January Roundup: Links, Quotes, Books & More

Free As a Bird
by Rend Collective

“You break us out of our cages
Into the wide open spaces
We are free
Free as a bird on the wind
No prison wall can contain us
Your beating heart makes us fearless
We are free
Free as a bird on the wind
Love cannot be tamed
You shattered every chain…”

ABCs of Jesus’ Love

Visit this page anytime and let me know if you’d like to add to the words describing Jesus’ love along with a verse supporting it. Remember, there is also a print-out of the original list.

 Another verse about Jesus’ Love:

❤  Freeing Love 
“So if the Son sets you free,
you are truly free.

John 8:36 NLT


I am not always able to keep up with the abundance of books that promote hope, healing, and freedom, so I haven’t always read every one I post here and on the Books Page. Though many are on my long wish list. 🙂  Many will be from recommendations of online friends. If you ever know of a book that is not listed and that supports this website’s mission, please let me know. 🙂

The Voice: Listening for God’s Voice and Finding Your Own
by Sandi Patty
(Link is to Valerie Murray’s review of this book)

“Christian music icon and forty-time Dove award winner, Sandi Patty has long astounded listeners with her powerful voice. And yet, off the stage, Sandi struggled to have a voice at all.

Through deeply intimate stories of her life and the empowering spiritual truths she’s learned, Sandi offers readers wisdom to navigate the journey from voicelessness to discovering the voice God has given you. With a poignant history of sexual abuse, infidelity, divorce, and crises of self-image, Sandi lived much of her life feeling unworthy of love or value. And like so many of us, she coped by living through the voices of others, allowing other people to prescribe her identity. As she performed around the world, Sandi met others just like her, who hid wounds behind quiet smiles and struggled to live with fractured identities.

Sandi’s warm and invitational writing will draw you to the voice of God who sings over your life saying you are seen, you are loved, and your voice is worth hearing. With timeless wisdom, The Voice will help you uncover your God-given identity and a voice of your very own.

‘God heard my voice even when I couldn’t hear it myself and then his voice broke through my walls and wounds, insecurities and self-doubts. I am voiceless no more!'” (Amazon Book Review)


Hope Harbor

💞  Articles/Blog Posts That Inspire Hope and Healing 💞

My husband and I lost a loved one (his brother) to cancer. His memorial service was yesterday. So in honor of Adrian and all those who are still fighting cancer, these links share how we can best support those who struggle with it. How we can give them hope and not cause additional emotional pain on top of what they already suffer.

💞 10 Things Cancer Patients Love to Hear  – Cancer patients share what they love to hear.

💞 5 Things Christians Should NOT Say to Cancer Patients by Lee Wilson – “For years now I’ve felt there was a disconnect between the well-meaning reactions of church members toward Christians affected by cancer and other diseases of similar dread.” Many cancer patients hear words that cause emotional pain on top of what they’re already suffering. Lee shares by experience what not to say and some things we can do.

💞 How To Support Someone With Cancer by Dr. Michelle Bengtson – From experiencing cancer with both herself and her husband, Michelle has learned these 12 important, insightful tips for supporting someone with cancer. 

Nature Retreat

“The woods would be very silent
if no birds sang except
those who sang the best.”
John James Audubon
“Be as a bird perched on a frail branch
that she feels bending beneath her,
still she sings away all the same,
knowing she has wings.”
Victor Hugo

I really miss birds during these winter months! My brother’s photos from Arizona truly brighten my days, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy them, too. Thank you, John! 🙂

White-breasted Nuthatch
Red-naped Sapsucker
Northern Mockingbird
Northern Flicker
Acorn Woodpecker
White-throated Thrush

🐾 Surfbirds – The World Birding Website – lots of beautiful bird photos, great articles, trip reports, blogs, forums, and more

🐾 BirdNote – I love this! BirdNote is a two-minute radio show that combines rich sounds with engaging stories to illustrate the amazing lives of birds and give listeners a momentary respite from the news of the day.

🐾 Bird Photography from National Geographic – A list of links to the Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week posts. Awesome photos!



I’m adding a new category this month – Grieving.

❤ “Tears have a wisdom all their own. They come when a person has relaxed enough to let go and to work through his sorrow. They are the natural bleeding of an emotional wound, carrying the poison out of the system. Here lies the road to recovery.” – F. Alexander Magoun

“It’s okay to cry. Giving in to the tears is terrifying, like free-falling to earth without a parachute. But it’s vital to our wellbeing as we process the deep anguish.” – Lynda Cheldelin Fell

“Tears water our growth.” – William Shakespeare


Thank You
to anyone and everyone who recommends
links, books, quotes, etc.



28 thoughts on “January Roundup: Links, Quotes, Books & More

    1. Thank you for your condolences and prayers, Martha. It truly is God’s loving arms that hold us up, isn’t it? I don’t know how we could go through loss without Him. A deep grief is still there, but knowing God will get us through makes it much more bearable, doesn’t it? Also knowing our loved one was at peace with God and was longing to go. Towards the end, it got into his bones, and he had so much pain, so it’s a comfort to know he is now suffering no more. May God surround all of us with His love and strength!


  1. Trudy, I’m sorry about the loss of your brother-in-law. Praying for you and your husband and the rest of the family. Thank you for all these links and photos. I especially love the Rend Collective song and the two quotes about birds. Love and hugs to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your sympathy and prayers, Lesley. Love and hugs to you, too! Somehow I knew you would love that song, too. 🙂 May we trust in our God who can break every chain and give us the freedom to dance upon those chains and fly free to His praise!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m sorry too, for you and your husband’s loss Trudy. It will always be a heart tug when those we love have passed, no matter how much time passes. I’m learning what it is to accept life fully in it’s giving and taking away. Those bird pictures are fantastic! The other day I heard birds outside that must have been the sparrows that stay throughout our harsh winters. What a lovely sound it was. I thank God for equipping those sparrows so I can enjoy them every season!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Lynn. Your thoughts bring to my mind the song – “You give and take away. My heart will choose to say, Lord, blessed be the Your Name.” (Blessed Be Your Name by Matt Redman) A couple of weeks ago, my sister pointed out a stanza that I hadn’t fully taken in before:
      “Blessed be Your name
      On the road marked with suffering
      Though there’s pain in the offering
      Blessed be Your name”
      Thank you so much for reminding me. I needed it.
      I agree, my brothers photos are fantastic. 🙂 Yes, it’s amazing how God equips those sparrows. I don’t even hear them outside my window. I guess they’re more in places where they have more tree cover. I long for spring! May God open our hearts more and more to the beauty He surrounds us with through each and every season! Like the beautiful sun dog He painted the sky with today in these subzero temperatures! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh Trudy I am so sorry about the loss of your dear loved one.You and your family will be in my prayers. I appreciated those quotes on tears that you shared today. They are so beautiful, for every kind of grieving that we must go through in this world. But thank the Lord for His bits of beauty and life that He continues to show us! I signed up for the weekly email from birdnotes–it sounds like such a sweet break in the day. Thank you for sharing it, and for always sharing such uplifting thoughts here Dear Friend. Hugs and Love to you. xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your sympathy and prayers, Bettie. Yes, there are so many kinds of grieving, aren’t there? I’m so sorry for the grieving you are going through with the pain and limitations of your body and the discouragement of failed treatments. I hope you’re able to let those cleansing tears fall. I’m so grateful though for how God is bringing you deeper into His love through it all. That is truly amazing. I was so happy to find those birdnotes. They give me a sweet break, too. I tried to find where I could get one a day instead of the whole week’s at once. I guess I could just go to the site each day, too, but I think I’ll try contacting them in case I missed that. Hugs and love to you, too! May God help us to let go of cleansing tears as we grieve over the aches and pain and the loss of what we can do as we go through chronic illness!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Dear Trudy, I am so sorry for your loss. Sometimes there are no words to share … but know that I’ll be praying. Bless your family.

    And may your writing and the visits from your friends near and far give you deep comfort.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your sympathy and prayers, Linda. That means so much. I so appreciate you friends near and far. Yes, it does give comfort to share grief with those who understand. XO to you, too! May God give us the strength we need for each day through whatever grief we may be going through!


  5. Dear Trudy,

    I am so sorry to hear about your loss of Adrian. Praying God comforts you, your husband, and family. The quotes on tears were so encouraging. May God hold you all close as you grieve. And those bird photos are amazing and that your brother and I know the names of all those birds 🙂 Love and hugs to you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your sympathy and prayers, Dolly. Love and hugs to you, too! I was encouraged, too, by those quotes on tears. There are so many losses we should allow ourselves to grieve about, isn’t there? Yes, the photos are amazing! That’s cool that you already know those names. 🙂 Sometimes my brother sends photos without the names to give me a challenge to identify them. If I am incorrect, which sometimes I am, he tells me. 🙂 It’s fun to figure it out. May God give us the strength to allow ourselves to grieve for all the losses and pain in our lives!


  6. I’m so sorry other about the loss of your brother-in-law. What a difficult time for you and your husband.

    I appreciate how you point us to beautiful books, quotes, articles, and photos. Your brother has an amazing capacity for capturing the beauty of birds. Please know I am praying for you and your husband as you walk through this loss together. Sending you much love!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your sympathy and prayers, Mary. Much love to you, too! Thank you, too, for your encouragement. Your posts always encourage me. Your son’s testimony of hope in the midst of the deep devastation and grief of divorce still warms my heart. Yes, I love my brother’s gift of capturing the beauty of birds and nature in general. Since he retired, he can devote more time to enjoying nature more. He also takes photography classes. May we remember in times of grief and loss of any kind, Jesus’ arms of love and hope open wide for us to run into!


    1. I’m so glad you enjoy it, Nicki. There is such a depth of meaning and comfort in those few words of that verse, isn’t there? I love that song, too. May Jesus shatter every chain that binds us and help us to fly in the freedom of His truth and love!


    1. You’re welcome, Karen. I’m glad you like my brother’s photos. I LOVE birds, too! 🙂 They are signs and seals of God’s faithful love and care, aren’t they? May we open our hearts more and more to His deep love!


  7. Listening to the Rend Collective song now. They are so inspirational to be bold. I need that. 🙂

    I’m so sorry about the loss of your b-i-l! 😦 May God bless you all with comfort as you adjust to his loss. So hard. “Tears water our growth.” Such a great quote. Blessings to you, friend!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I need that boldness, too, Lisa. Thank you for your sympathy and prayer. There is such a depth of meaning in that quote, isn’t there? Blessings to you, too! May we be bold in Jesus and His freeing love!


  8. What a lovely, hope filled selection of resources you have provided here, Trudy! The stirring Rend Collective song lyrics moved me, as did the stunning selection of bird images from your talented photographer brother. Superb! I was also tempted to sign up for the Bird Note recordings. Just listening to one of them made me smile. The Nature Retreat Victor Hugo quote reminded me of Emily Dickinson’s poem about hope, which I love. But I am so sorry for the loss of your brother-in-law. Please know you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Love and hugs to you, dear friend! xo 💜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your kind words, sympathy, and prayers, Joy. Love and hugs to you, too! I’m so glad you found things here that give you hope! May we learn to sing even on the bending branches of life’s troubles and embrace our wings in Jesus!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Trudy, I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your brother-in-law. My heart aches for your family as you walk through this season. I’m saying prayers for you and your family.

    Your bird pictures were beautiful. Thank you for sharing them. Sending you love and hugs, my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jeanne, for your sympathy and prayers. Love and hugs to you, too! I love my brother’s bird pics, too. It’s so wonderful he allows me to share them with all of you, too. 🙂 I really love your nature pics, too. May God’s creation remind us how much bigger He is than any problem we will ever have!


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