Monday, August 5, 2013


One of the things that I love so much about my mountain home is how close we live to nature.

The deer, the bobcats, the hawks, the squirrels, the blue jays, the woodpeckersthe rattlesnakes and lizards(uh, not so much).

But, my favorite creatures are the chipmunks.

And starting a couple of months ago, I have had a steady visitor.

It began with a visit from Mom Munk, and three of her precious offspring.  I so enjoyed watching them scamper all over the backyard.  (We have this one picture window that looks out on the valley, and it has become my *television* for the natural world).

Well, after a couple of weeks, I only saw the three *teenagers* coming by to visit.

And now, it is just one guy – whom I have named (naturally) – Chippie the Munk.

He usually comes out in the late afternoon – around 4 or 5.  Some days, though, he mixes it up and shows up in the middle of the day.

I love watching him.

He scurries all over.  Sometimes he's digging up food in the dirt. Sometimes he's running all over a tree stump.  Sometimes he's gnawing at something – probably trying to keep those incisors in check!

Then, after a while, he runs over to a cement landing we have outside one of our doors, and makes a flying leap to the nearby tree.  This is the part that completely cracks me up!  It's about a 3-foot jump – and Chippie looks hysterical flying through the air!

I think he's channeling his inner "Rocky, the Flying Squirrel."

I wonder where he is during the day – I wonder where he goes at night.

He sure is cute, and I've become rather attached to him.  I actually worried about him during the recent wildfire we had up here.  Would he still be here when we got home?  Yup, he is.

One day as I sat watching him, I got to thinking about creation.  About all the wonderful things that God has created.  Especially the animals.  I am so intrigued by their variations, and the way they develop physically to help them adapt to the environment.  I am fascinated by their habits, and their instincts.  I can sit enthralled wondering what they're thinking and feeling.

How each creature is unique.

(For instance, I just learned last week that a dog's noseprint is as unique as a human's fingerprint!  Yup, no two are alike.  Did you know that??)

All created for God's glory.

God knows each individual creature that He made.  Every single one.  He knows where they are during the day, and He knows where they sleep at night.  He gave them their unique coloring, and abilities, and adaptations, and instincts.  He created them…


So, if God is such a perfect Creator – and He knows His creation intimately – how come I have such trouble with ME?


I can't tell you the many times that I have bemoaned the way I am.

If it isn't physical stuff, then it's emotional stuff.

Why am I short?  Why was I born with allergies?   Why do I get headaches all the time?  Why am I prone to arthritis in my neck?  On and on and on…

Why do I have such trouble with anxiety?  Why am I so sensitive?  Why do I cry so easily?  Why am I self-conscious?  On and on and on…

A thousand *why's* to assault the King's ears.

All questioning the way HE chose to make me.

Sure, there is a danger in becoming complacent in who we are or what we look like.  Not all changes we try to make are bad, after all.

Eating a healthier diet, or trying to lose some dangerous weight = good things.

Myopically fixating on one's appearance?  Not so good.

Trying to become more emotionally mature, or attempting to overcome weaknesses = good things.

Chastising and condemning oneself about personal foibles?  Not so good.

Yes, I believe we are called to be diligent in taking care of our bodies, and it's not a good idea to make excuses for behavioral or emotional changes we need to make.

But, it's also REALLY not good to put ourselves down all the time.

We are fearfully and wonderfully made – and we need to gain a greater appreciation for that Truth.

So, as I watched Chippie the Munk the other day – out there just doing his God-ordained thing – I really stopped and thought about it all.

God knows what He's doing.

He did – way back in the beginning when He created Creation.  And way back in the slightly-sooner-than-the-beginning when He created me…


Can I learn to embrace who God created me to be?

Can you?

Chippie the Munk might have a thing to say to us about it all.  I think he knows the secret to just being a chipmunk.

I think God has a lot to teach us about just being who we are.

Imperfect bodies – being renewed through His Son.

Imperfect minds – being transformed by the Spirit.

Imperfect hearts – being restored to righteousness.

Imperfect humans – who will one day be joined in perfect harmony, perfect unity, perfect PERFECTION, in His eternal Kingdom.

OK, that's really good news.

So, Chippie, as I watch you and take delight in you being a chipmunk – I'm also going to picture God watching me.  

I'm going to think about Him smiling at how much He enjoys me.  

Loving me for who I am.  

Taking delight in me being me…

…just the way He made me.

Chippie the Munk

Master of Antics, Hijinks, and Shenanigans

(For Chippie):  "Then God said, 'Let the earth produce every sort of animal, each producing offspring of the same kind—livestock, small animals that scurry along the ground, and wild animals.' And that is what happened.  God made all sorts of wild animals, livestock, and small animals, each able to produce offspring of the same kind. And God saw that it was good." 
(Genesis 1:24-25, NLT)

(For Us):  "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.  Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.  How precious to me are your thoughts, God!  How vast is the sum of them!" 
(Psalm 139:13-17, NIV)

Do you find it hard or easy to accept the way God made you?  Why?

Linked today with:

Darlene at TITUS 2SDAY
Jen at UNITE

BLOG = “Blessedly Leaning On God!”


  1. Amen, thanks for the encouragement sis.

  2. I think God puts animals here for us to enjoy!

  3. Hi Sharon! You take yourself right over to my blog, my post today will help confirm what a wonder you really are!

    Chippie sounds like he is enjoying his life, and you are an example of that too. I can just see you sitting there, waiting for what God wants to show you...and who shows up, but a little chipmunk just for you! (Well, his Mom too :)) You are on the look-out and God didn't disappoint. He is so good!

    Happy Monday,

  4. Oh, this was so good. I love chippies but yours look different than mine here in the NC mountains. Yours are much lighter. So cute. I had a little mommy munk who yearly had her babies in our front yard, usually four at a time. It was wonderful getting to see them play every day. Then our neighbor brought home five feral cats and the little chippies quickly vanished! :o(

  5. A great perspective! God created us and loves us, so why do we complain about our "flaws"? There's no good reason, is there? I like the thought that God watches us and enjoys seeing what we are doing just like you watch Chippie. It is such a comforting thought!

  6. Sharon I LOVED this post! It drew me in because we have our resident Chipster who lives in a hole by and under the front steps. Yours, however, sounds like much more of an acrobat! Must be the mountain air!! And I loved how you weaved together Chippie and us God kids...the points you have made here are excellent. Will be sharing your post with others, for sure. And was a clever acronym for BLOG! Blessings to you from another second half empty nester...

  7. Thank you for sharing about your visitor Chippie the chipmunk at "Tell Me a Story." Animals can teach us gospel truths and you have done this with your story. Just a thought about my site, there is a scripture at the end of the page, that changes for each viewer. It is amazing how that particular verse is often just meant for that person. I am a firm believer that things do not JUST happen. God is in control.

  8. Hi Sharon, I think I really needed to read this today. I have been myopically focused on some wrong things. Sigh! Back to the word! Lol, I really appreciated your post this morning. Spoke right into my heart and I think I have a decision or 2 to make!
    God bless

  9. This post was a delight to read, Sharon. I just kept nodding in agreement. So inspiring! Thank you!

    2 Encourage
    Check out my new book!
    A to Z Devotions for Writers

  10. Ever so late getting here today. I did a post and bolt yesterday because my week is full to the brim with stuff to accomplish before the kid leaves on Friday.

    That said, I wish I had taken the time to come here. I'm really struggling with this silly stuff as you know. I'm struggling more lately than I ever have in my life, in fact. I know that I'm believing lies more than truth but there is also that pesky truth about me and my obvious limitations that hurts.

    Anyway, I want to be more Chippie. It really is the desire of my heart.

    (And when I have a pair of minutes, there is an email coming.)

  11. I loved this!
    Yes, I struggle with 'being me' often...too often. But the older I get the more I am becoming the authentic real me that God intended when he created me. After all, God does not make mistakes...and He is very creative. I was never a good conformist, and now I understand that God does not use a cookie cutter when he shapes and molds us...He uses his hands just like it says in that Psalm! & The Master Potter leaves His fingerprint upon His clay...;)
    We have a squirrel that visits, has for a couple years, I aptly named him lumpy because he has some rather ugly lumps all over his body and face...But there is something we noticed about lumpy...He doesn't seem to notice there is anything differnt about him, and neither do the other squirels. He still takes his turn at the feeder, and doesn't let anyone tell him he shouldn't because of his disfigurement.
    I also love watching the chipmunks fill their amazing how much they can cram in there!
    Your mountain home sounds amazing! Soo many people speak of the beauty of living in a mountain...I have never been to the mountains or ocean...except through those who tell of their keep telling, my friend!
    Blessings and love~ Lisa

  12. There are definitely some areas of my personality and physical makeup that I've struggled with truly embracing.

  13. Blessings Sharon... and ohhh, how cute is Chippie your little munk ...or is he a monk (since you shared some spiritual insights from his perspective) on just what I needed to hear on IMPERFECT (as I'm reading my "unglued devotional and book" and preparing fall posts)... of my IMPERFECT progress in mind, body, and soul (sigh) so much to deal with in this aging process! But on to the good stuff as always you write such picturesque tails(tales)... from "One of the things that I love so much about my mountain home is how close we live to nature." through all the really fabulous points of "JUST.THE.WAY.WE.WERE.MEANT.TO. BE. and the stuff, right to the finish in God's Word for us and Chippie!!! Awesome! You leave me WONDERSTRUCK of all of creation through your picture window... yet

    "One of the things that I love so much about YOUR mountain home is YOU and your being able to be so close to nature" and share God's beauty with us as YOU do through your vivid writing and expression of ALL HE IS and all you capture via your writings...

    I just am more aMazed every venture you bring us through and how you create like the Creator a new fresh perspective of love for Him and His Kingdom both human and animal and tie it all together with making me reflect on the uniqueness of each of us, Chippies... he's so sweet! and then you ask this:
    Do you find it hard or easy to accept the way God made you? Why? because I find it hard and easy to accept ME and the whys are much more innumerable than you or I???

    So richly blessed ...thanks Sharon,
    Love and peace,

  14. Well, another great lesson for me....just wish I could learn it once and for all! At least for tonight, I can feel God smiling at who I am. Once again, thank you.

  15. Hi Sharon,

    I enjoyed reading this, but don't feel in the right place to comment anymore about me at the moment.

    God Bless

  16. I enjoyed your post. I love nature and could sit and watch God's creatures all day. That and clouds. I could watch His clouds all day too. :)

    Thanks for linking up with Woman to Woman's Word Filled Wednesday! God bless.

  17. Chipmunks are cute, but I find myself complaining about what a nuisance they can be. We used to have multiple families of them in our back yard. (they can have litters of 2-8 babies, twice a year). Mowing was crazy - our chipmunks burrowed below ground create an extensive tunnel system that contain a couple of areas for food storage and a nesting chamber. By looking at your picture, I noticed that our chipmunks look a bit different than yours. Anyways...I do admit they are unique creations of Gods handiwork...just like we all are!!
    Blessings to you,
    Ann @ Christ in the Clouds

  18. Delightful observations, Sharon! We need to trust that the Creator made us (and is refining us) to be just the way He needs us. Surrendering our wishes and perceptions is a difficult but necessary part of growing in our faith. Blessings.

  19. Oh! Sharon! What a darling little guy you have! And, yes - everything that meek little fellow modeled for you as noted above is true and a Word I needed to hear this week, too. I've been beating myself up for idiotically jumping to that conclusion noted in my last post - and forgetting about my hinds feet. Need to stop that and just be - faults and all - and know that God is well able to clean up my mess, make up for my lack, and only His Shine will be seen - if we'll just stop tossing mud into the works!

    Now - about that chipmunk. (tears well up in eyes) I have a chipmunk - HAD a chipmunk - and it is a gruesome "tail" to tell. Coming soon to The Writer's Reverie - when I finish collecting all my thoughts on the subject.

    Blessings to you as you minister in HIS STRENGTH to your parents . . .

  20. No wonder we human beings gravitate to being loved so much and needing to be accepted despite our imperfections. It's been my prayer to be more loving ~ everybody needs it and God is so good to help us with it. I learned in my 20's that my headaches were caused by food allergies; there is so much I cannot have. He saved me from a lot of self pity and revealed that though I'm limited in body I can be strong in spirit. I learned that many intercessors fast and eat cautiously and that encouraged me to embrace the gift of praying and I went for it! Anyway, that's my story!

  21. Awesome post! And NO, I did NOT know that about dog and granddog noseprints. I'll have to tell all my granddogs that one! :)

    Have you heard the song by the David Crowder Band - Everything Glorious? It goes grand with this! "Yeah, You make everything glorious
    And I am Yours
    What does that make me?"



  22. I love your chimpmonk family - I've decided that all throughout nature God hides messages for us - even in a chipmonk's meanderings.I love watching the wild animals outside - it's as good as reading a story:)When I started to realize how God sees me - then I set healthier expectations for me - it seemed to good to be true at first but He has let me grow into it:) Thank you for sharing your sweet little critter:)

  23. I love this story and what a wonderful message. Coming over from Barbi's Freshly Brewed link up and glad to read your words!

  24. Thanks for sharing your Chipmunk with us!


"So [I] have been greatly encouraged in the midst of [my] troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives [me] new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord. How [I] thank God for you!" (1 Thessalonians 3:7-9)

Thanks for your comments - it is such a joy to be sharing my journey with friends like YOU!

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