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.

A Kind of Light

Out in the country, in the little place my daughter and her hubby call home, the sky is big, very big.

I’m always looking to see the light, the play of color, the hue falling on the high grass or the crimson “sour” weed.

I go outside, the rain being done for now and the sun is setting.

The softest light I’ve known. I’m in love with the sky, can’t get enough of the view.

Yesterday morning, I received an apology from someone and I wasn’t quite sure of its need.

There’d been some tension in our exchange, an agitation in his voice, seemed some sort of struggle unrelated to the topic being volleyed across conference room table.

I’d decided early on that my go to all day was gonna be kindness, intentionally to go the way of accepting another without making their manner of speech, attitude or action about harming me, hampering me.

I must’ve carried that resolve into the meeting because when I’d have typically said “not dealing with you” and rejecting another person all together, I sensed something else and I said to self, “Be kind.”

Thought of that quote when I read his apology, not knowing what horrible thing was hidden in his typed asking forgiveness, I thought of “be kind…there’s a hard battle here you don’t know.” Something you can understand.

“He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.” Ephesians 1:8

I blogged my second piece as a contributor at Daughters of The Deep about being light wherever we go.

Light in a dark world that we sometimes get wrong I think, we sometimes feel as Christians we have to burst forth into every room and like a blinding presence that can’t be denied, we can’t and won’t be denied.

That’s not God’s expectation, I don’t believe.

Who ever thought of love or kindness or mercy as a spotlight piercing in and causing us to shield our eyes, our souls?

Moses even had to turn away and it was God who drew near him. Surely, we know our lights are a significantly different version, His Spirit in us, minuscule but, still mighty in its meaning and message.

Love, it’s the much softer light that we should bring, a subtle difference nudging others to know more of why.

Our light, a kinder light.

Mostly, kindness, just choosing kindness.

In this recent post, I wrote about the women who were with Jesus because they’d had their lives changed by His healing. I wrote about their hard sorrows before and their light infused afters.

I wrote of the beauty we see when we choose to see others through eyes changed, through a softer light, a light that doesn’t blind in its sudden sizing up of others.

The Beauty We See

A light that’s warm and welcoming in and in illuminating rightly my impression of others, not begging their notice or impression of me,

a kind of light, kinder.

Happy Way of Life, #5

As if he might know somehow, crazy to think it possible, his knowing.

We pause, we move from pavement to grassy overgrowth bordered by rotting fenceposts and barbed wire, rusty.

We pray the subdivision doesn’t take over.

I promise, there’s no way a Labrador might know.

The way the cousins expected in between pickin’ berries and lookin’ out for snakes and snake holes to jump from red clay rutted dirt road hearing the roundin’ roar of engine.

But, we did when my grandma said so,

We “HIT the ditch!”

And so, when the big brown lab causes the pull of his leash towards shallow grassy valley bordered by fence,

I go.

We go. We linger, unconcerned over passerby’s questioning over a dog and a woman just standing, “sitting”, pausing in the ditch.

This, my friend, my follower, my one curiously intrigued is this Georgia girl living elsewhere’s happy way of life.

We go, we consider it happy, this little bit of remembering, we’re happy in it.

And oh, the joy of the careless acknowledgment of such simplicity and perhaps, simple minded.

Oh, joy!

Grief, After a While

I’ve just given a chunk of my evening, finally settled into my spot for an hour or two, to the perusing of quotes on grief that might be descriptive of what I’ve come to know.

Nothing quite right.

I’ve decided grief moves from an acknowledgement embraced all together of tightly knit mourning mourners to an individually and uniquely personal honoring of the one missed and longed for.

After a while, the void is always present when the all together gatherers gather; but, it’s not elaborated, opened for discussion, no longer any value in discussing the sorrow over the absence.

We’re all together in our longing, have the sense and sensibility not to invite it take over our hearts, our minds.

It doesn’t serve us well. Thank the Lord we know this, we know not to open wounds healed sort of like skin pinker than the other places where the deepest cut occurred. We’re okay each of us, to care for our own wounds, comfort our own souls.

There are new ways to grieve, after a while, after all.

I didn’t know when the morning had us listening to a sweet silver haired woman peddling plants, that I’d have cause and occasion to remember.

I didn’t know when my daughter said, “Come early, we’ll go the Farmer’s Market” that this same sweet lady would correct me when I called one plant something other than what it was and that she’d remind me not to over water.

Didn’t know I’d think of you then, had no idea how I’d be so happy I’d bought the three new tiny and tender plants later.

Tonight, I spent some time taking the old dirt out and adding new and I put the tender thick leaved plants in a semicircle design and just a little water, not too much, I put it back in the place next to the book I made to remember you.

To remember, the very first year after you were gone.

Little green plants in a shallow pot with broken edges, my sort of special way, the way I make sure to honor my mama, to remember.

Grief, after a while moves from a sorrowful stance to acceptance that honors, from remembering to keeping quiet your spirit and cultivating small reminders. Me

They Rested

Never random when she calls, it’s always an interruption for both of us.

Still, we are rapt and attentive, anticipatory.

We pause, we interject.

We listen, we add to the conversation.

We are one and we call one another from the proverbial cliffs of our own anxious waiting.

Sometimes I call her down, sometimes she consoles, corrects, cajoles me.

Either way, there may be tears. There is always prayer and always, always we are both equally better.

Or at least, we’ve filled a big chunk of the space in our minds tainted by what we are dying to know, what we are willing ourselves to believe all will be His will or we are plain worn out from devising outcomes from which to choose and get ready for.

We are both willful we decide.

This morning, I want to know more. I’m reading my Bible like the good book it is, enthralled to know more, I decide to read each account of the day between death and resurrection.

I choose Luke because of one sentence in what amounts to no more than a paragraph.

Just a paragraph, a pause.

John, Mark and Matthew all the same, a resignation of accepting the death of Jesus and a business transaction on the part of a man named Joseph.

“Now there was a man named Joseph, from the Jewish town of Arimathea. He was a member of the council, a good and righteous man, who had not consented to their decision and action; and he was looking for the kingdom of God. This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then he took it down and wrapped it in a linen shroud and laid him in a tomb cut in stone, where no one had ever yet been laid. It was the day of Preparation, and the Sabbath was beginning.”

‭‭Luke‬ ‭23:50-54‬ ‭ESV‬‬

The women prepared the spices, they’d taken care to continue in their parts. Verses before, they’d been told of promises.

Jesus saw their longing, their lamenting. He spoke of our own longing, our lamenting when and will and how and how long?

“But turning to them Jesus said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren and the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us,’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’”

‭‭Luke‬ ‭23:28-30‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Told them days of blessings are a sure thing. Every single word of Jesus was purposeful, was promise.

Was a promise he kept and still keeps.

As if saying, Believe. You will see!

That day in between, sad but serene resignation, accepting, doing what we can do.

They did what they could, they made the preparations.

They were careful in their role as ones who cared.

They did what they could and then rested.

“Then they returned and prepared spices and ointments. On the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment.”

‭‭Luke‬ ‭23:56‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Today, I made a new to do list.

I’m in charge of some things and I’ve promised to do another. My children will be with me tomorrow for lunch and I’m ditzy when it comes to hosting and cooking and timelines.

I’ll read the narration for our cantata and I’ll sing and worship.

I added a bold bracket around my list and asked God to use me and my abilities as He sees fit.

And I remembered wisdom from another:

“I will when I can.”

Today, I’ll rest in my waiting. I’ll do my best to embrace the time, the day between.

Sabbath, I surrender to you. I’ll give grace to me and to those around me.

With anticipation and excitement I’ll celebrate the life and newness and resurrection tomorrow.

Like Mary and the others, I’ll hold on hopeful and wholeheartedly to your promise that it is not finished with me, there are still mountains to be moved and beautiful blessings from barren times for me and for the ones I love and humbly pray intercession for.

Prayers spoken and answered, she will call and we’ll sing together because His glory has been shown.

Yes, we have seen God’s glory!

New life!

Morning Light

Jesus told the disciples how they should pray. They’d seen Him praying and asked to be taught. He responded with The Lord’s Prayer and then continued by telling them to be persistent and specific, to be, I suppose you might say, “a pest”.

This morning I woke up too early. I’d been bragging about my internal clock and being able to wake without alarm at just the right time. Not today, 5:30 a.m. and I begin.

Pretty pencil and pad in my lap, I leave the lamp off.

I think, out of nowhere…Lord, teach me to pray.

Cup one down, I flip on the lamp and find the place in my Bible where this request rests.

Prayed yesterday while walking Colt and before sleep last night and now morning routine, I’m still seeking more.

Lord, do you tire of the same requests?

I wonder do you watch over me and my circling round, back tracking and circumventing supplications?

Do you grow weary of my questions?

Do you feel I’m ever looking for answers; but, not hardly ever seeking you?

Jesus told the disciples that a good father gives his children what they ask for and never anything less or not suitable.

He told the disciples a hungry soul asking to be fed will be fed as long as they are persistent in their need for food.

“And he said to them, “Which of you who has a friend will go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves, for a friend of mine has arrived on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; and he will answer from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed. I cannot get up and give you anything’? I tell you, though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his impudence he will rise and give him whatever he needs. And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” Jesus Luke‬ ‭11:5-9‬ ‭ESV‬‬

I look towards my left, a desk where two boys sat who are now men is filled with old school papers and things like Hot Wheels and Pokémon cards.

On top rests the broken edged pot from my mama’s. The succulents have not survived but, the bird nest rests there, gold coin from a foreign place and the pine cone and the pebble. There’s a feather near and a magnolia type pod.

I’m reminded to pray, prompted by what and who each oddity means.

I’m reminded that my morning routine is never routine to God.

In the Chapter just before the 11th of Luke, Jesus told Martha to be more like her sister, Mary.

Told her to choose the better, to linger at His feet awhile instead of trying to keep straight everyone and everything around her, unfocused, persistent only in her perfections sought after.

Morning light now all around, I’ve sat for longer than I should again, I think.

And then quickly decide no, not at all as another verse God brings to mind. One about a boy who woke to hear clearly what God had to say, had prepared him for.

“Therefore Eli said to Samuel, “Go, lie down, and if he calls you, you shall say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant hears.'” So Samuel went and lay down in his place. And the Lord came and stood, calling as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant hears.”

‭‭1 Samuel‬ ‭3:9-10‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Morning light, now fully bright.

Thank you, Father I’ve sought you and I’ve sat and you have spoken to my heart.

I’m now prepared.

Thank you for my routine every morning.

I’m thankful for FMF prompts. Admittedly, I rarely stay within 5 minutes…still I enjoy linking up and learning from others.

http://fiveminutefriday.com/2018/03/22/fmf-link-up-routine/

P.S. pray for Colt, the big brown lab aka Colton Dixon, his old hip injury has him limping this morning, not his usual goofy self. 😒