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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.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Tempus Fugit & Happy Resurrection

Tempus Fugit! In other words...time flees and quickly. Those people who work for themselves, in jobs of their own choosing, would, in all likelihood, not change a thing. But, it's difficult to get it all done when it's only you who is the do-er. Frequently, when I talk with friends who work for themselves, the same topic comes up...getting it all done and how to decide what doesn't get done.

Tops on the list are animals. Anyone who shepherds, farms or raises animals agree the animals are the *first priority*. Tending to the animals comes before feeding oneself, cleaning house, knitting or crocheting, quilting, baking...even bathing. During lambing season there's been many a morning I crawl out of bed and put on the same, dirty clothes I wore the day before. There comes a point in time when it simply does not matter what clothes I wear because they will, in due course, become filthy, nasty anyway.

And I do this because I LOVE it! As do most shepherds and farmers I know. It's more than a lifestyle, it's a life and one we all love and wouldn't change for all the tea in China.

It's lambalanch season and lambs are all over the valley. Yesterday morning I left the house at seven a.m. to meet Mother and Sister in Roanoke. Roanoke is about equi-distance for all of us so we meet there for lunch and to catch up with each other. It's a practice we've just started and are hopeful our menfolk can come next time.

Anyway, I'm driving up the valley, appreciating the beautiful morning, being watchful of deer and other wildlife. Always, as I pass William's farm, I slow to look at his sheep. I enjoy seeing where other shepherds are in the process, no matter the season, and William is smack dab in the middle of lambing. Tee tiny lambs frolic in the lamb-lot closest to the road, there must be a dozen or more just in one lot. It was dawn, the air was cool, the grass was wet with dew and, to a one, all the ewes were standing stock still with one rear leg extended behind them. To a one, the lambs were lined up at their mother's teats, drinking their fill.

After a night of sleep for the lambs and ewes both were starting their day on a positive note. The ewes were being relieved of the pressure on their udders by the lambs suckling and the lambs were receiving much needed nourishment in the form of warm milk.

I'm a sap. I know this and anyone who knows me knows this. I wear this hard, exterior shell to cover the fact I'm a soft touch and have a tender heart. Throughout the years I've learned just how frosty this ole world can be and I've "built a wall around me that you can't even see" ---remember that old Phoebe Snow song...I LOVE that song and her as well...that anyone with a bit of patience and eyes can see my facade of a crumbling wall. Family and friends who are nearest and dearest, by grace and mercy, know I'm a fake and love me anyway.

I am a most blest woman!

Anyway. Being a practicing Christian means my wall has to crumble. It means I have to be available and open and honest and real. It means I have to be hurt and, sometimes, just because I'm all too human, it means I hurt others. God forgive me. It's an ugly truth but the beauty is He forgives me and forgets my failings. God is a better God than I am His, imperfect, creation and the Psalmist said, 136:1 "O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever." Thanks be to God, His mercy extends to me...and to you too.

Back to the lambs and ewes...

It was simply enchanting! I'm going back this week to take photos. In the meantime, it reminded me that my day goes better, much better, when, first thing in the morning, I fix myself upon my Creator. When I drink my fill of His word, when I take time to study or hear His word, to fix my eyes and heart upon Him, my path is made smooth and I'm better able to handle what the day brings.


Today is Palm Sunday and, in Christian churches all over the world, the sermon and lessons were on Christ and His disciples - The Last Supper, His triumphant ride into Jerusalem, prayer and betrayal in the garden, the trial, the crucifixion and burial. Easter Sunday, next Sunday, comes His release from and victory over the grave; He Lives, He Lives!

Maybe it's because I live so close to life and death, to the earth and with the animals that I think, what might be to some, strange thoughts. I'm sitting in church today and thinking, "it's a short way from the Penthouse to the Outhouse".

No, I'm not joking. Look at Christ and how He was heralded when He rode into Jerusalem upon that ass. People threw palm branches at His feet, they sang songs of praise and gladness; I'm sure people cried they were so overwhelmed with... what? Emotions of joy, laughter...what, exactly? And one short week, not even a full week, they were spitting in His face and crying "give Him the death we reserve for our worst criminals!" They couldn't even find fault with Him, they just wanted Him dead and gone where He couldn't rouse the people with His miracles, His teaching, His words and works.

Emotions don't last. None of 'em. Not those of joy or sorrow, gladness or pain, love or hate. Emotions change like the wind and I've learned not to depend upon emotions. Don't get me wrong. I like emotions, I like feeling 'em but I don't rely on them. Not in me nor in others. I rely on being there, on follow through, on promises not only made but kept. I rely on people who have proven themselves reliable. I rely on myself but, most of all, I rely on God. On His promises, on His favor, on His word.

I'm grateful for the Resurrection, for what we call "Easter". It's a grim and joyous reminder of what this 'Christianity' is all about. It's a reminder of what great and painful cost He paid so we might re-enter the Garden and be with Him for all eternity. It's a reminder of the revival we can have, here and now, while waiting for the Bridegroom to come. It's a grim and joyous reminder for me to live deliberately, to live as a thoughtful and attentive follower of Christ. Not to do my best, for that's not approaching good, but to allow Him to be in me, to work through me, to allow His Spirit to change me. And, when I've fallen short, to ask for and receive His forgiveness and that of others. To pray as He taught, "Thy will be done."


So, in this spring, Easter and Resurrection season, join me. Covenant with yourself and Him to live deliberately, to follow through on your decision to be a thoughtful and attentive Christian. To forgive yourself and others no matter if they forgive you or not. To live as Christ would have you live, today and today only. To know and accept that God forgives and that's enough to keep you and me going in the right direction.

Happy Resurrection, fellow pilgrim, the tomb is empty!













This article is my submission to the blog challenge sponsored by Art Bookbindery, "Empowering Writers to Self Publish."

If you're not familiar with Christian Women Online, pay them a visit. It's an interesting site, full of good, useful and uplifting information. I found this contest after I'd posted but felt it worthwhile to come back and add a footnote.

3 comments:

  1. There's a nice comment for you on this post at my blog at http://greenberry.blogspot.com/2007/03/saturday-skyand-presents.html. The poster couldn't get comments here to work. Lovely post!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Beautifully written Sandra...thank you!

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  3. I've just discovered your blog and can't tear myself away. You have the ability to write what I feel and I have tremendous respect for your willingness to proclaim your faith. I'm not ashamed of my savior but rather afraid of confirming so many people's opinions that Christians are either hypocrites or are "walking wounded". And I know I am both, at some time or another. When I count my blessings today, I'll count your blog.

    ReplyDelete

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