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About Eric’s Wife

Some may say I am a "Stay at home Mom," but that is not even close. I am Eric's Wife. I have exhilarating strokes of genius, followed almost immediately by paralyzing pangs of self doubt and, for whatever reason, here is where I blog about it - warts and all. I serve a merciful God with a clumsy hand and at the end of each day I go to sleep thankful to be His servant and Eric's wife.

We Should All Be a Little More Chicken

January 17, 2012

Last spring we became members of the backyard chicken owning community. It was all Eric’s idea, but the whole family quickly took ownership and grew to love on all the chickens. Much to Eric’s dismay, we named them and you can’t eat a pet you have named, duh.

They were all babies when we got them and we learned after a few months that we had two roosters and seven hens.  The smaller of the two roosters found a new home because, well, they don’t say “too many cocks in the henhouse” for nothing.  You really can have too many.  (When you own chickens, you quickly learn the truth to the countless sayings we have that were borne in a chicken run.  They really do have a “pecking order” and you’ve never seen anything “as mad as a wet hen.”)

Our hens began giving us eggs towards the end of summer.  We can count on at least two dozen eggs a week and have found it to be a surprisingly great pleasure.  A few days before Christmas, I came out to the run and found my mom patiently waiting outside the coop.  She needed another egg for her baking and was waiting while the hen inside finished laying it.  You can’t get eggs fresher than that, I tell you what.

We have different breeds of chickens and most were purchased because they would be good egg layers (or good eating.  Sorry again, Eric.)  Eric did buy two hens based solely on the fact that they were cuddly and cute and he thought my Mom would immediately adore them.  The breed is called “silkie” and they lay tiny and almost worthless eggs, but they are just so precious that we happily took them home.

The kids named the smaller of the two”Snowflake”, but the larger of the two never had a name that would stick so we just called it “the bigger silkie.”

As all the other hens laid their eggs and immediately walked away from them with no regard, the silkies did not produce for some time.  Finally, Snowflake did lay an egg and did not seem concerned with what became of it.  As novice chicken farmers, we just assumed that chickens were too dumb to know what to do with an egg unless we went through the fifty steps recommended on chicken farming websites if we hoped to have any of our hens try and hatch an egg.

The bigger silkie finally laid an egg one week before Christmas and then disappeared into the coop with it.  Certain that she would lose interest in short order, we waited for her to emerge.  After one week, we began to worry about her.  She did not come out to eat or drink, but stayed firmly and militantly roosted on top of that egg.

Everything we read told us that this was a futile attempt.  The weather was intermittently freezing and she eventually had stayed in there longer than the 21 days we learned were needed.  I started to feel sorry for her poor little Mama heart.  Whenever anyone tried to move her, she pecked fiercely until that hand was removed.  I began to wonder if maybe we would have to force her off her dud egg.

But then, this morning happened.  While we were eating breakfast Ian says, “I hear chirping!”  We all ran outside to the coop and, sure enough, there was a baby chick sitting in there with the unnamed silkie.  When that Mama silkie saw us looking at her, she quickly tucked her little baby right back under her warm body.

We are stunned.  I am not sure how many times we all thanked God with a hearty laugh for His faithfulness to His creatures, even as all the odds were against her.  After very little deliberation, it was decided that “the bigger silkie” deserved a name and that name should be Hannah.

I have always loved the story of Hannah from 1 Samuel.  She was barron, but faithful and never doubted that God could grant her a child.  When God did show mercy and give her child, even as all evidence said she never would, she raised him until he was three and then she returned the child into God’s service.  Samuel was his name and he was a diligent and wise servant of Elohim.

On the day that Hannah returned him, she prayed the beautiful prayer I am going to close this up with. Before I do, I have to remark again on the wonders of this world God created and the marvel of our little hen’s innate resolve to see this little chick through to today.  We all believed she was on a futile mission, but she knew better than we that God knows His creatures.

Then Hannah prayed and said:

“My heart rejoices in the LORD;
in the LORD my horn is lifted high.
My mouth boasts over my enemies,
for I delight in your deliverance.

“There is no one holy like the LORD;
there is no one besides you;
there is no Rock like our God.

“Do not keep talking so proudly
or let your mouth speak such arrogance,
for the LORD is a God who knows,
and by him deeds are weighed.

“The bows of the warriors are broken,
but those who stumbled are armed with strength.
Those who were full hire themselves out for food,
but those who were hungry are hungry no more.
She who was barren has borne seven children,
but she who has had many sons pines away.

“The LORD brings death and makes alive;
he brings down to the grave and raises up.
The LORD sends poverty and wealth;
he humbles and he exalts.
He raises the poor from the dust
and lifts the needy from the ash heap;
he seats them with princes
and has them inherit a throne of honor.

“For the foundations of the earth are the LORD’s;
on them he has set the world.
He will guard the feet of his faithful servants,
but the wicked will be silenced in the place of darkness.

“It is not by strength that one prevails;
those who oppose the LORD will be broken.
The Most High will thunder from heaven;
the LORD will judge the ends of the earth.

“He will give strength to his king
and exalt the horn of his anointed.”

10 responses to “We Should All Be a Little More Chicken”

  1. Dana Roberts says:

    Oh, Amy, thanks for sharing about this miraculous event! I was having a very humdrum day, and this made me smile….I think I am now having a Silkie day! 😀

  2. Eric's Wife says:

    I am very happy to hear that, Dana! As soon as I saw this amazing thing happening right in my very own yard, I just knew I would have to share the joy.
    I know that God “gives and takes away,” but I sometimes get feel stuck in a revolving door of “takes away” and it was beyond refreshing to wake this morning to meet the God who gives.

  3. What a lovely ending to the story! I was thinking about her and her efforts just yesterday. Will be glad to see the new little baby!

  4. Teresa Dodd says:

    What a marvelous example of God’s faithfulness to those who wait on Him! Thanks for sharing the story, your insights and the sweet pictures too! Love you! Aunt Teresa

  5. Eric's Wife says:

    Sarah, you will have a fight on your hands to see this chick. Hannah put up quite the fight when I pulled it out for a picture and has kept it tucked underneath her ever since. Sweet little bird.
    I love you too, Aunt Teresa!

  6. This is a wonderful story! I am so glad you named her Hannah–one of my favorites, too. I also think it was so above-and-beyond-sweet of the Lord to give Hannah five more children after she had taken Samuel to be raised by Eli. Like you, I sometimes get caught up in the “He takes away.” It’s so uplifting to remember He gives, too! 🙂 🙂 Praise God!

  7. Sarah Lee says:

    and I’m bawling. I love this.

  8. Daisy says:

    Amy, what a marvelous writer you are. Thank you for sharing this blessing in your day. 🙂

  9. Eric's Wife says:

    Thank you, Emily for bringing to mind Hannah’s other children. I love encountering the many facet’s of God’s character.
    My pleasure, Daisy. We have a generous Holy Spirit.

  10. Eric's Wife says: