the nest

Psalm 84:1-6

What a beautiful home, God-of-the-Angel-Armies! I’ve always longed to live in a place like this,
Always dreamed of a room in your house,
where I could sing for joy to God-alive!
Birds find nooks and crannies in your house,
sparrows and swallows make nests there.
They lay their eggs and raise their young,
singing their songs in the place where we worship.
God-of-the-Angel-Armies! King! God!
How blessed they are to live and sing there!
And how blessed all those in whom you live,
whose lives become roads you travel;
They wind through lonesome valleys, come upon brooks,
discover cool springs and pools brimming with rain!

Such a beautiful Psalm.  I remember reading it a couple of years ago and thinking that it referred to the way we should feel not only about belonging to God’s greater family, but to a specific church family.  At that time God was doing some work in me and healing some old church inflicted wounds.  As I read the verse, I saw that I needed to see the church as not only a nest for me, but a place where my kids would grow and be nurtured.  I firmly believe that a person’s personal relationship with Christ has to be vertical and two-way.  It has to be between you and Him (or me and Him).  It cannot be a threesome with the church in the middle.  That being said, I have also come to believe that the two-way vertical relationship cannot strengthen or grow or even be maintained, without the church.  That’s the beauty in the psalm.  Those who have God traveling with them on their roads of life are blessed AND those who build their nests and live and sing in a church family are blessed.

Wow. That’s really not at all what I set out to write about, but after I typed out the psalm I was reminded of its significance in my life.  The real reason I had to write is just to document the happenings around our house.  Do you remember that episode of the Brady Bunch where stuff kept disappearing and everyone was fighting and blaming each other and it turned out that Tiger had been taking all the stuff out to his dog-house and building a sort of ‘nest’?

Well, we’ve got a Tiger.  In the past two weeks we’ve lost Chad’s deodorant, both of our daily devotionals, a pair of sunglasses, a bottle of nail polish remover, two necklaces, two of Kira’s dresses, a toy dump-truck, a birthday card, and Seth’s backpack.  The backpack just about did us in.  He had it after school on Thursday. He packed it up in the afternoon and put it by the front door.  I recall stepping over it shortly after he placed it there.  On Friday morning it was gone.  We searched almost every square inch of the house, but we had no luck.  I devoted a large majority of Friday to searching for it and by the time I went to bed last night, I was feeling pretty defeated.  How does a backpack just disappear?

As Kira and I have blamed each other and fussed about the missing items, Chad kept saying that he thought Ana Sofija was taking things and stashing them somewhere.  We’ve all joked about the fact that she has a hidden nest somewhere around the house.  This morning we all got busy working on the weekend’s chore-list.  We  have a large laundry room with two washing machines and the one that we do not use is  at the far end of the room with shelves full of paint and paint supplies in the corner between it and the wall.  Chad went to put something on the shelves and called for me.

Yep, you guessed it.  Our little feral cat has been nesting.  She had things that we did not even realize were missing and she had them all gathered into a neat little pile that was not visible unless you stepped behind the machine to look for it.

Should we find it amusing or sad?  She has built a nest for herself in our house and she has filled it with items that belong to each member of her new family.  As her mother I would like to find it amusing and sentimental that she has been collecting things that remind her of the people who love her and because our home is where she has landed and because she feels safe and secure here.  As someone who holds a degree in psychology, I find it hard to see her nesting in a positive light.  I believe that she is probably trying to create something that is uniquely hers because she has never had that.  She is probably building a nest for the same reason that she walks in other people’s shoes.  She doesn’t know how to be dependent.  She is storing up because she thinks she has to take care of herself.

I can only pray that someday soon she sees herself blessed to be in this family.  That she realizes that her Mama and her Tata have already built her a nest and that all she has to do is grow here and let us nurture her.

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