Monday, August 15, 2011

Monarch Season

It definitely is the season for monarch butterflies.  I see them everywhere flitting around to and fro, over the highways and fields of milkweed... quietly celebrating in a dance of praise.  I rejoice just a little more on the inside each time I see one.  For I know what God showed me while I was raising them.  What I thought was a simple science project for my kids, turned out to be a personal journey of trust-formation.
Over at The High Calling  there's a book club hosted by Laura J. Burgess.  We've been reading Luci Shaw's book called Breath for the Bones .  
 You can click on the High Calling site here .

This week we read chapter 9 called Paying Attention.  Luci Shaw is someone I easily admire.  She has a quiet sense about her and a heart that is ready, willing and open to seeing God in the smallest details.  Usually, when I want to stop and revel in God's small details, I have someone behind me demanding my attention, or kind of rolling their eyeballs with a 'there she goes again' look.  So, I also find myself a little jealous of Shaw's season of life which seems to allow her an abundance of quiet space.  Although, some of my favorite God moments have been shown to me because of my children.  The first year I raised monarchs in my home, I would run and get my kids up in the morning to let them know the butterflies were about to hatch.  I was so filled with awe and wonder, that I acted more like a child than they did.  That first spring, after about the 10th hatching, my little boy who was about 8 at the time, wearily made his appearance in the kitchen and while rubbing his eyes said... "mom, I think you think I like this a whole lot more than I do."

To all four of the people who occasionally read this blog, you probably already know that I'll never apologize for my constant referral to the lovely Monarchs. =)  I simply have never had a more profound "paying attention" lesson from God and I pray I bring him glory each time I share it.  The following link is a story where I stopped to pay attention...

(Read my monarch story of Trust-formation here) or click on the Monarch tab above.

Shaw identifies the need for paying attention by quoting the following:

"Artist Thomas La Duke noted:

“Some things are so common that they disappear. They’re all around us, but they vanish.”

Missing our cues, we fail to notice the fingerprints of the Creator in the ordinary textures and phenomena of living because we are distracted by daily urgencies, by things we consider more important, which in the end may prove to be both trivial and transient.

Mary Oliver wrote:  If you notice anything it leads you to notice more and more.

And here the incarnational approach to faith kicks in for me. As a poet and a sacramentalist, I am learning to recognize pointers to transcendent realities in almost anything I see."
Shaw, Luci (2009-09-01). Breath for the Bones (Kindle Locations 1724-1732). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

I guess my son was right, I did enjoy the monarchs more than he did.  But I pray in the midst of all the chaos of raising a family, he remembers his Mom looking for God and finding Him in the chaos... right outside our window. 

Patricia Spreng

Also sharing today with Playdates with God at The Wellspring     and at

On, In and Around Mondays with L.L. Barkat at Seedlings In Stone


  1. This is delightful! I can feel your joy in His creation.

  2. Looking for God and finding Him in the chaos. Isn't that life? So many times that's just where I find Him. I love finding joy in the midst of a new blog. I feel it here.

  3. Today I paid attention to what was going on in the garden right outside the kitchen window. The inventory included one chipmunk, two squirrels, three monarch butterflies and a hummingbird. Paying attention pays off.

  4. Thank you Pamela and Susan! ... you have blessed me with your words.

    Way to go Glynn! ... now, that just made me laugh. I wish you could see the 9 baby turkeys in my back yard... I know it will end up in some poem like "don't let the turkeys get you down," but so far, it isn't done.

  5. I can't believe you raised Monarchs! *Jealous* :)

    I watched that NatGeo special last year called Migrations. The Monarch story gripped me. You cannot know what they do--the way they migrate and how generations later the offspring know where to return to--and not see God.

    Beautiful photos, Patricia. They really make me slow down and pay attention.


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