Paths of Our Choosing

Abuse Survivor, bravery, confidence, contentment, courage, doubt, Faith, freedom, grandchildren, Peace, Redemption, testimony, Vulnerability, wisdom, wonder

“When you walk, your steps will not be hampered; when you run, you will not stumble.”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭4:12‬ ‭NIV‬‬

I’m remembering just now, my grandmother took us all walking. The cousin weekend retreat always included a walk on the curvy clay road.

How had it not realized the resemblance until now…the deep ditches covered in growth, the ditches we’d jump in and stand still like statues until the old truck passed by?

My grandmother commanding, “Hit the Ditch”.

How we remember becomes how we see.

I’m reading two new books, one fiction the other non. One discovered and one recommended, “Sugar Birds” by Cheryl Bostrom and “Your Stories Don’t Define You” by Sarah Elkins.

Barely into either, I am learning.

Ideas like telling your story to and through others and the power of memories we give ourselves permission to explore more deeply, building a better story.

When my granddaughter and I walk, we sing a little song about staying safely in the middle and we’ve made a game of jumping over roots instead of getting tangled.

Yet, when I walk alone, the neighborhood walking trail or the sharp turn on the busy road, I’m less cautious, in a way a stubborn walker.

The trail is disrupted by large old roots. I walk swiftly and keep on even though on a few occurrences the toe of my shoe butts up against the thick branch and I catch myself from falling face first.

It occurs to me it’s a stubborn resilience, this choice.

It occurs to me now I choose the dangerous path because I’ve decided it’s still my assignment to not be defeated by it.

Later, I’ll walk the trail and I’ll will myself off the broken up paved path and step aside to walk a few steps on the soft grass.

I can give myself permission to choose softer, I can decide to be welcome there, the place of choosing easy over hard, peace in regards to my past instead of handicap.

Be well today.

Enjoy your new path.

More Than Pretty Words

bravery, confidence, courage, Faith, family, freedom, grace, mercy, Peace, Prayer, Redemption, rest, Salvation, surrender, testimony, Trust, Vulnerability, waiting, wisdom, writing

It occurred to me as I thought of today’s prompt, “trust”, that so many of the words we use may be less powerful, more pretty, even cliche.

Trust is a word I write every morning, some days God follows with a bold period and often underlined.

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭3:5‬ ‭KJV‬‬


I start the day with this written commitment. Still, some days it’s nothing more than a pleasant hope, a halfhearted decision to remember God is my Father and I am His child.

I can trust Him.

Even if trusting humanly is a challenge for me, an established avoidance or cynical pattern.

I can decide to trust God.

Words like trust, faith, redemption, and salvation are powerful and unchanging words.

They are the fruit of our Creator’s character and intent for us.

They are God’s covenant.

“Promise”, another word we hold loosely when we consider it from human experience, is just as valuable, a weighty word.

Today, I will trust God. I will know and cherish words like trust, faith, mercy, grace, freedom, salvation, healing, and peace.

I’ll embrace these words tightly, held and certain like a child being cradled in the strong arms of a parent.

“I am carrying you.” God

He keeps His promises.

He gives joy, trust, patience.

We’re not able on our own to sustain these.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,”
‭‭Galatians‬ ‭5:22‬ ‭KJV‬‬

Be Where You Are

confidence, contentment, Faith, family, grace, hope, Peace, Serving, wonder
Joy and Strength Enduring

This is the thought that came as I roused from sleep on this splendid Saturday.

Be where you are.

The writing prompt graphic for today’s word, “temporary” has a clock in the background.

How is it I’ve never thought of time as temporary, hadn’t considered just how temporary every unique moment, hour, day or month is?

Yes, be where you are today. Adding ribbons to Christmas ornaments, painting on paper the image of Jesus carrying a child, spending time with those I love.

Not just being there, being with.

Giving out grace and good in everything in a way that says

“Thank you, God it was and is and will always be yours. Amen.”

“Yours is the day, yours also the night; you have established the heavenly lights and the sun.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭74:16‬ ‭ESV‬‬


courage, curiousity, Faith, family, hope, memoir, mercy, praise, Prayer, Redemption, Stillness, Vulnerability, wonder

“Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he has redeemed from trouble”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭107:2‬ ‭ESV‬‬


When this kitty cat came to me as a homeless sort, sleeping in a horse stall because she got separated from the litter and the mama, she hid under the house.

Imagine me lying on my belly in the overgrown elephant ear plants in the corner near the kitchen.

There was no coaxing her out. She came to me reluctantly the next morning.

Last week someone suggested I might not be the best kitten mother, maybe I don’t have the time or patience to tame her.

I considered it, that I’m not a real animal person, that she’d be better in another place.

But, I persisted.

I approached her with the understanding of her lack of trust, understanding she felt more safe all alone, she could only trust herself, she’d learned.

I had empathy with a tiny grey cat and changed one thing.

I became unselfish with my morning quiet. I made it her time first.

I allow her to find my lap. I don’t reach for the journal, the Bible, the pen or the stack of books.

I cup my warm coffee cup and I sit quietly. I think. I breathe.

I pray. We sit.

Early on, I considered the kitten sheltering under the house, hidden and afraid and I decided to see her perspective.

This new place, these new noisy people, this warmth inside, this back favorite room where the sun warms the blanket.

This woman, this man, these people plus a little toddler, a bit overwhelming.

The person who cautioned over the adjustment was also adamant not to allow my granddaughter near.

I wondered. I decided it will be okay. Because my grandchild understands the need for a gentle voice, a gentle hand.

She’s not bothered if kitty cat runs away, we’ll just try another time.


Gently and with our persistence she sees we’re redeeming her uncertain beginning.

Same with us, the invitation to the Savior’s call, the gentle beckoning of us to come near, be safe.

“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.”
‭‭1 John‬ ‭4:16‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Be taken care of.

I pray you don’t resist the call to be rescued by the sacrifice provided by God, our Father

His Son, our teacher, our Savior.

“Come, ye sinners, poor and needy,
Weak and wounded, sick and sore,
Jesus ready stands to save you,
Full of pity, love, and pow’r.

I will arise and go to Jesus;
He will embrace me in His arms.
In the arms of my dear Savior,
Oh, there are ten thousand charms.”
Come Ye Sinners, Poor and Needy J. Hart, 1759

Secrets Above

Children, confidence, contentment, courage, Uncategorized

I saw the white of crescent moon against the azure blue at dusk yesterday. I began today looking up and knowing a photo could never capture the beauty of the current constellation.

Now the place in the back corner is orange fading towards grayish blue.

“Good Morning, God” we will say.

I read last night of someone being uncertain of life after death, of eternity meaning Heaven or Hell, of thinking only what we do in the present matters. The good we do towards our neighbor is more to be believed in than Hell or Heaven.

I felt a tear begin, I sat still on my mama’s old chair, sad that others don’t believe in heaven and tender because I do.

Tender, because I didn’t always.

I understand.

It’s hard to imagine. I think of loved ones long gone. I want to imagine how it will be when I see them in heaven.

I believe, even though I don’t fully know how heaven will be.

Lately, that feels like courage and I’ve never really thought myself to be courageous.

Courageous enough to know everything I’ve prayed for, prayed about, prayed broken and burdened has been heard.

Jesus, seated beside God the Father has seen my sorrows, successes and haphazardness in belief.

It’s almost impossible to know it’s the same for every single human who has decided to be courageous is to simply believe.

Even when believing doesn’t take away the hard, the bitter, the devastating circumstances.

It’s hard to believe in heaven, easier to believe “above us only sky”.

I look up. We hear the breeze in trees, call out to the birds, examine the clouds and occasionally close our eyes in a silent, listening prayer.

A toddler and I.

Above me are my sorrows surrendered, my questions presented, my likemindedness with Jesus.

If heaven is hard, even impossible to imagine for you, try picturing all your secret sorrows, anxious questions, angry disputes, and tender moments when you prayed and you felt certain something bigger than you knew what no one else was allowed or could.

Imagine, above you only mercy, only grace, only strength to endure.

Only love.

Imagine your secrets being safe.


“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen.”
‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭29:11-12‬ ‭NLT‬‬

For the joy set before us, we endure.

Well Done

“God is breathing on me.” a two year old, her face turned towards the trees

Time, Seasons and Shalom

contentment, courage, Faith, grace, grief, hope, Peace, Redemption, Salvation, Stillness, Trust, Vulnerability, waiting, wisdom, wonder

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.”
‭‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭3:1-8‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Every morning now, I open the back sliding door. Like a chef waving his hand over the skillet to invite the aroma upward, I invite the changing season in.

I step out and feel the change on my bare feet. The flowers drying to brittle fragile brown while others are vibrant still.

I read this morning about “Shalom”, an invitation to seeking peace.

Shalom, a greeting or a farewell in ancient days, “Peace”.

Priscilla Garatti

It’s a thing I can’t fully understand, how peace was established for us and how we’re supposed to believe it, cling to it, trust it

When it makes no sense.

The page in my Psalms and Proverbs book has faded names from a decade ago.

“Ginny”, a mama whose teenage son died by suicide. I wonder now how she and her husband are doing. If they’ve found moments of peace.

I woke to see that a friend has suffered the loss of a grandchild.

Nothing to do, but pray.

Pray for peace in unfathomably sad things.

Prayer comforts. It was long established for us, the way to peace, the place to seek.

A quiet room, standing still with the changing grass cushioning bare feet or with a friend with Jesus too, holding hands, being held.

“Honor me by trusting in me in your day of trouble. Cry aloud to me, and I will be there to rescue you.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭50:15‬ ‭TPT‬‬


Continue and believe.

Your Power is Your Peace

bravery, confidence, contentment, courage, Faith, family, hope, memoir, Salvation, Stillness, Trust, Vulnerability, wisdom, wonder, writing

Day 9 of the 31 days of writing prompts caused me to groan.


I turned to weakness, my default or maybe not so much my fragility, but the preference not to lead, not to be involved in anything that requires power, assertion or influence of others.

Those days are done.

Afforded me time to take the blinders off, the struggles and strengths of others for way too long buffered what God needed and needs me to see in me.

It’s been long overdue and good.


Can we call it strength instead?

Then, I remembered my waking thoughts I framed with prayer.

Lord, help me know what those I love need from me.

The answer came eventually.

The strength I’ve been certain of going on a year.

Peace. I need to be peace. Not a peacemaker, interventionist or conflict resolver.

No, simply, I need to be at peace.

To be peace.

“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭5:9‬ ‭KJV‬‬

I need to “make peace” in others’ lives by example.

With this comes strength. With this comes a power that enables me to do for those I love or simply encounter.

Surrender is a big requirement, but one that brings ease. Clear vision of your own issues leads to change.

Peace is not getting what I want or want for others. Peace is giving whatever perplexes me continuously to God.

The result?

I grow stronger. I have peace.

I am peace for others.

Your not so secret power?


Unwaveringly Believing

Angels, bravery, confidence, contentment, Faith, grandchildren, memoir, Redemption, rest, Salvation, testimony, Trust, Truth, Vulnerability

As a child so much of the Bible scared me.

I thought that was its intent, especially the Book of Revelation. Can you relate?

Angry preachers and their warnings with the intention of frightening me towards God.

My twenties changed to avoidance altogether, no chance I’d dare to believe that punishment for my behaviors might be met with a full measure of mercy. Thirties brought hope, a timid hope that perhaps I could chance trusting, believing in a different way.

Here I am at sixty plus a year.

Going on a decade or so of steadiness in my seeking even if my walk isn’t always steady.

That’s the thing.

Unwaveringly and simply, I keep deciding moment by moment to believe God.

In my quiet and confident way.

In God who created me, saw me through choices and troubles that were not his intent for me.

Still, His intention is that I know now,

He never left me, never will.

Like the wings of angel draped around my shoulders, surrounding me in love.

I’ve been cared for. The foundation of my faith is His provision, protection, wisdom, mercy and grace.

When my days are complete. I want it to be said of me.

She kept believing in Jesus. She wasn’t afraid to live according to His Word.

“I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.”
‭‭John‬ ‭15:11‬ ‭NIV‬‬

What did Jesus tell them, tells us through His recorded words?

Remain connected. Be a healthy and thriving branch of my goodness, mercy and love getting the nourishment to grow directly from me. (my paraphrase)

“…apart from me you can do nothing.”
‭‭John‬ ‭15:5‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Love everyone. Endure. Be found faithful.

Be met by God on your last day on earth this way.

Leave stories of your faith for your children and grandchildren. Live this way, Lisa.

Even when others drift away, make allowances for sin and avoid hard conversations.

Abide in me, stay.

You don’t have be a fighter, just be you, a gentle and steady believer,

A victor of the faith.

“Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.”
‭‭Revelation‬ ‭2:10‬ ‭ESV

Lord, thank you for the changes you’ve brought in me and keep bringing as I continue and believe.

My Encouragement to You

Angels, bravery, confidence, contentment, courage, Faith, Prayer, Redemption, Salvation, testimony, Trust, Vulnerability, wisdom, wonder, writing

Suppose I post this little graphic on social media today, maybe add one word “please” in front of “pray”.

There may be a flurry of questions, curiosity over what in the world is wrong with Lisa?! (now).

Or maybe others would think…

there she goes again, talking about things she should keep to herself.

Either could be the case.

But, it is encouragement.


The tattered book I’m revisiting has no dates beside the entries of my thoughts. There’s a smiley face beside a verse, dog-eared corners from not sure when. There are prayers, quite personal on the pages.

Prayers that have been heard, met with either answer or with growth, changes in me and situations.

Peace in the form of acceptance.

My prayers were heard.

They will be today.

Whether they’re the confident gratitude that thanks God for knowing or

The bewildered surrender that finds me face down and allowing tears. No words, just flow.

Or simply, again.

Thank you for today. I woke up well.

Recently someone likened “thinking about it” to “praying about it”.

Said it’s the same, just semantics.

I can say with certainty it is not. We can not know everything and so our thoughts are incapable of changing our conditions.

I’ll be careful here. I’m not a theologian and I’ve begged God for things I’ve yet to see.

But, oh the things I have been shown. It astounds me all the times I’ve prayed and resisted the urge to take action.

God has sweetly surprised me.

A phone call longed for that pops up, a request for Jesus to put his healing hands on a family, a plea for knowing more clearly than ever His nearness and protection.

Three very recent answered prayers.

A pleading soul is the soul at peace, at peace with its position in this universe.

“I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears. Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces. In my desperation I prayed, and the Lord listened; he saved me from all my troubles. For the angel of the Lord is a guard; he surrounds and defends all who fear him.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭34:4-7‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Lord, thank you for changing my understanding of prayer, of bringing me to here, a place to boldly say to others, “my encouragement to you is that you make prayer a priority.” Help me to help others see the powerfully available connection to you, the one who fully knows us.

Lord, keep teaching me to pray. In Jesus Name and because of your great mercy, I say


Here’s the book I’ve cherished, full of praise, wisdom and prayers of desperation. http://Words of Wisdom: A Life-Changing Journey through Psalms and Proverbs

Knowing A Little

Abuse Survivor, bravery, confidence, contentment, Faith, Peace, Redemption, rest, Stillness, surrender, waiting, wisdom
What I Know

What’s one question you have? An intrusion in your thoughts that refuses to go on its way?

How does God feel about questions?

Us knowing a little, but aching to know everything.

I wondered.

A little may be all you’re supposed to know and may just be enough.

This way of thinking came after praying. To put it into practice, I listed the things I do know. They outnumbered those I don’t.

My vision is blurry. My understanding is unfinished. My conclusions are often skewed. I’m patterned to protect myself, to anticipate bad news, to not be knocked down by surprise.

So, I like to know it all.

I’m changing though.

I know goodness and grace and that my prayers are heard.

I know enough.

Because, I’m not yet whole and well, I’m not God.

I can just know a little.

If I use what I see as the answer to a long coddled question, I’ll forever be longing for earthly evidence, confirmation and rest.

When I understand I’m only supposed to see just a glimpse, the glimpse meant for me, and I trust that God alone needs to comprehend the rest

I won’t need the whole picture.

“For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.”
‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭13:12‬ ‭ESV‬‬

I’ll just need my view.

The view often found at the foot of the cross, the floor beside my bed.