“It’s time to stop messing around—let’s move back to the valley and buy our own home.”
What are you suggesting? Leave the ranch…the high desert…my horse…my grandparents?
My Man worked mostly in the valley and we needed to move there if we were ever going to see each other. All the talk about moving had bounced off of my hard head. I was supposed to be looking for a house, but had only made a couple of halfhearted calls. Although I was trying to trust and follow him, being the independent, ranch-raised-Kate was still in my blood. I was not being a wholehearted wife.
I had envisioned raising our son on the ranch and living out our days on one of the most beautiful spots on earth. We were on the edge of the wide open desert—the edge of adventure. I loved the thrill of winter snowstorms and intense summer mountain thunderstorms. My Man was going to have to pry each of my ten fingers loose from that place.
That stubborn sagebrush isn’t going anywhere
He did…he pried each finger loose.
My Man found a little spot in the valley where we could settle down, but my thoughts and emotions were anything but settled:
“Wait, let’s live near your parent’s ranch, let’s be foreign missionaries, can’t we just buy a trailer and I’ll follow you around while you work?”
That might have been fear-of-commitment or fear-of-failure creeping in. Also, now that I was following Jesus, I thought maybe it would be nice to forego our possessions and be missionaries. Or wouldn’t My Man just love having us camp with him on all of his jobs?
I thought we were going to be adventurous? Why all this nesting?
Whether we stay or roam, My Man has a vision
My husband is discerning and had a vision that went beyond my hasty, foolish thoughts. My job was to pack up, follow and try to make a home—even if I couldn’t see the big picture.
Trust and take flight
I learn great lessons from the birds on our place, especially right now when our family is greatly outnumbered by the busy birds of spring. The property is a bird sanctuary with a pond and diverse vegetation.
I love to watch the birds with their cheerful determination in their God-given purpose—free of worry and regret. They do what needs to be done and then leave the rest to their Maker.
Some of the birds we regularly spot are egrets, ducks, quail, geese, hawks, pheasants, turkeys, hummingbirds and, my favorite, black phoebes. A treasured sight are the fuzzy-headed phoebes with their nest-building materials—purpose and longing bulging from their beaks. Their future depends on building an “undisturbed place of rest” (Isaiah 32:18).
The phoebes think they are doing a good job of it, building their nests near the water and the bugs. They have chosen our place wisely—knowing we don’t keep a cat. They are cheerful in their wholehearted home-building, but we see the problem. A home under the end of our dock is not a safe place.
The dock is a launching pad for dripping kids all summer long and is rarely still. Under the dock would keep them safe from trespassing cats, but they never could foresee the pounding feet of kids. We fret and hurry to help the phoebes by hanging netting under the nest in case of a fall.
We can’t see the big picture but our loving Father can
The phoebes did their best without knowing the big picture. We were able to see more and could help them. The same is true of our Maker and loving, Heavenly Father. He knows our beginning and our end. He made us and loves us deeper than any human love. He delights in us far more than I delight in the phoebes.
He asks us at times to take flight and at times to nest—trusting Him with the details and the outcome.
“And I will lead the blind in a way that they do not know, in paths that they have not known I will guide them. I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground. These are the things I do, and I do not forsake them.” Isaiah 42:1
My Man led us to our sweet little home and we followed. I prayed past my fears of being a homemaking failure and started to make our nest comfortable. In future posts you will hopefully see beautiful threads woven between the rough twigs of our story. Those threads testify to God’s faithfulness as we keep pursuing our family’s vision.
“God send us a little home,
To come back to, when we roam.
Low walls and fluted tiles,
Wide windows, a view for miles.
Red firelight and deep chairs,
Small white bed upstairs—
Great talk in little nooks,
Dim colors, rows of books.
One picture on each wall,
Not many things at all.
God send us a little ground,
Tall trees stand round.
Homely flowers in brown sod,
Overhead, thy stars, O God.
God bless thee, when winds blow,
Our home, and all we know.”
By Florence Bone
A place to wander when we come home from our wanderings.
So what is the blueprint of a steadfast home? How can we have a victorious “home” when storms rage, disaster visits, we fail or hit bottom? Our home will be steadfast by letting the One who is Steadfast create the blueprint. Be wholehearted and determined in your relationship with Him who is immovable, true and steady.
Psalm 136:1-26 reminds us repeatedly about God’s steadfast love between other truths about His character:
“for His steadfast love endures forever…for His steadfast love endures forever…for His steadfast love endures forever…for His steadfast love endures forever…”
Psalm 127:1 hung on our refrigerator for many of those early years and I consider it our family verse:
“Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain.”
God, please build my house. I trust that it will not be in vain because of your promises. In the name of Jesus, amen.
The secret to a steadfast house is to let Him build it…or rebuild it. “For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 3:11).