Birds, Bluebirds, Devotionals


Photo courtesy of Debbie Hoofman

My lucky friends post Facebook pictures of bluebirds nesting near their houses making me long to see the beautiful creatures in my yard. Pushing down envy, I lament that we don’t have the right conditions to attract bluebirds. Poor me and all that.

Then my friend, Cliff, who knows more about bluebirds than I ever will suggests a place near the bottom of our yard.

Cliff & Debbie live on Hoofman Farm out from Greenbrier. They love all kinds of critters.







I texted him a picture. You mean here?

“Yes, by the azaleas.”


But wait a minute, I ask. “Isn’t it too late? Aren’t they already nesting?”

“Yes, but you might get a pair for their second nesting,” he encourages.

My heart sings.

This feathered couple lives on the Hoofman Farm in Enola.

Humming, I set to work seeking an abode designed especially for bluebirds, and I order one online that night. But when I find it won’t arrive for almost a month, I cancel the order and do what I should have done in the first place.

The next day, I go out and buy one at Birds Unlimited, which makes me feel good on two counts. I’ve helped someone in my city while enjoying the immediate satisfaction of holding it in my hands.


Terry built this ship for Pirates of Penzance

I bring that bluebird house home and begin my campaign for Terry to install it — right away. But he’s a busy guy, building sets at Wildwood for Praeclara and doing his favorite thing–singing in the UALR choir. Not to mention getting a rent house ready to list.

So I remind myself — Give the Guy a Break.

There’s time for him to install that house when it fits into his schedule. After all, we’re in that waiting period.

Once again, I realize how impatient I get when I want something beause

I catch myself nagging

Just a little

Bluebirdhouseviewuntil he buys a 4 x 4 post and brings out the posthole digger.

I give him instructions where to put it at the west end of our lower flowerbed.

But my man of vision suggests the opposite side where we will have a better chance of getting glimpses of blue as the birds come and go.

As usual, he’s right. I give the nod and he plants that baby firmly in the ground.

Having done all we can do, now we are waiting with hopeful hearts.

Can you think of anything cuter than a bluebird fledgling? Me neither.

Then I resolve that if some other feathered friend takes up residence, I’ll be grateful—because they are all God’s creatures.

Still, I’m murmuring little prayers for flashes of blue at the its door.

You knew I’d find a lesson in this experience.

But aren’t there always lessons if we look for them?

  • It’s okay to share your dreams.
  • Two heads are better than one.
  • It’s wise to accept advice.
  • Waiting is hard.
  • We learn patience by waiting.
  • Prayer usually calms me.

Please tell me if you can think of others.

I’m always in need of a lesson.

A wise man will hear and increase in learning,

And a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel,

Proverbs 1:5


Devotionals, Funnel Clouds, Navarre Beach, Tornado, Waterspouts


Al Floer, an Emerald Surf friend, 
took the pictures of Navarre Beach in this post.
The photographs were chilling. Funnel clouds becoming water spouts so close to our favorite hideaway on Navarre Beach that it took my breath away. 

Terry and I were not there. We were glad we were not there. What were those crazy people doing, standing down on the beach? Did they even consider how long it would take to run to shelter? If they could find shelter.
Since seeing these images, I’ve thought a lot about where I’d go if a tornado should come our way while we’re at the beach. Our condo is on the fifth floorthe top floor. We have floor to ceiling glass on the beachside. The walkways between condos are open air. The stairwells are only partially enclosed. And the bottom level is an open parking garage.

Where could we go?

My first choice would be inside the small office on the ground level. The second, an inside bathroom of some friendly resident on the first floor. 

Can you say water spout?
To be honest none of those spots sound very comforting. I suppose if we were stuck in our own place, we’d hunker down in an inside bathroom. And pray. A lot. Probably really loud.

Theses images of people standing on the shore watching the funnel clouds dip down out of that massive cloud are stuck in my brain. 

Do you see that child to the far lower left? 


Yet, I realize that sometimes, I have stood closer than that to an approaching catastrophe, mesmerized by the power of some scene. 
I remind myself that I don’t need to criticize. Instead, I must stay alert, use sound judgment and listen for the voice of the One Who provides the very safest hiding place of all.

Hide me under the shadow of Your wings,
Ps. 17:8b 

The storms of life will come in both the natural and the spiritual realms. 

The questions are:

Will I have the discernment to recognize the danger?

Where will I take refuge?

What about you? 

Where do you take refuge? 

Is He your hiding place?

“If you’ll hold on to me for dear life,” says God,

“I’ll get you out of any trouble.

I’ll give you the best of care
if you’ll only get to know and trust me.
Call me and I’ll answer, be at your side in bad times;
I’ll rescue you, then throw you a party.
I’ll give you a long life,
give you a long drink of salvation!”

Ps. 91:14-15 
The Message

Copyright © Reflections from Dorothy’s Ridge 2016. All rights reserved

Devotionals, Fall Color

A Season to Shine

For a long time, I thought sumac was an ugly plant. Nothing about it impressed me.  All it did was blend in with other weeds. But that was before I realized it was the source of the flaming reds and oranges I saw transforming the roadside in the fall. 

Now when autumn rolls around, I’m on the lookout for sumac. And once again, I haven’t been disappointed. I wish you could have seen its leaves igniting the roadside on a recent trip. 

While the trees were just beginning to turn, the sumac was already glorious, especially where the sun was shining. Autumn is truly its season to shine.

Have you ever felt like sumac in summer? Nondescript. Unimpressive. Unimportant. Just filling space. 
I have. 

The Enemy of our Soul wants us to think we’re no more important to our Maker’s plan than that common green sumac was to me. 

But the truth is, God created each of us to play a part in His Kingdom. The time will come when He’ll invite us to come into our season

Unlike the sumac, we have a choice. I hope we’ll say yes, so we can shine—not for our glory, but for His.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; 
your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 
Psalm 139:14 (NIV)

Copyright © Reflections from Dorothy’s Ridge 2015. All rights reserved