Updated: Jul 4
“Even the bird has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she sets her young at Your altars, O Yahweh of hosts, my King and my God.” Psalm 84:3
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to be a mom. When they’d ask you in school about your dream job, I always responded with, “mother.” When my parents insisted college was the next step for me after high school, I was resistive, because there was no degree program for motherhood. Two seeds of a dream and a destiny were buried inside the depths of me and they shaped my heart before they ever heard the beating of its intense and powerful love.
It's one thing to dream about being a mom and another reality to live in a world where your children are here and vulnerable to the elements of life. Countless times over the last decade, God has unveiled Himself to me through my children. I’ve heard the prayers of Jesus come straight out of the mouths of my daughters. I’ve seen them confront evil with such keen discernment and a level of compassion and grace that has left me convicted and humbled. I’ve watched them translate Heaven on earth for those around them who don’t yet see and hear like they do. And I’ve felt the temperature rise every time they’ve walked into a room and elevated the atmosphere for the glory of God.
Last week, the weather in Georgia got warm enough for us to take a ride on the lake. As long as the sun was shining, the winds were comfortable upon us. But, as we headed back to the dock, the sun began to set and there’s only one place on the boat where the wind doesn’t invade …. And it was occupied by Kara. I kept scooting closer to her and bending lower to seek relief from the blasting cold air. At some point, I went all the way down and rested at her feet. Immediately, I felt her begin to rearrange my blanket. As I knelt in the safety of this quiet cove, I could feel her mother heart tuck me in at the expense of exposing herself to the winds as her blanket shifted around. Her small, determined fingers wrapped me up and her little hands worked overtime to close up the cracks and cocoon me in loving shelter. Eventually, she just decided to forget about her own comfort and she leaned over me to maintain the security she’d accomplished against the threatening forces of nature.
From within the protection of her heart, I felt the pulse of God radiating in this moment. And the Psalm written above began to sing in my soul. This is what a young one does that has lived upon the altar of the Lord. This is the kind of nest a child builds, because it’s where she has always dwelled. This is an act of surrender and sacrifice that was first displayed in her home. Children who are kept upon the altar of Yahweh love and defend differently. They respond quickly and they demonstrate supernatural power. They move in holiness and righteousness is their robe. And they show this world a side of Jesus that cannot be read about, but must be experienced right here and now.
Patrick took this photo and sent it to me a few days later. He captioned it by saying, “One of the sweetest things I’ve ever seen. Kara diligently pulling the covers over you and holding them so you wouldn’t get cold. The look on her face was a look people wait a lifetime to receive.” He’s right. Everything about her looks just like the One who smiles over the sacred place of His presence where mothers and fathers keep their nests. A place of surrender where families remain yielded to carry the weight of His glory, to show the countenance of His mercy, and to move in a grace and truth that is unknown beyond His altar of love.