Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Whatever things are lovely...

We bought this bird feeder several weeks ago. Originally, we hung it just outside the back room of our house, right by the window. (We recently moved it to a shepherd's stand right in the middle of our backyard.)

For the first few days it just hung there with no attention. We wondered if the birds would ever discover it. About a week later, we noticed one bird, which we accidentally spooked away. Later, it came back. The next day, again just one bird. The day after, two birds. Before we knew it, our backyard had become a popular bird hangout spot.

Whereas before there was little to favor in our backyard, now it feels very much alive with activity. Every single time we look outside, there's a bird in our backyard, either on the bird feeder, on the deck, on the swing set, on the ground. They're everywhere! And, they're all pretty birds.

The cardinals are incredibly vibrant - even the females. And, we have these cute little finch-like looking birds with beautiful red tops and bellies. Most recently we have a pair of turtle doves. They're so cute. I'm even kind of liking the blue jay because he gets mad at the squirrels! (I've even seen him chase a squirrel away from the bird feeder! It's so funny to watch.) 

I love watching all of it - God's nature living behind our house. 

Getting a bird feeders was mom's idea. Mom's full of great ideas. : )

This morning, we got to talk on the phone for a little bit before we each got our day started. Towards the end of our conversation this morning, she encouraged me with Philippians 4:8. 

"Whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy - meditate on these things."

I'd been thinking about so many heavy things the day before, and had mentioned to her that I'd hoped today would just be an easy-going, no drama day. She encouraged me to find a way today to focus on the things described above.

So, after lunch, I grabbed my camera and stepped into the backyard to hopefully catch a picture or two of the birds.

I could hear them all above me in the trees. But, I guess they were full from their breakfasts. Only one bird came down to play in the yard.

But, that was okay. I had lots of other lovely things to dwell on.

Like the little sprouts of mystery flowers growing in our neglected flower bed.

And the sprouts who've decided to neighbor with the struggling, potted aloe vera plant...

And the purple flowers/weeds David spared for me over the weekend while doing yard work. (They just appeared within the last two weeks and they're all along that fence there. Aren't they pretty?) 

And of course the sunshine and it's warmth. How could I not bask in it? How could I not feel God's love and peace through that sunshine? Sperry felt it, too.

I wish I could have sat out there for the rest of the day! To some, the things I was dwelling on would be considered to be so simple. And, yes, perhaps they are? But to me, today, they were praiseworthy things! 

Thank you God for placing such simply, lovely things right in my back yard for me to dwell on and remind me of You.

"You alone are the Lord; 
You have made heaven, 
The heaven of heavens, with all their host, 
The earth and everything in it, 
The seas and all that is in them, 
And You preserve them all. 
The host of heaven worships You." 
Nehemiah 9:6