Monday, October 21, 2013

Continuing the Bird Theme

I read this blog post tonight and it said what has been on my heart for years! So I wanted to share it here. It is written by Nicole Whitacre . . .daughter of CJ and Carolyn Mahaney . . . on their GirlTalk Blog. You can find the original post here.

Whooping Cranes and a Culture of Womanhood

Seven decades ago, the whooping crane population was nearly extinct: there were only sixteen birds left on the planet. Wildlife biologists got to work preserving the endangered bird and today there are almost six hundred whooping cranes and counting. 

(Yes, this is girltalk, not Animal Planet. Stick with me. The relevance of the whooping crane will soon become clear.)

The scientists weren’t content with boosting numbers; they wanted to restore the whooping crane “culture”—to help whooping cranes teach other whooping cranes what it means to be a real whooping crane. As it turns out, part of being a real whooping crane involves a yearly migration of upwards of a thousand kilometers to sunny Florida. 

So these wildlife biologists trained and then tracked the migrating birds. But soon an anomaly appeared. While some groups of migrating whooping cranes glided straight to their destination, other groups drifted forty to fifty miles off course.

There was only one difference between the birds that flew straight and “the crooked fliers:” an older bird in the group. The birds that flew more accurately followed an older bird.*

You probably see where I am going with this. A parable for Christian women. As younger women trying to fly straight according to God’s Word, we need older women to help us stay on course.

Scripture is clear about this. Titus 2 most famously tells us: “Older women are to teach what is good, and so train the young women…that the word of God may not be reviled” (v. 3-5). And peppered throughout the epistles are instructions for younger Christians to follow more mature Christians:
Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith” (Heb. 13:7).
Join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us” (Phil 3:17).

Three things (at least) stand out in these verses:
1.    Some Christians are older and some are younger (and it is important to know which you are).
2.   An older Christian is one who has an “outcome” (not merely an opinion) worth following.
3.   Younger Christians are to “keep their eyes on” the older Christians (not follow the younger Christians or figure it out for themselves).

These days, in our churches and on our blogs, we often get it backwards. Young women are quick to “test their wings” (sorry, I couldn’t resist!), to teach and take the lead, while older women are often marginalized or ignored. Young women can be more consumed with avoiding the mistakes of the previous generation than learning from their wisdom. We are often better at criticizing than following those who are older in the faith. We think we can find our own way. 
But there are also many young women who know they are young, who know they need an older, more experienced guide. They want to be mentored, but can’t seem to find anyone. “Where did all the older women go?” they wonder.

More than ever, we need experienced, fruitful women to teach and train the young women. We need those who have flown a straight path according to the Word of God to show us the way. We need to restore a Christian culture where younger women learn from older women what it means to be real women.

How can we make this happen? What does it look like? Let’s talk.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

His Eye is On the Sparrow

. . . as well as on the Pacific Golden Plover!

(I am home this Sunday morning with Jonathan who has a sore throat, though his fever broke sometime last night. Earl and I flipped a coin to see who would get to go to church and who would have to stay home. As always, Earl won the toss. He always wins. I’m going to have to check that coin he always insists on using! But . . . here I am with time to blog a little of what I’ve been meditating on lately.)

Getting back to the Pacific Golden Plover. Molly, Annie and Jonathan and I have really been enjoying studying zoology this year. We just finished learning all about birds. While studying the migration of certain birds, we were introduced to this cool bird. It spends the fall and winter on the Hawaiian Islands and then migrates north across the Pacific in the spring to Alaska or Siberia (about 2,000 miles!) or it heads south to New Zealand (about 8,000 miles!). Our textbook said that this bird migrates over water the entire way without stopping. In fact, it appears that this bird does not swim.

Can you imagine the Creator creating a bird that He specifically designed to migrate thousands of miles across water and then not giving it the ability to swim? I can. But I also can picture myself in the place of that little plover. I’d be the one on the shore, trembling as my time for departure drew near, pleading with my Creator not to make me fly across that ocean, just sure I wasn’t going to be able to make it and would perish in the sea.

God has used this little bird to encourage me. He has invited me to “consider His handiwork” and to learn more about Him and His promises. He reminds me that just as His eye is on the sparrow and the rest of His non-human creatures, so His eye is on me. And even more so! His promises to me are “precious and magnificent”! When I feel afraid of the road in front of me, and fear that I won’t “get across”, He reminds me that He has promised never to leave me or forsake me. He reminds me of the little Plover and that He has given me everything I need to undertake what He has asked me to do . .. in fact, what He has DESIGNED me to do.

We have identified a sweet little bird who has been frequenting our backyard every day. It is the Black Phoebe. Can’t get a good photo of him (her?) yet, but it is a flycatcher and a song bird. Every time I see it, immediately I think,

Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?          Matthew 6:26


I love that our Creator gives us so much right around us to consider. What are you considering these days that draws your heart closer to Him?

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Giving it back!

I have always enjoyed "messing" with our kids, in a fun way.
And it delights me to still have a "young one" (8 yrs. old) who still plays along.

I'm learning though, that the season is changing. 
I still love "messing" with my kids,
except now, 
some of them are starting to give it right back.

Case in point:

We have a much-loved rabbit whose hutch can be seen from the master bedroom window. Each of our kids have an assigned day where they are responsible for checking Midnight's food and water and letting him out each morning. Occasionally, I will notice that Midnight is still in his hutch and has been forgotten.

This morning's conversation:

Me: Did you remember all of your chores this morning?
David: Um . . . (thinking) . . . I forgot to feed Midnight.
Me (with a completely straight face): Honey, do you know how distressing it is for me to hear him sobbing in his hutch because he has not been let out yet?
Emily (from another room, shouting): Mom, do you know how distressing it is for us to know that you're hearing Midnight sobbing??

This is where I live.
And I'm LOVING it!!!

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

And They’re Off!


Today was the long awaited day that David got his braces off.

(I can’t believe how much this boy has grown up during the process! The photo below was taken in August of 08 just after he began the initial phase of wearing a “functional appliance”. He was 10 years old!)

Here he goes out the door today. One last look!


Our orthodontist’s office is so fun to go to. The staff is so friendly and great! David came home with arms full of celebratory goodies. Just look at that smile. No longer is he afraid to hide it!


Now, here’s to living life with retainers . . . and learning to talk normally with them!


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