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I am Sandra - faithful steward. listener. shepherd. dream believer. hard worker. collects brass bells, boots. Jesus follower. contented. star gazer. homemaker. farmer. prayer warrior. country woman. reader. traveler. writer. homebody. living life large.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Quiet Mornings Begin the Day



Mornings, for the most part, get off to a quiet and slow start, just like this post.


When the front door opens, this is the facing wall; a few things that mean something to me or make a statement about me. All photos with natural light, untouched so therefore, sometimes, difficult to make out. Just like life a lot of times, eh?

Starting at top, going clockwise..."LOVE RULES. Hold Hands ...Often. Say I Love You. Encourage Each Other. Stay on the Same Team. Remember why you fell in love. Be the first to say I'm sorry. LAUGH Everyday. Kiss Just Because. Live Happily Ever After."

A photo of an Irish cottage in a rough barn wood frame.

The Road to the house of a friend is never long.

Bless This Home brass plaque and in the center:

HAPPY IS A home THAT SHELTERS A friend.

These things bless and warm me every time I enter my home; I hope others feel the same.


Needful things...a place to hang keys that's handy but out of sight of the entrance. This is an old rake head, topped with a beautiful braided fabric...I call it a fob but there's probably a more correct name. Again, something old, given new life and future...just like me, bless His Name forever.


This photo probably shouldn't be included but as I've little reason to bow to convention now...it's under the key rake and where I perch to put on work boots in the morning. The bench is hand crafted and has been with me for twenty, or more, years. Under the bench is a book tray to catch dirty and wet boots and the strange object to the left is the boot remover Daddy and Mom made me a few decades ago.



This metal deer is on the wall in front of the boot tray and reminds me of unicorns which I believe were hunted into existence some thousands of years ago. Did you know the Bible mentions unicorns? People say they don't exist and they are correct, they don't now but I truly believe they used to exist. This site tells the numbers of extinct animals; in 2006 it was 784 and today it's 905; it's happening too rapidly and it frightens me. We humans are given stewardship over the Earth and, for the most part, I'm thinking we're not doing a commendable job.


This old ladder is hand crafted with rope rungs and holds a small collection of rugs amassed by Dave and I while traveling the world. The wooden grain shovel is also hand crafted and has a chip due to use in days past.


Morning light cast lamp shadow against the wall; the sofa table is in the living room, behind the sofa and a favorite spot for yellow roses, a creche, a non-working antique clock and on either end, two glass lamps filled with shells. The wooden case to the left holds CD's of favorite music and a candle holder made by a WV friend.

I


There are several book cases in the living room but none of them are yet put to rights. I'm still unpacking boxes, and will be unpacking boxes by Valentine Day is my guess, so I'm putting things out that bring me joy...as I unpack them. This photo of Mom and Daddy, married 66 years, rests beside my little Irish tea pot and mug. The mug wasn't made in Ireland but has a little sheep on it so compliments, I think, the tea pot. It all rests in a trugg atop a handmade book given me when I taught in Russia.


OH JOY! One thing unpacked is my collection of animals bells. A dear friend, ML, gave me a little sheep bell she purchased on a trip to London and that started the collection. There are horse, sheep, goat, cow bells from Romania, Poland, Russia, Hungary, Czech Republic...mostly Eastern Europe.


This little creche was purchased at a thrift store with figures surrounding Jesus. Some folks "stage" a creche so Mary and Joseph are on one side with Wise Men, shepherd and animals facing. That's good but I like Jesus in the middle with everyone in a circle...like He is in our hearts, you know?


Somewhere is another block with an R but who knows where?


This poster has been with me since 1989, the year Dave and I met and, for a short while, lived in Maui. Lion Coffee is my favorite brand and Kona my favorite coffee. Is it silly for a senior citizen to have a poster in her home? I surely hope not because this isn't the only poster that's going to be put on my walls!

No idea who did this stitch work of the Lord's Prayer but, again, it's not the only stitch work going on the walls. More to follow, eventually.


Over the dividing wall between living and dining room is hung this crochet piece. It's held to a couple of pieces of old barn wood and looks wonderful! (I think so anyway.)


That's it for now; don't want to bore the socks off you nor strain your eye sight -LOL-. I always feel "funny" showing photos of my home...who's interested anyway? There's a lot LOT of calm, peace, quiet, serenity with hand crafted pieces and memories galore. If you've read my blog for any time atall you know I'm big on stories and almost every single thing in this house has a story; sometimes the story goes back a few generations.

Even so, all this stuff isn't as important as the folks who visit whether for a few hours or days. It's the folks I want to make welcome, to say, "Sit a spell, relax, put down your worries for a while. We'll have some short bread and tea (hot or cold), chin wag or not and before you leave, I'll tuck you in prayer." Life is shorter than we think and probably want so take time daily to treat yourself, to remind yourself you are made in God's image. Then, when you've gotten your gumption going, share your special self with a stranger. Give them a smile, a piece of Dove chocolate, pay their toll or buy them coffee. Tis the season of giving so give to be emptied and God will fill you again.

Ponder this ~ "To have been spared in the war and seen victory, to have been given the chance to rest and to re-adjust myself, to have fallen in love completely and unreservedly, makes all one's personal and even the world's troubles seem small and petty." (In a letter written to Princess Elizabeth, around 1946, according to Philip Eade, author of Young Prince Philip: His Turbulent Early Life.)"

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip were married 70 years on November 20, 2017. 

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Sabbath Keeping...an update...


Thanks to prayer and God's positive response, photos are downloaded and instead of my usual Sabbath Keeping post, I'm doing an update this evening. Not a day goes by I'm not thanking and praising God for this move to Nottoway County! God cannot forget His own for in Isaiah it says, "See, I have engraved you on the palms of My hand." Notice He didn't say your name but YOU. In another part of Isaiah it says, "Do not fear. I have redeemed you. I have called you by name, you are Mine." I don't know about you but that makes me scream for joy! Once, Dave asked me, "Do you think God micromanages your life?" I said, "Absolutely." Dave replied, "I don't think God micromanages my life. God gave me a brain and He expects me to use it." I smiled and said, "You're right, Dave. God doesn't micromanage your life because you haven't asked for His help. Just as I'm right because I do ask for His help and He does give it. God doesn't force Himself, He waits for us to ask."

Another time we were talking about prayer and Dave asked if God hear his prayers. I looked sadly at him and said, "No, I'm sorry to say He doesn't hear your prayer because He cannot hear the prayers of the unsaved. The only prayer God hears from an unsaved person is when that person asks forgiveness of sins and for Jesus to live in his or her heart. But once that prayer is prayed, God will always hear your prayer, no matter how short, how long, how awkward...God hears and He always responds. Maybe not immediately and a lot of times not how we'd like. A lot of times He'll say "No" but He always listens, He always hears. When people who aren't saved (but are "spiritual"...whatever that means...I've asked them but never received a reply) tell me they'll "say a prayer for me", I want to reply, "Better save your breath to cool your soup" but I don't because why hurt their feelings?

We've had SNOW! It's been glorious and a sweet reminder of the way it was at the last farm. The major difference is there's not much wind and chores are so much easier without that nasty wind chill! About four inches of snow were covered with sleet and icy rain which has been rather harsh but hasn't stopped me but perhaps slowed me down a tad.

This morning the water in the horse troughs was frozen solid...I really thought I'd left all that behind! Each paddock has a waterer but I like to give them extra so put in these tubs; the horses would rather have the in place waterer because the water is a lot warmer coming out of the ground. By the time I went back to do evening chores, everything had thawed...last night it was about 24 and today's high was 39.

One of the best farm purchases has been the Hay Hut; it's for round bales of hay and minimizes waste. All the horses are in the same paddock and, thank God, getting along very well; being able to feed them all together makes it easier on me.

Yesterday, Mom, Dad and I went to West End Assembly of God Church to see the 30th Annual Christmas production A FANtastic Christmas. There were all sorts of references to Richmond's Fan District, the time was circa 1960's and Mom did a stellar job of driving in the snow and sleety stuff. I tell you this to not only brag on Mom but to say how wonderful it's been being closer to family so we can do things like this.


No, I'm not unpacked but managed to put my hands on a few decorations (thanks to Beloved Sistah) which please me...God blessed me with almost seventy acres so I doubt I'll run out of greenery any time soon. Pine boughs and holly were cut to stick into the concrete planters and this sweet little lantern with candle welcome folks as they step onto the porch. 

These cute little trees are cut from corrugated tin and decorated with star lights and sit on either side of the sidewalk. Two more concrete planters are stuffed with farm greenery and the red lanterns have lit candles while the electric light is a sweet reminder of the one in Chronicles of Narnia.

Timmy Poore of PJ's Tree and Landscape Service, has done a great job of removing trees around the house, between the house and pond and between the driveway and barn/paddock. While he was in the bucket, he even put in light bulbs on the top of the house. I have some phone videos to load onto Facebook that show him in action along with helpers, Paul and Rick. 

This photo was taken shortly after moving in and before Timmy arrived...the house is blocked from view by one hundred foot tall pine trees and the dam has a few unwanted trees as well. Pine trees have shallow roots and I decided to have them removed before the wind blew them down and possibly into my house. The second photo above shows a clean light of sight from the house deck to the pond and beyond...so much better! 

 
Rick works with Timmy and is owner of Unique Wood Treasures. When I asked Rick if he could put in some clothes line poles for me, using some fence posts I had, he sorta looked at me funny and said, "Sure, no problem." After a while, he pulled up and unloaded these hand made, hand crafted (sorry, they're so beautiful had to say it twice!) beauties of cedar! 

I'm a huge fan of washed clothes hung on a line and it will be sheer pleasure using this clothes line for years to come. Rick...ya done good great and thank you!

Joe Nicholes, Cabins and More, added three bays to my pole shed thus allowing extra under cover storage for farm equipment. Joe and family live in Tazewell and are Mennonites so he doesn't have internet presence; if you're interested in hiring him (highly recommended!), send me an e-mail and I can connect you.

Virginia Blue, out of Roanoke, did a benefit concern and they were fabulous! Yes to blues, also jazz, some zydeco, bit of rock 'n roll...whatever they did, it was fabulous! The concert was held at the Blackstone town square in the center of town...a lovely venue.

I'm learning how to use my Android phone and have photos and video's to upload...when I figure out how but for now I think that's enough of an update. At least, I've been at this for a few hours (so very s.l.o.w. -grin) and I'm ready for a break. So, in closing...God doesn't forget His own. Ever. This I believe with every thing I've got...yes, I remember standing on the last farm's upper pasture, screaming at the sky, "God, have you forgotten you've left me here?!!" but knew full well He had not forgotten me. God has His reasons, His plan for my good and His glory. Always. Life is better and easier to deal with...not easier but easier to deal with...when I remember. 

and my Good News...an early Christmas gift to myself...this morning I joined Blackstone Baptist Church and thank God for leading me to these gracious, kind, Jesus with skin on people!

Ponder this ~ if you're a Christian Believer, God has a plan for your good and His glory. If you're not a Christian Believer, get in touch because I can help you there.

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 03, 2017

Sabbath Keeping

(If you've noticed I'm using the same photos over and over, I'm having trouble figuring out how to download from the camera into the computer. I'd love to give a farm update, pray for the blessing of knowledge for me to figure out how to accomplish the download."

"Blessed is the man who trusteth in the Lord
and whose hope the Lord is."

"The unthankful heart discovers no mercies;
but the thankful heart will find,
in every hour,
some heavenly blessings."
~ Henry Ward Beecher ~

God's blessings go far , far beyond anything we could ever dream.

"Focus on your strengths, not your weaknesses.
Focus on your character, not your reputation.
Focus on your blessings, not your misfortunes."
~ Roy T. Bennett

"When God decides to bless you,
He will cause situations to come together in your favor...
no matter what others try to do."
~ Christie Joyner ~

"Reflect upon your present blessings--of which every man has many--not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some." ~ Charles Dickens ~


"Like the joy of the sea coming home to shore,
May the relief of laughter rinse through your soul.

As the wind loves to call things to dance,
May your gravity be lightened by grace.

Like the dignity of moonlight restoring the earth,
May your thoughts incline with reverence and respect.

As water takes whatever shape it is in,
So free may you be about who you become.

As silence smiles on the other side of what's said,
May your sense of irony bring perspective.

As time remains free of all that it frames,
May your mind stay clear of all it names.

May your prayer of listening deepen enough
to hear in the depths the laughter of God."

"If we never experience the chill of a dark winter, it is very unlikely that we will ever cherish the warmth of a bright summer's day. Nothing stimulates our appetite for the simple joys of life more than the starvation caused by sadness or desperation. In order to complete our amazing life journey successfully, it is vital that we turn each and every dark tear into a pearl of wisdom, and find the blessing in every curse." ~ Anthon St. Maarten ~

"Blessed are the single-hearted for they shall enjoy much peace. If you refuse to be hurried and pressed, if you stay your soul on God, nothing can keep you from that clearness of spirit which is life and peace. In that stillness, you will know what His will is." ~ Amy Carmichael ~

"God gives you blessings so you can bless others. 
He can only pour into an empty vessel."
~ Sandra ~

"Saying with a loud voice, 
Worthy is the Lamb that was slain
to receive power, 
and riches, 
and wisdom, 
and strength, 
and honour 
and glory, 
and blessing."

Please pray for ~ Sharon ~ Rebekah ~ Jim ~ 

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Sabbath Keeping


"Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. 
And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, "Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?"
And the woman said unto the serpent, "We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, "Ye shall not eat of it, 
neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die."
And the serpent said unto the woman, "Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the 
day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, 
knowing good and evil."

"The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose."
~ William Shakespeare

"Be ever engaged, so that whenever the devil calls, he will find you occupied."
~ St. Jerome ~

"Satan trembles when he sees the weakest saint upon his/her knees." ~ William Cowper ~

"If you don't set the tone for the day, the devil will set it for you." ~ Joel Osteen ~

"For where God built a church,
there the devil would also built a chapel."
~ Martin Luther

"You can hide from the devil but he'll always find you." ~ Allen Iverson ~

"One of Satan's most deceptive and powerful ways of defeating us is to get us to believe a lie. And the biggest lie is that there are no consequences to our own doing. Satan will give you whatever you ask for if it will lead you where he ultimately wants you." ~ Charles Stanley ~

"And so it is that both the Devil and the angelic Spirit 
present us with objects of desire 
to awaken our power of choice." 
~ Rumi

"When you make a mistake and the devil comes and tells you, 'You're no good,' you don't have to take on the guilt and condemnation he wants to put on you. No! You can immediately confess your mistake to God, thank Him for forgiving you and cleansing you with the blood of Jesus, and move forward in the victory of His grace and forgiveness." ~ Joyce Meyer ~

"We must remember that Satan has his miracles too." 
~ John Calvin

"Those who play with the devil's toys will be brought by degrees to weld his sword."
~ R. Buckminster Fuller ~

"Satan, the leader of dictator of devils, is the opposite, not of God, but of Michael."
~ C. S. Lewis

"Satan tries to counterfeit the work of God and by doing this he may deceive many. To make us lose hope, to make us feel miserable like himself, and believe that we are beyond forgiveness. Satan might even misuse words from the Scriptures that emphasize the justice of God in order to imply there is no mercy." ~ Dieter F. Uchtdorf ~

"Hell is the highest reward the devil can offer you for being a servant of his
~ Billy Sunday ~

Since that day in the Garden, Satan has lied to all of us: You're not pretty enough. You're not thin enough. You're not good enough. You're not smart enough.

You're not ______________________ (fill in the blank with Satan's lying whissssssper) enough.

And the worst lie of all: God doesn't love you. (Which is, basically, what he told Eve. "IF God loved you, He would allow you to eat of the fruit...")

LIES! ALL LIES! Lies from the father of lies

God loves each and every one whom He has made in His image. Our heavenly Father canNOT love us any more than He loves us nor can He love us any less! Your choice is to (a) believe his lies or (b) don't believe his lies. Yep, it's only one of two...believe or don't believe.

God says, "You are enough...not because of anything you've done but because of my gifts of grace and mercy. Grace being you get what you don't deserve and mercy being you don't get what you do deserve.
YOU ARE ENOUGH.

"...He (Satan) was a murderer from the beginning, 
and abode not in the truth, 
because there is no truth in him. 
When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own:
for he is a liar, and the father of lies."

"...I am come that they may have life 
and have it more abundantly."

Please pray for ~ Sharon ~ Gladys ~ Jim ~ 

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Sabbath Keeping


"I will give thanks to you, LORD, with all my heart;
I will tell of all your wonderful deeds."

"When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, 
for your life, 
for your strength. 
Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. 
If you see no reason to give thanks,
the fault lies in yourself."
~ Tecumseh

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend." ~ Melody Beattie ~

"When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around."
~ Willie Nelson ~
"Rest, and be thankful."
~ William Wordsworth ~

"Those blessings are sweetest that are won with prayer and worn with thanks."
~ Thomas Goodwin ~

"Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy and change ordinary opportunities into blessings. " ~ William Arthur Ward ~

"Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others."
~ Cicero ~

"The unthankful heart discovers no mercies;
but the thankful heart will find,
in every hour,
some heavenly blessings."
~ Henry Ward Beecher ~

"Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it."
~ William Arthur Ward ~

"Life without thankfulness is devoid of love and passion.
Hope without thankfulness is lacking in fine perception.
Faith without thankfulness lacks strength and fortitude.
Ever virtue divorced from thankfulness is maimed and limps along the spiritual road."
~ John Henry Jowett ~

"The thankful receiver bears a plentiful harvest." ~ William Blake ~

"There are three requisites to the proper enjoyment of earthly blessings: a
thankful reflection, on the goodness of the giver;
a deep sense of our own unworthiness;
and a recollection of the uncertainity of our long possessing them.
The first will make us grateful; the second, humble; and the third, moderate."
~ Hannah More ~

"Gratitude is the sign of noble souls." ~ Aesop ~

"We ought to give thanks for all fortune: if it is good, because it is good, if bad, because it works in use patience, humility and the contempt of this world and the hope of our eternal country."
~ C. S. Lewis ~

"When it comes to life the critical things is whether you take things for granted
or take them with gratitude."
~ C. K. Chesterton ~

"Be thankful. God has commanded it--for our good and for His glory. God's command to be thankful is not the threatening demand of a tyrant. Rather, it is the invitation of a lifetime--the opportunity to draw near to Him at any moment of the day." ~ Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth ~

"It's one thing to be grateful.
It's another to give thanks.
Gratitude is what you feel.
Thanksgiving is what you do."
~ Tim Keller

"If I succeed, I will give thanks.
If I fail, I will seek His grace."
~ Max Lucado

"And it came to pass, as He went to Jerusalem, that He passed through the midst of Samraria and Galilee. And as He entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. And when He saw them, He said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that as they went, they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, And fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. And Jesus answering said, "Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?" There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. And He said unto him, "Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole." 

Prayer requests ~ Sharon ~ Rebekah ~ Timmy and family ~ 

If you've ever tucked me in prayer, thank you. If you've ever read my blog, thank you. Please know, if you've ever left a comment, public or private, you've been held in prayer. I am so very grateful to you; thank you. In this season of Holy Days, please concentrate on the precious gifts...family, friends, life, food, water, shelter, a Bible to read, the fact you're reading this on a computer... . Perhaps we've all felt as did Agatha Christie, "I like living. I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing." To which I add...Amen and amen!

Truly, I am both grateful to you and thankful for you. Happy Thanksgiving!

P. S. Computer woes...ahhhh! I count it all joy I can make a lovely pan of shortbread. lol

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Sabbath Keeping


"...as your days are so shall your strength be..."

"True enjoyment comes from activity of the mind
and exercise of the body;
The two are ever united."
~ Wilhelm von Humbolt ~

"Exercise should be regarded as tribute to the heart."
~ Gene Tunney

"The body needs its rest and sleep is extremely important in any health regimen. There should be three main things: eating, exercise and sleep. All three together in the right balance make for a truly healthy lifestyle." ~ Rohit Shetty ~

"Walking is the best possible exercise."
~ Thomas Jefferson ~

"Old minds are like old horses.
You must exercise them if you wish to keep them in working order."
~ John Adams ~

Do you treat your body like a tent or a temple? Why?

"There is no better exercise for your heart than reaching down and helping to life someone up."
~ Bernard Meltzer ~

"To feel much for others and little for ourselves;
to restrain our selfishness and and exercise our benevolent affections,
constitute the perfection of human nature."
~ Adam Smith ~

"Making excuses burns zero calories." 

"There are six components of wellness: proper weight and diet, proper exercise, breaking the smoking habits, control of alcohol, stress management and periodic exams."
~ Kenneth H. Cooper ~

"The only way to get that fat off is to eat less and exercise more." ~ Jack LaLanne ~

"The Holy Ghost brings back memories of what God has taught us. And one of the ways God teaches us is with His blessings; and so, if we choose to exercise faith the Holy Ghost will bring God's kindnesses to our remembrance." ~ Henry B. Eyring ~

"Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, 
who is in you, whom you have received from God? 
You are not your own, you were bought at a price. 
Therefore, honor God with your bodies."

Please pray for ~ Sharon ~ Jim and Gladys ~ 

Sunday, November 05, 2017

Sabbath Keeping: Dear Dave


Dear Dave,

The last Dear Dave letter I wrote, I wasn't sure if  I'd ever write again but the sixth anniversary of your Homegoing, today, falls on Sunday. I was torn between the usual Sabbath Keeping post with quotes and Bible verses or writing you so I chose both. Before beginning this letter, I typed "Dear Dave" in the blog search box and re-read those letters and posts I wrote to you and was reminded of C. S. Lewis who said, "Isn't it funny how day by day nothing changes but when you look back nothing is the same?" For almost six years that has, somehow, been true but in the last few months enormous changes have taken place. Over the last six years enormous changes have taken place in me as well.

Thistle Cove Farm relocated from southwest Virginia to southside Virginia and, just like God, He allowed me to see this new farm some three or four years ago, all the while knowing His plans were being worked out and I wasn't ready. I believe God had to break my heart in order to make me whole (a continual process, eh?)  but it's only when we're I'm broken His light can get in. Otherwise I am simply filled with myself with not much no room for Him and me with myopic vision and unable to see the larger view.

(A wiser man than I said, "It is well to remember that the entire population of the universe, with one trifling exception, is composed of others." (quote found on Kathy's Laughing Dove blog.))

When my our (God and me) new farm came up for sale, one photo showed WVU cut into a hay field and of course I thought, "It's a sign because that's where you and Cathy (the love of your youth) went to university. Then, the years dragged on (and on and on and...) and as hope dimmed, I began praying truly for God's will, not my own, but I continued searching for a new farm in southside VA. (Anyone who says it's easy to discern God's will in their life is either delusional or they are praying for what they want. Micah 6:8 tells us God's will on a broad scale but when it comes to making the smaller personal decisions, I've found it to be an extremely difficult, yet faith building, process.)

Earlier this year I re-visited that web sale page and found out the property price had dropped. Additionally, folks who wanted to buy the southwest VA farm were able to get their finances in order and make another offer. Long story short, it all worked out and the dogs, cats, horses and I have moved to a place you would love! Dave, there's a stocked pond and I can just see you fishing (with or without a hook -smile), or sitting on the deck enjoying life or...ta-da!...running to Walmart just six miles away and with NO mountains to cross!

It's still Big Sky country but the house is little more than half as small with more than twice the acreage and has open fields, woods, paddocks, barn and a pond. (oh, but I mentioned that...smile.) One of the first things Mom said was, "Dave would really like this place" and she's right. You would love this new farm and, more importantly, it would please you to know you (through God's provision) were instrumental in my purchase of same.

The Bible says "God is the same, yesterday, today and forever..." and His plans are continually being worked out for my good and His glory. Dave, it's so easy to sometimes often forget life, farm, animals, my plans aren't about the here and now, it's all about the here after. God is preparing us for a richer in the way that matters most eternal life with Him, His Son, that great cloud of witnesses, the angels...eternal life in Heaven and all we have to do is believe. But again, you know all that because you made your peace with God five days before you died and are now in Glory! I often sing a song "I stand amazed in the presence of Jesus the Nazarene..." and now Dave, you, like Gabriel, are standing in the presence of God! It fair boggles my mind and I'm having church right here, right now, typing this letter! Glory!

Dearest Dave ~ I am happy, content, enjoying life, this farm, these animals, being closer to family. Because you made your peace with God, I am at peace with no worries or nagging thoughts about your eternal Home. Those decades of asking, "Dave, would you like to go to church with me today?", of you watching me have morning Bible reading and devotions, all those years of you asking me to pray...I like to think believe God used me to help lead you to His Son and even though I wasn't the perfect wife, nor you the perfect husband, we, with God, were perfect for each other. You grew me into the wife you wanted me to be and I am grateful. We grew our friendship into love, our house into a home and I am grateful. I am grateful for a new beginning, a new farm, a new location where people are welcoming me into their lives, their homes, their hearts, their church. I am grateful to God for His plans for my life, plans to prosper me and not harm me, plans giving me hope and a future both now and for all Eternity in Heaven. Perhaps that's what my grave stone should read: Grateful.

Tu manques a moi
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