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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, January 31, 2014

Thank You, God, it's Friday!

~ x marks the spot ~
oops. forgot to say, my contribution to Vicki's Grow Your Blog party is here and there are two giveaways.

One reason I don't blog very often is due to exhaustion. After doing the physical labor necessary to keep us all going on a daily basis, at night, all I want to do is collapse and wait for dark so I can go to bed. 
 Yesterday morning the temp was 18 degrees below zero F; during the night it was much colder and the trough water was frozen...again.
 The crowbar and pitchfork are the tools needed for this job...the crowbar to break the ice 
and the pitchfork to lift out the larger pieces. The smaller pieces get left behind, I've learned the hard way gloves tend to freeze immediately in such low temps when they get wet. Then, gloves freeze to iron and metal as do fingers and that hurts. Best not to happen. 
Twice a day, I carry water and food to Blind Harry Shetland and put it under his nose. He and Sophie have joined Carly in receiving arthritis meds and Harry and Sophie are doing lots better. Sophie is able to get to her feet on her own, her appetite has improved and she's feeling much better. Great news for both Sophie and my back.
 The smaller water trough, the one that's fitted to the sheep has been frozen solid for more than a week. They've been able to drink from the overflow but I wanted them to have a larger water supply.
This ice is eight or ten inches thick and, even using a crow bar, was enormously difficult to chip away at even a corner. Today, I did the best I could and walked away; it's better than they had. If you're wondering if welding the crowbar against eight inches of ice rings my bells, the answer is yes, it rings my bells and everything else.
When smoke rise straight up, it's a good sign and means we're in for a bit of better weather. No storms expected until Sunday and, perhaps, God willing, that storm will pass us by. 

Today I received terribly news; my Mom called to say her best friend's son killed himself. That family has had more than their share of tragedy; in the last three years, their Mother, Father and youngest son are now gone. Our families were connected for generations and in a variety of ways; their sons and my siblings and I grew up together, played together and shared family holidays. Doug's wife passed away a year after Dave died and he battled depression every day; he could never overcome nor accept her death. He was totally bereft. 

The March after Dave died, I contemplated taking my life. Everything was totally overwhelming, I felt so adrift and couldn't begin to dream of continuing life without him. The only reason it didn't happen was God whispered in my ear, "But Sandra, if you do kill yourself, you'll miss all the blessings I have in store for you." I almost couldn't believe it... blessings for me, life could go on, I could live again? It's taken some time, Dave died in 11/11 and each day has been a struggle but one I'm beginning to win, with God's help. 

The reason I'm telling you this is, look around you. You know someone who would love to receive a note, who needs a kind word, a helping hand, an invitation to lunch, supper or even for a coffee. Someone needs you and if you're a Christian and you're ignoring their need, you're rebelling against God; remember, obedience is better than sacrifice.

On a recent Sabbath Keeping, I quoted Soren Kierkegaard, "The Bible is very easy to understand. But we Christians are a bunch of scheming swindlers. We pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand, we are obliged to act accordingly." 

ouch.

Yes, it's far easier to talk about being a Christian than actually be a Christian but, as you are able, make those phone calls, send those notes, take someone to a meal or coffee. Be a friend because one day, hopefully not too soon, you're going to need a friend.

Blessings ~ Kierkegaard ~ Friday ~ the strength to do the work God allows me to have ~ after a good night's sleep...rejuvenation ~ God ~

22 comments:

  1. It has been so very cold. Spring will be all the sweeter, won't it?
    I never know what to say in the face of such tragedy. It is such a terrible to experience, the thought of taking ones own life, but to actually do it? Pain can be so overwhelming. And you are completely right when you say that the smallest deeds can make a difference, sometimes in very big ways.
    Thank-you for taking the time to visit my blog earlier.
    Andrea

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  2. Oh, sweet girl, hugs to you and prayers for your friends....
    My heart goes out to you all. Sometimes life is just so hard, even when you know in your head the Lord is there and loves you. I have some experience with those kinds of feelings, and I agree with you. Telling others just how much they mean to you, expressing your kind thoughts and love to others is SO important. Depression warps every fiber of your being, and tell you lies, that everyone would be better off without you, that things will never change and....you know the lies....I have had the opportunity to tell some people I love how much I loved them, and just how important it was to me that they fight for their life, that their life was just as important to their husband and children as it is to me, but they just don't know how to tell you now, they are scared too, and that every single person who has ever showed they cared about you would be deeply affected by their death. They EACH need you to fight for your life. And also that Everything that was true before the depression or anxiety months happened is still true, just your perspective has changed. Don't believe the lives that your condition is telling you. God still loves you, you are still as talented as you were before, you are still a great blessing in the lives of others, you are as intelligent as you were before, the spirit is right there next to you, your receptor is just not working as it used to, but it will be better again. Just hold on.
    Some things in life are so hard you wouldn't wish them on your worst enemy, and you cry when you realize that they can relate to what you have been through. But, I was grateful to have come out of "the valley of the shadow of death", and be able to reassure a beautiful child of God that He would deliver her. And He did. And He will continue to deliver us as we do just what you said. "Obedience is better than Sacrifice."
    heart hugs to you,
    Betsy

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  3. I am stopping by for a visit it with you.. wow, what a busy cold day and when there is work to do...even in the cold...it must be done.. I pray I can always be a true example of christ-likeness...walking what I talk and believe to be true in the Word....thanks for the truth! Stay warm and keep going... Blessings!

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  4. Sandra I know people that protest to being a CHRISTIAN and they are wolves in sheep clothing. Take a look at Washington DC.
    I know about losing a husband,
    I think you are such a strong wonderful person. You are making it because you are a worker and busy. My Mama always said work and busy hands will save your soul.. This is the coldest winter I have ever had and they say we are going to get much worst weather in the future. Mercy, what will we do.
    Pace yourself when you are out there in the cold.. Big hug to you Kiddo.

    yvonne
    I have had bad computer problems..

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  5. Sandra I know people that protest to being a CHRISTIAN and they are wolves in sheep clothing. Take a look at Washington DC.
    I know about losing a husband,
    I think you are such a strong wonderful person. You are making it because you are a worker and busy. My Mama always said work and busy hands will save your soul.. This is the coldest winter I have ever had and they say we are going to get much worst weather in the future. Mercy, what will we do.
    Pace yourself when you are out there in the cold.. Big hug to you Kiddo.

    yvonne
    I have had bad computer problems..

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  6. Dear, dear Sandra ~ My heart goes out to you and your friends at this time. My heart aches because your friend could not live without his wife.

    In this last year, I've had thoughts where I wished I would just die because life didn't seem worth living without my husband. I didn't think of killing myself, just wishing I was dead. But, God has worked in me, has been my strength, has given me joy and peace and I look forward to the reunion my husband and I will have one day. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't miss my husband, the grief just isn't as raw as at first.

    You are in my thoughts and prayers as you have to deal with the daily business of taking care of all of your critters there on the farm. I don't know that I could do it. You are strong and inspiring.

    May you continually feel God's love, peace and strength flowing through and surrounding you.

    Love and hugs ~ FlowerLady

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  7. Sandra, you are SO right. Today I'm going to write AND mail a note to a friend who has drifted away from my focus, and who seemed a bit unsettled the last time we spoke. Thank you for the reminder that sometimes it is very important to make a little effort and simply reach out!
    Have a good weekend, and I hope your weather eases up a bit. I was surprised that you wait for dark to go to bed...when I get in from evening chores, I head straight for the bed and the heating pad! ;)

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  8. So very sad about your family friend taking his life, for your mom, for you. Grief buries us so deep in sorrow . . . I would love to send a card, some kindness to the family.

    Wish I could thaw the freezing water problem . . . Chipping away at ice almost did my arthritic hands in a few weeks ago. Be careful please. That is very hard work and not good for your back either. Carrying buckets of water has to be just as daunting.

    You are one strong woman . . . In physical and in faith!

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  9. I am so glad I made it to visit you this morning. That Kierkegaard quote almost had me in tears. It is so true. We pretend we don't know what we are supposed to do because we often don't want to do the simple thing right in front of us.

    I can't imagine being responsible for livestock this winter, or any winter. What a job you have! Hang in there. Spring will come.

    Glad you made the right decision. xoxo

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  10. I sure admire your grit. You're made of the stuff that makes this country great. You have my heartfelt prayers that there will be healing. And deepest sympathies on the loss for the other family and your friend. Prayers for them too. It seems we've all been touched by suicide these days. Sad.
    Luv from gloomy Gawga xx

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  11. Oh that darn ice! Won't it be nice when spring finally arrives? We'll keep chipping away until it does.

    Good words on being a friend. So very true. Thank you for that reminder.

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  12. Hi Sandra, I love the photo of your white house against the blue sky with the smoke rising from the chimney. Gorgeous. So sorry about the young man who took his life.
    You and I have been blog friends a long time. I appreciate the many prayers for us and I hope you know that you are in my prayers as well.
    It seems there are many suffering/struggling...all we need to do is look/listen to help someone through a tough time.
    God bless you.

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  13. Looked at another way, that "X" is a cross, and His Cross DOES mark the spot where you are!

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  14. I was exhausted yesterday after playing two sets of singles tennis and then going for a 4 mile walk. You have put everything into perspective because I can't imagine the soreness you must be feeling.

    And, the pain of others makes us aware of how trivial our own issues often are.

    I am deeply sorry for your friends' loss.

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  15. Thankyou so much for stopping by my blog - it is lovely to meet you:))

    Your wintry scenes are very welcome as it is so hot here in my part of Australia with the temperature at 100F/39C and in need of cooler weather and rain. A few hot days is fine, but a whole week of it isn't fun at all.

    My son was recently diagnosed with depression and I can see how easy it is for someone to spiral out of control and feel as if they are alone in this world. I live slightly on edge these days waiting for that bad phone call or the cry for help. It is so important to reach out to those suffering as it can make all the differences.

    Joluise

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  16. Dear friend - the depth of your pain doesn't deserve the pat on shoulder of platitudes - I send you prayers for strength and showers of blessings. I feel as if I've turned some corner in my own grief - and wish I could give you a tow chain and pull you around here with me.
    But - God's will in your life is my faithful prayer - that plus a good strong warm front to move across the country - too cold for a thin blooded Texan here!
    Stay safe (and sane) my beloved Sister in Faith

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  17. I'm so sorry to hear of your loss, Sandra.
    Your post is very inspirational. Thank you.

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  18. My goodness at all the work you have to do...and in the cold! I pray that God will bless your little farm and see that every need you have is met...I am going to try your baked oatmeal recipe below as I have never eaten baked oatmeal...hope you are having a blessed Sunday.

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  19. Oh my goodness I can't believe the weather you all have been going through! Stay strong, stay warm. Thinking of you.
    natalie

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  20. I'm sorry for the loss. You and yours are certainly seeing life in all its highs and lows this week. ♥

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  21. this post. THIS post has touched my heart.. all i can say is *thank you.* {{hug}}

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  22. Andrea, thank you for visiting Thistle Cove Farm and I do believe I'm ready for spring...now! LOL

    Betsy, bless you for your kind and wise words; you've helped more than you'll ever know, this side of heaven.

    Patty, it's a hard life but I chose it..well, Dave and I chose it so I should feel bad about complaining sometimes. But I don't. ha! sometimes it feels good to unload.

    Yvonne, I've lived colder winters here on the farm and will survive this one, with God's help. Winters were a LOT harder when I was a child and when Daddy was a child, mercy!

    Lorraine, living without Dave has been the hardest thing I've ever done. It's still such a daily stinking struggle and, mostly, I know God is able. I cling to "GOD IS ABLE" or I'd never make it.

    Quinn, did you write that note? I wait until dark to go to bed or I'd always be up, like now, at 4 a.m. -wry smile-

    Lynne, truthfully...I'm like some dumb old cow in the field...just doing what needs to be done, each and every day.

    Susan, if all of us were convicted by that quote, we'd all be better Christians.

    Pam, it's been horribly sad and the family will feel the effects for generations.

    Jody, as soon as it's dawn, I'll be busting more ice. When it's 2 inches or more, it's busting, not chipping -LOL.

    Mildred, we have been blog friends for a long while and you've blessed my life, thank YOU!

    Gretchen, you're right and thank you for saying!

    Art and Sand, soreness doesn't begin to describe it -wry smile-

    Joluise, praying your son will receive the exact help he needs to deal with depression.

    LindaSue, waiting for that warm front...let the dogs out at 4 a.m. and the snow drifts are knee deep but that's only in the yard. It's sure to be deeper as I head to the barn.

    Karen, thank you for your comment.

    Wendy, baked oatmeal is wonderful on a cold day.

    Natalie, thank you for visiting.

    Val, and the highs and lows continue; looks like a few feet of snow drifts outside and dawn is still a couple of hours away.

    Jane, you're welcome.

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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.