Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The One About a Depressed Chicken

Poor Vanellope. 

Oreo decided that she was no longer happy being at the bottom of the pecking order. Being at the bottom of the flock really happened by default as she is the youngest of the chickens. When we brought them home she just naturally ended up at the bottom. In fact it seemed like for the longest time the pecking order was actually their age order. Oreo realized she wanted to be higher up and not at the bottom anymore.

So one day Oreo started to challenge Vanellope (who was number 4 in the line) for her spot in the flock. Have you ever seen a chicken challenge another chicken? I wish I could get a picture of this but sadly every time I see it, I don’t have any photo taking device on me or ready. (shocking I know) It happens rather quickly and randomly, so I would have to be just standing their waiting and waiting for her to decide to show her stuff or just be really lucky. Oreo would run up to Vanellope and puff her chest out (think chest bump) then sometimes peck her. Vanellope sometimes pecked back and other times she would just turn around and walk away. And then Oreo would go about her day. Until she decided to do it again.

Vanellope lost her position and is now at the bottom and became a bit depressed. Yep that’s right, depressed. Did you know chickens could get depressed? I didn’t know chickens could get depressed. What does a depressed chicken look like? Well, let me tell you.

Vanellope started to mope around her head not held as high. She would sit around off to the side instead of roaming the run or the yard scratching and pecking for bugs with the others. She would be the last one to go after any treats we put out. Sometimes she would hang back and just not go after any of them at all. She even stopped hanging out with Sparky all the time. Those two were practically inseparable when they were little. I felt so bad for her I decided to make a point of giving her treats before setting them out for everyone. We would go in to the run or coop and seek her out first before saying hi to the others. We made a point of making sure she knew that her position in the flock didn’t matter. She is still a great little chicken. After a few days she started to perk back up and be more playful. She stopped hanging back and starting moving in to inhale as many of her favorite treats before the others. While she is still at the bottom, she seems to be more okay with it. And she is running around like her energetic self again. 

This pecking order thing has many rules that this human doesn’t understand. How do they make the decision not to fight for their spot? When is it decided that there is a new order? Do the others have a say in the change? I just don’t completely get it. Chickens are quite fascinating creatures to study.

Click here to read about our
Chicken Adventures

Friday, July 11, 2014

His Grace Is Sufficient

Grace: Generous and undeserved favour, love and kindness. From the Greek I read it means "that which brings delight, joy, happiness, or good fortune. It’s a gift, you cannot earn it or buy it. God gives us grace even though we really don’t deserve it. He gives it to us because He loves us dearly.

That was my word for the day. God gave me this word before I even had a chance to have a quiet time. It was such a clear word that I decided to write on my glass of iced tea to remind me throughout the day. I quickly understood why this word would be so very appropriate for today. When I woke up, I had no idea what today would hold but God did. He knew that I would need to extend a lot of grace today and that I would need Him to pour out grace upon grace on me.  

My mug posted on Instagram.

I read 2 Corinthians 12 this morning. I have read it many times as evidence by the many colored markings on the lovingly worn pages of my Bible. Today God showed me something that I am sure I noticed at one point but as with familiarity it has gone unnoticed for a while.

Paul writes that he has a thorn in his side. Someone is really getting on his last nerve. Someone who is being a stumbling block for him. It's someone who he really doesn’t want to deal with any longer. He is just done; you know? He asked God to take care of this person for him, make him leave Paul alone. God actually said no. Really? No? I mean why would God allow a stumbling block to stay around? God’s answer is something every Sunday School Graduate knows inside out and backwards. “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Did you get that? God will allow those who drive us crazy and perhaps even weaken us so that His power will be made perfect. Those circumstances that we really are just finished dealing with even though we can’t be; His power is made perfect in our weakness.

This week I encountered a lot of people and happenings that had God not poured out His grace, I may not have handled the week as I should have. In fact in some moments I really almost lost it. I need sufficiently abundant grace for me and then I can give grace to them. And walk in grace through every happenstance. Today I experienced God’s grace to deal with the day that was thrown at me. It wasn’t a bad day really but after a stressful, overly busy week, I needed a bit more grace to handle one more weekday. And tomorrow I know that I will need His grace to deal with whatever it holds for me.

2 Corinthians 12:8-10 (ESV)

Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

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