Peace and JoyI have been completely fascinated with Starlings this fall. They have been all over our neighborhood and many times flock to our yard and cover every tree branch in our little backyard forest …Wikipedia describes them as such: “Starlings have strong feet, their flight is strong and direct, and they are very gregarious.”— I love that description because it comes across as something I can aspire to. And yet, another website describes their wonder more as a nuisance:

Starlings are considered pests because they nest in places you do not want them….Starlings will nest in almost anything that resembles a cavity, such as a hole in a building or sign, a bird house, a hollow in a tree or a crack in rocks. You will definitely know when you have a flock of Starlings outside your window as they are quite boisterous, annoyingly loud and travel in large groups.

I learned that these large groups are called murmurations. I found this video taken by some girls in Ireland who captured starling wonder and I am totally in awe: http://www.wired.com/2011/11/starling-flock/

As I’ve witnessed these swarms of birds at various times, I am reminded of two things:  That the nest of unwanted caveties holding confusion, chaos, and anxiety in our own lives exists (a reminder that is magnified when you can hear Starlings squawking in unison just above your head!).

Alternatively, I’m reminded of the swarming capacity of both peace and joy (Did you experience it too when watching that video?!). Isaiah 55:12  mentions “For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace;…” If we allow for it, seek it, and give voice to it, joy and peace can have the same overtaking affect as anxiety and confusion (but so often we allow our fears to guide us!) If we seek and give voice to joy and peace–those gospel truths can overtake too. Seeking may look like conscious efforts to keeping your eyes on Christ, feeling small against mountains, re-framing a situation, being encouraged by community, or making lists of gratitude. My engaging in healthy coping, we set ourselves up to better experience the peace and joy that is ours for the taking. I hope that in this new year, you will make room for the strength of the Lord to lead you in the direction of joy and peace.

Hope you had a Merry Christmas!

♥ Much love,

Art Stories Studio

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