Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Shelter of God's Care

Faith is the bird that sings when the dawn is still dark. ~Tagore

I just finished reading Barbara Peretti's Seasons of My Heart.  The book has a feel of a gift book -- beautiful with the soft watercolor paintings of Carrie Parks. (Carrie has several books on drawing if you have a budding Picasso or want to improve your own artistic ability.)  Barbara's book is a captivating love story, a journey to Frank's book publication, but most of all, a testimony of God's care.  I loved reading the excerpts of both Peretti's journals.

I was privileged to hear Frank speak at Indiana Wesleyan University on his book The Wounded Spirit.  It's a book every teacher and parent should read.  Then, when I was at the Christian Book Seller's Convention in Orlando, I was privileged to meet Frank Peretti.  He's just a down-to-earth guy who seemed to be as interested in me and my writings as I was in what he was doing.  (On a side note, for those who read Nightmare Academy -- book 2 of the Veritas Project series, Thomas Nelson reproduced the academy in the convention center.)

I was especially delighted to come to the chapter, The Shelter of God's Care.  (That word "shelter" jumps out at me wherever I read it.) God is the only perfect example of sheltering care.  As we strive to emulate Him, we know we are still human and our efforts cannot be called perfect.  In sheltering us, God tells us not to be concerned about food and clothes.  He shelters the birds and He will shelter us.

Don't worry about your life and what you will eat or drink. And don't worry about your body and what you will wear. Isn't there more to life than eating? Aren't there more important things for the body than clothes? Look at the birds of the air. They don't plant or gather crops. They don't put away crops in storerooms. But your Father who is in heaven feeds them. Aren't you worth much more than they are?

Our part is to have faith that God will shelter us.  Barbara put it this way, "Ours was the enduring fruit of trust in a Savior who was faithfully and tenderly overseeing every detail of our life."  I don't know what that means to you, but to me it is freeing.  I don't have to manipulate life's happenings, I just need to rely on God to shelter me. 

In Psalm 57:1 David cries out, Have mercy on me, my God, have mercy on me, for in you I take refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed.

I find great comfort in the fact that I have Someone to care, to shelter me, Someone I can count on to be my refuge -- my sanctuary.  Like Barbara, I want to be quick to have faith.  I think faith brings us to God first when we have a need, not last in desperation.  God is our safe haven, the One in whose arms we hide, knowing that in and through Him we are sheltered.

* * * * *

Freehand Embroidered Birds

When Shoregirl sent me this bird, I knew what I wanted to do.  I wanted to make some felt embroidered birds. 

The first time I checked wool felt wasn't available locally.  So, when I went to buy felt, I was delighted that JoAnn's now carries several colors of wool.  I'm sure acrylic would work, but if you've ever used wool you know what a difference it makes.  All you need is a small amount.  I got a yard just because I want to use it on another project (and I used my 40% off coupon!). 

You also need embroidery floss and some beads.  I would suggest using smaller beads.  I wasn't happy with my larger ones.  Then just trace your pattern and get to work (I found a bird template at Inspired and Unscripted that would work nicely).

I just embroidered mine freehand.  If you need stitch instructions or ideas check here.  Stuff your little bird and you are finished. I stuffed mine with tiny scraps of felt.

This is an inexpensive project, probably costing $1.00 or less.  I want to check out stuffing some with lavender next.  Since the project is inexpensive, it would be a good idea to purchase Barbara Peretti's book to gift with it.  The great news is that you can purchase one for $2.27  at Amazon Marketplace and a used one for a penny. Print out Faith is the bird that sings when the dawn is still dark. ~Tagore on a tag and tie it to your package.

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Esther Asbury said...

My husband bought me Barbara's book years ago...I agree -- it's beautiful!
I absolutely LOVE your beautiful embroidered bird -- I must try that sometime!
AND....the thing I love most about God's sheltering is He knows EXACTLY what we need when we need it --- it comforts me so much to know that when I can't help someone far away - God can be there through my prayers and do a far better job at sheltering than I could ever dream of doing!

Anonymous said...

I knew I'd seen that book somewhere (comment above!!). Love the felt bird, AND seeing and hearing my sweet cousin and uncle! :)

Kim M. said...

That video of RB and Emily singing makes me miss y'all so much!

I heard Frank Peretti speak about the wounded spirit -I think- on Focus on the Family. His testimony was very interesting and would be wonderful for young people to hear.
I love your ideas and that book sounds so nice!

Amy Sullivan said...

Glad you left a comment at my place so I could visit you!

Muncie, Indiana? I'm a Ball State girl! Yep, I graduated with a teaching degree from there in '98.

Hope your new little grandbaby arrives safely, despite all of the ice and yuck!

Unknown said...

This is my favorite part of your post: I don't have to manipulate life's happenings, I just need to rely on God to shelter me. So true -- giving it to Him surely does lighten our burden and frees us to set ourselves about HIS work!

Welcome to Soli Deo Gloria! Hope to see you back next week!

Anonymous said...

I'm so thankful for those sheltering arms...He truly is a safe haven from the storms of life.

Beautiful post.


Unknown said...

thank you pamela, I learned a lot. and i love how you said the word 'shelter' jumps out at you...isn't that sweet? i know what you mean, there is like this sweet sigh and these are things I need to hear!

be blessed today:)

Kendra @ Domestic Princess in Training said...

Love when I read a book and it gives me a light bulb moment, that’s’ when you know it’s a good book! The felt bird is beautiful. I think lavender would be a great idea!

Kendra aka “Domestic Princess in Training”

Joywriter said...

Thank you for sharing this, Pamela! I tend to want to manipulate life, but this is a wonderful reminder that I don't need to.

Aliene said...

Pamuela, Thanks for stopping by and encouraging me on home schooling my grandson. We are in the ABeka Program and the worst part is keeping up with my part. I am learning,though. Stop by again! Have a blessed week.

It's Grace said...

I love the embroidered bird-so cute and whimsical. Last year I made embroidered bunnies and they looked like chocolate bunnies.

I've never read a Peretti book- Frank or Pamela..but I love to read so I'll be sure to look for their works.

So glad to have you link up this week,

It's Grace

Katharine said...

Just popping by (late) from soli deo gloria... so nice to see you there, wonderful post! Ilove the felt birds! I make Penny rugs from wool felt..so I have plenty of felt for this project, thanks for the idea!

Angela said...

Thank you for sharing the book. I am going to buy it. Love your birdies. Very pretty.

CindyC said...

What a lovely idea for the stuffed bird and gift book!

I haven't read any Peretti books in years, but I loved the "Darkness" novels!

Unknown said...


Thank you so much for linking up your lovely felt birds and truly inspirational post at my blog bash K.I.S.S. Your creativity and inspiration is truly appreciated! Happy to be new follower. :) Hope you will link more inspiration on Sunday.