As a stay home mother of three, sometimes it’s easy to lose perspective. I wouldn’t change what “I do” for anything and I am grateful that I have the opportunity to be home to raise my children. But on occasion, I feel a little like I’m just here to man the snack bar and pick up the endless trail of toys. It’s easy to feel small and insignificant, unappreciated and lacking purpose. I’m always dreaming up new ideas and numerous goals sit just waiting for me to accomplish them. I am ready to take the world by storm, but I can’t seem to manage my own household. When I’m feeling a little lost and unimportant, sometimes all the help I need is right outside my window.
Things become a little clearer when I really stop and take notice of what’s going on around me now and then. Like the busy robin flying in and out of the same bush in my garden gathering sticks and grass and mud to create this perfectly round masterpiece where she would nurture her babies in the weeks to come. In early May, she laid her beautiful blue eggs there. When I peaked in just a few days later, there was the tiniest bundle of life, so small it seemed impossible that someday it would actually spread its wings and fly. It couldn’t even lift up its tiny head. Soon after there were two of them.
Just one short week later I peaked in to find the birds cuddled there together, sound asleep. They had grown so much in such a short period of time. All the while, the mother and father robins had been “manning the snack bar”, hunting for worms and bugs, and tending to their fragile baby birds.
The next time I checked on them, the birds had already left the nest. Soon, I noticed the two young robins following their mother around our yard, the little ones covered in spots just like a fawn. They still are there today, nearly two months later. Momma Robin fetches them worms, the birds flapping their wings wildly like a child waving her arms shouting, “It’s my turn next!” The proud mother hops around the yard teaching them to find food and how to be, well, a robin. And once she completes her job this season, she will go on to lay more eggs and repeat the same tasks.
As I watch them, I think, “God put that robin here on this planet almost solely to make baby birds.” I think about how, presently, this bird’s singular goal each day is to nurture her young. Before they were born, she spent her entire day for days building the proper nest. And then when they hatched, her day was spent foraging for food and delivering it to them to keep them alive. Today, as they follow her around the yard, her sole purpose is to help them learn to take care of themselves and to teach them to fly.
As I ponder this idea, I am overwhelmed. Because I realize that mother bird and I are not so different. I see that her young will soon fly away to fend for themselves, but now, in this moment, her purpose each day is her babies. So on those days when I feel small and insignificant, lacking purpose, frustrated because I didn’t move closer to meeting my next big goal or when I didn’t find a solution to all the world’s problems about which I am so passionate, I will think about that bird. When I feel like just the short order cook, the launderer, or the maid, I will remember my real purpose in this season of my life. Suddenly the fact that I fed and nurtured my babies and I feathered their nests and taught them to fly doesn’t feel insignificant at all. It feels like the reason I was put on this planet. It is my purpose. A pretty damn important one. So I’d better do it the best I can before they fly away.