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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, May 31, 2012

My Period of Grace


~ sunrise at Thistle Cove Farm ~
My period of Grace was this month, this May. Sort of. Most of May has been spent enjoying the farm, the animals; re-arranging portions of the house, doing farm chores and, simply, living. Blogging has taken a back seat for no particular reason other than my brain needed a rest. A time of Grace. This time of grace has been needed from the awfulness of Dave’s death and that same grace has been so healing and so restorative. March was such a struggle to stay alive, to keep my feet on the straight and narrow path, to keep breathing because the animals needed me. Dear God, it would have been SO much easier to stop but You, Bless Your name forever, didn’t let me. Thank You, God. 
I think. 
April is a fog; trying to pretend life was normal; not a new normal just some kind of normal. I remembered to eat…mostly; I remembered to shower…mostly. I remembered a lot, all the time.
 ~ Gypsy Rose Lee ~
Some have written to say, “don’t you think it’s time to move on?” Well, what do you think I’ve been doing on a daily basis? Same as you all, I’m moving on except in my own way, in my own time. I’m moving on without Dave and it stinks. I hate it, I rebel against it. I despise and loath it yet I. am. moving. on. Mostly, the best way I know how…prayer, Bible reading and getting out of bed every day, putting one foot in front of the other every day.

What’s your purpose in life? What is it you want people to say about you? What legacy do you want to leave behind? How are you establishing it all? What do you do and when do you do it to establish your purpose, your legacy? Questions I’m struggling with, daily, and still haven’t any answer. Being a Christian doesn’t mean answers are easier nor are they readily apparent, but it means, to me at least, the questions are all that more difficult, life all that more real and eternity always ahead. Smoking or non-smoking? -smile-
 ~ not weeds, flowers ~
Some friends struggle with auto-immune illnesses and some friends struggle with more than one such disease. Other friends have cancer, depression or other illnesses and that always means a greater struggle. People are hurting – their health, finances, relationships and the weight of being daily is almost overwhelming. It’s a burden, heavy to carry, sometimes impossible to comprehend and I am, constantly, throwing it all up to God because He tells me He is able...and I believe and trust Him.

How do you handle life? Where do you get your comfort, your peace, your grace for the journey? To whom, or what, do you turn?

My daily five chapters of Bible reading are in Ezekiel and I find myself wading through, up to my ears in, “Dear Lord, will those Israelites EVER learn?” Then, the small whisper comes to me…”Dear Sandra, will you?”

Lord, I’m struggling to learn, to understand what it is you want me to do, what it is you want of me. Right now, I can only suss out you want me to do what I’m doing…read my Bible every day, pray…dear God, the sheer NEED!..do my chores, keep the house clean, help my small community. Live, Daily. Keep my focus on Christ and not on the news; the awfulness of what the media keeps cramming down our throats. The November election.
 ~ moving on ~
Are you familiar with Ann Kiemel? She’s written many books and one, I Said Yes To God, changed my religion into relationship. Before that book I was happy in my ignorant bliss of skipping through life. Yet, if I knew then what I know now, I would still change my religion into relationship. It’s made that much of a difference to me and in my life. Yes, it’s been worth it all and one day I'll see Jesus. It, all of it, has been worth it all.


One last word...people tell me, "you're so strong, you'll get through this." Psssst...it's not true. I am not strong; not in the least. I am so weak and have cried and wept more since Dave died than in my entire life! The secret is...God is strong. God is able. God cares and He carries me, sustains me, delivers me, keeps my fears at bay, gives me wisdom, loves me even when I'm most unlovable. God gives me grace for the journey and that is what makes the journey bearable. That and knowing...one day I'll see Jesus.

Blessings ~ Ann Kiemel ~ friends ~ life ~ animals ~ Ezekiel ~ chores ~ grace ~


26 comments:

  1. You are absolutely right- you are on God's timeline, HIS plan to heal you and make you whole. No one can give anyone else a timeline to go by. When we keep our eyes on Him, we walk in His footsteps without even trying . . . yet, how much work it can be to Trust and keep our wandering eyes in check!

    Praise to You God- Praise for the Grace you have poured out on Sandra this month. May Your HOPE more than endure and bring strength for each day! amen!

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  2. I find it so thoughtless & insensitive of others to even speak to one about 'moving on'.

    Shoot! My son has been dead 42 years & every day I think of him, & yes, some days I still shed tears. Only time can heal the pain as we wake up, place our feet on the floor, & greet the day with prayer. God is always there ... when no one else is.

    I continue to lift you, Sandra ... God is gently showing you the way. I wish I were as strong as you, sometimes.

    Have a wonderful weekend, my friend.
    TTFN ~
    Hugs & love,
    Marydon

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  3. This post tells me that you're doing okay. I'm glad you got through the toughness of March. May has more of God's lovely sun to shine on us. You're an amazing lady. May the sun continue to shine on you and your farm.

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  4. I can't BELIEVE that there were those that suggested you move on!! Tell me who and I'll smack them with a wet noodle. No two people handle things the same way. People process things differently. You are doing exactly what I think you should be doing. Trying to find a sure footing at the edge of the black hole.....

    Love you,
    Becky

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  5. It may sound undignified, but the first word that came to mind after reading that last paragraph was "WOW"...

    It summarizes so well the profound truths that encompass everything we do...whether by trials or victories...we are nothing in ourselves...it's all HIM...

    I do hope that the possibly well-meaning readers that wrote about "moving on" will pause and reflect on their own periods of grace and remember that the seasons our God allows are on His timetable...and are not subject to human understanding or stop watches...

    Your words bless me....

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  6. His grace is always sufficient...
    You are walking a most difficult road...uncharted territory. But you never walk alone...He never leaves us or forsakes us. There are times when all we can do is fall on Him...I know I have done my share of falling. One foot in front of the other...that is how we go on. Does it get easier...?
    I pray it is so. Others that have gone before us say it does....

    Continuing to lift you up in prayer, dear friend...

    In Christ alone...as always,
    Cindy

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  7. Dear Thistle, you speak from my innerst heart: I am weak, but He is strong, I am unable, but He gives me possibilities, I am unshure, but He holds my hand, I am in darkness, but He is the light shining so bright, I am bad, but He is good, I am stupid, but He knows everything. Later I will understand, what He meant, when He gave me ALL, but I felt only pauperity. Beloved pauperity: He loves pauperity to put His treasure im my poor lonely heart.

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  8. A very eloquent post. Thank you for continuing to write, even if you can only do it occasionally, and bless the world.
    I might have been one of those people who said, "Move on," when I was younger. I hadn't had any real experience with grief and when I saw someone going through the process it was partly out of kindness that I wanted them to be through it, and be relieved of their suffering.
    I used (in my thinking only) the words of Jesus, "Let the dead bury their dead," out of context. Then when a friend who I knew was a strong Christian lost her infant child, I asked her what this grief was like, that seemed to take so long, and why she wanted to stay home so much.
    She said it is like an open wound, and having people ask about her baby was like pouring salt on the wound -- one has a natural self-protective impulse.
    From that time onward I was able to be more tenderhearted. I think your blog posts can have the same educational effect on people, and if even one or two of us learn to be kinder, you will have done a wonderful service.
    God bless you and give you whatever of Himself you need each day.

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  10. Sandra, I have watched your baby steps to picking up the pieces. You don't need to 'move on' do you? The changes in your life have already happened and have left a pain some will never experience. You'll have bad days with good moments and they will gradually change to good days with bad moments. That's were things will stay. Shed your tears and feel your pain ...it's yours to share with those of us who care to share with you.

    Sending a big hug from down under ....Sue

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  11. Sandra, I've rarely read a more heartfelt, raw post. Your posts are usually full of substance.I have no words worthy of comment; you've said it well. It was good to see your comment on my post today. It's been awhile since we talked. My friend Mona lost her husband Greg 3 years ago. Her comments mirror yours in many ways. Times of grace. Your words have been a balm to me today in ways you may not know. Trickle down blessings.
    Deb

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  12. So glad you had a good May. I am shocked that people expect you to move on so fast. You are moving so much faster than I think I would, I think I would still be wearing my pajamas and never leaving the house.
    I mean I have teeny tiny trials compared to yours and I am wiped out this month. I can hardly keep my head above water this month and I am weary.
    The only way I have made it day to day has been by clinging to the Lord and praying every step of the way. But failing lots more than I was able to handle things. People are so mean when they think there is money involved in estates and they aren't getting what they think the deserve.

    If I have in anyway ever made you feel like you weren't moving on, I am sorry. Being on this end this month, I think I might understand the smallest bit of pain you have endured.
    I am glad though it has been a better month. :) God is always good.

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  13. When you write I learn so much.

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  14. What a great post and a great reminder that we aren't in charge of anything - God is. Hugs!

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  15. Sandra,
    Thinking about you.
    d

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  16. Oh Sandra, I have not walked your path yet but I have been through some pretty terrible trials. All I can say is at the time, even though I was trusting God, they seemed absolutely unbearable.

    The grace God gives to endure the hardest providences are often not fully realized until much later after the storm has passed.

    May He bless you with rest sister.

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  17. I am so thankful for your 'period of Grace'! I am praying for you to have many more!

    If I had blessings at the end of my posts, you would always be there ~ you are a blessing to me!

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  18. You speak from your heart and I love that about you. Even when I can tell you're hurting, deeply sad, or even angry about your earthly loss of your Beloved Dave, I can tell you're relying on God to sustain you, and simply hold you tight until it doesn't seem so bad. Thank-you for this honesty, and this testimony of His love for you (and for me) even when we don't FEEL loved or loving.

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  19. I love your posts, Sandra. I'm learning so much from you in this time and will talk about it when I am ready.

    Thank you so much for sharing with us at Rural Thursdays. I hope you will return. xoxo

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  20. You write very well. Thank you for sharing your heart...It is an encouragement.

    Your time to heal and grieve is YOUR time. Don't allow anyone to rush it.

    And you are right, many are hurting. I am one. I share my hurt with my sisters at church. I am grateful for their love for me and how they point me to Jesus.

    May He give you rest...

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  21. Sandy, you commented on my Blog so I checked yours out and discovered about your recent widowhood. My heart goes out to you because losing someone you love is more than just difficult, it's life changing with all it's attendant difficulties. You are so right to admit your true feelings. Any "moving on" comes from opening even more to God and Grace can only be received in the present moment--like manna, it can't be stored up for a rainy day. So feeling lost and alone is part of receiving it, otherwise, we would not feel the need for it and ask for it. True love takes away all fear. It's in the heart knowledge of knowing God loves us and wants what's best for us that we can lay aside the fear that keeps us from feeling the true feeling--lostness and aloneness. If you don't allow yourself to feel the lostness and aloneness, what you end up feeling is fear--they may feel the same, but while the true feeling allows you to ask for what you need, the false feeling of fear erects barriers. Fear is merely a smokescreen. But glory be to God, He does not leave us in our grief and need for one second longer once we acknowledge our need for HIM.

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  22. Yes, we are all very weak, even if we do not appear so, we need the ultimate strength of God. Everyone mourns in their own way and in their own time. Those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength, they will rise up on eagles wings, they will run and not be weary...Isaiah just from memory. God wants us to wait, to rest, we find our strength is waiting, then He shows when He is ready to use us. Sometimes our wait is long, and sometimes short...but He will show you his plan for you, when He knows you are ready. In the meantime you are doing so well!!! Just managing to take care of the farm and yourself and do bible studies!!! And I must say that your blog is a powerful form of testimony as well. Blessings to you, my friend.

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  23. I couldn't have said it better. You're learning how to live without your soulmate and that takes as much time as you need. Thank you again for always being so honest with your grief.

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  24. Only someone who is really strong could make that statement dear heart......"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

    with love, Nancy

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  25. Grief never goes away..never leaves. It just changes on a day to day basis, over the years. Some days it is fresh and raw and some days it is
    "do-able" and some days it is gut-wrenching, roll on the floor screaming and begging God to bring back the person we have lost. No timeline, just a walk through life with a kick in the gut that hurts more on some days and a heart that is slowly healing, but will always have a hole that cannot be filled.
    At least this is what it's been like for me. God is what makes it a road that can be walked. I cannot imagine Not having that to turn to!
    For those who don't believe? What a incredibly, lonely road to walk.
    In all areas of life!
    Some days when I don't have anything left to give, I just know
    that God's grace is always sufficient. I don't have to have anything else...

    I hope this make sense :)
    Loving you and keeping you in prayer always, Sandra!
    xo, misha

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  26. You wrote it so much better than I could. I posted something similar today -- yet different.

    As I have told you many times, I cannot imagine losing my husband. I'm sure it does just STINK on every level. :o(

    God bless you as you take each step.

    Love in Him,
    Beth

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Thank you for visiting Thistle Cove Farm; may God bless you, yours and the work of your hands and heart. My goal is to respond, here, to your comments although it may take a while.

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