Songbird Reflections

When you have seen one ant, one bird, one tree, you have not seen them all. (E. O. Wilson)

Photo/KarenJordan

“Silly bird! Why are you pecking on the window?”“She’s defending her territory,” my husband Dan surmised.

We watched in amazement as the female cardinal, fooled by her own image, continued to swoop down—over and over again—attacking her reflection in the window.

Dan snickered. “I know you’ll find a story here.” Then, he closed his eyes and dozed off in front of the TV.

I turned my attention back to my laptop and whined, “I’ve got to get this blog post written.”

Dan mumbled from his recliner, “Why don’t you give yourself a break?”

I agreed under my breath. “I AM taking a break! I’m sitting here with you, watching a movie.”

I needed rest. But I stared at my never-ending “to do” list. I felt the pressure of some impending writing deadlines and speaking commitments, along with our holiday plans. The weight of my schedule and expectations pushed me beyond my comfort zone.

Dan interrupted my thoughts. “I’m just saying, you’ve had a lot on your plate lately.”

“Thanks for the reminder,” I grumbled. I took a deep breath, trying to focus on my project and forget about my failures and limitations.

My head ached. My heart fluttered. I felt short of breath. Oh, no—not another panic attack! Red flag!

I closed my eyes. Focus on breathing. Inhale. Exhale. REST. Remember, “ … The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything …” (Phil. 4:5-6 NIV).

How do I NOT be anxious? “ … in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (6-7).

Like the songbird, I continued to attack my own image, focusing on my worries instead of the truth revealed in the mirror of God’s Word.

Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. (Jms 1:23 NIV)

I took another deep breath and exhaled. “That’s enough!”

“What … what did I do?” Dan muttered in his sleep.

Realizing that Dan thought I was fussing at him, I sighed. “I’m just talking to that crazy bird.”

I turned again to face the songbird, still flapping and responding to her reflection. “Silly bird!”

How do you deal with anxiety in your life?

A Love Story: TEEN MOM by Trisha Goyer

Most moms will agree—motherhood brings unexpected challenges.

BookCover/TeenMom-TrishaGoyer

Teen moms deal with issues of guilt, denial, unsolicited advice and pressure from others, and even unrealistic fantasies about motherhood. “Fear is an overriding emotion in nearly every teen pregnancy” (“The Pregnant Teen’s Dilemma” Focus on the Family).

I agree. I stumbled along that difficult road myself when I was 18, and then again with my daughter two decades later.

Being a teen mom will lead you down a new path to an unplanned destination. But it also can be the catalyst that launches you toward the adventure of a lifetime, bringing positive changes and blessings that you never anticipated.

During this season of waiting in expectation of a new life, a teen mom and her family often need support and encouragement, as they anticipate the new birth and opening the next chapter of their lives. And I’m always grateful to find a new resource that offers spiritual inspiration and practical help to meet the specific needs of moms.

Trish Goyer offers a word of encouragement to teen moms—as well as moms of teens and friends and supporters of teen moms—in her new book, Teen Mom: You’re Stronger than You Think. And today, I’m honored to share a glimpse of her story with you.

5 Powerful Stories: The Day I Met Jesus

Can you imagine meeting Jesus face-to-face? Book/TheDayIMetJesus

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to step back into biblical history and experience a real “come to Jesus” moment?

In their new book, The Day I Met Jesus, Mary DeMuth and Frank Viloa set the stage for us to observe the stories of five women in the Bible who experienced personal and powerful encounters with Jesus.

Each chapter offers a descriptive narrative and helpful, biblical insights, encouraging readers to seek a personal encounter with Jesus and to apply the spiritual truths revealed in this book to their own lives.

Personal connection. “How does the Bible apply to my life?” I struggled with this question for many years. I knew a lot of Bible stories from my childhood, but I still didn’t understood how to apply biblical truth to my life .

Then, someone challenged me to write down my own faith story. As I wrestled with my story and my faith, the words of Galatians 2:20 seemed to jump off the page of my Bible, right into the middle of my heart. “My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me …” (NLT).

I had tried to do the things that I had been taught pleased God all my life, but I never felt like I pleased God. And I had never sensed that Christ lived inside of me. But my doubts led me to continue searching for the truth in God’s Word. And I discovered this powerful truth in Hebrews 11:6 “… without faith, it is impossible to please God.”

I read numerous scriptures, confirming that God’s forgiveness is not dependent upon what I’ve done or haven’t done—it’s not about me at all. Forgiveness is all about Jesus—and what Jesus has done for me. Jesus chose to go to the cross to pay the price for my forgiveness … and for YOUR forgiveness. And He demonstrated His power over death, rising up from His tomb and offering eternal life to all who choose to follow Him.

Romans 10:9 promises, “If you confess that Jesus is Lord and believe that God raised him from death, you will be saved.”

The Day I Met Jesus. Do you recall the day you met Jesus?

I’m not sure of the exact words I said when I decided to trust the God’s Word, inviting Christ into my life. No lightning flashed, and no thunder roared. But from that moment on, I did sense the peace of Christ. And I’ve discovered that He’s always with me, especially when I need Him—like right now, as I write this blog post for you.

And “ … this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus” (Phil, 4:19 NLT).

BookCover/TheDayIMetJesusI hope you will consider reading The Day I Met Jesus by Mary DeMuth and Frank Viola. And I you pray their words will guide you to the Word of God, giving you the hope and peace you need today.

So, when did you first meet Jesus?

 

Looking forward to teaching a storytelling workshop for the Perry County Writers on May 16.

Telling the Stories That Matter Most. Do you want to record some of your family stories, but you don’t know where to start? This writing workshop offers practical and creative ideas to help you capture and craft some of your legacy stories.

Date: May 16, 2015
Time: 10:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Event: Perry County Writers: Storytelling Workshop
Topic: Storytelling Workshop
Sponsor: Perry County Writers
Venue: Perryville Second Baptist Church
(501) 889-2554
Location: 1520 Fourche Avenue
Perryville, Arkansas 72126
US
Public: Public
Registration: Click here to register.
More Info: Click here for more information.

Looking forward to encouraging the deacons’ wives at Trinity Baptist Church, Searcy, Arkansas, to tell the stories that matter most.

My Story Matters. The first time I tried to write my faith story, it changed my life! Years later, I recorded the events surrounding a family crisis, and my heart began to heal. So, I know from experience—when women begin telling the stories that matter most, lives change and hearts heal.
Date: February 27, 2015
Time: 6:30-8:00 p.m.
Event: Deacons' Wives: Trinity Baptist Church, Searcy, Arkansas
Topic: My Story Matters
Sponsor: Trinity Baptist Church
501-268-8219
Venue: Trinity Baptist Church
(501) 268-8219
Location: 1601 E. Moore
Searcy, Arkansas 72143
US
Public: Private

An Icy Memory

The ice storm in Central Arkansas during the past few days reminded me of a holiday trip almost two decades ago.

Photo/KarenJordan

Facing the ice. In 1989, the ice storm arrived as predicted. I warned Mother that we might not be able to make the dangerous eight-hour journey for Christmas.

Even though Southeast Texas seldom experienced freezing rain or snow, we already saw evidence of the storm in Arkansas. But Mother belittled our fears and urged us to attempt the trip. “The weather report here looks okay to me.”

Mother’s pressure prevailed again, as usual. Against our better judgment, we submitted to her demands and packed our car.

Just Write!

How’s that book that you’re NOT writing coming along?

Photo/TaraRoss

Photo/TaraRoss

I rarely, if ever, blog about someone else’s post. I don’t know why—because a lot of my writing friends and connections write outstanding posts that offer many helpful resources and ideas. So, I hope to write more about the articles and books that inspire, encourage, and inform me.

Today, I’m sharing a post by Jeff Goins, “The Totally Boring Process of Writing a Book.” Jeff’s post really hits the target for me while I’m writing a book.

Writer. As a writer, I’ve always struggled with transitioning from research to writing.

Why? I give many excuses.