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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.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Beguiling Time

Glenda, over at Gg-Notes on the Journey, has written she's cutting back on her posting; her hands and her time tell the tale. I wrote her to say I wear braces on both hands; they help rest, support and protect my hands. At night, I slather my hands with muscle rub, making the dogs crinkle their noses and question if they want to sleep with me. Really? After the stuff they roll in and eat!
Glenda says she'll continue to read blogs of those who comment on her blog; as well, she must be captured and drawn into the plot within three sentences. Eh, no pressure there (haha) but I value Glenda and want the gift of her present on my blog.
As do I want yours. In the darkest grief days, of those that have come, I would visit your blog, yes YOUR BLOG, to see normal. My normal was gone, upended and poured from me when Dave died. People said, "now you have a 'new normal' but, I didn't. There wasn't anything normal about my life, nor was there anything new. Just the same tired old story of love gone ahead, leaving a vacuum even nature couldn't fill.

I questioned God, still do sometimes, as to His timing which, has proven to be excellent and, always, proving He had/has my best interest in His great heart. Yet, some days there are nothing but questions.
He understands.


Dave died in November and after burying him beside his first wife, Cathy, in Hollywood Cemetery, I returned home to begin the real struggle. Dark days, dark nights and even darker thoughts. What was the use? What was my purpose? Did I want to live?
Now, now. Before you blast me with, "and you call yourself a Christian?!" Know this: YES, I am a practicing Christian because I've never gotten it quite right and I never will.
God's grace (giving me what I don't deserve) and God's mercy (not giving me what I do deserve); Christ, at His Father's right hand, interceding for me and the Holy Spirit to comfort me have carried me. As John Newton said, "I am a great sinner but Christ is a greater Savior."
Your prayers as well, as God brought me to your mind, have carried me; you've stood in the gap and may God bless you tenfold as you have blessed me.
At some point in blogging, I added Prayer Keeping to each Sabbath Keeping post. Some of your names are there and many people pray, including me, for you. It's a privilege and honor to pray, one for another. It's been said, time is the gift of eternity and I believe prayer should be our first resource and not our last resort. Pray as if life depended upon it...because it does.
Dave always slept later than I, sometimes by hours, but when he got up, we'd begin our day by sitting in the sun room, drinking coffee or tea, always enjoying each other, our beasties. Dave was a java man; he liked his coffee straight, hot and black while I drink about half cream and half coffee so my poor stomach doesn't suffer. Sometimes we'd talk, a lot, other times we'd sit quietly, enjoying the view you see in the header photo. We were planting deep roots to withstand whatever might come. For all of us, the mission field is under our feet so bloom where you're planted. Grow deep roots, build strength for the journey, pray and read your Bible daily and, if you don't have a Bible, let me know and I'll see you get one.
Pilgrim, prepare yourself. If you don't use the sunny mountaintop days wisely, you'll perish in the valley darkness.
Where ever you are...BLOOM! 

Blessings ~ valleys ~ mountaintops ~ grace ~ mercy ~ foals ~ Cathy ~ Dave ~ YOU ~

34 comments:

  1. Hello Sandra:
    Leaves and flowers may come and go but roots stay in the ground for the duration. You are so right to remind us all that we should make the most of the good, happy and plentiful times of our lives to prepare for the days which are less good, sad or difficult.

    Of course, Life will never be the same again for you without Dave, but you can draw strength from the years that you did have together and which you planted your firm roots. May you, as the days warm, the sun shines and the farm bursts into new life bloom with joy on those strong roots!!

    Happy weekend!!

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  2. You are one of the most gracious women I know, Sandra. Have a lovely weekend. I love seeing the horses, keep those animal pics coming.

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  3. This was a beautifully written post, Sandra... and I loved the pictures, too. Whenever I see new babies, whether human or farmy or fuzzy-bottomed, it represents the Circle of Life to me...
    ((HUGS))

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  4. Ever since my little son went to Jesus, there is/has not been a day that I think of being 'alone'. I dread the day should it happen to me, but pray I go first as he is stronger to survive loss.

    I tear up & suffer for you every time I think of you, Sandra, & pray that each day you are given more blessings in your path.

    Have a beautaiful weekend, my friend.

    My sister I haven't seen in 45 years is coming today ... I hope it all goes well.

    Have a great weekend ~
    TTFN ~
    Hugs of love,
    Marydon

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  5. Oh, my...no words to add...just a sincere "thank you" from the heart...

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  6. As always very wise words.They have been mined from the depths that you have traveled. As I read your words I keep being reminded of the little book by C.S. Lewis " A Grief Observed."
    In it he says, "At other times it feels like being mildly drunk, or concussed. There is sort of invisible blanket between the the world and me."
    I have read it many times when I feel like I am loosing my mind.
    Reading his words have helped me not feel so alone. In a ten year period of my life, I lost my parents, my grandparents, All of my aunts, uncles and cousins.
    We went from having a huge extended family to just us.
    We lost our closest friends that had shared our growing up lives as well as children we had hoped for.
    We lost all of my husband's family during that time. Sort of a weird game of tennis, his family or mine.
    We spent more time in hospitals and hospital rooms than I care to think.
    I look back now and think how was it we continued to live. When sometimes it felt as though a telephone pole had been imbedded in my chest.
    Most of it God was the only companion. I spent so much time in the shower with the water on sobbing afraid I would never stop, but I did. Grief I have found happens when it wants to and never on my terms.
    I don't think I will ever be that person I was, but I have made peace with the person I am now. One broken and battered and in pieces, but I am glued back together now and it is that little by little as I died, because you know that you you die too bit by bit, it is the small things that become that tiny light on my path that lights my way.
    Like that foal in your picture in a field of green grass.
    Your words just reminded me as Elisabeth Elliot says, the " gift of suffering." I have not seen it as a gift, but I still try, because God is the potter and I am but clay.
    Blessings to you today, and yes, prayer for others in the only way I have found to heal.
    Thanks for your words,
    Kim

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  7. Thank you,Sandra! This post means a lot to me...!!! I am very thankful to God for you!!!

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  8. You are a marvel, Sandra! Your posts are always thought provoking and cause me to examine my own heart.
    Have you ever thought of writing a book? What subject you ask? Everything you write is practical, witty, interesting, thought provoking, honest, and Christ honoring. Your experience's shared here, have helped me to see life in a different light, what it may be in the future, and has caused me to begin to put down deeper roots. Could writting a book be your purpose?

    Some of these lovely ladies (in the comments) have awesome testimonies, too! I am truly humbled by the strength and grace you, and they, demonstrate! Blooming and decorating this journey's path for fellow travelers to consider!
    Blooming because of Him!

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  9. Hi- I'm 'new' to your blog and I want to thank you for sharing this post. I lost my husband last Nov as well- but not to death- to adultery. The way you described your grief so well is exactly what I have/am experiencing. Seventeen years, two children- and suddenly one day he leaves. I'm grieving the loss of what I thought I had and what saddens me all the more is his emails that speak of his regret and his anger at God and disbelief in His Presence and Power after years of a "christian walk".
    But even in this pain that God has allowed I am seeing the gifts of His Grace EVERYDAY. He is my sustain-er and Savior- and he always will be.
    I hurt for you in your loss. I know the loneliness that takes whatever moment it can find to creep in, the memories that both hurt and bring joy and I KNOW the God who re-covers us time and time again.
    You're in my prayers today.

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  10. Love this post, Sandra. Yes in deed... grow where you are planted.

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  11. I have learned to treasure "normal" even "boring". I pray that you will once again find "normal" Maybe it will have to be a new normal as things can never again be the same. I think as a christian we all struggle with getting it right and that what makes us human and I so love the Lord for his mercy. He love you like no other. Many Blessings Sandra! Kathy
    P.S. - I always smile when I see your posts on my blog.

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  12. I have learned to treasure "normal" even "boring". I pray that you will once again find "normal" Maybe it will have to be a new normal as things can never again be the same. I think as a christian we all struggle with getting it right and that what makes us human and I so love the Lord for his mercy. He love you like no other. Many Blessings Sandra! Kathy
    P.S. - I always smile when I see your posts on my blog.

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  13. Truly beautiful Sandra . . . truly. Soulful and soul filled passionate words.

    I feel my grief sensually . . . Sensing it through sight and sound, smell and taste . . . surrounding me with thunderbolt sound and sharp, lightening like strikes. The waves of grief seem to arrive like an unexpected/unwelcomed visitor and yet . . . leave with relief from my purging, fearful sobbing, racking sobs.

    The change of seasons of late has stirred my soul. The photos of mom and foal, your word reflections, sensing your journey, the evidence of new growth surrounding me . . . pensive thoughts of yesteryear days on the mountain top. . .

    I hear God in your writing . . . I find Him there to when I write.

    Such revea.ing words Ndrs.

    Bless you dear one . . .

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  14. Lovely words Sandra, soulful and soul filled . . .

    Bless you'd ear one . . .

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  15. Forgive my errors . . . writing left handed these days . . . Not my best . . .

    Such revealing words. Sandra is what it was supposed to read.

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  16. Your pictures of the baby colt are just adorable!! I totally agree, grow where you are planted, your mission field is right around you! We end up where we are because God has a purpose for us there, and there are many who need us all around us if only we would look. I do believe in the power of prayer, I m called The Prayer Lady at church because I run and manage our 24/7 prayer call in line from home, and also I do the e-mail prayer requests. There's no getting around it, life is hard, this is why we need god's guidance, so the hard places in life make some kind of sense.

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  17. You must live very near us. We just visited Hollywood Cemetery last weekend, it is truly amazing! We plan on going back because we did not get all the way through.

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  18. There's nothing I can other than I love the photos you included in your post today, Sandra. Hope you have a good weekend, dear.

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  19. What a wonderful..love filled post. I am so sorry for your loss! You are so strong and God filled woman... I came over here from Susan Branch's website!

    Blessings my new friend!
    Gert

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  20. Lovely post, Sandra.I had to smile at the pictures of the beautiful little foal. Have a good weekend, sweet lady:)

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  21. I love this post, Sandra. Most of all, I appreciate your candor when speaking of grief. John and I have been on your prayer list for a long time and we are so grateful for your prayers. With the words written here today, I can visualize you and Dave sitting enjoying the view, drinking your coffee and content just to be near one another. I can't imagine the loss that you feel but I do pray for you many times through the days. I pray very earnestly that God will bless you in a special way and that the knowledge that many who have never met you are praying for you, give you peace. Indeed, you are an inspiration and I am so thankful that God allowed our paths to cross.

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  22. Ah you sweet thing ... you know I love your blog and will always be a reader and a commentor.

    You are blooming in grief ... beautifully. Wish it wasn't so painful.

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  23. Aha! But what is normal? Honey you are normal, everything you do and think and feel is normal. I often think of you and hope that each 'today' brings you a snippet of joy. Hugs Sue

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  24. I do hold you in prayer, Sandra. You're so true and good.

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  25. Prayers for you every day and may you find peace this week. Hugs!

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  26. Oh Sandra, your Dave sounds very much like me, and you are very much like my loving, kind, faithful husband. He of the sunrise and happy disposition, me of the late sunrise, but appreciating a God-loving man who loves me even in my morning slumps.God is so good and kind, and when He pairs us with our opposites, He knows what He is about, and it makes me praise Him all the more.

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  27. Dear Sandra, I am new here, but I can understand why you would feel that way. When two become one and then one leaves -- half is missing. You are torn. I pray God will give you an understood purpose each day that will keep your focus sharp and clear.

    God bless you and surround you with His love.

    Beth

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  28. This is a beautiful post. I'm glad you've found a place to share your thoughts - or even just see a sense of surface normal - at a time when you need it. Blogging is great for taking the mind away from real life worries, just for a moment or two.

    I'm sorry it's been so hard for you.

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  29. Dear Heart, when you lose a loved one it is such a vast empty
    place. It took 3 years for me to
    come back when my Husband died. I am still crying over my 16 year old Dog. They want to stay close I guess. Lost my dog June 8 last year. I wake up thinking I forgot his water bowl. Cry when I think of him in the morning, if I peel
    a banana, he loved half my banana
    I miss his sweet face. yvonne

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  30. i think you are doing remarkably well with
    this devastation. these precious photos
    show the story of where your heart will
    someday be. life and happiness wil come
    again.

    thank you for your kinds words at my place.
    they made me realize that i didn't tell the
    story correctly. the dear lady wasn't
    criticizing me. her reminder of my Godly
    grandmother brought shame from myself,
    not her.

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  31. Hi Sandy,
    All I can say is just beautiful! life is grand :)

    Thank you for your beautiful visit and comment that went along with it.

    There are two lasting bequests we can give our children:
    one is roots. The other is wings.
    - Hodding Carter, Jr.



    Have an inspiring weekend.
    xoxo
    Dore

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  32. Just popped in to thank you for visiting my blog and your sweet comment. I have added your blog to my google reader and look forward to getting to know you better .

    I so much enjoyed reading your blog and seeing your focus in Christ in such a trying time. I am so very sorry for your loss, and thank you deeply for your encouragement..

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  33. What a lovely post. Those horse photos are precious. Grieving is such hard work, isn't it? Hugs.

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  34. Sandra, this post makes me want to hug you. No words, just a long, tight hug.
    XO

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