I found this blog post on the floor in my living room as I was vacuuming. Not on paper. But there it was as I pushed the machine over my plush bold and patterned rug from India. Normally I am not thusly inspired by so ordinary a task. Moving gym shoes and ottomans out of suction’s way, and refolding the chenille throw, I thought about the lives that fill this room everyday. They are, after all, my favorite people. This is our nest, our habitat, our biome (been helping JP with his science lately, can you tell…) After I vacuumed I took myself on a walk and took these thoughts with me under the vast canopy of spring air today. Glorious.
Have you ever noticed that when God began the work of speaking everything into being, He made habitat first. The waters He divided: some water for up above and the rest as oceans, rivers, lakes. He pushed the water below to reveal land, some mountainous, some sandy, some forested.
Then He decided to fill the sky with every winged bird you’ve seen and not. He gave the songbird an expanse in which to soar. Of course the land produced vegetation and then every herbivore, carnivore and omnivore we can name. From zooplankton to the humpback whale the oceans teemed! Mmmph!
After His poetry of words resulting in winged, finned and legged creatures came the creation of us. He used His breath to make us.
He was thinking about the life you would live here on earth, the air you would breathe. He knew your quads would be strong and your fingers dexterous. The pleasure you would derive from fresh mangoes and jicama, (my new discovery), and the maturity required by you to appreciate cod fish for the oil we’d need from it’s liver – natural vitamin D at it’s best. He also declared which “trees” were out of bounds for you to eat from.
He provided you with shade and wind, heat and light. He instilled circadian rhythms in you, with melatonin levels rising as the sun begins to fall so you can sleep, then your body naturally rising with the sun. He gave you a drum beat for a heart that functions magnificently, and a respiratory system regulated so that you never over or under breathe. He knew you would be hungry several times a day and knew you would delight in His fare. He took care of all of this for you.
He established our home in a lush and well-watered garden all the while thinking about the needs of your body, mind and spirit. You inhabit an ingenious fleshly body in an extraordinary ecosystem. He gave you a mind with tasks to work – to tend and name, organize, innovate and discover. Work is good and ordained from the start. The garden would be tended by man. He would eat from it and enjoy it. He knew it was not good for us to be alone so like Himself, gave us community, family, friends, relationship -- all these within which you love and are loved, stay warm, soothe and challenge, and so on and so on. This topic is truly inexhaustible.
Your home is your "biome" you have created. Everyone in your home is body, mind and spirit and must be addressed as a whole person. How does your home reflect this?
As I tended to my nest today I thought about what a job it has to do, being small and all. To accommodate the work of the mind and the needs of the heart. Space for play and discovery, and a place for rest.
Some of this is design and lay out. Our ranch house does the best it can, by gum. But the attention to architecture is truly only a small portion of what makes your nest your nest. Is there beauty? Is there true beauty afforded by peace in your home? Is there space to be you? Is there a call to participate in the community together through some semblance of regular meals together? Is there rhythm? Is there a sense that there are boundaries and “trees” one must not “eat” from? Is it expensive to blow it or can everyone at home feel free to be humble? Can you tell if someone in your family is lonely? Can you drop what you are doing like Peter did today, parting from a riveting book because he saw I needed him? Are we reading one another?
Is this a parenting blog?
Stick with me. I promise that I will get practical. But I’m starting big by saying, “let there be light!” in our thinking to recognize that the stage was set for our lives in our habitat. This is no small thing and has a profound impact on how our stories unfold.
The nest in the picture is what our little Jo Jo carried down the aisle as our ring bearer. How fitting that our rings were carried in a nest, made by my amazing artist sister Linda Yarzagaray. The first thing that filled our nest was a promise to be faithful, to be forever for one another, and to love and serve God, no matter what. This is the first and most important adornment of our nest.
One of Christ’s beloved,