The Way We Were and Are

Abuse Survivor, bravery, grandchildren, hope, memoir, Redemption, testimony, Vulnerability, wonder, writing

Warning, this post is maybe “too much Lisa”.

Leslie and I

I’ve been thinking about this photo all day. My college roommate and friend from the early 80’s sent this with a note, “found this today”. I was eating lunch with my granddaughter. We were talking about yummy bread and tomatoes.

I see I loved bracelets even back then and I remember how much she loved her VW. She was pink, khaki and green preppy. I see I must’ve been a little artsy. I notice the perm. I see my resemblance to both my mama and my sister, my daughter and son.

I see the tiny waist. I remember how little I ate, how much I ran twice a day.

I think of us, separately and together, how we both struggled, grew distant; but, she bravely began our new conversation.

I see me so tiny and remember I had such hatred for myself. I see her so bubbly and know only a tiny bit of not so bubbly days.

I see women now in their 60’s who know healing comes from forgiveness and more than forgiving others, it’s about forgiving ourselves.

So, skinny me no longer, maybe it’s time to stop rushing past the mirror and stand still for just a bit to consider, look where time, loss, grief, babies, defeat, trying again, fear met by bravery that said “continue” has brought you here…

Grace thus far has been the grace you’ve decided you can finally give yourself.

I never thought a thrown away art scholarship because of uninvited trauma (I still don’t like the “R” word) and eating disorder would have been so mercifully generous to say it’s not too late, paint.

You’re an artist.

I never thought a friend I haven’t seen since 1980 or so would keep a photo marking our bond.

Believe it, redemption is never ending and there’s nothing our loving God can’t make new.

Today, I met an artist in her home. She grew up in the landscapes of my favorite artist, Andrew Wyeth. She lives alone. Her husband is not well.

She invited me in.

I accepted.

Old me wouldn’t have.

But, tea time was at 3:00 and so, she, my granddaughter and I had tea and cream cheese pound cake.

And an almost three year old sat between two artists, two women who might’ve given up on themselves, but we’re not…and never ever on our art.

And she was listening.

To our encouragement of each other

Create, keep creating.

You’re not finished, only just beginning.

By faith and grace.

Redemption is a thing.

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 Calming

anxiety, confidence, contentment, courage, Faith, love, memoir, patience, Peace, Prayer, Redemption, rest, Vulnerability, waiting, wonder, writing

The morning fooled me with its horizon.

Thick clouds bordered the pine tops like hills, like in the mountains.

Crescent moon to my left.

I remembered smiling, remembered the now distant idea, “Look at the moon, precious child. It’s called a crescent. It reminds me of your smile.”

The idea still near, I drive into Monday.

Radio boring, and podcast unnerving because of the cadence and tone in the guest’s voice.

Found a second episode and found the same. A conversation on attention and I couldn’t focus because of the speed of the exchange, the “chirpiness” in the voices.

Was the listening speed wrong in my app?

No, it’s me. I’m afraid I’m a bit particular about voices, quick to silence those that are pushy, perky or peppy.

Maybe it’s a southern thing.

Maybe simply timing.

“And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
‭‭Esther‬ ‭4:14‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Last week in the same number of days, I was told three times by a trio of different people, one a total stranger.

“You are calming.”

“Have you been on the radio? Your voice is so calming” and “Talking to you calms me.”

A friend, a former colleague who’s an executive and a young stranger.

This morning I noticed the coming day coming slowly as if the earth had decided to stay under the soft covers.

No sound now, music or podcast wisdom.

I enter Monday with full attention as I pause for the passing family of careful deer.

I feel the weight shifting as I turn, the road narrow with a picture perfect view.

I am quiet, quiet as Monday morning mostly sleeping.

I’m calm. I’m easy.

I’m hearing my voice again, patiently waiting my turn to use it.

“Prayer and patience…prayer and patience.” Aunt Boo

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

Slow To Sing

Abuse Survivor, Art, bravery, confidence, contentment, doubt, Faith, grace, hope, Peace, Redemption, Stillness, Trust, wisdom, wonder, writing

I fear the fog is heavy so I refuse to look.

With my back to the day, I fix my gaze on blanket wrapped feet,

toes circling, curling, clinching.

Habitual.

The birds are slow to sing.

I wonder why.

I had feared it was already morning at 2:00.

Frantic I’d forgotten my days, Thursday? No, it’s Friday, sleep a little bit, Lisa.

Sleep, please sleep.

I want to try.

I gathered my coffee, my bag, books and new fresh paint for Elizabeth, opened the door and saw it.

Whispered, wow

the moon.

Drove slowly.

Soft songs, no close followers.

Plenty of time.

“I want to try.”

The morning that follows the night of our lonely trial would, if we be faithful, find us new…” Henry Scott Holland

Redemption Stories

Abuse Survivor, Art, confidence, contentment, courage, Faith, freedom, Peace, praise, Prayer, Redemption, Vulnerability, wisdom, wonder, writing

Seen and Yet Perplexed

Have you wondered if God sees the wrong, personal and in your home, our world? I’m comparing Hagar and Martha, two women distraught and dissatisfied. God saw them both, brought gentle words, reassurance and courage, made them more wise.

Wisdom

She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me, for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.” Genesis 16: 13 NIV

Is the mystery of knowing God is sovereign a contradiction at times? Have you experienced uncertainty that has led to a feeling of loneliness? Is there some situation you feel held captive by and alone? Have you found yourself in a relationship or a pattern that either has you trapped or do you somehow feel you contributed to it and thus, belong?

Women, especially mothers who are in unhealthy relationships are in complex situations. Unhealthy relationships that entrap us are very misunderstood. There is no easy answer to the question, “Why didn’t you leave?”, a question no woman should be asked.

This is a question for which many women have no answer. The layers and the reasons are hard to explain. Abusive relationships, emotionally or unhealthy in other ways have a way of numbing a woman to the day to day. Once women are able to find the strength to leave, there’s no value in revisiting the rationale for staying. I suppose I’m saying “Don’t ask.” along with “Stop asking yourself.”

Women who find themselves in situations apart from God, from friends and family are trapped, they are perplexed.

“Perplexed”, the meaning is completely baffled, very puzzled.

I think of two women in the Bible, Hagar and Martha. Hagar, because she found herself the bait of a tormented woman who wanted her way and got it. Hagar, the servant who provided a longed-for child in exchange for provision found herself cast aside and alone, having to make the decision to allow her son to die alone so she did not have to witness the loss.

Martha, who was a friend of Jesus’s and had been gently warned of her priorities found herself at a loss over why her brother was dying and Jesus had not yet come.

I wonder if it occurred to them, they got what they deserved; many women do, believe they deserve abuse and for that abuse to go unnoticed by God.

I pray you’ve never thought this way.

I pray you never do again.

Wisdom

Hagar and Martha were fully seen and known by God. The mystery? The perplexing thing? Why so long, God? Why was my desperation needed for you to come through? These are questions much like the question posed to a victim of abuse for which we won’t have answers.

There is comfort in comparing our stories, not just with Biblical women; but, with others. We intersect women with dropped faces and lost dispositions, babies in their arms, children tagging along. We can offer understanding, a smile, a knowing nod and prayer.

We can find a way to relate to others who are trapped in perplexing situations while waiting for God’s rescue. We can assure them it will come.

We can give praise alongside when it does.

A Prayer:

Father, our God who sees and knows, help us to help one another. Help us to respond with an offer of connection rather than question. We are comforted by the knowledge of being seen by you, even if we do not fully understand. Make us open to the hardship of others without judgement. Remind us of your ever-present gaze. We are thankful to be able to say, because of mercy, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

The two paintings in this post will be available on April 1st through The Scouted Studio’s Emerging Artist Show. Other art can be found at http://www.lisaannetindal.me

Stay With It

Art, bravery, Children, confidence, contentment, courage, curiousity, Faith, grace, grandchildren, hope, patience, Peace, Redemption, Stillness, Vulnerability, wonder, writing

Last week, I added paint to the largest canvas I own and then added more only to cover it all in a veil of watery white. The original didn’t say what I wanted. I don’t yet know what I want it to exude, suggest or be a place for that story to be displayed.

I set it aside. No hurry, it will be there. I’ll not regret my decision that the first felt wrong, I’ll stay with it, in time it will come.

“Nothing good comes by force.”

This three page practice of writing is subtly changing me deep within, with my faithfulness to it.

“Most of the time when we are blocked in an area of our life, it is because we feel safer that way.” Julia Cameron, The Artist’s Way

I’m late to this book. That’s okay, I’m sticking with it.

Every morning, I write the names of my children, circle them individually and then loop them together, encircled. There’s no magic in this practice, only a commitment to continue.

There’s not a greater sense of assurance of God’s provision towards them, of goodness beyond my control. No, it’s really simple.

It’s an act of service, an act of love, my choosing to stay with it, this act of subtle intention.

By choosing this unspoken and barely articulated prayer, a comfort has come.

Love is not selfish. Stay with it.

The kitchen counter was covered with every cookbook my daughter owns with a little girl dressed like Cinderella plopped in the middle.

There was no recipe for cake for which the pantry had all the ingredients. So, we decide together with a bit of exuberance,

Chocolate meringue pie!

Cocoa powder, sugar, flour, milk, butter and egg whites all imperfectly measured were stirring together in the mixer sans vanilla extract and cream of tartar for little mountains of meringue.

Standing at the stove, an excited little chef beside me, I realized my wrong. I mixed everything together when I was supposed to add the eggs later.

I kept stirring the watery muddy mixture. She asked “Is it ready?”

Not yet. I kept stirring and glancing over at her and the mess we’d made, multiple bowls, measuring cups, egg carton and sprinkled flour.

I kept stirring, making up how I’d make it up, “Sorry, grandma did it wrong.” I’d tell her and then we’d either paint or play or I’d climb into the “jumpy house” with her.

But, it thickened. I’d lowered the flame and kept stirring and slowly, slowly and by surprise, I achieved filling for a chocolate pie!

Chilled and poured into the waiting crust, we added the translucent mixture for meringue.

Later, we shared a slice and celebrated.

Delightful, pure delight it was.

What if what you’re afraid won’t come true actually might? What if doubt takes up so much space in your mind that when delight comes gently knocking, you barely believe it.

You don’t let it in?

May His abundance never scare you, the possibility of it, the thought that it just can’t be true.

May you know its truth.

May you fathom what you decide is too beautiful to fathom.

May the peace you see in others allow you to never lose the same wonderful peace inside of you.

May others see peace in you that you don’t always see yourself.

It’s not of your making, but it’s every second there.

Stay with it, the way of love, peace and waiting. The way of enduring hope.

Of even more grace.

The way of continuing and believing.

“You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus,”
‭‭2 Timothy‬ ‭2:1‬ ‭ESV‬‬

I’ll return to the large canvas when it is ready for my peaceful intention. I have an idea.

It’s fresh and new, its perspective

There’s no rush. Only that I choose to stay with it, to not fear the size of canvas or the abundance of its story.

Never lose your wonder, my prayer for you.

God is good, still very good.

Such a Love, Pristine

Abuse Survivor, Angels, Art, birds, confidence, contentment, courage, Faith, happy, memoir, painting, patience, Peace, Prayer, Redemption, Salvation, surrender, Trust, Vulnerability, walking, wonder, writing

I found two feathers walking yesterday and then a third. The first pair were mostly grey and I held tightly to them as I walked. No pockets in my clothes, I held on, clutching them gently. I rounded the corner to the steep hill and decided to drop them, said a prayer of 3 words, “art and writing” and walked on.

Walking on as I decided against more hills, I let my feet take me towards home. I glanced down in the grassy border and spotted the third feather, a white one. Pristine and soft as velvet, I gathered it up. It was pure and undamaged in a way I’d never seen. I walked on home with great wonder over the assurance that my 3 word prayer had been heard.

I added the feather to my collection, cherishing the words of victory and the promises of Jesus.

Shortly after, a friend I hadn’t spoken to in many months called to say she had an opportunity for me to speak to a group of women in October. “Would I pray about it?” she asked. Two thoughts linger, there’s that open door and I am willing, not sure fully able, but willing. A third, October gives me even more time for courage, grace and healing, God’s wise provision.

“All who are victorious will be clothed in white. I will never erase their names from the Book of Life, but I will announce before my Father and his angels that they are mine.”
‭‭Revelation‬ ‭3:5‬ ‭NLT‬‬

What we see as too damaged or defeated in our hopes to keep moving forward, God sees as victory for us, a peaceful one.

I pray you keep pursuing this peace or that you seek it if you never have. I pray for you my prayer for me.

Lord, help me keep walking towards you, towards peace. Help me to remember I am yours.

About To Bloom

Abuse Survivor, Art, bravery, contentment, courage, curiousity, Faith, Holy Spirit, memoir, mercy, patience, Peace, Prayer, Redemption, testimony, Vulnerability, waiting, wisdom, wonder, writing

Everything’s about to bloom except my orchid. But, I’ll not give up. The leaves are bright green cushions comforting the base of the stalks. The soil is laced with the thin fallen blooms of before. I know the morning is soon. The morning I turn towards the sun striped wall and I see the buds fat with flora.

Blooming

Prayer and patience, I think.

The tiny grocery store hyacinth I bought to think of my Grandmother will be transplanted to the front yard. Spring, not this, but the next, I’ll look out my morning window and see the green breaking soil. I’ll wait then for delicate dainty hyacinths to bless the space around my “Angel girl”.

I’ll remind myself. I will remember. I waited and it was good to be hopeful, to be patient prayerfully.

The Valentine’s Day bouquet is refilled with fresh water. A day lily amongst the pink and purple will soon open, soft tangerine.

I’ll wait, not like snapping my fingers for things. I’ll wait and keep watering what God has planted in me. This is my contribution.

I’ll look towards the orchid and I’ll see its dust colored branches stretching and curving towards the window. I’ll see it going after what it can’t live without. I’ll know what is needed for growth and I’ll keep watering, keep writing, painting, praying and I will rest quietly because quiet waiting is always best.

I’ll be willing to trust, simply planted and willing. I’ll remain rooted and I’ll not doubt the nourishment I’m given from My Father. I’ll allow it to change me from the roots to the branches to the sharing my story.

I’ll not doubt possible blooming. I know it will come and not just for me.

For others too, weakness made strong, broken made unbreakable, redeemed with a story worth sharing.

I pray it’s the same with you.

Continue and believe.

“For there is hope of a tree, If it be cut down, that it will sprout again, And that the tender branch thereof will not cease.”
‭‭Job‬ ‭14:7‬ ‭ASV‬‬

I’m linking up with others, prompted by the word “Stretch”. What an interesting prompt,

FMF link up.

The Desert Place

bravery, confidence, contentment, courage, doubt, Faith, hope, memoir, Redemption, Trust, waiting, writing

“Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”
‭‭John‬ ‭11:21‬ ‭ESV‬‬

She had been waiting four days.

She kept waiting. Jesus came. Her brother woke up.

Mornings Clarify

My faith has felt shallow lately in the vast place of waiting. I have zero sense of direction naturally. I depend on landmarks like trees and yellow doors on white houses and such.

I find my way by remembering. Crisis of faith is not an accurate assessment, more just a waiting in the unknown to remember.

I’m just waiting for a way forward, a clear answer, a settled decision whether to continue.

It’s not life or death. I’m seeking direction in where my writing life goes, set it on the shelf, write for personal pleasure and growth or to share with others.

I’m wondering why there are so many hoops to jump through and whether I’m up to all the jumping.

I wonder why to write a book I have to first be famous. I wonder why this type question feels taboo.

Overthinking it all? Maybe, likely to be honest.

Peace

I’m okay in the wilderness of desert waiting, just wonder how long I’ll need to linger to know.

How long uncertainty, a loss of intuition, of seeing, sensing, hearing God will evade me.

When Martha wondered what took Jesus so long to see about her brother, I imagine the waiting was heavy. I believe her senses were elevated. She listened for his arrival, she trusted her belief.

But, why didn’t he come sooner, after all Jesus loved her brother she thought.

Her sister, Mary sat at home. Martha set out to understand “why so long”.

I imagine me in the middle of not knowing, of counting on recollection to determine my direction. I’ll listen for a sense of flowing, I’ll walk towards the water rippling clearly, caressing amber stones. I’ll remember then.

This is the way to walk. I’ll remember, by faith that may not make sense to others

Sometimes to myself.

By faith, I walk.

By faith, I’ll find my footing and my steps will be certain then.

By faith, I wait.

Martha

Soon, my Savior will respond. I’ll see which way to go and understand whether the dream will die or be resurrected.

Continue and believe.

Yes, Lord; I believe…John 11:27

We wait for what we believe,

For what believes fully in us.

We find our footing, sense a certain direction and we breathe steady instead of shallow breaths.

We believe again in our hopes.

We wait as we trust.