Tableau Thursday. The Season of Singing of Birds has Come

“The season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land. (‭Song of Solomon‬ ‭2‬:‭12‬ NIV)

It is the 29 th April today in Co Down, Ireland.  I was pleasantly surprised to see a swallow swoop towards my window this morning.  Hooray the swallows have arrived. It is a new season. There is a different song outside.  Robins thrill, doves coo, chaffinches chirrup as they call to their mates in the warm mornings.  It will be safe to start building nests to prepare for having their young.

The migrant birds are on the move.  The Brent Geese that had visited with us since September left the shore below while I was away in Scotland.  When they arrive in September they look like ducks.  They have shed weight while rearing their young in the Tundra in Northern Canada and have used up energy flying thousands of miles to our shores.  The Brent Geese come to the shores of Strangford Lough to feed on Eel grass. By April they have grown and fattened up.  They look like geese.  When the new season comes they fly away.  I miss  them.  Some geese came to feed and drink each morning below at a spring of water that joins the sea water lough.  I would hear their throaty calls from my room.

Jesus tells us to take the birds as our example and not to worry but seek first his kingdom.

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body.  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? (‭Matthew‬ ‭6‬:‭25-27‬ NIV)

I was shaken from my melancholy when I noticed the swallow this morning.  I went to share with my husband , “The swallows have arrived”.  It was an unexpected visitor.  He has flown here thousands of miles from South Africa.  He has made it as his family before him did.  What a feat.  Such a small bird can fly such a long way.

He had no luggage with him.  No belongings.  No passport. He has no purse.  He is free to fly over borders and nations.  He is no threat to anyone.  God had prepared a place for him in the barn behind our house. He will eat the food and drink the water here. He is welcome. He has brought joy to me. The singing has come to our land.

I watched a nature program about the flights of migrant birds.  On the swallows’ journey up North they stop off at different points to feed and rest for the next stage.  One stopover is by a lake.  The swallows arrive there just when millions of flies hatch out.  The air is dark with the flies.  The swallows swoop in and out of the cloud of flies and have a feast.  This is another example of God providing for the birds of the air.  I rejoice to see God’s timing and provision for the birds of the air.  Our Creator and Father looks after all his Creation.  I marvel in his Glory. I see his Glory in Creation.

The swallows song will join with the resident birds in the dawn chorus.  They will build their nests and rear their young in the barns behind where we live.

Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young— a place near your altar, Lord Almighty, my King and my God. (‭Psalm‬ ‭84‬:‭3‬ NIV)

I will hear a different sound in the morning.  Instead of the Brent Geese’s call, there will be the chirping of the swallows on the wire.

Family Friday. Going to see Family in Scotland

My daughter invited me over to visit with her in Scotland. We could spent some time together.  She duely booked flights for me.  I wanted to visit with three other of my children while I was over in Scotland.  My husband left on a trip the day before.  I was busy helping him get away.  Normally we travel together.

I took my time packing for my trip.  I travelled light.  I did not want to trail heavy luggage with me on and off the plane or on and off buses. I was travelling on my own. Brendan had typed out my boarding pass for the flight from Belfast to Edinburgh before he left on his trip.  He is good at any computer work that needs attention.  

I arrived at Belfast City Airport in good time.  Plans were going smoothly.  I was getting excited about my journey and looking forward to seeing my children living in Scotland.  I walked through to security check in as I already had my boarding pass.  As I handed my pass to the man in attendance I sensed I should have some other document.  It suddenly dawned on me that I had not brought my passport!  I could not get on the plane without my passport.

I stood to the side and let other passengers go on through to get their cases scanned.  I was in shock.  I had been so careful to make sure I had everything I needed in my case.  But I forgot my passport.  When Brendan and I travel he takes care of passports and boarding passes and any other business that makes our travels go smoothly, car parking arrangements, help with heavy luggage or a stay overnight in an hotel.  He is very faithful in the little details, so I don’t have to deal with them.  I was so thankful and appreciated Brendan’s help in the past.  I had taken his help for granted.

It was too late for anyone from home to bring my passport to the airport.  Normally we are advised to arrive at the airport in good time.  I know some people who arrive two hours before the flight is due to take off.  I had left no extra time.  I reviewed the situation , didn’t panic and was reconciled to the consequences of forgetting my passport.   I will return home.  I will not get to Scotland.  I was thankful I was not travelling on to a far off destination.  

I remembered back to Brendan’s story about the chicken and the eagle.  Did I want to remain in the farmyard.  No I began to praise God and pray for his help.  I decided to lift up my wings with praise and prayer. 

Just then I remembered “I might be able to use some other identification on the Flybe flight.”  I had a card with photo identification on it.  I asked the attendant if other ID can be accepted by the Flybe airline.  Yes other ID will be accepted.  I breathed a sigh of relief.  I proceeded through security to the gate for Edinburgh.  I was a happy traveller.  I had a big smile on my face.  

I went up to the gate to board the plane.  I presented my ID card.  The attendant just glanced at it.  She did not inspect it closely.  I took my seat on the plane.  It soon took off and I was soaring above the clouds like the eagle.

Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (‭Isaiah‬ ‭40‬:‭30-31‬ NIV)

I looked up the in flight book for Flybe. I got a pleasant surprise to see Tara Lodge recommended as an hotel to stay at when in Belfast. My daughter is the Manager?

I was facing disappointment due to my own carelessness or lack of foresight in not checking if I had my passport.  Someone may say “Tough.  You need to learn a lesson.  Be better prepared. Why are you so stupid to forget your passport.”

The fact is I am not perfect.  I was trying to get away earlier under pressure with seeing to last minute details before I left home.  I did not forsee this difficulty.

But do you know God is merciful.  With him there is no disappointment.  I had no one to help me get away.  My husband had already left.  My Heavenly Father cared.  He makes a way when there is no way.

I remembered again.  I have an enemy the devil who wants to rob, steal and destroy.  He wanted to rob me of my trip to Scotland.  As I resisted him and trusted God I was not robbed.

Often we want to be in control of situations, trying to cover every possibility for mistakes.  But that leaves one in stress and always having to live up to high expectations.  Yes it is good to be prepared.  But I am not going to stress out if I make mistakes.  I could not live under that pressure.  I will do what I can and realise there is someone above me who will look after me, my Heavenly Father.  I am not in control.  I let him, the God of the universe be in control.

Think about it, do you control your life and others?  Relinquish control and trust God.  When one is in control a spirit of control can be operating and driving a person without him realising it.

I was not in control of my life when I was willing to have fourteen children. It is good to trust God and not be afraid of what life may throw at us.  He has been faithful to help me rear fourteen children.  He has healed me from fourth stage cancer.  Forgetting my passport did not end my trip.

Restoration of My Purse that was Lost

I went to the Niagara Falls in the Fall.

Often when I am having a good time or planning something that will benefit others something happens to rob my joy.  I had a fantastic day out with some of my family at the Niagara Falls in Canada.

I don’t use words like fantastic but this time, the day out merited it.  I am amazed at he beauty and magnificence of the river and waterfall.  The water cascades over the Canadian Falls into swirling pools below.  A cloud of mist rises up high from the crash and mingling waters.

imageAcross from our viewing position the American Falls tumble over the cliff face. A double portion of waterfalls.  The beautiful scene was accompanied by the music of the rushing waters.  I wanted to linger all afternoon.
We drove through the countryside to Niagara on the Lake.  The autumn leaves were is full glory with yellows, reds, and browns.  We passed neat rows of vines in the vineyards made famous in this area by Canadian Iced Wine.  We lunched, shopped and strolled in this tourist town.
We had to get back before six as our host gave Mary and I two tickets to a play in Toronto.
Back home safely and happy.  In the rush of the quick turn around I discovered my purse missing.I didn’t worry or get stressed having lost my money  and bank cards.  We prayed for the purse to be returned.  I bound Satan in Jesus name from robbing my purse and any attempt to rob our joy after a good day out.  I had my passport so I could get home.
Mary and I headed off on the train to Toronto for the evening.  David rang around to see if the purse had turned up.  A great day out.
I am back in Ireland.  David checked with contacts he made on the evening I lost my purse.  The purse was handed in to the town hall and can be picked up by David.  He called me Wednesday to tell me the good news.   Not only had I a great day out but I got back my purse.  Nothing missing, nothing stolen.

God answers prayer for a purse.

A Little Tender Loving Care

I needed to visit my hairdresser badly.  I had my left arm in a cast and could not drive so I was dependant on my son or husband taking me into town.  I had put off going but there comes a time when a girl knows she needs to visit the hairdresser.

I made the appointment and my son left me off. This was the first time I was in town since I broke my wrist. I looked at my left hand.  It had been pulled and bruised in order to set my bone in my wrist.  My thumb and four fingers were protruding just a few inches out of the cast.  I decided they needed a little tender loving care.  I made an appointment in a beauty saloon nearby to have a manicure.

When I visit Rosaleen, my hairdresser, I catch up on how her children are doing and how she is coping as a single mum with four teenage boys.  Very often she talks away, the scissors keep snipping and before we know I have a shorter haircut than I had planned. Does that happen to you?

I think hairdressers have an important job.  They are counsellors and comforters.  Very often they are the only people some pensioners meet in the week.  Getting one’s hair washed is soothing.  They know all the news in the community.  They tell you how well you look.  It is a lot cheaper going to Rosaleen than going to a therapist.

Rosaleen was one of the first people I told I had cancer.  She kept me looking beautiful through the weeks of my treatment and was always caring.  The saloon would be all abuzz when I came in and told them I was healed of cancer.  Rosaleen has read my book and passes it onto her customers.  I enjoyed my beauty treatment at the hairdressers, so on to my next stop the manicurist.

I had not told my husband I was going to have a manicure.  I thought everyone is okay at home and will get on with whatever they are doing while mum is down town,  the first in a long while.  I thought I would treat myself and get a little pampered after the trauma of suffering a broken wrist.

I was not taken immediately for my appointment.  My mobile phone kept making noises telling me it was out of battery, so I turned it off.

Eventually Michelle invited me to get my nails done.  She was soft spoken. She massaged my hands.  She applied the nail polish and chatted.  One hand had to dry under the heated box, while she finished the other hand.  I was put at ease and was very relaxed. I did not notice the time passing.  I thought Michele would be finished soon.  No, she started the whole process all over again.

Another assistant came in and offered to paint my toenails.  I had not time to refuse.  In my mind I thought time is going on.  Maybe this is taking too long.

Bronagh knelt down at my feet and proceeded to wipe them.  Whooa.  This has not happened to me before.  I continued to enjoy all this attention.  I could not get a quick get away now.

I had lost all tract of time.  Perhaps Brendan will be wondering where I am.  I checked my mobile phone when I was finished at the nail parlour.  Sure enough Brendan had been trying to get in touch.  I called him.  I had completely forgotten that we had to have our passport photos signed by an official in order to get them sent off in the post that day.  Brendan had tried to contact a few people who could have signed them but they were not available.  He could not get in touch with me either!  It was now five o’clock and the post went at five thirty.  The pressure was on.  Those passport applications had to be in the post that evening.  I said a quick prayer. Help Lord.

I suggested Brendan and I meet at the police station and an officer there could sign them.  We met there, got the photos signed and rushed to the post office before closing.  We made it.  I am so glad we did.  I did not let on to anyone I was in another world for an hour when all my cares had blown away.  I got a quick wakeup call back to reality.   I did not care if the nail varnish was all smudged.  I smiled to myself. Thank you Lord for getting to the post on time.