Thursday, September 18, 2014

Mud Dauber Determination

To feed their families, the mud daubers (dirt daubers) pack their dinners on my back porch. Spiders seem especially tasty to them, so they paralyze the main course and stuff them into their custom designed nursery units.
Mud daubers are members of the wasp family and are not hostile "stingers" as are some of their cousins. However, they are aggressive in another area: nursery construction and stocking of provisions. In the summer, the female frequents the edges of a mud puddle where she rolls wet dirt into tiny balls about the size of a BB. Then, she flies one uniform ball at a time, held in her mandibles (jaws), to her construction site. Pellet by pellet she constructs tubes shaped like organ pipes. The females in South Texas seem partial to the mortar indentations on my bricked back porch. Bit by bit, BB by BB they carry out their mission to ensure the survival of their young. Upon completion of one nursery tube, mama mud dauber lays an egg, right on top of the food supply. Yes. On top of paralyzed spiders. She's done her homework. The spiders will not harm the larvae when they hatch, they will only nourish the larvae. Each species of mud daubers prefers certain types of spiders for their nursery pantries. One even prefers the immature black widow spider for its food supply. Horrifying to me, but mud dauber moms seal their unborn in cylinders with live spiders. However, the precautious moms have made sure that harm cannot come to the next generation.
Read the rest of the article from link

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Lucy, Daniel, and Chance

Find an article about Lucy, Daniel, and Chance at this link. Don't miss this treasure of a story about Lucy and motherhood. I had the pleasure of interviewing Lucy for this article. 

Friday, May 09, 2014

Monday's List

When Monday's list seems long, I remember my theme scripture from 2013 and pray that God will make it a reality in my life: "March on, my soul; be strong!" (5:21).

Those encouraging words come from Judge Deborah in the Old Testament (Judges 4-5). In her lyrical battle poem she recalls God's victory over Israel's enemy. If we had interviewed Israel's commanding officer, Barak, and we could only take in statistics and what the eyes saw, Israel was about to get the "daylight beat out of them." (I'm from Arkansas, and we heard that often, probably from an adult aggravated by rowdy children). The Canaanite oppressors had 900 iron chariots, and history says three warriors often rode in each chariot. Plus they had foot soldiers and they had iron weapons, including shields and spears.

The Philistines had removed the iron and welders from Israel. Israel no doubt had a few tools to skin animals and do their garden work, but basically, Israel is about to go up against their enemy with pocket knives and garden hoes. Except........God had told Deborah, "Go, and I'll be with you." So, Deborah called upon soldier Barak, and they went.

Because of the wording of Barak and Deborah's victory song, scholars believe that God sent a thunderstorm to stop the Canaanites. Blinding rain and thick mud can do a number on chariot wheels and charioteers. Why else would the enemy commander, Sisera, abandon his chariot and take off on foot? He jumped chariot. And when he set out on foot, he  met his demise when the cunning homemaker Jael refreshed him with buttermilk, covered him with a blanket, and said get some rest. Nothing like a tent peg and a hammer for nailing your enemy to the tent floor. but that's another story for another day.

Combat details aside, I love that Deborah relates that during the battle, she stopped and gave herself a pep talk, "March on, my soul; be strong!" I understand this. Women do this all the time. We know God is alongside, but we still have these internal monologues with self. The Margarets, Cathys, and Jessicas spur ourselves on in our individual lives: "Come on, Margaret, you can do one more thing before you collapse in bed." "Okay, Jessica, get going, these clothes aren't going to fold themselves." "How can you get so distracted, Cathy, get back to your to-do list."

A soul solo. A pep talk. A reminder.  A hurrah speech to self.  Oh, Deborah, we women understand. We want to walk in God's will. We want to finish the race. We want to succeed with families. We want to stay the course. We long to know that we'll finish all God planned for us. Thank you, Father, for sending Deborah's words across thousands of years and from among the "galloping steeds" and "thundering horse hooves."

We hear her voice. Father, we trust in your care. So, we say confidently to self, "March on, my soul: be strong!"