In the Waiting

The irony of waiting is that it does not mean doing nothing at all. It means not doing things you know are not yours to do, things like anxiously putting yourself in places that might bring notice, like checking to see if a painting sold when you know you’ll find out at the already established time, it’s not calling four times when the caller shouldn’t be you but from the one you’re set to hear back from.

What waiting is, is knowing God is working and you keep moving you don’t sit still.

You move unburdened because you know He knows.

You left it with Him.

It’s a glorious walk that becomes a free run on a day all of a sudden you notice you’re not as heavy as before, oh, again you can run.

And so you run with music in your soul and your ears. You run. You run as you wait for your triumph to unfold.

He’s in the waiting. Take courage. Stay steady.

“Slow down, take time

Breath in He said

He’d reveal what’s to come

The thoughts in His mind

Always higher than mine

He’ll reveal all to come

Take courage my heart

Stay steadfast my soul

He’s in the waiting

He’s in the waiting

Hold onto your hope

As your triumph unfolds

He’s never failing

He’s never failing.”

Bethel

#takecourage #hesinthewaiting #quietconfidenceartandword

Accomplishing Little with God – Blog post #821

Have you ever known a leaf to sprout from a tiny brand new planted seed?

A seed like the ones we planted in paper Dixie cups and watched to see the bright tiny green come up from the black dirt?

The butter bean plant would sprout and then we’d watch granddaddy put it in the ground to wait expectantly for the beans.

Waiting back then was so sweet, shellin’ peas and beans and pulling up dirt covered peanuts to pluck them from the green stems as we sat in the back of an old truck.

And later with dirty hands and bliss, we’d eat huge bowls of briny deliciousness.

Maybe children understand process, maybe waiting was learned through simple participation.

Anticipation was not anxious, it was more moving a little closer to what we’d grown to know.

On Monday, God offered an option, pointed me towards a reprieve from my incessant seeking to hurry up and become what I had yet to see.

Pending needs were not being met by responses from others.

Getting things done meant waiting for others to deliver on their part to me.

Then Tuesday came like a gift of a day and I accepted it like the joy it was indeed.

I let unfinished business lie in the places I’d left it, the tasks, the obligations, my initiations towards finishes.

I stood in my morning kitchen and stared at my feet.

Fascinated by the calm colors, the image of me, steady and still, planted.

Told myself, today is for the baby, baby Elizabeth and your girl.

It was a good day for sure!

And now, here’s half a day gone, middle of the week Wednesday.

I’m at a standstill, a snail’s pace, dependent on others.

My to do list with no new strikethroughs!

Unfinished tasks on my mind and underfoot and uncertainty over the current vagueness of my vocation.

Paint, write, assist, consult…which way, which road?

Dropping hints about my skills and being available, my multiple seeds.

“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” Jesus

‭‭John‬ ‭12:24‬ ‭

Have you ever considered “waiting and trusting” a sacrifice?

The sacrifice God wants is my trust, for me not to meander away from who He says I am in futile attempts to hurry up and be a better version of me.

Have you let God plant you in the soil He intends to grow you or do you resist what seems like nothing, impatient and worried?

Has your identity changed, what you were known for been taken, now different?

Does it feel as if your thing you thought was yours has been stolen?

Is it hard to see that God has better for you because you’re so attached to before?

To accomplishing much?

My mama used to say “Turn the page.”

God is saying, I think to me, “Plant new seeds.”

He knows you, knows me. His ways are deeper and higher. His soil is richer.

Know Him, know the best version of you.

Also on Monday, I discovered I have 820 blog posts out in the world.

I have no desire to perform any sort of comparative analysis of me when I began and the me I am now.

I sure hope I’ve stayed honest through them all, that if I leaned toward know it all or cutesy commentary that the handful of readers gave me mercy back then.

And the ones who hung around when I wrote about loving the sky and the sounds of the birds.

No worries, that Lisa Anne is still here.

Here on this Wednesday when I’m at a loss over what to do for an income.

No set vocation and it’s noon and my husband just stood in the doorway to say…”You’re still in your pajamas…”

He smiled when I answered “Yes, things are not coming together again today.”

Strangely for him, he offered no suggestion. He let it rest.

And as he left the room to cut grass or hedges I reminded myself the third day in a row, you’ve done your part, just wait for God to take it wherever it is meant to go.

To grow.

The Clearing

Where are you going? Who are you becoming?

What scared you that is not so scary anymore?

Are you on the cusp of you, giving God the corner piece you held in your palm in your lap at the table, leaving your puzzle unfinished.

Were you afraid to give up the missing piece of your story because it’s been incomplete for so very long?

Being complete will be different, do you worry you won’t fit?

The unafraid puzzle of you?

Someone has trimmed the branches, removed the excess growth from the shrubbery.

The walking trail has clean borders, limbs and weeds are stacked in a corner on the curve pile.

I walk and hear the rustling, turn to see the bird.

Not like before, I’m not startled by the rustling, unable to know what was stirring in the brush.

I’d pick up my pace, oddly thinking I was being pursued and I walked as fast as I could from the source of the noise.

But, yesterday the clearing caused my turning, a small rabbit, baby bunny waiting to be seen and a trio of crows happy to have discovered a nest.

The squirrel in the undergrowth scurried up a tree, a cobalt blue butterfly fluttered past my cheek.

The elusive blue bird again made certain it had been seen.

I walked on towards the wide space grateful for the clearing.

In the evening I drove home later than I’d planned and the traffic was easy, the big trucks staying in their lanes.

I considered the wide sky, the 3/4 moon fuzzy from clouds to my left and drove straight into the place that kept me coming.

Beckoning me forward, causing me to want to call my daughter or anyone.

Have you seen this sky?

Knowing every person on earth should see it, the way God welcomes our notice.

The way He takes fear from our paths, the way He widens our walkways and calls us to see.

To see ourselves bravely and more clearly once we step into His clearing.

And continue.

Continue and believe.

“This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him.”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭91:2‬ ‭NLT‬‬

linking up with other writers who are writing about goals.

My goal?

Faithfulness to continue on brave new paths.

https://fiveminutefriday.com/2019/06/13/fmf-writing-prompt-link-up-goal/amp/?__twitter_impression=true

Grace Awaits

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!

Towards What is Yours

A life lived reluctantly is not what God has in mind for any of us.

Paul reminded me this morning in a passage that’s a paragraph with multiple underlines from a time and times before.

“Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.

Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own.

But one thing I do:

forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained.”

‭‭Philippians‬ ‭3:12-16‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Beckoning me to remember who I was before when I’m disappointed in who I am now.

Reminding me it’s not at all easy, otherwise he’d not have used words like “pressing” and “strain”.

Paul’s words are true and valuable, validation for me that I’m not who I was before.

He wrote that God will let us know when we think otherwise about what is most important, the “upward” call, the movement of our motivation based on our relationship with Him.

Look up, Lisa Anne.

Look up and move forward, learning even more than what you thought was enough so far.

Learn from the pressing, the straining, the uncomfortable rub of life that is making new wine from your bitter grapes.

Continue and believe.

Continue towards the goodness that is yet to be fully known.

Secrets and Growth and Peace

I believe God is pleased that we think of Him, ponder, consider His ways.

“Does not wisdom call out? Does not understanding raise her voice?”

‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭8:1‬ ‭NIV‬‬

That’s just another example of His grace.

I believe God sees our gradual growth and celebrates rather than pontificates over why on earth has it taken her so long to arrive here, why can’t she stay in this place?

I believe God is simply happy to see our return, our return to believing that He knows.

I’m certain that morning is the most optimum time for gentle instruction.

I’ve not a clue as to why I woke up this morning with the question to myself.

How are you waking, with regret or redemption?

Why, oh why must I wake with such deep considerations?

Or maybe we all do, just keep them to ourselves.

Makes good sense, your brain filters your thoughts all through the night, transfers them to the place where the finished and important product, a lesson is delivered.

Voila’! Here you go! This message is just for you! God

Are you smiling now, imagining God saying “Voila'”?

Me too.

I think sometimes I think the oddest things and then realize there is always a reason.

A secret waiting to be revealed.

To be researched, to be determined what it is exactly God wants me to know, to hold on to as my own.

Wants me to u-turn, don’t go back that way, you were progressing, see now…stay here.

Be at peace.

“For God is not a God of confusion but of peace.

‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭14:33‬ ‭ ESV

Someone called this morning by accident. Her Bluetooth dialed the wrong Lisa. I knew her voice, thought Lord have mercy, did I call her and forget I did?!

But, I hadn’t and she reminded me of our relationship which led to me telling her what I’m doing now, hoping to use my grant writing skills to work with causes I believe in.

And that led to her telling me she had “chills” now because of an idea she has to strengthen the cause she is over.

We talked about it further and even longer about our faith, about how God wakes us to new opportunities every day and how none of them are accidents.

I considered her truth.

She considered mine as I shared with her my waking thought, regret or redemption, which will you choose to frame your day?

She said “Oh, that’s wise.” “Thanks”, I said and thought, thank you God for this confirmation of my next steps and direction.

Of letting some things go unattended to give my energy to what is new, even unseen, sort of brewing.

So, what is this state of mind and heart called “spiritual maturity”?

It is waking with regret less often in light of your redemption.

It is waking with the clear and attainable path towards peace.

It is recalling the stuff you felt God telling you to do afraid even if there’s fear in the room because there’s a reason you don’t know that God wants you to go, to be something He sees as necessary for others in the room.

He has us go places we don’t understand.

It is being attentive to a nudge that becomes a lengthy pause because you are still enough to become more wise, to receive either good or disappointing clarity so that your peace is not stolen and so that you grow.

That’s redemption, my friend.

Understanding what it is that is the taker of and opposing force of your peace.

Spiritual maturity is a splendid and secretly personal gift.

It is a fervent fire inside kept alive by your yearning to learn more, know more of God.

It is an acknowledgment of better days, contented minds, and restful nights because of your redemptive choice to forgo regret.

It is knowing you are still growing. It is glimpses of the secret place, the view of you through God’s eyes.

Smile.

It is not always easy, nor is it difficult at all.

The secret for me, intentional choosing which thoughts I allow to write scary, hurtful and impossible to understand stories.

“For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.”

‭‭Romans‬ ‭8:6‬ ‭ESV‬‬

To set my mind on the awakening things of my mornings.

Lord, help me to stay quiet enough to know which way to stay my thoughts and which way my words and work should go. Because of your redemptive mercy towards me, Amen

By Grace Consecrated

I cannot explain the way or the why of how this happens; but, it happens with regularity and it happens suddenly with slow unraveling upon my waking to begin a day.

I woke up and found myself curious over the word “consecrate”.

“God understands the way to it, and he knows its place.”

‭‭Job‬ ‭28:23‬ ‭ESV

Yesterday evening I adjusted my route. The breeze was without a thick heat and the trees were swaying only slightly as if escorting the predicted storm away.

Gently. Not today.

I’ve been walking this way for most of my grown up life. My saying, “unraveling the day” is an explanation that is for me, succinct.

A great day was Saturday, no other way to describe the time. A college graduation, a daughter and son and family together. It was truly celebratory, memorable like no other before.

I am in between things.

Now waiting for the any moment call, it’s time for baby, we are on our way to the hospital.

We will be grandparents.

I’ve told people when speaking of my resignation after ten years that I’ve got lots of “balls in the air” and that I’m hoping to establish a rhythm, get into a “mojo” of work from home.

Soon I’ll be helping with a baby and still working in some way, using what I’ve learned and hoping to combine it with my faith to help others while gaining just enough income.

Yes, this has been my response to interested individuals who are either thrilled for my new role or who question what on earth is she thinking…no income, no position, no dependable check every month?

I’ve been stuffing it down. People who are skeptics, people who have no faith in leaps of faith like this.

I walked yesterday and saw the sun making shadows on the open field now overgrown with high grass and weeds with fluffed up looking tops reminding me of lace, tiny yellow buds here and there.

I always pause. God is near.

Agree with God and be at peace. Job 22:21

I like the way God lays His light down in layers. Different all the time, different prompts and patterns.

I continued and thought to jog but didn’t.

Felt no need for further self-punishment.

I walked on and changed my path to circle back uphill through every single shady cul de sac.

There was no rush, I took the back way and reversed my pattern, uphill first then downhill the rest of the way on the trail.

The evening drawing nearer as I stepped over the roots forcing through the hard pavement trail, I paused in front of my favorite field and noticed a dandelion.

The sunlight landed on its little circle of soft peach fuzzy head. It stood alone in the high tangle of weeds.

I’m certain it was for me.

I stepped forward, walked with renewed conviction.

I’ll just get up the same way every morning and make each day my vocation.

I’ll go about my day with intentionality and pursuit of God’s ways.

My first journal entry, May 6th?

An intentional life, my prayer.

  • Clarity – where to go, what to do, to create, to initiate
  • Commitment – go there and see it through, finish what you begin.
  • Consecrated- do all of it for God.

I’m not a biblical scholar.

I happen upon wise words and want to understand them, want to have them make me more than what I see, what tiny bit I know of me, I seek to solve the mysteries of me.

To consecrate means to make or declare something holy, to a higher purpose, even a divine one.

Is it possible that all I do means more than a finish, the attainment of a goal, an outcome resulting from input, the result of my knowledge and hands?

It is possible if we believe we are loved by God, created for more than what we can see.

God understands the way to it, this consecrated daily life.

He knows how to make new wine of our old bitter tastes.

He desires to make us vessels of new.

Consecrated is a word mostly found in the Old Testament, difficult to understand, ritualistic often and sometimes about laws and food deemed unfit.

I considered what if I thought of all I do a return of my grace for God’s grace towards me.

What if I returned to God His investment in me through my investment of all I do for Him, a divine ROI?

Perhaps deciding to do everything from a place of love in light of grace bestowed me makes consecration easier to understand.

For it is grace that brought me thus far and grace that has and will lead me on.

Grace like a phone call just now to arrange a meeting, a program seeking my grantwriting knowledge to discuss my alignment with their mission becoming more understood and known.

A phone call I thought might come yet did not with certainty know.

An opportunity no longer hanging up in the air, a ball clutched in the palm of my hand now captive with the possibility to be divinely pursued, my work through God’s hands and my prayer.

A clear expression of God’s love for me in this place of uncertainty layered thickly with faith.

Be persuaded, timid soul, that He has loved you too much to cease loving you. Francois de la Mothe Fe’nelon

I asked God to help me understand what it means to live consecrated and he led me to the Book of Job, a chronicle of a good and godly man who was met by trouble and tragedy that made absolutely no sense at all.

Job never stopped believing in a God that knew all. Job lived a consecrated life, refused to trade his understanding of it all for the possibility of losing what He knew, God.

“For God speaks in one way, and in two, though man does not perceive it. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls on men, while they slumber on their beds,”

‭‭Job‬ ‭33:14-15‬ ‭ESV‬‬

I’m paying more attention to my morning thoughts, less prone to reach for my phone or to jump up quickly from my bed.

There are important and enlightening ways for me to go, not rushing, more resting.

Waiting for His clarity to guide my committed pursuit and to follow His lead, with intentional steps towards what might help someone, less haphazard, though ever imperfect, my pursuit of Holy and divine.

Every morning, grace comes my way and I am learning to listen.

“And I will give him the morning star.”

‭‭Revelation‬ ‭2:28‬ ‭ESV‬‬

To believe and continue.

Consecrated by grace.

Gonna Be Okay

It may be just me.

I caught just a bit of the Billboard Music Awards last night.

Flipping channels and asking myself, why do I even watch television anymore? I’m out of so many loops, especially those about thrones and people who walk around dead.

I’ll watch “A Chef’s Table” fascinated by the stories of phenomenal cooks or HGTV, try to guess which house they choose.

I am drawn to seeing a little of people, somehow drawn to knowing them from their facial expression or their conversation.

I’ve always been this way.

So, I paused in my channel flipping.

Kelly Clarkson announced that Lauren Daigle would be next to perform her breakout crossover hit, “You Say”.

It’s a song really for everyone and I abhor conflict so I’m not too fixated on how people are angry over her crossing over in lots of ways and in places she’s been invited to sing her song.

Her song is an anthem, one meant for all.

So, I watched and listened as her voice began, coming in at the right time prompted by the crystalline sounding piano intro.

She started softly, a little reserved or nervous.

Shaky it seemed she was.

It was a live performance and it seemed to me she felt a bit hemmed in.

Awkward even as she continued.

She continued into the chorus backed by three singers who as they added their echo their reply to her “and I believe!” , their arms raised up in rhymes, like a self embrace.

They, it seemed were each owning, demonstrating and saying to the world.

I believe.

As she continued she grew stronger it seemed to me, more free, more her and more confident of her calling on this different than her usual stage.

I scanned the audience. Many were connected to her performance. Other faces seemed not to understand, either questioning what is the message of this song or

Maybe they felt a sense of being loved by her being there, her singing her song she is now known for.

“So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.”

‭‭John‬ ‭13:34‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Maybe there were cynics. Maybe there were those who had no idea who and what she was referring to when she sang her statement lines:

Taking all I have now and I’m laying it at your feet. You have every failure God, you’ll have every victory.

Maybe some wondered what in the world does that mean?

Or wait, I thought this song was about believing in yourself or having a relationship with someone who says you should.

It does.

The song ended with an noticeable “ohh” in Lauren Daigle’s raspy tone.

It was a worthy ending as if to say, from my perspective at least, I’ve done this God.

I’ve performed the song you gave me on this huge scary stage.

I have gotten through this. I was scared as I started; but, you helped me through.

You helped me continue and finish the thing you aligned for me to do.

Maybe others didn’t see what I saw. That’s okay, I was impacted by her presence and her performance.

In case you’ve not heard or need to be reminded, here it is:

You Say

Prompted me to know I’ll be put in places I might be afraid to go.

I will go.

God will be with me.

It’s gonna be okay.

A couple of weeks ago I was asked to pray the prayer for families at this evening’s National Day of Prayer event. I was asked I was told because of my lifetime of working with families.

I do not know what my prayer will be. I am imperfect in my own family experiences. I could freeze as I’m introduced, thinking what if everyone knows how I haven’t always been a prayerful girl, mama, wife or woman? I could have the words choke me when I try to summon them up. I’ve been a single mama, not always the best one at it.

But, just like Lauren, God sets the stage, we just step forward.

About a month ago, I was interviewed by a local magazine about my choice to retire. The question was posed “What do you want your grandchild to know?”

I answered

I want my grandchild to know that the most important thing is love, is loving one another.

A couple of weeks later the request came, that I pray the prayer for families. It was followed by a letter with the agenda and the header on the letter featuring 2019’s theme.

Love one another.

There are no accidents with God.

There are no opportunities brought our way that He will not equip us to carry out.

You and I are loved by a loving God. A God that takes hold of our shaking hand until we can breath without pressure and waits until we are ready to speak, to sing, to pray.

I believe what you say of me!

It’s gonna be okay.

The Gift of Memory

A friend is praying that God would give me memory.

I’ve lost something I haven’t needed in years and I cannot find it, my college diploma.

Yesterday, my pregnant daughter asked if I remembered a certain pain and I didn’t, so I blamed it on one thing I did remember harshly…when it was actually another, my lack of memory,

Then told her it’s true what they say.

You don’t remember the pain once your baby is here.

I’m wondering if my friend’s prayers are stirring my memories as a whole, of all sorts of things.

I woke with first thought, prayer.

God, help me to know you more.

There are disjointed possibilities in my life, a new one popped up yesterday. I gotta circle back around, finish multiple things, my mind and plans chaotic over stuff begun and not finished

My thoughts are all over the place.

I make the coffee, open the door for fresh air and I remember.

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.”

‭‭James‬ ‭1:5‬ ‭ESV‬‬

An elderly couple lived below us, my younger brother and me. We were not quiet apartment dwellers. We were single and in our 20’s. We frequented “River Street” in Savannah and found our way back home safely, how?

God only knows.

I watched them on Sundays, they’d come and go clutching Bibles, holding hands.

I avoided them in my comings and goings until one day in the stairwell, I came face to face with the husband, a sharply dressed gentleman.

I asked, “How can I know God’s will?”

He answered simply, “Know God.”

That was two decades ago and his answer left me hanging, left me lacking not longing. I wanted so much more than an answer so broad.

I desired a quick list or an easy plan.

I wanted it “one and done” for me, quickly fix me, God, I know you can!

Perfection, I yearned for, had no understanding of grace, God’s patience, His allowance of progression.

How in the world could we imagine God’s will as only quick when, after all, He has us and the whole world in His hands? He orders our seconds, minutes, hours and days. Their unfolding, He knows.

I understand the simplicity yet mystery now.

His pursuit of me is graceful and grace-filled.

There’s no end road to knowing God’s will.

It is a beautiful unraveling, a revealing of splendor and clarity and abundance as we go.

As we go unaffected by our daze and confusion only illumined by His spirit, His dwelling within us.

How do we know God’s will? I believe we remain quietly intent in our pursuit of Him.

He knows. Just ask Him.

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

Linking up today with others at Five Minute Friday who are writing on the prompt “Lack”. https://fiveminutefriday.com/2019/04/11/fmf-writing-prompt-link-up-lack/

Change is Eventual

I’ve gotten as far as finishing my initial monthly newsletter. It is scheduled for this evening and Sundays the middle of every month to come.

“They” say that’s not the best day for sending. That’s the day that felt right for me anyway.

The initial one never went through.

Either it was confirmation of my deficient technical skills or was way “too much Lisa” not enough Him. I believe a combination of both.

I’m a work in progress. This blogging, writing thing is as much an enigma most days as me.

You’re an enigma wrapped in a riddle. my husband’s description of me

I have no idea where the form is supposed to be for followers to subscribe.

MailChimp almost got the best of me, still not a simple thing, at least not to me.

I will figure it out. Not now.

Eventually.