caroline holzberger

Keepin' it real about motherhood, Jesus, life, and everything in between.

freak out or peace out

have you ever noticed how jumpy little wildlife can be?? ok, i know this is random, but really? have you? i live on a fairly quiet street…and in case you haven’t read my other posts…we happen to have a lot of trees on our property. if you have read my other posts, you may go ahead and insert your comment here. (uh-oh, here she goes about her trees again) 🙂 i do love my trees, but that is not what this about, this time.

but really…these trees and their little animal friends were here long before we were. i am sure this was a beautiful and dense forest before some dude came along with a bulldozer in the early 1980’s and made hickory hollow lane. thankfully, thousands of the trees were spared, each lot still has a hundred or so, i bet….so there is still ample room for the common furry friend to make his home and his fellow feathered friend as well. but, i must say…they sure do spook easy, these little guys.

back in my mobile days, when i was all over my property with the kids, i can recount many a time when i would be walking, minding my own business, even on the sidewalk for goodness sake…and then all of a sudden, AHHHH!!! a squirrel would dart from out of nowhere, almost covert ninja like, somehow right from under my foot and shoot across the grass, in two different directions, like a pinball clinging back and forth in a pinball machine, then propel its little self up and around the side of one of my glorious oak trees. all in 3.2 seconds flat. whew! it would make my breath catch in my throat and my heart skip a beat each time. and often, i felt the need to say “hey little buddy, i was just walking here, just taking the mail to the mailbox, dude…. i wasn’t trying to hurt you, i didn’t even see you there, don’t freak out, man!”

but, that’s not even the worst of it, sometimes, in fact, that was just the beginning. sometimes, that little furry guy would no sooner have scurried himself up to a safe distance away from me (his apparent mortal enemy), and then he would cause a freak out himself. he’d scramble out on a branch and then whoosh, a couple of our feathered friends would get spooked and then, squawking, would fly around in a frenzy, which, believe it or not, would sometimes freak their “next-nest” neighbor birds out in a nearby tree. i swear i could almost hear them “holy bird flu, what’s going on at the robin’s nest again, what’s that noise? we’re being attacked!! protect the eggs! protect the eggs!” (i know, i know, i’m a dork)

but, seriously….all this because i walked along my sidewalk to take the mail out. talk about an un-needed freak out. good thing i’m more stable than that. (insert sarcasm here)

the reason i bring this up is because i read something amazing recently that really stuck with me and God brought it to mind just this morning. why this morning? i’ll explain that later. first, let me share with you what i read.

i found it in a book i was reading by joyce meyers called “battlefield of the mind” and she was talking about having a worried and anxious mind. obviously something i can’t relate to at all. (again, me with the sarcasm) anyway…here is the direct quote from her book……

“concerning entering God’s rest i would like to say this: there is no such thing as “the rest of God” without opposition.
to illustrate, let me share a story i once heard about two artists who were asked to paint pictures of peace as they perceived it. one painted a quiet, still lake, far back in the mountains. the other painted a raging, rushing waterfall which had a birch tree leaning out over it with a bird resting in a nest on one of the branches.
which one truly depicts peace? the second one does, because there is no such thing as peace without opposition. the first painting represents stagnation. the scene it sets forth may be serene; a person might be motivated to want to go there (um, yes, me=motivated! i’ll go there!!) to recuperate. it may offer a pretty picture but it does not depict “the rest of God.”
Jesus said “peace i leave with you; my [own] peace i now give you and bequeath to you. not as the world gives do i give to you”… (john 14:27) His peace is a spiritual peace and, and His rest is one that operates in the midst of the storm — not in its absence. Jesus did not come to remove all opposition from our lives, but rather to give us a different approach to the storms of life. we are to take His yoke upon us and learn of Him. (matthew 11:29) that means that we are to learn His ways, to approach life in the same way He did.”

did you notice that this little bird she described is peaceful? resting calmly in its nest. no freak out there. i know they say pets start to take on the characteristics of their owners, but surely that doesn’t count for the wildlife around my house…or does it? if so, my furry and feathered friends don’t stand a chance! 🙂

but, when i read this, it was profound….truly. as i have said many times before, i am an incredibly visual person. i truly feel like this has been a burden and a blessing. the enemy has used this in the past when i can’t get a hold of a family member and i get worried, i have a running movie screen playing in my mind…i’ve pictured, literally, the car accident, or the fire, gotten the call, had to plan the funeral, tell my children…all of it. it is awful. not at all how God intended my creative and visual brain to be used, but welcome to my sometimes awful reality. our great God, however, uses this unbelievably visual brain of mine for great good sometimes. like this time. i can literally smell the water raging behind this little bitty bird. i can hear the raging waters. i can feel the pounding of the waves below and the reverberations as they hit the weak little birch tree branch i dangle on. you see…i am that little bitty bird. am i resting peacefully, though? i guess that depends on the day…the hour…the minute.

today i received some discouraging news. to make a loooong story short(er)….i was “supposed” to have a procedure done two fridays ago….a procedure by the way, that should help me out tremendously and maybe even heal this current issue, or at least provide quite a bit of relief…but due to some mis-communication between two doctors offices, it didn’t happen. so, a few days later, i was calling to find out why, discovered the mis-communication….ok, no big deal…gonna hold my peace. ok, well, let’s just get the two doctors talking and then we will be fine. but, then i found out that one doctor is out of town on vacation for a week. so, wait some more. ugh. so…today is the day (now, 12 days later) that i should be able to get a hold of the docs and clear it all up and schedule the procedure. i had planned to call the doc at 9am and get this going. but, alas, my phone rang at 8:04am and it was his office! cool!! i thought. not so much. instead of the good news i was expecting, i found out that the two docs did in fact talk and they feel that we should wait some more, we should not in fact, even do the procedure. let’s just wait for the mayo clinic to get back to us. so…here i was thinking relief would finally come. and now, i am left to just wait some more. still in pain. still no answers. still no end in sight. and for those of you who have been praying for the last month…this thursday marks the day i was supposed to go to that women’s conference with my dear friend from college at her church. supposed to. barring a flat out miracle between then and now, which i completely believe could happen…i will not be going. i still cannot even sit up. talk about my desire to just flat out wanna freak out. ugh.

so, here i am…dangling out on my birch tree branch…being splashed in the face, once again….my nest is wet…my eggs are soaked…daddy bird is beyond weary from taking care of us all….but friend, i must choose to rest. i must.

the other option is to leave the nest. but, what good would that do? opposition would follow. if it isn’t a raging waterfall, it would be a forest fire, or for goodness sake, a freaked out squirrel. and my faith would be no stronger.

i was upset at first. i won’t lie. bummed. frustrated. confused. sad. but, then, i had a great moment this morning when God gave me a wonderful praise song i was able to blare ridiculously loud (my folks took the kids to run errands, so it was just me here!) i thought these lyrics were amazing and fit so well with where i was today. not sure about you, but i often am spoken to through lyrics as well. i love it!

this is from the band – fee – and the song is “everything falls”

You said
you’d never leave or forsake me
when you said,
this life is gonna shake me
you said
this world is gonna bring trouble on my soul
this I know

when everything falls apart
your arms hold me together
when everything falls apart
you’re the only hope for this heart
when everything falls apart
and my strength is gone
I find you mighty and strong
you keep holding on
you keep holding on

when I see
darkness all around me
when I see
that tragedy has found me
I still believe
your faithful arms will never let me go
and still I know

when everything falls apart
your arms hold me together
when everything falls apart
you’re the only hope for this heart
when everything falls apart
and my strength is gone
I find you mighty and strong
you keep holding on
you keep holding on

i encourage you to look it up and listen to it. it is powerful and has a very cool violin part, i love. i pretend to play the “air violin” – which i know isn’t quite as “cool” as the air guitar, but still, it’s cool. and so true. my strength is beyond gone, friend. but i find Him mighty and strong. He does keep holding on….when everything falls apart. this is a promise for me and for you.

john the baptist tell us in his gospel that Jesus said (16:33) “”I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

and this written by a guy who got his head cut off about a guy who was hung on a cross. i’m thinking my troubles aren’t as bad.

and this isn’t a “maybe” things will be tough. it is a promise from Jesus’ own mouth. this world isn’t going to be easy. sorry, i’m not trying to be negative or pessimistic. trust me, that is not my nature. in fact, to a fault, i am usually a blind optimistic. which is why i choose to focus on the end of the verse more…HE has overcome this world. whew. thank goodness!!!

so, i will stick this out. and dear friend, i encourage you to do the same. don’t freak out. let’s me and you be like those hippies of the 70’s man, and just pace out, man, peace out. 🙂 like i always say…your deal right now may not be health issues. maybe you are having drama with your finances, or your marriage, or your job, or your kids, or your parents. i don’t know. i know Who does know, though. the One who rested amidst the storm Himself while His 12 buddies did the freak out thing. (mark 4) the One who knows exactly where you are… in this very nest, by this very raging, rushing waterfall. He knows. so…don’t pray for the stagnant lakeside serene painting. faith is not grown there. just rest. and i will try to do the same.

peace out, man. 🙂

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One thought on “freak out or peace out

  1. “peace-ing out” friend:) or at least I'm trying to:) Thanks! Gonna totally claim and hang up that verse you gave me too! I LOVE to “claim and hang” verses – God seems to send them too me EXACTLY when I need them:) Praise you Father!!!!

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