Often life is hard, but God is always good

Archive for July, 2013

Can I Let My Kids Fly?

“Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord: The word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him.  The Lord called Samuel a third time, and Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.” Then Eli realized that the Lord was calling the boy.  So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.” (I Samuel 3: 7-9, NIV)

I am a mother… after waiting, hoping and praying for years.  So maybe that explains the intensity of my love for my three kids, but it gives me no excuse to hold them back.

I try to restrain them from growing up.  I want to keep them near, always.  I confess this right now.

Yet, God reminds me over and over to let them go because they have a purpose and must fly free.

He clearly told me: “I love your children more than you do, so loosen your clenched grip.”  This firm yet tender admonishment doubled me over with shuddering sobs, but I listened.

Loosen the grip. Trust God.

High school graduation approached for my oldest.  The search for his destiny looked like it would lead him far away.

I shed tears.

So many tears – it seemed like I filled buckets.  This time, God reminded me that my children are like Samuel of the Bible who heard the voice of God directly, but ran to Eli, his priest-guardian, and received this response: “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.’” (I Samuel 3:8)

Direct them to God.

My nineteen-year-old was baptized this summer while on a youth retreat, without his father or me present.  He had always wanted to take this profound step in “real” water.  How could we hold him back when he’s destined to live with God in the ocean waves of life without our supervision?

We saw the video of Luke’s baptism.  He was laughing with joy.

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Photo credit: Amelia Yoder

Keep the babies close, nurture the little ones.

Train them as they grow, then let them fly.

Be there for them, always, no matter what.

How Do I Hold Onto Hope?

“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.  It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf.” Letter to the Hebrews, Chapter 6, Verse 19, 20a. New International Version

“Somewhere over the rainbow bluebirds fly”, sang Judy Garland in her role as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, a movie released over seventy years ago.  Bluebirds have been a symbol of happiness throughout the decades and are, to me, a symbol of hope.

As a young girl, my grandmother instilled in me the love of songbirds, teaching me to recognize them by their plumage and their song.  Eastern bluebirds were not among those that crowded our bird feeders in my early years, so that beautiful creature was more of a legend to me than a reality.

When I moved into a new house eight years ago, I faced a heartbreak that brought me very low.  One morning as I stood at the kitchen window refilling the coffee carafe, a male bluebird alighted on the tip-top of my backyard bird feeder.  He was brilliantly azure with a rosy breast, and he stayed on his perch and burbled cheerfully for a while.

Photo Credit: Keith Ewing

Photo Credit: Keith Ewing

I knew, beyond a doubt, that my Heavenly Father gave me that bluebird sighting to remind me that He was with me and that I should hope for better times.

To increase my opportunities to have my heart lifted, I bought a bluebird house from a Minnesota man who constructs them in his garage, and learned to raise meal worms to draw the birds in to feed.

I see and hear bluebirds everywhere I go now, and that bad time did pass.

This blog name “Bluebirds Always Fly” represents my heartfelt hope that God is real, loving, and personally concerned for each one of us.   Even when we cannot see them with our eyes, bluebirds are always flying over the rainbow.

What is the symbol or sign given to you personally by God to keep your hope alive?  I would love to hear about it!

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