Love, Weekend Wonder

The True Story of a Common Grackle

Weekend Wonder

My daughter and I were spending the afternoon together, a little bit of me time and a little bit of her time. Our day included coffee and doughnut treats, antique shops and thrift stores, and volunteering together at the cat rescue (this one in particular for my little animal lover’s soul).

We were just walking back to the car when we both saw the little black bird in the median. It was pecking at a wrapper on the ground next to my car door.

“Mom, is the bird trying to open that?”

I unlocked the car and we walked closer. The little black bird hopped back a bit to wait for us to go about our day so he could go about trying to open the little cellophane wrapper on the ground. I looked down and saw it was fortune cookie.

“Mom, we should help! Can we open it for him?”

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I bent down and picked up the fortune cookie, opened the little bag, crushed up the cookie and spread it on the ground for our new little friend. And then I saw the thin slip of paper lying there. Of course, it’s a fortune cookie. I reached down to read the little bird’s fortune,

“God looks after you in a special way.”

Amazing isn’t it?

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I’m writing a bird book and this little fortune is a gift from God. A gift to me and my beautiful girl. One I just had to share!

On the back of the book I’m writing I’ve included a verse;

Look at the birds of the air. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns. But your heavenly father feeds the birds. And you know that you are worth much more than birds.  ~Matthew 6:26

Whenever I read this verse it reminds me of my Grandma Annie in Michigan. She has always cared for the birds around her home. When I was young and would come for a visit, she would fill up the bird feeders with seed and the bird bath with fresh water. We would go inside and watch from her dining room window.

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After I was married I visited her with my own children. She drove her great-grandson down to the market with her to get more seed for the feeders and even some corn cobs for the squirrels. We filled the feeders together and watched the colorful birds enjoy their meal.

God cares for the birds by bringing the worms up from the ground after a rain, or through a grandma who puts out fresh seeds and water, even in a winter-frozen Michigan backyard, or through the heart of a little girl who notices a common grackle trying open the wrapper of a fortune cookie.

Yes, God looks after the birds in a special way. Even little birds who are called common.

Always remember, God cares for you even more than that!

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Love

Lovely Things

A Few of My Favorite Things For Valentine’s Day

Pink rose

Pretty pink flowers

treats

Sweets with my sweets! Pretzels, Hershey’s Hugs, and M&Ms. Go make some!

These have become a Valentine’s Day Tradition with a capital “T”! My little girl loves this day of celebrating love and it wouldn’t be the same to her if we didn’t include making these treats for her teachers.

love books

I love, love, love, picture books!

What’s a better Valentine’s Day gift to give than a picture book about love? A picture book you can mail to your little loves! I found these cute books at Barnes and Noble and couldn’t resist. My kids are getting bigger, but I don’t think you can ever be too sappy when it comes to saying ‘I Love You’.

book inside

book back

Sending Love

Speaking of love for books, how cute are these cards from Target? We’ll be sending a little love to our librarians today too!

love librarians

    ~12 Years with this amazing Man~

Us

There are no words for this love story of Danny and Annie from StoryCorps. Get some tissues and imagine a love so sweet.

Most of all I’m thankful for this Incredible Love!

This is love: not that we loved God,

but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 1 John 4:10

The cross

An Unfinished Story

A Gift From Mom

An Unfinished Story -A Gift From Mom

She never gives up, she cares for others more than self, she never looks back, she keeps going to the end…

Where do I start? That’s always the hardest part for me. There is so much I am thankful for about my mom, but today I’ll share just a part of her story and a gift she gave to me recently. This is part of a bigger story. An unfinished story. One I haven’t shared before. And maybe that’s because I can’t tell you how it ends. I only know where it begins and where it’s been.

The Gift from my mom comes from our time together this spring. My parents came down to Florida for spring break, along with my brother and my sister and her two girls. We tried to squeeze in as much time as we possibly could between split school breaks.

On our last night together we decided to walk around Disney’s Boardwalk. Time for walking and talking and of course getting in my mom’s most favorite thing, shopping. And I suppose it’s not fair to point out my mom’s favorite thing to do without mentioning the fact that my camera was out the entire time. When I know it’s our last day together I always try to capture every little moment. So, when we stopped for pizza at an outdoor cafe my Sweetie gave me a hard time and asked if I was going to photograph eating our pizza too. Going right along I took out my camera and said, “Of course!”

Somehow between slices of pepperoni and watching the sparrows fighting for pizza crust mom and dad started to share the story about my brother David’s car accident (I think it will be 29 years ago this month). They were talking about the details of life at the time of when it happened. My dad was in the Air Force and we lived in Germany.

This is the part of the story that God is still working out. It’s the part of the story that sometimes I want to understand and be gracious and loving and trusting and faith filled about. But sometimes it still hurts and I question God.

I listened as they told about the doctors and hospitals and trying to move back to the States. About how my mom had to care for me and my baby sister at the time while my brother was clinging to life and my dad had to stay behind in Germany. It sent my mind wandering. My parents argued the finer details of doctors and dates, like married people do. I’m sure if you saw my face there was a shift and that wrinkle between my eyes set in deep as I wondered again to God why my brother had to suffer so much.

We finished our pizza and my parents their story.

A mom and her little girl came and sat at the table next to ours. The little girl stared intently at David. My sweetie and kiddos followed my dad and David out as we got ready to leave. And my mom and I stayed to pick up the cups and our bags. Then I heard the little girl whisper, “what happened to him mommy?”  I thought only I had heard her, but then I saw my mom go over and ask the little girl’s mom if she could share what happened to David.

Mom came back over to where I was waiting and we walked together a bit and then stopped to watch the performers on the boardwalk. My mind was far away still thinking about my brother and that little girl and my mom. I was thinking about all the years my mom has cared for David and what a sacrifice it has been and how I wished he was healed. As we started to walk again mom said, “You know, we really have a good life.”

I was startled right out of my thoughts. “What mom?”

“We have it so good. Look at where we are right now. So many people around the world live in such poor conditions and suffering, but we’re here enjoying this. We really have a good life here.”

I wonder if she knew where my mind was. I don’t think so, but I was humbled. And thankful for my mom and her example to me.

The Way of Love

Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 The Message

Thank you mom for your way of love. I love you!

In thanking my Mom for her lesson of life and gratitude to me she not only blesses me with her story, but now her story can bless the moms in a place where moms need a blessing the most. Read about theg 1000 Moms Project on Ann Voskamp’s blog. And don’t forget to scroll down to read the other stories of thanks for moms and maybe share your own story too.

1000 Moms Project