An “Everything” List
ALT="hay field and barn"

By Davalynn Spencer @davalynnspencer We hear it a lot: “Be grateful.” Other renditions suggest, “Things could be worse.” “You have it better than most.” The Christian-ese phrase I’ve known since childhood says, “In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” (I

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Out of Reach
ALT="bird nests in bare trees"

By Davalynn Spencer @davalynnspencer From where I sit by the wood stove on cold mornings, I can see through the kitchen and out the window to the ash trees bordering my neighbor’s property. Stripped by autumn winds, they stand bereft of their fall finery, boney branches scratching the

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In Returning and Rest
ALT="path through the woods"

By Davalynn Spencer @davalynnspencer Have you ever discovered a pathway that looks like the road home? Even if you never walked it and never lived there? It invites you. That’s how I felt when I first saw this path through an autumn wood. Unknown to me, it beckoned,

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Our Deepest Need is to Belong
ALT="Horses in a pasture"

By Davalynn Spencer @davalynnspencer Horses are gregarious by nature. They’d rather be with other horses than be alone. Regardless of their height, coloring, and disposition, they want to be part of the herd. So do most people. A couple of Sundays ago, our pastor challenged us with a

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In the Storm
ALT="In the storm is where you find Him"

By Davalynn Spencer @davalynnspencer We all face storms. Hurricanes. Wildfires. Sick children. Disinterested spouses. Cutbacks at work. Yet in their song “Just Be Held,” contemporary Christian band, Casting Crowns, sings, “In the storm is where you’ll find Me.” Whoa – how can they say that? “They’ve never been

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The Gift of Peace: Accept or Reject?
ALT="Peaceful setting"

By Davalynn Spencer @davalynnspencer Authors are often asked how much of themselves they write into their characters. I’ve never been quite sure how much of an answer to give. A person typically writes from his or her heart, so naturally, pieces of that heart are floating around in

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No Darkness at All
ALT="Horse in field, no darkness at all"

By Davalynn Spencer @davalynnspencer Millions of people across North America eagerly anticipated witnessing the great solar eclipse on August 21. Hopefully, they didn’t truly witness it – gazing in an unprotected manner and permanently damaging their eyes. Solar eclipses have fascinated people for thousands of years, creating fear

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Have You Dreamed An Impossible Dream?

By Davalynn Spencer @davalynnspencer When my husband and I set out on the rodeo circuit (with our small children) people told us we were crazy. “Wait until your kids grow up,” they said. “How can you haul your children across the country like that?” they said. “What about

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Their Faces Were Not Ashamed
ALT="Sunflower field"

By Davalynn Spencer @davalynnspencer Before my husband and I were married, we endured a long-distance romance while each of us lived in a different state. Phone calls and letters were the highlight of my days. No texting or Facebook or Instagram. No instant messaging, Skype, or FaceTime. Just plain ol’

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Bouquets – and cowboys – come in all sizes
ALT="dandelions"

By Davalynn Spencer @davalynnspencer Dandelions remind me of a cowboy from my former life as a sixth-grade teacher. He was in my Ancient World History class and lined up each morning with the rest of the students. Except he wasn’t much like the rest of the students. In

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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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