Stubborn Minded Me

“He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed.

Then they were glad that the waters were quiet,

He brought them to their desired haven.”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭107:29-30‬ ‭ESV‬‬

My daddy used to say I would argue with a stump, I was as stubborn as they came. I wanted to have the last word.

Quiet child who watched and only spoke up when I saw something wrong or someone about to be wronged…maybe, me.

That quiet stubbornness got silenced and I lost my voice for a long time, lost my defense mechanism, my stubborn belief that it mattered, pointing out right over wrong.

Now that I’ve found it again, my challenge is to appropriately use it, pull it back, keep it reeled in, learn to control it.

Not allow it to control me.

Stubborn me doesn’t wait well, I want to jump up and tackle wrong to the ground, demand an answer for whatever anxiety it has caused.

Even if the anxiety is oh so small. At least I’m self aware.

I’m losing it slowly, the need to anticipate wrong, letting go the power of my manipulative mind set on preparation and safety of my mind and soul.

I ask why of others less often. I wait to be shown not told.

To be shown there was no threat after all, there was never a plot to harm you being calculated while you looked away.

It was just your imagination running away with you.

I’m an Enneagram 4 (Romantic) with a 5 (Observer) wing. I’m no expert on this popular assessment that so many are embracing.

I assure you though, the test got this right with me!

I write vivid stories. I romanticize right or wrong depending upon my careful and constant observation.

My personality traits can work for or against me.

Today, I’m leaning towards the “for”.

Because I almost picked it back up yesterday and then again this morning. I wanted to confront, stomp my feet and ask why someone responded to me in such a way I didn’t deserve.

They most likely have forgotten by now and there’s really no need to know.

It is over. Let it go.

I sat in the quiet with wisdom all around me, the Psalms of David, the integrity of Job, the quiet worship of Mary.

I told myself if there is asking of why,

Ask God.

The answer will come when it does or it may never come at all, just the need to know taken gently away, eased from the shelf I’ve set it down on waiting to be picked back up again.

I won’t miss it. God will replace it with new things.

Things like a settled mind, a sense of Him.

Ask God and wait for His peaceful reply.

It will not likely come until you’ve shut down the chatter in your analytically bitter and questioning mind.

The answer more sufficiently simple than all the “romantical” conjuring and contriving of explanations your mind could ever tell.

God will be thrilled by our return to Him, He waits for the forfeiting of our frustrated rationalizations for the freedom of His will and His way.

He welcomes our questions.

Ask God.

Settle your stubborn mind.

Find rest for your soul.

He is jealous for me. Love’s like a hurricane, I am a tree, bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy. When all of a sudden I am unaware of this affliction eclipsed by glory…David Crowder, How He Loves

Oh, how he loves us!

I’m linking up with others who are telling stories that God gives them to share. Join in here: Tell His Story

Abandoning Thoughts and Things

A petal drops from the day lily onto the table. The sound so subtly quiet it barely shifts my attention.

But, it does.

I turn to notice and then wonder how long before the others let go.

The dirty mason jar, because I’ve no idea what happened to all of my vases, has been the vessel for yellow, a soft maroon, ivory and a golden rust colored arrangement. The stems strong and the leaves a lively green will be the last to go.

I have loved them in my morning spot.

Yesterday I told someone I was struggling to comprehend a life of abandonment to God’s will.

Told her I’m prone to expect a revelation, a change that says you’re done or a turning down one road never venturing wrongly or lazily short cutting again.

This morning I know better.

I know abandonment of some of my analytical longings will lead to a life maybe not all romantic like a theatrical opera or song.

It’ll be more incremental.

It will be stop and start, stay longer next time until you realize oh, okay it’s been a while. Maybe saying to myself,

I didn’t realize how long it’s been. I’ve settled in this place of acceptance without fear.

Abandoning yourself to God’s plan, what a calling, an aspiring and admirable decision!

Yes.

But, I am human and I live amongst other imperfect humans. I know some things they do not know of me and I must remember that it is the same for them.

All of our behaviors are formed by our individual damaged or undamaged perceptions on life with other humans.

I digress.

Here’s what I came to on the issue of abandon, of abandoning my ideas, hopes, plans, goals to God’s plan.

I am learning as I go.

I am abandoning self-condemnation when it seems I don’t live the abandoned life as fully or continuously as I should. I will abandon being so hard on myself.

I consider this a good beginning.

I’m abandoning my need to know, abandoning my need to correct others, abandoning my need to forget harm done to me by others.

I can abandon strife for peace.

I can abandon anger for acceptance.

I can abandon envy, jealousy and resentment for love.

I can, incrementally.

I am certain that abandon and living this way is more like joy than work.

It is more a breathless expectation of what is coming good or not so great. It is the committed mindset that every tiny thing, life event or circumstance has been filtered.

Has been held by God and let go or not let in.

Unexpectedness.

Maybe living the abandoned way really means living unexpectedly!

Like your grandpa used to say,

Lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise.

Living that way.

Not knowing what your next moment will bring, your next hour or next day.

Yes.

I think I can live this way.

It may be momentarily, this new way.

But, moment by moment I will be accepting what is next for me and for those my life gets to be intermingled with, influenced by and loved…my influence a hopeful one for them.

That will be the greatest of things. Abandoning what I don’t know and keeping what I do!

Perhaps adding a new daily prayer, the prayer that Jesus prayed, inviting heaven into my earth, into my day.

“Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.

Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭6:9, 11-13‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Either way, simply believe.

Believe and continue.

Continue and believe.

Known and Seen

“Garden Girl”

It sounds very clinical and not necessarily positive at all,

To think God views us in an “under the microscope kind of way”.

But, He kinda does ya’ll, if you consider He knows everything.

“But even the hairs of your head are all numbered.” Jesus

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭10:30‬ ‭esv

That’s a miracle in and of itself.

Confirmation that He knows.

He knows which leave will fall first to the ground. Which morning bird will be the very first to sing, initiating a harmonious chorus.

Miracle it is, we are known and seen!

Miracles are everywhere. You might remember a few, decide to see it this way if you believe every second of every day plays out like an orchestrated performance,

God as the maestro, your life the powerful selection of calming peaceful repose in string, or crescendo arrival of horns fading into acceptance on delicate keys.

Yesterday met me with sincere congratulatory conversations.

One led to the question of what now or next?

I was bold, said I’m hoping to combine my nonprofit skills acquired in some way with my faith.

Perfect timing it was, a fellow faith based professional needs a grant-writer. We will meet next week, come up with a contract.

I said something along the lines of wow and then rambled on. She allowed me and calmly, steadily informed me.

This is God’s confirmation. You are taking the right steps. J.

I smiled, chills making their way down my calves to my feet.

I woke this morning after a sleep that was preceded by a conviction.

I’ve let some of my attitudes and behavior steer off course, turn corners fueled by pride, trying to keep my hands in and on things that are not mine.

Dangerously close to misrepresenting who I say I am because of Jesus.

“Fools’ words get them into constant quarrels; they are asking for a beating.”

‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭18:6‬ ‭nlt

It’s a miracle!

Why so? It’s a miracle because I’m heeding what I heard God say over the voices in my world all in agreement with my bitterness, my resentment, my pride.

It’s a miracle that we get to hear God. There’s no other way to say it, God knowing me and saying so…

It’s a miracle.

I heard Him over the rallying behind me voices that say my attitude and pride are justified.

He knows the number of the hairs on my head.

He knows my ways. He knows and told me gradually yesterday and into now,

“Lisa Anne, get back to the place you are known. The place and temperament that I gave you and called you to use to show me to others.

Get quiet. Let your confidence stay quiet.

Ask forgiveness where it is needs to be offered.

Listen.

Because if you don’t you will miss out on the miracles I’m making in advance for you.

Move on, let go, accept that you are not in control.

I am.

Only control what you can, your attitude, your countenance that comes by staying closer to me and your willingness to retreat otherwise you will surely stumble, busting your butt on your pride.

You will fall flat on your face.” God, this morning.

What’s a miracle? Being known so well by my God, more than anyone will ever know.

Even more so, every single one of us is fully known the same.

God is everywhere. Don’t forget to notice. me

(And now my blog has a category called “pride”)

Cake with Your Mama Day

I’d love to tell you just a little about my mama, on this day, her birthday!

And then I’d love for you to make cake a part of your day!

She passed away nine years ago.

Too soon for us all.

There were more cakes to bake, more commentary to be made on the politics of the day, more acceptance to be given over her sometimes sullen, stubborn and set ways.

More big meals together with some variety of homemade cake.

It may have been my coconut or my brother’s red velvet, maybe caramel, maybe thin layered chocolate so good the sugar melted more sugar on your tongue as you allowed it to linger.

It may have been her pound of everything pound cake or it may have been the fancy cream cheese with pecans creamy carrot.

Today, I am planning to have cake!

You should too.

I give you not permission, but a virtual nudge-like nod to say yes to love, to loosening your control!

To enjoy cake alone or with someone, somehow with your mama.

To have cake and not stress over anything at all!

Stress’ll kill you, Lisa! My Mama

Happy Birthday in heaven, Mama!

Your love has brought us to who and where we are!

I celebrate you today.

Last year, I went “junkin’” and bought this little dog that looked like “Sunny” and then my friend Dana surprised me with cake!

Little did she know she’d be starting a tradition…your birthday will be remembered from now on by enjoying some sort of outrageously delicious cake!

I am officially declaring January 30th “Cake with Your Mama Day”.

If you still have your mama, go see her or call her and catch up over cake!

If your mama is in heaven like mine, sit with someone you love and let love lead your reminiscing or just your making time to be together.

Whatever you plans today, make time for cake!

Then share the love and yumminess of your day!!!

Yay for cake!

#cakewithyourmamaday

The Book of Luke, 24 Days of Jesus – An Advent Experience

Hope has come.

The cardinal came and this time I paused to watch.

Bright red body perched on a leafless limb, it rested momentarily and then one, two, three little jumps, it was on the highest of the branches, facing forward towards me unmoved by the window.

Then it moved, it was on its way.

I’m now 14 chapters into the Book of Luke and every day has been a new takeaway.

A friend mentioned hope today and as God would have it, hope is what resonated in Chapter 14 for me, hope when all seems lost, hope that longs to be found, not overlooked, not less than all it truly is and can be.

Hope that we need.

Jesus gave hope to an ailing man on a Sunday although the religious leaders chastised him for doing so.

He told the disciples to take the seat that wasn’t so lofty, not to assume you deserve to be there.

Sit in the lowly place, you might eventually be called to a seat of our honor.

But when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place, so that when your host comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at table with you. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted. Luke 14:10-12

Jesus told a parable about a master’s grand event, a banquet to which all those invited made excuses, declining the invitation. So, the master told the servants, go out and invite others.

Invite the hopeless, the hapless, the crippled, the perceived unfit.

The banquet room was filled because they came, the others went unfulfilled, their choice leading to them not being invited again.

Can you imagine what they must have missed?

He is the song for the suffering 
He is Messiah 
The Prince of Peace has come 
He has come, Emmanuel Light of the World Lauren Daigle

Jesus calls us to take our hope with us as we go, wherever we go.

Hope that causes question, hope that is unashamed to sit with those that look, from our sometimes lofty positions, like shame.

Those who look like less than us and those who we believe are so much more.

Hope shows no partiality.

It welcomes in the unwelcome and challenges us to have no absolutes, no presumptions or assumptions.

Everyone is fighting a battle we know nothing of.

Hope is here. It has come, Jesus, the light of our world.

Listen in to a song from someone who shared her hope in a place that caused questions from some. She sang her song anyway.

Light of the World

The Book of Luke, 24 Days of Jesus – An Advent Experience

No Fear Now

Yesterday, the birds were gathering outside the window. I saw their shadows and the way they intersected the sun, a flash and dimming of the light coming in.

I didn’t turn to watch them, I missed their morning dance.

Instead, I was intent on the details, I was recording my fear. There were three nightmares and three pages of journal, trying to decipher the power and realistic terror of each of them.

Now, they’ve faded away, their scariness has passed and their power over my day, finally waned.

Jesus, God’s Son came to eliminate our fears. There’s no fear in love and His love came to take away our fears.

He told the disciples to fear one thing, evil, the authority that keeps us in fear, tries hard to keep our thoughts from heaven, to cast us into Hell.

To keep us kept by our nightmares, our minds pulling out the bad stuff in our sleep and it dancing dirty dances all night long. It is crazy, evil’s power making buried stuff come out to play, to mess with our peace , to derail our good days.

It is evil.

Jesus said fear is never from me, be assured, you’re worth so much to me.

“Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.” Luke‬ ‭12:6-7‬ ‭ESV‬‬

There’s no fear in love.

Grief, like a terrible nightmare makes me afraid, a different and try as I might, unavoidable afraid.

Christmas comes with grief. It would be wrong not to long for those we lost; yet, that longing turns to sadness. We imagine times when we’d all love to just sit around and laugh and be happy over our happy times with those we miss, those we loved. It’s not that simple, that simplifying of grief.

All the more reason to draw near to Jesus, no masks are worn in His presence. He alone sees our anxious and sad, pretending not to be, hearts.

Do not be afraid. He knows grief sometimes feels like fear.

“”Fear not, little flock.”

‭‭Luke‬ ‭12:32‬ ‭ESV‬‬

No one ever told me grief felt so like fear. C.S. Lewis

I avoided the dancing birds. I was hoping not to see the red bird. I longed to see them most days, but, for a little while I felt different than before.

The bird rushing past my work window, a flash of brilliant red or the subdued female hue, I looked away.

This time avoiding the reminder that it’s not really you, only symbolic of you, my father and my mother.

I’ll see them again I know and I’ll accept the gift of their appearing.

A gift of love, a gift that holds no fear.

If I listen closely I might hear “Stop being afraid, Lisa Anne” and I may see my daddy looking over at her before nodding a yes, quietly and simply nodding “yes”.

Always, yes.

The Book of Luke – 24 Days of Jesus, An Advent Experience

Possible Impossibilities

I wake to have my interest peaked as I scan my emails. Try, try again or consider those kind of doors closed?

The idea of submission has captured me again.

Lord, tell me what to say.

Jesus had a captive audience. His presence caused men, women and children to be drawn towards him.

He was a teacher enthused over his lesson plan, he wanted everyone who listened to learn, to be changed by their learning.

He sat one day on the edge of a fishing boat, the fishermen must have called it a day and so Jesus perched himself on the edge and faced the crowd who had gathered on the shore.

Big crowds must have followed him all around, maybe pausing to answer others’ curious questions.

Where are you going?

Who is this man named Jesus anyway?

Why are you following him?

Isn’t he just Joseph’s son?

Do you really believe what they’re saying?

Have you actually seen him do the things people are saying he can do?

Could it be possible?

Simon thought he knew more than Jesus. Jesus told him to let down the nets, to put the boat back in the water, to go and try again.

Simon told Jesus we’ve tried all night and no luck, essentially “nary a bite” man!

Jesus told him try again.

“Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, he asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people from the boat. And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.” And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking. They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink.”

‭‭Luke‬ ‭5:3-7‬ ‭ESV‬‬

I have a paperweight on my desk that says “something wonderful will happen today”, another that says “you haven’t failed until you give up” and a solid and smooth rock engraved with one word, “soar”.

On occasion I notice them, rarely really.

Instead I recall unexpected rescues, kindnesses that correct my budgetary mistakes, staff who encourage me, endure my negativity and cynicism.

A family who supports my work, supports and stands by me.

I see God coming through in ways that come from my keeping on, keeping an even keel.

I know the bountiful catch is coming and I put down my net and maybe just wait. I do my part, I rest.

I listen to sincere encouragement, I discern in the faces and reactions and even the decisions of others.

Whether here or there or even anywhere, are the places I place my words and my art, the places I “let my net down” that came back empty before, now possibly to reap a joyful multiplication that will honor God, nudge others towards Him.

Jesus, God’s son came to earth to use earthly objects and experiences to teach us to hope.

Teachable moments like a burnt out and hopeless fisherman, expert at his trade who wasn’t having a good fishing day.

Jesus suggested he try again.

Advent, a time to prepare ourselves for the hope of Christmas.

Jesus, the Messiah.

He is our hope, the hope of all mankind.

We must do these things we think we cannot do, we must believe again in the possible impossibilities.

What will you try, try again that you thought you may as well give up?

Big things have small beginnings and small things with repetition and resolve come through.

Try. Try again.

The Book of Luke – 24 Days of Jesus, an Advent Experience

It Matters to Me

Luke, Chapter 3 is evidence of the writer’s intellect, I decide. Luke, a physician explored and recorded the lineage of Jesus. It would be easy to avoid the 15 verses with challenging names, like skipping over the Book of Leviticus on yet another plan to read through the Bible.

But, it is relevant, this lineage, this record of ancestry.

All the relatives of Joseph and thereby Jesus, the Son of God.

“the son of Enos, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.”

‭‭Luke‬ ‭3:38‬ ‭ESV‬‬

It matters to me, the humanity of Jesus, the lining up of people, just like the people lined up before me.

Makes me reflect on our genetics and our similarities, the ones before me, making straight my way through the memories of their own ways.

“Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall become straight, and the rough places shall become level ways,”

‭‭Luke‬ ‭3:5‬ ‭ESV‬‬

My grandma made the best of paths she may have thought might be straight, she made it through the crooked places and leveled her life with scripture and determination, she always made a way.

I told my “Aunt Boo” that I felt my grandma with me and in me. I’ve sold hand-painted Christmas cards this year.

I remembered her carefully designing her velvety Christmas ornaments, covered in pieces and parts of old jewelry.

She used the long stick pins and carefully created elaborate pieces. I see her now.

She’s in the room they added on, the double bed filled up the room and there was space just wide enough for her beside it. She retreated to this place, I was invited in to sit quietly on the bed.

A dresser was covered with sectioned flat containers, sparkly, metallic, extravagant and antique. She stood for hours, her tiny frame steady, her hands working constantly. No words spoken and her mouth set just so, her tongue tipped up toward the curve of her lip, peeking through, she worked with her mouth “set just right”.

She was industrious. She placed the ornaments in big flat boxes and with her little memorandum pad, she loaded her car and she made her deliveries.

I am forever impacted by her choice to pursue something so joyful, to do something that was fully and completely her choice to do.

It matters to me, this characteristic of my grandmother in me.

I’ve been selling my art again.

Luke reminds us that everything is purposeful and everything matters.

In the first verses of Chapter 3, John begins to tell of a new concept, repentance and forgiveness of sins. Isaiah the prophet had written of John, a voice that would come from the wilderness. The same John who “jumped” in his mother, Elizabeth’s womb while in the room with Mary, pregnant with Jesus, this John would baptize many and baptize Jesus.

And Jesus heard his father, God say, “you are my son”.

“Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heavens were opened, and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form, like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.””

‭‭Luke‬ ‭3:21-22‬ ‭ESV‬‬

It’s doubtful I’ll ever be a theologian, doubtful I’ll return to any further education.

Life and God are my teachers now.

Life, the enormity of it around me, exposure to wisdom, thoughts, experiences. God helps me see the relevance of Him in it all.

I’ve just finished reading an article I’ll read again and maybe more. The wisdom of a man over why his ancestry is significant, why clarity matters, why approaching things hidden or unexplored is something we all should do.

It is never too late.

Two gentlemen, both guys who are wise and caring and ones I respect, pointed me in the direction of this piece.

Bruce Springsteen

We are all individuals formed by those who made us. Our heredity is more than physical, it is experiential.

It is a brave choice to consider the weaving of our ways, to look at them and say, oh, I see now this horrible or wonderful thing, how it made me, me.

Some might wonder what these thoughts have to do with Christmas. I get that.

I don’t know why; but, I said a long series of “thank you, Gods” beside my bed today. It began and then just became a spontaneous building of more and more. God kept up the conversation, brought to memory all of my before to say hey, look at now!

This life I have, this life I know.

It is absolutely a life of hope. My lineage and my life experiences at one time convinced me it could never be so.

Like Luke details the way the 30 year old Jesus came to be, it is similar for you and me.

The breath of heaven that brought Jesus is the same breath of God that created you and me.

On purpose and with purpose that life causes us to sometimes lose. I told someone yesterday I wish I hadn’t returned to art so late in life.

One of my thank yous this morning was that I am here and I have art and life and so much more.

I have hope.

Advent, the days before Christmas, these are the days to have hope.

It matters to me that my grandma chose hope, that she became independent in her pursuit of making beautiful things, that she was about my age when she began this thing that kept her captivated, made her feel significant, brought joy to so many.

It matters to me that I got to see what I didn’t understand as hope back then, but understand it now.

She prepared the way for me. I pray I’m preparing the way for my own daughter, my son and all the other children yet to come.

Luke, a Book about the life of Jesus. I’m no seminarian, I’m just sharing what he’s bringing to light …24 Days of Jesus, my Advent Experience.

Hope.

November Like Grace

Yesterday, the tiniest of yellow leaves were dancing down around my friend and I. We were happy to be likeminded over loving the frenzied leaves falling down, likeminded in our acceptance of our imperfections and our wonderings. We didn’t say so, but now

I think we both were thinking likely, of grace.

November, I welcomed you! Hard to say clearly why. Surely it’s not the hustle and bustle of holiday coming that makes holiday so unholy, so hurried and so “un” divine.

October felt so lengthy, intense, its work , its worries and its waiting.

November, for some reason felt like corner turning, drawing nearer to the fruition of a more solid settling.

And then yesterday and later, I heard of death by suicide and I read a sister’s story of her brother’s too soon death due to addiction.

I couldn’t, can’t stop thinking of how haphazard life can be, how some of us get tripped up and fall and get back up and safely carry on.

Sadly, not all.

Some make it, find the resolve to continue, and the continuation of that resolve, in increments assures no more falls.

It’s a precarious world we’re slap dab in the middle of. My friend and I talked, yesterday because we’re aware, we’re not able to avoid or willing to turn blind eyes.

We’ve had people in our midst, their struggles are more than just speculation or someone else’s issue. We are with others and we have seen evidence.

Evidence of hopelessness. Evidence of fear. Evidence of doubt and evidence of destruction slowly through either addictive indulgence or addictive control or addictive forlorn failing feelings.

Either way, it seems hope is in high demand, kindness, persistence, refusal to avoid and if you can, when you can just demonstrate deliberately that you care.

Sometimes, though it’s not that simple. Your kindness is less than a drop in a deep ancient well.

You do what you can, keep dropping your love there.

I’m still happy it’s November despite learning of new deaths.

I’m still happy for November and Saturday and the way the cold caused my toes to curl when I let the dog out.

Happy that I spent time reading my Bible, not scanning, delving deeply in to what Paul told Timothy and what God told him to tell me.

And you.

Today.

We still have this hope. That Christ died for us so that we could live, not so that we could be perfect or withstand all our falls from grace and flat on our faces falls; but, so that we would see His face when we pick ourselves up to rise.

That we’d continue to do our best.

That we come closer to an understanding of our lives here, our lives are meant to be His, to be lived out based on our rescued from the fall, faith.

Maybe through us, others will see grace.

Maybe through others we see it too.

“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.”

‭‭Galatians‬ ‭2:20-21‬ ‭ESV‬‬

There’s an old hymn we used to sing called “People Need the Lord”. When I was a member of the choir, I’d suggest we sing it more. There didn’t seem to be a Sunday someone might need to know and believe that in these days, we need the Lord.

We’re not able on our own.

We live in a world of simply not knowing what may come, whether someone we love might fall.

Remembering now the sister’s heartbreak over her brother and another’s trauma that has her trapped in a deadly self harm cycle, I wonder if my words are unwelcome, if my hope will be a hindrance, hokey.

I understand. Grief is not a quick thing, hope is not on grief’s horizon. If it’s anywhere it’s around the bend of some crazy and unthinkable scary roads.

Hope is rarely on the mind of grief. I imagine hope as a sweet child with little words, only telling grief, I’ll come out Sir or Ma’am, when it’s my turn to join the grown up table.

And then it sits down together with grief and it sweetly adds its beauty and peace to those dining habitually over their mundane plates, changing slowly the place, the setting.

Like a hopeful child it may not be my place to add comment or conclusion at times.

Last week, I realized clearly that my insights, my intelligence and my speaking incessantly about how much I care about heartbreak and tragedy are insignificant to the person in their grief, their trauma, their fear.

I sat with the truth of that for a long time. Depleted from the knowledge of nothing I can do and the acceptance of it, I courted thoughts of giving up, of being a more silent spokesperson, of staying in the background, kind of keeping to myself what help I may know.

There’s value in that, giving what you can when you run across a need, otherwise just waiting and knowing people know you’re there.

November, it’s only day 3 and you’re really schooling me!

You’re refining my understanding of brokenness and you’ve got a steady eye on the fire that’s creating me as valuable, a vessel for pouring out my knowledge my and hope.

You through me.

Made to know you, to worship you.

To reveal my hope.

Hope that is needed.

Hope incomprehensible, hope that others need.

Farther along, we’ll understand vividly, so clearly, the why of everything.

I love so very much, this folksy rendition, this truth and song.

Farther Along

November, I see your reason, my naming you my turning of season.

Grace, November, you are feeling like grace. I’m grateful you found me again

For catching my almost fall back in to what looks like sadness that is actually fear.

31 Days, Freely – When

“The monarchs are migrating.” I offered as if I knew anything at all about butterfly migration or Fall.

“It’s amazing how far they travel, they’re on the way now,” he added a foreign place I can’t remember and told me how he had read of their journey, how they were created to become beautiful and then to fly.

I know nothing about such things, I’ve only heard about this, I realize.

I sit with my feet in the sand in the place that was clear for us, a wide space, no other people in our space.

They kept flying near along with the dragonfly, landing or flirting with the possibility of resting near my chair.

I tried to capture the image, they only captured my fascination.

Walking, the next day before leaving, I saw another one there. This one, in the rubble of raked debris, just lying there.

The Lab was distracted as I bent to collect it, a small one, I kept it in my hand.

Knowing that it was landed there softly for my finding.

Knowing every little thing on my path is significant to my story.

Yesterday, we gave $5 to a woman with a sign. She reached through my window and I avoided her eyes, “God bless you today for this.” she said and then the light changed and I led us on our way towards food in the hungry and impatient line of cars.

My husband wondered about her worthiness and we both decided his observation might be right.

Then we chose to let go of our judgment, to let be what will be with her intentions, only feel sure ours were good and hopeful and done in love we certainly didn’t consider ever having for her at all.

Not her, nor the shaken young woman, mistaken somehow in her driving, causing our accident. It is best to love her although it makes no sense at all.

I woke this morning deciding not to judge her, nor the others who may have been off track, trying to get back on.

Deciding love is better, costs so very little at all.

When we choose love, people get the best of us, they get to see Jesus coming through because there’s no way we’d ever be so consistent with mercy at all.

“We love because he first loved us.”

‭‭1 John‬ ‭4:19‬ ‭ESV‬‬

I’m not able own my own.

When we love, we aren’t able to judge. When we really love, there’s no sense or room for judgment, at all.