The symbolism was not lost on me.
In May, a mama bird chose our front door (specifically the wreath) for her nest. One day the wreath went up and the next it had a nest in it. She didn’t waste any time!
Soon I noticed mama bird sat on that nest a lot. When I peeked in I saw 5 eggs. I’m not entirely sure where the phrase “busy little bee” comes from when apparently birds seem to be doing a lot of work!
It was the summer before our second son was preparing to depart for college so I was already feeling nostalgic for his boy hood days. For his graduation party we had unearthered photos of his soccer tournaments, homeschool papers and public school art projects. There were more photos than usual of him around so I was reminiscing about when he was little enough to snuggle with me and read and how he was a sweet kid, but also a stinker. Stories came surging at me raising boy, after boy, after boy (then a girl), and how I spent years exhausted and probably way too grumpy and hoping my children remembered that I was doing it out of love for mothering.
Did I smile and laugh enough?
Are the lines on my face from late night laughing on the deck with our family of 6 or from worry because of high fevers and a son who liked to lick the cart at Costco? And suck on his shoe. After being in a public bathroom.
This mama bird on our front door quickly dropped 5 eggs in the nest and tended them well. She gave us the evil-bird eye every time we’d open the door (“Ahem! It IS our house!) to let the dogs out (Whom she despised!)
I knew how she felt. With 20 years of mothering behind me I had given away dirty looks more than once. The librarian who shushed my child who was barely speaking, the drivers who recklessly cut me off in traffic when I had my babies in the car and the thoughtless comments from people who mentioned how I could parent better. All this falls on my mama bird and mama bear heart in a heavy, protective way. And I made sure to use caution when opening our front door so as not to disturb the nesting family.
One day I looked in and 5 pink, smooth bodies had become fluff with beady eyes and beaks. Overnight they had gone from creepy to cute. I feel a little badly saying it, but newly hatched birds are just not that adorable.
In record time they grew and chirped and tapped on the door with their becks. It was almost time to learn to fly.
In bird years they were at the adolescent stage and I burst out laughing when this little guy greeted me one day. He reminded me so much of our son. Peaking out at the world and taking it all in.
Looking a little awkward in the hair style department.
And all the while a mama stands close by hoping for a good outcome, watching out for predators and worrying a bit about her fledgling.
So many Scripture verses came to mind that brought me comfort and hope as we launched another one from our nest. God’s Word that reminded me of His hope, protection and plans for our children. I clung to God’s Word like that baby bird held onto the side of the nest.
“Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings..” Psalm 17:8
Before we knew it, the birds were grown and they were perched on the edge of the nest. It was time to fly. My heart almost couldn’t take the reality of the analogy that was taking place before my eyes. It was time to let go and watch another one fly.
The interesting part was that once the birds were all gone I noticed that the nest looked a lot like our house. Here’s the photo:
When our children were younger they would blow through the house like a whirlwind and leave horrid messes. Toys, books, shoes, diapers, and snacks would be strewn all over and I’d be amazed that I’d have this mess to tend to. My human heart went out to the mama bird. But, then I realized that she flew away once the babies did. She just left!
What a great idea! Wait! I can’t just leave when the house gets messy, but I liked the option being on the table at least.
It’s been a few months since we dropped off our son at college and the transition is still happening. Some nights I’ll set the table for 4 and I’ll feel tremendously sad. Other times I’ll get accustomed to the 4 of us being at home, then the college boys will come home and I’ll have to reconfigure meal amounts, how much milk we need, and where all the cars need to be parked.
It’s not easy, all this mothering. The planning, prep work and nesting. And all your hard work tears a part of your heart a little when they fly off and make their own nests. The process is hard and good and so, so lovely and it makes us who we are as mothers and as people.
What a gift it is to mother and to watch my nest and to know through it all the Father holds it in His hands.
If you stopped by today because you read the devotion “The Perfect Father” on Encouragement Cafè, then Thank you! I hope you enjoy these websites and find encouragement, hope and maybe a little humor for your day. Please stop by again!
Did you stop by today because you read my You’re Not Good devotion on Encouragement Cafè or Crosswalk? Thank you! Please know you are always welcome to leave a comment and I hope you have a blessed day!
If you stopped by today because of the “So What!” devotion on Encouragement Cafè, then thank you! What a gift to share in the reading of God’s Word together. If you missed the devotion (which I wrote and I still missed seeing it online!), here is a replay. I’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback. Blessings to you as you work for Him today.
“When Peter saw him, he asked, ‘Lord what about him?’ “ John 21:21 NIV
It was none of my business. I really should have just stopped thinking about them and gone about my day, but I kept letting it bother me. “Lord, why are they getting away with it?! They are not living for You, or acting like Christians, but everyone thinks they are so godly!”
My simmering began to boil. This was not good. As it often is with emotions (especially strong ones), I let things get carried away and before I knew it I was on a full-fledged mental rampage. My thoughts were far from holy and had me thinking of myself as quite self-righteous compared to “those people.”
How did this happen?!
Why was I so angry and caught up in something that didn’t even concern me!?
I needed a soothing answer for my soul and a calm Word from God.
He showed it to me in John 21:21-22, and I laughed because The Lord knows I’m not good with numbers so He gave me an easy Scripture to remember. Thank you God!
Here Peter must have been feeling something similar to the way I was feeling that day (and have felt since, quite honestly!). Jesus tells Peter exactly what He wants him to do (feed and care for His people), but Peter had a different idea.
Typically human, with a touch of a short attention span, Peter sees John and asks, (picture Peter pointing and maybe even wagging his finger in John’s direction) “What about him?” The Son of God had just spoken a detailed job description to Peter (oh how wonderful that would be!) and all Peter says is, “What about him?” It was spoken in a nosey way too.In the spirit of, “John is your favorite. We all know it. I’m super jealous and I’m pretty sure John’s not as perfect as You think so what do You have for him to do, Jesus?”
The answer Jesus gave Peter is the same answer He spoke to my hot heart and seething spirit that day. In essence;
Jesus said to Peter, and He also says to me and to you in those moments, “…what is that to you? You must follow me.” He has so much for us to do! Jobs, hand picked for you and me, but we get focused and fixed on, “But she’s doing this…” or “But what are You going to do about so-and so…?”
There will be believers who will not walk in Truth, speak grace and mercy or practice the love and peace of Jesus. That’s not mine to own or manage. My spirit, my heart and my walk with The Lord is plenty for me to handle (plus I have a husband, 4 kids, 2 dogs, a dirty house, tons of laundry, a soccer game somewhere and dinner to prepare!) and I definitely do not always, “act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with God.” (Micah 6:8 NIV)
Fixing our eyes on Him, and not how others are living, is the only answer.
There will be times when the unfairness will be too much to take and it will seem like sin is going unpunished and you just need to right the wrongs of the world. Stop and pray before you act!
Sitting in the presence of our loving, calming God is the best thing to do when emotions are high and stress is out of control. Ask Him to take your desire to “fix it” and replace it with abundant faith. He will hear your heart and, in time, answer your need.
Heavenly Father, Help me when I get jealous and nosey because of what others are doing. I forget to fix my eyes on You and I quickly get sidetracked and forget Your loving plan for me. Thank You that You love me and care enough to have a plan, purpose and hope for me. I’m so deeply grateful that You don’t compare my heart to others and what they are doing. Please help me to stop doing that, but keep my heart focused on You. May our walk today be steady and strong with You. Amen!