A Frosty Cheerio

 

© Jeanne E Webster– All Rights Reserved

A bitterly cold January morning brought the neighborhood birds to my freshly filled bird feeder. As they hungrily gobbled down the tasty seeds, a petite chickadee perched on a tree sprig close to my kitchen window. It quickly caught my attention as it patiently waited  for the traffic to clear at the feeder. Its perky acrobatic maneuvers exuded a cocky, high-spirited cheerfulness. Enthralled, I inched closer to the window as my spirit was transformed from the winter blues of a dark frigid morning to a light-heartedness I sorely needed.

Suddenly this cheery, comedic creature thrust its breast forward, threw its head upwards to the sky and babbled out a crisp “chick-a-dee-dee-dee!” It was at that moment I spotted a teeny wisp of its breath hanging in the cold, frosty air, like a tiny white cottony shroud.  What a vibrant and vital breath that was! What an awesome sight to behold!   I’d like to believe it was praising God for “life and limb” on that frosty, wintry morning.

How many mornings do you awake to a new day and are suddenly aware that you feel like praising God? Take a lesson from the lively chickadee. You still have breath, so “praise ye the Lord!”

Lord, I need to praise You each day
To keep Satan’s fiery darts away;
Help me to be of good cheer,
To trust in You and have no fear.

Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord.— Psalm 150:6

Oh No! They’re Baaack!

 

©  Jeanne E Webster.  All rights reserved

Wintertime is an excellent season to get to know your neighbors… the birds.  Buy a couple of feeders, a big bag of seed and prepare to be “up close and personal” with some flighty feathered friends.  I’ve been feeding birds for many years and it’s thoroughly enjoyable.  Takes the drab wintry blues out of the picture and gives you bragging rights at the Tuesday night bingo game.

To give you a little heads up, here are the names of some birds that visit feeders: sophisticated cardinals, brazen blue jays, bubbly chickadees, sprightly goldfinches, unassuming Carolina wrens, drabby house sparrows, lively titmouse, hot-pink purple house finches, guarded nuthatches, red-chested grosbeaks, vigilant red-bellied woodpeckers, fickle downy woodpeckers, nervous hairy woodpeckers, and the dowdy strutting mourning doves.  Fill your feeders and sit back to enjoy nature’s finest.

…err, what’s that out there?  Those darn starlings and blackbirds are back!  Aargg!

It is most frustrating to purchase feeders and seed only to peer out your kitchen window and see a flock of these nuisance birds!  They hog the seed, scare away the good birds, don’t get the hint that they’re not welcome, and they don’t take no for an answer!  I’ve tried different feeders, thinking that would at least prevent the “hogs” from gobbling up the seed.  No, they didn’t work.  I’ve yanked open the kitchen door and shooed them away…they’re back before I’m resettled in my chair.  My husband says he’ll shoot them for me…I don’t think so!  (That must be a guy thing)

Today I tried a different strategy.  I bought some scratch feed containing flecks of corn and all the trash seeds and poured a huge pile of it way, way out back, figuring they would be so busy eating that stuff, they’d leave the more expensive seed alone.  My little “guys” would get to eat in peace.  Nope.  The blackbirds put out the word that there was more seed than usual and invited more of their kin.   They are presently making short work of ALL the seed.  I’d tie my two spaniels out there if that would scare the birds off, but the dogs are so spoiled their feet would freeze and I’d look out and see them rolled over on their backs like dead cockroaches.

You know, I think those blackbirds are smart.  They have it all figured out.  They fly from yard to yard, checking out the neighborhood.  Then they leave a lone sentinel posted in a tree to check for any new additions to the bird feeders.  I refused to refill my feeders this morning and watched in horror and guilt as my favorites sat in the bushes in subzero temps waiting for me to feed them.  I peeked out several times to check for blackbirds and finally after no sightings for a few hours, I relented and refilled the seed.  I hadn’t completely thawed myself out from that exertion before I noted the brats were back.  I was steamed!  Not on my watch!  Not in my neighborhood!  Yeah, right.

Right here and now the good Lord blessed me with an attitude adjustment.  “Remember my parable of the wheat and the tares?”  (Matt. 13:24-30)

Sure, Lord, what does that have to do with blackbirds?

“Pray on it a little and you’ll see.”

After a short review, my memory revealed the facts.  This parable is about a man who worked hard all day sowing wheat in his field, and while he slept that night, his enemy came and sowed weeds among his wheat.  His servants discovered them while cultivating the wheat and told their master their discovery.  They were determined to yank out the weeds but the master told them not to do that.  He explained that if they were to pull up the weeds, the wheat would be uprooted also.  “Let them both grow together and when it is harvest time, then we’ll gather the weeds first and burn them.  The wheat will then be gathered into the barn.” 

I followed instructions and prayed about the situation a little.  The revelation came quickly:  leave the blackbirds alone and in due time, they will be taken care of by the Lord.  In the meantime, enjoy the good birds.

Got it, Lord!

 

Are You Still Breathing?

chickadee

One . . . Two . . . Three . . .

© Jeanne E Webster  All Rights Reserved

.
Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord.   — Psalm 150:6

One bitterly cold January morning I peered out my dining room window and glimpsed the neighborhood birds gobbling down the tasty seeds from the freshly filled bird feeder. A petite chickadee perched on a tree sprig close to the window quickly caught my attention as it waited patiently for the traffic to clear at the feeder. Its perky acrobatic maneuvers exuded a cocky, high-spirited cheerfulness. Enthralled, I inched closer to the window as my spirit was transformed from the winter blues of a dark frigid morning to a light-heartedness I sorely needed.

Suddenly this cheery, comedic creature thrust its breast forward, threw its head upwards to the sky and babbled out a crisp “chick-a-dee-dee-dee!” It was at that moment I spotted a teeny wisp of its breath hanging in the cold, frosty air, like a tiny white cotton shroud. What a vibrant and vital breath that was! What an awesome sight to behold! I’d like to believe it was singing and praising God that it was alive and well on that frosty, wintry morning.

How many mornings do you arise to a new day and are suddenly aware that you do not feel like praising God? Take a lesson from the lively chickadee. You still have breath, so “praise ye the Lord!”

Lord, I need to praise You each day
To keep Satan’s fiery darts away;
Help me to be of good cheer,
To trust in You and have no fear.

All creatures great and small, including us, need to sing praises to our Creator.