Tuesday, February 7, 2017


When the twins were newborns, we lived in a house that had functional heating in only a couple of rooms. The roof leaked in one of the bedrooms - leaked, not as in drip, drip, drip, but leaked as in garden hose on full blast. Nighttime downpours were the worst, because they required trading precious sleep for nonstop emptying of 5-gallon buckets. We ate a lot of bulk oatmeal and peanut butter that Grammy donated to our family pantry and a lot of soup. Twenty-plus years later, some of my kids still don't like peanut butter or oatmeal.

When the twins were 2 years old, we moved to a house the attic of which was infested with raccoons. If I'd been superstitious, I'd have thought the devil lived upstairs. The growling and snarling and screaming at night was terrible. Worse, though, was when the unwanted raccoons shared their fleas with us. Trying to remedy a severe flea infestation - with who-knows-how-many raccoons still living in the attic and six little kids living below - is a daunting task. When the exterminator came, I would have to strip all the beds, load the kids and the laundry in the van, and leave the house for the day. Entertaining a herd of small children "out" all day was exhausting for a pregnant woman!

Twenty-something years later, still, I often wake up in the morning and think, "Thank you, Jesus, that we live in a warm, dry house and that we are all well fed. Thank you, thank you, thank you that we don't have fleas." I am genuinely thankful for those things, because I have not forgotten how awful the alternative was!

* * *
I love birds.

Yesterday, I took a long walk back on the farm. Early in my walk, I startled a large red-tail hawk, one of my favorite birds. I was right beneath the giant oak upon which he perched before he launched into the air with a sharp skreeee! I stopped, breathless, and watched as he circled overhead and scolded me before flying off to find another perch.

As I picked my way down the steep bank to cross the creek, I came eye-to-eye with another of my favorite birds, a great blue heron. He sprang up, flapped his great wings, rose slowly into the air and veered across the field in search of another fishing spot.

Then, as I crested a hill on the far back side of Granddaddy's property, I surprised a huge flock of wild turkeys, the largest I have ever seen. I lost count at 50. Their wings thundered as they lumbered upward into the trees. I stood transfixed and marveled and wept, because the noisy upward rush was so tremendous, so beautiful.

This world is filled with so much beauty.

* * *
A couple of days earlier, on another walk back on the farm, my daughter commented to me, "We sure do have a big God, for being such small people."

Yes, we do...a very big God indeed.

And He gives me so much for which to be thankful.

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