Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Chickens N Down Syndrome

For many of you, who know about my recent obsession; this title should come as no surprise.  To you that don't know, a month or so ago we purchased chickens.  And since then, it has become an obsession.  We are up to almost 50 chickens.  It is very addicting and so much fun!

One day I was out in the coop and I was shoveling the poop into the bucket.  A smile came across my face and I felt extremely happy.  I was brought back to a place, when I was younger, playing on the farm.  Many summers I spent extended time with my grandparents and my cousin and I would get into a lot of trouble on the farm.  I remember that I was happy when I was outside working, doing physical labor.

But, farming, I was told, did not provide a living.  Farming was hard work, lots of hours, and often little benefits.  But I was happy with who I was when I was out in the field, when I was milking the cows, when I was covered in head to toe with poop and smelled.  I felt as though I was accomplishing something.  I felt like I had a purpose.

As the years passed, the farm was farther and farther from my world.  Once married, we moved to a city.  I hated it.  I hated that when I ate breakfast I could see our neighbor showering.  I hated when I showered I could see our other neighbors.  I felt suffocated and was not happy.  My husband was not either.  After just a couple of years, we found ourselves ready to move out of the city into the country. 

While we did not get the amount of land, the isolation that we originally wanted; we did get a couple of acres a barn and a typical farm house.  It was perfect, still some neighbors, relatively close to town, but room to run.  The night sky is amazing, the sunsets and sunrises are breath taking and the air smells amazing.

Then kids came.  We always seemed to be running and doing this and that.  Everything that attracted us to the country seemed like a distant memory.  There were very few times we enjoyed that land, it became a burden to mow and take care of.  While the girls enjoy being outside it seemed like life was just so busy.

When Lydia came along, our life slowed.  Many things were focused on her because of her many medical issues.  The older girls kept pressing for an animal.  Knowing that I could not properly care for a dog (our house is too small and I am just a little OCD about dog hair), that was not an option.  We had a cat that we now have shared custody with our neighbors (long story, but when we stayed at the RMH they cared for him and fell in love with him). 

I've always wanted animals to care for.  But what?  After many discussions, chickens were decided on.  We purchased four to start with.  Lydia loved them.  She has never been keen on dogs and the cats are OK, but the chickens.  She could chase and scream with them and she loves collecting the eggs.  The other girls love them too.

Soon, like the next day the four chickens grew to nine chickens.  Then the nine grew to who knows how many.  And in two short months, we have 36 hens, 3 roosters, and 10 chicks.  It has been so much fun.  It brings us together as a family.  We have built the coops together, we have had fun naming the chickens, we sit and laugh as they fight over food.  We enjoy selling our eggs, but we also enjoy giving them away as a blessing to others. 

As I was shoveling I felt like I had purpose and meaning.  I felt like I had been ignoring who I really was (a crazy chicken farmer :)) for too long.  It made me question and wonder who I was.  It made many days harder because I lost who I was.  I lost focus of the simple stuff to chase things that were never meant to be.  I allowed outside influences to consume me and ignore who God created me to be.

This is what I love about Lydia, she is who she is.  She does not try to pretend to be someone she is not.  She is who God created her to be.  She is loving and no rules, no colors, no boundaries will stop her.  She is silly and she does not hide it.  She doesn't pretend, what you see is who she is.  She has a smile that draws you in, she has a personality that is unwavering.  She does not let outside influences influence who she is.  She is determined and nothing will stand in her way.  Some may call the stubborn, but I think that is one of her very best qualities!

She slows life down for us and puts into perspective the really important things.  As we walk through the store and she wants me to stop 100 times to kiss her, I will.  Because that is important than anything else.  She takes time to give a hug to that homely-looking person and we all should be more like that.  She has a twinkle in her eye that others cannot ignore. 

She has a confidence about her that is contagious, if you allow it to be.  When you break down the outside influences, the perceptions, and allow the moment to happen, you will be blessed beyond what you think.  See, when we are who we are created to be, God has so much more in store for us.

I think the confidence in who she is, is very intimidating to many.  It was to me.  But now, she has shown me a life that I could have never fathomed before.  I am blessed because I have found that confidence that God gives to us.  I have found that strength to be exactly as God created me to be.  If that is just a big silly chicken farmer, than so be it.  I am successful because I am loved beyond words, I am happy and isn't that really what almost everyone is seeking these days.

Until you break down the walls and allow yourself to be who you were created to be, you are chasing something you can never be.  Lydia may never be a doctor or a lawyer, but she will be happy and that is all that you can hope for for your children.  She has it, the key...she is who she is and I am blessed.  I don't want to stand in her way.  For she holds the key that many are searching for.  Look out world, you haven't seen anything yet!

Silly chickens that taught me a lesson that I have been looking for.  Life just seems so complete when I am shoving that poop into the bucket.  When I name our chickens and talk with them and they provide hours of entertainment.  When my husband and I feel complete because of our flock of birds, our girls who are happy, and a life that seemed so distant but now seems so full, if that is odd or weird, if that is not "normal" I am OK with that. 

Thanks Lydia for once again pushing mom and allowing mom to find that happiness by being me.  I don't have to live up to any standards that I feel the world is telling me to be.  I don't have to be something that I know I am not.  I have to be me, who I was created to be.  You are one amazing little girl and I am blessed that God chose me to be your mom!