Friday, February 25, 2011

A Trip Down Memory Lane - Like a Momma Bird

Originally posted in 2006, this is one of my favorites, and one whose moral I try to remember daily.

Outside, on our make shift patio, a bird built a nest in one of my baskets. She may be a wren, but we aren't sure. There were four eggs in it. We watched her sit on those eggs. Then we saw four babies, so ugly they were cute; no feathers, just skin and beaks. We watched the momma feed them while the dad sang a few yards away, trying to divert our attention away from the nest and precious contents. We watched them grow and now they are gone.

I watched them a lot. I could see the nest out my kitchen window, and I spend a lot of time in the kitchen! Awhile ago, momma started placing the food just a bit outside the nest, encouraging her babies to venture out to get it. It struck me how the instinct given to her is so amazing. She seems to know just what to do. It got me thinking about parenting.

The momma has nurtured those babies, keeping them warm in the eggs, bringing food, and keeping up the nest. The parents have guarded and protected their young, yet all the while preparing them for one thing, to leave the nest.

Are we preparing our young to leave the nest? Sometimes I think we get too caught up in the daily stuff and lose sight of the goal. It is hard to imagine the kids as adults. Hard to see past the dishes, diapers, and laundry. Hard to find the balance of nurture and discipline. Hard to know exactly what each little one needs to learn before venturing into that big wide world. Momma bird seemed to have the perfect balance. I know baby humans are much more complicated than baby birds, but isn't that our ultimate goal; to train our kids to be adults, to function on their own?

It strikes me that God gave momma bird the instincts she needs to train her young. I wish it was as easy for us humans, but I guess that is by design. Raising our kids is yet another area of life that we simply can not do alone. We are not enough. We have to rely on Him and teach our kids to do the same. Find our strength and wisdom in Him and teach our kids to do the same. To trust that He will work all things together for the good and teach our kids the same.

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