#1 NYT bestselling author Linda Lael Miller

The One Where Linda Prays for a Woodpecker

OK, so you all know that Woodie (Woodena?) Woodpecker has been driving me crazy for days, right?  Lately, as my quick-witted mother would say, it’s been a short drive.  Woodena seemed determined to build her nest inside the metal chimney (whatever happened to making a nice little home of twigs and string in trees?), so you can imagine the racket.  (Think miniature jackhammer.)  The enterprise began promptly at sunrise and knocked off around five in the afternoon, a good, long work day.  I’d mutter, stomp outside, hit the side of the house with a broom handle or a book, in hopes of scaring away the bird–and off she’d fly.  (Although I think the banging around startled Bernice and the cats more than it did the woodpecker.)

For maybe fifteen minutes, there was blissful silence.  Then she was back, rat-at-tatting away, and we went through the whole bothersome scene again.  And again.

So yesterday, it occurs to me that I’m not exactly practicing what I preach.  Woodpeckers have a place in the scheme of things, too, after all, and just because I haven’t a clue what that place IS, well, that doesn’t mean there isn’t one.  Plus, this little bird is a mama, looking for a place to hatch her babies, this being spring-time.  Anyway, I decided to say a little prayer for Woodena, asking that she be kept safe, that she and her babies would thrive, and if they had to live in my chimney, so be it.

This is where the synchronicity comes in.

This morning, I awoke to bright sunshine.  And no woodpecker.  Zip.  Not one little peckety-peck-peck.

I know, I know–it could be coincidence, maybe the nesting season suddenly ended or something.  Except that, in my devotional reading this fine a.m., I came across a reference to–you guessed it, woodpeckers.  Their message–every bird and animal has one or more, according to some theories–is, “The foundation has been laid.  It is now safe to follow your own rhythms.”

Mind-blower!!!  Without going into a lot of personal, not to mention boring, detail, I can tell you for a fact that this particular message was right on.

I love it when that happens.


15 comments to “The One Where Linda Prays for a Woodpecker”

  1. Hilda
      · April 30th, 2013 at 1:42 pm · Link

    I think you can rest easy, when you think about it this way: that little twit would not have a good nest, or even a successful nest, in a metal chimney. You merely “encouraged” her to find the proper nest for her little ones, in a tree far away, or not so far – but anything but metal! :)

  2. Juanita Rice
      · April 30th, 2013 at 1:50 pm · Link

    Big smile!!!!!!! :-D

  3. Juanita Rice
      · April 30th, 2013 at 1:54 pm · Link

    Thank you, Linda. So anxious to meet you! :)

  4. Nadine Spradlin
      · April 30th, 2013 at 2:16 pm · Link

    About 40 yrs. ago (i’m telling my age now ) we had a woodpecker that pecked on the metal gutter just outside our bedroom window , it would drive us crazy . I wondered if maybe he got a headache . Sorry , but I didn’t pray for it .

  5. Gloria
      · April 30th, 2013 at 3:07 pm · Link

    Linda. I choose to believe it was the hand of God, and not a coincidence. We don’t want to be like the woman who was going to be late for an appointment and prayed for a parking spot and made all kinds of promises to God if He’d just give her a parking spot.

    About that time, a car a couple of spaces down backs out, leaving the spot open. The lady says…never mind God, I found one. :lol:

    All your banging might have given Woodena a headache and she had to take a break. :) :) :) :)

    But, if your buddy does come back, put a picture of a big Woodpecker in a plastic sleeve and stick it up there, even if you have to put it on a stick to get it high enough. That might scare it off.

    Happy day!!!!!!

  6. Norma Stanforth
      · April 30th, 2013 at 4:42 pm · Link

    Linda, i think it was God’s hand that took Woodena to build her home some where else after you had prayed about it, then you found something about woodpeckers when you were reading. It does blow-your-mind. :lol: God bless each and everyone of you.
    As always your friend,
    Norma S.

  7. Crystal
      · April 30th, 2013 at 5:11 pm · Link

    What a beautiful message!! I needed that today as always! It’s amazing how God can take someone elses experience and turn in directly what we needed to hear at the exact time! :wink: Thanks

    • Crystal
        · April 30th, 2013 at 5:13 pm · Link


  8. Kim Cornwell
      · April 30th, 2013 at 5:49 pm · Link

    I don’t have any problems with woodpeckers, but little house wrens! They built a nest under the hood of my truck between the 2 radiators. I had to destroy it before I could drive it! Luckily there were no eggs yet! They also use my boots on the porch,
    The tractor, my grill, and the shelf in my barn. I also have a best of flying squirrels in one of the bird houses. I love the wildlife!

  9. Lois Rotella
      · April 30th, 2013 at 6:23 pm · Link

    I have never seen a woodpecker. The only one I know of is Woody wood Pecker. I love the name you gave to her Woodena.

  10. Diana Eagen
      · April 30th, 2013 at 6:27 pm · Link

    Gob bless you. You touch my heart.

  11. harriet Vick
      · April 30th, 2013 at 9:51 pm · Link

    Oh I love your stories! Did you take a picture of the woodpecker?

  12. Pam Brewer
      · April 30th, 2013 at 11:41 pm · Link

    Did she perhaps finish the nest and is sitting quietly laying eggs?

  13. Polly Horn
      · May 1st, 2013 at 8:15 am · Link

    Two years ago a woodpecker was after the bees in the base of my deck. The rat-a tat was bad but knowing he was damaging the deck was worse. Found orange cardstock and attached it to the deck which sent him on his way but really looked strange from the street.

    Last year he was back at the metal screen inside the top of the chimney. I think it was the male but he was too high to see without binoculars and too high for cardstock. Tried smoke but it made no difference. Then tried loud music up the chimney which drove me nuts. He was very pleased with the loud noise resounding thru the woods and even appeared to be keeping time with it. Finally after a week or so the rat-a-tat stopped. The cat and I were bundles of nerves.

    This year he was back on the chimney. I decided to ignore him. The noise stopped quickly each day. After 3 days it completely stopped. – – – Suppose he was playing with me??

  14. Bonnie Pruett
      · May 1st, 2013 at 10:21 am · Link

    Linda, It’s times like you are now experiencing what the phrase “Silence Is Golden” really means. I once had a woodpecker who thought my metal chimney was a great place to exercise his beak. I worked 4 pm to 12 am so at 6 am I was in no mood to be awakened by what sounded like a machiine gun going off over my head. I tried your tactics but I was banging on the stove pipe in my house. After several days of missed sleep, I cranked up the heat on the stove. Grinning wickedly when I did it. The woodpecker flew away once more. The next day that silly bird was back. So I cranked the heat up again. He may have burned his beak or his feet but he/she never came back ZZZZZZZZZZZZ.

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