Raising Kids is Kind of Like Raising Chickens… Not Really

If you have kids on the verge of flying from the nest you will relate to this. If your kids are still little enough to snuggle with you on the couch, then snuggle a little longer, hug them a little tighter, because these grown up days that seem so far away will be tapping you on the shoulder before you know it. I can promise you that.

You don’t pick up your little crying bundle in a blanket and rock them back to sleep thinking of the day they look back into your eyes with eyes from an adult face. There is no way you can even think about all the paths they will walk that will lead them to that day. You’re too busy feeding, burping, diaper changing, and bathing to even go there in your mind. But the day is coming.

Many of you know that Matthew and I have recently decided to become backyard chicken keepers. We ordered day old chicks that came in the mail, yes- the mail, and now are the proud owners of five different types of hens. All because we apparently don’t have enough to do already.

IMG_2442I was surprised at how quickly the little hens grew. Within just a couple of days, feathers were sprouting where there once was just chick fuzz. They immediately knew how to eat and what. They found their water dish instantly, and knew just how to drink from it. They had no mother hen to show them these things. They just came equipped with all this chicken knowledge right from the egg.

Now, only 4-5 weeks old, it takes two hands to hold them, and they look more like grown chickens than the little peeps that came in our mail. Now when I open the lid to the brooder where they currently live, at least two will try to make a flying break for it. The situation culminates with me playing tennis with chickens, batting them back into the brooder box, feathers flying, as they try to escape the confines of the enclosure that has grown too restrictive for them. They so want to spread their wings and fly. To run free and do what chickens were created to do. You know, run around eating bugs, pooping, and the like. FullSizeRender

As I push my chickens back into their nest, the irony of it all does not escape me. I’m quick like that. My kids are, each one, getting painfully close to the edge of my nest. All of them in varying stages of readiness to fly, all of them wanting freedom from childhood. One ready and on the verge of flight, another close at his heals. A third trying to push their way to the head of the line too early, and the last in line watching with anticipation to see how the older ones do, and sort of enjoying the show.

Some days I wonder how we all got to this place in time. Where did all the days and weeks and years go? This momma hen worries sometimes about these kids who are growing up so fast, too fast. I panic and I worry. Then I pray and meet the Prince of Peace who calms my spirit and smooths my ruffled feathers.

And then my friend and mentor tells me:

“I pray for peace to flood your mind, body, and soul. I pray that God would make fresh every Word ever spoken over your children’s lives. His Word will not come back void. I pray that God will cause you to speak Life over their circumstances… that He will open your eyes to see His hand at work. Behind the scene. He will make a way where there seems to be no way. Our God is able to do exceedingly more!!!

Stacey, there is nothing more powerful than a Momma’s prayers! God hears your heart for your babies and He turns His heart toward them. He loves them even more than you do.”

If you don’t have a mentor like mine… get you one. That’s some good stuff. Sometimes we just need someone to remind us of truth in these days that pass too quickly for our liking. Our Father cares for our kids more than we do.

I have discovered that raising chickens is nothing like raising kids. Chickens come here knowing everything they need to know about being a chicken. Kids? We gotta start from scratch with them. It can make a mother weary some days, but when all those long days of childhood add up quickly before our eyes, it will all pay off when we watch them take flight.


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