God Only Knows

The bystanders recognized the beggar up walking around. All of a sudden he could see and they began to dispute the truth of Jesus, they began to argue over the day of the week and were certain the beggar was mistaken in some way.

I’m wondering how he became a discarded one at all. Scriptures say he had parents. Had they given up on being his support system? He was an adult after all, he’d have to fend for himself.

Or was he so downtrodden by his lifelong blindness, he just grew tired of being their burden? He could beg others for money instead of his parents.

I love the Gospels, the Books of encounters with Jesus. There are many people who stir empathy in me. There are relatable stories to my healing by Jesus.

Jesus came along and he noticed the man blind from birth. The disciples, always looking to learn from Jesus, asked what had caused the blindness, were his parents neglectful, had they been bad people before they became parents, or was the little boy born with some sort of predicted worthlessness that led to him being born blind?

They wanted to know who or what was to blame.

Jesus told them it was God’s plan. The blind man would be an instrument for God’s glory to be real, for the mysterious to be memorable.

“Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.”
‭‭John‬ ‭9:3‬ ‭ESV

Jesus made a paste of mud and his own spit, pressed it against the blind beggar’s eyes and then said go down to the water and wash it all off. The man did and he could see.

Everyone asked how, the man said I did what Jesus said and that’s really all I know.

His vision restored, the interrogations continued. The parents were questioned, they confirmed their son’s blindness as well as his current condition. Told all the skeptics to ask him, not us, he will tell you! According to scripture, the parents were keeping their distance because they were Jews and they would be disallowed from the synagogue if they acknowledged Jesus, if they acknowledged their own child’s healing.

These were the times I suppose even a parent of a son who was healed was careful about boldly agreeing and believing in Jesus.

Seems it was safer to be a skeptic, to know there are people who believe in Jesus because of their own healing; but, they were not ready to believe for themselves.

Maybe it seemed too impossible, too unattainable, too supernaturally “magical”.

Same as today really.

The man who could see could only speak for himself, hope with all his heart that his testimony mattered.

“So for the second time they called the man who had been blind and said to him, “Give glory to God. We know that this man is a sinner.” He answered, “Whether he is a sinner I do not know. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.”
‭‭John‬ ‭9:24-26 ESV‬‬

Centuries later, I sit in my mama’s covered chair with my Bible, the margin on the page has a pen and pencil resemblance of me, my face turned towards the words and a slight listening tilt.

I understand the blind man. I can relate to his dismay over Jesus initially. I can sit with my Bible and know beyond doubt that I too have been healed when many for valid reasons discarded me, left me to fend for myself.

And like the blind man who couldn’t explain mud and spit restoring his vision, I often wonder how me simply believing in a cross, the likeness of which I now add to my wrist could have altered my life so very significantly.

It is not my place to understand it all, to know every how or why God found me worthy of healing. It is mine to believe. To be able to rest in this:

But, you do know, God, You do.

We’re all in a state of not knowing now. On Sunday, I knelt in the place by my mama’s chair. I was distracted, I admit. Still, I joined in the prayer of Pastor Steve Davis with many others. I prayed and am praying in agreement with him that this time will bring people who don’t really understand God, maybe just hope in the possibility of Him being real closer to believing. The prayer closed with that very request of our Heavenly Father, that during this pandemic stirring panic, countless people will come to know God, will believe in Jesus as their healer.

I pray this as well. I know healing that saved not just my soul but my very life from risky, dangerous, threatening to kill me situations.

Like the blind man, I believe in Jesus.

“Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and having found him he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” He answered, “And who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?” Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and it is he who is speaking to you.” He said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him.”
‭‭John‬ ‭9:35-38‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Continue and believe, moment by moment if necessary.

Acknowledge/Admit you were born a sinner. Believe in Jesus, God’s plan for us to be with Him in heaven. Confess your sin and begin to live healed.

My prayer for my not knowing readers.

Wisdom Stories

For she is your life. Proverbs 4:13

I watched the soloist in worship, saw timidity in a way that led to her being brave. Fairly new to the stage, I’ve been attentive to her growing. I long to know her story.

Has she always sang so bravely, was it a thing she knew she’d always do? Was it a path that opened before her and at last she agreed she was able?

I watched as her hand held the microphone in its stand. I listened as she told me it’s God’s breath in me that led and leads to my breathing. She opened both hands towards the ceiling as her voice was elevated, “Great are you Lord!” I joined in agreement.

I’d still love to know her faith story. I’d like to know her journey as a woman.

I sat in the white chair later, the chair that was yellow when my mama got it. She had it in her den and I don’t recall her ever sitting there. It was positioned in front of her place for sitting, a place she could simply see it.

It faced the wide windows that opened the view to the field, the skinny lane that announced visitors. My mama lived alone for a bit and her yellow chair is only one of a few things she gave me. The others, ceramic roosters and a bracelet, now broken and not really jewelry, “costume” the jeweler said, “not worth anything”.

The yellow chair now recushioned and covered white, the little roosters and the bracelet, all yard sale discoveries.

My mama had very little.

Her legacy is wisdom. Wisdom and spontaneity, gifting herself with an occasional treat!

I thought of her as I drifted into a nap on Sunday. The yellow chair now creamy white facing my own wide windows.

I found solace in the soft chair, curled like a baby in my mama’s not made for sleeping chair.

I rested in the certainty of her joy when she found the fancy to her yellow chair. I celebrated her deciding she was worth it, something her life had never told her.

No wonder I find comfort in my mama’s yard sale chair.

It’s a side of her story she really didn’t tell. Her story of strength, of being worth something other than what life had shown her. A story of the bravery in believing, to wake to your very own beauty.

To believe in yourself because of God’s plan. I sit in my mama’s humble chair and feel the softness of her wisdom, I feel able to keep believing I am more than what my hard years have told me.

Continue.

Continue and believe.

There is wisdom in quiet joy. There is wisdom in pursuits that are tentative.

There is safety in remembering another’s very own wise path, as far back as when the writer of Proverbs called wisdom a “her”.

“When you walk, your step will not be hampered, and if you run, you will not stumble. Keep hold of instruction; do not let go; guard her, for she is your life.”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭4:12-13‬ ‭ESV‬‬

I hope to ask her one day, the new solo singer in worship, “How did you get to this place of using your voice to strengthen my faith?” There is wisdom in her journey I’m certain. I long to know why.

Who are the wise women in your life? The humble ones, the overcomers, the singers, the confident business owners, the young mamas, the elderly still with us, the teachers, the artists, the singers?

Life makes us either hard or wise. Stay soft if you can, wisdom comes not from hardening.

What’s your wisdom story?

Oddities, Faith and Birds

A few days in a row I fixated on the idea of a bluebird landing in my palm. I imagined being able to get close enough before it flew away.

I set out with the plan that if I asked God to let that bird make a nest in my palm, I’d believe even more strongly in a God I can’t see.

I would see faith in a whole new way.

The fencepost is marked by a blue ribbon! Trickery to my vision even today.

If I clutched that resting bird, I’d go back home or sit on the front steps and I’d make a call. “Cousin!” I’d say with a loud happy voice, to my cousin who believes bluebirds mean hope.

“Cousin, you’ll never believe it! I have just held a little bluebird in my hand!” And she’d reply in her southern strong voice with either,

“What???? …Get outta here, no way!!!”

I love the way she always gets excited over my revelations.

Or, she’d say “Oh, Lisa, I can’t believe it, isn’t God so good?”

She might find my behavior odd, that I long to see a bluebird sit still in my hand.

That this crazy idea born of seeing a bird near the fence for me is a metaphor for faith, for sustaining it.

For me to be honest with me. Holding a bird in my hand would just lead to me longing for more. I’d love the way God answered my crazy request; but, what next?

Would I ask God to bring a cardinal indoors to live next to my bed? Would I have no fear of flying and ask to soar on an eagle’s wing?

Outlandish thoughts! Really elaborate tales I write in my intricately woven head.

God made me this way.

Last month I was more focused on the birds than ever. Crows all over the country field and a gathering of blue birds in the yard. Several cardinals seem to time it just right and I am turning my face towards the sky and they unravel themselves from the branches and hover over my walk on the trail. Bright red, soft and luminous blue, even the omenous charcoal black buzzard sitting atop the falling down house.

I noticed them. I thought about how God made them all. Thought about God telling us we mean more to Him than birds, than sparrows.

We are more intricately made. A blessing and a worrisome thing is a mind, a complex and compromised by life on earth brain.

Maybe that’s why I love the birds, love the idea of flying from place to place with my little flock. Being able to simply know my nest will be strong and safe if even for just a season.

Knowing there’s a pattern to life, there is a path for safe transition to Heaven.

Birds stay in that pattern undaunted by earth.

The coldest and most wet winter and I still hear the new bird in the tall pine singing its newly acquired noisy song. It sounds like anguish to me. Who am I to say? It’s most likely excitement.

It is a birdsong of faith.

As I type, the sound of a bouncing off the tall window has occurred. I don’t look up soon enough to see it, to know its color, brown, blue or rich red.

I know it may have been off course or maybe, just maybe it felt my longing and it thought it could come inside. Most likely not land in my hand, only let me truly see up close.

That’s faith that accepts our complexities. It’s faith in the God who made me who makes me unconcerned over writing this post, a crazy essay type story about how a bird not in my hand is leading me to deeper faith.

“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭139:13‬ ‭ESV‬‬

My thoughts are known and they are unique, one of a kind wonderings and at times quite woeful.

I am thankful I am loved completely by a God who knows me so well, who knows me because He knew me.

Who’s watching over and is satisfied by my longings over bluebirds.

Who is satisfied that I am coming into me as a work of His hand. A God who sees me testing Him to give me a bird as a measure of faith and is understanding of my ways and compels me deeper, deeper into His view of me.

God is okay with my oddities.

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭139:23-24‬ ‭NLT‬‬

None of us are the same.

We don’t see one another’s inward parts. For me to write about birds is a risk; a risk I pray gets others thinking. We can never understand the mind of another. We can only accept that as truth. We all have hidden vulnerabilities. Some of us overcome them. Others show and then regret showing because they’re met by the very different thoughts of another. Some brains have fought back with resilience.

Others still have little corners and crevices that have stored up fear. Some hearts don’t appear to be broken but are quite broken. They are not beyond repair. No, not at all beyond resilience sustained by faith. Some are not healed yet; but, they are closer to believing they will be, closer to the possibility of coming into God’s own. The place of rest.

So, from the perspective of one who ponders birds and skies, let’s all join together, separately and yet wonderfully made and believe together.

Faith makes us well, may we not need earthly evidence to believe it.

I don’t think Jesus would have told us to look at the birds if we couldn’t grow by looking. So look up today. Look for the birds, imagine if you like, being allowed to hold one gently for a minute.

“Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭6:26‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Heavenly Father, thank you for making us so individually well and reminding us that we are so very fragile. It is you that makes us strong. Help us remember you through a flash of blue against a winter field. Because of mercy, in Jesus name, Amen.

Light, Your World

What’s the sunrise like in the world where you wake?

Is your view hindered by high building, hard structures or is your inability to see the light a barrier of your own making, a filter because of your unpleasant thoughts based on imperfect circumstance?

All of us, different and yet our days are lit the same way.

Distracted? Disenchanted? Less than optimistic because of imperfection or depression or hard circumstance?

How in the world are our lights supposed to shine when we feel so dull, uncertain or burnt out?

Burned down by our own dimming of our light or worse, someone once again making dark our days, heartbreak despite the glimmer we had of hope.

The country road I take is always busy early.

The curves are predictable now before I see the sunrise. Headlights approach and I steady myself, flip my lights to dim hoping they kindly reply in a soft nod.

Homes are popping up, close together or close to the road, some situated in a low down a path valley.

The road to my daughter’s, the road into town for many has become a community.

I notice the lights on the newest one I like, a modern take on country home. Sleek architecture with clean lines.

Christmas lights, a straight line across the front and one small new tree is curtained in loops of string lights.

I pause and remember my thoughts on such displays, Christmas lights on trees with no sense of order, no symmetry, no design.

No, I don’t want lights outside if we can’t do it right!

My husband asks and I tell him I don’t want lights outside if they can’t be just right, don’t want the display that says hey let’s throw these lights up in the trees and see how they land, see how they shine.

I have always been opposed to such a haphazard plan.

A home near ours has the new idea of lighting that appears to be perfect, fits neatly under the roof line and well, it is perfect. The one perfect tree wears Christmas. It is covered in a mesh overlay of sprinkle.

As neat as a pin, a very quiet display. Set for the season, perfect in a clean and closed fashion to me it seems.

The lights are in place and will shine unchanging til the new year.

A settled and set display on the outside, a view that is unchanging.

I thought of my longing for perfection, my determination to be splendid or nothing at all.

I wondered if the light I display has become so driven towards perfection that I appear unwelcoming.

Or maybe if I’m close to not shining at all.

The Book of Job mentions light twenty-seven times. Job wishes the light would just go away, the darkness made more sense and he longed for death. He wished he had never been born, never seen the light of day.

The light reminded him of his dark place as if to say if I can’t make sense of this time, this place, I don’t want to see it!

“Let its morning stars remain dark. Let it hope for light, but in vain; may it never see the morning light. Curse that day for failing to shut my mother’s womb, for letting me be born to see all this trouble.”

‭‭Job‬ ‭3:3-6, 9-10‬ ‭NLT‬‬

The life of Job fascinates me, the way an undeserving man can suffer such bitter and destructive nonsense, question God, lose everything, experience despair and continue to consider that God might still be God and be good.

“God rescued me from the grave, and now my life is filled with light.’”

‭‭Job‬ ‭33:28‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Maybe we’ll string lights in all the trees this year, spread them out across the shrubbery, the bright orange extension chords undisguised in the day and our front yard a maze of electricity source.

For the glorious display when the darkness comes.

Maybe we’ll have lights again.

Imperfect but bright, this might be our display.

On the mornings I keep my granddaughter, I’m excited for the sunrise where she wakes.

We step onto the back porch all bundled and bright she is.

The rising sun is unobstructed there. The land is wide and the horizon only tops of trees.

Good morning, God! Elizabeth and I say.

The display is always brilliant, takes my breath away.

The same sun rose at home this morning, I almost ignored it.

Stepping outside with the puppy, I realize over my shoulder, the sky is ribbons of magenta, coral, powdery blue.

I snap a photo and then pause to admire the camellias.

I’m remembering the little lighted tree, the imperfect display, obvious in its sparse simplicity.

Simplicity keeps calling me back towards the “color story”.

Simply write it, keep it simple. You’re no theologian, Lisa Anne; but you do have a brilliant story.

Don’t we all?

“Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭5:15-16‬ ‭ESV‬‬

God’s Peace, You are Free

“You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy, that I might sing praises to you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever!”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭30:11-12‬ ‭NLT‬‬

It’s exactly as surprising and joyous as they say, being a grandparent. Some may say, it’s what I’m learning, an infant requires of your attention, a full percent and it’s never a demand, it is a precious gift.

Complement it with an idyllic setting, open field, blue sky wide, leaves changing colors and a quilt on a back porch situated perfectly for a breeze.

I sing with abandon. She listens, smiles. The acoustics are so good. My voice carries. God is near.

Being a grandmother, big chunks of uninterrupted peace. My granddaughter is privy to God’s refining of me.

Perhaps, it’s her and God’s idea.

How can I keep from singing your praise?

I welcome the unlearning of the traumatized me, I acknowledge it may take a bit.

I envision clarity like a treasure I bring up to my chest or it’s a tug of war, the big mean boy grabbing at what’s mine and me, scared of being overpowered.

I used to give it away.

Now, I’m angry over its thieves.

My little bit of peace and clarity jerked from my arms and the aggressor running away, turned back towards me, sneering and laughing his ass off!

I’d have used asterisks for the s’s but I decided not to veil the truth of this thought and image, the abusive act of my peace being stolen.

In the dim light of day as a way of escape, a rescue for my hurting heart came this morning.

The answer?

All things are possible with God.

I thought it over and over.

This! This is real.

Not with self-care, not a new counselor, not a community or “tribe”, not a webinar or self-help book.

Not some instructor, well intentioned but profiting from my naive determination shadowed by doubt and discontent.

These are the things that draw me in, make me prey to promises only God and I together can fulfill.

Bold revelation, you may say.

When I write this way, I’m a little worried and then I decide someone else may need to explore this, this self-handicapping behavior, this lesson in knowing our weak places, being uncomfortable with settling there.

The closer we get to God’s gracious idea of us, the more miserable we are wearing any other garment or expression.

Clarity came and may be the less traveled road to peace.

This leg of my journey will lead to peace.

A rarely talked about truth for victims of trauma, I’ve heard it spoken many times by my kind and skilled counselor friend.

People return to negative patterns because this is familiar, this is safe. The sometimes unhealthy behaviors are the most fail-proof remedy we know.

Thankfully not return to allowing physical trauma, more the insidious spread of subtle abuses to self, the power of our thoughts, our mindsets that

Sabotage our freedom.

Compile all the days you lived under the thumb of something or someone, succumbing to the control, manipulation or unfair, cast aside treatment by something or someone.

The undoing doesn’t just happen like the snap of a finger and thumb.

Take it easy on you.

Then do two things, Lisa Anne.

Now that you understand what you’re doing, be grateful not debilitated, give yourself grace.

Stop seeking validation, support, or yet another conversation in which you expect another human to fully understand your distress.

It’s not possible and it’s not their place or fault.

Your wounds and your beautiful hopes are far too deeply layered for another human being to understand.

Something about early morning, God always speaks as if to say:

I filtered your fears overnight, here’s what’s left, the sure thing you must now know. All things are possible with me.

This place God has brought me to, saved me from, kept me safe…how on earth could I think it’s possible to continue on my own?

I jot the “Jabez prayer” every morning.

“He was the one who prayed to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and expand my territory! Please be with me in all that I do, and keep me from all trouble and pain!” And God granted him his request.”

‭‭1 Chronicles‬ ‭4:10‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Today, I added little check marks next the lines in the beginning: I’ve been blessed, check, I’ve had my territory enlarged, check!

The last two things, I am still very much in need of, keep your hand on me God, keep me from self-harm, the thoughts that betray me, so that I won’t revisit, get caught up in my pain.

You see, I spoke of newfound freedom, the choice to live with hope not remorse. I made it seem so easy.

Yet, I didn’t give a thought to the multiple layers of harm that very hope would have to fight daily with the devil to stay real every minute.

The one thing just a glimpse of freedom will give, a strong and renewed will to fight hard against repeated entrapment!

An awareness that it is hard not to be a victim when you were one for so long.

It is hard not to be who you were.

Almost impossible.

It’s easier to be weak and manipulated than to be newly strong.

I boasted of hope, forgot I am not able on my own.

God is my counselor, my advisor, my strong encourager of looking forward not before.

This is not a grim post, only honest. I’m afraid honesty’s in my bones, got that from my father, God rest his quiet soul.

I rise now to continue the things He started in me, blessed me, continues to enlarge my territory through happy brave opportunities.

I’ve designed a 2020 calendar, available soon, each month, an image of a woman strengthened by hope and God.

(Hope to share by next week, tell you more about ordering.)

Some told me they were proud of me, well intentioned comments and I suppose make sense.

What I’m doing though, is just following through on a God-planted seed, an idea, God’s work through me.

Please don’t be proud of me. Together, let’s be proud of God.

I rise now to clean my “art and writing room”, to ready it for what is possible today.

Are you a victim of trauma, physical or emotional abuse?

My thoughts…be strong, believe in your freedom; but, don’t walk it out alone, without the one who knows you completely, God.

“Jesus looked at them and said,

“With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.”

‭‭Mark‬ ‭10:27‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Believe. Continue and believe.

Be Well

For a long time, very long time, we all remembered and talked about the time.

I’ve never been to New York City nor D.C.. I’ve never travelled by plane although I’m beginning to entertain the possibility, romanticize the big “6-0”.

I do remember the morning of 9/11. I remember I was at DFCS in my little square office with a window on a hallway with other “welfare” workers who I considered friends.

I loved working with these people. I did.

My mama called, the children were in school an hour away and I cannot remember whether we closed the office and all of us went home.

Eventually, I was with them, home and safe with my husband.

Changed, not because I knew anyone there nor remotely understood their trauma, fear, tragedy. I had no idea.

I have no idea.

Yesterday evening, social media informed me of the death of a popular young pastor and mental health pioneer,

By suicide.

I felt afraid because of his story, suicide and its occurrence is to me “scary”.

Because it’s happening more and because I’ve been with those who have been knocked down by the tragic reality.

I find it scary.

I’m following the journey of a child named Eva, in an induced coma now and it all started with a tumble to the ground, a simple fall.

Her mama wrote about hope this morning in her Instagram.

I began to think about life and hope.

About tragedy interspersed with triumph because it seems to me this is life in this world, in most of our worlds.

I remember my mama calling on 9/11.

I remember the morning my brother called to tell me my mama was gone.

The loud moan that came up from my belly that morning must have frightened my admin, the others in the office next door.

She was gone.

I had prayed so very hard she’d be healed. I had talked with her about faith and hope, brand new and uncomfortable things for me.

Things I thought were real, my mama’s death like a test I failed, my hope was either wrong or not enough.

I stopped believing.

Because, she was gone.

Mornings like that, losses and tragedies linger.

Tragedy is interspersed with triumph though.

This is life.

I believe it.

So, how did I continue, they continue…the ones for whom today brings fatal remembrances?

I believe we must choose as best we can with God’s help.

To be well.

Be the one who is able to say.

It is well. Even so, it is well. Even though, it is well. Although and even if, it is well.

I have this hope in God, in Christ Jesus.

It is evident.

Hope that says despite the very worst scenarios…

“But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope:”

‭‭Lamentations‬ ‭3:21‬ ‭ESV

Not a vacant or mystical hope, there are reasons for my hope.

A baby I call “morning glory” because it fits, evidence of long and woeful answered prayers and a new sense of God being near me, of Jesus being personally acquainted with me, in spite of tragedy and triumph and every mistake , silly or serious misstep in between.

It is well.

Be well.

Decide to fight for yourself, to believe without the full understanding of why.

That God is sovereign.

And so.

It is well.

It is well with you.

And me.

All of us often out of rhythm, rocked by loss of life, out of kilter because of uncertain outcomes,

We are dwelling between two spaces, tragedy and triumph.

Reality.

But, glory, new glory comes every morning and often if you notice, it’s interspersed in the midst of moments.

Continue.

Continue and believe.

Remember

At 5:30 this morning the moon was just to the left of the big dipper. The crescent base was like a cupped up saucer holding a scoop of vanilla, round and resting.

The stars were scattered. The air was pleasant. I’m the keeper of the puppy’s potty schedule.

I’m the middle of the nighter.

My husband asked me when he’d be like “Colt” the beloved chocolate lab who became impossible not to love, impossible not to miss.

I told him it would be a while, at least a year.

We didn’t forget, but it mattered so much less. How he destroyed the back porch door, ate the arm off the new couch and once ate an entire plate of marinating pork.

We somehow don’t remember.

I wondered this morning how the moon got back to my favorite, the crescent. I wondered not in a way that I’d search for astronomy books.

I just thought of the pace of its changes and how the circle and cycle is remembered.

I told my daughter, a new mother that with her and her brother, I know there was labor in their deliveries but I don’t really remember the details.

I remember how she as a baby lit up when I came near. I don’t remember not sleeping. I remember singing “You are my Sunshine” and making up new verses just for her.

I remember my son hated back seat car rides and so I drove one hand on the wheel and the other holding his. I remember how he’d turn upon my arrival, his little Keds filled with dirt, he greeted his working mama and ran with chubby legs to find my arms.

I remember my daughter laughing and unfolding all the laundry as we sat together in the middle of the tiny living room floor.

We lived in a single wide that was so old, there was plywood for the floor and her first room was a closet.

We loved there.

I remember the love, not the struggle.

By 7:00 this morning, the grass is still damp and chilly and the little crescent is barely visible above the halo over the pines created by the sun.

Today I read about comfort and sorrow, how we can expect to be somewhere on the continuum of the circle.

Same with progress and stagnation, a cycle, a circle.

The passage in II Corinthians, the very beginning reads this way.

“Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.”

‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭1:3-5‬ ‭KJV‬‬

Tribulations and comforts, life and longings.

This from my “Joy and Strength” devotion today:

He is ever ready to increase His grace in our hearts, that as we live and act among all the sorrows of the world we may learn by slow degrees the skill and mastery of consolation. Francis Paget

Yesterday, I talked with someone about the creeping back in of anxiety and depression, situational. I mentioned I’m learning to fight against it, to get back to where I need to be, not drifting too far from my peace.

Self awareness that doesn’t get stuck, doesn’t defer to pity,

Remembers God and His ever ready rescue and mercy.

One sentence, a verse gave me remembrance of this, a mental picture not of my rambling, damaged and tormented life before I sought peace daily.

An image of my significance from God’s perspective.

And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders rejoicing. Luke 15:5 ESV

The parable of the lost sheep, the shepherd Jesus, not remembering our bad behaviors or our losing our ways, only overjoyed that we are found again!

Like the full moon remembering how to return to crescent or the parent literally forgetting the struggles, only remembering the bliss, God longs for us to know the circle, the coming back with ease to Him.

Back to peace.

Consolation and comfort never waning, always waiting.

Jesus, our constant.

Continue and believe.