Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Birds in Holly

Outside my living room window lives a holly bush. Without red berries, I know it is a male holly bush. Strong branches shielding birds from the elements, dark green leaves reflecting the condition of the sky. Going from a dark grey-green on overcast days to a brilliant shining green on sunny days.
As summer turned to fall and fall to winter, I have been spending more and more time studying that holly bush. After all it is there in the morning as I have my quiet time snuggled on the couch listening for God's voice and waiting for the heat to kick on. And again in the afternoon when I sit down to read or nap. In all my studying, God has spoken to me through that holly bush. No, not in the burning bush, "Let my people go," sort of way, but in His small still voice He has used that holly bush to turn my heart to Him.

You see, I had a decision to make. Would I be the tree or the birds?

The birds find rest and shelter in the boughs of the bush. They are entirely content to wait out the wind or bask in the warmth of the sun. They leave the safety of their home only for short flitting moments to find food.

Or the holly who is firmly rooted, determined to grow and even flourish where it is planted. It flexes and grows stronger in the wind, gives to the needy, and shines in the light of the sun. The holly is exposed, open, and giving.

I want to be the holly. I know I have spent plenty of time being the birds wanting to hide under the protective wings of Christ. But lately I am annoying even my self by insisting to stay there. I must come out from under the wings to reflect the sun and I certainly can't stay a baby chick hiding from storms and flitting about frazzled forever. I want this year to grow--grafted into the vine. In this place, with arms lifted high to shine in my Father's glory, I want to be the holly.

I'm curious. What about you all? Here at the end of January? What are the goals you made for yourself this year?


  1. Oh Sarah, I want to be the holly too! I am tired of being the bird. I need to grow and I feel like I am at the precipice, or a time of decision, on whether or not I will allow it (like I really have a choice, right?). I am hoping each day and each moment that I can and will choose to grow and be the holly growing closer to the Son.

  2. I want to be both :)
    I need the peace that comes from being the bird, from knowing that God is there with me, sheltering me. It is that feeling that gives me the strength to go on. But I also need to grow and become the wife/mother/Christian that I strive to be.
    So a holly bird? That's what I want to be?