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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.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Sabbath update...

Thanks to prayer and God's positive response, photos are downloaded and instead of my usual Sabbath Keeping post, I'm doing an update this evening. Not a day goes by I'm not thanking and praising God for this move to Nottoway County! God cannot forget His own for in Isaiah it says, "See, I have engraved you on the palms of My hand." Notice He didn't say your name but YOU. In another part of Isaiah it says, "Do not fear. I have redeemed you. I have called you by name, you are Mine." I don't know about you but that makes me scream for joy! Once, Dave asked me, "Do you think God micromanages your life?" I said, "Absolutely." Dave replied, "I don't think God micromanages my life. God gave me a brain and He expects me to use it." I smiled and said, "You're right, Dave. God doesn't micromanage your life because you haven't asked for His help. Just as I'm right because I do ask for His help and He does give it. God doesn't force Himself, He waits for us to ask."

Another time we were talking about prayer and Dave asked if God hear his prayers. I looked sadly at him and said, "No, I'm sorry to say He doesn't hear your prayer because He cannot hear the prayers of the unsaved. The only prayer God hears from an unsaved person is when that person asks forgiveness of sins and for Jesus to live in his or her heart. But once that prayer is prayed, God will always hear your prayer, no matter how short, how long, how awkward...God hears and He always responds. Maybe not immediately and a lot of times not how we'd like. A lot of times He'll say "No" but He always listens, He always hears. When people who aren't saved (but are "spiritual"...whatever that means...I've asked them but never received a reply) tell me they'll "say a prayer for me", I want to reply, "Better save your breath to cool your soup" but I don't because why hurt their feelings?

We've had SNOW! It's been glorious and a sweet reminder of the way it was at the last farm. The major difference is there's not much wind and chores are so much easier without that nasty wind chill! About four inches of snow were covered with sleet and icy rain which has been rather harsh but hasn't stopped me but perhaps slowed me down a tad.

This morning the water in the horse troughs was frozen solid...I really thought I'd left all that behind! Each paddock has a waterer but I like to give them extra so put in these tubs; the horses would rather have the in place waterer because the water is a lot warmer coming out of the ground. By the time I went back to do evening chores, everything had thawed...last night it was about 24 and today's high was 39.

One of the best farm purchases has been the Hay Hut; it's for round bales of hay and minimizes waste. All the horses are in the same paddock and, thank God, getting along very well; being able to feed them all together makes it easier on me.

Yesterday, Mom, Dad and I went to West End Assembly of God Church to see the 30th Annual Christmas production A FANtastic Christmas. There were all sorts of references to Richmond's Fan District, the time was circa 1960's and Mom did a stellar job of driving in the snow and sleety stuff. I tell you this to not only brag on Mom but to say how wonderful it's been being closer to family so we can do things like this.

No, I'm not unpacked but managed to put my hands on a few decorations (thanks to Beloved Sistah) which please me...God blessed me with almost seventy acres so I doubt I'll run out of greenery any time soon. Pine boughs and holly were cut to stick into the concrete planters and this sweet little lantern with candle welcome folks as they step onto the porch. 

These cute little trees are cut from corrugated tin and decorated with star lights and sit on either side of the sidewalk. Two more concrete planters are stuffed with farm greenery and the red lanterns have lit candles while the electric light is a sweet reminder of the one in Chronicles of Narnia.

Timmy Poore of PJ's Tree and Landscape Service, has done a great job of removing trees around the house, between the house and pond and between the driveway and barn/paddock. While he was in the bucket, he even put in light bulbs on the top of the house. I have some phone videos to load onto Facebook that show him in action along with helpers, Paul and Rick. 

This photo was taken shortly after moving in and before Timmy arrived...the house is blocked from view by one hundred foot tall pine trees and the dam has a few unwanted trees as well. Pine trees have shallow roots and I decided to have them removed before the wind blew them down and possibly into my house. The second photo above shows a clean light of sight from the house deck to the pond and much better! 

Rick works with Timmy and is owner of Unique Wood Treasures. When I asked Rick if he could put in some clothes line poles for me, using some fence posts I had, he sorta looked at me funny and said, "Sure, no problem." After a while, he pulled up and unloaded these hand made, hand crafted (sorry, they're so beautiful had to say it twice!) beauties of cedar! 

I'm a huge fan of washed clothes hung on a line and it will be sheer pleasure using this clothes line for years to come. Rick...ya done good great and thank you!

Joe Nicholes, Cabins and More, added three bays to my pole shed thus allowing extra under cover storage for farm equipment. Joe and family live in Tazewell and are Mennonites so he doesn't have internet presence; if you're interested in hiring him (highly recommended!), send me an e-mail and I can connect you.

Virginia Blue, out of Roanoke, did a benefit concern and they were fabulous! Yes to blues, also jazz, some zydeco, bit of rock 'n roll...whatever they did, it was fabulous! The concert was held at the Blackstone town square in the center of town...a lovely venue.

I'm learning how to use my Android phone and have photos and video's to upload...when I figure out how but for now I think that's enough of an update. At least, I've been at this for a few hours (so very s.l.o.w. -grin) and I'm ready for a break. So, in closing...God doesn't forget His own. Ever. This I believe with every thing I've got...yes, I remember standing on the last farm's upper pasture, screaming at the sky, "God, have you forgotten you've left me here?!!" but knew full well He had not forgotten me. God has His reasons, His plan for my good and His glory. Always. Life is better and easier to deal with...not easier but easier to deal with...when I remember. 

and my Good early Christmas gift to myself...this morning I joined Blackstone Baptist Church and thank God for leading me to these gracious, kind, Jesus with skin on people!

Ponder this ~ if you're a Christian Believer, God has a plan for your good and His glory. If you're not a Christian Believer, get in touch because I can help you there.

Merry Christmas!


  1. It's so good to hear from you! Your house and land are GORGEOUS! I'm so happy for you, Sandra!

    1. Karen, thanks and I'm loving living, farm, community, county,'s all great!

  2. Things are shaping up! Nice to be near family and to find a good church to be a part of. :)

    1. Lisa, things are indeed shaping if I can just finish unpacking boxes!

  3. So happy for you!! Our move 2 years ago to Buckhannon was blessings extraordinaire!

    1. Becky, that's good news and so glad you're living living in Buckhannon.

  4. This makes me very very happy! Merry Christmas to you too!

    1. It's been a long time coming, eh Anita? smile...Merry Christmas to you and yours with God's blessings abundant.

  5. Anonymous3:09 AM EST

    So very happy for you. Your home/property are beautiful and such a blessing to find a church home. Merry Christmas.

    1. Merry Christmas Mildred! Daddy says this place beats the other place all to pieces...grin. I'm happy he's happy 'cause I'm over the moon happy!

  6. Merry Christmas, Sandra - you've found another beautiful spot to call home! I didn't realize you brought some horses with you - awesome!

    What "Spiritual" means if you are not religious... I'm one of those. See.. this is what bothers me about religion. You feel, judging by your responses to Dave - if I don't pray in the proper way or atone for my shortfalls in the proper way or worship the way you think is proper or believe all of the beliefs that are outlined in your book, I am not deserving of whatever I might be hoping for through "God". I want to say "your God" because as we all know, there are many who have been worshipped through the years, and different religions or regions have reason to believe their religious beliefs are the correct set of beliefs.

    What am I getting at? I call myself spiritual and not religious because I recognize that this world and it's inhabitants are a miraculous occurrence and I don't have all the answers as to how all this came to be. Who am I to criticize another's beliefs on the answers or say that my way is the only way. I believe we owe it to each other to be kind, respectful, I believe we are all connected in a fundamental way and we need to care about and for each other and all the living creatures on this earth as well - I believe in a greater purposes that helps all of humanity move beyond the obvious ills, being mindful of others needs and care of our people and environment and animals... and what I mean, at least, when I say I am spiritual.

    I guess I was raised to believe religion is supposed to represent among other things - kindness - above all else. What I see in some "religious" people is far from it. Just one Spiritual person trying to explain "whatever that means".

    1. Merry Christmas to you and yours Karen! Yes, it is beautiful here, God has blessed me.
      I apologize to you for giving the wrong impression. I don't "feel" anything but as a Christian Believer my guide is the Holy Bible and what it says. My feelings or my opinions are of no importance whatsoever. My worldview is Biblical and Jesus (no one else, ever!) said, "I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." That means one could be a "good person" their entire life..."don't drink, cuss, spit or chew and don't go with girls or boys who do" as the old saying goes. But, if one hasn't accepted Christ as their Savior, they are hell bound for eternity. Karen, that's not what I "feel", it's what Jesus said. He was the ONLY one who EVER died for the sins of humankind, for you and I. No one else has ever made that claim. There is only one God and He is the Lord God Jehovah, Creator of heaven and earth.
      Karen, we've had similar netversations before and, if you recall, I have NEVER called myself "religious" because I believe religion is simply Big Business and a way of control. I have **always** maintained it's not about religion, it's about relationship with Jesus Christ. It's not about "my way", it's about God's way and how He decided to bridge the gulf between fallen, sinful humans and Himself was to send Christ, His son, as a sacrifice.
      It's okay if you don't believe the way I believe; I've never been disrespectful of the way others believe but I won't back down from God's way either. I've also not criticized how other's believe but knowing Dave made his peace with God only five days before he stepped into eternity makes me happy. It made him happy as well and he died knowing he would spend eternity in heaven and not hell. When one knows they have terminal illness, have already had minor heart attack(s) and will soon come face to face with God then the decision to make their peace with Him is critically easier. There's no wiggle room or room for discussion; it's God's way or hell making for a rather easy decision.
      God made humans to be company for Himself; it breaks His heart when we don't choose His company and Christ died knowing not everyone would accept His Father's plan. Yet, Christ willingly went to that horrific death knowing some would turn their backs on Him. If He can die such a death surely I can accept their choice as well?
      Karen, in light of eternity, I am being kind when I tell people what the Bible, Jesus and God say. I hate the thought of standing before God and He asks, "Sandra, did you tell people about My Son? Did you care enough to let them know about Jesus?" It's not easy to open my heart and there are even folks calling themselves Christians who don't believe in the deity of Jesus yet every chance I get, I let people know about Jesus. I'm more terrified of disappointing God than I am people.
      Karen, I care enough about you to let you know what the Bible says. No other man has ever claimed what Jesus claimed; no one else has ever died so that you and I may have eternity in heaven. Absolutely "my way" is NOT the way but God's way is, absolutely, the only way to Him and heaven. Christ loves you enough to let you have your way; if that's not kindness I don't know what is.

    2. LOL.. I knew that was coming. Again - these are your beliefs and I respect them and YOU for having such strong faith in your set of beliefs. They are absolutely your right to uphold, to preach, to hold close and cherish. It is still true whether you will acknowledge it or not, that there are other religions and other beliefs that are just as valid as yours even if that's impossible for you to accept. If I'm going to hell despite my obvious good deeds and intentions and charity and good will throughout my entire life because I didn't worship properly, then so be it, because that whole concept feels just a little hypocritical.

      I think the world of you, though - I admire your courage, strength, the truly good and genuine person that you are.
      - your "spiritual" friend.

      PS - please post an update on your horses - would LOVE to see it! I know the decision to leave the farm was a hard one for you, but it looks like you landed in a really good place. I'm sure Dave is smiling down.

    3. LOL indeed! Karen, we've always been able to disagree agreeably and may it ever be so but I am reminded of King Agrippa as Paul was standing before him. Paul was telling about Christ, and asked, "...King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets?..." King Agrippa replied, "You almost persuade me to become a Christian" but there is no "almost" in God's Kingdom. As the old feller said, "You is or you ain't."
      NoO other religion has a spokesman who says as did Jesus, "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life and no one comes to the Father except through Me." There are some fine religions around the planet but not one has someone who claims to not only be the Son of God but the way *to* God. I'm good with that because I'm not the Creator of creation and His is the only vote that counts whether we like it or not and our thoughts and opinions simply don't count.
      Karen, only Jesus loves you so much, He laid aside His will so you could have your free will to not choose Him or His Father's way. That is incredible LOVE!
      I don't know what "worship properly" means and am good with pretty much all Christian denominations up to and including snake handlers. They think handling poisonous snakes will get them closer to God and I think one day they'll probably be right. lol
      I don't get het up over denominations; I'm a Bible reading, Bible believing Jesus follower and "work out my salvation with fear and trembling". I'm good with you not choosing Jesus; I don't like it but it's your decision and on Judgment Day it's not going to be me and thee standing before God. It'll be you alone just as it's going to be me alone and I want to hear Him say, "Sandra, obedience is better than sacrifice. Thank you for doing what I asked."
      Karen, I love you and want to spend eternity with's toward that end your name stays on my prayer list.
      - your Jesus with skin on friend -
      Yes to horse update...will post photos and give names, etc. I moved here with 14 cats and kittens, 4 horses and 2 dogs. When my nephew saw all the cat carriers, an expletive burst forth and "crazy" was one of the words mentioned. LOL
      I try to be a good steward of what God has allowed me to have and didn't want my problems left behind.

  7. Dear Sandra ~ The scripture verses you quoted are wonderful reminders of encouragement for me and I thank you.

    It is so good to read of God's goodness to you and I'm thankful you have a new church family.

    Happy Christmas holidays ~ Love & hugs ~ FlowerLady

    1. Merry Christmas Rainey and appreciate knowing the verses speak to your heart. I hope this Holy Season is good for and to you; it's my prayer. love and prayers...S.

  8. How happy you sound. God is so good to us all.

    1. YES I am.
      YES He is!
      Merry Christmas Elizabeth; God is holding you and yours in the palm of His hand.

  9. what joy i read in this post.
    ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

    1. I know...right.
      snicker snicker
      Tough times will return (they always do) but for now I am deliriously happy and at peace.
      Merry Christmas Sherry.

  10. "Do not fear. I have redeemed you. I have called you by name, you are Mine." This is the blessing-quote of my christening!

    What nice photos! I see, that you have nice snow and good helpers and good feelings and a very fine home!

    What a blessing!

    Many greetings from Dori from the Bavarian forest!

    1. Dori, you and I look enough alike to be blood sisters and that particular Bible verse is on my business cards. Don't you just stand in absolute awe at the Creator of creation are Mine? YES! I am His and He is mine...glory be His name forever!
      Merry Christmas Beloved Sister in the Lord!

  11. Thistle Cove looks lovely all decorated for Christmas. I really like your clothesline posts, too. So nice. Glad you are settling in nicely. Merry Christmas to you!

    1. It's as decorated as it's going to get, Ellen. I'm still unpacking boxes and this is the gathering place for Christmas Day; I'm happy to have a clean house and good food to each. Merry Christmas to you and yours, make it wonderful!

  12. Dear Sandra, you KNOW what it means: winter and animals! Nice and hard! Here the kinds of sheep, I have:

    I have two most lovely Jacob-sheep. I have also a Walliser Schwarznasen-Schaf (Wallis), a Rhön-Schaf (black head), a Coburger Fuchs (brown), Schwarzkof-Schafe (black head, black feet), and mixed sheep. I love them all!

  13. Thanks for sharing this blog its very informative and useful for use.


  14. I am so deep-down thrilled for you, Sandra - you sounds so happy and at ease in your new home! All the best to you and yours :)


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