Every Saturday, Ryan and I have breakfast at our favorite spot on Main Street. We sit up in the raised window of the restaurant where they have cozy leather chairs as we sip our coffee and enjoy each other’s company. We love to gaze out the window together and dream BIG thoughts as we escape the busyness of the world.
Over the last few weeks we have noticed two bird’s nest that are nestled in each of the corners of the front porch of the restaurant. We made it a point to observe the progress of the nest’s each week as we visited. In the beginning, the birds would simply sit and rest on their eggs. After two weeks passed, baby birds were visible with their hungry beaks always chirping as the mom would fly in and out with food for her babies. This past Saturday was my favorite observation because the babies flew for the first time. It was fascinating to watch. The mom coached each baby in how to flap its wings swiftly. Each baby would perk up on the edge of the nest and flap their wings for several minutes at a time. You could see them gearing up to dive out of the nest. One by one, we watched all 3 baby birds leave the nest and fly away! As we watched all of this, I was inspired. We grabbed our phones to try to capture what we saw. The pictures don’t even come close to the amazement. (It’s hard to get pictures close up when a momma bird is hovering above your head ready to catch her baby if they fall and to attack a human if they interfere, so pardon the poor quality. I was scared for my life. Ha!)
Why did this inspire me? Over the last few weeks we have received graduation announcements in the mail from kiddos that I have watched grow up. As I look at the senior pictures of these beautiful young men and women, I am reminded that it was just 20 years ago that I left the nest and learned to fly on my own. Looking back, I remember being excited about what lied ahead of me. I couldn’t wait to see the world. Now being on the other side as a parent, I understand why it’s so hard to let our babies spread their wings and fly. We know what the real world looks like and sometimes we want to protect them instead of teach them how to keep from falling. The truth is you have to be willing to risk falling in order to learn to fly. Watching the mom keep steady in position right below the nest was fascinating to me. It reminds me of someone else I know that is watching over us and catches us when we fall.
“The Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.”
What comforting words to memorize and keep deep inside our hearts. He WILL watch over you, not He’ll try to, or when He’s not busy helping someone else…but He WILL watch over your coming and going both NOW and FOREVERMORE! What a PRAISE! We can find rest and peace in knowing that He is there. Our babies are forever protected even when we are not there with them. It’s okay for them to spread their wings and FLY! We can let them go in the capable hands of the Father. They are HIS and He has GREAT PLANS to PROSPER and not to harm them, give them HOPE and a FUTURE (Jeremiah 29:11…one of my all time favorites).
Some of us hold on too tight. We actually stop living for ourselves and we invest and live for our children. We have to be careful not to allow them to become idols above our one and only TRUE God. We have to be careful that they don’t move in front of our spouse in our priorities. God first, spouse second then our children are to follow. Our children will not feel less loved when God is first and our spouse is second, they will feel safe and secure and LOVED all in one.
So how do we teach our children how to spread their wings and fly? We let them see us in a relationship with the Father. They see us spend alone time with Him. They hear us talk to Him in our prayer time as a family. They witness Him being there in the good times and the bad. They learn to trust Him and follow Him on their own and then when it’s time for them to walk out on the edge of the nest they will take that leap and spread their wings and SOAR like eagles (Isaiah 40:31) knowing that He is right there walking alongside of them throughout all of their days.
Many of you are getting ready to let go for the first time, for some of you it will be the last one leaving the nest and for others we still have some time. Whatever the situation is for you may you find comfort, strength and peace in your days ahead. I love that our Father speaks to us specifically in how He provides for the birds of the air and the flowers of the field yet we are much more valuable (Matthew 6:25-34). He tells us not to worry or be anxious about anything but in everything present our request WITH THANKSGIVING to God AND the peace of God WILL guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7). Oh sweet friends, it’s time to present our babies before HIM and PRAISE HIM and THANK HIM for them by name!
The peace will come and our babies will SOAR!!!