Chickens & Flowers Therapy

Cottage Garden Chickens and Basket of Peonies

This little "peony" fun happened a couple months ago and I'm ready to share it with you all! My peonies were all in full bloom and it was going to rain the next day. I decided to harvest them all and take some pictures with my chickens and one of my favorite repurposed quilts. Cottage Garden Chickens...and a basket of peonies

Pearl, my favorite backyard chicken

At the beginning of 2017 I found myself completely needing to re-group as I had lost my joy and peace. I am pleased to say that, very slowly, I am regaining health in many areas of my life (part of my story of Healing is HERE)

This hard Season may not be because you are doing something wrong. Maybe its because you are doing something very very right.

~Whitney Capps

Roses are in bloom too!

making bouquets in my Country Cottage Garden

You are Enough.

Not because you did

or said

or thought

or bought

or became

or created

something special.

But because

You always were.

(from a Greeting Card my Mom sent me)

Cottage Garden Chickens and kitty fiasco!

Trying to take a picture via a tripod and timer and chickens and a kitty is no small feat! The above photo gives you a clue to the "crazy" fun I had!

Pearl, my buff orpington, checks out the flowers

Part of the plan for this year is to always create with the primary motivation being love...I have found this to be a discipline that truly is good for my soul.  If I find myself trying to impress, trying to fill an Instagram square or trying to make money ...I find these motivations rob me of JOY.

cottage garden therapy

It is usually very exciting to share my creativity with "the world" via online or social media but at times I had found myself doing so for the wrong reasons...This year I am checking my thoughts and taking them "captive." Sorting them all out and filing them.

The real deal is that my creativity is only seen by a small group of people. Should I compare myself to the wildly popular bloggers and artists who receive thousands of likes and comments every day?  Should I try to be someone else to get more LIKES? NO!

So, I will go on creating...

Being Who I AM

Sharing my creativity

out of Love

checking my motives

and being truly Grateful for the time, energy and spark of inspiration that makes my beating heart come alive


Through all the world there goes one long cry from the heart of the artist: Give me a chance to do my best.

Babette's Feast

An artist is never poor.

Babette Hersant

English Garden TEA

English Garden Tea INSIDE Hello Friends, This year my creativity has changed, moved forward, and part of that change is only blogging when I FEEL the love to do so. This English Garden TEA back in May was for the ladies in my family (who could attend). I'd like to think I could host such a Tea twice a year but it does take a lot of energy and I really hope my energy improves so I can continue this lovely tradition. I expected several ladies who had food sensitivities and so I worked hard to accommodate. My daughter helped me! The vision was a "Garden" Tea but it was raining buckets that morning and a bit cold (later during tea time we ventured out of doors when the sun came out!) Large elegant hat perfect for an English Garden Tea tea party attire with straw hat I made white bunting (as shown, blurry, in the photo below) and the original inspiration for the white bunting was the popular British series, Downton Abbey. Spring colors in our Cottage Dining Room for Tea party mom and daughter serving at English Garden Tea I used a tripod and timer to get the image below (after many tries this was the best one!) ladies at the Tea foraged Spring flowers on tea table The evening before I foraged some lovely spring blooms on a country drive... misc. tea cups We made a Rhubarb Tart with almond filling and a Coconut Rum cake...the vintage tablecloth was my original inspiration...I found it months before in an Antique shop on clearance for super cheap and instantly I "saw" an English Garden Tea in my head! birds eye view of our tea food and drinks Country Cottage Living Style Tea Elegant Tea party hat ladies happy with their tea teacups we love tea parties Yes, that lady with the "wild" look in her eye is me! ha! So glad I asked everyone to please dress up and wear a hat 🙂 (I also had extra hats on hand that I picked up at the thrift store!) Hope you enjoyed this post...of an inspired English Garden Tea P.S. I wanted to let you know that I'm holding back a lot of my "year of REAL picnics" pictures until the year is over and then I'll string them all together!

Healing of a Sensitive Creative Soul

wildflower bouquet and candlelight

{FROM MY JOURNAL} (from a sensitive soul)

"Have we given up on God?

Is it too hard to trust Him with our lives? Have we seen too much suffering and heartache in our life and others?

Have we stopped listening all together? We have constant entertainment available - does it bring us hope and peace?

Making space for God and all good things takes a desire to want more - a recognition of emptiness  -

Eyes and senses open to truly see truth..."

I decided to go to counseling for high anxiety after some life stress (financial, death, identity). I ended up realizing I needed an entire cleansing: body, heart, mind and soul. It is still happening. But I wanted to share about the Peace that God has given me.

pink rose and rose petals; perfection!

In counseling, I was reminded of my sensitive nature, my "burden bearing" nature and my empathy for others. I had been blocking a lot of negative thoughts and had not worked through them. I think this resulted in the numbing of positive emotions as well.

oh kitty and dark red peonies

I realized that I had felt a strong sense of "powerlessness" for many years and often took on other's feelings of powerlessness. I realized that my primary motivation to make money from my creativity was not what God wanted for me.

repurposed quilt using vintage sheets

My life has slowed WAY down and I spend and hour or two with my Bible and journal each day. I spend time walking, sitting with my chickens and doing nothing. Sometimes it feels tedious. Sometimes I have mental or emotional breakthroughs and the peace and shelter that I feel is all worth it. (I have come a long way in a few months!)

I found a field of buttercups

pink roses, wellies and a chicken

Other activities that have helped, this sensitive soul, in this Season of healing; increased nutrition and working on my health issues. (I enjoy a large green smoothie every day and take many nutritional supplements including probiotics). Listening to music; mostly Hillsong on YouTube (via my phone). Watching my absolute favorite series; Road to Avonlea. Essential oils to improve mood; Lavender and Bergamot. Reading books that enhance my understanding and well-being: Why Does God Allow Pain and Suffering by  Harold E. Eberle . This is Your Brain on Joy by Earl Henslin. Tracks by Robyn Davidson. I have cut back on social obligations. and I continue my year of picnics.

I remind myself of truth; my burden is to be light and I am to be FULLY ALIVE.

oh daisies! and chickens!

wild chamomile and candlelight

I have wanted to prove to others that a "sensitive creative" could make a living. I have wanted to give hope to other "sensitive creatives" that they could be a "success." BUT instead, God has clearly shown me that I must do what He wants each day and He will take care of the rest. He will provide. I must not be afraid.

I needed to let go of the pressure to have a clear purpose. I wanted my purpose and my life to have a title and be bold. and written in the sky...

God seemed to be giving me only two jobs for this Season:

1)Enjoy Life/Beauty

2)Spend time with Him

oh kitty and quiet time

God wants me to be "WHO I AM" (who He made me to be).

butterfly in my backyard garden

Instead of comparing myself to others, I'm to be the best me!

It's very easy for me to look at Instagram or Blogs or even great To-Do lists for Instagrammers or Bloggers and feel completely overwhelmed. I think back on the last three years of many photoshoots and much work and I wish I could go back to that but too many things propel me forward. I am more compelled to live a simpler life at home. All that advice for Bloggers I'm sure I tried at least once in the past 7 years but none of it felt right. Even now, sharing such vulnerable things from my heart is tedious and painful.

God seems to want more for me, more joy, more peace. This is what moves me forward. He wants me to understand. He wants me to effortlessly be "Who I Am."

basket of pink roses at my cottage table

(from my Bible, in the margin near Romans 4)

Out of the hopelessness of death You bring new life.

Out of the prison of sin You bring redemption.

Out of the weakness of human flesh You bring victory.

All by Grace. All by Faith.

And that is all You are looking for from us - faith.

Not great accomplishments, not self-righteousness - not pedigree but simple faith that brings you glory.

Faith that perseveres in spite of adversity, faith no larger than a mustard seed. For faith is the seed that grows into a tree of righteousness, and the fruit of righteousness is peace with you.

grateful for Pearl

I had wanted to show "fruit" of all my work. I was kind of obsessed with working hard and wondering where my "fruit" was? When I stumbled on this verse, I knew it was meant for me...God wanted me to have peace.

Isaiah 32:17 - The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever.

peace from Isaiah 32:17

Melanie Beilner; Country Cottage Living Blog

God had finally given me "fruit." - PEACE

peace that what I love to do was given to me by Him

peace that He has a plan and has blessed my work even when I don't see it

peace in accepting that by faith God will take care of my needs when I surrender my life to Him and seek Him first.

Seaside Oregon grassy beach

My life work includes being who I am and

taking refuge, daily, in God's word and listening to God's love that gives life to my dreams and leads me beside quiet waters. Realizing that my weaknesses partner with God's strong power and my strengths, given to me directly by my Father, are to give me Life and light up my eyes with Joy and Hope.


"Homemaker, Caring for others, Chicken owner, Garden tender, Decorator, Quilt maker, Photographer, Nature walker, Book reader...

It's not really about me." God shines bright through us when we are FULLY ALIVE.

hill of daisies

Lord, help me to discern goodness and righteousness and to point it out and celebrate it!

Seek to see the Good. If I am looking for Bad, I will find it.

sensitive soul and picking flowers

picnic with my hubby

in a field of daisies

yay for daisies

foxgloves and daisies oh my!

sensitive soul me living my dream in a field of wildflowers

rocking chairs on porch at Lake Crescent

Adirondacks on Lake Crescent

Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. Genesis 2:1

WA Lavender Farm scenic view

sensitive soul and flowers

The goal is to find joy and trust and freedom no matter our circumstances. - I'm on my way.

colorful wildflowers and my daughter

Psalm 77: 12, 13

I will meditate on all your works and consider ALL your mighty deeds. Your ways O God are holy. What god is so great as our God?

wild sweet peas by the highway in WA

daisies and Bible Reading

Trust in His deliverance. Seek to Understand.

Psalm 71:20

I want to thank my counselor for pointing out helpful truths and good books to read all the while pointing to God as my Healer. I also want to thank my daughter and my husband for taking my picture and for stopping for fields of wildflowers on our recent road trip to the Oregon Coast.