Thursday, August 23, 2007

God's Wonderful Works

Wow, today has been one of the most interesting days for me. Now I am the type that really, really dislikes snakes and spiders. If it were up to me there would not be any. I keep asking God why he created them. It seems like He just lets me know that He is God and I am not.

This past summer while we were on vacation, we stopped at a Creation Evidence Museum in Glen Rose, Texas. At this museum we saw a film about how in a hyperbolic chamber they placed a venomous rattlesnake and kept there for a while. I think it was a year. In this chamber the scientist tried to recreate the atmosphere of the earth prior to the flood. During this time frame, the snake grew so much larger than what is normal in this atmosphere and what amazed me the most was that the snake was non-venomous!! I felt the Holy Spirit just comfort me and let me know that I wont always be afraid of snakes. [But I still don’t want to be around them. Thank you.]


Now God has put one of His awesome creations in my back yard. I home school my boys (Stephen is going to the junior college part-time for dual credit this year). And we started our school this week. I decided to change the way I was home schooling because the boys were getting bored and burned out. For science, I decided we would start taking nature walks and keeping nature journals, especially for Chase. Last spring when I pondered on choosing this type of curriculum, I wondered how it would work as we don’t live somewhere “pleasant” to enjoy nature walks. I pictured nature walks in the mountains with pine trees and pine cones on the ground. We don’t have mountains or pine trees. But then my son walked out in the front yard to play and I went out later to look for him. It had been raining a lot and the grass was getting tall. He stooped down, picked up a mushroom and turned to me and asked, “What is this?” That moment has frozen in my mind as a snapshot from God that I have nature in my own yard.


Yesterday—Chase came in from the back yard all excited that he found a “GIANT” spider. I’m thinking “yeah right how giant can it be?” Be a dramatic child, I just thought he was exaggerating. And being the type of woman that avoids spiders, I just didn’t care to go see it. Well finally after his constant badgering me, I went a saw it behind the storage shed. I stood there stunned. It is BIG and I didn’t know what it is! Thinking poisonous—stay away. I begged my husband to get rid of it NOW! He replied, “Why? It eats bugs and it could be Charlotte.”


This morning my walking partner, friend, and another home school mom, Anna, came over to go walk. I told her about this “GIANT” spider and immediately wanted to see it. We went and she was wowed. She got so much closer than I would; so close she frightened it a bit and it moved up the web. We went and got the camera and started taking pictures. Now I find myself actually getting excited about seeing a spider like this.


Later Stephen started researching the internet looking for this spider. Because the web has a unique zig zag in it, we googled zig zag web and came up with a Golden Garden Spider (or also known as Orb Spider or Writing Spider). I just started the first chapter of Apologia’s Elementary Science—Zoology I with Chase. So far in the first five pages, which is all we have covered, we have learned about classification. Its binomial nomenclature is Argiope aurantia. The spider in the pictures looked just like the spider in my back yard. It was so exciting to learn what type of spider we have that has made her home with us. I start calling Anna, but she was out on business. But she brought her children over later to look at the spiders. She brought them over for science class, notebooks, pencils, magnifying glass and all. My husband was laughing at us. He jokingly started announcing by the back door, “One dollar per person please.”


We went outside and started looking and examining this spider. Stephen found an insect and threw it in the web. We were all amazed at how quickly this spider ran to the prey, wrapped it up in the web, and sat on it for a while. Anna watched it through the magnifying glass and said when she was shooting web out of her spinnerets that it looked like it spread out into four strands. She tried to get me closer, but I declined and said, “I’m just fine where I’m at.” Anyhow, I didn’t want to get in the kids way.


We learned that this spider is in the family, but has a different genus and species that than the one in Charlotte’s Web. Though both are in the family of orb weavers, but different, Chase still named her Charlotte after the spider in the book/movie.


Yesterday, Chase & I wanted to get rid of the spider. But today the Lord has shown us a wonder of His creation in our back yard. Charlotte will stay and we will watch her. We will toss her an insect once a day. The last time we checked on her she was eating the one we fed her earlier and she had another wrapped up.


Psalm 145:4-6

4 One generation will commend your works to another;
they will tell of your mighty acts.

5 They will speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty,
and I will meditate on your wonderful works.

6 They will tell of the power of your awesome works,
and I will proclaim your great deeds.


Having this paradigm shift in my mind, I now realize I shall tell my children of the Lord’s mighty acts. This spider is a part of His creation and a part of His mighty acts. [Besides, I've learned this particular spider is not poisonous and I'm no longer afraid. That too, is part of God's mighty work in me!] Blessed be His name!







4 gracious comments:

Jenny said...

We found one of those in our garden last year. They are so beautiful (for spiders he he). I can not believe how truly gold color they. Amazing!

Anna said...

Ps 111 says, "The works of the Lord are great, studied by all who take pleasure in them."
That spider was truly amazing! Watching it in Shonda's backyard was the highpoint of my day! I've been back one more time to see this amazing creature. We were taking pleasure in God's marvelous handiwork.
Isn't it marvelous to think that the same Creator who crafted such a beautiful creature that is here today and gone tomorrow (thanks to Raid!) cares about every little detail of our lives.
What a caring God we serve!cen

jen said...

We had one of those in our garden when I was growing up. We'd always be scared of it and finally one day my older brother went right up to it and touched it. We were never more scared in our lives! All it did was move but up to then we hadn't seen it move. When it went up the web, we went OUT of the yard! So much fun! :) God is awesome! I love how you tied finding this little creature in with your homeschooling. What a fun way to learn about spiders!

Lisa said...

HEY!SHONDA I JUST WANTED TO STOP BY AND SAY HELLO AND THANK YOU FOR LETTING ME KNOW HOW MY AUNT MARY IS DOING. SHE IS VERY SPECIAL TO ME MUCH MORE MORE THAN SHE EVEN REALIZES. I PRAY THAT YOU AND YOUR FAMILY HAVE A BLESS DAY. TRULY,LISA