Saturday, October 6, 2012

Flying the Coop and Flies in the Coop

  Months before we moved last year, our son moved out. He wanted to move in with a few buddies and live closer to campus. We sat him down and gave him the "grown-up" talk about responsibility, choices, consequences, paying bills, and handling all the things your parents always took care of for you. His response was probably like most young people's response - rolling of the eyes and repeated confirmations that he knew all that. My folly was that for years I had been repeating to him that it was my job to raise him so that he could leave one day. What a schmuck I am! Here I was staring that moment in the face and I wanted to scream, "You can't leave! The training is not complete!"

  Honestly, I would never feel ready for two reasons. One, I feel like a terrible mother (long story of the past) and two, I feel like I did not adequately teach him the Word of God and that he is going to walk away from church. But, here's truth: God is sovereign, I am not. I could have been the best Bible teacher in the world and lived the most respected Christian life (which I assure you I do not) and he still could leave and not follow Christ. 

  Relationships cannot be forced and definitely not a relationship with Christ. God's Word and prayer are part of my life and therefore, it is in my home but when children leave, they have to choose who or what they will serve. No matter what my children choose, I love them, pray for them, and when led, give advice but I cannot truly know the result of what their hearts took in until they live life.

  It is a lot like the chicken coop my husband built for me. Never having built many things and having no real experience with chickens, made it an interesting undertaking. The coop looks great though and, yes, that is a plastic playhouse. I am so pleased and happy to show it off to anyone who comes over...

 (Isn't it great!)

 but the real test is not how great it looks, it is how well it functions. After a few days, the coop design revealed some problems. Cleaning it is a pain. Ugh! Hundreds of flies took over and the buzzing was sooooo loud that it would made you dizzy. Why????

  Luke 6 reminds me clearly that it takes trial to test the integrity:
47 Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: 48 he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. 49 But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.”

  Whether we like it or not, we will face trials and those trials will expose who we are and in what we trust. Even Christians sometimes find out that there is an area where they were not trusting in Christ. The difference is that when the flood comes, the ruin of the house is not "great" because the foundation exists, a lot like the chicken coop. Overall, the coop is solid but the issues inside cause frustration. When I realized the problems, I could have given up on the coop or sat down and had a pity party but I decided that the coop was worth correcting. If I did not correct it, the chickens would eventually get sick and Henna, Nilla, Poe, Jules, Auntie Em, Paislee, and Brownee would cease to exist. They depend on me to care for them.

  It took a drill, some aspen wood chips, and diatomaceous earth to correct the problem. By drilling a small hole in the floor, I can spray out  the inside and the water will drain out. Putting in a layer of aspen chips mixed with diatomaceous earth (the food grade kind) keeps the coop dry and the flies are discouraged from breeding but if they do, the DE kills them. Daily, I scoop out anything too nasty if needed and once a week, I scoop it all out and scrub it down. The coop is a thousand times better.

  The process is a lot like my own life. Christ decided long ago my life was worth changing but it took a lot more than a drill and wood chips. As I repent, the nastiness is scooped out, Christ pours in grace and I am able to grow. Of course, I build up nastiness a lot quicker than my chickens and need scooping out on a daily basis but the process is functioning not frustrating. I depend on God to care for me and without Him, I would have ceased existing long ago (another long story from the past). I have entrusted God with my children as well and in that is peace despite my shortcomings as a mother. They will leave my coop one day but I can keep them before God through prayer.


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