Saturday, August 21, 2010


Back in July, Gracie Jo brought back some caterpillars
from the home farm. We had a lot of fun watching these
little fellas and learning all about the stages of life they
go through before becoming a butterfly.

The swallowtail.

While we've always enjoyed Eric Carle's 'The Hungry, Hungry
Caterpillar' , reading the book just doesn't compare to watching
one of these monstrous eaters in action. You should have
seen him mow down the stalks of dill. It was unbelievable!

The transition from caterpillar to pupa/chrysalis
happens so quickly. Gracie Jo faithfully checked on our
guests first thing every morning, and steadily throughout
the day, but each time we missed the change. One time
she checked before we sat down for lunch and by the
time we finished eating the caterpillar had transformed.

Here is the monarch attaching itself to the top
of the container. We knew it's time was coming
soon. We watched and watched...

And within a half an hour the chrysalis hung
suspended, starting the biggest change of all.

This is the swallowtail in pupa stage.
Very different from the monarch.
I wonder how many times we've seen one of
these on a plant and not even realized it was there
or what it was? Occasionally we'd even see it wiggle and
jiggle and could only imagine all the changes that
were taking place inside.

Both of the butterflies 'hatched' during the night, so
they were dry and ready to fly when we discovered them
in the morning. We brought them outside and got ready to
let them go.

It was so fun to see the amazement and wonder in the kids' faces.

Sorry for the bad picture, but this was the only one I got
of the swallowtail. It flew up and away as soon as Gracie
Jo lifted the lid. It was so incredibly beautiful.

The monarch only flew across the driveway before coming to
rest in the field. Feeling like great adventurers, we trekked through
the long grass and weeds to get a closer look. So amazing!

Going through the life cycle of the butterfly was such a
fun time of teaching and learning with the kids. I loved it
when Gracie Jo would eagerly bring our visitors over to
'come and see the chrysalis!'. But, even more special,
was the time we spent talking about how our lives change
when Jesus comes into our hearts. Watching the visible
transformation of the butterflies and sharing with the kids
how our lives change and grow when give our hearts to
Him was so powerful. It reminded me how important it
is to make these moments of teaching, nurturing the
truth that already lies in their hearts.

And, even more, it challenged me in my own life.
Seeing the radical, beautiful change in the butterfly
made me think about the stages and seasons we go through
in our walk with God.

A fragile egg, full of hope and promise.

A hungry caterpillar, devouring his Word.
Consumed by Him.

A gleaming chrysalis, ruminating and growing on the inside.
Productive rest.

A delicate butterfly, bringing beauty and joy.
Living as we were created. For Him.

We read a lot of books about butterflies during this metamorphosis.
But my favorite, by far, was the story of 'Hermie, a Common Caterpillar'
by Max Lucado. The kids love Hermie and his friend, Wormie, two common
caterpillars who struggle with jealousy of the ant, the snail and the
ladybug compared to their 'plain-ness'. God continually promises to
trust in Him, because He's not finished with them yet.
At the end of the story, Hermie is transformed into a glorious
butterfly, finally realizing the truth of God's Words.

How often do I struggle with sin, hanging onto my
selfish nature, instead of living in freedom because
of who Christ is and what He's done for me?
Is my life changing and growing, reflecting His
Holy Spirit in me?
Who I am, because of what He's done?

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation;
the old has gone, the new has come!
~2 Corinthians 5:17~

If you have a few minutes, listen to
this song (just click on 'this song').

Remember who you are.
And whose you are.

Be blessed.


  1. What a beautiful post in every way, Angela! Love the object lesson you used and the song you of my favourites!
    Your children are precious and you are a great mom!
    Thanks for coming over were a real blessing to D&M (and all of us)

  2. What an amazing post - thanks for sharing. Liam's class raised monarchs last spring and I was fortunate enough that the day I was volunteering in the classroom they were releasing the butterflies.

  3. Amazingness! It's been far too long since I've watched a caterpillar transform into a butterfly in my very own jar aquarium! I love it, I love it, I love it. Thank-you for sharing this story! xo