The Line in the Sand

The little bird had grown up free. She ate the best food, learned to fly with good bird parents, sat by the waves’ edge and rested. She skimmed lightly over the water and dove down and caught fresh fish. She was happy.

One day, she flew farther along the shore and saw a line in the sand. On the other side of that line, the beach was very different. It caught her eye. At first glance, it looked like fun to the little bird. A party of birds gathered, loud noises, littered bags of used fries for the taking. She was nervous, though, and turned back to her home. As she flew, she felt her lungs breath freely in the clean air and the wide-open spaces.

But the lure of the exciting and different called her back the next day. She didn’t tell anyone; she just went. She gathered up her courage and landed among the loud birds. She tried to fit in and act like she was one of them. She boldly grabbed a fry, liked it, and then grabbed another. She stayed all day, bumping into other birds, even fighting over a choice morsel of trash.

By the end of the day, though, she felt strange and weighed down. She knew she had to go home, immediately, while she still could. She couldn’t describe it….it was just a feeling of impending danger.

She flew somewhat sluggishly, and finally made it back over the line in the sand. She slept badly all night and awoke feeling even worse. The little bird promised herself not to do that again.

It took time, but after some days, she felt better, more herself, freer. She flew as she did before and felt joy in chasing the waves. She was home, and it was good.

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This story came about due to a book I was reading the past two days. It was very well reviewed, excellently written. I was instantly catapulted into this imaginary world created by the author, and I loved it. Couldn’t put the book down. But suddenly last evening, it changed. New plot elements were introduced that I knew would displease God. It felt dirty, wrong, and all I knew was that I had to stop reading immediately. No matter how good the book was, no matter how much I wanted to know how it ended. It just made me feel bad inside, and extremely sad. The loss of purity in our culture hit me like a brick wall. The book has gone back to the library, and I feel better. Like the bird, that was my line in the sand.

Stay strong, friends. Pray that Christ holds us very tightly through these perilous days.

Blessings, Lisa

“…let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.” – 2 Corinthians 7:1b

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will.” – Romans 12:2

Birds In the Shop

There was once a pet shop that specialized in selling exotic birds from all over the world. Each was beautiful and unique in its own way.

One was flamboyant, colorful, loud, opinionated. She squawked and preened and positioned herself all day for best effect.

Another was more subdued and quieter. Muted browns and dark reds, quiet moaning coos, but still beautiful. She preferred to be left alone and remain still.

And then there was the singing bird. The one who, if she had her way, would sing all day. Not particularly colorful, but when she sang, her true beauty and uniqueness shone. The other birds became annoyed with her, and by looks and glares, they convinced her it was best to remain quiet.

All of this continued for many days, weeks, months. The tension in the shop was palpable, even though the birds all had their own unique wonderfulness.

Until one day, the shop door was propped open. A warm spring wind was present, and the shop owner wanted to feel the hope of spring on his face. He did not notice that the songbird’s cage had been left slightly ajar after the cleaning. All he saw, moments later, were the joyful tailfeathers of the singing bird as she flew away to freedom. He heard her singing voice, and he smiled.

After that day, the other birds decided they missed the singing bird, and they were kinder to each other. They let each other be who they were. All birds who were created uniquely and beautifully. And sometimes on a warm spring day, they would hear the beautiful song of their friend, the singing bird.

The Story of a Snowman, Part Two

*This is part two….if you haven’t read part one yet, you should, in order to enjoy this post to its fullest.*  🙂

Frosty had fallen, face first, into the grass.  I thought it was over for the dear little snowman, but I was wrong.  My husband, knowing my soft heart, had a plan, a wonderful plan.  That evening while I was putting Amy to sleep, he and my two older children moved Frosty.  That’s right, they picked him up, put each part in the wheelbarrow, and put him back together on the sidewalk right outside our kitchen window.  When I came downstairs, there he was, just sitting there looking at me as if to say, “See?  I told you I’d be back again someday!”  🙂  And yes, I was so touched by my husband’s sweetness and effort to make me smile.

Frosty's Back!  Dec. 27, evening

Frosty’s Back! Dec. 27, evening

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Frosty and I, chilling out on Dec. 30, afternoon

Frosty, who was first made on Dec. 26, is still standing this morning, as of 8:10 AM Dec. 31, New Year’s Eve.  He is an amazing snowman, but not as amazing as my husband.  Thanks honey; I love you.  Lisa

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The Story of a Snowman, Part One

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The day after Christmas, it snowed.  A wet, sticky, heavy snow that was just perfect for snowmen and snowballs.  So we made a snowman…a big hearty fellow with a kind face and an orange for a nose.  Being the highly original people that we are, we named him Frosty, and he seemed pleased.   With his jaunty cap and festive scarf, he greeted passers-by on the road for an entire day.  However, sometime on the second day, he fell, face down, as if he was taking a nap.  I felt ridiculously sad about the whole thing, as I had liked this snowman more than a person should, and couldn’t bring myself to go look at him laying there.  (You have to remember, I was the kind of child who cried when my favorite trees were cut down, and my “Chitty-Chitty Putt-Putt” car of my dad’s was sold.)  I thought Frosty’s story was over, but I was very wrong.  I had a wonderful surprise waiting for me that evening.  Please tune into Monday’s installment to read the conclusion of the Snowman’s story.  Slainte, Lisa