On headaches and hummingbirds…

wordswag_1467898143948I have had a crazy kind of week-in a good way but still a bit on the nuts side.  My husband was travelling on business (he’s home now) and (don’t judge…please) I love it when he travels! I get SO. MUCH. DONE.  I did some repairs on our porch, got all the candle blocks for a wedding order prepped and ready for final sanding (yay!), worked in my gardens, had a grand sleep over, went on a girls day with my girls (two daughters and three grand daughters), ate only what I wanted when I wanted and…well, you get the picture.

By far, the strangest thing that  happened this week was that a hummingbird was trapped in my garage.

In his frantic and desperate attempts to escape, this little bird repeatedly banged his head on the ceiling, bouncing off only to drive his little head upwards again. My heart was aching for this little guy! I had no idea how long he had been there but it was clear he was exhausted by the disheveled look of his feathers and the breathless way he would cling to the ceiling lights when he would land.

My son had stopped by to pick his little girl up and he and I both tried to shoo him towards the door-which was WIDE open-but the bird would only fly up-not out.  Finally my son thought to get a broom to try and coax him down by getting him to land on the bristles.  There were a couple of times we thought he might make it out but at the last moment the stubborn bird would zoom back to the ceiling and begin his fruitless banging all over again.  I was convinced he would either knock himself out or simply die of pure exhaustion if we didn’t get him out!

Taking the broom I decided not to give the bird any other option but to land on it. I followed him and kept him from landing on the lights. I know this sounds harsh but I needed him to get the message that this was where he needed to perch.  At last he landed-at least for a moment. He wasn’t quite sure about it and as soon as I began to lower the broom he popped to the top of the garage. A couple more tries and some serious stillness on my part and finally, FINALLY, the little guy nestled in, sat still and let me gradually lower him down and gingerly move towards the open door. FREEDOM!

I don’t understand the instinct that wouldn’t let him move towards the open door on his own. You would thing that relentlessly banging your head against an obstacle would indicate that this may not be the right way!  Funny how that works…funny how I seem to do that too.

What is it that keeps me from seeking the wide open door? I become so intent on doing something my own way or perhaps it is that I am convinced I can handle it that I end up frantically, relentlessly banging my head against whatever obstacle I am confronting.

I just finished a bible study titled Everyday Peace, written by the wonderful Katie Orr. In fact, I will be leading an online bible study on Instagram (click to head to my profile) beginning September 15 using this great book and Katie’s #FOCUSed15 method of study! (still time to join in!!)  Throughout the study I was reminded that I don’t have to “bang my head against the ceiling”, I can find rest and peace in His presence and His word. It’s right there! God’s peace is a gift he is simply waiting to give and not parsed out in tiny servings-He gives it extravagantly and without reserve!

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

And the Peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 NIV

I love that-the peace which transcends all understanding. We don’t have the capacity to grasp it. This gift defies logic in its generosity and grace and all we need to do is ask. It’s as easy-or hard-as that.  I tend to have hummingbird tendencies. I will fly around, bang my head a thousand time, mess things up until I finally rest long enough to be reminded that all of that is useless.  When I finally “land” I am able to see the door was wide for me to pass through. Thankfully He doesn’t use something as forceful as a broom…but I bet there are times he’d like to!

Ever feel like you are banging your head against an obstacle? Longing to find rest in a Peace that is more than a quick fix?  Grab a copy of Everyday Peace and join me-or read it on your own-either way you will be blessed by the words Katie shares!

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Quick Question God…

My bible is ugly. Do you still love me?2016-02-14 15.11.59

As trend spotters I wouldn’t say Christians are at the head of the pack.  It takes awhile for us to get caught up in what others are doing before we realize that hey, this is fun! Which is usually followed by the let down…it’s (pause-and the next part is usually whispered) not christian.  Which means it hasn’t been endorsed by any well known christian leader or consumer group. Which also means that we should immediately feel guilty about it and that we should create a christian equivalent. Problem solved. Because if it has been Christianed it is better.

In case you didn’t pick up on the oh, so subtle sarcasm there let me be clear. I don’t think everything needs to be Christianized to be good. Take, for example, my bible.  Pretty standard christian issue item, which by its very nature is, well, christian. But wait! It can be better. Way better and WAY cuter and it can really sing out that I am a Christian with a capital C because it is colorful, thick with stickers and has collage stuff-which, coincidentally, falls out and then others can really see how dedicated I am to studying just how pretty I can make the word.

I know I am putting a damper on a really popular trend right now. I can live with that. I can also live without the distraction of competitive/comparative bible ornamentation.  When I hit the word I need to feel focused on what it is God is trying to tell me and how it can be applied to my wandering, questioning heart; not what sticker I can apply that will really make the verse pop. The most I want to grapple with is whether or not to use a pen or pencil to capture my thoughts. And hang it all if I care if someone else can read them. I don’t want to whip out my bible at bible study and beautifully declare that my sin of judgement is something I really struggle with (but didn’t I pick the perfect calligraphy font to do it!).

Let me be clear-if this is what it takes to get you to dust off your bible and actually do something with it then I am all in. Do it.  But when picking the just right pomegranate colored highlighter takes longer that reading the verse God wants you to find then I think we have a problem.  It’s a great marketing tool, and I am pretty sure a good money maker too, but when the highlighter fades and all the glue dries out of the stickers what will you be left with?  My guess you will have a bible. A simple, ordinary bible for a simple yet profound message of salvation; a message that doesn’t need to be dressed up to make it an even more amazing truth. No font, no collage and no amount of art in your bible will make it more true or more beautiful. It may just obscure the very message we need most to hear.