You're probably wondering about the daughter Isabella loves to clean-she comes by it honestly. I am a shameless clean freak. One morning I was working away in the kitchen while she had the mop I'd left out overnight to dry. And I look over to check on her and my then-7-month-old son, and say the five words I never thought I'd say as a parent, "Isabella, don't mop your brother!" He didn't mind, and she just wanted to make sure he was sparkly. So welcome to my world!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Happy As A Cardinal

I know-the phrase is "Happy as a clam" or even "Happy as a lark" but this morning, it was a cardinal. My pajama-clad son/alarm clock walks in every morning just past 6:30 and wants "up." So I grab his little self and pull it under the covers with me and we snuggle for a full half-hour. It's heaven. This particular spring morning, we had the windows open and I listened to a few cardinals greeting the morning. They were very loud, very cheery, and very happy to just be a cardinal!

It brought my mind back to the passage in Matthew 6:25 that says this: " 25Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?"

I lay in bed last night talking to Joshua about a great many things I was "worried" about: whether us getting a dog was a good idea, that I should have gotten the dining room chairs cleaned before small group tonight, if I should stop letting Ryan watch Diego each morning so I can do my devotions in (relative) peace, how to discipline him so it would stick, since he's been going right back to the things that are off limits, about feeling the same pull I did when I worked outside our home-that when I work on things in the home and let the kids play I feel guilty, and when I spend the whole day on the floor with them I feel guilty for not getting more things done about the house, how I felt like I was spinning plates on tiny sticks, always running from plate to plate and making sure that I got them all going again before one started wobbling too much.

But that cardinal this morning didn't have those worries: he just belted out a song, "I'm a CARDINAL! I get to be a CARDINAL TODAY! I always have food, and a tree to sit in and life is GREAT! WOOHOO!" And the cardinal's sheer delight at the dawning day reminded me of my mindset. The cardinal doesn't worry about food and water and tree branches-why should I? (You know what I mean.) God has never left me without all my needs, and several of my wants. The cardinal was created to praise God with his/her tiny little bird life, and that's my purpose as well; but does the worry glorify God when He tells me that He's got it all covered? I'm thinking that cardinal was looking around at all the food our bird-friendly neighbors left, the multitude of trees in our courtyard to perch on, and even the other cardinals hopping around and thought, "Life is great! I'm so happy, I'm gonna sing!" This doesn't mean that I blithely ignore the difficulties in my life, nor does it mean that there aren't people out there with real struggles, but in my life right now, nothing is so dramatic that it should take away my song. I can greet the morning just as excitedly as that cardinal and praise God for His provision, getting my focus on the right place for the day.

I could take this post in a million more Biblical directions: my "Martha-ness" at wanting to get things done instead of having the Mary heart I know I need; Peter doing well while his focus was on Jesus, but then falling into the storm when he looked around; even Eve focusing on the one tree she couldn't have instead of looking around at a literal paradise and praising God for His creativity and provision. But I think you get the idea.

So for now, for this morning, I'm ditching my prayer list, I'm ditching my mental list of things to worry about, I'm not opening my home notebook to check on the day ahead, and instead I'm going to live out my purpose: I'm going to praise God for this day and start it off by singing to Him like that cardinal outside my window.

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