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Flocks of seagulls…

Several years ago, I spent some time in New England and explored the coast in several directions.  I loved all of the rock jetties and, since it was the middle of December, the beaches were practically deserted.  There were many lovely spots to stand in solitude and listen to the sound of the waves crashing against the rocks while the occasional seagull flew overhead, crying out with a song only they understood.  Sometimes, those seagulls sounded so desperate that it was startling.  The sound of the ocean waves was quite soothing and I could have stood there forever and let the song of the sea drown out the storms that were raging inside of me.

As we sat on a pier somewhere near Cape Cod, a friend’s father showed me what would happen if you put a cracker on the hood of the car.  He warned me to climb into the backseat, shut the door, and keep the window rolled up.  I watched in amazement as what appeared to be hundreds of seagulls flocking out of nowhere to fight over this one cracker. Some of them stood on the hood looking in through the windshield.  Others perched themselves on the trunk and pecked at the back window.  One brave seagull actually maneuvered himself to tap on the passenger window with his beak, as if to say, “Hey, are you going to give up your stash or what? I know you’ve got more crackers!”

My friend’s father cracked the window and slipped out another cracker or two.  The cacophony of seagulls flapping their wings and bleating at each other was quite a show.  I am surprised they weren’t flipping the car over with the level of aggressiveness they were displaying.  It took quite a while for them to figure out the crackers were not going to keep coming out of a crack in the window.  With the blaring of the car horn and some maneuvering, we were finally able to pull away.

There are times when our minds are a lot like those wild seagulls, fighting over cracker crumbs.  It seems you can lay out a thought like a cracker, yet forget to brace yourself against it and take shelter.  Suddenly, you find yourself being squawked at and pecked at and picked on by greedy seagulls just begging for more crackers to get tossed out through a crack.

That is what living with shame, post-traumatic stress, anxiety, and depression can be similar to.  All it takes is one disturbing thought, an ugly word, one perceived threat, the suspicion of rejection, or the simplest of triggers for your mind to swarm until there is absolutely nothing left of you to pick at.  It turns into an ugly cycle of tossing out more crackers, thinking that is ever going to get you anywhere or make the seagulls go away.

The holiday season can be very triggering to many people for a great many reasons.  While I genuinely love this time of year, it is also a time of year that brings to mind those seasons of profound loneliness and some of the uglier storms of days gone past.  I have found myself tossing out crackers and trying in vain to maneuver my way through a thick flock of seagulls (no, not the 80’s band).  The cacophony of the mind has been so loud, I forgot to tune into His voice and seek refuge.

I kind of just want to let my crackers spill into the water and fall into the ocean while His voice begins to quiet the raging sea within.  If you are feeling triggered by the season or your state of mind does not seem to match the mood of the holiday, you are not alone.  You are also not ‘wrong’ for feeling what you feel, so don’t toss anymore crackers through the cracks in an attempt to feed the shame.

Let us take a moment to count our blessings together and let the rest go for awhile.  I can honestly say I am grateful for my husband, children, and animals.  I am also thankful that my days of spending holidays alone have been replaced with the cacophony of family, the laughter of small children, and the Lord’s grace in abundance.  I am thankful that I can take refuge in Him while the seagulls give up and realize there won’t be anymore crackers today.

What are you thankful for?

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33 thoughts on “Flocks of seagulls…”

  1. oh wow! I have just been thinking about walking on the beach… in December, when there are not a LOT of people. So, I am going to DO that! I am in the season of spending holidays alone. Yes, the depressing thoughts try to come and evil thoughts about other people… trying to pass the blame (I don’t know what blame though…) but I remember the LORD has me in this season for a reason, and it is for my good. So I ask the Holy Spirit for help and try to stay focused on Him. And counting my blessings!
    I am thankful for the place I am in my life right now, where I am starting to accept me. And try to model Jesus, not anyone else. I am thankful that my family is in good health overall. I am thankful for being able to do the things I am doing right now, being here and having the opportunities i have. I am thankful for my spiritual family. I am thankful for everything the LORD is teaching me in this season. And I am thankful for you guys 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I will be wrapping you up in a warm hug of prayer this weekend! I remember those lonely days and, boy, it is so easy for that sense of loneliness to swallow you up. Definitely get out there on the beach and let the ocean waves soothe your soul. And, watch out for those seagulls! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I am grateful for the love and laughter of families. I am also grateful for the faithfulness of God.
    May you have a blessed Thanksgiving!
    I do know about those seagulls…..several years ago my son and husband held up a slice of bread at the harbor in Duluth. Seagulls came from everywhere and picked it right out of their hands. It was quite a sight.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am thankful that I have lived long enough to see what God is doing in my children’s lives. He is answering many
    years of prayer. He is healing my daughter through her writing. I am thankful for so many things.
    Love you,
    Mom

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I am thankful that the sounds of Christmas and other celebrations with people and joy are now for me a happy time.

    It used to intensify my feelings of depression and sadness, when I heard others being happy…

    I love this time of year with the music, the hustle and bustle, but most of all it reminds me of the real meaning which is of course the birth of Jesus…. Diane

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love Christmas Hymns. My very favorite Christmas hymn is O Come O Come Emmanuel. There are a couple of versions that are lovely, as well as a piano and cello duet, but I am partial to Sufjan Stevens’ version:

      Have a Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy the sounds of Christmas! 🙂

      Like

  5. Seagulls. Pigeons of the sea. Saw scores of them while in the Norfolk area of VA during my time in the Navy. Of course they are all over the NJ shore. They will get every last bit of whatever they find edible.

    Among all the crap of life, I am learning to seek out what God is doing. I am grateful for my wife of over 30 years, our four kids and 5 grandchildren. I am also thankful for things He has revealed to me over the last 40 years and even more stuff in the last eight years.Thankful that even some of that crap of life does get resolved.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It can be quite hard to think about being grateful everyday when most times, a lot of not so good things happen, even inside the mind. Prayers are my no-fail refuge. My anxiety and depression always back down when I start saying and calling His name and for that, I am nothing but just eternally grateful. Thanks for reminding me in this post that it being ‘not okay’ is not wrong when we do something about it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Bonjour

    Nous voici bientôt au mois de décembre et à l’approche de Noël

    Mois d’amour et de gaité

    Entre nous , soyons dans la paix et l’amitié

    Ce mois de décembre doit-être plus beau que celui de 2015

    Pour moi

    Mes amies amis vous êtes des anges

    Des anges de l’amitié

    Un peu pardon et de partage afin tout le monde soit heureux

    Mes amies amis au cours de cette année qui vas s’écouler

    Vous m’avez donné du temps en venant faire un passage sur mon blog par vos écris

    Merci à tous bon Week-End

    Bisous , BERNARD

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh wow, what a graphic word picture, seagulls, devouring crackers compared to feeding the mind with thoughts that shame. It happens too easily when we do not guard our minds. The enemy loves to taunt and shame rendering us helpless. There’s a battlefield – it’s in the mind. May God help us each to capture the lies the enemy throws out to us. “Whatsoever things are true, lovely and of good report, think on these things.” Though it sounds simple, we know it is not. The battle is real but the victory is found in Jesus. Great writing here friend! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. That was amazing! So,so true and what an amazing example. I am so blessed when I read your posts. I’m so happy to see so many people loving you into the truth that all those years are being used now to lift others up and help us all see we are not alone. It wasn’t about us but about those who caused the pain.

    I hope you had a fantastic Thanksgiving. I am thankful to have God as my Father, my family and my two boys who make me laugh and are the lights of my life and friends who love me through so much.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I very much appreciated your allegory Shattered in Him and it also reminded me that God wishes that we too would seek after Him with hungry Soul passion, like the Seagulls wanting cracker crumbs but to do so because we Love Him and want others to Love Him too and for us not to give up even if we are hated and rejected which we will be if we follow Jesus but Wow what a reward we will have.

    John 15:17-19 These things I command you, that ye Love one another. If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

    Luke 21:16-18 And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my Name’s sake.

    Yes I have much to be Thankful about Shattered in Him, after asking for God’s Wisdom and empowering and receiving them, I’m learning His Truth as Jesus leads and guides me and when I go through the Storms Satan and Life brings, I know without doubt that I’m not alone and that He will give me His Strength to endure as confirmed in many Scriptures and in the ones below too.

    Isaiah 43:1-3 – Do not be afraid for I have ransomed you I have called you by name you are mine. When you go through deep waters and great trouble I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty you will not drown! When you walk through the fire of oppression you will not be burned up the flames will not consume you. For I am the LORD your God, The Holy One of Israel your Saviour.”

    Jeremiah 29 :11-12 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you says the LORD, thoughts of Peace and not of evil, to give you a Future and a Hope.

    Lamentations 3: 33 For God doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the Children of Men.

    Christian Love and Blessings – Anne.

    Liked by 1 person

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