Thursday, June 9, 2011

Bigger Picture Moment: Blessed To Proceed

White sunlight refracted from the surface of the swimming pool as we swam with the girls.  Lauren clung to her daddy's arms fiercely -- no mere water wings or life jackets or floating rings are ever enough to make her feel comfortably safe on her own.

But Mia had kicked herself over to hover near one side of the pool, alone, suspended over the depths by a white ring of floating plastic.  The shade from an old redbud tree craned itself over her head.  She stared up into the dark branches, squinting through flecked light; something had caught her interest. 

Propped safely under shielding boughs but lifted well off of the predatory ground, was a bird's nest.  Mia's searching eyes had found it there, camoflaged and hidden as it was, but that wasn't the truly interesting part; perched atop the nest was a mother robin, and every few moments, the reflexive, swaying head of a baby bird would stretch its neck upward to meet its mother's beak. 

Here was a mother feeding her babies -- three of them, we think -- while we splashed and squealed under the tree branches.  She wasn't frightened away by our noise, and we're certain she noticed us; her black eyes moved with us as we peeked into her peaceful scene. 

We scrambled closer to catch sight of the babies. We oooh'd and ahhh'd each time a wobbly, bulbous head popped up over the nest's edge.  In the yard beyond the swimming pool, a puppy chased an old, yellow dog, and their barks provided a startling percussion that never once ruffled that mother's feathers.  She stayed.  She had a job to do.  (And, realistically, that means that she probably had a gullet full of half-digested baby food to distribute.  Fair incentive to finish strong, right?)

Nuisances like peering eyes and squealing humans didn't send her fluttering from her nest.  Frights like barking dogs and chasing puppies weren't enough to deter her mission.  Oddities like a shuttered lense perched on the face of a nosy photographer couldn't unseat her.

She had babies to raise.  These extraneous interruptions were out of her control, and though they may have worried her, she had no choice but to move forward

As it turns out, her day became less hectic.  The dogs calmed down, the prying eyes went inside for naps, and the world kept spinning around her.  The blue sky was as it always had been.  The wind-blown leaves of the redbud were just as sheltering as they once were.  The mother, I imagine, relaxed.  There was no guarantee for her or her babies about what tomorrow would bring: another puppy-rumbling ruckus; more splashing with more kids; a windy day

Their lives had to proceedTheir lives were blessed to proceed.  And who were they to turn down a blessing?

I like to think of them filling the sunrise with their voices for weeks to come; the throaty, hopeful call of a parent -- and the exuberant, up-pitched voices of her babies. 

We're seeing the Bigger Picture through simple moments -- moments that force us to stop and take notice of the ways our worlds are important, meaningful, and beautiful. Please join us here today! Grab the button, link up and then go forth and encourage the two people before you while they are walking this journey of intentional living.


  1. Lovely!

    Tuesday my girls and I saw a bird squawking at us in a parking lot. Very seriously. All of a sudden, he (she?) took a stance that looked quite injured - faltering steps, wing held out at the side. Oh, I realized, he's leading us away from his nest. There, in that urban spot, he and his mate (we saw her in the nest, also warning us to stay away) had set up housekeeping on a little spot beneath a little tree in the center a big lot.

    Life may be fragile, but we are blessed each moment.

  2. This is completely beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing.

  3. This is so beautiful it brought tears to my eyes. Sarah you have captured the emotions of this time so beautifully. You are blessed!

  4. What a wonderful meme! Thank you!

  5. Goosebumps. Who are we -- any of us -- to not accept and embrace such a gift, such a blessing. You are such a talented wordsmith, Sarah.

  6. What a hopeful post! You definitely do have a way with words. :)

  7. Oh, wow, how fun! I'm glad Mia spotted those baby robins, and I'm so glad they helped you find clarity.

    Prettiness and profundity make for an awfully nice bigger picture!

  8. What a beautiful piece of nature to share with your family! It reminds me of a verse in the bible about how If God always provides food and shelter for the little birds in the air, how much more does He provide for us, whom He loved enough to die on the cross for? I am going through some rough times, and reading your blog I can't imagine what you are going through. But focusing on this scripture is one thing that helps reassure me! God bless you and your family.


Hmm...And how did that make you FEEL?