Winner winner chicken dinner
My Anniversary present had me standing at my own locked front door at two in the morning.
Happy Thursday friends.
Let me add that my front door stands prominently facing a MAIN ROAD in our community.
So if you drove past at two a few morning's ago I sincerely apologize.
My whimpering puppy decided at the back door that she did not need to use the restroom, though every thing in me told me otherwise, and tore off through the Hostas around the house.
It wasn't until I found myself scolding this 12 week-old puppy in my Summer night clothes under my front porch light that three things occurred to me:
This dog does not care.
I need a vacation.
I need better Summer night clothes.
What a whirlwind it has been at our place! Junior Camp met our biggest children's outreach of the year, Adventure Bible Camp, which led to the late great chicken slaughter.
Let me recap.
Two things were on my Sweetheart's heart for our family this Summer.
One, a meadow.
As in the cutest English garden with bees and hummingbirds gathering to spread all things cheerful while the late afternoon breeze sends smells of wildflowers wafting into our back kitchen window.
He plowed and plowed and measured and meted out seeds and we just waited for the right opportunity to sow a glorious meadow for us to enjoy.
The second was meat chickens.
As in the ugliest creatures backyard-gown with a pen that moves around our yard devouring patch of grass after patch of grass with smells that make you wonder if you should swear-off of poultry altogether.
If there are two things more diabolically opposed to one another I cannot tell you so.
The latter needed so much work that the former became some lovely far-away dream, leaving us with a weed patch that now waves to us every time we leave the house.
We timed the growing and feeding and butchering of these chickens JUST AFTER our Bible Camp and JUST BEFORE teen camp because why not wring-out the very last drop of adrenaline we have left between us.
The theme for camp is "Space" anyway so two zombie-looking counselors will fit in like perfection.
I was tasked with packing the parts and loading them into the freezer.
I even had my very own pair of floral red rubber gloves.
Legs go here, wings there, all sealed in gallon freezer bags nicely arranged in crates in the freezer.
The very old chest freezer that was having a bit of trouble keeping up with the freezing side of things.
(You have one job freezer.)
While I went in to make a delicious chicken dinner,
(side note, order pizza when you process chicken. Thank me later.)
While I went inside to make dinner my husband said he would take care of rearranging the freezer to get things cooled down properly for the night.
I slept wondering if the last of the chicken crew was having some sort of memorial service for their fellows and hoping that tomorrow would be the last of all things gross and slimy.
There I was, cheerful and at my post when I took a gander at the freezer to see how things were chillin'.
To my disbelief, there was my pie filling, all 20+ bags sitting on top of bags of chicken.
I had moved it to an insulated container to allow room for chicken and then left it in a crate for my husband to add after we were finished.
He decided to lay it on the chicken to help freeze the chicken.
I'm sure things like this look good on paper, but in this old freezer, with these packed freezer bags of parts, it became clear that some had opened under the pressure and leaked into the bottom of this freezer.
In all honesty I was about to "open up under some pressure" as well.
I just stood there looking at one heap of "chicken-apple-salmonella-sludge, " which now thinking about it sounds like some odd Ben and Jerry's ice cream flavor.
And I kid you not, as quickly as I understood that this was all a wash for my pie filling, the Lord met me right there and just as quickly spoke,
"It's just sugar and flour Deena."
I wanted to plead, "AND CHICKEN.."
But I understood what he was saying.
It wasn't anything to write home about.
Blog about, yes, but write home, no.
And in a way I can only express as grace for the moment, this wife who cries over the THOUGHT of a good poem didn't shed one tear for those apples.
They were done and over like last year's Seasonal colors.
We cleaned and sanitized and began again.
As the day went on, the thought of my hard work kept coming back and the thought that his hard work was more important than my own over there in the rubbish smarted.
As smarts do, when I felt a bit under-appreciated, it finally came to a head and I told my husband that MY hard work was sitting in a garbage heap while I was helping HIM with HIS.
He smiled and told me that in selfishness HE was JUST thinking about how grateful I should be for HIS hard work to fill OUR freezer with good meat for months to come.
It's gross to describe this scene, me with my rubber gloves, he, breaking down a chicken, while we laughed at ourselves, but this is yet again a perfect answer to my oldest's constant question,
"So is THIS what marriage is like?"
This is usually asked when we have chocolate on our faces and don't know it, are falling into bed after an exhausting day, or enjoying a marriage "inside joke" over whatever goodies we can scrounge in the cupboards.
Yes. This is what marriage is like.
Meeting in the middle of chicken mess to meet in the middle of life.
Calling out selfishness and calling on the Lord who already told you that it was just "flour and sugar."
Sometimes marriage is sugar and flour and sometimes its chicken goo.
Sometimes selfishness gets the better of you both and sometimes you admit it soon enough to enjoy the last of the frozen snickers bar in the fridge.
Sometimes you hold onto what the other did without thinking instead of thinking of all the ways they stopped to make you laugh that week.
This week stress has shown us a bit more of who we really are when no one is looking.
Today over pancakes and sausage we realized had gone bad in the fridge, (you can't make this stuff up friends.) we opened up to 1 Corinthians 13 as a family and reread forgotten phrases.
Phrases that my sweetheart and I had memorized that last year before we were married and thought we would sail off into forever happiness.
Words describing love, that one thing that will show the ENTIRE WORLD that we are indeed followers of Christ, hit us all as a family between our God-given eyeballs.
I Corinthians 13:
4. "Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things."
Suffereth long, seeketh not, beareth all, believeth all, hopeth all, endureth all.
This chapter tells on me.
It tells my spouse that I am not showing him the love that I should.
And as we read it today over disappointing sausage, I was glad that I made my heart right with him the day before.
Loving as God loves us isn't just a good idea, it's actually a command to us from our God.
John 13:34 - A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.”
It sure is a tall order, this loving like Christ.
But here's the rainbow's end, God wants to give us his very own love to love with.
Ezekiel 36:26 says, “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.”
I can meet my husband in the garage over chicken and love him well because God himself gave me his heart to do so.
So if you need us, we will be over here working on loving well. And I'm gonna guess that we won't be having chicken for dinner.