“A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer,
it sings because it has a song.”
– Maya Angelou
As springtime is now in bloom, I spend a lot of time on my back deck. Morning greets me in all its splendor. Cool, humid air touches my skin; the smell of dewy grass awakens my nose and a variety of sweetly sung bird tweets thrill my ears. I sit, sipping coffee, lingering through a book, grateful for the moment.
I’ve been considering nature a lot these days. The mystery, the variety and the great expanse of our Mother earth overwhelms me. I’ve been noticing more and more that nature doesn’t struggle and strive, it just is. Nature does what it does, not because it is trying to prove something. Not because it is wanting to show its’ mighty power or its’ gentle strength, but, rather, because this is the way God created nature to be. Nature is simply being itself with no strings attached.
Recently, our home had the pleasure of hosting a caterpillar. My first grade son, Luke, arrived home with his kit which included the caterpillar, the food and the instructions for taking care of our new friend, Spikes. The caterpillar was skinny and small on day one and was carefully placed on Luke’s bedside table. In only a few days time, Spikes was plump. He began to spin some silk. The raw element of nature did Luke in. No longer did he want this creature next to his bed on his nightstand. Spikes got demoted to the kitchen counter. This was a fine place where Luke could peer in at his convenience.
Overnight, the caterpillar had created its’ cocoon and was snug for transformation. Amazing. I kept looking at this cocoon. Wanting to understand. Hoping to catch a glimpse of how a caterpillar sprouts wings, but, the mystery of God evades me. Ten days after Spikes moved in, he emerged as a beautiful butterfly. Spikes did not grow wings to impress me or show off. He grew wings because this is who God created him to be. The beauty and mystery of a caterpillar who sprouts wings and changes its’ name to “butterfly” simply adds to the beauty of God’s kingdom.
Spikes made me consider a day I was shopping and by happenstance, I ran into my dear friend, Harmony. She saw me from a distance and was elated. She came running towards me, pushing her cart as fast as she could. In the meantime, she saw another friend she knew and was overwhelmed with excitement. I swear, she almost kicked up her heels. Her greeting came from such a pure place; clarity rushed to me. In an instant I realized THIS is exactly how God created Harmony. Delightful. Exuberant. Caring. Her beautiful heart adds to the beauty of God’s kingdom.
Of course, this got me thinking about myself, “How did God create me? What comes naturally to an Ally?” I’ve spent much time contemplating this question for myself and thoughts have arisen which are both obvious and surprising. By discovering small truths to this question, I have greater clarity on how God created me. I am able to move forward better knowing small ways I can give back to God’s kingdom. If we are all doing one, good, small thing God created us for, the beauty grows and grows.
Psalm 139: 13-14
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
· What comes naturally to you?
· How will you use these gifts to add to the beauty of God’s kingdom?
Ask a Friend:
When have you lost track of time because you were
totally engaged in what you were doing?
Notice in a Child:
Pay attention to what comes easily to a child you know.
A few examples may be: making friends, self-soothing,
building, creating with their hands, active lifestyle,
singing, spending time alone, etc.
Give them permission to be who they are and encourage them in these areas.
I love the phrase nature just is. What about our elevated status in God’s creation (mind to think, ability to communicate with other humans)–ie: being created in God’s image–compels us to force ourselves to fit in a perfect box? I want to know what a Kristen does. Perhaps she does it with an Ally?
Don’t you find it easier to see what comes natural to other people than yourself? I do. This is where I find tremendous support from other friends on the journey, like you! I love the idea of giving permission to others to go do what they do and have them tear the box as they emerge!
We recently enjoyed the transformation of our caterpillar whose name became Flutter! God’s mystery and beauty really is so amazing! One of my favorite things is to quietly enjoy it from my back porch. I love the heart of this Ally and how she continues to be transformed! Through my younger years, I remember often striving to please, not to impress , but always worriying about what people thought and allowing that to shape my confidence in who I was. I always remind my kids that only God defines them…they are enough in Whose they are…unique and beautiful. Great post, Ally!
Yes, Sheila – I have been there too. Constantly looking from approval from outside sources. It truly is freeing when we can ground ourselvs in the truth that God loves us as we are (redeemed, adopted, chosen, a child of light, not separate from God)… awesome!
Such an insightful post…something I always need to pray for…permission to be fully myself, embrace what God made me for and feel that I am enough…thank you for the post. Love your blog already!
Creativity is one gift of yours that has blessed me! It is your natural self. I have you in my bible through a bookmark, on a shelf where a lovely handmade card sits, on my desk that displays your love for me <3 Thanks for the post, Ally. I will ponder on all your words today. May we all know who we are in Christ and love each other deeply.