Wednesday, August 28, 2013

It Comes in Waves

There are days when all is calm and I move gently along. All is peaceful, I am focused on my destination. 

I know that even through the loss, God is in control. My very dear friend Amy, who died this past June, is in the presence of Almighty God. She is rejoicing and whole! My heart floats on still waters.

Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

And then there are days when the water laps gently, rolling over my feet softly with a quiet sorrow.

She's not here to share the first eggs from our own little flock of chickens.

She's not here to call or text when I want to share some news.

I miss her smile.

My heart aches.

Psalm 42:5  Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance!

And there are days when the waves swell a little higher and sorrow pushes a little stronger.

There will be no coordinating of our schedules this Fall.

There will be no praying for our children together.

There will be no first week of school breakfast with her.

Tears of grief fall silently down.

Lamentations 3:21-26 This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. Through the Lord's mercies we are not consumed,(even by grief!) because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. "The Lord is my portion," says my soul, "Therefore I hope in Him!" The Lord is good to those who seek Him. It is good that one should hope and wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.

But then, there are days when the waves crash hard! They wash over! They work to pull me under!

Tears fall fast and hard during a meeting with women who lead the women's ministry at my church. She would have been here. We would have met for coffee before hand. We would have prayed for and discussed this ministry together. We worked through our suffering together in Bible study last year.

My heart is overwhelmed! 

John 16:33 "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me (Jesus) you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world!"

Daily I grieve the loss of my friend Amy. There is so much I miss. Some days are much more painful than others, but I will not allow grief to get the final word! God gets the final word! And His word brings peace and hope and comfort!

Faith-filled grieving is an offensive move toward healing and reclaiming our lives. It is grief brought to Christ, where He in turn gives us the mercy and grace we need to reclaim life, one bit at a time. The alternative to faith-filled grieving is grieving without God. When that happens we descend into hopeless grieving rather that hopeful grieving. One allows the thief to steal our hope, the other puts hope in the Good Shepherd!  - T.J. Addington's book When Life Comes Undone

Even in grieving, my confidence remains in the One who promises to comfort, the One who understands the suffering, the One who promises an eternity with Him for all who choose to accept His gift of salvation!

And to be honest, I also take a little comfort in this...


Monday, August 26, 2013

A Weekend Project : Barn Wood Headboard

Last Fall, my friend Sarah asked if I would like to go with her to gather some barn wood from an old barn that was being taken down.

Of course I said yes! Actually, I may have squealed yes. I can't remember for sure. Hmmm

Anyway, wielding hammer and pry bar, I came away with a sweet pile of beautifully aged barn wood and a very sore shoulder. It was totally worth the sore shoulder!! I had so many ideas for putting my reclaimed barn wood to good use.

But my sweet pile of barn wood ended up sitting on the side of the garage through the winter. -sigh-

Project ideas continued to swirl through my mind though. In particular, I could picture a lovely old barn wood headboard for the bed in our guest room, which was headboardless!

Sad isn't it?

So as Spring, sprung, I laid the barn wood out on the patio to dry. I was so ready to begin a barn wood project!

Then it snowed. Grrrr

Barn wood projects as well as the chicken coop project were delayed.

And since the chickens were growing at an alarming rate, the coop took priority when the weather got nice again. 

And, well, life happened.

Anyway the barn wood was once again tossed into a pile to wait. -sigh-

Guess what the Husband and I finally got to working on last weekend!!

Yep, we pulled out that barn wood.

Chose the pieces we thought would work best for the guest room headboard.

There was a lot of measuring. 

Okay, I'm going to admit to you that the Husband measured. I said, "That doesn't look right! How can that be right?" I then went and remeasured. He was right.

I'm saying it here for all to see...

I was wrong. HE WAS RIGHT. 

Eh hem

We then cut all of the barn wood boards to the correct length for our guest bed.

Once the boards were cut we removed the old nails. Wow there were a lot! Wouldn't be good to have guests getting caught on those now would it?

We brushed off dust and debris.

Then we attached new boards, cut to the height we wanted the headboard to be.

Finally we gave it a good coating of clear matte finish to seal the wood.

Then we had to allow the new headboard to sit in the garage for 24 hours because the smell was something else! Whew!

Once the smell began to dissipate, we attached a support beam to the bed frame and mounted our new headboard.

Hope none of our future guests see that photo. Could be cause for nightmares!

Anyway, done!

It looks great!

Barn wood project #1...complete! 


Now on to the next project!


Saturday, August 10, 2013

An Eggstra Special Blog Post

I let the chickens into the garden to play yesterday.

As usual, they rushed out of the coop in a flutter of spread wings and excited squawks! 

After checking the progress of the cucumber and tomato plants I realized that only 3 of the girls had come into the garden to play. Jade was mysteriously absent.

I called out, "Here chickie chickie" and she quickly peaked her head out of the coop house. She was reluctant, but finally made her way into the garden with the other girls. (and by girls I mean chickens. You knew that, right?)

I made a beeline to check the nesting boxes! I thought...this is it! She must have laid her first egg, that's why she was late into the garden.

No such luck. The nesting box was empty. -sigh-

I went about my other chores.

Minutes later however, Jade returned to the coop house, went directly into a nesting box, and began scratching and shifting around. I knew this was it! It had to be! No chicken in her right mind would hide away in a nesting box when she could be out playing in the garden! Right??

I rallied the family. We all stood outside the nesting box waiting. That's totally normal, right? 

We waited 25 minutes quietly cheering Jade on! Go Jade! Go Jade! Push it out! Push it out! Waaaay out! Every family that raises chickens does this, right?


25 minutes later Jade emerged from the nesting box. We gave a cheer, opened the box...


-double sigh-

It was a bit of a let down. Oh well, soon, right?

Later in the evening the kids went out to the coop to check on the girls. You know I went running when they yelled, "We have an egg!"

I was so excited! 

I expected to look into the nesting box and see egg laying perfection, the sight of a beautiful brown egg, gently deposited on soft pine shavings.

Not so much.

After all the time Jade spent in the nesting box, she deposited her first little egg in the middle of the coop run.

Yep, right there in the middle of the run. But hey, we have our first egg!! Woohoo!

It's beautiful!

And so tiny.

And very photogenic!

And tasty!!

Did I mention tiny?

Finally one of the girls is laying! Only 3 more to go!

Chop chop ladies! You're falling behind!


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Very Egg-citing

Our once little chicks,

So Cute!
will be 17 weeks old tomorrow!

I know! I can hardly believe it myself.

In fact, I hadn't been paying much attention to how old they were until one of the chickens dropped into a squat when Miss Sofia tried to pick her up. This squat action is very unlike the normal routine of trying to run away when someone is trying to pick them up. This squat action is, from everything I've read on raising chickens, a good indicator that a chicken will begin laying eggs soon. -squeal!-

Of course I wanted Sofia to make the chicken do it again!

Did you know that chickens begin laying eggs between 16 and 18 weeks old? 

This squatting action made me decide it might be a good idea to count the weeks since our girls hatched. 

17 weeks!! Whoop Whoop!!

Definitely time to prepare the nesting boxes which have been closed up to prevent the chickens from making them a place to sleep when they were younger, and since chickens poop right where they sleep, to keep the nesting boxes poop free. Yes, poop free nesting boxes are ideal!

I purchased a couple of (the humor is not lost on me) roasting pans to line the nesting boxes. They were the only thing I could find that was the right size to fit inside the boxes. I'm not sure if the chickens will like roasting pans as nesting box liners, but they will make for easy work when it comes to changing out the nesting material.

While the Husband removed the board that closed up the nesting boxes, I filled the pans with pine shavings and some lavender sprigs (lavender smells so nice) and placed them inside the nesting boxes.

Within seconds the girls arrived to checkout what we were doing.

It's all so very egg-citing!

And now we wait.  

Pretty soon!


Any day now!


It's gonna happen!