A special cardinal arrives


It’s a brand new day; I’m still blinking the sleep from my eyes. In a thousand guesses, you’d probably still be guessing what alarm clock I had this morning again. Perhaps you never have heard the likes, but guess what, I didn’t either until this spring!

A few months ago the children and I were quite intrigued when a male bluebird began coming to our window and singing for us. It would sit at the window sill and sing its song over and over. One morning at the breakfast table I told the children, “This bluebird just seems like it is sent from heaven.” They agreed; it was an unusual bird, adding unusual sunshine into our days. I started brainstorming about raising meal worms like I did when I was a girl and training the bluebirds to come at my whistle to be fed, with enough patience, they can even be trained to eat from your hand. The children were sold on the idea.

That very morning after breakfast there was a sad event, and the bluebird didn’t survive. The children were saddened, so was I. In my heart I knew that if we give any situation back to God he is more than able to bring something beautiful out of it, and it won’t be the end of story. Later that morning I caught myself reasoning, “I wonder what would God do… it was only a bird…” I came back to reality. I knew questioning God won’t change anything; the only tool God really needs is a trusting heart, then he can do miracles beyond our grasp. I assured the children that God is able to give us something even better.

And so it was, weeks went by. I began noticing a particular cardinal that would sit outside my kitchen window on a wash line post and sing. Cardinals have become quite special to me since Daniel went to heaven. “Is God sending a special cardinal?” I wondered.

I didn’t have long to find out. A particular male cardinal with an unusual dark marking on its side and a bit on its tummy set him apart from the rest.

Last week one morning, earlier than I had planned to get up, it sat down in the grass outside my bedroom window and sang its cheery song, I sensed the Lord prompting me to get up as he has work assigned for me to do. I smiled, surely this cardinal does not actually know which is my bedroom window of an upstairs level of a house-but God does! As I walked into the kitchen it obviously circled around the house and met me outside the kitchen sink window. I headed to the office and had some time with the Lord and finished the column for the week. That morning provided ample quietness before the children awoke; I had needed the boost.

Now a week later Joshua is up with me, he saw a cardinal outside the kitchen window by the bird feeder and was crooning to it, as if talking to a baby, “Tweet, tweet, tweet!”

There have been many times through the day when I was having a hard moment and just like that, the cardinal would sing from a perch outside an open window. One day when I heard it singing on the railing of the front porch, I stepped into the living room and savored the moment. I knew it had come to sing for me. When I went left the room, it also left.

Sometimes in the morning I sit on our deck to enjoy the fresh morning air and soak in the quiet of the day. The heaven-sent song bird would not be left behind. It would perch on the other end of the wash line to be in my field of view or sit behind me in the giant maple tree.

You guessed it, my alarm clock this morning was a bright red cardinal singing away. The children have come to enjoy this amazing gift as from God himself after we no longer had the bluebird. The other day little Joshua came up to me, his eyes round with excitement, “I hear God’s cardinal!”

Even as I write, it is singing, “Birdie, birdie, birdie!” May you experience God’s love today in whatever way he wants to demonstrate it to you. It may not always feel grand or significant, but it is there, and when we ask and obey, we receive.

Now I’ll pass on a recipe I have been thinking about this past week. One day years ago, Daniel said he’s extra hungry for something GOOD. I made these and they passed the test. Enjoy them for yourself!

Swiss Roll Bars

2 eggs

1 ½ cup sugar

½ cup canola or olive oil

¼ teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking soda

½ cup cocoa

2 cups applesauce

2 cups flour

Whisk together in order given, spread in a greased cookie sheet or two cake pans. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.


1 ½ cup powdered sugar

8 oz. cream cheese, softened*

8 oz. Whipped topping

2 tablespoons water or milk

Beat powdered sugar with cream cheese. Add topping and milk and whip together. Spread over cooled cake.

*If you are like me and don’t have a microwave and need to quickly soften your cream cheese, just drop the sealed packet into hot tap water until it feels squishy.


5 tablespoons butter

1 ½ cup chocolate chips

Melt butter, remove from heat. Add chocolate chips and stir until smooth. Carefully spread over filling. Chill and enjoy!

Gloria Yoder is an Amish mom, writer, and homemaker in rural Illinois. The Yoders travel primarily by horse-drawn buggy and live next to the settlement’s one-room school-house. Readers can write to Gloria at 10510 E. 350th Ave., Flat Rock, IL 62427.

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