Plans … they were our “best laid” plans … but, were destined to keep changing. 

#1. We originally had a solid “road trip” itinerary in place for the Labor Day Weekend … RV park reservations were made for the entire trip… heading to SoCal for the re-scheduled wedding of one of Elise’s bridesmaids.  It was a wedding originally scheduled for May, that had been cancelled due to COVID.  Sadly, we received an email stating the wedding would need to be cancelled again.  Just hours later, we received a wedding invitation from my friend in Iowa … for the same week end.  Soooo …

#2. Barry quickly rerouted and rescheduled our reservations from our SoCal Wedding trip to a larger circle towards Iowa heading east on I80 and ending in the south through Oklahoma, New Mexico and Arizona.  Several weeks before the start of that trip … we were evacuated from our home in Vacaville, CA due to the LNU Lightning Fires.  We decided to head out on our road trip 2 weeks early … highway 80 was both closed and at a standstill.  Soooo …

#3  Barry quickly rerouted and rescheduled our reservations from our Wedding Road Trip plans to head South where traffic and air quality were markedly better.  We spent a week-ish in central SoCal “gathering ourselves after the evacuation” and decided to take a route allowing us to share the beauty of Utah’s Arches & Zion Ntl Park with my mom.  After spending the week-ish in 100+ weather (that our little RV air conditioner couldn’t keep up with) … we decided to reroute to a path that didn’t take us through 110+ weather).  Soooo …

#4. Barry quickly rerouted and rescheduled our reservations to a route heading away from the scorching weather … our rescheduled plans included a quick stop to visit my prayer partner who had just moved to AZ … and then headed up to Flagstaff for a few extra days … where the higher elevation brought beautiful weather and a visit with one of my “Quilting Cousins”.  

We continued for a streak without any re-routing … taking us to Pawhuska OK where the Pioneer Woman’s Mercantile is.  The lightening and thunder storms were SEVERE!  But, we managed to weather the storm to return to the Mercantile for truly one of the best lunches ever.  (Highly recommend the Ranchers Sandwich and the Grilled Cheese Sticks with tomato soup!!!!).  We made our way up to Waukee, Iowa to attend a precious friend’s wedding.  It was “socially distanced” and beautiful atop of a winery … with a 360 degree view of Iowa farmlands.  Magnificent ….

As we left the next morning to head toward home … I stated I had the hankerin’ to “be” home … soooo …

#5. Barry quickly rerouted us and reschedule our reservations to head west with “uncharacteristically” long travel days.  The long 10+ hour travel day took us to the center of the “uncharacteristic” summer snow storm in Wyoming.   Upon pulling in to our spot at the RV park in Rawlins … we learned that our car battery was dead and the black tank was both frozen and clogged.  Mom received rights to the RV toilet … but, Barry and I made treks in the severe wind and snow to the reception desk bathrooms.  

After a sleepless night of howling winds and snow that constantly jarred the RV to and fro … we learned that I-80 was closed and  realized we weren’t going anywhere.  We also realized we were out of propane to heat the RV.  We made Mom toasty warm under heaps of blankets that pretty much kept her from moving … and we started calling every propane dealer we could find online trying to secure a mobile delivery … with no luck. Barry and I made several treks back and forth to the reception area to both use the facilities and secure our spot for another night.  We learned the obvious … absolute obvious … the RV park sold propane!

So we unhooked the frozen hitch to the “dead” car and mozied ourselves to the propane tank.  I tried to convince our pups yellow snow was acceptable under the conditions … Harriet obliged … but, poor Franklyn just could not do anything but, shiver with his new white mustache in the snow.  

The thing about unhitching your battery dead car from your RV is … … now you have to back the RV up to the hitch instead of pulling the car forward.  I have become quite proficient at moving the car forward to the perfect spot to connect it to the hitch … but, guiding a motorhome backwards … toward me … in the icy snow … was quite un-nerving. I was successful with only 2 tries and some high blood pressure.  

The next morning, the highway re-open.  After having spent hours & hours on any given state’s DOT weather site … we considered ourselves internet diplomaed meteorologist’s and determined we should move west as far as we could … out of the eye of the storm while there was a break in it’s pattern.  It was a slushy, icy, slow move toward the west.  We saw 5 car’s and 3 semi’s in a ditch … all abandoned … along the highway … all accidents from the previous day.  One semi was in the ditch that separated east and west bound … with no truck head attached … obviously towed away … and the back was bashed in with some of it’s cargo also laying in the ditch … abandoned.  Reality set in as we drove slowly and carefully.  Not much conversation was happening in the RV.  

Barry had researched a “portable jump starter” for our car (something about consequences to the transmission if we don’t get the car running … I don’t know … if it doesn’t affect the cup holders … I have no idea) … and I tried to locate one along our path.  The first store that claimed one in stock ..ended up being CLOSED!  I located another one and made a call to verify this store both had it in stock and was open.  SUCCESS.  However, our first attempts to start our car (which required us to unhitch the car …. ) were unsuccessful.  Forward we moved out of the storm toward the west.  We almost always avoid Utah’s Salt Flats and head around the top of the flats toward Idaho and then back down into Nevada … but, … …

#6  Barry quickly rerouted and rescheduled our reservations taking us through the Salt Flats to Wendover, NV.  It was another 10+ hour driving day … and we all decided pizza was a perfect plan for dinner.  We picked up the pizza on our way to an RV park and relished in the smell of some warm, good, carbs + sauce + cheese.  I was ready to down my first piece when Barry again mumbled something about the transmission and needing my help to“try” and start the car.  I felt it was futile … but took my place in the driver’s seat, said a faithless prayer and at the appropriate time tried to start the car.  The first attempts were … in fact … futile … but, about try #5 … SUCCESS!!!!  Barry ran into the motorhome … grabbed our slices of pizza … and we took a good ride to charge up the car.

#7  We have no plan for our trek forward.  No reservations to cancel or reschedule for the 5th or 6th time.  Plans are good … plans must be open to change … plans sometimes are best not made. We are just moving forward … toward the west … to the Golden State … which is “literally” glowing gold from the wildfires … and is home.

Sunset view from Madison County Winery


OK … cantankerous Oklahoma lightning and thunderstorm … #2 … on steroids … hit us last night.  Barry and I were out chasing down the sunset when the weather drastically and quickly took a turn towards darkness.  Again … not a fan!!!!!

I was hanging out the window, shot gun, taking a photo of the Drummond mailboxes across from the entrance to their ranch.  The wind, the rain, the thunder, the lightening … but, ohhh, what a great photo op … that rusted yellowy/orange mail box against the coming storm … much more beautiful in person.

We headed back to “our” RV ranch where my mom was “trying” to relax with the pups.  Immediately above us was a HUGE lightening strike with an immediate bomb of thunder … pretty sure I pee’d my panties a little.  Just ahead on the road was a small fire where the lightening had hit.  Luckily, it was a wet … instead of dry … lightening storm.  I was the only one that seemed concerned.  The small fire was casually circled by “locals” who seemed to enjoy the sociality of the moment.  

By the time we got back to our ranch … the monsoon of rain tempted me to sleep in the car … until more thunder and lightening struck.  I left my camera in the car and ran with a broken umbrella to the RV which got quite tangled in my hair … but, the run to safety was successful.

Snuggled into our bed, with Harriet our nervous dog, shaking in my lap … I asked the Lord … “What is it that you want my constant attention for?” … “What am I missing?” … The response did not come immediately … but the assuredness of His desire for me … his non-verbal words for me were real … and personal.

I will ponder his desire for me and his non-verbal words ….

Another thunder & lightening storm is on the way …..

Maybe I am the one who is “cantankerous” …


There was a cantankerous Oklahoma thunder & lightning storm above us early this morning.  Still not a fan.  I have pondered how God shows his strength & power through such storms.  That power is unsurmountable.  But, in my continued pondering’s … I also wonder if he is trying to grab my attention.  This morning’s thunderstorms certainly captured the attention of the 3 humans & 2 pups in our motorhome.

The thing is … … He captured our attention without words.  We are all standing at attention, but are unable to interpret what it is He may be saying.  If we all went to the Bible … we would all likely receive something different from God … a different passage … a different application to our life … and that’s OK because sometimes God speaks personally, and sometimes he speaks corporately.  

I am wondering if sometimes God just needs to capture my attention; to remind me he is out there.  The question is will I pay attention?  Once the cantankerous moment is gone, who or what do I continue to paying attention to? 

God can powerfully grab my attention … but, it becomes my choice what I do next.  Will I awaken and head to scripture/prayer … or will I head to social media wondering what others are saying about the storm?   What “voices” will I search out to have shaping power for my beliefs?

I believe God uses the voices of His people to have shaping power in my life.  But, when God makes the attempt to grab or fix my attention on Him through a lightening storm, a song, a circumstance … I need to be careful I am paying extended attention on Him.   

In Mark 4:24 Jesus told his disciples the importance of paying close attention to “what they hear” … that the attitude in which they receives the word of Jesus profoundly affects how much more they … we … will hear from Him.  

Am I paying attention?  Who & what am I paying attention to?  Is it the Gospel and the other words of Scripture, or is it my “emotions of the moment” … an emotional high that causes me to maybe do, say, experience, spend more than I should or emotional low plagued by self-doubt and pity that causes me to do nothing at all?  

Hmmmm … I shall ponder …. And pay attention … patiently …


  • a preliminary version of a piece of writing.
  • compulsory recruitment for military service
  • a current of cool air in a room or other confined space
  • beer or other drink that is kept in and served from a barrel or tank rather than from a bottle or can.

Today is draft day for my Fantasy Football League.  I have researched.  I have prepped.  I have re-enacted the information found in my “little black book” I left at home in the haste of packing.  I have revisited my “Learning Fantasy Football” blog (available on the header menu above) … because I still feel “stupid” to the game.  I have practiced using the “mock draft” system on the ESPN APP (ended up with a fine team per my son-in-law).  Most importantly, I will find a draft … a brewski … to “pop” when the process is through and I have my team … “Sandi’s Tight-Ends”!

I have said it tooo many times … I am an academic … the academics don’t necessarily come to me easily … but, I must keep working to understand … and once I understand … I keep working to achieve knowledge that is beyond what I need to know.  When it comes to Fantasy Football … and especially Football in general … this academia clearly is going to be a life long process.  Though I am becoming more familiar with Fantasy Football … the game itself still completely eludes me!

In my research … I learned about a thing called “tanking”.  Tanking is when a team gives up a game, losing intentionally to acquire a better position in the draft.  Who knew? 

I “tanked” in FF unintentionally last year.  Came in absolutely last and earned the “tank award”.  However, it turns out I don’t get better positioning in today’s draft.  WHAT??????  Should have been more intentional about coming in last place!

Sometimes the “sanctification process” feels like tanking.  There have been seasons in my spiritual walk filled with spiritual victory … and seasons of repeated defeat.  I’ll be honest … I have boldly, bravely, asked my league manager, Christ, … “What the heck?  What are you thinking?”.  To my recollection I haven’t asked that question in times of victory … interesting.  

At times … I wonder if God is tanking me.  Allowing me repeated defeat for an “ulterior motive”.  At those times … I head to the locker room … for some deep inner conversation.  In that locker room … I am reminded sanctification is a team sport … we are to trust the process together …and as God’s people we are “to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”  (Hebrews 10:24–25)

The truth is … God does allow defeat for a purpose.  A sanctifying purpose.  A holy purpose.  But, I must always remember our victory is in heaven … not in the things of this earth.  Everyone who walks with the Lord experiences the same kind of process.  Sometimes it’s victory … sometimes it’s defeat … sometimes it is the feeling of being tanked … but, always … it’s growing in the holiness of God … a process I can trust … we can trust … because … “the God of peace [will] himself sanctify [me] completely” (1 Thessalonians 5:23)

So much to ponder …

Plagues & the End Times

Barry and I had a short conversation about the craziness of 2020 … the COVID pandemic, the lightening & fires, and the catastrophically large hurricanes.  Barry made a comment:  “The world needs to wake up and pay attention”.  That comment led me to a ponder …. Is it the world that needs to pay attention … or Believers of Christ?  Is God sending “plagues” to grab our attention?  Is this a sign of the End Times?  This required me to search scripture …


The “Theology of Sandi” is coming to realize that the “10 plagues” found in the book of Ezekiel are not so much about judgment as a call for repentance and God willing his power, supremacy & “Creator rights” over Israel, Egypt and all the earth.

Scripture reveals to us God governs:

  • the wind,
  • lightning,
  • snow,
  • frogs,
  • gnats,
  • flies,
  • locusts,
  • quail,
  • worms,
  • fish,
  • sparrows,
  • grass,
  • plants,
  • famine,
  • the sun,
  • prison doors,
  • blindness,
  • deafness,
  • paralysis,
  • fever,
  • every disease,
  • travel plans,
  • the hearts of kings,
  • nations,
  • murderers,
  • spiritual deadness,
  • and on and on.

God’s ultimate goal is to uphold and display his glory.   Scripture tells us it also happens to be for the enjoyment of His redeemed people.

The End Times

“The End Times” have come up in several conversation I have had with people as well.  Is this craziness a sign of the end times? …possibly … but, does that mean the end is near in time as “we know it”?  Scripture tells us we will not know the time … but, it does record signs and wonders we will see.  

The end times will be preceded by:

  • great earthquakes and tribulation such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will, 
  • plagues and famines in various places,
  • terrors and great signs from heaven,
  • the sun darkening, the moon not giving its light, the stars falling from heaven, and the powers of the heavens being shaken,
  • days like those of Noah,
  • wonders in the sky & on earth and of blood, fire, vapor and smoke,
  • the sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood,
  • wars and rumors of wars,
  • nation rising against nation, and kingdom against kingdom,
  • many falling away, betraying and hating one another,
  • False prophets will come in Christ’s name, showing great signs and wonders, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will mislead many, even the elect, if possible,
  • God pouring out his Spirit on all flesh,
  • the Gospel being preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations,
  • Prophesies, visions, and dreams.

God’s ultimate plan upon his return is that … “it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

*Scripture Resources:  

Exodus 7-12

Matthew 24

Luke 21

Acts 2

Joel 2

1 Timothy 4

2 Timothy 3

2 Thessalonians 2

Daniel 10 & 11

Revelation 11


Cauliflower – a variety of cabbage (Brassica oleraceavar. botrytis) having a dense white mass of fleshy flower stalks that form the head. 

I mentioned in my last post … my decision making process during our evacuation was quite “surreal”.  While videoing those things that meant a lot to me, I went to this place … that was the most unemotional, rational place I had ever worked from.  That place where speed was an option.  

For some reason … that place left me when we got to the refrigerator.  It makes no sense.  We had just purchased a Costco membership with Brad & Elise and had our fridge crispers full of large bags holding vegetables of different types.  

I was able to decide not to evacuate my sewing machines that are worth thousands of dollars … but, could not decide which veggies to cram into our much smaller RV fridge.  I started loosing it when I saw Barry had decided to throw away the cauliflower ….. it’s funny now …. I think ….

In retrospect, The cauliflower decision wasn’t really about keeping vs. wasting cauliflower,  but was really about coming to a somewhat subconscious resolve that the cauliflower presented an opportunity to release some of my pent up anxiety through unloving and unnecessary words spewed at my husband.    

Decisions can be both easy & difficult … simple& complex … necessary & unnecessary.  Deciding the fate of the cauliflower was clearly easy & difficult.  Deciding where we were going to evacuate to … was both simple & complex with COVID, fires and heat all around us.   Deciding to release pent up anxiety was necessary … deciding to release it on my husband was not.

The thing is … as a Christ follower … if I ask God to guide me … He will.  His 1st step of guidance is through scripture. If I get “off track” He will correct and guide me back onto His path … it is called repentance and forgiveness.   

After a good ponder … the “Theology of Sandi” has concluded that the Lord is not as concerned with my right or wrong decisions as he is if I am making them lovingly or not.  

I shall ponder … … …


Evacuation – the clearance of personnel, animals, or materiel from a given locality.

It was a telephone call that pulled me out of a peaceful prayer time.  My daughter was calling to warn us that the evacuation line for the Napa/Sonoma fire (also called LNU fire) was literally a mile from our home.  I peered out the sliding glass door and saw a thick blanket of smoke overhead.  I opened the door to take a photo of the bright red sun outside and the reality of heat vs smoke was startling.  

We knew the right thing to do … but, we prayed anyway.  A peace, a calmness enveloped me that reminded me why I should pray even when I “do” know the right thing to do.

We were scheduled to leave in a week for a road trip to attend one of my “inner circle” friend’s wedding in Iowa … so we packed the RV as if we weren’t coming home until after the road trip.  I’m not gonna lie … there were definite moments when the calmness left me …. I’m sure we’ll laugh about them later.  

I always wondered about the decision making process of what to take along in such a situation.  My process was to step back, pray and ponder …. Could I live without this stuff?  I desperately wanted to throw my sewing machines and some of the art on our walls in the RV but knew it wasn’t realistic.  So I grabbed my phone and began taking a video of our possessions room by room … a surreal moment.

Once exhausted and packed up in the RV, we headed out.  We had not discussed with each other where “out” was going to be.  Our daughter called to let us know they were evacuating also and heading south for cleaner air.  She asked us where we were heading … “McDonald’s” we said.  

After loading up on burgers, fries & drinks we headed toward highway 5.  I can’t explain the oddity of driving “somewhere” without having a destination plan.  The fire was coming from the northwest and heading east … so we eventually decided south seemed like a good plan.  

While on southbound Highway 5, we received the “official orders” to evacuate.  The fire had jumped the highway and was headed for the hills directly behind our house.  Reality set in.  We may not have a home to go back to.  It’s that moment when I remember how many times I have claimed God as Sovereign.  I take a pause … a ponder … and claim God, still, sovereign … but, it means more to me now.

We settled in Coalinga for our first night’s stop.  We have not seen blue sky since we left and we all have non Covid headaches and sore throats.  Life gets better when we eat the salad and fruit that had been smashed tightly into the fridge for dinner.  

Quickly, our hearts take a downturn when we plug into our hotspot and view some of the news broadcasts.  Soon, the Holy Spirit peace begins to leave … pressure, tension, tightness … and acid reflux takes its place.  We determine “news” can not change anything in our plight and shut down the hot spot.  Barry plays computer games and I read.  We soon fall into a peaceful sleep … Nighty night.


The lightening and thunder pulled me out of a peaceful prayer time this morning.  The lightening was bright and the thunder came immediately.  I was NOT all about it …. ….

I hesitantly peeked out our bedroom sliding glass door and saw that my potted tomato plant had fallen over.  Fried Green Tomatoes??? 

According to the Urban Dictionary … the definition for Fried Green Tomatoes is:  to take someone’s parking spot in a rude fashion.  Who knew? 

The “non” Urban Dictionary simply defines it as a side dish usually found in the Southern United States, made from unripe (green) tomatoes coated with cornmeal and fried.

A few moments later … a huge wind storm with rain turned the sky grey … blowing dust, branches and almost all the planks from our older side fence.  Auntie Em, Uncle Henry … !!!!

I am brought to scripture …


“As the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in his day” (Luke 17:24 & Matthew 24:7)

“So Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.” (Hebrews 9:28)

Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.”  (1Thessalonians 4:17)

There is, however, another part to this scriptural truth

For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be.” (Matthew 24:21)

Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken; then will appear the sign of the Son of Man . . . “ (Matthew 24:29)


I believe Jesus is coming back again one day … at a time no one knows … on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.  

I believe the Lord will snatch me and all my fellow Believers up to live with Him in holy eternity.  

I believe their will be a time of tribulation & affliction and also a time for the accomplishment of God’s redemption.  

I believe that all Scripture is given by the inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.

I believe …

What do you believe?

Time to ponder … … …


I let frustration overtake me the other day.  No big happenings … just a consistent bunching of little things that kept adding up … 

I dropped my “Grandma Sandi” Yeti, filled with diet coke, twice (NOT the Grandma Sandi cup!).  I mis-communicated with others more than twice.  While watering the plants in the front yard, my legs became instantly covered with ants (I feel ants on my legs even now as I am typing).   Dog sees cat on the other side of the screen … dog runs through screen to catch said cat … it is the dog that is hard to catch.  The pieced square I was working on for a “cousin quilt” came out hideously “wavy” … a good pressing did not cure the problem … … … that was just the beginning of my morning …

Frustration or Self-Pity?  Let me ponder …

Frustration comes when I stumble into the proverbial mud pit.  Self-Pity is when I decide to swim around in the mud pit for more drama and sympathy instead of working my way out. 

I am happy to report, in this instance, I did not wallow around in the mud pit of self-pity.  But, it did take some real “work” to get myself out.  I prayed … asked God to guide me out … assumed (I called it “had faith”) he would snatch me right out of that pit.  However, comma, God rarely takes me directly from A to B.  It is usually more like A to Z.  

It seems … God’s purpose for me is not speed … but, sanctification.  Hmmmm.

Paul speaks of plans he had in his letters to various churches.  He told the Philippian Church that he was going to travel from Jerusalem to Spain.  However, while passing through Rome he found himself prison.  Now THAT is a mud pit.  Paul never lost faith … never lost his focus on the Lord.

The thing is … am I focusing on God … or the mud?

Sometimes God’s purpose for us is to do work in that mud pit.  Sometimes it changes us.  Sometimes it changes the world.  

I shall ponder … … …


Suggestion – an idea, plan, or action that is offered for acceptance or rejection

We’ve had a lot of “projects” making this house our home.  When I am project manager … Barry has this recurrent phrase he uses; “Can I make a suggestion?”  

When I am in my “I am determined to make this work the way I first envisioned” mode … the answer is likely “no”.  The suggestion comes anyway.   The suggestion is “rejected” … the suggestion is repeated because it wasn’t really offered with the option of rejection …….  A stall happens …  

When I am taking a more open-minded approach to my role as project manager … things go quite differently … more smoothly.  The suggestions still come… still may or may not be accepted … but, I have learned that compromise is a great tool for moving forward.

Compromise – the settlement of a dispute by concessions on both or all sides.

The Bible councils that compromise is needed when dealing with the complexities and ambiguities of [sinful] man … but not acceptable when dealing with a holy and omnipotent God.  

Oddly, it took me a while to figure this out.  I mean … if I can compromise on a suggestion of how art is displayed in our home … shouldn’t I be allowed to expect God to compromise with me about how my “attitude” is displayed to said “Suggestor”?  Yeah ….. no ….

The Theology of Sandi believes that compromise with man is a medication to help heal … however, compromise with God is a drug used dangerously and without prescription.

My attitude is the area I am most likely to try a justification or compromise process with God.  It usually starts with the words “I deserve”.  

Then I remember Christ … who came to stand in my place mercifully for what I truly deserve.  If I allow myself to stall for a ponder … I am able to let go of my self-justification.  

The question is … “Will I?” …. I shall ponder …