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.

The Way We Were and Are

Abuse Survivor, bravery, grandchildren, hope, memoir, Redemption, testimony, Vulnerability, wonder, writing

Warning, this post is maybe “too much Lisa”.

Leslie and I

I’ve been thinking about this photo all day. My college roommate and friend from the early 80’s sent this with a note, “found this today”. I was eating lunch with my granddaughter. We were talking about yummy bread and tomatoes.

I see I loved bracelets even back then and I remember how much she loved her VW. She was pink, khaki and green preppy. I see I must’ve been a little artsy. I notice the perm. I see my resemblance to both my mama and my sister, my daughter and son.

I see the tiny waist. I remember how little I ate, how much I ran twice a day.

I think of us, separately and together, how we both struggled, grew distant; but, she bravely began our new conversation.

I see me so tiny and remember I had such hatred for myself. I see her so bubbly and know only a tiny bit of not so bubbly days.

I see women now in their 60’s who know healing comes from forgiveness and more than forgiving others, it’s about forgiving ourselves.

So, skinny me no longer, maybe it’s time to stop rushing past the mirror and stand still for just a bit to consider, look where time, loss, grief, babies, defeat, trying again, fear met by bravery that said “continue” has brought you here…

Grace thus far has been the grace you’ve decided you can finally give yourself.

I never thought a thrown away art scholarship because of uninvited trauma (I still don’t like the “R” word) and eating disorder would have been so mercifully generous to say it’s not too late, paint.

You’re an artist.

I never thought a friend I haven’t seen since 1980 or so would keep a photo marking our bond.

Believe it, redemption is never ending and there’s nothing our loving God can’t make new.

Today, I met an artist in her home. She grew up in the landscapes of my favorite artist, Andrew Wyeth. She lives alone. Her husband is not well.

She invited me in.

I accepted.

Old me wouldn’t have.

But, tea time was at 3:00 and so, she, my granddaughter and I had tea and cream cheese pound cake.

And an almost three year old sat between two artists, two women who might’ve given up on themselves, but we’re not…and never ever on our art.

And she was listening.

To our encouragement of each other

Create, keep creating.

You’re not finished, only just beginning.

By faith and grace.

Redemption is a thing.

Listening

anxiety, Children, contentment, coronavirus, courage, Faith, Redemption, Trust, wisdom

Rain is swooshing, sloshy sideways. The dark cloud wasn’t far away or pretending.

All of a sudden it’s pouring.

I leave my frantic cleaning for the back porch.

This world, our country is really getting worse, I decided loading my groceries.

$9.00 for granola bars and $10 for Kuerig coffee. Big deal money men are making formula and if I read this right, telling mothers who had CoVid not to breastfeed.

Pulled out of Food Lion and told myself to stop listening, stop listening to the fear, the invitation to join the dismal conversations.

Stop listening again.

Listen to a toddler napping, snoring, breathing after a make believe train ride followed by a walk so free her shoe flew into the air!

And she said, “doggone it” and “let it be” and we left them in the dirt and I sang and she echoed

“Don’t worry about a thing…every little thing is gonna be alright.”

Because I stumped my toe in the kitchen fixin’ lunch and she paused her singing to comfort me

“It’s okay.” ELB

So, I let the Windex wait because the knockout roses are catching puddles and leaning into the not yet summer rain.

I’m listening.

Untainted things.

I ain’t listening to fear.

Continue and believe.

I will too.

Artfully Thinking

Art, confidence, Faith, painting, Redemption, Vulnerability

Quite often I think, stop one or the other and how confusing it may be, “Is Lisa an artist or a writer?” Then I remember that quote that reminds me, people probably don’t wonder about me very often.

So, each time I hint at artist things here, use a painting in a post or keep the word art in my domain, it’s just an invitation to any followers.

Look around. See what you think. I’d love to know. Do you sense the same angst, hope, or meandering quest for joy in my art in the same way as my words?

The same quiet confidence?

I hope so.

Everything’s 15% off through May 9th. Use the code MAMALOVE at checkout.

My Artist Site

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!