Our office window looks out unto our immediate backyard and larger fields. For the past number of days while teaching online, I noticed that one of our "retired" chickens was not doing her normal clucking around. Hollering from the office door, I proceeded to ask any of the kids if they had seen her around. Every day the response was "she was around while doing morning chores." The day would go on, and sadly I forgot to check on her.
We have many chickens, however these many chickens are out in our fields, not the backyard. The backyard is reserved for the "retired gals".
The retired gals are our chickens that are pretty much too old to lay many eggs, but too special to butcher. They have names. They have traveled with us from Arizona, to Tennessee to Oregon, and back to Tennessee again. They have earned their retirement. So in turn, they get free roam of our backyard and first pickings of scraps when they fly out the back door.
There are sadly only two retired girls left- Daddy's girl and Big Frizz. Big Frizz decided to boycott retirement and spend her days with the ladies in the field. Daddy's girl on the other hand has thoroughly enjoyed her retirement and daily visits from the rooster.
So when I had not seen Daddy's girl for a few days, I got to worrying. Today, while running out the door for piano, I decided to check in the barn for her. There she was in a little box, all fluffed up just sitting there. In a hurry, I decided she must be sick, but would have to help her when I returned home.
After arriving home, I went to check on Daddy's girl again and found her in the same spot. When I came near, she gave me a bit of a chicken growl- if you've ever been around chickens, you probably know what I am talking about- "don't think of putting your hands anywhere near me because I am doing my business" growl. I ignored her ferocity and picked her up. What was beneath her shocked me - eleven eggs!
Eleven eggs- all eggs that she had laid! She is 7 years old and she is still laying eggs! And she is laying on them. She is doing what she was made to do, and yet I am surprised.
This old hen has never hatched her own babies. She has never shown any sign of wanting to raise her own brood - until, now, in her old age.
Before getting pregnant with our first blessing, I longed for a child for a few years, but nothing happened. I waited on the Lord and prayed. I cried. I would momentarily feel at peace. Then I would get mad: hurt and dismayed, asking why. I would then pray more. Almost two years passed in this way.
During these two years I was blessed with a wonderful job teaching at a Christian school, I was able to teach and care for children, no, not my own, but blessings none the less. Then one day, in the last month of my second year of teaching, I felt different - life had begun to grow in my womb, we were with child. Not in my timing, but rather the Lord's perfect timing.
As I looked at this old retired chicken, I was reminded of the Lord's ways being above our ways. Who am I to say "this chicken is too old to bring forth life?" Who was I to say ten years ago, "I am young and healthy, I should be with child?"
I have read the story of Sarah and Abraham many times. Yet today, I was like Sarah, I chuckled when I saw this old chicken preparing to be a mother. Oh, when will I learn?
Tonight I will retire humbly to my bed, knowing that the Lord's ways are truly above and beyond measure, better than mine. May my chuckling be brought to praise if I am privileged enough to see this retired hen bring forth life in her old age.
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A Little Bit About Me
Once a big city dweller, now out in the hills and hollows of middle Tennessee. A child of the sovereign God, a wife to my best friend and incredibly loving man of God, and a humble servant to the Lord being given five of His children to raise, nurture, teach, love, and care for. Besides the Lord, my husband, and family, my loves are a good book, a good meal with friends, Sunday church and fellowship, and writing.