"I, therefore the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." Ephesians 4:1
Snow covered the ground, some of the snow banks standing taller than me and the roads were deeply covered with a sheet of ice lying underneath. Across the county power and water was out, school was called off and no one could travel to work for days. A nice unexpected vacation we thought until our phone rang with worried and desperate voices recounting all that was going on just a few miles from us.
You see, Mama and Daddy needed our help. The power and water was out in their home and all five chicken houses. The call of desperation was because they had houses full of brand new baby chickens so they called in the calvary.
The calvary being us three girls, our three husbands and a passel of children. We braved the snow banked, icy roads, making our way ever so slowly heading in their direction, leaving our warm, electricity and water filled homes to join the ranks (stepping back into the stone age) and ready ourselves with shovels and buckets and scoops and barrels. Preparing ourselves to keep some 45,000 baby chicks alive.
We all arrived safely and with a quick meeting to divide and conquer, we joined together and went to work. Sonya and I along with the men fed and watered the hungry and helpless chicks and Mama and Tammy began the arduous task of cooking and cleaning (keeping some semblance of order to the home) and caring for our little ones.
Pop and Dana filled wheel barrels full of feed outside and brought them to the door of each house, soon their faces being covered with ice and snow on their beards, eyebrows and lashes and us inside workers were drowning in our sweat because the heaters were running full blast to keep the baby chicks nice and toasty. We would take the barrels and walk the length of each house scooping feed into the (electrical) feeders that once worked their magic. The guys would take turns maneuvering down the icy slope behind the houses to the almost frozen pond to bring big buckets of water back up to us. We then would carry those buckets the length of each house and pour water into the troughs that lay upon the ground lining every house.
While the majority of us were out feeding the two legged creatures there was two keeping the home fires burning. Cooking (outside...in the cold...on a grill...) and doing their best to wrangle the little ones and keep them out of harm's way. They had breakfast, lunch and supper ready for us when we would show up so tired and worn out we didn't know our names. It would take them all day to prepare meals for such a large number of us because as soon as they finished one meal they immediately had to begin the next just to keep up.
We would return at night, heat big bowls of water on the kerosene heaters and sponge off as well as we could (there was no telling the stench we had going on in there, but we were too tired to care), We slept wherever we happen to land and the next morning bright and early started the whole drill over again. You see, as soon as we finished the last house we had to start over with the first one to keep the food and water supply at a continual flow (they may have been tiny little things but they kept themselves busy eating and drinking all the livelong day).
The adventure ended up lasting five days. Never had I worked so hard in such rigid conditions, but if I had to do it again I would. That week taught me so much about diligence, integrity, honor and trust within our family.
We dug deep and put our all into the task that was placed in front of us.
We faced what we had to do in times of trouble and did our very best.
We highly respected our parents enough to honor their call.
We fully relied on the strength and ability we had together as a team.
And I do believe the Lord was pleased with what took place those five, long, hard days.
"God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him." (Phil. 2:13)
I love you & He loves you more!
Lord, You are gracious and merciful. I will forever remember what You did for our family that week so long ago. You proved Your strength when we felt weak (2 Cor. 12:9). Thank You for the assurance that our efforts are ultimately covered by Your grace. Amen.