Always Peace

Angels, Art, bravery, Children, courage, daughters, Faith, family, grief, love, memoir, Motherhood, Peace, Prayer, tragedy, Vulnerability, waiting, wisdom, wonder

We talked about ferns, pansies, mums, babies, children and prayer. I’d waited until past 8 to call, afraid she may not answer.

We talked about sunshine and husbands. We talked about my art and hers and we decided that we would “share a booth” in a “show” this Spring.

I found the obituary earlier.

My cousin, her daughter died unexpectedly 42 years ago.

I walked around with the reality of that all day long and with the question of whether to call, whether it would be something she’d like.

My aunt, I describe her beauty and I always think of Grace, the princess. Her voice is slow and draws gentle circles as she talks about peace, about flowers, about family.

She chooses acceptance, she goes after peace. She knows peace is her friend.

I had a reason to call her. All the pretty pansies and ferns froze over Christmas and the brittle evidence of a hard and unwelcome death were left on my daughter’s porch.

All the brown leaves and blackened blooms would have to be thrown into the woods.

“What should she start over with?” I asked my “Aunt Boo”.

“Ferns and if you can find some that aren’t all stringy and overgrown, some more pansies. If it gets freezing hard and cold, just drape a towel over them and let ‘em stay warm.”

Then she thanked me for calling as if she knew it wasn’t something I knew I was up to.

She told me it helps to talk to me.

Unexpectedly adding the memory of the last time she saw her daughter on New Year’s Day at the convenience store out by Zaxby’s.

And that was all, leaving me wanting to hear more about that day and yet, knowing that knowing more doesn’t make it better.

Knowing rarely brings peace in unknowable things. Instead, an embrace of accepting that thing or things we cannot always understand always does.

Acceptance brings peace.

Knowing more doesn’t make it better.

Today, I’ll look for ferns, asparagus hopefully. The bright green prickly fronds that seem delicate are actually thick and strong.

Feathery and fragile and yet, they endure as long as they have sunlight, water and necessary protection from the frigid cold.

I’ll share my aunt’s advice with my daughter and add it to my treasure trove of her sweet lessons for my living.

Peace, today I shall go in peace. Stay with it.

“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;

the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.”
‭‭Numbers‬ ‭6‬:‭24‬-‭26‬ ‭ESV‬‬

This one’s for you, my precious Aunt Boo.

Love and Mercy

Abuse Survivor, bravery, Christmas, courage, curiousity, daughters, Faith, family, grace, memoir, mercy, Motherhood, Peace, Prayer, Redemption, sons, waiting, wisdom, wonder
Then and Now

Of all the scribblings and sketches in my Bible that chart my hopes, prayers, dreams and instructions, there are a couple I prefer not to read, that cause a sort of wrestling.

Make me wish I’d used a pencil, not a pen.

One word, “mama”.

“Do not fear; only believe, and she will be well.”
‭‭Luke‬ ‭8‬:‭50‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Jesus had just been interrupted on his way to heal an important official’s daughter. He stopped in the throng of curious people when he felt a touch, I think more a desperate, still gentle tug and he healed a woman who’d been ostracized because she couldn’t stop bleeding. He looked her in the eye and called her “daughter” and said carry on now, go and live freely and well.

A few sentences later, he raised Jairus’s daughter from the dead in front of a group of mourners, saying she was just sleeping.

My doubt has fled; my faith is free.” Harriet McEwen Kimball, “Joy & Strength”

I’m curious about Harriet. How she came to this freedom and how she remained doubtless. Maybe it was an exercise in returning to the faith, of reminding herself in a comparative sort of fashion why she chose to believe.

Yesterday, I thought of prayers it seems I’ve been praying for quite a long time and I thought about waiting and about the wonder of prayer.

I could bullet list mentally the answers to some seemingly unrealistic and rapid responses and I could list the times I fall back to my knees and say “Here I am again, Lord and it’s the same thing.”

I can list the times I’ve been reminded by God’s spirit, give it to Him.

On Monday, I thanked God for the privilege of surrender, not being responsible for everything or maybe not much of anything at all.

I’ve written about this before, about the country preacher who came to visit when a long fought battle forced surrender.

The preacher didn’t lecture, didn’t condescend, didn’t direct me to a Bible, didn’t say he’d send the women’s ministry to see me.

He turned to me in my fragility and spoke softly,

“Just pray for mercy.”

The itinerant preacher from Poplar Springs Baptist Church saw me and responded.

And thereby started me on my tentative path towards believing, of refusing to doubt no matter the dilemma or delay.

When I wrote “mama” in my Bible, the lowercase letters resembling a middle school diary entry, I was a different woman than I am today.

If there was an assignment, I said yes. If there was a need, I volunteered to fill it.

If the church lights were on, I was seated in my pew or I was dutifully down the narrow hall, teaching or getting ready to sing.

I didn’t listen, only now cringe remembering, the Sunday morning my son said to me, “Mama, just sing with your voice.”

Oh, the ways my children endured me!

Because of my steady efforts, I was certain my mama would not die, like the daughter of Jairus, she’d rise up strong again.

But, she did not.

There were some things, I decided, my faith could not do.

I see “mama” on the page in Luke in my Bible as a gift now, a retrospective glance at the striver I was rescued from being.

I see “mama” and I still believe.

Because wellness, healing, a life without serious illness or chronic conditions is not completely up to me.

No amount of striving, performance or gut wrenching protective prayers or isolating will guarantee a life without sickness.

Circumstances will come, that’s a given.

Still, it is with certainty that I know belief is not circumstantial.

If it were, the woman with the flow of blood wouldn’t have had to wait so long or worse yet, she’d been overlooked or assumed too far gone.

Just pray for mercy.

Mercy will be given.

Perhaps not as expected and likely not without question of “if”.

And certainly not because of or despite your performance.

Mercy is given, not rewarded.

Just pray for mercy.

Use your voice.

Continue and believe.

This one’s for you mama, Merry Christmas.

Lisa Anne

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.

Sunday Seasons

Art, Children, confidence, contentment, daughters, Faith, family, hope, Peace, Redemption, sons, wisdom, wonder
“Feels Like Fall”

With the songs and sermon, prayers and passages, I had church today while I painted.

The thought came to do both just as I’d decided to stay home. You’ve been running, racing and getting to do lots of things.

You’re learning, that kind of running will catch up, put you in slow motion.

Take your peace away.

Funny thing, I’d never painted while “going to church”. But, I felt compelled to do it and so, I listened as I prepped tiny canvases for color.

Just as I’d listened to a new take on an old favorite, Psalm 139. Whole house silent and I heard it differently, more clearly.

The Holy Spirit’s presence.

My soul knows it very well.

I wrote just these words beside my name in the margin. This beautiful psalm is one we read to remind ourselves we are known beyond our mind’s comprehension by God who made us.

Mostly, I’ve read this psalm to remind myself of God’s intentional love and to confirm that I’m here on purpose, not an accident.

Today though, in the quiet, I saw a little deeper meaning. God knew and knows that it’s our soul that guides and informs us, that the things we need to “hear” from him, we will hear with the nudge of conviction, correction and the deepest of joys that can’t be described in words, only the pure reaction in our core/our soul. Some say gut or conscience.

How do you describe the most intimate joy of being surprised by the ease of something you feared would go wrong?

How do you describe the peace in an unexpected emotional response to something as simple as a hug from a child?

A greeting at the door with a flower and a request for a jar?

“It’s For You”

How do you describe knowing what God wants you to know that you’ve been avoiding or are afraid it can’t possibly be true?

It’s close to impossible to fully convey the soul.

That may be why David ended this Psalm this way. Sort of a brave request of God.

I’m often afraid to ask such a question.

“Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭139:23-24‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Because God knows all the beauty of us, He also knows the ways we get wrong.

Since He knows us so very well, wonderful creations, complex and complicated, we can trust that we’ll see the parts we sometimes get wrong.

If we’ll simply ask Him.

We don’t have to be afraid of the answer. It will come gently. After all, our Father is the maker of our very tender souls.

Today, I took my time, walked outside to breathe in the coming season, check on the mysterious morning glory and just because.

I stayed home.

Remembering lunch with my daughter and son on Saturday, rounding out my birthday celebrations, I recalled the sweetness of togetherness and the ways they’re so very different and deciding that’s quite okay.

Wonderfully made.

My hopes for them, always been the same, are the very evidence of that very thing, hope.

“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭139:14‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Glad In Them

Angels, bravery, Children, contentment, daughters, family, grandchildren, hope, memoir, Trust, Vulnerability, wonder

I didn’t expect to be emotional.

I thought, I think… this is good, no surprise, exciting, you get a break to paint or to do whatever.

But, that’s okay. Last days are good, are meant to be noticed and honored.

Remembered.

Honored with the grace of two breezy morning walks, odd finds, two morning glory flowers, yellow leaves and some important to remember instructions about songs.

Today had me thinking of last days, last things.

Odd, some may say, but I miss the meetings when I offered up my space and the mothers, fathers, friends and others who introduced themselves with the story of the loved one who chose suicide.

I don’t miss the stories, I miss the significance of their sharing. I miss being invited to join them. I miss showing up.

I don’t miss the trying to turn left from Aiken Middle School’s exit to take my son home, but I miss my on the cusp of manhood son and his four or five tightly knit rascally buddies with baseball on their minds and ambition on their fearless shoulders.

I don’t miss walking into my daughter’s room and discovering the clothes explosion covering the floor hasn’t given me a path that’s clear, but I miss her just down the hall, I miss climbing into her tiny bed to talk.

I don’t miss the DFCS court days and the half-hearted or no show biological parents intent on being defended just for the happenstance chance of maybe the judge will give us a fourth chance. But, I surely miss the children, the ones I advocated for and often buckled into my car if “on call”.

I don’t miss the home visits that scared me s**tless, but I treasure the eyes that met mine and saw concern, an unspoken love and hope that life could be better.

I don’t miss board of directors meetings or foreboding financials, but I do miss the allegiance and commitment together to mental health.

I still get the “seriously?” looks when I retell the reason I retired, a child welfare and nonprofit leader, at 58 years old.

I made a promise to my daughter. My mama did the same. I’ll share the responsibilities with my “tag team” other grandmother (“Gamma”) and I will help care for my daughter’s daughter.

By the way, do you know the importance of the first three years of a child as far as strong love and bonding?

It’s important. They’re important.

The one I call, “Morning Glory”, the one who told me today,

“Grandma, you and the baby can find morning glories and you can’t sing “Rise and Shine”, that’s Gamma’s song.

Yours is “Jesus loves Me”!’”

The grandbaby I retired early for begins pre-school on Thursday.

Today was my last 5:15 a.m. alarm to arrive and send off to work my Literacy Coach daughter.

It was special.

Today and Monday.

Who knew, Elizabeth, God or had they talked already?

She added wings to an angel drawn with a stick in the sand. We decided dragonflies and butterflies are cousins. She told me my hair is long, long like her mama. She asked me to braid her hair and she told me she had a “happy” dream, a slide went into heaven and there were children there and it was beautiful.

She told me “Jesus, is up, up, up and way, way up there.”

And when I asked, she was smart enough to know my crazy hoping for the reply so spectacular,

“Have you seen Jesus?”

“Well, no,” she answered. “He isn’t down here, he’s up there…the rocks haven’t been moved again.”

Yeah, I had no words.

I listened. Again, listened.

I pushed her in the swing too small, sized for the baby because she wanted to be little.

Then, we got all gussied up and had salad for lunch and frozen strawberry slushy ice cream.

Oh, and we got shoes, red ones for school.

No matter the mood, red shoes can change it, right?

Today was my last “grandma day”, not for long, just a break or as needed.

I told Elizabeth I wanted it to be special.

This last day of 5:30 rising and driving out to the country, the place I named “pretty”.

Walking with a tiny baby close to my chest to racing with a toddler in a princess dress, seeing who can find a feather, a rock, a weed that’s a flower and pausing in the shadow of “That’s your favorite tree, right, Grandma”?

She said, “Memories, Grandma.”

Yes. I said “Yes.”

Morning glories I’ll never let go.

“Never go backward, only forward.” Grandma Bette aka my mama

Elizabeth Lettie goes to preschool, excited and

I will be.

So will I.

In a book there are flowers, a feather, a seed pod we call gumdrop and a plan to print photos, put them in a book called “Morning Glories”

Stories, songs, smiles, schedules and little things that are still secrets between E., God and I.

These are days the Lord made. We have rejoiced and we have been glad in them.

This baby has changed me forever. They say it’s that way. No need to wonder. I’ll hold fast to what I believe.

Babies are God’s answer, saying

Life continues and life is good.

You’ll never pass this way again.

Continue and believe.

Like She Told Me

Children, curiousity, daughters, Faith, family, grandchildren, love, Redemption, Salvation, wonder
Resting

She answered, “He is. I’m sure.”

Prayers are said, “Jesus Loves Me is my favorite”, she tells me when we talk about her songs.

It’s been the favorite for as long as her just over three years old.

There’s the song about the sun comin’ and the one that’s my favorite, three little birds outside my window happily reminding me every little thing’s gonna be alright.

But, “Jesus Loves Me” remains the three years running favorite.

We turned from dirt to pavement, up the hill on the way to town after noticing bright happy yellow faces of new sunflowers. I told her we’d walk tomorrow to see them up close and she gazed out the window decorated with stickers to tell me the trees were so green, maybe they’re full of blueberries.

We slowly move from country to town and she announces,

“I saw a raccoon yesterday…a big one.

It was in the road. Someone ran over it, keep looking Grandma, we might see it.”

I looked and remembered and told her that I’d seen a raccoon yesterday too.

The car became silent, my mirror told me she was thinking, dreaming, maybe somehow seeing God in a way I can’t through her window and up past the fat clouds.

So, I added “I hope the raccoon is in heaven.”

She answered. “He is. I’m sure.”

Her assurance was more than cute toddler sing-song words. I felt a presence, God’s as I kept driving.

I thought, oh to believe with such untested abandon, such unfiltered commitment, such direct and unquestioning conclusion.

Heaven. Of heaven to be sure.

A “roadkill raccoon”, according to my granddaughter is surely in heaven.

I smile over the image, I meet Jesus one day and popping around the corner, a raccoon or several. If there are thoughts in heaven, I think, “just like she told me.”

Since becoming a grandmother, I’ve seen through the eyes of a baby, now toddler just what to be sure of and what really does not matter at all.

I could tell all the stories I know of Jesus and they’d pale horribly in comparison to what her sweet soul knows about God’s care and love for us all, creatures and sinners and questioners who teeter on believing without evidence.

“I love you so much.” she offers unprompted.

Best love of all, unsolicited, not a reply to the same casual announcement, not a cordial gotta go, see you soon, love you

More an “I see you” and I think you need it, need to let you know, you seem to need it so.

“I love you.”

Like Jesus.

like a child, freely.

I am loved. This I know.

I can be very sure.

Jesus loves you, this I know.

The Way Forward

Abuse Survivor, confidence, contentment, courage, daughters, Faith, grace, hope, memoir, painting, Peace, Redemption, Stillness, Trust, Vulnerability, wonder

I can’t recall the exact number, but I’ve been thinking of the research that has proven we can’t survive long without water.

Water sustains us. I can go hours lost in painting and forget all I’ve eaten is a banana; but, I’ll notice my thirst. I pause for a sip of water.

This morning, I dined alone. With a set agenda, I made breakfast a priority, a good one. I sat at the dining room table rather than standing at the bar. I savored cheesy grits, eggs scrambled and sausage. I drank cool orange juice with bits of sweet pulp.

I paused.

A very large painting is hanging on the brick wall. It is simple. An imperfect watery path snakes up the middle.

Today, I saw a path instead of marsh and I considered changing the light grey blue to a sandy beige dusty dirt.

I saw the tree-line where the path gets thin. I saw the opening, the invitation to leave the hidden places, the run and hide, flee from harm wilderness calling me forth.

Calling me forward.

Into the broad place of abundance.

“Come back, daughter.” is not a sentence you’ll find in the Bible, not exactly.

Thirsting for safety, thirsting for relief, longing for understanding and deciding hiding is better than seeking, we, like the woman at the well, Hagar and countless others prefer to hide.

And we’re met by the one who gives water, living water.

And we’re given the chance to consider where we are coming from and where we are going.

We’re told we are seen and known and we’re astounded by the surprise of that very thing.

Feel free to use those three words, come back daughter (son or child) when you find yourself longing to run and hide or feeling unknown, unseen, misunderstood or even ridiculed.

Come back to the one who knows you.

“The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.”
‭‭John‬ ‭4:11, 15‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Return to the well.

Stay longer this time.

Keep On

Angels, daughters, Faith, family, grace, grief, memoir, Motherhood, Peace, Redemption, Trust, wonder

There are four words I treasure and a couple of other phrases too.

“Continue and believe.”

“It wasn’t God’s intention.” and “Keep on.”

The first I came up with to remind myself not to give up on life, myself or my God. The second, wisdom from a friend, helps to make sense of horrific happenings that make no sense at all.

Helps to reconcile what shouldn’t have happened, what went wrong, how you were wronged or what damage went unattended.

Trauma is not God’s intention for us. We move and breathe in a world that’s mean as hell.

When we choose to keep on, we’re deciding whatever “it”’ is or was, was not God’s intention.

There’s solace in this decision, sort of heavenly.

The third, from my mama, mostly unspoken but demonstrated by her tenacity

and stubborn resolve.

I put geraniums in clay pots every summer because I decided they are “mama’s flowers”.

I feel she sees me and sometimes I know that she does.

Mama’s last car was a green Chevy Geo, I think. It was small like a Nova or a Corolla.

She commanded the road, striking out on her own for a couple years, driving as fast as she wanted.

Get in the car and go seemed to be her philosophy.

Yesterday, I got steadily closer to a Chevy Impala driving too slowly. The construction ahead told us to move over. The Chevy just kept on creeping, the shape of the driver was either short, small or leaning in a relaxing swagger I noticed as I came close.

I passed and looked over and in a flash, I saw my mama. The woman with the short hair and the handicap card on the visor had one hand on the wheel and the other lifted to wave a “Hey, girl.” to me.

I wondered where she was going, all alone on a Friday morning. Maybe to get a breakfast biscuit, maybe just gettin’ out for no reason.

I saw her independence.

I saw my mama.

I pulled into the station for gas and as I turned the gas lid to lock, the Impala strangely pulled in behind me.

The woman with the happy cheeks and the knowing eyes waved again and nodded as she smiled, laughing alone in her car.

Just for me.

God was with her and somehow she knew I needed my mama.

The woman in the Chevy saying,

“Keep on, Lisa Anne. Keep on.”

Continue and believe. This is God’s intention.

“Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭23:6‬ ‭NLT‬‬

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.

Potted Daffodils

Art, bravery, courage, daughters, Faith, family, grace, grief, heaven, hope, memoir, painting, Peace, Redemption, rest, Stillness, Vulnerability, waiting, wisdom

Wrapped in bright yellow foil scattered with pink and baby blue, the potted daffodils at Publix called my name.

I bought the pot of fully grown flowers and moved them into a terra cotta pot. The bird girl statue Elizabeth calls “our Angel girl” now holds a tray of potted pansies slowly wilting in one hand and the other, upward reaching daffodils on bright silky green.

They won’t last long, already full grown. What’s the use, I thought standing in the produce section staring longingly at the happy yellow flowers.

I thought of hope.

Thought of so much hope that’s in a state of deference, waiting for new life, waiting for evidence of our dreams being worth dreaming for again.

I thought of a song as I painted last week.

Like Springtime

An obscure songwriter not many will know, Chris Renzema, penned lyrics that keep dancing softly with me.

I first heard this song over a year ago. It just won’t let me go.

We will sing a new song
‘Cause death is dead and gone with the winter
We will sing a new song
Let “hallelujahs” flow like a river
We’re coming back to life
Reaching towards the light
Your love is like springtime.

Like Springtime

I walked yesterday, briefly and mostly for fresh air to cycle through my chest to move towards healing from a three day cough.

I saw the daffodils and had a new idea, hope and anticipation of Spring next year, of the daffodils the angel is holding today popping up like little joys encircling the statue.

Spring of 2023 will have me looking towards the little spot I treasure and I’ll watch and wait and laugh quietly when the flowers pop up in a cluster to say to me, see you hoped and waited and we came.

“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭13:12‬ ‭ESV‬‬

“We’re coming back to life
Reaching towards the light
Your love is like springtime

Come tend the soil
Come tend the soil of my soul
And like a garden
And like a garden I will grow
I will grow.”

Today marks the date of a phone call twelve years ago, my baby brother’s voice saying softly,

“She’s gone.” and the memory of my woeful sobbing, my head dropping heavy to my desk.

Mama, I’ve grown.

I’ll keep growing and hoping and looking heavenward. It’s hard to fathom, but impossible not to believe.

I’ll see you again. Like Springtime, it will be a beautiful day.

Until then, I’ll have a piece of coconut cake tomorrow and I’ll remember your truths.

“Lisa, never take backward steps, only move forward.” Bette (Elizabeth) Jean Peacock Hendrix 1939-2010