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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, January 03, 2013

Dear Sandra,

~ Sadie, looking forward ~
There's a new magazine and blog called FOLK, Live Authentic and says it's "the story of modern, authentic American life. We bring a fresh, youthful perspective to today's American culture while preserving the past through sharing the American story, and the story of those living authentic lives." It says a lot more and, while losing me at the "fresh, youthful" part, I'm picked up at the "preserving the past" and "living authentic lives" part. From what I've read, I'm at least old enough to be everyone's Mother if not their Gran and that's fine with me. At least I'm still alive to give a nudge to the yunginn's every now and agin. -smile-
If you go to the Journaling Agenda page, there's a weekly blog writing prompt and, as long as I remember, I'm joining in. The first week of this new year is "write a letter to you" so here's mine:

Dearest Sandra,

It's been a year! A year of leaving, learning, growing, standing still, tears, laughter, sorrow, joy, sadness, happiness, big decisions, big risks, a year of holding on and letting go, a year of God and His enormous grace, mercy and love poured out upon you. You, in your ignorance, would have changed Dave's death into life so you could have his protection and provision still. God, in His infinite wisdom, chose otherwise and it has been His protection and provision that has overshadowed you these past long months.
While Dave lived, one of God's last gifts to you was leading Dave to Christ. On Monday morning, Dave asked, "How do I get right with God?" and you spoke of God's gift, His Son Christ, and what that meant for all eternity. Dave made his peace with God and on Saturday morning went Home. Dave asked for two things: to die at home and not to die in the agony of the last stages of cancer. He'd taken care of Cathy, his first wife, in her last stages of cancer and he knew what lay ahead. He told you he wanted to spare you both even though you assured him you wanted him no matter what. In His infinite mercy, God gave Dave his last desires. Dave died of a massive heart attack and he died at home. Those first months you spent in shock. Oh, you did all those things that needed doing and did some of them correctly but made mistakes as well. You listened to others say, "don't you think it's time you got over it? It's been a few months." or "you're a prickly personality" or "you need to get on with life". Yes, and them cozy in bed at night, snugged against their husband!
You gave yourself a year to grieve, a year to focus on the grief and the loss, the aloneness, the knowledge that you were now your own provider and least, with skin on smile... . That year was given up to tears and the adjustment of being alone, save the animals. You told yourself you'd move on to mourning and leave the grief behind and, mostly, you have but there are times still, the grief catches you unawares and you're poured out, empty, all over again. 
Dave lives on, in Glory, with all those Saints and great cloud of witnesses gone before. God left you to carry on, to ponder, pray and discern His new will for your life. You've an inkling and are spending this first week of the New Year making a calendar, plans and goals for growth in this new direction. There are those who don't feel God speaks to us in this day and age; they are right. You're one who believes God does speak to us you in this day and age and you are right. He speaks in a whisper and you listen, shutting out the noise of daily living, turning off the television, radio and computer; if necessary, turning off the telephone to focus on His voice. He opens a door here, a window there and guides your feet on the narrow path.
True friends have been so kind and acquaintances have been...well, they have been acquaintances. So many times they have approached you and asked intensely personal questions. Why they think they have the right to ask personal questions simply because you know each other is beyond my kin! Some of them haven't spoken to you in years, yet the need to know your personal business overcame any sense of propriety and ask they did. Perhaps, as you answered them, you were gracious but even if you weren't, you can still live with it; you did nothing wrong.
You learned you don't have to do something because someone else tells you that's what you need to do. 
You learned to say, "No, that's not acceptable" and then describe what was acceptable. 
You learned to go toe-to-toe with doctors, nurses, hospital administration and not back down; you learned patients and families have rights, true rights, and not just in word alone. You learned you didn't much care what someone thought of you as long as Dave's needs and comfort were met.
You learned to buy property; to negotiate and bargain. 
You learned to buy and sell cattle but don't think you'll be doing that again! smile You've taken care of the animals, farm, house and learned to ask for help; you learned to listen and heed wise counsel. 
You learned there are millions of people who aren't ready for death, either to someone they love or to themselves. 
You learned you have something to give...the hard-won knowledge gained from Dave dieing so suddenly and without being prepared. That knowledge is being put to paper; "death comes to us or for us, it's best to be prepared." 
You learned love transcends time, life goes on, friends love unconditionally, the prayers of those whom you'll never meet this side of the veil have held you up before His thrown of grace, mercy and love. 
You learned the "righteous will never be forsaken nor His seed beg for bread".
The opportunity to travel afforded you new friends whom you hope to see again but, in the meantime, your prayers, one for another, hold all close.
Most importantly, you've is able in all circumstances and situations if when you get out of His way.
So, dearest Sandra, last year has gone, the new year still has nappies and you're dreaming new dreams, have new plans and goals and are forging ahead. Some things won't change - God first; self, family and friends second and all else trailing behind. As long as you keep your perspectives in the right order, it will all work out according to His plan and glory. Sandra, be gentle with yourself, show yourself love, honor and respect, claim His blessings and promises so you can fill to overflowing and, in turn, bless others.
God bless you, Sandra, and the work of your hands and heart; may the worst of 2013 be claimed from the best of 2012.
You are left in His most capable hands.

Today's Miracles - snow on the mountains ~ shining sun ~ Carly, giving nose kisses ~ fire in the wood stove ~ good weather for feeding livestock ~ peace ~


  1. Sandra, dear Sandra, I've only just met you and am in tears at your beautifully written, sensitive letter. I do hope that you have a wonderful 2013 with many blessings and even more happy days.

  2. I am proud to call you friend. God bless you dear sister in Christ. My prayers continue into your new adventure.....can't wait to hear all about it!
    Love ya,

  3. You learn and you learn and you learn. And one of the gifts of cancer, and there are some (I`m a cancer survivor...I speak what I know) is that we learn what strength we have -- in so many different ways. We learn about courage and what it truly is. And we learn that we have so much more to know, to learn and to share.

    You have had a tough 2012 and you have learned to be gentle with yourself. No one can tell you when it is time to stop is a process and a journey. It takes whatever time it takes. Each day holds the promise of something new. May you find miracles and joys and blessings every day of 2013. xo

  4. I love your Dear Sandra letter! You are a fine "sayer" of truthful things, friend.
    I'm glad we'll share this year in the best wordy ways!

  5. Good advice to yourself and all of us. Hoping 2013 brings many blessings!

  6. *Sigh*..Such a poignant letter...though written to yourself, such profound gleanings you have left for your readers...

    Bless you, 2013 and always!

  7. Now wouldn't it have been something had someone sent you a letter like that? many blessings for the new year, Sandra. My thoughts are always with you. Many warm hugs, Sue.

  8. This is wonderful,dear Thistle, deep, true, brave and really wondeful!

  9. Dear Sandra, you are a blessing in more ways than you know -

  10. Hi Sandra,
    Your letter is so beautiful.
    You have left an imprint on my heart.
    Though we just met, through this amazing blog world, I feel like you have reached out with a most comforting hug.


  11. Dearest Sandra, Every time I come by here, I am so deeply touched! Thank you for sharing this with us; I had only started following you after you lost your Dave. Today what touched me the deepest is the part of your story(Dave's)where the Lord reached down and showed Himself to Dave before it was too late. I have prayed for my beloved husband for 32 yrs and still praying that he may find Jesus before it is too late. Bless you dear sister for your love, faith and your continuing on during this last year. I look forward to what the Lord has for you in the coming year!
    Hugs, Noreen

  12. Sandra, this was so heartfelt and poignant. I could have written some of the sentences myself. I'm glad that Dave accepted Christ at the end and passed quickly. God is merciful. Beautiful letter from a beautiful heart.

  13. Dear Sandra,
    Such beautiful words to describe a very hard year and lots of growth. I am so very proud of you and happy to be your friend.


  14. have not trod where you have gone, but am blessed by your telling of it, hugs!

  15. Sandra wrote a very good, very insightful, and very inspirational letter to Sandra. What can I say to add to this ? Heart-moving. Praise hod for His saving grace and for the sharing of His truths from Thistle cove.

  16. Sounds like Folk is a useful magazine. It'll be interesting to see what other prompts present themselves & where that leads you. Every blessing to you Sandra in this year of 2013. Much love & friendship Catherine x0x0x ps Toad very much enjoyed your reply : )

  17. Oh- I was meant to come here today and read this. Thank you for finding my gingerbread post and commenting...because now I found you back. I am your newest follower and can't wait to get to know you better--xo Diana

  18. Hi again Sandra, I just wanted to say how much your life blesses me-I reread your letter to yourself again this morning, as a reminder to cherish those we have with us now. I love what Sherry wrote; you've got so much truth here and you continue on, even when you want to quick. May the Lord's mighty provision continue to be poured out on you-this minute, this day,this week, month and coming year. Bless you dear sister for being so transparent with us.
    Hugs again.

  19. Hi Sandra, Thank you for sharing this journey with us. I like the part where you say, if we will just get out of the way and let God lead! My sister wrote something very similar on her blog today. If you should want to read it, the link is at the top of my blog.
    You have and will continue to be in my prayers.
    I treasure your friendship and John and I greatly appreciate your prayers for us over the years.
    May God richly bless you in this new year.

  20. Wow.

    That was profound! I wish I had your way with words. I have those thoughts bouncing around in my blonde head but somehow they never quite make it to the fingers. :)

    BTW, I did enjoyed your last letter. Thank you for the kindness. It was very uplifting. I'm still feeling glum because our Republic is dead. Our nation has lost it's way and it appears that it will never be the same again. Good thing we can all garden and hunt at least we'll eat.

    Happy New Year gal. Pat all your "babies" for me. ~:)

  21. Dear Sandra, You are a remarkable woman! Blessings-

  22. I like all the smiles you bestowed on yourself. It makes me think I should smile at myself a little more rather than chiding myself. You are starting off the year in a good way!

  23. Last night I was thinking about my grandmother and thought of you and how you lost Dave. Prayed for you and I am grateful that we have found each other in this blog world!

  24. I love this letter that you wrote to yourself Sandra -- it's one of life's most difficult things to be kind to ourselves, but one of the most important. Seems you've discovered many awesome things about you this past year. xo

  25. Veronica, thank you for visiting and I'm praying for a good 2013 as well.

    Becky, bless you for your prayers during this last year and, girl, get back to blogging!

    Sherry, thank you for your blessing and I pray for you continued good health. It's a journey, a long one.

    Karen, it's been a joy getting to know you better.

    Leslie, hoping for better times ahead for both of us.

    Karen, bless you in 2013; it's been a long year and half since Dave died.

    Maa, keeping you and Petal in thoughts and prayers; life can be so difficult and hard.

    Dori, it's all God's strength; I've none of my own.

    Karen, you are kindness itself; thank you!

    Diana, it pays to be kind, we're all battling something, aren't we?

    Mags, amen indeed.

    Noreen, praying your husband comes to Jesus; it was a decades old pray from my heart to God's ear and He answered!

    Gail, God is SO merciful!

    Glenda, thank you; it's been a hard, long and difficult year; I think I'm healing but it's hard to tell from this close.

    Annie, to say I hope you'll never go where I've gone is to wish it upon your husband and I'm not wise enough to do either. That's Gods' job.

    Kathy, if it wasn't for God, daily, I don't know that I've have made it this far.

    Catherine, FOLK is a good magazine but it's for a much younger generation than I; I like it but won't renew.

    Noreen, you're always welcome to speak here...always.

    Mildred, bless you for your friendship; even though we don't know each other personally, it's been a long time we've shared. God is able.

    Diana, so glad you're here and hope you'll come back again and again.

    Mildred, we do need to get out of God's way so He can work in our lives.

    Sparky, I hate it that the Reps didn't win but God is in control; I HAVE to believe that!

    Patrice, not sure I'm a remarkable woman but appreciate the compliment.

    Gretchen, being gentle with ourselves is a very good thing.

    Jen, losing a spouse has been the worst thing that's ever happened to me and I've had some nasty things happen to me.

    Nancy, and I didn't even know...truly, I didn't even know.


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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