Barn Swallows and Finding a New Place | The Speckled Goat: Barn Swallows and Finding a New Place


Barn Swallows and Finding a New Place

I woke up one morning this summer, the sun streaming in, even though it was still early.

I took my time getting up; watching the trees swaying in the country breeze, considering that I should probably put a curtain on that window because we've lived here for six months, already and what kind of a grown up am I, anyway? and a curtain would mean I could sleep until my alarm and also, privacy but we don't have any neighbors, so who really cares.

And that's when I saw her. A pretty little barn swallow swooping past my window.

I didn't think much of it. Barn swallows are just one of the lovely gifts that come along with living on twenty-plus acres of quiet farmland.

(I think barn swallows kind of balance out the dusty vehicles from driving down miles of gravel every day.)

Like I said, I didn't think much of it, until I saw her fly past the window again. And again. And again.

She was hard at work, making a beautiful nest.

The only trouble was, she was making it in the wrong spot. 

This particular barn swallow chose a corner of our front porch to make her home. Dry, safe, not too busy-- it made sense-- except that we (the humans to whom the porch belongs) didn't want her to poo all over the porch and house and splatter mud across the front door.

That afternoon, Trevor took a piece of a broken flower pot and put it in her unfinished nest. We hoped it would make her re-think her choice of neighborhood.

Instead, by the next day, we were greeted with this.

She finished the nest. Beautifully. With her God-given knowledge and skill.

And it was still in the wrong place. 

Sometimes, we try to fit ourselves into a place that just isn't right.

Maybe it seems like a quiet place. A dry place. A safe place. We're comfortable there. It seems like the right town or the right job or the right situation or the right relationship.

We think that we've found the perfect place to build our lives, even when God is showing us that He wants us to go make a nest somewhere else. 

Very often (very, very often), I've noticed a piece of something in the way of my plans...  but I'm as stubborn as that mama barn swallow. Just keep plugging along, make it work, fight for what I think is best. I work around it.

For the longest time, I thought my particular pottery shard was the result of my own sin and failings. If I could just work harder to be a better person, then that thing poking at my happiness would go away.

But after watching my feathered friend, I couldn't help but wonder- maybe I'm just building (beautifully and with skill) in a place where God doesn't want me to.

Maybe I'm just too stubborn to notice His signs.

Maybe I think I'm okay with hitting my little birdie head on the ceiling of the porch because my nest is too high now, but it's really difficult to feed worms to anybody because I can't get my whole self into the nest anymore.

I digress.

I'm learning, from this little barn swallow, that sometimes, it's best to pack it up and find a new place to live out that beautiful calling.

It's okay to say that the friendship you've had for the past seventeen years isn't working in this season of life.

It's okay to move on from that great, safe, comfortable job.

It's okay to move away from dear friends, and it's definitely okay that all these things hurt.

If God's asking you to go somewhere else, do something else, listen. Work out that beautiful calling in the place He wants you to be- not necessarily in the place where you're comfortable.

Because going your own way?

It may end up looking a lot like this:

...   ...   ...

In November, we'll be moving our little nest.

I know, I know, we just bought a house and land and started that whole remodeling adventure... but when God says move, it's best to move. I've been ignoring Him for a while, so He nudged harder. 

It will be a transition (a big one) that will unfortunately include not working full time at Camp anymore, and will mean leaving our beautiful little farmhouse for the winter. (It will be in good hands while we're gone, but I seriously love my yellow kitchen.)

I think that's enough information for right now- I'll be sharing more details as they come about. But for the time being, you can keep this big move and big change in your prayers. I appreciate it! 

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  1. Beautiful intro as you begin your new journey following God's direction. May my beautiful bird fly away to bring beauty and shine "the light" for others.