In Carolina, the southern one, that’s a thing. Although not so much a notable date because of all the other incessant tracking of things.

I walked out to see this bud hoping to open and was awed by its beauty, the tightly wrapped gift of a bright bloom, the tender thorns still soft and not to be avoided.

Look at this, I thought. Growth happens when it’s supposed to.

I listened for a minute longer, snapped a photo.

Remember God.

“Remember.” God

Not for us to know our triumphant season, only to wait to see it in our becoming or to accept the peace to know that our time has already come and we can either simply remember it

or perhaps, it’s actually now.

Be at peace.

Continue and believe.

“Let this hope burst forth within you, releasing a continual joy. Don’t give up in a time of trouble, but commune with God at all times.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭12:12‬ ‭TPT‬‬

Bucket Listless

Abuse Survivor, Art, birds, contentment, courage, curiousity, Faith, family, heaven, hope, Salvation, Thanksgiving, Vulnerability, wonder, writing

Someone said we shouldn’t have a bucket list if we believe in Jesus, believe in heaven.

Made sense, the whole reality of the mysterious truth of eternity, incomprehensible, some might say fantastical idea of God’s original plan, perfection.

That was a relief at least for me, me who’s never flown. I don’t possess a passport and have zero income except the occasional art purchase and a tiny retirement check.

In case you’re curious, it’s Italy.

Someone else reminded me of counting my many blessings, naming them one by one, noticing things, noticing God. I can do this again, a practice to revisit.

Treasures

Golden leaves on my headlight lit path

One golden leaf spinning down

A sky sprinkled with stars

A leftover cheese straw wrapped prettily

Watching Elizabeth waking up and talking to her crib friends

Walking together, saying “Hey” to the sunshine and our shadows

Several birds, very small flying upwards into the sky blue sky

Elizabeth sitting all dainty in her chair ringing her little Christmas bell, her smile, pure glee

The sunrise just now and birdsong causing me to go see where they’re nesting

Calming babies holding them close on their first grandparent visit

Listening to adult conversations between children and not adding my two cents, just being enthralled by their wellness, their voices, by them.

Waking up to rain on Thanksgiving and deciding it makes sense, 2020 and all

Stepping out anyway, my eye noticing the puddled up drop on the magenta rose

Clouds like puffs

Finding my children’s baby stuff

Not ruining the steaks or letting the bottoms of the cookies burn

I could go on, the infinite list, none of it “bucket”.

It’s been a while since I’ve written about mercy or grace, about God.

I wonder if I’m qualified at all.

I’ll wait and see and continue to listen.

Continue and believe.

I’m not listless after all.

“You can pass through his open gates with the password of praise. Come right into his presence with thanksgiving. Come bring your thank offering to him and affectionately bless his beautiful name! For the Lord is always good and ready to receive you. He’s so loving that it will amaze you— so kind that it will astound you! And he is famous for his faithfulness toward all. Everyone knows our God can be trusted, for he keeps his promises to every generation!”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭100:4-5‬ ‭TPT‬‬

So, I began again.

I thought of heaven again this morning, thought of the spectacular mystery just like faith, like hope, intangibles.

Invaluable treasures, the list I’m returning to

The smell of sausage in the kitchen

The thrill in the voice of a child over Christmas and drinking from a Santa mug instead of sippy cup

The sound of frenetic keyboard tapping as my son, home all week but a professional, passionate about his work, working.

A gift for no reason, a luxurious blanket that brought security, represented love

My husband’s announcement as he comes down the hall, “another beautiful day”.

Day 27 of my thankfulness notes:

Thankful for God’s grace.

Linking up with other bloggers here: https://fiveminutefriday.com/2020/11/26/fmf-writing-prompt-link-up-grateful/

Art With Words

Art, curiousity, mixed media painting

Two paintings are featured in the latest collection of thoughtful essays, stories and poetry.

These two capture my questions? Were there roses in the Garden of Gethsemene? Was it a place both dark but brilliant?

Is Holy Water, the forgiveness of Jesus like every splendid color flowing unhindered?

Gethsemene
Holy Water

You can view the publication here: https://wp.me/paPsWw-1bL

Remembered By

Art, bravery, confidence, courage, curiousity, Faith, freedom, hope, Peace, Trust, Truth, voting, Vulnerability, wisdom

Do you make mental lists of things you’d like to be remembered by? Maybe that’s just what a sixty year old person does.

It happened again. Yesterday, my friend asked if my hair color was natural. It took a minute, I realized she was asking if I had happily resigned to go grey.

My hair is grey? Again, how did I miss this? I don’t spend a whole light of time on hair or makeup to be honest.

Makes me wonder if others say to themselves, well, Lisa retired and she just let herself go or

Maybe she relaxed into being herself.

We were outdoors on this beautiful day. I met my friend and her brother to take notes and hear the love story of the couple I’d be creating art for.

Ideas were shared, preferences in size and style. Mentions of things God has me doing through art and likeminded casual conversation about the goodness of God.

My friend’s brother listened as I shared the meaning of my life verse.

“In quietness and confidence is your strength.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭30:15‬ ‭NLT‬‬

There was a pause and he spoke up, “I want to see your Bible.”

I thought of my Bible and smiled.

This morning I’m thinking of the weight of his wish, I’m thinking I may be remembered by the sketches in my Bible.

No better wish.

On this crisp morning, full moon later, Halloween and time change tomorrow, the shift is building, the tension mounting, the crucial critical day of Tuesday, voting.

But, I sit quietly. I open my Joy and Strength devotional to October 31. I read the ancient words from Deuteronomy.

Thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee. Deuteronomy 8:2

This portion of a verse in a chapter headed “Remember the Lord your God”.

Words used by Moses as reminders of the forty years of wilderness, the humbling and then the provision of manna.

Remember God.

The chapter ends with a serious warning, timely for our day.

“And if you forget the Lord your God and go after other gods and serve them and worship them, I solemnly warn you today that you shall surely perish. Like the nations that the Lord makes to perish before you, so shall you perish, because you would not obey the voice of the Lord your God.”
‭‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭8:19-20‬ ‭ESV‬‬

I’m not qualified to argue politics. I love people and I love God. Loving God, though, is my priority, my calling, my navigation.

I understand the sound of God’s gentle warning that He gives before He needs to speak more boldly.

I will heed the warning of Moses. I will take care lest I forget the Lord my God by not keeping His commandments and his rules and statutes. (Deuteronomy 8:11)

I will remember the wilderness He pulled me from and I will treasure an unexpected hope of another who reminded me of what matters when he sweetly said, “I want to see your Bible.”

Me too, Tommy,

Me too. I want to always be able to see my Bible. Even when my eyes are squinty and my hair fully silver. I want to hold my Bible in my lap, underline the exhortations, sketch in the margin faces of women like me, women God found. Women who remember.

Continue and believe.

Believe. In quiet confidence is your strength.

Changing Contents and Adjusting Views

Abuse Survivor, bravery, confidence, contentment, coronavirus, courage, curiousity, Faith, hope, memoir, mercy, Prayer, Stillness, Trust, Vulnerability, wisdom, wonder

I changed it up today, wondering if anyone ever has oatmeal that’s not sweet. I woke early as if God knew I’d need a little extra time to combat fear.

Savory Not Sweet

Read my Bible, scribbled a prayer, and decided before sun up I was hungry. Boiled the water, added oatmeal and then changed from the usual cinnamon, raisins, etc.

I added cream cheese with veggies, taco cheese and bacon. I encourage you to try this.

You may also need carbs today.

Change a little thing, adjusting maybe the whole direction of your day.

Because twenty minutes before, the dread of our days took over, one post on FB by a well meaning and very kind friend…predicting we’ll be wearing masks through November and not as in next month, but November 2021.

My chest tightened. I looked away, shut it down and wrote a prayer.

Our Father, please end this fear that surrounds us, prods us, interrupts our mornings. Please come quickly and make us more fearless or in a mighty wave, remove completely this thing that causes us to fear we are wrong, to fear that you won’t make right all the wrongthat we are not really so courageous at all, after all. Remind us our strength flows through our closeness with you. We thank you that you never leave us even when our thoughts lead us away.

3 things I’ve learned this month:

Adjust.

Ask for help.

Tell yourself because of your kinship with God,

You can do hard things.

Adjust your perspective of what you hear, see, encounter. Change as it is necessary and at your own pace. Acknowledge you’re not everything and not equipped to do all things on your own. Be less stubborn and shamed by your inability and more open to others who are able and willing to help. Say to yourself on the regular “You can do hard things.” Say so not in a superpower or simply motivational way.

Say so because you remember the hard things you thought you couldn’t do but did.

Walking is an exercise in filtering my mind, conditioning it for better content, noticing what is correct from the perspective of my relationship with God.

Just A Tree

I walk with my granddaughter, eyes to the ground, back to her prancing stride and back to the ground again, surveying the surface, keeping her safe.

We pass this fallen branch every time and I pause and consider how it looks like a giant snake.

Then, I pause again and I am intentional, I unwrite my own dreadfully strange and scary story. I tell myself, it is true that tree branch decayed and fallen resembles a snake; but, it is not a snake.

I curtail the fear.

I adjust my thoughts.

We walk and sing, dig in the dirt, sometimes we both dance.

We notice God together.

With the autumn season comes a change in the woods. Leaves dance like twirling ballerinas in front our faces. Strange mushroom fungi affix themselves to trees, birds are happier it seems.

Beautiful Mystery

The earth is sprinkled with the mystery of little white veils lying themselves down overnight.

My granddaughter sees them, carefully approaches and looks up to me.

Her little hand reaches and with her one little finger she separates the mystical veil.

She lifts her arm for me to reach down then places the moist finger that touched nature’s mystery to my cheek.

We notice God together. It is clear, His nearness.

“But in the depths of my heart I truly know that you, Yahweh, have become my Shield; You take me and surround me with yourself. Your glory covers me continually. You lift high my head when I bow low in shame.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭3:3‬ ‭TPT‬‬

Know that God is still God. Adjust into the changes required of you, asking for help as help is needed and take a minute to recall the hardship you survived, you and God together, stronger than you could fathom.

Continue and believe.