When the Bird Hits the Glass

I remember I was sitting at my office desk one hot summer afternoon.  I was sifting through some of my x-date cards determining my plan of action for that day. I heard a slight swooshing sound and then the frontal glass that expanded the entire length of our office space exploded.  It sounded literally like we had been hit by a hand grenade.  The glass splintered into millions of little square pebbles that scattered to the ground and spread out like sparks from a sparkler stick. I jumped approximately 3 feet in my rolling chair, the chair flew out from under me and I landed bum first onto the hard commercial carpeted floor.  When I collected my thoughts and could truly begin to see what had transpired, I picked myself up off the floor and ventured towards the open air that was wafting now into the building.  Lying flat out on the concrete walkway was a grackle blackbird. His blacker than black feathers shown like blue rainbows in the hot sun, his seemingly lifeless body unmoving but for the gentle sway of his feathers in the wind.

Birds are an intricate part of God’s creation.  By design they have acute vision, being able to figure out distances, and miniscule details with great precision.  Yet, even with their remarkable vision it is common for birds to hit the window. It is believed that they are easily deceived by the reflections that project back off the trees and landscape. A bird would believe that they are still moving forward when suddenly they run smack into reality.  If they live through it, they sit up, look around, wonder what could have happened and then take flight again. As they pass another building with clear glass windows they see trees and landscapes and continue in the deceitful flight, easily deceived again. BAM! Glass shatters and they fall to the ground.

Are we not just like the bird? I know I am. We are naturally stubborn, independent, rebellious people who believe we know the way in which we should go regardless of the warning signs or if we have done this before. In a twelve step program they would tell you that is the insanity of the disease, doing the same thing over and over again but expecting a different result. How easily we are deceived by the grandeur of the offer in front of us that we fail to see the people standing with neon signs at each mile marker “stop”, “dead end”, “explosives ahead!” God is the one offering us spiritual glasses  to navigate the bright rays and provide clarity to change the  insanity and seek refuge.

I have recently been watching someone I love dearly hit the glass. Deceived by skilled gestures of chivalry and hollow promises, the childhood dream and blind hope of a future of happiness, the desperation of others already perceivably enjoying that life. Fully focused on the limited vision, centering life around something expected to be on the other side of the glass, sold out to its possibilities and completely cuckolded by trickery;  as is the serpent’s way. On the other side of that glass is the truth. The glass is clear. The happily ever after does exist. It contains the hope of life eternal, the dreams that come true, the treasure of life inside by the refiner’s fire.  But the reflection taints the glass, fogs up the window and limits the visual clarity of what is inside.

As I sit here contemplating how to gently nudge this little bird’s nose into the glass as to avoid a repetitive concussion, God’s words say this about the bird and glass..

“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the Father.” Matthew 10:29

“Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know  now is partial and incomplete, but, then I will know everything completely. Just as God now knows me completely.” Corinthians 13:

He is in control even when we fall. He is inviting us to come to the window. He dusts us off and pulls us up and undoes the latch.  Then He whispers…

91 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
    will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say[a] to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
    my God, in whom I trust.”

For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler
    and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his pinions,
    and under his wings you will find refuge;
    his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
You will not fear the terror of the night,
    nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
    nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.

A thousand may fall at your side,
    ten thousand at your right hand,
    but it will not come near you.
You will only look with your eyes
    and see the recompense of the wicked.

Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place—
    the Most High, who is my refuge[b]
10 no evil shall be allowed to befall you,
    no plague come near your tent.

11 For he will command his angels concerning you
    to guard you in all your ways.
12 On their hands they will hold you there
    lest you strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the adder;
    the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot.

14 “Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him;
    I will protect him, because he knows my name.
15 When he calls to me, I will answer him;
    I will be with him in trouble;
    I will rescue him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
    and show him my salvation.”

The truth: the way to shatter insanity, to break the cycle and see the new flight plan.

As God shakes the feathers of this wee little bird with His breath, it trembles.  The presence of God stirs the heart, quickens its beating, and allows new life. Are we willing to leave the nest for the solid food found through the clearing?

The breath fills the lungs, the wings spread, the eyes are opened and the window has been raised: Shake it off, let it go and take flight on Eagle’s wings: chivalry is not dead.

Surviving and Thriving

Life is a journey with amazing adventures, crazy stunts, unbelievable horror and truly delightful joys.  How we live through it, how we change and who we give the glory to for this incredible life we transition through is of vital importance.  God created man to serve him and to give him the glory in EVERYTHING we do.  The effortless job performance comes from one who trusts Him to bring the right audience.

In 2015 I want to relinquish my incessant struggle with control of things around me. Learning to abide in Him, trusting Him to do what is best for me, and living each day to its fullest possibility in service to Christ.

Join me in celebrating 2014, a year that was not without its trouble, but, brought redemption to this parched soul. Join me also in praying for 2015, that we see the light of the world in the never ending moments of life’s possibilities.

Thank you for your presence in my life.  Thank you for embracing, loving, giving, serving and praying with me when those instances block the road of change.

Let us juncture together hand in hand on the stage of life and deliver another worthy expression of God to the world, for He is the orchestrator of our own personal symphony. Seek first His kingdom and all these things shall be added unto you.

This is my vision for 2015 of what God has written on my heart to pursue and provided me a clean slate to write.  He knows what lies ahead and what we have left behind, and He knows what blessings and joys that will come to us.

Necessary Changes for 2015

  • Quest study – I have never fully completed one of these in its entirety.  I will be studying the Letters of Paul. I need to finish one of these studies in its entirety.
  • Women in the Word – Acts – deeper engagement in the home work portion.  I always rush through the lessons.
  • Read 12 books for book club plus 12 additional books, write chapters in my own book
  • Have coffee with someone new twice a month
  • Create exercise room in Brandy’s old bedroom
  • Paint dressers and complete bedroom
  • Paint bathroom and redecorate
  • Exercise 4-5 days per week incorporating different types of exercise and strength training in different intervals; Swimming, biking, walking, elliptical, weights
  • Participate in several 5k walks
  • Continue eliminating fatty foods, eating better, drinking lots of water, reduce starbucks.
  • Lose 50 lbs by end of 2015
  • When purchasing clothes, eliminating clothes that have not been worn in a while or no longer fit. Donate them to women who can enjoy them.
  • Find more writing jobs
  • Find adjunct professor job
  • Continue writing and seeking opportunities to write for others and to share testimony
  • Stay within financial budget, reducing and eliminating debt.  No more loans, credit cards, or seeking financial assistance. I would like to pay off all credit cards this year and reduce car loan by ½ with focus on high end commission sales and other second job opportunities. This will require many extra hours at work and less personal time, but, necessary for future.
  • Employer start retirement fund
  • Be more available for my mother, helping her clean up and spending quality time with her
  • Coffee and study with Julie each week
  • Find new ministries to be involved in
  • Pray, encourage, share, give, love, forgive my children and others with God’s amazing grace
  • Make prayer a priority each day whether in car, bed, walking etc.
  • Sing in the Texas Traditions Choir Spring Show and Christmas special
  • Date

Favorite Moments of 2014

  • In January I received the Cadillac as a gift, and had the plastic “Frank Kent” sign on the back.  God answered a prayer from when I was a child, when we had nothing and we would drive around the traffic circle and I would dream about owning a pristine luxury Cadillac vehicle. Although short lived, the Caddy was a sweet ride.
  • March, Trip to Fredericksburg with Mom and Amanda/Ashley.  Winerys, Luchenbach and shopping.
  • April, Women’s Prayer Retreat at River Bend, much needed sanctuary
  • April, promotion at work
  • May, edited a book
  • June, joined an online book club, LOVE IT!
  • June, wrote a Vignette for a book being published in 2015
  • June, Trip to Huntsville State Park and Galveston
  • July, Trip to Rockport, Texas
  • September Amanda made it into BIGGIE, the talent show at Oklahoma Baptist, and Brandy and I traveled to see the show.
  • October, Brandy went to Disneyland with her college nursing friend, Syndey.  They had the time of their life.
  • October commissioned my first writing job for a  non-profit organization
  • November, Brandy was promoted to Charge Nurse at Texas Health Huguley.
  • December, loved decorating tables with my sweet mama at the Christ Chapel Women’s Brunch.
  • December, Brandy moved to her own home, with the dog.
  • December, Purchased Steel, my new car.
  • Brother Steve and his wife Sherri received word they are approved for adoption. Can’t wait.
  • I spent all year creating my sanctuary, my book nook, my place to abide and its awesome.
  • Began leading a small group for women
  • Women in the Word study on Genesis: profound to my heart and soul.

Growth in 2014

  • It is hard to give up what you are used too.  This year I was no longer a student, relinquished my volunteer position for Oasis for Single Moms, one kid in college, one working on her own but still at home, had to change Sunday school classes. That place where you near the end of an era in your life, uncertainty.  This year I have grown in the depth of my trust in God to lead me in His ways and direct my steps. I have ventured out into new horizons.
  • Discipleship teaches another about how to live in Christ, but, it also exposes where you fail. Sometimes we get comfortable in our sins and do not even see them in action. I have learned to examine my actions and responses, how I live and serve Christ and how my failure in doing it well affects others.
  • Abiding in Christ is a tall order. Abiding means to have a steadfast, unshakable faith that is unwavering in times of trouble, sadness, pain. Remaining, enduring, surviving, standing, accepting who I am in Christ and living it out loud.
  • Focusing on taking care of me based on that truth of who I am in Christ: Working on my health,  I feel stronger in conviction, determined to change, ready for 2015.
  • The study of Genesis was enlightening.  I learned the value in waiting on God before I act, trusting profoundly that He is in control.