A Flicker of Defiance

Posted by on Jan 12, 2015 | 7 comments

A Flicker of Defiance

The creatures around our mountain home provide many illustrations for God’s word and for the way we humans act like less than God wants us to be. Many of you will identify with one of my moments of defiance. 


2MefromHim Devotional


Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

Philippians 4:8,9


Day after day I chase the Fred the Flicker away, attempting to discourage his relentless pecking at a hole in the ceiling of our porch, and day after day he comes back. I pound on wall and make every kind of noise I can to scare him away, but he persists in something that we will never allow him to accomplish.


My husband nicknamed him Fred because he has become such a fixture, along with Rudy the Roadrunner and a squirrel with a politically A Flicker of Defiance 2incorrect name who sits on top of trees while hawks fly overhead. Right after Christmas, he broke through the wall and succeeded in making a hole large enough to get into. My husband swept away the snow and nailed heavy wire mesh over the hole so he doesn’t make it his home. However, at least once a day he’s back, pecking away at the wire and hoping to gain access to the hole, now full of poison to discourage mice from taking up residence before it can be repaired in the spring.


I had a bad attitude and didn’t care who knew it. Allowing selfishness to fill my mind with defiant thoughts, I ignored God’s boundaries for my thinking because discipline leads to blessing. I wasted time that God would have me use to make home a pleasant place by sewing bad attitudes instead. Like the flicker, trying to defy the barrier of the wire, I persisted, receiving only frustration.


God has set boundaries for our thoughts and behavior to keep us where we belong, but I persevered in my pity party. The result was a crabby person even I didn’t want to be around. Unlike Fred the Flicker, I can choose to seek God’s way of dealing with frustrations, opting for attitudes that will bless rather than frustrate both myself and those around me.


One flicker of defiance sets my heart on selfish things. A moment seeking God’s way reveals paths to blessing and obedience. I refuse to make the first few days of the year a pattern for the rest. Like the wire mesh nailed over the hole, I choose to destroy my defiance with prayer and seek to be a blessing rather than frustration. I will seek God’s way rather than my own. Selfish defiance leads to frustration, but seeking God’s way leads to a peaceful heart and home.



Copyright January 6, 2015 by Norma Gail Thurston Holtman


  1. Very insightful and heartfelt. You made good points and show such determination! Great article!

    • Thanks for the feedback! I appreciate it! God bless!

  2. It’s amazing how just one little thought or one little thing in our life can lead to a miserable day if we allow it to. When we listen to God and let Him help us set those boundaries we have a much better outlook (even though setting boundaries and better day don’t seem to go together) 🙂 Thank you Norma! Love you!

  3. oh my, I have been there and done that wondering why I was acting the way I was. Then, bang, God got my attention and what a relief it was to choose Him. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this matter.

  4. All of your critters remind me of Homer and Ethyl, our 2 groundhogs living beneath our shed 🙂 I love what you said about one flicker of defiance setting our hearts on selfish things. That is SO true. When I think on those things which are lovely, pure, of good report and worthy of praise, my mind is stayed in peace. But if I allow my thoughts to veer off just a smidgeon, I’m a mess very quickly. Thank you for sharing this lesson.

  5. I get what you are saying. I’ve felt the same way. Hanging on to God.

    • It’s a day by day, moment by moment choice! Thanks for commenting!

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