Archive | February 2014

Caged Bird

Bubbles

When I was a little girl, we had parakeets. I remember how each of them had very different and distinct personalities. Freda was more aggressive and wouldn’t let me hold her. She would peck at the other birds and at me if I came near. It would humor me just to put my finger in because the closer my finger got to her, the further back she would lean, almost to the point where should would be hanging upside down still grasping tightly to the perch with her little feet.

Bubbles ( I know, it sounds like a stripper name… don’t say it) was always wanting to sit on my finger and was happy to sit on my shoulder and let me take him with me all around the house. My brother was six years younger than I was and I recall him putting Bubbles in the front cab of his metal Tonka truck and “driving” him all around the floors in the house. All the while, Freda was perfectly happy being left alone in the cage.

On occasion my mom would trim their wings down and then would leave the cage open for them to be able to step out on the perches and landings she had created on the outside of the cage. I would ask her “mom, why are you cutting their wings?” Of course she would explain that it was so that they wouldn’t be able to fly all over the house. But part of me felt that they should be able to fly. After all, that is what they were made to do. They weren’t created to sit in that cage. They weren’t created to not spread those wings and sore.

The reflective part of me thinks now about Freda. Maybe she became bitter that she had been put in that cage. She was so angry that even when given the opportunity for freedom, she couldn’t take it because she didn’t know anything else. Her mind was closed to the potential of getting out. Day after day, she sat on her perch watching the other birds stepping out.
I can still see Bubbles light blue and white feathers all fluffed up while the wind flew through them as my brother drove him around. Perhaps, he knew that it was the only way he could feel those winds that he himself should be feeling if he could fly himself.

So many days I have felt like that caged bird in my marriage, in my work, in my daily life. We get up and we do the same things day in and day out, but inside we know we were created for more. People come along and want to take us out of the cage and we peck at them because we have become bitter or we are afraid to love and be hurt again. Lord, how I want to fly. Lord, how I want to live my life the way I was created to live.

I’m tired of these clipped wings and being a caged bird. …Let me spread my wings and sore to the places you want me to go…. and to sing while doing it.

Doing Love

I woke up yesterday with a good healthy anger. It’s the kind of anger that actually motivates you to change. It’s where you say, “Lord, change my situation, or change me! Show me which way to go. I can’t do this anymore!”

I am no longer going to sit around and wait for love to find me. Do I want someone to love and care for? YES. Do I want someone to love and care for me? YES. There are other things that have not fallen into place for me either, but my outlook has turned the proverbial corner. I do not want to just let life throw me about like waves on the ocean this way and that. The storm has carried on too long. I want to DO love, and be love; towards my children, to my co-workers, my friends, and to strangers. If that makes me seem crazy, well then strap on the straight jacket!

If that means being alone, then so be it. If someone can’t hug me and put their arms around me before I go to sleep at night, then I will hug someone else who needs it. If someone won’t kiss me when I need it most, then I will kiss my dang dog on the forehead just because I can!
Let me tell you, a health scare will put us in into reflective mode more than anything else. Financial distress or a loss will do the same. It makes you have this sense of urgency to make your life somehow worthwhile. You begin to live life on purpose. You realize and accept that there are things you can change, and things that you can’t. You begin to choose carefully what you say and what you do.

I have never been a big party girl, even though there was a brief period of time I stepped out on the edge of that. But each time I would be driving home from those events, a little part of me would think, why did I do this tonight? I never over indulged in anything and was usually the first one to leave when everyone else stayed until the wee hours in the morning. I doubted if I really fit in. It didn’t feel like love. It felt empty and shallow. This might not be someone else’s view, but it was my individual experience. I love to go out and be around others, it just depends on the environment sometimes.

Doubt comes in many forms and during many trials. James 1: 2-3 says Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.

It doesn’t say IF we face trials, it says WHEN. It goes on in verse 6 to say that we must believe and not doubt because those who doubt are like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.

I will persevere by being busy DOING and BEING love for when we are distracted by the right things, we are filled with joy and along the way, I think love finds us whether that be through other people or the satisfaction that we did whatever it is we are here on this earth to do.

So my friends, stop looking for love, and start doing love!

Coincidence?

1. co•in•ci•dence
kōˈinsədəns,-ˌdens/
noun
noun: coincidence; plural noun: coincidences; noun: co-incidence; plural noun: co-incidences
a remarkable concurrence of events or circumstances without apparent causal connection.
synonyms: accident, chance, serendipity, fortuity, providence, happenstance, fate;

In John 14 Jesus is with his disciples speaking to them about what was going to happen to him very soon. He was telling them that once he was crucified that the Holy Spirit would be sent to them and would teach and remind them of all things. He was telling them that they would not be alone.

He goes on to say in John 15: 15-21 “If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever- the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.”

Loneliness is a struggle that I believe everyone goes through at some point and time in their life. We live, learn, grow, and struggle, and there are times we feel that nobody cares for us when we need them, but is that true? We put our faith in others, yet they are bound to let us down at some point just because it is human nature.

I know this is true, for it is something I have battled with since I was a young girl. There was a point, where I was so low that I believed there wasn’t a single person that I could count on. There was nobody that “had my back.” It is a very vulnerable feeling. For a long time I had the “I’ll do it myself” mentality, where the walls were put up so high, that nobody could get in to hurt me again.

This is where the red birds come into the picture. Once I was eating Chinese food and when I finished my meal I broke open my cookie and pulled out my fortune. It said that the color red will become very important to me. I thought that it made no sense and quickly discarded the fortune. However, for some reason I kept thinking about it. Later that evening in my loneliness, I began to pray for a sign that God was with me. I relinquished my heart to God’s will for my life and fell into a deep sleep. Just before I awoke, I had the most peaceful dream I had ever had. In my dream all I could see was the clearest, whitest snowflakes falling, each snowflake that I saw was different and more beautiful than the next. No sound, just an immense feeling of peace, as I watched them slowly falling, then across the foggy, yet brilliant clear background of snowflakes, flew a red cardinal almost in slow motion. I awoke with an overall sense and knowing that God had come to me in my dream to give me His peace. I thought about the red color and considered that it signified Jesus’ blood in dying on the cross for us.

As I got ready and drove to work that morning, the dream was still prevalent in my mind. I remembered my petition the night before for a sign and thought to myself that maybe I was being silly. Before I could even move onto another thought, at that very moment, a bright red cardinal swooped down and flew right above the hood of my moving car. It completely took my breath away. I knew in an instant it was God comforting me, telling me I was not alone. Every day a little thought would creep into my mind and I would brush the dream and the bird aside as though it was coincidence. I would allow my heart to once again be filled with worry and burdens.

One night as I neared my neighborhood on my way home from work, a red bird flew right in the middle of the road I was driving on, and stood there, not budging. Of course, at the last moment he flew away, but again I knew it wasn’t a coincidence. I knew with every ounce of my being that I was not alone. Just like in John 15, I saw Him because in loving Him, and searching Him out, He came and showed Himself to me.

The above excerpt is the introduction to my new book that I am working on called “Looking For Redbirds.” Sometimes we think things are just “coincidence, or serendipity, but I challenge you to think that it may be the Holy Spirit trying to speak to our hearts.

My prayer for you is that when/if you read this book you will be able to release your burdens, whatever they are, to the One who is always with you. That you may search for God and have the eyes to see the Holy Spirit in the midst of your busy lives and that you too, will receive your very own Red Bird that is especially for you.