Friday, March 03, 2006

Appearances, Perspective, Priorities, and Knitting

The picture above is of a juvenile male Northern Cardinal that lived on our farm a few years ago during his change into adulthood. He was a joy to watch mature. Much like the story, *The Ugly Duckling* he became the most beautiful adult male imaginable. However, during his molting phase, he was a sight to behold.

His lack of mature, adult male beauty (as seen here) never seemed to bother him in the least. He was confident when with other birds and seemed to be very comfortable in his own skin. Oh, what we could learn from this little fellow!

He was undaunted by his missing and mis-matched feathers. An incomplete tail never slowed him. His trust that *all was well* was obvious. Our Heavenly Father provides completely for each of these small creatures, so how much more does he desire to provide for and comfort us....if we will only believe and accept that provision and comfort.

The worldly obsession with how we look, what size we are, where we live, how we dress, what our status or job may be, are all methods by which our confidence and trust are sapped to depletion, if we allow it. I, for one, when faced with these traps, will choose to refuse to allow this to rob joy from my day or peace from my heart. I hope that you will join me in doing the same.

Several years ago when diagnosis of a chronic health problem changed our lives, we made many new choices. We sold our nice home in town, purchased the farm land of our dreams, and moved out to our *little mobile house on the priairie*. : ) We have never regretted it for a single moment.

Our children had acres to enjoy, fishing in our *back yard*, plenty of safe room to run and play, wildlife to enjoy, and the luxury of having pets and farm animals to care for and watch grow.

My husband and I have had long walks in our back pasture, seen deer drinking at our ponds, and enjoyed wildlife families that we have come to recognize and know over the years. What have we missed by not striving to have the biggest house, the fanciest car, or living in an exclusive neighborhood? Nothing. We have gained more than we can count!

Another example is of our white goose that was released at our site after rehabilitation from an injury. After successful rehabilitation at WildCare she was released at our site with only one eye intact. She was fully accepted by the other geese and helped by each of them. It was of no consequence to any of her friends or suitors that she had only one eye. She seems to be unaware of any limitations and thrives in her group of friends.

I am currently on high dose corticosteroids as part of a medical treatment protocol. One of the side effects of steroids is weight gain and especially facial roundness. I am getting chubby cheeks that are record setting. I choose to see this change as having power cheeks and *all the better to help me smile bigger*. : ) It is not easy to see yourself looking differently in the mirror every day. However, any day that I can enjoy friends, family, knitting, and wildlife outside our windows is a wonderful day. I choose to fill my days with activities to encourage others. And, nothing lifts my own heart like knitting or making something for someone else!

My prayer today is that each of you know that you are just fine *as you are*. You don't need to measure up to anyone's standard or the world's view of *pretty*. Your heart and mind is what creates true beauty and is beauty that is ever-lasting. And, please remember that our Heavenly Father loves you unendingly.


I'm hoping to post an update soon on the Trellis Scarf and more completed fingerless mitts for the caregivers of CIC. Progress has been slow because of a continued fever.

I've also been spinning some on my Bosworth Drop Spindle. This is a fun treat! Although I'm doing some great thick Cormo, the consistency sure isn't where I hope it will be someday. I'll keep practicing!


Thank you so much to everyone that joins me in praying for Susan and Will. Both Susan and Will are currently battling cancer. Please lift them in prayer often and pray that they always feel the comfort and unconditional love of our Lord and each of their family and friends. We Love YOU Susan and Will!

Your Friend,


Mark 8:36
"For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?

I leave you with the following cute picture. You will see that even a juvenile Ruby-throated Hummingbird can have a *bad feather* day! : )


Blogger Amy from Ezekiel's Garden said...

Thank you for such a gracious and beautiful reminder to trust the Father for everything. I really enjoy reading your blog and seeing your gorgeous photography. Bless you! :)

4:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You make me smile. No one could have asked for a better place to grow up!

your grateful daughter

5:04 PM  
Blogger Kay said...

Your post today is perfect. Thank you Shelly for all you do and say.

7:06 PM  
Blogger Shelley said...

Your posts are always very inspiring. Thank you so much for sharing them!

7:44 PM  
Anonymous Wonderland Knitter said...

Love your post! I will just remember I am a CCC and free to be me - lol!

Thanks so much!

God bless you!

8:56 PM  
Blogger Shanidy said...

Happy Saturday, Shelly! I hope that your fever is a little better.
Are you planning on going to the knit-in this afternoon at Gourmet yarn? I was thinking of going since I couldn't come on Thursday...but I'm a little tired and not sure that I want to meet all new people...know what I mean?

4:46 AM  
Anonymous rebecca said...

you and Mr Rogers: I like you just the way you are right now!
Mr Rogers helped me through some rough times! and here YOU are, full of joy during a decidedly tiring time of suffering!

5:09 AM  
Blogger Emily said...

What a lovely post. And I think the idea of a "bad feather day" is great.

6:03 AM  
Blogger Marguerite said...

Once again I'm in awe of your wonderful photography. Love the junior cardinal.

Great post and reminder of God's wonderful love.

5:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is another beautiful post from a very wonderful person. You are very beautiful and talented and I am blessed to have you in my life.

I Love You Shelly,

Your hubby

9:01 PM  
Blogger KnitNana said...

I've just found your site, thru our Faroese Shawl KAL, and so enjoy your photos and philosophy! I, too, have been thru trials of steriods and been thru chubby-cheekness, if you'd like to share support, email me?

9:03 PM  
Blogger Jenni said...

Oh! I love all your birds...especially the awkward adolescent cardinal. What kind of camera do you have?

5:56 AM  
Anonymous Cheryl said...

Good Afternoon Shelly,
Just wanted to leave a comment, thank you so much for your words of encouragement and inspiration! I want to thank you for sharing your soul with us all. You are something very unique and very special. We are both "mashed potatoes" and I for one, "kinda like it that way!" ;-) I love you dearly sis~~~~~

11:27 AM  
Anonymous Rick said...

Shelly, this is just so very cool!

7:27 PM  
Blogger Prayerful Knitter - Shelly said...

Thanks to each of you for your comments. It always brightens my day to read each of your comments!

Jenni, I have an Olympus C-700 digital camera. This model is obsolete and it isn't a professional camera by any stretch, but it does have great zoom ability. I'm not a very good photographer. I've just gotten lucky in being in the right place at the right time a few times and have figured out to use a tripod if I'm going to use the zoom capability very much.

Knitnana, thanks for the offer of chubby cheek support! You'd think I'd be used to it by now. I've been off and on steroids several times over the last several years. However, this is the first time I've been on a dose this high and for this long. Honestly, I think I'm going to set some type of *cheek* record. : )

Thanks again so much to each of you! I have been blessed beyond measure!

Shelly : )

5:21 AM  

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