We were extremely blessed this week to be given a large flock of laying hens and a friendly rooster. After putting hobby farming on pause for three and half years, it feels so good to pick back up where we left off. I had forgotten how much fun they are to watch and how easily they inspire me with so many life lessons. No promises, but I tend to be more faithful at blogging when there are chickens around. Their simple lives have so much to say, even though most of what they do is just eat, poop, and lay an egg.
I feel like I can relate to these birds. Sometimes it feels like all my life consists of is eating and feeding my family, pooping and cleaning up poop, laying some nuggets of education, and hoping that my life is saying something good. However, unlike the chickens, who seem very content with their simple place in this world, I struggle to let those things be enough.
Just in the last month, two very wonderful ministries presented us with the opportunity to sell everything we have and take a large pay cut to spend 100% of our lives focusing on Kingdom things. To some, this may not sound like a juicy offer at all, but to me, it felt like everything I’ve been longing for… to work hard together as a family with my husband and kids toward a common goal… to let go of all the worldly baggage and luxuries that tie us down in exchange for simplicity… to have purpose… to have everything be about building God’s kingdom… to live the life we were designed to live… to be serving and get our eyes off ourselves… to make a difference… to live totally dependant on God to supply our daily bread and then watching Him miraculously come through… it would be such an adventure!
But, after much prayer, fasting, and counsel, we turned down both opportunities. We couldn’t seem to come to a place of unity and we realized that by accepting either of these positions we would be giving up simple things that have been clear callings in our lives. Things like homeschooling and serving people in our local church. These things don’t always feel as spiritual or impactful but the truth is, we are working as a family toward a common goal. We’re raising our children to know the truth and to love Jesus. We do still have to depend on God for our daily bread of sanity and rest. We can still live totally kingdom-focused even while we nurture our kids, cook meals, and clean up messes. The truth is, I am living the adventure right here and right now.
Looking back at all the spiritual attacks in my life it’s no wonder they all have something to do with things that take my eyes off the ministry of my family and onto things I can’t control or change, or things that seem more important, or even things that seem more spiritual. And if Satan is working so hard to derail me from being present with my kids and enjoying this short time we have together, then he must know just how impactful this time really is.
Our new flock of chickens… they don’t seem to bother themselves with trying to do more than just eat, poop, and lay an egg. They’re pretty content with staying hands-off and letting us build their henhouse. They don’t try to hunt like our dog, gather like the ants, pollinate like the bees, or climb trees like the squirrels. They actually seem pretty content just doing the job God gave them to do. Maybe it’s time that I too stopped trying to be the missionary, and the homeschool teacher, and serve in all the areas of my church, and take care of all the evils in our world, and entertain all the endless debates out there, and keep up with all the skills and all the things that all the other moms are supposedly doing. Maybe all that’s really needed is to simply enjoy God and nurture my family. And maybe that’s all it takes to hear “Well done good and faithful servant.”