Tap, tap, tap

Three baby robins waiting for mama to bring more food

At times, it feels like God isn’t listening, the heavens are brass, there is a wall that seemingly no amount of prayer or praise can penetrate.

Of course, I know that this is when faith comes in. This is where I am supposed to press in, to trust and wait patiently. But my human need for immediate attention cries out. Impatience prevails. Anger even rears it’s ugly head.

I was having one of these seasons recently. Well, it felt like a season but in reality, it was only a couple of days. My maternal cares for my children and other concerns were crowding out my joy. I could say I am 100% joyful all the time with never a care in the world but that would be a lie. I’ve realized that it’s okay to call on others for help and for prayer when the oppressive thoughts are wearing you out. I had felt a heaviness weighing on me and I needed relief but I couldn’t hear God, couldn’t sense His presence.

I had requested prayers from a couple of trusted women and was about to sit down and begin my days work.

Here, I must backtrack for a minute and tell you that there was a robin’s nest where three beautiful blue eggs had recently produced three hungry babies, situated in a gutter on my porch. My granddaughter and I would watch the mama bird forage for worms and bugs tirelessly all day long. She would bring them back faithfully to nourish her growing triplets.

So, as I am sitting in my office, feeling gloomy, I hear a tap, tap, tap on my window. The birds haven’t done this in a while, so I was surprised to hear it. I carefully opened my back door and the mama bird flew to the grass right off the porch and looked at me with her little head tilted. I looked around and saw the nest and the three babies scattered on the porch. They had fallen down from the gutter along with their nest and she was requesting my help to put it all back together again! That may sound unbelievable to some, but why else did she tap and then sit there and look at me that way?

Carefully, I picked up each baby with a tissue and put them back in the nest and sat it on a table near my back door. A family of doves had nested there last year, but I wasn’t sure if the robin will feel safe enough to return. She did. A few minutes later, I looked outside and she was sitting on the nest.

I walked back into the house and immediately, I felt God’s presence. I felt Him assure me that mama’s will always want to shelter their babies, but sometimes they have to get out of the way and let someone help them, like mama robin had done. I needed to once again, give my cares to Him and get out of the way. He also reminded me how much He cares for me. I felt peaceful, the heaviness lifted and I felt joy again. He answered my prayers with the help of a helpless little mama.

Some people might think this story is for the birds, but I don’t care. God has used his creation and creatures and stranger things than that to make me see the light before. The point is, He cares. We still forget it sometimes, but it doesn’t change the fact.

Blessings,
Lisa

Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. Luke 12:6-7

Who is in control?

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found on picturequotes.com

On a day like today, I want to be able to elaborate on my sentimental thoughts about Thanksgiving and the coming season; I want to watch romantic Christmas movies and bake. My post should surely be all warm and encouraging. I want to be writing things about the cool breeze and the scent of spices and cinnamon in my house, about using my new Kitchen-aid appliance and about the anticipation of family gathered around the table on Thursday.

But the truth is, I just can’t today. My heart is overwhelmed and I’m teetering on the brink of a major downpour of tears. I have two friends going through major surgery, other friends who lost family members this week, and yet others battling cancer. I could go on and on but you get my point and that isn’t even to mention the chaos all around us.

What’s a girl to do? I can sit here and let myself get tossed to and fro and feel my stress level begin to rise. I can succumb to despair and panic or get angry or dismayed. OR, I can lead myself to the Rock that is higher than I.

Always, but especially in times like these, on days like this, God is my Rock and my Fortress, my Strong tower and my Deliver, my Healer and my Sanity, Lover of my soul and a God who is moved with compassion. Where do I put my trust? I place it exclusively in Him because ALL others have failed me at times.

So, I will cast all of my cares upon Him, who can bear it all and trust Him for all outcomes. I will leave my problems at the foot of the cross and not pick them back up again. For I know, in the midst of trials, storms, and seemingly immovable mountains, my God is still in control.

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Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, The Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.  Isaiah 40:28-31

Worry doesn’t change anything

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The Prompt:  If you could permanently get rid of one worry, what would it be?

I don’t believe in worry.  Yes, I know we all have our moments, but I choose not to let worry control me.  There are times I battle with it, but if I give it to God, the fear dissipates. It was a lesson that was hard to learn, but when you realize it’s useless, it becomes easier to let it go.  I wrote a short story to show how I feel about worry.

It was getting late and the Browns were getting ready to turn in for the night.  Faith Brown was humming a hymn as she removed the excess pillows and turned down the sheets.  Her husband, Wori Brown grunted as he stalked past her on his way to the bathroom.

Faith shook herself out of her slippers and tossed her robe at the bottom of the bed.  She kneeled by the bed and said a prayer, then climbed into bed and snuggled into the warm covers, thankful for a safe, comfortable home.

Wori needed to go to bed as 5:30 came early, but there was just too much on his mind.  He paced through the house a few times trying to figure out what to do about the shortage in the checking account.  He was overwrought with concern over some choices their adult son was making. He wondered what he could do or say to get his son to listen to reason.  He was stressed about the way he had spoken to his favorite employee today at work.  By the time he finally made it to the bedroom, Faith was fast asleep.  He tossed and turned and awoke groggy after a fitful night’s sleep.

Faith awoke with the dawn and sat down with her coffee and her bible to start the day on the right note.  She enjoyed her coffee, read from Psalms, prayed over her family and went about her day’s tasks.

Wori gulped down his coffee, rushed out the door and hurried to work.  His mind was full of distressful thoughts throughout the day.  His stomach was bothering him and he had a headache.  Traffic was horrible and he shook his fist at a car as he sped past.  He felt his blood pressure rising as he had to wait at yet another red light.

As the sun was setting, Wori opened the front door and was greeted by calm wife who informed him that dinner was waiting.  The house was quiet and he was glad to be here.  He could smell the aroma of his favorite dish and maybe even an apple pie.  As Wori ate, he asked Faith how in the world she could stay so peaceful in the midst of such duress.  They were going through several trials in their lives and he never saw her falter in her faith.

She said, “Nothing I can do or say will change any of the situations we are facing, so I put them in the hands of God and leave them there.  When the temptation comes to worry or fret, I remind myself to think on whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, that is what I think about.

He knew she was right, so after dinner he made his way to the back porch, bible in hand.  He spent some time alone, prayed for peace and placed his frustration and feelings of inadequacy into the hands of God.  Faith joined him with a smile on her face and thankfulness in her heart, knowing that with God and each other, they could face anything.

Slow down

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Clock (Photo credit: Dalo_Pix2)

So what if the beans don’t get done and the blog doesn’t get written.  This is what I told myself in the shower, although I didn’t really believe myself.  I thought I had to be somewhere early tonight and I was in a rush.  You know the feeling, when you feel your blood pressure rising a bit because you are frantically trying to figure out how to get an hour’s worth of tasks done in 20 minutes.

You work until whatever time and then you have a list of things to do (have you noticed this list never goes away, it just changes).  The way I plan things, if all goes according to plan, everything usually goes pretty favorably.  But, let something or someone throw a wrench in my plan it can go from smooth sailing to a tropical disturbance fairly quickly.  It’s my own fault because I don’t tend to leave much wiggle room in my plan; something I need to work on.

Have you ever blow dried your hair, while putting on lipstick and picking up a stray sock with your toes to sling it in the laundry basket?  Yeah, that’s how I roll.   How about brushing your teeth while throwing in a load of laundry or knowing exactly how much time you have to do simple chores in the morning while waiting for computer to boot up, or talking on the phone while doing dishes or cleaning the shower while you are taking your shower?  Nifty little multi-tasking, time savers but are they really necessary?

The thing is, there are not many things in my life that are truly so important that they are worthy of so much stress and rushing.  It’s not like I’m up against a multi-million dollar deadline or that anyone will be largely impacted by my being a few minutes late.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s good to plan ahead and have some goals and be on time.  However, if something doesn’t get done, what will the outcome really be?  How important is it?  Things to think about.

So while I was ironing my shirt (because you always find something you want to wear that needs to be ironed if you’re in a hurry), the phone rang.   I answered and continued to iron (no sense in wasting time) and the call was to inform me that I no longer had to be somewhere early.  See, all of that anxiety was for naught.  So, here I sit, hot tea in hand, comfortably and leisurely writing my blog.

Have a blessed, stress-free night!

Mitch Teemley

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