What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?

What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?
Remember: "When God closes a door, He always opens a window!" You never know what might be out there waiting for you!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Promises Fulfilled

Genesis 9:13-16  "I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth.  It shall be, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow shall be seen in the cloud; and I will remember My covenant which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh.  The rainbow shall be in the cloud, and I will look on it to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth."

These pictures were taken at our new house this morning around 7 a.m., just as I was getting ready for work. If you recall, I started out the New Year with a one word "resolution" for the year...and that word was "HOPE".    At that time I had allowed myself to "hope" that God would help us work out of a difficult situation and get to a place that would enable us to finally settle down and prepare for our eventual "retirement".  Due to circumstances beyond our control, my husband was prematurely "retired" last year when his position was cut unexpectedly.  When that door closed, we were not financially prepared for such an event, and we knew that we would have to make some strategic "moves" if we were to survive.  Thus we began to pray that God would show us a reasonable and realistic solution to our dilemma. (An open window?) The primary goal was to find more affordable housing in which we could actually afford to live when we are fully retired and both living on social security (hopefully if it is still available).

Miraculously, very soon after declaring my "one word resolution" of HOPE for the New Year, God did in fact lead us to that "open window", and He divinely led us to people who held the door wide open for us to enter into not only a new home (new to us) that met the criteria for our future, but also to a new life...a community of friendly, welcoming, loving people who did so much more for us than just provide us with a house to live in...they have also given us a promise of future fellowship and friendship beyond our greatest expectations. 

So the rainbow in the clouds this morning represented a promise fulfilled...hope restored...answered prayer.  My husband and I both stood in the open doorway of our new home and said a prayer of thanksgiving to God for the great things He has done...both now, and in the future.  Our hearts are full.  We have even greater HOPE now than we had before.   Thank you, Jesus. Amen.

By the way, I think it is appropriate that this is the first post I have written in our new home.  There will be many more to come...but I love that it has started out this way!  I pray that God will fulfill your hopes today. Keep watching for the answers to come...He is working...even when the sky looks cloudy and dark...watch for the rainbow of His promise to appear. He has not forgotten you!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

"He Watches ME..." ...(WE)

Can you see the owl in this picture?  If you can, then you are a pretty wise "owl observer"

For those of you who have followed my blog for a while you will know that I have had this "relationship" with the Barred Owls in my backyard and also remarkably in my father's backyard. My Owl Story ,"The Last Farewell"  (check on these links for the stories...)

Well, now we are getting ready to move away from this home and my backyard visitors...and I am kind of sad about that.  I have watched these owls raise their babies, listened to them call to each other in the night and in the day, ("Who- who -who cooks for youuuuuu????"), witnessed their love-wooing, (sometimes quite passionate and somewhat hysterical in tone)  and have had many a long conversation with them, or at least a "stare-down" with them. (I stare at them, and they stare at me...I've always wondered what they were thinking while watching me watching them).  It has been a remarkable friendship from the very beginning.  No doubt about it, they have been the highlight of our sojourn in this community...actually the only "friends" we have had here in the five years we have lived in this particular house! That may sound strange, but that should tell you that it has not been a super friendly neighborhood, at least not in the human sense.

So, we are moving on...and already we are making new (human) friends in our new neighborhood and we haven't even moved in yet!  But I truly am going to miss my owl friends. They have comforted me when I was grieving, they have entertained us and our guests with their antics...we have marveled at their amazing acts of parenting in raising their young ones...it has been a uniquely wonderful experience.  (Check out "The Things I see Outside My Open Window" page on this blog)

The other evening I was washing up the supper dishes and looking out my kitchen window up at the treetops, and there right before me was one of our owl friends, perched on a very small branch perfectly balanced, and I promise you I am not exaggerating, he was literally watching my every move.  I quickly turned out the light in the kitchen so I could see him better, and he never took his eyes off of me.  He sat there for a very long time, and I took advantage of the opportunity to capture a picture, although sadly it was getting too dark and I didn't have the telephoto lens on to bring him up closer, but that's ok...I have the memory of the moment engrained in my mind.  It was as if he was coming to pay his last respects to me since I am going away...it was a special moment.

Ok, you can call me crazy if you want, and you won't be far off...but I appreciated the salute from my old friend.  Actually, I just heard him calling his mate again a few minutes ago...(this is the time of year that they are most likely watching their nestling...the mating time has already taken place...and they take turns guarding the nest, which is nearby).  I will miss hearing their calls and cackles in the night...even though they sometimes sounded a bit eery and loud right outside my bedroom window in the wee hours.  I will miss watching them train their offspring to fly and hunt...BUT, we ARE moving farther into the forest....so I am hoping they have spread the word to their cousins in the treetops to watch out for us and come pay us a visit in our new "Camp in the Woods" house.   I'll be listening and watching...and I'll be sure to let you know when they do!!

So, for now, I say so long to my fine feathered friends...and also say, "Thanks for the memories"...

The Owls have taught me a lesson by their example here...it corresponds with what Jesus was teaching His disciples in Matthew 6:25-28a,  and I want to share it with you now:

"Therefore I say to you, do not worry 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?  Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?  Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?  So why do you worry ....?"

I know that God watches over the owls and the birds of the air and beasts of the field (and woods),  and as the late singer Ethel Waters used to remind us at every Billy Graham crusade back in the "olden days", "His Eye is on The Sparrow, and I know He watches me!"  Ethel Waters singing "His Eye is On the Sparrow", Ethel Waters-at Billy Graham Crusade 1965

So I don't need to worry about my owl friends, nor do I need to worry about my own future...God is watching me....or as Ethel says at the very end of her song ..."I know He's watching 'WE'".... You and me!
Now that's something to remember!!!!