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.

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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

The peace rose planted by my front door has one bloom and sixteen buds. SIXTEEN! I can’t quite believe it! I chose this rose bush the first spring we lived here, way back in 2002, because the house I grew up in had a peace rose planted there. At my childhood home there were roses in an array of colors planted to the left of the front walk: red, coral, white, yellow, even a blue rose (really lavender), and peace. It was this peace rose, and its amazing beauty that comes in varying shades of yellow with white edges and a hint of pink blush, that was the only rose my dad commented on every time it bloomed.

“To shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.”
—Luke 1:79

Before walking Blue this morning, I read this passage of scripture along with a devotion dated July 7. I loved the whole message, but my favorite part was the reference to a “path of peace.” Upon our return home, the dog and me, I photographed the peace rose bush planted to the left of the front walk at the house where I’m the mom. Then I stepped upon the butterfly adorned welcome mat that my sister insisted upon and walked through the front door into home. I’m always thankful for found moments of quiet, calm and peace, since with two growing up fast boys there are many times that noise, chaos and commotion reign. I love those zany times too. I do!

July 9, 2013

he’ll be 13 in April

My oldest son has so many good life skills at age 12 3/4. My mom has said, “he’s an old soul,” since he was an infant. I continue to marvel at him, and wonder what God’s plan is for my oldest boy. He is so articulate, knowledgeable about so many topics, and good with people of all ages. He has such compassion and empathy in him, balanced by an in depth knowledge of warfare throughout history and weaponry. Lots of scripture and Bible teaching are buried in his great big heart too. I just keep loving him and encouraging him in all things. Nudging now and then. Downplaying and not gushing to keep his head from swelling. He’s a builder, a dreamer, a planner, a thinker and I hope a doer too. I miss him, his little brother, that great big Blue dog and striped cat too.

Initially written as a text reply, on January 23, 2013, while sitting at my husband’s bedside at Loyola hospital near Chicago. My friend, whose oldest son is the same age (well, 14 days older), was praising my oldest son’s conversation skills. Saying that he speaks intelligently and clearly, and comes across as very knowledgeable and thoughtful. Of course my Mother’s Heart swelled with a bit o’pride. He is mine. Forever and always my baby he’ll be, even now when he towers head and shoulders over me. Not ‘cause he’s a GIANT, though he’s built broad for football, just ‘cause his mama isn’t tall…sayin’ I’m under 5’ is close enough.