Patients during these trying times

As a teacher, and student always learning grow and expand my mi d and share what i learn with my students so they can pass on skills to their children and to continue to grow themselves. Remember always to have patients with yourself, and people around you. Life can be difficult and frustrating you never know if someone else is having a bad day. Try and be nice, and friendly on the outside, even if you really just want to stick your tongue out at someone. We all have those moments. Sometimes it just happens.

In this crazy world of no hand shakes, or hi fives, and fist bumps, or hugs, maybe it is a new sign of affection. Heck I will take a elbow bump these days, or a pat on the back, or heck my cousin slugs me in the shoulder (not hard mind you) but we still greet each other with signs of love and affection. Whether it be a wave, a missed high five in the air (you know we can’t touch hands anymore 🙄 germaphobes WASH YA HANDS, don’t put your fingers in your mouth, or writing utensils in your mouth🤢) Give us a sign a 👍 or 😘

Student selfie done with pencils

5th grader
5th grader

https://www.facebook.com/polina.bright.art/videos/638980366787668/?vh=e&extid=ZZyI0pF8oqne6HFJ

A lip lesson to enhance your skills.

Seven steps for Effective Problem Solving

Here are seven-steps for an effective problem-solving process. 

1. Identify the issues.

  • Be clear about what the problem is. 
  • Remember that different people might have different views of what the issues are. 
  • Separate the listing of issues from the identification of interests (that’s the next step!).

2. Understand everyone’s interests.

  • This is a critical step that is usually missing. 
  • Interests are the needs that you want satisfied by any given solution. We often ignore our true interests as we become attached to one particular solution. 
  • The best solution is the one that satisfies everyone’s interests. 
  • This is the time for active listening. Put down your differences for awhile and listen to each other with the intention to understand. 
  • Separate the naming of interests from the listing of solutions. 

3. List the possible solutions (options)

  • This is the time to do some brainstorming. There may be lots of room for creativity. 
  • Separate the listing of options from the evaluation of the options.

4. Evaluate the options.

  • What are the pluses and minuses? Honestly!
  • Separate the evaluation of options from the selection of options.

5. Select an option or options. 

  • What’s the best option, in the balance? 
  • Is there a way to “bundle” a number of options together for a more satisfactory solution? 

6. Document the agreement(s). 

  • Don’t rely on memory. 
  • Writing it down will help you think through all the details and implications. 

7. Agree on contingencies, monitoring, and evaluation. 

  • Conditions may change. Make contingency agreements about foreseeable future circumstances (If-then!).
  • How will you monitor compliance and follow-through?
  • Create opportunities to evaluate the agreements and their implementation. (“Let’s try it this way for three months and then look at it.”)

The Ginkgo Tree

Considered a living fossil, the ginkgo tree has no known living relatives and has endured for millions of years with little change. In fact, ginkgo is the oldest surviving species of tree known to exist, with a botanical history spanning more than 200 million years. This demonstration of resilience, combined with its antiquity, has granted the tree many symbolic meanings throughout the world. It has become a symbol of strength, hope and peace for many.

Hope and Peace

The Ginkgo Tree 28×28 acrylic on pallet boards byMShannonHurst

For centuries, the ginkgo tree has served as a symbol of hope and peace in its native land of China, and that representation is widely demonstrated in Chinese literature and art. One of the first depictions of the tree in this capacity exisits on a mural in an ancient tomb. Created late in the 5th century A.D., the image uses the ginkgo tree to represent the end of a politically unstable period in China’s history and a movement towards peace. The artists of ancient China often pictured the Buddha’s Dragon Tree as a ginkgo tree, as well, further cementing its place as a historical symbol. The tree continued to appear throughout Chinese culture and was always associated with an optimistic view of the future. Chinese monks ultimately introduced the tree to Japan, where it remains very popular in temples and tea gardens.

Literature

The willow tree is featured in many works of literature. In 1853, Hans Christian Andersen wrote “Under the Willow Tree” in which a learned elder willow answers children’s questions.

In Kenneth Grahame’s classic 1908 children’s novel “The Wind In The Willows,” the tree plays a supporting role to a cast of animal characters led by Mr. Toad of Toad Hall, Mr. Badger, Mole and Ratty.

William Shakespeare referred to the willow tree in “Hamlet,” “Twelfth Night” and “Othello.”

“Green Willow” is the name of a Japanese ghost story about a young woman with whom a samurai falls in love.

“The Wisdom of The Willow Tree” was a Native American tale.

Perhaps the most famous willow tree in recent literature is the “Whomping Willow” at Hogwarts, the school of magic for wizards attended by Harry Potter and his friends, Hermione and Ron. The tree is key to the story in the series of Harry Potter books written by J.K. Rowling.

  • The willow tree is featured in many works of literature.
  • In Kenneth Grahame’s classic 1908 children’s novel “The Wind In The Willows,” the tree plays a supporting role to a cast of animal characters led by Mr. Toad of Toad Hall, Mr. Badger, Mole and Ratty.

Spiritualism

Celtic beliefs equated the willow tree to a conduit for powerful psychic forces and visions. The Celts also believed that the first human beings were descendants of trees.

Medicine

Ancient healers first discovered the medicinal properties contained in the leaves and bark of the willow tree, They applied these preparations as remedies for aches, fever and rheumatism among other maladies. Salix alba produces salicylic acid, an ingredient in aspirin.

Seasons Change

Maple Leaves 16 x18 watercolor pen and ink by MShannonHurst

Trees and leaves have deep-rooted symbolic meaning in virtually every culture on earth. Forests are the abode of the nature spirits, leprechauns and sasquatches. Forests are a refuge from danger, a source of food and ancient healing roots,  home to wild animals and singing birds. Forests provide us with wood and paper and oxygen. Forests are alive, mysterious and constantly changing. Trees, with their whispering leaves, are at the heart of Mother Nature.

The symbolism of trees and leaves is apparent in common metaphors such as the Tree of Life, our ancestral heritage depicted in ‘family trees’, how we ‘put down roots’ when we create lasting relationships, and in the phrase ‘turning over a new leaf’ when we experience significant change for the better. Trees and leaves are ubiquitous in the fabric of our lives.

Autumn Leaves 22 x19 pen and ink watercolor by MShannonHurst

“Her pleasure in the walk must arise from the exercise and the day, from the view of the last smiles of the year upon the tawny leaves and withered hedges, and from repeating to herself some few of the thousand poetical descriptions extant of autumn–that season of peculiar and inexhaustible influence on the mind of taste and tenderness–that season which has drawn from every poet worthy of being read some attempt at description, or some lines of feeling. “ Jane Austin

Maple Leaves 16 x18 pen and Ink water color by MSHANNONHURST

Mysterious tree, or Red maple leaf meaning

Red maple leaf facts
The beautiful red maple leaf has been the national symbol of Canada for over 150 years. Red and white are the official colors of Canada, proclaimed by King George V in 1921. According to historians, maple leaf began to serve as a Canadian symbol as early as 1700. Long before the arrival of European settlers, Aboriginal peoples had already discovered the food properties of maple sap – which they gathered every spring. Since the 1800s, Canadians have paid tribute to the maple leaf many times.
According to Psychologists, Maple is a tree that helps to find peace of mind for people of all types, brings comfort, and self-confidence. It is a tree of inner strength and steadiness. Therefore, maple creates barriers to Darkness. A solar disk carved from maple and hung over the door, maple steps at the entrance to the house, the doorframes of the entrance door from this tree are all defenses against evil forces. Traditionally, people used Maple to build bridges over running water. Running water is an obstacle to dark forces, and maple did not allow these forces to use the bridge.
Also, maple branches, covering the barn, or stuck in the walls, protect cattle from evil eye and spoilage. By the way, a drink from fermented maple juice is a sacred wine of sun worshipers.

Spring leaves 29 x 23 watercolor by MShannonHurst

“The first real day of spring is like the first time a boy holds your hand. A flood of skin-tingling warmth consumes you, and everything shines with a fresh, colorful glow, making you forget that anything as cold and harsh as winter ever existed.”– Richelle E. Goodrich

Wheat Grasses 25 x 21 watercolor pen and ink
by MShannonHurst
Hunters Paradise 22 x19 watercolor

Considered a living fossil, the ginkgo tree has no known living relatives and has endured for millions of years with little change. In fact, ginkgo is the oldest surviving species of tree known to exist, with a botanical history spanning more than 200 million years. This demonstration of resilience, combined with its antiquity, has granted the tree many symbolic meanings throughout the world. It has become a symbol of strength, hope and peace for many

For centuries, the ginkgo tree has served as a symbol of hope and peace in its native land of China, and that representation is widely demonstrated in Chinese literature and art. One of the first depictions of the tree in this capacity exisits on a mural in an ancient tomb. Created late in the 5th century A.D., the image uses the ginkgo tree to represent the end of a politically unstable period in China’s history and a movement towards peace. The artists of ancient China often pictured the Buddha’s Dragon Tree as a ginkgo tree, as well, further cementing its place as a historical symbol. The tree continued to appear throughout Chinese culture and was always associated with an optimistic view of the future. Chinese monks ultimately introduced the tree to Japan, where it remains very popular in temples and tea gardens.

Perhaps the most famous willow tree in recent literature is the “Whomping Willow” at Hogwarts, the school of magic for wizards attended by Harry Potter and his friends, Hermione and Ron. The tree is key to the story in the series of Harry Potter books written by J.K. Rowling.

Ancient healers first discovered the medicinal properties contained in the leaves and bark of the willow tree, They applied these preparations as remedies for aches, fever and rheumatism among other maladies. Salix alba produces salicylic acid, an ingredient in aspirin.

Art and Music Collide

Just something I have been working on in my sketchbook… #Music can be very #inspirational and #motivational it can transcend generational gaps, it can bring people together for #culturalcelebrations, #learning the #rhythm and the #beats can be used to teach #math skills also. It amazes me that the #music and #arts #history so intertwine, imagine to be able to hear in color.

The sounds of the Bass photo by M Shannon Hurst

The bass might be silent, but listen closely and you can hear the sounds of the crickets chirping, the rhythms of the train rumbling on the tracks below. The crowd cheering at the Field of Dreams during baseball season, dogs barking, geese flying over head, the occasional turkey in the trees below. If your lucky you might catch that fox on the prowl, or see the deer running through the neighborhood. The rhythms you hear can be the swaying of the trees, the crackling of the fire, listen closely to the rhythms of your town what do you hear.

Blue Guitar 36 x 24 acrylic by MShannonHurst
Tie dye guitar 36 x 24 acrylic by MShannonHurst

Music can come in a variety of genres, take time to explore and listen to a wide variety experience many different kinds without judgement, just enjoy the experience, the culture and learn how to appreciate people and the effort that they put into their craft and their work. Learn about their skills their life’s and do not judge what you do not understand. Learn to appreciate.

Dragonfly Wisdom

Dragonfly 10×8 pen and ink by MSHANNONHURST

The dragonfly symbolizes wisdom, change, transformation, light and adaptability in life. It shows up in people’s lives to remind them that they need to bring a lightness and joy to their life.

The dragonfly is also a symbol of the “realm of emotions” from joy and happiness to melancholy, sadness, anger, jealousy and all of the other emotions. It´s also considered a symbol of transformation because of the way that it grows.

Nymph 16 x12 oil pastel by MShannonHurst

Dragonfly Insights & Inspiration

Dragonflies are born in the water and begin to grow there, but then they move into the air and learn to fly. Dragonflies also have incredible flight patterns and are able to change their direction of flight quickly without much effort. They look effortless as they glide and fly through the air.

This is meant to inspire and motivate people to be flexible and adaptable in the situations that they come across in life.

A person who has the dragonfly as their spirit animal or totem will be most inclined to delve into their emotions and show their truest colors. This person will also tend to keep a light positive outlook even when things look grim and dark.

In almost every part of the world, the Dragonfly symbolizes change, transformation, adaptability, and self-realization.

Dragonfly Spirit 9 x 12 watercolor on homemade paper by M Shannon Hurst

When a person feels stuck in a situation or needs to find a new perspective then they should call on the dragonfly spirit animal and the dragonfly power.

Dragonfly Spirit 9 x 12 watercolor on homemade paper by M Shannon Hurst

The change that is often referred to has its source in mental and emotional maturity and understanding the deeper meaning of life. The Dragonfly’s scurrying flight across water represents an act of going beyond what’s on the surface and looking into the deeper implications and aspects of life. The Dragonfly moves with elegance and grace. The Dragonfly is iridescent both on its wings and body. Iridescence shows itself in different colors depending on the angle and how the light falls on it. The magical property of iridescence is also associated with the discovery of one’s own abilities by unmasking the real self and removing the doubts one casts on his/her own sense of identity.

Dragonfly Spirit 9 x 12 watercolor on homemade paper by M Shannon Hurst

The Dragonfly normally lives most of its life as a nymph or an immature. It flies only for a fraction of its life.  This symbolizes and exemplifies the virtue of living in the moment and living life to the fullest. By living in the moment you are aware of who you are, where you are, what you are doing, what you want, what you don’t, and to make informed choices on a moment-to-moment basis.  The eyes of the Dragonfly symbolize the uninhibited vision of the mind and the ability to see beyond the limitations of the human self.  Dragonfly’s can be a symbol of self that comes with maturity. They can symbolize going past self-created illusions that limit our growth and ability to change.

Dragonfly Spirit 9 x 12 watercolor on homemade paper by M Shannon Hurst

The Dragonfly has been a symbol of happiness, new beginnings and change for many centuries. The Dragonfly means hope, change, and love.

Dragonfly Transformation 20 x 16 by MShannonHurst

Made with in cut jade, topaz, sapphire, crystals, and some cut gemstone scattered throughout the wings as this mature dragonfly takes flight

Close up
Close up

Close up

For pricing on all artwork email the artist

FLOWER MEANINGS: THE LANGUAGE OF FLOWERS

Poppy in Remembrance 24 x 28 acrylic and watercolor by MShannonHurst

Who knew flowers had so many different meanings? Can they not just be pretty and smell sweet? I mean some of them even taste good… BUT THEN AGAIN SOME OF THEM WILL KILL YOU OR YOUR CAT! You better learn about your plants and be Smart! Pay attention in school! And watch your children, when they are playing! Honestly I saw children playing and climbing an Osage Orange tree. They were playing with the fruit from the tree, going to eat it.

Now these same children run around with plastic bows and arrows, and toy guns shooting nerf guns, playing with toy chainsaws pretending to cut down giant white oak trees. But the seldom pick up their trash. They do not recycle there are no recycling bins available outside their apartment building. They would not have the slightest idea that the Osage orange tree is a Historical tree used for fence rows, and actually making real bows, because no one is teaching important facts and history about plants and trees and flowers that if they put these things in their mouths it will make them sick.

The History of Flower Meanings

The symbolic language of flowers has been recognized for centuries in many countries throughout Europe and Asia. They even play a large role in William Shakespeare’s works. Mythologies, folklore, sonnets, and plays of the ancient Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, and Chinese are peppered with flower and plant symbolism—and for good reason. Nearly every sentiment imaginable can be expressed with flowers. The orange blossom, for instance, means chastity, purity, and loveliness, while the red chrysanthemum means “I love you.”

Chrysanthemums 8 x8 acrylic by MShannonHurst

Flowery Language of the Victorian Era

Learning the special symbolism of flowers became a popular pastime during the 1800s. Nearly all Victorian homes had, alongside the Bible, guidebooks for deciphering the “language,” although definitions shifted depending the source.

In the Victorian era, flowers were primarily used to deliver messages that couldn’t be spoken aloud. In a sort of silent dialogue, flowers could be used to answer “yes” or “no” questions. A “yes” answer came in the form of flowers handed over with the right hand; if the left hand was used, the answer was “no.”

Poppy 8×10 acrylic by MShannonHurst

How flowers were presented and in what condition were important. If the flowers were given upside down, then the idea being conveyed was the opposite of what was traditionally meant. How the ribbon was tied said something, too: Tied to the left, the flowers’ symbolism applied to the giver, whereas tied to the right, the sentiment was in reference to the recipient. And, of course, a wilted bouquet delivered an obvious message!

Daisy 15×11 watercolor by MShannonHurst

Plants could also express aversive feelings, such as the “conceit” of pomegranate or the “bitterness” of aloe. Similarly, if given a rose declaring “devotion” or an apple blossom showing “preference,” one might return to the suitor a yellow carnation to express “disdain.”

Bouquet 20 x16 acrylic by MShannonHurst

More examples of plants and their associated human qualities during the Victorian era include bluebells and kindness, peonies and bashfulness, rosemary and remembrance, and tulips and passion. The meanings and traditions associated with flowers have certainly changed over time, and different cultures assign varying ideas to the same species, but the fascination with “perfumed words” persists just the same.

What Does Each Flower Symbolize?

See our list below for symbolic meanings of herbs, flowers, and other plants. (Please note: There are many meanings for flowers over the centuries; our chart below reflects mainly Victorian symbolism.)

Purple Iris 28 1/2 x 29 1/2 watercolor by MSHANNONHURST

Click on linked plant names for a photo and growing guide.Symbolic Meanings of Herbs, Flowers and Other PlantsAbatinaFicklenessAcanthusThe fine art, artificeAloeAffection, also griefAmaryllisPrideAnemoneForsaken, sicknessAngelicaInspirationApple blossomPreferenceArborvitaeUnchanging friendshipAsterSymbol of Love, DaintinessBachelor’s buttonSingle blessednessSweet BasilGood wishesBay treeGloryBegoniaBeware, dark thoughtsBelledonnaSilenceBittersweetTruthBlack-eyed SusanJusticeBluebellHumility, constancyBorageBluntness, directnessButterfly weedLet me goCamellia, pinkLonging For YouCamellia, redYou’re a Flame in My HeartCamellia, whiteYou’re AdroableCandytuftIndifferenceCarnationWomen, Love– Red carnationAlas for my poor heart, my heart aches– White carnationInnocence, pure love, women’s good luck gift– Pink carnationI’ll never forget you– StripedRefusal– Yellow carnationDisdain, disappointment, rejectionChamomilePatience in adversityChivesUsefulnessChrysanthemum, redI love youChrysanthemum, yellowSlighted loveChrysanthemum, whiteTruthClematisMental beautyClematis, evergreenPovertyClover, whiteThink of meColumbineFoolishness, follyColumbine, purpleResolutionColumbine, redAnxious, tremblingCoreopsisAlways cheerfulCorianderHidden worth/meritCrab blossomIll natureCrocus, springYouthful gladnessCyclamenResignation, diffidenceDaffodilRegard, Unequalled LoveDahlia, singleGood tasteDaisyInnocence, hopeDillPowerful against evilEdelweissCourage, devotionFennelFlatteryFernSincerity, humility; also, magic and bonds of loveForget-me-notTrue love memories, do not forget meGardeniaSecret loveGeranium, oak-leavedTrue friendshipGladiolusRemembranceGoldenrodEncouragement, good fortuneHeliotropeEternal love, devotionHibiscusDelicate beautyHollyForesightHollyhockAmbitionHoneysuckleBonds of loveHyacinthSport, game, play– Blue HyacinthConstancy– Purple HyacinthSorrow– Yellow HyacinthJealousy– White HyacinthLoveliness, prayers for someoneHydrangeaGratitude for being understood; frigidity and heartlessnessHyssopSacrifice, cleanlinessIrisA messageIvyFriendship, fidelity, marriageJasmine, whiteSweet love, amiabilityJasmine, yellowGrace and eleganceLady’s SlipperCapricious beautyLarkspurLightness, levityLavenderDistrust Lemon balmSympathyLilacJoy of youthLily, callaBeautyLily, dayChinese emblem for motherLily-of-the-valleySweetness, purity, pure loveLotus FlowerPurity, enlightenment, self-regeneration, and rebirthMagnoliaLove of natureMarigold Despair, grief, jealousyMarjoramJoy and happinessMintVirtueMorning gloryAffectionMyrtleGood luck and love in a marriageNasturtiumPatriotismOakStrengthOreganoSubstancePansyThoughtsParsleyFestivityPeonyBashful, happy lifePineHumilityPoppy, redConsolationRhododendronDanger, bewareRose, redLove, I love you.Rose, dark crimsonMourningRose, pinkHappinessRose, whiteI’m worthy of youRose, yellowJealousy, decrease of love, infidelityRosemaryRemembranceRueGrace, clear visionSageWisdom, immortalitySalvia, blueI think of youSalvia, redForever mineSavorySpice, interestSnapdragonDeception,

Snapdragons 20 x16 acrylic by M Shannon Hurst

FLOWER MEANINGS: THE LANGUAGE OF FLOWERSgraciousnessSorrelAffectionSouthernwoodConstancy, jestSpearmintWarmth of sentimentSpeedwellFeminine fidelitySunflower, dwarfAdorationSunflower, tallHaughtinessSweet peaDelicate pleasuresSweet WilliamGallantrySweet woodruffHumilityTansyHostile thoughts, declaring warTarragonLasting interestThymeCourage, strengthTulip, redPassion, declaration of loveTulip, yellowSunshine in your smileValerianReadinessVioletLoyalty, devotion, faithfulness, modestyWallflowerFaithfulness in adversityWillowSadnessYarrowEverlasting loveZinniaThoughts of absent friends

Black eyed Susan 8×8 acrylic
by MSHANNONHURST

 Flower Meanings by Color

Flowers provided an incredibly nuanced form of communication. Some plants, including roses, poppies, and lilies, could express a wide range of emotions based on their color alone.

Take, for instance, all of the different meanings attributed to variously colored carnations: Pink meant “I’ll never forget you”; red said “my heart aches for you”; purple conveyed capriciousness; white was for the “the sweet and lovely”; and yellow expressed romantic rejection.

Hydrangea 20 x 19 watercolor and acrylic by MShannonHurst

Likewise, a white violet meant “innocence,” while a purple violet said that the bouquet giver’s “thoughts were occupied with love.” A red rose was used to openly express feelings of love, while a red tulip was a confession of love. The calla lily was interpreted to mean “magnificent beauty,” and a clover said “think of me.”

Poinsettia 20 x 17 acrylic by M Shannon Hurst

Unsurprisingly, the color of the rose plays a huge role. Red roses symbolize love and desire, but roses come in a variety of colors and each has their own meaning.

  • White rose: purity, innocence, reverence, a new beginning, a fresh start.
  • Red rose: love, I love you
  • Deep, dark crimson rose: mourning
  • Pink rose: grace, happiness, gentleness
  • Yellow rose: jealousy, infidelity
  • Orange rose: desire and enthusiasm
  • Lavender rose: love at first sight
  • Coral rose: friendship, modesty, sympathy
The Rose 20 x23 pastel by MShannonHurst
Springtime as the snow melts and the jonquils and springtime flowers bloom.
Sunshine in the morning
Springtime

Dance Dance Dance

It tells you in the Bible, you can praise the Lord through dancing, Psalms 149:3. “David praised the Lord through dancing. Spirital dance, a combination of modern dance, ballet and African dance movements, all guided by one’s spirit. The movements mostly are soft and angelic like, We allow the spirit to create all the moves.

Celebrating Silhouette of a Dancer 20 x16 acrylic
by MShannonHurst

“Secular dancing is selfish. You’re dancing for yourself,” Mrs. Martin said. “When you dance for the Lord, you allow him to use you as a vessel so someone can receive a blessing.”

“Secular dancing is selfish. You’re dancing for yourself,” Mrs. Martin said. “When you dance for the Lord, you allow him to use you as a vessel so someone can receive a blessing.”

Rejoice Silhouette of a Dancer 20 x 16 acrylic
by MShannonHurst

Praise dancing is a liturgical or spiritual dance that incorporates music and movement as a form of worship rather than as an expression of art or as entertainment. Praise dancers use their bodies to express the word and spirit of God

Dance ministry, however, isn’t something welcomed at all churches, Mrs. Martin said. “A lot of churches don’t accept it, but a lot of them are starting to look at dance as a form of ministry,” she said.

Praise Silhouette of a Dancer 20 x 16 acrylic
by MShannonHurst

Dance is one of the most powerful artistic mediums to either engage in or witness. … All physical movement is emotionally expressive, that’s why we call it ‘body language’, but a key element of what makes dance so impactful is the conscious intention behind it coupled with the emotional power of music.

Silhouette of a Dancer 20 x 16 acrylic
by MShannonHurst

Can Chickens Teach Us

Wise chicks stay close to the mother hen, and they listen for her voice.

Chick in Training 20 x 16 acrylic by MShannonHurst

“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities — his eternal power and divine nature — have been clearly seen being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.”(Romans 1:29)

Sheep, Chickens, Goats

When Jesus walked the earth, people on the whole were less insulated from God’s creation, given that New York City and its clones weren’t the societal norm, and nobody had cell phones. Many of our wise Eldest Brother’s stories and statements had to do with sheep, or vineyards, or walking from one town to the next, or fishing, or even my favorite, chickens.

Now those of you not privileged to have chickens in your life — living ones, that aren’t breaded or fried — don’t know what you’re missing. “Pecking order” is a real and violent thing, and within a flock, there are definitely the top birds, the lowest of the low, and everyone in between. In a chicken coop, if you have multiple bars on which the birds may roost, the dominant birds are at the top, prime real estate where everyone wants to be, because if a predator does get in, it will go for the birds on the lowest level. For this reason, there’s a lot of pushing and jostling and moving about on one’s roost, to secure the best spot.

It reminds me of a classroom, or office environment. And speaking of offices and upper level management, roosters crow a lot, frequently for no reason.

Run to God’s Protection

One of Jesus’s oddest metaphors had to do with chickens, an aching lament in Luke 14:34-35 (see also Matthew 23-37-38):We are small and helpless, reliant upon the strength of our heavenly Father.

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings, but you were not willing!”

Quite honestly, most of the time chickens seem like pretty mundane, primeval creatures (which they are, and they aren’t), and left to free range, they patrol an area regularly for worms, grubs, and grass. But a mother hen is something different indeed, easy to identify from a distance even when you can’t see the chicks near her feet:

She stands straighter. She’s alert, constantly looking for danger. And when she senses that danger, she emits a special clucking noise that brings the chicks — the smart ones that wind up surviving, that is — to her at a run. They gather under her outspread wings, which she then enfolds around the chicks, sheltering them from the threat.

Chicken 14 x 11 acrylic by MShannonHurst

Most dogs and cats take this as a strong indication to keep their distance, and even wild creatures think twice about approaching a puffed out, inflated, extremely belligerent creature. And while the chicken is not generally thought of as a noble animal — like a lion, a tiger, or even a polar bear, all of whom don’t take kindly to strangers messing with their children — the mother hen is noble in her own right, and she will give her life to protect her brood.

“Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me, for in you my soul takes refuge,” the Psalmist cries out in Psalm 57:1-2.

“I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed.”

“He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge,” Psalm 91:4 describes our creator, our God, our Father as a bird — a mother bird no less — because in this creature that He made He infused a sense of protection, and fury against the enemy, and willingness to fight to protect what is hers.

We Are God’s Precious Children

This is God’s attitude toward us, His precious children, and He wants us to stay close, near Him so that when He calls we can drop what we’re doing and run to His protection, because we mean so much to Him. The mother hen does not stop her chicks just before they reach her wings, asking whether they were thinking right thoughts a minute ago, or whether or not they ascribe to correct doctrine — all that matters to her (and to them) is that they come when she calls, and rely upon her to be safe.

Such is the lesson that we can learn about God, from chickens:

We are precious to Him, and we need His protection, because there are a lot of predators out there ready to eat us up and spit us out. Rather than keep our distance, because we obsess, constantly, that God is displeased with who we are (His children!), let us stay well within His circle of protection, learning from Him how to uncover the food we need, where to find water, where to safely sleep.

And let us listen, always, for His voice, because it is one of love and care, compassion and mercy, and it calls us to His side.

Thank You

He is all good. All loving, All compassionate. All merciful.

https://pin.it/43gifMl

Crack Chicken in the Insta Pot eat the Chicken