This is a few of my personal memories and lessons about life, death and growing in grace. I’m a widow, and since my husband died in July 2011 I’ve spent some time reminiscing about all of these things. And about old pleasures we enjoyed together. He passed on after a long battle with cancer and I’ve been coming through some seasons of re-adjusting to life alone. He had lived 73 years when he passed, and he was able to enjoy about 10 years of retirement and rest after working as a plumber for over 40 years. My memories were hard to deal with for quite awhile, but gradually Father God brought healing and grace to my heart and life and helped me to look back on some of these old days with pleasure. And on new lessons being learned from them. This is an altar to the Lord for thanksgiving for all the goodness he has shown to us over the years.
For the last few years we lived in a small place on the lake and we enjoyed feeding the birds and whatever animals came around. He loved dogs and he would adopt stray dogs who came around looking lonesome and hungry. I remember about 3 dogs who would come and eat and then after awhile they would wander off somewhere again. We had one neighbor dog who showed up regularly. If a couple of days went by and he didn’t come, Bill would worry about him. But he never stayed away long. Mostly though, the bird watching and feeding became a real source of pleasure for us. We saw redbirds, mockingbird, grackles, blackbird, bluejay and dove. And the dove were our favorite bird. Bill was a man who had a trust in the Lord and who was learning a little more about relationship and prayer. We loved the old song “On The Wings Of A Dove” and one day I sang it to him as we sat there on the porch talking about God.
The song really touched his heart and he began to connect the coming of the dove with God bringing them as a sign of his love. And I thought so too. He always credited the Lord for the way he put feed out and so many dove would gather.
In the driveway across from our house we would scatter seed and flocks would come and feed. This was a flock of about 30 dove. There were several varieties of the native birds that came and occasionally we saw white dove.
They would come a few at a time and gather on the phone lines and in the trees. They would sit there for awhile and then few would swoop down and start feeding and the others would follow. The picture of the dove on highwire here is off the web. We didn’t have quite this many, but we loved watching the lines to see how many would perch there.
After he died the dove just quit coming. For a very long time I saw few. After he passed I kept putting seed out and I would watch and never could understand why. I kept talking to all my family about how strange this was to me. Then one day as I sat on my porch thinking about this, I had a thought, more like a voice saying “Don’t be lonesome for dove.” Finally I began to understand that God was using the dove as a blessing to him and as lessons to us both. But times and seasons change as we go, and it was time to begin a new season. I was learning to stop longing for things that had been and yielding to the Lord as I was learning how to adapt to a new season. God has been rebuilding my life and I have come to a new place of joy and contentment in my new life alone. I still think often of these sweet days but my grief has been dealt with and I no longer yearn to live in them. I’m learning that we are not to become dependent on a man, a blessing, a season but on our Father and his present day words alone.
Now I see new horizons and I’m excited! The thoughts of how I’ve seen him do such mighty things in the past keep me fired up for what he has yet to do. I’m not at all sure exactly what the future holds but I know I will delight in it as long as I hold fast to his hand.
If we will watch and stay alert God will always speak to us. He speaks in many ways, through His creation, song, story, his holy bible and through others. And he speaks personally face to face with all who seek to know him as their one source of all good things. …Thank you Father for this great new season of new life..
5 thoughts on “An Altar Of Thanksgiving”
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