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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.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Lost in the Wonder

~ two days ago ~
We've had a few days of wild weather here lately; from 60+ degree days to single digit wind chills, six inches of snow and now high winds of 50 mph and lashing rain. If you don't like the weather, just wait a bit and something else will be along...shortly!

Days are taken up with trying to establish new schedules, run errands and a tiny bit of pillow embroidery handwork in the mornings when I listen to Youssef and Begg. Remember the saying, "man plans, God laughs"? It's true. Just about the time I think we're getting a handle on our "new normal", everything changes and it's time to re-adjust...again. I've never been a person who has said, "I'm bored" but, I'm telling you, there's not enough time now to be bored if I'd ever been that person. Who can waste time on boredom when life is running, in a general away direction, at full tilt boogie? Certainly not me, probably not you either.

Blog visitation has been slim lately but, as I'm able to grab a few moments, I'm trying to visit y'all. I miss seeing what's going on in your lives and checking your names on my prayer list is good for y'all but I need some "you" time on my plate. -smile-

Dave has lost a lot a tremendous an egregious amount of weight but, praise God, Dave improves each day, just a tad, and we'll take it.  He needs a fair amount of tender loving care and I try to provide that; early in the day I'm actually quite good at TLC. Toward the evening, I'm not so good at the TLC as my old bones are calling for my bed and, too often, I'm over eager to stuff Dave into his bed so I can collapse into mine.

Abbie, my heartbeat Jack Russell, has had a stroke and she needs to be carried up and down stairs. She still has a brave heart but she walks at a slight angle to the right, carrying her beautiful, grizzled head tilted and, at times, walking in a circle to the right. Abbie knows she's unable to climb or go down the stairs and will wait for me to pick her up and carry her and I'm glad to help.

Everyone else appears to be doing well and that's a blessing and a gift. I've no response to folks when they say "why?" because I don't know. How can any of us know what we don't know? There's something about living it, going through it, heart in the hand of God, that brings true meaning to whatever it happens to be. No matter if it's laundry, taking vital signs, cooking a meal, enticing Dave to eat, talking to doctors...time has become more focused, has a clarity that is truer than all the sermons I've ever heard, all the meals I've ever eaten, all the wine I've every drunk. Time becomes such a gift that, too often, I find myself lost in the wonder and miss the now. Such times, when I'm lost in the wonder, I see through a veil of tears and am all clenched up inside, holding everything too tightly so I have to remember to breath. Great, gulping deep breaths that make me dizzy when the oxygen hits my brain and reminds me I'm still among the living and am needed here. Yet, it's not for the here any of us are being prepared. One day, each of us will step out of time and into eternity; I'm trying to be ready. Please God, let me be ready.

In wandering around blogland, I arrive at Eline Pellinkhof and am transfixed at the beauty. It's all white and pink which are, I find myself admitting, two of my least liked colors yet her blog is full of inspirational and beautiful photographs of this amazingly talented woman. From photo to photo, I wander but, in spite of myself, perhaps because of myself, I can't find purchase. I can't find a spot to settle down and let my soul be soothed and it's definitely through no fault of her own. No indeedy! The fault is mine and mine alone. I'm more drawn to this. This speaks to my soul and the cold stones bring me warm comfort in their sturdiness. The fact they have been around since God made them, being used and re-used in different forms by humankind but, essentially, just as they were when He began time. Can you tell I like sturdy? I like fortitude, stamina, courage; things that are true and enduring.

Ann Voskamp, A Holy Experience, has written a book, One Thousand Gifts and it's been speaking to me, deeply. Others as well have found, and are finding, this a beautiful, if gritty, gift. It's not a book to be read quickly, but rather slowly, engaging the soul and allowing God to speak to the heart as the book is being read and pondered. It's one thing to talk about being grace filled, it's one thing to call oneself a Christian...I prefer the term 'practicing Christian' -smile-...but to get dirty with the kneeling then un-lashing of the sandals and washing of the feet, of others, that's quite a different tale, even when those others are ones we love; let's just not consider the nasty, dirty, encrusted with life goo feet of someone else.

There's a book club and the first chapter is here; let me know your thoughts, please.
~ a calf suckles ~
A portion of the Christian world is embracing Lent just now. I grew up in a religion that doesn't observe Lent, nor most of the Christian symbology having to do with robes, incense and priests. I think our not observing Lent had to do, mostly, with how Daddy thinks of New Year's Resolutions...if you're living right the rest of the year, you don't have to make New Year's Resolutions.

Lent is supposed to be a season of soul searching and repentance but isn't that why we wake every morning? Isn't each day a season, albeit smaller, of "soul searching and repentance"? I understand Lent but I'm not called, yet, if ever, to practice. But, knowing me as well as I know me, if I were to observe Lent, I'd be tempted to forget the daily. I just can't do that; it's best for me to live the daily, feet to the pavement, knees to the floor or I chance losing myself in my own reflection and missing the reflection of Christ. Sacred whispers of holy words are needed daily so my feet keep, are forged even, to the path narrow.
 ~ today ~
Errands and chores are waiting, time is slipping and the to-do list grows at an alarming rate. My prayer for you today is peace. May God grant you peace.

Blessings ~ snow ~ rain ~ One Thousand Gifts ~ calves ~ grace ~ Ann ~ peace ~

Soli Deo Gloria,


  1. And peace to you too - even if just one hour at a time. Hugs!

  2. I always like knowing how you guys are and what you are thinking about. Good words, Sandra. I am practicing a little Lent this year for the first time ever. I'll let you know how it goes. And Ann Voskamp is speaking to me, too.

    Enjoy your new normal day, even as it changes in front of your eyes. I was praying for you this morning.


  3. Whenever I come here to visit, I am always amazed at the peace that I find. I hear the love in your words, as you speak of Dave, and Abbie, and your farm. This place is the ultimate example of 'glass half full' thinking.

  4. glad dave is improving, even if it is slowly. he's blessed to have such a wonderful caring wife. i love the photo of the calf nursing. sooo cute. God bless you with the physical strength you need!

  5. That's a beautiful picture of the calf suckling. It quite gladdened my heart. I just went to another Blog where I found two new lambs so I know that Spring is just around the corner.

  6. It was good to hear from you, Sandra! A lovely, long post, for sure.
    I am also reading Ann's is not an easy read, by any means. I am nearly thru my 1st run, and want to go back and re-read it. I have parts glad it is my own copy! I have some issues with some of what she says...but I want to go back and try to re-dress those. Part of the problem I have is she is quoting a known mystic...chapter 3...Julian of Norwich. Like I said...I want to go back again. I have been reading Ann's blog for a very long time, and her heart towards the Lord is obvious.
    Blessings and peace to you during this most unsettled time in your life. I know what you mean about TLC in the evenings! I just want my pj's on and sit in bed!!!

  7. Being here and now - a tremendous gift which I'm not always good at grasping. What is next? what else? now what? goofy questions - most have simple answers, make food, clean up from making food, wash dirty clothes, etc. etc - but some as you are well aware have no answers - not yet. God is so good to us that way - not knowing the future (other than our eternal destination) is the best way to live now. To God be the Glory indeed.

  8. You know what I think you describe is joy. I think of C.S. Lewis and his lovely little book Surprised by Joy. To me that is a little like you describe.
    Thank you for taking me on your journey.
    I am praying for you.

  9. I hope it lifts you up just a little to know how much you lift me up.

  10. Thinking about you!
    God bless,

  11. Errands and chores will be there tomorrow and if they are not they were not important. I, too am re-evaluating those things that are truly important. Know, I may not get by here often, but I am praying for both you and Dave.
    Big hugs,

  12. Sandra, your words and wisdom and your servant heart are so beautiful it makes my heart ache! You are a precious blogging friend I hope to someday meet--here or in Heaven, that's for sure!

    You're both still in my prayers each time you come to mind, dear one!

  13. Love your long, newsy, thoughtful post. I'm so glad Dave continues to progress. I'm sorry I have not been by to check in lately. I've been a bit self-focused with health issues. I'm so glad God is in charge. He gives the needed strength and cares for the weak. His plans for us are good and not to harm us, but to give us hope and a future. I'm waving that banner right now where I can see it and remember. And on the banner pole is the reminder that my times (every moment) are in his hands.
    Peace and grace to you both.

  14. Dearest Sandra you have no idea what a blessing you are. Each time I come to your blog I feel the presence of the Lord. You are so down to earth in your writing and so true and right to the point thank you thank you for blessing me. I too have the book One Thousand Gifts and you are right it is a book to read very slowly over time. Unfortunatly I rushed through it and will be reading it again, it is a very good book, I hope other's will read it as well. My thoughts and prayers are with you and Dave both. Praying that you will have some quiet time and relaxation time for just you. Praying the Lord will continue to provide as we know He will, and praying for peace to surround you in every thought and in everything that you put your hand too. Blessings. P:S you are so right time is fleeting by so quickly we see it more as we grow older, but often times I wonder if time has not been sped up some. No matter what is going on in our lifes time is precious every minute, every day prepares us for going home. I too pray I'm ready. Please keep my son Ryan in prayer he desperatly needs help. Thank you.

  15. Thank you for your post,Sandra! You are working really hard!!! And I know God knows it...:o) and loves you!
    I like the last photo! It's just so peaceful...
    Take care and God bless you!

    Tonya is right: you are a blessing!!!

  16. This is a quietly beautiful post Sandra. There are so many lines I would love to quote,so many thoughts I too ponder, but like the way your pondering has been given words to read."One day each of us will step out of time into eternity" is the line that touches my heart for the truth and knowledge we really are here for such a short time. Most frustrating for me is how quickly time is running away from me and how easy it is to forget the here and now blessings.

    I have never observed Lent either, it is interesting to see how so many do celebrate it though.

    Take care of yourself and spend as much time as possible enjoying the here and now God has blessed you with.It flees quickly ~

  17. Peace and prayers to you and Dave and sweet little Abbie.

  18. Oh those photos! I just want to stitch em all! Thslytivey are fabulous and really show off mother nature well! ; )

    on Canada

  19. Dear Sandra, I really really enjoyed reading this post! You are a truly special person and your writing speaks to me. I read an earlier one or two posts also. I knew that I had happened upon you during OWOH. I was afraid I might not hear from you again. It's so hard to keep up with someone when you meet them in the rush of that annual giveaway. I remember that when I got here, I almost fainted with joy! Wow..If I had a view like yours, I wouldn't be too worried about the fact that it isn't spring yet. :o) Though I'd hate to do outdoor chores in your weather. I'm glad you liked our 'little' yard.

    Sandra, I'm a new reader, so I don't know what Dave's health issues are but it sounds very familiar. My husband had cancer over ten years ago. I had just given birth to my fifth child only three months earlier when we found out the news. We had also just moved from my childhood home town in Texas, to Florida with a job.

    I had no one to help all far away... and I must say that I had never been so scared as when we first faced this 'unrelenting reality' in our lives. But the Lord, with every miraculous day, gave weak-kneed, girl of little faith ME, the courage and the peace to walk out each day...very lonely in some ways..but as you say..very busy too. He helped me be the caregiver I needed to be and time really did seem to slow down to a crawl for almost a year. Every day was filled with chemo treatments, or trying to get Tim to eat or drink, or every now and then some 'every day' sort of almost well moments to treasure. Playing soothing quiet music, while homeschooling five little ones in a tiny three bedroom home characterized most of that year. The setting was visually stunning...but the future seemed so dark and fuzzy. I wasn't sure where we were headed or if the light at the end of the tunnel was real. I gradually came to accept the 'new normal' that was our daily life, even while weeping over 'the old normal' that I wished we could have again. My heart goes out to you..truly. I do pray that the Lord will continue to pour out His grace on you and that you will always know you are not alone...and that He cares.. (as do we) regardless of what He allows in your life. I pray Dave gets well..completely, just as my Dear Hubby did. Thank you for dropping by today. I'm so honored considering your busy schedule!

    I'm a follower:o). BTW, I don't think you can 'tell' whose following you, unless they sign up on your followers list with the little thumbnails. I've got lots of subscribers (via email) but can only tell how many..not who.

    Donna @ Comin' Home

  20. dear sandra,

    i read the first chapter and thought it
    heartbreaking and beautiful. it was not
    any more beautiful or heartbreaking
    than your own blog.

    your honesty and humility are a token
    of grace under fire. the gold is gleaming,
    even though you don't see it yourself.

    my prayers will now add "and please,
    Lord, make dave fat and saturated with
    Your goodness."

  21. Thank you for this heart-searching post. You have much insight in the ways of life and it's inspirational that you are not afraid to share your inner most thoughts.

    Peace to you also.

  22. I just finished Ann's book and loved it.
    Sandra, I think of you and Dave so very often. You know how I wish we lived closer:(

    I really enjoyed this post and getting an update from you. I hope with Spring on it's way, it will be a fresh season for both of you, in many ways....
    xo, misha

  23. And your Abbie will be in my prayers, also.
    Cannot forget to include her :)

  24. I'm so sorry about Abbie - I know how much comfort our four footed friends can give, especially when going through trials like you and Dave are going through.

    I just have to say that I love visiting your blog to see the gorgeous photos of your beautiful farm. You live in a very special place and you are a wonderful photographer.


  25. Breath Sandra....just breath.....and pra...i's all that any of us can do.........sending you love and peace,

  26. I like your style and blog. I'm following it!
    Have a nice day!

  27. Good Morning Sister Sandra

    Thanks for the update on your "new normal" which sounds like anything but normal to me. Your are one busy woman. May God give your the strength to do errands, chores and the "new normal" daily routines that are part of your life now and may He grant you peace also.

    BTW, I love the photo of the little calf and her mama :-)

  28. Sandra, you are in my thoughts, as is Dave, and now Abbie. Your posts about your 'new normal' are so beautiful and inspiring, that I am filled with awe and admiration for you and Dave. Go well, Carol

  29. What a beautiful blog you have and your images of your farm are amazingly beautiful....what a blessing!
    Thank you for visiting me the other day. Hugs for a new week filled with JOY.

  30. Sandra, I am so far behind and out of touch with my blog friends. I'm still training someone to take both my old part time jobs and I'm doing a full time job (learning) at the same time. It doesn't leave much time for anything else. But I was delighted to run across this post. It made me want to reach out and hug you. So very glad you and Dave are home. The mending time comes. Perhaps with warmer weather and the seasons of life (Spring and Summer) will bring life and blessing to you both on your farm you love so much.


  31. Summer is rapidly approaching and thinking that you will spend this summer in the farm is way too much exciting. Plus the fact that it is also the time for soul searching and take some relaxing day ever.

  32. Sandra- I can well imagine that every moment of every day you are needed for some care giving task. Your obligations and desire to nuture are all consuming. If I could send you just one quiet, restful hour each day I would do so. I will pray for your strength and tolerance to be all that you must be. Bless you for all that you do--

  33. Ps Sandra- your photos of your beautiful farm are so peaceful- I want to take a quiet walk there--


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