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The story of our precious little girl's 17 months of life with Trisomy 18 (July 4, 2010 - December 15, 2011) and of us, re-learning to live "after Lilly."
"I will praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made ...." Psalm 139:14

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Reflections on mama hens

First, for any of you "Duck Dynasty" fans - you may enjoy this news article.  Karson, an 8 month old baby girl with Trisomy 18 was in the hospital and got an unexpected visit from Willie and Sadie.  Willie gave Karson an autographed American flag bandanna.  Little Karson will soon have heart surgery.

Tabby's chicken coop has some temporary renters.  I hope they don't tear up the place!

My Precious the hen and her 10 adopted biddies have moved in, until the chicks are big enough to move out and join the rest of the (grown) flock.  This coop is in an enclosed section of our backyard.  Tabby's Silkie Bantams are still living in her room, though they love to take field trips to the outside world:

Tabby wrote a blogpost yesterday describing how to care for baby chicks.  By the way - one of her chicks seems to be having seizures or something like it.  It will suddenly drop its head and start walking backwards and stumbling.  It is so pitiful!  It does this frequently every day.  Other than that it seems fine.  If you have any idea what this is about, please let us know!

Recently I shared a few random thoughts on what mothers and dog mothers had in common.  I have been fascinated watching My Precious with the chicks.  She has us humans and dogs licked in her baby care!

picture from a few weeks ago - before the yellow chick was killed by the snake
Here's a couple random mama hen thoughts.  My Precious never seems to be tired and she stays with those chicks 24/7.  I've never seen her run hide to have a few minutes of "alone time."  She talks gently to the chicks almost constantly, whether in the coop or walking around the yard.  (It makes me think she's telling stories or instructing them.)  She demonstrates pecking, scratching, and dust bathing.  She shows them alternate water sources.  If the chicks get too far from her she squawks at them until they come running back.  As they walk she stays alert to everything around them.  When the snake killed yellow chick, My Precious tried her best to run the snake off.  When she couldn't she gathered all the other chicks and ran for safety.  She doesn't collapse into her nest at night thinking "Oh finally I can relax!"  She instead patiently spreads her wings and sits down carefully, covering all the chicks with her wings to keep them warm.

All this after sitting almost constantly for about a month on eggs.  That alone took it's toll on My Precious.  Tabby was horrified at how much weight it felt like the hen had lost.  (Hopefully she's gained it all back now, since she's in the yard, free-ranging all day.)

Yes being a parent is very sacrificial.  It is not an easy task.  It can be painful at times as it works to drive the selfishness out of us and grow us in many other ways.  What an awesome - and frightening - responsibility.

I find that, almost daily, I reflect on all my own failings as a mother.  I just can't seem to get it right.  To be the mother I should be.  I pray many times a day for wisdom from the One who IS the perfect parent.

Here is a wonderful image of God, as the ultimate loving and protective "mother hen":

"He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge;" - Psalm 91:4

God truly wants to be a father to every one of us:

"Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing." - Luke 13:34

Remember - God, like the mama hen, never runs and hides from His children for "Me Time."  He is there for us always.  What a comfort!

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