Lawn mowing might be one of the best places for the mind and spirit to wander and hear, for mowing doesn’t require much thought. Just the repetitive physicality of push-pull, push-pull, swivel, repeat…
For at least fifteen years at our homestead, I helped mow our family lawns every couple weeks each summer. My sisters would fill in occasionally. My mom mowed our fields with her larger mower.
I considered it good exercise with accountability – no need for a gym when you have a push mower – and I took care to make our lawns neat and welcoming.
Despite the geese feathers and pony manure.
Yellow Iris in front of “The Lawn”
It’s now incredibly been seven summers since having a lawn mower, and while the task seems daunting at first, “Just do it” rings in my head.
A skill I can offer my kind host. A need to meet, small though it is.
How grateful I am for strength and mobility to do it!
While mowing with an electric push mower this sun-filled afternoon, the Holy Spirit brought some scriptures strongly to mind.
I want to share them and also publicly say, Praise to Thee, O Christ! for once again providing for my needs, as He promised to do.
For I am no longer “Your artist-friend on the coast of Maine,” I am now your artist-friend beside a gorgeous Vermont Lake.
Sailing on The Lake
Loons are calling to each other as I write this.
Where do I live?
People often ask, when I say “I’m going home in a couple weeks,” “Where is ‘Home’ Elise?”
Usually I say home is where my family is, my mom is, or where I plan to lay my head that night.
Even social media likes to ask me this rather sensitive and annoying question, “Where Do You Live?” – giving me several options from which to choose…
I don’t know the name of this yellow flower!
It’s true, I have moved around a LOT in the last six-eight years, changing my place of abode dozens of times a year, through travel, some years.
It adds up to ten significant moves.
Family illness, taking jobs, my or others’ health, houses going on the market, and my inability to pay rent in a location I might prefer, caused change.
Elise in the City. Elise in the Country. Elise paints a University Wrestling Room. Elise plays Care-giver to older sister, then mom. Elise finds position in Health Care. Elise becomes Artist-in-Residence. Elise has to escape Winter by going South. Elise by the Sea.
Elise, feeling a bit Weary but full of Hope and Trust.
I am not forsaken. I am loved and He lets me know it.
No, I have not moved because of a failed relationship.
Elise has never had a boyfriend. And no, I am not a lesbian, I have wanted to marry and have a family since I was twenty-two, not the art career which presently helps sustain me.
Petunia and the red ones are ?
And no, I have not moved lately because I wanted to.
I felt loved, needed and cared for in Maine. Playing the piano for our fellowship each week was something I really loved. I’m missing the praying community I left.
Then too, I remember not to consider myself “homeless” – this is a lie – a word not applicable to my life. When I fall into this mournful trap, it leads to worry and fretting. I’ve struggled with rejection and belonging issues, yet I am overcoming them!
Buttercup – Do I love butter? YES!
I’ve certainly gained an appreciation for the titles “Pilgrim and Stranger.”
Abraham lived in tents. Elijah and Elisha went where The Wind blew them. John the Baptist lived in the wilderness. David did, too. Noah had a big boat, Jonah slept inside a big fish. Paul ministered having “no certain dwelling place”…
And Christ said, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the son of man has no place to lay his head.”
The saints HAVE a Home, most definitely, in Heaven; purchased by the precious blood of the Lamb. A house made without hands, eternal in the heavens!
I will ask about this purple flower name…I doubt it’s Rumpelstiltskin!
And it really has been such an interesting life, to say the least!
Zinnia, I think
I am beginning to wonder – do I need these moves in order to understand what Homeless or Foster Children go through? Am I being humbled? Certainly, I am becoming more sensitive.
Where is this life leading?
Each time I move, there is some Uncertainty. Then, an Initial Joy Phase. This is generally followed by Reality – I don’t know anyone and have to go meet people again. These people don’t know me and have to learn I can be trusted, that I am a woman of my word.
New patterns and my host’s living habits must be observed and adjusted to…and wow, have learned how to cook in many kitchens!
Finally, Important Truths came into my mind today!
“For in Him we live, and move, and have our being” ~ Acts 17:28.
In Him I live.
How do I live this strange, “unstable” life?
This verse came today, strongly:
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.“
It’s not even MY faith – it’s His.
His strength is made perfect in our weakness. My needs give Him room to do the impossible.
On a more somber note
The Charleston shooting tragedy continues to come to mind. That young man was visiting a church for the first time.
I, too, visited a local assembly for the first time this past Sunday. They welcomed me. The hymns and sermon comforted me.
My purpose for attending was quite different than that of the young man in South Carolina.
I went to find Community. To seek encouragement among my brothers and sisters in Christ. To praise God in communion with others.
No, a building is NOT the Church.
The Body of Christ is far bigger than a building or a voting membership.
Christ’s Body will never die. It cannot. He sustains each part, nourishing us so that we will be able to share our gifts and take our places in service.
We, the people, must take greater responsibility to right the injustices of the world. It is our calling.
Our world needs a healthy, toned, mature body of true believers. Those who know His power and hear His voice.
We must be willing to lay down our plans, to go where and when we are sent. I must be willing.
What can I do, Father, to become more of a Channel for Thee? What is all this preparation for?
“I’ll go where you want me to go, dear Lord, O’er mountain, or plain, or sea; I’ll say what you want me to say, dear Lord, I’ll be what you want me to be” goes an old hymn chorus.
Where do YOU live?
Who are you trusting in for life and peace?
Where will you go when your life ends?
Do you know Him?
More importantly, does He know you?
Our Father has a marvelous way of knowing how much I crave beauty. It’s beautiful here and I feel privileged to have been invited to come for a time.
Happy Father’s Day to all the stalwart dads in the world! My first painting here by The Lake depicts a dad with his daughter, Eleanor. It will be in the collection of the grandfather, who lives Down Under, where it is about to turn into Winter!
Your painting-friend near the shores of a pretty Vermont Lake,
P.S. One of the best short but thorough descriptions of Christ the LORD I’ve ever heard: That’s My King! by S.M. Lockridge