June 20, 2013

feeding sparrows

I'm looking out the window at the bird-feeder hanging in the crabapple tree.  Lil' Snip had noticed that it was empty, so we got a scoop and carried the bags of birdseed out under the tree and took the feeder down and, scoop by scoop, taking turns, we filled the feeder.  Hung it back up.

And now who is eating that seed?  Sparrows.

My Farmer works hard for a living.  I work hard to be frugal.  I did not spend his hard-earned dollars on birdseed to feed the sparrows.  I bought it to feed the bright birds - the ones listed on the birdseed bag!  I want to see cardinals, titmice, bluebirds, chickadees, an indigo bunting!!!  Even a blue jay!  Not sparrows.

[Not to mention the other-feeding bright birds I want to see, like the orioles who spurn our orange feeder, the goldfinches I can hear but never see, the hummingbird that the rest of the family has spotted, and the nuthatches and woodpeckers that are staying further down in the yard this year.]

It's true, some wrens come, too.  A robin picks up the droppings on the ground.  But mostly we get sparrows.  It's discouraging.

And, alas, allegorical.

Life is like that birdfeeder for me just now.  I want bright flashes of success - accolades from others, children who rise up and call me blessed (instead of showing me the "tips on how to be a good mother" that they wrote, for instance), a husband who brags about me (preferably in my hearing), friends who flock to me for my wisdom and fun nature (sigh), artistic prowess in my chosen pursuits, household & home schooling running like a well-oiled machine, beauty everywhere.

Instead I see brown all around me:  a barely-clean, sometimes tidy house; knowledge of nutrition but not always follow-through; endless ideas born but not matured; thwarted or abandoned efforts at organization; broken and leaking things in all directions.....

"Do everything without grumbling or complaining."  Philippians 2:14
(except blogging, right??  oh wait, I can't seem to find any translations to support that ...)


I, who despise sweaty weather, can rejoice in the cool summer we've had so far.

Because there were no blossoms on the crabapple tree, there will be no apples littering the ground, either.

Although I cannot see the titmice, orioles, cardinals, goldfinches - I can hear them.  Finally, somehow, I've learned their songs.

I am made to run on bursts of inspiration - and when I get a burst, I sometimes astonish even me at what I can get done.  It's okay to rest between bursts.

There is color and beauty around me, when I choose to look at it.

God has blessed my hands to make things.  He is also blessing them to rest from making.

Perennial ornamentals - God's gift to sporadic gardeners like me.

Upholstered furniture.

Fun, wholesome novels.

Others who have walked this path before me.

Truth, a bedrock foundation under all the tumult of overgrowth.

Hope - a gift of vision in the darkness.

And last, but not least, the little brown wren, who turns out to be a beautiful singer!

I can learn to love brown.  I love my colors, but brown, after all, is a color in itself, and perhaps, if I look very closely, and with great patience, I will learn to love all the shades of brown.

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