From Dread to Delight

I’ve been working hard to change a bad habit, but sometimes I slip into stinkin’ thinkin’. I ignore all the wonderful possibilities and head straight to the most dreaded outcome.

I did it this past Friday. My son’s girlfriend Brittany called. “I’m on my way over,” she said. “I’m bringing you some new animals.”


I braced myself. Brittany checks the pound daily to see if there’s anything she can rescue.

What could she be bringing?

A box of newborn kitties?

A litter of puppies?

Maybe a ferret?

A skunk?

More chickens?

We were already dog sitting for our daughter. And we have a dog and a cat.

“You’ll never guess what it is.” I could hear her smiling over the phone.

I cringed. “I can’t imagine.”

“Four parakeets! Someone left them at the pound. They’d been there for weeks. Their time was almost up. ”

“Parakeets at the pound?”

We have a parakeet atrium. Years ago, an elderly friend couldn’t take care of his outdoor parakeets, so my husband Rick adopted themall 40 of them.

Ten minutes later, Brittany arrived.

Wonder if they’ll get along with our birds? Do birds fight?


“I hope our parakeets act nice,” I said as Thomas added the newcomers.

They checked out their surroundings.

Right away, they made friends!

Maybe even sang some new songs.

Brittany went inside for a visit.

Watching her, something dawned on me.

I’d imagined the worst case scenario.

What if she brings a baby possum? And here she comes with four lovely birds.

The next time DREAD looms over me, I’ll remember the DELIGHT of Brittany’s Beautiful Birds.

Sometimes outcomes are even more wonderful than we can imagine.

Maybe that’s what faith is all about.








  1. Brenda E. Greene says:

    Oh Julie Girl! I love this reminder that sometimes God sends His best when we are expecting the worst! Yep! All about faith…and courage to turn from ‘stinking thinking’!

    A blessed day to you, my Dear, from my “perch” on the front porch amid the birds and bees!
    Continued thanks for the joy your words bring!

    Much love! Brenda

    • I know, Brenda–and who would have ever expected parakeets from the pound!

      Love how you said that … “my perch on the front porch.”

      Thank you for letting me know you’re reading. Would be awfully lonely to write a post for myself only. 🙂

  2. Can I ever relate, Julie! I have been working estra hard on this very same thing for a few months now. Some days I sail along fine without those “stinkin” thoughts, while other days I don’t do so good. But, I find, that when I stay in faith, those thoughts just aren’t around! Faith is what it is all about and I am learning that each and every day.

    Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference. ~Winston Churchill

    Love, Eileen

    • And isn’t incredible to connect with others doing the same thing, Eileen!! Working on our stinkin’ thinkin’ together!!! I know exactly what you mean. Some days, it seems I’m winning the battle, and then other days …

      Love the W.C. quote!

      Blessings to you and yours.

  3. Anna Haney says:

    God’s timing is perfect. This week is the first week of summer classes and a short work week on top of that. To add to fun, I am PMSy and I was dreading yesterday and today. It was like I looked for bad things to happen. Yesterday I learned by office chair was broken. I was ready to have to get a new one and thankfully, the guy from the physical plant was able to fix it quite easily. Both of the appointments I had today have blessed me far more than I am sure I helped them. I was ready to let a bad mood take me, and it did not. Granted, there are still events than can be annoying, but if I let them get the best of me, I miss the best part of the day. Thank you, Julie, for this reminder!
    Love ya!

    • Amen, Sister!!!!! Loved your response, Anna (as I always do). This is EXACTLY what I mean!

      Love you my friend.

      We’ll keep expecting parakeets instead of possums—hmmmm, that would’ve been a great blog title!

  4. marci says:

    I’m glad to know that I’m not alone in some times seeing problems before they exist, and many are just in our thoughts. I am glad for you that your surprise turned out to be the joy of those birds. I have fond memories of our family having them when I was growing up. They are beautiful. God often reminds us of the wonderful gifts he has for us. I can look back and laugh at myself at some of my very bad ‘stinkin thinkin. A sis-in-law was having a ‘day on their new dock’ for the family. Never being to the new place, oh the dread! I could see sitting on a hot dock in the sun burning.. Oh the long list of stinkin thinkin that I thought of.. Of course, it was wonderful! The dock was covered, and the breeze from the lake was so pleasant. They had cooked so much food, And there I had spend all that time dreading it. That was yrs ago. I wish I could say that cured me of stinkin thinkin.. but I still have to watch myself. Right now, I am trying to turn my thinking around. A wedding we are going to., and I have not been to a wedding in 25 yrs? I am trying to turn, “What was I thinking – to RSVP yes”, into “This might be a lot of fun” Thank you for inspiring me.

    • Marci—I am SO with you! The dock thing–I’d have had Stinkin’ Thinkin’ about that too b/c of my red hair and fair skin. My husband says he has to spray-paint me before I go out in the sun. 🙂

      And look–it was a wonderful dock experience for you. Just like my parakeets!!

      AT least we’re aware we do it, and we’re now guarding our thoughts a little bit better.

      Can’t wait to hear about how the wedding turns out. I have a feeling there’ll be lots of amazing surprises there for you–that God has all planned. Let me know how it goes….


    • marci says:

      As for the red hair and fair skin, that was my concern also, though now my hair is much less red and much more gray.
      I just love the story of the parakeets.
      Yes, I will update about the nephew’s wedding, just a week from Saturday now. Thank you, I so enjoy your writings and yuor replies. It always inspired me.
      Blessings, Marci’a

      • Ohhhh, so you’re a redhead too. I understand your thoughts about the wedding. Let Me Know How It Goes!!!


  5. Patricia Martin says:

    Thank you, Julie, for the wonderful message! I have a Sociology class right now that is giving me gray hair- I have a list of all the things that could go wrong-but I am going to trust God to make my class outcome great!(((; the parakeets are so sweet looking and that is a magnificent atrium they live in. (: God bless you and your family and happy last week of May!

    • Ohhhhhhhhhhhh, Patricia. I LOVE your comment.

      When you’re tempted to panic about Sociology, just think “parakeets instead of possums!”

      My stepfather was a sociology professor at Oklahoma State University. 🙂 Such a sweet man. I’ll be praying for your class. Let me know how BEAUTIFULLY it turns out.

      • Patricia Martin says:

        Thank you for the prayers, Julie! I really appreciate them and what a powerful difference they make!(((; Hope Gene is feeling better!

        • Gene’s much better, thank you. He’s driving around town now and tossing his walked in back of the car.

          Hugs from me to you!

  6. Kathryn Richardson says:

    Hi Julie, I understand perfectly what you are thinking, and, I am doing some of that too. I have an all-class reunion coming up, and, my partner is not in good health. Worrying about what to do as far as making sure he eats and is okay while I am gone. Leaving it to faith, and, praying it will all work out. I get so much courage from reading your blogs. Keep up the good work. Bless you!

    • Whew, Kathryn. I just love reading these comments that people understand. And some of us struggle in this area. And we don’t do it perfectly every single day.

      Okay, right now I’m praying for this reunion…praying God goes before you and handles every detail and it will be even more wonderful than you can imagine.

      Please, let me know how it goes.


  7. The next time DREAD looms over me, I’ll remember the DELIGHT of Brittany’s Beautiful Birds.
    Sometimes outcomes are even more wonderful than we can imagine.
    Maybe that’s what faith is all about.

    Wonderful, thought-provoking words: DELIGHT. More wonderful than we can imagine. That’s what faith in all about.

    Thank you for sharing!

  8. Jan says:

    Parakeets over possums will have to be the watchword. Was hit with a feeling of dread on the way home from work today over my financial/income/work/expenses (especially potential ones) situation and the relaxed way I have been about it. It turned into utter laziness in my mind and feelings, and just felt like disappearing from a world where everyone I know seems to be working so hard and doing so much better. Prayer would have helped but my thought was escape, into TV and sudoku puzzles–I actually invested in the latter escape by buying a book of them recently. And now the Internet. Thought I’d read your blog this week, but turns out I had not. Timely!

    • Soooooooooo glad I wrote about Parakeets and Possums this week, Jan. 🙂 Sorta wish I’d titled it that way. :/

      I’m putting your name on my prayer list–will be praying that the things you’re dreading will have some unexpected surprises (parakeets) and that you’ll sense His presence moment by moment…


      • Jan says:

        Thank you, Julie.
        PS Dread to Delight is more all-purpose, really. But either way, will have to stop, think, and remember what the change was and what caused it. 🙂

        • Jan says:

          Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take–
          the clouds ye so much dread
          are big with mercy and will break in blessings on thy head.
          from a hymn

          • Ohhhh, I love this poem, Jan. Exquisite! Hope you have a beautiful, beautiful day, my friend.

        • 🙂 Thanks, Jan. 🙂


  1. […] I moved into dangerous territory and wandered down the path of WORST CASE SCENARIO thinking. I knew better but tried to rationalize […]

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