Girlfriends in God - May 20, 2009

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May 20, 2009 
Resting in the Palm 
Sharon Jaynes

Today’s Truth 
“There is a time for every thing and a season for every activity under the heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1 NIV).

Friend To Friend 
A few years ago, I fell in love with a beach cottage named “Barb’s Folly.”  I adored the designer beach décor of periwinkle blue, yellow stripes and floral, the screened in porch that hugged the back of the house, the inviting dark green rocking chairs, and the weather worn dock jutting out over the lazy canal.  As if imported from England, a six-foot square of grass was nestled in one corner of the yard framed by a white picket fence.  The secret garden was complete with fuchsia myrtle bushes in full bloom, a beckoning weathered bench, and a cozy bird house with a half dozen portals.  Seemingly, out of place, owners had transplanted a palm tree just inches from the second story screened in porch and encircled by the wooden steps that led to the dock.

On our first night at “Barb’s Folly”, we rocked on the porch and watched fire flies dance on the moonlit canal.  As if to light a lone actor on a stage, a moonbeam fell across the palm tree and revealed a gentle stirring in its plume.  When I moved closer, I discovered a turtledove had built her nest at the top of the thatched tree trunk, where the palm branches sprouted upward.  Because we were on the second story, we were at eye level with Mrs. Turtle Dove.  As I moved closer to her, she didn’t budge, but sat steadfast in her perch.

Early the next morning, before the rest of the house guests stirred, I went on the porch to spend some time with God.  Mrs. Turtle Dove was there to greet me.  I watched her.  She watched me.  Our eyes locked. We both blinked.  A few moments later, Mr. Turtle Dove flew in and perched on the nearby railing.  The couple exchanged coos and then he flew over to his beloved.  When she stood up to welcome him, I noticed two tiny eggs peeking out from under the stubble.  It seems this was Mother’s Morning Out and Daddy bird was here to watch over the soon to be little ones.  The momma bird flew away and daddy took over the incubation and protection of their eggs.  After a brief time, the momma bird returned and daddy bird went off to work for the rest of the day.

During our entire vacation, this momma bird did one thing and one thing only, she rested in the palm, warming and protecting her two tiny charges.  On the afternoon when a violent storm blew through with loud claps of thunder, crackling flashes of lightening, and pelting sheets of rain, she sat undaunted by the storm and unmoved as the trees bent in the nautical winds.  When the children ran up and down the stairs inches from her nest and leaned over the railing to get a better took, she appeared unalarmed by the stir of activity.  While other birds such as cranes, pelicans and seagulls performed great feats, swooped gracefully into the water, and strutted about parading their showy display, her feathers were not ruffled but continued undeterred in her calling.

On the last morning of our vacation, I was enjoying a final cup of coffee on the back porch and once again relishing in quiet time with God and His creation.  Of course, Mrs. Turtle Dove was there to join me.

“God,” I asked, “I know You put this bird here for a reason. What do you want me to learn from watching her this week?  I don’t want to miss it.”

Then God spoke to my heart.  It was contentment.  I was watching a picture of contentment in fulfilling God’s call.  She was doing what God had made her to do for this season of her life, and she was intent and content in doing it.  Regardless of the storms, regardless of what seemingly showy birds were doing, regardless of the endless stream of activity passing by her nest, regardless of the stares or others, she was unmoved from her task.

“Is that it, Lord?  Is that what You want me to see?”

Just as I prayed those words, Mr. Turtle Dove flew in for his daily visit.  When his lady dove stood up to greet him, I noticed a piece of eggshell attached to her leg.  She flew away with much excitement and then I noticed a change in her nest.  There lay two tiny downy hatchlings.  The eggs had hatched and it was as if God was saying to me, “Yes, Sharon. That’s it.  This has been my gift to you this week.  Through my creation, you have seen a contented mother and the results of her commitment.  You do what I’ve called you to do.  Rest in the palm – of my hand.  Don’t get distracted by the world around you: the storms of life, the endless stream of activity, and other seemingly more glamorous “birds.”  Be relentless in your call.  In due time, I will cause your “eggs to hatch” and all too soon they will leave the nest.

About that time, my six-foot-one teenage son sleepily stumbled out onto the porch.  I’m not sure if he saw the tears in my eyes as I looked at his ruffled hair, sleepy eyes, and face that needed a shave.

“Hey Buddy.  Look,” I said.  “The eggs hatched today.”

Let’s Pray 
Dear Lord, thank You for speaking to us through Your creation.  Just as Jesus taught spiritual lessons through natural examples, You continue to speak to us through what You have made.  Help us not to miss Your fingerprints on the pages of our lives.

In Jesus’ Name, 
Amen

Now It’s Your Turn 
If you are a mother of children still in the nest, do you find yourself longing to do what others are doing in ministry, the workplace, the community?

Which do you think is more important?

Ponder this quote today from President Theodore Roosevelt:  No other success in life – not being President, or being wealthy, or going to college, or writing a book, or anything else – comes up to the success of the man or woman who can feel that they have done their duty and that their children and grandchildren rise up and call them blessed

If you’ve had an extraordinary moment when God spoke to you through nature, I’d love to hear it.  Just log onto www.extraordinarymomentswithgod.com and tell me your story.

More From The Girlfriends 
Being a mom is not an easy task.  If it were, it wouldn’t start with something called labor!  If you would like a hefty dose of encouragement, just for moms, see Sharon’s book, Being a Great Mom-Raising Great Kids.  And if you’d like a collection of Sharon’s devotions to jump start your day, you can find them in Extraordinary Moments with God

Seeking God?
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how to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Girlfriends in God
P.O. Box 725
Matthews, NC 28106
info@girlfriendsingod.com
www.girlfriendsingod.com

Click here to learn more about hosting a Girlfriends in God conference in your area or having one of the GiGs speak at your next women's event.

 
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