A question we have all (those of us who are on the core team of the Nest), have asked ourselves in the past three years.
Why do we keep doing it?
Can't a church provide this service?
Or a government organization that already exists?
At the very beginning of this journey with The Nest, now Three years ago. (thank you Lord)... We felt on our hearts Isaiah 61 as our calling over The Nest. As the years have continued on, we have discovered new parts of this call, new parts of this vision.. I myself have gotten stuck in some of the areas and lost focus of others.... But if you want to know our true, Mission statement, this is it.
"He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners.
To proclaim the year of the Lord's favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve in Zion__
to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.
THEY WILL BE CALLED MIGHTY OAKS, A PLANTING OF THE LORD FOR THE DISPLAY OF HIS SPLENDOR.
They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations."
Isaiah 61: 2-4
At different seasons in this journey, different parts have been highlighted to me and in my heart.
At the very beginning, the vision was the planting of might oaks.
An oak is a forever standing tree. Strongly rooted, strongly centered in the forest. Beautiful to many.
That tree stands for generations.
And I see us calling this generation of family to be strong, mighty, strong rooted & of depth.
The part that sticks out to me now?
Three years in the making.. of pouring out, of restoration, of redemption, of comfort, of community... of strengthening those mighty oaks?
"They will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations."
THIS IS A CALL TO ACTION.
We LIVE in a world right now struck with travesty left and right.
We no longer can remain ignorant.
We are surrounded by racism, by greed, by conflict.
Its in our nature in ways we don't even realize.
For generations we have sung to the tune of "blessed America"... and now that blessed America is waking up. We are seeing the brokenness that is caused over generations of chosen ignorance, and oppression of others on behalf of our own comforts.
A brutal awakening it has been, no less.
But an awakening thank Jesus.
That there is NO lasting security in money.
There is NO freedom in ignorance.
No bliss among those who "set themselves up for success"
As someone who has lived in many other cultures, American culture has always been, and will always be the hardest for me to live in. The freedom and joy I have experienced and learnt from in other cultures will always be something I carry with me in my heart.
The reality that we will NEVER have enough.
Badged with our degrees, our accomplishments, and trained from the time of birth "what we want to be equated to what we do when we are older"... plagues me.
I constantly fight against my own flesh, my upbringing.
I constantly ask questions, wondering if what I am doing with my family, with my personal life.. is really the "right" thing.
I have said often, each and every time I would cross back into the states and land in LA.. I would immediately start worrying about money, feel the depth of greed overtake me... see the way that fictional stories of others on my TV and in my books, create a veil over my eyes to the depth of brokenness that was being experienced inside of homes across the world.
There is NO better time than now to be this person to answer this amazing call.
Start with family.
The place that we are starting.
The root of the problem.
And the planted oak that can change this next generation.
Real, and lasting change.
One that stands through the generations.
Call out a new, fresh, and counter cultural "mighty oak" in yourself, and in your family.
I see it daily scrolling through my newsfeed.
The shattered innocence of those around me.
The reality that the world isn't "getting better".
ITS NOT GOING TO.
IT'S actually not even supposed to.
We are living in the end where these things are coming to light.
The world has always been, and will continue to be broken.
How you contribute to that brokenness, and to healing.. is YOUR choice.
Our brokenness as Americans, used to be our choice to be sheltered to the travesty of the rest of the world.
Our sheer ignorance to the issues at hand.
Our hand in the oppression of others.
To be honest, its overwhelming to know where to start.
I know, because I have been there.
Shoot, I am there.
How do you simultaneously protect, love and cherish your children...
while being conscious of the world we live in.
Start with saying YES, when you don't feel like it.
Hi. I am a mom. I am a full time working mom. I am an adoptive mom. I am a working wife. I have a home to take care of, family, kiddos, a husband.. I KNOW all of the things that are demanding your attention. I FEEL THE TENSION.
But here are the best things to say yes to.
INVEST in your marriage. You will NEVER regret a date you went on, a time you spent with your loved one. Invest in getting to know one another through each and every season.. even when you are on different pages. Have lots of sex (hopefully my teenager isn't reading this). Love each other. Give grace to one another. Covet the time you have with each other. GO ON DATES. GO ON DATES. GO ON DATES.
BE INTENTIONAL with your time together. It doesn't mean you say "there is too much on my plate" and complain. It means.. the time you have together.. whether a TON in this season, or barely enough... make it intentional. Say NO to screens, say YES to time. Yes to laughter. Yes to activities. YES to one more show to cuddle through. Say Yes to family night. Yes to ridiculous conversations in the car rather than listening to your music. Yes to the late night wakes ups. YES to the hundredth game of "pretend pokemon" (anyone? anyone?). YES to the hard conversations. Yes to the chicken nuggets and freezer green beans for the 100th time around the table because the time around the table is more important than the time invested to prepare the food. Just say YES.
God literally created us to live and thrive in community with one another. This is where The Nest comes in when you are feeling alone, you are reminded that you are not. Let your kids grow in community with other children... YES, we want that to be a priority for you.. but also .. YOU GROW IN COMMUNITY with others. Don't wilt alone. Come be with others who are in this life stage with you. Muster up the energy, strength, 343 baby items, 29 tantrums on the way to the car, in the car, and on the way here.. and get here. Life is better lived with others.. its just true.
I don't know what YOUR specific purpose in serving is. Or where you feel the need to do it. I am not even sure if you are in a season you feel like you can. BUT if you are in the place where you want to, and feel like it is right for you to give back.. HERE is where I bring up that part about the "might oaks" being the ones to restore the broken generations.
From the beginning of time we have created a culture of "charity" meaning... we give to those in need. WHICH IS GREAT. please continue to give that.
But also, we have to be a people who equip others to give to their own "kind". Meaning the BEST possible job I could do as a missionary to the middle east would be to equip middle eastern pastors to reach their own people.
The best possible thing we can do to reach our communities, to change the very world in which we have been placed, to be an actual voice that changes things in america...
is to reach our own people.
Who are your people?
Other people in your geographical areas.
Those who you work with.
So you start in your home.
You be a mighty oak.
and then you go and rebuild the ancient ruins
Meaning, if you aren't strong, mighty, able right now...
Momma, I am here for you.
If your marriage/ relationship is struggling right now (raises hand), lets work on it. lets get into marriage classes (slash, come tonight to marriage talk at moms group!)
If you cant seem to go one more day with your kiddos without screaming.. lets talk family. Lets talk what it looks like to have boundaries, schedules, whatever it is that you need to fully be invested in the sacred space of family.
If you are a might oak, and are ready... to start changing the next generation// restoring culture// restoring OUR LAND...
Then lets real talk.
Lets do this.
I cannot promise I am perfect in this, or even know what I am doing half the time.
But I promise you I wont give up.
We will keep going
We will keep reaching.
We will keep rebuilding.
How can you help?
1) Join our Prayer Team. email me at email@example.com for more info
2) Join us with your dollars. "where your heart is there your treasure is also" Support us as we support and strengthen families. Become a monthly donor of $10 or more.. and keep a program operating. Where some places your money is going to new and shiny things, TVS, etc... here your money is literally going to keep doors open, lights on, an a safe place existing for families to grow and strengthen in a non threatening non judgmental environment.
3) Volunteer.--> for those of you who do have time, strength, energy to give (JK no one has all of those things at once.. or do they?.. but for those of you who feel like its time to jump in physically).. join our volunteer team. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll get together to talk more!