“You are the LORD, you alone. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and you preserve all of them; and the host of heaven worships you.” – Nehemiah 9:6
The four swans glided gracefully across the pond. I’d driven past this acreage multiple times in my 20+ years living in Wyoming, traveling north to visit my parents in Montana; never once had swans appeared at this location. On this particular Friday morning, planning to spend the weekend with my parents, I gawked then stopped the car, snapped photos, smiled, and praised God for the special gift of unexpectedly seeing these creatures. He knows how much I enjoy wildlife, especially incredible, unexpected sights such as the one before me that morning.
“Human & Pet Life Advocate”
The slogan for my writing business is “Author/Freelance Writer/Pet & Human Life Advocate.” Many of the articles I write are human-interest pieces, such as for Pregnancy Help News, highlighting those in the pregnancy help movement, their work, and the women and families they serve. As an author, I weave pet rescue and adoption into my novels, devotions, and children’s books, and for print magazines, such as Creation Illustrated and WREN, I often write about nature.
The natural world speaks to me – or should I say, the Creator of nature speaks to me through His creation. Raised on an Iowa farm, I garnered a deep appreciation for God’s creatures, thanks to the numerous species of songbirds, wildlife, trees, and other plants found on our property. Moving west and living in the Rocky Mountain region deepened that appreciation, especially the years spent living next to, and writing about, Yellowstone National Park – the first place I experienced trumpeter swans: a pair with their six youngsters gliding along the Madison River, an experience I chronicled in an edition of Chicken Soup for the Soul.
Such awe and wonder enveloped me the first time I observed an ultrasound: after being hired as Patient Resources Director for True Care Women’s Resource Center nearly 13 years ago. That sense never lessens. Each time I’m in the exam room with a patient and one of our nurses, experiencing the tiny heartbeat on a six-week-old unborn child, watching tiny arms and legs move on a 12-week-old fetus, or seeing the facial expressions of a 22-week-old developing baby, I thank the Lord for His marvelous creativity and the life He gives.
Special moments given by God
We all likely recognize this Scripture: “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well” (Psalm 139:14). I think of it each time I meet with a woman facing an unplanned pregnancy and view her unborn on the ultrasound screen. I also think of that verse when I hear a man who, along with his girlfriend considered abortion, says upon viewing the ultrasound, “I’m very thankful to have seen my child on the ultrasound;” my heart praises God for peeling the layers of blindness from their eyes.
God’s creation is a gift, and for each of those gifts, I am grateful.
The Lord knows what brings us joy, whether it’s a woman (along with or without her partner) choosing life for her unborn or a group of swans swimming in an area least expected to be seen, and those moments of elation are treasures from the Creator Himself. I bask in the beauty of His creation, especially during long drives between two special states: Wyoming and Montana.
Tweet This: A woman choosing life for her unborn child is a moment of joy and a treasure from the Creator Himself.
He provided more special nature moments on that recent trip I took, including a family of bald eagles in an old cottonwood tree. After noticing them, I pulled the car to the side of the road, stepped out with camera, and took several photos. I listened as the two adults and one juvenile called to one another – perhaps the parents were trying to encourage their youngster to fly, speaking as only eagles can understand to garner the young one’s confidence. I thought of my own parents who, forty years ago, encouraged me to go out on my own, to follow my dreams, to ‘fly,’ in essence. The same parents who, now in their 80s, raised me to see God as Creator of all and to appreciate His creation – the natural world, the animals, and people, including the unborn.
Gratitude for His gifts
The Lord wasn’t done with His wonders that weekend. Another set of ponds located about 30 miles from my parents’ always makes me glance to see what ducks, herons, cranes, or other wildlife might be nearby. As I drove past them a few weeks ago, my eyes widened, and I made a U-turn. There, at a location I’ve observed for 25 years without one surveillance of a trumpeter swan, swam three swans – two adults and a cygnet (youngster). Photos of these majestic birds on the water and in flight came to my viewfinder as I clicked the shutter. I laughed and praised the Lord, giving thanks for the gifts of natural beauty He surprised me with, not once, but three times!
We’re blessed to be part of God’s tapestry of life on earth and to experience Him as Creator, relishing the marvelous works He has made.
May He grant you special surprises as you and your family enjoy this Thanksgiving season!
“Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.” – Revelation 4:11