Emily Belle Freeman
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THIS IS MY JOY

AND MY GREAT REJOICING

When You Wonder if You're Making a Difference

Maybe you remember last year at this time when my whole house started filling up. It started around Valentine's Day.  Everyone decided to come home.

Not just my kids.

Garett returned from his mission and moved home.

Ian moved in.

And Steven, next door, lived here from breakfast until midnight every day.

There were nine of us living under this roof.

It was a Spring and Summer I won't ever forget.  One of my most favorite.

Well, this year it started happening again.

On Valentines day.

But not with children.

I came home and heard tiny chirping noises coming from the kitchen.  I walked in to discover four baby chickens.  (Ummm, we already have 8 full grown chickens in the back yard.)  Greg loves the chickens.  He calls them his ladies.  He talks to them, gives them treats, even allows them into the kitchen on occasion.  Now all the sudden there were four more.

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Screen Shot 2015-03-11 at 10.27.51 PM

"What are these?"  I asked when he walked in.

"Happy Valentines!"  He said.

"Wait," I immediately replied, "That's not my happy valentine's.  It can be yours though…" I said with a wink.

A week later I was speaking at a TOFW in Layton.  Greg sent a text.  "Someone just left four baby chicks on our front porch with a note that says, "Greg, thanks for all you do.  I thought you would like these."

Seriously?

Who gives chickens as a thank you gift?

…and then there were 8.  (Well, 16, if you count "the ladies" in the backyard.)

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Screen Shot 2015-03-11 at 10.30.08 PM
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Screen Shot 2015-03-11 at 10.29.26 PM

Until four hours later when my sister showed up at the door with six chicks.  "I heard you were raising baby chicks.  Will you raise mine?  I hate the baby stage.  You can drop them off in two months."

Of course he would.  He loves chickens.

You might want to keep up with the math here.  22.

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Screen Shot 2015-03-11 at 10.28.26 PM

Until a seminary teacher heard about the petting zoo, and added four more to the bunch.

26.

And the neighbor across the street, who added six.

33.

And then the cute grandpa, who couldn't resist buying four for his granddaughter.

Yes.  That is 36 chickens.

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Screen Shot 2015-03-11 at 10.28.43 PM

This year, instead of helping to raise other people's children, we are helping to raise other people's chickens.

Hey.  We all have to do whatever we can.  Right?

And this year I am making a difference by running a small petting zoo.

It's made me realize that there are so many ways to make a difference.  To help out.  To serve.

And some of us are good at one thing.  And others, another.

And sometimes our role is huge.

And other times we just provide sawdust and heat lamps and chicken scratch.

But at the end of the day it is nice to know that someone can show up on the front porch and ask for help.

I always want to have that kind of front porch.

A welcoming porch.

For children.

Or for chickens.

Whatever people need.

I want to make that kind of difference.

Emily Freeman