God’s Peace, You are Free

“You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy, that I might sing praises to you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever!”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭30:11-12‬ ‭NLT‬‬

It’s exactly as surprising and joyous as they say, being a grandparent. Some may say, it’s what I’m learning, an infant requires of your attention, a full percent and it’s never a demand, it is a precious gift.

Complement it with an idyllic setting, open field, blue sky wide, leaves changing colors and a quilt on a back porch situated perfectly for a breeze.

I sing with abandon. She listens, smiles. The acoustics are so good. My voice carries. God is near.

Being a grandmother, big chunks of uninterrupted peace. My granddaughter is privy to God’s refining of me.

Perhaps, it’s her and God’s idea.

How can I keep from singing your praise?

I welcome the unlearning of the traumatized me, I acknowledge it may take a bit.

I envision clarity like a treasure I bring up to my chest or it’s a tug of war, the big mean boy grabbing at what’s mine and me, scared of being overpowered.

I used to give it away.

Now, I’m angry over its thieves.

My little bit of peace and clarity jerked from my arms and the aggressor running away, turned back towards me, sneering and laughing his ass off!

I’d have used asterisks for the s’s but I decided not to veil the truth of this thought and image, the abusive act of my peace being stolen.

In the dim light of day as a way of escape, a rescue for my hurting heart came this morning.

The answer?

All things are possible with God.

I thought it over and over.

This! This is real.

Not with self-care, not a new counselor, not a community or “tribe”, not a webinar or self-help book.

Not some instructor, well intentioned but profiting from my naive determination shadowed by doubt and discontent.

These are the things that draw me in, make me prey to promises only God and I together can fulfill.

Bold revelation, you may say.

When I write this way, I’m a little worried and then I decide someone else may need to explore this, this self-handicapping behavior, this lesson in knowing our weak places, being uncomfortable with settling there.

The closer we get to God’s gracious idea of us, the more miserable we are wearing any other garment or expression.

Clarity came and may be the less traveled road to peace.

This leg of my journey will lead to peace.

A rarely talked about truth for victims of trauma, I’ve heard it spoken many times by my kind and skilled counselor friend.

People return to negative patterns because this is familiar, this is safe. The sometimes unhealthy behaviors are the most fail-proof remedy we know.

Thankfully not return to allowing physical trauma, more the insidious spread of subtle abuses to self, the power of our thoughts, our mindsets that

Sabotage our freedom.

Compile all the days you lived under the thumb of something or someone, succumbing to the control, manipulation or unfair, cast aside treatment by something or someone.

The undoing doesn’t just happen like the snap of a finger and thumb.

Take it easy on you.

Then do two things, Lisa Anne.

Now that you understand what you’re doing, be grateful not debilitated, give yourself grace.

Stop seeking validation, support, or yet another conversation in which you expect another human to fully understand your distress.

It’s not possible and it’s not their place or fault.

Your wounds and your beautiful hopes are far too deeply layered for another human being to understand.

Something about early morning, God always speaks as if to say:

I filtered your fears overnight, here’s what’s left, the sure thing you must now know. All things are possible with me.

This place God has brought me to, saved me from, kept me safe…how on earth could I think it’s possible to continue on my own?

I jot the “Jabez prayer” every morning.

“He was the one who prayed to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and expand my territory! Please be with me in all that I do, and keep me from all trouble and pain!” And God granted him his request.”

‭‭1 Chronicles‬ ‭4:10‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Today, I added little check marks next the lines in the beginning: I’ve been blessed, check, I’ve had my territory enlarged, check!

The last two things, I am still very much in need of, keep your hand on me God, keep me from self-harm, the thoughts that betray me, so that I won’t revisit, get caught up in my pain.

You see, I spoke of newfound freedom, the choice to live with hope not remorse. I made it seem so easy.

Yet, I didn’t give a thought to the multiple layers of harm that very hope would have to fight daily with the devil to stay real every minute.

The one thing just a glimpse of freedom will give, a strong and renewed will to fight hard against repeated entrapment!

An awareness that it is hard not to be a victim when you were one for so long.

It is hard not to be who you were.

Almost impossible.

It’s easier to be weak and manipulated than to be newly strong.

I boasted of hope, forgot I am not able on my own.

God is my counselor, my advisor, my strong encourager of looking forward not before.

This is not a grim post, only honest. I’m afraid honesty’s in my bones, got that from my father, God rest his quiet soul.

I rise now to continue the things He started in me, blessed me, continues to enlarge my territory through happy brave opportunities.

I’ve designed a 2020 calendar, available soon, each month, an image of a woman strengthened by hope and God.

(Hope to share by next week, tell you more about ordering.)

Some told me they were proud of me, well intentioned comments and I suppose make sense.

What I’m doing though, is just following through on a God-planted seed, an idea, God’s work through me.

Please don’t be proud of me. Together, let’s be proud of God.

I rise now to clean my “art and writing room”, to ready it for what is possible today.

Are you a victim of trauma, physical or emotional abuse?

My thoughts…be strong, believe in your freedom; but, don’t walk it out alone, without the one who knows you completely, God.

“Jesus looked at them and said,

“With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.”

‭‭Mark‬ ‭10:27‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Believe. Continue and believe.

September’s Monthly Mail

I committed to a monthly newsletter and am learning as I go. Here’s an excerpt of September’s and an invitation to subscribe if you’d like to share in my imperfect, yet continued writing journey.

Zacchaeus came down from a tree and Jesus followed him home and in that home, if there’d been a confused, conflicted and peace seeking sister, she could have been me. 

Your Bible Story

Feel free to share.

LT

Course Change

Does not wisdom call?

Does not understanding raise her voice? Proverbs 8:1

I heard them off in the distance and decided they were traversing through the warm fog towards the expected pond down the road.

I stood as the puppy followed his pattern, checking out the corner shrub, sniffing at the dirt; he is so slow in the mornings to do “his business”.

The sound of the geese came closer and I expected to see them fly over the four homes down subdivision.

Instead they were sounding very close.

I stood as the sound approached and there they were, two sets of geese perfectly positioned over me. So very close, I could see the pattern of their feathers and their soft curved bellies, their beaks breaking up the fog.

Two sets of seven or eight or so in their arrow design making their way to must be a new destination, course change, following new directions today.

The puppy scurried towards me and was startled, his little face looking up towards the sky as he hurried.

This is new for him, I thought; he has to figure out if he should run away or be okay, trusting their kind and sweetly patterned arrival.

Being safe and simply noticing.

Noticing God.

Like the random occurrence of the dragonfly perched on my cup poolside, it rested until I noticed and because I noticed, I captured it on my phone.

Someone asked, “You’re taking a picture of a dragonfly?”

I don’t believe I responded.

Because I had no idea the symbolism and I didn’t know how beautiful it and its traditional meaning would be.

Until this morning.

Until the meaning lined up with my prayer.

The Dragonfly normally lives most of its life as a nymph or an immature. It flies only for a fraction of its life.  This symbolizes and exemplifies the virtue of living in the moment and living life to the fullest.

I’m back to bedside prayers in the morning. To be honest it’s sometimes more like a long low downward dog pose, hoping for relief in the ache of low back.

I tumble from my bed to the floor determined to at the very least start well.

Start surrendered.

I think of the invalid who’d been so very close to healing waters but waited over half his life for someone to help him get well, help him from the ground into the water.

He waited to be noticed, for maybe someone to care and he used the excuses that well everyone else is beating me there, the line’s too long or perhaps, he felt the waters had lost their strength because of all the help they’d given everyone else…

Could there still be healing enough left in the water for me?

After all those years, he was paralyzed, not only his limbs but his mind and his soul.

Oh, man! I understand.

Stay where you are, settle in your place of thinking you can but never will.

“One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 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.”

‭‭John‬ ‭5:5-9‬ ‭ESV‬‬

It’s no coincidence, the geese flying over, the visiting dragonfly and my different prayer this morning.

Lord, can my life truly be different? Help me live today in pursuit of the difference in me that only you know. Help me to be moment by moment today instead of rushing towards this evening, tomorrow or even next year. Can my life really be different? I’m willing to see.

I don’t think we know at all, even an ounce of what God might have planned if we are patient, persistent and willing.

I don’t think we see the magic and power of getting up from our “mats”… our places on the ground or the floor and embracing the change and changes God says are possible when we forget all the barriers, the doubts, the distractions and the pull of life backward or in unhealthy directions.

It may be slow. I’ll try to be steady.

I’ll go slow.

I’ll follow unknown paths perhaps.

Moment by moment, change will come and I’ll find myself in small yet surrendered places.

Positioned with Him because I moved from my worn out tattered and sad place and into the healing water.

Continue.

Continue and believe.

Changed.

Testament?

My husband described it as a “testament”, my description of my day.

And I didn’t correct him. I knew he meant testimony. Hey, that’s progress for me, the not correcting of word mistake.

He wasn’t there on Sunday, he had been called to work. I shared with him once I settled in back home standing in the kitchen.

He was at a loss for words.

If I’m honest, he and others sometimes are surprised by me and so, I leave them with a task, figuring out what it is that Lisa wants them to say. (Enneagram 4 indeed, me) 😊

So, I texted him the copied post from my Instagram, expressing the joy of my “beautiful day”.

Here you go:

So, today was baptism Sunday at True North. I’d forgotten about it. I usually try to prepare myself for the emotions it stirs. I watched people publicly professing their Savior, Jesus and my gut began to stir, asking myself when, why not already? Did that this morning and then actually “took my thoughts captive”, thinking it hasn’t been the right time yet, you don’t need to know the reason. I’d told my family, I’m going to get baptized, I am…the first time I was a little girl, scared to death of God, knew who Jesus was, didn’t know Jesus!

Thank God for mercy and a country preacher, I gave my life to Jesus when my children were little. My path hasn’t always been straight; but, I’ve known him beside me. Grace has kept me and grown me beyond all expectations based on my past and the human in me.

So, today I knew I’d be baptized soon, I would and because of God’s great kindness it would be the right time. I was at peace.

The pastor surprised the church today at the end, the baptism waters welcomed me and close to twenty others. I, as you might know, love words. But, words failed me other than “beautiful day” “can’t even express it”…God’s powerful timing.

I don’t anticipate anything now other than God’s continued provision of His plans for my life. I’m no more perfect because I was baptized today, I’m still a learner. I’m still a listener. But, oh my goodness thank God I’m not who I was, not last year, last month or even…before church this morning.

Early morning, it felt like an odd prayer, I asked God to help me understand obedience. He answered in my Utmost devotion. Obedience is simply knowing we were created to live a life in pursuit of God, to choose holy every time the choice is ours. Today, I told HB when the surprising opportunity to be baptized was given “I got to do this.” I believe she said “I knew you would.” I can’t be sure. My emotions were high, the Holy Spirit was powerful, it was to be honest, overwhelming.

Thank you to those who came to greet me, who smiled from your seat, called from Charleston when you heard.

Thank you, Jesus.

#beautifulday #madenew #faithful19

A “Testament” he said,

Wow, what a testament.

I’m googling testament, curious over its meaning.

I find he may have been correct.

I was wrong.

tes·ta·ment
/ˈtestəmənt/

…something that serves as a sign or evidence of a specified fact, event…

Yes, my testimony of last Sunday is indeed a testament.

A story worth retelling.

The Five Minute Friday prompt today is “testimony“, so many stories, one loving God.

https://fiveminutefriday.com/2019/09/05/fmf-writing-prompt-link-up-testimony/

Selling Our Wares and Our Ways

I’ve mentioned before, my grandma was an artist. She created bejeweled Christmas balls and sold them.

I suppose she did this for two or three years.

She had a following.

If it were today, it might be said she had a platform, her art at Christmas was known county-wide.

I’ve not sold a painting in a month or so and today I was rejected twice via email, my bravely written and submitted words.

My words, my fingers easy on the keyboard or messy in the paint.

I saw the email, didn’t want to read it, held my phone at a distance as I scrolled as if the yes or no might cause my screen to explode or illuminate in my hand.

So many submissions, thank you.

Not selected.

Okay.

Less than 72 hours ago I was reminded of a favorite Old Testament verse, I admit I pluck out just a portion, my favorite part.

Don’t despise the day of small things.

“For whoever has despised the day of small things shall rejoice…”

‭‭Zechariah‬ ‭4:10‬ ‭ESV

Someone called me asking about a gift certificate for a painting. I said, sure, okay.

$25

I heard a podcast interview that discussed the ministries of 30 or so years ago, sitting with others, talking about hard things and Jesus or helping someone on the cusp of not believing to believe again.

That’s what we called ministry back then.

Now we look at numbers, followers, visitors, and interactions.

Last week I quietly chastened myself. It stuck. I was changed more than momentarily.

My blog is my ministry.

My Instagram is my ministry.

My art is my ministry.

I felt like crap when I admitted I’d acted as if there had to be more.

Always more.

Almost three years ago I told a friend “I don’t want to be a cutesy trendy female Christian writer.”

It seems I’d forgotten.

I had made my readers small, the regulars who read my words, unimportant.

I realized all along and without me needing to know, my words are my ministry.

My words are always honest.

Are genuine, not prettied up hoping for selection.

These weekly, daily, maybe more are truly me, true me.

Brave and oh, the trendy word.

“Authentic”.

I prayed last week for some sense of direction to keep writing, trying or give up.

Specifically, I asked God to send someone to tell me keep going or settle.

Then I got the rejection of two pieces and I acted as if I’d never asked the above question.

God’s not saying quit writing.

God is saying quit chasing notice. Stop seeking acclaim.

Why are you trying to write anything other than what you started and can’t bring yourself to finish?

Because I fear rejection.

Yet, I fear giving up even more.

I’ll keep going, slow and with free speaking, thinking, praying and believing.

I’ll keep writing and I’ll keep painting and I’ll keep taking the same steps as before knowing I’m still headed towards forward, not the me of before.

Small things of my day today?

I finished a tiny watercolor painting, my three month old granddaughter on my lap.

We walked together, Elizabeth and I and when I mentioned the birds, her sweet face turned in their direction,

I prayed with my cousin and she with me and we helped one another.

Ministry.

Yes, I used what God gave me, small things.

My ministries today.

Tomorrow, I’ll wake up and God will lead my thinking. I’ll type a little something and someone might comment, “needed this today” and I’ll answer

“I’m just saying what God told me first thing.”

And I’ll sit and add colors to canvas and in my comforting of myself, I’ll make art for others.

I don’t know why I continue, rejection is a certain thing.

Small things, I won’t despise them.

Won’t despise the days full of them and what they are teaching me.

Rejection and joy, all in a day.

Listless Pursuits and Edits

How do you continue in a pursuit, something you feel in your soul is yours God gave you, made you to do?

Vocation, talent, thing that when it “clicks” feels like your gift?

How do you keep going when whatever is taking you farther has hit a bump in the road, a stall?

You don’t think right away and resist the realization, God is intentional when He slows us, requires our acceptance of the shift, the limbo, other adjustments we resist.

We want to use what we know, learn from others, humanly input some change to eliminate the insecurities in the lull.

I do anyway.

Partly, y’all. I just turned 59, I waited a long time to believe I had what I call a share-worthy treasure.

My testimony. My story.

My art and my words.

I make lists every morning, both tasks and requests of God longing to be farther along, a little perplexed over do I continue or surrender the idea of possibility.

My mama always said,

It’s all in it!

And I knew it was true but I dreaded her truth, keep on or stop, just know some days you’re floating and others you fight to swim.

I guess bravery keeps swimming, doubt watches from the shore.

I journal little exhortations to myself I hope I may remember an hour later.

Why are we uncomfortable with the state of limbo, I wonder.

Just now, I’ve explored website options for my art and whether I should bring all my pieces home from where I’ve consigned them, lay them down for new photographs and then create a presence, a polished website.

I dream of being selected by a gallery as an artist but I’m not ready or respected without a website.

I’ve just stood with my feet on the rain soaked grass and pondered my day, my ways.

What about the book idea? What about the proposal out there, the query?

I’d rather be an artist. If I’m honest, that’s what I’ve dreamt to be, meant to be?

I’ll finish the remaining seven chapters and then I’ll edit too much me out and then I’ll mail the perspective chapter’s inspiration to each of the women who I’ve set out to honor, to write of their being Jesus to me.

Then, I won’t hold my head down in regret or humiliation over thinking publication might be possible.

I’ll rest in acceptance and I’ll close that door.

Limbo is miserable, waiting is an invitation to toss everything and permission to be satisfied with that discarding.

Then the thought, but your story is for others handicapped by traumatic experiences who need your voice, your choice to seek hope over remorse.

That’s what I’ve always felt God said when He told me this was my treasure.

So, today I will continue. I’ll do one thing at a time.

I will pray and the thing I’m to continue will come naturally.

Naturally, when I don’t look too far ahead and I let God, not me, lead.

I don’t really understand this thing called a calling or being “called” or following a “call”

I told God so this morning.

Is my pursuit to be less about a pursuit guided by a list every morning?

Maybe.

Maybe so and maybe that’s the reason I’m increasingly captivated by His sky?

How silly and such a waste of time would it be for me to stare up towards heaven, backyard, walking trail, parking lot at the mall?

Me, oblivious to anything or one, being pulled upward, seeking, finding, being better, stronger and more suited for His plan?

There has to be a reason my head keeps tilting skyward.

“I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

‭‭Philippians‬ ‭3:14‬ ‭ESV‬‬

My birthday card from my daughter, her hubby, their baby daughter was a treasure this year!

It wished me, “a rare bird” a happy day. Then the puppy somehow finagled it loose from its frame, found a hidden spot and began at the corner, chewing at the pretty paper.

I was upset. I overthought it. I called the puppy a demon dog with evil intent. I put it away in a drawer, nothing could fix it.

I told my daughter and she allowed my pitiful story. Said she’d get me another and later told me to frame it, what a memory, what a good story!

I told her no, not funny.

Then I did, I framed it, the card with the little birds and the perfect sentiment and the bottom corner imperfect and chewed.

I asked God this morning to bless my writing and to bless my art.

I’m not sure I’ve asked that of Him before. Asked for redirection where I need it, for His gentle push to persevere and a sense of gentle settling when anxiety asks what is coming.

And I asked him to be my editor, to edit me and my story and to help me to know

Am I being led another way or am I running scared? Are you changing my course or am I jumping ship? Am I stubborn child or a patient learner?

Lord, I want to honor you with my life, my words. Help me to edit my story.

“ Be still, and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10 ESV

‭‭It’s raining now, no sky captivated staring today.

Maybe later. Yes, later.

And more and more, less list obsession and more seeing, knowing, being pursued by God.

I’m linking up at Tell His Story, a community of writers led by Mary Geisen.

https://marygeisen.com/how-to-learn-from-an-arctic-tern/

Encumbrances

I like words that make you feel their meaning, words like “encumbrance”.

Words that cause pause, make you want to be sure you honor their meaning.

I told my husband what to say to the puppy and how. “Good Boy” or “No”.

Same tone I told him.

“Don’t make him cower.”

“Cower?” He paused and then understood.

I like words. That’s why I like that he calls me an enigma. It’s descriptive, a little mysterious.

Me.

I landed in the word encumbrance in devotion this morning. Accurate and timely in a time I find myself intentionally less burdened and more aware of useless stories of shame.

When I read encumbrance, I can almost see myself bent over and trying to trudge on exhausted and hopeless with my carried way too long bag full of bad choices and less than certain trust.

“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,”

‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭12:1‬ ‭NASB‬‬

Where I walk has lots of hills and turns and the steps back home are up a final steep hill. I push myself til I’m done, sometimes try to jog it. Rarely do I just ease back home. I want to finish strong, get all the benefits of the exercise.

I like the message it teaches me, yeah you made it back home, you finished today’s walk; but, your walk has only just begun and so the steep hills and the struggle causing curves, keep taking them, they are good. They are teaching you to endure and to throw off the heavy holding you back things…the thoughts that say oh, it doesn’t make a difference anyway and the physical choices that make you not fit, lazy and unable, body and soul.

God wants us to be able to keep climbing higher, he knows we gotta be lighter, we gotta let go of our encumbrances, our heavy loads.

Less us, more Him. Less heavy junk like shame and worry and more freedom from constant prayer and trust. He wants endurance from us, finished races and joyful victories are what He purposed us to see.

#finishwell #thecolorsofmybible #quietconfidenceartandword

Job, the 5th Chapter

I forgo my regular pattern of following my daily Bible guide and I go back to Job.

I am curious as to whether I’d have been as intrigued by Job twenty or so years ago as I am today.

An Old Testament book that reads like a novel to me, not one with lengthy lineage lists of unpronounceable names or one that details all of the practices and laws, I love the emotion of Job.

The emotion of God in this book.

Would I have felt the same many years ago, years when I felt forgotten by God and others?

I don’t know.

Because God knows, I didn’t really know God back then.

But, He knew me.

He surely knew Job.

In Chapter 3 Job laments. Chapter 4 and then 5 are the first of the attempts to comfort, redirect, to talk about the perceived unfairness of God by Eliphaz, his friend.

Life includes the expectation of trouble he told him then told him to complain, God would understand, would intervene.

“For affliction does not come from the dust, nor does trouble sprout from the ground, but man is born to trouble as the sparks fly upward.”

‭‭Job‬ ‭5:6-7‬ ‭ESV

Eliphaz is confident of Job’s innocence and so he tells him essentially, tell God how you feel and since He knows you’re a godly man, He’ll come through.

“Behold, blessed is the one whom God reproves; therefore despise not the discipline of the Almighty.

For he wounds, but he binds up; he shatters, but his hands heal.”

‭‭Job‬ ‭5:17-18‬ ‭ESV‬‬

And so the chapter ends on a good note, a friend hopeful in his advice to a friend.

Chapter 6 of the Book of Job is 30 verses in the words of Job, a valid and lamenting complaint to God.

A plea for redirection, for rescue.

“Teach me, and I will be silent; make me understand how I have gone astray.”

‭‭Job‬ ‭6:24‬ ‭ESV‬‬

As far as the rest of the story, (after a long while) God restores Job in new ways. Job’s old days of integrity, of blessing, of beautiful things, those no longer remained.

But, God gave more and He gave even greater understanding to a man who stuck with Him.

I suppose this is why I consider the Job story so important and uplifting in between the lines of damage, death and destruction for no reason other than one.

Trust God.

Trust God in smaller ways.

Trust God in your present day, your past is only a reference for all the goodness, the rescue from what could’ve, should have killed you.

Trust God in your unknown.

His hands hold your beautiful future here on this evil tainted earth and your unfathomably sublime and peaceful heaven.

Job, Chapter 5, a chronicle of the advice of a friend who eventually tossed him aside, named his “wickedness great” and joined in with Job’s wife saying throw in the towel, “curse God and die”.

Leaving Job with one sole friend, advisor and listener, God.

Lord, thank you for Job, thank you for his trials that were unmerited and for his decision to stay aligned despite confusion with You.

May I learn even more from him and from you. Because of mercy, I pray, Amen

Linking up with others here, prompted by “Five”.

https://fiveminutefriday.com/2019/08/01/fmf-writing-prompt-link-up-five/

Happy Anniversary, FMF!

Church on Sunday

I’m happy for the secluded corner, shady under the crepe myrtles.

How was church yesterday?

Were you moved?

Were your hands lifted high, even if only internally lifted?

Did you sense the spirit through the words of a Spirit filled messenger?

Did you cling to the assurance, God is faithful?

Did you sense the same elsewhere, in the simplicity of small earth underneath big sky?

“The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭19:1‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Barefooted and with a whole day to fill, I walk out with the pup watching to be sure he pees.

I plop down on the moist grass, thinking adults don’t sit on the ground in the shade, not usually.

But, what a gift. Because I decided church would be via my laptop, I sat and just sat, no hurry, just wait.

Warm breeze, birds singing, nothing much else.

I said my prayers there.

And left them.

This Monday morning, up early with puppy, my husband pauses groggy with his coffee and turns to ask me, “What you ponderin’?

I answered, “Nothing, just dozing.”

Which wasn’t totally true because I’d been wondering about the word “faithful” and whether that was true of me and whether it was attainable in the way I believed it to be.

Looked it up and confirmed by its definition, “loyal, constant, committed, steadfast” that I’m only faithful sporadically or truthfully just momentarily.

I walked outdoors, the pup and I, saying “Go potty” and standing at a distance to confirm that he pooped.

I waited. Looked up and waited.

The heavens opening up, clouds spread thin like marshmallows melting or foam of tide going out and leaving the fluff of the stirring sea.

I laid down on the grass in the same spot of my prayers, thinking no one my age lies down on the ground to see fully the heavens.

But you do, Lisa Anne you do.

Because you’re the pondering kind and you’re not concerned over being caught being childlike, sitting with your hands resting in your lap to pray or looking up lying down because that’s the only true spectacular view.

Church on Sunday was backyard prayers in pajamas.

Church on Monday was being captivated by heaven and realizing my faithfulness is to such activity as this.

Childlike lingering to ponder unashamed out in the backyard.

Yeah, I’m faithful to such things as this.

Listening for birds, hurrying to see the geese, hoping for intermittent promptings to pray prayers that are not spectacular and yet, flow like sweet supper conversations.

Monday morning findings of just one tiny rose bloom left for you to view.

I am learning, these are the faithful sought after traits God knows are mine and are mine to honor Him.

Be faithful in.

Noticing Him.

Being certain of heaven.

Less performance for God and more contemplation of Him.

More learning of acceptance and less calculative striving for answers.

Because the greatest answer is not a reply that says you’re worthy, we chose you, you’re our selection or show us more!

Maybe I’m only meant for little based on human definition.

For now, little consistently and faithfully is feeling much like much.

Thinking of heaven while still on earth, I’m faithful in this.

“Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭25:21‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Distance Pursuit

The geese were all gathered on the new neighbor’s lawn.

Looking one to another, they sort of sashayed towards the water.

The newly laid squares of sod already thick like a 70’s shag, I watched their heavy bottoms shimmy as if to get their fins loose.

The water was near, the path was no longer tree filled, the pond was just down and behind the new build.

The environment had changed, still they were intent on their annual season of pursuit.

Same with me this morning.

I found an old photo from a seven year ago beach stay, with the quote by Mark Twain.

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails.

Thinking about the distance since then.

The space between what caught my attention and inspired my imagining to only beginning and recently tangible taking initiative.

That space is not seven years worth of big, not necessarily but sometimes true.

It is small. Small like making it through the uncertain woods to step gingerly over river soaked rocks to reach the other side.

The side that causes you looking back from whence you’ve stepped across and recalling the overgrowth, the rocky places, the spaces with sounds like sissing snakes underfoot.

You stepped over and you sense the importance.

You’re being distanced from the you you once only imagined being brave enough to pursue,

The landscape has changed.

You pursue it, the brave world of being, seeing, living…

different!

Continue and believe.

Go the distance.

“This is the way you should go,” Isaiah‬ ‭30:21‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Linking up with others on Five Minute Friday, prompted by the word, Distant.