Waiting with Courage

The rain’s shredded the white and left only scraps.

The birds flock to the feeder, smother it.

They dance on bare limbs.

It’s easier to see them in winter.

I suspect a lot of things become more clear in winter.

I’ve got work to do, but I’d rather be here.

In front of the window.


The Dora blanket’s plopped on the back of the chair.

The MegaBlok wheeled base is right where it was on Friday. Or maybe it was Thursday.

Grace’s pajamas still rest on the couch, next to a belly-sprawled Tickle Me Elmo.

The green suitcase is over by the bookcase. It’s been traveling around the living room since must-have-been-September, still stuffed with writing stuff from the ACFW conference and Laity Lodge. I’ve been meaning to go through it.

I’m sitting next to Grace’s shorts and T-shirt from Friday’s practice, a dish towel (dish towel?), an orange envelope dotted with word droppings and the beginning of a poem, Jesus Calling (upside down), an old church directory (no, two–from different churches), a pair of Lillee socks, and a “legacy residential history” that Dennis printed from some site that shows our every address (all nine) and dates we lived there from the day we married.

I’ve propped my feet up on the footstool, careful not to spill the Darjeeling that rests on Dr. Seuss’s You’re Only Old Once. There’s the Droid and yesterday’s sermon notes.

He talked about David. And the courage it took to stand up to a giant. The courage it took to serve a king who wanted to kill him. The courage it took to embrace the debt-ridden, discontented, and discouraged into his little army.

It took courage to persist while waiting on God’s timing.

I took notes from the movie we saw at church last night, too. Amazing Grace. I’d seen it before.

In the movie, Wilburforce would have preferred to watch birds and marvel at spider webs. But he was called to fight a giant. And every year for about 20 years, he introduced a bill to outlaw slavery in England.

It took courage to persist while waiting on God’s timing.

I never thought about that kind of courage.

I see it out of the corner of my left eye at the same time it hits the window.

And I know it’s back.

I leave (!) my camera on the couch while I hurry to the kitchen.

The hawk is rustling in the shrub where I suspect a smaller bird or two have dived for cover.

Then he flies up and perches right there on the edge of the bird bath–all brown and white and bold.

Almost close enough to reach out and touch.

Waiting with courage.

I’d have missed it if I’d been in the basement folding clothes.


It’s God. I have 10,000 engagements of state today but I would prefer to spend the day out here getting a wet arse, studying dandelions and marveling at… bloody spider webs.” ~William Wilberforce in Amazing Grace

I waited and waited and waited for God. At last he looked; finally he listened. He lifted me out of the ditch, pulled me from deep mud. He stood me up on a solid rock to make sure I wouldn’t slip. He taught me how to sing the latest God-song, a praise-song to our God. More and more people are seeing this: they enter the mystery, abandoning themselves to God. ~Psalm 40:1-3 (Message)
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  1. says

    This speaks to me, as an avid doer. To wait on God to tell me when to do the mundane? That is extraordinarily difficult for me. And yet, what have I missed while folding clothes?

  2. says

    “Courage to persist while waiting on God’s timing”. I’ve never thought of myself as courageous before, but maybe I am. Maybe the lesson I’m supposed to be learning right now is not patience, but courage. Food for thought and prayer, certainly!

  3. says

    We love birds here too (northeast Ohio). In fact, my ten-year-old son is looking at your bird bounty and wondering what kind of seed you use? “Mommy, why aren’t we getting that many birds?”

    I love how you describe a scene and a mood and your mind wanderings, all at the same time. Impressive! :)

    • Sandra says

      Black oil sunflower seed. That’s all. And we get summer sunflowers under the feeders. And then we get to watch the birds dig the seeds out of them. :)

      Thanks so much, Christine.

  4. says

    Let’s face it. We all LOVE a neat and tidy house with everything in place…but at what cost? I love this peek into your home. A place where people live! This is encouraging and inspiring, and I feel better tonight as I survey the house after a ‘no school’ day.

    Thank-you and God bless~

  5. says

    I think waiting one of the most difficult disciplines. I want everything planned out yesterday – always doing. How much we miss when are so busy we cannot see the beauty right outside our windows. Surely when He asks us to wait He will do something in the waiting.

    • Sandra says

      That’s so true, Linda. I wonder if we’d think we were the ones in control if we didn’t have to wait.

      I could see more beauty outside my windows if I cleaned them. But I tell myself I’d have more birds bouncing off them then.

  6. Helen says

    I feel more closer to God whenever I spend some time appreciating HIS creations. I try it all the time and it just lets me experience a special calmness inside.

  7. Margaret says

    Often when I stare at birds, I don’t notice how long I was doing it. There is something about their actions that keeps me hook and fascinated. Thank you for sharing the photos.

  8. says

    Your words always speak to that part of my heart I hide, coaxing it out into the bright beautiful light of Love.

    Beautiful post.

    Thank you.

  9. says

    This is a refreshing post. I love the bird pictures and would never want to leave my ‘seeing’ either. Thank you for coming by my blog, I was out of town and didn’t have enough battery on my phone to reply on your page.

  10. says

    I’d rather be outside with a wet arse too. Great quote.

    “I suspect a lot of things become more clear in winter.” This is so true. Winter is probably the harshest of seasons, in many parts of the world, but in winter is probably when we see the clearest.

    BTW – I love the tagline of your blog: Deep See Diver.

    That’s awesome.

  11. says

    Sometimes I feel frustrated that parts of the house aren’t clean enough and the yard isn’t going to be in shape quickly [and this year we need to paint the house outside]… and wonder if, if I died suddenly, people would think “she’s a pretty good writer, but the house isn’t as good and her dresser drawers aren’t as nice as they should be.” My goal is to focus on the Lord, however that may be, and leave the rest in His hands. [YES, I clean, but NO I never get everything done the way it should be forever and ever.]

  12. says

    I spotted a hawk sailing through the backyard a couple of days ago. He was quick — just a flash of white and brown…I only saw him because I was staring out the window!

  13. Jackie S. says

    We live in the country so really enjoy things like you posted about! We use the sunflower seeds, too…..and yesterday, a stray, hungry dog ATE them! A sight to watch. ‘Course I cooked him some bacon, too!!

  14. says

    Fighting giants. Oh yes. Yesterday at work, one of our patients who has lost her words after a stroke sang Amazing Grace for us. Every. Word. Our brains are so amazing, but I can’t stop thinking about it. I want that kind of courage. Mine is more like one step at a time courage. Big toe in first courage. And then inch in little by little. You are making me think, Sandy.