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"Every child should have mud pies, grasshoppers, waterbugs, tadpoles, frogs & turtles, elderberries, wild strawberries, acorns, hickory nuts, trees to climb, animals to pet, hayfields, pine cones, rocks to roll, sand, snakes, huckleberries and hornets – and any child who has been deprived of these has been deprived of the best part of his education." -Luther Burbank 1849 - 1926
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Backyard Blessings: Where are you looking?

I've been mulling over the walk along this journey of life and what God intends... and here are a few of my reflections....

I grew up in a practicing Christian family. With six children and a grandmother in the household -- my parents were stretched to their limits of patience, necessities and stress. It's a lifelong struggle to put those years into perspective...to realize that we all did (and do) what we could under stressful circumstances.

BUT...I still struggle with the large gaps in my life, my personality, my productivity skills (I don't want to limit those to work or career or homemaking...) and my emotional maturity. Not to mention a very skewed view of Christianity.

As an adult I came upon the idea that when we become adults we become our own "parents"...WE are responsible for our ongoing development.

SO...I took that very seriously and proceeded to identify, define and refine my values and pathway.

BUT...I got off the track just as surely as I saw my own family get off "the track".

So I had to redefine what the track is. I looked for good and beauty and joy and community. The good things in life. And I found bits and pieces along my daily pathway. But nothing brought it all together. Not interesting work. Not parenthood. Not marriage. Not living near my brothers and sister. Not my excursions into nature -- even though I considered nature to be the Creator's temple.

It took a simple question from my niece to shock me into asking the tough question. "Where are you looking?" she asked when I had bent her ear about my pains and sorrows and lack of finding meaning and truth.

I knew in that instant that I was avoiding looking in the Bible. I had decided somewhere in the years long past that the Bible was written by men...not people...but MEN. And I just did not trust men. I saw the Bible as flawed, culturally biased, of a time and culture that just didn't seem to fit today's life.

But when I saw the difference that my niece's faith had made in her life, I had to answer her question with action. I knew it was time to go back to the gift of history and ideas and hope and words that God had given to us.

That put my journey back on a solid path.

Now, I still believe that nature is God's most beautiful temple. But I'm discovering ... I'm seeing ... I'm hearing ... I'm touching the "body of Christ" -- the human family that Christ loved and nurtured and taught and even gave his life to protect and renew.

The translations of the Bible might be confusing. The history might not be today's daily grind. But the message of love, eternal life, and hope is a very important message.

And where do you find that message more plainly demonstrated than in the Bible?

Now my pathway includes reading the Bible almost every day... and sometimes several times a day. It is a delight and a discovery every time! It sheds a light on the pathway a few steps ahead of my pace, and it gives me reassurance that others are walking the pathway of love and hope, too.

That I will bump into them and be able to share and receive support over the rough places, laugh as we skip down the grassy places...and sit beside the still waters of renewal.

That is a pretty solid pathway. And from my jaunts in the written word comes the motivation to engage in the living word. A living pathway.

Where do you look for your living pathway?

For more articles about NATURE & KIDS

Young Birders Get Serious About Birding Fun
The Squirrel Family 0 Backyard Nature Safari
Hamsters are rodents and cuddly pets
Kids Learning Links
Buddy's Diner (for the birds)
Bird Profiles for Young Naturalists