Friday, July 01, 2016

His eye is on the sparrow

In May we discovered a bird's nest, neatly built inside an ornamental trellis that stands on our covered porch.  It was SO perfectly built and so small.  I LOVE birds so this was very exciting to me!  I found it incredibly ironic that the pillow was next to this trellis - maybe birds can read??

As the days passed, there was one blue, speckled egg inside the nest. The next day, two eggs.  The third, three.  I thought there would be no more, but on the 5th day, there was the 4th (and final egg).  And finally, I saw mama bird with the nest.  I did a bit of research and discovered that she was a chipping sparrow.  Pretty little thing with distinct markings.

As the days passed, the eggs hatched.  I loved to sit out on the porch and watch the mama bring back food to her babies.  At first they couldn't even see, could barely move.  But within just a few days they would respond to my finger gently bumping the nest by opening wide for their next meal (thinking mama bird had just landed).  I did notice one of the little ones seemed to be struggling...and it was only a matter of time before I only saw 3 little mouths poking up for food.  Survival of the fittest, I guess. Soon after that, the three were wide-eyed and watching me every time I walked past.  I saw both mama and daddy bird feeding them - sometimes both at once.  It was incredible. 

It all seemed to move very fast, but suddenly, almost as soon as the nest itself appeared, we were empty nesters.  The babies had flown away.  I was shocked.  It didn't seem like enough time.  Could they really be strong enough and ready enough to be out on their own?  I had never even seen them attempt to fly.  But indeed, the nest was messier (can kids EVER leave something neat and tidy??) and completely empty.  They had launched.

I was sad that I had missed the launch, but I was happy that I had provided a place for them to raise their family.  That same night, an Iowa thunderstorm blew through.  It was nasty out - driving rains, wind, thunder, lightning, all of it.  Out of curiosity, I stepped out onto this covered porch during the storm.  I naturally assumed the little family would be back at the nest, hunkered down to wait out the storm.  I was wrong.  They were not there.  And they never came back.  It confused me - on the very first night out of their "old home", faced with brutal elements, wouldn't they want to return to what they knew?  Wouldn't they want that safety and security?  WOULDN'T YOU?  I know I would.  

It made me think about how much we overthink things, and how very little we trust.  God had provided a new home for these sparrows.  They trusted.  They left the old behind, and went to live their new life boldly.  It didn't matter that on the very first night they were faced with difficult trials.  They trusted that God would provide for them, and they stayed secure in the shelter I am sure He did provide.  So often in my life I want to go back to what's familiar.  I don't want to branch out (pun intended) and try new things.  It's scary.  But not so with these little birds.  Once they learned the necessary skills, they went for their new life 100%.  No looking back.   I want to live like that.  I want to know, DEEP INSIDE OF ME, what God desires for me to do and just do it.  I don't want to live in fear of the next trial/thunderstorm.  I want to go boldly where He desires me to go.  God has placed some incredible trials in my life.  There are burdens I am carrying and life situations and grief that I never imagined I would encounter in my life.  And a LOT of the time, if I am being honest, I do not trust Him with it.  I think He has messed up and that He has DEFINITELY chosen the wrong girl for these things.  I feel like I am broken...a lot.  But I do believe he sent this little mama bird and her brood to my porch to remind me His eye is on them, and even more so on me.  I am trying to cling to that, despite the thunderstorms in my life.  

Matthew 10:29-31Living Bible (TLB)

29 Not one sparrow (What do they cost? Two for a penny?) can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. 30 And the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So don’t worry! You are more valuable to him than many sparrows.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016


Right now I wish I were invisible. I am so frustrated with my youngests - when they play, they get out tonnnns of stuff and then they PROMISE they will clean it up. Promising usually means mom has to ride them for 45 minutes while they whine and complain that "someone ELSE needs to put that away"!!!  Tonight they decided to take my clothes off hangers and model them. And, you guessed it, when they were done there were clothes all over the floor and only minimal amounts had been hung back up. 

I saw red. 

Thankfully my dear husband came home just then. I gave him the lowdown and he went in to handle it. It won't be perfect but that's more than fine. I just need to not deal with it tonight. I slipped out on to the screen porch to write this and I am really hoping, at least for a while, to be completely invisible...

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Pool days

This is the first summer our family has purchased a pool pass.  Things like this are actually very beneficial for a family our size.  The "family pool pass" price is the same whether you have 1 child or are the Duggers.  Since we're somewhere in the middle, we benefit from it as well.  So yeah, we bought one.

Small(ish) problem though.  I don't like going to the pool.  AT.ALL.  I mean, nope.  I think part of it is that when I go to put my swim suit on I basically have to wrestle myself into it as if I am wrangling a crocodile.  By the time I get it on, yell at Avery to come help me pull it up in the back, and then finishing tucking all the extra body parts in (you know, the ones you grow after having kids?  those ones) I am basically tired.  Exhausted.  Like all my patience was used up on NOT saying every swear word possible in front of my small tribe. 

And then.  Sunscreen.  Ohmyword the sunscreen.  I just...can't.  It takes forever and someone is getting it in their eyes and someone else doesn't want Avery to put it on them (MOM ONLY!!!  HOLLA!!!!) and since I have sensory issues with stuff on my hands I have to wash my hands between every person because I cannot ABIDE grabbing a clean bottle of sunscreen with messy hands.  (Yes, I am also the kind of person who washes my hands after putting lotion on my legs.)

And THEN!  No one seems to be able to find a dang thing when we're getting out the door.  And apparently mom, who has NEVER ONCE been able to fit into your flip flops, should know where everything is. 

The pool itself generally goes okay.  We meet someone there who helps me keep track of Caden which takes a big load off my mind.  I can't do the pool alone with all 5.  But yeah - they want to leave at different times and the twins' muscles sometimes freeze up because of the cold water so then they need to be carried and are crying and in pain.  We often look like a HUGE mess of people. 

I really do NOT want to get into how frustrated I feel when they all come in and can't seem to remember how to hang a wet swim suit over a drying rack or which one the washing machine is (um, the one that WASHES the clothes??)...if I got into that you might actually make me type a few swear words. 

But yeah, we have a pool pass.  YAY!  Or, not yay.  Depending on how you look at it. 

Monday, June 27, 2016

Celebrating 18 years of marriage today!

I love my husband.  Truly and honestly.  He is the one person in the entire world that I am 100% myself with.  I trust him, I love him, and I love spending time with him.  Today we celebrate 18 years of marriage.  They haven't all been wonderful years, but they are all worth celebrating.  In this society of throw-away everything, I am thankful that we have worked hard, stayed the course, and are continuing to find reasons to celebrate our marriage.