Remember that quiet prayer spot I mentioned in my last post—the place where I find peace and fuel for my day? Well, recently the tranquility of that hallowed space was compromised. Significantly.
As I sat down for a few moments to get centered, I couldn’t take my ears off of the peculiar scratching sound near the window. I was pretty sure it had something to do with the pesky woodpecker who had taken an interest in our wood siding. I walked over to the window to shoo away our little intruder and, as if on cue, my nine year old son Charlie entered the room with an adamant “Stop!” He raced over to the wall, leaned in for a listen, then asked, “Can you hear that chirping?” It was subtle, but it was there. He pointed out that adult birds don’t sound like that. Baby birds do!
After further investigation, we discovered that what had gone down was this: the woodpecker drilled a hole into our house, built a nest, and baby birds were now living inside the wall of my favorite room.
As the days went on, that subtle sound turned into an irritating, endless soundtrack of chirps. I found myself feeling actively annoyed by the noise when I tried to write or pray in that space. Missing the silence. The stillness.
Until…one morning I was out in the yard, and I looked up to see the mama bird peeking out of her home within our home! The sight of her there, protecting her family, helped me to see beyond myself. She was just trying to take good care of her babies. And it was actually fascinating to think about new life beginning right there beyond our siding. Once I adjusted my attitude, the music from my temporary housemates wasn’t so bad.
Our days are filled with the choice between annoyance and appreciation.
We can feel burdened by seemingly endless household chores or grateful to have a home to care for. Grumpy about the cleanup after an event or happy to have been surrounded by friends and family. Frazzled when we take on a caregiver role or thankful for the extra time together. Bugged by yet another grocery store run or joyful to have people to feed and the ability to do so. Irked that the parking lot is full and we have to park crazy far away or appreciative that we are healthy and walking isn’t a struggle. Frustrated by the mess of shoes littering the house or filled up by the adventures enjoyed inside each pair.
When we flip our perspective, everything seems a little brighter. And we quickly realize that there is always something to smile about if we’re looking for it.
God has surrounded us with abundant gifts to enjoy. Consciously choosing to recognize and embrace our gifts each day can transform an irritating noise into a beautiful symphony.
He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him. Psalm 40:3
Just a few more weeks until A Case for Kindness releases! I’m super excited to share this message with you. If you want to check out the pre-order on Amazon, here is the link: