Finding light, calm and bright

courage, Faith, grace, Trust, Uncategorized, Vulnerability, wonder

What an irony that I drove back country roads to church feeling empowered by God, yet surrounded by ominous gray sky.


Most mornings, after some time of quiet, I’m rejuvenated and stirred in a way that increases my faith.  Depending on the day, I may walk in trust all day, or may not even leave the house before I feel less trusting.  Hope is like the air inside a brightly colored balloon, it’s what keeps our faces tilted towards God.

Imagine the hopelessness of Mary about to give birth and of Joseph, her companion and support on this journey of believing only because God said it would be accomplished…as they were turned away again and again…no room for you.

Yet, I believe on that night of seeking a place to rest, they were silent in their search for shelter, all was calm and all was bright.

Despite the dark unknown.

Advent, Day 15

Advent, Day 15

Such is a life of faith,  of seeking to be close to God. It’s darkness and it’s light, calm and sometimes bright.

It’s mainly journeying with the heart and mindset of one seeking a place to feel safe, sheltered and at peace.

And looking for light, creating light.


Drawing Lines and Looking for Mercy

courage, Faith, grace, praise, Prayer, rest, Teaching, Trust, Uncategorized, Vulnerability

On a Saturday morning with sunlight making designs on the furniture, I study today’s Advent card.

Six sketches, reminding of Christmas trees, but one different from the others.  One more starkly covered, filled in with thick black marking.


There’s a story in the Book of John of a woman known for her sin.

Her indiscretions brought to light by accusers circled around in the sand at their feet, waiting for…demanding punishment with stone.

Accusers who retreated when handed their rocks to be thrown only if they’d never sinned themselves.

They wandered off one by one, their self-righteousness in check.

Then Jesus gently affirmed her sin, by saying ” Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.” John 8:11

Thank you God,  for the glorious gift of your Son, my Savior. Thank you for the unfathomable reach of His grace and his mercy. Thank you God, most of all that yours is not a condemning acknowledgement of our failures, rather a gentle beckon…come or come back to me. Let’s walk together again. Go and sin no more.

We look for your mercy.


All the Pretty Colors

Children, courage, Faith, grace, Teaching, Trust, Uncategorized

Today’s Advent card, Day 13, is splattered in the warmth of colors.

Little flowers, leaves, stems all mingled together, all God’s creation.

Thinking of mama and remembering what God can do

Thinking of mama and remembering what God can do


Last night, Heather convinced me to watch a football awards show.  I sort of watched, I guess.

I did get to see Dabo Swinney speak very confidently and with humility. I also got to see him dance surrounded by his players who were laughing at and with him, it was a happy time. A lot of love in that room.

Then, we both were captivated by a young football  player who accepted an award he was obviously honored to receive, yet had not an ounce of cockiness in his stance. I don’t think he said it, but,  he just had a look of “blessed” as he received his award.

Then the award, I wish I could remember the name for was given to a 28 year old  veteran,  his story of returning from war to college football and the tormented memories he carried.

A big, handsome man who thought not of himself but, but of the friend in his Echo Company who’d lost the battle of holding fast to hope. He died by suicide,  must have been one night this week, joining several others from this company, he said.

The young man, the older man, one white and one black.

Both humbled, both honored, both had persevered.

Both were fighters, had purpose.

Both cried the same eyes pooled with tears.

My daughter and I did too.

When my mama lived she taught us many lessons. I can’t say with confidence that they were taught to her.

What I believe is that she came to these truths because she was a lover of all people.

She told us many, many times. “There are good white people and there are bad white people. There are good black people and there are bad black people and some people are just mean as hell.”

Now, my mama loved the Lord.

She revered God;  but, she also spoke truth when it needed to be heard.

She told us again and again…”You know everybody sittin’ in that church pew on Sunday morning ain’t going to heaven, it’s just show.”

She was teaching us to see others for who and where they are.

Good people

Bad people

People trying to figure out which to be.

Teaching us “But, by the grace of God, there go I.”

She taught us how to live in a world with others, loving, her legacy.

This morning, before getting out of bed, God pulled some things together for me.  He had me looking back on my week and said,

“Lisa, this is why I placed this person on your path…all these people have purpose. I know you’re gonna need these to get through the ugly situation to come.”

A woman who helped me this week, she lives in our homeless shelter. We talked about her son, 17 years old.  She never thought to ask if he could visit.  He’s  coming to visit Christmas Eve. It started with me asking, “Do you miss your son?”

Or the high school student who shouted “Mrs. Tindal!!!” When she saw me, saying “Let’s do a selfie.”

We did and it was the best shot of the day.

Amelia and I

Amelia and I

Last night, a friend whose son knows this young lady told me her mama had died of cancer several years back. I had no idea.

I’m so glad we hugged each other.

A friend stopped by to tell me an alarming story of a comment made because of her race.  I stood and listened, so hurt for her that I cried.

We held hands and promised to pray for each other.

A big and thoughtless mistake was made on my son’s campus. The media has spread the bad,  neglecting to add any good…the possible cause for misinterpretation. I’m glad my son was not a part; but, I’m shaken by the ripple effect.

So, I think again of mama and I think of good and bad.

I think of things only God can do while we, like mama try to be honest, true, kind and obedient catalysts for good, for God.

I think of my daughter’s tears over the young black athlete. Because she, every single day has big hopes for all the little boys she teaches and tells them so by her actions “You can be something really good one day.”

I remember my son as an elementary student, adamantly denying that his friend was black…He’s brown!!!

The 4 year olds in my daughter’s class have new, more accurate names for color too…maybe peach, tan, beige or brown.

Not black or white.

All the pretty colors, truly he taught us to love one another.

O' night divine

Fall on your knees,
Oh hear the angel voices,
Oh night divine, oh night when Christ was born.
Oh night divine, oh night, oh night divine.

Truly He taught us to love one another,
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother,
And in His name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy name.

Christ is the Lord
Christ is the Lord, oh, praise His name forever
His power and glory ever more proclaim!
His power and glory ever more proclaim!

Silent Nights

Children, Faith, family, grace, Motherhood, Trust

Very soon, I will have silent nights.

Less late night dishwashing cycles, no waiting for distinct sounds of cars pulling in or sounds in the middle of the night  “Who’s in the bathroom, what’s wrong?”

Today’s Advent card, sandwiched between my two favorites is a beautiful image of “Silent Night, Holy Night.”photo-33_kindlephoto-9945622

And I’ve not finished our tree yet. Nor have we mailed our cards or drawn names for our Georgia Christmas.

But, the crazy, funny, most wonderful thing happened this Christmas.

Heather said, “Mama, why don’t we make ornaments from old photos and hang them on pretty little ribbons?”

And I asked, “How did you know I had that idea?”

It’s quiet now; but, some things happened today that I could run rampantly anxious over.

I could read too much and read into too much.

Instead, I look over at our tree and know in just a little bit, I’ll pray for them both, opening my hands towards heaven.

My babies

My babies

Placing my babies there in God’s hands.

This time next year, in the solitary and silent nest of home

I’ll be praying still for my children.

They belong to you, Lord. Just humbled to be their mama.

Favored and Growing

courage, Faith, Trust, Vulnerability, wonder

I took today’s image, Day 11 Advent and laid it on my desk

Next to small books, bird’s nest and collected things, they’re pretty objects to distract and to settle me all at the same time.

This softly colored yellow card, with tree branch painted white over the word “eleven”.


It’s been my favorite all along, its simplistic beauty.

The idea of a solitary branch reaching out to grow, to yearn for the best and farthest reaching places.

Like grabbing hold that thing that’s just beyond your grasp

The tiniest, most delicate of newly sprouted  branches with much room to grow.

Like a renewed desire prompted by a sincere compliment.

The things we love reach out and grow just as far and as strong as we allow or not.

Pruned by doubt or nourished by wholehearted belief.

It’s no secret anymore, the thing that you nourish like a Spring planted tree, fed, watered, cared for wholeheartedly, until

It nourishes you back.

.. it was because you favored them and smiled on them.  Psalm 44:3

Everyday Delight

Faith, family, grace, praise, rest, Uncategorized


photo 3-5_kindlephoto-1076406There’s a place I begin each day.

It’s quite heavenly for me.

A delightful time allowed myself, a commitment.

Not rushing forward to join the day.

Just making a point to hold my thin little book and pen

and to write a few or many words.  It differs day to day.

Sitting, feet tucked under to read words of wisdom, to add with fluid black ink marking thick ivory

Recording words that resonate and then to go on about my day.

Allowing them to catch up with me later, my favorite part.

This is my happy way of life, this little snippet of each day.

It’s sort of like little mental post-it notes, pretty pastels tucked here or there, saying “This is why you needed this verse.” .

If I write, I remember.

Just when I need it.

It’s delightful like today’s image for Advent, Day 10.  The most beautiful of happy colors, like square-shaped sticky notes, reminding me of the sweetness of a life God desires for me.


Things that delight my heart are the things the Lord the desires for me:

My children smiling, my home at peace, a solace in storm and a welcoming return for friends and family;

Good health for ones I love and the gift of knowing Jesus for all I meet.

Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37: 4





All the Tiny Pieces

Faith, grace, praise, Prayer, rest, Trust, Uncategorized, Vulnerability

It’s not at all easy for me to fathom

That looking down on us God sees us, each of us separate and unique.

But, I do.

Believe the unseen, believe I am seen.

And because of seeing all things I can see.

I walked on Saturday, through the crinkled up brown leaves strewn over the path.

I turned the corner to see even more bordered with cushions of rich green moss peeking

Layers and layers of same but different fallen leaves.

I continued on and stopped to notice the breeze as it rustled leaves, still clinging to branches, the wind cupping their edges to curve up, touching the sky.

photo 1-13_kindlephoto-17383670

Each tiny leaf, a creation of God and each one different.

It’s quite remarkable really, to be known by God.

To be more than a tiny piece in an enormous collection of pieces, indistinguishable from the one beside.

We’re more to God than that. We’re each unique, His plans for us waiting to be understood in full.

Few of us ever know fully, I’m afraid.

Few truly live so closely to His Sovereign will that it’s possible to see all He has for us.

It’s sufficient though to God each moment we spend seeking.

Thoughtful moments with leaves underfoot and breeze making music in the trees.

Sufficient because his grace is, sufficient.

The image that marks today’s Advent reminded me of dust and 2-8_kindlephoto-17233090

It’s not at all easy for me to fathom that God sees more than specks of dust when he leans down to


to see

That he hears my prayers, unspoken or not.

knows my thoughts

Sees my doubts, my dissapointments, my dilemmas.

To know that I am worth more

Than many sparrows.

But, I do believe he sees me.

No need to be afraid.


Adoring Stillness

Faith, grace, Prayer, rest, Trust, Vulnerability


Tiny candles tucked in places around the house.

An old miniature tree in the bathroom

Gold stars resting in a pretty white bowl

Little pine cones gathered on a pretty afternoon to be sprinkled golden and then hung with ribbons

A little touch of country for the tree

A mantle with greenery,  candles flickering just enough to give a glow

To sit in the quiet of home at Christmas is to be still.

To adore the season.

To adore the Savior.

O’ Come let us adore Him,

Christ, the Lord.



Jesus We Love You

Faith, family, grace, Prayer, rest, Trust, Vulnerability, wonder

photo 3-5_kindlephoto-1076406

On this, the seventh day of Advent, I undo the card from my display.

Remembering my son’s girlfriend,  IsabeI chose this as her favorite.

On this Saturday that’s yet to unfold

O’ Glorious Day!

My heart sings an old song.

My Jesus, I love thee

Know thou art mine

For thee all the folly

Of sin, I resign.  My precious redeemer


Art thou.  If ever I loved thee

My Jesus ’tis now.

Oh, what a beautiful reminder of peace is the sunshine flooding through my window, remembrance of the gift of day!

As if to say,  “Here’s a new day…Let it be good.”

The tree, only partly adorned, photo-27_kindlephoto-698300 reaching out to capture the light of day

And my little journal,  gratitude list,

Just one word with a period added for emphasis.


To you, O’ Lord, I lift up my soul.  For you are good, and ready to forgive and abundant in lovingkindness to all who call upon You. Psalm 86:4-5

 Jesus, we love you.

Linking up with Jennifer Dukes Lee today

Towards Jesus

Faith, Trust, Uncategorized, Vulnerability, wonder

photo 3-5_kindlephoto-5215267

If you were a part of a group of people on a trip and you had no idea of the route, the time of arrival or the promised destination…

Would you follow along?

If you were considered wise, considered yourself wise

Would you band together with others wise, Magi, to travel dark countryside led by starlight

To worship a baby?  The one you’d been told would be King of Jews?

Would you the lead the way, navigating the positioned flock, forward moving based on positioning of the others?photo 3-6

Like geese on an early autumn morning, focused on promised destination,  moving towards the expected.

Being certain of the path and the arrival.

The place where Jesus was born.

There’s much to be said for moving

forward, uncertain and with


moving forward still.

Hurrying towards the Savior, like shepherds following a star.

When the angels left them and had gone I to heaven, the shepherds said to one another,  “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about. ”   Luke 2:16

Moving towards, drawing more close too, staying there.

Draw me nearer, Lord.