Holding Up or Holding On?
ALT="Holding a hand"

By Davalynn Spencer @davalynnspencer “How are you holding up?” an acquaintance asked the other day. The answer came without consideration: “By holding on.” The phrase “holding up” insinuates personal stamina, strength, jaw-clenching determination. But “holding on” says something else entirely. It points to solidity outside myself. I don’t …

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Where Seldom is Heard a Discouraging Word
ALT="a home on the range near mountains"

By Davalynn Spencer @davalynnspencer How many discouraging words have you heard lately? Probably more than a few. Last week as my heart strings twanged from someone’s negative feedback, I was reminded of how powerful words are to hurt or heal. Immediately a line from the chorus of an …

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The Lord is My Trail Boss
ALT="cattle in green pasture by water"

By Davalynn Spencer @davalynnspencer God’s word has a way of reaching our soul, touching specific notes that respond to His call. Even if we don’t speak Hebrew or Greek or the King’s English. Even if we live on the other side of the world from where His scriptures …

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Many Happy Returns of the Day
ALT="child walking along path"

By Davalynn Spencer @davalynnspencer Today is my youngest granddaughter’s birthday. It is also my mother’s. When girl-child number 3 was born, I felt an ancestral connection run through me that I’d not felt before. July 3 linked my granddaughter to my mother in a special way, with me …

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Living on Pins and Needles
ALT="prickly pear cactus flowers"

By Davalynn Spencer @davalynnspencer Every year my little patch of prickly pear cactus blooms with the most delicate yellow flowers—a flaring contradiction to the plant’s spiny pins growing in protective clusters. Overshadowing the cactus patch on its east side stands a magnificent Colorado blue spruce with its …

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Train Up a Child
ALT TEXT="Rodeo clown and child running with pony"

By Davalynn Spencer @davalynnspencer Not until I had the photograph developed did I realize I’d caught the pattern. Look at the feet and legs, the arms, and the focus of attention in this father and son—my husband, Mike, and our son, Jake. At two years old, Jake …

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Rest is Underrated
ALT="Psalm 127:2 sunset"

By Davalynn Spencer @davalynnspencer I took a couple of days off, went to a mountain retreat, and planned to write thousands and thousands of words on my next novel. No phone (when I turned it off). No chores or cooking or other life distractions. Just writing. Plain …

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The Mountains and Hills Will Burst Into Song
ALT="mountain valley"

By Davalynn Spencer @davalynnspencer I’ve often been told that the settings of my stories are almost like characters impacting the humans. That makes me smile because natural landscapes and seasonal weather situations affect how people live. Each geographic location has its unique challenges whether mountain, desert, forest, …

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In Remembrance
ALT="cowboys praying"

By Davalynn Spencer @davalynnspencer If you’ve been to a rodeo, you know that the only moment of absolute silence usually follows a downed rider who fails to rise from the arena floor under his own power. Apprehension sucks the collective breath of the crowd as they wait …

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i am not alone
ALT="parent and child"

By Davalynn Spencer @davalynnspencer Ever feel like it’s you against the world? Occupationally, relationally, or physically if it’s not one thing, it’s another – right? Just when we get our sea legs under us, a rogue wave hits, the deck rolls, and our stomachs follow. Why can’t …

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Mom’s Don’ts and Do’s
ALT="mother and child"

By Davalynn Spencer @davalynnspencer My mother taught me most of what I know, but four important lessons stand out in my memory—two don’ts and two do’s: Don’t … … push your hair behind your ears—it makes them stick out. … put your hands in your sweater pockets—it …

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Life Wins
ALT="aspen tree"

By Davalynn Spencer @davalynnspencer Last summer, grasshoppers denuded a young aspen tree I had so lovingly planted in the spring. With plague-like precision, they took it down to nothing but trunk and stems. The lady at the nursery where I bought the tree told me it wasn’t …

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Do You Ever Want to Run Away?
ALT="Hollow tree"

By Davalynn Spencer @davalynnspencer Do you ever want to run away? Today I did just that. I ate breakfast and lunch at the dining table rather than at my desk. (Strange, isn’t it, what we run away from.) I ate looking out the window into the back …

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What if?
ALT="I will be with you. Scenic"

By Davalynn Spencer @davalynnspencer “What if?” This two-word query is one of the most important questions a novelist asks while working on a project. Various answers can propel an author’s characters into riveting plot twists or brain-throbbing conflicts. But for someone seeking to live a faith-led life …

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The Ugly, the Bad, and the Good
ALT="spring blossoms"

By Davalynn Spencer @davalynnspencer Writing a scene for a soon-to-release Western romance, I came face to face with my heroine’s memories of her mother’s favorite saying that “all things work together for good.” She was having trouble believing what her mother had taught. Bad things had happened …

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