lessons from a birds nest

There is a vase that sits in the center of our kitchen's window sill, it houses a nest and some rocks that I call 'memory rocks'.  More about the rocks later.

 
But this vase isn't just a beautiful piece of decoration in our home. It carries a lot more meaning than that. It is a constant reminder about the type of environment I want our home to be.
 
You see, recently, a little sparrow decided to build its nest right outside our kitchen window. What an honor that our home was chosen for this birdie's family. A place where she will care for and nurture her most valuable possessions. The place where her babies will begin their life. And the need to make sure they will have the opportunity to be kept safe until they are mature to fly out on their own. And she deemed our home the perfect fit - what a high calling.
 
Having this bird's nest at our home taught me three very important lessons about my own family, and the needs of my children. And so as to not overwhelm one post, I will feature one of these lessons per day.
 
 

Shortly after I gave birth to my firstborn, Lucas, my mom said to me, "Your home is like a little nest. It's perfect for your family." And I loved that she paralleled my home to that of a bird's nest. I immediately caught glimpses of what kind of environment I want for my family. But I always put off 'beautifying' the home either due to money constraints, or time constraints, etc etc.
Too soon, I realized that THIS is home. Right this moment it is a home to me, to my husband and to our children.  Its not just a house. And this is where my kids are living out their childhood - right at this moment. How do I want them to remember these years? How do I want them to remember their home and their environment?
By nature, I'm not the tidiest person out there. I actually enjoy the 'lived-in' look. I pride myself by saying my home is not a museum...and it sure doesn't look like one - by FAR! Thankfully, my husband agrees with me.  I never desired perfect order in the home, but I didn't want them to live in chaos and mess either. I wanted beautiful comfort.
As I watched the bird build her nest, on the outside it was rough. She chose pine needles as the outside and spun them around until she created a sturdy base.  But then came the wonder of it all. On the inside of the nest, right in the center, she chose the cleanest and softest items she could find.  It was mostly feathers - but it was SO comfortable and so orderly!
And it made me realize that this is what I need to provide for my kids. A beautiful environment and comfortable environment. Does everything have to be in its place at all times - certainly NOT. And it won't be. And that is great! It means there are people living in there, having fun, together - making memories :) But there will be times where we do exercise responsibility by cleaning up after ourselves.
So, over the past couple of years, we have been more purposeful about decorating our home. Subduing it. Making it better, improving it. Keeping and enforcing the peace in our environment, and providing a feast for the eyes. It is important that the first glimpses our children see of the world outside is from the lens of a beautiful home.  As they face the world, the backdrop of their minds should be one of peace and serenity.
It doesn't mean our home needs to be filled with expensive pieces of art and top of the line furniture and such.  But a few things we did, and are doing, is as follows:

  • purchase or create centerpieces that reflect our family values (such as the birds nest reminding us that the home is the starting point, should be unshaken yet a soft landing, and that God's eye is on the sparrow and watches over us too),
  • hang pictures of our children and praying over them every time we see the picture, better yet - fill the frames with pictures from vacations that will bring back memories every time our eyes land on them.
  • And just be together in the warm evironment encouraging the enjoyment of life and time together.

Tomorrow's lesson is about making sure the home is a safe haven.

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