I never thought that chickens could teach me a whole lot. But I suppose if God can use Balaam's donkey, He can use these silly chickens.
I took some oldish vegetables, and dinner scraps, and fruit and a few other things that got frozen in the back of my fridge so it was all mushy and my kids wouldn't eat it, and tossed it out the chickens. Those funny birds acted like Jesus had come back on Christmas morning with pink unicorns and Klondike bars. It was the BEST DAY EVER. They ran around, they clucked and flapped their wings. I kid you not, some of them danced. They were so impressed with my TRASH .... it was the most amazing gift, they loved them so much, life really couldn't get better for them at that exact moment.
Life can be hard. I almost added, "especially as a single mom" but that isn't fair. Other people struggle in many, many ways, and to imagine that my struggle is any more than someone else's when I am SO BLESSED is pride and vanity, really. But my struggles are mine, and therefore provide my frame of reference for "life being hard".
I can catch myself giving thankful lip-service. My head knows I am blessed beyond most of the world's most far-flung expectations. So I say I am grateful, and really wish for MORE. Children who aren't just wonderful and amazing, but who really enjoy cleaning their rooms and hate sleeping in. A car big enough to carry the kids and their friends, but also gets 38 miles a gallon and doesn't raise my insurance rates. A house that is not only huge and roomy, but designer-worthy and with a self-mowing lawn. Not just friends and family who love me and a general contentedness with my life, but a perfectly conjured husband also. And on, and on.
But really! How extravagant to have chickens! How lavish to have scraps to give to them! We don't just have enough, we have SCRAPS! How wonderful my life, my boys, my job, my friends, my church, my family are! And here I am, grudgingly grateful.
I need to be more like the chickens. This next breath is the BEST BREATH EVER! And this day is PERFECT! I want to be so thankful for each moment, I want to run (okay, well maybe walk faster), and flap my wings and not be able to control my cackling praise and dance! It doesn't matter if the things I am blessed with are ordinary, every day things, they are mine, given to me by my Father, who gives me Good Gifts.
I even want to get excited about the trash. One of the best discussions I have ever had with one of my kids came after an argument, when we were both so broken from the conflict that we were able to sit down and just be real. A teenage boy, sharing his heart, with me - his totes uncool mom! (Is that still a thing? Did I spell it right?) A day spent one on one with my youngest after their dad took over my plans to go a tournament with the olders. Financial trouble teaching my kids about the real value of money, and what in life is really valuable. Hand me down pajamas that work just fine. Even the things that I wouldn't choose, the trash, as it were, are gifts. I just have to unwrap them and find out how.
So I think I will make it a habit to take something up to the chickens, when I have time to sit and watch them love it. I want to celebrate the little moments, the ordinary things, the exciting things, and the trash with joy and glee and true thankfulness. I want to be unashamed about who sees me running about and thanking my Provider.
Humph. About to graduate from college (16 years late) and being taught the big lessons by some not-so-silly-after-all chickens.
Matthew 7:11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!
James 1:17 Every generous act and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights; with Him there is no variation or shadow cast by turning.