Category Archives: Joy

For the birds

Look at the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you more important than they? (Matthew 6:26)

I think the birds have it right. They wake up around 5:25 a.m. and start singing with a zest for life. I mean, they really and truly let it out with chirrups and tweets, trills and whistles. This morning, I was tired, but I couldn’t stay asleep. The birds just sounded so happy. Right outside my bedroom window is giant pear tree. I have no idea how many birds’ nests are tucked away in that tree, but it sounds like a symphony of song each morning.

This afternoon, I decided it was time to tackle the front garden with weeding, trimming and de-bugging. Luckily, my children and I had already weeded a few times, so that part didn’t take so long. And the trimming went quickly, too. However, the de-bugging was another story. I had to wash each leaf of my holly bushes because they were loaded with eggs. I agree with my daughter. If I had to guess, I would say Japanese beetle eggs. I am spraying each leaf and thinking to myself, “Why don’t all those birds eat these eggs? I bet they are full on protein and easier to catch than a worm.” Of course, the eggs smell horrible and look like dirt. Okay, maybe the birds aren’t so dumb after all.

Tonight, as the sun begins to set, and I am typing this blog, the birds are back in their nests. I have no idea what they are chirping about. Maybe it’s the feral black cat that just had kittens in the woods. Or I imagine the conversation goes like this:

Mom-Bird chirps, “Hey, honey, where are you? I am sitting with the babies and I am hungry. I need a break or some food.” but it sounds like, “Chirp, chirp-chirp? Twit-twitty twit. Chirpy, chirp, twit, chirp chirp.” (You get the idea….)

Dad-Bird replies, “Coming, Dear!” and thinks to himself, “That gal is always hungry. Doesn’t she realize what hard work I have done building her nest? I’m hungry, too. I know she doesn’t want me to drop over dead from hunger with our babies in the nest. I think I will eat one more worm before I head back.”

Mom-Bird chirrups, “Honey, I’m not kidding. I need a break. When you gotta go, you gotta go, you know? Get here now!”

All the Baby-Birds join in, “We’re hungry! We’re bored! We’re thirsty! We’re tired! We want food now!”

Dad-Bird swoops in to relieve Mom-Bird.

Suddenly all is eerily quiet….

“Hooo, hoo.  Twit-twoo.” The old owl lets them know he is around and the birds all lay low.

As the sun descends, the last sound I hear is the gentle coo of turtle doves.

Good night, birds. Sleep tight, birds. Don’t let the bed bugs bite, birds.

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What Happens When the Easter Bunny Forgets His Job

I knew our family had changed when I awoke early on Easter morning and realized that the Easter bunny had not come. Our family was so focused on the real meaning of Easter on Holy Saturday that even the Easter bunny forgot to do his job. As I crept past my youngest who had found her way onto the couch, trying not to wake her, I realized what an amazing change this was for all of us. On the counter was my youngest daughter’s favorite plastic bunny with a note hanging around its neck that read: “Dear Easter bunny, Wishing you the blessings and joy of Easter!”

As I frantically put together baskets as quietly and quickly  as I could, praying all the while to my youngest’ guardian angel to keep her sleeping while I did my duty, I realized that while Easter bunnies are signs of Hope, my family understands that Jesus Christ is the real Hope. By the time the family dog heard my scrambling and woke my daughter, the Easter bunny had safely delivered his baskets once again.

Fast forward to today. I think my son had it right. I told him this morning that he has soccer practice tonight. His response was, “On Easter Monday?” Because we celebrate the Season of Easter in our family, we take Easter week off. Yes, you read that correctly. Easter is not just Easter Sunday. It actually is a season that lasts 50 days. My son asked, “Why would they schedule practice during Easter Week? That doesn’t seem right.” Let me be clear, he loves to play soccer and never grumbles about practice. My response, “No one knows or they don’t care. But we do, so we have to both celebrate and offer up these crosses for them.”

Many Christians I know don’t even realize Easter is a season. They ask me, “Why 50 days?” Well, there’s this really important thing that we celebrate on day 50. It’s called Pentecost. That’s 9 days after the Ascension which is another celebration during the Easter Season. Of course, the Blessed Mother and the Apostles prayed for 9 days to prepare for Pentecost. That would be the first Novena! And the Pentecost is the founding of the Church. So, we have Easter Sunday, the day of our Lord’s Resurrection, followed by Divine Mercy Sunday, then the Ascension and it all culminates in Pentecost when the outpouring of the Holy Spirit was so immense that a group of fearful, tentative followers began to share the Good News so profoundly that it changed our world forever!

If you have never celebrated the Easter Season, I suggest you find some resources about these next few weeks and learn more about how to glorify our good God and to prepare for the Holy Spirit coming into your life on Pentecost. It may fundamentally change the way you and your family will celebrate Easter.