Bird on a Limb

There’s a bird on the branch of the old pine tree. At first it sat sideways on the fencepost. I turned from my coffee and it caught my eye, it’s belly so full and white,

I could see from the window. It waited it seems for my turning.

I stared.

It sat.

I walked outside and naturally it flew away and then it crossed my path to perch in the crepe myrtle. Again, until I got too close and it took up to the sky to rest on the thick limb of pine.

I just read what I know in my morning devotional, a confirmation that my contemplation over seemingly insignificance is never as I’m described “too deep”.

Nothing in our life is random or meaningless. Even when we don’t understand…

In Touch, Dr. Charles Stanley

The strangest thing it seemed occurred on Sunday. I’m traveling the interstate and notice what appears to be cloth of some sort, a red ribbon I decide.

I continue on expecting to see the breeze created by speeding cars lift it up and away.

Instead, I see a “red bird”, the bright red male of the couple, lifting itself frantic and fiercely hoping to avoid the white monstrosity of metal, my bumper.

With a loud bump the bird, failing to fly quickly enough meets my car and from there I presume lands someplace else most likely not surviving.

The thing is, it’s Mothers Day and my heart was looking for birds and feathers and such already, thinking of my mama long passed.

Melancholy over the void, determined to not be miserable.

However, I’m met with a bird’s tragic intersecting of my car.

“Ohhh no.” I moaned low and longing. My son’s reply, a knowing chuckle over my reaction, what other response could he give? Must be tough to be 20 with a mama who can be so thought-filled. Who knows, maybe he’s the same, my daughter too.

Deep thinkers us all, perhaps.

Surely knowing I’d not be able to let it go, this not at all happenstance happening to me on Mother’s Day, noticing.

Initially, I thought the worse, the vibrant male cardinal telling me disaster is near, someone’s passing is to be expected.

What a dreadful thought, an immediate conclusion, that “this is your sign” get ready for the taking away of someone you love.

Momentarily, we arrived and I entered the big sanctuary with my daughter and son having prayed prior, “Father, help me to be attentive to your presence, open my mind and heart to the Holy Spirit.”

The music was moving, the sermon meaningful. My eyes filled with warm tears to be reminded that I matter, when the statuesque young woman, oblivious to all the congregants opened her hands in rhythm with her soul and voice and sang and I cried quietly, understanding.

No one needed to know.

But me.

All these pieces

Broken and scattered

In mercy gathered

Mended and whole

Empty-handed

But not forsaken

I’ve been set free

I’ve been set free
Amazing grace

How sweet the sound

That saved a wretch like me, oh

I once was lost

But now I’m found

Was blind but now I see

Oh, I can see it now

Oh, I can see the love in Your eyes.

Broken Vessels, Hillsong

I can see it now.

“Pay attention.” I’ve decided the red bird was sent to say, from my Father.

“There are things you’ve stopped noticing as profound, the sightings of the birds and the sounds of their song, you’ve allowed them to be common, you’ve lost your keen longing to notice and be still in that notice.

You’ve considered like most, that it’s silly to believe this way.”

This morning, the bird with the fluff of fat white feathers for her belly and I had a staring contest. She sat, I watched. She moved and then returned and it’s not the bird who knows my need, nor anticipated my steps, impossible for that to be so.

It’s God who knew and knows.

Who reminded me to notice and made my pitiful and woesome imagining of the worst possible story into a reminder of what I’d lost, what I’d forsaken for other pursuits, distractions and decidedly doubtful dances with the devil.

A bird positioned in the middle of my interstate lane, mistaken for a ribbon, otherwise I’d have swerved to avoid and met God knows what.

Instead, it’s message so unavoidable and attention seeking…notice.

Pay attention.

Notice, again.

You forgot for a bit, needed to see.

God is everywhere.

The red birds and the fat mama birds and the voice of a woman who reminded me that He makes beautiful things of us.

God is everywhere.

Don’t forget to notice

His ways.

“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭55:9‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Happy Way of Life #8

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

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

I was raised that way.

On Saturday morning, nothing happened until we cleaned.

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

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

We like our places put together and pretty.

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

“In bed, awake”, my reply.

“Get ready.” her instruction.

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

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

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

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

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

Relax now.

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

Momentarily, I heard the sound.

The arrival, I was ready.

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

The geese, the geese.

Mama always said, “Here they come.”

And yes, they did.

Again.

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

I’ll be listening for your reply.

Amongst One Another

I suppose it might be possible.

That there might be some amongst us who don’t know struggle, haven’t had it woven intricately in the layers of their skin, embedded deep deep deep in the pits of their tummies.

I saw someone last night and I remembered how she’d been real with me and I, with her.

How I’d said yes to her unexpected invite for lunch, just wanting us to know one another more.

First of all, how often are we so honest? How rare are women that brave?

She shattered my illusion of her life more sublime than mine. She told me her story.

And, I mine.

I guess over a year or more ago. She listened as I shared the colors of my Bible, my story.

And I saw her and I told her what that meant to me, her opening her heart, her curiosity of mine.

What if we did that more? What if we left each other loved and uplifted, caressed on more than typical passing platitudes?

We’d know more the feeling of being amongst one another. We’d be more generous with our giving of time, less greedy for dominance in conversation.

Another friend made me cry when I held her and let her cry. It was hard.

Then soft.

She said it, what I already knew.

“I think I just saw God.”

I read a beautiful prayer this morning, a prayer by a French Archbishop whose name I can’t pronounce. It was a prayer asking God to find us when we can’t find Him.

Take my heart, for I canst give it and when thou hast it, oh, keep it for Thee and save me in spite of myself. Archbishop F’enelon

Someone mentioned feeling as if in an abyss yesterday and we then talked about the “cliff”.

If you’ve ever been in a deep place feeling like you can’t pull yourself out or if you’ve found yourself on the edge, on the cusp of disastrous choice worn out and miserable over what’s come your way, having to get real quiet or real loud and maybe say God, come near, be my rescue, remind me again.

Save me, yet again.

The Lord is my strength and my song. He has become my salvation. Psalm 118:14

We’re not made to cower.

Trusting More

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

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

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

They know.

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

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

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

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

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

I was taken to a place of letting go.

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

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

‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭3:5-6‬ ‭NLT‬‬

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

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

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

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

And smiled, fascinated by my creation.

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

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

You step back, sit back and you know.

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

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

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

‘Tis so sweet…trusting more.

‘Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,

Just to take Him at His Word

Just to rest upon His promise,

Just to know, “Thus saith the Lord!

O’ for grace to trust Him more.

Mama’s Moon

All it took was to see the moon with the fuzzy rim.

Someone said it means something after someone dies, if the moon has a ring.

I saw it back then and it appeared again.

That sight making me sure it was the moon that had seen me.

Like she’d been watching me, seeing me unravel and waiting to intervene, real easy, never stomping in to have her say.

Troubles have been coming to the surface and strong last week, really the last few months began to not feel strong at all.

Like crinkly brown leaves raked away to reveal tiny blades lime green of grass, you’ve got to clear away the dead to bring the live, the life you’ve hinted at but never quite felt it yours.

I played a game today suggested by a friend, mindful of my triggers,

I said “Hello, shame” and later “Hello, fear.”

Finally, “Hello, fat girl.”

Followed by laughter and working harder and seeing myself in the long tall mirror then, balance on the cut in half yoga ball and throwing the weighted one.

I sign up for the assessment of my progress, laughing over the carrot cake cupcakes my daughter will make and how maybe I should wait for another day

And decide, it’s okay. Monday is okay, I expect I’ll see progress still, changes and acceptance of how the measurements will say I’m changing.

Sweaty and energized, I drive towards home and the moon.

The moon, my mama’s, it cannot be denied.

I’ve been being watched over and the moon, mama’s moon says to me

“Don’t stress, Lisa, you are just fine.”

Wisdom, Beauty, Small Changes

I changed things up this afternoon.

The place where I sit every morning, is different now. I swapped out shallow basket weave tray for old wooden box that now holds my pencil, Bible and books.

The pencils and pens that rested there before are now sorted and pointing up to show their colors, they’re now living in a little caddy with the bottom missing, so I got it real cheap.

Heather came over and we walked and we talked and I broke a branch of pear tree blossom.

Brought it in, let it rest in little jelly jar and I remembered how my mama used to be on Saturday afternoon, late.

I’d walk in the back door and the den would be different, she’d found something out junkin’ and she’d rearranged the room around it.

We might sit and she’d talk and I always left my heart fuller and more wise.

The conversations slow, pensive pauses, insight straightforward, yet soft enough I held it, never considered it obtrusive, it was welcomed, her wisdom resting with mine just barely started.

It’s a generational thing, the wisdom unfettered, the joy in small changes.

My daughter walked with me this evening. I didn’t let her know; but, I could barely contain myself in my notice of her beauty.

The sun going down, the spring chill of breeze bringing her hair towards her cheeks, her loose ponytail bouncing.

And we talked, her wisdom rooted deeply and decidedly, not pulled right nor left and maybe some of it mine; but, most of all hers, my mama’s and a yes, just a little bit, mine.

“She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.”

‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭31:26‬ ‭NIV‬‬