Saturday, April 25, 2015

Speckles

Sebastian and Speckles
We started out with 6 Golden Comet hens. We absolutely fell in love with them and they are our pets and part of our family too! We lost Twinkle, one of our girls last month to a neighborhood husky. We were incredibly upset about it and tried to do the best that we could to protect the remaining 5 hens. We fixed the back yard so that they couldn't get out anymore and thought that things were okay. However, we greatly underestimated our own dogs. Two days ago, one of our own dogs attacked Speckles, the smallest of the bunch. We went to put the girls up and couldn't find her. We looked under the back deck and she wouldn't move or respond when I said her name....I immediately knew something was wrong. The deck only has about 6-7 inches of clearance but I knew I had to get her and bring her in and assess her injuries because it was only going to be in the 30s that night. I army crawled underneath the deck and burst into tears when I saw her. She had gashes on her side that I could see and she was in shock. I cradled her as best I could and pulled her out from under the deck. I brought her in and cleaned her wounds off and did the best that I could to dress them. She was badly injured around her tail feathers as well, missing A LOT of feathers under her left wing and tail and had several deep gashes and puncture wounds. What was most important was to hold her and calm her down because she was in shock and even though chickens are very resilient and can survive some pretty serious injuries, they can most definitely die of shock. She just wanted me to hold her and pet her on the head and let her know that she was okay....I wasn't so sure that she WAS okay and I didn't think she would make it through the night. I put her in a basket with some blankets and pine shavings in our room, yes, in our room:) where I could keep an eye on her and give her water as needed to keep her hydrated. My oldest son Sebastian(in the photo above with Speckles) was absolutely devastated, he asked me if it was okay for him to pray for her and I said absolutely. He didn't pray for her to be healed....Sebastian simply prayed that God's will would work itself out in the situation. Oh, if we as adults could pray that in our lives everyday, every week,every year...no matter what. I believe that God loves His creation just as much as we do. God wants that we rely fully on Him, and trust Him no matter what the circumstance...in EVERY circumstance..I too prayed for Speckles and took a cue from my son! Simply God's will!!!! There is a verse in Psalms that says: The Lord is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works [the entirety of things created]. Psalm 145:9 Even little chickens!:) By now you must be wondering, "Did she make it through the night?" The answer is an emphatic YES, YES, YES!:) I don't believe that she is out of the woods yet. She is going to have a long recovery. Her injuries were quite severe. BUT.....Nevertheless, there is GOD!


Speckles trying to rest after a meal of tuna fish and a special blend of baby oat cereal, milk, water and fish oil. She has also been eating plain yogurt. A lot of people don't realize that chickens LOVE plain yogurt, fish(salmon, tuna and sardines) and meal worms, well fish worms too and Speckles personal favorite, snails!:) She really likes being petted right now cause it helps calm her!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Well, That Didn't Work Out As Well As I Thought It Would!

Have you ever had one of those ideas that seemed so perfect at the time, almost like it couldn't possibly fail? Well, I did and I am not one to give up easily but it appears that I must admit, at least partial defeat! 

So it seems my foray into having my own website, hasn't exactly worked all that well. I realize that it takes time to start from scratch but the whole point was for me to save some money instead of having to pay Etsy fees cause they tend to get substantial after a while! Soooo, I guess I will be moving all my items back to Etsy for a while and maybe, just maybe, eventually, at some point in the future....hopefully sooner rather than much later, I can try to have my own website again.:) I do like blogging though so perhaps, I will try to keep that up!:)  www.sweetbirchdesigns.net, will probably be just a blog from now on and used to do new bead previews, giveaways and coupon codes! So please come back to visit!:) I will keep ya posted!:)

Having the Power of Seeing, They Do Not See(Matthew 13:3-13)

3. And He told them many things in parables, saying, A sower went out to sow.
4. And as he sowed, some seeds fell by the roadside, and the birds came and ate them up.
5. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they had not much soil; and at once they sprang up, because they had no depth of soil.
6. But when the sun rose, they were scorched, and because they had no root, they dried up and withered away.
7. Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them out.
8. Other seeds fell on good soil, and yielded grain--some a hundred times as much as was sown, some sixty times as much, and some thirty.
9.He who has ears to hear, let him be listening and let him consider and perceive and comprehend by hearing.
10. Then the disciples came to Him and said, Why do You speak to them in parables?
11. And He replied to them, To you it has been given to know the secrets and mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.
12. For whoever has [spiritual knowledge], to him will more be given and he will be furnished richly so that he will have abundance; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away.
13. This is the reason that I speak to them in parables: because having the power of seeing, they do not see; and having the power of hearing, they do not hear, nor do they grasp and understand.
14. In them indeed is the process of fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah, which says: You shall indeed hear and hear but never grasp and understand; and you shall indeed look and look but never see and perceive.
15. For this nation's heart has grown fat and dull, and their ears heavy and difficult of hearing, and their eyes they have tightly closed, lest they see and perceive with their eyes, and hear and comprehend the sense with their ears, and grasp and understand with their heart, and turn and I should heal them.
16. But blessed are your eyes because they do see, and your ears because they do hear.
17. Truly I tell you, many propehts and righteous men yearned to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear and did not hear it.
18. Listen then to the parable of the sower:
19. While anyone is hearing the Word of the kingdom and does not grasp and comprehend it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the roadside.
20. As for what was sown on rocky soil, this is he who hears the Word and at once welcomes and accepts it with joy;
21. Yet it has no real root in him, but is temporary; and when affliction or trouble or persecution comes on account of the Word, at once he is caused to stumble begins and he falls away.
22. As for what was sown among thorns, this is he who hears the Word, but the cares of the world and the pleasure and delight and glamour and deceitfulness of riches choke and suffocate the Word, and it yields no fruit.
23. As for what was sown on good soil, this is he who hears the Word and grasps and comprehends it; he indeed bears fruit and yields in one case a hundred times as much as was sown, in another sixty times as much, and in another thirty.

Oh Lord, help us to turn to you. Help Your words to open our hearts, open our eyes, and open our ears so that we may see and hear Your truth. Please help us to be like the seeds sown on good soil so that we may bear fruit. Amen.

Blooms of Love



My son Cass gave me this dandelion he picked! Flowers picked by my children are ALWAYS the best kind.:)

A Gorgeous Day

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. 
                                                                           Psalm 19:1


Today was such an incredibly glorious day! It was sunny and warm and felt like Spring. Our cherry bushes are budding right now and we have some flowers coming up too! The signs of Spring are everywhere! It even smelled like Spring!:)
Of course we had to go outside and enjoy the day! We took our 6 baby chicks outside for the first time and dug up some worms for them. They fought over the worms and chased each other around. They stayed close to us because they were unfamiliar with the surroundings and wanted to be where it was safe! Sometimes they weren't quite sure what to make of the new adventure. We sure did enjoy watching them and spending time together. Overall we ALL had a fantastic time. Here are some pictures of our wonderful day!:)

Sebastian and Clementine

Sebastian, Cass and Chicks from left to right Sunny, Curry, Pepper,
Maybelle, Clementine and June. The 3 yellows are Bantams and the 3 black ones are Silver Laced Wyandottes.

Kiri and June

Cherry Bush Budding
Bantams exploring


Sunny is getting sleepy...
Clementine


June is curious about the camera!
Maybelle

As White As Snow....

"Come now, and let us reason together," saith the Lord. "Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool."    Isaiah 1:18 
This morning when we woke up everything was covered in 6 1/2 inches of snow. It was absolutely gorgeous! The verse in Isaiah came to my mind, "though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow." The snow is pure. Whiter than any white we can see! Our dog is white and on any other day looks so bright and white...but today, against the snow, her fur looked dingy. Sin makes our souls dark and dingy. Try as we may, we are incapable of cleaning things spiritually so to speak or making ourselves pure...only Jesus can do that.  If we confess our sins and ask Jesus to come into our lives, He purges us of all the darkness...all the dirty, dingy spots that we have on our soul from sin. He cleans out all of the gunk and makes us as pure as snow. He gives us a fresh start, a new beginning of purity. All we have to do is ask AND submit to the will of God. 

After a hearty breakfast of 7 grain waffles, curried eggs and maple sausage, we all went outside to play in the snow! We had great fun and were absolutely exhausted by the time we came back inside. 
Here are some pictures of our winter wonderland family time!

Our apple tree covered with snow!

Spice flapping her wings to propel herself through the snow faster!:)

Readying the snowballs!

Enjoying the snow!

The black walnut tree!












Bead Preview

I promise I haven't disappeared!:) I just haven't had time to paint all of the beads I have been working on, but I am still working on them...just slowly...ummm, make that very slowly! But here is a preview!:) I have lots more stuff to make and some more hammered metal pieces to finish but hopefully I should have some new stuff up soon!:)



Brrrr, It's Cold!

I am no stranger to cold, frigid weather....I lived in Michigan for almost 3 years and Virginia my entire life! After experiencing the cold in Michigan, -20 below temperatures sometimes...I decided I did NOT want to live anywhere again where we got 6 feet of snow!:) We generally don't get much snow in Tennessee where I live and that is just fine by me!:) We did have some snow overnight but mostly ice...everything under the layer of snow is ice. We had freezing rain for several hours yesterday but overall it wasn't as bad as predicted.
My daughter and I went outside this morning to feed our chickens(who actually sleep in dog crates in the house when it is too cold, which is what  they did last night!). Needless to say we bundled up! The chickens however had other thoughts in mind.They mostly just wanted to stay in their coop or under the shed. I can't say that I blame them....walking around outside was quiet dangerous as the ice was quite slick. The gates to our backyard are frozen shut and the tree branches are weighed down with ice and snow! We didn't stay out very long! Kiri was ready to come back in to warm up and have some tea! If you are anywhere where it is cold, please do keep warm!:)



Some of our chickens!


Frozen trees!


Brrr...cold
Warming up with some blueberry tea!

The Promise of Spring

"While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease."                           Genesis 8:22

This is such an inspiring verse that lets us know that we have God's promise of the seasons. As long as the earth endures, then all the seasons shall endure. The heat of summer burns fierce, yet we know it is only for a time. The days grow shorter and cooler and fall is ushered in amongst wondrous colors of leaves. The leaves abandon their branches and drift to the ground, soon the first snow falls. Through the cold and winter, we long for the first rays of the Spring sun on our faces. Just in time, the glorious beauty of Spring returns. Flowers begin to bloom, birds begin to sing and trees begin to bud. A promise once again is fulfilled. As long as the earth endures, God will always keep His promises.