Birds of a Feather

Well I have thought way too much about this post.  I have so many worries and fears.  There isn't a whole lot that I can really explain about this blog yet.  I am really excited to start this new hobby and endeavor.  I guess we'll start with why.

Why a blog?

Over the last year, Abba has placed several people in my life who have pointed me back towards a passion I forgot about.  I love to write.  Writing has always been my escape.  I can remember several years ago when there was a huge snow storm, our power was out for about two weeks; but I can vividly remember typing up stories on the family laptop until the battery crashed…  Of course these were really terrible stories and always half done.  I have never been a strong fictional writer.  I guess that was my first hint at where Abba was taking me.  Poetry, free writes, and non-fiction have always been my wheelhouse.  If you asked me to write an informational essay, I wasn't amazing but I wasn't terrible.  Wow, I digress.  I love to write.  My life has been so absolutely crazy that I just can't seem to find the time for it anymore.   I feel like I didn't need writing to help me work through my problems.  Through Abba's gentle and not-so-subtle nudges, encouragement from my boyfriend and church, I made the jump! 

Why Barbs and Barbules? 

I first learned about barbs and barbules from a book called Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day.  Thankfully, I grew up in a home that encouraged my curiosity of the natural world God created.  I am not afraid of bugs, I think bats are the coolest, and am a proud member of Turtle Patrol.  I learned to take the curiosity and turn it into joy.  I longed to understand each detail of what was beautifully displayed in front of me.  I guess this is the beginning of where I learned to enjoy the little things.

 

Barbs and barbules are parts of the feather.  Almost everyone has seen a bird fixing or "preening" its feathers; this action is the bird realigning its barbs and barbules.  In the everyday struggle of being a bird, they can come apart and match with ones they aren't supposed to match with.  If you have ever looked up close at a feather there are little strands and off of those strands are even smaller strands, the little strands are the barbs, the smaller strands are the barbules.  In order for the bird to take flight, all of the tiny fibers must be perfectly aligned. 

Similar to birds, throughout the day our barbs and barbules can get messed up.  We don't intentionally misalign them, but one little hair being off could be the difference between showing someone patience and flying off the handle… 

I guess the next question would be, what are you preening them to do?  In a Sunday school answer, to fly closer to the one who made me.   I believe there is a reason why God mentions the birds of the air in Matthew 6:26.  Birds are beautifully simple and magically complex.  They fly, hop, walk, and run from place to place.  Like us, no bird is exactly alike the next.  Hollow bones to help them fly, different kinds of beaks for different kinds of foods, a variety of feathers, and each one the Father provides for. 

I liken myself to a bird because I find myself struggling to fly closer.  My interactions with others help me preen my feathers to go a little closer.  This blog is a place for me to share what I learned yesterday and today, and how I hope it helps and changes me in the future. 

When we my family lived at our home on Larch Lane, we had french doors that would open up to the large back deck.  On a good winter, we would have 8-10 feeders up for our feathered friends outside.  I learned how to make my own suet and identify at least a hundred different birds.  My favorite was the junco.  A small round bird who only made appearances when it would snow…  I find Juncos the most accurate gauge of winter weather as goofy as that sounds.  Any time it snows, I have seen a junco nearby.  Much like Lorelai Gilmore, I can smell snow.  Good things always seem to happen when it snows.  Of course this is a gross generalization, but it helps me think about things differently. 

Today, I live in a townhouse.  When I look out into my backyard, I see a small weed ridden backyard.  Although, that will change soon.  I have only been living with my host family for a few months, but they have already been so wonderful.  The daughter of my host family has even expressed interest in bird watching!  In the fall, we will definitely be taking some literal field trips to see what birds we can find. 

Ornithology is a hobby I have found comfort in and fallen back on when I feel I need to remember why I am living my life.  By likening myself to a bird, it gives a new perspective.  One that I may not have seen before solely because they are small and seen as a pest.

That's a big step.  Just sharing information with the world…

Yes.  The biggest thing I can tell you is I am nervous too.  BUT, Abba has given me this talent of writing and building connections and community among strangers and people.  My friend Bryson is doing something similar with a huge fighting belt his friends got him (Go check out Followthebelt on Instagram, facebook, and I think twitter also!)  I have always loved the relationship building aspect of missions; at times, I think it gets glossed over too…  Abba did not make us to be alone all the time.  He said, "'It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.'" (Gen 2:18)  I have learned a lot from the last 4 years since my earthy father left.  I use that as a marker because I really was just coasting through my life, faith, and school.  Him leaving was the moment the mirror dropped and crashed on the floor.  Living my life now is much different and I want to share my story with others to help them.  Abba has given me a voice and showed me how to speak, so now I do as he calls.