the bird on your shoulder

via pinterest

"I tell the bird on my shoulder that today is out of my hands, acknowledge the tough things, and ask for God to bring me peace, patience and faith to make it through.- J.T. Fisher

Life and work have been extremely stressful lately. And with stress comes the need for stress management. Sigh. It's been a tough challenge for me to remain peace-seeker when everything around me seems to be a bit upside down and backwards, all the while I'm trying desperately to walk forward, right side up. Life is usually topsy turvy, to and fro though, no?

Luckily for me though, my boyfriend (Jared) has been so great lately! I honestly don't know what I'd do without him. He's prayed for me when I've been moody and stressed beyond belief. He's been patient with me when I was being a complete and utterly horrible snot. He's talked to me about things that I enjoy, like reading and writing, until I've calmed down, put a smile on my face, laughed and then cheered up. He's remained calm when I wanted to pick a fight with him (shameful, I know) and managed to keep his whits about him.

Jared's also been speaking words of wisdom to my restless soul, and showing me how to love greater than I ever thought I could. We've been studying through the book of Ecclesiastes together lately, which has proven to be quite interesting, what with everything being meaningless and all that jazz. I really do love discussing scripture with my guy. It's amazing to me just how much God has been speaking to both of us through our devotion times together recently, especially myself. God's timing is impeccable (I need to remember this more often!) and He truly does say exactly what we need to hear when we need to hear it.

The very quote you see up there ^^ (yeah that one at the top of the post) is what my love said to me the other night. I had just come home from work after a long stressful day, and I'd gotten into bed, cranky, tired girl that I was. Then we chatted on the phone for a while and God decided to do some talking through my love. Jared said those words to me and it strummed a mighty chord within me. After hearing those words I knew that I could either choose to live seeking after daily renewed faith and peace at the forefront of my mind and heart every day, or I could decide to let my stress rule me, eat me, and ruin my usually chipper demeanor by letting that twerp of a bird (named "life") peck at me until I became a useless decrepit holey worry filled young woman. 

Jared is SO RIGHT (but please, don't tell him I said this, okay? ;-) about how our attitude and perspectives should be for each new day that the Lord has gifted us with. Some days (and even nights, when worries begin to eat at our minds) we have just got to tell that restless bird on our shoulder that the day is out of our hands, and then we must ask God to bring us peace, patience and faith to make it through another day.

I really do believe that God will help each of us conquer that bird of fear, the one that perches on our shoulder, whispering worrisome matters into our ears, that wriggle their way down into our hearts and burrow holes therein, when we lay down ourselves in surrender and choose peace, patience and faith over everything else that's going on in our lives.

I'm so very thankful for this new bird on your shoulder perspective that's been given to me, graciously and lovingly, by my Lord and my love this past week. 

Now I've just gotta tell that bird on my shoulder what for each and every day, right? 

the peace seeker

                                                                                                   Source: via sarah on Pinterest

This becoming peace-seeker is hard.

I've been tried so many times already.
Worries and stress try to consume this frightened, and yet emboldened flesh of mine.

It's not the lifestyle, or even the choice of seeking out peace on a daily basis that frightens me. 

What frightens me most is that I often times don't trust in God enough to be my peace-bringer.

But how can I not trust the Prince of Peace to bring me peace when HE IS PEACE? 

I've had fear prowling around my camp of peace for weeks now, the camp that I've been seeking to build up around myself in twenty-twelve.

I've felt sprinklings of peace prickling my flesh, but my heart still fears all the same.

"It's because her faith is too small," HE whispers, gently, repetitively. 

I fear the unknown.
I fear the next step. 

I fear putting my trust in God. But why? 
I fear losing what little control I think I have over my life. 

I fear that I won't be able to find my own arcadia. 
                                                                      I fear all the time, but God never does.

There are so many I's and I want's and I will's and not enough prayers and petitions uttered, asking Him to set me free.

Maybe that's where the problem lies...

This lacking, of trust and the daily pursuit of peace. 

It lies with me...

With this me me me and I I I attitude that is ridden with doubt and laced with ugly dirty fears. 

And then my peace-bringer softly calls to me.

"Surrender your fears and trust I AM. Grow this small mustard seed of faith, little one. The seed of faith and trust that I've given you myriad glimpses of."

Yes, sweet release.
 I must trust Him more, yearning and longing deeper still. 

It's then I'll find my place of peace, when my being becomes a true trusting peace-seeker. 
When I learn to live surrendered, on a more deeply planted mustard seed faith. 

Oh, but to let go and find peace! 

This is my heart's desire.

wings, a mustard seed, and a little faith

"He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart."
((Psalm 91:4))

"Are you all set to check out? I said robotically, as a shadow, also known as a human being, stood before me. I had a headache at this point during my work day and after a while every customer seemingly blends into "the one customer." This is the truth. I promise. At least it is for me. Especially when I am working while sleepy.

"Did you find everything okay today, sir?" I said to the elderly man that stood before me at the cash-wrap, with a valentine's card for his obviously beloved wife. "Yes," he said with a nod of his Air Force hat donned head and a polite smile spread wide across his happiness-lined face.

I proceeded to scan the card and another item that the man had in his pile to buy, without even realizing what it was, and mumbled on about valentine's day rapidly approaching as I did so. "Small talk. You've got to make small talk, Sarah. And he's really super nice. Smile and humor him already even if you have a blasted headache, woman!" I mentally screamed at myself.

Do you have a member's card with us, sir?" I asked the man. He replied with his name, first and last, and I typed it out onto the keyboard, searching for the right name and address. Once I found the right name in our computer system I marveled at just how cool and unique his name was. "O-h-t-o. Now that's a unique way of spelling that name. I bet Ohto would make one heck of a cool character name!" I thought as my mind wondered where the nearest post-it-note was to me so I could jot down the customer's super cool name as soon as he left the bookstore.

"Have you read that Harbinger book, yet?" Mr. Ohto asked me out of the blue. "No, I haven't, but my mother recently bought the book and has liked reading through it so far," I replied quickly. "You know you all should set that book by Peggy Joyce Ruth (at least I think this is the author he mentioned?) right beside that Harbinger one. "Why's that?" I asked him. "So when you get all depressed from reading the other one you can find some hope afterwards." I laughed slightly under my breath at his comment. I'm pretty sure he was half joking and half completely serious at this point. "Hmm, I've not heard of that book before," I told him.

"It's all about faith and's wonderful and she goes into reading through Psalm 91...prayers of protection...even wrote a version for soldiers, y'know," he said imparting this knowledge, which he obviously loved and held near to his heart, to me with a smile still painted across his face.

Fast forward a few minutes...............

"The Kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all your seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and perch in its branches.
((Matthew 13:31-32))

"It's because our faith is too small," Mr. Ohto and I said together, as if shadowing one another. He said it boldly and I nearly whispered it. In that moment I remembered my own struggles with faith and hope this week, that were lodged  in the back of my mind. Mr. Ohto was teaching me something, and maybe just maybe, it was Jesus speaking through him in this very moment in time.

"Yes, what he said...we have a little mustard seed of a faith," said a woman who had been eavesdropping over mine and Ohto's little faith filled conversation for who knows how long. The woman stood right behind Mr. Ohto, as she went perusing through a pile of five-dollar books and CD's and DVD's, she then interjected her way into mine and Mr. Ohto's conversation about the Harbinger book, and the other book he'd mentioned too, as well as talk of hope and faith.

Ohto and I wrapped up our conversation with the third-party-woman and I finished the transaction. Then Mr. Ohto walked off and ran into a familiar face as he turned to leave the bookstore. A few moments later when it was the eavesdropper-lady's turn to check out at the counter she got teary eyed and said that she had just been reading through Psalm 91 and was praying for a dear friend who was terminally ill. She reveled at how amazing it was to run into one person (like Mr. Ohto) who could affirm what God had been speaking to her heart lately through her little faith. She was more right than she knew to revel, because I was doing the same thing too.

Ohto had let Jesus use himself to speak to me, unknowingly perhaps, and to affirm a hurting and very heavily burdened woman's prayers through a seemingly silly rant over the Harbinger book and what faith can really do for a person. God is amazing is He not? He uses our brothers and sisters as HIS vessels. HE speaks to us even when we don't want to hear HIM (or even see HIS works that HE is planting in the now for a reaping that will take place later down the road.) God is sowing seeds all around us, each and every one of us, every day, even when we don't think so. I now know this to be true more than ever before.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

My faith had been weak lately. I'd not looked towards God in every situation and moment like I know I should have done. And I'd not prayed as diligently for HIM to lead me and my life as of late as much I'd like to admit either. And let's not forget about my issues with trusting HIM lately too. (Sheesh!) Because I've not been trusting the Lord with the season (Ecc. 3:1) that I'm currently walking through in my life.

Sometimes I wonder why God would even want me, much less actually use me. Why little old me? Because I have so very little faith sometimes, in HIM or in myself, and even though I strive to be a beacon of hope in a shadowed world, by being as transparent as I can possibly get, I still feel so very small and weighed down by life's heavy burdens. It's in these times I find I cry more. I grasp after my comfortable secure more. And occasionally I'll pick up those basic-instructions-before-leaving-earth and give it the old looksee, even though I should do that every day already. Can I get an amen!?

I wonder how I can possibly learn to have a mustard seed faith? How does one procure a small, sincere and transparent faith after all? One that is really real and not just a good-girl facade. A faith that no island storm could shake...a faith and hope like the one Mr. Ohto spoke of. A real faith. A trusting faith. A faith that believes God to be the shield and rampart around us and over each and every one of us forever and ever.

Yes, I want a faith like that. So I'll decide to start out small. Baby steps eventually grow into long strides, right? I know that my God will be by my side always, small faith or big faith, HE is there.

"Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."
((Matthew 17:20))

I'll admit there are those days that I claim I have a true, deep faith (which I do for the most part) and yet sometimes I forget to really live out my faith some days, you know? I'm talking about those days when things are so rough and stressful that you feel like you might just melt into a pool of tears. Those days when you claim Christianity as your lifestyle, but don't necessarily live it out to the fullest extent. Those days when you wish you had what your neighbor or best friend has, you know, the things that you so desire, but know that it's not your time for them to come about in your own life just yet.

It's those days I've learned, through Mr. Ohto's simple yet thought provoking conversation with me yesterday, and with a lot of help from God of course with the hind-sight, that I must come to HIM with a faith as small and as unfettered as a mustard seed. A small, raw, honest and totally imperfect faith striving to be the most authentic real woman in a world full of wannabe good girl's and faith-filled-fakers.

So on those days when I'm feeling less than hopeful or faith filled, or even jut plain frightened about my every next step in life, I'll be sure to remember that tiny seed of mustard faith, the one that lovingly reminds me that HE still wants me, little faith and all. HE wants my heart. HE wants my love. HE wants the best I can give HIM. HE wants my faith firmly planted in HIS soil. HE wants my trust. HE wants to be my place of peace.

Small and sure as a mustard seed, I will find my wings and come to hide in his feathers.

- - - - - - - -  - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

Have you studied Psalm 91? What's your favorite verse? 
Let's talk about small faith in the comments section, okay? I'd absolutely love to hear from you!

cross legged listener or writer

                                                                                                    Source: via sarah on Pinterest

"Each of us has been designed for one of two immortal functions, as either a storyteller or as a cross-legged listener to tales of wonder, love and daring." 
Bryce Courtenay

I love to make up stories in my head. I also love to write them out, just as much as I like to read them in a book myself, or listen to stories being told aloud by an author on an audio-book, or by a loved one.

Oh, I have such fond memories of my loved ones reading to me aloud! I truly do. I honestly believe that having storyteller's at work in my own life, alongside reading books on my own, is what has truly made me into a more intelligent young woman, a stronger writer and an all around more inspired daring dreamer in  my own life.

Without stories woven throughout my life, I'm absolutely sure that there would be less of me for you all to see right now. Thank the Lord for stories and storyteller's!


I have such fond memories of making up my own stories in my head and then writing them out, by myself or with a friend, on notebook paper when I was a kiddo. Goodness, the stories I wrote back then! I think I was a better listener back then than a writer, personally, but through reading and hearing stories I have myself become a better writer and storyteller (or at least I think so!)

This cross-legged listening and gift of writing is something that I pray that I'll be able to share with my own family one day in the near future. It will be a wonderful thing, to raise up the next generation of storyteller's, don't you think?

I fondly recall those moments of cuddling up under a quilt, by myself or with a loved one, on a dismal and very dreary grey day, book in hand and imagination ready for story to be spilled over into every crevice of my young-sponge mind, and it still excites me to this very day. I just love stories.

Yes, I do indeed love stories...
Stories of magnificent lions and finely carved wooden wardrobes. Stories about digging holes out in the hot desert sun. Stories of beautiful singing mermaids who turn into foam. Stories of love and a giant evil brain and magnificent winged creatures who were once stars.

Those moments where I was filled with wide eyed wonder and was so full of "what happens next" thoughts were what carried me and sustained me when I was in my youth. It was knowing that there was a good book awaiting my return at the end of a long hard day that helped me make it through many difficult growing stretching years.

Stories shared, told, and written, are a true thing of beauty. They feed the imagination and make our souls take flight. They inspire and cause the child within us to grow into an adult that still calls themselves daring dreamer, ready to wonder the world, wide eyed and empowered. After reading and exploring our own imagination we are ready to become cross-legged listener's and storyteller's.

So for these very reasons up above, I will write to share my imagination and my heart. I will read to soul search, and to discover who I am more deeply, each and every day.

I'll forever be a cross-legged listener and reflection filled writer. I'll be the storyteller who feeds the imagination of the next generation, who will then share stories with the next generation of storyteller's and cross-legged listener's and the next, etc.

Are you a cross-legged listener, or writer, or both too?

in which the ((sick)) restless bird rambles

                                                                                     Source: via sarah on Pinterest

I've been sick all week long with some kind of evil bug that must want to destroy my lungs or something. I'm not even kidding. My chest is tight, sleep has become a struggle and my chest feels as if its wreathed in flames. Oh, joy! One good thing about being sick though is that my momma fixes me extraneous amounts of lovely hot tea with honey. So it all can't be bad, right?

 Another good thing about being sick...since there's obviously many a silver lining for every single grey cloud, right? that I've had tons of time to research for my WIP novel. I must say that Wikipedia is like a haven for us writer's. Seriously. I find so much info on that site it's just plain crazy! 

Are there any other sites you writer's frequent that gives you plenty of novel ideas, or helps with your research? I'd love to know where those sites are if you know 'em! 

((Ahem, Pinterest is a given my friends.))

I've discovered this week that world building is indeed my most favorite part of the writing process, so far that is. But who knows, maybe I'll be the weirdo chick who loves to edit her novels when they're done being written. Me loving the editing process? Becoming the Grammar Police? Hah! Yeah right! A girl can dream though, can't she?

I've also had tons of time to watch lots of movies. And I must say that a lot of them have given me writing inspiration, although some movies and shows I really just watched for general funzies (as my J says.) 

                                                                            Source: via sarah on Pinterest

I absolutely fell in love with the movie Hans Christian Andersen: My Life As A Fairytale. It was a realllly long movie (three hours, folks!), but I truly began to fall head over heels in love with the awkward and very much so A.D.D. daydreamer of a young man that was Hans Christian Andersen.  I mean now that I think about his stories, like The Ugly Duckling for instance, and even many of his other fairy tales, I've begun to understand and notice that his own personal life, the world that he experienced every day around him, and his lack of social skills drove him to write the absolutely most wonderful tales. 

Okay, so I'm pretty sure I've established that I am a BIG fairytale/Hans Christian Andersen fan as of now! Have I not? YES, I think so.

Moving on.

                                                                            Source: via sarah on Pinterest

My new found guilty pleasure as far as television shows goes is H2O: Just Add Water. I just started watching this show on Netflix this week and I've already been baited and hooked! The show is about a group of three young aussie teens who turn into mermaids after washing ashore on a mysterious moonlit's rather comical and is full of plain old mermaid-awesomness. It makes me happy.

As you can clearly see I'm on a BIG mermaid kick right now (for various reasons that I will not disclose at this exact moment in time! ;) My Pinterest board called Maighdean Na Tuinne can attest to this fact. 

Speaking of stories and new found pleasures...

I just started reading Halflings by Heather Burch and I'm already hooked on the story! Half angels and a young teen girl being chased by hell hounds? Yes, PLEASE sign me up to read this new series! I just so happened to read the e-prequel (11:15 The Making of a Halfling) on my Kindle before I started reading Halflings and I was already sold on the story and characters after having read it.

If you're interested in reading the e-prequel you can find it on amazon for FREE HERE.

Anyway, enough rambling for now. My love is coming to see me tomorrow! So really I should be in bed by now getting an extra helping of beauty sleep!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  - - - - - -

Before I leave though I'd just like to say W E L C O M E to Oh, Restless Bird to all of you new following lovelies! I'm really glad you've decide to make nest here! 

((And I promise that I'm not this random all the time.))

I would love to know a few things though before you go... 

What are you currently reading and watching? If you have any suggestions for me or just want to ramble a bit, find me in the comments section and we'll chat, okay?

Shadows on the Sand {book review}

Title: Shadows on the Sand: A Seaside Mystery
Author: Gayle Roper
Genre: Christian Fiction/Suspense
Pages: 320
My Rating: 3.5 Stars

Synopsis: She serves him breakfast at her cafĂ© every morning…but he never seems to notice her.

About: Carrie Carter, the owner of a hopping small cafe in Seaside, New Jersey, is in for more than just taking care of her amusing and yet hair brained cafe patrons, serving tons of coffee and watching out for her little sister Lindsay. Her story becomes entangled with Greg Barnes, a widower and ex cop, the one who makes her heart do a fierce snoopy dance at the sight of him in her cafe. 

Alongside Carrie's pitter pattering heart, a very much so pieced together family, and an interesting past there is a deep mystery ready to be uncovered. When Carrie finds out that her dishwasher has been murdered and that her young waitress, named Andi, has disappeared she finds that Greg is ready and willing to be on-the-case alongside her. But Carrie will have to deal with her own past, with a little help from Greg and God of course, before they can solve anything, mystery or otherwise. 

Final Thoughts: I might have just been converted to Suspense Literature by Ms. Roper. I've never been one who's enjoyed Suspense or Mystery novels all that much, but this book changed my mind about halfway through it's 320 pages. While the constant drum of the word Tweet/Twitter was sprinkled about throughout the story a little more often than I would have liked, and the snoopy dance analogy that was used to describe Carrie's fluttering feelings for Greg Barnes drove me a little batty at times, these things all ended up helping the story and aided in tying things up nicely in the very end, to my shock. 

I received this book for free from Waterbrook Multnomah Press in exchange for an honest review of my own words and freely expressed opinions.