Written in a way anyone can understand, her bird stories entertained, challenged, encouraged and taught me. Her words are full of kindness, the devotions are engaging, and God’s presence and creativity shine through in every one of them.
After reading the Author Update where Joy says,
“Sometimes life is full of more falls than flying. When down, we can call out to the Lord for help. Just as God knew the tiny bird ~ even to the number of her iridescent feathers ~ He knows us, too ~ even the number of hairs on our heads. He knows our anxieties and sorrows, and the joys and victories He has planned for us. He is an ever-present help in trouble, who promises to answer us when we call upon Him.”
I knew a simple “review” would not do this book justice. You see, through her stories, lessons and Bible verses, Joy packed so much vital information within the pages of Under His Wings that it needs to be shared far and wide. For now, I will say this book had me from the first page where the Note From Joy talked about how, as a child, she watched birds with her mother. I was already hooked before I ever made it to the first chapter.
This book is an easy read, and the parallels drawn between the birds and the way God constantly cares for us is refreshing. The chapters are broken down into bite-sized portions you can easily digest in about 15 minutes or so. Joy writes in a pleasant conversational style, taking a personal approach to bird watching and telling us about her inspirational encounters with the birds in her area. This is evident as early as the Introduction, where she writes in a personal and vulnerable way, inviting the reader to go on this bird watching journey with her, which sets the tone for the whole book.
Under His Wings follows a consistent pattern in its structure with an ample amount of Scripture included so you know Joy’s not inventing her own ideas or taking things out of context. I love her outlook and her fresh perspective on how red-headed woodpeckers, cedar waxwings, geese, wrens, hummingbirds, as well as other species, can teach us spiritual lessons. I also like the everyday tips and ideas she shares on caring for, and attracting, these feathered friends to our backyards.
I am always amazed by how much I learn from books like this. Whether I’m spending time in personal devotions and prayer, or just wanting to learn more about birds, when I pick up Under His Wings, it helps me, and I am blessed by Joy’s words. Each of the 54 devotions is a short read, and the chapters include four sections: three containing spiritual applications and one with information on feeding and sheltering birds:
Bird Feeder ~ Bible verses for meditating upon
Bird Bath ~ Bible verses to refresh your soul
Birdhouse ~ Bible verses to ponder and pray
For the Birds ~ bird trivia and tidbits of information
Even more than that, this book does not contain any of the typical Christian clichés or platitudes; only true gems of wisdom born out of Joy’s relationship with the Lord and her experiences in walking out her Christian life. Some themes she includes are finding our refreshment in God; having the Holy Spirit guide us away from danger and temptations; fellowshipping with our Shepherd; knowing we are never alone because God is with us; and believing God is our refuge, protector and hiding place. They certainly gave me food for thought.
Joy is a fabulous writer and, in her writing, reminds us of what a great God we have. I would not hesitate to give this book as a gift for Mother’s Day, birthdays, or Christmas gifts. It’s that good. If you’d like to read this book too, I invite you to check out the links provided.
Joy DeKok is an author, speaker, and believer in Jesus Christ. She is passionate about people exploring and recording the legacies that are their lives. Bits & Pieces of Me is where she gives her personal legacy to those she loves, to those she likes, and to those she has never met. She believes your life matters and that your life is a legacy.