Pretty, Pretty, Pretty!

birdySo, I have a lot going on in my life now . . . how about you?  Do you sometimes feel elated by God’s grace and love and other times sunk from the weight of it all?  Like me, does that bring on feelings of guilt?  Worse yet, do you sometimes feel alone and beat yourself up for not knowing how to “fix everything” that you “should” be able to fix?  You don’t have to admit it to us.  It’s okay.  We are human and flawed.

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Yesterday was one of those days when my worries drowned out His voice of assurance so as I made my coffee in a somewhat robotic way and looked out the window at my weed filled and overgrown yard, neglected due to physical limitations, I thought “mindless work.  I should see what I can do.”

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It’s pretty hot here, but yesterday was humid yet under 90.  It didn’t matter.  I needed to be distracted from my own thoughts.  So, I covered up, grabbed some paper yard waste bags and got to it.  Oh, boy.  I learned how out of shape and broken this body is.  I learned covered up meant more so than I’d realized (oh the scraped and bruises from thorns and such) and yes upper 80s, sunny and humid is HOT.  I hoped someone would come over and help.  Didn’t happen.  My heart pounded, my bad foot and  bad hand challenged me, my allergies pounded my chest .  . . I kept working.

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I discovered that I didn’t own any yard tools which could help me, couldn’t buy what I needed, and knew I’d have to wear gloves and do it by hand.  I also knew I’d need to take a lot of breaks.  That being said, I didn’t give up.  Friends called with other ideas of what I needed to do with my life.  I knew I was doing, at that moment, what I needed to do.

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As the day progressed, still all alone, I saw what mess the yard still was.  I knew how worn out I was.  I pushed on.  I realized many more days like this would have to happen before my yard was ready for a true “re-do” and knew as well I couldn’t afford to do much to improve it.  I pushed on.

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I knew we were likely to get more rain, we’ve had tons, and that all my work could go bust as weeds and vines grow quickly and take over so quickly.  I pushed on.  I filled bags and bags with brush  by hand, back, and tired legs.  I looked around me and only the bags told my tired mind what had been accomplished as I heard a voice inside say “you’re a mess.  You can’t do this.  You’re hopeless.”  I pushed on.

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I came inside the house to re-hydrate only to hear more opinions from others on what I “should” do . . . all of which served their agenda, but not the one I felt I was being led to do.  I sat, I drank cool water.  I pushed on.

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Wow, it was hot.  The sun was moving as it does at the late afternoon and as I realized I had errands to do and probably needed to step away from my work in the yard, I stood still.  I was aching and dripping and was torn between doing those other things and pressing on some more.  I knew one day was not enough to transform things completely.  Change takes time.  Trash collection next morning . . . time to drag all the bags to the curb.  I pushed on.

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When the day’s task was brought to a stop until another day, I stood beneath the tree and realized all day I’d been hearing birds singing loudly and so beautifully.  As I leaned against the tree knowing I’d go inside and be laughed at for how awful I looked, and would have messages for the other things some would think I should have done . . . and dreaded what the mirror would reveal . . . I heard something else.  “Pretty!  Pretty! Pretty!”  Yes, those very words being sung loudly and clearly and meant for me!  The birds in the tree above me . . . tiny and hidden from my tired eyes, but still there even if I couldn’t see them.  When I stopped and listened I heard their sweet sounds, though.  Their song reminded me of what I knew all along.  The Lord Himself was with me and singing to me through their voices.  He was holding out His hands to me filled with hope and promise!  He didn’t see bleeding legs, scraped up arms, sweat, and dirt streaked all over me.  He saw me as “pretty” and as His own.

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