He'll give you the hens of your heart

This past week (April 13th) we celebrated the two year anniversary of closing on our farmhouse in Twin City, GA.  We didn't celebrate it on the actual day because who is keeping up with dates during quarantine?   In all honestly, I knew we were in the ballpark of two years and I referred to our piece of artwork hanging in the kitchen for the date reference.  

Our first blog post told the story of how we managed to acquire the property - the main point - during bed rest with the twins in Atlanta we had a lot of time to reflect and we re-prioritized a lot of things (basically everything we thought was important got bumped to the bottom of the list).  And we began to pray for what God would have for us in the future - that included a list of things we'd ideally like in a future home.  And He answered them.  Every. Single. One.  Down to even the animals (hence this post).  

The verse I keep turning to is "He will give you the desires of your heart." Psalm 37:4.  This verse is often taken out of context to mean that God will give you anything you want.  All of us parents know that's surely the secret sauce to parenting.  Want an ungrateful, entitled, selfish little human? Then go ahead and give them everything they want whenever they ask.  The only exception may be the 12,571 days we've spent in quarantine - current parenting attitude:

Community I'Ll Allow It GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

The same is true with our Heavenly Father.  Not the sombrero part.  The part that He knows best and sometimes He's gonna say no for our good.  Listen... He will only say yes when our desires match up with His will.  How does that happen?  He re-shapes our desires to make them in tune with His will for our lives.  So they are our desires... but at the same time they are not.  They are our desires, but they were put there by God!  What a wonderful point of grace, mercy and surrender... 

Our family members and neighbors laugh when they see the chickens pecking in the yard, the half naked kids running around barefooted and me choosing to load the kids up in Brett's Dodge truck over the Lexus we had at the time.  They've asked countless times, "Did you ever imagine you'd be back here?"  

During this quarantine time, I've been so thankful our family has had the chance to go outside, ride around, go fishing, walk down the dirt road, plant a garden.  But five years ago, it was not even on my radar to desire those things.  God took the series of events in our life to change our desires for us.  Thankfully our stubborn selves (I won't speak for Brett), MY stubborn self was open to hearing His call this time.  

So all of that naturally segues to the chickens.  We acquired a few chickens not long after we moved back to Twin City.  You can read a little more about that here.  Our chicken coop was made from a borrowed dog pen.  It got the job done and even made the trip to the new house.

Brett has gotten the song "Sic'em on a chicken" stuck in my head.

A few things to note about chickens:  1) they really love to free range and eat grass so I always would let them out of the pen 2) they will mess up your straw and flowerbeds by scratching everywhere 3) they will poop wherever they feel like it including on the porch and steps.

These facts led me to the point of wanting a better set up for the chickens so they could have a cuter home (the chickens have desires too) and fenced in area so they can free range without destroying our newly laid straw and ruining the new porch rug.  Brett was more than thrilled to start on a new project since he was concerned his trips to Swainsboro Supply and Rocker Supply would soon trail off after he finished the pond dock (more on that hopefully soon). So our project began.  

We got inspired...



Then we (Brett) got to work.  There were a ton of photos of the process, so you've gotta watch the video to get the full affect.

Not included in the video so that you could hear the commentary, this is me helping Brett move sheets of tin on a windy day.  Not recommended.

Here are a few of the finished product photos that were also included in the video.  We still need to paint the exterior white and add five foot fencing (I researched that should be high enough so they won't be able to fly out) around the perimeter of the garden so they can still free range in a designated spot.  If you have any questions about the design of the coop or general questions about owning chickens feel free to comment or message us!

Brett found this automatic watering system we set up for the chickens.  It works really well.  You just need a bucket and water source close.

Brett had the idea of adding an actual branch for them to roost on and they love it.  They also like the old ladder we found in Ma's barn.  They did try to roost on the nesting boxes (which means they may poop in/on the boxes) so we learned that the nesting boxes should probably be a little lower so that they won't want to roost there too.  We put some wire above the boxes and it seems to be helping.  


We wanted to be able to see into the chicken coop without actually having to go inside to collect eggs and feed them.  We were happy with how all of this turned out!

I'm thankful for the chickens.  I'm thankful for the chicken coop and Brett's handiwork.  More importantly, I'm thankful that God changed the desires of our hearts.  Simplify, slow down, focus on the most important things - faith and family. I pray that I will never take for granted how He changed (and continues to change) our desires to match His will.  During this time of nationwide quarantine, how is God using this time to re-shape the desires of your heart?  


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