The Audacity of Believing

After three days with no writing or painting, I returned to my “sanctuary” on Sunday afternoon.

It was as before, it was life giving, the losing track of time and paint on my hands and forehead.

All afternoon, I painted.

I followed my husband’s suggestion. He noticed I was isolating and told me to stop spending so much time in “that room”.

When I did, I thought of other things. Things other than the canvases piling up, other than hopes that seem to have no place to land in this seemingly hopeless land.

I noticed the hardships of others. I paid attention to sorrowful eyes on masked faces. I observed the way we all seem to be walking together reluctantly, like lambs headed for slaughter.

I recalled my work with depression and suicide. I recalled the one thing more important than any other.

The one in need asking for help, and the listener being committed to listening and helping.

I thought of situational depression in comparison to chemical.

I realized, maybe now (I’m not an expert) it makes no difference. Isolation, depression, anger or sullenness, no respecter of persons.

And I revisited my career long reminder.

Be kind. Everyone is fighting a hard battle.

Here we are on another Monday feeling like the never ending mystery of our days.

I turned to Matthew, today marked Chapter 7, about not judging others wrongly, considering their conditions could be yours.

I read ahead, drawn towards a healing story.

Longing to remember the healer, longing to remember the one needing healing.

Wanting to feel touched by another’s story.

This one, a single soul held captive by an ugly disease. He was a leper, one others avoided.

He was brave enough to believe and saw the throng of people along with Jesus descending from the mountain down into the valley where he stayed hidden.

He asked for help.

Jesus listened.

“And behold, a leper came to him and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.” And Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I will; be clean.” And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭8:2-3‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Today, I’ll remember those who are struggling more than most, more than me.

I’ll pray they find a listener, are able to express their pain and that the ears that welcome their anger or dismay, offer a heart and hand of patient compassion.

I pray that I am able to offer the same, whether words or canvas or eyes that smile instead of look away when I meet another seeking soul, a gentle lamb trusting God and in need of healing.

May we find each other in our quest for healing. May we continue to believe in the audacity of believing.

Continue On

Just a thought, if there were not in us, this inner spark, a fervor to run farther, a desire to see little things that set our souls to trust once and so we go looking again…would there not be a source of that motivation?

How can we say we were not purposefully created when we seek, despite all this fear and all encompassing strife, to feel that fire again?

I added color to the somber piece I called melancholy. Changed its name again. Now, it is finished and the name is settled, “Returning to Rest”.

I’ve given my available art a home of its own.

Visit here if you like:

https://lisaannetindal.com

It’s brand new and the meeting of a long angst causing goal. It wasn’t as difficult as I believed, it was just a matter of not quitting, of looking for the tiny light forward and continuing.

Continue and believe.

There’s no reason to allow the fire within you to burn to ground covered ashes because the world appears to be burning itself down.

I still have hope. Hope that endures.

How Long to Possible?

“O Lord, my heart is not lifted up; my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me. But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭131:1-2‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Before I felt the truth of belonging there, I observed the setting. Twice in my life, a very long time ago, it was offered to me, possibility.

The high school art classroom, the teacher who spilled her very own love of painting all over the room, she started my believing.

She was less instructor, more demonstrator of art as a comfort, as a passion. She was evidence of the balm of creativity.

The English Honors professor who was a tiny force of expectation, a petite woman

She refused to accept my errors.

I remember the desk I arrived early to take, first row, third seat back. I hated my poor appearance, I avoided the walking across any classroom.

The room was so small, desks barely able to allow my thick to me frame. Classmates so close, it was uncomfortable to have another’s skin so near. But, my grades categorized me as Honors and I had no idea why, only that this class was significant, I was taken seriously. This exclusive group now included me.

The professor scared the mess of out of me until she convinced me, it was my writing that got me there, that qualified me. Not my parents, not my appearance. My writing was my how.

Four decades in between the idea of belonging and possibility are hard things, heavy losses and other type accomplishments.

Chronicling the years between what could have figuratively and literally killed me, the question of how is not of importance.

The answer of now is the result of believing I belonged in both classrooms and in what life and God knew were my possibilities.

“…which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
‭‭Colossians‬ ‭1:27‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Hope and possibility, words we value so vaguely, minimizing their power.

Think of someone, some thing in your history that pulled you close enough to listen, to believe that tiny voice of ideas and dreams unsought, unfulfilled, set aside would always be there. Then, pick it back up again, unconcerned with how, knowing you’ll treasure the day in the very near future when you decided on the possible.

In us, is the glorious hope of heaven because of Jesus. When we will fully believe, the details of our how are no issue.

Only today will matter, the day of grabbing hold of our set aside possibilities.

I’m linking up with others in a time when the “how” question is heavy and complex. How did we get here? How can we fathom it ever getting better? How can I be a difference maker? I don’t provide answers to things I don’t fully know. I can only hold fast to hope and possibilities and to be more like Jesus in all my encounters.

FMF Writing Prompt Link-up :: How

Name Changer

As I painted, the painting went from soft mossy green to blue. What began as “Your New Name” moved towards a change, a new name born of a feeling,

Thoughts of doubt and waiting to see what may develop led to the change. The painting became. “Melancholy Day”.

What originally evolved from imaginative thoughts of what Eden would look like to Eve if she could return, a visitor who’d been able to forgive herself of her wrong.

A lush garden she’d be standing in, embracing the glorious view.

Instead, the canvas became more blue and representative of my melancholy mood. It’s not that she’s not strong, the female figure conjured by thoughts of Eve.

She’s just stuck for today. Increasingly uncertain of the meaning of her paintings, the value in her work, the question of its worth.

Today, the art is finished. It’s a huge unavoidably melancholy message.

But, morning brings relief and honest understanding.

It was good for the artist to get that out of her system. It was good to pour the blues onto a big enough space.

Making room for new expressions.

Continuing and believing today.

Necessary To Grow

My friend chastised me gently when I shared how I despise the money part of being an emerging artist. I underprice my work because in my mind at least I’m not giving it away.

Although I have before.

My friend, the same person who told me my gift is “mercy”, corrected me when I told her promoting my work felt uncomfortable, not godly.

She believes my art and writing are talents God gave me to impart hope to the kingdom. She told me my work is “kingdom work” and so it should be as big and impactful as possible.

I have battled big time the skills to build a website. WordPress is not the right platform, others overwhelm me.

“If you believe in a God who controls the big things, you have to believe in a God who controls the little things. It is we, of course, to whom things look ‘little’ or ‘big’.” Elisabeth Elliot

God has blessed me with many things. Paintings that touch lives and are sold, art on a gallery wall, art in a featured magazine article, art that is influenced by strength and hope.


Still, I have a hard time with some parts of it all and God tells me to just keeping creating even if your steps feel bogged down, incapable or slow.


Crawl before you walk kind of thinking. I need a website but before I take that step, I need more of a business perspective on my Instagram… So follow my art page on Instagram if you haven’t already. Numbers of followers and prices that represent the hours of work are a thing and as my dear friend told me, if you’re doing kingdom work, you want to touch a big wide kingdom with your work!

For now, I’m inviting others to follow my art page on Instagram. lisa_anneart

Happy Monday, Memorial Day, another week towards better, y’all!

More Rest than Race

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.”
‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭12:1‬ ‭NLT‬‬

It’s trendy to choose a word for the year in some circles. Make a hashtag, tag it onto your posts, think about what it means to you.

So, when I chose endurance it was a subtle choice. Not working out with a buff trainer flipping tires and doing burpees kind of intention.

No, I chose endurance because it seemed to be the mindset to the phrase I like to live.

Continue and believe.

me

It felt like a soft determination to put action and patience and steps forward. No destination or goal, just keep going.

And I liked the idea of it. It was doable.

Then the pandemic crept in and took over and I laughed a little cynical giggle, what was I thinking to choose the word endurance?

But, I didn’t let it consume me. I decided it meant what I meant it to mean.

Months have passed and the days are written in my journal with the word “surrender” written daily and circled, the thick circle somehow making me believe I could and should do it.

Because I love words I found myself not really understanding the purpose of the word and my daily circling.

I began to feel it was something different God wanted me to embrace.

Today marks the return of my very old and reliable friend.

Today, I return to trust. The word surrender can be found in the Bible in the context of battle. Not once is it found in the New Testament, only the idea of it.

I’m fully on board with idea, the idea of giving my concerns, my goals, my worries to God in surrender and letting Him filter the outcomes. I am for this for sure. I’m just more certain that now more than anything I need to recommit my mind to “trust”, the word and decision I used to scribble on my wrist before making a speech or decision.

Yes, I am returning to trust today.

And I’m sticking with endurance in my own unique way.

Believe and continue.

Trust, a good word. I hope I’m known for not quitting, not striving to be the grand winner, simply staying in the race.

Meanwhile, Painting

The finished works are piling up! Hoping I get the gumption and patience technologically to launch a proper website soon!

I suppose since I can’t seem to summarize in writing my fatigue over the unending pressure from everywhere to live in fear

I’ll paint until I can formulate understandable content about the absolute crippling in every way fear that I feel is being imposed on us all.

Stay tuned if you’re hoping I’ll put together the website which will display prints, original pieces and a place to discuss commissions.

The heron is a commission for a friend’s newly updated den. I think it’s gonna be happy there. Prints will be available to purchase.

Comment if interested in any of these.

Thoughts of Grace and Distractions

I think it’s what is thought in the processing that may be more distracting than the noise of distractions.

I kept my earphones in although no sound came through. I’m still the one walking with the long white cord swinging. I’m way out of the loop, no cordless audio and nothing on my wrist to ding an alarm, message or celebration of steps. I just keep walking, occasionally I run.

“Bethesda’s Water” detail

Walking is an escape, an unraveling, a reconfiguring of my intentions gone astray by thinking.

The sound in my ear is not distracting. It typically is a guide for my thoughts, songs and the words in them that help me believe. Lyrics like this:

“And, oh as you run, what hindered love will only become a part of your story.” Out of Hiding

Yesterday, I thought of the man who laid beside the pool of water that was known for healing, Bethesda. He watched others bathing, hoping for health benefits but stayed at a distance on his mat for 38 years.

When Jesus asked if he wanted to be well he didn’t seem sure. He pointed out the crowded water, how from where he was lying he’d surely get trampled trying to get in.

I wondered if his thoughts were what kept him from going. Was the water truly healing water and what if it wasn’t, would he be better “as is“?

“Bethesda’s Waters”

I wondered if it was mental torture for him, his own thoughts distracting him from possibility.

“When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?” The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me.” Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked. Now that day was the Sabbath.”
‭‭John‬ ‭5:6-9‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Jesus was there and then he was not. The man was left with wondering over his very own miracle.

Maybe wondering, will it last? Then Jesus finds him or he finds Jesus. Either way, it was confirmation, your healing is true, carry on now, keep on running.

It’s that way with me, maybe you. Thoughts cause me to be distracted by the reality of my redemption. This crazy world feeds into the natural and leaves little space for the miraculous.

We know we’ve been healed by mercy’s water but some things make it feel less than enough.

This is when we remember our very own Bethesda moment, we remember we are one soul in a crowd of others all sweetly welcomed into the fold.

“Bethesda’s Water”, detail

We remember our soul is aligned to that love. We see Jesus in the sky, the words of a song, the gaze of a child or the worrisome situation that we surrendered that has led to easy breathing.

We hear Jesus. A more serious tone in His voice and yet, we’re not offended, we’re simply reminded of who we were and who we are becoming.

“But afterward Jesus found him in the Temple and told him, “Now you are well; so stop sinning, or something even worse may happen to you.”
‭‭John‬ ‭5:14‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Grace and truth.

Continue and believe.

Believe and continue.

This painting is mixed media on reclaimed wood and is available as original or prints. Comment to inquire.

Perspective, the Secret

I caught a glimpse of one of the last pink camellias. The bushes that border our home and the ones along the driveway had been spectacularly brilliant.

Then with the temperatures and rain were suddenly bloom-less. The grass wore a skirt of decaying flowers, their edges rusty with color and the petals limp and fading.

I paused when returning from walking and a glint of pink popped out from the deep green. One camellia was tucked away. I picked it.

I brought the flower inside and filled the vase with water. This was three days ago. The color remains and the bloom is strong on the stem. I can’t decide what I love the most about looking over to see the simple flower.

From every perspective.

Up close, the underlayer of petals are changing from pink to shriveled golden brown. Standing over it, I am drawn to the fragile innards, the bright yellow heart of it. From a distance, I love the contrast in color against our brick.

Why this one camellia caught my eye feels like a sweet secret, something God knew I needed.

I see beauty.

Lately, I’ve thought of how distinctly different every individual’s perspective is in this coronavirus crisis. It is based on their views, their experiences, their current emotional and physical as well as spiritual state.

I’m reminded of a long held truth. No one truly knows how another feels.

Secrets are our truth.

They are tender. They are hard. They are transparent.

I like the definition of perspective that is synonymous with “outlook”. I believe this.

Before we see, we feel and what we feel inwardly leads to our outward view, our perspective.

I asked myself this morning, How can I be more intentional and sure of the way God wants to use me, to continue rather than decide, oh, you must’ve been wrong?

It all begins with and comes back to belief.

“I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living!”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭27:13‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Believing is the perspective changer, the perspective keeper, the level ground during doubtful times, confusing ones like these.

God’s perspective of us, His creation?

He believes we are able.

He made us this way.

But, what about your secrets that tell you otherwise, ones that say to your soul, don’t try, don’t be sure, don’t step out in faith…you never know, you may discover you were wrong?

What if deep down you’re afraid you will learn, you were wrong about God’s believing in you, you were wrong about trying?

What a shameful secret this is. The one that hinders, the one that feels safer to be the same not take any more steps believing.

I may be wrong, I don’t think I’m alone in this occasional and yet, so overwhelming feeling.

This is why I own it, call it out, really look closely at its defeatist agenda! I speak to it! I tell it otherwise.

“God created me to be creative. God believes in me.”

Believe.

Continue and believe. Your heart will find truth when you confront your secrets. You perspective will follow.

Linking up with others on the prompt, “perspective”

FMF Writing Prompt Link-up :: Perspective

April Newsletter

I’m a stickler for continuing things I begin. Oh, wait that’s not true. I’m scared to death to get back at rewriting that manuscript, the one that felt too honest and now not honest enough. A wise friend named Ray reminded me this idea was born eight years ago!

For now, here’s the link to my April Newsletter, a much easier write and read.

http://eepurl.com/g0vKQ5

Happy Tuesday!