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  • Still Small Voices

    January 1, 2009

    This morning as I sat at my desk around 6am cuddling my first cup of coffee, I heard the roar of the trash truck coming down the street and I was hit with the startling realization that it was trash day.

    I went into overdrive.  I cinched up the belt of my sorry, balding, chenille-shedding hot pink robe, turned up the collar, and like a super hero I sprinted towards the cold garage to lug a mountain of post-Christmas crud to the curb before the trash guys passed by.

    Mission accomplished.  Infused with adrenaline and brisk morning air, I jogged back up the driveway anxious to get back to my warm house and my coffee.

    But over the groan and rattle of the descending garage door I heard something — small and delicate and pleading.  I cast a quick glance over my shoulder  into the dim light of the garage but saw nothing unusual.  Probably another new squeak in an aging garage door I thought.  The garage door shut with a thud, faded to black and I turned once again to go into the house. But there it was again, a tiny pitiful voice calling out of the darkness, “Sweeee!  Sweeee!”

    It was not a rusty garage door that called to me.  It was some thing.

    I raised the door again to let in the light of day.  Perched on a shelf on the other side of the garage was a tiny bird.  She did not immediately fly away to freedom, but paused to look at me from across the garage.  “Sweeee! Sweee!” she cried again.  And then she cocked her head in an unusual way and escaped off into the morning sunlight.

    I’m not one to make New Year’s resolutions or set goals; I don’t know where I want to be in five years, other than alive. But as I watched that little bird fly away, I realized that this year I want to do better at listening for the still small overlooked voices  in my world.

    Watercolor Bird


    1. Ortizzle says:

      That is a lovely meditation for New Years Day. I, too, need to stop rushing out to the garbage truck and spend a moment or two listening in case there are “little birdies in distress.” Because there always are.

      P.S. I do not make New Year’s resolutions, either! I do set goals, but not on January 1st: somehow it’s too symbolic.

      January 1st, 2009 at 12:57 pm

    2. PastormacsAnn says:

      Wow AM! Thanks for sharing this amazing moment and for the encouragement for this year!

      January 1st, 2009 at 1:16 pm

    3. Anna says:

      Love this!

      January 1st, 2009 at 1:22 pm

    4. Susie says:

      Great reminder for all of us! Happy New Year:)

      January 1st, 2009 at 1:22 pm

    5. Beverlydru says:

      Today, I winh you enough.
      “I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright. I wish you enough
      rain to appreciate the sun more. I wish you enough happiness to keep your
      spirit alive. I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear
      much bigger. I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting. I wish you
      enough loss to appreciate all that you possess. I wish you enough ‘Hello’s’ to
      get you through the final ‘Good-bye'”

      I wish you enough.

      January 1st, 2009 at 1:24 pm

    6. Vanderbilt Wife says:

      Thank you for the lovely meditation. And what a beautiful painting.

      January 1st, 2009 at 1:32 pm

    7. howdy says:

      Happy Healthy New Year to You and Yours!
      Thank you for the beautiful way you present things to us to Ponder…

      January 1st, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    8. Praise and Coffee says:

      Very sweet and good advice to all of us.
      Have a wonderful new year.

      January 1st, 2009 at 2:39 pm

    9. Beck says:

      I don’t set goals, either – in part, because I think it’s presumptious of me to guess at what Future Me might like, but also because I am just HORRIBLE at meeting goals.
      Happy new year! I hope this one is wonderful.

      January 1st, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    10. Sunday Baker says:

      Beautiful.. I’m so glad I found your blog. Happy new year!

      January 1st, 2009 at 3:13 pm

    11. Linda says:

      Oh – I do too. You always enrich and inspire me – and make me laugh on so many occassions. Blessings to you and your “boys” in this brand new year.
      By the way – I have a beautiful new robe hanging in my closet, but I can’t seem to stop wearing my old pink chenille robe. The back near the collar is worn through, but boy is it comfortable – in so many ways.
      Happy New Year!

      January 1st, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    12. suzanne says:

      I don’t want to be too busy to listen either. Let’s keep each other accountable!
      Great post, AM!!

      January 1st, 2009 at 3:52 pm

    13. Debbie says:

      I love this blog. YOU encourage me and say things in such a way that I want to love God more, to see Him in everything (even, especially the hard, and yucky) and to find joy, and/or humor in all things. And BTW I am an antique mommy (having our first at 40 and adopting our 2nd at 43) only didn’t want to admit it till I found your blog and checked out why it was called AM!. You make me proud 🙂 Blessings.

      January 1st, 2009 at 5:37 pm

    14. Shelly W. says:

      Oh yes, that still, small voice. I want to listen to it too.

      January 1st, 2009 at 5:52 pm

    15. Bonnie says:

      Gorgeous drawing and beautiful advice. Thank you!

      January 1st, 2009 at 6:14 pm

    16. Julie at Elisharose says:

      What’s it like to have a moment so quiet that you can hear that small voice?

      Happy New Year!

      * * * *

      You have to go out to the garage at 6am if you want some quiet around here. ~ AM

      January 1st, 2009 at 6:56 pm

    17. Nan says:

      It’s the “A little birdie told me” Resolution!

      January 1st, 2009 at 7:13 pm

    18. Melanie says:

      I’m so glad I found your blog – I really enjoy your posts. Didn’t expect the ending on that one and it was one I can completely relate to.


      January 1st, 2009 at 8:14 pm

    19. Janis says:

      Okay, so I want to be your next door neighbor. I want to peek out of my window while I clutch my first java of the day, and watch you sprint down the driveway in your fuzzy pink robe. And then I’d giggle into my coffee cup. Later, when you would relate the story of the small bird’s faint twitter, I would nod, knowingly. Happy New Year to you and yours and may it be a good one.

      January 1st, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    20. apathy lounge says:

      Sometimes it’s the still small voice which has the most to teach us. Carries the most information

      January 1st, 2009 at 10:46 pm

    21. Gretchen says:

      Okay…I’ll just say, “wow”, and leave it at that. You’re amazing. Thank you for this thought.

      January 1st, 2009 at 11:22 pm

    22. Alysa says:

      Your post is so refreshing. I’ve enjoyed reading your blog! Hello from Chicago.

      January 1st, 2009 at 11:41 pm

    23. HarryJacksMom says:

      Thank you for the gifts your blog has given me this year…your words are often the still, small voice in my day, just like any good friend. Amazing thing, technology! May the Antique family’s blessings be many this year and always!

      January 2nd, 2009 at 12:00 am

    24. Jan says:

      Oh, that is good!

      January 2nd, 2009 at 2:09 am

    25. Luke Holzmann says:



      January 2nd, 2009 at 9:52 am

    26. Sally says:

      I’m just amazed that you have trash pickup on Jan. 1st- around here they always take the holidays off.

      January 2nd, 2009 at 10:18 am

    27. zoom says:

      I think that is the best New Year’s resolution I have heard. “Be still and know that I am God.”

      January 2nd, 2009 at 12:24 pm

    28. Jeanne A says:

      We had a trash incident here on New Year’s Eve! Usually our trash is picked up around noon—and our trash been had been out since the night before.

      I’ve been trying to teach my 17 year old learning disabled son to look to situations where he could help out without having to be told.

      So he decided to bring the trash can back in……before it had been emptied because it was already dark. SO we missed the very delayed trash pick up.

      Wish we’d handled it better—They might pick it up today—they said when I called this morning.

      January 2nd, 2009 at 2:13 pm

    29. jen from windy ridge says:

      beautiful post!

      January 2nd, 2009 at 3:49 pm

    30. Shalee says:

      Me too, especially the ones coming from my kids…

      January 3rd, 2009 at 10:33 am

    31. Deborah says:

      Very cool way for God to speak to you.

      January 3rd, 2009 at 8:36 pm

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