Thought For Today

I am so glad that you have found this site and I hope you will find encouragement and joy as you read through my thoughts on God, family and life.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Starting Our Day

He helps us to see what is hidden.
Autumn is upon once again.  Early in the mornings this summer I have gone out on the golf course between 6 and 6:30 a.m.  Now that our days are getting shorter, it is dark when playing my first two holes.  I find that I need to concentrate that much harder before hitting my ball, that is, to insure that I will find it.  About 75% of the time I am able to locate it.  It is much like looking for Easter eggs when walking on a dark fairway.  It is interesting that when I use a throw away ball, I am able to hit the golf ball more into the location that I want, versus that is when I use a good ball.  I realized that when using the old ball I am more relaxed and I am able to concentrate on my form more and less on worrying about losing the ball. 
God helps us to find hidden treasures by giving
 us new eyes to see what so many have passed by.

This method seems to apply to so many things in life.  When we are  relaxed and less stressed, we do better and are able to get our work done in less time.  Stress does take a toll on our lives in more ways than one realizes.  It affects our relationships, our places of work, even our body, as well as our own attitude that we have during the day.  I have personally found that when I start my day with prayer and praise to God, that my mind is in the right frame to begin the tasks set before me. 

Our relationship with God is a part of our makeup in how we as his children relate to the world that he has made for us.  When beginning the day in worship and praise, we can come to realize that we are in harmony with the world around us, and with our Lord.  We were created to worship the one who created us; it is a part of our makeup in how God formed us as his children. (Psalms 150:6 / Isaiah 43:7 / Matt. 21:16)  I encourage you to start your day with praise and prayer.  I am positive that your day will not be the same after that.  

Anne, Abby and Will, my treasures.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Our Wonderful World of Nature Around Us

Young Cardinal venturing out on its own.
It’s interesting how much of the animal world is a mystery to us much of the time.  For our family, we feed many species of birds from the feeders surrounding our house everyday, without really thinking about their lives and how they are a part of our world.  Being in the Mississippi flyaway, our home is situated right along their flight paths during their migrations in the spring and autumn.  During these seasons we are constantly hearing geese, ducks, trumpeter swans, pelicans and a variety of other bird species-flying north or south according to the time of year.  For added pleasure, one only has to stop and listen to them calling to each other with sounds of encouragement on their journeys to lands unknown.  Some of these mysteries of God are revealed when one takes the time to learn more about his creation and the creatures that live around us. 

Female Ruby Throated Hummingbird (Pear) about to quench her thirst.
Yesterday, Anne and I saw an oriole feeding on bugs by our porch, and just before coming into the house, I looked up and saw two turkey vultures circling overhead.  This is always a little unnerving to me.  Just when entering the doorway I turned around before going into the house, only to see our tiniest of feathered friends, (the hummingbirds) flying around the pear tree a few feet away.  It struck me at that moment, the wonder, that is, in the size and types of birds visiting our home everyday.  We have the Tufted Titmouse, many species of Woodpeckers, Blue Jays, Nuthatches, House Finches, Gold Finches, Red Breasted Gross Beaks, Cardinals and an assortment of other birds coming to visit our feeders on daily basis.

This morning I noticed that we had several Cardinals visiting our feeders.  Anne and I both chuckled when looking at one male Cardinal in particular.  He was molting, and he had lost the feathers on the back of his head.  His body was transforming to ready itself for winter.  A funny thought went through my mind at that moment, it appeared that he was experiencing male pattern baldness.  The poor bird almost seemed to be self-conscious when first noticing that we were looking at his head.  It immediately turned and went to the other side of the feeder, it seemed it did not want us staring at its unseemly hairdo.  The poor Cardinal, it is normally such a beautiful bird with its red headed crest and dark scarlet plumage.  Now in its humble condition, it seemed to seek out the shadows due to its inglorious state.
Wild turkey fleeing the coyote.

In the woods a few feet away, we have Owls, Red Tailed Hawks, and Bald Eagles who are all looking for rabbits, squirrels, snakes and chipmunks.  Every spring and fall we also have wild turkeys visiting our meadows as well.  This last spring we had about 20 turkeys coming out of the woods to forage in our meadow.  The site was breath taking; they were so beautiful prancing around in the tall grass.  Then all of a sudden, the woods and grassland became a mass of feathers and squawks when a coyote came bounding out of the woods chasing after the flock.  It seemed to have no particular bird in mind, and so it pretty much chased the group into the trees with no apparent victim.  They roosted for about two hours on the branches of the trees, and when the danger seemed to pass, they disappeared into the woods again.  Although I love to watch all the different species of birds around our house, I am glad that the raptors are shy and like to stay at a distance.  I would hate to have them landing on our roof or trees nearby, eyeing our cats as possible snacks. 

Now the day is ending, while I am closing the garage door I hear a nearby coyote howling in the woods just a few yards away.  For obvious reasons, one of our indoor/outdoor cats (Kelly) is very anxious to get into the house.  In speaking of Kelly, yesterday she thought that by bringing up her catch (mouse) to the door, we would let her in the house.  In Kelly's eyes, she appeared to want to give her treasure to our kids.  Seeing that we were not permitting her in, Kelly decided then that Anne wanted her mouse.  When approached by our kitty with her prize, Anne’s legs automatically retreated to her chest at lightening speed.  I am afraid that I wasn’t too much help at that moment since I was laughing pretty heartily at the scenario unfolding, that is, rather than having empathy for my poor distraught wife.  I then noticed the terror in Anne’s eyes over the prospect of having a mouse dropped into her lap.  With a desire to bring calm to the situation, I slowly walked over to Kelly, picked her up and carried her, and her catch out to the meadow.  There she happily trotted off with her prize knowing that she had done her best to share.  And so ends another day in the Thurmer family.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Living in an Environment of Love

Pear, our little hummingbird that loves to watch our family all day long.  She knows that she is safe with us.
Abby (7) yesterday asked her grandma if she got a “seashore” when she had her babies.  Grandma smiled and looked a little confused until Anne interpreted Abby’s question.  Marji then laughed and told her that “Yes, I did have C-Sections with my babies!”

Even the most delicate creature has a place in our world.
How many times after making a statement or doing something the wrong way did we realize, “That didn’t come out the way I wanted it to!”  We then try to back track and perhaps apologize for words or actions that were never meant to happen that way.  True friends though forgive us, when needed, and then life goes on.  We learned something from our mistake, and a genuine friend never brings it up again or holds it over our heads.
When we live in an environment of love we are allowed to make mistakes because in many cases, it is how we learn.  To have a “safe” environment to grow and learn in, is what all of us desire.  It is also the way Jesus wants us to see him, as someone who loves us and wants only the best for us.  After feeling sorry and asking for forgiveness, Jesus will never hold anything over our head because we have made a mistake.  Jesus said that he will never remember our sin anymore.  (Hebrews 10:17)  He very much wants us to be like him.  If it is hard to forgive, then ask Jesus for "his" strength, he will give it to you, and he will help you to forget as well.  

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Working in the meadow, and with my son Will.

Wild Flowers among the thistles.

Today we are experiencing excessive heat which comes with the month of August.  It becomes a daily chore to water the plants and garden due to the lack of rain, but that is life.  As with all things, there are times of plenty and then there are lean periods as well.  One goes with the other, and I guess that is why we appreciate the times when we have all that we need. 

Abby gathering wild flowers for "Mommy."
Today I went out into the meadow with the weed cutter.  I let the weeds grow longer than normal this year.  In June, Abby wanted to see the fireflies that come out at night; this was at the peak of their mating season.  It was also during this time that the weeds in the meadow needed spraying or trimming down.  I didn’t have the heart to limit Abby’s joy by reducing the number of lightning bugs, that is, by destroying the habitat that they lived in.  So today, the job of cutting the weeds is so much harder now that they are 3 to 6 feet in height.  The thistles, Golden Rod, and the ragweed are pollenating, so our family needs to have the weeds eliminated.

Anne kids me about how when I get a new yellow t-shirt, and then go out and cut thistles while wearing it, forgetting to change before starting the job.  By the time I come in, the shirt is virtually ruined and I am wondering why I didn’t change into one of my many old t-shirts in the first place.  Oh well, it is good to focus on one’s work, but I need also to concentrate on my attire as well.  Today though, before going out to the meadow, I proudly walked in front of Anne wearing my oldest t-shirt.  She looked up from the computer, smiled; almost imperceptibly she shook her head and then proceeded to go back to work. 

Softener salt access in closet floor.
When cutting the thistles I had to stop at times and pull some by hand.  The reason for this was because the wild flowers were in bloom in the midst of the thistles, and I did not want to damage them.  They make very nice table ornaments, and we as a family enjoy looking at them while we eat.  As I earlier stated, we must take the good with the bad, just like the wild flowers in the midst of thistles.  While pulling the thistles my mind went back to the parable of the tares that Jesus spoke about.  Matthew 13:24-30

4" fittings in utility room.
Yesterday Will and I tackled a job that I wanted to do for some time.  Every time that I needed to refill the salt tank for the softener, I had to carry a bag of salt down the steps to the second level, a “50” pound bag.  Two to five bags gets old mighty fast carrying that much weight.  So starting with today, this task was going to be much easier.  We cut a hole in the upstairs closet and inserted a plastic funnel in the new hole.  Will modified the funnel to fit a 4-inch PVC elbow.  Next we attached several 45-degree angle elbows just below the funnel.  The idea was to slow down the salt so there would be less of an impact when it dropped into the salt tank. Next we attached a 4-inch PVC pipe to the elbows and fitted it into the salt tank.  We used the material that we cut out for the initial hole in the floor as a cover over the funnel hole.  We then put in a wooden closet handle; it would be used to pull the cover free when the next time salt is needed.  The cover on the salt tank (soft plastic) was cut out using a left-handed sheet metal sheer.
Plastic funnel in the floor.
Softener salt tank cover with 4" salt
pipe cut into the corner.
My back is happy now that I don’t have to carry the salt bags down the steps.  If I am gone, it will make it easier for Anne to fill the softener tank as well.  All in all, it was so enjoyable working with my 9-year-old son.  I look forward to doing more projects with him in the future.