Sunday

contentment, curiousity, Faith, hope, Labradors, memoir, rest, Trust, Vulnerability

I painted, rested, had a good phone conversation, read three chapters and prayed today.

No agenda.

Different this evening, my walking after a long lingering day at home.

I’m wearing my glasses, no need for contacts at 7:00 on a Sunday evening.

White paint on my new shorts and my phone in a pouch strapped round my waist, the convenient thing my children made fun of.

The Labrador and I walked in a good rhythm, I allowed him the time to sniff the grass or whatever he discovered.

No music, no perky and/or intentionally subdued voice of podcast education.

No intentional distractions.

Just walking.

Just praying.

The tall pines wore halos, a beautiful scene over the water.

I absorbed it, the beauty of the open walk on Sunday evening.

Left my phone in my pouch and kept the beauty in my thoughts.

Progress towards peace.

I felt it and remembered the early morning Psalm, remembered my decision to be hopeful, not be drawn into fear and woe.

“Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭42:11‬ ‭ESV‬‬

From 1 to 700 or More – Good Things

Abuse Survivor, bravery, Children, curiousity, Faith, family, Labradors, memoir, painting, Peace, Prayer, Redemption, Uncategorized, Vulnerability, wonder, writing

Last night my husband agreed.

You’re not tech savvy, are you?

I’m not. I don’t worry over linking my Pandora to a blue tooth speaker. Oddly, curious over this blog though, this morning I delved into the tab marked stats.

The same husband who pointed out my ineptness over speakers told me he read my blog the night before.

His comment?

How was Panera?

One thing for sure, he’s predictable, and a non-restaurant dining fan.

Oh well.

I began blogging in 2014. The most viewed post had 127 views. I began with 1 follower and five years ago had over 2700 viewers in some way shape or form.

I wrote about work, about suicide, about my children, our dogs, about my growing understanding and often doubtful relationship with God.

I had a tendency to center my content. I guess I thought that was cute (?)

It was unnecessary and well, amateurish and unskilled. I began using my own photos back then and I still do. I sort of love this way.

My most read post was about my children and a blogger who had asked for prayer for her son.

Read here:

Most read in 2014

I’ve come a long way. It’s nice to see my writing is an indication of this.

I am glad I kept blogging. It could have easily been just one of those trendy things I copied my daughter on.

She, once was a blogger. She shared such good words and beauty.

She and my son are very good writers. Maybe future bloggers, writers, story and wisdom sharers.

They’d say.

We got it from our mama.

And I’d say and mean it…”Well thank ya!”

I’ve come a long way.

They have too, daughter who teaches 1st graders and a sweet sweet mama to a little baby named Elizabeth.

Son who survived, no excelled at The Citadel, a military college and is in the home stretch of grad school for CPA.

Both are well and love me well.

Both have grown.

Haven’t we all?

Happy New Year with new chances for good writing, good things, just good!

Thank you, important to me, precious reader!

Tiny Stars and Light

Advent, Christmas, confidence, contentment, curiousity, Faith, happy, hope, Labradors, love, Peace, Prayer, rest, Stillness, Trust, Uncategorized, Vulnerability, waiting, wonder, writing

The dog is most content. The laundry is waiting, the errands not even yet listed.

Morning is moving slowly and yet, soon, too quickly for all I need to do.

I’m aware of the need to accomplish a bunch of things.

Instead, I sit. I ponder.

Look beside you, glance around.

What do you see that’s idyllic?

Like playing “I Spy” to occupy your toddler, what’s in your world that’s only beauty?

Idyllic?

Charmingly simply.

I have books on my shelf that I once turned in direction, only the buff colored pages showing, no idea which book was which.

Back then, I found it clean and easy.

Not busy,

Now, I’m looking over and the sun is making stripes on the titles, like an abstract painting as the morning comes in.

Idyllic.

Framed photos next to me are dotted with the reflection of lights on the tree.

Last night the stars were sprinkled the same.

Vast sky, tiny brightness.

The puppy is at peace, he is my anchor begging me stay still.

Stay.

I am thinking of the waking thought God gave and the words of a friend yesterday.

Before praying I remembered the words to a peppy southern gospel song.

God will make a way for His children just like He did when He parted the sea.

I got out of bed to calm the shrill bark of the pup and quickly turned back to kneel and pray first.

Thanked God for wise friends who reminded me of His good will and gave my concerns for others needing beautiful surprises, resolutions to unexpected problems.

Left them there.

Coffee in hand, warm in the “You are My Sunshine” mug.

How can I not see the light?

I have been rescued, been blessed.

Reading less, thinking more.

I should hurry. I rest.

My coffee is now cold and still I just sit. I’m watching the patterns the sun is making on the throw pillows the chairs.

Beautiful. This beauty in December on a Friday.

The room is now daylight so I’ll switch off the lights on the tree, I have no centerpiece for the table and stockings are not yet hung.

Maybe today I’ll finish.

Not lazy, just making allowances to be okay with less than perfect.

To be content with simply okay.

To be well. To be at peace.

Look around you. Find light today and give it more than just a second.

Treasure it.

Christmas is not a competition.

Allow the buzz of activity and social media and traffic to continue all around you.

Engage on occasion.

But, then rest and rest some more and consider.

Consider your life a gift, a gift because of a baby in a manger.

Imagine the flurry of activity around the new baby, the excitement, the panic, the questions.

Mary rested and considered the miracle of Jesus.

“But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.”

‭‭Luke‬ ‭2:19‬ ‭ESV‬‬

More like Mary I’m hoping to be, Christmas this year, in me.

Looking for light in little things and small places, reminding me of tiny stars on a long ago evening.

I’m fascinated by the charmingly simple things now.

The less than spectacular photos shared by others draw me in.

Less covetous of the grandeur of others. Show me a photo of the “little in your life”, the way the light is landing where you love to live.

These are the compelling stories to me, the little places inviting ❤️ or a comment.

Light in. Let it. Join me in looking.

Meeting hope there.

Light Remains

Abuse Survivor, bravery, confidence, contentment, courage, doubt, Faith, Forgiveness, freedom, grace, hope, Labradors, mercy, obedience, Peace, praise, Prayer, pride, Redemption, Serving, Teaching, Trust, Uncategorized, Vulnerability, waiting, wonder

Has your path left a long shadow behind you of late?

When you look back at before do you see only the grey, the narrow thinning of your best days?

This is not the case.

We rarely see the places our light remains. This, I believe is always always God’s intent, we don’t have to see it, see Him to know the light in us is never dimmed.

We don’t have to know the places the light he gave us remains.

Maybe that’s grace that says this is humility.

Maybe it’s mercy that says there’s new every morning, let’s move forward.

Some days I skip the Old Testament passage my guide tells me is for today.

Not today.

Job 29 and 30 is Job’s defense, his argument with God. I suppose you might say it’s sad.

But, it’s honest.

Job is recalling his standing amongst others, the way people responded to his walking by, the commitments he made to others and followed through. Maybe you’ve been in a similar place. Yesterday, God positioned me with a woman of faith, we caught up and she assured me she’d sensed some recent changes had been uneasy.

We were in agreement, God grows us up in those seasons, helps us not fight for our reputations, to sit in silence and let Him lead.

While I’d never compare my life to Job’s, I learn something new each time I turn to his book. Today, it wasn’t the inventory of all his good he reminds God of in these chapters. It was to me a couple of verses I think may have been his lasting peace.

His memories of the way he was with others. This cherished. What Job remembered being, doing, believing it was good.

“I smiled on them when they had no confidence, and the light of my face they did not cast down.”

‭‭Job‬ ‭29:24‬ ‭ESV‬‬

What a beautiful thing, to have changed the environment or lessened someone’s pain by being near.

Yes, this is enough.

More than.

My friend and I talked about the enemy yesterday too.

How revelations like the one above will try to be dulled by gossipers, questioners, disputers and even our own doubts about your heart and soul’s intentions.

We are human, we get drawn towards bitterness and hurt. We learn as we go, hard times increase our faith.

It’s the soft light of our faith that will remain in the same way it did in other former places.

God’s light is ever slow to dull.

I am so thankful for Job. He teaches me every single time. God is always good.

Always.

Always faithful as we endure for the sake of His plans not our own.

Linking up with other FMF bloggers on the prompt of BACK

Five Minute Friday

#thecolorsofmybible #butforhisgrace #faithful19

Perspective Shifts

Abuse Survivor, birds, bravery, confidence, contentment, courage, doubt, Forgiveness, freedom, grace, Labradors, love, memoir, mercy, Peace, puppies, Redemption, rest, surrender, Teaching, Trust, Truth, Uncategorized, Vulnerability, waiting, wonder, writing

What is your filter through which you see?

Two days ago I chastised myself for being selfish.

My quiet time was altered, I longed for a thing I got and when it required so much of me shifting my attention, I got a little hopeless, got a little embarrassed and considered I’m not capable after all.

Then I added to the dilemma, rationalizing my pitiful. It makes me anxious, it feels like attack, I got bitten one time, remember, by a crazy German Shepherd…!

I’m ashamed looking back that I considered my home should not be his.

I’ll not linger here. Let’s just say there was justified shaming and the shaming and the perspectives of those giving it were, well…accurate.

Point taken. No need for further discussion.

It didn’t really hit me until we were alone, the pup and I and over and over my mind verified.

“Selfish, so selfish, so selfish.”

When I told my husband beseeching his understanding…”He won’t even let me read my Bible!”

There was no reply from him other than “Give it time.”

So we bonded that evening, I cleaned up from his accident and then bathed him. (The pup not my hubby😊).

Then a crazy crazy thing happened to say don’t get cocky here, there’s still work to do and patience required.

A blue jay was trapped on our screened in porch. I stood to watch it up high in the corner, turned to get the broom to shoo it to freedom, instead it landed even more trapped behind the grill.

In seconds the puppy pounced!

I freaked out.

I screamed.

This situation grew more intense despite my screaming as the puppy ran through the door and to a private place to finish, to end it.

Crazy how I tried to pry the bird free, pulling nothing from the puppy’s locked jaws but cobalt blue, grey, black feathers.

I was beside myself. There’s a reason my daughter calls me the “crazy bird lady”.

It’s not because of my crazy but my crazy love for birds, my captivating interest in seeing them as if they are my messengers.

The bird was gone, totally gone and in the belly of the pup.

Apparently this is a thing. Google confirmed it.

Although I kept repeating to my husband “He ate a live bird!!!! That can’t be okay.”

It happens. He pooped it out the next day and it was regular, no obvious little bones or feathers.

Thank you, Jesus for that mercy.

So, this perspective thing. I won’t get into too much and thereby add to my shame. My daughter has a newborn. She reminded me about commitment, patience, adjustment.

She also said “Well, you’ve got a huntin’ dog.”

Her husband added in his sweet loving his mother in law in all her exaggerations and crazy ways way…

“Puppies do those things.”

My son’s perspective,

“Dogs will be dogs.”

Okay then.

I’m working through some things I have learned in the last year about the perspective of one who experienced trauma.

Trauma is the reason for so many reactions; but, it can’t become your rationalization for inappropriate behavior.

At the same time it matters. It is a part of my texture, can’t be unwound, unthreaded, “unhappened”.

“My soul continually remembers it and is bowed down within me. But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”

‭‭Lamentations‬ ‭3:20-23‬ ‭ESV‬‬

I’ll clarify:

Puppies nip at body parts because that’s what puppies do. It is play. Puppies do not pounce or bite because they know you’ve been backed into corners and pounced upon by big evil mean dogs who were men.

Our reactions must shift.

My perspective must not default in every situation back to fear, to anxiety to trauma.

More importantly we can’t use our trauma as a scapegoat for unpleasantries about ourselves we’d prefer not to admit.

Like giving up on a commitment or a goal.

Like being afraid when fear makes no sense at all.

Like claiming attack when no one’s against you, you just are still craving rescue.

Still looking in the wrong places to be found.

So, the perspective is shifting. No need to fight anymore. You’re a victor not a victim.

If you’re reading this and thinking that’s ridiculous that she’s comparing trauma to an uncontrollable puppy.

It is ridiculous; but, it’s also real and it’s also changeable when we choose to see from God’s perspective.

The intent of past trauma is to change your perspective of every single soul you encounter from hope to fear.

The enemy longs to keep us tied to fear and sometimes the enemy is deeply embedded.

That is, until we get brave and sick of fear.

I am almost 8000 words into the book God has formed in me about my past trauma(s).

I have finished the proposal and it just waits now for editing.

The original idea was an expose’ of trauma and all the ones who I felt needed reminding in case they needed to remember what kept them from saving me back then.

Sigh, what an undeserving unnecessary story.

That’s not the idea now.

It’s honest and it’s a perspective that calls me out in the horror of it all and more a tribute to the “Jesus in them” despite of it all.

It’s not a shocking story, more a settlement of my story and the redemption and hope waiting us all.

Charlie the pup lies beside me all curled up.

Shortly, I’ll head to my desk to pray and then edit. He will curl up in the corner next to my feet and he’ll be with me.

With me as I change my perspective of victim of trauma to brave child of God and optimistic survivor.

Trauma is a mercy reference.

Oh, and hey…

Happy Independence Day!

Friday with Sun and Pup

happy, hope, Labradors, memoir, puppies, surrender, Trust, Truth, wonder

I saw the early sun thinking it’s been awhile.

Not since morning stepping out the back door with “Colton Dixon” aka “big brown lab” aka “Colt 45” were my everyday thing.

Back in the day. Now he’s a big shot Charleston dog!

I have a puppy as of yesterday.

I named him Charlie but it seems he looks more like a cool name than that, I might call him “Char”.

Char like charcoal, short for Charlie, kinda hip, kinda retro funky.

So far not so bad as far as training.

He knows me and knows his my voice calling his name.

The Pup

I know him, beginning to anyway, not speaking to soon…

We’re getting into a pattern, play, pee outdoors, poop as well, play, crate time, pee outdoors…

Simple things, simple changes.

Simple Friday mornings now and all the others with early sun and puppy.

Shall be about the same hopefully ’cause there’s something good about sameness, morning sun and puppy breath.

Grace Awaits

confidence, contentment, courage, curiousity, Faith, family, grace, hope, Labradors, memoir, mercy, obedience, Stillness, Trust, Uncategorized, Vulnerability, waiting

We walked in the heat and kept going until we found shade.

We didn’t stop to rest.

Colt, my “grand dog”

We kept going because we know the pattern. We know where there is sun there will be shade.

We kept walking because the grassy field borders the man made trail, the one where the strong roots are revealing their tenacity.

They’ve broken through as if knowing it will cause our steps to favor the earth, the grass.

To remind us, it is hard here; nevertheless, the soft places remain.

“For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.”

‭‭John‬ ‭1:16‬ ‭ESV‬‬

The old hymn with the sway in its notes

Reminds me of an old chair moaning as I rock.

I’m sitting on a big back porch and the breeze although warm too early this year is steady and sweeps softly on my cheek.

The chair is old.

I want to repair it, have it dressed in new fabric, have someone who knows how make the seat and back not so noisy from the pressure of its sitter.

Still, it allows my sitting, it allows me to settle there and it tests my tolerance for the noise unpleasantly necessary.

I could sit still, I could not encourage the back push and the forward pull of the place behind my knees that leads to the rocking.

But, I don’t.

I sit in my aunt’s old hand me down chair and I rock.

And it allows me to continue there.

Grace is that way.

Grace knows we might be annoyed by things and others that we keep responding to in the way that causes even more annoyance.

Grace waits for us to settle down, stop the thing we do that brings frustrations we could so easily let go.

Or accept them and notice less the noise and more the joy.

Grace awaits.

It never leaves us.

Grace stays.

Continue and believe.

Linking up with other story tellers here:

https://marygeisen.com/lights-out-when-fear-is-like-a-switch/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=lights-out-when-fear-is-like-a-switch

These thoughts on fear are so very true!

Trying to Swim

Abuse Survivor, Art, bravery, confidence, courage, doubt, grace, hope, Labradors, memoir, mercy, obedience, painting, Prayer, Redemption, Teaching, Trust, Uncategorized, Vulnerability, wonder, writing

Colt’s first glimpse of the ocean, photo LT

I have an unfulfilled desire to be a swimmer, strong and freeing I long to be the one swimming laps at end of the day in our pool.

I long to be a singer too, one of those people with no concern over those around me or before me, just belting out a lyric from the bottom of my belly and resting my hand at my heart as I am fulfilled in the joy from within.

I’ve heard both are possible, with training and time and I tell myself it’s surely a crazy desire, Lisa Anne.

Clearly, you have more than enough on your plate! I’ll stick with art and words for now, come June I may try swimming again. I will.

Two things are pending, waiting for me to take a grand plunge and with time and training get them just right this time.

I won’t grow if I don’t continue to try. This one thing I do know.

I am the most ill equipped marketer when it comes to marketing me.

I’m embarrassed to ask for help and I get all bent out of shape when I believe people can’t believe I cannot figure it out on my own.

This is my perception.

When it comes to confidence in myself in this area I have none.

But, I am committed to trying.

I will update my blog today or tomorrow, keep my name on the front end, the uncomfortable place that says find her, read her words, and I’m adding a Sunday evening newsletter to all who want to hear my thoughts at end of the day, the end of a week. I know what I want to call it and I feel God leading me to what he wants me to say.

I may change my confidence, it may not say “quiet” or “confidence” at all.

I just need to continue. It may say continue.

I’ve deleted my art page. It had only three followers 😊 and I’ll incorporate hopefully a more professional look with links to connect interested buyers.

Yes, today I will begin, hopefully be complete by tomorrow.

I get confused over confidence the more I travel this writing and painting road. I make it bigger than it is, the challenge of trying and then following where God wants it to go.

Look it up, the dictionary says confidence depends on ourselves.

That can’t be so.

If it’s all me it becomes either reward or rejection and it goes back to being all about me, chubby little brown haired girl longing to be noticed.

I love the words to this song that keeps circling back to find me:

In Over my Head

Whether I sink, whether I swim 
Oh it makes no difference when I’m beautifully in over my head…Jenn Johnson

A song about abandoning fears and longing to see just how far we can go when we believe and allow God to lead.

Continue and believe.

Paul met Jesus and he knew where his life would go. Absolutely and unwaveringly he acknowledged his fear, his failures, his past violent offenses and he kept on, kept on walking the way He was called.

I don’t believe any of us should go through life without coming to a point where all we truly want to know is

God, where do you want me to go?

“Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God.”

‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭4:1‬ ‭NLT‬‬

May my efforts be worthy of what continues to feel like my calling.

I’ve written for more than five minutes as I am inclined to do. But, these are my thoughts on confidence and I’ll share with others here:

FMF -Confidence

Best Worst

Children, Faith, family, hope, Labradors, Uncategorized, Vulnerability

Crying is not a thing for me, at least not obvious, in the open, show of emotion or to be noticed or inviting reaction.

I said goodbye and left for work.

Halfway down the highway remembering our thing they let me do, realizing the best or the good in what feels kinda worst or at least a little sad.

Sister and brother, single mother, supper table conversation starter used to be

Best of your day

And worst? Taking turns type invitation.

Honestly, we didn’t do this with regularity for very long.

I have smart children. They caught on.

Colt aka Colton Dixon

I left today in tears. The Labrador is leaving, gonna live with the one with whom he belongs.

Best thing, they’ll be together, I didn’t say no, acted doubtful or predicting problems.

Best thing?

They are together. It should be.

Worst?

I keep listening for his feet on the floor, next to the door…

Listening for his feet.

Best of my day? The really real reality of becoming a grandma,

of the Labrador being content and well loved and settling into big city and of me, this evening realizing I was running, running with light legs, light feet.

Worst?

Really nothing, nothing coming up, nothing really, really nothing.

Best clearly cancelled out worst today.