5.30.2013

When You've Got Nothing

You know those "I've got nothing" days? The days when you feel like you've got nothing to offer? Or maybe you've got a little something, but you feel like it isn't really needed?


Yeah, you know the days. The days when you hold back and hole up...keeping your nothing or your little something all to yourself because surely no one else will need what you've got.


Well friends, today is a new day!
And today, and I'm here to say to myself and to you:

You are needed.
You absolutely have something to offer.

{A gift from a neighbor's garden.}

The truth is, your "nothing" can be used as God's "something." So go ahead and offer your nothing today and see what happens!

Love and hugs,

5.21.2013

More Glory

Sometimes life is stormy, dark and cloudy.


And sometimes life is sunny, bright and flower-filled.


And while I might prefer one to the other,
I know this much is true:

God uses both sunshine and rain
to produce the fullness of glory in your life.


I'm asking God to reveal more of His glory...
in life's sunshine and in life's storms.

Love and hugs,

5.06.2013

Feeling Sadness and Finding Glory

Farm life taught us some hard lessons last week. The kind that break your heart. Seasoned farm owners say this comes with the territory, but that doesn't make it any easier to endure when you're all new at this. We're learning the hard way. {Is there any other way?}

We lost four animals in one week. {Three of them three days in a row.} The girls stared death in the face...with tears, confusion, heartache and bravery. This wasn't part of the dream, but it's part of life.

On Sunday...
we lost Ladybird to Marek's disease.
{Tried to nurse her back to health, but this virus is incurable.}

On Monday...
we lost a duck to an owl.
{Our clue was the tuft of feathers left behind.}

On Tuesday...
we lost another duck. Probably to a weasel.
{Gruesome. They take the head and leave the body.}

Down to six ducks from our original 10.


And then to add to our sadness that day,
Buddy and Bella "played" too roughly with one of the ducks.
It survived, but it was traumatized {and missing a good number of feathers}.

When will these huge puppies be ready to assume their role as guardians?

Well, we didn't have time to find out. It was either put them to work and risk something going terribly wrong...or lose an entire flock to the predators who would surely return. {Gulp.} This is what these dogs were made to do: to protect against predators. So we looked our puppies in the eyes and said, "You were made for this! You can do it!"

We put Buddy in the barnyard area with the ducks and chickens, and left Bella in the front pasture to guard against anything sneaking under the barn. There was lots of barking that night...the deep, I spy a predator bark. And in the morning...

...all animals were alive and well! Way to go puppies!!! {I love seeing people, or in this case puppies, doing what God created them to do.} 

After their first night on the job,
Buddy and Bella were exhausted!

We've put them to work every night since and haven't lost a single bird to predators. But sadly, we lost another chicken on Saturday...to the same highly contagious, fatal, incurable virus. We're praying we don't lose the whole flock. Though that's very possible and likely. {Wish we had known to ask for vaccinated chicks!}

We lost Morning Glory on Saturday.
{Heartbreaking to watch her deteriorate all week.}

Looking back, I can tell she wasn't well.

Morning Glory on the left. 
See how her neck is all tucked in? That's one way I can tell now.
{All three chickens have looked the same way as they deteriorated.}

In the last week, we experienced the full spectrum of emotions. There was victory {the dogs doing their job} and defeat {the predators}. There was joy and there was sorrow. We're learning how to hold both in our hearts. And that, my friends, is perhaps the greatest lesson of all: learning to hold opposing emotions in your heart together and at once. {Some say this is what makes you emotionally whole.}

If we don't learn to hold both, our hearts grow cold and hardened or downcast and melancholy. {Both extremes leave us less than what we were meant to be. Less whole hearted and less alive.} One way I fight against the extremes is by finding glimpses of glory in everyday life. {That's what my blog is all about. It's why I bother picking up my camera each day.}

Here are a few glimpses of glory amidst the hardship:

A daddy daughter date.

Covered in chick love.

Me napping in the barn with the dogs.

Leading the ducks out to the pond for the first time.


They freaked out.
{Not ready for all that freedom!}

Leading the ducks back to the barn.

We call this one Mister.
{No clue if it's a male of female, but it has the attitude of a rooster!}

So there you have it: real life on a farm. Not all glorious all the time, but glory sprinkled in if you have eyes to see it. Sometimes glory takes your breath away; sometimes it's hidden between layers of sadness and hardship. The same is true for you. I hope you'll find the glory in this week...whatever comes your way.

Blessings,
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