Perspective Shifts

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!

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.