My spirit has been comforted and grounded by a time of nestling in these recent years. Since moving to West Virginia, the rolling green hills have fostered a setting of comfort and security, beckoning me to nestle in their sheltering presence. A cozy, nurturing feeling seems to surround and protect me.
I have even found gifts in our “necessary nestling” of isolation during the pandemic. Jim and I learned to slow our pace, find joy in homemaking, savor time outdoors, tend relationships in new ways, and notice everyday blessings. Nestling has provided a tender, soothing space for our souls. In fact, I have become quite comfortable in this way of living – remaining mostly homebound, keeping community with those closest to me, living the days more slowly and contemplatively.
But on a recent visit to my hometown in Northwest Ohio, I felt my soul expand as I walked along the wide-open fields, under the immense blue sky, upon the flat country roads inviting me onward. I grinned as I recalled a childhood moment when I stood facing an open field with two cardboard “wings” under my arms. Knowing nothing about aerodynamics, I was certain that if I ran quickly enough, I would soar – at least for a few seconds! My childhood soul felt limitless, with no boundaries to my imagination.
Were the fields inviting me to soar once again?
Have I become too comfortable in my nestling? Is it time to begin racing across the open fields of possibility, to chase after the hopes and dreams once set aside? Is it time to run toward my full potential – pursuing the inner longings that God has placed within me? Is now the time to soar?
I sense that an invitation has been extended that I feel ready to accept – to more fully enter into community, consider new opportunities, and actively share God’s love.
Our prayerful nestling times with God can help us find courage for our fear, clarity for our confusion, and inspiration for our complacency. Abiding in God’s nurturing love will prepare and encourage us for all the adventures that God and life will offer.
We will be ready to accept these new invitations to live life abundantly – to serve, to strive, and perhaps even to soar.
(Photo by Karen, Curtice, Ohio)