Monday, June 27, 2011

Learning from the Birds


We have some lovely finches who come yearly to our front porch ferns to make their nest, lay eggs, and care for their young. They are a busy team that Mr. and Mrs Finch. They take great care in making a comfortable nest, guard it obsessively (you should hear how upset they start getting when I take my coffee out there!), and as their baby birds hatch, they are fully focused on caring for the young ones with food, care and more protection. Eventually those young ones grow up, leave the nest, and we don't see the Mama and Daddy anymore. They have done their job with attention, care, and singular focus, and now they too leave the nest for other birdie adventures.

"Like a bird that wanders from her nest, so is a man who strays from his home."~Proverbs 27:8

I have been in a process of a slowly deepening realization that I have strayed too far from my nest. I began making small decisions a few years ago to start ministering to others and connecting with others outside of my home and the result is that I spend a lot of my mental energy while I am at home thinking about ministry opportunities outside my home. I am often here in body but absent in spirit.

My mind plans Bible Studies for women. Or I plan monthly sewing times for crafting women to get together. I constantly think about our Home Group and what the needs are there and how we can minister and help others grow. I think of ways I can start ministering in our church's youth group consistently and keep the babies in the nursery every Sunday morning. I find that the very energy that I need to be using to minister to my husband and children is slowly being dripped away towards those outside my home so that there isn't much left for them.

Mama Bird has one focus when those young birdies are in her nest: their survival, nurture, and growth. She doesn't busy herself trying to train other mama birds on how to nest...she must be doing it herself!

One day these sweet ones will begin flying (teen years!) and eventually fly away for good. I will have plenty of time to focus on the ministries outside of my home...to teach and train women to love their husbands and children. For right now, I need to be actively pursuing my ministry at home: nurturing and loving and training and discipling those that are the most vulnerable and the most needy... the young ones entrusted to my stewardship.

Being at home and focusing on my family IS enough. It is. I refuse to live under the unseen pressure from within or without that says I need to focus ministry energy to those outside my home. This will be a battle for me and I must stay in tune with the Holy Spirit's leadings and promptings....where He says to go, I will go. And where He says to stay, I will stay.

And right now He says, "Mama Aimee, stay. Stay present at home."

16 comments:

Missy K said...

Aimee,

As one who is already realizing how brief the "nest season" is, I want to give this post a loud "AMEN!" I think the irony is that we can misdirect our energies into helping others learn to do what we ourselves end up neglecting.

You will be blessed in this closer to him ministry-- you are right-- it is not a lesser one-- it is enough.

Susan said...

It really is enough, Aimee. It really is. You are a wise woman.

Susan said...

Really nice, well-written, deep, inspiring post, by the way!

Susan (again)

Clare said...

Such a good post Aimee. Thank you :)It is so easy to get sidetracked isn't it, but it really IS enough :)

Leigh Ishee said...

Good word Aimee!

Andrea said...

I am smiling. =) no...grinning! happy for you... sense peace.. i love that.

Bonita said...

"There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven."

Yes! Now is the season of ministering in the home. What you do now will train you for what you'll do later, but in the meantime enjoy your home and family without feeling guilty.

Happy Lappy said...

Awesome, awesome blog post. I love your thoughts. I will pray for that perfect balance of being a great momma bird, but not losing yourself and not doing the things that YOU love.

Kathleen said...

What a very wise young woman you are! While you are a young mother, if feels, no matter how much you enjoy it, as if those days will last forever. It isn't so. Sadly,children grow up too soon,and off they go. What you build today will repeat itself tomorrow.
I will pass this along to one I know who struggles with being pulled in many directions. Blessings, Aimee!

Rachel Hauser said...

Somehow we're "supposed" to be able to do it all. But we can't. It takes guts to seize the freedom He gives us to be where He calls us. That and an ear always listening to what He's really saying. I think I struggle with pressure I put upon myself. He gives me grace, not pressure.

contented sparrow said...

absolutely AMEN, aimee!!! saying "no" to that unseen pressure is saying "yes" to your family.
and these nesting days certainly are fleeting fast.
much love to you....you wonderful mama.

Anonymous said...

I completely agree and appreciate how well you articulated these thoughts. I often find myself distracted at home, but I truly am most content when I put my energy and spirit into my husband and children. Thanks for your beautiful thoughts.

Sara

debbie bailey said...

How much happier we'd be if we heeded this admonition. The pull of the world and our sinful natures are so strong. Often we let them get the upper hand. Oh for the strength of will to fight hard and stay put.

Even though I'm old enough to be your mother, Aimee, you encourage and exhort me with each blog post. Thank you.

The Kenworthy Family said...

Thanks so much for this as I too struggle with it being enough to just be at home with these precious souls.

Jessica
(we were both at Image of the Maker though I didn't have the pleasure of meeting you face to face)

Shannon said...

I can't tell you enough how much your posts speak to my soul and how encouraging they are to me. Thanks for always being so honest!

Jeremy said...

I have a blog post with the same title! I agree with you and feel the same way. Although many feel I should look more outside my home for purpose I find that it is the one place I am needed most with kids 5 &6. This is my first time visiting your blog, I have enjoyed it! www.littlblogbigwoods.blogspot.com