A Sparrow Has Fallen

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What is the price of two sparrows—one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.

~ Matthew 10:29-31 (NLT)
We lost Giacomo Thursday morning.
He had not been acting himself for several days, and even with veterinary care he left us.
I’m a practical woman. I grew up with enough animals in the house to populate a small zoo and watched them run their course. I’ve lost many pets and felt sadness at their passing, but this is the first time since I was six years old that I’ve felt what I can only explain as grief over losing an animal.  Over the past six months Giacomo managed to fit so neatly into our hearts and lives that we’re feeling a twinge of disbelief. We expect to hear him chirp when we come home. I keep feeling the need to check to see if he needs something. We hear a sound and think it’s him. I miss getting budgie kisses. Our nest is empty.
But I’m thankful.
I’m thankful God answered my prayers and gave us Giacomo. I’m thankful for the reminder that life is so brief and we should enjoy every moment we have with those we love, be they human or animal. I’m thankful I serve a God who sees when the sparrow falls, a God who cares about the little things as well as the big. I’m thankful each of my hairs are numbered, and that I’m worth more than many sparrows.
Giacomo was a blessing while we had him. We won’t forget him.
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For Those Who Are Still Waiting On Valentine’s Day

When Valentine’s feels like “Congratulations You’re Still Single” Day,

I waited patiently for the LORD to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry.

~ Psalm 40:1 (NLT)

and that pit of loneliness inside of you begins to rumble

He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire.

~ Psalm 40:2a (NLT)

you wonder if you will ever be happy,

He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the LORD.

~ Psalm 40:3 (NLT)

and if God really cares about how miserable you are.

You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.

~ Psalm 56:8 (NLT)

You feel like giving up

Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again- my Savior and my God!

~ Psalm 42:5 (NLT)

and you’re tired of waiting.

For since the world began, no ear has heard, and no eye has seen a God like you, who works for those who wait for him!

~Isaiah 64:4 (NLT)

You question whether or not God cares about this part of your life

The LORD directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.

~ Psalm 37:23 (NLT)

and wonder if He will answer your prayers.

You faithfully answer our prayers with awesome deeds, O God our savior.

~ Psalm 65:5 (NLT)

You are not alone while you wait,

Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.”

~ Deuteronomy 31:8 (NLT)
He will take care of you,
Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.
~ Psalm 23:4 (NLT)
and even if you think your situation is impossible,
But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

~ Matthew 19:26 (KJV)
don’t give up, don’t give in.

Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you your heart’s desires.

~ Psalm 37:4 (NLT)

Don’t sell out, don’t settle. Wait on God’s timing.

Promise me, O women of Jerusalem, by the gazelles and wild deer, not to awaken love until the time is right.

~ Song of Solomon 3:5 (NLT)

One way or another, you will be so glad you did.

Coat Closet Turned Pantry

It’s wonderful how big of a difference a small change can make in your life.

No, I’m not talking about getting your hair cut (even though I did yesterday) or taking up Pilates (though I’m sure that’s good for you too). I’m talking about storage. Beautiful, amazing storage. The kind that helps you breathe a bit easier because you don’t feel the weight of a multitude of rampant housewares on your shoulders.

The idea wormed itself into my brain after reading another blog. After all, there’s only the two of us. Why do we need a nice big coat closet when we can just install a few hooks in the laundry room and set the boot tray in there? But that would require cleaning out cabinets in the laundry room in order to store hats and gloves in there as well.

That’s how I spent my Friday afternoon, pulling out boxes from the great mount o’cardboard in our garage and stuffing them with the eclectic mix that found its way into the laundry room because we could find no other place to put it. I emptied out all but one cabinet. It can wait until later.

That finished, I could start moving things out of the coat closet.

Coatcloset

It was cleaned out easily enough. The next step was to fill that nice sturdy top shelf with all of my cook books. This was significant because it not only cleaned out one of the laundry room cabinets, but one of my kitchen cabinets as well. I now have all of my cookbooks in one convenient place.

Mr. Awesome got home early Friday evening so I was able to run out (we are a one car couple) and pick up this handy kit. Saturday my folks were in town for a visit. Mr. Awesome and my father installed the shelves that afternoon (after I removed the big metal bar) and my mother helped me empty out some more things from the laundry room to put on the floor of the pantry.

New shelves

That evening Mr. Awesome got some much needed game time in on the computer while I very happily  ecstatically transferred our dry food stuffs from the kitchen, clearing out a large upper cabinet and corner lazy Susan. But it didn’t stop there.

With the new space in the kitchen I was able to rearrange most of my cabinets, making them not nearly as cramped and more accessible. My place mats and cloth napkins are laying flat in a pull out drawer, no longer bunched in a heap in a shallow upper cabinet. The nice new glasses my mother-in-law got us for Christmas are in a more convenient spot, along with the reusable bottles Mr. Awesome takes to work in the mornings.

I could continue to bore you with a long list of everything I moved and how wonderful it is to have them in their new places, but I won’t. Suffice it to say, I am a very happy woman, and very thankful for this unexpected blessing. Having the kitchen and pantry organized has simplified life immensely for me. Thank you, Lord, for a few wire shelves.

The Budgie That Made Three

Mr. Awesome knew it would happen at some point, he just didn’t think it would happen that soon.

Such was my husband’s amused response when I told him I wanted a pet bird. Being a stay-at-home wife was nice, but it was a lot of hours being alone in our condo while he was at work, and with the majority of the wedding gifts put away and my boxes unpacked, things were just beginning to feel too quiet. I spent a few days thinking through the options and came to the conclusion that a small parrot would be ideal for our current lifestyle. So could we pretty please get one?

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I was raised with parrots in the house. My mother was, and still is, a great lover of psittacines. From the time I was born until my sophomore (freshman?) year of high school we housed no less than three budgerigars, three cockatiels, one cherry headed conure, two African greys, three macaws, two Java rice finches, and a love bird. Both of my parents were active members in the local bird club, bringing me along to the monthly meetings as well as several bird shows. Suffice it to say, I had a good idea of what Mr. Awesome and I would be getting into. Sort of.

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Someone found a nest to hide in

It never ceases to amaze me how much God cares about the little things in our lives, how He is so involved in what we might see as the minor details. I prayed for a budgie, a male, that would be companionable and good natured, oh and it would be really great if he talked. And He gave us Giacomo.

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Yes, they’re sharing a pillow and the budgie is snoozing

You pronounce it “Jachimo”. He’s named after the the jester Danny Kaye impersonates in The Court Jester (great movie, highly recommend it). He’s a sweetheart with a healthy dose of the characteristic brattiness that accompanies most parrots (it makes life interesting). And yes, he’s a he. Giacomo is an albino and therefore will not get the bright blue cere most other male budgerigars sport so handsomely.

And he talks.

For his first few months Giacomo stockpiled a large vocabulary of garbled sounds and various experimental noises. Every once and a while my husband and I would think he said a word, but it wasn’t a regular occurrence. Then one Sunday in December…….”Budgie!”. Ever since then we’ve heard “Budgie” repeatedly and in various forms: “Budgie budgie”, “Budgie bird”, “Baby budgie bird”, You’re a budgie bird”, “You’re a budgie, aren’t you?”.  More recently I tried to get him to say “Hello, good sir!” He doesn’t seem to care for “Hello” but he picked up “Good sir” in less than a week. Now the fun thing to do is plug “Good sir” into where he was putting “Budgie” before.

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After his first bath

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the story of the budgie thus far. The five months we’ve had him have been an adventure to be sure, and we’re looking forward to what the future will bring with our little ball of spunk, love, and feathers.