20 Best Tips

The Day I Met a Donkey

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Have you ever walked into someone’s house, met them for the first time, but immediately felt like you were in the company of an old friend. Everything seemed so familiar, comfortable, and just ‘right’ at once?

Life Lessons from Flash the Donkey

This past week I had the chance to fly to Dallas and meet a donkey. Yes, you read that right – a donkey. (That may have gotten a few questioning looks at the airport when mentioned – good conversation starter, in case you were wondering.) Granted the donkey may not have been the familiar friend part, but his owner, Rachel Anne – well, that meeting was one that made me cry happy tears.

For years I have followed Rachel Anne’s blog Home Sanctuary. When she wrote Flash, a book about the lessons God has taught her through a stray donkey named Flash, I cheered. Her writing style combined with her insight meant it was going to be a book I would love and laugh over.

But who would have thought that this same donkey would be the one thing that would bring us together after all this time? Certainly not me! Being in Rachel’s home and sitting down to talk just felt like we had been friends for ever-so-long.

those soft ears-1

My friend Cindy and I flew to Texas last week for a whirlwind trip with Rachel and her husband Tom thanks to Tyndale. We arrived to hugs, an abundance of hospitality, and two grazing donkeys. Flash and his buddy Henry were hanging out in the yard ready for some love. In case you were wondering, a donkey’s ears are so very soft. And Flash rather enjoys having his ears rubbed. I may have obliged him more than once (because truthfully, it’s rather soothing to pet those cute ears!).

Rachel and us

And since we were in Texas, we sat down for a casual (donkey-nearby) dinner of brisket. Haven’t you ever enjoyed a meal with a donkey in the near vicinity?

Meal with Flash

Flash wanted in on dinner – can you blame him? Although he does get special treats every now and then, stealing Rachel’s bun was a bit more of a treat than normal. (Rachel may have been done with her meal after that).

 The lavender plant

After dinner we meandered around the property together talking and laughing about so many different things, pausing over a lavender plant that had a story to tell. Y’all (we were in Texas, so I can say y’all) – it was just relaxing, refreshing, and much needed by both my friend Cindy and me. We laughed a lot that day, cried several times (good tears), and shared our hearts with each other.

a treat for Flash the Donkey-1

Honestly, my heart is so full and putting everything from the trip into words is so hard to do. I’m not nearly as eloquent as Rachel (I’m not comparing, just stating the facts – and that’s ok), and somehow it feels that if I try to share every little detail it will somehow diminish the special time we had together. There is so much that God has spoken into my heart from the very moment I knew I would be visiting Flash, to the hours we spent with Rachel and her husband Tom, and it has been such an incredible blessing overall. Life lessons in grace and how God loves to lavish on us so very much.

 Flash the Donkey

This summer, or fall, or frankly anytime, I would highly recommend that you pick up a copy of Flash: The Homeless Donkey Who Taught Me about Life, Faith, and Second Chances (you can even request an autographed copy). Flash is a reminder to look for God and how He is speaking to us in the every day moments of life – from the simple to crazy times. You will love Rachel’s writing style, her perspective and insight into seemingly every day happenings, and put the book down feeling encouraged in so many ways.

My biggest takeaway from the book comes from chapter 12, when we are reminded that often the journey we are on isn’t about fixing the problems we may be going through, but it’s about the process and the transformation that comes because of the circumstances. The last few months in our lives have definitely been a process, but through it all God has been dropping little nuggets into my heart (sometimes I accept them a bit begrudgingly). There will always be room for my heart to change, and sometimes I need to just step aside and let that change happen.

(and p.s. this is one of those books that would even be a great read-aloud as a family and is safe for kids to read too!)

If you have a little chunk of time, watch this webcast with Rachel Anne and her friend Priscilla Shirer. In it both she and Priscilla share lessons learned through Flash – ones we all can relate to, laugh with, and learn from.

Win a Copy of Flash!

If you’d like to win a copy of Flash, just follow the directions in the Rafflecopter widget below to enter. Rachel and Flash will both autograph the book for you too!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Note: Flash is showing as limited availability on Amazon, but more copies are expected soon! You can also order through Tyndale Direct (and you can save 25% off through July 8th, with discounts/free shipping for bulk orders for book clubs).

Don’t miss all of Rachel’s freebies to go along with the book as well: http://rachelanneridge.com/inspiration/

Tyndale House Publishers sponsored a contest to win a trip for two to meet Flash and Rachel in real life. I won by sharing this webcast on social media: http://rachelanneridge.com/webcast/. My friend Cindy and I traveled to Texas and had all the fun above. Thanks Tyndale! 

This post may contain affiliate or advertiser links. Read my full disclosure policy .

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  1. Stephanie H says

    I am learning to live my life one day at a time and I am trying to live my life to the fullest!

  2. Samantha says

    You, the ladies, and Flash look radiant! Ok… Pigs can look radiant. No arguing… Donkeys can, too. We all have a “donkey” or cross in our path. This book will help us all to handle it with prayer, love, family… It’s inspiring and humbling.

  3. Charis Chapman says

    I’m learning to trust God with my kids more, instead of me trying to control.

  4. I have learned so many things from my kids. Kids and animals are some of the best teachers.

  5. Jolanthe, I can truly say th your visit was one of the highlights of my year! I loved every minute. I’m reminded again how the most unlikely things (like a stray donkey) can be used by God for greater purposes than we can imagine. It makes me want to keep my eyes open for the unexpected moments, the little treasures, the gentle nudges that are around me and can get lost in the busy-ness of life. Thank you for sharing this today…I am ever so grateful!

  6. The everyday moments are definitely teaching me about patience & grace. I find I get so easily upset by things my children are doing, but if I take the time to think about it, I realize that I make the same mistakes over and over again just like they do and I need grace and patience from the Lord just as much as they need it from me.

  7. Anna Marie says

    I’m so glad a follower of Rachel’s blog won the contest! Your visit sounds so special! That Flash….what a rascally sweetheart! lol

  8. Jeanette K says

    I am learning to slow down and enjoy the journey, and not be in such a hurry to get to the destination.

  9. jesuslover50us says

    To place God first every day

  10. What a fun time!!! :) Loved the book!

  11. 1appleblossom says

    Take one thing at a time. It’ll all work itself out.

  12. I’m learning to trust God with my Dads health

  13. tammy cordery says

    I have learned to trust God and what he has for me to do in this life I live in. It is hard but I am trying.

  14. I am learning how to love my husband even though he’s not perfect. ;)

  15. Kristin G says

    Letters from my Compassion children teach me humility, particularly when they mention that they pray for ME daily.

  16. To slow down and make time with my kiddos.

  17. I am learning to stretch the groceries very creatively.

  18. notbefore7 says

    I have learned that God brings the people I need at the right moment….and everytime it blows my mind….as if He hasn’t done it before…HA! I love seeing Him work in my everyday that way.

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