Happy Way of Life #8

I was outside literally two minutes or less, finally finished, I made my way to the spot I sit and watch the blue cool pool water paint patterns on my feet.

I’d been cleaning like crazy, Friday night instead of Saturday morning.

I was raised that way.

On Saturday morning, nothing happened until we cleaned.

My mama handed out assignments and by noon you’d have thought our house on the poor side of town was tucked away behind stately gates.

I adhere to her pattern, my daughter and son do too. We like things straight.

We like our places put together and pretty.

Now, it’s morning and I have Saturday’s day about to unfold. I’ve been awakened by a text, “You up?”

“In bed, awake”, my reply.

“Get ready.” her instruction.

Last night I tried to remember my mama’s particular words and I couldn’t. I tried to bring to mind her philosophical response, fashioned in blunt reply.

What I miss most of all are Saturday morning calls, coaxing me not worry…to let these two be, to know that they are good.

I can’t recall what it was, the thing I said just like her. I wanted to remember, tried so very hard.

I had to let it go hoping it comes back when I least expect.

Because last night, I sat in my spot, magazine by my side with a splash of wine in pretty glass. Relax, Lisa Anne.

Relax now.

Don’t stress. Let it be. Pick your battles. It’ll be fine. The truth always comes out and again, stress’ll kill you.

Momentarily, I heard the sound.

The arrival, I was ready.

Closer to me, at just the right time, I tilt my eyes towards heaven, and there are three.

The geese, the geese.

Mama always said, “Here they come.”

And yes, they did.

Again.

Happy Mother’s Day tomorrow in heaven. I’ll keep looking for you, mama, in my every single thing.

I’ll be listening for your reply.

Maybe Something Other

I’m beginning to consider other than what I’ve decided always.

Starting to let go my old responses to come what may, my old way.

Who does that? Brings a dandelion inside and places it next to the delicate dogwood bloom, adds it to the water in the little bulbous jelly jar?

I’ve never seen such a pretty arrangement. The contrast of the sticklike stem beside the velvet leaf of other.

The grass had been freshly mown and my day, not long into. The Lab and I returning inside and I paused to see the sun through the pines land on the solitary weed.

I picked it and blew towards the sky, the stem strong in my grasp; but, the feathery frond like fluff would not let go, held tight to the middle.

So, I’ve decided now, in my morning spot, that it was meant for other. It wasn’t meant to be blown away by my forceful breath and it dodged the destruction of the sharp blade of mower.

It was meant for more.

It was meant for other.

I have a task today and another tomorrow.

Tomorrow’s, I’ve asked God to help me reconsider what I’ve decided it’s purpose will be.

To cause me to let go my preconception and to be open to other.

To be accepting of what I will see, hear, feel, knowing I’m made by God, His plans for me planted and not fully seen.

I cover my eyes and my heart with other often, handicapping the growth, deciding my part.

“You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.”

‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭19:21‬ ‭NLT‬‬

His desire is that I not be blown away.

To carry what comes my way in a different way, to do maybe something other than before. To not fade away nor be destroyed.

This morning I’m linking up with Five Minute Friday, prompted by the word and thoughts of “other” .

Trees and Me

I’ve a friend who invites conversation by asking, “Where did you see God today?”

And I’ve loved it so, the thought of it.

But, even more, my own thoughts and ponder,

“And what did He say?”

I find God in places happened upon, causing my pause.

A puff of moss amongst high weeds, a purple flower on a single stem, I consider it there for me, burst forth, break through it seems to say.

Morning was a compilation today of happenstance and truth.

The sameness of my journal, the place where thoughts land and the habitual sometimes same old requests I pencil in carefully, thoughtfully certain.

This one’s a slate grey blue and has a delicate copper colored lettering “notes” in its center.

I’ve many journals, pages full, I bet you can only imagine.

This morning I read via Anita Ojeda that journaling is medicine. It wasn’t news to me, still, I felt it new.

This one, “I know this much is true” kinda truth came a little more alive today and so it’s included in my journal.

Memoir means you intentionally write about your past events in order to understand them better. In the process, you’ll find healing. Anita Ojeda

It occurred to me this is the reason I’m only able to write a paragraph here and there when it comes to memoir.

Other places and subjects, even here I can let flow a thousand words or more.

With memoir, I’m tentative.

Maybe it’s because the content is so precious, so precariously cusp teetering like as far my healing, that its power must be approached gingerly, intentionally and not at all hurriedly.

And sometimes I think time might be running out and my season might be winter forever, that my story might never burst forth.

Others, I think I’m just lazy.

This morning, I prayed a prayer for me. The words were not typical, the request new and softer, different.

The place where I’d been asking for strength or courage or forgiveness, clarity or ability to obey,

I asked for love. Love, instead.

Lord, order my day I pray and help me to do the right things in light of your love for me.

Amen

I especially love this one old tree. When we walk, I can’t turn my eyes from its frame. We turn back and I pause every time because I find its twisted trunk and aging limbs so sublime.

I don’t think it has another season, yet I see small buds on leafless limbs. I’m waiting to see, is it just not time?

Will the fruit of pecans cover the ground come August?

Will its branches continue to reach towards the sky regardless?

The tree, this beautiful old tree it tells me there is time and purpose and plenty of it still.

I almost skipped my Bible this morning, knowing I must get my butt in gear. My passage for April 10, Psalm 92, “How Great are Your Works” it begins.

And I am amazed again at the never accidental nature of my God.

“The righteous flourish like the palm tree and grow like a cedar in Lebanon. They are planted in the house of the Lord; they flourish in the courts of our God. They still bear fruit in old age; they are ever full of sap and green,”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭92:12-14‬ ‭ESV‬‬

And mostly that there’s always time to grow, to bear the fruit of hope, so that others may hope as well.

And that perhaps, some things held onto for very, very long must die before new will fully live.

Like being okay with not finding four leaf clovers in a cluster of clover.

Drawn in by the vibrance, caught off guard by the possibility, stymied by the enormous beauty, I look but am satisfied despite finding the one “lucky one”.

I’m seeing God everywhere and I’m noticing, noting clearly and contentedly my need to continue on.

Who’s to say how we grow, when we’ll burst forth unforced.

When the bud might open or the branches stay barren

Only God can make trees. Only God can make me.

Closer Walking Words

It’s fitting I believe, that the morning outside is dreary, a dull gray film making my time feel like mercy and slow acceptance that all will be well, the atmosphere already has changed.

Holy Spirit reminding me, no fear in love.

Walk more closely.

Continue, speechless.

His loss for my words that come.

Good words on Good Friday,  the day marked by suffering.

His suffering for my words, words that come like mercy every morning.

Wordless

I follow my daily guide that gives words in my Bible, a passage about a husband and wife who allowed greed and insecurity to go against what their souls knew they should do.

They chose to hide the excess of what they’d profited from, hid it away possibly insecure over their future, doesn’t say why.

The husband and then the wife died. Makes me wonder if this is where we get the phrase, “can’t take it with you!”

Peter asked them why they’d not trusted the Spirit, why they chose to hide their mistrust, revealing their lack of belief in God’s provision.

“But Peter said to her, “How is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Behold, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out.”

‭‭Acts‬ ‭5:9‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Today is Good Friday, two days before Easter services, sermons and celebrations.

I open my Bible to understand its significance, longing for the perspective of ancient writers and recorders rather than countless commentaries and insight of others.

I long, thankfully so, to be closer to the heart and soul of the day, to glean more significantly my conviction and my certainty of the suffering for my sake.

I consider the Books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John before finally resting on the page that I penciled in my calculation of the time the world was dark for three hours.

Dark because God could not watch His Son suffer.

“And when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour, Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

‭‭Mark‬ ‭15:33-34‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Observers felt surely rescue would come as the reply. But, it didn’t.

Jesus died.

“And Jesus uttered a loud cry and breathed his last.”

‭‭Mark‬ ‭15:37‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Good Friday, I woke again asking for mercy and mercy, again met me like so many days before.

Today, easing its way reminding me kindly to test the Lord less often, to trust His graceful provision.

To not hide away, insecurely the disguises of my fear.

To not cover my sins of doubt, of shame that lead to paths uncertain and unsafe, paths that might find me falling down, falling back.

So I rose to the dim morning light and He met me again; Jesus, a merciful advocate showing that indeed, Friday is good.

Not just this one; but, all of them Lisa Anne!

All of your Fridays are good when you live in light of My goodness and my grace.

And if you look you will surely see good in every waking day, every day that you choose not to hide your treasure from me, that you choose not to hide your heart away.

Every moment that you are bold enough to believe!

Every day you choose not to blur your visions, your senses, your walking in agreement with my will and way, not yours.

Just a closer walk.

“”Agree with God, and be at peace; thereby good will come to you.”

‭‭Job‬ ‭22:21‬ ‭ESV‬‬

 

linking this post up with other writers who love to tell His story. Visit here:

Tell His Story

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Mama’s Moon

All it took was to see the moon with the fuzzy rim.

Someone said it means something after someone dies, if the moon has a ring.

I saw it back then and it appeared again.

That sight making me sure it was the moon that had seen me.

Like she’d been watching me, seeing me unravel and waiting to intervene, real easy, never stomping in to have her say.

Troubles have been coming to the surface and strong last week, really the last few months began to not feel strong at all.

Like crinkly brown leaves raked away to reveal tiny blades lime green of grass, you’ve got to clear away the dead to bring the live, the life you’ve hinted at but never quite felt it yours.

I played a game today suggested by a friend, mindful of my triggers,

I said “Hello, shame” and later “Hello, fear.”

Finally, “Hello, fat girl.”

Followed by laughter and working harder and seeing myself in the long tall mirror then, balance on the cut in half yoga ball and throwing the weighted one.

I sign up for the assessment of my progress, laughing over the carrot cake cupcakes my daughter will make and how maybe I should wait for another day

And decide, it’s okay. Monday is okay, I expect I’ll see progress still, changes and acceptance of how the measurements will say I’m changing.

Sweaty and energized, I drive towards home and the moon.

The moon, my mama’s, it cannot be denied.

I’ve been being watched over and the moon, mama’s moon says to me

“Don’t stress, Lisa, you are just fine.”

Morning Light

Jesus told the disciples how they should pray. They’d seen Him praying and asked to be taught. He responded with The Lord’s Prayer and then continued by telling them to be persistent and specific, to be, I suppose you might say, “a pest”.

This morning I woke up too early. I’d been bragging about my internal clock and being able to wake without alarm at just the right time. Not today, 5:30 a.m. and I begin.

Pretty pencil and pad in my lap, I leave the lamp off.

I think, out of nowhere…Lord, teach me to pray.

Cup one down, I flip on the lamp and find the place in my Bible where this request rests.

Prayed yesterday while walking Colt and before sleep last night and now morning routine, I’m still seeking more.

Lord, do you tire of the same requests?

I wonder do you watch over me and my circling round, back tracking and circumventing supplications?

Do you grow weary of my questions?

Do you feel I’m ever looking for answers; but, not hardly ever seeking you?

Jesus told the disciples that a good father gives his children what they ask for and never anything less or not suitable.

He told the disciples a hungry soul asking to be fed will be fed as long as they are persistent in their need for food.

“And he said to them, “Which of you who has a friend will go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves, for a friend of mine has arrived on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; and he will answer from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed. I cannot get up and give you anything’? I tell you, though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his impudence he will rise and give him whatever he needs. And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” Jesus Luke‬ ‭11:5-9‬ ‭ESV‬‬

I look towards my left, a desk where two boys sat who are now men is filled with old school papers and things like Hot Wheels and Pokémon cards.

On top rests the broken edged pot from my mama’s. The succulents have not survived but, the bird nest rests there, gold coin from a foreign place and the pine cone and the pebble. There’s a feather near and a magnolia type pod.

I’m reminded to pray, prompted by what and who each oddity means.

I’m reminded that my morning routine is never routine to God.

In the Chapter just before the 11th of Luke, Jesus told Martha to be more like her sister, Mary.

Told her to choose the better, to linger at His feet awhile instead of trying to keep straight everyone and everything around her, unfocused, persistent only in her perfections sought after.

Morning light now all around, I’ve sat for longer than I should again, I think.

And then quickly decide no, not at all as another verse God brings to mind. One about a boy who woke to hear clearly what God had to say, had prepared him for.

“Therefore Eli said to Samuel, “Go, lie down, and if he calls you, you shall say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant hears.'” So Samuel went and lay down in his place. And the Lord came and stood, calling as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant hears.”

‭‭1 Samuel‬ ‭3:9-10‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Morning light, now fully bright.

Thank you, Father I’ve sought you and I’ve sat and you have spoken to my heart.

I’m now prepared.

Thank you for my routine every morning.

I’m thankful for FMF prompts. Admittedly, I rarely stay within 5 minutes…still I enjoy linking up and learning from others.

http://fiveminutefriday.com/2018/03/22/fmf-link-up-routine/

P.S. pray for Colt, the big brown lab aka Colton Dixon, his old hip injury has him limping this morning, not his usual goofy self. 😒

Not Sought After

I almost hurried to finish what I only had one day to complete. It would be my first time not submitting, my first time not trying, my first time not getting all optimistic and hopeful that this time I’d surely be selected.

“Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭27:14‬ ‭NLT‬

Almost midnight, I get a message with just a question, “What has become of “Colors”?

Accountability, an unexpected “ding” and my reply was ready. “Work in progress. Truly.”

He replied with thumbs up.

The message sent by someone maybe seeming an unlikely supporter, wise one, writerly and truthful.

He’d read the first chapter of “Colors” as he calls the book, and he understood clearly when I spoke strongly of wanting not to be just a cute little inspirational writer, I wanted to be true, honest, brave.

All those things and now, most of all though humble and hopeful.

Closer to me and my story for them, for others, for God.

Ready to convey Hope and Healed in a way others see healing as not just possible but potential and probable.

So, I didn’t submit for the fourth time (actually, maybe fifth) to the well known platform for Christian women writers.

I wasn’t prompted by God with anything to say. I knew the words would be just mine and they’d be impulsively conjured up and confident only in me, not Him.

Yesterday, I told someone I’d always found humility to be tough, tough for people who have already had such a hard time with finding themselves worthy.

It can be so conflicting sometimes to believe in good things, to believe ourselves deserving and hear voices that shout loudly inside that warn of pride.

Thinking less of ourselves does not mean thinking ourselves less than what God says.

Maybe humility is simply thinking more of the me God sees and knowing oh, my lord how much more that is, and is not pride it’s just believing without stopping believing.

I decided I make humility harder than it is.

When all it is, is focus, keeping right my focus. Humility is simply modesty aligned with prayer and an open mind to God’s ways more than mine.

Unexpected encounters are the confirmation of why the best things are never sought, always unexpected.

It’s our seeking that leads to pride, the seeking that starts with hope, starts with maybe just an innocent sweet yearning for good.

We might even call it God’s blessing because we know He loves to bless His children.

But, we’re human. We get off track, get impatient over the wait. Insecure over our worthiness.

We get driven and determined over what started as a meek imploring, hope for something to quickly off the rails crashing towards an object or accomplishment that we can NOT live without.

If it doesn’t happen this time or doesn’t happen at all, who am I now?

Who was I ever to God?

We ignore God maybe, then. We begin to believe we should have it, whatever the it is and our motives change.

Our motives change from humility to pride.

No longer do we want what God wants.

We want what we want.

And if we’re not alerted by our soul’s stirring, we act impulsively, we react from our ingratitude for what hasn’t happened yet.

Because we’re human and we can make our way work, we decide to handle the matter, we get things done!

So, two encounters unexpected last night. Two people sought me out in a noisy boisterous crowd.

The first to tell me she starts every day with my Instagram post. I hugged her and I hugged her again. Such a small offering, a few words, maybe a paragraph that’s all I give.

We hugged again and I told her, “It’s just God every morning speaking straight to me and I just share it.”

She smiled as if she saw that, she saw that

I’m imperfect and seeking.

The best place to be.

Humility is no more than that.

The more we find God, the less we look elsewhere for our worth.

Another person, I believe maybe four hugs this time we shared. Overwhelmed and feeling guilty, she decided to resign from our Board of Directors.

I told her I would miss her, I understood, I still hoped to see her.

My husband was standing with us and she told him she just “felt so guilty” about all the things she should do but, she knew she couldn’t.

He pointed towards me and said, “She knows.”

Then she told us what her husband said to her, a comfort and confirmation.

“If you’re feeling guilty it’s not because of you, that feeling, that discomfort, it’s God trying to tell you something.”

Esssentially, her guilt and her discomfort were negative emotions and God never wants us to feel badly about ourselves. He wants us to come to Him to ask for understanding, for guidance, for ways forward.

We don’t need to make tough decisions on our own, they’re always going to leave us conflicted, angry, resentful and divided unless we align with Him, diligent in prayer.

Closer to knowing Him, His ways, His will.

I told her I’d just come to this truth recently, that God does not bring us guilt, doubt, dismay.

We are human in this human and imperfect world. We grasp for understanding when we’re not capable of ever understanding all.

We grasp for what measures our success and what we gauge our contentment by.

Our grasping is always striving, never submission, never settled and waiting for what comes when it is

Not sought after.

The deadline came and passed for the submission. A half-hearted morning prayer was uttered that day “God, give me words that mean in courage.”

Moments, really were all that happened between the reluctant ask and the confident decision, not now, not hurried, not for you, Lisa Anne, not for you.

Because all of my encounters with people and places and platforms that hold my words close and up for others to read have thus far been unexpectedly given, I am completely sure they came from God.

Humility is most of all, prayer and patience. Closer to being the one He knows and Has wonderful unsought after plans for.

Prayer and patience…

Aunt Boo