Hope deferred makes a heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.

Proverbs 13:12  

It’s been over 2 years since the first few bits of grass, fiber and feathers showed up in my patio flood light.  My heart swelled with hope and expectation.  I took daily photos to capture the process of  nest building and eggs hatching. 

I just didn’t know it would take years.  The first summer, I watched with wonder at the intricate, woven nest and delicate blue eggs.  I felt exhilaration at the first tiny crack in the fragile blue egg. My hopes were dashed when I found all three tiny eggs crushed on the brick patio the next morning.   I was sure I had solved the problem the following Spring, when I’d researched how important constant temperature was in the eggs development.   The flood light as the culprit.  She could NOT nest there.

When she stubbornly built her nest in the light again, I begged my husband to remove it so she’d build in a safer place. We fought for days with her and eventually she moved  the tree just yards from the back door.  I watched again as the nest was filled with tiny eggs.  I took pictures again. Hope swelled again, in my heart.  I was crushed to find them broken in the grass under the willow tree, just days later.

Tears filled my eyes this Spring when she started again to build her nest in the light. I debated pulling the bits and pieces out and moving her along, again.  By the time I’d settled on my course of action.. the nest was nearly complete.  The mother robin chirped at me,  begging for one more chance.  I gave it to her. I turned off the flood light  and tried not to hope. 

“Tried” is the operative word. Because, I didn’t accomplish squashing my hope. It grew without effort like a dandelion in sod.  I kept checking the nest.  I snuck to  snap pictures when the mother bird flew off to find food.  

Then, last night, it happened. 

  My college boy noticed mother robin, perched on the edge of her nest.  ” I think she’s feeding babies!”  He declared.  I swallowed my excitement and hope, trying to avoid another crushing letdown.  “She’s probably turning the eggs.” I countered.  I was afraid she was preparing to push un-hatched eggs from the nest, yet again.  I didn’t want to have to explain that to my ever listening and watching, 7 year old.  

The nest is too high to see directly into.  I have to stand on a chair in the kitchen holding onto the frame of the open door wall for balance, leaning out, camera in my free hand, snapping pictures at every angle, (still) hoping to capture something amazing.  

Last night, I expected again, to see three tiny, beautiful, delicate, blue eggs. I gasped when I pushed the “preview” button on the camera and saw this tiny miracle. Tears flooded my eyes.  After 3 Springs of carefully woven nests and nearly a dozen tiny eggs lost, there is finally a tiny robin. I looked out the door wall again, and noticed the mother robin chirping at me in defiance from the top of the swing set. She seemed to shout: “I told you! I told you that was the right spot for my nest! Isn’t he beautiful?”

Although scrawny and nearly featherless, I had to agree with her. He is gorgeous. A miracle of God’s handwork.  I closed the door and the blinds to give her privacy and quiet to tend her newborn.  I uploaded pictures and scrolled through my blog to re-visit the long story that led to this day.  There is a thread that runs through it.. perseverance.  She would not give up. When her eggs refused to hatch, she tried again and again. When un-nested, she re-built.  She knew what she was created for and refused to give up.

This morning, I snapped another picture, again leaning out the door wall and heard her chirp away at me again:  “I told you so, I told you so!” When I opened up the pictures I was barely surprised to find only one blue egg, and TWO tiny babies. She was right.  Again.

I’ve ben struggling with some dreams and plans that I hold in my heart.  I’ve been debating holding on to them or letting them go.  I feel like I’ve been building a nest for these dreams my whole life, and have too often found the eggs beautiful, fragile and un-hatched.  I was starting to wonder whether I had been building my nest in a bad place.  I wondered if I should move along.  And then- last night..  realized, maybe I just need to keep trying.  Maybe I just need to stick to my dream and keep building…maybe just maybe, this will be the eggs that hatch.

If you’ve stopped by today,with a dream or plan in your heart that you are debating about letting go or holding on.. I hope you’ll take some time to listen and pray and to see the tiny miracle God wrought in my back porch light.. and maybe you’ll find hope to continue on. I know I did.

I’ll be posting daily updates on the view from our nest, I hope you’ll join me in watching this little miracle continue on!  Someday,  these babies will fly! 

So might we.

Isaiah 40:31

31 but those who hope in the LORD 
       will renew their strength. 
       They will soar on wings like eagles; 
       they will run and not grow weary, 
       they will walk and not be faint.