I have always heard the mother is the heart of the family, especially a stay-at-home mother with a crew of kids, who also helps with a hobby farm. So why was I not missed when I spent hours locked in the chicken coop?
You must first understand that even if this was a subconscious belief, I behaved as if a mother was the most important member of the family. It took a drastic experience to shake me out of my arrogance.
God has a sense of humour and will use any and all experiences to teach us.
Ten years ago on a very cold winter day, I decided to go with my husband to the barn. I bundled up in Michael’s extra set of warm boots and coat. Since I am a size 4 in women’s clothing and he is an X-Large in men’s sizes, I looked quite comical trudging after him to the barn.
We divided up the chores and rushed to finish them as quickly as possible because the wind was fierce. My last task was to water, feed, and gather eggs from our laying hens. Michael passed in the bucket of water that he had hauled for me and then left me so he could complete his own chores in the large attached barn.
A few minutes later, out of sheer habit, he silently locked the door to the chicken coop and proceeded to plow through the heavy snow and into our warm house. I was lingering with the chickens, scattering extra corn and grain to help the chickens keep warm. There was no wind in the coop, but it was cold. I attempted to leave, but the door was securely bolted from the outside.
I yelled for my husband but he was long gone and the house was too far away for him to hear me. The coop is old-fashioned and sturdy, built with thick, rough planks, so I could not figure out how to escape. Soon I began to stamp my feet in a vain attempt to generate a little heat. The chickens were upset, flapping about and squawking because I had intruded into their little haven. However, after the first hour, they ignored me and let me stomp around in my little circle.
As I became even more chilled, I stuck my whole head down into Michael’s huge coat like a turtle hiding in her shell. My breath started to warm up my body. I must have looked like some strange headless man.
It was extremely boring in the coop, so I sang songs, much to the chickens’ displeasure. I did experience one flash of hope when I heard my oldest son drive up in his truck for lunch and then leave again. Why he didn’t hear my yelling or wonder why I wasn’t around to make and eat lunch with his dad and him, still puzzles me.
Just as I was starting to despair, Michael flung the door open and asked,
“What on earth are you doing out here?”
I poked my head out from inside his coat and yelled,
“I didn’t choose to hang out with the chickens, you know; you locked me in here!”
The Mother Wasn’t Even Missed
Michael had been so absorbed in his work he really did not notice I wasn’t in our home until he could not find me anywhere in the house to take a phone call.
Although a mother IS the heart of the family, she is not the center nor the most important member.
A family is a community whose center is Christ Himself.