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The-Day-I-Compared-My-Mum-to-a-Crow

The Day I Compared My Mum to a Crow

“My mother is like a watchful crow” began the poem I had written as a gift for my mom. I was convinced it would bring her tears of joy—amazed by the exquisite talent of her 7-year old daughter.

In reality, my mom impressively stifled a laugh, then sputtered her appreciation for my little “sonnet”. Somehow, she managed to look past being compared to a crow and focus on the gratitude I was attempting to show for her dependable presence.

In the same way, God looks directly at our hearts (1 Samuel 16:7), and receives the little gifts we offer Him as tokens of infinite worth. While we can’t earn God’s love, no act of service that overflows from a grateful heart will slip by unnoticed.

In this coming year, let’s prayerfully strive to replicate God’s attitude in how we accept others’ presents.

Perhaps you’re getting ready to tackle your list of “thank you” notes, and wondering how you can sincerely express gratitude to Aunt Betty for the hand-croqueted, picture-frame she stitched. I don’t think you can convincingly will your heart to overflow with gratefulness. If you aren’t seeing the appeal of a fuzzy picture-frame, taking on a tone of appreciation probably won’t convince anyone. And, you can be sure of one thing: you aren’t fooling the “Big Man Upstairs”.

So, pray for a change of heart—from one that is focused just on the present, to one freed to see past the temporary items. Shift the focus from the gift to the person who gave it to you. Tell the giver exactly how their presence has impacted you. It doesn’t need to be a dramatic story about how they convinced you to leave the circus and go back to school.

Just be honest, such as: “I love the example you provide me of prioritizing people over activities. You inspire me to do the same, so I’ve really valued the opportunity of getting to know you better this year!” And, in your effort to describe the blessings others bring to your life, take my advice: don’t compare them to a crow.

My mother is like a watchful crow,
She sees your every move.
She knows when you are good or bad,
Or when you are just you.

She’s always there,
Whether you do or don’t need her.
But when it comes time for bed,
You know you’ll always see her.

“Poem” by Laura, age 7

A-Lesson-From-Taylor-Swift's-Song

A Lesson from Taylor Swift’s Song

Written By Tabita Davinia, originally in Bahasa Indonesia

Lately, I’ve been really enjoying listening to Taylor Swift’s songs. Her tunes are catchy, and the lyrics easy to understand.

In her song Everything has Changed, a person meets an old friend and realizes that she has fallen in love with him. Her entire life changes after the encounter, and she wants to know everything about her friend.

This song made me think about my encounter with Jesus. I don’t quite remember the exact moment I confessed Him as my Lord and personal Savior, but I do remember feeling very loved that day. God’s love filled my heart and I was so thankful that He had redeemed a sinner like me. I felt His peace in my heart and mind, and since that encounter, I have wanted to know more about God—what He thinks, and what is in His heart.

But that encounter didn’t transform me into a perfect person immediately. I was still fully human—susceptible to sin, grumbling against God, and feeling confused about what God really wanted of me. Sometimes, I busied myself pursuing my desires. At other times, I did things which I knew were not pleasing to God. In those moments, I imagined God shaking His head as He observed my life and saying, “My child, why don’t you desire to know Me the way you want to know your boyfriend?”

So I’m thankful that God was so patient with me, and used so many ways to call me back when I started drifting from His path. When I was in high school, some of my older friends would give me this advice: “Learn to know what is in God’s heart; always be sensitive towards what God wants in your life.”

Through my quiet time and my everyday experiences, I also started learning more about God. And the more I knew about God, the more I wanted to know what was in His heart.

My experience led me to think about some questions we could ask ourselves in our journey of faith. What was it like when we first accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior? Did our lives change, or did they return to how they were initially? Did we go back to worrying all the time, cursing on social media, or not caring about our salvation anymore? Is it possible that we never really fell in love with God in the first place? Did we only become acquainted with Him, but have no desire to know more about Him and what is in His heart? Do we care about what pleases Him and what doesn’t?

Maybe we feel that knowing God is hard. Well, God has already revealed Himself in His written word—the Bible.

The Bible contains amazing stories of men of faith such as David, who was dismissed by some as young, yet defeated the giant Goliath; Moses, who was initially hesitant to lead the Israelites, but eventually led them out of Egypt; and Paul, who started out persecuting Christians, but was used by God in extraordinary ways to spread the gospel. What’s notable about these stories is not their great deeds, but how they sought to walk closely with God. David thirsted for God like a deer pants for water (Psalm 42), Moses prayed that he would continue to find favor with Him (Exodus 33:13), and Paul wanted to know Christ and become like Him (Philippians 3:10). These men knew that they could endure challenge after challenge in their lives only because of God. They yearned to live in the way God wanted them to; as a result, they became a blessing to others.

If we’ve only been briefly acquainted with God, perhaps it’s time to let the Holy Spirit open our eyes to see how amazing God is, such that our hearts will overflow with the desire to know Him better.

Photo credit: JABMW14 / Foter / CC BY