Nesting has hit the Thomson household.
It has a lot to answer for. The nesting instinct is the reason Cathy decided to scrub the grout of the shower with a toothbrush when 38 weeks pregnant with Reuben – a ridiculous urge (what baby inspects grout?!) and very un-Cathy-like!
What is nesting? It’s the strong desire to prepare your home for the arrival of a newborn baby, including decorating, cleaning and reorganising.
Now that the nesting instinct has hit us again, we’ve been beavering away decorating Reuben’s big boy bedroom, the little one’s nursery, and we’ve got plans for the play room too.
For Scott (who enjoys DIY and a thorough sort-out) the desire to nest comes from the sensible reasoning that, with the arrival of a newborn, it is impossible to keep a vaguely tidy house never mind attempt DIY! So, let’s get it out the way now.
Cathy, on the other hand, is finding that she is waking up in the middle of the night and devising never ending to-do lists: “buy fabric for curtains; paint the chest of drawers; clear out unwanted stuff for the charity shop; stock up on new-born nappies; check we’ve got all the sections of the breast pump…” the list goes on and on. Are hormones responsible? Most probably!
You couldn’t normally accuse us of being overly organised, tidy or house proud. Don’t believe us? Just look through the glass in the front door and see the shoe-strewn floor, paperwork-littered sideboard and assortment of toys, nappy wipes and the nearly dead plant.
But getting things ready for our new arrival is really exciting. We can’t wait to meet our little one, and as sentimental as it sounds we want everything to be just right for his/her arrival. We thought the instinct to nest might not be so strong second time round, but we’re finding it’s even stronger! Even though our home will look like a bomb has hit it a few hours after the baby moves in, the desire to create a lovely place to welcome our new child into is very strong. Where does this instinct come from?
Nesting in Creation
Last week we reviewed the book “Home for Good”. There’s a lovely section of the book in which the Kandiah’s paint a beautiful picture of God the Father nesting:
“The opening chapters of the Bible describe God creating the universe. Just like a parent meticulously preparing a nursery with mobiles and furniture and murals, God hung the stars in the sky, sculpted the mountains and rivers and brought the landscape alive by adding birds and fish. Everything was ready. The world contained all that a beloved son or daughter could possibly need. The only thing missing was the child. So God creates human beings to enjoy all that he has prepared for them.”
It’s a wonderful picture of creation.
How often do we think about the fact that God harnessed his creative power and channelled it into creating a perfect habitat for us – humanity? God sees us as the crown of creation. God wasn’t only making a universe to display his power, but he was lovingly making a home for us – his people, his children. It’s pretty mind-boggling to think about.
Much of our behavior in nesting is normal (perhaps not the toothbrush incident…). It’s part of what it means to love our children. We haven’t met little miss/master Thomson yet, but we already love them. We prepare a room, a bed, a play space for them out of love, anticipation and excitement. We image God in creation.
So if you are awaiting your own new arrival, then as you prepare your home for your little bundle, remember that you image our God who in creation was, in a way, nesting for us. How loved we are!
Jesus is Nesting
But here’s another wonderful truth. There’s a sense that God hasn’t stopped nesting. He’s still doing it today.
You see, shortly after creation, God’s children broke his heart and decided to live in rebellion against him. The people that he made started to destroy the beautiful home that he had made for them. They started to destroy each other. They even destroyed themselves. Sin ravaged creation and left it bleeding and broken.
But the story didn’t end there.
God decided to rescue and redeem the people that had rejected him. And more than that, he decided to rescue and redeem the creation that he made for his people. How? Through the amazing life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
“15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on
earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross”.
Jesus has reconciled a people to himself, and is reconciling all things to himself. The blood of Jesus is effective not just in dealing with sin (though it wonderfully does that!), but in bringing restoration to the whole of the creation that he has made.
One day that work will be complete. Here’s what Jesus promises:
“ ‘Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God, believe also in me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.’”
Right now, Jesus lovingly prepares a place for his people. He’s nesting. He gets the rooms ready for us to move into. He waits for us with anticipation and excitement. He can’t wait to welcome us into his father’s house. To welcome us into the family home.
So, as we nest for our baby, we image Jesus and remember how much more wonderfully he does it for us.
As we eagerly anticipate the arrival of our little one into our home, we pray that this would remind us of Jesus, the one who created our earthly home, who prepares our heavenly home, and who draws up the architect plans for the new creation – our eternal home. What amazing love he has for us!