Two years ago, a mamma finch tucked a nest in the center of our front door wreath. Five speckled blue eggs rested in the straw.
Out of a sense of being a responsible finch-nest host, I barricaded the walkway so the little ones would not be disturbed. For the next few weeks, we entered our home through the garage.
Without so much as a chirp to warn us, the eggs hatched, the fledglings flew, and all we had left was an empty nest.
Last year, she attempted to repeat her nesting endeavors. But I was able to discourage her activities and she took up residence in the eaves of our roof.
This year I was determined that this tenacious mamma would not repeat her homemaking activities.
So, when I noticed mom bringing nesting material into the front door breezeway, I rearranged the wreath’s foliage. I was confident that she would move to a more reasonable location.
In the coming days, I didn’t pay much attention to our door until a small head protruding from the top of the wreath caught my eye. Yep, the top, not the middle where I had exposed her previous home.
And there it was, a small nest with three blue speckled eggs resting amongst twigs and dry grass.
Mamma finch had prevailed.
I vowed to keep an eye on this year’s family. I will confess that I gave up on the idea of keeping guests from approaching the door. Regardless of what I used to block the walkway, they seemed to ignore it and even with the reminders, they were clueless about the home nestled amongst the lavender, ivy, and twigs.
I remembered how quickly our previous guests had left, so I kept watch, looking for signs the babies were ready to fly. And then it happened…
I noticed nesting material on the doormat, a few feathers scattered on the driveway, and more dry grass on the front porch. Had they left again without saying a word?
I located the stepstool, climbed to the top step, peered inside, and …
They were gone, not so much as a thank you for the use of the door, sorry about the mess, see you next year. Just gone and I confess I felt slighted, I had worked so hard to keep track of their progress.
Next year will be different.
In the place of a wreath, I will hang a large sign that says, “Don’t Even Think About It.” And, perhaps as a peace offering, I’m placing an assortment of birdhouses in the front yard, right outside my office window. I’m not missing another, building the nest, laying the eggs, and babies gaining winged freedom event.
If everything goes according to plan, I won’t be a slave to my front door.
Next year, me and mamma finch are going to have a better understanding.
I jokingly share my story about our bird challenges but I can’t help but reflect on how much I am like them.
They rely on their instincts to navigate the world. Regardless of the danger it places them in, they are happiest when they are repeating behaviors year after year.
I am happiest when I find a response, actions, that give me a sense of control and offer the hope of comfort. I don’t want to think, I don’t need to reflect, or consider the encouragement of others. I blindly follow my impulses, my nest teetering dangerously close to a ledge of disaster.
King David, known as the wisest of all Old Testament kings, encouraged us to be realistic about our ability to make good decisions. He wrote in the book of Proverbs, “A person may think their own ways are right, but the Lord weighs the heart (Proverbs 21:2, New International Version).”
We may think our decisions are the best, yet they are influenced by our humanity, our brokenness, and because of that, we may be more like mamma finch than we care to acknowledge.
God considers our hearts and our motives. Perhaps we need to do the same. As we are faced with the next challenge what if we stopped long enough to check our hearts? What is our motivation, what are the possible consequences – for ourselves and those around us? What if we sought out wise counsel, prayed, and waited? Waited for God to direct.
You are not a mamma finch. You are more than your instincts, your desires, more than the plans you fashion, or your self-reliance. You are a chosen daughter of a loving God and He has given you a heart that is endlessly entwined in His. Listen to Him and know you can permanently nestle in the folds of His loving arms.
Rest daughter, you are home.
He loves you.
He longs for a relationship with you.
He is your loving Father.
Be Blessed, His BeLOVED,