I have a favorite child.
She's super smart, uniquely beautiful, and affectionate.
Her name is Tessa, and she is a rescue dog.
My adult sons know Tessa is my favorite.
She's a tri-color Australian Shepherd with
a shaggy tail, an amber eye, a blue eye, and a gimpy leg.
My kids have dogs, so I have granddogs.
Bailey, Lucy, Barney, and Ruby
I've had a dog most of my life. One family dog we had growing up was a
red dachshund named Oscar. (Oscar Meyer Weiner. Not original.)
Back then, dogs were free range from breakfast until suppertime.
Oscar spend most of his days waddling around town from
pool hall to playground with his best friend Cocoa.
Oscar hated the garbage truck and barked at its tires.
(Sad spoiler alert)
One July morning, while my siblings and I watched The Lucy Show,
we heard the garbage truck, the barking, the brakes,
and the sudden and short yelp of Oscar.
We buried his crushed little body in the backyard.
Our 90-year-old neighbor delivered a Mason jar with
giant magnolia blossoms for his grave.
Oscar had been a frequent visitor on her front porch.
To this day, the fragrance of magnolias tugs me to
a mound of dirt under the apple tree next to the white picket fence.
The worst thing about having dogs is losing them,
but I believe dogs will be in heaven.
While dogs are with us on earth, they teach us through
their nature how to have a relationship with God.
Dogs want to please, spend time with, and learn from the Master.
Cats want to be served and live life on their terms.
(Concept from Cat and Dog Theology by Bob Sjogren and Gerald Robinson)
The Bible has may representations of dogs and cats. Here's one.
Ten lepers recognized Jesus and asked Him to have mercy on them.
Jesus told them to show themselves to the priests. On their way, the leprosy faded from their skin. They were transformed from societal outcasts
painted with a disease until death to restored healthy citizens
with a second chance to live.
Only one former leper ran back to find Jesus when he realized he was healed.
He shouted praises and fell at the feet of the Master,
overwhelmed with gratitude.
You can read this miracle story of Nine Cats and One Dog in Luke 17:11-19.
There's a surprise ending for the rescued dog.
Speaking of rescued dogs . . .
Wimberley Adoption Group & Rescue (WAG Rescue)
comes to the aid of abandoned, neglected, unclaimed, and surrendered dogs
and puppies in and around the Wimberley area and western Hays County
regardless of their age or condition.
Check out their website, adopt a dog, volunteer, or donate.
Comfort & Joy
Anyone who is among the living, has hope –
even a live dog is better off than a dead lion!
Ecclesiastes 9:4 NIV
I love dogs so much I have three Pinterest boards dedicated to them.
Dogs are in all my stories.
Meet a Border Collie named Ronald Reagan who runs the beach
with his master to the Donut Station and
instigates a meeting that changes a life and affects a murder investigation
in my novel All In For Life.
Strong and Mighty Wings and My Presence is Here
by Sara Thurman - Wimberley, Texas
These angels hover high in my living room.
Do not despise these small beginnings,
for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin,
to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand.
This verse launched an artist.
Recently I had the honor to co-teach a breakout session with my artist friend,
at the inaugural We Believe Women’s Conference in Wimberley, Texas.
We are creatives who have been called to pursue our passions
(writing for me, painting for her) through avenues that require giant steps of faith and more learning than these two fifty-something
former teachers ever imagined.
Sara’s story began with a desire to produce income that she could send to missionaries, including her two sons and their wives,
in order to bring heaven to the ends of the earth.
With no formal training, no artist community support, and only the prompting of the Holy Spirit, Sara completed her first painting with worship music and a small handful of women in October 2014.
“The process of layering paint on roofing felt was healing,
and my identity of being ‘created to create’ became a reality.”
In November 2016, she sold her first angel created primarily with a palette knife and textured layers of acrylic paint. Angels are her primary subject, but she also paints churches and botanicals.
Many of her paintings are also available as
notecards, prints, and canvas reproductions.
In less than a year, Sara has sold over 200 paintings.
Learn more about Sara and shop her inventory at
I am a small beginning.
I don't have a dream team of professionals bossing me around
or thousands of people with cash in their pockets
and fingers poised to blast a social media blitz to promote my books.
But I have encouraging friends, devoted family, steadfast faith,
and a stubborn will to learn and stretch and leap out of my comfort zone.
I am a small beginning. The story has just begun.
What about you?
Comfort & Joy
Don't forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it!
Hebrews 13:12 NLT
Discover how party planner Angeline, angel wings, and a
tiny, dynamic Mayan matriarch named Caladium are connected
in my novel All In For Life.
Market Days display
Bring together from scattered places
Wimberley, Texas is nestled amongst ancient cypress trees, scruffy cedars,
and gnarly live oak trees. It is trekked by whitetail deer
and carved with limestone-bedded waterways.
The hills are dotted with a variety of rental properties
for vacations and other gatherings.
Family reunions. Weddings. Romantic getaways. Conferences.
Crafting retreats. River recreation. Festivals. Rodeos. Shopping.
Market Days wall display
One of the most popular and free gatherings in Wimberley is Market Days – the second largest outdoor market in Texas with over 450
vendors, food, and music.
The Lions Club sponsors Market Days, and the money made from parking and barbeque is contributed to local non-profits, animal rescue groups, and student scholarships, trips, and projects. http://www.shopmarketdays.com/
I went to the the August Market Days with a friend.
The temperature was 5000 degrees on the tree-shaded lanes.
We visited booths with displays of art, jewelry, pottery, antiques,
and stuff. And more stuff. And more rows of stuff.
But we found a treasure. Sacapelos. An orange tool that looks like
a Velveeta cheese slicer but yanks out facial hair with no mercy.
$10 well spent.
It really does hurt.
We gathered in the pavilion for lunch while listening to friends, Young and Rusty, (Sue Young and Rusty Nelson) sing their original folk and Americana songs. Our neighbor joined them playing bass. http://www.youngandrusty.com/
Today’s technology driven savviness has enabled us to meet, communicate, work, plan, brainstorm, learn, play, date, and be entertained with our eyes and attention glued to devices.
There is a legitimate time and place for these encounters.
But I submit to you that we have lost the art of gathering. IRL. (In Real Life)
I love throwing gatherings of all kinds. Why?
Because IRL gatherings trigger all my senses.
I taste the salsa someone made with vegetables from her garden.
I smell the rain-pelted rosemary (or occasional skunk) from the porch.
I hear music and giggles and weeping. I feel the hugs.
I see expressions. I don’t misinterpret sarcasm or irritation
like I do reading a text.
Life is chaotic. People are busy. But creating a holy or celebratory or goofy or relaxing vessel in my home for others to gather is my jam.
I often go overboard, but that’s me.
What kind of gathering vessel would you love to craft for your people IRL?
Comfort & Joy
For where two or more gather in my name,
there am I with them.
Matthew 18:20 NIV
The opening scene and the final scene of my novel
involve characters gathered around tables. Read about it.
ALL IN FOR LIFE
My granddog Bailey and my girl Tessa
Cypress and Sage is a lifestyle blog about life, comfort, events, and people in the beautiful Texas Hill Country.
Welcome to my “little bit of heaven” in Wimberley, a charming village south of Austin that beckons lovers of art, music, nature, and shopping.
Welcome to my world of small town traditions, personalities, and hospitality.
The friendly and generous reception and entertainment
of guests, visitors, and strangers.
Hospitality at my home includes a few essential ingredients.
A comfortable place to relax like a swaying hammock, an Adirondack chair,
a sun-bathed chaise lounge with lumpy cushions, or a wooden rocker on the porch.
A beverage. Always available is sweet iced tea,
a steamy coffee with cinnamon dusted whipped cream in a cute mug,
or an icy bottled drink.
Add background music, scented candles, snappy conversation, any homemade food, and a wandering Australian Shepherd that drops petals of fur like an obsessively devoted flower girl. This is my perfect, never fail, five-star hospitality recipe.
The gift of hospitality is more than nailing Pinterest recipes and engaging in winsome chatter with friends and family. The deeper assignment is to welcome strangers into your space and make them feel like friends and family by creating a safe environment that connects people and builds relationships. This can happen in your home or at church, work, school, club meetings, the park, the gym –
pretty much any social group you are a part of that is open to strangers.
When I was little, I used to sing a mean little ditty when I didn’t want to be inclusive. “Tick Tock, the game is locked. Nobody else can play.”
Ouch. I sang another passive-aggressive song when I wanted a toy
my friend clutched in her little fingers.
“Share with one another.”
These songs were not performed with love in my heart.
My motives were selfish. My lips sneered, my hand on my hip.
Don't be five-year-old Peggy.
Who could you welcome into your group and bless with hospitality?
You may meet your new best friend.
Comfort & Joy
Cheerfully share your home with those who
need a meal or a place to stay.
1 Peter 4:9 NLT
Angeline Redfern was an exceptional party planner,
but Las Vegas stripper, Krystal Mayflower, had the gift of hospitality.
Read about them in my novel, All In For Life.
A Texas Hill Country Lifestyle Blog
Wimberley Market Days
Cat and Dog Theology