When Stork Stares

IMG_20161128_104228This morning, Stork perched on the railing of this pier. He felt me watching, turned his head and stared straight back. It’d been years since he did that.

The stare was an acknowledgement. “You are sitting still, watching, and I have your full attention. Good!” It was scary, but exciting at the same time! If you don’t know about the Great Blue Heron in my life, you can read more here. Stork is my sign from God that I’m right where I’m supposed to be.

My morning meditation, “You are on the path of my choosing.

To be on the path of God’s choosing. It may begin on a path we choose, but God will come in and straighten it out. He is always with us on our journey, and if we lose our way, we can follow Him. He doesn’t judge, and loves unconditionally.

That is my hope.

 

 

 

 

The Right Path

Three years ago, I told God I wanted nothingness. Just put me in nothingness. Well, it’s true when they say, “Be careful what you ask for. You just might get it!” He plopped me on 40 acres, with my daughter, and a new beginning.

piermcdade

When I knew it was past time for me to leave my marriage of 25 years, I prayed the God would show us where to go. At first, I was hoping my daughter and I would be able to stay in our home, and that my husband would leave. He wasn’t leaving, and I guess he thought I wouldn’t either, but we did.

I was so hungry for more. Beauty, peace, joy, happiness, and a life reflecting His very best. I couldn’t really fathom what that would look like, but I knew it had to be better than where I had allowed myself to be. It was that faithful day, I was standing outside, and my daughter walked up to me and said, “Mama? Are you ever gonna smile again?” It was time for a huge leap of faith.

If you want to read all about Stork, and what He’s meant in my life, you can do so here. I believe God will give us signs we are on the right path. Stork has been mine.

stork

I didn’t know where to go. Where would be our new home? My daughter started looking, and found a house an hour away from where we were. We looked at several houses, but none of them seemed quite right. When she found this one, I asked, “Where the heck is McDade, TX?” We drove to find out.

After looking at numerous houses, I was ready for a sign. I asked God to make it crystal clear, if this was going to be our new home. Make it obscenely obvious, because sometimes I need that. We met the owner of the little house, at the house, and he showed us around. I knew it was when Mr. Rick said these exact same words, it was my sign from God.

He said, “What do you think? Is this your new home?”

I had asked God to show us our new home.

It was still a scary process, waking up out in the middle of nowhere. We were surrounded by 40 acres, and lots of wildlife. Mr. Rick, and his wife, Patricia, lived across the pond from us, so we weren’t completely alone. God has His Angels firmly planted. I still laugh when I think back at the first time I called them at 2:00 am, after hearing footsteps on the front porch.

I-know

No honey, those were hooves, not feet. (wild boar)

Stepping out onto the front porch of that little house for the first time, coffee in hand, it looked just like nothingness. I asked God, “If this is where we’re supposed to be…If we are on Your path, You gotta show me something please.”

My eyes were drawn down to the left, where a pond and a pier stood still. At the end of that pier, was the most beautiful Great Blue Heron! He was just standing there majestically, with complete confidence, which at the time I didn’t have. He looked at me as if to say, “Good morning Dear. God sent me to tell you. Welcome home.”

That was years ago, but Stork is still in my life today.

That leap of faith was the first step of a new life, and a life of beauty. I don’t know if I will ever know what God’s very best looks like, but I’m going to enjoy the journey, and the little glimpses He gives. I’m obviously on the right path.

Look For Signs

When I first moved to this little farm house on 40 acres, I had no clue what God had in store. I was hoping this was His will, but concerned that maybe this was my move and not His. There was nothing out here but grass, trees and a pond with a pier beside the house. This is what nothingness looked like, as I slowly recalled mentioning to God, “Give me nothingness.”

blueheron

The entire story of the Blue Heron, or the Stork we named Elvis, is written in my Blog, Just Breathe. He was my sign that I was at the right house, and exactly where I needed to be. There are actually two storks. The Blue Heron was the first one to show up and then a white Egret came to visit.

The white one, named Marilyn shows up often. She is here almost everyday, stays for a bit and leaves. Elvis is very majestic and carries himself with intention. Sometimes he makes himself known, like this morning, as I was gazing out the window. He purposefully strolled right into sight as if to say, “Good Morning Barbara. I’m here.”

At other times, I have to search for him. His coloring blends in with the brush and trees around the pond, so I have to look for movement before he steps into view. Sometimes, I just know he’s there without even looking. His presence fills me with peace and promise of good things to come.

When he shows up, I can feel, a change is coming in my life.

Stork is fearless. I’m looking out the window now and it’s pouring down rain. He’s just standing there, watching for his morning catch of fish.

The rain is not going to deter him from his mission.

He is focused and is not bothered by his environment. Now, if I go outside with gusto, and the screen door slams, it will disturb his focus and he will fly away. They are instinctual animals, so a loud noise resembling a gunshot will prompt him to flee to safety.

Look for signs. They are there because God always gives a heads up before He swoops in and moves. Just like The Great Blue Heron, God moves swiftly in my life, but he shows me little things leading up to the event.

I may see nothing at first, and that within itself is a sign that something has changed. Watch for the slightest movement. It will step into view when I’m willing and God’s ready.

Hey….Watch This!

I live in the country, so the title of this post is a rather popular saying by guys around here. It usually precedes a physical act that can lead to an emergency room visit shortly thereafter. As I sit at my desk this morning typing this, I gaze out the window and see my kind of, “Hey…Watch this!” The foliage has grown rather tall around the pond, and it’s earth tone colors made this easy to miss. Looking carefully…I see Stork!

frog

If you’re not familiar with Stork, go back and read, “Just Breathe” for an introduction. There are two that visit our pond, and this morning, it’s the Great Blue Heron. It’s rare to see him, and you have to look closely to spot him during his visit.

He stands majestically in the water, and moves with graceful intention. I go out onto the porch and sit on the stoop to take in a closer look. He takes three long strides, lowering his head toward the water. He plunges his beak below the water level, and pulls back with a fish. As I’m typing this, he has done this three times that I’ve seen.

He is in the present moment. He is aware of his surroundings, but focused on what’s in front of him. Breakfast.

now

There are distractions. Birds are flying all around, and half a dozen or so are having a party on the pier. A truck rides by on the road above, but it doesn’t distract him. He walks away from the road, finds a quieter spot, and retrieves another fish.

Are you enjoying the present moments of your life? I am guilty of not paying attention to what’s important at that moment. Sometimes I’m too focused on what’s at hand, and I miss what just happened beside me. My daughter trying to tell me what just happened in her day. I’m practicing reverting my attention from work, to focusing on her and listening to what’s she’s trying to share. This is her present moment, and we won’t get it back. If I miss too many of these, she will be less likely to invite me in.

presentmoment

I encourage you to pay attention to what’s around you, and what’s in front of you. A fabulous book to help guide is, “The Miracle of Mindfulness” by Thich Nhat Hanh. This book is beautifully written and pure joy to read. Look around and ‘see’ what’s important. What is happening that wasn’t happening a moment ago?

The vacuum is going to sit until plugged in and used. My world is still and quiet at the moment, but that will change as soon as my daughter wakes up and the cat and dog are set free from their sleeping quarters.

Stork has moved on for the day. I enjoyed catching glimpses of his present moment experience. The fish could learn a lot from Stork, and so could we.