by Lygia Lovelace
I didn't think I would
have an article this week. I'm still not sure this one will
be worth the time you take to read it. Sometimes it's like
that. I've had my mind on some heavy things over the past
few days. Sometimes life is just hard. When circumstances
crowd my mind and emotions, I don't feel like I get much
accomplished in my week.
Do you ever feel that way?
Strangely enough, for no apparent
reason, a few of our boys got the chicken pox. We noticed
them last Sunday. Yes, we've had the vaccine. No, we are
not around others very much…and no, not everyone around
here got it. But it was enough to keep us at home…to keep
us from the plans we had already made for the week.
his heart a man (or a woman) plans his (or her) course,
but the Lord determines his (or her) steps.
are the plans in a man's (or a mom's) heart,
but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails.
Things have just happened this
week that have been hard to explain…our house in Texas was
vandalized, my heart has been hurting because of an unhappy
family member…nothing earth shattering…just…not fun.
Ever been there?
When things happen around me
that I don't like, my spirit gets quiet. I've done a lot
of praying. I've spent a lot of time in the book of Matthew;
I've gone through a lot of introspection. I guess I would
have preferred to have been busy with the plans we had already
made…so I wouldn't have to think so much about sad things.
But then…there was the chicken
pox…you know. We couldn't leave the house.
So, the kids and I spent a
lot of time outside, by ourselves.
We weeded the garden. We played
hopscotch on the sidewalk (Emerson is quite impressive --
she can hopscotch in her pink plastic heels!), we read books,
we did laundry, Jonah walked Rudy…
The twins and I filled the
bird feeders and strung Cheerios for the birds.
The boys put the swimming pool
at the bottom of the slide, filled it with water, and then
poured dish soap on the slide to make it slippery. And it
was slippery! I thought the little girls would sail right
into the building next door!
Fun times, sad times. Nothing
I did notice a few things this
week, as I worked and played outside. There are so many
robins here. Because we have ready food for them, they frequent
our yard, and have built nests in almost every direction.
We've kept our eyes on those baby birds. The nests, of course,
are too high for us to actually see the babies.
But they must have all been
born around the same time, because now they are all being
pushed out of their nests! All week, we've listened to baby
birds yelling and chirping as they've hopped and attempted
to fly in our yard! Mom and Dad robins have been everywhere,
watching from above -- on the roofs, in tall trees. They
chirp back, but offer no assistance. They are there, though,
Thursday night, I couldn't
find our six-year-old. It was almost dark, and I became
concerned. After searching and calling, I found him outside,
behind our shed, with a baby robin cradled in his hands.
"Mommy, look at this baby
bird! He's scared. He can't fly very well, and I think he
needs my help."
there's nothing we can do. It's up to the baby bird. He
has to learn to fly. See? His mommy is watching from the
Elijah couldn't believe it.
"But why can't she help him? Somebody has to help him!"
"If he doesn't learn to
fly by himself, how will he make it? It's God's way."
Gently Elijah put down the
bird. The baby hopped away, flapping its wings, continuing
its incessant chirping. The mommy bird chirped back, but
did nothing. It was her baby's journey, not her own.
Hand-in-hand, Elijah and I
walked back inside the house. He, too, will have his own
journey, some day, his own wing-strengthening. He will have
his own time of decision. He will develop his own flight
pattern. And God will be there, ever vigilant.
In the mornings this week,
before it got too hot, I worked in our garden. Missouri
dirt is hard and dry, at least in our yard! When we began
our garden, a month or so ago, we could barely break up
the ground! To protect the baby plants, we cut open milk
jugs and anchored them inside, placing vitamins and potting
soil within. With holes in the bottoms of the milk jugs,
the roots were able to grow healthy before they began their
long arduous journey into the tough Missouri dirt.
It worked. But now the plants
are growing so well, they were being oppressed within the
milk jugs. I had to cut away the jugs to let the plants
have full reign of their own plot of ground. It was a painful
process. There was some uprooting involved. Neither I nor
the plants enjoyed it.
Tears mingled with sweat this
week as I worked in the garden. I knew God was speaking.
I can pull weeds, I can water,
but I can't do the growing for those budding plants. I can't
produce the fruit for them, either. All I can do is tend,
but only for a season.
And our garden plants are all
different…some are growing rapidly, some have already given
produce, some appear to be wilted, some have barely grown.
And then, there's the oak tree, growing faithfully from
an acorn Jonah planted.
It's waist high now. Can you
believe it? Admittedly, it's beautiful! I have an oak tree
in my garden, right next to the jalapeno peppers.
Life and growth are indeed
unpredictable, and sometimes painful. Circumstances are
certainly unpredictable, as are family members!
But God is faithful. If not
for this sadness, if not for these trials, then I really
wouldn't know how very faithful He is.
He's there…even in the insignificant…the
hopscotch moments, the chicken pox moments.
He's there for you.
Each week, He has a plan. Each week, there's something He
wants to teach you. Do you know that?
So what if life is unpredictable.
So what if it's sad!
Blessed is the man who perseveres
under trial, because when he has stood the test,
he will receive the crown of life that God has promised
to those who love Him.
© 2010. Faith Matters by Lygia Lovelace. All rights