Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A Little Bird Named Albert

“There’s a baby bird in the egress window,” my husband said Saturday morning, “and I don’t think it can fly out.”

My daughter and I ran to the basement window to see this for ourselves. Sure enough, the cute little guy sat in the cushion of leaves in the window well. My daughter immediately wanted to save it. Deciding it was a “him,” she named him Albert.

We watched Albert through the window, before doing anything, to see if his mom would come back. And she did.

She didn’t sit in the window with him, but she was never far away. She brought him food and she stood on guard.

She sat on the fence outside my kitchen window while I baked chocolate chip cookies. And she chirped. Over and over. Chirp (pause)…chirp (pause)…chirp.

Albert kept the same chirping rhythm. Chirp (pause)…chirp (pause)…chirp.

We decided they were communicating…
Mom?...I’m right here…Mom?...I’m right here…Mom?
…Albert scared and crying out, while his mom let him know she was there and hadn’t left.

My daughter said it reminded her of when she had an MRI and I stood next to her throughout it, with my hand on her leg. She couldn’t talk or move, but the couple of times I moved my hand, her leg twitched, as if to make sure I was still there. And I rubbed her leg to assure her I hadn’t left.

Throughout the day, we watched Albert as he attempted to fly out…without success.

We wanted to scoop him out, but like his mom, knew that he would eventually fly out on his own. So, we cheered him on.

Again, we realized how the mom-child relationship isn’t all that different. Sometimes, as moms, we can’t rescue our kids, but we can stay close and comfort them.

They will get themselves into predicaments that they have to figure out how to get out of, and all we can do is support them…and love them. So, Albert’s mom stayed.

First thing Sunday morning, we checked through the window. Albert was still there and looked like he’d gotten used to his new surroundings.

I went on to do other things, but received timely updates from my daughter. She was sure he was looking at her through the window. Maybe he was feeling supported and encouraged by her too.

And then…
“Mom, mom! I got to witness it!” she yelled as she ran to find me. “Albert got out!”

And he did. After the night’s rest, he was strengthened and refreshed…and he flew to the edge of the barrier to the window well. We couldn’t help but be proud of the little guy.

We snuck outside and watched as he sat on the edge chirping. Then, we spotted Albert’s mom, with breakfast in her beak, but still able to answer his cries.
Mom?...I’m right here… Mom! Look, I did it!...See? I knew you could do it!
We thought we were being sneaky, watching from a distance, but moms have a good sense about things, and we figured she was on to us. Albert wasn’t going to eat breakfast until we left.

Albert was gone when we checked back later, probably off somewhere with his mom. We were happy for them...but at the same time, we kind of missed the little guy.

Linking up with Unforced Rhythms

Saturday, July 19, 2014

When Facebook Starts to Depress You

Have you ever scrolled through your Facebook news feed and wondered why you felt kind of down?

Maybe you got on to quickly check in with a friend or to post a note and picture about what you’re up to. But, you find yourself scrolling…a quick “like” here…a brief comment there…and you notice something has changed.
Your thinking has changed from That’s a great picture of my friends, to That looks fun. I wish I could do that.
What beautiful scenery! turns to I’ll never get to go there.
I’m glad she finally got to visit there. becomes Must be nice!
You get the picture. (no pun intended)

Social media has its place. Keeping up with friends and family and sharing pictures can be great. It’s fun to see what others are doing, right?

But sometimes, social media can be too much. In fact, maybe it should come with a warning label...

Continue reading...

What's been your experience—do you find yourself needing to scale back on social media? Please join me at 5 Minutes for Faith, where I'm sharing a few tips I'm practicing.
In Christ,

Thursday, July 17, 2014

We All Have a Place

I like hearing about fellow writers’ accomplishments—really, I do. But sometimes, I have to fight the Why do I even try? feeling. Not all the time, but more than I like to admit.

Do you know that feeling? It doesn’t have to be writing, but in general, someone else’s success where you hope to be successful.

We know better, don’t we? But emotions get in the way. Discouragement sets in and thoughts run wild.

Unless…we stop them first. Rein them in and get control.

And change our thinking—because we all have a place in the work of God’s Kingdom.

My work may not be the same as yours and your work may be different from mine. God calls us to different ways of speaking His truth and proclaiming His name and saving grace.

He blesses us with different strengths. He equips us with different skills and talents. He leads us to different places at different times—all according to His plan. A plan we may not see, but know, through faith, is there.

Someone else’s achievement is not about me or what I haven’t done. It’s about Him and what He has called her to do.

My cheering her on is success for God’s Kingdom. My slinking back and quitting enables the Enemy. And I know I don’t want to work to his advantage. Do you?

So, let’s not quit the work God calls us to.

Let’s not miss the opportunity to step out in faith with Him.

Let’s not allow discouragement to set in when we hear of another’s accomplishments—but instead, let’s encourage each other wherever we are, whatever we’re doing.

It’s not my work vs. your work because we’re on the same team—the winning team—God’s team.

So, what do you say? I’ll cheer for you and you cheer for me. We’ll encourage and root for each other…for the good of God’s Kingdom.

Go team!

In Christ,

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Rest Is Not Nothing

I'm sitting on the deck this morning, staring out over open land...in the country, visiting family. It's not too hot yet and it's peaceful.

Really peaceful.

So much so that I'm reluctant to go in and get ready for the day, because later it will be sticky again. The sauna-like weather that keeps you inside or takes you to the pool.

I'm not much of a pool person. So, when the others head out, I'll find something else to do...like write or read the book I started. Maybe I'll take a nap, or spend some time with God.

I'm not used to not having to be somewhere, do something, or research and study our new way of life. This would usually make me antsy and uncomfortable.

And it might in a few days, but not yet.

Right now I'm content to sit and write this post...about nothing.

But maybe it's not about nothing—because needing to rest is not nothing.

Jesus rested. And He didn't feel guilty about it.
Then Jesus said, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.” He said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his apostles didn’t even have time to eat. Mark 6:31 NLT (bold mine)
God made us with the need to rest. Jesus knew that. He taught it. He practiced it.

But we tend to forget or ignore it...or think it wasn't meant for us.

But it is meant for us—this need to rest.

For you and for me.

And when you put off rest too long, you find yourself like me, in a chair looking out over open land...not wanting to start the day.

Even if others are waiting on you.

In Christ,