Friday, April 8, 2016

Why a Feather?

There have been birds in my life for as long as I can remember. It started as an infant when Daddy's pet parakeet laid an egg that hatched a little birdie around the same time that I was born. "Doofus" was his Christian name and he was blue. My sister and I loved that little bird and grieved him so much when he died that Daddy had a funeral service for him in the churchyard. We buried him there together. 

Daddy and my grandmother (his mother) collected images of birds. They liked all kinds of birds, but none left them in rapture like the blue bird. In fact, my grandmother dresses in head-to-toe blue to this day. Her nickname is B.J. and as a small child, my youngest cousin thought we were all calling her "Blue Jay" and the name seemed to stick. To this day, I live by so many of the lessons she has taught me.

Growing up in the manse, there was a peach tree in our yard and my Mom hung a clay birdhouse on one of its branches. We had a pair of bluebirds come and lay their eggs there every single Spring. It was an event when they would show up. Mom would get so excited and the whole family would check on the little peepers daily and make sure that our cat had no ideas about eating any of the blue bird family. Even when the peach tree died, we didn't cut it down because the bluebirds still came to live there. It remained standing as the blue bird tree until we moved away.

As an adult, I've started to notice that when I am in need of the Holy Spirit or some assurance that the Creator is with me, I will often see a flicker of blue somewhere nearby. Bluebirds have appeared in moments of my life that felt overwhelmingly sacred or holy and I have taken them as an affirmation that I am exactly where I am meant to be. 

A couple of years ago, Joel and I got ourselves into a troubling living situation. We needed to move and there was a neighborhood near us that I was desperate to live in. We are not the only people who believe that it is the coolest neighborhood in town, so finding rentals in that area is slim-to-none, especially, affordable ones.  My sister-in-law called me up one afternoon to let me know that she saw a rental sign go up in a prime spot and I did not believe her. I had been scouring that neighborhood and there was no way that I missed a rental sign. She picked me up and parked me in front of the house so we could call and at least get our names in the line up with the landlord. As I was staring at this absolutely perfect little bungalow, in the exact location where we were dreaming of living, I looked up in the attic window and saw that someone had painted a bluebird on the glass. My heart skipped a beat. I knew we were going to get this place. We were the 39th people who had left messages with this landlord and for some reason, he called us back. 

Blue birds have become Spiritual arrows pointing me towards experiences of holiness and transformation. They have been totems that assure me of God's invested presence in my life. They remind me of my Dad, my grandmother, and my childhood where I experienced so much love and peace. When I see a blue bird, I am reminded of the simple freedom of just believing that I am a beloved part of God's created world. 

Waked Up started here as my first adventure in blogging. This space for writing was one I have always intended for sharing spiritual and life practices that have transformed my experience of living for the better. Following the blue bird arrows, Waked Up has evolved into a business where I can come and share these experiences and practices in person. I am teaching classes, workshops, and leading retreats. It is now a Studio where I am painting my prayers and sharing those with whoever will have them. The blue feathered Spirit still guides and weaves these amazing practices into lives of people I don't even know and the strings of connection continue to astound me, offering me assurance that I am on the right path. 

This is why, when faced with the challenge of creating my logo, I have chosen a blue feather. My hope is that Waked Up Studio will also become an arrow pointing you towards the Holy and Sacred in your own life that is waiting to transform your experience of living for the better. 

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