Consider the Birds

Perched bird.

Photo: Julia Ozab

I’m in a bit of a conundrum when it comes to my blog. First off, I’m a writer–if I wasn’t I wouldn’t use the word “conundrum.” And as a writer I need to find an audience. In the 21st Century, that means the Internet. As an up-and-coming writer, I need a net presence (blog and/or social media) or I’m invisible. So I need to put myself out there, but then I see my hits and follows and like stagnating while others’ seem to skyrocket and I wonder what I’m doing wrong.

I get so frustrated that I don’t want to blog or tweet or post or pin (or whatever) anymore. That’s the other reason why I’ve been so quiet. Yes, I was fighting a bad chest cold for most of May, but the slowdown began before that. Because the burnout began before that.

So what does this have to do with birds?

Two weekends ago, I took a day off, got away from my laptop, and drove to the Finley Wildlife Refuge with my wife and daughter. Birds were everywhere. We could see them flitting from tree to tree, but even when we couldn’t see them we could hear them.

At the first stop, while Julia and Anna had their cameras out waiting to spot a bird on a perch or in flight, I stood still, closed my eyes, and listened.

I heard music, a counterpoint of bird songs in surround sound. And through that wondrous polyphony, God spoke to me.

Listen to “the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” –Matthew 6:26

And I realized that all the worry wouldn’t add one more view, one more click, or one more meaningless web stat. That’s not why I write anyway. I write to capture just a snippet of the profound beauty we all experience in life.

And I was more inspired in that moment than I could be by a year’s worth of tweets or posts. Because in that moment, I got in touch with the Source of everything.

So consider the birds singing, or the leaves whispering their secrets to each other in a nearby tree, or a child praising her Creator in her infectious laugh. Consider the ongoing symphony, sonata, and song multiplied by a million that God conducts for his and our pleasure every day.

And leave tomorrow for tomorrow. That’s how I plan to write, blog, and live from now on.

With God’s help, I pray, at those times that I will inevitably stumble.

Amen.

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Bloggerhood Etc. 6/1/15

Second Battle of the Virginia Capes by V. Zveg (1962).

Second Battle of the Virginia Capes by V. Zveg (1962).

After a few weeks off (thanks to a stubborn chest cold), here is the best of the last twenty one days (give or take).

Best Dad Post.Why I Want My Daughter to Curse” by Lorne Jaffe at Mighty.

Best List.4 Signs Your Baby is Ready for Solid Foods” by Alice Callahan at Science of Mom.

Best Confession. “We Quit Our Jobs” by Liz von Ehrenkrook at So I Married a Youth Pastor.

Best Transition Post. “Commencing” by Cara Strickland at Little Did She Know. 

Most Surprising.For One Irish Couple, Backing Gay Marriage Is a Matter of Family Values” by Hanna Ingber at The New York Times.

Best Commentary.When Mean, Scared, Scary People Have Stolen My Jesus” by John Pavlovitz.

Best Special Needs Post.A Writer in the Family” by Robert Rummel-Hudson at Support for Special Needs.

Geekiest Post.On the Taxonomy of Spaceships” by Hageshii01 at Critical Sh*t.

Best Question.What’s in a Name?” by Andee Zomerman.

Best Insight.It’s a Good Life” by Alise Chaffins at Knitting Soul.

Best Parody. “The Kevin Smith Blog” by Glove and Boots (via YouTube).

To catch up on the great posts I’m reading online and to get a sneak preview of future candidates, check out my Around the Blogosphere board on Pinterest.

Every Day is a Dare

Caution: I'm sleeping

Image: Liquid 2003 (CC BY-SA 3.0)

When I wake up most mornings my first instinct is to go back to sleep. My bed is comfortable, my sheets and blanket are warm, and starting this week the rain is hitting the roof incessantly. Nothing makes me sleepy faster than the sound of rain.

I roll over. I want to go back to sleep. I want to stay warm and safe and cozy. I don’t want to get up, to go outside, to face a day I don’t know.

A day that is a dare.

It could be a good day or a bad one. I could win the lottery (highly unlikely) or get struck by lightning (almost as unlikely). I don’t know what’s going to happen. The only thing I know is that if I lie here and go back to sleep nothing will happen.

I have to dare to get up. To face what the day will bring. To live with all the joys and sorrows and risks that life entails. Never knowing if the next time I walk out the door will be the last time, or the 20,000th to last time.

But to stay here is to sleep. And that’s not living. I’d rather take the chance. I’d rather take the dare

Plus my daughter is standing next to my bed, and she won’t stop nagging me until I get up.

“Dad? Wake up Dad!”

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Bloggerhood Etc. 6/16/14

Flygirl

Photo: Robert Rummel-Hudson

Hope all the dads out there had a great Father’s Day! Now on to the best of the week.

Best Special Needs Post.Flygirl” by Robert Rummel-Hudson at Support for Special Needs.

Most Disturbing.4.5 Degrees” by xkcd.

Best List.9 Brilliant Contemporary Composers Who Prove Classical Music Isn’t Dead” by Lisa Bernier at Policy Mic.

Best Question.Writing: How Do You Do It?” by Chuck Wendig at Terrible Minds.

Most Provocative.If Gay Christians Go To Hell, So Are The Ones Who Don’t Recycle” by Benjamin L. Corey at Formerly Fundie.

Best Parenting Post. 10 Bad Habits Parents Need to Break Like Yesterday” by Dynamom at Scary Mommy.

Most Profound.The Way of the Gun” by Nish Weiseth at A Deeper Story.

Best Advice.Why Reading to Your Daughter is the Most Masculine Thing in the World” by Tom Burns at Reading Rainbow Blog.

Most Ridiculous Controversy.Breast-feeding mom’s college graduation photo stirs controversy” by Lisa Flam at Today Parents.

Best Commentary.Eric Cantor’s Loss: A Pro-Life Democrat’s Take” by Steve Schneck at The Whole Life Democrat.

Best Father’s Day Post.If I Could Do It Over” by Jim Higley at the Chicago Tribune.

Best Trinity Sunday Post.Wheeee! Some Thoughts on the Trinity” by Fran Rossi Szpylczyn at There Will Be Bread.

Most Present to the Moment.Noticing” by Cara Strickland at Little Did She Know.

Best Sendoff.Don Cherry techno compilation of the 2014 NHL playoffs” via YouTube.

See more of Don’s musical stylings here.