Alana Dawson
About the Author

Alana is a wife, mama, and military spouse. Alana writes to empower women to love God, and life, right where they are, just as they are. She recently published her first devotional, She Says, He Says, which challenges the lies we say to ourselves with His truth.

(in)side DaySpring: things we love
& you will too!
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(in)side DaySpring:
things we love
& you will too!
Find more at
Recent Posts

Reader Interactions


  1. Alana,
    I have to admit I was intrigued by the title of your post…I wondered what on earth it could be about?? Leave it to our awesome Creator God to reveal His Truth and His faithfulness to you through a patch of wild gourds. If God cares about a patch of gourds and can make them prosper…if he cares about each and every sparrow and tends to its needs, how much more so will He care for us? Like you, I’ve been “repotted” several times with moves across the country and with each move, God has enabled me to bloom where I was planted. It wasn’t always happily ever after stories, but His faithfulness was true and my confidence and trust in Him continued to grow. Praying for you right now that God would continue to bless you in this new place that HE has brought you to. He is faithful!

    • Bev – You’re so right, it’s not always happily ever after but He is faithful. I’m so glad you were able to “bloom where you were planted”. Blessings to you.

  2. When in comes to my “Job” and “purpose” in life I feel like I am always searching and wondering ….”Is this it or is there something else I am missing?”.

    (About every couple of years I start to doubt and begin the search for something new….sometimes the change comes sooner than later and sometimes I have a pause in between jobs before I move on to the next) I don’t know why I feel this way but maybe I am missing the wild watermelons along the way to tell my I need to grow right where I am???

    I guess I will start keeping my eyes and mind more open where ever I may be. 😉 Always looking for that sign.

  3. So true! I have always told those amazed at how many places I’ve lived, that I believe God moved me there. All His plans are better than anything I can imagine so I may as well accept it and look for the good one day at a time. His glory will be revealed when the time is right!

  4. Leaving my job of 11 years to start all over in a new country, I sure feel like that gourd in a dessert. Thanks for the reminder that I am God’s planting and I can blossom anywhere I am planted. Looking forward to the beautiful in this move and hoping I can share it as you have done so well.

    • Toyin, how awesome that you have stepped out in faith in this new endeavor. May God bless you and reveal to you all the beauty He has for you.
      Blessings to you in this new adventure!

  5. Oh how I love this passage and your reminder of God’s presence and purpose in our lives today. I started as an Active Duty RN, married and had to make a decision to leave that career behind and follow an Active Duty spouse. For over 20 years I followed from state-to-state and even overseas, keeping my hand in my career as much as I could, while coming to appreciate and enjoy raising my children, volunteering, and working on crafts, etc. During one such move I found a phenomenal church family and discovered a relationship with my Savior, that of which I had never known. I realized….He always has a purpose. So much has transpired over the last 25 years, but now I find I can rest in the knowledge that He is in control and I don’t have to understand, I don’t have to “drive” or navigate the journey. It is only my job to trust, love, pray, and rest in the knowledge that things work to the good for those that love and serve Christ. Thank you for a wonderful reminder


    • Lisa, thank you for your service as active duty and then as a spouse. You are so right, He does always have a purpose. I find it freeing that our only job is trust in Him.

      Blessings to you!

  6. What a powerful testimony! Thank you for sharing. I sit here with a house on the market wondering if/when we will move — and then where we will go. This year has been full of unexpected circumstances. Trusting that His hand is on this move and every other detail of our lives. I’ve never been to Hawaii (sounds perfectly lovely!!), but Taos, NM is unexpectedly one of my favorite places! I love how He can grow us where He plants us ❤️

    • Kristin, you’re so welcome. I also love that He can grow us where He plants us. I will have to put Taos on my list to visit. It’s not too far, and I’ve heard from many people, now including you, how lovely it is. I will pray for the selling of your home and future move.

      Blessings to you in this time of uncertainty.

  7. I absolutely loved this! In the midst of a seemingly difficult year, I have found myself frustrated in so many ways. I have to remember that God has a plan and when life seems to be falling apart He is still there holding us together.

    Thank you! Blessings.

    • Erika,
      Yes, He is holding it all together, even when all we see are the broken, scattered pieces. May He ease your frustrations and give you rest.


  8. Alana, what a beautifully written story and so true… there are many things that flourish in the desert! I too followed my husband to New Mexico from my beloved Colorado. I literally felt like I was in the wilderness-alone; no friends, no family, no job. But here, God has been so patient with me and has grown me more than I dreamed possible. Yes, there have been many, many tears and trials but it is all worthwhile so I could better understand the God I live for. I pray He continues to show you His character and love.

    • Lisa, I am so happy to hear I am not the only “girl growing in the desert”. 🙂 Thank you for your kind words. “To Him who is able to do exceedingly more than all we can ask or imagine.”(Ephesians 3:20)


  9. I grew up in New Mexico so I always feel immediate kinship to anyone who’s also lived there! This line of your post jumped out at me …He does not need paradise to produce….Such a simple truth that we have to reminded of often. Thanks for your words!

  10. Alana, I loved your post. As a military bride, I moved 3 times in our first 2 1/2 years of marriage. It was the move from Las Vegas to Alabama as a newlywed that nearly did me in. During my quiet times, God always encouraged me to plant roots downward and bear fruit upwards. This picture from Isaiah (and I think from one of the books of the Kings) was what I needed to learn to thrive where He placed me.

    I so appreciate your words today and the reminder that we can lean into God in the deserts of our lives. We can trust Him to bear fruit and beauty when we are trusting Him. Thank you for this. 🙂

    • Jeanne, I love hearing from other military spouses and thank you for your kind words. Moving is so hard, especially as newly weds. I can remember praying, just bring me one friend, Lord! More than once I might add. I love this image of growing downward and upward. He is able to be leaned on and trusted, isn’t He!


  11. Thank you military wives for their sacrifices. They too, serve. You may have moved from paradise, but God left His paradise in you.

  12. Sister Alana, thank you for the encouraging story full of truth.The lord takes care of me wherever l am,and even my ministry,as He takes care of the wild gourds.Thank you!

  13. Alana,

    Jeremiah 29:11-12 is my life verse. I use it often to remind myself that God is in control and knows what He’s doing. God has certainly been growing me these past few years. My aging dad started having major medical issues. They got so bad that I ended up quitting my good job. He has taught me patience, something I didn’t have much of before. I have also learned perseverance. Through all this God performed a miracle and healed my dad back to “his normal”. God has also given me a part time job.

    Blessings 🙂

    • Beth, I love this verse too! It’s one I’ve had memorized since Junior High. Praise be to the Lord for your Father’s recovery and your part-time job. May He continue to bless you. Thank you for sharing your story.

      Blessings to you!

  14. I really needed this. I am saved and have been struggling with a life altering detour for the last 5 years. I revisit the desert often. Sometimes I see the gourds. Sometimes I don’t. Thanks for reminding me of God’s concern for the details in my life plan.

  15. Thank you for sharing!! I just got married and my husband and I are suddenly contemplating a move to another country. It is hard to imagine and I worry about what life will look like. But I know God will provide!!

  16. Alana, I am so grateful to the Lord for this posting, for this gentle reminder that the Lord can transform and grow us regardless of our circumstances if we but trust in His goodness. I am in a place that seems inhospitable at times and yet our tender Lord sees and knows and has met me here in ways that I can’t describe that brings tears of sadness and joy 🙂 Sometimes we have to leave where we are to move into the places He needs us, much like Elijah or Jacob in the desert. May we focus on the new things He is doing, praising Him in these places of springing up ways in the wilderness and streams in the wastelands 🙂

    PS It sounds like you found cactus pears or prickly pears on the Nopales cactus-they do taste like a cross between a pear and a cactus and can be found in grocery stores sans needles 🙂

  17. Alana this is a very good post We have all had times in the desert but He never calls us to the wilderness without planning to have an Amazing encounter with His beloved.