The Flickers: A Lesson in Being Hardheaded

Posted by on Oct 24, 2016 | 4 comments

The Flickers: A Lesson in Being Hardheaded

I learn many lessons from the wildlife around our mountain home, recently it has been flickers. Sometimes the things that irritate me the most have the most valuable lessons to share. I would love to hear your comments! 


2MefromHim Devotionals

The Flickers

…Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have Proverbs 4:7

The pecking of a flicker on the metal cover to our chimneys sends jackhammer-like noise echoing throughout our house. Fall is here, the season when flickers invade our neighborhood, driving me crazy by pecking holes in the stucco and wood of our house. The large numbers around our mountainside home keep me on constant alert, banging on walls or firing the BB gun into the air to frighten them away.img_2025

These beautiful members of the woodpecker family are exceptional examples of God’s handiwork. Their colorful plumage, brown with black spots, a red dot on the head, and orange-red underside to their wings makes them beautiful to watch, but I refuse to attract these destructive birds with feeders.

The toughness of their skulls and unique cartilage and tongue illustrate God’s amazing design and enable them to withstand 1000 times the force of gravity when they peck on solid substances. They really are “hardheaded”! The valley below our home has become a flicker refuge where they hide, waiting to attack. And the flickers are winning.flicker-holes-10-22-16

Autumn sunlight hits our 8-foot by 6-foot windows at such an angle that birds think they can fly straight through the house. They slam into windows in staggering numbers, yet few die from the impact due to their unique skulls. Consultations with bird specialists yield little advice. Stickers on the windows, turning off the fountain, and making certain air conditioners and hose bibs don’t leak fail to deter them.

I see myself reflected in these hardheaded members of the animal kingdom. I forge ahead with an idea, regardless of the difficulties or opposition, sometimes to my own detriment. No amount of dissuasion keeps me from attempting the impossible if I decide it is the right way to go.the-flickers-lesson-1

I have learned many lessons through following my own feelings. God uses my mistakes to teach me reliance on Him, to seek His plans first. Pursuing God’s wisdom before acting prevents me from making catastrophic mistakes. When I do choose my own way, the headache it produces warns me to back off and wait for His leading.

Consulting God before moving forward is a valuable lesson. Unlike the flickers, I am teachable. Choosing God’s way prevents the headaches and embarrassment of failure, leading to outcomes far more successful than I could manage on my own.

© Copyright by Norma Gail Thurston Holtman

Norma 2015About the author:

Norma Gail is the author of the contemporary Christian romance, Land of My Dreams, winner of the 2016 Bookvana Religious Fiction Award. A women’s Bible study leader for over 21 years, her devotionals and poetry have appeared at, the Stitches Thru Time blog, and in “The Secret Place.” She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America. Norma is a former RN who lives in the mountains of New Mexico with her husband of 40 years. They have two adult children.

Connect with Norma:


Amazon Author page:

Book trailer:







Book Links:Land of My Dreams cover sm


Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas Bookstore: http://

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  1. Norma, I can relate to your example of a Flicker! There are times I get so excited, I run past God on the way to a goal or dream only to stumble and fall due to my hardheadedness. I am still a work in progress but I am learning to turn to God and wait on His word before I take off running!


    • Thanks for stopping by and taking time to comment, Robin! Aren’t we blessed to have such a patient God!

  2. You? Hardheaded? Why, that’s what makes our Norma so precious 😉 I, too, am stubborn and hardheaded (I believe the Lord uses the term, stiff-necked.) I love the analogy you used. It helps me see my own tendencies. I also love the image of you standing on your deck shooting a BB gun. Priceless!

    • Being hardheaded is one of my specialties, and my PT will vouch for the stiff neck! I’m also glad to have given you a laugh for the day!

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