"Come and listen…and I will tell you what He did for me." Ps.66:16

“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.  Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.”  (Romans 12:9-10, 13 NIV)

Granny was the best cook ever!  I loved her fried chicken!  It usually came with a side of mashed potatoes, gravy, homemade yeast rolls and a mess (as my Granny would call it) of fresh creamed corn from the garden!  What’s not to love – right?

Not only did Granny fry the chicken, she sometimes had to chase the chicken, catch the chicken, wring the chicken’s neck, pluck the chicken, cut up the chicken and then finally fry the chicken! What a process!

I think you get the idea of chasing and catching the chicken which often took place in our back yard.  But for you non-country living chicken1-291x300folks, to wring a chicken’s neck would mean that once the unsuspecting chicken was captured, Granny would grasp the neck of the chicken and literally swing the chicken in a circular motion until the neck of the chicken broke – therefore producing one dead bird for dinner.

One day, things got a little complicated! As I watched Granny wring the chicken’s neck, thinking to myself that she was being a little over zealous by taking some misplaced anger out on the chicken instead of on us girls, not only did she break the chicken’s neck, the head of the chicken somehow pulled away from the body of the chicken.  And yes, let your imagination go with this one – we had a headless chicken running through the yard, spurting blood everywhere.  I didn’t know if I needed to be traumatized or if I needed to laugh. So I picked laugh. Yes, I laughed out loud as I watched the headless chicken scurry about the yard with our German Shepherd puppy Rusty in fast pursuit until the chicken came to a screeching halt and fell over dead in its’ tracks.

Next came the plucking!  Plucking, once again for the non-country living folks, is the removal of all of the chicken’s feathers by hand.  Once the bird was striped of it’s feathers,  it was time to butcher or cut up the chicken.   I know, another new concept for some of us – one in which I will age myself – we could not always buy butchered chickens in the grocery store. Our only choice when buying chickens was to buy whole chickens which then had to be butchered at home.  Now we get them all cleaned, cut up and sold in the pieces we desire or deem as our favorite pieces.

Granny was a knife wielding cook who could slice and dice a chicken in about 5 minutes leaving two breasts, one pulley bone, two legs, two wings, two thighs, and two backs.  So finally it was fry time and then next – supper time!

It was an unwritten rule at the supper table for our chicken pieces to be pre-assigned to each family member.  Mom got the two chicken breasts – one for dinner and one for her lunch the next day.  The older sister got the pulley bone.  The younger sister got the thighs. I got the wings.  Granny claimed the legs and the backs.  And many times, or really most times, Granny would leave the legs in the fridge for us as leftovers and would nibble and gnaw on the almost meatless backs.

It wasn’t until Granny’s funeral, as her eulogy was being read, I realized that by claiming the chicken backs for herself, she was sacrificing the best for my belly, for my needs.  And sadly enough, I had taken it all for granted for so many years, for so many chicken dinners.

Granny lived out the words of Paul found in Romans 12:10; “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves” along with the words of Hebrews 13:16; “And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.”  

Granny not only lived out her love for us, but she also lived out her love for God by choosing to sacrifice the best for us.  She sacrificed for us just as God sacrificed Jesus, his one and only Son for our sins.  She sacrificed for us just as Jesus sacrificed His life so that we might have life – eternal life.

No doubt Granny was met in heaven by our well pleased God greeting her with these words, “Well done, good and faithful servant! (Matthew 25:23) And winner, winner, chicken dinner!”

So coupled with the legacy left by Granny and an amazing series of messages titled “All In” from my church, Restore Community Church, I choose “Sacrifice” as My One Word for 2013 praying these words as I live one day at a time. One choice at a time. One sacrifice at a time;

Lord, thank You for the ultimate sacrifice, for sending Jesus to die for me.  Thank You for Granny.  Thank You for her legacy of sacrifice.  Cause me to live out your words in Romans.  Cause me to be devoted to others in love.  Cause me to honor others above myself. Don’t let me forget to do good and to share with others.  Cause me to sacrifice for others so that they may come to know You or draw closer to You.  In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Share your favorite memory of your Granny to be entered to win a free copy of Susan Lawrence’s new book, Farm Days!  Love it and as I read it last night, my heart and my mind were flooded with memories of my Granny and my childhood!


Comments on: "Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!" (26)

  1. Beautiful, Donna! Makes me miss both of my grandmothers, who passed away many years ago. I watched a couple of these chickens sacrifice their life for our dinner, on a few occasions, as well. It’s quite a process. But when you mentioned your granny taking the chicken backs….wow, I never thought of that before. Both of my grandmothers used to do the same exact thing. Now I know why!!!! Thank You for sharing this today!! It really spoke to me today!

  2. That’s a big word Donna. I look forward to reading how this year unfolds for you.
    God bless

    • I know … a big word and a tough word to follow through on. Praying that God will make me sensistive to the sacrifices that He wants me to make for His kingdom purposes and His glory.

  3. Love this! Really really do! Thank you Donna!

    • Thanks much. I will talk with Janet and see if she wants to get together and do the study of My One Word. Have a safe trip to Texas and excited to see what God teaches us through LET IT GO.

  4. Donna – BAM! I guess us East Texas girls grew us seeing our grannies do that – at least I watched one of mine do it and that one time scared the daylights out of me. Your story brought tears to my eyes thinking of my grannies and their sacrifices and how spoiled we are today. Thank you for sharing your memories and bringing back mine. Love this! Love your word! Happy New Year as you sacrifice daily because you do lady. Love you! Debbie Templin Williams

    • Debbie, I know it was quite the experience to watch Granny wring the necks of chicken. But not much can beat the taste of fresh chicken! And yes, we are spoiled!

  5. Donna, for one I am craving friend chicken and mashed potatoes but also challenged by your one word. Mine is surrender and I think those two go together. All In was the catalyst for my word as well. Thanks for the encouraging word. Wanna meet for dinner?

    Love ya,

    • We need to do Stroud’s! Love their fried chicken! I’m in when you are … out of town next week but can the following week. We need to talk retreat!

  6. It’s just amazing the things we remember from our childhood and the people we love. Another greatly written blog Donna. Loved the entire concept. Sacrifice is a wonderful one word for the year. Love you lady.

    • Catherine, thank you so much for always being so faithful to stop over and read my blog. Means the world to me! Thanks for encouraging words and it is amazing at things we remember!! I’ve got few more of those locked away for future blogs posts! Love you too!

  7. I missed the party about Granny. My favorite memory was all the flower beds. They were huge – she had them everywhere and how did she have time. They were poor and had 10 kids. I have no idea how she did it. I watched her have to kill her chickens, I watched her on a scrub board outside washing clothes but I will never forget those giant flower beds. Debbie Williams

    • Debbie,

      My Granny had amazing flower beds too! It was always my job to turn the soil over when she began planting! If I had only paid more attention to what all she was showing!! We too were poor and I’ve a story about Christmas stockings and coffee cans that I need to work on. My Granny was the best! Thanks for stopping by and as always being so encouraging!
      Love ya

  8. Precious story! Love it! Not sure of my One Word yet. Still praying about it:)

    • Rivera,

      Thank you … thank you and thank you for stopping by to read! Can’t wait to hear your one word. I know will use it mightily in your life! Thank you for always blessing mine!

  9. Melanie Shannon said:

    What a beautiful post – headless chicken and all. I think my Mimi & your Granny would have been great friends. I can say that this city girl who moved to the country is thankful for frozen skinless chicken breast at Costco but more than that I am thankful for you and the women like you willing to share your heart & faith. Thank you Donna! Looking forward to seeing how 2013 unfolds. With God leading the way, it will be an awesome adventure. Still praying for my word.

    • Melanie,

      Praying for God to reveal His perfect word for you! And I too am a fan of frozen skinless chicken breasts! Thanks for your encouraging words and please let me know when God reveals your one word to you!

  10. I loved this! My favorite memory of my Grandma is when I got to go on the Greyhound Bus with her to visit my uncle, aunt, and cousins. My Grandma used to do a lot of traveling visiting all of the grandkids. Everywhere she went, she took the Greyhound Bus. I even have a momento from that trip. A guy in the bus station did a pencil drawing of me and I still have it. Thanks for the walk down memory lane.

    • I would love to see the picture! That’s awesome! And blessed to get to ride the bus with your Grandma! What fun times!!!

      • Hey Donna, you can check it out in my profile pics album. It is the only pencil drawing and was added 2/10/12. Your post brought that wonderful memory back to mind and I really want to thank you. You are one special lady!

  11. Kelly Goodman said:

    Oh the memories this brought back! I spent many summers/weekends on the farm & the lessons learned will always be ingrained. My favorite memory is snapping beans with my Grandma with a big ole glass of sweet tea sweating in the sun. She’d be wearing her apron & would wipe her brow with it & reach over & tenderly wipe mine. Oh for a chance to relive the good old days again! Thanks for the memories!

  12. Oh my! I’ve heard of chickens running around like this but I’ve never had the “pleasure” of seeing it. 😉 What great memories of your Grandma. Love your One Word too!

    • Thanks Eileen! Yep, it was quite the sight! The headless chicken being chased by the crazed dog! And my Granny was just standing there holding the head of the chicken in her hand! You just had to laugh! Thanks for stopping by and visiting!

  13. Oh My! Does this ever bring back memories of my own grandmother. When we visited her in GA, she did the very same thing with a chicken for our Sunday dinner, although I don’t remember any of hers running headless! An awesome post and I’ve enjoyed my visit to your blog. Blessings. . .

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