Lately I've been challenged by shifting hormones, hatching eggs, broody hens, active roosters, a darling baby who's no longer content to just sit in her swing, a testing 3 1/2 year old who must determine if "no" really does mean "no", an independent 6 year old who is out of here quicker than a whip and wants to do everything by herself, a vocal "your-rules-are-dumb-and-that's-not-how-Dad-does-it" 8 year old who is smart enough to hide gum in his room so he can have it anytime he wants without asking mom, a busy husband who's selling eggs, chicks, and ducklings, running a business during a terrible economy and trying to salvage what he can from a burnt up building and then there's that noisy donkey who thinks it's appropriate to call out at all hours of the night! A dear friend pointed out that perhaps I'm not getting enough sleep. Honestly, it hadn't dawned on me. I realized (during the middle of the night) that she was right on! In my sleep deprived, hormonal state I've been less than gentle spirited and I doubt any children will be rising up any time soon to call me blessed, let alone my dear husband who may be wondering where the lovely lady he married went.
I'm reminded of the hens when they go into molt. Molt is an ugly time. A time where they lose old feathers and their porous red skin shows through all over. They look like they've been attacked by a raccoon or were on the losing end of a chicken fight. When you look at them, you can hardly help but be taken aback and gasp, "OH! What's wrong with her?" Also, they don't lay as well, if at all, during this time, so they're kind of useless. I relate to these molting hens. I don't feel productive right now and it seems like all my ugliness is just out there for everyone to see, especially those closest to me.
The great thing about molt is that I know it does come to end and what comes next is a beautiful thing. Egg production is up, in fact, right after molt seems to be a high egg production time. New feathers fill in beautifully making the hen look her best. Molt is just a temporary part of a hen's life cycle. I appreciate that the hens don't hide out in their nesting boxes waiting for it to end. They're out there pecking and scratching, foraging for food and socializing with the other hens (even if the other hens are all filled out with beautiful feathers!).
I'm hoping that this season of life will slough off some more of the old, cruddy attitudes and behaviors and will reveal a more beautiful spirit. I'd like to be an effective Warrior for the Lord, a blessing to my husband, a leader to my kids, and a good friend. During my spiritual molt I need God more than ever. I need his word for direction, correction, and encouragment. I need the Holy Spirit to remind me of the truth when negative thoughts creep in. As I read today with the kids, "I am fearfully and wonderfully made, (God's) works are wonderful, I know that full well."
Lead me through this time Lord, it's ugly and discouraging, but I trust your end. There are many ways to go, but my plans will fail. Through these tumultuous times, I will cling to your truth. Help me to cast away worry. You are in control.
Psalm 139:23-24 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.