When Anxiety Mounts

Photo by johnhain found on pixabay.com

Do you feel like you go through life white-knuckling it? A quick perusal on Facebook tells me anxiety is a major problem. As I was reading Davalyn Spencer’s post below, and the adventures and views she encountered, I wondered how often I’ve missed out on the beauty of the journey due to worry and fear.

As an added bonus, Davalyn’s giving away a free copy of her novella, Columbia Bride! (Read about the book at the end of today’s post) The winner will be randomly selected form comments left on this blog post. Please note, the contest is open to readers in the continental US only.

My Winding Roads and Toddlers by Davalyn Spencer

When my rodeo bullfighter husband and I set out on the road years ago with our dreams and children, we quickly acquired the skill of traveling light, fast, and focused. I loved it. No suitcases and always at home in our camper. Only the view outside our windows changed.

But the roads—they were another matter. Particularly when we veered off the predominant path.

One breathtaking drive took us through southeastern Washington down into the northeast corner of Oregon to the Chief Joseph Days Rodeo in Joseph, Oregon, land of the Nez Perce. I acquired one of my most important lessons in map reading on that trip: two squiggly lines on either side of a river means go the other way. But by the time I figured that out, there was no turning back.

Home was an 11.5-foot camper, extended-cab pickup, and horse trailer. In those pre-seat belt days, we fitted the back-seat space with a covered, padded board so our toddler, Jake, could sleep and ride and play in comfort.

Rolling wheat fields escorted us across the Washington state line until we began our descent toward the Grande Ronde River

photo by 4dr14nqg taken from pixabay.com
photo by 4dr14nqg taken from pixabay.com

on what the locals called Rattlesnake Grade.

Why were we not put off by the name?

Our “shortcut” to Joseph took an extra hour in our rig, maneuvering the narrow, sort-of-two-lane road that switch-backed down to the river and up the canyon on the other side.

As we rode that grade with all of our livelihood and our precious child, prayer became more important to me than breathing. I’d cringe as oncoming logging trucks whipped down the snaking road, passing us with inches to spare. Or I’d look over the rail-less edge, drinking in the terror of what could happen with one wrong turn.

My husband white-knuckled the steering wheel, his focus shifting between the engine light, the side mirrors, and oncoming trucks. But our son leaned over our seat back and laid his little head on his daddy’s shoulder, cool as a glass of summer lemonade. The sight was a direct message from God to me.

Jake was completely unaware of the razor’s edge we were riding. His daddy was in charge, and he was just fine with that. He didn’t even look out the side windows, but kept his eyes on the view through the windshield. In his childish innocence, he demonstrated the kind of confidence I needed to have in my Heavenly Father.

We made it safely to Joseph, had a great rodeo, and took the longer but quicker way out of the area through Pendleton. Map-reading lesson learned.

Several times since that trip, life has kinked up with curves, steep pulls, and passing concerns that threaten to push me over the edge. But things have always worked out when I rested in the Lord’s care and let Him sit behind the wheel.

We would do well to remember that Dad’s got it under control. He doesn’t need us grabbing the steering wheel, especially on the steep grades. If we let God be God, He’ll get us safely through. He’s faithful and oh so worthy of our confidence.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5, NIV).


Novella in Old West Summer Brides: The Columbine Bride:

DCS 2014_3.smaller FullOldWestSummerBridesLucy Powell is on a path not of her choosing: widowhood. But she’s determined she doesn’t need anyone’s help to get her neglected ranch back in order and running right—especially the neighboring rancher who keeps showing up at the end of her shotgun. Buck Reiter can’t leave Lucy and her two young’uns alone. It’s just not in him to sit by and watch while someone struggles. But he ends up as the struggler, searching for a way to let Lucy know there’s a whole lot more going on in his heart than just neighborly attention.

But it HERE.



Wife and mother of professional rodeo bullfighters, author Davalynn Spencer began her writing journey in the national rodeo market and as a newspaper journalist, winning awards in both arenas. Today she continues to win acclaim with her inspirational western romance, finaling for the 2015 Will Rogers Medallion, placing second in the 2014 Inspirational Reader’s Choice Awards, and finaling for the Selah Award and the Holt Medallion. Davalynn teaches writing at Pueblo Community College. She and her handsome cowboy make their home on Colorado’s Front Range with a Queensland heeler named Blue. Connect with Davalynn online at www.davalynnspencer.com and www.Facebook.com/AuthorDavalynnSpencer.com.

livingbygracepic.jpLet’s talk about this! Can you share a time, like Davalynn did, when you were consumed with worry but God reassured you with a truth, object lesson, or perhaps an unexpected surge of peace? What do you do when you feel anxious? What helps you find peace when life gets crazy? Share your thoughts with us here in the comments below or at Living by Grace on Facebook.

Before you go, I wanted to invite you to be part of my Street Team!

Not sure what that is? Let me tell you. 😉
A street team is a writer’s inner circle of readers. Basically, they’re a group of freaders (friends and readers. I just made that word up. Are you impressed? … Yeah, me, neither.) Anyway, a street team is a group of folks, like you, who enjoy a writers writing enough that they want to tell others about it. (This can be such a huge help to writers!) In return, they get fun perks like free autographed books, first peak at covers, are invited to help name characters that will appear in upcoming novels (if I wrote suspense, that could really be fun, right?? haha!); they’ll get to read deleted scenes no one else will get to see, and more!
Sound fun? It will be, I promise!
Here’s what’s expected of street team members:
  • Tell your friends, family, co-workers, the random strangers you meet on the street, about the book. (Assuming you like it, of course!) You can do this by:
  • Posting reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, Barnesandnoble.com, etc.
  • Sharing links (and links to reviews) on Facebook and Twitter
  • Sending invites to friends and family for an author’s events
  • Inviting friends over for chocolate and Skype with an author parties
  • Attaching post-it notes to random vehicles with the phrase, “Please read this book:–” Um… on second thought, don’t do that one, please. I’d hate to scare people.
So, I’m out of ideas now… Your turn!



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