What do chickens have in-common with the day-to-day reality of family life, courage, and compassion? What can these seemingly unintelligent animals really teach us about conviction, love and loss?
In Kelly Chripczuk’s brand new book “Chicken Scratch: Stories of Love, Risk, and Poultry” she recounts her experience as an active mother of four, a pastor of a thriving congregation, and a chicken farmer. These pages are filled with the raw honesty of the ups and downs life throws at us, but are also graced with a sense of pastoral wisdom and humour.
Throughout her book, Chripczuk invites us to journey with her as she makes new discoveries, rekindles old ones, and ultimately falls into a rhythm of life that promotes balance and well-being. Through her own search for what is right, she encourages her readers to find grace and strength in the sacred and in the secular, in the marvelous and in the mundane.
This book started as a journal, a commitment to pay attention and write as often as I could during the first thirty days with our new flock. I wrote nearly every day from the first of May to the first of June, 2016. I paid attention to the way life with the birds intersected with my own life and family life. I watched the way I behaved with the birds and how I thought about them. I listened to my life and discovered the questions I would have to answer and decisions I needed to make to be able to embrace a life I love. Not all of my writings made the cut and much in the form of details and explanations were added later.
I watched the chickens, watched myself and listened for the nudge of God in the intersections of my life. And while I don’t often write directly about God in the pages that follow, I’m convinced that the presence of love, grace and joy on these pages means God is here just as clearly as God is there in the longings, confessions, hopes and angst of the Psalms. I’m still in love with that brown eyed boy and this past spring the world was again blooming fresh and green around us. Sleeping creation woke from its winter slumber and I stood for a while at the crossroads of love and risk where heaven and earth meet, waiting, watching and giving witness.
What is the most completely crazy thing your heart is calling you to do at this particular moment? It might be an action or a career path that everyone around you discourages you from. There might be plenty of external (and even a few internal) opinions and viewpoints that are pressuring you to change your focus and direction. But just like Chripczuk discovers, finding a path that we love and then gaining the courage to continue down that road makes our lives so much more vibrant and interesting.
If you’re looking for a fast-paced, funny, easy-to-read book but also one with a lot of depth and that will challenge you gently, I highly recommend “Chicken Scratch”!
Today is the official launch date for Chicken Scratch: Stories of Love, Risk, and Poultry By: Kelly Chripczuk (one of my fellow MennoNerds). I was given the honour and delight of receiving an advanced copy of her writing in exchange for a fair and honest book review. I was under no obligation to write a favourable review, although I highly enjoyed this autobiographical account. Any and all opinions herein reflect my own beliefs and are not representative of any of the blogging communities I am affiliated with. If you are interested in reading more of Chripczuk’s writings, please check out her personal blog at: http://afieldofwildflowers.blogspot.ca/