Upon greeting our new feathered friend in the water today, the Great White Heron causes me to stop and celebrate. 
First, it is simply one beautiful bird — and one that has not graced these waters in all of the time we have been here.
This prompted me to look up any symbolism of this gloriously created and elegant winged wonder.

This bird has been the symbol of the National Audubon Society.  It symbolizes “a time of change,” “renewal,” “dead things turning to life,” and a “working together for good.”

Sounds precisely in alignment with the goings-on of this great group of families!
I love the Word of God more than anything and you may think that my looking up such information is a bit “bird-brained.” However, I am passionate about meanings, words, stories, and nature. With all of the changes and truly remarkable life-stories taking shape around this land, I found this to be absolutely appropriate and symbolic—a gift of encouragement today from our Creator God and His Life-Giving Son, Jesus as we begin to celebrate this new ministry year at Easter.
When we first moved onto the property, the blue herons were afraid of us and we
rarely caught glimpses of them. Today they are no longer skittish and
are spending more time in plain sight, not flying off in fear. 
We
have seen families transform in this same way. At the start of this
ministry journey, people were so accustomed to clocking in and clocking out of church-related activities, without having to flock together with other
families in a take-each-other-under-wing sort of way. So to begin a
journey of real healing and freedom was rather scary. Accepting others and fostering care and belonging was anti-cultural to many who had attended churches where it was acceptable to keep everyone at arm’s length. However, the families that
have come together because of and in spite of each other have experienced the Body of Christ in ways that were not very long ago only a far fetched ideal that lay wait on the pages of Scripture.
Many new things are about to take flight within this ministry year, and just as we are in awe looking at such unique and stunning attributes of the white heron, we gaze with eyes wide open — awestruck — looking into the unique and breath-taking attributes of individuals and families who are being gloriously changed. Renewed. Remade.
We’ll be sharing more about the turning of the winds, the house at the end of the road, and a year in the One Life… and we look forward to telling stories of those who, with broken wing, are learning to fly again.
Time for a change?
Indeed.

Another admirable quality of the heron is this: they wait.

They stand extremely still and patient as they fish.

Both their persistence and their calm are inspiring… as they wait.