Womanly nesting is absolutely a gift! Have you ever walked into a home and let out a big sigh of relief? If so, it’s probably because that home was being tended to by a really good nester. The art and skill of nesting is better than diamonds and gold. It’s better than riches and wealth. It’s what makes the simplest living space become transformed into the warmest, most welcoming home. Do you know any nesters? If you know any women, then you probably do. All women have the gift of nesting within their souls. Like the other gifts, some women will use and hone this skill more than others, but in all of them, it’s there and ready to be used.
In our culture, unfortunately, the art of nesting has taken a pretty big hit. Since nesting necessarily involves some menial tasks and many repetitive and thoroughly thankless jobs, it is not held in very high favor by most women. However, I believe that if women knew how absolutely sacred and essential this gift is, they would look at it in a different light.
The other component of nesting, or you might say, the other gift which is complementary to a man’s gift of Provision, is the womanly gift to, both literally and figuratively, receive. The gift of being a receiver is written into every woman’s soul by our creator. And what does she receive? Well, first and foremost, the gift of life. In a woman who is consecrated to God, the gift of life will be imparted to her through the Holy Spirit. In a woman who is married, the gift of life will bless her and her husband through a new child.
But this gift of life is not only reserved for those women who are consecrated or married. Women in every walk of life can be receivers who bring life to others every time they show compassion, concern, and caring. This gift of being able to receive new life, whether spiritual or temporal, is then used by the receiver to bring good to those to whom she distributes it. You might say every woman is a “distributor,” because how better to complement a man’s gift of provision than to lovingly and generously distribute that which is being provided.
When talking about the practical aspects of nesting, you can learn more by logging on to You Tube and searching for Marie Kondo, a nester extraordinaire. You can listen to her book, The Japanese Art of Tidying Up, or you can watch a few minutes’ worth of You Tube videos in which she demonstrates how the art of tidying up can literally transform lives. This is just one aspect of nesting, but it’s a big one. Some other practical applicaitons of nesting are interior design, decorating, cooking, and organizing, to name just a few.
When talking about the spiritual aspects of nesting, we need to think about it’s other component, that of receiving. When we say, “receiving,” we do not mean the type of receiving that we do on our birthdays or on Christmas when we “receive” gifts for ourselves. Instead, the kind of receiving which we are referring to here is meant to describe the process by which something is given, something is taken, and then something is distributed, or produced. Here’s a specific example: the highest gift that a married man can provide is that of new life; he provides this gift to his wife, and she exercises the highest gift that she has been given, that of receiving the new life and nurturing the human being who has been created in her womb. Finally, after having received, she then “distributes,” so to speak, that gift: she brings a new child into the world. A perfect trio of graces. For a consecrated woman, her gift of receiving comes from the Holy Spirit or her spiritual guide. She too must provide large amounts of patience while the new spiritual life which she has conceived grows, develops, and finally bears fruit. That fruit can be shown in numerous ways from authoring a book to putting inspiration into direct action, such as when Saint Teresa of Calcutta decided that she would enter the slums of India and teach the children on the street.
There is a component of receiving which is probably the most essential: that of waiting well, or patience. Waiting well is so essential to the gift of nesting and receiving because very little can be produced without it. There are countless examples of situations in which women are called to wait well, and the woman who has practiced this virtue is the one who will find the most joy and fulfillment in her gifts. The most important way that a woman waits well is when she has received that gift of life. To nurture a child in her womb takes the utmost in patience. Another way that a woman waits well is in nurturing children and young adults. The teacher, the mentor, the tutor, the nurse, the coach, waits, waits, and then waits some more. With this kind gift of nurturing added to the waiting, she finally sees the results and is rewarded with joy in seeing the subject of her patience bloom into adulthood. Without waiting well, without patience and lots of it, very little can be accomplished. It’s like planing a seed in the ground. When we do that, we must step back and allow nature to take its course. The plant will grow in its own time. If we were to wait a week or two and then decide that we just had to take a shovel and dig down into the ground to find the seed and see if it had changed or grown at all, we would entirely defeat the purpose of planting the seed. If we repeated that act of digging up the seed to check it out, we would finally see all our work go to naught–the seed would finally die and produce nothing. And so it is the same in our lives. When something is planted, or received, by a woman, her first and greatest effort must be put towards simply waiting well so as not to disturb the delicate process of growth and development.
Without a doubt, the most tragic example of the virtue of patience being rejected is shown in the act of aborting a child in the womb. Usually out of fear, embarrassment, confusion, and frailty, but sometimes out of selfishness and pride, a woman will consider it her right to reject the rights of the new human being who has been, albeit suddenly and without warning or preparation, entrusted to her. Nevertheless, that youngest of human beings still maintains his or her “birthright” as a child of God made in His image, and no one should ever tamper with the sacred, mysterious process of growth which enables him or her to see the light of day outside the womb.
Still, day after day, we hear of millions of children worldwide being murdered in this way, and as a result, we have a society filled with angry, hurting, spiritually and emotionally numb-ed women who must constantly try to convince themselves that it was a necessary act. How sad that so few understand that even then, they can turn to Jesus Christ for healing and peace. For those who will do this, there is a wonderful group dedicated to healing the hearts of both women and men who have lost their children to abortion. Project Rachel can be found on the web, and their compassionate hearts are just a phone call away. I pray that anyone who has experienced the loss of their child to abortion will turn to Project Rachel for the kindness and understanding that can heal their hearts, minds, and souls.
Womanly nesting, or receiving, is clearly as high a calling as any of the other womanly gifts, and certainly as valuable and sacred as those which were given to men. With God’s grace these gifts can all be used to their fullest. What joy!