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.







Sure Fire Remedy for Stinkin’ Thinkin’

Last week, my stinkin’ thinkin’ crept back in. If you’re familiar with Al-Anon or AA, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Stinking thinking means allowing thoughts that used to boss us around to return. To have their way. To do us in. My struggle isn’t with alcohol, but to worry, obsess, fix, and try to control–as ugly as it sounds.

I’ve been working my program for years, but Thursday stinkin’ thinkin’ tried to tie me in a tizzy.

And then the gentlest most obscure thought tiptoed in.

Why don’t you try to get to number 1,000 on your gratitude list?

Because I’d have to come up with sixteen things. Five is the most I’ve written in a day.


After reading One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp last year, I started listing things I’m grateful for in a little green journal.  With 984 gifts already noted, I decided to give it a shot.

I grabbed my journal and started snapping pictures.

#985. Clyde and Levi (our daughter’s Lab) having fun.

#986. Mounds candy bars. (I have Celiac Disease. Can’t eat wheat or gluten but Mounds are just fine!)

#987. Crunch of  fall leaves.

#988. My walking path.

#989. New copy of To Kill a Mockingbird.

#990. Summer slipping into fall–my favorite season.

 #991. Sweet aroma of the tea olive tree.

On a roll! Having too much fun to worry. 🙂

#992. Front porch gardenia is still thriving.

#993. Candlelight at my desk. Lord, You’re the Light of the world. And my heart.

#994. My novel characters and what they teach me.


#995. Ferns made it through October.

#996 One more pepper in the garden.

 #997. Laughing at our porch party this morning.

#998. Log parakeet house Rick is building in the backyard.

#999. Acorns falling at my feet.

and finally….

oh finally…..



Number 1,000. When someone asked my opinion, I spoke the truth in love. 🙂

Gratitude delivered me from my stinkin’ thinking.’

I’m on my way to number 2,000!

Has gratitude ever changed your outlook? I’d love to hear!