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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.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Today is the Stuff of Beauty

Today is the stuff beauty is made sky, white clouds, brilliant sun. Temps in the mid 40's with a breeze cooling off to upper 30's and the day has been jam packed with chores, both finished and still on the to-do list.

And here I sit, typing on the computer, enjoying the 77 degree heat of the sun room. Every time I sit in the warmth of the sun room, I bless Dave's name; he's the one who wanted this room...both to help heat the rest of the downstairs and to enjoy the beauty of the valley yet I'm the one who always used it most. Isn't that the way of a good marriage...a good man or a good woman? They do and say those things that bring happiness, pleasure, enjoyment to their loved one(s) and all benefit.

Recently, another blogger wrote about her husband supporting her dreams more than she supported his (paraphrased) and I commented, "That man of yours is a blessing and a gift. Sometimes more than once a week, I would tell Dave, "Thank you for taking such good care of us"..."us" being me, animals, farm, house, food, shelter, clothing, providing and protecting "us". It's in a man's provide and protect and when we women acknowledge him, he grows into more of what he's meant to be. He's a blessing and a gift and with encouragement, gratitude becomes more and more of what he's meant to be. And us? We're the blessed recipients...blessings him, blesses us and the household is happy."

I look around (when I leave the farm) and see so many unhappy people. To repeat myself, I'm quite content but can't say I'm happy, yet, when I look around me and see the complete unhappiness of some, I realize I'm deliriously happy. It just occurred to me to search the definition of happy and it says, "feeling or showing pleasure or contentment". TaDa! I'm happy! How silly of me not to realize such a plain, simple, basic truth...why didn't you say?

(I've been known to curl up on the dog bed 
and enjoy the warmth of the kitchen fireplace.)

In September, while visiting Mags, Alan and their boys, I basked in the warmth of their love and happiness. A loving household is overwhelming in coziness, warmth, love and laughter. Their two boys have great, huge smiles and an endearing impishness; Mags is a wonderful wife and mother (plus a dab hand in the kitchen!) and Alan, like Dave, is a provider and protector plus priest of his household. I loved being in their household of safety and believe ours was such a household for people flocked here. It was not unusual to have an extra half dozen at the table or to hand a bath kit to someone who, unexpectedly, asked, "Would it be all right...I mean, is it possible for me to spend the night?" Everyone was having so much fun, so much enjoyment, it was difficult to leave and I always said, "Yes, here's an overnight kit filled with little necessities...toothpaste, tooth brush, comb, etc." and direct them to a clean bed (or sofa if beds were already claimed...beds could accommodate four couples and two twin beds before we started on the four sofas...yes, including Dave and I, we could sleep sixteen people!).

There were times someone would call and say, "We're in the area, could we stay with you and Dave?" I would say yes then they would say, "We're a couple of hours away..." and I would reply, "Not a problem; we'll leave the back door unlocked so y'all come in; you know where the bedroom is and we'll see you in the morning." I would then go to bed but Dave would always wait up; in the morning, I'd get up early so I could fix breakfast and Dave would sleep in. It was a nice, tidy arrangement.

No, I'm not feeling ennui as much as warm reflection; good memories are nice to have, hold and trot out every now and again. Good memories make me smile.

Country Living UK has a test to determine which county you are, here. It wasn't a surprise to find out I'm "Yorkshire"...a country woman, of the land, sturdy, reliable, honest, trustworthy, solid. I always told Dave I was built for comfort and not for

"'s a funny thing about gifts-
we usually don't consider ours
as unique or as stunning
as someone else's gifts
because whatever ours is,
it comes so easily to us that
we don't get the big deal about it."
~ Patsy Clairmont ~ 

Patsy Clairmont is right on target, isn't she? What are your gifts? Are you an artist, a writer, play the piano or other instrument? Can you teach or preach or encourage? It might be as simple a thing as having overnight kits at hand to give to someone who wants to share your hospitality, your joy, your home. We may think it's nothing much but to someone in dire need, it may be the difference between life and death.

Don't withhold your gifts; share them freely and often. Be the encouragement someone needs to keep moving forward. We're all struggling, some more than others, all at different times, but we're all struggling. On this earth, we are God's hands, feet, words of encouragement; as we enter into this Holy Season, this season of Christ, do all the good you can, to all the people you can, whenever you can. Just yesterday, I went to Sam's Club and saw Gene, the Salvation Army bell ringer to whom I gave a pair of wool socks last year. (My 31 days of giving here.) His smile lit up the day as he said, "God bless you Sister! I have those socks on my feet right now! Every time I wear them, I say a prayer for you. Thank you again!"

Thank you, Gene; in blessing you, I am blessed as you bless me and the circle is least this side of the veil.

This Thanksgiving has been the best in recent memory! It began with Mary, her nephew and brunch the moved to a neighbor's house where I visited with her, her husband, her son, her sisters and sister's friend then moved to another neighbor where I had the pleasure of eating Thanksgiving supper. It was an amazing day; thoroughly enjoyable, memorable and, yes...happy! The Lewis quote to follow sums it up and to finish...thank God for His blessings and gifts!

We have a large front window and smaller side and rear mirrors is to remember where we've been but focus on where we're going.

Ponder this ~ "The sun looks down on nothing half so good as a household laughing together over a meal." ~ C. S. Lewis ~ 


  1. I had to smile when I read, "TaDa! I'm happy! How silly of me not to realize such a plain, simple, basic truth...why didn't you say?" I didn't "say" because you wouldn't have believed me; you had to come to this truth yourself. ;-)

  2. Indeed, it is the simple things of life that make us happy, and yet so many people are always striving and seeking more. I'm learning to slow down and find contentment in everything as I know I am truly blessed. When I travel to Jerusalem with my husband to visit his family, I feel privileged and grateful. Our holidays are quiet now that so many friends have moved away and our boys are off at college. But quiet is good and I'm happy and thankful. Hugs and blessings, Tammy

  3. Another beautiful post dear Sandra. Thank you.

    Have a lovely Sunday and happy holidays ~ Christmas will be here before we know it.

    Love, hugs & prayers ~ FlowerLady

  4. P.S. I just took the little quiz and I am also a 'Yorkshire' woman.

  5. I found myself smiling through your post . . .
    "Ta Da" . . . I'm happy . . .
    "Overnight kits " and often a full house sleeping . . . I am not surprised.
    I am reminded of my "reflecting" of late . . .
    happy . thanks . giving .
    Reflecting on each word . . .
    Going back to "my roots" . . . oh my, what gift to self . . .
    My toes are warm in my wool socks . . .
    I too have nestled with "my pup" in her bed . . .
    After all, I let her nestle with us in our bed . . .
    Dave had that . giving . down pat with that "sun room" . . . I think I see him smiling . . .
    Blessings Sandra . . .

  6. You are so right, Michelle! A wise woman and you bless me with your wisdom, thank you. The "trick" is to keep moving forward, reading the Bible, listening to His still, small voice...and, at a time of His choosing, we arrive at a place of His choosing. P'raps I'm slow but at least I

    Slowing down is good, Tammy, but if I go any slower, I'll fall asleep on my I do live a slow life and have time for all the "smalls" of life...dashing outside this morning, 17 degrees F to wave to the Canada geese as they flew over the house.

    Rainey...a Yorkshire woman, eh? You've got to grow some (sideways) to catch up with me...LOL.

    It's all good, Lynne, especially when we take time to reflect, remember. Mornings begin with devotions in the sun room, watching the sun break over the valley, listening to dogs snoring, cats purring. God is good all the time, all the time God is good.

  7. yes ma'am - I am rather aware how blessed I am with my husbands - plural since I'm once divorced and twice widowed and now have yet another wonderful Godly man in my life. at almost 70 years old - it is amazing how undeserving and overwhelmingly I am showered with the good things of life, friends, family, useful work to do and home/companion animals/good food - yep good reminders from you about appreciating what we have - never worry about what "should" we only see through the glass darkly
    bless you my friend -

  8. What a great post, Sandra! It's chockfull of good words/advice/thoughts. I love the way you describe Mags' family. LOVE!
    The sunroom sounds like a perfect spot and curling up on the dog bed makes sense! It's very cozy looking and I bet it's super snug, right there by the fire!
    I'm glad you had a happy Thanksgiving!

  9. Dropped by to see how you're doing. Good to see you're doing well. Good words. One day I'd like a sunroom too.

  10. Lovely post.
    I took the test too, and it came up with Devon, which is the next county to mine, Cornwall. So not a bad match!

  11. Lovely post, Sandra! My husband and I celebrated our 44th anniversary this week...there isn't a day that I am not grateful and pray for him. A sunroom is a wonderful's always been my favorite room here.
    I'm a Yorkshire girl, quiz! Glad you had a lovely Thanksgiving!

  12. Happy Advent season. Thanks for making my day bright! Keep on doing good! You are good!

  13. You aptly convey the joy of being with people we love - I like that C.S. Lewis quote about laughing over a meal. We did quite a bit of that at Thanksgiving in my family. Though we appreciate the joy that runs deep and sometimes through pain, we are grateful for happiness, too!!

  14. What a wonderful post Sandra. So much good stuff here, I am going to read it again. xo Deborah


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