Broken Prayers

Angels, Children, courage, Faith, family, hope, memoir, Peace, Redemption, tragedy, Vulnerability, walking, wisdom, wonder

“Let’s go on a walk! Get your shoes!” she called out and off we go in a burst of unbridled energy, her heels in the air.

And we walk on the roads bordered by shiny wheat tops and we stay in the “middle….middle, middle, middle”, a song we made up because of country roads, high grass, deep ditches and crawling critters.

We walk a long way.

We’re looking for morning glories.

We spotted one last week.

We caught a butterfly once.

She was tiny then, barely toddling. Her face was a mixture of elation and question. She held that blue edged creature and then we let it go.

Her feet slowed to a pause. “A butterfly!” she spotted and I saw that its bottom wings were torn, sort of shredded.

I picked it up and it sat as if glued to her small finger. Five minutes or more, we talked about it, the broken wing somehow and how I wasn’t sure if it could fly.

Rust colored wings, more moth than butterfly and small, very tiny. It seemed as if my granddaughter was comfort, was safety, was in a way, angelic.

It was mysterious.

It rested, not as if helpless, more assured.

I’ve been thinking about a feeling of vague dread, of inability to put three thoughts together, of being numb to possibility.

When possibility has been so very true for me.

I thought “learned helplessness” and reminded myself of the meaning.

There, that’s it. That’s the feeling, the lack of mental, physical and emotional resources to believe in good again.

Learned helplessness, lulled into a state of whatever I can do or should…

Would it even make a difference?

I wonder if we’re all learning that we’re helpless, that we’re not difference making people after all.

We laid the butterfly down gently and unsure whether it would go to heaven or fly, we told the broken creature goodbye.

Learned helplessness, the two words that made sense to my processing all that’s gone wrong.

The remedy? Recognize it, journal about it, pray, accept what you cannot control.

Therapy, and medication in difficult to treat with self-care because of significant trauma.

This afternoon, I bought apple juice boxes, a book about travel and a flamingo towel for a toddler.

Checked my phone to see notifications on FB and saw “Pray for Texas”, looked further to read the news, the horror, the inconsolable tragic event.

And began to feel sick. Began to think of the innocence of children, the way our world is and has completely set its intention on stealing it.

I can’t adequately add to this conversation. I really can’t.

These are times that words like peace in times of trouble, hope enduring or all things being made new and made sense of by God

Just don’t seem sufficient.

Seem more “who am I to say these things?”

After all, I had a three year old wrap her arms around my neck today and say “It’s a secret, I love you. I love to the moon.” and then say it again, and again.

I felt God near. I felt it was His idea, maybe she saw her grandma feeling slightly broken and held me close.

“I love you.”, not a reply, totally unsolicited.

No words for the Texas tragedy.

I love the Psalms and I treasure the words in red, but just one thought remains.

Pray.

“pray without ceasing,”
‭‭1 Thessalonians‬ ‭5:17‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Pray. It’s “all you can do” and it is everything you can do.

Pray.

Child In You

confidence, contentment, courage, Faith, patience, Peace, Redemption, Trust, Vulnerability, wisdom, wonder

Speak softly to yourself,
“I am a child of God. I am loved and learning.”

Repeat as needed.

Your life is a chorus, a lullaby, a silly dance, a canvas for God’s crayon.

Tell yourself, I am God’s and
He is mine.

There’s a child in you, impossible to be stolen away by any little thing.

Small and tender, bold and brave, wondering and wandering.

Child in you that stays.

Close your eyes.

Sigh. Take a breath. Listen.

Remember a secret sweetest day.

Cherished, you are.

Then and today.

Loved and learning.

“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”
‭‭Philippians‬ ‭1:6‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Childlike

Abuse Survivor, Art, bravery, confidence, contentment, courage, happy, hope, love, painting, Peace, Redemption, self-portrait, Vulnerability, wisdom
Lisa Anne

I keep staring at the girl inside the woman. Many will see somber.

I see solid.

Most will question the stare, wonder why so angry.

I see strength, surrender and a commitment to be very sweet to myself.

Little girl bangs was the style or I guess, just easy.

No fussing over Lisa Anne trying to keep up with bows or barrettes.

No ponytails, no braids.

Just a border of brown above two pools of blue

And a pool of freckles

Now age spots and crinkles.

Acceptance

Believing in the child within

Loving the woman she became.

I keep staring into this face.

I’d call it grace or something else.

Can’t decide.

Must be because it’s love.

Listening

anxiety, Children, contentment, coronavirus, courage, Faith, Redemption, Trust, wisdom

Rain is swooshing, sloshy sideways. The dark cloud wasn’t far away or pretending.

All of a sudden it’s pouring.

I leave my frantic cleaning for the back porch.

This world, our country is really getting worse, I decided loading my groceries.

$9.00 for granola bars and $10 for Kuerig coffee. Big deal money men are making formula and if I read this right, telling mothers who had CoVid not to breastfeed.

Pulled out of Food Lion and told myself to stop listening, stop listening to the fear, the invitation to join the dismal conversations.

Stop listening again.

Listen to a toddler napping, snoring, breathing after a make believe train ride followed by a walk so free her shoe flew into the air!

And she said, “doggone it” and “let it be” and we left them in the dirt and I sang and she echoed

“Don’t worry about a thing…every little thing is gonna be alright.”

Because I stumped my toe in the kitchen fixin’ lunch and she paused her singing to comfort me

“It’s okay.” ELB

So, I let the Windex wait because the knockout roses are catching puddles and leaning into the not yet summer rain.

I’m listening.

Untainted things.

I ain’t listening to fear.

Continue and believe.

I will too.

We Don’t Know

Angels, Art, Children, curiousity, daughters, family, grace, grandchildren, heaven, memoir, Prayer, Stillness, wisdom, wonder

“For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish:”
‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭2:15‬ ‭KJV‬‬

People watching must be a generational thing. Gift or curse?

It can go either way.

My granddaughter loves to sit on the front steps, at the foot of the walking trail, on every bench on the sidewalk of every busy street or tiny town square.

She’s watching.

Cars, people, birds, puppies or any thing that captures her curious attention.

My grandmother was the same.

Plus, she’d strike up a conversation with any stranger she’d catch in a pause. They’d be trapped into listening. She might talk about us, or she might talk about her two daughters or she might just go on and on about embroidery or fabric or her support pantyhose the doctor prescribed.

Yesterday, I complained to others and myself about a woman who invited herself to my lunch table. She reeled me in talking about painting. My voice joined in. We compared our stories about creativity.

But, then she kept on.

And on and my information overload anxiety coupled with my not so sweet fatigue of “too much peopling” likely began to show on my face.

Soon, their lunch was done and her husband introduced himself to a lone diner, an older gentleman in plaid shirt and old black glasses, shoes worn down from shuffling.

I noticed.

He was thrilled when the woman began talking. There was no disdain over too much peopling as they lingered at the bar.

Later, my daughter and I shared similar but separate stories. Two women in two different grocery stores we concluded were wealthy because of their attire and because of the cash in hand. But, both wore signs of something wrong in their expression, something that said wealth or whatever couldn’t fix it.

I wondered.

I remembered the lunch counter talker, the way she’d comforted her husband as she shared just enough information for me to know that he’s a cancer patient. I remembered her caress of his bandaged and blood dried arm. I thought of her whispering something as she looked closely at the bend near his elbow.

The grocery store women, the waitress with the earrings in her cheeks for dimples, the woman who talked too much in the restaurant.

All made in the image of God.

Sheep like me in need of the shepherd.

In need of someone to talk to ‘cause we’re lonely, in need of grace as provision when what we own isn’t enough, in need of acceptance when we long to be accepted.

Myself, in need of a sweet repentance when my conclusions about others are tainted by anything other than love.

A love that loves to notice, invites conversation and a love that is patient and tolerant, curious authentically even

When “peopling” feels too much.

Lord, help my noticing of others always have the aroma of love.

And help me continue this “generational love of peopling ” that my Grandma started.

We miss you down here, Doris Evelyn Peacock.

Noticed on Tuesday

bravery, confidence, contentment, courage, Faith, happy, hope, memoir, painting, patience, Peace, Vulnerability, wisdom, wonder, writing

Isn’t it predictable that I’d love the phrase “noticing God”, incorporate it into bios and hashtags and yet, catch myself off guard when a phrase of truth and clarity comes

And I decide to hold on to it?

“God is always paying attention (to me).”

Followers and collectors, listeners, potential buyers of my art and my words

Caused me to be weary over compiling them, the not yet thousands enough.

So, I left that little compilation of numbers alone

And continued to go on

On my own.

Noticing highlighter colored rye fields and yellow flowers becoming fluffy dandelions.

I noticed and celebrated the simplicity of a simple notice.

“Thank you, Lisa Anne Tindal!

I appreciate all your inspiration and insight!” M.H. (a brilliant author)

A gift given to me on her birthday.

“Isn’t it ironic?” A.M.

Or maybe not.

Maybe it’s God.

The same God who provided water to a slave girl trying to escape and a woman enslaved by her patterns with men.

Same God who notices my need to be noticed and says “I see, see with me.”

“Then God opened Hagar’s eyes, and she saw a well full of water. She quickly filled her water container and gave the boy a drink.”
‭‭Genesis‬ ‭21:19‬ ‭NLT‬

“But sir, you don’t have a rope or a bucket,” she said, “and this well is very deep. Where would you get this living water?”
‭‭John‬ ‭4:11‬ ‭NLT‬‬

It’s not popular to be weary over popularity.

I wonder who else feels the exhaustion of self-promotion and longs to simply keep finding, sharing and creating…

To be thirsty not for notice.

Being light.

Because

God is paying attention to you.

In the sweet spot of knowing you’re noticed so that you’re not thirsting for notice of others and more often than before not as thirsty.

Fill my cup, Lord.

I lift it up to your pink sky Tuesday morning telling me I’m seen loved and known.

Noticed on Tuesday morning,

The Shepherd’s Way

bravery, confidence, courage, curiousity, Faith, hope, patience, Peace, Redemption, Stillness, Trust, waiting, wisdom, wonder

“7:00, not 6:30”, she reminded me on that particular night before morning.

The difference meant daylight, farm trucks and people headed in from the country.

Tops of the fields green with grass before becoming hay glistening like gold.

Cats creeping from their tentative sleeping place, homes lit by just one light.

The difference meant driving straight into the rising sun, so spectacular I refused to blind it with my visor.

And so, for a stretch of road I couldn’t bear to look away, only to creep ahead slowly by memory.

Day unfolding to not sure what, only that I had been sweetly awakened to life yet again.

To take hold and keep it, the difference in the day in the morning a little later.

And hoping to hold that awakened state of my soul a little longer.

7:00 not 6:30, sun not moon, seeing only what I can, not around the curve ahead.

Sometimes forgetting the way, lost in my own directions, returning like David or the questioning one, Thomas, to the way safely and surely forward.

The shepherd’s way.

“He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭23:3‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Father, help me to follow your lead.

Like Children Walking

bravery, Children, contentment, courage, Faith, fear, hope, memoir, mercy, Peace, Prayer, Redemption, Stillness, Trust, Vulnerability, walking, wisdom, wonder

When the peace of Jesus finds us, it is a gentle collision. “Gentle collision” is how my morning words began, hurried and half asleep.

I wrote that faith meeting fear is and will always be a gentle collision.

Never Walking Alone

Loosely but never unraveled is the tether that connects us to believing.

Never dragging us along.

Nor yanking us into attention in a sort of frantic wake up call.

A walk that’s never perilous, always patient.

Like a walk together when one is the older or younger one.

Not at all like my walks alone, the walk of a stubborn and wide stride stepping, a walk either going hard and proud or walking hard and fast away from something that keeps catching up.

This is not the walk of a child who wonders. Wonders not where or how we’ll go, only wonders as she wanders.

Before Jesus spoke of the gentle way of walking, of carrying the good things or junk we’ve taken as our own, he talked about little children, about their wisdom and their understanding.

Children who have a greater grasp on the divine, a more tangible understanding.

An understanding not garnered by incessant questioning.

The wind blew our hair yesterday. The sky was periwinkle blue and the warmth of Spring landed on bare arms and freckled our faces.

“Thank you, Lord, for the breeze.” she said.

We walked together. Me, occasionally pointing out of the hills of ants and noticing the ground as we went, scanning for baby snakes that might scurry close to our toes.

She, close beside or freely ahead, “let’s dance”.

Together, gently. I fell into the rhythm of a child with steps slow with going and then resting.

Waiting and then walking.

Going and then resting.

No rush, no worry.

“At that time Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children;”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭11:25‬ ‭ESV‬‬

I handed her the yellow flowers and lifted her from behind to my back.

Shifting the weight until she laid her cheek on my back, her tiny legs belting my waist.

Then we walked together, her weight pushing me forward.

Together, we walked back home.

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭11:28-30‬ ‭ESV‬‬

A gentle collision it is, the meeting of faith and fear, of melded together walking, of simply saying yes to the soft beckon not to walk alone.

I stepped over the circled place in the sand where we’d stopped to dance.

“Ring around the rosies, a pocket full of posies, ashes, ashes…

We all fall down”.

We all fall down.

We do.

Then lifted up gently, we walk again.

Tiny Seeds

Art, birds, confidence, contentment, courage, Faith, Peace, Redemption, testimony, Vulnerability, wisdom, wonder, writing
Blooming Again

The morning is grey with a veil of warmth shielding the pines across the way.

My grey cat is missing, meanwhile a pretty black one with a flash of white on its chest is slowly deciding I’m friendly.

But, I’m hoping for mine, the kitten I named “Georgia”.

I am waiting for the amaryllis forgotten and found to be vibrant again.

I’m waiting with sweetly surprised expectation, the Christmas of 2020 bulb potted and forgotten is now fat with rebirth.

Pray, trust, wait.

Despite the warning of afternoon tumultuous thunder, the choir of birds are singing a sort of suggestion just for now,

Lisa, this is heavenly.

So, I listen.

I’ll return to my place of painting and wait for my visitor, a mourning dove who danced for me yesterday.

Softly, it stayed longer than I’d have expected.

Strong in its message to me, a message of peace is what I took it to be because of its color, a blue grey white blend, acrylic mixture for the sky I may paint.

Hoping my landscape says “peace”.

Because of its visit, the surprise of its lingering

Then the cardinal, brick-colored breast, careening alongside longer than usual and I noticed God,

“Mama.” I thought and “it is well”.

Keep trusting. Keep waiting.

The Book of Luke, Chapter 13 suggests the same.

A parable about a fig tree about to be uprooted, tossed away because of its fruitless condition and then the one about the mustard seed. Luke shared the story Jesus used to help us understand that growth that starts small can become immeasurably large by trust and faith.

Persistence, a peaceful persistence.

Private maybe.

Two trees, a barren fig tree and one that grew so beautifully that birds built nests and started families there.

“He said therefore, “What is the kingdom of God like? And to what shall I compare it? It is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his garden, and it grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air made nests in its branches.”
‭‭Luke‬ ‭13:18-19‬ ‭ESV‬‬

The kingdom of God is here. It is us, all of us seeds of its faithful and kind growth.

A woman bent over for eighteen years because of “disability of spirit”, Luke shared her encounter with Jesus in the middle of the two parables.

I love the placement, it makes faith even more a promised instrument for change.

Jesus, the bringer of change broke the rules and healed this woman on the Sabbath.

“When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said to her, “Woman, you are freed from your disability.”
‭‭Luke‬ ‭13:12‬ ‭ESV‬‬

I’m fascinated by this healing.

Eighteen years of her life, this broken spirited woman walked bent by her load, face to the ground.

She was healed immediately and glorified God, according to scripture.

I wonder how.

Was she a seamstress?

Maybe a writer, maybe a helper of others, maybe she was simply a teller of her story.

I’d love to know if she worked with her hands, strangely, I believe so.

I guess because of the resonance for me of her healing.

She’s relatable. I want to believe she’s like me and I, like her.

Yesterday, I edited a painting I felt was contrived. Calm came as I changed what was finished, but after all, not.

“Spring” became “Birdsong”.

“Birdsong”

Like a seed of faith, a barren tree, a discarded and forgotten amaryllis bulb, and a woman disabled by a spirit that told her she was unable for eighteen years

We can grow, there’s planting, reviving, unearthing and thriving in every single soul.

Pray, trust, wait.

Participate in God’s healing.

“As he said these things, all his adversaries were put to shame, and all the people rejoiced at all the glorious things that were done by him.”
‭‭Luke‬ ‭13:17‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Unearth what you buried or locked away.

Contribute your tiny nourished seed today.

Continue and believe.

“Birdsong” is available here: https://www.lisaannetindal.me/new-products/8fhgfywxizgjv7e4sxv8zkvwoj85qo

Just Mercy

Abuse Survivor, bravery, courage, Faith, family, Forgiveness, memoir, mercy, Peace, Prayer, Redemption, Trust, wisdom

Many years ago an itinerant preacher advised me to “just pray for mercy” and I did.

I didn’t fully understand mercy as a new single mama to my children. I did pray for it though and my life has been and is the evidence my prayers were heard.

Consider mercy.

The punishment or consequence that you actually deserve being stopped from occurring.

I think of that quiet preacher man who stopped by and the brevity of his words, his wisdom. I imagine if he’d said to me, “Well, this is a mess and I don’t know how on earth you’ll be okay, but young lady…pray for mercy, maybe, just maybe you’ll get it.”

He’d have walked away and I’d have been more hopeless.

I thank God for the unexpected visit and the simple words He gave the country preacher. Also, for the grandma and grandpa in the black station wagon who pulled in the yard every Sunday morning to take my children to the white church on the hill pastored by this quietly wise man.

“Just pray for mercy”, the gentle man said.

Today I read again about the woman who sat at Jesus’s feet, her tears falling and her hair used to wash the feet of Jesus along with expensive ointment she’d poured out for him.

Her actions were questioned.

Had she been so bold to invite herself there or was it bold determination, bravery and humble hope for better?

I remember those feelings.

Jesus told the critics, yes her sins are many and her choice, to come here uninvited is a choice I welcome. His mercy met her extravagant gesture, her known sin.

“Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” And he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”
‭‭Luke‬ ‭7:47-48‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Consider the mercy you’ve known, will be given again and again. Mercy, unmerited favor, good things when bad made more sense.

Mercy that sees you fully, but never says no.

Today, when you encounter someone in need of mercy, I pray that you give it and that in exchange you sense in equal measure, extravagant love!