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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 23, 2013

Wild At Heart

If you have any men or boys in your life...Dad, husband, son, brother, uncle, cousin, should consider reading this book. John Eldredge, the author, director of Ransomed Heart Ministries and blogger, is the husband of Stasi and the father of sons; his is a good perspective from which to write this book. Like all books, if you're a Christian, you need to decide if and where the author deviates from Scripture. I am the first to admit, authors such as Eldredge and Voskamp of A Holy Experience, differ from my very traditional and very conservative view of God, yet I am open to reading and considering what they say. I can always learn, especially when I am the center and they score a direct hit. Some critics do  not write glowing reviews of Wild at Heart; you be your own judge and critic. 

Like all good books, this one is marked with highlight pens - yellow, green, pink, orange - when I want need to remember something or visit again.

For example, this section is highlighted in yellow, "But you can't escape it-there is something wild in the heart of every man." 

I believe this to be true; especially when I see the little boys of today, taught curbed on every hand to, "stop running before you get hurt", "don't play so hard", "be nice", etc. What if they do fall down and skin their knees? Isn't that what knees are for, to break the fall? I fear for the men of tomorrow when I see the boys of today. I fear for the women of tomorrow when I consider they'll be the ones to marry those same boy men. Stop killing the wild in their little hearts; teach them to be adventurers, rescuers, men!

From the book: "I want to be Isabo in Ladyhawk," confessed another female friend. "To be cherished, pursued, fought for-yes. But also, I want to be strong and a part of the adventure. ...A woman doesn't want to be the adventure; she wants to be caught up into something greater than herself. ... I know myself and I know I'm not the adventure. So when a man makes me the point, I get bored immediately. I know that story. Take me into one I don't know." Do you think this is where a lot of men, and women, miss the point? A lot of woman think she wants to be the adventure but I believe she's wrong. Ever since Eden, we crave to be part of the adventure yet we've allowed ourselves to forget our beginnings. 

There are a lot of men and women, sitting in offices and cubicles, standing as check-out clerks, who are running out the clock while wondering what and why. I think urban folks have more problems with this concept than do those of us who live on farms and are faced with life and death on a daily basis. For us, life nor death is wrapped in plastic wrap and tied with a bow. We don't have to wait until someone dies so we can peer down at their lifeless body in a casket. We look out the window, we ride down the valley, we see the vultures soaring overhead, the bodies in the fields. Life is now, life is real and all too short. (I would say tweet this except I know nothing of such things laughing at myself.)

There's a six year old boy in my life who, this past autumn, shot his first ten point buck. Yes, this boy handled a rifle, scoped out the deer, shot and killed the deer then, he and his Dad, took the deer home where they skinned it, wrapped it and put it in the freezer. Most urban folks don't have a clue what that means, here or for the future, and a lot of women reading this are thinking, "OMG, what idiot would let their six year old child handle a gun?" That's the point...a wise father teaches his child right from wrong, teaches him how to use equipment (vehicles, tractors, ATV's, guns, wood working tools, etc.) safely. All those things are merely tools and used for good or bad...depending upon training. That's the point...a wise father is still around, he's not abandoned his family nor his duties and has accepted responsibility for raising wise children. 

Dave blessed Cathy, his first wife, and me by being such a man. He was a man's man and soared when given the time, space and approval. Our lives were filled with adventure - buying this decrepit farm and fixing it up, traveling to Russia, Armenia, Morocco and other far flung places. He gave me permission (so very important!) then urged me to go while giving me the means to travel on my own to Hungary, Serbia, Romania, Ukraine, Austria and other places. We had each other's backs and took each other into stories we didn't even know we owned. 

So YOU: Stop running out the clock and simply using up oxygen. You've got a purpose; a huge, ginormous, God-given purpose and you're not going to be happy until you figure out what He wants from you. Stop the running around, playing at being happy and focus. If you're around 40 years of age, you're middle age. Do you need a moment to take that in?

Go ahead, consider middle age.

I'm 60, newly, and for me that light at the end of the tunnel isn't a train; it's the Shekinah glory and I'm bound and determined to live LIVE with intention and purpose. Granted, I'm still figuring it out but to know I've got a purpose is a huge beginning. Especially in light of Dave passing away a year and half ago; in those early months it was all I could do to stay alive. To be at this point, to know I've got a purpose, again, is a major, major step. 

This thing called life is a great adventure; in Dave's funeral program, Dawn blessed me by doing Sabbath Keeping and quoted, "To die must be an awfully big adventure", which is from J. M. M. Barrie's Peter Pan. That's the next great adventure; in the meantime, this current adventure has my full attention.

Blessings ~ purpose ~ goals ~ Dave ~ adventures ~ Eldredge ~ Peter Pan ~


  1. What a wonderful post today. Thank you Sandra.

  2. I appreciate your review and comments on the book as well as your post, "I Reject". Great thoughts and bold love of the Lord and His ways. Years ago, when my friends were raving about another book by Eldredge, my husband and I read it together. We both felt differently about things he wrote but did finish the book.

  3. Boy, that's the truth. I like this advice. There's an overwhelming wussification of men in this country. Mothers: stop doping boys so they're "manageable" (there's no such thing as "A.D.D.", 'k?!), let them fight, run, fall down, get hurt, be adventerous. Then they learn, "Hey, if I hit someone, that hurts" and they're more careful next time. Boys are naturally aggressive. It's not wrong to be so when young. Letting them make mistakes when young they tend to make better husbands by becoming men. So many males are just oversized boys now (Watch Pawn Stars for more examples with their britches down to their hips, writing all over themselves, and at the age of 30+ still playing video games and still using the vocabulary of a 9 year old).

  4. Amen, sister! We have an eternal purpose, tasks to accomplish in this life for his kingdom, and that glorious life to move on to in only a few years! Living it each day -- I feel like I'm floating along sometimes, holding onto his leading.

  5. Sandra, you inspire me. Your wanderlust, your sense of adventure, your determination to make it work, whatever it is. Your love for your your farm and your animals. Your wisdom. Your love for Dave and even your graciousness and generosity to his first wife Cathy. I love your love story. And ever since I have "known" you through this blog, your life has been an adventure. You are an example to me in all these ways. Love you, sister.

  6. I have this book you reviewed but have not read it. I started reading "Captivated," his book about women and didn't much like it and so didn't finish it. Your last post was very interesting. I have watched, listened to and read Glen Beck. He is an interesting guy and is "spot on" about a lot of things. Very insightful post.

  7. I loved all of this post and will probably re-read it. Men do need to be MEN, and it starts when they're little tiny babes. Women need to be women and it starts when they're little tiny babes.

    You know, I began writing a lot of stuff to comment on, but realized I was repeating your I'll go with that. Loved the post!

  8. Sounds like an interesting read.

  9. As a mom to 3 boys, I can attest that boys do, indeed, need to be boys. Their father, thank the Lord, knew that better than me. I have sinced learned that allowing them to rough house, wrestle, shoot guns etc. with their dad is a wonderful way to teach them about limits, and what is acceptable behavior. When a father tells his son, in a loving way, "Whoa, Boy, that's enough" the son listens. There is an epidemic of too many sons being raised without their fathers. I think that has contributed to our culture of violence. There was no one to say "Whoa, Son!" I thank God everyday that He gave me a husband who truly loves his sons.

  10. I really enjoyed this post, Sandra... especially in the retelling of the father who taught the 6 year old son how to hunt. So many people I know (women AND men) are horrified at that thought for some reason, but I am very thankful for having a Daddy who taught me (a girl, for Pete's sake!) not only how to change the oil in my car, but also skin a fish, drive a nail, and shoot a gun. Why? Because he would say "I might not always be around to teach you these things and you need to know how to make it on your own." Wow, that is quite a change from the parents of today who not only want to DO everything FOR their children, but shelter them from all the bad things life throws at them, thus leaving them totally unequipped to handle ANYTHING.
    Sorry to write you a book... (stepping down of the soapbox now... *haha*)
    Wild at Heart sounds like an interesting read~ thanks for sharing this with us.

  11. Nancy, thank you.

    Grateful, I don't agree with all of it and couldn't get too interested in his book "for women"; this was still a good read and some of it was spot on, imho.

    Sparky, makes it easier for me to remain a widow.

    MK, as long as we hold onto His hand, we're all right!

    Dawn, Dave wouldn't have been the man he was without Cathy. Thank you for your kindness to me, then and now.

    Debbie, I couldn't get into Captivated either; maybe I need to try again.

    Kathy, men are so soft anymore; soft people will cave at the first sign of stress, especially soft people with no Christ relationship.

    Lisa, it was interesting; didn't agree with it all but it was interesting.

    Midlo Mom, you and your sons are SO blessed!

    Paula, your Daddy is a wise man; you and your Mother are blessed.

  12. Sandra, such a great post - I married a "mans' man" and that's the way we raised our boys and girl. Our boys were hunting when they were young, 10-11, and dressed out their own deer. They've been fishing and hunting all their lives, and so has our daughter. She is a little lady, but she can be a tomboy, too, and joins in on the fun. When my first kid was born, I asked my pediatrician's opinion about raising boys. (That's when all the stuff about "boys should have dolls, too" and "shouldn't be allowed to play with toy guns" came out.) The Dr. said, "mom - let those boys be boys. They need to shoot, play army, hunt, fish, drive toy cars (and big ones), fuss and fight to learn how to be MEN. Thank you Dr. Payne. I was glad to hear that we were doing it right. My kids haven't been perfect, but they are all well-adjusted young adults with a healthy outlook on the world, they are outdoorsy, get along great with others and each other. Just great young people - my boys are men, and my daughter is a young woman. I'm proud of them all.
    Excellent post!


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