Stepping Forward

Abuse Survivor, anxiety, bravery, courage, curiousity, Faith, fear, freedom, hope, Peace, Redemption, Trust, Vulnerability, walking
Morning Thoughts

What ideas about your identity are ingrained deeply in you? Does it feel more safe to believe the hopeless parts of you instead of the hopeful?

I’ve been thinking about the lame man in the Bible who was afraid to figure out a way to move into the water. 38 years of being paralyzed. When we read of his encounter with Jesus (who he thought was just a man suggesting he simply try), we’re conditioned to label him as crazy, lazy or simply self-pitiful and disabled by choice.

What a label, “disabled by choice”. Maybe though, disability was what he knew, how he planned his day, accepted the unfairness of his condition. So, what seems crazy was really just fear of different. Unfamiliar.

“They asked him, “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Take up your bed and walk’?”
‭‭John‬ ‭5‬:‭12‬ ‭ESV‬‬

The man who learned to walk couldn’t really explain it. I suppose he just thought less about who and how than he was astounded to be walking. I wonder how long or if it took him a bit to feel stable, stable in his steps and the miracle that began his embrace of faith. Maybe.

I wonder if he was tempted to lay back down, in a sort of awe and uncertainty life could be this way for him.

If we’re not taught that change can be possible and that even though it might be trial and error, we might “stay on our mat” too.

This is a truth not often expressed.

It’s safer to be the person you’ve called yourself or been called (even if fragile and floundering) than to see our very own growth, to acknowledge how far we’ve come and to slowly dip our toes in the water…the truth of God loving us…until slowly, intentionally and not without moments of backward sliding, we find ourselves lighter, floating, completely and confidently immersed in our healed identity.

If the toil and trials of life have a larger tally it’s likely loss feels more dependable than gain, more believable.

Knowing we are loved because God is love and is patient with those of us who are just learning to swim without the weights of our past keeping us only frantically floating.

Be easy on yourself; but, do step in the water.

It may feel foreign, this trusting the better.

Be easy on yourself.
Jesus is.

Continue and believe.

Thoughts on Psalms and Paint

Art, contentment, courage, curiousity, Faith, hope, mercy, mixed media painting, painting, Redemption, rest, Vulnerability, wonder
Goodness and Mercy

A few months ago, I discovered an online publication, “Collected Magazine”. I connected and they connected in reply. The result includes some of my artwork and an interview about my Psalm 23 series. Here’s the link:

Collected

Goodness and Mercy is available

Girl on Whiskey

Abuse Survivor, bravery, curiousity, fear, grace, hope, mercy, Prayer, Redemption, suicide loss, Vulnerability, wisdom, wonder

“…where have you come from, and where are you going?” Genesis 16:8

If I inventory my speculations, judgments, concerned observations and exchanges in chatty conversation last week or so, I could fill a page of my journal, the pages that typically contain personal/selfish prayers.

Think of Others

Like the practice of contour drawing, I laid down names on the paper. A simple free flow based on things I’ve heard, concerns I know and mostly, worries and hopes others have that only they know.

You can pray for others without “needing to know”.

Some names of people who have questionable behavior, names of some who’ve told me their woes and a really random one.

Facebook clamored yesterday around a sighting of a pretty girl on the loose, darting in and out of, in front of cars on the most cluttered and crowded road in our city, Whiskey.

Comments became jokes, a few worried, a few diagnosing the addiction she was caught in and one or two sincere worries over why she was running.

Speculation.

When I worked, I did my best to support families and friends of those who lost someone to a suicidal choice.

I learned that we ask a lot of questions, those of us who don’t know this tragically unique trauma.

I wrote an essay and titled it “The Tragedy of Speculation”.

Because, I noticed I needed a reason to know this wouldn’t, couldn’t happen to me.

I needed to justify the behavior of another from a distance, so that I could have assurance. In my time there, doing the work, the foundation of me living by “but for the grace of God, I go there” became solid, steady and strong.

I am grateful.

So, I rounded out my list of praying, with “girl on whiskey”, gave the page a header.

pray without ceasing

trust in the Lord.

I hope the pretty girl gone crazy on Whiskey is better today. I pray she finds her way and that it is safe.

Steady.

And I pray for others who were the subjects of my speculation, snarky comments masked as concern and I open my palm to heaven remembering it’s God who knows the way I go.

Also, knows where I came from.

Now time for page two, I just remembered more names.

“pray continually,”
‭‭1 Thessalonians‬ ‭5:17‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Wonderfully Colored

Art, Children, confidence, contentment, courage, curiousity, daughters, family, grief, hope, memoir, painting, Redemption, Vulnerability, wonder

“On different days, I’m different too, You’d be surprised how many ways.” Dr. Seuss, “My Many Colored Days”

Someone commented on Sunday, her love for the colors in my paintings. I smiled to myself. My palette has decidedly changed.

Formerly, I had a bend towards neutral, bland in conversation and tone. My aim was ethereal. I now see it was timidity.

Yesterday, I watched a tiny lizard fade from black to green to gray. I convinced my granddaughter to let him go as she clutched the caught creature, tiny thumb and forefinger keeping “the baby safe”.

Once set free, it scurried with a whip of a long tail into the sandy ground overtaken by green.

There was a time, I turned all the books exposing only the pages, clean and pristine, no color showing. My husband asked how we’d know the titles, I answered, “Pull it from the shelf and look and keep looking until you find one you like”.

Explore. Truth is, I felt comfortable with the quiet untouched arrangement.

It was safe, not noisy with color, uncluttered, avoidant of engagement.

Now, it appears I’m becoming vibrant, creeping towards but resisting crowded clutter.

Discovering wonder in tiny things again.

Like sunlight landing on spines of books I love.

Morning greeted me that way, touching the den’s corner and I saw the beauty, I saw the gift of a perspective change.

I lean my paintings against my mama’s white chair, the backdrop a mixture of blue speckled paintings and a splash here and there of yellow.

I’m layering color more boldly these days, still soft and easy, fluidly filtered but not at all shy.

Ebony paint fencing in water, creamy white shadows only slightly dulling the grasses.

Verdant green, velvet like a cool cushion.

Happy pinks and confident blues.

October 11, 2022, I paused to see if my memory was correct.

Then I tallied the years since my father passed away on October 11th, 24 years ago today.

I remembered the room where the decision was made and thought of how it seemed to be a circle of voting, “what do we do?”.

Hang on or let go?

I wondered, this afternoon, what might have been had we decided differently and for a minute I felt lonely. Then, a thought that might not be true for others; but, for me it quelled the useless wondering question.

Don’t waste your wonder over what might have been, only and always open your heart to the wonder of now and the wonder of them.

A cousin I haven’t seen in over twenty years wrote to me today. She said my daddy would check on her when he was in Savannah. It was always unexpected; but, sweet, so sweet when my daddy, her uncle came by to be sure she was okay.

I found myself like a child, filled with wonder and my day, one of many colored, was bright yellow dancing with indigo.

Not murky grey like regret, nor blah with grey from the dirty jar needing brushes washed.

No, blue like the eyes of a girl like me, filled with wonder. Coral like kindness, turquoise the assurance of hope for tomorrow.

These are the colors on this day, just one of my “many colored days”.

I have so many more.

“a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;”
‭‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭3:4‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Visit https://www.lisaannetindal.me to view available work.

Enough

Art, contentment, courage, curiousity, Faith, family, hope, mercy, patience, Peace, Redemption, wonder

A noticer of people, on Monday I watched from my car in the Hobby Lobby parking lot. I noticed the clothing of others; vibrant yellow, a too long skirt on a woman, a man who walked beside his wife dressed as if accompanying her to the craft store was a hot date,

A young girl with black boots, arms covered in ink and every accessory a display of matching energy as she danced by, like a little bird on a mission.


A woman dressed completely in drab black, long skirt, shirt and too big cardigan, I watched her shuffling in orthopedic/athletic shoes that were so big I could’ve put my fist in the spot for her heels.

For a minute, I was sad, felt it was my place to fix her.

Should I offer to give her my shoes or give her money for a pair that fit? Thinking, here I sit, about to go and buy more paint as I enjoy my Chick-Fil-A and she needs shoes.

Or does she?

Who am I to know what defines “abundance” for her?

I thought about her all day. My thoughts went from sympathy to more of “I think she’s okay”.

And today, I wake to Job’s words again coupled with Ann Voskamp’s email, reminding me that I’m not the maker or measuring tool for abundance, only called to do what God created me for and to notice in places less obvious.

To see it in me, the abundant life through Christ, to quietly consider every moment just how abundance looks, feels, is expressed through me.

To see my little deposit of abundance in the faces of others.

God understands the way to it and he alone knows where it dwells, for he views the ends of the earth and sees everything under the heavens.”
‭‭Job‬ ‭28:23-24‬ ‭NIV‬‬

The Creator knows us, us as artists, executives, teachers or skilled fixers of things…as creatives, makers of families, lovers of the beautifully crafted earth around us.

Notice today.

He knows the way.

Abundance is in and around you.

Don’t miss it, don’t miss a thing.

Notice God today.

Say a little secret prayer,

“Abundance, God…show me the way to it.”

You are loved.

My Artist Story

Art, artist calendar, bravery, confidence, courage, curiousity, Faith, family, memoir, painting, patience, Redemption, Vulnerability, wisdom, wonder

I was given an opportunity by Hayley Price, owner of The Scouted Studio and The Art Coaching Club of which I’m a member, to share my thoughts on being an artist and why I continue this intentional journey.

In progress

A journey in progress.

You can listen here:

Art Coaching Club podcast

It’s a wonderful podcast for artists. You should subscribe for both technical advice and encouragement from other artists.

Gethsemane

Abuse Survivor, Art, bravery, confidence, courage, curiousity, Faith, hope, mixed media painting, Peace, Prayer, Redemption, Vulnerability, wonder
The Dock my Husband Built

Last week, the horizon greeted me like a welcome rescue as I turned to the skinny road from the wider, more busy highway.

Both frustrated by my anxiety over the big white ghost of a Tahoe with headlights like a cat following me closely all the way and determined to breathe and be okay, thumbs on the places 4 and 8.

So, the sun rising wide over my granddaughter’s home?

Redemption. Relief.

A whisper, a sigh.

I could go on.

“Dew on the Roses”, 2019

Thoughts rose up from an article or post I’d skimmed over, the question posed,

What is your Gethsemane?

Meaning, I supposed,

What did you ask God not to allow that He did anyway?

At first, I thought, how can we dare to compare our falling apart and asking to be spared with the request of Jesus?

Then, the mental list developed.

And then, another in contrast.

“Things that happened despite the things that happened”.

Angela’s Bible

I turned the ancient wisp of pages to Mark 14 in the Bible with penciled “sermons to self”. Angela, an educator from Bibb County, Ga. added her wisdom and thoughts back in 1937, became mine because of an estate sale.

Curiously, a page is torn down the middle.

I think now of the veil torn in two.

The darkness midday.

The verses that describe Jesus being anointed with a costly ointment by a woman who was chastised is no longer here. Neither, the Lord’s Supper.

The garden scene is preserved, the plea of Jesus face down in broken supplication remains.

And he went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that if it be possible, the hour might pass from him. Mark 14:34 , KJV, Oxford

And we know what happened next, the agony, the death and the resurrection.

We know what happened because of and despite the fear in the garden.

What are your “Gethsemane moments”?

What is “scaring you to death”?

Look up, redemption will find you

And, in time pale in comparison to the unwanted anguish.

I believe. I do.

Just My Thoughts

curiousity, Faith, hope, patience, Peace, Redemption, Trust, Vulnerability

But I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail.
Luke 22:32

Walking last week without music or advice in my ear, I thought about Peter and I thought about how years ago I could never imagine I’d think of such things, be moved to contemplation from a passage in a Bible.

In the margin, there’s a woman and the words Jesus said to Peter, “I have prayed for you.”

Jesus knew Peter would tell people “I don’t know him, that’s not me.” and so what was the reason he assured Peter of his prayers?

I began to think of a couple of possibilities, just my thoughts.

Maybe Jesus was praying, you’re going to live with the memory of telling the others seated around the fire that you weren’t associated with me and that memory can do one of two things…spiral you into shame and self-hatred or remind you that you’re human and yet, grace covered everything.

He also told Peter that he prayed he’d be stronger for his brothers when he came back to believing.

There’s a message here for us who are imperfect, whose lives were once “deniers of the love of Jesus”. We can use our stories of being found wrongfully acting and thinking to make our light even brighter and our belief in Jesus undeniably strong.

There’s such hope in the words Jesus said to Peter…”I have prayed for you.” Hope and assurance, He knows and yet loves us so.

Just my thoughts.

In Private

Art, confidence, contentment, courage, curiousity, memoir, painting, Peace, Prayer, Redemption, Vulnerability, wonder

Pay attention to the thoughts that surface, bubble up to overflow in private.

Certainties.

Morning Song

Yesterday morning, I closed the door and prayed on the bathroom floor.

No magic, no set expectation, just a plea that was private.

I humbled myself and asked for ease, for help.

Humbled, but not afraid, not cornered by my delay in praying nor in my honest admission of asking for help, for grace.

And, my prayer was answered. I was without pain, still am.

But none says, “Where is my Maker, who gives songs in the night?” Job 35:10

Around 3:00 a.m, I turned and wondered, why did I stop praying as much as before?

Praying in private, mostly.

Again, humbled by the tender realization, but not all the feeling of being punished or afraid.

More like, “I miss praying. I miss the peace of honesty and of talking to God about others and things that only we know”.

I miss me, humbled and yet, unafraid.

And so, God told me so. Told me in a way, I suppose,

I miss our conversations,

I miss the heart of you.

Painting Crosses

I delivered a painted cross yesterday, a housewarming gift that according to my friend was “extra”, other gifts and favors already given. I told her I’d like to gift another, for her office.

She gave me permission to choose the color, she’d be fine with white, she offered.

I’m thinking now about the depth in her eyes, pools of thought and kindness.

How I’ll capture that color, I don’t know yet.

I’ll pray.

I can pray. I am certain in that.

Unafraid and so very humbled.

Think of Others

birds, bravery, contentment, curiousity, family, hope, memoir, Peace, Redemption, wisdom, wonder
Blackbird and Vine

Think of others today, not peers, competing or measuring up comparatively people.

Sort of an exercise in out of the norm noticing or remembering.

Do you ever think about your grandma, your great-grandma, the legacy of their strengths and stories? The untold struggles, the pains they learned to comfort in their own quiet and unique ways?

I have an image of my grandmother all layered down in blankets, lamplight to the right, Bible in her lap, a pen for cursive notes in the margin.

On her screen porch, looking towards the crops, the winding path to Aunt Marie’s.

Looking for light, was she okay?

Had she gone to bed?

I walked out in the rain to see the bloom on my mystery vine and thought how very simple a joy!

What images make you smile, bring joy that doesn’t require scrolling, effort or comparison?

Think of others today.

I’m a fan of 3 word reminders.

Do hard things. Ask for help.

Continue and believe.

You are loved.

“Pass and re-pass.” my grandmother

Think of others.

Especially those gone on.