Bluebirds, Hope, Life Lessons, Perseverance

SOMETIMES YOU CAN

 

 

 

Debbiesbluebird2a
Photo courtesy of Debbie Hoffman

 

The continuing saga of my fascination with bluebirds. For the whole story, check out WHEN BLUEBIRDS DON’T COME.

COMING TO TERMS

I had come to terms with it.

Mostly.

If the bluebirds didn’t build a nest in our little birdhouse, I’d be happy with their daily visits to our deck.

Maybe like Paul, I needed to learn to be content in whatsoever state I found myself.

I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:12b-13 

Although I hadn’t quite given up, I was working hard at being content.

BluebirdbribesCollage
I admit I was reduced to bribery.

As sometimes happens, a song came to mind–an old Rolling Stones tune that was probably about drugs and 1960s politics, both light years removed from my application. Still the chorus ran through my head over and over.

Maybe you’ve heard it.

You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometime
You’ll find
You get what you need

ALMOST GETTING THE MESSAGE

OK. Maybe I was too obsessed with those bluebirds. Maybe I needed contentment more than bluebirds nesting in my yard.

I’d work on that right after I tried one more thing.

Perhaps if we moved the house down a little way from the big azalea bush, they’d reconsider this year. After all, that Daddy Blue really looked it over last year. I know he liked our house.

Birdhouse MoveSo  Terry moved that cute little birdhouse down a few feet. While he dug a new post hole, I checked its interior and found a huge wasp nest hidden out of sight of the casual observer. Could that have kept the birds away last year?

I cleaned the house out, and Terry planted it firmly in its new spot.

Then I watched and waited, but in truth without much hope. I reminded myself that I needed to be content with those daily visits.

And I was.

Almost content.

Still, I watched and waited until one morning about a week later, I noticed Daddy Blue sitting on the deck. Then he flew down to the little house.

BluebirdVisitor

HE WENT INSIDE.

I took up my post at the window.

Was that Mama Blue going in?

YES!

I tell you, I did a little dance and confess to shedding a couple of tears of joy when she landed on the deck rail with a sprig of grass in her beak before heading down to her new home. (I swear she did that for my benefit.)

They were moving in!

BLUEBIRDS HAVE MOVED INTO OUR BLUEBIRD HOUSE!

 

Bluebirdad
I haven’t been able to get a good shot of the couple going in and out. But this is their new home.

PRESSING ON

Isn’t that how it is sometimes? We long for something that may seem inconsequential, even silly, to others. Yet, the longing won’t go away, so we press on.

I’m sure glad I did because from now on bluebirds will remind me that when we think we can’t have what we want,

Sometimes it turns out we can.

PROCEED WITH CAUTION

Still, I remind myself of a Dr. Seuss quote:

Wherever you go, you will top all the rest. Except when you don’t. Because, sometimes, you won’t.”  —Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You’ll Go!

May bluebirds always remind me to press on with my dreams.

To Reach higher.

bluebird in oak

 

Yet if those dreams are delayed or don’t come to fruition, I hope I will remember that I get to decide how I’ll respond.

I hope I will always seek to be content whatever comes my way.

 

I hope you will press on with your dreams, too.

And if they don’t materialize as quickly as you would like, I hope you will find contentment while you wait.

 

Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way. — Viktor Frankl

Encouragement, poetry, Rest

A Place of Healing

A month or so ago, I woke up with the first two lines of a little poem running through my mind. The words stayed with me throughout the day, into the next, and began to expand. Over the course of several days, I found myself adding to and polishing the verses until they became a true poem. It pretty well captures the tenderness I felt from my God while I was sick.

His mercies are truly new every morning.

I want to share it with you today.

Nest3

GOD’S MEDICINE

 

My Maker lined a nest with love.

He bid me settle in.

Murmuring words of tenderness, 

He set my broken wing.

He fed me with the finest feast and

Quenched my thirsting soul with

Water from Eternal Springs until

My wing was whole.

More significant than mended bones

Was the work He did within to

Heal my weary, broken heart as 

I sat and talked with Him.

Whatever’s wrong, whatever hurts, 

I highly recommend you

Skip man’s feeble substitutes. 

Take it straight to Him.

 

 

“Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.    Isaiah 55:1
Church Life, Life Lessons, Spring, Spring Flowers

SIGNS OF SPRING

 

Bradford PearsDid it feel like a hard winter to you?

It did to me.

About all I did was snuggle beneath a soft, warm throw and wait for spring. But I realize now, I waited with limited expectations.

Maybe that was because I was still recovering from fairly serious health problems that laid me low.

Or perhaps I was too focused on the distant view outside my back window instead of my own front yard.

Whatever the case, spring caught me by surprise.

Our yard seemed so bleak that I was astounded to see a row of forsythia bushes in full bloom outside a local business a couple of weeks ago.

How could that be when I hadn’t seen even one bud on ours?

But when I got home and gave our forsythia a closer look, to my delight, I found it filled with buds and a few stray blossoms.

Forsythia 2018It was the same when a friend posted a bouquet of daffodils on her Facebook page. Although we have lots of those buttery beauties in our front flowerbeds, none was in bloom or even budding.

Or so I thought.

But when looked closer, I found several buds, and I began to watch. Sure enough, one morning there was the first blossom. Then another.

daffodils 2018 Each day more opened up until a bed of tiny jonquils defied leftover leaves and fairly shouted, Rejoice!

I hadn’t been paying attention.

Spring had sprung.

Spring CollageSuddenly I saw flowers everywhere–Tulip trees, Bradford pears, hedges of forsythia, japonica, and bridal wreath—all blooming on bare wood and waving as I drove by. Daffodils, tulips, and hyacinths danced in the March wind.

Every day their splendor brightens and lightens my heart.

Isn’t that just like God to transform barren limbs into loveliness? This bursting forth of flowers reminds me that life resides in the starkest branches and most barren ground.

 

In me.

In you. 

However, at times, I felt as bleak as those bare branches. Even writing, my usual therapy, seemed lost to me. I produced nothing beyond an occasional journal entry, Facebook post, and thank you note.

But the truth is, even when I felt my worst, Jesus was with me, asking me to trust Him.

I sensed Him each time my good husband dropped everything to take me to a doctor’s appointment or pick up meds. He accompanied the friends who brought flowers and food, insisted on helping with laundry, stopped by to visit and pray. I felt his presence in the encouraging notes they sent by text, Facebook, email, and pretty cards with uplighting messages.

The King will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Matt. 25:40

He was there each time sweet Timmy slept in my lap while I read my devotionals or just stared out the window.

TimmyBFFEven when I was all alone, I knew He was with me.

Still that period wasn’t much fun.

But Hallelujah! Seasons faithfully change.

Now I think of the past winter as a time of rest, healing, and preparation for a new season of growth and fruitfulness.

For all of nature.

For me.

For you.

So if it feels like your spring is way late in arriving, don’t despair.

You'll bloom again

Watch for the signs.

He is faithful.

He will show up just when you need Him most.

Before you know it, your spirit will burst forth in full bloom.

… for behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone. 12 The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come,  Song of Solomon 2:11-12 NIV