Thursday, January 18, 2018

Sometimes We Just Need a Little Push

Some of us are very blessed. We just live, “blessed” lives. We have homes that we feel so “at home” in, children who we adore and love to hang around (and who enjoy us as well!), marriages that are vibrant and thriving…. Do you feel ready to throw up yet? No one has it that perfect do they? Well, yes, sometimes it seems that way. Some of us are just…… very…… blessed. 

We know we are blessed and we can feel thrilled about it all. So thrilled in our “blessedness,” that we get too comfortable with where we are sitting. 

Our lives are comfortable with us, and we are comfortable with them. 

What happens then, when we realize that we may be comfortable with where we are at, but God is not?

Sometimes I think we’re taken unawares by God because we so easily forget that it is HE that is in charge of our lives – not us. Even if we may feel like we are running them just fine, on our own. 

God has a purpose for our lives and at times; He needs to give us a gentle push to let us know that He feels its time to move us along to something else. To something new. In these cases, I’ve found that we can either go willingly as God directs, or we can fight Him on it. In which case, He can force us to move along – which is much more painful and uncomfortable!

It’s not that we’ve done something wrong, or that God is disciplining us when He sees fit to throw a curveball into our otherwise neat plan of a life. We can all get complacent. And being “blessed” is not wrong or bad. It may just be, that He has some special things to show us.  It may just mean, that He sees our potential and delights in growing us to become stronger, wiser, or more pliable in His hands.  I liken it to when you see a really smart kid start to coast in the classroom because the work is too easy for them. They need to go to the next level or they may never reach their full potential – as do we at times.

While I often find myself complaining when I think God wants to stretch my character or do hard things in my life, I think it’s truly an honor to be felt “worthy of the call” in His eyes. I think if left untouched, I would regret not learning and seeing the deeper truths and closeness that only He can give me. And to be honest, sometimes God just asks more of us for His reasons alone. I may never know the “why.” 

I think God wants me to try and see what He sees…. Not just in my life but in the life of those around me and in the life that He’s personally created for me. I can’t do that if I sit “comfortably” in my well-oiled, self-run life.

If you are one of the “blessed” that God has chosen to recently “shake up” – don’t fear and don’t despair. He loves you! He holds you, and your agenda safely in His hands. He knows what you value, and what matters deeply to you. The risks that He might ask of you, (or me), may bring more to your life than your comfort ever could.  So step forward with great faith, and trust. 

I promise you won’t fall. In fact, you just may soar on those new wings He has chosen to unveil to you. And you will be blessed, beyond measure. 

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

My Year of Surgeries

2018 has barely begun and I’ve already faced my first surgery…. An umbilical hernia. I got it when I gave birth to my first daughter, but it wasn’t a problem until this year. I jokingly told her, ‘“You DID this to me!”

I am facing another surgery in the spring. Jaw surgery. 

I am calling this, ‘The year of Dionna.’  And when I say that, I don’t mean that in a celebratory way. I mean it, in a “everything is going to happen to me this year” kind of way.

I don’t welcome it.  But I’ve been preparing myself to face it. I am ready to tackle it head-on.

Sometimes, we just can’t run from things. And believe me, I ran from getting braces and facing jaw surgery for years. YEARS. It didn’t help. It only prolonged the inevitable.

I am not one to hide. I’m not one to pretend.

Am I scared? Yes.

Can my mind run rampant with all the things that can go wrong? If I don’t stay intentional with my thoughts… yes.

Am I optimistic? Also, yes. I’m ready for some issues to be remedied. Fixed. I have lived with them pretty well. But I’d like to not just “live with them” but live WITHOUT them.

I am always thinking about these things. The upcoming surgery is always in the back of my mind. But I am asking God for HIs perfect plan to unfold through all of this. A skilled surgeon. A recovery that is smooth. Peace of mind. Rest. Encouragement. 

Won’t you keep me in your prayers? I hear jaw surgery recovery can be pretty tough. And I will be traveling a few hours away for mine.  As it draws closer, I will need courage, wisdom, discernment, and peace.

And hopefully, when the end of 2018 comes around, I will feel so blessed for all God has done for me through ‘the year of Dionna.’ May I be better, stronger, wiser, and humbled for how His plan triumphed over my own. 

Friday, December 29, 2017

That's Not How Other People See You

Sometimes, when I’m looking in the mirror….. all I can see is the extra weight in my face. The tired eyes, or the chipped nails.

I see the flaws.  The things I’ve neglected or the things that need fixing.

Sometimes, when I’m with someone else - they explain how they’ve gained weight. They point out the pimple on their nose, or the stain on their shirt. They, like me, see the flaws in themselves and assume, that I see them too. Not only do they assume I see them too, they assume that might be ALL I see.

Am I right?

But often, I never saw their flaw at all. I didn’t notice the weight gain or the pimple.  Instead, I saw the laugh lines on their face that made them sooo approachable. It made me want to share my heart with them.  I saw the smile on their face that made me feel like they enjoyed my company.  

I saw the good. I saw the part of them that they overlooked.

We know we all have flaws. But what we might not know, is that we are the only ones who see and VALUE them. We put them in a place of importance that no one else does.

We need to understand that other people don’t always see us the way we think they do.  People have an amazing ability to see the good in us! 

We can be so hard on ourselves. We demand things of ourselves in ways that we can never deliver on.

My mom used to tell me, “Put a smile on your face and no one will even notice.” That was very good advice and I’ve remembered it.

So, whatever state you find yourself in today - be a little gracious and merciful to yourself. Put a smile on your face, go out, and be loving.  Be kind. Be generous. Be honest.  And watch how people’s perception and view of you is shaped by who you ARE.

Don’t point out what’s wrong with yourself, for that may not be how other people see you at all. 

Give yourself some credit. And give others credit for what they see in you, too.

Friday, December 22, 2017

We Are the Same

Do you know that we think the same?

Regardless of our age, our color, our successes or failures – we are the same inside.  We all fear rejection. We all want to be handsome or pretty.  We all want to be understood.

We all feel hurt when we are backstabbed. When we are misunderstood. When we are ignored. 

We all feel hunger. We thirst. We all grow tired and weary. We love.

We are the same.  You. And I.

We have common threads that bind each one of us together. Threads that can be understood, resonated with, and felt by each other.

We all know what it feels like to shed tears and to feel heartbreak.

So why do we keep hurting each other? Why do we reject one another and say that someone else isn’t “good enough?” Why do we ignore the needy? The hungry? 

Why do we fail to open our arms to the hurting and broken?

We can give, what we need.

We can offer, what we want.

We just need to open our eyes and see that we are all the same. We are all in this together.

Friday, December 15, 2017

For This Moment......

For this moment I’m going to forget my problems, my battles, and my struggles. I’m just going to smile and be thankful for today.  

For this moment I’m going to focus on joy instead of pain.

For this moment, I’m going to laugh, have fun, and enjoy what I’ve been given.

I spend enough time dwelling on issues that need fixed or changed. I give enough of my mind over to worrying and stressing over what is coming, or what COULD be. But for this moment, I’m just going to think of my blessings and my gifts from God. I’m going to feel His love and let it heal me, let it wrap its warmth around me …for this moment.

I’m going to take in the small things that I often overlook – whether it’s one of my kids wanting and asking for my company,  or my husband smiling at me in adoration. I’m not going to miss the beautiful sunshine that shines in through the window on my face, or the bountiful selection of food that I am fortunate to have in my kitchen.  I’m going to be thankful as well as give thanks for everything I can find.

For this moment, I’m going to laugh, instead of get upset. I’m going to love, instead of hate, and I’m going to live, instead of inwardly die over everything that “isn’t,” “wasn’t,” or “can’t be.”

For this moment I’m going to grow my trust in God, my faith, my peace, and my joy. So that in the next moment I’m stronger, wiser, and better.

And that’s pretty good use of a moment, if you ask me.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

It's OK To Be Your "Un-Best"

Image is everything these days. Brand names are powerful. It’s not enough to just “be yourself.” You have to be your BEST self.

It saddens me. It saddens me that we can’t feel comfortable to be our “not-best” selves.

We are afraid to tell anyone that that cute new shirt is second-hand bought.  We tuck away the tags of those bargain shoes. We highlight when we go to Nordstrom’s, but hide the fact that we can only mostly afford Wal-Mart.  

We attend church on Sundays and tell everyone all is “good” in our world. We smile and shake hands.

We only share the highlights on Facebook and instagram. 

And yet we are always caught by surprise when we discover something tragic about someone. We are shocked to see we failed to catch problems in a friend or family member’s life.

All because we all have a habit of only showing each other our “best.”

But it’s ok to be your “un-best.”

It’s okay to open the door with no makeup on.  It’s ok to say “thank you, I got this top at Goodwill.” It’s ok to not have the best brands. It’s not wrong to have the best brands, but it’s ok to not have them. It’s ok to not wear them. It’s ok to not be able to AFFORD them.

It’s ok to have date-night at McDonald’s. It’s ok to show up to church with a tear-stained face. Shouldn’t church be the best place to go when your heart is hurting?

It’s all ok. 

Some people may look at you strangely - but it’s only because they don’t know how to handle authenticity. 

You be YOU. In all of your best AND your “un-best” moments. After all, that’s what makes life full.

We all get sick.  We all cry. We all say something stupid. We all want acceptance.  We’re all afraid of rejection… even the people who can afford Nordstroms every day and then some.

It takes one courageous person to be genuine in their “un-best” moments, for someone else to follow suit. And then another, and another, and another.

It takes one person willing to risk rejection and risk misunderstanding people, to discover the freedom that deep down we are all seeking.

Our “un-best.” Those moments we try to pretend don’t happen. The ones we try to hide. These are the moments that actually make us so relatable to everyone else around us. Because they’ve felt them too.

Be YOU. Be your best and enjoy it when you feel it in all it’s glory.  But also be your “un-best.” Walk out the door in those moments too. Own them. Live them. And tenderly let them shape you.

Image isn’t everything. But authenticity? Authenticity IS. 

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

I Need You To Know You're Not Alone

My heart breaks for you. For the “you” who passes by in the grocery aisle and thinks no one sees you. No one cares.

My heart tenders to the child who goes to school thinking they are unloveable. Stupid.

My arms want to pull in the person who can’t seem to break free from the hurts and pains that they have suffered in their life. The one who gets sucked in by their depression and anxiety.

Oh, how I wish I could love on the sweet soul that feels like they have to be bold, brazen, and tough in order to never be hurt by someone again!

We all have moments where we are swept into these roles and feelings. But for some of us, they aren’t just moments. They are lifetimes.

If you are one of them, I need you to know you aren’t alone.  I need you to know that the lies you have believe about yourself can be overturned, undone, chased away.

I want you to know that there are others out there, JUST LIKE YOU. They feel the same way that you do. And they are wanting someone to touch them with a hug, with a squeeze of the hand, or with a pat on the back.

I understand what it feels like to want to know that someone will care if you don’t show up to church, school, or work. I “get it,” that your soul just wants a friend. A smile. A kind gesture.

So many feel as you do.

If I knew you personally, I would try to do these things for you. But I know there are many, many good souls out there who also feel the same as I do. So, please hang in there.



Be patient.

That kind soul will cross your path. I pray it’s soon. But if not, be patient. Wait for them.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Learn How To Enjoy Your "Wins"

We all have goals, wishes, and dreams.  There are those “personal” goals and wishes, and there are those goals that are more ambitious and aligned with our work or our passions for some kind of work.

I think for most of us, we achieve “wins” along the way. They may seem minor, but they are rungs on a ladder that we are climbing. If we’re real “go-getters,” it can be so easy to overlook those “wins” and just look ahead to the next rung we want to climb.

Focusing on our end goal is important. It keeps us on an intentional and diligent path.  But it also can rob us of enjoying the process. It can steal those moments of joy that come our way. So, then, it ‘s easier to get discouraged and frustrated about our progress.

ENJOY the “wins” you get along the way. Take the time to sit back and relish them. You worked hard for them!  Even if they seem little, they aren’t. They are big. For they are another step in the right direction. They bring you another moment closer to what you dream for yourself (or for someone else, if it happens to be a prayer request.)

There is absolutely nothing wrong with celebrating achievements. We are not “vain” or “selfish” to do so! You can celebrate with humility, thankfulness, and great joy. But allow those times to fuel you onward. Allow them to bring you continued clarity, and allow them to take a little bit of weight off of your shoulders and replace it, instead, with peace.

Whether it’s a work-related goal, or a personal one, don’t let it get lost in the whole process. Don’t be in such a hurry to reach the end, that you forget what has been done along the way.

It takes many jewels to form a diamond necklace. And it takes many “wins” to achieve a huge goal or dream. Allow them to form, delight in seeing each one granted, and you will love and appreciate the huge WIN all-the-more.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Giving Your "All"

Excellence. I strive to do excellence in all I do. 

It stands out when I see someone else working with the goal of excellence.

It shouldn’t stand out. But it does. Excellence seems to be a rare trait.

How many times have you had to go back to the car service center because someone didn’t fix something right the first time? The same goes for “fix-it” guys. 

How many times is your day messed up because you had to “re-do” something that someone else didn’t do right?


People just don’t seem to be invested in what they are doing. They don’t seem to be invested in OTHERS.

That grieves me.

It doesn’t matter to me, if I don’t live with the results of a job I do…. Because someone else does. And what I do is a reflection of me. So, I want to go the extra mile. I want to do things with integrity, honor, and excellence.





These are traits we should take with us as we do our jobs. As we walk in relationship with others. And, as we train up our children. They are all part of having and working with excellence in mind.

Doing the least we can do never benefits anyone. It doesn’t make anyone feel better or grow stronger. It’s simply a patch – never a permanent fix.

It feels good to invest yourself in all you do. In all you are. It feels good to know you did the right thing – spent the extra time – and put in the extra effort. EVEN if you don’t get paid extra. EVEN if you don’t get acknowledged.

It WILL pay off for you. In your reputation. In your feelings about yourself. And in the way you live your life.

Excellence. Try it. Achieve it. 

Give it.

We all hunger for it.

Friday, November 10, 2017

When Someone Sees Something In Us

Not too long ago, a woman told me that I had a ‘great vibe’ about me. She told me that I could do anything I set my mind to.

Then, someone else saw a picture I posted on facebook, and they told me that I was beautiful. When I politely told them ‘thank you, but that I didn’t see myself that way,” they replied again with a “own it. You are! “

Why is it so easy to believe the bad stuff about ourselves? And why is it so much harder to believe the awesome?

I think I’m nice. But, to think I can do anything I set my mind to? Hmmm……

And I think I’m cute. But beautiful? C’mon. 

What if we claimed the good things that others said about us? What if we truly started “owning” them? Not just for a “hot second,” but for a whole month? A year? A lifetime? Maybe then, we’d start fulfilling our true potential!

When someone compliments us, in whatever way, shape or form that comes in, I think that is an “I love you” message from God. A way that He comes down into the details of our lives to let us know that we have MORE to give. MORE to be. 

We limit ourselves more than anyone else can limit us. We deny ourselves things because we don’t believe we deserve them. We don’t believe we are worthy.

But we are. We are every bit as worthy and deserving as that “beautiful” person you see walk into the coffee shop, or that successful business guy that struts into the office.

If someone SEES something in us, isn’t that to be celebrated? Isn’t that worth something?

I think it is. 


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