Format Archives: Aside

What’s Brewing – The Heart of a Soldier

Buds Boot Camp002

In honor of this Memorial Day weekend I am pleased to re-publish this post about just one of the many who’s lives have been dedicated to the well being of our country. Blessings to all who, like him, live with honor and courage and selfless service; some to the point of death.

Because I married a soldier

I’ve learned

How to make a bed with tight corners

How to iron creases in fatigues

How to honor the American Flag

Because I married a soldier

I’ve seen the place where enemy planes flew unnoticed just before all hell broke loose on December 7th, 1941

And I’ve seen the bullet holes left behind following the attack on Pearl Harbor

Because I married a soldier

I’ve watched families say goodbye to their loved ones leaving for Iraq and Afghanistan

I’ve sat next to thoughtful young men and women on their way home from Iraq and Afghanistan

One young man gave me a 50 dollar bill with Sudam Hussein’s picture on it. His name was Daniel. I still pray for him.

Because I married a soldier

I’ve eaten lunch in mess halls

Shopped in commissaries

And flown in cargo planes to amazing places around the world

Because I married a soldier

I’ve learned how to respect authority

How to lead with integrity

And how to stop, stand up, and put my hand over my heart during the National Anthem

Because I married a soldier

I’ve learned why we cherish freedom

Why we live for it

And why we die for itBuds Incentive Ride 1998 001

Yes, everything I’ve ever learned about God and Country, I’ve learned from a soldier

Chief Master Sergeant Burton E. Snavely

The man whose uniform is ready for his final goodbye

Because the soldier I married will always be a Soldier at Heart

Love and joy, Sandy


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What’s Brewing – Trust Me More!

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Every year I ask God to give me a word that will help me to keep my thoughts focused on Him. And every year, usually around mid-December, He does. Except for this year. By early January I still had nothing. Nada. Zip. Perhaps that’s because, by the time summer rolled around last year, I had somehow managed to forget the word I so enthusiastically received when that Still Small Voice whispered into my spirit saying, “This year, Sandy, I want you to discover what it means to minister to Me; to bless Me.”

So, when my friend, Connie told me how God literally spoke a word to her in the middle of the night, I felt a wave of jealousy niggling through my ego, you know, the kind that grumbles on the inside saying, that’s because Abba likes her best. I know. Pathetic. What can I say; insecurity becomes me when I toss Biblical logic to the wind.

Then, when my heart was hungry to hear, it came. Trust Me More!

And that was it. Crisp. Clear. And simple. Trust Me MORE.

But, MORE than WHAT? More than Mother Nature? More than finding a thousand new ways to eat kale? More than having the Republicans run the White House?

MORE than WHEN? More than I did when I was in Africa? More than I did the day I gave my heart to Jesus? More than I do right now?

MORE than WHO? More than David when he stepped up to Goliath with nothing but a sling shot and five smooth stones? More than Moses when he stepped into the Red Sea? More than Peter when he stepped out of the boat?

Yes. MORE than these!

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.  Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. Proverbs 3:5-6

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What’s Brewing – This New Year

calendar_2015_calendarWhen it comes to new calendars – I’m a goofball. Every year I search for a calendar that will match my kitchen and express how I feel about playing with food. But, I think it’s more than that. Finding the perfect calendar is like peeking through the curtains and hoping to catch a glimpse of what’s ahead, even though I kind of know what’s ahead – three hundred and sixty-five more days of schlepping through life with lists of things to do, people to see, and countless fires to extinguish. Three hundred and sixty-five days of beds to make, meals to plan, and a sinister scale that heckles me without mercy. Nevertheless, I search for a new calendar.

Life is hard, my friends. It tugs at your soul, messes with your mind, and stomps all over your faith. And the calendar pages just keep turning. Then, I came across a quote from Mother Teresa, the tiny woman who spent her life caring for the poorest of the poor. “God, give me permission to use You without consulting You.” 

I have to say, that prayer scares me nearly half to death. Because I’ve done it. I’ve used God without consulting Him. And though my use of Him may well have brought about good, nevertheless, it was done without asking. Without seeking. Without knocking. I just saw the need and headed straight into it as if I were able to cure life without the Life Giver. Oh, He was still there. Still listening. Still helping. Still loving. Still caring. Still guarding. Still protecting. But – did I see Him? Or did I just see me trying to fill my empty cup with sand?

So, my new calendar is on the wall. Filled with blank squares all waiting to be filled in. But, this new year isn’t as much about new beginnings, as it is about new opportunities to consult the God who turns the pages. To partner with Him in His eternal plan. To ask, and knock, and seek Him when the sun comes up, and thank Him when the sun goes down. No more schlepping. Lots more praising the God whose mercies are new every morning and who leads us out of darkness into His incredible light.

“Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.” Matthew 7:7-8 NLB

May this new year be blessed with night splitting light and mercy driven days to the praise of His glory.

Love and joy, SandyLooking at snow

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What’s Brewing – A Little Christmas From Me to You

Dear Friends,

May your Christmas be filled with memories in the making! Thank you for following my blog and for entering into my life and depositing the treasures of your friendship into my heart. So, for you at this amazing time of year; a little Dean Martin, a look into the Snavely home with all its Christmas wrappings, and the dream of a White Christmas that will cover your world in a shimmering of blanket of fresh hope.

Love and joy, Sandy


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What’s Brewing – Home for Christmas

Bud and Sandys feet in sandIt was a great plan. Sizzling with thoughts of sun thawing out our wintered bones. Of sinking into the warm waters of the Hawaiian surf. Of pineapple, and shrimp, and the rich taste of Ahi; crusted on the outside; pink and luscious on the inside. And it was wonderful. But now it’s time to go home. Home for Christmas.

As lovely as this trip has been, my thoughts have turned all motherish; filled with pictures of Christmas Past and longing for new memories of Christmas Present. And so there is this sinking feeling that we might not make it home. Home for Christmas. Because sometimes flying Space A is about as unpredictable as a five year old high on sugar and Santa.

And I wonder. When the birth pangs began – did Mary long for home? Did she wrap her arms around her belly and cry for the warmth and wisdom of the woman who gave birth to her? But there she was amid a stable, a manger, midnight air breezing through the weather worn slats of wood, and a husband who had never helped a woman through the birth process before. Sometimes a girl just needs her mom. And a mom just needs to be needed by her daughter. The Jewish community was closely knit, in culture, in religion, and in relationships threaded together through countless generations. On this first Christmas night Mary and Joseph must have felt like an unraveled sweater with no way to weave back into the place that had forever been their home.

If the flights heading across the Pacific don’t cooperate with our wishes, we may not make it Home for Christmas. We may spend Christmas Eve here in the terminal with vending machine meals and the Hallmark movie channel reminding us of what we’re missing. Home; with all the trimmings of sparkling décor, cats sleeping on the top of our sofa, the dining room table all set for the feast, and the sound of our daughter’s gentle knocking on our front door. Our daughter needs us to be Home for Christmas as much as her mother needs at least one of her kids to come Home for Christmas.

And yet, there is something about that manger, that midnight sky, and the lowing of cattle and the gentle baa of sheep, that cause me to wonder what it’s like for Mary now, with two thousand Christmases wedged between December 25th, 2014, and the night it all began. The needs that seemed too heavy to bear have all been satisfied in the promises that seemed impossible to fulfill.

And so here I am – in a terminal filled with unfamiliar faces all hoping to make their way Home for Christmas. And the chances are very good that we will. But it’s comforting to consider how small these interruptions are in the big scheme of things. The needs of my mother’s heart run deeper than any one Christmas can conceive. Like roots struggling to make their way to the water, my longings for my children run deep in the promises fulfilled by the birth of Mary’s baby. They remain independent of what I can buy, or bake, or wrap in pretty paper. They wait in prayer and rejoice in hope. Hope that we’ll all make it Home, safe, and sound, and singing, Glory God in the Highest!

“Then we your people, the sheep of your pasture, will thank you forever and ever, praising your greatness from generation to generation.”

Mantle Decor edited

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