You know you have flourishing self-esteem when you whisk your head around to say “thank you” after hearing what you think are whistles only to find out it’s actually real, live birds just doing their job of tweeting in trees. (I promise you, those birds sounded so “fake”. I just knew they were humans…LOL!) Not to be one easily swayed by the whistle, hiss the, occasional “Hey Girl” or my all-time favorite from the University of Alabama Quad…”Hey, Ms. Lady”, I did want to be polite to whomever I thought was using that age-old method of complimenting and at least wanted to smile in my best southern way and say “thanks”.
I laughed, really hard at myself after this experience. I laughed even harder when I shared this with a friend who almost choked laughing then begged me not to repeat this story. Of course I did choose to repeat it, hence the purpose of this post. There was a time when I would never have assumed a whistle was coming my way. Now, let me be honest and clear, those times were rare, as my parents did an excellent job of instilling in us to the best of their ability as we received it the importance of healthy self-esteem. However, bouts with life sometimes deal a tough blow which can taint even the most perfect balance of esteem and humility.
There have been times when I would have kept on walking either with my head down (not in a good way) or my head up (in an even worse way) after hearing the fake, yet really real whistles because I thought I was too tall, too thin, too big, not dressed my best, or even too good to be admired by the type of person who has the audacity to whistle from a street (those were the days when the “stay humble” struggle was real for your girl). So as I hopped down 3rd Avenue North in Birmingham, Alabama in my Old Navy deal of the week with an orthopedic boot on my foot and wind-blown hair that had to be rewashed later that day because I failed to condition it and it showed, nothing in me said that for whom the whistle whistled wasn’t me. I knew it was.
So many times we let life tell us who we are, how we are and what should be expected. I expected the whistles to be from an admirer because that’s what I expected. Simple and plain. I dare you to expect. Expect the best. Expect to be admired. Expect to be appreciated. Expect to be valued. Expect to be recognized, all in the purest place of humility, of course. Expecting is scary sometimes. I know. It’s disappointing sometimes too. I’d even go so far as to say that expecting is risky. but I know the other side of the flipping coin and let me tell you, having expectation is better than having none at all. In my mind, the fact that God saw fit to even let the birds of they were tweeting) is just the icing on the cake, cherry on top, food for fodder, a post to post about and laughter for days.
It’s official, two weeks/weekends in a row I managed to do nothing (and survived). Shocking, I know! Taking orders from a little wobble in some sunglasses that left me with a sprained foot and three torn ligaments I missed my godson’s special birthday celebration, passed on dinner gatherings, skipped my favorite school’s A-Day (Roll Tide Roll!), cancelled two upcoming conferences one of which was all the way in Connecticut, went two weeks without grocery shopping, am still hanging on to my Easter nail polish and the list goes on. I accomplished this champion feat because of my foot and much to my chagrin, because being still is often something with which I struggle.
Some people have a problem getting going. I have a problem not going. Don’t believe me? Just read my blog post You Do a Lot on why I am how I am. So when blindsided by this latest little speed bump I decided to be proactive about being inactive. In that time of stillness I slept and rested (there is a difference). I caught up on reality television (seven episodes of Carnival Eats in one day alone). I chatted with family and friends. I shopped online. I updated blogs. I wrote and organized. I planned for some upcoming plans. I realized I need to give away some shoes. I started a 30-day Bible devotional and I slowed down enough to actually enjoy my house on some beautiful, rainy days.
The older I get the more amazed I am at the big messages which often come from the little lessons in life. This is not my first ride in the “slow down” rodeo. I’m well-aware that rest must have been needed. I’m even more aware that I would not have voluntarily slowed my roll. I’m even, even more aware that GREAT things usually come after these little uninvited times of respite. So I’ll rest…and get ready.
If you’re not good it’s okay to say so. How often has someone asked how you were doing, how things were going, how work was, how the children are, and so on and so on, and the automatic answer was “good”? Now, no Debbie Downers or Complaining Calvins requested, but some times in life things are not right and it’s okay to say so. It’s simply okay to say when you’re hurting, need help or are “feeling some type of way” as the younger genreation likes to say.
I sat recently with someone who’s answer to that age old question had always “good” sprinkled with a coy smile and a nod of the head, only to find as things got heated that things were not “good”. They weren’t even “okay”. They’d gotten bad. They’d gotten really bad.
The moral of this story is: People can’t help you if they don’t know you’re hurting.
I was up on a Sunday morning considering (not worrying, not consumed, just considering) some pending things I need the Lord to do for me soon and with celebration-worthy certainty. Like most of life, these things were things which are totally out of my hands, making them out of my control. (After all these years I still want things to be in my control…LOL!)
My quite time was interrupted by loud sounds of chirping and quacking. I looked outside in the front yard and backyard to see several different black birds, mallard ducks and geese having Sunday breakfast compliments of whatever my ground was providing. They were having a blast waddling around munching on whatever must have been within a grass blades reach. They were in several parts of my yard. I left to go to church, which was about two hours after I first heard them, and sure enough they were STILL eating. In fact, three of them had decided to plop down picnic style right at the edge of my side lawn and just chill.
It hit me. God will not allow others (birds, ducks, geese or anything else) to dine sufficiently in my presence without making sure I’m able to feast as abundantly in His, and off of what’s His. The funny thing about the whole fowl scene is that the place these animals found plenty is the place I woke up contemplating. And that’s what to do about my concerns regarding my house. (Blog post coming soon.) Seeing them so sure of all being well was a reminder right before my eyes of Matthew 6, and the fact that all is already well.
That’s good news! It reminds me of the undeniable fact that God’s got this, that, them, you and me too!!!!
The moral of this message: The fowl are just fine and we will be too. (Now go quack on that.)