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Thankful for Abundant Life, Clear Skies, and Stable Booths

Happy Monday, friends!
I hope you had a joyous Easter. We had such powerful worship at our morning church service. It moves me to tears to know my God is alive. And because He lives, we can too. And not just live, but live abundantly.

I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. (John 10:10)

This past Saturday, I had the privilege of showcasing my books at “Meet the Author on the Park” in Winter Haven, Florida. This event was sponsored by my friends Sandy Knowles at Three Rivers Press and April Whitt at Grapefruit Press.
I met many people and was able to learn about their lives, their interests, and their troubles. Sandy and April, the organizers of the event, offered authors the opportunity to speak to the audience via a loudspeaker system. (Yikes!) I was up for the challenge and spoke to festival-goers about some tips for writing about difficult topics. I also shared about my latest book, Dragonflies, Ketchup, and Late-Night Phone Calls: 31 Days of Journaling God’s Blessings.
I haven’t officially shared with you about this book, which was such an inspiration to me as I wrote it. Dragonflies, Ketchup, and Late-Night Phone Calls is a unique thankfulness journal where you literally “jot down” your thanks to God throughout your day.
Here is a snapshot of one of the chapters.
Book Snapshot
As you can see, I open each of the 31 days with praise to God and then provide you some space to give thanks to God throughout your day. No journaling for 10, 15, 30 minutes or an hour-not that there’s anything wrong with that. 😉 The approach is to jot down your thanks as you go through your day or when you lie down for the night.
I asked people who stopped by my booth what they were thankful for that very morning and these were some of their answers:

  • Shoes on my feet
  • That I didn’t have to cook Easter dinner
  • That it wasn’t raining (The weather called for rain.)

By the end of the festival, I gave thanks to God that my booth didn’t tumble away with the wind. 🙂
During my 10-minute talk, I was honored to talk about the inspiration for my book, which came about during my husband’s job loss last year. Writing Dragonflies, Ketchup, and Late-Night Phone Calls was my way of keeping a thankful spirit during our financial troubles, our roller coaster feelings of hope and frustration, and all of the emotional, physical, relational, and even spiritual side-effects of such a loss. God truly can help us through difficult times when we are intentional about giving thanks in all circumstances. It’s not easy; it still isn’t, but we have renewed hope and know God has been our provider during this time.
Remember, friends: God might not change your circumstances, but He can change you when you choose to thank Him.
I was also excited to showcase the Spanish version of the book, hot off the press. 🙂
To order the English or Spanish version of Dragonflies, Ketchup, and Late-Night Phone Calls, visit Amazon, CreateSpace, or your preferred online book retailer. You may also purchase a copy here on my Web site, and I will mail you a copy with a message just for you. 🙂
Big hugs. So… What are you thankful for today?

They stood every morning to thank and praise the Lord. They did the same thing every evening. (1 Chronicles 23:30)


Ketchup and Mustard, Please

I stretched my hair net over my curls, washed my hands, and put on gloves. As I walked to the serving station, my eyes scanned the room. Raining and storming outside. A couple hundred people inside. People.

  • Young.
  • Old.
  • Black.
  • White.
  • Down on their luck.
  • Homeless.



A booming voice emerged out of the crowd, “Let us pray.” I bowed my head and listened. In my heart, I prayed, “Lord, please multiply this food.”


And so it began.


  • Burgers.
  • Fries.
  • Bread.
  • Lettuce.
  • Tea.
  • And ice cream.


I had the lettuce. It’s the last on the food line, so I get to hand the plate to each person. I love it! It gives me an opportunity to ask how each person is doing, smile, look them in the eyes, and joke with them about getting their veggies.


I see familiar faces every time I go to Talbot House, and they recognize me. I’m always humbled and moved when I see years of pain, bruises, and tattered clothes on God’s beautiful children.


Someone on my team set out the condiments. Ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, and all the burger fixings.


A middle-aged woman–not more than 5-feet tall–picked up her plate, turned around toward the tables, and stopped.


“Ketchup and mustard?!? That’s rich people stuff.”


She rushed over and piled the condiments onto her plate like a child unattended in a candy store.


Rich people stuff.I don’t know about you, but when I think of the wealthy, I don’t think of condiments. I see fancy cars, a huge home, and other luxuries.That middle-aged woman sees it differently. I have a car and a home. I have ketchup, and I have mustard. Indeed, I am wealthy. 

I may not be where I want to be in life. I may be facing many hardships.


  • Addictions.
  • Hurts.
  • Illness.
  • Financial troubles.


But God has promised never to leave me or to forsake me–whatever my circumstance (Hebrews 13:5). I can take comfort not in the riches of this world, but in the riches of faith, family, friends, food, and yes, ketchup and mustard.



Come alongside…What can you thank God for today? What little things have you overlooked that show how much God has blessed you?



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Discontentment from the daughter of the King?


Discontentment from the Daughter of the King?

I compare myself to others. Sometimes, it seems they have it better than I do.


  • Better relationships.
  • Better connections.
  • Better opportunities.


When I get into this funk, I think about it day in and day out.


I have to talk it out and empty myself of my frustrations–whether in my journal or with someone I trust. Eventually, I come back to Truth: God’s plans for me are unique (Jeremiah 29:11). They are unlike the plans He has for anyone else.


It may appear that they have it better, but their better is not necessarily my best. That’s not to say that God won’t give me those things; it means that God doesn’t want me to settle for better now when I can have His best later. When I believe that every good and perfect gift is from Him (James 1:17), my internal satisfaction is independent of my external circumstances. I am content with what I have and where I am now.


God is the King, and I am His daughter. He has plenty to go around. He may choose to bless other sons and daughters now. When I am content, I am blessed now–and later.

Come alongside… In what areas of life do you compare yourself with others? How can you learn to be content with what you have now?


Affiliate Disclosure

Daphne Tarango is a participant in affiliate programs with Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, DaySpring, Church Source, Hazelden, Christian Strong (via Conversant and ShareASale). These advertising services are designed to provide a means for sites like to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to said merchants. Some images and articles may contain links to products on merchant sites. Should you choose to make purchases through those links, please understand that I will receive a small commission. Please do not feel like you need to use these links to make any purchases. The links are only for your convenience. Thank you.