So…if you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, then you may already know that we have chickens!!!! Yes! Three of them. It’s one of those things I’ve always wanted to try/have/experience. We’ve had this coop in our backyard for nearly 4 years and since I got the garden straightened out and established earlier than usual, it just seemed like the timing was right to give it a go. Introducing our new “girls”!
I promise, this is not about to become another “chicken blog” no more than I’m about to become a recipe or mommy blogger. Pinkie promise, I’ll keep the chicken pix to a minimum!
Ok here’s another thing: my gardens. They’re beautiful this year. I finally got the vegetables “boxed” in and the micro-irrigation system is set perfectly. The weeds in the flower beds were kept largely at bay thanks to an extra layer of winter hay and everything is filling in so nicely. Nicely enough that I’ve even started working in a few other spots of this quiet little .75-acre plot we’ve called home for the past 13 years.
Ah yes, the house.
Projects are beginning to take shape as we’re looking around and realizing this may be the year to finally take care of that home improvement list. Maybe replace the linoleum in the kitchen and bathrooms and get a coat of fresh paint on the bedroom walls. Maybe find a better, new-to-us sofa.
Then, you know, our daughter got married a few months ago and they’re doing great. Middle son will finish up his second year of college and the “baby” is almost a Junior in high school. We’ve definitely turned the corner around here!
You’d think by now, that my sweet man and I would be settling down in glorious contentment, ready to take up our positions in some porch rockers, watching sunsets and waiting for those grandbabies to roll in. Except we aren’t.
Because we can’t.
See, there was this moment I can’t get over. God started shaking and moving in and around us in unmistakable ways. All that “God-stuff” I’d been decorating my life with started getting real personal and personally REAL. My static and flat, flannel-board understanding of God sprang to life in my soul, sharpening into full-color 3D.
And I heard Him call.
Specifically, I heard the Great Commission.
It’s a long, long story about how I discovered there was such a thing but I guess it’s more important to confess right now that up until that point in my life, I’d NEVER heard the word “missionary” (I don’t think Annie Lennox counts 😉 ). I certainly couldn’t have told you what it meant. However, make no mistake… I heard what I heard in a way I’d never heard it before.
God had my complete attention.
This “Great Commission”, as it’s called, is found in Matthew chapter 28. Jesus, as you probably know, has been crucified and buried, only to be raised again on the third day, defeating sin and death forever. He spends the next 40 days appearing to His followers instructing them and helping them connect the dots for the past, present and future. At the end of this time, He ascends to heaven with these words:
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.
And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
I really didn’t understand the Bible then, but I wanted to. I was trying. Wrongly, I had been taught that it was simply a guidebook full of good wisdom, but soon I began to understand and experience that it’s truly the living Word of God. Because those words— they got me. Hard. I knew deep in my soul that those words were not only meant for them that day. I absolutely knew those words .. were meant for me, for us— my husband and I…. now.
That was only the beginning.
Recently, my daughter was laughing about our chickens and how we’d never be able to go anywhere now. True, it does seem a little bit crazy looking around at these things I love and cherish… the flower collection and the little brick walkway I spent a whole summer hammering and shaping into a prayer garden. The HUGE slab of rock I actually loaded onto a moving truck because I wanted to make a bench. The painted bicycle out front. My cats. And now the chickens.
The fact is…. I’m quite comfortable. And it scares me to death.
Because you know, you can’t un-see something you’ve seen and you can’t un-hear or un-know something… no matter how hard it is to know. No matter how the uncertainty of it all scares you. Because, in my mind at least, there is something even scarier:
To me, what’s even more frightening is vainly trying to hold on to the temporary pleasures of this world and somehow miss the fullness of the eternal joys found in stepping forward in faith.
The most terrifying thing of all: staying put knowing I heard “Go” and missing the mark.
There is no timeline here.
We are exploring our options carefully and prayerfully, listening to God and to one another as we study His word and seek His wisdom. Meantime, we’re loving wildly, seeking to “bloom where we’re planted” here and now.
There’s a garden to tend, kitties to pet –a community and church family to serve and love right where we are. There’s a home that needs a good bit of TLC, a couple of sons to get through school and a daughter to visit this summer. There’s life right here. While we wait.
And chickens. Three of them and hopefully…. tomorrow…. there will be an egg.
So.. what is God saying to you today?