There is a path from my back door to my chicken coop. It is snow covered this morning, and if I didn’t KNOW for sure that it was there.. I would doubt its existence. This path was formed over the last 2 months and is made up of packed down snow and ice. Today, I was very frustrated with slipping and sliding along this narrow path. And when my foot caught the 3rd chunk of ice, causing me to trip .. yet again?? I stepped off the path..
My leg sunk down into the snow.. up to my knee. After a couple steps (lugging a bucket of water and one of food)? I realized that the path was the much better option.. even with its icy patches. So with a little effort, I climbed back up onto the path and carried on.
In my chicken coop, I have 11 chickens and 2 ducks. When we bought our birds, we researched the best kinds for our area. We wanted birds that would be comfortable and survive our harsh cold winters. We picked Isa Browns. It is said that Isa Brown chickens are hearty down to temps of -20. But to be honest? I haven’t tested that theory. I have a heat lamp that comes on when the temperatures get down to 0. When the windchill was -40, I closed their doors and shoved towels into every crack. My husband laughed and said that I was babying them. That chickens and ducks are tougher than I am giving them credit for. But to me? If I can make them a LITTLE more comfortable in this extreme cold.. with very little effort? Why shouldn’t I?
But it makes me think of a time 11 years ago.
When I was pregnant for my daughter, I bought a book. What to Expect when you are expecting! And I read it! And then I followed it. I followed it for both my pregnancies. I stayed away from foods that were bad for my baby. When I was so sick and I didn’t want to eat anything? I forced myself to eat protein. I drank so much water ..that I should have floated away. And I didn’t take any prescription medicine without double checking with 2 doctors. I did everything “right”..
And yet, 11 years ago, my son was diagnosed with Autism at the age of 4.
After the initial shock? My first thought was.. “Why ME?” I mean .. I didn’t smoke, I didn’t drink, I didn’t even eat chocolate and definitely didn’t drink coffee… So what did I do wrong? Why did something have to happen to MY baby? Even though I tried to hide my tears.. my very in-tuned son.. the one who is labelled by the world as “Special Needs”? He crawled into my lap, wiped my tears with his little fingers and gave me a beautiful smile. And I knew. God gave me this Blessed little soul on purpose. His Blessed personality is not a punishment to my son or to me. God gave him especially to me to safe guard and protect. Why Me? I like to think that God researched me and observed me.. and He knew I was hearty enough to weather the storms. He knew that with a little extra love and protection, I could get up each morning and smile at the new day. God thought I would be perfect for this job.
SO.. God hand picked me to be the mother of my beautiful souled son.. (and daughters)… It wasn’t an accident. He picked me. Makes me feel a little like Mary…
So because God thought I was the perfect choice for my son.. does that make me perfect? No!! In fact, last night I stepped off the path God set before me, yet again. “Why me?” I asked. Sometimes the events of my life aren’t pretty.. and they can get a little slippery. But honestly, I would choose to stay on this path God has given me..then to head out on my own. As I struggled to climb back up onto my chosen path… God rewarded me .. with a smile from a beautiful face. That’s all I needed. That is all I needed to know that God trusts me with his most precious gifts. And I know that not only CAN I do this.. but with God’s help?.. I can do this REALLY WELL.
When I opened the chicken coop to feed my birds this morning, the ducks were being very vocal. No doubt explaining that the heat lamps didn’t come on in their coop last night.. and that it was really cold. And I laughed. I explained to them both that I had hand picked them to live here.. because I know that together we can handle the storms. Then I gave them some sunflower seeds.. just to make it easier…