Monday, January 21, 2013


No, this is not a post about a particularly hearty bowl of chicken broth.

It's about me.

About the *stuff* that I'm made of.

*Sturdy: healthy, strong, vigorous, stalwart, rugged, tough
*Stock: lineage, family, ancestry, descent

When I moved to the mountains I thought I would fit in just fine.  After all, I reasoned, I still go tent camping, sleeping right on the ground.  I have an inner *pioneer woman* whose heart loves the wilderness.  A new mountain home should be a piece of cake.

I thought so…

However, to my great dismay, I have found that there lurks within me a remnant of *Off the Hill*, California, "DIVA girl" behavior.

There's no other way to explain the hissy fits I've been having lately.

When you live in a remote(ish) area, there are many challenges to face. Most are just a matter of convenience.

Like living in a two-story house for the first time - (I've fallen twice).  Like busing your own trash to the dump.  Like driving into town to get the mail. Like having to drive down the hill to go to the bank, or CVS, or a mainstream market.   (Or any sort of "chain" place…I mostly miss Subway).

Yes, we do have a gas station in town – if you want to spend around 30 cents/gallon more.   (I don't…)

And the snow.

Beautiful, and fun to play in – not so much fun to travel in.  Just ask Eddie, my car.

And it's really, really cold.  I'm just not used to having to bundle up in my own house.

You see, we're trying to save on heating costs – propane is WAY more expen$$$ive than natural gas, by the way.  (Yes, I hear you people in the Midwest and back East - or anywhere else with snow - chuckling at my naivete…)

So, I have been confronted on a regular basis by things that are just downright inconvenient – including a remodeled kitchen that isn't quite done yet.  (Oh, boo hoo).  And then, there are some things that are frustrating, difficult, bothersome, and challenging.

I thought I was a pioneer woman.

I have come to find out – I am a wimp.

I am very dismayed about this.

I really, really thought that I was NOT a typical prima donna diva…

I don't get my nails done, I don't wear much makeup, my hair is colored but not immaculately styled.  I don't wear designer clothes or high heels – in fact, mountain clothing is one of my favorite things up here.

But, I am evidently a convenience junkie – who is woefully challenged when challenged.

I am not Abraham – who left his homeland with faith and fortitude.

I am an Israelite, whining about the meat back in Egypt.

On a semi-regular basis, "The Hub" asks me:

"What is wrong with you?"

And all too often I reply:

"It's hard living up here."

The Lord and I have had many talks about this.  About why He has brought me up here.  I'm still struggling with it.  Wrestling with the struggles. Trying to "make peace" with my new home.  Especially with the fact that it does NOT feel like home to me.

At some level, I feel like this is a spiritual battle.

Evidently I am also a bit of a faith diva, too.

When the going gets tough, I want to get going…in the opposite direction.

(Jonah is my soul brother).

I don't think the enemy wants me up here.  I'm not sure why.  But I know that God prompted this move.  And that fact alone accounts for the spiritual warfare.

That's part of what I'm learning – if God wants you somewhere, Satan will fight against you.  First he'll try to keep you from going.  And if that doesn't work, then he'll try to keep you unhappy and ineffective where you are.


I'm thinking about those Israelites again.

Yes, they moved when God said move.

But then they spent years grumbling about it.  They fought against His clear direction, they did not appreciate His constant presence, they missed His blessings for want of something else.


I am convicted.

Another thing about those Israelites.  They never saw the Promised Land.

I am reminded of a certain scouting report:

"After exploring the land for forty days, the men returned…They reported to the whole community what they had seen and showed them the fruit they had taken from the land.  This was their report to Moses: 'We entered the land you sent us to explore, and it is indeed a bountiful country—a land flowing with milk and honey. Here is the kind of fruit it produces.  But the people living there are powerful, and their towns are large and fortified. We even saw giants there, the descendants of Anak!  The Amalekites live in the Negev, and the Hittites, Jebusites, and Amorites live in the hill country. The Canaanites live along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea and along the Jordan Valley.'"

(translated into Sharon-speak): "It's so hard here."

"But Caleb tried to quiet the people as they stood before Moses. 'Let's go at once to take the land,' he said. 'We can certainly conquer it!'

But the other men who had explored the land with him disagreed. 'We can't go up against them! They are stronger than we are!'  So they spread this bad report about the land among the Israelites: 'The land we traveled through and explored will devour anyone who goes to live there. All the people we saw were huge.  We even saw giants there…Next to them we felt like grasshoppers, and that's what they thought, too!'"  (from Numbers 13, NLT)

(translated into Sharon-speak): "It's so hard here."

Those ten spies were divas, in my opinion.  And they got the whole bunch of Israelites complaining.  A bitter spirit is easily spread.  And it grows once it is given a foothold.  I know – I've got some bitter roots that have taken hold in my heart.

Only Caleb and Joshua saw the possibility in the new land.


Because their eyes were firmly fixed on the Lord's presence and power – not on the obstacles.

Whining is for wimps – courage is for conquerors.

So, I'm praying…hard.

Because I want to see the Promised Land up here.  I want to see God in all of this.

I want to be made of sturdier stock.

I want to be one of the two spies who looked to the future and said with spiritual faith and fortitude:

"We will surely conquer the land."

Lord, please help me to focus on You.  Take my eyes off the difficulties, and show me the opportunities and blessings that are just waiting for me up here. Give me direction this year.  Uproot my bitterness, quiet my complaining, melt my stubborn and stony heart.  Grant me the courage to be a conqueror.

Make this mountain my home.

"'The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good.  If the Lord is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us.  Only do not rebel against the Lord. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will devour them. Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them.'" (Numbers 14:7-9, NIV)

Sharon of Sturdy Stock
(YES!  That is a knee brace - my version of sturdy!  LOL!)

What's keeping you from entering your Promised Land?

Linked today with:


BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"


  1. Oh AMEN Sharon, this ministered to me in so many ways!

    My favorite insight:
    "Yes, they moved when God said move. But then they spent years grumbling about it. They fought against His clear direction, they did not appreciate His constant presence, they missed His blessings for want of something else."

    What an important distinction to make. It's not enough to follow where He leads. If we're doing it with grumbling hearts we are going to totally miss the very things He's trying to lead us into!

    Thank you!


  2. I'm with Paula Sharon, this post really spoke to me. I'm joining you in saying that prayer. May I not miss Him because I'm focused on the obstacles. Blessings to you sweet friend.

  3. oh Amen and amen! and YOU WILL ...

    "Because I want to see the Promised Land up here. I want to see God in all of this."

    praying with you, peace in the wilderness and the mountain as home

    "Because our eyes will be firmly fixed on the Lord's presence and power – not on the obstacles."

    Love your photo and sturdy brace!

    What's keeping you from entering your Promised Land? nothing and then again everything... obstacles like insecurity and not knowing and a non believing spouse that's left me in a "wilderness" about what's up next? But I am learning to be content in my wilderness.

    I so love what you wrote on PEACE 3 and now this. All fits together so wonderfully. See, you do still got it in ya' - break out of the hibernation mode and look for the star!!! Love ya diva and really love how you write!


  4. So much is beyond us and proof that we need GOD in all He brings. It always helps me to remember the Israelites' sin. How would I like to be known throughout history as the one who murmured and grumbled against the blessings of GOD?

  5. I need to print this out, Sharon, and pin it to my sweatshirt and read it constantly. I totally understand; I think I'm a diva too, LOL :) I did read in Corinthians today where we are to fix our eyes on what is not seen (2 Corinthians 4:18). I need to do a lot of refixing of my eyes I do believe. After two years, it is still a struggle here, so I do get it! One day that mountain will be your home and one day this costal community will be my home, God willing!!


  6. You wrote this post about me, and you didn't know it. (Or did you!? Ha!)

    "A bitter spirit is easily spread. And it grows once it is given a foothold. I know – I've got some bitter roots that have taken hold in my heart."

    Preach on, Sister Sharon! I am SO an Israelite these days and my brain keeps telling my heart that it shouldn't be this way! I *know* that I am blessed. And I *still* find things to grumble about. My *heart* is not set on things eternal. You have hit a nerve here in a powerful, convicting way - again - because that is your gift! Thank you, always for your kind words on my posts, for your encouraging spirit, for your ability to find a "2x4-to-the-face" way of putting things into perspective! Love you! (And LOVE that picture of you, Mrs. Moutain Woman!)

  7. Whining is for wimps. That's convicting. Praying with you.

  8. I enjoyed this so much, bless you. The picture of you is beautiful. In my opinion, you are an awesome diva. Prayers and love to you.

  9. Hi Sharon,

    It will come as no surprise to you, that I relate much, to this excellent post. Oh, I have missed your posts, please keep them coming now. I am "evidently a convenience junkie – who is woefully challenged when challenged." (oh yes) I am evidently a bit of a faith diva, too.
    I am a townie really and I don't like sleeping on the ground, or camping, etc. I do colour my hair, I do wear make up (only some days now) and I would love to wear high heels, but my body will not allow any more. So maybe in these things we are slightly different. But I have had and do have challenges to meet with Faith and I have failed miserably, but God knows and will answer my prayer,( is answering,) "lord, I believe, help thou my unbelief.

    God Bless - Nita x

  10. I came here to read this yesterday and got caught up in the posts I had missed instead. I totally forgot to come read this one. I am clearly not of sound mind these days.

    This is what I have to say about this post:

    You may be weak in the flesh, but praise the LORD you come from such sturdy spiritual stock. I can't think of a fate worse than being unable to hear God teaching you. You always hear him.

    I love that about you.

  11. I love this. Such honesty pours from your words. May you see blessing after blessing today in your surroundings. And may His peace settle upon your heart and home on top of that mountain.

  12. Hi Sharon, excellent post. I love how you work through all the stuff and figure it all out in the light of the enemy not wanting you there, and thus changing the plan of action. You go girl. Thanks for linking up at Winsome Wednesday and I look forward to your next blog post
    God bless

  13. Oh dear Sharon - YOU ARE NOT A WIMP - you are in a process of growth. You are just learning to be a pioneer woman - you have to take it one day at a time. Rome wasn't built in a day.

  14. I bet its not easy, the birds making their nests out of twigs and the squirrels gnawing off fresh branches to make their bests in the tippy tops of trees - just like when we make our nests - it takes perseverance. I expect God knows we get frustrated because nesting is a process - not an immediate result. What encouraging discernment - that you see who is behind your frustration! Praying that Holy Spirit wraps itself around you, like a warm blanket in a warm home!

  15. Sharon- what a blessing and ministry you have here! I am always encouraged and blessed when I read your posts!
    Yeah, you're a wimp, but we would be too, in 18 degree weather? Seriously!
    I love how God is growing you and in that growth, He is using you to bless others!
    Love you!!

  16. Okay, first of all - I am in awe of you moving into the middle of nowhere at all! Though it is a lovely dream so long as it looks like a Thomas Kinkade painting, I don't know that I am of such sturdy stock to be able to manage well in the wild. This is surely to my shame. I find the burbs have enough "hard" and am more ashamed that I have it as easy as I do and cry "hard". Interesting that you share what you have here - it was part of the inspiration from my own trials and mountain climbing challenges that has been part of my current writing project - co-writing our spring play at church with our associate pastor/producer. I've created a character "princess" having her own hissy fit when she has to make her way through "the Valley of the Shadow of Death" on her way to the castle of "happily ever after". She is being escorted by a soldier armed with a "rod and staff" and giving him quite a time. My life of late, too, though other circumstances. It's all about learning TRUST. And, yes - your comment on my retreat post concerning the bit about worry, fear, doubt, etc. being idols in our lives hit me hard, too. Ah - God is good.

  17. A convicting post! I, too, am a spoiled whiner. May you go on forward from this point, honoring and serving the Lord where He has planted you.
    Visiting from Spiritual Sundays

  18. Thank you for the honest look into your life and heart. We are learning with you as we apply the lessons to our own situations. We are so blessed, even in the challenge.


"So [I] have been greatly encouraged in the midst of [my] troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives [me] new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord. How [I] thank God for you!" (1 Thessalonians 3:7-9)

Thanks for your comments - it is such a joy to be sharing my journey with friends like YOU!

(NOTE: Anonymous comments will be removed. Thank you for understanding.)