Inside the White Picket Fence

Inside the White Picket Fence

Sara and I recently read an autobiography that was of special interest to us because the author was a good friend and classmate of Sara’s in the little town of Wewoka, Oklahoma, more than five decades ago.

The title of this post is also the title of the book. The author/illustrator is Lana DeLong Davis. Though Sara knew Lana’s homelife was far from good, only after reading her story did she realize how extremely confining and dysfunctional it was. She often went hungry and received little affirmation from her family for her excellent grades. And that’s only part of it.

In spite of it all, Lana became an accomplished teacher, artist, published author, and most important, a faithful Christian married to a fine Christian man, and a mother of two sons and grandmother of five.

Like Joseph in the book of Genesis, she did not allow her harsh experiences to embitter her. She did not adopt a victim mentality, but chose to be a victor through Christ.

The subtitle of Lana’s book is “A Story of the Providence of God.” Lana could see God’s hand at work through people and circumstances, making it possible for her to overcome all the hardships she endured, going on to enjoy a highly productive life.

One major providential blessing for Lana was a single Christian woman named Winnie Bell. Winnie took Lana under her wing, becoming the surrogate mother Lana so needed.

I encourage you to read this book. The teen girls’ class in Lana’s congregation has just finished reading it, and the jail ministry there has been distributing it. I can see how it would make a great graduation gift. You may discover other ways to use it to bless others.

You may order it from Lana DeLong Davis at 343 Plantation Drive, Crossville, TN 38572, or by email at The price is only $20, which covers postage.

One of the key passages on Providence is this verse: “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Rom. 8:28 NASB).

Lana knows from long experience how true this is. She’s been there.

--David Gibson