Because I love a new beginning and a fresh start with inspiration, goals, and challenges, I decided you might too. Rooted & Blooming is on SALE!
Print Book $6.99
and better yet I’m running a giveaway! Click the photo below or the link, or check out my Instagram or Facebook page to enter.
I’m giving away a signed print copy, a code for a free audio version on Audible, a $10 Starbucks card, and two darling little mini-book cover keychains. One to keep and one to give away.
I wish you a FABULOUS 2020 and I pray if you’re reading or listening to Rooted & Blooming, Flourishing In Desert Seasons that it helps you thrive, not merely survive.
With great respect and love, Dalyn
Anyone in my family will tell you that at any event I am the one clicking photos behind my phone. It irritates my kids. But the truth is, I know the value of capturing history.
The little people love to sit and scroll through my (literally) hundreds of pictures of them, the ranch, animals, birthdays, deaths, and just life in general. I always always have my itchy finger ready to snap a shot.
To those who say, ‘you’re missing out on being present, always behind a camera…’ I say, mind your own.
I go to those photos when times are tough; because life delivers such sorrows and troubles, and I get visual reminders of just how blessed I am. We are. When I think I’m a lousy parent I look back at glimpses of history and see the rich, full, interesting life my kids have experienced in our home, and I settle my heart down again. Pictures are worth a thousand words, and they don’t lie.
Last night one of my beloved pets died. Lola was a miniature Nubian dairy goat who was born here, lived her whole life here, and died here. She had numerous babies, and I attended not only her birth, but the births of most of her kids. I felt blessed to have had her and I felt she was blessed to have been part of our lives, too. She gave us much, and received plenty. She was diligently cared for until the last.
This morning my nine year old son and my granddaughter decided it was time to walk down the hill in the pasture and have a graveside service to honor Lola. My son “wrote” a message with memories in her honor, and officiated the service. The dirt is still a fresh, dark mound, and the children and I stood around it with two of the house dogs, who Lola hated, and Lexi, one of the livestock guardians who Lola mistrusted immensely, and I thought, Oh dear, Lola would not approve.
The children had moist eyes as they fondly remembered Lola bossing them, but extolled her virtues on the milking stand. They remembered rich, creamy milk made into ice cream and cheese.
Now, I have to be honest, it was hard to keep a straight face when my young son gave the message. His theology was appalling, and his sentiments not altogether true. He said, for instance, “Lola was a sweet goat, who is finally resting. She stands today in heaven, at the right hand of God…”
I had to hide my face. He also, after offering us the opportunity to say a few words each, stood proudly singing The Star Spangled Banner at her graveside. I have to admit to you the lyrics were mishandled grossly, and the singing off-key.
This is a child who has grown up like Mowgli, half naked and always with animals. He is not where he came from, and when I think of the day we got him, and where God landed him, I’m grateful for the intervention that brought him to this safe place. To this ranch where he has learned to live and love and be part of a ridiculously unusual life.
How tough it is sometimes to know we aren’t where we want to be. Then we remember we aren’t where we used to be, either. Pictures remind me of our growth.
And you know what? It’s all beautiful. God is for my family and I have to remember that on the rough days. It’s so easy to forget the beauty in the perversity of daily life. It’s too easy to be ungrateful and discontented. To trample the sacred that becomes too easily common.
But when I revisit my pictures, even just my Instagram account, I remember the gift that is my life and my family. Good, bad, and ugly.
Botched theology can be fixed, songs can be re-sung, and yes, we bury what we love at the end, but it’s a journey worth taking.
I have the pictures to prove it.
As the holidays approach, some of us feel down, lonely, forgotten, discouraged.
What would it be like if every one of us could take the time to notice and pick up a soul next to us and give them some encouragement?
Let’s try it and see what happens.
I challenge you this season to do what you can, with what you have, for who God puts in front of you.
Let me know how it turns out.
I decided last month to do a cleansing diet called Whole 30. Google it if you’re interested. I think it’s kind of brutal, but I’ve also been addicted to sugar my entire life and Starbucks mochas in particular are my weakness. And caramel apples every fall. And my chocolate drawer in my office is lonely. But anyway, moving on…
My husband did Whole 30 before, and like most men, the rat immediately lost weight. Too much, in fact.
Alas, this has not been the case for me. Of course. My supportive husband is doing Whole 30 with me again. I think he likes it though. A glutton for punishment I suppose. Me, I’m a glutton too, but not for punishment.
The main reason I have been unsuccessful at dieting in the past is because I don’t want to give up my morning coffee ritual. Yes, I know, you can get used to black coffee, but it hurts my stomach and ruins it for days. So, I’m not doing that.
The Whole 30 guidelines don’t allow for any kind of sugar except fruit. There’s no honey allowed (sad), and you’re not even supposed to have Stevia, or any kind of artificial sweetener. So, this creamer I’m going to share with you is…ahem, not outside of the guidelines technically, but only within them legally. You get what I’m saying?
This creamer has allowed me to stand up to 27 days so far of no bread. No pasta. No cheesecake. No caramel apples for crying out loud. It’s a bad time of year to swear off all things delicious.
Anyway, if this helps you I’m glad.
I double my recipe because, well I just do. But here’s the easy, try-it-and-see recipe.
1 can Thai Kitchen organic coconut milk (this is super creamy, shake it before you open it)
The rest isn’t exact. I don’t really measure. I eyeball everything because I’ve made food like this for years, ever since my raw food period.
A handful of dates, soaked in a cup of water for a couple of hours or overnight. I then purée this until smooth. Add more water if it’s not runny, but you don’t quite want liquid either. You want a sweet syrup/applesauce kind of thing going on.
3 Tablespoons raw, organic cacao powder. (Or to your taste. I never measure anything and I think I add more)
Add the coconut milk and cacao powder and blend until creamy. Refrigerate it in a good old mason jar and pull it out of the fridge when you want to use it. After a couple days you may need to spoon it out of the jar and into your cup. It seems to get thicker each day.
The nice thing about having the date mixture thicker is that after a couple days in the fridge this actually can be a nice, spoonable chocolatey mousse.
I had forgotten that I took these photos in the spring. I forgot to share this post, and left it in draft form all these months. Well…I’ve been busy. That’s my excuse. Any way, I wanted to share how my home was basically everything that feeds my soul (aside from the Bible).
I have plants in every single room in the house but two. I have farm animals tucked into every corner that’s not filled with wildlife or plants. It all makes my soul sigh.
I love books, animals, and nature. And a good mocha. Oh ya, and warm tortillas, really good salsa, refried beans, and Cadbury chocolate. I mention these things probably because my husband and I are doing the Whole 30 nutrition plan this month. I can’t wait until I can eat again!
What feeds you soul, and does your home reflect those things?
Rooted & Blooming has been well-received, I’m happy to report. Our local Indie Bookstore, Inklings, took a chance and stocked six copies. Which promptly sold out, so they ordered another six. Sold out again, so now they are ordering a dozen at a time. I’m grateful to have even the smallest bit of shelf room in the store, so my little book getting front desk status was beyond my imagining. Thank you every one who has purchased a copy.
I’ve had several experiences now where people have reached out to tell me how much the book has meant to them in a difficult situation, and that alone means it was all worth it. God gets the glory for every bit. There are even a few children listening to the audio version at bedtime. I love that!
I’ve gotten several messages from people listening to the book on Audible. That blesses me, and I certainly hope it blesses them. There’s lots of Scripture spoken to you there, because the brilliant narrator is also a Podcaster and movie Producer and loves to read the Bible aloud. Instead of listing the verses or sections to look up, she read them. Serena Travis is amazing. You should definitely visit her site so you can see just a few of the adventures she and her husband have had. Hosting their own TV show just being one.
I’m working on A Fierce Woman, Proverbs 31 Reclaimed. If any of you have experiences with women you considered Proverbs 31 women, I’d love to hear more. Please get in touch. You can email me at da ilywalkin farm@yaho o.com (no spaces).
Sign up for my newsletter if you would like a sneak peak at the cover for this next book. I love it!
I am thrilled, and thankful that producer Serena Travis suggested this project and offered to narrate the book. She doesn’t really top-notch work.
Now you can read it in print, e-book, or listen to this devotional!
For those who like to listen on a commute, or perhaps someone needing encouragement but too busy to sit and read, or maybe someone with eyesight loss, this is the way to go.
I use my audible account every day. I listen to books in the car, while outside walking, sunning in my lawn chair, or even while working around the house or barn. I’m an audible fan for myself and my little people. I like my kids to listen to books instead of stare at a screen or play video games.
The boys went camping, my sister bought another horse, and I worked on writing and getting my audio version of Rooted & Blooming completed.
Life is so good on the ranch this time of year I rarely leave.
What are you up to this summer?