The Blessing of Birds

I can’t say how much I enjoy the birds that frequent our feeders.  One of the things I asked for for Christmas was to have my bird feeder hung up (after being down since we got our new windows).  Robert did that for me and I got a new feeder from my mom as well!  So now I have feeders just outside both of the windows in the main area of the house, and I love them both as they attract different birds!  
Sometimes I sit down to eat by the back window and watch.  
Sometimes I notice a bird eating, and end up sitting for a few minutes for a much needed rest.
Sometimes the kids notice a bird and come tell me in their excitement!
Sometimes I just sit there on purpose, because it’s quiet, and I enjoy watching God’s little creatures.
Sometimes God teaches me little tidbits about His great love for us.
Sometimes I get just the right shot.
This male cardinal looks so manly, standing up all straight, tall, and strong.
One day a red-winged blackbird came to visit!
It’s always exciting to draw a new bird.  It’s like beating a game.  
This is a European Starling and this was the first day he came.  Now they come several times a day!  They like the suet (which helps them keep fat in their diets in the winter), so I’m not sure if they’ll keep coming now that it’s warming up.
This red bellied (yes, red-bellied – the red-headed woodpecker is something else) woodpecker must be camera shy.  He eluded me for a long time!  So much so that Jacob would tell me whenever he saw him so I could try and snap the shutter before he flew away.
This cardinal looks like a picture of the security we have in Christ.  This was a very windy day (you can see his feathers ruffled on his back), and he sat in this spot for a long time.  He’d get caught by a gust every now and then, but he’d regain his balance and settle back in, the seed cylinder blocking the wind.
Bad weather will come, steadily like falling and in harshly like strong gusts of wind, but God offers us a place of rest and protection right under His wings.  I just have to know my way well so I can head there when the storm is coming.
These are brown-headed cowbirds.  Not very fancy, but I liked the snow on their little beaks.
And this looks like a bird after my own heart… one all fluffed out to keep warm.

This is the bird that flew into the window on the morning of Mattie’s birthday.  He was too rattled to fly away right away, but he let Robert pick him up and hold him.  This is another picture of the rest we have in God.  His strong hand offers security, protection, and a place to rest while we recover and are ready to fly again.
And once we fly again, we can be still in knowing the He us in His hand and we don’t have to worry.
A downy woodpecker.  He and several girlfriends come often!
I can’t forget the faithful tufted titmice that are here every day.
You know, we really can all get along!  We all have the same needs anyway… security, love, food, water, and salvation.  And we all have to go to the same Person to have those needs met.  We really aren’t that different!
And while we have the same basic needs, God knows what I need during each season so I can wholly find security in Him; He knows what kind of food is best for my body, and even makes stuff I like just because He loves me; He knows my love language because He created it in me.
Most importantly, the salvation we all need is offered in one place, no matter what size, shape and color He made us.
God is good!

Birds!!

We have put our feeders out again! Last fall we had to take them in because they birds were making our back patio so dirty we didn’t want to walk out on it. Those stinkin’ Mourning Doves! But we’ve really missed seeing birds, so we thought we’d try again. This time we put the feeders in our front tree, which we’d previously avoided because of our dog. He’s still around, but we thought we’d try anyway. And lo and behold, the birds have come! Apparently, he’s not much of a “bird dog” after all. They all come with him lying right there in the sun beneath them.

Here are the new birds we’ve seen this time around, two of them today for the first time!


Tennessee Warbler


Dark-Eyed Junco


Blue Jay


Savannah Sparrow


Downy Woodpecker

Birdwatching has been so much more fun than I ever thought it would be! It seems to lighten the atmosphere of the whole house, because something exciting is happening every few minutes! I realized this today as we got all excited each time we saw a new bird. That’s like conquering something too. Getting the right seed, putting the feeder in the right spot, and waiting while they come. I suppose victory is good for all of us!

Jacob came into me while I was in the shower this morning and described a new bird he’d just seen. His description was great! I was so proud of all the things he looked at before it flew away. He gave me a perfect description of a Blue Jay – one of the birds we were hoping would come! (He wants blue birds for my sake… he knows they’re my favorite color.)

I know birds have some greater purpose in the circle of life, but I’ll choose to be thankful that God sent them to our property to bring us joy today!

Our Bird Week (Creation Day 5)

Well, our bird week has been a complete success! The Lord has been so good to bring us many, many birds to enjoy! We have hummingbirds every few minutes or so, and have also been seeing mourning doves and cardinals regularly as well. Today at one point we had six birds at the feeders at the same time!! We have probably been quite comical, actually. We’re kind of like a group of excited old ladies when a new bird comes over to eat.

Mattie has enjoyed it too. Whenever she hears us talking or reading about bird calls, she starts chiming in with a few of her own!

We took a trip to an exotic bird store, which was not the most successful trip of all. Jacob spent the entire time with his hands on his ears because it was so loud. And Mattie hung on for dear life as if I was going to feed her to the birds! So, neither of my kids like loud noises…should have thought of this before we went! Oh well, we did see some birds that talked to us! And we made our final exit when a macaw squawked really loud less than a foot from Mattie’s ear and she started wailing!

Here’s our bird feeder station on our back porch.

And here’s our bird watching chart. What a fun way to learn tally marks!

Here’s our day making peanut butter pinecone bird feeders with Hannah, Emily, and Caleb.

What ‘s peanut butter for anyway?? Bird seed too!

All the kids with their feeders. Boy will I be glad when Jacob gets past this nasty stage…he hates stopping to pose for a picture!!

My hummingbird gift

If you read a couple of posts ago, you’ll remember that we’re studying birds this week. We put out bird feeders on Saturday and have yet to see any birds at them. I was surprised, because when we had one of those peanut butter-birdseed-pine cone feeders we saw quite a few blue jays. Anyway, we originally hung all of these feeders in a tree near our front window. Yesterday I decided to try them in the back. I know it’s only been 3 full days, but it occurred to me that our dog was probably hurting our chances a little…I hadn’t thought about the fact that he’s a “bird dog!” So we moved the feeders out to the back porch yesterday.

This morning I was sitting out there reading my Bible and praying amid the cheerful sounds in the high trees that surround our property. (Ah, what a reward to get up before the kids!) I prayed that the Lord would bring us some birds to enjoy firsthand, at our feeders. And I prayed that Jacob would get to hear the morning chirping, thinking, “I should wake him. But if I wake him, the little girl will see me and gone will be our serenity!”

Meanwhile, I was reading Psalm 62:5-8
“My soul, wait in silence for my God only,
For my hope is from Him.
He only is my rock and my salvation,
My stronghold; I shall not be shaken.

On God my salvation and my glory rest,

The rock of my strength, my refuge is in God.

Trust in Him at all times, O [Lissa],

Pour out your heart before Him;

God is a refuge for [me].”

I was thanking the Lord that He has given me a firm foundation and trust in Him. I know He holds all things in His hands…our house needing to sell, a local job for Robert, wisdom in raising children who know and desire Him. I don’t tend to be a worrier because I know He has a plan that is His best for myself, Robert, Mattie and Jacob. As I was thanking Him for His faithfulness I was looking up at every loud chirp to see if He had brought me a bird! I was expecting Him to do that, knowing that He might have another plan, but hoping He would. The second or third time I looked up, there was a hummingbird at our feeder!! He answered my trivial little prayer!


Interestingly enough, I hadn’t even thought I’d see a hummingbird! My mother-in-law had suggested six or seven birds she saw often when she lived here. So I made a chart of birds to watch for, and a hummingbird wasn’t included. I just thought we’d hang up a feeder to see what happened. So, He answered my prayer in a completely different way than I was even asking!
And just as I was thinking, “I should go check to see if I hear Mattie chatting in bed,” Jacob came out to find me! So we got to sit and enjoy the birds’ singing together! We prayed for Daddy in Georgia, for help being brave during swimming lessons, and for more birds for Jacob to see…and we’ve seen two (edited…five!) more hummingbirds today. Isn’t that just like God?

Looking forward to our bird week! (Creation Day 5)

We’re almost up to day 5 of our creation study! I’ve been waiting for this week as there’s so much fun stuff to do with birds! I’ve never really gotten into bird watching before, and can’t imagine time to sit still and watch birds, but it will be fun to learn anyway!

Here’s what I have planned for now…

~I’ll have Jacob read aloud from the Christian Liberty Nature Reader 1: An Owl, The Robin, The Duck and the Hen for an overview. We’ll talk about what we read about each kind of bird. We’ll choose one bird of which to to draw a picture in the nature journal. Then we’ll read What Makes a Bird a Bird? It’s a book that explains birds’ characteristics really well.

~We’ll watch Moody’s “The Clown Faced Carpenter,” a segment about the Woodpecker.

These next three are the ones I’m really excited about!

~We have an exotic bird store in Knoxville (Thank you, Grandmama, for telling me about this!) we are going to go to. They’ve been in business for over 20 years and the owner says she has everything! I do think Mattie will freak out, but hopefully we won’t permanently scar her.

~Peggy has been feeding birds here for 12 years, and has been sad to leave them. Well, we’re going to pick up the slack! I’ve gotten three different bird feeders to put up! I’ve had them in the car for a month waiting for our bird week. I think maybe we’ll do this Saturday so that by next week we’ll have some birds to see. Yay!!

~And we have The Burgess Bird Book for Children. It’s a book of fictional stories about the different kinds of birds. The stories are make-believe but are loaded with all kinds of bird facts to learn. I asked Peggy which birds we would see most often so we could read those stories next week in order to introduce us to those birds. (Notice I said “us.” I’m pretty clueless other than a cardinal and a blue jay!!) I’m looking forward to this!!

These are the birds we’ll be watching for…


Mourning Dove


Tufted Titmouse


American Goldfinch


Black Capped Chickadee


Blue Jay


Cardinal


Indigo Bunting

~And finally, I’ll make a chart with these birds’ pictures on it. I’ll have Jacob put a mark by each bird each time he sees it so we can really see which ones come around the most often! (Thank you, Candace, for this idea!)

I’m really looking forward to next week! I think Jacob will enjoy it too. I think we’re both ready to learn about living things again.