Saturday, July 14, 2012

As a mother hen gathers her chicks...

"I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust. . . . He will cover you with His feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge."  Psalm 91:2, 4

It has been a sweet thing to watch our momma chicken protect, nurture and teach her babies.  She incubated them for 21 days, rarely moving from her nest.  As they hatched, they peeped to her and she clucked reassuringly back to them.  They emerged from their shells into the protection of her warm feathers.  When they were ready to venture out, she surveyed every situation, calling them back to her if danger was near.  

She taught them to look for food and kept them warm until they had warm feathers of their own.  She was probably uncomfortable much of the time, not ever actually sitting, but always adjusting herself so that she covered each chick.  She taught her babies how to roost way up high once they had the right feathers to flap their wings and perch.  This way, when they one day go out on their own, they will always have a way to stay safe from harm.  They still tried to roost beneath her for a while, but soon they were too big.  Everyone jostled for the closest spot to mom, with one always taking the premium spot on her back!  

I've finally come to terms with our decision to have our two oldest children attend the local public middle school after homeschooling and doing co-ops all of their early years.  It will be a challenging transition, but it looks as if they're growing too big to stay beneath my wings all the time.  It's time to allow them to venture out, to see the big wide world, knowing that they still have their family to come home to at the end of the day.  

I am excited to hear about the things they experience in their new learning environment.   Like the momma hen and her chicks, they know they will always have the refuge and shelter of our home and family to run to when things get difficult.  I know they will grow in this and so will I, experiencing the ever-changing nature of life. 

trying to figure out how to get way up there

In the younger days when they still fit beneath her

reminds me of when I try to sit on the couch...

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