Flush, and other Rules for Life

mommyrobin2This photo hot off the press, just in time for Mothers’ Day!  Working in the yard, I found out why a robin was so frequently flying away from my hanging plant when I came home from work.  I discovered this as I took it down to put the ailing flowers in an improved hanger, and VOILA!  Needless to say I was V-E-R-Y careful in getting it fixed and back up to mama. mommyrobin And talk about persistent!  She may get startled and bolt a few yards away, but back she comes every time!  Here she is sitting like a queen on her throne.  (You have to look closely as she is fairly well hidden!)

Persistent.  Now if that’s not the word of the hour for Mothers’ Day.  Or its twin, Relentless.  Who else but mom knows better than anyone that you can’t tell a pre-teen to wash behind his ears once and expect them to keep doing it?  Or the importance of saying please and thank you? (My daughter taught her daughter those words in sign language before the kid could even talk!)  Who else makes you eat your vegetables before your ice cream? (Another one of my daughters hid a carrot stick under her seat…)

Here’s a list one of my middle school students gave to me.  Go figure where she may have learned it:

rules for life

I know that not everyone has had the wonder and heritage of a good mother. Seemingly fewer and fewer, in fact.  I am one of those blessed few, and so I dedicate this post to my mom, who took me on as her own when I was the ripe old age of 13 (along with my brother, who was 15, to add to her own two, who were 14 and 17!!!)  And has stuck by us, lo these 40-plus years.  

Thanks, Mom.  I truly love you.

 

 

A nest, by any other name…

Found a bird’s nest the other day.  Unfortunately, it was not in its conventional place—it was on the ground instead of up a tree.  In my yard, this is sign that something has gone awry.  Whether from an overactive squirrel or a prowling cat, or maybe just the typical Midwestern spring winds, the nest was no longer functioning as, you know,… a nest. 

A small piece was missing from one side, and there was a hole in the lower end, maybe where it had been anchored to a branch.  But, oh, how I marveled at the beauty of it.  Those intricately woven twigs, something I could barely do with two hands and two opposable thumbs, much less using just my mouth!!  A veritable piece of art, and nothing less.  So beautiful to me, in fact, that I have a small nest that sits in my Christmas tree each year; carefully wrapped and tucked away with the other family ornaments that are so much a part of our tradition.

This one also was probably no longer destined to function as a nest.  At least not in that tree.  It was broken, forsaken by its original maker, and abandoned on the ground.  End of story…(not!).

Just because it’s no longer functional as a nest, doesn’t mean it’s no longer functional.

Scooping it up in my hands, I let it rest safely on my porch step out of the way of my lawn mower.  When my two little neighbor boys to came to visit and play with our dog Buckley, I gave the nest to them to show their mom.  A great piece of wonder for a child is a bird’s nest.   

And I realize that brokenness to us is not what it is to God.  That which I have so carefully tried to construct around me: a loving marriage, a stable family, a good reputation, a healthy church, blah, blah, blah…can fall out of the tree with one good gust of life, and lay seemingly abandoned.  Forsaken.  Forgotten.  End of story….(not!)

Thank God that my Maker is not One to forsake or abandon!  My life, even in a broken state, is still a testimony to His wonder.  It may not have the same function as I originally imagined or planned for, but that doesn’t mean there is no function for me at all.  As He holds my brokenness in His hands, He still sees me as beautiful, useable, and most of all—lovable!

I just went next door to see if the boys would let me take a picture of “their” nest.  They were excited to show me into the back yard where they had hidden it into a small bush.  Who knows?  Maybe a homeless bird will come by…

…or maybe it’ll end up in their next Christmas tree…