Shedding a few Pounds

I will confess, I am not a fan of diets.  Personally, I don’t think most of those “fad” diets work.  As my husband says time and time again, the only sure way to lose weight is to “eat less, 7293_fashion_cartoonand do more”.  He continues to be one of the wisest men I know!  That said, I’ve decided that I’ve got to try to shed a few pounds.  Now that I’m fifty-something, losing weight has more to do with health, than getting into a bikini.  I believe in miracles, sure…but me and bikinis – that ain’t never gonna happen :)  My kids are certainly breathing a sigh of relief!

The thing is, I’d just like to shed a few pounds so that I could get into SOME kind of a bathing suit…

I was digging through some old files the other day and came across a little article that describes the ordeal I face every summer…the quest for a new bathing suit.

“I have just been through the annual pilgrimage of torture and humiliation known as buying a bathing costume.  When I was a child, the bathing costume for a woman with a mature figure was designed for a woman with a mature figure – boned, trussed and reinforced, not so much sewn as engineered.  They were built to hold back and uplift, and they did a good job.

Today’s stretch fabrics are designed for the prepubescent girl with a figure chipped from marble.  The mature woman has a choice – she can either front up at the maternity department and try on a floral costume with a skirt, coming away looking like a hippopotamus who escaped from Disney’s Fantasia- or she can wander around every run-of –the mill department store trying to make a sensible choice from what amounts to a designer display of fluorescent rubber bands.

What choice did I have?  I wandered around, made my sensible choice and entered the chamber of horrors known as the fitting room.  The first thing I noticed was the extraordinary tensile strength of the stretch material.  The Lycra used in bathing costumes was developed, I believe, by NASA to launch small rockets from a slingshot, which give the added bonus that if you manage to actually lever yourself into one, you are protected from shark attacks.  The reason for this is that any shark taking a swipe at your passing midriff would immediately suffer whiplash.

I fought my way into the bathing suit, but as I twanged the shoulder strap in place, I gasped in horror – my bosom had disappeared!  Eventually I found one bosom cowering under my left armpit.  It took a while to find the other.  At last, I located it flattened beside my seventh rib.

The problem is that modern bathing suits have no bra cups.  The mature woman is meant to wear her bosom spread across her chest like a speed bump.  I realigned by speed bump and lurched toward the mirror to take a full-view assessment.  The bathing suit fit all right, but unfortunately, it only fit those bits of me willing to stay inside it.  The rest of me oozed out rebelliously from top, bottom, and sides.  I looked like a lump of play-dough wearing undersized cling wrap.

As I tried to work out where all those extra bits had come from the prepubescent sales girl popped her head through the curtains, “Oh, there you are!” she said, admiring the bathing suit.  I replied, “Yeah, that’s me all over!” and asked what else she had to show me.  I tried on a cream crinkled one that made me look like a lump of masking tape, and a floral piece which gave the appearance of an oversized napkin in a serviette ring.  I struggled into a pair of leopard skin bathers with ragged frill and came out looking like Tarzan’s Jane – pregnant with triplets and having a rough day.  I tried on a black number with a midriff and looked like a jellyfish in mourning.  I tried on a bright pink high-cut leg one and I thought I would have to wax my eyebrows to wear it.

Finally I found a costume that fit…a two-piece affair with shorts-style bottom and a halter top.  It was cheap, comfortable, and bulge-friendly.  So, I bought it.  When I got home, I read the label which said, “Material may become transparent in water.”  I’m determined to wear it anyway.  I’ll just have to learn to do the breaststroke in the sand.”

Can any of you ladies relate to this story?

So THIS  summer, I’m bound and determined to shed a few pounds so I can get into a bathing suit that doesn’t have me look like a tube of toothpaste squeezed in the middle, or requires that I sit out in public under a “whale on the beach” sign.

I’ll keep you informed friends, how well I’m doing…

My To-Do List

imagesMV72JMI3It’s Monday.  Today I woke up with a long list of “to do’s” for the week.  I’ve got laundry piled up, a house that seriously needs some attending to; I’ve got bills to pay, groceries to shop for, a dog that needs to be taken to a groomers; we’re right in the middle of a bathroom reno, I’ve got lessons to plan for school, windows to wash, meals to plan and cook…  You get the idea!

And then our Pastor had the audacity on Sunday to add to my long list of “to do’s” by giving us “homework”.  (He’s really into practical application when he preaches his Sunday morning sermons.)  “Wake up every day for the next 40 days and live out Romans 12:1-2.”

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”  Romans 12:1-2

For the next 40 days, before I even set my foot on the floor (after a restful night’s slumber), I am to offer my body as a living sacrifice etc. etc. etc.  Easy-peasy.

Or is it?

I woke up this morning, (after a mostly sleepless night) and immediately thought about all the things on my “to do” list and I loudly groaned.  Instead of jumping out of my bed excited by “being all I could be for God”, I was already lamenting how I would get everything on my to-do list done.  Best of intentions went scurrying right out the door, just like the dust bunnies under my bed.  Sadly, I realized that today when I woke up I thought more about getting my laundry done than saying “good morning” to my Savior.  It was more important for me to check my emails than check what God had to say to me in the scriptures.  I spent more time this morning talking to my dog than talking to God.

I haven’t even thought today about how I might bless another’s life this week.  I’m more concerned about getting my vacuuming done.  Ack!

So, I’ve modified my “to do” list.  I’m going to spend some time asking God to prioritize my week.  Chances are His priorities will differ greatly from mine and well…I’m okay with that!

“If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care— then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.

5-8Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human!Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion.

9-11Because of that obedience, God lifted him high and honored him far beyond anyone or anything, ever, so that all created beings in heaven and on earth—even those long ago dead and buried—will bow in worship before this Jesus Christ, and call out in praise that he is the Master of all, to the glorious honor of God the Father.”  (Philippians 2:1-11 The Message)

Now if I could just stick with the plan for more than a week.  Forty days seems pretty daunting…*sigh*



There’s a Mouse in the House!

We have a mouse in the house!  Again.

I know he’s around, I think I can hear it, and I see evidence of the little rodent, but I haven’t been able to spot the little varmint, who is busily making his nest somewhere inside my wallsMouse and nibbling on the insulation and wiring in there.  My hope is that he might electrocute himself, but then not only would I hear the thing, I would then likely smell him too!  Ack!

I told the kids when we moved onto our acreage that we would likely experience wild life.  Sure enough, we have had our share of gophers (who look at my garden as a salad bar).  My son has weeded the population down considerably over the years becoming quite a marksman with his .22 in the process.  I’m okay with that.  We have a family of deer that enjoy hanging out by the fence.  My dog barks at them from the confines of the house but they are smart enough to know that our “watch dog” is more a nuisance than a threat to them.  We have coyotes that like to yip and yowl in the middle of the night and especially like to camp out in the evenings to see if we will ever let our little “watch dog” off his rope so they can make an easy meal of him.  They’ve snacked on two of our pets over the years, so we don’t let Samson out of our sight…especially at night.  We have a fox family nearby; we’ve had moose in our yard, a badger, and even a cougar but it seems the animal that gets the most of our negative attention is when we have a mouse in the house.

My “brave” son Brett, has an aversion to mice.  If he knows there is one in the house he is ready to jump up on a chair to make sure the mouse doesn’t suddenly leap out at him and start nibbling on his toes. He’s afraid of mice. He blames me. He said that the phobia started when I caught another mouse guest several years ago and not having the heart to murder the little animal, I instead trapped him in a tupperware jar and asked my son to do the catch and release thing outside. Unfortunately, the mouse decided at the opportune time to make good on his escape as soon as the lid was lifted, but rather than dropping to the ground, he decided to do a burn out on Brett’s hand first and then high tail it off.  This caused considerable shrieking and scurrying (not by the mouse), but by my son, who from that day on has had an elephantine fear of the little critters….and he blames me…of course.

I’ll admit I am not fond of mice. I would rather they made their homes outside and not inside my home, but I don’t lie awake listening for them, or worrying that I will find one sleeping snuggly beside me in my bed like my daughter Carmen does.  She will be moving home in a few weeks after her year in school and if she knows we have a squeaky house guest she will likely sleep with worry that the mouse will somehow creep into her room and play mousey games in there. It’s the logical choice for a mouse really…bypass a kitchen full of cookie crumbs and dry cereal to go play upstairs in my daughter’s bedroom…makes sense to Carmen at least.

Anyway, if this mouse hasn’t been dispatched long before she moves home, I’ll start to go a little looney myself.  He is somewhere in the house, but where he is exactly I can’t say, or where he’ll turn up I can’t guess but I just know he’s in the house and it’s freaking me out.

I am on a mission to get rid of that mouse…

It’s like sin in our lives. We know it’s there, the evidence is there, we know we have to deal with it eventually or it will pester us and pester us until we can’t stand it. We may try to do the catch and release thing but eventually it will creep into our lives again unless we do something…drastic.

The only way to get rid of sin is to let God deal with it…once and for all. It’s the only way.

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)

We can’t deny that sin is not there, that is to deny the obvious, but we have a Savior and He died so that we might be free from sin.

I should be as bound and determined to rid myself of sin in my life as I am in catching that mouse!  Something to think about…

As I bait another trap!






Tulips and Snowdrifts

We’ve been buried under yet another spring snowfall in as many weeks.  Especially last week when our friends in the southern states were sending me pictures of their flower beds and cherry trees in full bloom, I had to admit I was more than a little depressed looking at the icy stalactites dangling off our eavestroughs and my dog getting lost in snow drifts.  If I seem a little bitter, well, it’s because I am.  We’ve had a  couple of snow-eating Chinooks but for the most part we’ve been buried under the white stuff.  It prompted me this morning to write a poem:

Go Snow Go!

Snow, Snow, go away,
Come again on a December day.
I’m tired of seeing you on the ground,
when Spring’s supposed to be rolling ’round.
I want to see some daffodils,
not white and more white on the hills.
I want to wear my new flip-flops,
not winter boots and mitts and scarfs.
I don’t like frost and ice,
and negative temps – that really bites!
My toes are froze as is my nose,
oh, this weather really blows!
So if I ask you nice today?…
– original poem by Lynn Dove (taking credit for despising snow since 1979.)


A friend of mine from Texas, asked how I was doing the other day and when I told her my weather woes she said, “How can your tulips bloom in the snow?”  I didn’t want to tell her that I haven’t seen a tulip peek its head up in my garden in many years.  In fact, with our short growing season here in southern Alberta, I have contemplated foregoing the usual trip to the “Anything Grows” garden shop for annuals, to go to Wal-Mart and invest in the silk ones and plant them instead.  I’ve done it before…yes, it’s true.

My friend continued to encourage me…and I finally responded with, “You have to bloom where you are planted…even in the snow.”  Yes, I said it, but I didn’t really mean it.  I mean, I’m a west coast girl at heart.  I grew up in Victoria, on Vancouver Island and counted, along with everyone else, all the daffodils that seemed to grow like weeds from February on.  The “flower count” the islanders call it, I call it “rubbing it in all the Albertans’ faces that they still have snow on the ground while Victoria is flower counting.”  How unfair!

I have another friend from the southern states who has happily “transplanted” herself here in Alberta.  She absolutely,My "Spring" Garden unequivocably LOVES snow!  Having never grown up with snow, now she can’t seem to get enough of it.  While I lament it, she praises it!  To me it’s white mush…to her it’s life-sustaining.  She keeps telling me that a late season snowfall is God’s gift to us in Alberta.  It is that prayed-for moisture that is essential to farming here.  Without it, Alberta would face drought conditions, wild grass fires would burn out of control, not to mention our forests would be tinder dry too.  She sees the necessity as well as the beauty of snow.

I’m still not convinced.

I cry out to the Father.  “I do so want to bloom and not wilt, Lord!  I’m really trying (forcing myself) to have a more positive attitude about this weather, but seriously?  Last week there was a three-foot snow drift in my driveway and another friend just Facebooked me telling me she’s going for her morning walk there in Carolina in 80 degree weather!  It’s so hard not to be envious.”

My morning devotion challenges me: “The saying “bloom where you are planted” has the sense that we are to let God use us and seek to be fruitful wherever we are.  Sometimes we may find ourselves providentially planted where we would rather not be. A true test of character is whether we wilt or bloom in these places.”

“As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: it will not return to me empty; but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.  You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.  Instead of the thorn-bush will grow the pine tree, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow.  This will be for the Lord’s renown, for an everlasting sign, which will not be destroyed.”  Isaiah 55: 10-13

I think I just saw a tulip peek up through the snow.

The Parable of the Teacup

My husband’s mother was diagnosed with breast cancer when Charles was a teenager.  She underwent a radical mastectomy that affected the nerves in her arm and hand and she lost sensation and mobility enough that she was always afraid of using or handling the fine china and crystal stemware she had collected from the time she was a young bride for fear she would break them.  When I met her in the late 70’s, one of her only regrets in life was the fact that she had not utilized her fine dishes more.

Today, I began my feeble attempt of spring cleaning (as I do every year), and one of my dreaded chores is pulling all my fine china out of my display cabinet to dust them.  Unfortunately I have not taken the advice she gave me those many years ago to use the dishes.  “Don’t worry if you break a piece!” she said.  “You can replace it, just use them all, because one day when you really might like to have tea in one of those beautiful cups, you won’t be able to…like me.”

After my father-in-law’s passing last year, a few of Laura’s china teacups were passed on to me and as I lovingly but carefully dusted them, I thought about how amazingly durable these “fragile” cups actually were.  They had survived numerous trips across Canada.  My father-in-law was in the air force so the family had moved many times before settling in Comox.  My husband and his brother were known for their rough-housing and that china cabinet had on more than one occasion been bumped into and dishes rattled from boys at play.  They had survived yet another move last year, jostled and jolted in the back of a trailer through the Rockies to our home here in Cochrane.  Even as I was pondering on that, one of the cups slipped from my hand and bumped on the table.  Gasping, I feared the worst, but surprisingly the delicate cup was intact.

It reminded me of my young friend who got a very interesting tattoo many years ago.  Not that I’m a fan of tattoos in general, but as she explained why she got a small teacup tattooed onto her hip, I couldn’t help but be intrigued.  “The teacup,” she said, “symbolizes “womanhood”…delicate and fragile but also strong and durable.”  She wanted to remember throughout her lifetime that she not only wanted to be treated with respect and sensitivity because of her natural feminine nature, but to remember that she had strength and durability to overcome any trials and hardship that may come her way.

My mother-in-law, Laura was the epitome of that analogy.  A Proverbs 31 woman in every aspect,  she had a delicate nature, yet she had outstanding strength and durability to battle cancer bravely.  She led many people to the Lord right up until her passing in 1981.  She left a Godly legacy to each one of her three children and her Godly influence continues to impact our family today.

So I am taking a little break right now doing something I have not done in years.  I am brewing a pot of tea and I’m using one of Laura’s teacups.  It’s about time.

I Peter 5:7  “Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you.”

He is the Potter, I am the clay.

The Parable of the Teacup“.

There was a couple who used to go to shop in beautiful antique stores.  One day the woman saw a beautiful china teacup.  She picked it up to admire it and was startled when the teacup suddenly spoke to her.

“I see that you admire my fine china quality and rich design.”  Notice the intricacy of my pattern, the gentle curve of my handle.  I am indeed a treasure but you may not fully understand how I came to be this beautiful teacup.”  It said.  “I wasn’t always a teacup, in fact there was a time when I was just a red clay ball.  My master took me and rolled me and patted me over and over and I yelled out, ‘Let me alone.’  But he only smiled, ‘Not yet.’

“Then I was placed on a spinning wheel,” the teacup said, “and suddenly I was spun around and around and around.  ‘Stop it!  I’m getting dizzy!’  I screamed.  But the master only nodded and said, ‘Not yet.’

“Then he put me in the oven.  I’d never felt such heat!  I wondered why he wanted to burn me.  I yelled!  I knocked at the door!  I could see him through the opening and I could read his lips as he shook his head, ‘Not yet.’

“Finally the door opened, and he put me on the shelf and I began to cool.  ‘Ahhh, that’s better,’ I said.  Then he brushed me and painted me all over.  The fumes were horrible.  I thought I would gag.  ‘Stop it!  Stop it!’ I cried.  He only nodded, ‘Not yet.’

“Then suddenly he put me back into the oven, not like the first one.  This was twice as hot and I knew I would suffocate.  I begged.  I pleaded.  I screamed.  I cried.  All the time I could see him through the opening saying, ‘Not yet’.

“Then when I thought I knew there wasn’t any hope.  I thought I would never make it.  I was ready to give up, the door opened and he took me out and placed me on the shelf.  One hour later, he held me in his strong hand and he smiled as he handed me a mirror and said, ‘Look at yourself!’ and I did, and I said, ‘That’s not me, that couldn’t be me!  It’s beautiful.  I’m beautiful!”

“My master held me delicately as he explained, “I know it hurt you to be rolled and patted, but if I just left you as a red clay ball you would have dried up.  I know it made you dizzy to spin around on the wheel, but if I had stopped, you would have crumbled.  I know it hurt you and it was hot and disagreeable in the oven, but if I hadn’t put you there, you would have cracked.  I know the fumes were bad when I brushed and painted you all over, but if I hadn’t done that, you never would have hardened.  You would not have had any colour in your life, and if I hadn’t put you back in that second oven you would not have survived for very long because the hardness would not have held.  Now you are a finished product.  You are what I had in mind when I first began with you.”

“Then the master heated a cup of boiling water and put some tea leaves in me, and as he poured boiling water into me, the splendid aroma wafted up to him and he smiled, and I could tell he was well pleased with me.”


Just Making Excuses

no-excusesI thought I’d heard everything.  I was wrong.  Yet another Hollywood couple bites the dust but instead of calling it what it really is, Gwyneth calls it a “conscious uncoupling“.  Ahhhh…so that’s what the politically correct term for divorce is now.  I learn something new everyday.

Then there’s the sudden about-face at the World Vision headquarters.  First they’re okay with hiring gays and then they’re not.  Huh?  For an organization that claims to be founded on Biblical principles why did they even wade into this kind of controversy in the first place?  Oh, I know why…money!  Call it what it is.  Being pro-gay is big business right now.  However, when the backlash from their biggest supporters…conservative Christians… threatened the financial bottom-line of the organization they had no choice but to overturn the decision.  They would have lost more money than they would have gained.  It was a simple business decision not a return to Biblical principles.

I wish people would just be open and honest.  Call it what it is.  When a marriage falls apart it’s because two people have given up on their relationship.  It’s a tragedy.  It’s a heart-wrenching decision that will have life-long ramifications not only for the couple but for their children and other family members.  Don’t make light of tragedy or make up every excuse in the world to lessen the impact.  It’s divorce!

It’s this callous approach to ending what is supposed to be a life-long commitment to one another that is causing young people to abandon marriage entirely.  More and more young adults including Christian young adults are saying “No” to marriage and “Yes” to living together.  Why?   It’s easier to leave when there is no formal covenant made.  They can just walk away from relationships.  It’s the easy way out.

Are you kidding me?  It is just another excuse to turn their back on God.  Talk about a “conscious uncoupling”!  Call it what it is.

When another “Christian” organization bows to societal pressure to abandon it’s principles to make sure its “bottom-line” is stable, we should cry out in indignation.  It is a “conscious uncoupling” of a different sort.  I wonder how many other organizations who once claimed to be founded on Biblical principles will “consciously uncouple” from obeying God’s Word so they will be more politically correct (and more financially stable) in society?

Let’s face it.  We’re just making excuses.  Call it what it is.  It’s SIN.

Don’t sugar coat the word: SIN.

One day we will all be called to answer for our SIN.

We won’t be able to make up excuses then.

John 9:31 “We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly person who does his will.”

Here is another great article on the topic:  Well said, Mike!







A Bird’s Eye View

I suppose when I married into the “Dove” family, I could have expected that “birds” (especially Doves) would somehow have a special place in my life.  Granted I am not a real fan of caged birds per se.  When I was a child in the mid 60’s my parents inherited an Amazonian Parrot that we affectionately called Gomer.  We inherited this bird after we befriended some sailors from a Danish freighter that had run into another freighter just off the west coast of Vancouver Island.  The call went out to all Danish-speaking citizens in the Victoria area to host these sailors while their ship was undergoing repairs.  Mom and Dad answered the call and for several weeks we became the adopted family to three burly Danish sailors who had the most colourful tattoos I had ever seen, and the most colourful Danish language too!  They spent their time with us, eating…a lot…(did I mention they were burly?) and watching wrestling matches on our T.V.  One day they showed up with Gomer after the Danish cook on their ship had taken a vicious disliking to the birds squawking all day at him while he was preparing the meals.  He had already dispatched Gomer’s mate with a butcher knife and was threatening to behead Gomer before the sailors rescued him.  We discovered quickly that Gomer’s squawking was definitely something to get used to but my mother had endless patience with the bird and eventually trained him to speak several polite English words and not repeat the “colourful” words he had learned while on board the Danish ship.  (No doubt he must have learned some of those words from the cook brandishing a butcLove Doveher knife.  Hehehe.)  Anyway, Gomer became part of our family, and we one day discovered he had a penchant for red wine after my cousin mistakenly allowed Gomer to lick what we thought was Red Cherry Soda from his fingers after a family dinner.  We only discovered the mistake when the bird hung upside down in his cage for an hour and sang Danish drinking songs before keeling off his perch to sleep off the hangover.

My next brush with feathers was the summer my daughter (a middle-schooler then) begged me to look after the school’s two Cockatiels.  (I should have remembered what happened the summer we looked after the preschool’s hamster, but that’s another story.)  The two birds shared a huge cage together and between the two of them kicked out enough feathers to fill a king-size duvet!  They didn’t much like people, or at least me, because every time I went near the cage to clean it or give them food or water, they attacked my outstretched arms and fingers with vigor.  I made the mistake of not closing the latch on the cage door properly one day and we spent hours chasing them around the house while they dive bombed and pooped on us as they flew past.  (I seriously considered getting out my butcher knife!)

Several summers ago while camping with my family, I witnessed a “bird drama” unfold on Mirror Lake near Kaslo B.C.  The lake is home to a family of ducks, but this particular summer a confused Canada Goose had somehow become adopted by the ducks.  When they quacked, he honked!  When they waddled up to the campsites to beg for food from campers, the goose followed along contentedly.  For days I watched as the ducks and goose interacted.  They certainly seemed to have a special camaraderie.  One morning a gaggle of geese descended with great trumpeting and fanfare onto the lake.  Ducks scattered as the great geese splashed down and honked noisily to each other.  It only took minutes for the other geese to notice the lone goose that had spent his summer with the ducks.  I don’t speak “goose” but it was pretty obvious that the jist of the conversation had to have been in the form of “goose bullying” – “Are you kidding me?  Whatcha doing hangin’ around with those ducks?”  Pretty soon the lone goose, feeling shamed I suppose, left his duck friends to swim with his new goose friends.  Minutes later, I watched in amazement as the geese lifted off as a group and with a final splash good-bye to his duck friends, the lone goose joined his geese friends in the sky.  They circled the lake once and then headed south and I did not see them again.

I often have wondered if the ducks missed the goose or vice versa.  For the longest time I was sure that birds were totally incapable of showing any kind of “human” emotion until last week when I witnessed another “bird drama”.

Two black birds, a male and a female, were chasing each other noisily around the house.  I knew this, because our dog, Samson, whenever he sees a bird outside, loves to chase them from one window to the next from inside the house, barking madly at them the whole time.  This time, though, his barking stopped abruptly when the female bird banged off the back window and landed with a thud on our back deck.  I knew the sound, birds sometimes careen into those windows and the outcome is much the same each time.  They usually don’t survive.  Sure enough, the little bird’s neck was broken.

I am always saddened when something like that happens, but living on an acreage, sometimes animals and civilization collide.  I knew that by days end a fox, coyote or hawk would take the carcass of the bird as an easy meal.  It was nature’s way.  I shooed Samson from the window and went back to wash some dishes but then I noticed something.  The male mate of the deceased bird was pacing beside the body.  A few times he would lift off and circle and then light back down and pace again.  He flew off and was gone several minutes and when I looked again, he had a worm in his beak and was trying to feed the worm to his mate, in hopes it would somehow revive her.

I must admit as that heartbreaking scene unfolded, I got choked up.  I had never thought birds could “love” one another, but it was obvious that I was witnessing a great display of affection here.  When the male realized that his “beloved” was gone, he left the worm like a farewell offering by her and flew off.  As I knew would happen, sometime over the course of the next few hours, while I was not watching the carcass of the bird was mysteriously removed from the deck by either a bird of prey or some other scavenger.

Now you might think that is the end to the “bird drama” but that night I had a hard time sleeping in the next morning because at first light, a little black bird kept dropping rocks on our sloped roof, over our bedroom.  I had seen the bird fly repeatedly over our room through the skylight and though the rocks were small they made enough noise as they skipped along the shakes to annoy me enough so I couldn’t sleep.  It was obvious that the little male bird had tried to enact some kind of revenge on the monster (our house) that he had perceived murdered his mate.  Like a little “Rambo” he had attacked with vengeance.  I can’t help but think that every time he dropped a rock on our roof he thought, “Take that, Monster!  This one is for the Missus!”

I find it interesting that all through scripture, birds (ravens, sparrows, eagles, doves etc.) are mentioned, not as a way of teaching us some factual information about them, but presented to us in the Bible on the basis of lessons that certain individuals learned from watching birds.  For example, the eagle is mentioned twenty-eight times in the Bible.   Twenty-six of those times, it is mentioned as teaching some kind of lesson.

Job 12: 7-12  “But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds of the air, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish of the sea inform you.  Which of these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this?  In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.  Does not the ear test words or the tongue taste food?  Is not wisdom found among the aged?  Does not long life bring understanding?”

Scripture says that God watches over each one of His creation including a “sparrow” (Matthew 10:29-31).  The Hebrew word for sparrow  simply means “a very small bird.”  The idea here is that if God watches over the tiniest of birds and even knows when one falls from the sky, how much more is He aware of his children who are “worth more than many sparrows”? (vs.31)

I read somewhere that “there is never a sparrow dies but that God goes to its funeral”.  How tender-spirited is the Lord, that He cares so much for the smallest of birds?  Did the tears well up in His eyes, as they did in mine, when He watched the Black Bird mourn the loss of his mate?  Does God care that much for a bird?  Scripture says He does!  How much more does He love me, a “Dove” by name, a bird-watcher at times, “bird-brained” occasionally, just ask my kids :) , but mostly just an ordinary woman journeying through life daily with God?

Let’s be encouraged today, my friends.  God has a “bird’s eye view” of us!