Some of you may know that my husband and I recently relocated to a mini-farm in the foothills of East TN. One of my dreams has always been to raise chickens. Well, with the beautiful coop we inherited with the property, I got right to it. And I quickly discovered there are a lot of correlations between raising chickens and working toward life’s goals.
My baby chicks arrived and they were so tiny, barely seeds of the chickens they would grow to be. I thought of all the dreams for my life that had blossomed over the years, each swirling around in my head, and knew that although many fabulous adventures awaited, it was going to take time, great dedication, a touch of humor, and a whole lot of patience to reach them.
Every day, without exception and even when I was tired, sick, or just needing a break from routine, I tended to my chicks. Though they looked nothing like the adult chickens I had envisioned through all my years of dreaming, beneath the heat of a red lamp in the dead of winter, they began to thrive. Though they were noisy and helpless, often stinky, disorganized, and at times downright frustrating, I continued to love on them without exception, keeping the faith that one day a gift–eggs–would materialize as if from thin air (only I would know how labor intensive eliciting that gift actually truly was).
Well, the chicks ate and they ate, and ever so slowly, they began to mature. Finally, the day came for me to release them from the warm confines of their safe, homebound bin to the great outdoors of the coop. With so many predators lurking, I wasn’t sure they would make it. But I kept the faith, and had to try.
Winter turned to spring, and then spring to summer. I waited (sometimes impatiently) for those eggs to arrive. And while I was waiting, I kept working. I read and studied everything I could find on chickens, asked my chicken-savvy friends for pointers, mucked the coop, tended to the chickens’ needs, and often even sang to them (because what’s the point of all that work if there’s not a little fun mixed in, as well). During it all, I kept believing that one morning I’d enter the coop and find those elusive gifts–eggs–winking back at me from the nesting boxes. Twenty weeks went by, then twenty-five, twenty-six, nearly thirty. The deadline passed and still I found no eggs. Even so, I clung to faith.
Then one day…
The happy-dancing commenced, followed by a delicious, farm-fresh breakfast.
So, the moral of this story is: never give up. Have faith and work diligently toward your life goals. Stay happy and remember to laugh. Share your trials and worries with friends, and lean on them when it’s hard. Because your happy-dancing day will come if you hold firm to your faith and stick with it.
And those eggs, well, they’re worth every bit of the hard work and the wait.
` ` ` ` `
TWO BRUISED HEARTS SEARCHING FOR A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE…
Down on her luck after budget cuts claim her job, art teacher Hope Casey returns to Miracle Cove to raise her five-year-old daughter, Sydney. While working at the local diner, Hope is befriended by Noah Armstrong, the youth director at Miracle Cove’s Community Church.
Noah is dealing with issues of his own—a painful divorce following confirmation that he’ll never be able to father a child. Noah longs for a family of his own, but fears it may never come to pass.
When Noah and Hope team up to direct Miracle Cove’s Christmas Pageant, they are both searching for a little holiday cheer. What they discover is truly a Christmas miracle.