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Always Make a Nest

Always Make a Nest

I’m feeling un-nested these days, or maybe up-nested. In the middle of Covid-19 we are moving to a new house. It is unnerving and uprooting in about a thousand ways.

While I pack boxes and the world shouts “stay at home,” nature outside my door flourishes.

An ex-robin’s nest dangles hanging threads of straw above the deck where we make our temporary home. We feel in limbo between the old house and the new. The apartment we are in is a not-quite-there-yet daily reminder of what we left and the work ahead.

We heard the noisy robin family before we saw them. Wide-open beaks barely visible above the rim of the nest pleaded loudly for momma to drop in a bite. Nested in their well-manicured home we watched them grow until sweet little robin voices left that nest one by one, tottering then half falling into their first solo flights.

Now, a new bird family has taken over. With the unkempt remains of the robin’s house unraveling, sparrows have bedded down, happy to find such easy economical housing.

“Oh, look dear. It’s move-in ready.”

I watch the digression of the dignified robin’s nest fall into disarray with the sparrow’s occupancy. The sparrows seem to be perfectly happy to rent second-hand. The robins seem to be just as happy to have abandoned it so another family could move in.

Babies tweet. Mommy feeds. And for all they know, life couldn’t be sweeter. They are happy tenants. They nested well.

Schools, churches and recreational locations debate about opening doors while our houses take on every venue. As America shifts its priorities and attentions, the picture our children are forming of house and home will reflect life in 2020.

These days, a lot of people feel its upheaval even in the shelter of their own homes. You may relate to the trailing bits of feathered leaves and twig nest waving loosely from underneath my rafter. You may feel your nest is a mess.

So how can a sense of home be instilled into such an uprooted situation?

  1. No matter where you are, despite surroundings, set apart a place and time to connect eye to eye, heart to heart each and every day with each family member. Discipline your full attention.
  2. Consider what speaks encouragement and love to a particular member of your family and weave it into the fabric of Taco Tuesday, or maybe What’s-So-Wonderful-About-Wednesday, or even Sleep-In-Since-It’s-Saturday. Show them the days are special because they are special.
  3. Tear apart the overwhelmingness of huge segments of time with tiny moments of big impact. Lunch on a blanket, under the sheet-tent reading programs, or I spy with your eyes shut and ears open give simple breaks to long days.
  4. Don’t let preparation overshadow imagination. Declare your living room France, bedroom Africa, and dining room Italy. Pretend each room to be from a different time period, animal habitation, or terrain.
  5. Sing songs, act out stories, and snuggle in a new corner for story time.

You can always make a nest.

I lived in the same white clapboard house from baby to wedding day. Transitions for me have not come easily. As a young bride I received some sage advice: “Make a house a home.” My ability to do so was tested when we moved from country to country four times. Gathering my chicks from the four corners of the world into one cohesive home has been a challenge.

But something I’ve taken from place to place is a sense that as important as is my physical place to live, a much bigger truth gives rootedness and belonging.

“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Ps. 91:1-2 (NIV)

My husband and I are in a transition that seems to scrape into my heart and dig at my roots. It is much more painful than I’d anticipated, but in the melancholy of my thoughts, I also find comfort from watching these two families of birds. They remind me how many times my house has changed while my home remained intact.

They give me hope and remind me to always make a nest.

By: Sylvia Schroeder serves as Women’s Care Coordinator at Avant Ministries. Mom to four, grandma to 14, and wife to her one and only love, she enjoys writing about all of them. Find her blog at When the House is Quiet. Like her Facebook page or follow her on twitter.

Join us at for our parenting blog each Monday-Friday and for info about the Just 18 Summers novel.

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