Monthly Archives: May 2013

Two birds with one stone

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You know the phrase, ” kill two birds with one stone”. Well this morning as I was waiting for my youngest daughter to get on the bus, I watched a Mom Robin poking through the flower bed.  First she found some twigs that were moistened from the mornings sprinklers.  She specifically looked for three.  I guess each would serve a purpose at the nest.

Then she cocked her head as if she heard something.  She actually did hear something, a big juicy worm making his way through the wet dew  in the grass. So with the three twigs in her mouth, she went over and captured the worm.  I was amazed that she was so talented and that she could actually maneuver the twigs while catching the worm.  Not one twig fell.

She was not done. She then went over and dug through an area of grass that had recently been rustled up by a gopher.  She found a clump of grass that was about the size of a quarter.  So envision this; here was this bird with, three twigs, a worm and a clump of grass…

I really did not think that she could fly with all that in her mouth but she did and she took it all back to her nest.  I am sure there was something each piece would specifically do for her in the nest.

I was shocked.  She was brilliant. So I guess animals do actually have thinking minds.  God did that for them.  I was in awe.

I thanked God for the example that he had given me today that as humans, we can kill two birds with one stone , but what would you call if for a multi-tasking bird?

I ran in and told my husband the story and he had asked me how did you know it was not a male bird…I was brilliant in my answer.  Men can not multi task.

Just a little food for thought.

The fine detail

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I was about 8 years old when I realized I could actually draw.  I had entered a contest sponsored by a bank  and first place would be a savings bond.  I think the amount was only $50 dollars but for an eight year old, that was a lot of money.  My mother went down and got me white poster board and I free handedly drew  a puppy dog and I colored it with markers and endowed it with glitter.  I spent a long time on it and turned it in.  To my surprise, my poster was chosen as the winner and that was the first time actually being paid for my art.  I still have that savings bond, never cashed it in.  I could not because it signified a big achievement. 

As an artist, I pay attention to fine detail in just about everything.  When I look at flowers, I spend time memorizing the stama in the center of each flower and I take note of how the pollen is place on it.   I look at the veins in each leaf and petal and I wonder how God so brilliantly thought of the need for them at the nourishment they give.  When I look at a scene of wilderness, I look at the detail of the branches, the leaves, the direction of wind and light.  Corny, I know but when I draw, those details actually put the final touches on an art project.  

When God created us, he did the same for each of us.  He counted the hairs on my head, he placed each freckle and mole on my skin.  He numbered the stars and grains of sand.  

Each of us contain similar features. We all have noses, ears and eyes. We have a heart and and circulatory system.  But God did one thing that would make us unique from each other. He gave us different  fingerprints.  Aside from Identical twins, we all have very fine imprints on the tips of our fingers that make us stand apart each other.  

Have you ever took the time to look at your finger prints?  They are exquisitely beautiful.  They have fine curves and crevices, each defined in their own uniqueness. No one person in this world has the same fine features. 

God did that for us, he gave us an imprint, if you will that are prevalent at birth and stay with us through out life.  That, my friend is fine detail.  

The next time you hold a small child in your arms, take the time to look those fingerprints.  And reflect, because God placed them there.  He is a God of fine detail.

Leaving the Nest

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A few years back we had the opportunity to observe a dove making a nest on one of our speakers in our back yard.  The speaker hung in the corner of the house just below the eve and next to the window.  

This bird worked diligently weaving a nest with twigs and pieces of yarn.  She made a hardy nest that to our surprise would be the nest she would lay eggs in for the next three years.  She began to lay eggs and when it was time for her to eat, her mate would come and sit on the eggs so that the momma bird good go out and stretch her wings.

I began doing some research on the bird and found out that it was a white dove. they were quite pretty.  Their eyes were lined with a deep blue. The research if found  revealed many amazing facts about this particular bird species.

 

It seems that when a dove looks for a mate, they look for features much like you and I would look for.  They look for a mate that would spend life with them.  They keep the mate for their entire bird life.  They look for qualities in each other that would reflect putting the children first and them doing what ever at any cost to keep the eggs safe until the time would come for the eggs to hatch.  The eggs were always watched over wether it be by the male or female.  But the most amazing things were going to be revealed to us as the time came for the birds to leave the nest.

As the birds took turns  sitting on the eggs, they became very familiar with our family.  Our pool was just a few feet from the nest and the birds would watch my children as they and their friends would play and swim.  Every once in a while, we would drag a chair over to look at the bird and we could get close enough to glance into the nest to see if the babies had hatched.  The bird sitting on the nest, wether it was mom or dad would patiently let us gaze at the nest and eggs in amazement.

As the eggs developed and the time came for the eggs to hatch, one by one the naked babies would take their first glances at the world.  The parents would take turns feeding the birdies.  The babies were never left alone and they always let us share glances at their family life.  It was beautiful.

For the next two weeks the birds would grow and their feathers would come in and they would begin to take on the resemblance’s of their moms and dads.  The house that the momma bird made for them became quite cramped at the birds grew.  There were three babies and that mom or dad at a given time.  

I could relate to the mom as her days were quite frantic tending to the needs of her children. They were relentless wanting food and they really needed to have the opportunity play outside. 

As the plumage on their wings came in and they were nearing the opportunity to take first flight, Momma bird would perch herself on our pool fence as Daddy bird took the bird one by one out teaching them to fly.  They never went far from the nest.  But just enough so that mom would not loose sight and she could watch both the nest and her “toddler” with its father.  Dad would also take this opportunity to teach the bird how to look for worms and grub in the grass and dirt under the bushes.  This whole process would go on for three days until each of the fledglings where ready to leave the nest on their own.  

When that time came, father would see each of the birds out of the nest and the babies would choose that day to leave for ever.  The proud parents would always share an evening  together and they would mate again repeating the cycle of laying eggs not twice but sometimes up to six times a summer.  

We learned a lot  that summer and for the summers to come from that family as they would work together first as husband and wife then as a family.  I always wondered would they felt, if anything when there babies left the nest.  It was three years later that may first born went off to college.

I always wondered how that bird family dealt with their children leaving the nest over and over.  It took me almost a half a year for me to come to terms that my daughter had to grow up and go off to college.  She will be coming home for the summer and then, I am going to have to see her off again.  I imagine the tears will fall over and over but over time, it will get easier. I have to endure the pain next year as my middle child leaves the nest.  Many of my friends are going through that this year.  To them  I would like to offer hope that the pain does go away with time. 

I am forever grateful for that experience that God gave me and our family.  It was really a life lesson for us being lived out through the life cycle of a dove. God never ceases to amaze me in the way he teaches us and reached the very depths of our hearts.  It is something I will never forget about.  It truly made an impact on us and now, I hope it will do the same for you.

 

Excuse me a moment while I climb up on my soapbox!

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This last weekend I had the time to sit down with some of the other dance moms in my daughter’s competition dance team.  We were chatting about some of the current events in the news. One was about the Cleveland women who had been found after being kidnapped for 10 years and the other was about a story closer to home. It was about an eight year old girl who had been stabbed to death and police were now investigating the murder.

The moms  were surprised when I told them that I thought the 12 year old brother had done it.  I had no other explanation other than what I had heard on the news and all the facts just were not adding up. We talked about other possibilities that could have happened to the girl just hoping that a 12 year old boy could actually not do something so meaningless to his own sister.

It was the very next day that the police released the statement that they had in-fact found the killer and the evidence lead them back to the 12 year old brother.

Yesterday the moms that I had been talking to were coming up to me asking me if I was psychic or something and how I could have possible have known.  I had even told my husband my feelings the day it happened and he exclaimed ” You called that one!”

No I am not able to see the future but I am however tuned in to society, and sadly it’s predictability.

It seems that the headlines are filled with stories of people trying hard to sweep the wrong doings of their loved ones under the carpet.  I am afraid that the same is true for the Cleveland brothers who claim that they would have turned their brother in had they known that he was up to something.  I call “bologni” on that one also.

You see, people just can not stand up and be accountable for things that they do wrong.  They would rather spend endless energy on doing what ever it took to find someone else to blame for it.  It’s stories like this that make hypocrisy like wildfire in media.

I remember quite a few years back being called into the school office because of some
“girl drama” that was going on with the cheerleaders.  My eldest daughter so happened to be on the team. All the mothers sat and listened as the cheer squad coach told us about the things that had been going on that pertained to girls acting out against other team mates trying to destroy their reputation. The coach had said that the student’s involved were in jeopardy of being kicked of the team.

I sat and listened to each of the women who daughter’s were involved, mine included try to pass blame on others.  Then when it came to my turn to talk , I said this: ” If my daughter is involved, kick her off.  That is the repercussion of doing something so heartless to someone.  She is a leader in cheer squad and if she is doing this, then she deserves to have that privilege taken away.”  You could have heard a pin drop and several of the moms caught flies in their mouths as they stared at me.  How  could I be so mean?  I don’t think I got the Mother of the Week for that and I really don’t care because that is how I feel about these things.

I do not claim to be better than anyone else.  In fact I boldly proclaim to be a cracked vessel that everyday, relies on the blood of Jesus and His forgiveness to fill in those cracks, helping me from falling apart.

I hold my daughters accountable for their wrong doings and I do not claim that they are precious, sinless creatures. I wish that others would do the same.

Maybe if we start holding others accountable for their actions and not let our feeling get in the way of following through on discipline then society would be a better place.

The bible claims in Proverbs13:14, Those who spare the rod of discipline hate their children. Those who love their children care enough to discipline them.

The day God made Mothers

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I have spent most of the morning reflecting and praying for all the “Moms” in my life wether they be friends or relatives. They all share that one thread that bonds us together, the desire to love their children no matter what cost that may bring.

On the the day that God chose Mary to be the mother of Jesus, he knew what he was looking for in a women and Mary had all the qualities that were needed to bring a child like Jesus into this world.

 Mary knew that she would be frowned upon for caring a child out of wedlock. She knew that Joseph would be shunned for marrying a pregnant women that is if he would have her at all.  She knew that this whole thing of a miraculous conception was far fetched even for that time in which she lived. Yet, she said “yes” to God when he asked her to take on this great opportunity.  Trials were evident yet she, did what what needed to take care of her her body to make sure that her baby would be healthy.  She loved and cared for him as he grew old enough to go out on his own.  There are not a lot of stories in the bible about his upbringing as a child but the ones that are there reflect the fact that he was raised right. I can not even imagine the pain she felt on the day her son was crucified on the cross.  Sacrificing her first born for our sins…

As a mother in today’s world, it seems we are doing the same thing that Mary did to provide for her child.  We make sure they are fed and they have clean clothes everyday.  We see them off to school, pack their lunches and sit up at night with them when they are sick.  I am sure Mary did the same.  I am sure she had her bad days also, like the day she realized that Jesus had stayed back in the temple to preach.  What a day that was when she realized that Jesus had not returned home.  I am sure she was freaking out like I would be.  

God knew when he made mothers that they would have to love and serve their children relentlessly.  He knew that they would put themselves last always to tend to the needs of their child.  He knew that they would shed tears when their child suffered pain from an illness or disappointment in life.  He knew that they would do what ever they could to take away pain or sorrow even if that meant  sacrificing their own self to do so.  He knew a  mom would stay up late helping their child finish homework late at night even though they were exhausted themselves.  He knew that we would change anything in life that hurt them if we could and he knew that day that we brought those sweet babies into the world that the pain we went through would be forever forgotten at the very first  glimpse  of your child.  

Moms are incredible people and as we are about to embark on another Mother’s Day, take the time to tell those mothers in your life just how special they are.  They are warriors for their children and they deserve a pat on the back.  

Never loosing hope

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These last few days the news has been filled with information about the three women who were abducted ten years ago in Cleveland.

 

 Over the last ten years their families have held vigils on the anniversary of the days they went missing praying that this day would come.  They have searched the neighborhoods over and over.  The land fills have been combed for remains yet they found nothing.  

There was a moment when one women broke free from her bondage and fled next door for help.  She never gave up hope this day would come neither.

I have been amazed by the joy the community has shown.  I am taken back by the fact that these families prayed diligantly that their loved ones would be found alive.  I put myself in their shoes and I am not so sure I would still have hope after all these years.   

The man that helped this woman call the police was on the news this morning and he was so humble.  He teared up when they called him a hero for doing what he did.  He said “I did what anyone else would have done.  There’s nothing special about me.”

God has used this man, someone very simple to display humility in its purest form.  He has used these families, who are people just like you and I to display hope.  

America sits back and watches God’s handy work on every channel.  I hope they see it for what it is.  God is using a very terrible situation to show His power.  

Over the next few days, I am sure we are going to be shown the details behind what happened to those women these last ten years.  I hope that everyone takes a moment to hug their loved ones and thanks God for his goodness in their lives.  I hope that none of us ever have to go through what these women have but I am glad that it ended the way it did. 

Praise to you God!

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My husband and I serve on the board of Younglife.  Younglife is a ministry for high school age kids.  They are mentored  and are taught more about God through club meetings and bible study.   They are given the opportunity to receive Christ at the end of every Monday night meeting that we call “Club”.  Many of the kids that come have never stepped foot in a church and they are loved on unconditionally and shown Jesus through the work of the college age councilors.

 They also have the choice to attend a summer camp that goes for one week.  Several states provide these camps around the world and ours so happens to be in the mountains above Sacramento.  They are specifically designed just for Younglife.  This ministry has been around for a very long time.  My husband and his siblings attended this thirty years ago.  It is still going strong and God continues to reach out to these kids. 

We have spent the last several months helping these kids work to make the money they need to go to camp.  Camp is very expensive but it is so worth it.  

We have had fund raisers like selling coffee , first aid kits and car washes.  

This last weekend, we planned an auction and spaghetti dinner for our community to attend.  

We had so many people willing to provide items to be auctioned but were having a tough time selling the tickets for the actual dinner.  We were down to the wire on Friday night, when our leader asked all of the board members to take time to pray for people to show up.  We had sold only 45 tickets.  That was not enough to get 40 students to camp.  

We spent the next day, which was the day of the auction getting the hall together.  We had over fifty students who attend Younglife help us set up tables, bring in the baskets that were being auctioned off , make lemonade, slice bread and make up signs to go out and draw the community in.  I was in the back kitchen preparing the spaghetti sauce and noodles for at least 150 people.

We did as we were directed by the Lord to bring this all together and we needed to show faith that he would provide the people.  We prayed before the event started, had the hall all set up and we waited.  If you cook they will come was our motto for the night. 

God arrived in a very big way and so did 150 plus people.  We used up every noodle, scraped up every ounce of sauce and sadly had to tell people we were out of spaghetti.  That did not slow them down.  They came in, bid on our auction items and we raised a lot of money for our kids.  

It was so incredible to see all these people come together for one reason and what a great way to show our kids that they matter and that they deserve to go to camp and have the experience of a life time.  

I was so proud of all of our kids and I am so honored to have served the Lord in such a mighty way.  

My husband and I serve on the board