more abundantly

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sitting at my art table
a movie
playing in the background
“Finding Normal”
first time I’ve seen it
mostly listening
when John 10:10 is spoken
the latter part of the verse
catches my attention
“…I am come
that they might have life,
and that they might
have it more abundantly.”

I look up as I hear it
for sitting on the windowsill
in my direct line of sight
is John 10:10
though the translation varies
the sentiment is the same
live abundantly
as you walk with The Lord
twice
this passage came to me twice
both times through art
first time as a response
to my Good Friday art
then again today
a year later
in mid June
as I work on a gift
a piece I’m sort of keeping secret
until it is done
the timing is His
meant to be
this whispered reminder
from an unexpected source
so much has happened
in the in between
so much
my heart is still processing
some days reeling
art making helps ease the ache
heartsore
art is my path
to healing
to life
more abundantly

The photo shows two passages of scripture propped up by whittled animals, both the handiwork of my grandpa, Erwin A. Thompson. The hound dog is in charge of John 10:10 from the March 2013 Good Friday art show mentioned above. The cat is curled up with Revelation 21:4-5, the prayer team’s response to, “Restore” and “Rebuild,” the art I made for the April 2014 Good Friday show.

“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.”
Revelation 21:4-5

Feels right. Even more so rereading and pondering two months later. It goes together. All these seemingly random parts of my life story. My art medium is collage. I cut and glue and puzzle together pieces of cut and torn paper to create an image. The art in progress now is a river. Grandpa’s River. The Mississippi. The Mighty Miss-is-ip.

June 14, 2014

…and I clicked publish on this post before unpausing the movie and watching a little more to find out cancer is one of the themes in the movie. Of course it is. Damn it.

color view

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the sky seems extra blue today
I tip my sunglasses up
so vivid, rich and bright in hue
giving the illusion of warm
despite the chill
of a gusty March wind
cold
cutting through

the sky seems extra blue
perhaps due to the brightness
of the sun
or the contrast
of puffy white clouds
floating merrily above

the sky seems extra blue
as the dog and I meander
along familiar streets
in our neighborhood
he stops to sniff
while I daydream
lollygagging
over thinking
tug his leash and say,
“Let’s go home, Blue.”

the sky seems extra blue
because my heart is so full
blessings abound
the love of family and friends
provision from The Lord
there is art to make
two skies to paint
one a sunset
one in blue
much like today

the sky seems extra blue
because I am thinking
of you and me
what was
what wasn’t
what will never be
these are the things I ponder
as I wander
while walking the dog

Does anyone else look at the sky this way?

March 23, 2014

feeling lucky

A little before 10:00am Blue dog and I stepped outside for our second walk of the morning. Temps are brrr cold and we’re walking once again upon freshly fallen snow. We pass by several neighbors shoveling and greet the ones we know. Just a few doors down, is the kind, white haired neighbor man who pauses in his work to smile and say to me, “You sure are dedicated.” Then he adds, “You sure are a lucky dog, Blue.” That made me laugh! Yep. He is. Blue acknowledged the words of his neighbor friend with a happy woof and tail wag. Oh. He knows. We stayed on course, circling around the block. The little one, not one of our longer routes. Back inside now, thawing out with a later than usual hot breakfast, while the dog curls back up on the couch. My lucky canine compatriot. After food, it’ll be time to retrieve my shovel from the garage for digging out the front of the house. For many weeks I kept a snow shovel propped by the front door, only recently returning it to the garage, rather optimistically. Oh well. More snow fell. Winter is still quite “ON.” Thankfully we got less snow than predicted and it is the light, fluffy version of the white stuff. Very doable. Although, breakfast has turned into brunch here. My boys drifted to the kitchen in search of food. Sausage has been cooked and bacon is sizzling now. Evidently breakfast meat is the secret to A Great Sunday at home. Even better is the time we’ll spend in scripture, worshipping at Home Church for awhile longer. Suddenly a day that began with solitude and quiet is filling up with life, love and yes, a bit o’commotion. Good stuff. God stuff. We’re all “lucky dogs” because we have each other. Feeling thankful and blessed. Let it snow.

March 2, 2014

Psalm 57:7, 10-11 My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise.
For thy mercy is great unto the heavens, and thy truth unto the clouds.
Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens: let thy glory be above all the earth.

I love the mention of clouds. I just do. This morning’s sky was pastel pink and lavender and gradually the softest blue. It was soothing and lovely even in the cold of winter. Pastel beauty above snow covered roofs. Day dawning.

February 12, 2014

Facebook “Friends”

It all started by reading a Facebook status that said, “Sometimes even the people you love need to be unfriended.” I simply wrote, “Thankful I’m still here.” A mutual friend commented, “Me, too, Janean. But, I have had to unfriend a couple for language too.” This is where I probably should have just liked her comment and let what instead happened next disappear like a puff of smoke. Instead, I wrote…
“I have my moments of “could have been a language violator.” I understand though. I figure “free to come and free to go” and am praying through the hurt of those who went from my own “friends list.” My true friends know where to find me. We’re programmed into one another’s phones and know the way to each other’s front door. We hug hello and goodbye and in between we talk, laugh and heart share. In person communique is better than online every time. I am thankful for the Godly examples of the many women I’ve met through church. I know what faithful prayer warriors they are and how mightily they prayed my family through a storm, while weathering storms of their own, often with gale force gusts, rated F4 and category 5. Online channels have their merits, for an initial meeting and keeping in touch, but in person is better because you can hug and read faces, which say more than most status updates ever could.”
Perhaps I said too much. Perhaps not enough. This whole topic of unfriending and blocking strikes a nerve that’s raw. There is hurt there. Life is about choices. “Free to go” should always be a viable option. Thankfully, it is. An older gentleman I worked with years ago often quoted this wisdom from his mother, “There are three sides to every story: yours, mine and what really happened.”
God sees the overview and knows what’s in our hearts. He knits us together with the people we need and He directs our paths. Watch out for the potholes, road blocks and pits. Sometimes these things we view as obstacles actually protect us, from the things we cannot see ahead. Other times they help us grow deeper roots of Faith to help us stand against the mighty winds. Trust God and He will see you through. He sent His Son to die on the cross, to forgive the sins of a fallen world. Grace. There is grace and forgiveness to cover our humanness. Praise God. Praise Him for the little things and the BIG ones. Praise Him in song, in words, sometimes spoken aloud, other times typed in an email, tweet, blog post, even on Facebook.
Facebook. Brings me full circle. Ugh. Stupid Facebook. Part of me wants to ditch Facebook World completely. I still may, but not quite yet. I’m thankful for the people I am connected to, whether we interact much, or not. I hop on and hop off, reading, “liking,” and commenting. Sometimes saying too much. I’m me. It’s how I’m made. Typing forums are dangerous for me because words have a way of pouring out. Honest words, from the heart. I’m not perfect, no where near, never have been, never will be, never was. I’m just a human woman, with the tendency to be a chatterbox. I try to follow my mother’s advice, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”

January 25, 2014

I am sitting on the ledge.
Waiting.
Wishing.
Hoping, for anybody to come save me.
But they didn’t.
They never came.
Instead, they waited for me to jump.

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That is when you decide you just needed some quiet time and a bird’s eye view to give you a new perspective. Things aren’t as dire and dark as they momentarily appeared. You already have the courage, strength and stamina to save yourself. You are brave and strong. There is a beacon of hope within that nothing can snuff out. It is time to begin again, soaring like an eagle. You discover you prefer this sky high view, closer to the clouds. Birds of a feather flock together. I’ll meet you in the air. *chirp*

Suicide is never the answer. You don’t get to choose your last day. Only God knows when it will be. You have today. Life is a gift. LIVE IT. You are never all alone. The God of the Universe is always as close as a prayer. He is available 24/7. Talk to Him if you can’t bring yourself to phone a friend. Please. I beg you.

January 19, 2014