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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.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Seas the Day

Recently I had an opportunity to leave Thistle Cove Farm and drive to Thistle Cove Cottage.

The view from my cottage windows is almost as nice as the view from my farm house windows.

It's not a "beachy" place; rather, it's a place that envelopes, is cozy and peaceful and is the only place in my life where I don't have to take care of animals. This isn't meant as a complaint, merely a comment, but since Dave's death, my life has been work, work, work and more work. It's taken a lot out of me - physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually - to keep the farm going and I'm beginning to see the ragged edges of overwhelming exhaustion. Close friends tell me that same exhaustion made its appearance a long while ago but, in my stubbornness (or tenacity as I prefer to think) I've pushed it back in order to keep moving forward. I enjoy work but am beginning to think there's more to! 

While staying on Captiva Island, Anne Morrow Lindburgh wrote
"Don't wish me happiness
I don't expect to be happy all the time...
It's gotten beyond that somehow. 
Wish me courage and strength and a sense of humor.
I will need them all."

If you've wished me these things, thank you and if you've prayed for me, thank you and God bless you for I've needed the prayer more than anything.

A few quotes from her book stand out and here I include two more..."The most exhausting thing in life, I have discovered, is being insincere. That is why so much of social life is exhausting; one is wearing a mask. I have shed my mask."  

This is one reason I now live behind a locked gate and, probably, always will (safety being another reason). As I age (thank God for the gift of birthdays!) it takes harsh amounts of energy to be in the company of insincere people and it's simply easier to avoid them. I lack the patience (if ever I had it) to suss the truth from the lies and would far rather use my energy toward things that bring happiness, joy, niceness, kindness to my life. Years past, I would come home and relate an incident to Dave and asked, "What was that all about?!" and he'd respond, "You just don't get it, Jeremiah (his pet name for me), and you never will. Even so, you may thank God for it." I didn't/don't understand the masks and so have taken the easy road by removing myself from the company of most, especially those with masks.

and another quote...

"I find there is a quality to being alone that is incredibly precious. Life rushes back into the void, richer, more vivid, fuller than before."  Being without Dave isn't as good as being with Dave but I've learning...again, to cherish the richness, the fullness, the sheer life God has given me and am busy fulfilling the expectation for me to continue to live. (Yes, I am a slow learner but, eventually, I do learn -smile-.)

She writes, "Women need solitude in order to find again the true essence of themselves."

Ahhhh...solitude! Dave and I always gave each other the gift of solitude so when we came together it was all the sweeter. We never felt the need to be in each other's pockets when we could simply be together by sharing the same house, car, farm, walk, plane, etc. We also never felt the need to chatter all the time; we could sit in companionable silence and enjoy each other's company. On the other hand, we could talk for hours and never run out of things to say.

Gift From The Sea was an instant classic and remains so today. If you've never read it, please do yourself a favor, find the quiet time and give this gift to yourself.

One of the Cottage wall adornments is the's to remind people who stay at Thistle Cove Cottage of the important things of life. So many of us get bogged down in making a living that we forget to make a life. Making a life is making memories by doing the important things...reading to the children in our lives, greeting the sun rise with a cuppa in hand, taking a prayerful walk, telling...and showing...those we love we love them, preparing and sharing a meal. 

I maintain one of the most important things in your life should be yourself, your family and your home, followed by friends. In my life, God and morning devotions head up that list and He and the devotions keep me grounded. I shudder to think how angst ridden, nervous, anxious and just plain cranky I'd be without Him! Home is my first sanctuary and is where I'm nourished, cosseted and comforted from the friction and burden of daily living. 

I've tried to spill over these same feelings of sanctuary, coziness, comfort and caring at Thistle Cove Cottage. Last year, one young woman visited with her husband and toddler son and left the above note with drawings:

Advice from the Ocean

1. Be shore of yourself
2. Come out of your shell
3. Take time to Coast
4.  Avoid Pier pressure
5. Sea life's beauty
6. Don't get Tide down
7. Make Waves

Don't you like it? I only wish I were half as clever!

I don't get to my small Sanctuary nearly often enough but enjoy it when I'm there. When I walk through the door, the sense of comfort is physical and unconsciously my breathing becomes slower and deeper.

Thistle Cove Cottage is available for rent; if you're interested, e-mail me or click here and scroll down for the calendar. Blog followers receive a discount because if you've been reading my blog, you deserve to share my Gift From The Sea. If you go, don't forget to sign the Guest Book.

NOTE: I would so love to have this job for a year, here.

Blessings ~ Anne Morrow Lindburgh ~ Gift From The Sea ~ Scoraig, Scotland ~ Thistle Cove Cottage ~ 


  1. I agree, that looks like a sweet teaching job!
    Your cottage is lovely. I'm glad you had some R and R there, Sandra.

  2. Oh dear Sandra, You continue to be an inspiration. You've shown more spunk, courage, attitude and reliance on the Lord in your time since Dave's death than I could muster for an hour. I pray for continued strength, peace, rest, and joy for you now, and in the time to come!

    Love you!

  3. Sandra, keep on keeping on. Glad you have the cottage to go to for respite from all the work. It probably would be a good thing to get some help on the farm?

  4. I'm so grateful for today post, it lifted my heart. You have so much wisdom from your relationship in Christ, I now know that you are cared for by God and you will be fine.. I have NEVER been so quickly drawn to someone in my heart before. It makes me a little weary and yet I know you will be used to remind me of the ways to renew my mind, have God's peace and enjoy life as it proceeds.

  5. I hope you realize what an amazing person you are. You are always encouraging, always lifting others up. I agree with someone else who said, you need some help on the farm. I live on a farm in Missouri, and there is no way I could keep up the cattle and the turkeys without my husband. There is nothing wrong with asking for help. God is so good. I'm thankful you got to spend some time away from the farm. Rest is so important, for our bodies and our souls. Blessings my sweet friend, all the way from Missouri!

  6. I'm glad you were able to get away. You work so hard, I can't even begin to imagine your days on the farm. Hope you had a nice time.

  7. Just lost my comment as I was about to hit publish, does that ever happen to you?

    If I had only read your post first before sending my email, I would have understood better the questions I had for how in the world do you do what you do, Sandra? I still wonder how you find the physical strength but after reading today's post it is clear how this has been possible. That does not mean the human body can go on forever with a monumental load but I am so thankful that you still retain that will and gift to enjoy life.

    I've loved reading about Thistle Cove Cottage! What a sweet place it must be. And I jotted down your guests Advice from the Ocean to pass on to my sisters.

    Love to you,

  8. Thistle Cove Cottage looks wonderful, Sandra. I am an ocean loving girl and feel the need to visit its shores often. I love how you write your thoughts and feelings. I'm with you on that job! It sounds wonderfully exciting! Enjoy your evening and please put your feet up! ♥

  9. A lovely place to rest and get refreshed.
    I think I could live there,

  10. "Being without Dave isn't as good as being with Dave but I've learning...again, to cherish the richness, the fullness, the sheer life God has given me and am busy fulfilling the expectation for me to continue to live."

    I think the experience of losing your husband allows for slow learning. God bless you.

    I have "Gift From the Sea" on my To Be Read shelf. I'll get there. Meanwhile, I certainly hope you get back to that sanctuary again soon. Very soon.

  11. I love this post as everything you've written completely resonates with me. I quit my job in June because I was tired of dealing with fake people who wear masks and speak lies on a daily basis. My spirit was exhausted. I, for one, enjoy my own company and would much rather be home than dealing with rude, disrespectful people. Your cottage sounds lovely and you definitely should take time to get away and recharge. I've never read Gifts from the Sea but, of course, have used many of the quotes over the years. I think I might have the book somewhere. Love the cute lessons written by your guest. Have a wonderful week.

  12. Wonderful post. Why read a book when i could read here your post that reads like a book!
    My dear, not sure I have ever met any lady who works and carries the load like you, I remember when you broke the news of your husband untimely passing. It's still hard to hear how alone you are in your quiet days. Love how you talk about how you could take time for yourselves yet there was still a bond and connection of words unspoken.

    Your sea cottage is truly a place of calm, so wish I had a view like yours, either one...I find a sense of calm in the beauty that surrounds you.
    Love all your quotes, in fact I copied some of them down.
    Thank you for visiting my blog and joking my days with your words left behind on your way home.

    See you soon.

    happy Fall and the beauty it inspires.

  13. What a very beautiful post.

  14. Anne Morrow Lindberg, Gift From The Sea . . . was one of my "right arms" years ago when my life took a sudden turn, sharp, off the cliff life moment stop . . . Mentioning her book, listening to your words, seaed into your solitude . . . took me back, helped me remember. I think I can put my fingers on her book today and wrap myself around her peace once again. You write beautifully, tenderly, soulfully . . . and you give, give give even more. Solitude isn't an escape for me,(well maybe it is) as much as it is just where I am at my best . . . quiet, rest, comfort. Thrilled I am that you have had respite for awhile . . . listening to the waves . . . watching the billowing, rolling, over and over, and back out . . . quiet . . . Oh my thrilled you came to your retreat and enjoyed the peace and solitude. I would get on that calendar for a month if it were not for our little furry munchkin . . .
    We can "never, ever do enough for ourselves . . ." You did . . .
    My love, my caring . . .

  15. What a wonderful post dear Sandra! I was truly blessed and encouraged, by quotes from Anne Morrow Lindburgh, and thoughts from your heart and soul.

    Thank you and God's continued blessings on you dear heart.

    Love, hugs & prayers ~ FlowerLady

  16. I loved your post Sandra. I am a home lover, as well. My home is my rock, my sanctuary, my place of peace and solitude. I could go on.... Hope that you get down to the beach more often. There certainly is something soothing about being there.

  17. As always, my visit here encouraged and blessed me with your timely quotes, poignant yet edifying reflections, and reminders of what is truly important in life...may you be blessed in return 100 fold...God is truly holding you up with His righteous right hand.

  18. Hi Sandra, no one deserves the R&R time more then you. So glad you got away and enjoyed your time at the sea cottage.
    Love the ocean advice left behind by a guest.
    Lovely post and filled with love and wisdom as always.
    Wishing you a Happy Fall this week.
    Prayers always, cm

  19. How wonderful that you got away from the work, work, work of the farm and got to relax at your ocean cottage! Your thoughts about resonate with me. I have little time or patience of people who are not authentic. I'm simply not interested in playing all of the little mind games. I'd rather be by myself. Which probably explains why I AM by myself the vast majority of the time, haha! Jim and I gave each other space too, yet could easily spend every single second with each other.

  20. I agree completely about how interaction with insincere people is tiring, and boy it is frustrating too, often causing me to be angry. I am more able now to shrug my shoulders and be thankful a liar's traits are evident so I can spare myself any harm through dealings with them, especially personal friendship.

    Your cottage is lovely and does look to be a good place for rest and calm when you feel like you're unraveling. Prayers for you Sandra, and I hope you take plenty of time to rest up.

  21. Lovely, thoughtful post, Sandra. I really liked the thought you shared about "being so busy earning a living, that we forget to live a life"... a great reminder! Thanks for sharing...

  22. The teaching job does sound intriguing! I hope they find someone great to fill it for the sake of the children.

    I'm in so much agreement with all of your sentiments in this post. I find it so wearisome to socialize with folks that I have nothing in common with. I tend to love my solitude...maybe a little too much. ;)

    It sounds like God is preparing your heart for the next stage of life. I think he's doing that with me as well. I love this little patch of ground where we raised our kids, but they've all moved on to bigger and better things, so maybe it's time for me to move on as well.

    An anonymous quote from a book I'm reading: "If you keep doing what you've always done, you'll keep getting what you've always gotten." I sometimes feel stuck, like I want to pursue new directions in my life, but I keep walking in the same old rut. Life is short (on this side of eternity), so maybe we need to shake things up a little? :)

    Blessings on you, sister!

  23. What a good idea to go enjoy the ocean and your little oasis. I like to think of you breathing deeply of the sea air, and sleeping deeply, too. Can you hear the waves when you are in bed? You probably said and I've forgotten already. May God bless you, Sandra!

  24. lovely post as usual, the slim little book of AML, Gifts from the Sea, was a Xmas gift from my Mom in 1967. I still have it and I still give it as a gift to special people. Both of your places are amazing.

  25. I've always thought I could live a lighthouse keeper's job! Love my solitude. Your beach cottage looks wonderful, and such a restful place. I am glad you have gotten away for a rest Sandra. Do you walk on the beach? You had me pulling out my copy of Gift from the Sea, love those quotes. Blessings to you, and I do pray that you will take plenty of time to take care of yourself. xo, Deborah


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