29 He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
Yesterday I was able to experience something absolutely incredible. I watched the last of four baby birds fly from their nest. The Lord set it up perfectly for me! He knew when I first arrived in June at mom and dad’s…I would be intrigued by the momma bird nesting in a fern in the front of mom and dad’s house. When I first saw the eggs in the nest, I knew I wanted to chronicle their journey into the world with my camera. Little did I know I was going to be able to watch the last one fledge. It was truly amazing!
It came when I needed it most…after a long grueling day! I left the house around 11:00 a.m. to run my 16 miler. It was later than normal because I awoke to severe thunderstorms. While I was out struggling to finish what I had started…I heard from one of my lifelong friends who wanted to go to dinner. We made it an early one so I could go immediately after my run. I am always ravenous when I am done.
My run did not go as I wanted once again. I am so very stubborn and want to perform like I do in the best of circumstances…but I am not in the best of circumstances…so I won’t perform like I am. I get it! LOL! I think God is helping me to empathize with mom. He is helping me understand (from a different perspective) where she is…wanting to perform like she is in the best of circumstances. One major hurdle will be on August 13 when she has her bone flap replaced. YAY! But again, she has a long road to go. Granted…she is doing SO well! She has blown me away with her positive and upbeat attitude…she is a trooper. So, I, the stubborn one, needs to do the same! Be positive and do what I can do with what I have!
So, I finished my run with walking. But I finished!!! Once again I talked to my encouraging husband! He helped me put things in perspective…again. On my way to meet my friends, I had another encouraging conversation with another friend who echoed what Mike said. And of course at dinner – we had the same conversation. I keep saying, God is teaching me! He really is… One never dreams of all the lessons that can be learned when you are open and willing to listen. As I said, I am stubborn and it has been taking me awhile, but I am getting there. So, then I come home uplifted! Thanks to great family and friends! I also had a call from another wonderful friend after I arrived home. All of them encouraged me in ways God knew I needed.
24 Friends come and friends go, but a true friend sticks by you like family.
One the way home the view was beautiful. The clouds were rolling back in for another round of storms. I was driving mom’s wonderful VW Bug – which has been a silver lining on this journey. While I was stopped, I looked up and saw God-rays coming through the clouds. Once again I was reminded of His love and His hand even in the midst of a storm. He is so very good all the time!
Upon my arrival at home I heard a bird chirping. I thought it may be the momma bird because she had been constantly watching her young. When I took pictures, she would always let me know I was way too close for her comfort. She was never too far away. Like our God…He is always watching over us. He tells us if He is going to take care of the birds – why worry if He is going to take care of us.
Do Not Worry
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
I approached the nest and saw one baby bird. ONE! He was chirping not momma. The other three had fledged earlier in the day! Wow! I had been watching these babies all summer and now it was time for them to fly away. As I tried to get my camera and take one last photo – because I knew he would be gone soon – I realized I didn’t have time. He was going now. He jumped up the fern and chirped again. Then off he went! He flew and landed abruptly in a nearby tree. Then he tried again and went higher. It was truly one of the most awesome things I have ever seen. He took a leap of faith and he made it. He had been sheltered from the storms as he got strong enough to make that leap on his own. To witness the entire journey from egg to flight was a Godthing!
What is the parallel in my life? Mom! She started over on June 12. She has been sheltered from the storms by our heavenly Father. She has had the care of her TaylorStrong team. She is getting stronger every day. She is ready to take her leap of faith but we are not ready to let her. She is getting so close to where she will do it on her own very soon. (There are actually days she does things on her own before we catch her…this tells me she is close!)
Mom and my roles have been reversed these last 2 months. I am the one chirping when people or things get to close. I have learned how to be a better mom and daughter during this ordeal. We are getting close to the time for me to go home and let the bird fly on her own. I am sure momma bird was watching in the wings. I will too! Apprehension will be there when I leave in a little over two weeks…but God tells me not to worry…”Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” Matthew 6.26-27.
Mom and I are on parallel journeys. She is striving to regain her independence step by step. I am striving to finish strong on September 1 when I run the Tupelo Marathon TaylorSTRONG! The Lord has shown me this summer that this run is for my mom…my pace and my time don’t matter – what does is that I take each step toward the finish line and cross it with dignity and grace – as ELT would do! As she is doing every the step of the way on her marathon back to 100%!
2 Corinthians 12.9-10
9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.