Tuesday, August 17, 2021

On Encountering So Much More Than Birdsong

I'm like a kid in a candy store this morning. 

I've been increasingly intrigued with the variety of bird calls and caws I unconsciously hear on any given day.  So I installed the Merlin Bird ID app and took it for a test run to see how many flying creatures I could discover by ear on my early morning walk.



I headed down the road and through woods' twisty path to the bike trail that borders the bayside's salty marshes.  

Other early morning afficienados probably glanced askance at this novice bird-listener, standing to the side of the trail with her phone up in the air and then bringing it back to eye level to eye the screen intently and then striding along only to stop abruptly once again.

Didn't matter to me.

I was in awe as I discovered some of the names of my oft' heard winged neighbors simply by the sound of their chirps and calls and squawks.



As I continued to still myself and listen intently, my mind went beyond the noisy American Crows that seemed determined to drown out their quieter aerial companions with non-stop obnoxious vocalizations.  

For yet again, the Holy Spirit began to gently whisper how alike my pursuit of birdsong was akin to the deeper spiritual life He longs for us to cultivate.  

🐦   Heading into the day with purpose, aiming to experience the presence of God.  

🐦   Listening past extraneous noise and annoying distractions to discern the Spirit's whispers.  

🐦   Paying attention to even the softest sounds and the invitations, comfort, reminders, or corrections therein.  

🐦   Responding with gratitude, joy, and obedience.

Yep, I got to meet 19 new neighbors this morning.  But I headed home with far more than birdsong in my heart.

Speak Lord, 
for Thy servant is listening.
- 1 Samuel 3:10 -

Aiming to pay attention ~
Linda



🐦

 Jeanne  .  Richella  .  Lisa

48 comments:

  1. Wow, I love this birdsong parable. What a treasure you gathered in your listening life.

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  2. I simply must get that bird app, Linda! And I love how you've drawn the analogy for listening to new bird songs with listening to the Holy Spirit. Wow!
    Blessings, my friend!

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    1. I have very few apps, but this one is a keeper. This birding business is so calming to mind and soul!

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  3. Thank you for your post this morning.  I loved to hear about your stroll with the birds and being able to identify who they were.  I made a note of the app.  Your pictures were beautiful and the whole thing was just very relaxing to see and read. Thanks for sharing!

    * via email *

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    1. Thanks for hitting that REPLY button and taking the time to say 'hi' ... it means the world!

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  4. Thanks for telling us about that app! I've looked up some birds on YouTube to see if they match what I am hearing. But if you have no idea what bird to look for, You're out of luck. This sounds much more efficient! That's a neat parallel to spiritual life, too.

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    1. I'm not real adept at parallels and such but the connection to our spiritual walk with Christ was something even I could grasp hold of!

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  5. Oh yes, those crows can be noisy. But when we tune into the wholeness of all we can hear so much more! Lovely post, Linda! Yesterday I had to pause to watch about 20 sparrows flying in and around my bird feeder!

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    1. Your word 'pause' is perfect, Lynn. So many of us have been on high alert for so long and we don't even know it. The continued ups and downs of the pandemic have done us no favors, have they.

      I love how God speaks peace to us through His creation ...

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  6. Your birdsong expedition sounds like fun. I love the photos too, and the link you make about being intentional in listening for the Holy Spirit's voice.

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    1. It WAS fun! I just had to be careful that I didn't become so entranced that I stepped out in front of an fast moving biker!

      ;-}

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  7. Just noticed your links at the bottom -- the three names?  I heard Richelle on an Unhurried Living podcast -- definitely one of my favorite episodes as she talked about Mythical Me :)

    * via email *

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    1. It's a small world, isn't it! I'm so glad we've connected today! I hope you guys are doing well ...

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  8. I'm another one glad to learn of that APP. One of my science courses in college was ornithology and have been partial to birds ever since. Your analogy also resonated with me. The noise of busyness, distractions, and hurry (even as a retiree!)can drown out the quiet whispers of my Heavenly Father. With you I want to listen "past extraneous noise and annoying distractions to discern the Spirit's whispers." Thank you, Linda!

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    1. Ornithology! I'm not sure if I would have come up with the scientific name, Nancy!

      ;-}

      And yes, I'm finding that as we age, we are more apt to be distracted even if we were right on top of things back in the day. And why are daily quiet times one of the first things to go when much swirls around us ...

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  9. Ahhh, Linda. I've lived in my neighborhood for over thirteen years, and over the past year, as I began walking more frequently, I've discovered many bird songs and wondered which bird created them. I'll have to look into the Merlin Bird app. I love that idea! and I love how you used that as the analogy for us going deeper with God. I believe the Lord is c calling me into deeper places with Him. I have come across this a lot in my reading lately.

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    1. Yes, Jeanne ... I'm hearing that familiar tug from the Spirit, too. Actually I think He's reaching out non-stop, but many of us have chosen to be too preoccupied with what's happening in the here and now.

      This is a constant invitation, a continued struggle for so many. Thankfully, He never gives up on His beloved children. No wonder we love Him so!

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  10. I have learned many of my local bird calls also, Linda. NOW that mockingbird can throw a kink in things! OH THOSE PESKY CROWS! You do know they never forget a face?
    Blessings!

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    1. Oh my goodness, you aren't kidding!

      Those big babies hold a grudge! Wow, how wierd ...

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  11. What a neat app and way to deepen your listening skills. Great idea. Interesting to note: A few years ago I mentioned to my hubby that I think there were more birds that year due to hearing them sing more. later I realized my newly acquired hearing aids made the difference. I just wasn't hearing them before! LOL

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  12. I am appreciative of your simple way of looking at things Linda. A birdsong app would not appeal to me at all just as my RoadID app for cycling does not appeal to you. But your love for God's creations never ceases to impress me. We often forget the small things in life and taking a stroll with a bird app would be one way to do that. I'm going to share that app with my secretary. She loves birds and each day comes in to share how her butterfly house which her husband built for her is working.

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    1. You're absolutely right, Bill ... different strokes for different folks!

      ;-}

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  13. Love this!!

    * via email *

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  14. What fun! I'd love to know what the real name of the bird we call "Bob White" since that is what it sounds like the bird is saying. I've called it that for over 40 years! Great analogy - it always comes down to listening and hearing correctly...

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    1. I forgot all about ol' Bob White, Mah! I wonder if he's still around these parts. I'll let you know ...

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  15. Absolutely loved this! Hugs and blessings, Cindy

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  16. What a beautiful post, Linda! I so long to draw closer to Jesus and always stay in tune with His still, small voice. It really takes some straining to hear His voice in these loud, troubling, unsettling times, but it is so worth it to do whatever it takes to get still and quiet before Him. You are such a dear blessing to us all. Sending love and hugs to you.

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    1. I'm with you, Cheryl ... I'm longing to be closer to the One who loves us deeply. I am turning away from much that is loud, troubling, and unsettling as much as I can ... I know the basics of what's happening in the world around me, but have pretty much given up that 24 / 7 news cycle which had me in its grip for far too many years.

      In the process, my anxiety has left and I feel healthier and more focused. Yep, we are in the world, for sure, but we are not of it. I've only got so much energy to go around and I get to choose where I'm going to invest it.

      The world is not my home!

      Wow, friend, you got me on my soapbox! As I step off it, I am lifting you up in prayer in this wonderful season of birthing your new book! May nothing steal your joy.

      ;-}

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  17. I really should get that -- I hear birds all the time but only can identify a few by song. This is a lovely post, Linda. Gorgeous in every way.

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    1. So much fun! Every jaunt outside is turning into a bit of an adventure!

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  18. Birdsong in the early morning hours are my favorite sounds. Crows are noisy and loud, we have a couple that want to hang around. Thank you for the beautiful post, Linda!

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    1. I hear you, Pam ... and aren't they obnoxious! They want to steal the show and be the star.

      Shoo, shoo.

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  19. They created a Shazam app for birdsong!

    Thanks for stopping by.

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    1. And what a medley of songs God has created for these little creatures to sing! Love it ...

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  20. Listening carefully to identify whose talking. Both for birds and other voices. Curious about this app. So far I have the free app. My husband.

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    1. That's FUNNY!

      And oh yes, to listening carefully, friend.

      Have a restful weekend ...

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  21. Beautiful post Linda! It seems God has a theme going!
    Blessings,
    Jennifer

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    1. Indeed, He is writing His story in our lives ...

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  22. Linda, there really is an app for everything, isn’t there? I love to listen to birdsong when I’m out working in my flowerbeds. I can only recognize one or two, though—that’s amazing you identified 19! I love the spiritual application too … there’s so much to see and sense, if we only pay attention. Hugs, friend.

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    1. Lois, hi! For sure it was the app that defined all the owners of the chirps and squawks, not me! I wouldn't know one creature from another.

      ;-}

      And yes, I hear what you're saying about paying attention to all that's happening around us. We're all in process of growing, aren't we ...

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  23. Listening past extraneous noise and annoying distractions to discern the Spirit's whispers ... yes! And sometimes the internal conversations as well! What a lovely idea! I've so often wondered about birdcalls myself. There's a particular bird I wait for all winter as one of the first signs - or songs, rather - of spring! Have no idea what species of bird ... maybe next spring!

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    1. Oh that's neat that there's a springtime bird that serenades you, Barbara! It's amazing that you're able to discern her 'voice.'

      Love this.

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  24. I am so awful at not recognizing bird songs. I only know a few. I need to look into getting that app! Thanks for sharing this, Linda.

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    1. It's been like an adventure to put names to some familiar chirps and squawks this week. I think I'm on #28. Who knew that paying attention could be so relaxing ...

      :-}

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