Saturday, October 30, 2010

What is the Opposite of Nesting?

The rules of English would tell me that "unnesting" would be the opposite of the nesting instinct. But in reality, it feels more like uprooting. Instead of just taking apart the twigs and grasses that make up our nest, I feel like I'm digging up the entire tree!

For those of you who have experienced nesting (or been around someone who has), you know that overwhelming urge to get everything in order, clean, find its place, and create a sense of belonging and purpose.

I am going through those same emotions, but not to create a nest of my own! I'm trying to find a new home for every twig and blade of grass that has been a part of our nest for all these years. We have six and a half weeks left here in California before we go to Colorado and spend Christmas with our families. Then we resettle in Texas for a month. Then we go on outreach to Sierra Leone for three weeks. Then we move into a cozy, cozy family cabin onboard the Africa Mercy for two years of life afloat. Our nest is taking flight- going through a hurricane these days. So when our nest gets rebuilt, it might look like a
hummingbird nest instead of a flamingo's.
Our day looks a little like this: list furniture, belongings, cars, appliances, electronics, toys, books, school supplies, and housewares on craigslist. Stack, sort, and pile for garage sale. Box and separate keepsakes. Sort, sort, and sort clothes, toys, electronics, photos, kitchen items in three piles: for the SHIP, to STORE, and to SELL. Research health insurance. Check on travel shots and immunizations. Get that last teeth cleaning scheduled. Plan farewells. Ask all those questions I still have no idea about regarding ship-life.
I feel very much like a Human Doing these days - ship, stash, sort, clean, list, sell, pack, ask, respond....verbs, verbs, verbs....

Yet in the midst of this, is a peace that surpasses all understanding. The reminder that this is just temporary stuff, and even though I like some of my stuff, it's not irreplaceable. They won't stop making these things in two years. I'm not moving to the moon. I think I can get a new pair of shoes in Africa when mine break, or if I forget to pack the right kind. And this stuff isn't what brings happiness and contentment and joy anyway. It brings clutter, and stress, and more obligation! So with this peace, I am finding freedom.

And I'm being reminded that this is a season - there is an end to this, and what we are working towards is worth the effort and the passion that keeps welling up in our hearts.

So while I don't feel like we're in a season of resting, (does an ant ever feel like he is resting?? Or a worker bee??) I do feel like we are being lavished upon with God's provision and His grace. He is just one little step ahead of us, luring us along, reminding us that He will never leave us. He will provide for our every last need and desire when we're in-line with His will. He will never ask us to do something that He wouldn't be willing to do Himself. And in this dying to self (and dying to stuff ), we find life. And that's the life that I want to find. Now where's that packing tape?

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