love

Chickless Chick Says All Lives Matter

If you haven’t watched the news lately, I don’t recommend that you start doing it now. It’s devastating to hear about the savagery done everywhere in the world. It’s heartbreaking to see children, women, and men killed and for what? People are being murdered for being Christian, for being Jewish, for being black, for being white, for being homosexual, for being a woman, for being a man…for not agreeing with the people that are killing people. Not only is there death from human beings but, there are also natural disasters that have killed and are displacing individuals from their homes. If I see hashtags with #________livesmatter it infuriates me because all lives matter.

Gang mentality is all around us, whether it be a gang of people who kill randomly for religious sake in the Middle East, the United Kingdom or the United States or people who kill to gain membership anywhere they will be accepted. People are lost. People have lost respect for others…for life.

You’re probably thinking why is this childless, chicken owner discussing this?

People have lost compassion….consumed with the daily routine. Homes and families are broken and no one is talking about a fix for any of this. We seem to be in defense mode and not offense mode. We can’t rely on government to “fix” this. How can this be remedied unless we do something…unless we talk about it? It seems that the lost will fall in line with anyone who offers them a place, a home….anything for a place, any place for a sense of belonging, even if it’s not a healthy environment. That’s why this childless, chicken owner is discussing this.

Recently I watched an episode on television about a successful owner of a chain of fitness facilities. As he spoke about his business it resonated to me as a human being with values and respect on this earth.

He said things like:

Get ready. Challenge yourself everyday. Create a new breed of thinking. Use simple functional movements. Do 25 repetitions at a time. Core strength is important. Don’t try to grow a business, but do the right things for the right reasons. Drop in on affiliates at random times. Training videos are free. There is no recruiting necessary because people want to win. Stay in your chair and you’ll be sure to be hurt.

Now, you may think that by adding this it’s about being physically fit. While that’s an important part of life, this is about being ready for the challenge of life outside of our comfort zone. It’s time to get radical about loving on purpose on this earth. Get radical about how you’re going to do this. This is more than learning a scripture here and there. It’s more than attending a church building. This is larger than catch phrases. It means not comparing ourselves with each other. It’s looking for each opportunity to share compassion and a love we are so freely given, even when we don’t “feel” like it.

Feelings aren’t facts, by the way.

You do have a purpose. Have you a clue what your purpose is while you’re here but for a short time? It matters not what your age. You may make a difference in someone’s life. In fact, you may save a life because of your age and wisdom. What is stopping you from showing compassion to someone who needs you? Is it time? Do you think you can’t do it? You don’t feel like it? Well, wake up. You don’t have to know what your purpose is to show compassion or to love one another. Get a little uncomfortable. Get out of your chair or surely you will be lonely and you’re only hurting yourself.

Personally, I know what gifts I have been given. I use them as much as possible and I give God the glory for all of those gifts he loaned me. (You have these too!) When I met a woman six years ago who was a thorn in my side, I would try to avoid her at all costs. She showed up at my home at the most inappropriate times. She is also raising her granddaughter and she’d drop her at my home…unexpectedly. Two years ago this child’s mother died of a drug overdose. My attitude changed. All of the sudden, I began to tutor her for school. Word got out that I was helping her and now, there are three little girls with no mom or dad. God knew what I needed and he knew what they needed. Did I know this was part of my purpose? Not really. I didn’t really want to do it. I was uncomfortable because I wasn’t the best student myself. BUT GOD has me studying and being loved by these little hearts. I believe they benefit. They seem to look forward to our meetings. And, darn it, we have them around sometimes when we aren’t doing schoolwork. So my purpose has been to mentor these angels, and it comes at a time when physically I am at my weakest. I don’t believe that is a mistake.

Finding your purpose may also mean it’s an opportunity to have a relationship with God that is as natural as “breath” or “wind”. (“Holy Spirit” in Hebrew means “wind” and in Greek means “breath”.) It means intentionally giving God time each day and allowing him to control our lives. (Think of it as your daily repetitions! Exercise each of your muscles God gives us. There are at least 25 of them! Prayer, love, forgiveness, time, meditation…even when you don’t “feel” like it.)

(If you don’t have a relationship with God, maybe it’s a time to explore one with him. Maybe you’ve thought it was a lot of hocus pocus, but what if you’re wrong? I pray that if you want to get a little uncomfortable in order to know who Jesus is and what he did for you, I am glad to discuss it with you. What’s stopping you? It’s free. There’s no obligation, but there is a responsibility that comes with it…naturally and you will want to love because of the love given to you.)

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whoever believes in him will have everlasting life.” – John 3:16

Being a child of God, we will surely be hurt if we “stay in our chair”. Today we live in a world where more than not, people are looking for:
love, acceptance, redemption, followers, likers, and they often find it in the wrong places. Sometimes they seem to be the most unlovable people we meet, when truly they are just hurt or hurting people. The last place they want to be is in a church building to be judged. The last place they want to be is where they aren’t accepted for who they are right now. How can we change ourselves to create a door for them to know God…to know His love and to accept his love and gift of eternal life? How may their life change, if we simply get out of our comfort zone? Are we consciously waking each day to awaken the Holy Spirit inside each one of us who is his child?

Someone invited Naeem Fazal to church. He had recently moved to the United States as a Muslim. He encapsulates his journey to Christianity in his book “Ex-Muslim”. His parents rejected him. They were not happy, as you may imagine. Years later his parents moved from Kuwait to the United States and live with him. They scorned him. They did their daily prayers and he is ridiculed daily in his own home. His mother often asked him questions about ‘his Jesus”. He admits that it is through this challenge that he has learned more and become stronger in his faith in God, as a Christian. In fact, the Holy Spirit moves him, he admits.

“For as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ.” Philippians 3:18-20

“You will have troubles in this world, but God overcame the world.”-John 16:33

This isn’t a debate about faith and or works. This is meant to cause a commotion in your core. Do you fight that direction from above or that direction from your gut? What voice do you give to those in need? What does the Bible speak to you after you pray? Do you hear from the Holy Spirit? Do you discuss your challenges with a fellow believer? How do you discern what is from the Holy Spirit? What challenges you to move…to get out of that chair? What will you do?

Transformed…

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” –Romans 12:2

In fact, God is our provider. As a Christian, God will renew us and transform us…He always provides. He never promised a life without problems. I have had my share of problems. (Thank you for reminding me…I’ve seen good come from it and I’ve learned from it! Thank you for asking!) Transformation and provision from God may not look like what we think. If you didn’t have a car, you’d likely find a ride. If you didn’t have a phone, you would find a way to communicate or you may get a phone later. You may think you’re on a “fixed income” but when someone treats you to dinner, is that not a bonus? If you give your last twenty dollars to someone in need, will you not receive a blessing ten fold? How much more may we give in love? God always provides. We ask and we will receive. Why not share what is given us with those who truly need?

Much of our time is put into being comfortable. It’s not a sin to be comfortable but what if we spent as much time to think outside of this earthly mold? Today, challenge yourself to think with God’s eternal perspective. What does your room look like in heaven? Dream God sized dreams. Pray for his direction to take you out of your comfort chair today, to negate our “feelings” and say hello to conviction and repetition of God’s love. Like waves that hit the shores, I pray that you will spread the news of compassion, that you will see that there are lives outside of our immediate family who want to be loved. Will you get out of that chair for 25 repetitions…people who may need help?

But first, spend time with God. Make that the first repetition for the day. Pray for his guidance, with thanksgiving because love never fails.

“Do not be anxious about anything but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”-Philippians 4:6

Will you take that challenge to get uncomfortable today? If you do, I want to hear from you. I’m thankful for this shake-up and I pray that we may join together to show compassion. I pray that all lives matter and that we may come together to know what is true….to show love and compassion. Lets be agents for change.

Hi, My name is Summer and I am a Christian Warrior.

Who are you? Comment here with solutions….I am not enough but together, we may have solutions.

Chick takes Courage

“Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” – Jack Canfield

When my mother died. I was in my early twenties. She blanketed my fears. She encouraged me. She made all things pretty. If I made mistakes, she talked me through them. We were a team. But, then…she was gone.

After graduating from college I thought I’d get married like all of my friends. I didn’t.

When I finally met my soul mate, I was 33. I thought we’d have children. We couldn’t.

As life progressed, I thought we’d expand our family but it didn’t happen like I’d dreamed. We had so much love to give. Why wasn’t this happening?

I was told I was so talented. Why was my life not like the fairytales like those of my friends? I would compare myself to them…2, 3 and 4 kids. I had “nothing”, or so I thought.

I had faith in God. He says “Take courage…”. My mother always reminded me of this. Now…it had meaning. It had meaning to me. I’m taking control of my life…finally. (I’m a late learner, but I’m thankful to be able to learn!) I’m taking the courage afforded to me by my faith in God. I just had to believe in Him…and and then I asked Him.

Recently, I entered two writing competitions. I didn’t win. I entered. I took courage. (Finally, I took courage!)

I had an ailing hen. I had to induce vomiting to get the thing that was constricting her breathing out…I did it. My rooster, Thurston, was attacked by a predator. I had to bathe and attend to his wounds. I did. (I didn’t say I wasn’t shaking the entire time, but I did it.)

Without trying…without caring…without loving…without faith, what is this life?

Life may not happen as we imagined it; but isn’t it more important to have faith, hope and love? In fact, fear is actually “False Evidence Appearing Real”.

Take Courage! Live!

Do you take courage? What did you do that required courage? If not, what will you do to receive your courage and conquer your fear? You don’t have to win everything to have courage.

Take courage!

“Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!”
[Psalm 27:14]

Chick Can’t Do Secrets: The Tree

Keeping secrets from my husband is not just a bad idea. It’s impossible for me.

A decade ago we moved to a rural area. I wanted a fragrant and live Christmas tree. He said to wait until he returned home from a business trip. (He didn’t think I could get it home alone.) Like anyone who tried to start our fireplace alone and ended up meeting our neighbor. (Meeting him because he spotted the smoke spewing from the second floor windows of our house and responded! This same neighbor, who subsequently put the fire out for me…burned his eyebrows & arm!) I decided I could surely get a tree home alone.

Stopping at the local produce stand, I chose a beautiful tall tree. The big bubble glass lights were twinkling. the Christmas music was blaring. The boys loading it laughed loudly but said they’d strap it to my beetle bug. While raining and cold, I happily waved and pulled out onto the rural road. As soon as I gained any speed, that tree shot off the top of my car like fingers struggling to secure an oiled pig!

Reluctantly, I pulled over for a quick cry. In my rain sweat windows I saw the boys laughing hysterically; but the scene wasn’t over yet. I stepped out of my car to drag the tree back to the side of the road…but not until after a semi-truck came along and ran over it…transforming my beautiful tree to “road kill”.

Returning to the produce stand, they could barely contain themselves with laughter and tears. I was crying too, but I was simply embarrassed. The owner said,”How ’bout I deliver it to your home?” Gladly, I accepted but only if he could do it before my husband’s truck was in the driveway. (I wanted the hubs to know I could do this without him!) He offered to bring it in the house but I declined stating that would be more than I could of handled “alone”.

For many years, this “adventure” remained a secret from him, until his mom said,”What about the tree that year?”

We don’t do secrets anymore. (At least, that’s waft he thinks.)

Chick Can Change Direction

Actions and doing are better than sitting and stewing. So, I’ve been busy.

I raked. The chickens then climbed to the top of the piled leaves and started kicking their legs furiously through the pyramid of fallen leaves to make a nice flat circle for me. Time wasted? No. They loved it.

I cooked. I made a roast. My husband obtained a cold so I transformed it into a beef and vegetable soup. Waste of time? I don’t think so. He feels better today.

I wrote. I received feedback from others, who cared enough to read my manuscript. I reconfigured my words, not once but a couple of times. Hours gone but am I upset? No, because the book is only getting better.

Looking back over the weekend, I notice I’ve been busy! Doing for others is never a waste of time. (Funny thing is..I didn’t look at it that way at the time!).

Sitting and wallowing over spilt milk…what others might or might not be thinking…what may or may not happen? THAT is a waste of time!

I think I’ll keep doing. I’ll keep loving. In the end, I keep receiving, but only when I take the time to “see” that.

Today, I’m thankful.

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Chick is NOT a stranger

We live in a world where everyone is a stranger. I understand the need and-or the option to talk, to smile at or be friendly to just anyone…or NOT. I know we need to be careful.
I happen to trust my gut on who to talk to…or maybe just to smile at a total stranger. We need to trust that intuition or gut instinct.
My husband and I don’t have children. We don’t eat out a lot because we like to cook & we simply enjoy a healthy dinner at home. I say this because we invited another couple to a night out for dinner and, well…it was anything but normal.
We met early. We ordered early, so there weren’t many patrons when we began eating & visiting. As we ate, we noticed one family after another, with children began walking through the door. At first this place didn’t seem so kid friendly. It was more of a a burger/bar…hole in the wall.
“Kid Karaoke Night!” How in the world did I miss that sign by the road in front of this place? I did. I missed it.
The place quickly filled with “Taylor Swift” wanna-be’s. Cute little girls with sweet printed dresses and their favorite cowgirl boots! Horrified, everyone else we were with was ready to leave.
“Since we don’t have that many children volunteering to sing at the moment, we are welcoming adults to get us started!” Turning to a table behind us, there was a family there with the book of songs in front of them.
Looking at two girls at about 9 years old, I ask to see the book. They pushed it to me. Glancing at the book, I ask them if they are going to sing. (Silence). “I’ll sing with one of you, if you want.”. (My eyes are turned to the book. I wasn’t even looking at either one, when asking, by the way.).
“Do you know any songs?”, as I flip through the book. “Stranger.” I looked up. “Excuse me?” She said,”Stranger!” I said, “I don’t know that song. Who sings that?” (Silence. They stare at each other.).
Wait. I look at the other 9 year old and say,”Oh. Wait. Is she saying that (louder) because I’m a stranger?!” Pursing their lips, they both say “Yes!”
I got up to go explain to the parents, who by the way, were seated at the same table, to explain.
Their mother got up from her chair and patted her children on their heads for doing *the right thing*!
Really? I said how saddened I was that as they were seated with their parents…and a simple turn of my chair…while they were right there, that I’m being humiliated for being friendly to them.
She congratulated them. I cried on the way home. What a sad state we are in that people cannot be “friendly”, while the parents are less than 24″ away from them.
I’ve received criticism since I don’t have children, for not understanding the parents point of view on this. I get that. What I don’t get is that IF the parents saw me as a threat from the beginning for talking to their children, WHY didn’t they speak up to me BEFORE…the kids said “STRANGER” to me…?!
Even when I tried to explain, the mom was so proud.
Here…having no evil intentions, I wonder. With computers, television & the disassociation with anyone these days, WHO is the bad guy and should I just remove myself from being nice…to any child…any where?!
God help us if everyone is a threat, even when the parent is practically sitting next to them?!
I love “my neighbor as myself”. I know not everyone is like that, but WHERE do you draw the line? WHO is ok to help socialize your children? I mean, I let most people touch my dogs in public. I am at arms length. I’m not screaming “STRANGER”! And they aren’t human beings, but I love them…as I would a child.

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Chick Gets More than she Gives

Five years ago while living in Virginia, I was asked to go to Pennsylvania to paint in calligraphy on the wall for a baby that was to be born.  It was a blessing for me to be able to paint this baby’s name.  You see, the parent’s had been married for twenty five years.  She was an unexpected but highly anticipated little miracle.  They called her “Siena”.

Paint, I need paint.  I brought some but not the right colors, which reminds me of a Halloween party I had at my house years ago.  All of the neighbors were invited.  We live in a rural area, so we decided to do a bonfire and wiener roast with s’mores and hot apple cider!  I got paint and pumpkins for the kids to paint.  (I didn’t want the mess of pumpkin guts or the risk of someone getting hurt with a knife.  And, I bought coat hangers to put the wieners on to roast in the fire.  I was excited. 

Because I had overalls, I decided to as a hillbilly.  I wore my overalls and blacked out a tooth, wore cowboy boots and had a headband that included a little felt cowboy hat and yarn braids!  I was ready.  I was a bit goofy, but I was ready.  The neighbors arrived and I was the only one dressed in costume.  FIRST STRIKE.  We painted the pumpkins and the kids loved every moment of it.  It was a hit!  They laughed and had a gift to take with them.  STRIKE TWO happened when I got the phone call from one of the parents stating the paint…was not waterproof.  Then it was time for the bonfire.  I handed Bill the coat hangers I had untangled.  With that dazed look, he explained that we couldn’t use plastic coat hangers to cook wieners in a fire.  (There we go again, Bill was right.)  STRIKE, well you know the answer to that.  I love children, but I don’t have any.  Can you tell?

 Aaaaaand, once again, I digress.

Where was I?  Oh, right….Pennsylvania.  Once there, we found the colors that were needed.  It was a simple job for me.  I painted little sparrows and the baby’s name was “Siena”.  As I was almost completed with the process, I realized that I painted the name as “SieNNa”!  It was only supposed to be one “n”!  Needing to cover the additional “n”, I needed supplies.  Calmly, I approached the owners and asked if they had any of that sweet …light…baby… pink paint.  You know, the color the walls were painted?  Of course they didn’t.  We then made a trip to the home improvement store to get more paint and sand paper to get rid of that pesky “N”!  What should have taken only a few hours turned to about an eight hour process.  May I add that it was beautiful?   I wanted it to be special.  It was just as I had imagined it, without the additional four or five hours!

Now, five years later, I understand that Siena, with one “n”, talks to the name on the wall as if she knows me.  Her momma says that “Summer is her BFF”.  (Summer is my first name, in case you don’t know me.)  What an unexpected gift of a new little friend…who I’ve still never met!   So today, I’m excited to send her “The Mermaid City” by Judy Norwood Enter and Illustrated by…ME!  I decided to sign it and carefully, with one “n” and “with love from her BFF, Summer”!  I wish I could be there to see her face!

By the way, no children or animals were harmed in the decoration of the pumpkins!  For now, I’ll stick to my dogs and chickens.  And, stay tuned for more about caring for chickens….It’s not for sissies! 

And, no matter what…decide to bless someone, give service from your heart today… and you will be blessed. Think of little Siena, with one “n”.  My tiny BFF has blessed me beyond measure.  Decide to complain less and bless more.  Make a conscious decision each morning to do that each day.  It will change your life.  It has continued to change mine.