Sunday, October 19, 2008

Feeding the Birds

Here's another journal type entry written for me. I'll copy the heading of my earlier one: **I was going to close comments on this one, as it is more of a journal entry than a regular post, but of course you are welcome to read it if you like. I have sometimes read through posts and came to the "comments closed" at the end and felt like I ran into a wall, which is why I'm leaving them open, but I certainly don't want people to feel they should either read or respond to this post**

On my way home from taking the kids to school, I was driving down a small side street that was littered with yellow and brown leaves. There was a group of little black birds feasting on something on the side of the street. I drove slowly by and they all flew up into a nearby tree. A few yards farther down was another group of birds doing the same thing. As these ones flew up into the tree I started thinking, "What are those birds eating? I didn't see anything there. How weird that birds just take care of themselves. How do they live? They just always have something to eat, but they have to find it for themselves. I suppose it's just like all animals who have to hunt or gather to keep themselves alive. How strange it would be to live in that kind of uncertain way." etc.

When we first came to Poland, we had come straight from the terror of Greg having graduated and not found a real job, and I was staying home with the baby. Things were very tight and we were nervous. Then he got the job here in Poland and we moved here. After a year or two we realized that we were very comfortable. We had everything we needed and were able to buy new things as we needed them (I sort of gage how we're doing financially with how I feel when a new school year starts and we have to buy clothes/books or an appliance breaks and needs replacing). There was no financial stress at all. After the long pause after David came a baby and we got a bigger car (we were literally smashing the car seats together and against the doors every time we closed the car door). Then we had to move. We had been tripping over each other in our two bedroom apartment and Aaron's crib was in the hallway. We needed a bigger place.

When we first moved into this house, we did it knowing that we could not afford to live here unless we rented out the basement apartment. Before we did that we changed our minds and decided that we would have some business of our own, and settled on an English school. We, okay Greg, has been working very hard setting up a web page, planning lessons, designing fliers, delivering them etc. We have been living in this house now for 10 months without any extra income. That's 10 months of not affording this place. Now we have been trying to advertise and get classes organized and things are extremely slow. We don't have any classes put together at all. We haven't started teaching. We haven't started making money, and our finances are stretched waaaaay over their limit. There is a great deal of anxiety and worry between me and Greg. We rarely talk about it. We mostly just laugh (remember when Greg asked if the couch I was looking at in the paper would fit in our tent? It's laugh or cry.) and try to do the best we can. But it's scary.

When I got home from dropping the kids off at school that day I put sick little Aaron down for a nap. In the still and silence I remembered my new-formed resolution to read through the New Testament before Christmas. I opened up to where I'd left off the night before. I was in the middle of the Sermon on the Mount. I'm always looking for what the Lord wants me to hear while I study, of course, and Matthew 6:25 was one of those things:

. . .Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

Oh! Comfort! Then I read the next verse, 26:

Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?

This happened right after I had thought about those birds. Right after. At the time, I had thought nothing more than what a strange/difficult life birds have.

I wept. Birds don't really have a difficult life. Their loving father provides for them, and they know He will.

Are ye not much better than they? I could almost feel my Father's arms around me.

I am so very grateful for a loving Father who is very aware of my needs and concerns and heartaches. I am so grateful that he finds ways to speak to and comfort me, sometimes through the words of his Son, if I will but listen.


Heather of the EO said...

Beautifully put!
Some of my favorite verses there. God is good. All the time.

Kazzy said...

What a great thing it is when a real life experience translates to a scriptural one. Without trying to be flippant I have come to the conclusion over the past few years to be responsible, temporally, but not to be obsessive about it. We do our best with finances, food storage, etc, but my family's spiritual grounding is my number one priority. Other things will eventually work out. Thanks, Lisa. You are a gem.

Becky said...

I love the scriptures. I really can't add anything else without taking away from that. I just love the scriptures.

Melinda said...

This is such a great story.Sometimes we take too lightly how important it is to be spiritually in tune. Just think if you would have decided to skip reading the scriptures today. You would have missed it.
You would have missed Heavenly Father offering you peace.
You would have missed an important message.
You would have missed the very moment when your Heavenly Father would reach out and give you a nice warm hug.
You would have missed Heavenly Father gently whispering, "all is well."
Thanks for sharing this great lesson and giving us an opportunity to comment.

McEwens said...


*MARY* said...

What a great Sunday post. I needed it. My sacrament meeting was spent with crazy kids in the foyer and the last two hours I'm stuck in the nursery.

Melanie J said...

What a beautiful lesson. Thank you for sharing what you learned. It brightened my Sunday.

Heidi Ashworth said...

Ah, Lisa, so been there and it really is amazing, so totally amazing that the Lord has the best compensation/benefits package out there. Sometimes we have to feel the pinch for awhile, maybe to make us appreciate it better when the pinching stops or remember how it felt, or whatever, but I really think He wants us to experience certain things so we can "be there" for others in the future. He sure has bailed us out of one difficult spot after another!

Heidi Ashworth said...

Oops, last sentence should be "And in incredibly, miraculous, impossibly unforseen ways. (Now when things get really tight due to circumstances we can't control, we might get a smidge nervous but we also just sit back and enjoy the show--it is always a great treat--almost like magic.)

Carla said...

Very nice post. Our Father is very fond of us!!
Thank you for reading my abortion story and commenting. It means a lot to me. :)

Anonymous said...

{{sniffle, sniffle}}

I'm reaching out my arms as far as I can to wrap around you with an enormous hug! So blessed!

I love Scripture Moments like these, when real life intersects--and often merges--with scriptures. I will never think of those verses again without thinking of you!

Kimberly said...

What beautiful parallels you've drawn, Lisa. Wow. I needed to read that. I really did. Thank you so much.

charrette said...

I actually LOVE stuff reading stuff like this...
not to pry into your journal. But because this is so REAL. It's the kind of stuff we all grapple with. And your experience in the scriptures is such a sweet reassurance.

Me plus 3 Hecks said...

Nice work, Lisa. I am going to be better about reading now.

Alison Wonderland said...

Sometimes this is nearly impossible to remember but it's so true.

Anonymous said...

This is beautiful. Thank you for the reminder. :)