Do you feel average? Unnoticed? Like the easiest thing for you to do would be to blend in with the masses? Get up, go to work, go home, eat, go to bed, repeat. Like millions of Americans do each day. Settling for the plainness of mediocracy, never revealing their true, glorious, Christ-revealing beauty.
Today my guest Janet K. Brown, author of Worth Her Weight shares an insightful lesson God showed her through a seemingly plain creature.
The Unordinary Oriole
By Janet K. Brown
A beautiful oriole ministered to me on our recent visit to Aurora, Colorado. Our daughter’s house, like most in that area, sprawls the foothills of the Rockies, and hiking trails wind up and down, linking one trail after another. If I had the strength, I could hike for many miles. I stick with the two mile loop nearby.
While hiking, I noticed one shaggy pine that appeared to be home to a bird that I didn’t recognize. My husband researched and discovered it was an orchard oriole. Orioles hide in trees and feed on fruits and insects.
I noticed when the oriole perched in the tree, I could barely see it. The top of its head, body, and wings were black and blended with the trunk of the pine. Even when my husband or daughter said it was in the tree, I could search and search and not spot it. When the bird took flight, however, my eyes lifted and watched the graceful swoop.
“How beautiful,” I said. The bird’s breast and the bottom of its wings were brilliant orange, but without the flight, I couldn’t see its hidden beauty.
Are we not the same as the ordinary oriole?
My mother had a saying, “He puts his pants on one leg at a time, just like me.” I have two legs, two arms, and average intelligence. There’s nothing special about me. When I keep quiet and don’t strive for excellence, I blend with other woman around me. Like the oriole, I hide in my tree. When I weighed two hundred and fifty pounds, and my self esteem was as low as our North Texas red dirt, I wanted to hide.
God healed me emotionally and showed me the meaning of this verse:
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind“ (2 Timothy 1:7 KJV).
With this hope, I spread my wings and wrote my books and taught my classes, and showed the beautiful orange side of me that God created.
The oriole is ordinary until it flies.
So, are we.
Janet K. Brown lives in Wichita Falls, Texas with her husband, Charles. Writing became her second career after retiring from medical coding.
Worth Her Weight is the author’s first inspirational women’s fiction, but it makes a perfect companion to her previously released, Divine Dining: 365 Devotions to Guide You to Healthier Weight and Abundant Wellness. Both books encompass her passion for diet, fitness, and God’s Word. Worth Her Weight marks Brown’s third book. Who knew she had a penchant for teens and ghosts? She released her debut novel, an inspirational young adult, Victoria and the Ghost, in July, 2012.
Janet and her husband love to travel with their RV, work in their church, and visit their three daughters, two sons-in-law and three perfect grandchildren. She teaches workshops on writing, weight loss, and the historical settings of her teen books.
Visit her online at http:/ /www.janetkbrown.com, on Twitter at https://twitter.com/janetkbrowntx, or on Facebook, and contact her by E-mail at: Janet(dot)hope(at)att(dot)net
Worth Her Weight:
How can a woman who gives to everyone but herself accept God’s love and healing when she believes she’s fat, unworthy, and unfixable? Can she be Worth Her Weight?
Lacey Chandler helps her mother, her sister, her friend, and then she binges on food and wonders is there really a God? Betty Chandler hates being handicapped and useless, so she lashes out at the daughter that helps, and the God who doesn’t seem to care. Toby Wheeler loves being police chief in Wharton Rock, but when the devil invades the small town, he can’t release control.
Is God enough in Wharton Rock?
Buy it HERE! Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, & at your local bookstore.
Are you in hiding? Avoiding risks or certain opportunities to spread your wings and fly? That first step can be excruciatingly terrifying, but oh, the freedom we experience when we finally experience the beauty of full flight–of full surrender. Pause to prayerfully consider in what ways you’re hiding right now. Perhaps it’s relationally. Maybe you’ve been hurt so many times in the past, you’ve begun to hide behind your defenses. Or maybe it’s in your career, or in ministry. But like Janet says, we have not been given a spirit of fear, and our beauty, or rather, God’s beauty, is best displayed when we step out of hiding, spread our wings, and fly.
Share your thoughts in the comments below or at Living by Grace on Facebook.
I don’t think I’m hiding right now – at least not yet – but I’m in transition and am trying to thoughtfully rest instead of just rushing right into new things. But it’s a hard balance of wanting to be left alone with myself and wanting to keep contributing.
Thanks for the inspiration – I very much enjoyed it. God put me in the workplace for many years and I treated it as a ministry. Myself and my entire team was laid off late last year. I truly believe that my employees landed good jobs quickly because of the mentoring I’ve done when they worked for me – skills that couldn’t have been learned in a few weeks.
I was faithful where God put me. Now that my song is changed though, I want some time off and to be quiet for a while.
Great thoughts, Nancy! I love how you’re sifting everything through the lens of Christ and how you’re waiting on Him. Best response to any possible situation! 🙂
Thanks for your thoughts, Nancy. I truly believe God has times & places for us. Sounds like you’re right where you need to be, but God used you on the job. I’m retired now, but I worked for a doctor for years. Many patients would get a cancer diagnosis, or other bad news. I always felt like God used me as a comfort & sounding board during those time. I didn’t have time to write then, but god used me another way. I sure appreciate your words & how you let God guide you. May you have rest & peace during this time.