There is something about a new year that is fresh and inspiring. A whole year ahead to see where God will take me. This year in particular, I feel some excitement as well as some apprehension over some of the many, many changes that will be taking place. It’s most certainly going to be a year of trusting God’s provision. That means physical provision, emotional provision, and spiritual provision. In all three of those areas, if I simply look at what I know is coming and my ability to handle it, I can get overwhelmed pretty quickly. God will definitely be stretching me this coming year and asking me to trust Him in ways that I never have had to before.
Instead of fearing the known (and the unknown) of 2017, I am resolving to trust that God will provide. I am resolving to take my worries and my inability to securely plan all the details and place it all at His feet, knowing that He promises to “supply all my needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19). Having needs that will need to be met will allow me to experience God’s blessings in a new way.
When I take away the fearful part of looking ahead, it allows me to focus on the very good and exciting things of the new year. The first of which is BABY! We are less than three weeks away from my due date, and reality is slowly sinking in. However, I can’t fully comprehend all the changes that will happen in our home with a new baby until I’m dealing with those changes face to face. I’m not sure what to expect in the next couple of months. I’m trying to keep an open mind and calm spirit.
As for the four-legged members of our family, we have the potential for an exciting year! We are eagerly hoping for another litter from Mia and the very first litter of Irish Setters from Duchess! As some of you know, Mia’s first two litters were very small- two and one respectively. These very small litter sizes are uncommon for dogs like Mia, and we have been baffled as to the reason for her below average litter sizes. It’s actually concerning when a female is only carrying one puppy. It raises the chances for labor complications significantly, not to mention that some females can’t care for a single puppy due to a lack of milk-producing hormones. So the fact that her last litter was only one puppy had me a bit concerned. After some discussion about her with another breeder, I am very suspicious that we are not timing her breeding correctly. It seems as though she may be on the very late end of the “normal” breeding time schedule. For her next litter, we are planning to do some testing and adjust our breeding schedule in hopes to achieve a more normal (and safer!) litter size.
As for Duchess, I am ready for an adventure! She is beautiful dog, and I am so excited to have Irish Setter puppies. We are expecting to see some puppies with great hunting and competition potential. We also plan to continue her hunting training and keep her active in the field. She thrives on the thrill of the hunt, and we thoroughly enjoy working with her.
And we can’t forget Jade. My happy golden girl is still growing, and I love her dearly. She is so affectionate and sweet. We are considering training her for upland bird hunting this year. We haven’t quite decided if we want to tackle it yet. She would be a different style hunter than Duchess- a “flusher” rather than a “pointer.” We have heard different theories as to whether or not you should hunt a flusher and a pointer together. She definitely has a hunting instinct, which is why we are considering getting her out in the field. However, because Goldens are more of a water retrieval hunter by nature, she would have to be taught to search for upland birds like pheasants. Jade would have to be taught that scent and the whole process of searching for it. Duchess always had a nose for upland birds; we could rely quite a bit on her natural instincts. Jade’s instincts aren’t nearly as defined. Needless to say, that topic is still in the discussion stage. 🙂
That’s a brief view of my upcoming year. It will definitely be a year of change and new opportunities! I am hoping to grow my Etsy shop this year with some new items that I’m really excited about. The shop will be closing soon for a few weeks, because of the coming little one. I am planning to reopen in March with some new items ready to go!
I wish you all a blessed and happy 2017!