Windows and Will

Abuse Survivor, Art, bravery, confidence, contentment, courage, creativity, Faith, grace, hope, memoir, painting, Prayer, Redemption, testimony, Trust, Vulnerability, wisdom, wonder

From the upstairs window, I watched their coming and going. The wife, tentative in her steps and the husband, with an armload of groceries, one hand against the small of her back. I noticed their commitment to one another, their quietness and settled joy.

I mostly avoided them. We, the upstairs tenants and them, below. My baby brother and I lived together. What a life it was. Barely getting by, outrageous behaviors, dangerous rendezvouses and mostly him being certain I was okay and I less caring and attentive to him, carried on in my reckless ways.

My brother and I were together, it’s an invitation to be safe I will forever treasure.

All the while, the diminutive couple surely observed us. Never confronted or complained about our noise up above, only nodded occasionally in a knowing way.

One Sunday I was brave. I watched from our window as their sedan found its spot. The gentleman had gotten his wife settled in and I walked lightly down the stairs and stood facing his caring eyes.

And he did not look away.

“How can I know the will of God?” I asked with timidity.

Close to forty years ago and I can’t say what he answered, only that his tone was gentle and he gave me a small book.

A book I only skimmed, a paperback long ago packed or trashed away.

The will of God is not a detailed plan, more a captivating pursuit.

I believe it is simply and profoundly a decision

to trust and to renew that trust as often as necessary.

To sit quietly waiting.

To consider how decades later, a church going senior citizen’s response matters.

There was no correction in his tone, no critical reply or even “come to church with us next Sunday.”

Instead, he instructed me to be a seeker. He gave me a book. He compelled me towards words and the Word.

This morning, I sat in the place I love. I pondered all of the voices of advisors…

Podcasters, those who believe they’re gifted with prophecy, experts on enneagram and such…people who are benefiting themselves by joining the trauma healing (bandwagon) force.

The voices are loud, lauding quick and exciting never known to be possible results.

Yesterday walking, I mentally answered a question.

Who is God to you?

I answered. “God is my creator.”

Remembering the sufficiency of that astounding truth, I watched the sun for more than a glance.

The golden light landed on my art. I watched it become more outlined.

Become a window.

So I sat for a minute more and answered my heart’s question.

The will of God is for me to see Him. To settle my search inviting other relief or rescue.

To see God on a chilly morning because I sat still long enough.

And to remember the value of a gentle response, never haughty and a hindrance.

Hopeful, always hope.

“Joyful is the person who finds wisdom, the one who gains understanding.”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭3‬:‭13‬ ‭NLT‬‬

The Art of Cake

Art, creativity, family, happy, memoir, mixed media painting, painting, Redemption, wonder
day 6, blueberry filled cream cheese frosted cake

Simply to create, I decided to paint one thing every day and I started with cake.

No plans for the works on paper, painted with ease and allowable error and then a scribble signature, set it aside.

Creativity for the sake of creativity and I guess to spread the word about my suggestion others get creative in their own way and also, share a slice of cake or two with someone special on January 28th.

“Cake with your Mama Day”

began on a whim. I wasn’t especially sad and I’m not sure I really wanted cake. It just seemed fitting to eat cake on my mother’s birthday to make it less heavy and more happy.

My mama passed away two days before she was to turn 70 over ten years ago.

Before my daughter became a mama, we had cake one day downtown after work. It was the sweetest day.

Mama was a professional for many years and then, although not at all lucrative, she began to bake cakes for people, the lusciously decadent cakes only her family had known her for.

And something changed in her, I saw her stand before a red velvet cake about to be delivered and I saw love on her face.

Her countenance reflected the gift of being a maker of only something she could create.

Her cake business was art.

So, every year, now on the closest Saturday to January 30th, I invite others into the #cakewithyourmamaday and for the past couple of years, my dear friend Jeanne at Juniper in Ridge Spring, SC (a very cool and yummy place) joins me in promoting the celebration…the invitation to remember your mama or anyone who mama’s or has mama’d you.

Or anyone at all, together sharing.

Friends gather together and dip their forks into cake, conversations about life, love, hope and happiness happen over shared slices of cake.

Cake with Your Mama Day is more an invitation to joy than just a day of enjoying dessert.

So, if you follow me on Insta, you’ve seen I’m painting a cake a day as I’ve come to understand more why this day is special.

I believe my mama understands my desire to keep painting. She sees the sweet release achieved by making something as she saw it in her country kitchen pulling the pound cakes from the oven. She sees and is smiling down on me over a slice or two of cake.

I hope you’ll have cake on January 28th.

Share your photos with us all on #cakewithyourmamaday

Be creative.