The Robin and the String

I believe this is one of my most favorite blogs and worthy of re-posting this time of year. We have several Robins that are busy in our yard and preparing to build nests in this very same tree. Enjoy the read – again! We’ll consider it a Throwback!

It was a lesson in tenacity! You’ve heard of bulldog tenacity? Well, this is Robin tenacity. One 10-ounce bird and her determination to build her house.

Proverbs 14:1 says, “A wise woman builds her house but a foolish one tears it down with her own hands.”

A few weeks ago I was looking out the bathroom window, early in the morning. It was light out but the sun wasn’t quite shining in our valley yard. Out the window is a white lilac bush with a shoot of growth about eight inches from the main trunk. The shoot is tied to the larger bush with a cotton string tied in a tight bow. Mrs. Robin was on the grass under the string. She would jump up, grab the cotton string and fly off; however, she would only get about a foot because the tied string would not allow her to fly off with it. She did this exercise about ten times and finally gave up and flew away. My husband joined me at the window and we were cracking up! This little episode would have won first place on America’s Funniest Videos and was definitely a good lesson in tenacity.

When my children were little one of our favorite books was The Best Nest by P.D. Eastman. Perhaps you are familiar with it. Mrs. Bird becomes dissatisfied with her nest and leaves it in search of a better nest – Mr. Bird frantically searches for her all over the countryside and finally during a thunderstorm he finds himself at his old nest and lo and behold, Mrs. Bird is sitting there on a couple of eggs, singing: I love my house, I love my nest, in all the world this nest is best! A story with a great message of being content with what one has.

Getting back to our own Mrs. Robin – I took a piece of loose string and went out to the lilac bush and draped it over the tied piece, leaving it loose and available. I was hoping to see our feathered friend come back and victoriously grab the string one more time and fly off with it. I never did see her come back, but come back she did because the next morning the loose string was gone. Hmm…is there a lesson for me in this bird story?

How many times do I try and try to do something similar to pulling a secure, tied string from a branch – knowing full well after two or three tries that “the thing” is not going to budge? And then in my frustration and defeat, my (heavenly) Father, who has watched my struggle, comes along with His grace and mercy and places a loose string for me to fly away with?

Friends, I hope we all learn the lesson to be tenacious in our efforts. Keep on keeping on – that loose string may be the next thing within our reach and then we will FLY!

(NOTE: the photo is real and my husband took it last night (May 7,2010). We were trimming our big tree and I nearly bumped into the nest and then I saw those three necks reaching high with their beaks open waiting for Mama to bring some dinner. I didn’t notice the string until I uploaded the photo this morning. How cool is that? – sms

About the author : Susan Shipe

Susan Shipe

I am an encourager with a heart for women. The Lord delivered a message of hope deep within my soul in 2002. Jesus, the Hope-giver met me in my hour of need and my heart overflowed with hope – the theme of my life since that time has been HOPE! I began blogging in 2008 and became serious in the fall of 2010 when I hired a site designer! Hope|Heart|Home are my three passions and one can find food for the soul, and the body, along with a lot of musing over at I am the mother of three adult children, grandmother (a/k/a Mimzy) to 20-year old Hannah and 14-year old Simon, and I am the wife of one man and together we love on our beloved dog, Sam! My husband, Lowell, and I attend Community Church in Mountain City, Tennessee. I enjoy writing, reading, organic gardening, traveling, and spending time with our family.

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