Eagle Feathers: Parenting the Eaglets

In yesterday’s post, I hinted at what I feel was a turning point this weekend. Scott swooped in on Saturday afternoon and saved the rest of the weekend. So much so that when he texted me later Saturday night and asked how it was going, I honestly told him very good.

I talk about what he did and then relate that to another quality of eagles.

As I sit here thinking on it, I remember as I was crying Saturday afternoon, Scott prayed over me.  I believe that the Lord gave Scott that idea as an answer to his prayers–another picture of God covering us under his feathers.   He provided exactly what we needed so we could cover our own little eaglets and provide them with the stability and consistency they need.  He’s so good!

 

In a desert land he found him, in a barren and howling waste.
He shielded him and cared for him;
he guarded him as the apple of his eye,
like an eagle that stirs up its nest and hovers over its young,
that spreads its wings to catch them and carries them aloft.
The Lord alone led him.
Deut 32:10-12

Eagle Feathers: Plucking the Bad Ones

birds

Scott had another long weekend of work. Friday night and Saturday morning was not pretty.  I lost it a little on Saturday afternoon.

God continues to show us feathers to comfort us.  Through the weekend, Scott found one in a garage at work, Jacob found another in the yard and then several more people found others.  One special one was from my friend’s son who is also adopted. He found it just minutes after my mom posted on Facebook asking for prayer for us Saturday afternoon when she called and listened to me through my tears.  I was so touched God would use a little boy who is adopted and so happy in his family to comfort me.

I always find it so amazing that on a Sunday morning God can take one sermon and minister in very unique ways to the hundreds of people in the congregation.

He is doing the same kind of thing with these feathers.

He isn’t teaching us just one thing through them.  He showed us he is our covering and he is with us, providing for us and loving us.  He showed us it is manna and ultimately He is our daily manna.  And now, I believe he has some lessons for us to learn from eagles.

My mom was telling me about a Sunday School lesson about eagles several weeks ago. Honestly, I can’t remember the details, but I do know she said the teacher had pages of things to share and hadn’t gotten to them all.

Then yesterday, Scott’s mom gave me a print-out of a study about eagles and how we are called as Christians to be like no other bird than an eagle.

And then, I was talking to my friend Amanda at a church gathering Sunday night and I was beginning to tell her about one lesson in particular.  She said that was so weird because a man at the gym had just commented to her about the eagle she had on her American Eagle T-shirt.  She shared with me a few lessons he had shared with her.  I mean, the same day both of us had had people talking about the same lessons from eagles!  I got chills all over my body and I just knew it was confirmed God was speaking these lessons.

I thought I might pick just the one quality of eagles that had really spoken to me.  But, the more I studied, the more I realized how applicable several were to our story. So, I will take a few days this week to do a series on lessons from eagles.

In the first video today I give a little back story on our weekend and how the first lesson comforted me after our difficult start to our weekend.

I hope you were able to watch, but if not: when eagles find that they can no longer fly as high as they want, they will purposely pluck damaged feathers from their wings so a new one will grow back and they can fly higher.  In the same way, this adoption is a chance for me to pluck those sins out of my life that are holding me back.  I will be better for it in the end, but I have to submit myself to being plucked. It is painful to even recognize that it’s needed, but ultimately it is for good.

A few more resources I have run into lately for anyone that wants to dive deeper:

  • Joni Earackson Tada shared about pain and suffering last week at one of my previous church’s. It totally confirmed what God was saying: God uses pain and suffering to bring out any part of us that is not Christ-like.
  • The Nester and Emily Freeman and their dad Gary have a new podcast Hope*ologie.  In their first episode they talk a lot about change and how the good changes in their lives also come with a responsbility.  Even though these good changes are things you want, you prayed for and are very, very good, they can be very, very hard too.
  • Joyce Meyer also has done a series on eagles and chickens.  I’ve listened to the first one and it’s really good.  Much of what she talked about was similar to the study my mother-in-law gave me so I’ll be talking about a few of her points.
  • Here is the study my mother-in-law gave me on Eagle Christians.

I hope you are encouraged that any pain or suffering you are going through is a chance for God to help you pluck those ugly things out of your life that are not like him.  Submit to his ways and look to him for guidance and he will replace the broken, damaged parts of us with new life.

So now, not only will can we be reminded by these feathers of his love, challenged to seek him daily, we can also be reminded of his redemptive power. He’s so good!

 

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 40:31

 

And to leave you with a little more hope, I think we may have had a turning point on Saturday. I’ll talk more about it in one of the upcoming posts this week. This morning Jacob said, “I’m the luckiest boy on the planet!” Oh, how much I needed that!

Jessie’s Feather Story: What Does it Mean if I Don’t Get a Feather?

Today is a guest post by my friend and blogger Jessie Weaver.  She found her feather yesterday after a very bad day, but I love her story because God asked her a very important question before she found it that I think He wants to ask us all.

—————————————————————–

Here is what I know about finding feathers: you have to be willing to look down and see one.

Yesterday morning, I begged God to let me find a feather that day. I needed affirmation that He saw the difficulty we are going through with my daughter starting kindergarten. That He knows my heart is bruised and needs a coating of His Jehovah Rapha love. And I believed, with all of that sullen heart, that He could and would provide a feather.

And yet, I found myself a few hours later, realizing I never took the time to look down. I exited the house with my 5-year-old and toddler in tow, buckled them in the van, and then realized I had a flat tire. We borrowed a car from someone else in our building, took my daughter to school, had AAA come to put on the spare, drove to the mechanic to get the tire patched, and then finally made it to my MOPS group, an hour late. I rushed around, the squirmy toddler leaving me little focus.

But then it was the afternoon and I mused that God could only have shown me a feather if Joshua (17 months) had stuffed it into his little mouth.

Hours later, after what seemed like the longest day in history, I was able to be by myself for a few minutes after I got Libbie from her bus stop. I let her go down into the apartment and walked around our building, praying and trying desperately to feel God’s leading.

“Would it mean I loved you less if I didn’t give you a feather, dear one?” He asked me.

“No, God. But please … I need to know You are here.”

Defeated, I began walking back the way I had come. And right there, sticking up out of the soft grass like a flag, was the feather.

Feathers

I can choose what to look for. I can look for inconveniences, reasons to be upset, ways my kids and husband have messed up – ways I have failed myself. I can look at the toy-littered floor and only see crumbs and mess and how my back hurts and I can’t pick it all up again.

Or I can see blessings, ways to thank God in every moment. His sacred presence sweeping through the mundane places in my everyday. Tiny blonde curls and a winkled nose as the toddler smiles at me. Food in our refrigerator, living in a natural wonderland, with the river running close, the trees abundant with wildlife, the places to run and play full of His glory.

God will give me the feathers. But I have to go out and collect them.

—————————————————————–

I love that God was so gracious to give her a feather, but do not miss what God was telling her.  He loves her, and all of us, the same with or without a feather in your hand.

I’m praying for you guys and hope you do keep looking for the feathers and all the blessings in your life!

Thank you so much for sharing today, Jessie.  If you have a story and would like to share, please email me!

Feathers and Manna

I can’t get over how God is continually showing up for people through these feathers.  I keep getting messages about how God is showing up in very specific ways for people.  More than one person got one feather and discarded it because they thought it was a fluke and then God sent them another one.  This is not an accident.

We actually found yet another one in the driveway–Scott’s first one.  Now we have all found one.

feather09042014

 

I don’t know how long God will keep this up, but I do know he is not done for right now.  He revealed a phrase that I wrote in Tuesday’s post for me to follow.  It is “What is this?”  That phrase was uttered by others in the Bible and I believe they are related. I have searched Scripture and commentaries and listened to the Holy Sprit and cnce again, I felt led to speak these words both for me and you.

 

 

God is providing these feathers like he provided manna for the Israelites.  He is speaking several things through these:

  • His fatherly care for us to remind us that he is providing for us, protecting us and loving us–He is our covering both for salvation and every day.
  • To make sure that we know that He is the Lord and nothing that is happening to us is a surprise and it is His work alone, not man’s.
  • To test to see if we will continually trust him in obedience.
  • The feathers and manna are simply a symbol of Jesus Christ.  He is the bread of life and it is through Him and Him alone that we find eternal life.  If this is something new for you, my friend Mandy has a wonderful post about salvation.

Whether you watched or not, read Exodus 16 and John 6 and let the Spirit speak to you.

I hope you are both encouraged and challenged like I am to go to Jesus every single day and receive both his love and direction.

One thing I did not address in the video is that the Lord even instructed the Israelites how to preserve the manna for it to be a reminder for the generations to come.  He told them to put it in a jar and put it in front of the Testimony that it might be kept.  I plan to do the same thing with the feathers.  Don’t you love that God is so attentive to detail that not only would he provide but also help you find a way to remember that he provided?  He’s so good!

Keep sending me your pictures and your stories. They are so encouraging to me.

Soccer and Feathers

One of the very first things our case worker told us about Jacob was that he wanted to play soccer.  If you remember, that’s the reason we bought him a soccer ball and gave it to him at our first meeting.  You also might remember playing soccer as a family was one of our first activities together during our day visits.

When he was having his final visits with us, I asked if he wanted me to sign him up as the season was quickly approaching.  He seemed a little hesitant and said he wanted to think about it.

After he was placed, one of the first things I followed up on was whether he wanted to play soccer.  He gave an emphatic yes!

Tonight, he had his first practice.

feathersoccer1

Y’all, I’m officially a soccer mom! And isn’t he cute in his soccer outfit?  That smile!

I know this happens all the time, but it’s so weird to go from not even having a boy to having a boy and playing soccer all within 1 month. I mean, normally there is time to prepare for these things.

I admit, I was anxious about the practice tonight.  Scott wasn’t able to go.  Would he listen to his coach? Would he participate?  What could/would I do if he didn’t? Was this too much too soon?

I should have known better.  He’s so great in new situations with new people.  He just figures out what’s going on and jumps in.

It was the hottest day of the summer today and besides being a little anxious, I was not looking forward to sitting in 90 degree weather for an hour.  I was debating whether to stay or go and if I stayed where I would sit and who I would talk to.  The girls were with me and what would they do the whole time? I did not want to listen to complaining the whole time.  It’s amazing how I can worry myself into a tizzy.

The practice started and as I said, he jumped right in.  The girls and I decided to head down to the snack bar.  I figured it would give us something to do and pass the time.

We headed back to the field and there was a bench free for us.  We settled in and even took a selfie for Instagram.

feathersoccer4

All the sudden, Jacob leaves his team and comes running toward us.  I panicked a little.  Oh no, here we go. What will I do? Are we done for? Does he hate it already? What am I going to do?!

And then?  Then, he gets to us and says, “I found a feather!!!”

I couldn’t believe it.  Neither could the girls.  Jacob had a grin on his face from ear to ear.

feathersoccer3

So I hurry him back to his team and take the picture that you see above.  Lexi took the feather in her hand and closed her eyes and said, “Jesus, help us find more feathers.”

What you might not see is that while I’m taking that picture, Jacob is already running full sprint back to us with a second feather. Do you see him smiling?

Are you kidding me?  “That’s the feather I just prayed for!” Lexi said.

And it was blue!  A blue feather!

So he goes back and gets with his team and a few minutes later, guess what he does? Comes running back to us with another feather!

What?  No way!  I couldn’t even believe it.  A third feather.

At this point, I was seriously wondering if he had found a dead bird and was just plucking off its feathers.  And why aren’t the other boys seeing any of these feathers?

But THEN.  He comes back with a FOURTH feather–and it’s blue too!

“Stop it!  Just stop it!” I yelled as he was running towards us. I couldn’t believe it. I was having a full freak-out on the soccer field sidelines.  If I had been at home, I might have had a full on ugly cry moment.

So, Jacob is laughing and goes back to his team to finish practice.

The weather is just beautiful.  There was some breeze blowing in.  The sky was absolutely stunning and it was one of the most beautiful evenings we’ve had lately.  Every time I felt that breeze, it just felt like God was passing by. The girls kept themselves busy doing cartwheels on the sidelines and Jacob was doing great with the team.

As Jacob’s team is finishing up in a huddle, Lexi is looking towards Jacob and yells, “Jacob has another feather!”

I look up and there he is standing outside the huddle holding up another feather in his hand.  FIVE.  Five feathers.

I can’t even explain anything at this point.  Like, what is happening in my life right now?

So Jacob still has to do devotions with all the teams.  We’re in a Christian league where they share the gospel throughout the season.

And guess what the devotion is about?  A little orphan boy who felt called to go on a missions trip, but he didn’t have the money. The whole point of it was how he needed faith for God to provide for him.  I mean, I wish I would have recorded it because it was exactly what I’ve been saying about these feathers.

As the devotion is going on, the girls run to go get Jacob something from the snack bar because it’s closing up.  Emma comes back and guess what she holds up? A BLUE FEATHER. She found it near the concessions stand.

SIX FEATHERS IN A ONE HOUR SPAN.

feathersoccer2

Guys, WHAT IS THIS? Because I’m not even sure what to do with it anymore.

All I can tell you is God is making it abundantly clear that he’s with us.  On a night when I was especially anxious about Jacob, he totally showed up.  There’s just no other way to explain it.

He’s growing my faith like never before and I love that my kids are a part of it too.

And it’s not just our family.  I had several more messages even today from others that they’re finding their own feathers.  And guys, it’s not easy to find a feather!  I even went out on the field after his practice just to see if I could find a dead bird or even another feather. Or something to explain it.  Nothing. Several people have told me they’ve been wanting one, even looked for one and couldn’t find one.  God keeps placing them in people’s paths unexpectedly. It’s so awesome to watch.

But just remember, it’s not about the feather.  It’s about a God who sees you, sees your hurt, your worry, your needs and he wants so desperately to love you and provide for you.  He’s saying, I’m here, will you just believe it and let me help?

As I’m typing this, I just got another tweet that another feather was found–floating in someone’s room.  Holy cow.

So there, I can’t even pretend to be Ann Voskamp right now and tie a little bow on this.

SIX FEATHERS, Y’ALL.