It would be an abomination to say that I am excited about something more than Christmas but I am excited about something in addition to it.
A couple of weeks ago our plumber showed up at 8:00am to give us a chicken that was 'fully ready to eat' with the instructions that we should eat him 'right away-that night'. Whoa to those who do not heed good advice.
Because I could not bear to cut off a chicken head or pluck all of it's feathers out, we kept it alive. STUPID. It is a myth that roosters crow magically at sunrise and carry on with normal business the rest of the day. They crow all day and all night. If you have ever heard one crow right outside your open window at 3:30am then you will know why I no longer have a hard time bearing the thought of cutting his head off or even plucking his feathers out- maybe one by one. That is evil and I am just joking. He had only one thing going for him. I did not care to cook him but I did want his 'chicken broth' if you know what I mean. We have been considering getting a rooster in order to have chicks but were still deciding on one. This provided just what we needed. So we kept him for a few weeks to give him and the four hens plenty of time(I think) to 'greet' each other. He has now been eaten and I do not feel bad about it at all (I did not cut or pluck him) and absolutely do not miss his megaphone mouth.
I am actually on pins and needles at the writing of this because I have become quite addicted to chicken raising. I really like Nina, Rita, Dinna, and Zebra. I had read that they can be very inquisitive and funny which they are. They will hunker down and let me pet their feathers and come when I call. I like that. According to the information I read, the hens put the 'chicken broth' in a special pouch and it can fertilize eggs for up to 6 weeks. So, every egg that they have laid since old loudmouth left has been placed in the nesting box. Zebra began brooding first and then followed Dinna. Rita and Nina have no interest in being mothers but have taken the lead in bearing eggs. Funny how sometimes animals can be so like humans isn't it? We have marked the eggs with numbers each time one was laid. It takes 21 days for them to hatch-give or take a few. Today, we have 16 total eggs and number 1, 2, 3, and 4 are due to hatch. There is no guarantee that they will hatch. It is supposedly only about a 50% rate. Our day usually starts with feeding the chickens so we go out and check the coop for more eggs and mark any new ones. Then, during calendar time for school we mark the day that the new ones are due. It is a good exercise in counting and understanding weeks and days. I was worried that we were counting down to something that wasn't going to happen. Therefore, I decided to do what one site suggested and at 9:00 at night the whole family trekked out to the coop. There I performed an egg ultrasound. I dug out the eggs from underneath Zebra and Dinna one at a time to shine a flashlight through the egg and see if there was in fact a chick growing in there. THERE WERE! Several actually. So, we are elated about the new arrivals scheduled to be here any minute. And as soon as I finish this writing I am going back out to check the four due eggs.
I have a not-so-good memory of fifth grade when I wore my special jacket with the pocket across the front for both your hands. I went to school with an egg from the fridge rolled up in a wash cloth tucked away in the pocket. I had been keeping it warm in a box for a day or two because I decided a chick was the pet for me. The teacher didn't notice at first but it was odd behavior to keep the jacket on all day and one hand in my incubator pocket. Then she started asking questions which I answered gladly. I was going to be a mother. But that woman who I think never should have been a teacher because she was as mean as a snake cracked the egg on my desk assuring me that there was no chick in there because it had been refrigerated. Oh, I wanted to throw that yolk at her. How dare she smash my baby.
I know this seems haphazard to write these events in this order but today I am thinking about how God has blessed me over an over again. He has taken so many hard lessons and proven himself while multiplying blessings three fold. Andrew and I heard terrible news this week on three different subjects and I was thinking about how much we are learning and how I want our family to always recognize who God is. Satan is here raging like a lion looking to steal, kill and destroy(1). He will wreak havoc on anyone and everyone with no respect to who or what you are. But the God who through Moses made the sun stand still for three days(2), the God who stood with a young David as he threw a stone to kill a trained military giant that all of the Isrealite army was afraid to approach(3), and the God who had Elijah challenge 450 prophets of Baal to prove himself by burning an alter drenched with water(4) is a powerful force to be feared. He is a conquerer as well as a healer and restorer(5). Never fear those who can destroy the body but not the soul, rather fear the one who can destroy both the body and the soul(6). 'How long will you falter between two options?'(7). Make your choice. Moses or Pharaoh, David or Goliath, Elijah or prophets of Baal, really living or death of the spirit.
As I watch these chicks hatch I will think about how God came to earth so that I might 'have life more abundantly' (8)in contrast to the times Satan scrambles my eggs. As I watch my new little chicks hatch and I finally become a chicken mother, I will say to myself that 'as for me and my house we will serve the Lord'(9).
1- 1 Peter 5:8, Job 1:7, and John 10:10
2- Exodus 10:21-22
3- 1 Samuel 17-I refuse to pick a verse-you should read the whole thing.
4- 1 KIngs 18:20-40
5- 2 Samuel 14: 14 and Revelation 21:4
6- Matthew 10:28
7- 1Kings 18: 21
8- John 10:10
9- Joshua 24:15