Bucket Listless

Abuse Survivor, Art, birds, contentment, courage, curiousity, Faith, family, heaven, hope, Salvation, Thanksgiving, Vulnerability, wonder, writing

Someone said we shouldn’t have a bucket list if we believe in Jesus, believe in heaven.

Made sense, the whole reality of the mysterious truth of eternity, incomprehensible, some might say fantastical idea of God’s original plan, perfection.

That was a relief at least for me, me who’s never flown. I don’t possess a passport and have zero income except the occasional art purchase and a tiny retirement check.

In case you’re curious, it’s Italy.

Someone else reminded me of counting my many blessings, naming them one by one, noticing things, noticing God. I can do this again, a practice to revisit.

Treasures

Golden leaves on my headlight lit path

One golden leaf spinning down

A sky sprinkled with stars

A leftover cheese straw wrapped prettily

Watching Elizabeth waking up and talking to her crib friends

Walking together, saying “Hey” to the sunshine and our shadows

Several birds, very small flying upwards into the sky blue sky

Elizabeth sitting all dainty in her chair ringing her little Christmas bell, her smile, pure glee

The sunrise just now and birdsong causing me to go see where they’re nesting

Calming babies holding them close on their first grandparent visit

Listening to adult conversations between children and not adding my two cents, just being enthralled by their wellness, their voices, by them.

Waking up to rain on Thanksgiving and deciding it makes sense, 2020 and all

Stepping out anyway, my eye noticing the puddled up drop on the magenta rose

Clouds like puffs

Finding my children’s baby stuff

Not ruining the steaks or letting the bottoms of the cookies burn

I could go on, the infinite list, none of it “bucket”.

It’s been a while since I’ve written about mercy or grace, about God.

I wonder if I’m qualified at all.

I’ll wait and see and continue to listen.

Continue and believe.

I’m not listless after all.

“You can pass through his open gates with the password of praise. Come right into his presence with thanksgiving. Come bring your thank offering to him and affectionately bless his beautiful name! For the Lord is always good and ready to receive you. He’s so loving that it will amaze you— so kind that it will astound you! And he is famous for his faithfulness toward all. Everyone knows our God can be trusted, for he keeps his promises to every generation!”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭100:4-5‬ ‭TPT‬‬

So, I began again.

I thought of heaven again this morning, thought of the spectacular mystery just like faith, like hope, intangibles.

Invaluable treasures, the list I’m returning to

The smell of sausage in the kitchen

The thrill in the voice of a child over Christmas and drinking from a Santa mug instead of sippy cup

The sound of frenetic keyboard tapping as my son, home all week but a professional, passionate about his work, working.

A gift for no reason, a luxurious blanket that brought security, represented love

My husband’s announcement as he comes down the hall, “another beautiful day”.

Day 27 of my thankfulness notes:

Thankful for God’s grace.

Linking up with other bloggers here: https://fiveminutefriday.com/2020/11/26/fmf-writing-prompt-link-up-grateful/

Sing Your Song

confidence, contentment, Faith, freedom, happy, hope, Peace, praise, Redemption, rest, Thanksgiving, Trust, Unity, Vulnerability, wonder

I heard a familiar tune from the hallway. Must’ve been stuck in his head from the Sunday service we watched on the TV in the den. Neither of us sang along. Church at home still weird.

I told him, I heard you can’t be sad or angry if you’re humming or whistling.

No response really.

But, he did resume his whistling as he walked away.

“Nobody loves me like you love me, Jesus!” Chris Tomlin

I woke up with this lyric. God wakes me up with songs some mornings. I think it’s sweet. I’m not a singer except in my car or the shower. I’m not even one to sing loud if someone’s in the car with me. I’m too self-conscious to raise my hands in church but I have found myself lately walking through my neighborhood with my palm to heaven, have driven down the road with one hand lifted in praise.

Maybe it’s God saying I know you’re longing to sing and you’ll be singing very soon. Maybe it’s just a truth I need.

Truth is, nobody knows me and loves me like Jesus. I can tell him my deepest regrets and He is gentle, not a harsh critic or a negative reply.

More importantly I can tell Him the sweetest possibilities I hope for and He knows the significance. He’s not surprised by my surprise over me being blessed in some way, chosen for something that is a deep deep longing, so deep a desire it’s kept secret.

But, He knows.

I stand in awe of His amazing ways.

“Nobody loves me like You love me, Jesus
I stand in awe of Your amazing ways
I worship You as long as I am breathing
God, You are faithful and true…”Chris Tomlin

Give Happy

Abuse Survivor, book review, bravery, confidence, contentment, courage, curiousity, doubt, Faith, fear, Forgiveness, freedom, grace, happy, kindness, memoir, Redemption, rest, Thanksgiving, Trust, Uncategorized, Vulnerability, wonder

Today I read the final chapter of the book of Colossians and I’m moved by what Paul wrote.

Remember my chains. Grace be with you. Colossians 4:18 ESV

I suppose he wanted all who had been with him as he preached from place to place.

To remember,

My life has not always been this way. There was a lot of horror in my before.

I’m almost done with “Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine” by Gail Honeyman

I crawl into bed, thinking I’ll finish and slumber steals my attention. I decide I want to be fully awake when I read the happy ending!

Maybe I’ll finish today before the holiday dinner, I’ll sit lit by sunshine and I’ll finish the good book.

Yesterday, I returned to a familiar place. I stepped towards the counter for customer service and I struggled through my transaction.

I turned from the counter and saw an acquaintance at the end of the closing time line.

My eyes met her smile and I rolled my eyes, nodded and mouthed “grouchy!”.

The customer service lady with such a beautiful and unusual name never smiles at me.

She looks at me as if I’m inconvenient. She hurries me, demands my answers to the every customer questions.

Her appearance never changes, faded blue uniform shirt, thick old glasses and her hair in a topknot that never does its job.

Her mottled soft grey hair has fallen out of place, the topknot doesn’t hold it all together.

I decide I’d like to see her smile and then I imagine this is Eleanor, her looks are what Eleanor’s would be I allow myself to believe.

I long to see her smile even though she kind of scares me.

Her mood is so palpable, I wonder is it contagious?

Maybe.

I don’t know.

Do I come back with more packages?

Do I stop sending my art?

Is this what the customer service lady is saying, am I not an artist?

Such is the scare of trauma. The most ridiculous interactions are triggers, are mood and mind changers.

So, I mouth “grouchy” to my friend’s daughter as a warning.

Be prepared. Hold on to your happy.

I sit in the parking lot and I wonder what would happen if I asked,

Why are you so unhappy?

Today, Thanksgiving morning, I sit in silence and leave the lamp off. I gaze towards the dining room/kitchen, to the wall that’s a busy collection.

Feathers, photos and notes.

Old pictures of smiling children, still here mamas, daddies and grandparents. Times of celebration seem so close they may as well be today.

That’s how the view makes me feel.

Happy.

I think again about the topknot lady. I wonder how she’d take it if the next time I’m next in line, I asked her,

What makes you so happy?

And then look her in the eye and be strong in my grace, my love and my mercy.

And say Thanks and walk away, leaving her at least with that thought.

What makes me so happy?

Give happy.

Give thanks for it.

Later I’ll finish the Eleanor story, the one that I’m almost at the end, keep flipping to the chapter “Better Days”.

The story of giving love to someone complicated and unlovable, closed off and shelled up because of unspeakable trauma, chains.

The story of one accepting the warmth of another’s long suffering hand.

See, I love the story of Eleanor Oliphant; but, it’s Raymond in the book who makes me happy.

Remember what kept you in chains today and then remember the hands that set you free.

Believe.

Continue and believe.

Give happy today.