Fallen nests make my heart melt. I’m a nature lover through and through and when I stumble across one of these magnificent works they never fail to stop me in my tracks. Have you ever sat and watched a bird build its home with bits of twigs and grass, or seen a group of wasps build their pocketed empire? It’s miraculous to see these small creatures work in such intricate detail. They labor to provide a safe haven for their growing families. Happening upon a fallen nest stirs wonder in my mind. I wonder what happened to this sweet family? Did they abandon this home for another or did a strong storm take it down? Where they under attack or did they move on to a new call?
Just like people each bird’s home is an original, some small, some large, some messy and some pristine. You can almost tell a first time nest builder from the old pros. Some nests are shallow and some deep, some you wonder how they ever held a bird much less a family. Maybe those are the bachelor birds. Over the years I have noticed that it’s not always the poorly built nests that fall. Some perfect looking structures, tightly woven, neat and tidy wind up in the wreckage of the wind as well. Yet others stay stable in the roughest of weather.
Maybe I think about nests more than the average person, but they always cause me to evaluate the stability of my own home. In our back yard we have towering Italian Cypress that house a large amount of nests. It never fails after a storm we can count on finding at least one woven home resting at the base of the tree that once held them. The more severe the storm, often the more fallen abodes we find.
I wonder what the difference is, why some fall and some stick. I wonder if I am working diligently enough to hold my own nest tight in the storms that are sure to come. Who can we look to for an example of building a nest that will stand? What does that even look like? As I laid in bed looking at my newly mounted artwork God told me to look to Noah. As I poured over his story in Genesis 6-9 I saw that Noah built his house on a rock so it could float in the storm. I will get to the DIY details in a bit, but first here is a quick run down of Noah’s story.
1. He waked with God Genesis 6:9 – Noah was close to the Lord.
2. God told Noah to “make yourself an arc out of cypress wood” Not only did God instruct Noah on what to do, he told him how to do it (with great detail I might add). Genesis 6:14 Noah heard the call because he was close to God.
3. God established a covenant relationship with Noah because of his righteousness and in turn instructed Noah to “enter the arc – you and your sons and your wife and your sons’ wives with you” Genesis 6:18 Noah’s family was part of the plan because of his relationship with God.
4. Big responsibility was bestowed on Noah, not only was he to build an arc, but God would send two of every animal to Noah “to be kept alive” Genesis 6:20
5. Noah did everything just as God commanded him. Genesis 6:22
6. And Noah did all the Lord commanded him. Genesis 7:5
7. On the very day the storm came, Noah and his family entered the arc and God shut them in (Genesis 7:16)
8. It rained for 40 days and the waters covered the earth for 150 days, even then it was still too wet for Noah and his family to leave the arc. Finally in Gensis 8:16 God told Noah to get out of the arc.
9. Noah built an alter to the Lord. Genesis 8:20
10. Noah became drunk in Genesis 9:21
11. God kept his covenant with Noah and from his children “the nations spread out over the earth after the flood.” Genesis 10:32
When we dig deeper into this story as it relates to us leading our homes and keeping them afloat this example gives us all we need. Noah was walking with the Lord and through building his life and faith in God he was able to save his entire family. The family worked together to heed the call Noah had. Can you even imagine the ridicule and judgement that must have been thrown at Noah and his endeavor to build a ship on dry land? I bet he was the butt of many jokes in town. But Noah and his family pressed on when called to do something that their peers wouldn’t understand much less support. If we want to build our family up we have to be willing to do things differently than the world tells us, no matter the side eye looks and whispers.
God walks with us when we walk with him and tells us when and how to move. It’s not a verbal voice, but the overwhelming nudges of the Holy Spirit that show us the way. Maybe your family doesn’t carry the same convictions as you, but this example shows us that grace overflows from one believer to cover those around them. Your faith is protection for them until they come to God on their own.
With great reward comes great responsibility. Not only was Noah saved, but he was asked to carry the burden of keeping an arc full of wild animals alive. Do you think he ever doubted his ability? It’s not like he was a trained zoologist. I’m sure he did, but Noah pressed on, moving through the unknown, learning, growing and sacrificing for his call and his family. It’s not always easy and it may not always be fun, but our nests are always worth fighting for. We have to give fear the boot and overpower the feelings of inadequacy that paralyzes us from putting orders into action.
Noah was obedient. We are repeatedly told of his obedience for a reason, faith requires obedience. Blessings come from obedience. Growth comes from obedience. Knowledge comes from obedience. Noah was not qualified, he was obedient.
When the storm came Noah and his family were prepared and God himself shut them into the arc he told them to build like a mama tucking her babes into bed. He sealed them up and unleashed a storm unlike no other before or since.
This trial lasted longer than the storybooks give it credit and Noah wasn’t privy to when the end would come, but he stayed diligent at his task until the dry land presented. Even once the land was visible, Noah waited for God’s command to exit the safety of the arc. Every move he made was an obedient reaction to God’s direction.
After being cooped up for over a year the first thing Noah does is build an alter to the Lord. He praised and thanked God for the storm that delivered his family. I’m sure I would’ve been busy building my new nest.
Then he got drunk. Say what, this doesn’t seem to jive with the rest of the story. I believe this stark contrast of Noah’s righteousness and obedience to an obviously embarrassing display is to let us know we are Noah. He wasn’t perfect, God didn’t choose him because he was 100% right all the time. He made bad choices. God saved Noah because of his faith. We are going to mess up as spouses, parents, kids and friends, but it’s not the end of the story. It’s just a small chapter of a grand book. Our past, present and future mishaps don’t disqualify us.
If you are wondering like me about your nest then be real about your walk. Are you close enough with God to obediently move in time to his direction. Are you willing to do the things he calls you to do, even when your friends and family don’t understand? Are you willing to work hard, sacrifice and trust when you can’t see dry land? Whatever storm you may be in or whatever lingers on the horizon, know that God is right there with you, he will walk you through, sustain you and provide your daily needs until the sun shines again. You will learn and grow closer to God through the trial. And a fallen nest will be an alter to praise because the nest may fall but the souls fly free.
How to Make DIY Nest Art
- Get a picture frame, any shape will do, no glass needed. I got these for $1 each at a thrift store. Remove glass.
- Save the hard backing or thick cardboard insert if your frame comes with one. If not use a box to cut an insert to it your frame. You will want a sturdy cardboard, but not wood.
- Paint picture frames if desired. (here are my tips for DIY chalkpaint and waxing)
- Add hanging hardware to frame if needed.
- Pick a fabric to cover the cardboard with. I cut my piece slightly larger and started at one end gluing to the back, gently pulling and tightening as I went around. I used Fabri-tac. It’s a sticky glue that dries quickly and holds amazingly for this type of project.
- I sewed my nests onto the baseboard for a secure and clean attachment. Use a large needle and thread that is triple ply. I only took about three passes through each nest to secure them. For the bird’s nest I thread the needle through the bottom and then under the top layer of nest so it wouldn’t show. For the wasp nest I only sewed through the base.
- Gently insert the nest and backing into the frame and hang! How gorgeous are these!?
You could use any size nest and frame combo, large or small for a beautiful display and reminder. Let me know if you have any questions and I hope you will share this message for others to stumble upon! Thanks so much dear friend.
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