Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Mourning Doves

Right outside our “dining room” window (dining room being in parenthesis due to the fact that it is just the tiny end of our kitchen where the table and chairs can just squeeze in) is a small variety of Golden Rain Tree.  In early April, before tree leaves began to make their appearances, a pair of Mourning Doves would fly in every evening just before dark while we were eating supper.  They always sat together.  When one flew the other did too, with the whirring fluttering sound coming from their wings.
 One day I took note that one of the pair had hopped down into the Ivy which has grown up the tree trunk and into the area where multiple branches splay out, forming a secure crotch.  I was hoping the bird was thinking what I was thinking.  This would be a good nesting spot.  Mostly because it was only about five feet off the ground and very visible from my chair at the table!
 Well, we were thinking alike.  The very next morning my girls and I got to watch the construction project.  I was fascinated and sat on the table trying to take pictures through the window. The male would hop around under the bushes in the front yard being very discriminating with his choice of sticks.  I’m not sure what made one better than the other, but it was regularly about every five minutes that he would finally fly back to the nest where his lady was waiting to take and add the next twig.  Maybe if he took his time the lady was more convinced that this was choice building material?  The nest building was finished in one day.  It was not a beautiful nest (like some of these are), but certainly more solid than most Mourning Dove’s nest that I’ve seen.
 Then there were two small perfectly white eggs.  And they sat, taking turns.  The nest was never left uncovered – one of the parents was there at all times.  I literally touched the bird to get it to move so I could snap a picture of the eggs!

We knew the babies had hatched when we saw the adults flying back and forth more than normal.  One parent would fly in, hop down the branch to the nest, and the other would come up out of the Ivy and flutter away.  Even when the young ones were getting older, one of the parents would stay at the nest with them.  It wasn’t until they were almost ready to fledge that the parents would leave the scruffy looking juveniles at times.

Maybe it’s strange, but it did my soul good to watch this pair of docile birds with their modest markings and smooth feathers.  I can see why doves are associated with love and peace.  To be able to watch their loyalty and affection for each other was a gift.

I’m assuming the pair has another nest somewhere around.  They still chuckle and whir away when we startle them if they’re sitting around in the yard.  And in the morning and evenings especially I hear the soft low call, “Coo-OO, cooo,coo-coo” in the trees.

"Then he [Noah] sent out a dove to see if the water had receded from the surface of the ground.
But the dove could find nowhere to perch because there was water over all the surface of the earth;
 so it returned to Noah in the ark. He reached out his hand and took the dove and brought it back to
 himself in the ark. He waited seven more days and again sent out the dove from the ark.
When the dove returned to him in the evening, there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf!
Then Noah knew that the water had receded from the earth. He waited seven more days
and sent the dove out again, but this time it did not return to him." 
Genesis 8:8-12

Monday, June 9, 2014

I Heart Faces Entry -- All Boy

The way this little guy gives a mischievous sparkly
 eyed smile (along with that dimple!) is all boy.  
My life is pretty much full of girls, so I try to absorb
 some boy fun whenever I’m around this young
 fellow and his brother!  Go to I Heart Faces to see 
more of June’s photo challenge, “All Boy”.

Photo Challenge Submission

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Whose Dream is it?

It seems that true followers of Jesus often have dreams
 for their lives that are unexplainable.  
These dreams or desires come from the very depths 
of the soul and are a part of who the person is.  
The dreams may flow a little vaguely sometimes 
or they may be perfectly understandable. 
But they are deep within.  
Some would call them callings for a life.  
It’s a drive that is unexplainable, but I believe 
it is formed in a person’s heart by God.

   It is interesting that often these dreams,
 put into us by God, are asked to be relinquished.  
I’ve experienced it.  
It’s as though God says, “I’ve given you a dream.  
Are you willing to let it go?  
Are you willing for there to be only Me 
and no other gods, or dreams, higher than me?  
Are you willing to let go of what runs deep inside you?”

   These times in life are defining moments of our faith. 
We have a choice.  Will we believe God 
or will we elevate the dream that we hold so dearly, 
that is so much a part of who we are?

   Think of Abraham and the promised calling and 
dream in his life – his son, Isaac.  
Abraham’s dream was from God.  
He was asked to give it up.  
Consider Moses and his deep heart of compassion 
for his people bound in slavery.  
His dream was to help his people.  
But God took him away into the wilderness 
where he worked as a shepherd as his people 
toiled in oppression for another forty years 
while Moses learned to trust. 

   But the Giver of the dream, 
the One who is more valuable than the calling, 
is also the Giver of Life.  
After the seed of a dream is given up, is buried, and dies,
 God gives it life. 
It’s at this point that the Christian knows this dream
 is no longer his own.  
It is only God’s to do with as He pleases.

   God often asks us to prove that He is all we need.  
We need no identity in a calling or mission. 
In fact, we are not even worthy of the calling.   
We need no fulfilment other than the knowledge of Jesus Christ.

   When a calling is surrendered and rebirthed by God,
 it is His alone.  
We are free, not bound to a dream within ourselves,
 but bound only to Jesus Christ.

“Not that we are adequate in ourselves 
to consider anything as coming from ourselves, 
but our adequacy is from God.” 
2 Corinthians 3:5

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