Child In You

confidence, contentment, courage, Faith, patience, Peace, Redemption, Trust, Vulnerability, wisdom, wonder

Speak softly to yourself,
“I am a child of God. I am loved and learning.”

Repeat as needed.

Your life is a chorus, a lullaby, a silly dance, a canvas for God’s crayon.

Tell yourself, I am God’s and
He is mine.

There’s a child in you, impossible to be stolen away by any little thing.

Small and tender, bold and brave, wondering and wandering.

Child in you that stays.

Close your eyes.

Sigh. Take a breath. Listen.

Remember a secret sweetest day.

Cherished, you are.

Then and today.

Loved and learning.

“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”
‭‭Philippians‬ ‭1:6‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Childlike

Abuse Survivor, Art, bravery, confidence, contentment, courage, happy, hope, love, painting, Peace, Redemption, self-portrait, Vulnerability, wisdom
Lisa Anne

I keep staring at the girl inside the woman. Many will see somber.

I see solid.

Most will question the stare, wonder why so angry.

I see strength, surrender and a commitment to be very sweet to myself.

Little girl bangs was the style or I guess, just easy.

No fussing over Lisa Anne trying to keep up with bows or barrettes.

No ponytails, no braids.

Just a border of brown above two pools of blue

And a pool of freckles

Now age spots and crinkles.

Acceptance

Believing in the child within

Loving the woman she became.

I keep staring into this face.

I’d call it grace or something else.

Can’t decide.

Must be because it’s love.

Noticed on Tuesday

bravery, confidence, contentment, courage, Faith, happy, hope, memoir, painting, patience, Peace, Vulnerability, wisdom, wonder, writing

Isn’t it predictable that I’d love the phrase “noticing God”, incorporate it into bios and hashtags and yet, catch myself off guard when a phrase of truth and clarity comes

And I decide to hold on to it?

“God is always paying attention (to me).”

Followers and collectors, listeners, potential buyers of my art and my words

Caused me to be weary over compiling them, the not yet thousands enough.

So, I left that little compilation of numbers alone

And continued to go on

On my own.

Noticing highlighter colored rye fields and yellow flowers becoming fluffy dandelions.

I noticed and celebrated the simplicity of a simple notice.

“Thank you, Lisa Anne Tindal!

I appreciate all your inspiration and insight!” M.H. (a brilliant author)

A gift given to me on her birthday.

“Isn’t it ironic?” A.M.

Or maybe not.

Maybe it’s God.

The same God who provided water to a slave girl trying to escape and a woman enslaved by her patterns with men.

Same God who notices my need to be noticed and says “I see, see with me.”

“Then God opened Hagar’s eyes, and she saw a well full of water. She quickly filled her water container and gave the boy a drink.”
‭‭Genesis‬ ‭21:19‬ ‭NLT‬

“But sir, you don’t have a rope or a bucket,” she said, “and this well is very deep. Where would you get this living water?”
‭‭John‬ ‭4:11‬ ‭NLT‬‬

It’s not popular to be weary over popularity.

I wonder who else feels the exhaustion of self-promotion and longs to simply keep finding, sharing and creating…

To be thirsty not for notice.

Being light.

Because

God is paying attention to you.

In the sweet spot of knowing you’re noticed so that you’re not thirsting for notice of others and more often than before not as thirsty.

Fill my cup, Lord.

I lift it up to your pink sky Tuesday morning telling me I’m seen loved and known.

Noticed on Tuesday morning,

The Calming

anxiety, confidence, contentment, courage, Faith, love, memoir, patience, Peace, Prayer, Redemption, rest, Vulnerability, waiting, wonder, writing

The morning fooled me with its horizon.

Thick clouds bordered the pine tops like hills, like in the mountains.

Crescent moon to my left.

I remembered smiling, remembered the now distant idea, “Look at the moon, precious child. It’s called a crescent. It reminds me of your smile.”

The idea still near, I drive into Monday.

Radio boring, and podcast unnerving because of the cadence and tone in the guest’s voice.

Found a second episode and found the same. A conversation on attention and I couldn’t focus because of the speed of the exchange, the “chirpiness” in the voices.

Was the listening speed wrong in my app?

No, it’s me. I’m afraid I’m a bit particular about voices, quick to silence those that are pushy, perky or peppy.

Maybe it’s a southern thing.

Maybe simply timing.

“And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
‭‭Esther‬ ‭4:14‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Last week in the same number of days, I was told three times by a trio of different people, one a total stranger.

“You are calming.”

“Have you been on the radio? Your voice is so calming” and “Talking to you calms me.”

A friend, a former colleague who’s an executive and a young stranger.

This morning I noticed the coming day coming slowly as if the earth had decided to stay under the soft covers.

No sound now, music or podcast wisdom.

I enter Monday with full attention as I pause for the passing family of careful deer.

I feel the weight shifting as I turn, the road narrow with a picture perfect view.

I am quiet, quiet as Monday morning mostly sleeping.

I’m calm. I’m easy.

I’m hearing my voice again, patiently waiting my turn to use it.

“Prayer and patience…prayer and patience.” Aunt Boo

The Shepherd’s Way

bravery, confidence, courage, curiousity, Faith, hope, patience, Peace, Redemption, Stillness, Trust, waiting, wisdom, wonder

“7:00, not 6:30”, she reminded me on that particular night before morning.

The difference meant daylight, farm trucks and people headed in from the country.

Tops of the fields green with grass before becoming hay glistening like gold.

Cats creeping from their tentative sleeping place, homes lit by just one light.

The difference meant driving straight into the rising sun, so spectacular I refused to blind it with my visor.

And so, for a stretch of road I couldn’t bear to look away, only to creep ahead slowly by memory.

Day unfolding to not sure what, only that I had been sweetly awakened to life yet again.

To take hold and keep it, the difference in the day in the morning a little later.

And hoping to hold that awakened state of my soul a little longer.

7:00 not 6:30, sun not moon, seeing only what I can, not around the curve ahead.

Sometimes forgetting the way, lost in my own directions, returning like David or the questioning one, Thomas, to the way safely and surely forward.

The shepherd’s way.

“He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭23:3‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Father, help me to follow your lead.

Like Children Walking

bravery, Children, contentment, courage, Faith, fear, hope, memoir, mercy, Peace, Prayer, Redemption, Stillness, Trust, Vulnerability, walking, wisdom, wonder

When the peace of Jesus finds us, it is a gentle collision. “Gentle collision” is how my morning words began, hurried and half asleep.

I wrote that faith meeting fear is and will always be a gentle collision.

Never Walking Alone

Loosely but never unraveled is the tether that connects us to believing.

Never dragging us along.

Nor yanking us into attention in a sort of frantic wake up call.

A walk that’s never perilous, always patient.

Like a walk together when one is the older or younger one.

Not at all like my walks alone, the walk of a stubborn and wide stride stepping, a walk either going hard and proud or walking hard and fast away from something that keeps catching up.

This is not the walk of a child who wonders. Wonders not where or how we’ll go, only wonders as she wanders.

Before Jesus spoke of the gentle way of walking, of carrying the good things or junk we’ve taken as our own, he talked about little children, about their wisdom and their understanding.

Children who have a greater grasp on the divine, a more tangible understanding.

An understanding not garnered by incessant questioning.

The wind blew our hair yesterday. The sky was periwinkle blue and the warmth of Spring landed on bare arms and freckled our faces.

“Thank you, Lord, for the breeze.” she said.

We walked together. Me, occasionally pointing out of the hills of ants and noticing the ground as we went, scanning for baby snakes that might scurry close to our toes.

She, close beside or freely ahead, “let’s dance”.

Together, gently. I fell into the rhythm of a child with steps slow with going and then resting.

Waiting and then walking.

Going and then resting.

No rush, no worry.

“At that time Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children;”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭11:25‬ ‭ESV‬‬

I handed her the yellow flowers and lifted her from behind to my back.

Shifting the weight until she laid her cheek on my back, her tiny legs belting my waist.

Then we walked together, her weight pushing me forward.

Together, we walked back home.

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭11:28-30‬ ‭ESV‬‬

A gentle collision it is, the meeting of faith and fear, of melded together walking, of simply saying yes to the soft beckon not to walk alone.

I stepped over the circled place in the sand where we’d stopped to dance.

“Ring around the rosies, a pocket full of posies, ashes, ashes…

We all fall down”.

We all fall down.

We do.

Then lifted up gently, we walk again.

Tiny Seeds

Art, birds, confidence, contentment, courage, Faith, Peace, Redemption, testimony, Vulnerability, wisdom, wonder, writing
Blooming Again

The morning is grey with a veil of warmth shielding the pines across the way.

My grey cat is missing, meanwhile a pretty black one with a flash of white on its chest is slowly deciding I’m friendly.

But, I’m hoping for mine, the kitten I named “Georgia”.

I am waiting for the amaryllis forgotten and found to be vibrant again.

I’m waiting with sweetly surprised expectation, the Christmas of 2020 bulb potted and forgotten is now fat with rebirth.

Pray, trust, wait.

Despite the warning of afternoon tumultuous thunder, the choir of birds are singing a sort of suggestion just for now,

Lisa, this is heavenly.

So, I listen.

I’ll return to my place of painting and wait for my visitor, a mourning dove who danced for me yesterday.

Softly, it stayed longer than I’d have expected.

Strong in its message to me, a message of peace is what I took it to be because of its color, a blue grey white blend, acrylic mixture for the sky I may paint.

Hoping my landscape says “peace”.

Because of its visit, the surprise of its lingering

Then the cardinal, brick-colored breast, careening alongside longer than usual and I noticed God,

“Mama.” I thought and “it is well”.

Keep trusting. Keep waiting.

The Book of Luke, Chapter 13 suggests the same.

A parable about a fig tree about to be uprooted, tossed away because of its fruitless condition and then the one about the mustard seed. Luke shared the story Jesus used to help us understand that growth that starts small can become immeasurably large by trust and faith.

Persistence, a peaceful persistence.

Private maybe.

Two trees, a barren fig tree and one that grew so beautifully that birds built nests and started families there.

“He said therefore, “What is the kingdom of God like? And to what shall I compare it? It is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his garden, and it grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air made nests in its branches.”
‭‭Luke‬ ‭13:18-19‬ ‭ESV‬‬

The kingdom of God is here. It is us, all of us seeds of its faithful and kind growth.

A woman bent over for eighteen years because of “disability of spirit”, Luke shared her encounter with Jesus in the middle of the two parables.

I love the placement, it makes faith even more a promised instrument for change.

Jesus, the bringer of change broke the rules and healed this woman on the Sabbath.

“When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said to her, “Woman, you are freed from your disability.”
‭‭Luke‬ ‭13:12‬ ‭ESV‬‬

I’m fascinated by this healing.

Eighteen years of her life, this broken spirited woman walked bent by her load, face to the ground.

She was healed immediately and glorified God, according to scripture.

I wonder how.

Was she a seamstress?

Maybe a writer, maybe a helper of others, maybe she was simply a teller of her story.

I’d love to know if she worked with her hands, strangely, I believe so.

I guess because of the resonance for me of her healing.

She’s relatable. I want to believe she’s like me and I, like her.

Yesterday, I edited a painting I felt was contrived. Calm came as I changed what was finished, but after all, not.

“Spring” became “Birdsong”.

“Birdsong”

Like a seed of faith, a barren tree, a discarded and forgotten amaryllis bulb, and a woman disabled by a spirit that told her she was unable for eighteen years

We can grow, there’s planting, reviving, unearthing and thriving in every single soul.

Pray, trust, wait.

Participate in God’s healing.

“As he said these things, all his adversaries were put to shame, and all the people rejoiced at all the glorious things that were done by him.”
‭‭Luke‬ ‭13:17‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Unearth what you buried or locked away.

Contribute your tiny nourished seed today.

Continue and believe.

“Birdsong” is available here: https://www.lisaannetindal.me/new-products/8fhgfywxizgjv7e4sxv8zkvwoj85qo

Just Mercy

Abuse Survivor, bravery, courage, Faith, family, Forgiveness, memoir, mercy, Peace, Prayer, Redemption, Trust, wisdom

Many years ago an itinerant preacher advised me to “just pray for mercy” and I did.

I didn’t fully understand mercy as a new single mama to my children. I did pray for it though and my life has been and is the evidence my prayers were heard.

Consider mercy.

The punishment or consequence that you actually deserve being stopped from occurring.

I think of that quiet preacher man who stopped by and the brevity of his words, his wisdom. I imagine if he’d said to me, “Well, this is a mess and I don’t know how on earth you’ll be okay, but young lady…pray for mercy, maybe, just maybe you’ll get it.”

He’d have walked away and I’d have been more hopeless.

I thank God for the unexpected visit and the simple words He gave the country preacher. Also, for the grandma and grandpa in the black station wagon who pulled in the yard every Sunday morning to take my children to the white church on the hill pastored by this quietly wise man.

“Just pray for mercy”, the gentle man said.

Today I read again about the woman who sat at Jesus’s feet, her tears falling and her hair used to wash the feet of Jesus along with expensive ointment she’d poured out for him.

Her actions were questioned.

Had she been so bold to invite herself there or was it bold determination, bravery and humble hope for better?

I remember those feelings.

Jesus told the critics, yes her sins are many and her choice, to come here uninvited is a choice I welcome. His mercy met her extravagant gesture, her known sin.

“Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” And he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”
‭‭Luke‬ ‭7:47-48‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Consider the mercy you’ve known, will be given again and again. Mercy, unmerited favor, good things when bad made more sense.

Mercy that sees you fully, but never says no.

Today, when you encounter someone in need of mercy, I pray that you give it and that in exchange you sense in equal measure, extravagant love!

With A Song

birds, Children, confidence, contentment, coronavirus, courage, curiousity, family, grandchildren, hope, memoir, Peace, praise, Redemption, Vulnerability, walking, wisdom, wonder

“And Job died, an old man, and full of days.”
‭‭Job‬ ‭42:17‬ ‭ESV‬‬

The dark age spot on my right cheek has garnered by granddaughter’s attention. She’s announced to her mama that I need to see her doctor.

She’s reached the age of noticing, good things, flaws and unspoken thoughts too.

Last week, I saw a little boy I first met in 2019. He remembered me. He announced to his mama, big sister and me, “She looks older!”

We laughed at his precocious behavior and I came back with “Well, I’ve been through some stuff…you know…Covid!”

Then we all just nodded towards one another and got back to the reason I was there, a family adopting this sweet and observant sibling.

A trip through my phone’s photos confirmed my aging. But, also how the world gone awry because of pandemic changed other things too.

Try it.

Look back, see if your face and others’ seemed to see things differently back then.

2017, 2018 and ‘19 early.

Less vacant expressions as now, less steely clinched jaws in posing, less uncertainty in linking arms in photos and less open and freely given embraces.

More hesitance, more lost eyes seeking something, what…

Who knows?

Less of need to tout your faith that was bigger than fear. More sure of sure footing and solid faith.

So much more sure, it was less necessary to announce it. I suppose I should say what’s clear, these words are realizations of myself.

Someone will know maybe upon reading this. Was Job sitting in a pile of sorrowful ash-covered questions the entire book of the Bible marked by his name?

Job, a man who honored God was the chosen soldier of faith to see if he’d surrender the battle or hold on unwaveringly to his relationship with Holy God and faith.

Stricken by the trial and test, his life gone awry.

His wife told him give up and die; his friends hung with him for a bit until saying clearly it’s you that’s wrong.

“And they sat with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his suffering was very great.”
‭‭Job‬ ‭2:13‬ ‭ESV‬‬

I wonder if he just kept sitting, unable to stand when his friends became devoid of empathy, questioned his plight.

“But now it has come to you, and you are impatient; it touches you, and you are dismayed. Is not your fear of God your confidence, and the integrity of your ways your hope?”
‭‭Job‬ ‭4:5-6‬ ‭ESV

Monday was a dark blue day, I named it. By evening the blue lifted.

Tuesday, before breakfast, we baked a promised cherry pie and then “skipped to my Lou my darlin’” together.

Something’s happening, last month it was chocolate meringue. Little things, joyously small, sweeter than the cliche’, I’m doing them, I’ve decided.

Baby steps towards allowing joy, being less afraid something or some world event will snatch it away.

My wondering over the trials of Job came as we set out barefooted. The ground was cool and my granddaughter ran way ahead, stopping here and there to gather sticks.

I’m a lover of his story, longing to understand more is the pull of me towards my Bible. I’ll not find details of when he found the strength to stand up, but I can still wonder and I can allow his struggle and recovery to help me recover.

How long was his lamenting conversation with God and was his rising again gradual or all of a sudden…were his feet weak and prone to wobbling or was his recovery smooth and sudden?

I told my cousin yesterday, I feel like we’re all in recovery and we’re apt to slip ups, prone to dismay. We need to say so, if just to ourselves and wait, watch and know the fog will lift, we will see clearly how to walk again.

I’m growing, but not fully grown. I’m walking with strong stride and steady steps, but still not able to walk on my own.

We wound our soft sticks together into an oval, twisted the knotty vines and tangled branches. I carried hers and she, mine.

Laid them on the counter among the flattened wildflowers from our pockets and we drank lemonade on the porch steps together.

Singing a silly sweet song and talking to the crows

This world is not my home, I’m just a passin’ through and you belong among the wildflowers, Lou, Lou skip to my Lou

became our Tuesday song.

“I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.”
‭‭Job‬ ‭42:2‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Sing your song. Walk on.

Slow To Sing

Abuse Survivor, Art, bravery, confidence, contentment, doubt, Faith, grace, hope, Peace, Redemption, Stillness, Trust, wisdom, wonder, writing

I fear the fog is heavy so I refuse to look.

With my back to the day, I fix my gaze on blanket wrapped feet,

toes circling, curling, clinching.

Habitual.

The birds are slow to sing.

I wonder why.

I had feared it was already morning at 2:00.

Frantic I’d forgotten my days, Thursday? No, it’s Friday, sleep a little bit, Lisa.

Sleep, please sleep.

I want to try.

I gathered my coffee, my bag, books and new fresh paint for Elizabeth, opened the door and saw it.

Whispered, wow

the moon.

Drove slowly.

Soft songs, no close followers.

Plenty of time.

“I want to try.”

The morning that follows the night of our lonely trial would, if we be faithful, find us new…” Henry Scott Holland