Sunshine and Songbirds

Happy, rainy Sunday!

I’ve enjoyed both restful and productive days for the past two weeks while I took a short break from writing. Sometimes I need to force myself to take time out for rest, and I’m always glad when I do.

We have so many projects going on at home, so there is always something to plant, paint, repair or update. That said, I’m happy to report that we have finished flooring and painting one of our guest bedrooms. (Only four more rooms to go!)

My husband is beginning to wonder what we were thinking when we undertook this project. It’s clearly going to last many months at the current pace, but the results are amazing. I am truly blessed to have a spouse who is so talented!

Green and Growing

Our garden is planted and already full of cucumber, zucchini and tomato blossoms. We’ve been enjoying fresh spinach and fennel fronds in our salads since last week. A longer and earlier growing season is certainly one of the advantages to living in the mid-Atlantic region.

And although I am rapidly tiring of the rain, it has helped wash away some of the pollen. Everything is green and lush and vibrant! It’s also a peaceful sound on the roof at night.

A (Bird)Song in My Heart

I was delighted to discover that we have a pair of American Goldfinches in our neighborhood.  They visit our thistle feeder daily. The male is a striking bright yellow color, especially against the backdrop of spring greenery. Their song is lovely too. During the long winter months, I miss hearing the songbirds more than anything. (Click this link to hear the American Goldfinch’s song!)

This is a photo of our Crimson Honeysuckle taken earlier today. It’s drenched, but ready to welcome our hummingbirds when they arrive. I had expected them by now, and it’s possible that they are already here. They are so tiny and quick that I often miss them at our feeder. You need to stand very still and watch the feeder for several minutes at a time. It takes patience, but seeing them flitting and darting and hovering mid-air makes it worth the wait. They are truly amazing little birds!

Tomorrow’s forecast is looking sunny. That’s always welcome news to start my Monday.

May your week ahead will be filled with sunny skies and cheerful birdsongs to fill your heart with joy!

Trust the Plan

“What’s your plan for today?”

That is a common question in our home on Saturday mornings. My husband knows my whereabouts Monday through Friday, but Saturdays are often unscheduled. I usually wake up late (meaning after 7:00 a.m.), enjoy my morning coffee, catch up on reading, and generally — just slow down.

Tick Tock

Do you live by a schedule? Is your day planned right down to the moment your head hits the pillow? If you answered yes, you are in good company.

Most of us are driven by the calendar and the clock. We’re constantly rushing from one appointment to the next. Always planning. Always filling every spare moment of the day with activity. And if we’re sitting still, we panic that we must have missed something.

We definitely are missing something. We have lost our way in the storm.

Keep Calm and . . .

We’ve all been hearing a lot about mindfulness lately. Merriam-Webster.com defines mindfulness as:

the practice of maintaining a nonjudgmental state of heightened or complete awareness of one’s thoughts, emotions, or experiences on a moment-to-moment basis

Maybe you’ve seen a commercial for one of the hottest new apps called “Calm”. It’s promoted as the perfect mindfulness app for beginners, and is the listed as the #1 app for sleep, meditation and relaxation. Millions of people use it to help lower their stress and anxiety levels.

When you have to Google the definition (as I did), you are probably a mindfulness beginner. Or you have embraced other ways to cope with stress. To be honest, there are days when I’d rather be any place other than sitting at my desk, staring at a computer screen. And on such days, I would definitely enjoy listening to a rainforest waterfall, or the soothing sound of ocean waves while I work.

But there is calm in silence too. When I need to breathe, I will often open my Bible, read a devotion, or spend a few quiet moments in the empty church sanctuary.

“The work of righteousness will be peace, And the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever. My people will dwell in a peaceful habitation, In secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places,”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭32:17-18‬ ‭

Peace is found in the presence of Jesus, the One who walked on water and literally calmed the raging sea. His words, “Peace, be still!” have the power to calm life’s storms today, even as they did 2000 years ago.

Best of all, no download is needed. 🙂