In the midst of an irksome election season, there is joy to be found in the regular seasonal tasks that need to be done on a farm….. at least on our farm. The past days have been perfect for catching up and getting the pre-winter things done.
My husband and I have planted raspberry bushes (thanks to a friend who was getting rid of her bushes). We have cut and stacked more fire wood to use for the woodstove this winter. The garage door installation has been finished! (Yay for us!!). And today was spent in putting away gravity flow wagons and harvest equipment and cleaning my chicken coop.
Putting away the equipment sounds like a small matter of just parking the wagons in the shed and good to go…….not so. My husband has a very particular way he parks his equipment in the machine shed. The space is limited so it is like putting a gigantic puzzle together, using a tractor to put the pieces in place.
Wagons are parked with only inches to spare between them. The planter is placed “just so”….that way the baler can fit in the space between the planter tongue and the gravity flows. I love jigsaw puzzles, but this is like a puzzle on steroids!
When we finally had the equipment parked to the proper specifications, it was time to move on to one of my seasonal tasks…….chicken coop cleaning! It is an incredibly dusty job; but I love how the finished product looks and smells. The eggs look so nice nestled in the clean pine shavings that get put in the nesting boxes.
To clean the coop one of the first things that we need to do is remove the chicken roost. My husband made an amazing roost for the girls a few years ago. It is the perfect size and easy for us to remove for cleaning.
Once the roost is out, my job is to scoop the old bedding and chicken manure onto my wheelbarrow. This is where the dusty part comes in. The old bedding is dry and the dust fluffs up everywhere as you scoop it up. My husband then spreads it on the garden as fertilizer. This is a definite win-win for the girls and the garden.
The fun part is putting in the bags of new bedding. Once it is all spread over the floor; the pine shavings look so fluffy and clean and smell even better. It doesn’t even smell like chickens!
The girls are never very impressed when we do this cleaning job. I am never sure if they think we are throwing out something valuable or if they just do not like change. I can understand their fear of change.
Change can be hard. Sometimes it is easier to stay exactly where and how we are….even if it is like my girl’s dirty chicken coop. Even when life is less than perfect, there is a comfort in the old familiar places. They are places we know and are our “normal”.
If you are like me, you tend to drag your feet when God has something different planned for you. You know, that to make that change; it might involve a lot of heavy lifting, dust and scooping out of the old “stuff”. You also know that His is a much better plan than you can imagine and that in the long run you will be grateful for what He has done.
I am reminded of this fact when I clean the coop. When I see how great it looks and smells when we are done; I am reminded that when God makes changes in my life….it is good and I am blessed. I wonder why this is a lesson I seem to have to relearn over and over again….and then learn again…..
6 Don’t worry about anything; instead,
pray about everything.
Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.
7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand.
Philippians 4:6-8 (NLT)