The giveaway for this blog post is now over. The winner is Lane Hill House. Congratulations Lane! You’ve won a copy of Meg Moseley’s
Today’s post is by Meg Moseley, a friend of mine who authored When the Sparrows Fall and Gone South. She used to write human-interest pieces for a suburban section of the the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and she was a homeschooling mom for a lot of years. She will join us here on my blog regularly, and I think you’ll really enjoy her heartfelt and humorous writing! Gone South is getting some fabulous reviews and comments, and below you have an opportunity to win a copy.
Years ago when my husband and I lived in Michigan, our pastor and his wife introduced us and our children to the fun of birding. Our oldest was the most enthusiastic learner. By age eight, she knew her way around two different field guides to North American birds, and when we took a cross-country trip, she enjoyed keeping a log of the “new” birds we saw.
My husband and I are still birdwatchers. We have several feeders and suet holders in the yard, and they’ve attracted a good variety: woodpeckers and finches, blue jays and bluebirds, chickadees, nuthatches, tufted titmice, and once I watched a beautiful hawk stroll across the deck, looking for dinner.
We also see a lot of LBJs, or Little Brown Jobs—assorted sparrows that we can’t identify. Sometimes, a tiny “field mark” like an eyestripe or a wingbar is a clue, if the bird will hold still long enough. I try to look fast and hard and then hold the details in my head as I search a field guide for a match. Sometimes the colorful pictures distract me from my search, and questions pop up in my mind.
For instance: Why don’t pigeons have more consistent coloring? A chickadee will always look like the next chickadee, but pigeons show a wide variety of coloration. Why did God design them that way?
When we moved away from Michigan, my book group there gave me a going-away present that I’d first found at the library and showed to them: Noah’s Ark by the late Rien Poortvliet, an artist from the Netherlands. It’s a huge, full-color book of sketches and paintings, complemented with his good-humored imaginings about Noah and the animals. Both the writing and the artwork show tremendous appreciation for God’s creativity. No matter which page I turn to, I always find something to lift my heart or make me think.
I open to a picture of a few birds, an elephant, and a detail of elephant’s skin that looks rather like a rough fingerprint–and at the top of the page, Poortvliet’s exuberant comment: “How did the good Lord come up with all this!!!!”
A few pages later, I study more pictures and marvel with him: “An ordinary pheasant, an ordinary sleeping dog. What a pity they do not amaze us. They are so marvelously fashioned.”
Near the end: “…having arrived at this point I have two ways of seeing things—I can sigh that the boat is wrecked and lament our lost opportunities, our foolish management, the extinct species, the deforestation, the dumping of the toxic waste and so on…but that was not the purpose. From the beginning I was aiming at a heartfelt hymn of praise. Honor to whom honor is due! And why should I try to find other words for this than those of Psalm 104?”
He quotes the complete text of the Psalm, which includes this verse:
O Lord, how manifold are thy works! In wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches.
If Poortvliet were still with us, he would probably encourage us to take a closer look at even the most ordinary birds or animals that cross our paths. They’re among the marvelously fashioned riches of God. But you know what? You are, too.
The sweet tea has gone bitter in Noble, Alabama where newcomer Tish McComb settles to reconnect with her family roots. Problem is the name McComb isn’t welcome in town, and when Tish aligns herself with the local prodigal daughter things only get worse. Can Tish find any mercy for sinners in Noble?
Click here to read an excerpt.
If you would like to enter for a chance to win an autographed copy of Gone South, simply leave a comment at the bottom of this post on my website.
If you are reading this anywhere other than my website, such as on Facebook, in an email, or on Goodreads, please hop on over to my website and leave a comment at the bottom of my post to enter the giveaway.
Only comments left on my website will be entered into the giveaway.
The deadline for this contest is Tuesday, July 16, at noon. The winner will be chosen using Random.org and will be contacted privately, as well as announced on next week’s post.
Last week’s giveaway of an Amish-made wall hanging is still in progress! Simply hop over to last week’s post about Amish quilting and leave a comment to enter. The giveaway ends Wednesday, July 17, at noon.