Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Like Baby Birds......

I saw a couple of baby birds in a nest.............
They were tucked down amid the branches of a bush and hidden from sight. They were hard to see, but while the mother was away, persistence paid off and I was able to observe them.
In my mind, I know that my heavenly Father is watching over me....."For in time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock." Psalm 27:5

 Those little birds were chirping and calling out to their mother, wanting food.

And yet, sometimes I fear I am forgotten.........I worry about my needs being met........I fall into despair.............. 

"The troubles of my heart are enlarged: O bring thou me out of my distresses."  
Psalm 25: 17
  They kept calling and calling, eager for her to return, not understanding that it can take time to find what is needed.

I panic as I suffer, convinced I am not loved or cared for..........I cry out to my Lord for help, despairing when the pain continues............
 Maybe they felt abandoned .........though she had come back so many times already.........
I have seen God's faithfulness to me again and why do I doubt and fear? The enemy whispers doubts that are so easy to believe............
 They continued calling.........calling......waiting.....only knowing that they needed something........and they wanted someone to meet that need.

Please, God, PLEASE help me..........God? Are you there?
 Their cries for help seemed to go unnoticed and unheard.........

 "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?........"Psalm 22:1a

"Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?"  Matthew 6:26

  Louder and faster chirping seemed to do no good, but they tried..........

"Fear thou not, for I am with thee; be not dismayed, for I am thy God; I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness." Isaiah 41:10
 Even giving in to anger and chirping with anger doesn't help............finally, one gives up and rests...... while the other continues on determined to find relief...........

"Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him........." Psalm 37:7a

"I waited patiently for the Lord; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings....................and he hath put a new song in my mouth even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord."  Psalm 40:1-3

Maybe you are in a "horrible pit" right now......that is a very painful place to be........doubts abound, all looks dark and hopeless..........waiting is hard............there seems to be nothing you can do...........many times I need the encouragement of God's Word to remind me to look to Him. I can cry out to Him......."For in thee, O Lord, do I hope: thou wilt hear, O Lord my God." Psalm 38:15

Sometimes a friend comes alongside us to remind us of God's goodness....and His perfect plan............sometimes we are that friend to others.........

As we see baby birds, may we remember to look to our heavenly Father for strength and trust that His plan for us is perfect. Yes, our tears may continue and our situation may stay grim, but......... may we trust His word and not our own fears and doubts. May we wait patiently, trusting, not giving in to despair. May God comfort you in your trials as you walk with Him. 

"But He knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold." 
Job 23:10  

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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Young Hawk Pictures........

I have some pictures of a young hawk........and I feel privileged to have been able to take them.

 This hawk was standing on the sidewalk out in front of a store that hadn't yet opened that morning. 

The talons are long and sharp......

The beak is sharp and well able to use as a bird of prey needs to use its beak.

 The bird looked like it had the feathers puffed out, as if it was at rest or something.  The bird watched me as I went around it, but it did not seem to be afraid or alarmed, just aware.

It seemed to have a problem with one was open some of the time, but the eye looked different than the other eye........and most of the time, the eye was covered with what looked to be an eyelid with feathers......although I am not sure. 

The feathers of the breast were so soft and fluffy looking which led us to think it was a young hawk.

Here is a close up of those talons - 

It was amazing to be so close to such a bird - I was probably only about 1 foot from the bird, but was very careful to watch to be sure the bird wasn't upset.

This is a beautiful bird. I don't know why it was content to stay in one place for so long - while we were around it for about 10 minutes, it never moved from that spot.....the only thing it did was to rotate the head to follow our progress. It did not seem to feel threatened at any point, though I was aware of watching for a mother hawk.

 This guy looked to be almost full grown and it may actually be an adult. The behavior seemed a bit odd, but I am thankful that we were in the right place at the right time to photograph such an unusual sight.

Thank you for visiting and enjoying these pictures of the hawk with me........I hope you have a very good day. :)

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Monday, February 17, 2014

Ice Drips....

This post is about ........Ice Drips..........otherwise known as icicles.  When I was a kid, I LOVED them.....I remember a great big one that ran from the roof to the ground - It had to be about 5-6" in diameter or more,  and was probably about 14 feet long.....and that was just one of them. It was certainly impressive and I loved watching it grow bigger and bigger..........and then it joined with the other icicles, forming huge ice pillars. It was wonderful to my childish way of thinking.

So, this year, when we had growing icicles and my kids were thrilled with was I.  They kept growing and they gave me the opportunity to take some really fun pictures of droplets. My kids also excitedly took pictures and admired them.

Love taking pictures of the droplets.....but the waiting was was letting the cold air in the house.....brrrrr.  I ended up with LOTS and LOTS of pictures.....with no drops. However, I also took many with drops.  Having to wait and work hard for the pictures made them all the more special.

So many pretty icicles - in the sun, in the shade, dripping, not dripping, and more and more. The ice kept accumulating until our doorbell was totally encased in ice.....that was interesting, but didn't seem like a great thing. We still weren't too bothered, though...... After all, those icicles are quite pretty.

The poor doorbell..........after the ice melted off, we discovered that the light has burned out in it, so that needs to be fixed.

It is amazing to see the drops up close as they detach from the icicle.

I love the jewel-like look of the drops in certain light.

  Like I said, those icicles were so pretty and we enjoyed seeing them change and grow longer and longer. We even used them for science....we like to learn and there is much we can learn from these.
One thing we started to learn; however, was that icicles are not really a very good thing for a house. The ice can back up and go under the shingles and go inside of the roof...  That can damage drywall, paint, carpet, wood and more....this is NOT a good thing.  Hmmmm.

So we chipped them off and removed the ice- there was so had frozen about 5-6" above the gutters. It was a lot of work and my guys and dad worked hard on it.......but they cleared it all.

  We were glad to have protected out the same time that we were sad to see the icicles leave.

The kids stuck some of the icicles into the snow on the bench and railing, which looked a bit odd, but was also pretty in the sunlight.

I was also glad to have taken so many pictures before we had to remove the icicles. There is great beauty in the simple things of this earth........God's creation continues to amaze me.

I'm glad we can enjoy such marvels..........

In pondering this whole situation, I realize that my view as a child was only of the fun - what a limited view......My view as an adult has to take other things into consideration, like how much repairs from the damage of those pretty icicles might cost.

I still plan to enjoy icicles, but a part of me will also cringe if they are on our house since I now know the danger they present to a house.

I wonder how many other things I am seeing in a partial way....not having all of the facts. I am reminded to be careful in my Christian walk and not make quick and uninformed opinions. Instead, I want to base my opinions on facts....on the truths in the Bible. 

God's Word is the one absolute and I want to pattern my life after it. To do so, I need to know His Word and not just rely on things I have always thought or believed.

Thank you for visiting and I hope you have a great day.

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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Are Your Kids A Blessing?


  I know, it is a strange title, "Are Your Kids A Blessing?", but I have a reason for it.  I am the mother of 6 children, and one of them has had severe medical problems throughout his life. Very hard days and nights, working hard to keep him alive. Thankfully, he is doing MUCH better now, though he still has to be careful in some ways.

Anyway, for years I had to take my children - all 6 of them (or as many as there were at the time!) - to many doctor appointments, emergency room visits and more. My husband went to many of them and many he could not because of work. I love my children, but I also count them as a blessing from God. Now, some days it is easier to SEE that blessing than others, but it is always true. :)

Many days, the "Mommy-work" is discouraging and thankless, not to mention exhausting, but oh, what a blessing to have our little and big ones.

Many times when out, I would hear, "You have SO many children, how do you do it?" "Are they all yours?" "Weren't you afraid the others would have medical problems too?" (Our son with medical problems is the 2nd child in the family.)

 "You must be a homeschooler....your kids act like it." "How do you get them all to obey?" "You just have 'GOOD' kids-you're so LUCKY!" "I could NEVER homeschool-I'm not organized enough." "My kids never obey me.", etc, etc.

I would chat with the people and many times would tell them how thankful I was for these precious blessings God has given to me. Some people agreed, while others looked confused.

This post comes from a conversation I had with one mother. She was rather bitterly complaining about how her kids never obey and they always cost her money and on and on with NOTHING positive to say of her children at all.

I was sad, especially since she had one of her sons - he was probably about 9-12 years old- standing right there with her......listening to all that was said.

I know that there are many tough times and it can be hard to stay cheerful and thankful....and seeking to minister to her.................... I said, "Life can be pretty hard sometimes, but aren't they a blessing? I am so thankful for the blessing of my children."

  Her response horrified me. She said, "Well, your children might be blessings, but mine sure aren't!"

 Her son stood right there and listened, but even sadder to me was the fact that he didn't even react, which made me think that it wasn't the first time he has been told he was unloved and unwanted.

That poor child.........I wanted to hug him and tell him that Jesus loves him...........he seemed so hardened already at such a young age.

That poor mom.......I don't know her story.....I'm sure her life is hard....really hard...and I suspect she doesn't have the Lord to help her.....I am ashamed to say that I was so taken aback by her comments that I didn't tell her about accepting Jesus as her Lord and Savior, though I did talk about the Lord. Such an unhappy, bitter and angry woman.

We all go through hard times, stressful days, financial troubles, fears and worries, weariness at training our children and cleaning up after them....but what will determine if we are content and joyful? Will it be the expectation of an easy life.....or things getting "better"? What would be enough for us?

God wants us to be content in Him....regardless of our circumstances and we have the wonderful opportunity to train our children to be content and joyful also. It will mean denying ourselves.........We don't like to hear our children WE complain?

So....... I ask again......Are your children a blessing?

I hope you see that they are........whether they are happy, grumpy, wet, dry, sleepy, hyper or any other way. They are wonderful gifts from the Lord.

What are we teaching our children - hopefully, we will teach them that we love them, God loves them, how to obey and be full of integrity, how to use self-control, how to be thankful, and more. It's a lot of work.....but we can do it......and we can do it joyfully.

I hope that you are loving being your child's parent, and if not, I hope that things will improve for you.........but until they do, I hope you can be thankful for blessings.  I also hope that you have a good day. :)

"The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in Him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise Him." Psalm 28:7

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