Every Place Exposed

Advent, confidence, contentment, courage, Faith, mercy, Peace, praise, Redemption, Salvation, Stillness, Truth, Vulnerability, waiting, wisdom, wonder

What we allow to be influenced by Jesus, by love, by vulnerable secret places exposed to light, lends itself to our stories being rewritten.

We begin to believe the vastness of God’s grace is for us, not just for others.

We loosen the bitter, cynical ropes that tether us to making sense of past wrongs and in a gradual epiphany type way, we see hope as more than a sweet little word.

We may wonder why it took so long and we may fear falling back into the questioning pattern tattooed on our soul by trauma.

We may wonder over this change causing glimpses of heaven.

Or we might decide to embrace it.

We may just move this Christmas season from believing and accepting Christ Jesus

To fully embracing Him.

We’ll be easy on our fragile human hearts when they try to grow stiff again.

We’ll pivot towards the soft light of love, we will reset our hearts on hope again.

We will say to ourselves, maybe on little post-its or with pen on our wrists.

“healed”

…by his wounds, I am healed.

We’ll continue seeing God. We’ll be amazed where He is.

“having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might”
‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭1:18-19‬ ‭ESV‬‬

What a joyful way, to live enlightened.

Can you feel it?

God is near.

Light and Life, These Days

Angels, birds, confidence, contentment, courage, curiousity, Faith, grace, grandchildren, memoir, Peace, Prayer, rest, Stillness, Vulnerability, waiting, wisdom, wonder

I wonder if I’m more observant of the light because of darkness so early or if it’s a needy seeking of quietness with myself leading to peace with God.

I found a feather next to the pretty bottle we store our found feathers, my granddaughter’s sweet solution I adore.

Left for Finding
Light of the World
Known

“In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
‭‭John‬ ‭1:4-5‬ ‭NIV‬‬

And God said, “Let there be light.” and there was light. Genesis 1:3 ESV

Thinking of light and darkness like knowledge vs. mystery or questions vs. answers, certainty vs. doubt, I found John 1 and had a quiet little cry.

We don’t know it all, but we do know light, love and hope.

Light is trust.

“We are conformed to Him in proportion as our lives grow in quietness, His peace spreading within our souls.” T.T. Carter, Joy & Strength devotional

In quiet confidence is your strength. (Isaiah 30:15)

Finding God

Angels, Art, bravery, contentment, depression, doubt, Faith, mercy, Peace, praise, rest, Teaching, Vulnerability, waiting, wisdom, wonder

I lost my glasses on Monday, the cute ones, the ones a little bolder than my typical tortoise or black. Like most people my age, there are spare pairs everywhere. But, not on Monday.

We drove down the pretty road bordered with deeply rooted trees. Her mama had left a forgotten treat in the mailbox.

So early in the day, my readers must have slipped from my pocket or fell from my lap.

It’s an interesting dependence I now have on them, like a security blanket for a baby.

I catch myself thinking I have a pair like a headband only to pat the top of my head to be sure they’re there and find only hair.

On Monday, I was without them. I warned people I responded to in texts. They were unbothered by my typos.

By the end of the day I was managing just fine. My daughter didn’t find them on the road and I decided, oh well they’re just gone.

I gathered my things in the passenger seat once I was at home. Glanced down in the space between seat and console and saw a strange sight. I decided my husband had left some stuff in my car.

A little glass case, black with faux fancy logo with a pair of readers in the color peridot. I lost them so long ago.

Not as fancy as the blue, but I loved them and missed them.

Why am I writing about finding reading glasses?

It’s the thought that came after, the clarity in a sweet message from God.

About good in God’s time and God’s way, about the way answers come when we accept we don’t know, can’t be in control of everything.

The way God is the very best at the “art of surprising”.

On Tuesday, my granddaughter wanted another treat. It was close to lunchtime and she had a slight runny nose, but would never tell her grandma she was feeling bad.

(Memories of her strong mama here, rarely voicing a need or trouble.)

I let her lay on the floor, not flailing but fussing. Let her let her mood play out, allowed her to reconcile what she wanted with what her person in charge decided was best.

From the kitchen, I heard her whine change to elation.

“I found Gamma’s cross! Grandma, I found Gamma’s cross!”

She ran over and handed me the tiny gold cross, the one Gamma lost months ago and we all searched until we settled on not finding and stopped searching.

I called Gamma. Told her “Guess what?” and quoted our precious granddaughter.

She found the cross.

Under the couch, found when a little toddler tantrum decided to get quiet and lift the fabric of the couch to hide underneath. How she spotted it is really nothing short of a miracle.

No one else would’ve looked there.

Yesterday, we had a sweet day together. The back seat of my car strewn with a used pull-up, tiny books, little cards and juicy cups, and “guess what?”

My fancy blue glasses.

Hmmm, a surprise.

I had a thought yesterday as I listened to the words of a popular song “My Jesus”.

I thought “I don’t feel the nearness of Jesus now.”

I told God that very thing, asked Him to help me see what’s blocking my view or maybe, just to show me it’s okay to not always be searching, rather to wait for his revealing.

Gamma and Grandma both wear crosses, I suppose it’s one of our granddaughter, Elizabeth’s favorite things, our necklaces.

And our bracelets.

Yesterday, she sat in my lap and asked about every charm on my bracelet, the tiny artist palette, the little girl and boy silhouettes, her mommy and her uncle. She spotted the tiny angel, a gift from my husband prior to her birth. She said “That’s like my angel”, an angel her mama’s grandma gave her when she was just a baby.

One charm she skipped over is the circle with the missing charm, a tiny mustard seed enclosed in glass. Lost so long ago, I stopped searching.

When I called Gamma, teary with excitement, she called our granddaughter “my angel” and I agreed.

She added, “Now, let’s wait for her to find your mustard seed!”

“That would be something!” I said.

The sketches on the thin pages of my Bible often overlap with faded color, the Psalms especially.

Finding God

Abuse Survivor, Angels, Children, Faith, family, grace, Peace, rest, surrender, Trust, Vulnerability, waiting, wisdom
Angels Always Near

“You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭139:3‬ ‭ESV‬‬

I lost my glasses on Monday, the cute ones, the ones a little bolder than my typical tortoise or black. Like most people my age, there are spare pairs everywhere. But, not on Monday.

We drove down the pretty road bordered with deeply rooted trees. Her mama had left a forgotten treat in the mailbox.

So early in the day, my readers must have slipped from my pocket or fell from my lap.

It’s an interesting dependence I now have on them, like a security blanket for a baby.

I catch myself thinking I have a pair like a headband only to pat the top of my head to be sure they’re there and find only hair.

On Monday, I was without them. I warned people I responded to in text. They were unbothered by my typos.

By the end of the day I was managing just fine. My daughter didn’t find them on the road and I decided, oh well they’re just gone.

I gathered my things in the passenger seat once I was at home. Glanced down in the space between seat and console and saw a strange sight. I decided my husband had left some stuff in my car.

A little glass case, black with faux fancy logo with a pair of readers in the color peridot, my birthday stone.

I lost them so long ago.

Not as fancy as the blue, but I loved them and missed them.

Why am I writing about finding reading glasses?

It’s the thought that came.

The thought about good in God’s time and God’s way, about the way answers come when we accept we don’t know.

The way God is the very best at the “art of surprising”.

On Tuesday, my granddaughter wanted another treat. It was close to lunchtime and she had a slight runny nose, but would never tell her grandma she was feeling bad.

(Memories of her strong mama here, rarely voicing a need or trouble.)

I let her lay on the floor, not flailing but fussing. Let her let her mood play out, allowed her to reconcile what she wanted with what her person in charge decided was best.

From the kitchen, I heard her whine change to elation.

“I found Gamma’s cross! Grandma, I found Gamma’s cross!”

She ran over and handed me the tiny gold cross, the one Gamma lost months ago and we all searched until we settled on not finding and stopped searching.

I called Gamma. Told her, “Guess what?” and quoted our precious granddaughter.

She found the cross.

Under the couch, found when a little toddler tantrum decided to get quiet and lift the fabric of the couch to think. How she spotted it is really nothing short of a miracle.

Yesterday, we had a sweet day together. The back seat of my car strewn with a used pull-up, tiny books, little cards and juicy cups, and “guess what?”

My fancy blue glasses.

God is good always. Always present, always waiting for us to find Him.

I had a thought yesterday as I listened to the words of a popular song “My Jesus”.

I thought “I don’t feel the nearness of Jesus now.”

An honest admission that confirms feelings aren’t always the most accurate assessments of our joy or our pain.

To admit a lack opens our hearts to a closer examination of whether we’ve been working too hard to find God and forgetting He’s never left us.

Like the glasses, appearing when I decided I’d never find them, they were waiting for my discovering.

How does it make you feel to know that God is sovereign, knows everything?

David understood.

His sinful choices, his wandering away always led to an unrelenting confession,

God you never left me, I once again lost my way.

Choosing to know God knows everything about me is either scary and vulnerable or it is surprisingly and steadily comforting.

It’s our choice.

Either way God never misplaces us, forgets where he left us or refuses our finding when we go on our own way.

There’s a tiny mustard seed charm lying somewhere that came unglued from my bracelet.

It’s been lost so long I’ve stopped searching.

Gamma and I are hoping our angel finds it. Boy, that would be some surprise!

But, if not all is good with my faith.

With God and I

It is well with my soul and God is close.

Prone to wonder and wander.

My Father certainly knows my way.

“God, I invite your searching gaze into my heart. Examine me through and through; find out everything that may be hidden within me. Put me to the test and sift through all my anxious cares.

See if there is any path of pain I’m walking on, and lead me back to your glorious, everlasting way— the path that brings me back to you.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭139:23-24‬ ‭TPT‬‬

Continue and believe.

Find God today.

Pray and Remember

Art, confidence, contentment, Faith, Holy Spirit, painting, Prayer, Redemption, Vulnerability, waiting, writing

“Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”
‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭33:3‬ ‭NIV‬‬

I’ve been searching for the best description in words for an idea for I’m guessing…years. I prayed this morning asking God a simple thing, not a God-sized problem, really just a task.

I have an Artist Market on Sunday. I don’t know what or how much to take for my display. I thought of asking the question in an Instagram story, a little poll. But, I’ve not had much success with this, I don’t think my graphics are fancy enough.

What would be wonderful is if I had a friend to help me say,

“Okay, this best represents you, so let’s decide what you should display so that not you so much, but your message is on display.”

See, here’s the thing. I prayed with coffee and a kitten on my lap. I prayed that very thing.

God, help me to choose what best represents your redemptive work in me and conveys that very grace to others.

I let the prayer rest, the one that came with such accuracy. The word I’d been searching for, “representation” came like a friend with flowers at the door, a “surprise” with her hello.

A representation, a portrayal of someone or something. May it be so, Lord.

May I be so.

And may I remember this chilly morning when an answer came quickly.

May I remember the one that came in the swirl of leaves at my feet yesterday. Even in the flurry of thoughts, a gift of clear comfort came.

May I remember your presence.

May I remember the one that came in reply to sullen surrender of a situation, with honesty over my muddling through the motions of trust. May I remember when I accepted what is not mine to change, a happy unexpected gift came.

May I remember the unrivaled power of the secret prayer spoken honestly with a friend.

My friend and Savior Jesus.

Oh, he knows and loves me so well.

Say your prayers.

Remember the answers.

Being Still and Waiting

confidence, contentment, courage, Faith, fear, hope, Peace, Prayer, Redemption, Trust, Vulnerability, waiting

Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10

On day 22 of the month of October I compare translations of Psalm 46:10.

Psalm 46 begins with a promise. I’ve begun saying, “God, you know all about this.” as a way to wait for resolution, acceptance or change in troubling situations.

Because God knows. God is in control. God is good even when we don’t see eye to eye on things.

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭46:1-3‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Another passage reminds me that God knows me, knows my questions, knows my thoughts, is aware of my waiting, even more so my worries.

I am reminded He knows me, called me to be near.

Summoned me.

Most translations of Isaiah 43:1 use the word “called”. The New International Version prefers “summoned”.

Imagine you being called back home from a distance. Maybe someone spots you in a large crowd, a concert or fair. You’ve gotten separated and your circles haven’t circled back.

You hear your name and you look to find the voice. Again, again your name is called, begging you to come back or at least let me know where you are.

That you’re safe.

Or imagine a child in a department store, wandered away as you look for a size or color. You look up and they’re gone. You call frantically, you rush from aisle to aisle, oblivious to the glare of onlookers as you call your baby’s name.

Finally, you’re reunited.

You try to contain your emotions, you try not to let your desperate fear be bigger than the relief of the sweet reunion.

I believe it’s this way when we forget God has the whole world in His hands, that He can be trusted, that He is for us.

I believe that even when all is not okay and there’s no changing it, we’re still better if we don’t slip away and try to rescue ourselves from sadness and distress.

Piling anxious questions on top of what’s already mysterious, forgetting He’s fighting for us, always has, always will.

“The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
‭‭Exodus‬ ‭14:14‬ ‭NIV‬‬

I sketched a figure in the margin of Isaiah’s words. I added “Fear not.” to the words already pencilled there,

“But now, this is what the Lord says— he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭43:1-2‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Created me, called me, redeemed me.

Be still simply means wait.

Waiting with hope or with acceptance that I may wait without knowing all.

Waiting while believing.

Continue and believe.

Remember, He knows.

Find Rest

Art, confidence, contentment, courage, Faith, grace, Holy Spirit, Prayer, Redemption, Salvation, Vulnerability, waiting, wisdom, wonder, writing

I designed a notecard from a watercolor. The cover is an abstract landscape with soft coral, blue, earthy green and a touch of thick gold.

My technique has been described as flowing, comforting and sometimes subtle, others vivid, the colors.

I like to say it’s “just giving and taking away”.

Inside the card are three words

“Return to rest.”

Today, the writing prompt is “effort”.

I thought of how grace isn’t effort based, us being the recipient of this gift, but relationship with God often asks us to continue seriously, our seeking and knowing more fully.

Yesterday, I stood outside and opened my palm and prayed.

I asked God to help me sense His Spirit, develop such a closeness to Jesus in me that I hear His gentle voice

That I heed His teaching, am sure of my direction.

That I give and take away in the same way that He does. In this effort, not a hopeful change; but in this serious attempt I will better know my Savior.

I will better know what to pursue and what to let fade away.

May my greatest effort not be a blank canvas that invites color, words spoken or on a page.

May my most important effort be to know my God better and in this way

Know peace. Know rest.

Return to rest.

“Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭91:1‬ ‭NLT‬‬

(Notecards and other art available at http://www.lisaannetindal.me )

More Than Pretty Words

bravery, confidence, courage, Faith, family, freedom, grace, mercy, Peace, Prayer, Redemption, rest, Salvation, surrender, testimony, Trust, Vulnerability, waiting, wisdom, writing

It occurred to me as I thought of today’s prompt, “trust”, that so many of the words we use may be less powerful, more pretty, even cliche.

Trust is a word I write every morning, some days God follows with a bold period and often underlined.

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭3:5‬ ‭KJV‬‬

Trust.

I start the day with this written commitment. Still, some days it’s nothing more than a pleasant hope, a halfhearted decision to remember God is my Father and I am His child.

I can trust Him.

Even if trusting humanly is a challenge for me, an established avoidance or cynical pattern.

I can decide to trust God.

Words like trust, faith, redemption, and salvation are powerful and unchanging words.

They are the fruit of our Creator’s character and intent for us.

They are God’s covenant.

“Promise”, another word we hold loosely when we consider it from human experience, is just as valuable, a weighty word.

Today, I will trust God. I will know and cherish words like trust, faith, mercy, grace, freedom, salvation, healing, and peace.

I’ll embrace these words tightly, held and certain like a child being cradled in the strong arms of a parent.

“I am carrying you.” God

He keeps His promises.

He gives joy, trust, patience.

We’re not able on our own to sustain these.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,”
‭‭Galatians‬ ‭5:22‬ ‭KJV‬‬

Time, Seasons and Shalom

contentment, courage, Faith, grace, grief, hope, Peace, Redemption, Salvation, Stillness, Trust, Vulnerability, waiting, wisdom, wonder

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.”
‭‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭3:1-8‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Every morning now, I open the back sliding door. Like a chef waving his hand over the skillet to invite the aroma upward, I invite the changing season in.

I step out and feel the change on my bare feet. The flowers drying to brittle fragile brown while others are vibrant still.

I read this morning about “Shalom”, an invitation to seeking peace.

Shalom, a greeting or a farewell in ancient days, “Peace”.

Priscilla Garatti

It’s a thing I can’t fully understand, how peace was established for us and how we’re supposed to believe it, cling to it, trust it

When it makes no sense.

The page in my Psalms and Proverbs book has faded names from a decade ago.

“Ginny”, a mama whose teenage son died by suicide. I wonder now how she and her husband are doing. If they’ve found moments of peace.

I woke to see that a friend has suffered the loss of a grandchild.

Nothing to do, but pray.

Pray for peace in unfathomably sad things.

Prayer comforts. It was long established for us, the way to peace, the place to seek.

A quiet room, standing still with the changing grass cushioning bare feet or with a friend with Jesus too, holding hands, being held.

“Honor me by trusting in me in your day of trouble. Cry aloud to me, and I will be there to rescue you.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭50:15‬ ‭TPT‬‬

Shalom.

Continue and believe.

Knowing A Little

Abuse Survivor, bravery, confidence, contentment, Faith, Peace, Redemption, rest, Stillness, surrender, waiting, wisdom
What I Know

What’s one question you have? An intrusion in your thoughts that refuses to go on its way?

How does God feel about questions?

Us knowing a little, but aching to know everything.

I wondered.

A little may be all you’re supposed to know and may just be enough.

This way of thinking came after praying. To put it into practice, I listed the things I do know. They outnumbered those I don’t.

My vision is blurry. My understanding is unfinished. My conclusions are often skewed. I’m patterned to protect myself, to anticipate bad news, to not be knocked down by surprise.

So, I like to know it all.

I’m changing though.

I know goodness and grace and that my prayers are heard.

I know enough.

Because, I’m not yet whole and well, I’m not God.

I can just know a little.

If I use what I see as the answer to a long coddled question, I’ll forever be longing for earthly evidence, confirmation and rest.

When I understand I’m only supposed to see just a glimpse, the glimpse meant for me, and I trust that God alone needs to comprehend the rest

I won’t need the whole picture.

“For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.”
‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭13:12‬ ‭ESV‬‬

I’ll just need my view.

The view often found at the foot of the cross, the floor beside my bed.