Of course I got excited when I found antibiotic-free, hormone-free, happy-happy chicken marked down for quick sale on Wednesday. I bought a sack full and planned to throw it on the grill to have with salads at lunch the next day. It would be easy, delicious, and nourishing. It was bone-in, so I could cook the chicken slow and low while still getting little bits of work done around the house. Yep. I had it all planned out.
Around 11:45 I fired up the grill. The chicken soon started to sizzled happily. I went back into the house for a few minutes. After all, the chicken didn’t need a babysitter.
Except that apparently it did.
When I went back outside after “letting the chicken cook low and slow” for several minutes, I noticed that the outside of the grill looked slightly discolored. Weird. I also noticed that the air didn’t smell like yummy chicken. It smelled…burned. Weird.
I opened the grill. WHAT????? Noooooooo!
Check it out. I killed the chicken.
I don’t know what actually took place in the few minutes between placing the chicken on the grill and going back to check on it, but judging from the looks of things, I’m thinking the entire interior of the grill caught fire. (I guess the fat from the skin of the chicken was just too drippy?)
Score none for Mom. (I mean, I didn’t burn down the entire house, so I guess I’ll take a half a point for that.)
I immediately got mad at the burned chicken. I got mad at the grill. Mad at myself. Mad at the kids (because when I apologized to them and told them what happened, a couple of them came back at me with attitude about “having to eat leftovers again.” Then I got mad at myself again for raising children who would actually complain about leftovers.
It was my finest hour.
I even went so far as to decide not to take any stupid pictures or write a stupid post about it. (As you can see, I’ve chilled out since Thursday.)
Sometimes I can burn chicken and laugh about it. Thursday was not one of those days. I had too much to do, not enough time, and I needed lunch to cook itself. When it didn’t – I snapped.
I know life isn’t perfect and I’ll never arrive at perfect homemaker, perfect mom, perfect wife, perfect chicken cooker. I know this. But I guess I still want the status of practically perfect. Why is that? Why is it that I ruin lunch and get mad? Why is it that after running around for three days this weekend serving people, loving people, and being with my family – I look at my filthy kitchen and get frustrated that I can’t do it all?
I guess where I land is that I constantly need truth checks. What is truth? Am I failing or not doing enough? Most importantly:
What does God ask of me?
Truth tells me that my dirty kitchen and burned chicken are a tiny piece of my daily puzzle and that other pieces are bigger and carry more weight. Truth tells me that many of my daily puzzle pieces fit together perfectly, even without me trying. Truth tells me that I don’t have to do all and be all because Jesus already is. Truth tells me that I’m rocking this job even when I don’t – because Christ’s power is made perfect in my weaknesses.
These thoughts are brought to you today by completely blackened chicken and a sink full of crusty pots and pans with a side of crumbs and sticky counter-tops.
I had to pray over my mess, and these are the truths that rose to the top. I guess it’s a good thing I decided to take a picture of that chicken.