Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Bring on the Boulders!

Today, huge boulders are being delivered to my backyard. Boulders and dirt and rocks! I'm thrilled. You see, out here in Arizona that is what constitutes a yard. And am I ever ready to finally have a yard.

Recently I confessed to my husband my only fear of eternity. I'm a little concerned I'll get to heaven, be escorted to my lovely Mediterranean-style mansion (I can ask!) and shown around the palatial rooms, only to look out the window and find nothing but dirt in my yard. I'll turn to the angel who has escorted me to my heavenly abode and ask, "What gives?" He'll shrug his shoulders and sigh. "The yard will have to come a little later. Don't worry. It will be done soon." But I'll have to wonder.

My husband and I have only owned two homes for a total of five years. The rest of our married life we have either rented, house sat, or lived in parsonages (homes supplied by churches for their pastors). Lest I sound like I'm complaining, you must understand that we have parked our possessions in some very lovely parsonages, rental homes and apartments. The only problem with those generous living arrangements was that we were not gaining any equity for the future. (Of course, after five years of making house payments we still don't have any equity, but we're working on it!)So we built one house in Texas and lived there about three years and now we're in a new house in Arizona that we've been in for a little over a year.

Because my husband and I really try to live within our means (he'll laugh at that statement, but I really do try!), we have to "delay gratification" often. One of the greatest delays of gratification we've experienced is waiting to put in the yard around our homes. Of course we've had land that is technically the yard, but those yards have consisted of dirt, dirt, and more dirt. Now, I'm really not very hard to please (he's laughing again!) and my parents raised me to be able to wait for things (now they're laughing), but I've really wanted a yard, an oasis, a place to entertain, a refuge, just some ground covering for pete's sake! In fact, we did get some trees and some flower beds (no flowers, just beds, mind you) at our house in Texas about six months before we moved. But then... we moved. And when we moved, we moved to a rental house that had lots of rock (Arizona, mind you), but that's all it had. Lots and lots of rock. No trees, bushes, or even boulders.

So today, I'm quite excited. I'm getting boulders. I have a lovely patio that extends into almost half of our postage stamp sized yard, thanks to the generosity of a friend of ours. That patio is begging for patio furniture and potted flowers, but right now I'm just glad to be getting boulders. James, my husband, says there will soon be rocks, a water feature (that's a little stream of larger and different colored rocks that looks like water...if you use your imagination!), dessert flowers, a few trees, and a fountain. Dare I believe this could happen any time soon? I think I'll take the plunge and believe it with all my heart. I'm getting boulders today! What a blessing!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Looking for Bluebirds

When I was a child I loved to look for red birds. They were always easy to spot and seemed to be most everywhere. While the red feathers are dazzling, the spotting of red birds became fairly commonplace after awhile. At one time my mother even told me I could make a wish each time I saw a red bird. Then one day I realized I was making wishes left and right - red birds were too abundant to be rare.
I didn't really even know blue birds existed until I was an adult. Sure, there are songs about bluebirds, but I thought they were mythical creatures like unicorns. Then one day I saw my first bluebird. It was so tiny, so fast and evasive. I tried to point it out to my children, but they couldn't seem to land their eyes on it. In fact, I remember now that my mother was spotting bluebirds before I was able to. Perhaps it takes adult eyes to see bluebirds. Mmmm.
I began to see a bluebird or two when I would play golf at the country club we belonged to and also when I would occasionally walk at the city park. Once again they were hard to spot. And just when one would come into focus, it would quickly fly on. They certainly didn't make themselves readily available for casual observers. Only those truly looking for them would spot these flashes of glorious blue.
And bluebirds are truly beautiful. The ones I spotted in Texas were delicately small and very bright blue. Somehow, just seeing one would magically lift my spirits. Indeed, I couldn't have been more enchanted had I seen that mythical unicorn!
Well, by now you know that I am no birdwatcher. I love to go hiking and I do notice many birds on my adventures, but I don't know a blackbird from a crow. (Or are they the same thing?) I just happen to love sighting bluebirds. And here's why.
Somewhere along the way, it began to feel that sighting a bluebird was a sort of reminder of God's wonderful blessings. Each time I would see one of these tiny blue creatures flying by I would be struck with awe by such a small, but significantly beautiful, creation of God. It would make me plum happy! I think sometimes, actually pretty often, God just wants to do something special for each of us. I believe He delights in delighting us! And I began to feel like every time I saw a tiny bluebird God was saying to my heart, "Look, Kay! Look at this beautiful little blessing I've sent your way today! What do you think?" And I began to tell God, each time he blessed me with a bluebird sighting, "You are something else! You are good!"
And so, I am calling my blog "Bluebird Sightings." Not because I will talk about bluebirds often or because I hope to attract other lovers of bluebirds to this blog. That really is totally insignificant to me. I've given my blog this apt title because I want to write about the little blessings God sends my way on ordinary days. While I may not write an entry every day, I'm sure there are blessings I could report each day. But, like sighting bluebirds, I must sometimes be very diligent to see them.
So won't you join me in looking for bluebirds? No, not the bright blue flashes in the sky, but the supernatural hand of God in your common life. Let's make it a point to look for these little miracles, these gentle blessings, these tender mercies each day. And let's point them out for others to see. Maybe if we point them out often enough, they will develop sharp enough eyes to see them for themselves.