I have a rescue chicken named Nikki.
My brother in law, a police officer, rescued her from Walmart.
I could leave you with a mental picture of Nikki being snatched off of the butchering table in the meat department, but let’s get real here; he was at Walmart.
I’ll tell you what the truth is: Nikki the chicken was running around the store with no other agenda besides escaping the intimidating hands of the police officer chasing her down the cereal isle.
I’m glad I clarified for the amusement of your imagination.
So he brings me this hen and lays her on my swing in the middle of the night. She’s scared, shaken up, and tired, but she gets her rest that night on my back porch only to be rudely awakened with the ice cold realization that she now lives with four children who consider it their actual birth right to chase and catch chickens for no other purpose than rocking them like infants, dancing with them like dolls, or force feeding them fresh worms if the day is a lucky one. Nikki is not about this life.
She quietly takes her daily refuge in the back of my husband’s truck. The sun rises, she waits for her feed, and then she jumps in the bed of his truck and hangs out there until she’s hungry again. We didn’t find this out until we found multiple eggs rolling around back there, and realized this is probably how she actually ended up at Walmart to begin with. (Dear sweet farmer missing your truck-loving chicken, please know we are loving on your girl.)
I am telling you this because I have recently learned that I am Nikki the chicken.
I came to this sobering realization yesterday on the front porch when I had my children lock me out there on purpose.
Yep. It was a Tuesday that felt like a well earned Friday. Countless tantrums from the two year old, an intense melt down from the eight year old, spilled coffee, bickering between the two middles, cheated math, he threw away her artwork, eye rolls a plenty, someone scribbled on someone’s paper, the dog ate her sandwich, so on and so forth–until THE time.
That’s the time I call nap time even though only one of the four actually nap. Usually the older two do independent school work at the table and then play outside, the third reads in bed with an occasional nap, and the fourth cashes in on his well needed naps.
Yesterday though the toughest morning was soon soothed by this said nap time where both youngers actually slept soundly, both olders worked on a science experiment, and I caught up on two days worth of dishes. That was too graceful, it was most definitely three days worth of dishes.
AND THEN THE UPS MAN RANG THE DOORBELL.
Cue the bark squad, everyone awake, and instant fighting over who would open the box.
I Nikki the chickened right on out of there.
Opened the door. Stepped out. Used my fingers to ominously instruct them to lock the door, and I sat on that front porch for a solid half hour. I would have joined Nikki in the truck, but I was hoping by my visual presence on the front porch, I wouldn’t come back into too much destruction.
It was the day I ran away but didn’t.
The day I wish I had a mini freezer outside stocked with chocolate ice cream.
The day I identified with Nikki the chicken.
Sometimes this is hard.
Most times this is hard.
I’ve got to force myself to constantly remember that this path was not chosen for difficulty, but it has been chosen for it’s purpose.
I love teaching them and learning with them, but it often takes every ounce left of my very being.
I told Him how tired I was yesterday on the porch while they pressed their noses on the glass and smeared their nostrils all over it as the train tracks for their finger trains poking the door.
Then after a 4am sharp wake up call, I woke up this morning opening up my study with the She Reads Truth Lenten Study of Isaiah only to first see the aesthetically pleasing image correlating with today’s devotion read this:
I took that one and called it mine because my praises sound sweeter than my grumbling every single time.
My heart check was needed as it grew fruits of patience and gentleness with the chaos of this Wednesday that feels like a well earned Friday. We did most of our work today outside under a tree with a cool breeze, and I was timely reminded how much I love the liberty of feeding my children an education wherever it is the wind blows us in a day.
The truth is that although this is hard, it is worth it. It is beautiful. It is an adventure-an excitement-a gift. For every rough moment there is a hundred more I want to forever remember.
We chose this path for purpose.
I felt led to share here, but I might even pass by truck in a bit and let Nikki know what’s up too.