Monday, April 28, 2014

lessons from chickens

In a drastic turn of events, our family grew by four this weekend. We have literally gone to the birds. 

On a related note, if you ever need any ideas for how to make your children scream with glee and hug you with tears of joy, forget the expensive trip to Disneyland. Just buy them chicks. Saying that we are slightly enamored is an understatement.

I must admit that getting the gals was a little scary. I picked up no less than ten books from the library and immediately became overwhelmed by all the information. It reminded me of those planning months of pregnancy, especially the first one. I read book after book, and the more I read the more confused I got. It got to the point that I felt like I would never measure up to be the perfect mom. There were so many options, co-sleeping, sleep schedules, baby wearing, make your own baby food, cloth diapers, and on and on. Too many options can simply be overwhelming. And the vast array of options can keep you from starting something new, simply because you don’t even know where to start. The point is to just start. 

Learning new things is a good thing. Unfortunately, it can be easy to consume way too much information about the new things, and it eventually becomes paralyzing. The solution, I’ve found, is to just jump in and take one thing at a time, trusting that learning is best done by doing. This is true in chicken raising, parenting, book writing, business starting, and just about anything else in life. The fact that you don’t know how to do something shouldn’t stop you from trying. 

We learn one day at time, one lesson at a time. And there’s a freedom in that. We don’t have to have it all figured out right from the start. In fact, it might be even better if we don’t. This not knowing keeps us open minded and flexible when things don’t go as planned. The not knowing forces us to search for answers along the way, and be creative in our solutions. 

And maybe best of all, the not knowing puts us in a position to connect with others along the way who are on the same road that we’re on. Learning things in community is much better than learning things alone. Tomorrow I have plans to visit with a friend who is a year ahead of me in the chicken journey. I’m looking forward to hearing what she has to say, just as much as I’m looking forward to sitting with her and talking about everything else in life.

The lesson of the chicks is that it’s okay to start with a very limited amount of knowledge. And we should never let our lack of knowing to keep us from starting.


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  2. Honestly, my nature is fighting against all your words here. My head knows you're saying true things. But my personality seriously struggles with feeling unprepared. It's really hard for me! Thanks for cracking this door in my heart a bit. I look at the ending of your post and realize there are many things I want to do or complete and choose to sit still because I don't feel I have enough knowledge. Even TODAY I was texting with a friend about my having white walls because I don't know how to hang things up, and want a book, and new tools from the hardware store and lessons from a friend....why don't I just go forth and TRY?? Maybe God is telling me I need to step out a little...

    1. I hear you-but, why not try? A few extra holes in the wall isn’t to bad. I usually get really worked up about the unknown, or being unprepared until I started asking myself what would be the worst thing that could happen. Most of the time just imagining that makes the unknown and unprepared for seem like it’s not that bad of a deal.

      But, it’s been a long road for me to get there, and I still struggle-but thank God I’m not where I was!


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