Lost and Found And Seeing

Art, birds, confidence, contentment, Faith, grace, hope, mercy, Peace, rest, Stillness, surrender, Vulnerability, waiting, wisdom, wonder


“In times like these you need a Savior
In times like these you need an anchor
Be very sure, be very sure…” In Times Like These

Saul was blind for three days after being confronted by Jesus over why he chose to be such a criminal, intent on being so vicious.

He was found and he saw life differently.

One lamb wanders away, the others stay in the pasture waiting as the shepherd, the master of their wellness and safety leaves them to find the wayward one. The parable is for us, the ones who were lost and still get lost sometimes.

We need our good shepherd. We’re prone to forget.

“Think of it this way: If a man owns a hundred sheep and one lamb wanders away and is lost, won’t he leave the ninety-nine grazing the hillside and thoroughly search for the one lost lamb? Now you should understand that it is never the desire of your heavenly Father that a single one of these little ones should be lost.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭18:12, 14‬ ‭TPT‬‬

I saw a man walking on Wednesday.

His dark hair combed back from his face, his jaw clean shaven. The sun came up over his shoulder, I hoped it was the one I’d been praying for, the man I’d seen the days before.

This man curled up under the overpass, then later on my route, walking cloaked in black jacket and too big pants, bent down towards the sidewalk along the highway, once I saw him leave the Waffle House, I prayed he’d been well fed.

Seeing him early in the day made me hopeful. I prayed God had made for him a new path.

I’ve been sketching lots of practice sketches for a commission, a bird cradled in a hand was the request. Instead, I keep sketching hands cupping a bird in a nest.

Think of this.

We know God cares for us by looking at the birds as evidence of that love.

Look at the nest built by a mama bird and you’ll see it’s even more elaborate than we can fathom. A bird nest, intricately woven together, little stems and pieces of whatever that the bird creates using a sort of circle pattern as if the cupped hand of God is keeping it safe until it can fly on its own.

I’m humbled and awed by this.

If God, the maker of heaven and earth has equipped a bird to do this, how could I ever question His love and intentional preparing of me, to do things for those around me and for Him?

“Consider the birds—do you think they worry about their existence? They don’t plant or reap or store up food, yet your heavenly Father provides them each with food. Aren’t you much more valuable to your Father than they? So, which one of you by worrying could add anything to your life?”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭6:26-27‬ ‭TPT‬‬

Be very sure. He cares for you.

Like a mama bird with babies, like a kind and gentle shepherd who’d never abandon his lost lamb.

Like a Father who is wise, a friend who is kind. Like a stranger who stops what they’re doing to offer aid.

Be very sure, God cares for you and for lost, lonely or weary people you’ll never know.

Continue and believe.

Warring for Quiet

confidence, contentment, courage, doubt, Faith, Forgiveness, freedom, grace, hope, memoir, mercy, obedience, Peace, Prayer, Redemption, Stillness, surrender, Trust, Vulnerability, waiting, wonder

Something in me longs to find a quiet old church with wooden pews and streams of sunlight in every hue laying down strips of color at my feet on old hardwood floors.

I’m listening, God.

To sit in the quiet. To listen to God.

I’m in the spot I call quiet in my home. It is very quiet, only the mockingbird mama’s protective song in the distance calling for my attention.

I woke thinking about being drawn to the wars others are warring as a distraction to what God knows needs my attention according to Him.

Yesterday, I grabbed a $5 pillow and dropped it in the cart. I sensed my daughter wondering where I’d put it. I’m not one to decorate my home with pillows adorned with trendy sayings. I think I mumbled.

I need to remember this.

See good in all things.

First on the loveseat, then between the bigger ones on the couch, then in my mama’s reupholstered chair, I centered it. It seemed too contrived, a pillow pointing out words I needed to remember, seriously silly.

So, I fluffed a pretty one woven with navy and added it as a background for my much needed words. I angled the pillow to meet my gaze from the place I sit in the evening, the place I begin my day.

The wisdom of a book of lamenting words lining up with mama’s and the embroidery threads on a pillow.

“The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.”
‭‭Lamentations‬ ‭3:25-26‬ ‭KJV‬‬

Good comes from waiting, seeking quietly.

Listening.

Remember

Distracted by culture, conflict and confusion, it seems I have made lesser the most important things.

Grace, mercy, peace, surrender.

Attentiveness to God’s purpose for me.

Remembering the gift of redemption.

Living freely.

So that I can be a presence inviting question rather than spewing comments.

Understanding we all have wars within, we are all pulled astray by the personal battles and patterns that deter the transformation that is a witness to the light of God within.

A compelling cause for others to seek salvation.

The salvation that can never be taken from us; but, must be treasured with every breath of our body so that we don’t fall back into warring.

So that we don’t miss the glory of the quiet voice of God in the quiet places.

“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭3:23-24‬ ‭ESV‬‬

May my quiet confidence in God be more evident than my constant questioning over what is not mine to understand, only be available when called to offer peace in the knowledge of my Savior.

Linking up prompted by FMF, Quiet (smile, Kate likes pillows too).

Read others here:

https://fiveminutefriday.com/2021/06/24/fmf-writing-prompt-link-up-quiet/

Beauty, Earth and Everything

Art, Children, confidence, contentment, courage, curiousity, Faith, heaven, hope, memoir, painting, Peace, Prayer, Redemption, rest, Salvation, surrender, Vulnerability, waiting, wisdom, wonder, writing

I’ve removed the fifteen or more books from my nightstand.

Some of them read, some recommended, others opened and skimmed and set aside.

I’m hard on myself as a reader. I’m distracted and mostly too sleepy. They say a writer must be a reader.

Maybe that’s why I’m less afraid to paint.

To simplify. The nightstand now has one framed photo, a lamp, a pen with paper and a paperback collection of Psalms and Proverbs.

“How he satisfies the souls of thirsty ones and fills the hungry with all that is good!”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭107:9‬ ‭TPT‬‬

I’ve taken to the practice of reading at least one verse as soon as I’m settled in bed.

Some nights more. I thumb to the passage chosen by the date and the pages from notes compiled through the years are becoming my sedation, my self-help.

There are pencil scratches, black or blue ink faded to soft grey. There are bold underlines and tiny little star asterisks in places.

The summary of supplication, of suffering questions, or redirection of myself in an achingly sorrowful way.

Remorse, regret, confusion and occasionally a determined commitment to peace, the words warn, these are best kept secret.

Much like Job may have felt, I imagine if he sat with the pages that detailed his friends calling out his wrongs and his reply incessantly saying,

But, none of this makes sense. Why me?

I feel like Job was just that honest.

If you find your old journal or Bible, do you find your honesty to be hard or do you see it as simply honest?

Do you see how far you’ve come or are you hard on yourself that some days you still hurt to comprehend some things?

I fell asleep with a revelation the other night.

I’d read my prayers scrawled in the old book. Concerns so very intimate that only God and I knew and know the reasons.

I realized I had such a yearning for God back then.

I realized I still do.

The thought of my laments and longings documented with pencil or pen gave me a new idea, a different peace.

I was a seeker. I still am.

My soul ached with yearning.

It still is.

I decided it is a good thing to be still yearning, to not be satisfied in who I’ve become, to be certain God’s still what my heart yearns for and the goodness of His gifts to me, to my family, beauty made of so many hard things.

The words to a song you won’t hear on the radio seem to pop up on my Pandora quite often lately.

I drive the morning road, make it to the hill and curve on the dirt one and I slow my arrival because it happens!

The voice of Paul Beloche, so gently and assuredly reminding me of all the beauty God has made of my life already.

In A Million Years

Causing me to imagine the beauty of eternity that is heaven.

Have you pondered heaven more this year and last?

Maybe not, unless you’re 60ish like me. Have you clung less tightly to earthly hopes knowing they pale in comparison to the promises of heaven?

Do you believe in heaven or does it seem like a mysterious place that might be so?

Do you want your life on earth to be forever because there are so many hopes that haven’t come true just yet?

I do sometimes. There are some earthly things I hope to see come true.

You’d find those hopes in my little book if you had the chance to hold it, you might even find your name there.

On Tuesday mornings, I listen to Emily P. Freeman’s podcast, “The Next Right Thing”. Her voice is easy. Her tone is directive as well as gently suggestive. I tell myself “Listen”.

This week’s episode was more practical than prose, a night time ritual that would better our sleep. I recommend it, listen here:

The Next Right Thing

She gave a helpful list with one thing being to ask yourself at the end of the day,

“Where did I see God today?”

Naturally, I loved this, it’s might kind of deep thinker thing.

Tuesday was a “grandma day”. It was so sweet and easy and it was a gift the way the simplicity of the day fell into place.

The moment?

We sat together in the cool castle building dirt spot. To pass the time ‘til Mama drove up, I taught the baby to sift sand from one hand to the other. Teaching maybe the wrong word, I just did it and she followed.

From one hand to the other we just passed the sand between our hands. She looked up, longer than usual, looked deeply into my eyes in a way that said, “This is sublime.”

Yes, this was when I saw God.

God with us.

Heaven met earth and situated itself with us in the Springtime dirt.

Yearning for me not to miss such a beautiful moment on a blue sky day.

And I didn’t and I pray I don’t from now on.

“Therefore he is able, once and forever, to save those who come to God through him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf.”
‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭7:25‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Lord, may our earthly days cause our longing for you more every day even as we yearn for the incomprehensible promise of heavenly days promised by you.

He keeps his promises.

Continue and believe.

Yearning is peace.

Think About Such Things

Angels, bravery, Faith, grace, Holy Spirit, Peace, praise, Prayer, Salvation, surrender, Vulnerability, waiting, wisdom, wonder

“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”
‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭2:10‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Yesterday was a good day, restful but productive until I paused with early sunset on the sofa and allowed my thoughts to catch up.

The annoying squeeze of the unnamed anxiety was realized. I walked down the hall to use the stretch, “legs against the wall” and I felt the rope loosen, the one that was tight around my chest.

Stretching and then praying made it better, the place that my soul inhabits was opened up, restored, clearing out the clutter, making more room for my Father’s spirit to be fully known by me.

I’m beginning to believe God. Beginning to believe the prayer that children say has words that are more than a pretty promise, are true.

“Ask Jesus to come into your heart.”

Not as a child but as a thirty something year old, I said what is called the “sinner’s prayer”.

Jesus came near, planted His Spirit in my soul. It has been gradual, often half-heartedly that I believed this mystery to be so.

This mystery that by grace and patience is no longer so obscurely mysterious at all.

Because I’ve been asking God to come near, to fill me, to allow His river to flow to me and through me and it has begun to be so.

It is becoming well with my soul,

Will become even more so. I am certain. I continue to believe.

Believing God has good things for me, not just for others is a closer truth than before.

A couple of weeks ago the nearness of God astounded me. I’ve kept it to myself except one wise other person until now.

On a regular morning walk with my grandchild, music she loves coming from my pocket and stops and starts to dig in the sand followed by her bouncy steps running, I had a thought.

Surrounded by trees, I remembered the scary vertigo episode almost exactly a year ago. I thanked God for wellness, for no further episodes.

I looked on either side, trees with leaves falling, old tall ones and new branches and I wondered to myself, what would I do if one of these trees fell, if my grandchild was safe but I was trapped?

I imagined calmly, the dog would look after Elizabeth and I’d be able to call for help.

Although scary, it would be okay, I would be safe.

Strange, I know.

Even stranger or as I now believe, not strange at all, occurred the next morning.

I arrived to care for my granddaughter in the dark of morning. My daughter said her husband wanted to know,

“Did your mama see that big tree that fell overnight?”

“No”, I answered. She continued with the way it fell, not a loud sound and the tree with the trunk at least seven feet around, it fell perfectly against the fence row, didn’t block the road.

“Oh” I mumbled.

We walked later to see it, the baby and I. I saw the massive oak severed by something unhuman lying on the ground.

I admit, I thought heavily of it all day, wondering over the weight of my thoughts the day before. It felt very scary and then, supernatural in a kind and loving way.

I texted my friend, wise in spiritual strengths and truth.

She wasn’t astounded or afraid. She simply told me God wanted to show me He is protecting me. That wherever I am, He is; I embody His Spirit. I have an advocate. There was no shock in her tone, she didn’t think I was crazy or what happened was scary.

Later, I realized I could believe it too. God is very close to me.

He is answering my most tender prayers.

Before sleep last night, I read five psalms, a proverb and a message.

I remembered the random text from the friend mentioned above, the way her words sent a chill down my calf.

I slept with the certainty of being known and loved and when I woke I repeated what God told me overnight.

“You are a masterpiece. Keep creating.”

“In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, O Lord, will keep me safe.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭4:8‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Receive Grace

Angels, Art, bravery, confidence, contentment, coronavirus, courage, Faith, grace, hope, mercy, Peace, praise, Prayer, Redemption, Salvation, surrender, Truth, Vulnerability, waiting

Receive grace, we need it. We’re going to need it. Regardless of November, hopelessness is a wound not even close to being healed, the result of our lack of control, uncertainty, the open-ended question of the coming year, the apathy towards each other, the numbing that’s happening to us to the extent we don’t yet know.

“That’s a lot, Lisa…I thought you were a person of faith?”

I know. Today I prayed beside my bed, no words, just a position.

Surrendering the moment.

…and by Him, everyone who believes is freed. Acts 13:39

Belief is a very personal thing, prayer is too. God, knowing each of us completely and individually knows us “down to the very bones” and yet, sees us worthy of the very grace we received when we accepted the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus. We decided then I can’t fix this, in fact in my humanness I am unfixable.

Still, I work hard and with intention and a word we love, “perseverance” to see the measure of my faith be represented by works. It’s how we’re wired and we forget that physical wiring never is enough.

Praise, prayer and worship with music rein me back in closer. I find myself opening my hands to heaven when a song touches my tender wounds, thrilled to be uninterrupted on my knees beside my bed or joining others in prayer with both hands palm up to God.

Giving God the hopes, fears and thanks.

Today, I read “Receive His grace all day.” It struck me that the hands I open to give are rarely opened to receive from God. I forget that I need His grace all day long, every moment. More importantly, I forget that His grace is a reservoir that never runs dry. I forget that it is ours simply for asking, just by saying, I need you every hour. Again, I’m not able on my own and you know it God, still you wait patiently for me to remember.

We cannot put our hopes in this country. I’m sorry if that sounds unpatriotic. It hurts to know that and I worry that hopelessness is outpacing the destruction of the pandemic. Without hope, without God and His grace, none of us can sustain our own manufactured hope.

Open your hands as needed today. Receive grace.

“Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭4:16‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Grace and Intention

Abuse Survivor, bravery, courage, Faith, fear, grace, mercy, obedience, Prayer, Redemption, rest, Salvation, surrender, Uncategorized, Vulnerability, wisdom, wonder, writing

She told me a heartbreaking story and how she came to accept it.

She said,

“God said, ‘that was my intention’.”

I woke today and met rejection. An email quickly skimmed and moved on to the folder marked trash.

I’d told myself submit and if it is for you, it will be.

I wasn’t at all destroyed over it. The not being chosen for my writing was sort of an answer to some recent questions of God.

One in particular, do I just blog and let that be enough?

I don’t know yet.

But, I’m open either way.

Not on the edge about it. I know that God’s intentions for me are always good. I find it brave to believe this.

Wish I’d believed it sooner.

Wish I’d seen the verse with the words “returning and rest” the way my friend explained it.

“Daughter, come back.” is what she told me the prophet Isaiah wrote, as instructed by God.

“This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: “Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength. But you would have none of it.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭30:15‬ ‭NLT‬‬

My friend is biblically wise and I’d always felt the words about running away felt like chastisement.

She read farther back and told me God is just reminding me rest means closeness and confidence and strength are from staying near.

We talked a little more and we began to share worries over our world, the evil motivations of people and the bravery required to stand strong and speak up about God.

She became quiet. She shared of a high school classmate she’d heard through others had suffered a stroke.

She told me they weren’t close friends, hadn’t run in the same circles way back then.

Using the connection of another former classmate, she contacted the ailing friend and asked to drop off food, say hello.

The stroke victim said no at first and eventually allowed my friend in.

And I’m not sure how many visits there were, if meals were shared or if conversation became natural.

My friend shared that the woman she’d been visiting did not believe in God. She had her reasons.

My friend asked God to keep her alive until she could change her mind about Jesus.

My friend ached for that assurance. She is aching still.

The former classmate died too soon.

Tremendous pain prompted her to get any pill she could get off the street and my friend heard that the stroke victim who said there was no God, died while sending someone a text.

My friend heard later, the pill was tainted, a deadly ingredient added.

I sat and sensed the ache of question. I saw regret in the posture of my friend.

Months passed since the passing until one day in the shower, she longed to know why she’d not been able to help the former classmate believe in Jesus.

She looked over at me and said,

“God said, ‘that was my intention’.”

And the truth of God’s intention for my friend’s friend and for me caused tears to begin slowly.

Peace permeated the space between us.

“So, you have peace about her?” I asked and she nodded.

Then, I smiled and I cried and I told her something I don’t think she knew would be for me.

What that means is that those horrible things that happened to me were not what God intended, the evil just won the battle.

And maybe, just maybe the stuff I longed for that had not happened was not God’s intention for me.

Come back, daughter. Yes, I now see.

Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you.
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭30:18‬ ‭ESV‬‬

What makes no sense to you if you believe in a God that is good?

My friend found peace when God told her, I was on your team, I was fighting alongside you.

You having more time with her was my intention.

Evil broke in. Broke in too soon.

On earth there is evil.

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭29:11‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Heaven, though, is God’s purpose.

Our hope and future.

Come back. Stay near. My grace to you is intentional.

Be brave.

Continue

and believe.

What God intends is good.

Sing Along

bravery, confidence, contentment, courage, Faith, hope, Peace, praise, Prayer, Redemption, rest, surrender, Vulnerability

On the morning, two Sundays ago that I decided just in time to go to church, I was honest with myself.

I’d been waiting until conditions could be right to return. I’d been waiting for the church to be in agreement with me, to not require that I wear a mask.

Church that morning enveloped me in peace. The mask that I deplore because I deplore demands made of me

Invited a sweeter worship in.

The music, the prayer, my hands open in front of me, my joining in the singing despite my mask.

I wish it weren’t so; but, I tend to be self-conscious in a sanctuary. No surprise, I compare my worship to the worship of others and I worry if others are watching me, measuring whether my praise is big enough.

But, on that morning, before the message on humility and its meaning and worth, I allowed peace to come.

Peace that came through the Spirit leading me to be alone there in the socially distanced place, to close my eyes and be moved by “The Blessing”, to welcome the tears that came. To be aware of, overwhelmed by God’s peace.

Peace comes when we acknowledge our standing in relation to God.

Peace comes when we challenge ourselves to believe we should go when we don’t think we are able or don’t believe we belong.

Peace comes when we remember,

“I am weak but He is strong.” (Yes, Jesus loves me.)

Meekness leads to peace.

Meekness leads to great things.

“Now the man Moses was very meek, more than all people who were on the face of the earth.”
‭‭Numbers‬ ‭12:3‬ ‭ESV‬‬

My little circle of six feet in the sanctuary was inhabited by a sense of Holy that Sunday.

I had no idea that choosing not to be selfish, stubborn, self-righteous over a piece of cloth over my mouth, would bring me such peace.

“But the meek shall inherit the land and delight themselves in abundant peace.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭37:11‬ ‭ESV‬‬

And peace shall be mine again.

I will sing along.

“The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.”
‭‭Zephaniah‬ ‭3:17‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Joining others who are writing prompted by the word “church” here.

FMF Writing Prompt Link-up :: Church

The Better

Abuse Survivor, birthday, bravery, Children, courage, curiousity, Faith, freedom, memoir, mercy, Redemption, Salvation, Stillness, surrender, Trust, Vulnerability, waiting, wisdom, wonder

A deer jumped from the field onto my path and I slowed. I expected another and then, yes, a young one skirted on wobbly legs all by itself into the woods.

I thought of the season, not being a hunter or having knowledge of why they were out walking so early, feeding I assumed, preparing for something, going some set aside place or looking for seclusion.

Later, instead of the regular “walk around the block” I saw an opening. A deeply wooded path, narrow with a valley and then a slight curve that made me curious about where it might lead.

I stepped in with the baby. Very quiet, very careful to watch my feet. We looked together up towards heaven in an enchanted gaze.

The brown ground was covered in seasoned oak leaves. I moved slowly with intention and walked unafraid.

Standing still to see a pair of cardinals and hear the rustling in the branches of others, I listened.

I thought. I am sixty-and a day years old today. It’s okay.

I saw God there and I felt him see me. Thinking towards the next things because of uncertainty of where the path may take me if I choose the more wooded way at the top of the hill.

I turned back, the peaceful way called my name. I chose to take the simple route, the one I had barely begun to know.

I turned and was greeted by the view of an opening like a garden entrance, a glow of gold and green that begged me to see.

You discovered a new way today, now step back into the old path forever changed by your seeing.

The settled way, the way without accomplishment, goal or agenda.

The trusting way, the way to allow God to show me instead of anxiety’s need of always knowing, forever second guessing and harboring remorse because they did and I didn’t.

The better.

Mary, the sister of Martha chose to be settled, to choose the better in a time women were expected to be fixers of things, holders of it all together, preparers of perfectly orchestrated outcome things.

Perhaps, I may be exaggerating here. Naturally, I didn’t live in the days of the sisters who had Jesus come to dinner.

But, I have lived in days of huge expectations and pressures and I am beginning to understand, allow, most of all believe in the better.

“There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”
‭‭Luke‬ ‭10:42‬ ‭NLT‬‬

To linger longer in the places God calls me, to slow down and believe he sees me.

Late in the afternoon, I watched from the windows. The trees that were far from me reminded me of a stormy ocean tide rolling on. The rhythm of their sway and the brushing up of the trees was a dance with the wind.

Synchronicity. I had said a quiet prayer, a pause and I opened my eyes and sat still.

I sat and rested my eyes on the horizon of dark cloudless sky, the gathering of trees.

Knowing it’s impossible to stay here for long, there are many things to do.

But, for a moment, and more moments later.

I can choose the new and the better, redemption this side of heaven.

The Very Best Dream

Abuse Survivor, bravery, Children, courage, doubt, Faith, family, memoir, Peace, Prayer, Redemption, rest, Salvation, Stillness, surrender, Trust, Vulnerability, wisdom
Found feather

I woke up and remembered, I had the very best dream.

I told my grown up children, with me because of our beach vacation.

We were all together the night before. They both know my ways. My son, for years slept across the hall, sometimes heard my night terrors. Morose recollections typically triggered by the slightest unintentional fear created dramas in my sleep.

So, when like a breath of fresh clear air, I had an optimistic dream, I had to tell them.

The night before we’d all sat together around the table. Adult children joining in conversation about Co-Vid, the election, the changing world known as America.

My son-in-law shared a video being shared all around. A county or city meeting somewhere in Florida and an invocation to something, anything other than God that led to six or so people standing and leaving.

The person giving the invocation prayed to nature and the earth and the only mention of Jesus was that he “might” forgive us.

I wasn’t particularly bothered by the video, I’d been in similar meetings, I told them.

I recalled a time I chaired a coalition I initiated to understand the issue of homelessness. I added that a member of the coalition decided each meeting should begin with a “good thought”, a sort of prayer.

I told my family, I never left the room, I simply did not bow my head. I did not join in the prayers that forbade the mention of Jesus.

Then I said to them,

It’s really going to be different for your children, an effort really to keep talking about Jesus.

Then my husband added that it will be okay, our parents probably felt the same worries.

Then we all said goodnight and exhausted from heat and beach went to bed.

I dreamt of a group regathering. I must’ve been invited as if a charter member or ex-officio sort of thing.

Three days after the dream, the details are skewed.

Like a reunion, we all spoke of what we’d been up to.

I stood in front of twenty or so people and I talked about my relationship with Jesus. I told the people who prayed the prayer excluding God and Jesus why I prayed differently.

I’d been with these people before. This time I felt welcome.

I felt free to be me.

I spoke with clarity. They were enthralled and actively listened. In the dream, there were men and women encircling me, attentive.

I recalled my days of being afraid of God, of being certain of my unworthiness, my days of working hard as a teenage peddler of paper booklets called tracts. I convincingly told of my God whom I believe in.

Someone, a well-dressed theologian sort asked,

“When did you decide to believe in God?”

In the dream I answered “about twenty years ago”.

And the questioner added, “that’s a long time, a long time…where are you now” as if I shouldn’t still be increasing my believing.

And I answered.

I’m just still growing and I’ll keep growing in my knowing of God.

It was the best dream. I’d been in meetings, spoken to large crowds, detailed our need for support and hinted occasionally of my faith.

But only hinted.

Tonight after unpacking sandy beach coolers, clothes and stuff, I had a good walk and thought of the dream that sang of freedom.

As I walked, I opened my palm easily upward to heaven and I thought, prophetic dream.

Not having a clue if that’s a possibility of me…for me.

Prophetic? Me?

My friend says these are not the days to lean into Jesus, rather these are the days to press ourselves to Him.

I couldn’t help but think of impression, allowing God’s impression to be made on me.

No longer overthinking it, not being afraid of it not being true.

Simply believing that it is just as Jesus said, He is the way. He is the answer to His Father’s plan so we have hope, experience peace and eternity with Him.

Google the sinner’s prayer or search the Bible or if you’re fortunate like me, a kind voice will tell you if you ask how it can be…

“Just pray for mercy.” they may answer.

Understand you were born a sinner, admit it. Confess that realization in a prayer to your Creator and then believe in Jesus and keep believing despite the world finding it irrational or a silly offensive fairy tale.

“Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.”
‭‭John‬ ‭14:6‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Allow Jesus to begin your transformation, as you press in.

Left forever, that mark like a print from an original masterpiece making.

Four days without journaling other than scribble marks with the baby, I read my Bible this evening.

“Ye shall walk after the Lord your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.”
‭‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭13:4‬ ‭KJV‬‬

These are old words with timely discovering by me.

Cleave, to unwaveringly believe.

Cleave, not a word you might use usually.

This is me. This was me in my happy dream, being brave and contentedly certain of being loved by God, cleaving.

And God loving me.

Sweet dreams.

Say your prayers and sweet dreams.

Such Fragile Things

Angels, birds, confidence, contentment, courage, curiousity, Faith, hope, Peace, Stillness, surrender, Trust, Vulnerability, wonder

There was nothing I could do to save it. I had the idea of possibility and held it in the palm of my hand as if it were a wish, I felt heroic.

Arriving back home, I searched every tree for an unoccupied nest. The object I’d held onto for the entirety of my walk was a tiny bird egg I’d found on the trail.

In my palm, I noticed the pale angelic blue. Only glancing as I set out to save it, I hadn’t noticed the sweet blueness.

What a grand thing, I thought, to save it would surely have significance! It would be a nod to my worth, the little bird I saved so very important, me too!

I found no nest in the backyard and hurried to the front to find the left behind nest of straw in the garage, a bird nest in the corner of a plastic box.

I opened my hand to settle it in the safe place and saw the glistening of the egg’s innards spilled out into my palm.

In my excited determination, I held on too tightly, I had finished the shattering of the tiny egg.

Naturally, I thought about it. What was I thinking that I in my feeble humanity could save a bird’s egg with an already cracked shell?

I loved the idea of it, not finding just another feather to hold up to the air. Instead, an egg and the eventual birthing of a bluebird of which I could say I was responsible.

I returned to the yard with the Labrador here for just a night. Nothing could fix what I’d broken, I moved on from it to check the blueberries.

And in them, found a grace of sorts. The bushes now four years old and this year, we will finally have a little crop.

Quiet in our yard as the day turned to dusk, I picked every plump one, leaving the pale lavender for later. My granddaughter will visit. We’ll pick more together.

Enough for a small cobbler I decided, a bowl full of berries, rich in a blue, a cobalt vivid color.

Deep blue like a treasure.

Sleepless around 4, I dreamt of water and woke to get a drink.

Unable to calm the beat of my heart, I adjusted the air and recited the 23rd Psalm.

My reluctant mind finally settled and when I woke I thought of the tiny egg and how I’d found and then lost it.

What is the lesson? I wondered. Should I have left its salvation to the mama bird who’d find it or just accept it had fallen?

Had not been meant to fly.

I turn to Psalm 23 to find my drawing in the margin, a border of blue sky and the idea of a tree.

I think for a bit about the teaching of verse three, the verse that assures us that God sees and knows our paths.

“He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭23:3‬ ‭ESV‬‬

He restores my soul again and again. The restoration I find on the paths of His making are not odd or unusual or silly.

Odd that I would believe it possible to save an unborn bird?

No, not at all because it led me to consider the Sovereignty of God, the lack of power of my own.

Who decides if the hydrangea blooms or dries up to brittle brown? Who decides if a bird is kept safe in the wing of its mama or if the wind or something other causes it to be separated from the nest? Who decides if the blueberries produce a yield?

Only God.

God only knows.

“You have made known to me the paths of life; you will make me full of gladness with your presence.’”
‭‭Acts‬ ‭2:28‬ ‭ESV‬‬

May you find the wisdom of God on your path today. May it be simple, so significantly simple.