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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.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Struggles and Trust

~ who loves ya, baby? ~
Jen, over at Finding Heaven is talking about choices, hope and despair; about measuring herself against her stats, about forgetting we're not on our own. Her T.R.U.S.T. question is: What are the traps that lure you away from believing God's Truth about you? Here's my response...

The days I'm too "busy" to start with God, His Word, His preachers on XM and my devotions is the day that falls apart for me. Maybe it's an age thing or a season thing but I'm not struggling with traps so much as I'm struggling to do the work He's set before me. Struggling to make good...no, excellent...use of my time, to make it count for eternity. Time is the beginning of eternity and it is NOW. The time I spend wasting here, now, is time I can never re-capture for Him. Since Dave died, my biggest fear is...fear. Am I being a good steward, am I giving enough, am I doing His will. Suppose I screw up and lose it all. 
Daily, God reveals, a little more and a little more, who I am as His child. ouch. Daily, I pray anew to do His will and not my own. It's a daily battle; not a tomorrow battle or a yesterday battle. All I have to tend to is today; yesterday is gone and tomorrow never arrives.

I don't mean to sound like practicing a Christian life is not difficult. It is extremely difficult., at least, it's difficult for me. I struggle with less of me and more of Him. I struggle with my big mouth. I struggle with being impatient, with trying to "help" God. I struggle with my big mouth. oops, said that one didn't I? There's some t.v. show called 'fear factor'; at least, there was at one time. I've never see the show but want to tell them, if you want to see fear, be here at 3 a.m. when I can't sleep and worry has replaced sanity and prayer. I struggle with forgiving those people who have so cruelly wronged me. Instead of forgiving them, I remember what they did, over and over and over...and then I waste more time on playing the revenge game. Sheesh! What a complete and total waste and it only serves to upset me more; it keeps the hurt alive and robs me of happiness and the here and now. 

"So Sandra," says Abba, "how's that working out for you?"

One of the other bloggers visiting Jen has written a post about Jack Nicholson and, in one of his movies he says, "Is this as good as it gets?" Well, yeah, it is if you're not a Christian. If you're not a Christian, this is the only Heaven you'll ever know. By the way, how's that working for you, this heaven? On the other hand, if you're a saved by His grace Christian, not simply a person who attends a Christian based church, this is the only Hell you'll ever know. How's that working out for you? 'Cause I'm liking it, I'm liking it a lot!

I live a quiet life and stay, for the vast majority of time, here on the farm. I have to; it's where the work is and any time I spend away, is time I spend not working. Even so, when I leave the farm, I see so much hurt, bitterness, anger, distrust...and that's generally in church on Sunday morning! I think going to an office everyday would simply overwhelm me and bring me to an early end. So, I focus on what's important and that is...

And that's quite enough.

Blessings ~ Finding Heaven Today ~ participating bloggers ~ Jen ~ God and His Amazing LOVE ~

26 comments:

  1. A revealing, sobering post! I so see myself in your every line so much I could have written it. I'm older than you & not without physical difficulties--I'm hoping for more than a few more years, but the fear of what's ahead rises up so easily--lately I'm repeating the lines of "Leaning on the Everlasting Arms." I, too, am a widow now for 12 yrs & after a 46 yr marriage. We must continue on with faith anew every morning. We know who holds the future.

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  2. You write so honestly, and I relate completely to the difficulty of letting go of what we feel as mistreatment by others. Replaying that tape (do you ever hear yourself responding aloud? I am embarrassed to say, I often find myself doing that!) is such a waste of precious time.
    Onward...

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  3. This was a great post, Sandra. Living a life with God is such a constant learning curve. Learning not to hold a huge grudge, not to seek myself and my desires, learning to lean on him, to let him carry my life and lead me. I'm only beginning to understand those concepts, much less DO them. Thanks for these sisterly words.

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  4. Realized years ago, to ask myself everyday, "What would I do tomorrow if I were not afraid?"

    It's not what happens to me but what I do when it does. And I love the shorter distance between having my feathers ruffled to being in grace again. Younger it took forever.

    What helps me hear Providence? Nature, my garden, music, pets, tempo/nurturing of my home, speed walking in the woods at Stone Mtn. park, books, movies, friends, loved ones.

    When I don't understand things repeating the Serenity prayer over/over.

    XO T

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  5. Powerful post dear one! I just finished reading a book-fiction called Angel Eyes and it talks about fear dripping off of us, looking like tar. It was such a visual description. I, like you, often repeat wrongs in my head; fulling knowing the only true freedom is with Christ. Thank you for sharing.
    Hugs, Noreen

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  6. Sandra, we are not all created equal...we are all equal under the law...but that is the only way. God has blessed each of us with many talents, but there are some of us who are amazingly stupid, ignorant and uncaring. Look up, my friend...look way up. And, keep doing what you're doing all day every single day. Those animals love you and so do the rest of us. I used to cry and rant about the injustices and wrongs done to me by those dullards, but no more, it didn't change them or me. Now, I just look up and soar.

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  7. wow so God sounds like Dr. Phil in the middle of the night? it isn't supposed to be easy - our pastor loves to say - it'll be a turbulent flight as a believer in Jesus Christ but oh WOW what a great landing!
    Church being a hospital for sinners --I have to make frequent visits for check ups and healing. I love when you write out of the very gut of an issue for you - bless you dear sister in Christ - you are doing just fine.

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  8. As the Apostle Paul said, "Forgetting those things that lie behind, and pressing onward..." we strive to enter that blessed rest, which is Christ Himself. Godspeed you on your life journey! One step, then the next step, then the next...

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  9. Great post! I like how you share your heart with us here. Forgiving is key to a victorious Christian life. Hope you will be able to get past the hurt and forgive as God has forgiven you. We only hurt ourselves when we hold a grudge.

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  10. It's day by day for me. God,gardening,plants,Renee and her dog. I have a full life now. Just have to stay busy and paint more.
    You are a fantastic soul.
    When I lost my Mama and Husband
    in 6 months and then got Cancer, I
    just took one step at a time and I am still here.
    Love ya sweetheart.
    yvonne

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  11. Sandra - I frequently think about how horrible it would be if this world was all I had to look forward to. At least now, when things are hard, I know that I always have the hope of an eternity with the Father when this life passes away. Oh my gosh, am I so thankful for that. It would be so depressing to think that this life here on earth is the only life we have.

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  12. Your words hit home: How's that working for you?
    Especially pertinent, as I laid awake most of the night a short while ago fretting over a decision, and it got down to being afraid of taking on a new challenge.
    It certainly does rob me of happiness, to say nothing of the sleep deprivation!
    The way to joy is through my faith and trust!

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  13. You know Sandra your Header picture us there is absolutely gorgeous. You are surrounded by beauty.

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  14. Well said, Sandra! So many struggles in life...especially in the middle of the night...I am trying hard to hand them over to God and just try not to control everything!

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  15. Well you have us all talking - you are doing your job! I read this post and walk such a simular path! God is my savior! I have to trust in him to help me through! So Sandra let go of the anger (it just gives someone else control of who you are). See the world he has given you and enjoy! It is work but I would not want to be anywhere else! You are a blessing and I am proud you to call you friend! Lisa

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  16. That's a good analogy with Jack's words from the movie. So true, without Him this is as good as it gets!

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  17. Good post. I deal with too much fear. I just heard a sermon that said "Perfect love casts out fear". Unfortunately, "Perfect fear casts out love". I'm still thinking on that one...

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  18. I love this post and everything you've posted is true... I too struggle with being a Christian. It's hard work an lately I find myself SO lax in my prayer life, the scriptures etc and I hate it but I can't seem to pull myself out of the funk Im in. I wish I knew how it feels terrible..

    Honestly Sandra, if I had your farm I wouldn't ever want to leave it either.. Our world has become such an ugly place and I don't mean to be a Debbie downer but it's just true.. We live in an age where everything that is wrong is right and everything that is right is wrong.. You farm is a little slice of heaven and peace..but also a lot of work too..

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  19. I love your thoughts -- do you know how much you bless others? I am grateful for you.

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  20. Honest feelings, you are not the only one, so you take the hands of many struggling, hoping people, thank you! I love the last sentence very much, the sentences before, too.

    Do you have lamas also??

    Many regards from Xaver. He often mentions Thistle! he is grounded, too :)

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  21. Thank you for your honesty. I have an older brother ~ my only sibling, as I am a surviving twin ~ who is bitter, foul and my family simply can't be around him because we believe him to be unstable and dangerous. And, of course, our not being around him makes him mad, too. But now that both of our parents are gone, I HAVE to simply give him over to the Lord & pray that he answers the Lord's wooing, loving call. The Bible says, "In as much as it depends on you, live in peace with all men." Sometimes, that means not being around them.

    And through it all, the Lord IS good...and ever faithful. I lay my cares in His capable hands, pray & wait EXPECTANTLY on His answers.

    Blessings from Ohio...Kim~

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  22. Sandra, sometimes when I skip a couple days of blog visits I miss an important post like this one. However, it so often falls into the "for such a time as this" category. I just read a post that popped up on my blogroll from Jaime at Awakenings and Reflections. Do you know her? A young believer from FL? She works with children and today attended a symposium on helping identify persons who are child molesters. It was a difficult day for her, a day that could make her wish her work were different, but she ended the post with a short prayer for God's help for those who worked with children to be intuitive to this danger.

    You are both doing your work with as much grace and faith as you can muster, but it sometimes is not easy. I just wanted to introduce you to her if you don't know her.

    Thanks, Sandra dear,
    Dewena

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  23. What a wonderful post. You always write from your heart and soul, and I never fail to read your writing without being touched.

    Thanks for your comment on my blog the other day. I've fallen off the bloggie circuit for the past 2 years for various personal reasons, but I am so glad I stopped by here today. I back read quite a few of your posts (whoa on the aspartame in milk issue!) and idk .. something about the way you write and share of yourself...just granted me this great sense of inner peace. Thank you.

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  24. 12Paws, it's a journey upon which I was dragged kicking and screaming. I'm getting more used to Dave's death but I still don't like it.

    Quinn, YES I DO! I'm ashamed to admit but I am doing better. Mom says the mind is the devil's playground and is she ever so right!

    MK, constant learning curve...over and over and over and...

    Tara, if I didn't have God to talk to, I'd go insane and have no hope. Fortunately, He's as close as my breath...closer!

    Noreen, good visual description; I'll remember that one.

    Marsha, we all travel at a different speed but arriving at the same destination is the goal.

    LindaSue, would you believe I've never seen Dr. Phil?

    Gretchen, life is a series of steps; I try so hard to focus on taking the next ONE and not the next ten.

    K&G, my Christian walk is a series of steps and we all walk at a different pace.

    Yvonne, I'm so glad Renee is with you now; it makes your life so much better!

    Amber, when I put this world in place of hell, it's a lot more bearable! I'm ready for heaven but I'm not homesick.

    Kim, I lose so much when I fret and yet I fret...dumb, dumb, dumb.

    Dolly, every day I thank God for being allowed to live here.

    Linda, I don't know why I think I can control life, I can hardly control my dogs!

    Lisa, thank you for your kindness toward me, for visiting and for your comment. You bless me.

    Debby, frightening thought, eh?

    Patrice, I think that's a blog post 'cause it's great!

    Robyn, I've been in that same funk. Remember, the only difference between a rut and a grave is the depth. Try going for a nice long walk; get those endorphins pumping throughout your body. I promise you'll feel better!

    Jen, I'd rather write fluff but obedience is better than sacrifice. Thank you because I needed to hear your kind words.

    Dori, no llamas, just alpacas, horses, sheep, dogs and cats. Tell Xaver I send a big hug to you both.

    Kim, my heart tears for you; to have a willful and headstrong brother is to have great pain in your life. God bless and keep you both and may the Holy Spirit melt your brother's heart.

    Dewena, I'm going to visit Jaime and thank you for telling me. I would MUCH rather be doing what I'm doing than what she's doing; my heart couldn't stand her pain. I'm helping a friend with a 10 year old adopted daughter; the girl was sexually abused in her younger (!!!!!!!!) life. Only God knows, only God knows...

    Artifax, bless you dear girl! I'm so glad you're back on the circuit; you've been greatly missed.

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  25. P. S. Artifax...that would be the Holy Spirit, touching your heart, granting you inner peace. If I was used, thank God.

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  26. It never fails to amaze me how the more "Christian" people claim to be the more racist, hateful and bigoted they come across to the rest of the world.

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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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