{ the stone collective } farther along

{ This is my second feature as part of The Stone Collective.  Read all about the collective at the end of this post. }

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Sometimes things come into our lives unexpectedly, and we wonder why.  For several months now, I’ve had a health issue with a high misery index.  Something that didn’t have to happen.  A lack of communication with doctors.  Just something really frustrating that has kept me at home much more than I’d like to be.

I started asking “Why?”.  I’ve whined and complained and thrown things across the room.  Until I realized how childish that is, and that sometimes we don’t need to know why just then and there.  My choices are to keep focusing on how miserable I am, or to use this situation to become a better version of myself.

I choose the latter.

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And it’s caused me to grow.  Emotionally, mentally and definitely spiritually.  To not question God about why this is happening to me, but to know this is now part of my story and learn how I can use it for good.

My youngest daughter introduced me to this version of the old hymn “Farther Along” and it’s become my theme song.

My oldest daughter and I have been working on a new line of bracelets, so I made one for myself with the reminder that everything I’m going through now will make perfect sense somewhere down the road.  A wearable ‘ebenezer stone’ to bring to mind God’s goodness and timing.

*****

Farther along we’ll know all about this,

Farther along we’ll understand why.

So cheer up, my brother,

Live in the sunshine…

We’ll understand it all by and by.

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STONE-LOGO

The Stone Collective is a community making much of Jesus as we create art, photography, prose, poems or music that commemorate the wonderful things God does in our life. Based on the passage in 1 Samuel 7:12-14, each month we will collect Ebenezer Stones as a regular practice in the art of worship via our creativity. Want to join in on The Stone Collective? Create your own Stone and link up to LIVE IT OUT! Blog. #TheStoneCollective

April 30, 2014 - 2:59 am

Kelly - Thinking about you and saying a prayer for you tonight!

April 30, 2014 - 3:11 am

joyce - Holding you sweetheart. What started about 3 years ago gradually had me house bound and being able to wear very little clothing, I have grown so much in this time-learning how to speak what I needed to speak and in the last year and a half I stated being able to wear clothing for more than 10 minutes at a time, going places again for longer periods…learning patience, learning more and more trust in Him then ever before. The E-stones project sounds awesome and it sounds like you guys are enjoying yourselves. Glad you are staying strong.

April 30, 2014 - 4:13 am

Lorrie - I’m sorry to hear about your misery, but so happy to hear about the growth it’s caused. You’ve written beautifully.

April 30, 2014 - 6:54 am

rachel - I really connect with your testimony, Rebecca. Sending love- and know that you will be in my prayers. I’m glad you’ve chosen courage. God be with you.

April 30, 2014 - 11:21 am

Jeanette in Illinois - Rebecca,
Keeping you in my heart and prayers. May complete healing be on the horizon and you walk a field of soothing green grass to get there.

Looking forward to your beautiful creations.
Hugs,
Jeanette

April 30, 2014 - 11:58 am

Amy Smith - Are you talking about the Josh Garrels version of the hymn. I love it! I love everything he does, really.
I am sorry for your illness. I struggle with neck and back issues and there are days when I can’t do much of anything and I feel so frustrated. It is hard to let go of our expectations of ourselves and just trust the Lord in those times.
I love, love this bracelet too!

April 30, 2014 - 3:29 pm

Sarah Martin - OH my good gracious. This is so powerful. Thank you for inspiring me today and for joining in on The Stone Collective. Hugs!!

April 30, 2014 - 3:32 pm

Anne-Liesse - Rebecca,
I am pondering the idea that you’ve shared about growth coming from enduring and not being sure of the outcome–the idea of the “coming through”. It is so hard for me to wrestle with, personally. I am very goal-oriented and I function well with a point ahead on which to focus. I also understand the feelings associated with the “why me?” thoughts and then the guilt? that comes right after as one ponders those that have it worse that you perceive yourself to have it. If you ever listen to any Zac Brown Band, he has a song called “Quiet Your Mind” that has the same point as the hymn you quoted. The idea that living in the moment and finding the blessings that are right there are more important than concerning yourself with what happens next. I try to live that way and often fail. I do keep trying, though.
Take care,
Anne-Liesse

April 30, 2014 - 11:02 pm

Petra - I haven’t read a blog in months, but just happened to click on this from Instagram today. Exactly what I needed to read. Exactly. Thanks Rebecca! I hope you feel better soon!!

May 1, 2014 - 4:38 am

rebecca_sower@bellsouth.net - Thanks Anne-Liesse! I will definitely check out the band. So glad you shared your thoughts on this post!

May 1, 2014 - 4:39 am

rebecca_sower@bellsouth.net - Yes, Josh Garrels! I hope you find some comfort from your neck and back pain, so sorry you have to endure it. Glad you stopped by!

May 1, 2014 - 4:40 am

rebecca_sower@bellsouth.net - So sweet, Jeanette! Thanks so much.

May 1, 2014 - 4:41 am

rebecca_sower@bellsouth.net - Thank you! And my prayers are with you through your physical journey. Many blessings.

May 1, 2014 - 4:42 am

rebecca_sower@bellsouth.net - Thank you, Kelly. Much appreciated :)

May 2, 2014 - 12:34 am

kas - thank you….thank you….thank you Rebecca for being so brave and for sharing your heart…your words seep into my soul and encourage me to be brave too…blessings to you this night.

May 2, 2014 - 2:01 pm

Yvonne Welty - So sorry to hear about your health issue. Sometimes it’s hard to understand! Hope all will be better with you soon. Love your bracelet!

May 6, 2014 - 8:42 pm

Karen - I’m so sorry to hear about this health concern, Rebecca. It sounds like God is already working it out for your good, like he promises. Your project sounds wonderful. It’s good to be reminded of God’s goodness in our lives, and what better way than through creativity.

May 6, 2014 - 9:13 pm

rebecca_sower@bellsouth.net - Yes Karen! Thank you for your thoughts.

I’m out here…

…in the fresh air.  Busy as a bee…

IMG_6139IMG_6104IMG_6136IMG_6142IMG_6144IMG_6141IMG_6137IMG_6140…see you soon!

r.

April 24, 2014 - 3:43 pm

Dagmar Leuenberger-Swift - I am so happy to see these wonderful photos you take. Your spring is so much further ahead of us ours here in BC.
I hope you are having a wonderful April. Xox
Dagmar

April 24, 2014 - 5:38 pm

Anne-Liesse - What lovely photos! I feel refreshed since you shared them. What contented kitties you have. Do they bother the chickens?
Anne-Liesse

April 24, 2014 - 7:07 pm

rebecca_sower@bellsouth.net - Thank you, Anne-Liesse! No they don’t seem that interested in the hens. Too lazy maybe?? :)

April 24, 2014 - 7:08 pm

rebecca_sower@bellsouth.net - Hi Dagmar!
Yes, spring has finally come through after a long, hard winter. Hope yours is lovely!

April 25, 2014 - 7:18 pm

Sheila Rumney - What beautiful spring photos of your little part of the world. Enjoy! Getting anxious to start planting my garden.

April 26, 2014 - 12:37 pm

Sue - Rebecca, Lovely photos! I couldn’t believe it when I saw your lilac tree. I didn’t think they grew that far south. Maybe your winters are a tad colder than in Atlanta area? You lucky girl☺ xo

April 26, 2014 - 8:58 pm

Hastypearl - This posting was nice. Lots of content, even though it was few in words :) Laura

all that is wild and natural

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My top ten favorite concepts from a much-loved new book on the shelf titled “This Book Was a Tree” by Marcie Chambers Cuff…

{1}  Disconnect with screens

{2}  Get dirty

{3}  Develop a compassion for nature

{4}  Explore more

{5}  Be aware of the wide world around you

{6}  Think of life as an experiment

{7}  Know your food and connect with it

{8}  Relearn the essentials of living

{9}  Strengthen the community around you

{10}  Befriend the bees

I could go on.  Marcie does a spot-on job of luring us (and our kids!) into loving the natural world.  The unpredictable, extravagant, raw, beautiful, wild natural world.  I love every little bit of it.  A much-recommended read and what perfect timing, here at Spring’s front door.

Here are a few shots of the natural world here on our little hobby farm that is fast waking up from winter.

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Go be wild.  Wild is good.

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BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE:
Week One:
Week Two:
Week Three:
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April 7, 2014 - 2:53 pm

Bloggy Book Tour: Day Five - […] to Rebecca Sower’s hobby farm in rural Tennessee. Check out Rebacca’s take on the book right HERE (plus the most adorable photos of her newly-hatched downy spring chicks), and visit her […]

April 7, 2014 - 10:51 pm

Lorrie - Sounds like a delightful book, with principles we can all apply to life. Spring is beautiful on your farm.

{ the stone collective } new every morning

It’s lovely to be a part of something like the Stone Collective.  Here’s what it’s all about…

STONE-LOGO

The Stone Collective is a community making much of Jesus as we create art, photography, prose, poems or music that commemorate the wonderful things God does in our life. Based on the passage in 1 Samuel 7:12-14, each month we will collect Ebenezer Stones as a regular practice in the art of worship via our creativity. Want to join in on The Stone Collective? Create your own Stone and link up to LIVE IT OUT! Blog. #TheStoneCollective

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NEW-EVERY-01

God is good to us in brand new ways every day.  I’ve been reading the Old Testament book of Lamentations lately and doesn’t that just sound like a downer?  Not so!  Yes, the laments here are written by a people who have contrite hearts over how they’ve disappointed God, but in a way that lifts Him up and praises Him for being who He is.  Listen to this poetry…

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;

His mercies never come to an end;

They are new every morning;

Great is His faithfulness.”

{ Lamentations 3:22-23 }

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What that means?  Yesterday’s mercies were amazing, but I get brand new ones today.  Yes, new mercies (lovingkindnesses, blessings, leniencies) just for this day.  From the God of all creation?  I am so lifted up and comforted by that.

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So just as a reminder (and since my word for 2014 is “Art”) I created this piece to hang in my home as an “Ebenezer” stone.  An object to bring to mind how God’s goodness is always, always there.

Thanks for letting me share a wee bit of my faith and my art with you.  I hope to participate in the Stone Collective every month.  Want to join us?  Stop by Sarah’s blog here for more information and too see who else is part of this journey.

May your day be full of tender mercies.

March 31, 2014 - 12:50 pm

Julie - Preach on Sister!

March 31, 2014 - 1:35 pm

Jeanette in Illinois - What a fabulous creation!!! I love how you cut the letters out and outlined them interspersed with your writing. Most of all I love the sentiment, it is simply beautiful and perfect in that frame.
Thanks for sharing such a lovely, poignant message to start the day and week.
Abundant blessings and love and kindnesses back to you…
Best,
Jeanette

March 31, 2014 - 2:28 pm

Sarah - Rebecca! This is so wonderful and encouraging and I’m swooning over your art (as usual). Thank you for sharing your heart!

March 31, 2014 - 5:26 pm

Jill - Your work is absolutely perfect, I love it. And, the message so comforting. All things are new in Christ. And, even His mercy!

March 31, 2014 - 11:03 pm

Kate - So very comforted by that passage, too. Thank you for the artful reminder. The art is as beautiful as the words.

March 31, 2014 - 11:13 pm

Cherie Wilson - Just beautiful Rebecca! All of it….. inspiring and colorful artwork and precious words. You do both so well! Sending a hug!
XO

April 1, 2014 - 3:34 am

meg duerksen - THIS IS BEAUTIFUL!!! i saw this on IG this morning and immediately started singing. :)

April 1, 2014 - 12:20 pm

Brenda Weaver - I love this so much! What a great reminder to have hanging where you can see it each day.
I think this may be the first time I’ve visited your blog, but i just have to say how intrigued I am about the way you incorporate your faith into your creative projects. That is something i’ve had on my heart to do for a while too. thank you for inspiring me!

April 3, 2014 - 1:23 am

rachel - This is wonderful and inspiring, thank you!

April 8, 2014 - 5:07 pm

Dawn - This is perfect.
Always love to see what you are doing.
Thanks.
xo

April 16, 2014 - 1:28 pm

Washi Tape Young Women’s Banners | THE MORMON HOME - […] could be a bright, cheery bunting, but I think they look too cutesy. However, I did come across this inspiring pin. You may see these washi tape letters turn up again reworked into something with a bit more […]

May 2, 2014 - 10:19 pm

10 things i am loving this instant. » whatever - […] am a fan of rebecca sower….  have been for […]

May 5, 2014 - 3:27 am

Eugenia from Southern California - Perfectly lovely and inspiring.
Thank you for sharing.

May the Lord richly bless you.

xxxooo e

May 21, 2014 - 8:52 pm

Michelle - Love it! Will you be making more to sell?

May 21, 2014 - 9:36 pm

rebecca_sower@bellsouth.net - My daughter and I are working on some now. Thanks so much!