Bird Nests, Birds, Creation, Life Lessons, Spring

QUESTIONS FOR THE AGES

 

Fern2

The valley below is greening. A kaleidoscope of spring hues soften winter’s drab silhouette. Birds serenade their sweethearts then zip across the yard with sprigs of straw and bits of trash destined for their woven nurseries.

I watch as they pause on the deck for refreshment then rush off again, intent on the age-old ritual of bringing forth another generation. Unlike man, they neither question nor resist their roles in God’s glorious creation.

Nestlings

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?  Matt. 6:28

My Questions

Why do we insist on writing our own script when His plan is perfect?

Some think it’s for wimps.

Others may say, “Bor-ing.”

Or maybe, “I don’t do that religious stuff.”

My Thoughts

If you could ask the men and women who have dared take God at His Word through the centuries, I doubt even one would describe the journey as wimpy, boring or religious stuff. Sometimes

Challenging

Hang-Onto-Your-Hat Exciting

Frightening

Downright Hard

But never ever

Boring

Wimpy

Religious Stuff.

What Ifs?

What would we say if just once we caught so much as a glimpse of all the wonders God has stored up for those who love and seek Him?

What would our world be like then?

A Reminder From Dorothy

WinterCasualty

Then I notice the winter casualties in my flowerpots, the brambles infringing on our lawn and the weeds invading my flowerbeds and recall a line from the Wizard of Oz.

Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.

There’s my answer. Like the Pop Culture says, This ain’t Kansas, Toto.

And this ain’t the Garden.

 

Our Creator knew we needed a Savior.

IMG_4875

What is man and woman that you bother with them; why take a second look their way? You made them not quite as high as angels, bright with Eden’s dawn light; Then you put them in charge of your entire handcrafted world.

Hebrews 2:6-7 MSG

courage, Devotionals, Life Challenges, Life Lessons

CHALLENGING PATHS

Rossistones

As often happens when I’m away from home, I awaken early.

4:05 a.m. to be exact.

Rossi Place

 

I finally get out of bed around 5:00 and brew a pot of coffee.

Still in my nightclothes, I make my way onto the deck of our neighbors’ house on Lake Hamilton.

 

RossiSwing2

 

 

As the sky lightens, I notice a swing on the landing halfway down to the water. I go down the stairs but see that the seat is still drenched in dew, so I stand and sip my coffee, taking in the landscape.

 

RossiRRT

To the right, steps fashioned from railroad ties curve downward. Worn and mossy surfaces betray their age, and there’s no handrail.

Not for the faint of heart.

 

 

RossiNewPathOn the left, a newer stairway, constructed from decking and concrete, gives way to flat stone steps. It looks stable. And there’s a sturdy wire handhold.

I opt for the newer, more secure path and head to the dock and over to the seating area at the bottom of the old railroad-tie steps.

 

 

RossiMistWisps of fog hover over the lake. Somewhere across the way, a bird welcomes the new day with song. I wish one of those little clouds would drift close enough for me to reach out and touch its dream-spun softness.

I lift my head and breathe in the peace I always feel near a body of water. No wonder working people retreat here for weekends.

IMG_5769As I return up the rock stairs, I notice ferns and moss softening their hard faces.

 

Later, I find myself pondering the two paths. Although the older route would have appealed to a younger me, I’m acutely aware that at this stage of life, I would need a walking stick to maneuver down those ancient steps. Two scriptures come to mind.

Thus says the Lord: “Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; Then you will find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’ Jeremiah 6:16

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil;
for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me
. Psalm 23:4

I find myself praying for the wisdom and courage to choose the right path even when it appears rugged. I recall past experiences when the way felt rocky and hard, but every time I held onto to God real tight, He delivered me safely to my destination.

 

RossiRRWay

What about you?

Are ever tempted to take the easy way out?

Whatever path you find yourself on today, whatever you are facing, I wish you peace and the revelation that when Jesus calls us to follow Him, we can trust Him to keep us.

 

For I hold you by your right hand— I, the Lord your God.

And I say to you, ‘Don’t be afraid. I am here to help you.

Isaiah 41:13

 

 

Birds, Bluebirds, Devotionals

BLUEBIRD HILL

Debbiesbluebird2a
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
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.”

Flowerbed

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.

Debbie'sbluebirdcouple2
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.

 

Ship
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.

Birdhouse
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