Overflowing with Blessings from God

     Wow! Did the Lord ever bless today, for there was much accomplished! I really am enjoying this "new boss", because He's far smarter and knows way more about what needs to be done and how to do it. For so many years when I set about doing a project, such as building a coop or such, I'd often spend at least half of the time trying to find the right "recycled" piece of wood that would work, even when the lumber pile was organized. "Recycling" or "up-cycling" or whatever you want to call it - but when you take less than perfect wood in all different shapes and sizes and try to build with it - can be a blessing and a curse at the same time. Yes, you're saving money by not having to buy the lumber, but there can be aggravation when you try 5 different pieces of wood & they're all too short, or need to be cut. But, the past few times I've embarked on another "building project", it's been different & so much easier. Let me explain, even if it still doesn't make sense to you.
    A month ago, on September 19th, I was going through a difficult time, because my heavenly Father was digging down deep into areas of my life that I hadn't allowed to be touched before. Aptly referred to as "all disciple for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; but to those who are trained by it, afterwards yield the peaceable fruit of righteousness." (Hebrews 12:11 NASB) One of those specific areas the "hobby farm". That night (9/19), after putting all the critters to bed, I sat on the stairs going down the chicken yard main entrance gate, and talked things over with God, pouring out my heart. Then, I was silent and listened. Softly, gently, the response came, and it was this:
"I have been speaking. ... The Hobby Farm is under new Management and therefore, changes are taking place. No need to "figure" things out. Ask Me and I'll show you ... each step of the way how I desire thing to be. I am in control. You are just to obey and follow My leading, even if it seems to go against what "you think". I know better and will make it come under My Lordship, My Headship & My Order."
And you know what, He was and is right. I simply can't do it, but if I can just be the simple garden hose through which He flows, I'll gladly be that. While it wasn't easy to "let go and let God", it's actually been producing some nice fruit and I'm much more peaceful.
He's guided me in who to sell (mostly the young roosters who went to auction), process, and how to streamline the daily feeding process. And lately, He's been the Carpenter around here, although I didn't have much good "new" lumber to work with, but He's used to that. Taking the old and transforming it into a beautiful, functional vessel to be used for His purposes. I guess those years that Jesus was a Carpenter on earth is coming "handy" again, since He keeps giving me wonderful direction how to "recycle" this old wood that most people would just burn up or take to the landfill. Granted, I'm also not building to last a lifetime, since we are just sojourners as renters, so whenever the cloud lifts and says it's time to move, then I won't feel as bad getting rid of more of the lumber that has gotten a 2nd life and can now be "retired".

Well, enough "rabbit trails", it's past by bedtime, and I've got to finish writing up this blog post.
I wasn't exactly sure what "project" to start on this morning after chores, but since my Boss is always "on call", I just asked. I was instructed to go over to the pile of pallets that have been sitting where we put them last year when we moved. As I started to move them, one step at a time was given to me, and I followed them. The pallets were removed, and a few of them were assembled to make a partial "wall" - almost exactly as I'd envisioned it, but didn't know how to go about it. God, You are so incredible!
    When we'd set up fences last year, I wasn't exactly sure where I wanted every gate. So, we'd made two "temporary" gate with just the 2"x4" welded wire fencing, so we could access where we originally had the lumber, wire & roofing material. That proved to be a pain in the neck, the back, the head - because we had to bend over to go through the gates & the wire "latches" weren't very good at keeping the gate closed. So, that's been on the to-do list, now that I know I want a gate there & the lumber pile is actually starting to look more like coops. Therefore, that was the next order of the day. Again, it was also a step by step process that unfolded beautifully. In our previous garden, I'd used wooden frames with chicken wire for pole bean, squash or tomato trellis. Now that our garden is visible to everyone that passes by and doesn't have wooden raised bed frames, these trellis were no longer needed. Mom had suggested I used one of them for this gate "re-do", but I wasn't sure it would work. Needless to say, it was as it was tailor made for that section of fencing. And all the lumber I needed to make the gate was right there, within a few feet & I only need to make a few small cuts. I was planning on using some 5ft high welded wire to bridge the gap between the wooden frame & the aviary netting, but my eyes fell on a section of chicken wire someone had given us with huge 2 or 3 inch hexagon holes. That small, gentle voice inside me said to try it, and it fit perfectly! Even how to attach the gate hinge, the framing to keep it upright, though "unconventional" - it works.
Once that was finished, I turned to the "bachelor rooster's" gate, which was one jumbled, curved mess of wire that continually got caught on the aviary netting. Again, a "temporary" gate that got bend out of shape, then "repaired" in the winter & never fixed all summer despite it being a bear to open & close. When I'd purchased the used t-posts last year (a whole other story!), the guy asked if we were interested in any small tube gates. We ended up getting 3, and as of yet, we hadn't used even one. What had me stumped was how to attach them, either to a t-post or wood, and though I'm sure there's hardware out there specifically for that purpose, I didn't have transportation today. First, I was going to use some 1/2" electrical conduit pipe to run through the gate's "hinges" and a few "eye bolts". Unfortunately, the eye bolts were the exact diameter of the EMT, so it wouldn't work. So at least for now, I used the eye bolts, washers & nuts to make a hinge. Zip tied welded wire fence to the tube gate, and used a eye bolt & carabineer for the latch. Plus, it worked so much better. I had some scraps of welded wire fence left, and the Lord reminded me to patch up the holes in the aviary netting. That's how Genny escaped last week (another future blog post), as well as, many other roosters which ended up on top of the aviary netting with no way to get back inside "safety". But, with the Lord's help and the welded wire scraps, those holes are patched up!
By that time, it was getting dark, so I went inside to grab my headlamp and an 18-count egg carton.  One by one I closed up the coops & collected eggs. Some of the young chickens in the PA coop have been roosting in the nesting boxes, aka milk crates, so I closed them off. As a result, they tried to all get on the roosts, but not enough room to do so. Even though it wasn't on my list, I again heard the soft, gentle voice say, "You've got a pre-made roost in that pile. Put that in the PA coop for the young ones." So, I went & did as I was instructed. Again, it was the right length (recycled from one of the previous coops that got torn down when we moved), and after breaking off the old stripped screws, it fit perfectly against one of the empty walls.
   It was still pleasant and not that chilly, so by headlamp, I moved some of the pallets closer to where hopefully I can use them for a new composting idea I'd like to try.  While I'm on the rabbit trail of weather, it was pretty nice today, the sun shone for awhile & I took off all the extra layers & just had a turtle neck work blouse on for several hours today. I wonder if this is our "Indian Summer"?
The 2nd "garden trellis" was starting to break apart & some of the wood was rotting, so that go dismantled & when it's light out, I'll sort though what goes & what can get re-used another time.
Now, the 4x8 coop roof that we salvaged from the first coop we built as a family in 2008, is accessible, and while I was going to use it as-is, it's way too heavy. So, it will get dismantled if I can find a hex screw driver to remove the screws with. I though my brother had one, but perhaps I was the last one who used it and after looking in the sheds & tool boxes, I haven't found one yet.
But, it's such a good feeling that much was accomplished, and while it was work, it was enjoyable because I knew God was in control! I didn't have to figure out how to do it, just follow the directions given through the Holy Spirit. I'm still amazed that God not only "has time" to help us with our everyday tasks, but He desires and wants to be "intimately acquainted with all of our ways." Yet, He's every so patient and watches us scurry around trying to "do our own thing" and then making sure we "set aside time for Him". But, what He really desires is for us to NEED Him every moment of the day, so that we are totally dependent on Him. From a human perspective, that's just "crazy", but when you've experienced it like I have, there's no greater place of security and comfort than being exactly where God wants you to be, in His presence 24/7. Yes, we make are human and make mistakes, but I just marvel at how when we seek Him with all our heart, soul & strength, He truly makes our way prosperous. Not necessarily prosperous in terms of money and possessions, but even if you had all that, but didn't have God's abundant, unending Love, those things are such passing, fleeting things. What truly matters when all is said is done is our personal relationship with God. Everything else can be stripped away, but "this is eternal life, that they may know You, the Only True God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent." (John 17:3 NASB)