Magnolia Smiles

Oh joy! As we welcome May, the magnolia buds are bursting into bloom, and as their pearly petals shrug off the last droplets of April’s rain, the month of May ushers in the promise of sunnier days. And the magnolias smile as if to say,

“Cast off the fears and tears of yesterday and make way for tomorrow’s hopes and dreams.”

I hope you enjoy this short poem by Sara Teasdale.

May Night—

“The spring is fresh and fearless
And every leaf is new,
The world is brimmed with moonlight,
The lilac brimmed with dew.

Here in the moving shadows
I catch my breath and sing—
My heart is fresh and fearless
And over-brimmed with spring.”

Cotton Candy Skies

We sit outside at dusk by the spreading oak tree. On the deck, beneath its canopy of gnarled boughs, we savor quiet moments to unwind after a busy day at the ranch.

Rustling leaves seem to sing in concert with whispers from the oak’s branches, as they sway softly in the evening air, lulling us into a sense of calm.

Across the meadows, long shadows announce the sun is quickly sinking below the horizon, in readiness to rise and shine in another hemisphere. A soaring hawk, silhouetted against the pale pink hues of a cotton candy sunset, swoops by before retiring for the night. The scene is breathtaking. I am grateful for the beauty of nature, and the constancy of a loving God.

It’s a good time to reflect on life. I recall my mother’s words. “Be grateful for today Anthea, as tomorrow is not promised!” True words indeed. One day, all is well. The next day all of hell is unleashed. A gripping sense of melancholy creeps in as I reflect on so much suffering across the globe. Dear Lord, please wrap your arms around those souls yearning for peace.

I hope all is well with your soul today. ❤️

Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name —Psalm 103:1

Light in the Darkness

Happy beautiful Sunday!

In times such as these, darkness has a way of creeping into the world—black shadows that encircle our lives, flooding our souls with foreboding.

I shot this photo at the ranch a while back, while star gazing on a cold night. As I marveled at the strange cloud formation, in the frostiness of the eleventh hour, an eerie chill swept through me, and I shivered.

Then, quite suddenly, as I moved toward the warmth of our cozy house, bright moonbeams broke through the mottled dark clouds, bathing the sky in brilliant light, reminding me that clouds do have silver linings. Continue reading →

Veiled in the Mist

I LOVE beautiful things from bygone days. Weathered things that have withstood the test of time—antique clocks, vintage china, old buildings, ancient trees, and historic places. The mystery encircling them simply enchants me.

I miss my frequent trips to Dorset.

I am especially drawn to old cobblestone streets like this one. Four years ago today I meandered up and down the oh-so-familiar Gold Hill in Shaftesbury. The old cottages, enshrouded in morning mist, stood stark white against the bubbled, brownish cobblestones, wet with dew, and covered in a velvety green moss. The memory lingers to this day. Continue reading →

Marvel at the Beauty

Tonight at Whispering Oaks Ridge.

Taken from our front porch at the ranch. We actually held up dinner with our friends to marvel at the beauty of this evening’s sky. A fiery red sunset—the kind that takes your breath away. Such beauty from God always makes me want to drop to my knees from the glory of it all.

Do beautiful sunsets set your soul on fire and affect you that way too?

Lord, how great thou art.

Meanwhile Back at the Ranch

Whispering Oaks Ridge Upper Meadow

Can it really be May Day 2021? So soon? The date on my calendar confirms indeed it is, but the rumbling thunder overhead, and the raindrops pitter-pattering on the windows, gives me cause to believe April is lingering—hanging on—to rain on May’s parade.

What in the world happened to the past eight months since my last blog post? Where did those months go? Did I hibernate the time away? I chuckle internally as visions of myself curled into a tight ball comes to mind. Anthea, snuggled in a warm, cozy nest like a hedgehog. No, that’s so not me! Did I tune out those months to escape the craziness of a world gone mad? Well, the idea has been appealing at times, but no, that’s not exactly what transpired. Do you think I ran for the hills as I’ve sometimes expressed?

Actually, that is exactly what happened. Chuck and I ran to the hills—the Texas Hill Country. There, after much searching and a whole lot of patience, we found a beautiful 5-acre ranch halfway between Wimberley and Blanco, studded with mature oak trees. The modest 2-bedroom house is perched on a ridge, overlooking a sweeping meadow with views to the hills beyond. We found our perfect bolt hole, our run-for-the-hills escape, our little slice of heaven in the country, engulfed in nature.

Whispering Oaks Ridge. Continue reading →

My Soul Sings for You


Earlier this week, my publisher Westbow Press, a division of Thomas Nelson and Zondervan, alerted me that they had submitted my book files to the printer for formatting, and that the official publish date of the book was 18th September 2019. I am delighted to reveal the title and its accompanying tagline.

My Soul Sings for You
Spiritual Peace in the Life and Times of Now

Publishing this 356-page book has been a unique journey that has challenged me as a writer and a person at each step of the process—actions that included writing, editing, selecting cover graphics, interior chapter graphics, creating unique captions to each graphic, as well as reading the entire book numerous times. It all added up to a lot of planning and decision-making amid intermittent periods of waiting patiently as my publisher performed their part in the production process. Continue reading →

Do Roses Grow in Heaven Dad?

Happy Father’s Day Dad. It’s been 5 months since you left to be with Mum and I rejoice that you’re together for eternity.  I’ve been thinking of you all week and find my mind wandering … and wondering … upward to heaven.

The weeks have flown by and 8:00 a.m. each day has come and gone and the phone sits there … silently. I miss your familiar ring and our daily chats and even though I know full well you’re not here to call me, the habitual phone call of so many years has left an imprint of expectancy … that we’d be talking, so I thought I’d dial you up in heaven and share some thoughts. Continue reading →

My Feet, My Faith. His Will, His Grace!

I just love new beginnings, don’t you? The dawning of each day! Mondays … the first day of the month … the New Year … it’s like we’re given a fresh start over and over again, throughout the year! Oh joy! I definitely want, need and value these chances to begin anew … do you?

It’s January 2 and I’m deep in thought about the year ahead in 2018. How will I make my life count this year? In what way will I maximize the hours in each day to make every day count in a meaningful way? What plans do I have for our business this year? What steps will I take to bring it all to fruition?

So many questions spinning around my head. The answers?  Not coming so easily. Continue reading →

Not Just Any Day. Sabbath!

Yay! It’s Sunday tomorrow!

It’s not like I always leap out of bed early every Sunday with a spring in my step, a smile on my face and a song in my heart.  Hardly.  Many Sundays, I emerge from the depths of sleep, squint my eyes to see if it’s light, peer at the clock, quietly sigh … and ponder the luxurious idea of sleeping in.

I’m definitely tempted to skip church on many Sunday mornings. 

I could do it you know. It’d be so easy … and I’d feel no guilt about missing church .. well maybe a tiny twinge, but I’d be totally fine with my decision. I could stay in bed and pray to my Lord … and I could just as easily listen expectantly for any words of wisdom He might whisper back, or place in my mind or on my heart from that vantage point.

As a Christian, with direct access to my God … I can seek Him anywhere at any time and I certainly do … I partake of that gift He’s freely extended. Not a day goes by that I’m not calling out His name frequently. Wondering how He will answer.  Sometimes I’m frustrated or confused.  Other moments I’m seeking forgiveness for failings and disobedience, asking for guidance, praying for a friend in need, or praising Him for blessings received, requesting strength, comfort, or thanking Him for His faithfulness and grace.

And ever-mindful of His love … His infinite love.

So why then do I go to church … even when I don’t feel like it, when I have access to God anywhere at anytime?  Do I seek the fellowship of like-minded people? Do I go to connect with my church friends seated around us?  Is it for the pastor’s message … the motivation? To praise and worship God? The inspirational music that stirs my soul? To receive biblical information, learn more about the nature of God? Draw closer to Him?

It’s a little of all of that if I’m completely honest, but it’s so much more. It’s deeply personal and meaningful each week. No matter how I feel on the way to church, whether I’m bright and happy to go, or dragging myself there in reluctance, it’s always worth the effort. I leave better than I arrived.

 It’s the Sabbath … not just any day but the stop-what-you’re-doing-and-rest-day.

Life is challenging! Even when all is well, the run-for-your-life-all-the-time rat race and routine demands from people, the workplace and unexpected side swipes of life, pile on stress, fatigue and frustrations, which wear us down, drain us physically, and {worse still} leave us spiritually depleted. The emotional roller-coaster of today’s world empties us. Sucks our spiritual cups dry and relentlessly crushes our souls.

How, when and where do we replenish what’s been stolen … or what we’ve freely given of ourselves to others, as we strive to become broken bread and poured out wine, in service to others?

Of course we can immerse ourselves in nature and soak up a new supply of strength and soul food in the solitude of green pastures, by a babbling brook or breathing mountain air.  Nature refreshes us spiritually and deepens our intimacy with God.

There’s something powerful about the Sabbath.

For me, being in church and worshiping collectively is very powerful … and somehow more meaningful than being alone. It’s about giving and receiving. It’s about being encouraged and encouraging others. It’s gaining a greater understanding of “why”. Why I exist, who Christ calls me to be, how He asks me to serve and give to others … to love my neighbor.

Sunday morning church contributes significantly to my much-needed spiritual growth, and my motivation and preparation for the rest of the day …and the week ahead. When I allow God to challenge me, I’m stretched beyond borders. I am compelled to seek a deeper understanding of God’s ways and His plan for me.

So I will be on my way to church in the morning. Because I need it. Because I want to be there. Because it’s the Sabbath … God’s chosen day for rest and renewal. Sunday morning sets the tone for my week, helps me place my priorities in order, replenishes my soul and restores my trampled faith.  And so I go. It’s always worth the effort.

God always shows up. I worship His holy name.

“I will give You thanks in the great congregation; I will praise You among a mighty throng. Psalms 35:18