The Little Things: Lessons from a tiny hummingbird

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By KELLY PRESTON, Special to The Paper

Recently my husband saw that a hummingbird was trapped in our garage, so the rest of our crew headed out to see it.

The tiny bird flew with amazing speed from light to light on the garage ceiling.  At one point the bird was right above my husband and the kids and they could literally feel a breeze from its wings.  Then it stopped … wings and all … and sat on a light, completely still.  And then the bird flew in between the ceiling and the garage door.  We were worried it would get stuck, but within a few seconds, the little guy found his way out of the garage, into the fresh air, where he was created to live.  All six of us cheered.   I had tears in my eyes.

As a mom, this reminded of me how I’m called to give my children roots so they can have wings to fly in order to become all that God wants them to be and to go where He leads them.  I’d be lying if I didn’t say it’s often tempting to keep our children sheltered and safe from so many things that the world has to offer.  Yet if I shelter them too much, they wouldn’t have the strength and courage to fly once they are ready to set out on their own.

In just over two years, our oldest child will be headed off to college (Lord willing!), so the question I often ask myself is, “How am I preparing him (and the rest of our children) to be ready to leave the nest?”   There are plenty of times I don’t want to answer this question but rather deny the fact that our oldest will soon be edging his way out from under our wings.  But at the same time, I have to entrust our son to our Heavenly Father whose wings are strong enough to hold him, and all of our children, forever.

The tiny but mighty hummingbird in our garage would have been safe from the elements of the world, but he wouldn’t have thrived.  In like manner, one of the hardest yet most rewarding parts of parenting is letting go and encouraging our children to spread their wings and FLY.

As I walked away from the garage that day, I wanted to wrap my children into my arms but they quickly ran off to play, so I had time to also ponder this truth—God desires for all of His children to thrive and live in freedom.  He doesn’t want us trapped, but rather He calls us to a full and abundant life (John 10:10).  Some questions I considered and encourage you to ponder, as well: In what ways am I trapped?  Am I thriving or merely surviving?  In what areas do I want to experience more freedom?  How can I spread my wings and FLY?

Thank you, little hummingbird, for reminding me of some huge truths.

Once again … it’s the little things that often speak big.

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Kelly Preston is a nurse-turned-stay-at-home-mom to four amazing and energetic children. Though she sometimes forgets to buy toilet paper amidst their busy schedules, Kelly finds time to run RACE for the Orphans, a non-profit focused on supporting adoptive families. She loves Jesus, people, a really good book, and pondering the little things.

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