Treasure's From Life's Garden

Finding Spiritual Flowers Amongst Life's Weeds


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Molting, Moulting, and Layering

Several of my girls are molting. It’s the time of year for it, but in all the years I’ve had chickens I’ve never researched why hens molt, and honestly, I’ve never wondered why . . . until today.

I am not a good speller, but when I googled, “molting” it pulled up “moulting” also. Both words were interchanged in each definition.

Here’s what I learned –

Moulting is the shedding of the exoskeleton in insects. When it sheds, it allows organisms to grow. That process is called ecdysis. Why is this process important? It is explained in simple terms (which I truly appreciate) – human skin stretches and grows with us, but the exoskeleton can’t do that. The insect must shed the exoskeleton in order to grow.

Molting occurs in hens when they are young and growing, but it also occurs during fall in older hens. It can happen during hormonal changes – changes in the flock – during any stressful events – during the fall – when a hen goes broody. The purpose of losing their feathers is painful. During this season the hens need extra nutrients. The once beautiful girls become homely – almost sickly. The old feathers have to fall out so the new feathers can grow.

In both instances some pain must be experienced in order to growth.

I was sharing with a friend today the struggles I have been having in dealing with the layers of grief. I had no idea just five or six hours later the Lord would give me the visual he did with my girls. Last week some were so ugly I wouldn’t take pictures of them. I sure wish I had because they are my gorgeous girls again. One of my cochin’s (I have three) feathers have grown back in completely curly! The picture on the top is of one of the cochin sisters.

That is what she used to look like before the molt.

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And this is how her feathers have come back in!

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She looked sickly going through the molt – but the end result brings beauty.

John 15:2 tells me He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit. By removing the barren branches it allows me to grow.

It is painful.

It is ugly.

And without extra nutrients the process is even more exhausting.

But the end result . . . is beautiful.

 

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He’s In The Detail

I had a 2 1/2 hour meeting this meeting with the probate attorney over dad’s estate. While the meeting was very productive, it was so much information my brain was mush. My afternoon appointment was canceled so I decided to go to my favorite spot and take pictures of the ducks at Admiral Mason Park. I started taking pictures of the plants and just taking in the beauty of the park . . .

As I continued my walk . . . I realized there were no ducks. No birds. No nothing.

And I pouted.

I complained about the over grown lily pads so I continued my ungrateful session I started this morning.

And then I looked up.

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One lone black duck flew from the center island of the pond. It was as if the Lord whispered, “The living are here, but you have to look at things differently.”

So I decided to become intentional on looking for wildlife.

I took this next picture just for the scenery so I could play with my focus and zooming using the tall grass on the island. I saw nothing else in the image until I uploaded these pictures just now . . .

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Do you see it?

How about now?

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I had no idea I captured the bird in the first picture. It wasn’t until after taking that picture of the tall grass that it even caught my eye.

So I continued.

My next stop took me to a tree . . . a tree singing. And while I couldn’t find the babies I knew they were there. The sound of baby squirrels chattering. And my heart smiled.

Finding myself regretting my stinkin’ attitude, I took a deep breath and continued . . .

Little by little the Lord showed me more . . . .

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This dragonfly landed right in front of me – as if it was posing.

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When I turned from taking the pictures of the dragonfly, my jaw hit the floor . . .

The very place I had just walked and there was nothing, now had something . . .

And then God gave me this . . . .

I was able to get closer every few shots by sneaking behind the grass.

My final pictures at the park included flowers weeds and one final creature . . . I almost missed it. Can you see it?

On my way home I was sharing the experience with a friend and I realized something. We can walk this journey called life day in and day out and see the same ole same ole and miss the details just like we can read the same scriptures over and over and might never get it, but then we experience that “ah-ha moment” and it finally clicks. If you are like me you might wonder why it took you so long to “get it”. I learned two things today –  I had to change how I was looking at the world and I also have to realize God will reveal what it is He wants me to see when He is ready for me to see it. It took me changing my perception/attitude and Him removing the scales.

 


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He Met Me At The Cross

As I walked through the parking lot to the church building, I looked up and thought to myself, “I just need to feel important. I need to matter. I need to make a difference.”

I was already late to my Sunday School class but had missed so many Sundays . . . I just couldn’t miss another day . . . my soul thirsted to be in its place –

I snuck in quietly to not disturb the class or teacher and went straight to where I knew he would be teaching, Matthew 10. I had already missed quite a bit of material, but his next words were geared for me – straight from heaven – from my Lord –

“They (referring to the disciples) were nobodies . . . and they changed the world.”

I need your strength Lord. Thank you for a filling and powerful worship service. Thank you for meeting me right where I was – empty and needing to be filled. Amen.


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This Week . . .

I don’t know if y’all remember the bout I had with pink eye earlier in the year, but it was bad – for the last month my eyes have been giving me problems – not pink eye and not allergies – and now we are second guessing if it was even pink eye earlier in the year. There are a couple of autoimmune diseases that not only affect the spine but also attacks the eyes. My doctor called me early Tuesday morning after seeing me Monday- she began asking more questions and then explained she needed to know if I would be open to more labs . . . Of course I said yes. She continued to explain these diseases and then said again she was working on the referral for a rheumatologist that would work with cash paying patients (so many won’t- Ive been rejected twice)- I thanked her profusely in which she replied – don’t thank me – thank the Lord. He woke me up at 3:30 a.m with you on my mind after giving me the vision/dream of these diseases. The entire week has been incredible seeing the hand of God – it started Monday when I messaged a friend asking her to pray. I was in so much pain . . . I called the clinic at 8:03 knowing there wouldn’t be an opening because they are booked two months out but was offered a slot at 9 with the PA – the same time I have I have the kids at school so I turned down the appointment. 8:05 the phone rings – there was a cancellation for 9 with my doctor. I told my husband (he was home sick) and he drove me to my appointment (could barely walk) and took the kids to class. That appointment is what started the week of miracles – but that appointment and even the dream the doctor had – was orchestrated because another was standing in the gap on my behalf. I have had goosebumps all week. It will take three weeks for me to get the lab results. Two weeks for a biopsy to come back on my eye . . . but whatever is going on with me eyes is driving me bonkers. The doctor said it looks like eczema around the eyes. They are irritated and vision becomes obscured at times. The pain in my spine and hips were better yesterday and even more so today. I’m sure it’s the stress of Widget that triggered this doozie of a flare up – but if none of that had happened I wouldn’t have seen the Hand of God this week.

Because I have been down so much this week I’ve had a lot of time to think – I have been thinking about all the time I invest in others, even before my own family/kids and their needs. I know this is selfish, but I don’t want to be known as the woman that sacrificed everything for everyone else, I don’t want my kids or husband to stand over my coffin one day and wish they had the wife and mom that everyone else got. Life is too short. I read about parents that choose drugs, gambling, sex, and even work over family- and I know what it’s like to have alcohol chosen over family – I don’t want to choose service over my family any more. And that’s all I have to say about that.


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Intercession of the Saints

I remember specific times in my faith walk when I felt and believed my prayers were just bouncing back down off the ceiling. I think we all have walked through those days. I was reflecting on those memories this morning when the Lord reminded me of the times I felt the most distant where the times I received impromptu texts or calls from friends.

They would read like this:

“Stacey, the Lord brought you to mind today. Is everything okay?”

“Stacey, you came to mind today and I just wanted you to know I’m thinking about you. Hope you are doing well.”

“Stacey, I’ve missed you!”

“Stacey, the Lord brought you to mind today that I was to pray for you. Is there anything specific I can pray for?”

“Stacey, God’s got this.”

“Stacey, God has a plan for your life.”

“Stacey, I love you.”

I remember specifically a phone call that came to me from a friend . . she said, (this is paraphrased to the best of my memory but these words stuck with me) “Stacey, the Lord has had me praying for you for a long time. In fact, there have been times in my life when I was being disobedient and didn’t want to pray, but that burden to pray for you was so intense that I would ask God to hear my prayers and not hold back because of my own sin.”

WHOA.

Can I just tell you the prayers of intercession on behalf of other saints is powerful!

Yesterday morning I had a physical need. I messaged a friend that I knew would pray. Within minutes God had moved on my behalf. I called at 8:03 for an appointment. Nothing open. FIVE MINUTES LATER the clinic called there had been a cancellation for 9:00! WITH MY DOCTOR!

This morning I had an encounter, and as soon as the words were spoken to me I knew it was because of the prayers of that same saint. He moved in such a miraculous way even thinking on it again has me covered in chill bumps.

Praying has always been important to me, something I don’t take lightly. I remember many times the Lord has brought others to mind. I never had to call and find out what was going on because I knew if God was telling me to pray it was for a reason . . . one specific moment was when God had me praying daily for someone. I found out months later she had been walking through another miscarriage (oh how I have goosebumps again).

You know, it’s just incredible how the Lord works . . . He takes a nobody and makes them usable for the glory of God. Oh that He would value me . . . a once hoochie, thief, liar, and drunk . . . a woman who said God was a male chauvinistic pig . . . and yet He forgave that and now HE hears my prayers for others. It’s overwhelming. And then He speaks to others on my behalf so that He can move . . . . .  I wonder if He does that for the person they are praying for or if He is doing it for the person praying . . .  so that they can see the importance of their intercession. Maybe a little bit of both I guess . . . .  But I would say it takes this thing called Grace to a whole new level.

 

 

 

 


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Being Undone

I’ve been in a weird place since dad died in August. I’ve had a peace I can’t explain, but a disconnected kind of odd place. The scriptures seem to be simply words that lack comprehension . . . they are there but I just seem off. Even songs that usually draw me into the presence of my Lord seem to bring disconnect. It’s weird. But . . . what I know is to keep on keeping on . . . not quitting and not looking back with regret . . a our Pastor says, “PERSIST!”

This morning it seems the Lord is bringing breakthrough though. A desire to lift my chin a little. A desire to walk in victory. A desire to see Him a little more. . . A desire to be more thankful. And that desire to have the peace meshing with being connected. I’m sure that makes so sense at all to some, and that’s okay.

I heard this song this morning and just have to share. . .

“There is a river of gladness

Pours from Emmanuel’s veins

This sinner was plunged, beneath the flood and got saved

Since than I walked in forgiveness

All of my guilt was erased

The chains of past are broken at last, I got saved

Oh I got saved

I am undone by the mercy of Jesus

I am undone by the goodness of the Lord

I’m restored and made right, He got a hold of my life

I got Jesus how could I want more

I’ve received nothing but goodness

I tested and tasted your grace

I was so lost, till I fell at the cross and got saved

Oh I got saved

I am undone by the mercy of Jesus

I am undone by the goodness of the Lord

I’m restored and made right, He got a hold of my life

I got Jesus how could I want more

The Love of God, gave me His pardon

The love of God, wont let me stay the same

The love of God, pulls me up higher

He’s will is stronger, that’s why I got saved

I am undone by the mercy of Jesus

I am undone by the goodness of the Lord

I’m restored and made right, He got a hold of my life

I got Jesus how could I want more

(Repeat)

I got Jesus how could I want more

I got Jesus how could I want more”

And you can listen to it here: I got saved

My prayer this day, “Undo me, Lord.”