Herons are commonplace where I live, but I never tire of watching them. They are regal and appear almost breakable and elegant and yet stand unphased amongst alligators and snakes. And they are the most accurate fisherbirds. I can see why. I watch them fish. They stand keenly, quite still for a time duration that presses my impatient tendencies to the limit. How long will he wait? But he is studying, calculating in his little bird brain. He doesn’t want to put out effort for nothing, he wants a meal, wants it to count. So he waits for the perfect chance, the right position, the fish become quite comfortable in his presence, so long he waits to strike. But strike, he eventually does and to great effect. Great fisherbird. The king maybe. No great heroics like the osprey with his beautiful flying acrobatics. No prattle like the moorhen. No clumsy and really fun misses like the awkward but terribly fun pelican. No, the heron is in its own class. He knows he is the best fisherman around. He knows God made him that way. He is confident.
And here is my lesson from the heron. Two actually… 1. We are all made differently and methodical is effective or even more effective than jump in and see what happens. And 2. God pours confidence in His creation but the still accept it more. The heron waits and studies and grows more confident in the environment God made him for. Quietness in God’s presence builds confidence and success. Not because of us but because of Him. With God, I have confidence. The closer I am to Him in stillness, the less I have to say and the more confidence and success I have. ❤
Ya know, in life we have ups and downs. And generally we don’t appreciate the ups fully until we hit those downs. And of course when we are in the downs, we desperately long for the ups that we will again not fully appreciate and so on. That is the way of it. Most t hj ings n in nature God created to want to be neutral. All things were designed to be in balance with each other. It is true in chemistry, which I love, and biology and virology (for the most part) and microbiology (all of these of which I have studied in great depth in earning my science based doctorate).
Enter plateaus. These are the flatlands, thr neutral spaces, the balanced places, the waiting games places where nature is most content and we are not. These places I have come to accept and truly appreciate, for the ups and downs are not present here. Something has to happen to change the plateau. For weight loss, it is to try to change the proportions or mix up the menu or change the exercise. In life, a change event has to happen to go up or down, like a loss or gain or accident or surprise. In nature, an imbalance has to happen for things to scurry to get balanced again. God designed this. These plateaus should be celebrated for they increase stability and balance and allow for some rest before the change comes. They are indeed created by God (like we are) to be a blessing. We still work in the plateau, we all still do our job, nature does its job, mitochondria and enzymes do their job, everything is working but not in a stressed out way. This is an absolutely beautiful place to be, friends. See it as a blessing as it was designed to be for you. ❤
We just returned from a week in God’s masterpiece, Gatlinburg. We found hiking trails in mountains by beautiful waters and wild turkeys and quiet time with God. There is no doubt that He keeps His eye there to just enjoy what He made without argument. It is beautiful and peaceful and full of His glory. You cannot be there an deny Him. You cannot help but be regenerated and invigerated. He is everywhere and more obviously there. Gorgeous!! And our whole family feels more relaxed and alive and ready for the rest of the school and gig year.😄❤
I have never shopped ever on Black Friday. I have gone out people watching because seiously it is more contact fouls than a college football game. But lately it is more mean than funny and I think that is because of the rise in selfishness and my, ahem, “maturity”. Ok, I am feeling older now. But I ahem ways laughed ahemlwayst the marketing geniuses who got so many to buy into the “get it now for the cheapest price but hurry or you’ll miss it and never get it again” ploy. I am reminded of my husband’s quote, “It’s always on sale.” So true. And if you risk injury to get the perfect gift for that special someone, maybe their or your expectations are a wee bit high. Lol. But all that noise is nor my cup of tea anymore. I prefer peace. I really dig peace in my life and I am at a point where it characterizes me. Mostly, still a bit of a struggle sometimes, I am such a fighter, but I reserve the fight for the real battles and fight mostly on my knees in prayer now. (Love “War Room”!!!) So, peace to you today. And please pare down the gifts this year so we aren’t distracted by the fantastic birthday we are celebrating. If we are peaceful and quiet, maybe we can hear him cooing in the manger. Maybe we can remember the sweet momma and baby and stepdad that birthed and raised our precious Savior. Yes, I can hear it and smell the livestock smells and hear them talking about their sweet little baby. Much better than a grab race, eh? 😄❤
I get up early every morning, before the kids, and walk outside with Jesus in prayer. It is the quietest time of the day. And even that is not quiet for cars are going to work, dog walkers are out, birds are singing their wake up songs, squirrels chatter (and this morning mewed, that was interesting), lots of things are awake and talking. So even that early, there are interruptions and noise. And of course is the interruption and noise of my thought processes and mind meandering. It is difficult, maybe impossible to be completely without noise, completely quiet. Now as I write this, sitting alone in my bed as usual, with everyone asleep but me, I hear distant highway car noise. Amazing how many are travelling this late. It just is that way. I long for the quiet on the farm in Michigan, where you could find quiet. Quiet existed. And in the middle of the woods on Beechwood Lake camp, there was quiet in the early morning. I am certain other places have quiet still. Somewhere. Maybe even just a day’s drive away. And some day I will seek out quiet on a quiet quest of some kind. The good Lord knows we need more of it. And if I cannot get there in this life, we have heaven. ❤
All mornings are beautiful when you wake up with a clear conscious, count your blessings and focus on God. (In fact, you sleep better when those things are true of uour night too. Come to think of it, days are better if that is also true of tour day. Lol) But this morning was particularly beautiful. The sun was just as bright but hidden a tad behind a thin veil of clouds. There was a refreshing breeze that tickled my hair to fly around a bit. The birds were singing their morning praise and breakfast songs. Walking was sweet in conversation with the Lord, like walking with my best friend and Savior. I realized something exquisite, a new truth I had never fully embraced and indeed embraced it (sorry, that is between my Lord and I). And the walk was refreshing in every way. Getting back to the house, everyone was still asleep so I sat and rested on the porch swing, enjoying the mockingbird in our bistro vines searching out their breakfast. God is peace and joy. And if you walk with Him, you are too. I am ready for the day. I love you. Have a beautiful day! ❤
Quiet is rare now. It can rarely be heard over the distractions and chaotic noise. It is hard to hear quiet. But I noticed something. Even now, when the world is so loud, if I stop everything and just listen, I can hear the very small hum of a dragonfly’s wings as it changes directions. The world is still making noise but I noticed that if I don’t make noise or do anything but focus, I can hear it. And I don’t think it is a coincidence that God speaks to us in a still, small voice. He wants us to stop what we are doing and be quiet and focus on Him to speak. It lends itself to the humble prayer heart that can hear God’s whisper in a thunderstorm or battlefield. God speaks softly so we know it is Him. He is far too important and great to have to yell or compete with noise. But when we focus and quiet ourselves and listen, He is honored and reveals His message to the humble listener. How beautiful a picture that is! How magnificent is our God!