Sunday, September 20, 2015

Sunday Afternoon Tea - Hummingbirds, Fireflies, and a Full Moon

On a warm evening this past week, my back fence neighbor drove his pickup over to our place for wood remaining after a tree limb had been removed.  He wanted it to build a bonfire for his grandchildren out back.

He and I chatted on our front porch and he mentioned that he and his wife had been concerned because they had not seen me all summer.  I usually wave to them from the deck where I am sitting at a table or stop to talk while working in the garden.

There was a good reason for that.  The wet, cool spring turned into the wet, cool early summer that turned into the wet, hot latter part of summer.  Record breaking rainy days prevailed.  Which birthed populations of bugs such as I can't recall since the childhood days I played outside after dark and didn't care about such things. 

I lived life looking out the window most of the summer.

Do you feel that way about life at times?  Does it seem as if this past summer was a metaphor for your very days?  Life goes on while you are watching...

I learned long ago that when the big stuff of life doesn't go my way, then to embrace the small pleasures God brings.  For He does and He will if we only look for them, doing a little treasure hunting on the inside while gazing through the windowpanes.

There are the little pleasures of life that I have often noticed like the aroma of bread baking in the oven, beautiful music such as the Gray Haven's Fire & Stone album playing on the iPad, BBC comedies, Masterpiece mysteries, kitties of all kinds, getting lost in a wonderful book, Art in its' many genres, my children and their spouses, my grandchildren, lovely tea and most definitely... pumpkin spice lattes.

However, when one stays in the air conditioned house and longs to be outside, it takes something special to feel God's pleasure.  The sense that He is providing something special just for you.

But He did that this summer and I would have missed it if I were not looking for His little gifts here and there.  Like I often do.  For He always has... provided them that is.

His first gift came when I decided to move some flowers onto the deck railing instead of the corner of the deck where they had been kept in previous seasons.  Almost immediately I saw them arrive with their tiny wings fluttering faster than the wind.  The hummingbirds I once saw only now and then were visiting the flowers quite often this summer.  Now in my line of sight.

So beautiful.  So very tiny.  God's gift.  I will always place flowers on the deck railing now that I know how loved they are by the hummingbirds... and the squirrels as autumn is around the corner.

His other gift arrives each summer where I live but this year they were particularly appreciated.  Many evenings as the sound of the cicadas' music could be heard through the open window in the study... so was the magic of the lights.  Fireflies.  Gazillions of them.  All dancing in the heat of the summer night.

All I had to do was turn off the indoor lights and keep the window open and watch their light show.  In my back yard.  In the front yard.  In the forest.  I can understand how one could imagine a magic forest with fairies dancing in the midst.  It would not have surprised me to see King Arthur step out of the forest on a magical steed waving Excalibur.

God's other gift arrived every month and always, even though I knew it was coming, surprised me.  That first glimpse of the full moon rising above the tree tops as I looked through the kitchen window.

This summer each one was quite amazing in its' light and intensity.  I would turn off the kitchen light and gaze upon the wonder of the moon... knowing full well that its' brilliance was a reflection of the hiding sun.  Looking out the window.  A gift.  From God.

As we travel through this most fallen of worlds... many of us weak... all of us in need of a Savior... we can either wander blindly through life with bitterness and disappointment lingering within because life is not what we want it to be.  Stomping our feet and pouting as a three year old.  Complaining all the way through our years.

Or... we can come to realize this is not our true Home.   We are not as those without hope who face the end of this life as if it were that.  The End.  Nothing else.  No more songs to sing or holidays or places to visit or people to hug or furry friends to enjoy or grand feats of bravery to conquer.  No more warm cinnamon rolls with a cup of coffee.  No more chocolate.

Absolutely there is more!

And who is preparing that Place but the Master Carpenter Himself.  He who created that moon and the various facets in which it appears to humanity through the year.  He that thought up the idea of teeny tiny birds that glisten green as they sip from the red geraniums.  The same God that thought up the brilliant idea of bugs that carry flickering lights in the dark of the hot summer nights.

He is there now.  Preparations are being made.  Heaven.  The City of God.  Not to mention the eventual New Earth which is beyond my wildest imaginations.  And yours.  And St. Paul.   And John the Revelator.  They were quite overwhelmed by what they saw.

So in the meantime... while still a pilgrim and sojourner on this world in which we live... look for the little things and the big things and the middle-of-the-road things that provide (to those who are looking) evidence of the Creator.  And your life... no matter how limited... will be full.


Ann said...

Lovely post. My oldest son was disabled for many years of his life with various illnesses and problems and his life experiences were very limited. I remember him telling me quite often that he was learning contentment with his "little life" as he spent time in God's presence and enjoying the beauty around him. He passed away two years ago this summer with a massive infection and I often bring to mind his patience in illness and his appreciation of every "little" thing.

Judy said...

Thank you for this encouragement in the midst of a lengthy 'darkness'. The joys of God's grace are not hidden, though sometimes we are blind.

Sandi said...

This was wonderful and very encouraging! Thank you.

Carol said...

Brenda, This was so beautiful. Thank you. (MD)

suzanne, october lover said...

Your descriptive words and Spirit-filled thoughts almost brought me to tears. Yes! Even though we all sometimes feel that God is distant, when we take the time to look around and keep a quiet heart,,,,He shows up! with glorious signs of His presence. Thank you for this post.

The Journey said...

while still a pilgrim and sojourner on this world in which we live.. ----You are ever so right. You know sometimes we spend so much time wishing. There are so many blessing even the tiny stuff counts. Sometimes it is the little stuff that we treasure most. The memories we hold in our hearts.

Rachel H said...

I can relate to this post. I have had fibromyalgia for about twelve years, it has slowed me down considerably. And I was always on the go, doing something! But I have found that I must rest just to get the minimum things done in a day. Now I am in need of a knee replacement, should have been this past week, but my doctor has ordered more test. So more waiting. Yes, you really do ask why, but we cannot know the mind of God. I know He is in this experience. I may not be out and about these days, but I have friends on-line, friends in the mail (snail mail)! And God willing I will meet a friend for lunch tomorrow at a wonderful little neighborhood restaurant! There is a book titled The Year of Pleasures by Elizabeth Berg. A novel, but I learned an important lesson in this book, look for at least one pleasure each day, create a pleasure if need be!It will get you through!

Anonymous said...

It seems like the posts just keep getting better and better. God's gift is certainly evident in your beautiful writings. Thank you for being such a "usable" vessel for His words to flow thru. Blessings to you as you are to me, Sharon D.

Deanna Rabe - Creekside Cottage Blog said...

God's gifts are everywhere if we have eyes to see them. The beauty of the moon, fireflies (which have seemed scarce this summer here), cicadas humming, birds calling - so many good gifts.

I'm glad you have eyes to see them, too!


Sarah said...

Brenda, I love your outlook on life! This is so inspiring!! God bless you for sharing these things with us. Love in Christ!

Amanda said...

Wow. Just what I needed to read this morning, Brenda. You most certainly have a gift with words.

Anonymous said...

Always I am blessed by your posts...always! But this one...this one... Perfection, itself! Thank you so much!

Susan Humeston said...

This post reminded me a lot of Joni Eareckson Tada. You probably know who she is, paralyzed from teenagerhood by a swimming accident. She has mastered the ability to appreciate every little blessing and so are you. We get the hummingbirds in the winter and I love to watch them go from flower to flower making their little clickety sound.

Front Porch Grace said...

BRAVA! Praise God! A soul-sister; a kindred spirit!

Brenda, thank you for sharing such thoughtful encouragement.

In Grace,