Monday, April 25, 2016

To Be Cared For, And Loved, Greatly

He warms me up.  Whenever I get cold, he is there. In church, he will place his two hands over mine, to warm up my cold fingers.

He will pull me close, to put his arm around me.

He will cover me with blankets.

And yes, sometimes, he will even let me rule the thermostat – and turn up the heat for me.

That’s my man. That’s love.

It’s a gift, I’m so thankful to receive.

When I’m going through a tough time – whether it’s a trial, challenge, or personal hurts. He warms me up.

He places people in my life to encourage me.

He puts peace in my heart and gives me strength, when I have none of my own.

He wraps His arms around me. And when I find coldness out THERE in the world, He puts warmth in my heart.

That’s my God. That’s love.

A gift that is priceless. Always arriving right on time.

I’m so blessed, and so thankful. I’m thankful I’m loved enough, to be taken care of.  It doesn’t mean I am weak, or helpless.

It simply means I am cared for and loved greatly.

What a feeling. What knowing of that, does for a life.

I wish that knowing for all of us.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Those Moments Where You Just Have to Say, "WOW"

I don’t know about you, but sometimes God shows off for me. And I love it when I’m not too busy to notice it.

One of those moments happened recently. His show of beauty, and personalization to me, of knowing what I would enjoy and like, amazed me so much, that I actually exclaimed out loud with a “Wow.”

And it was so fun.

It was just a fleeting moment. But a moment in which I felt Him speak to me, and say, “I love you, Dionna.” I see you.

I’m here with you.

And knowing those things? It means everything.

For I had just been singing a song about asking God to stay with me, because I felt a little unsteady in a certain situation. I didn’t quite trust myself to navigate it well. And in a flash, there it was. My “wow” moment.

Dear friend, if you are struggling today, if you are wondering if you are all alone, and no one sees you, hears you, or understands what you are going through? Let me tell you, you are wrong. There is a God who loves you more than you can fathom. He does see you, and He hears you.

Look for Him. He is there.

He knows just what to do, to delight your heart and encourage you.

With everything in me, I hope and pray, that you get your “wow” moment. The moment when you see – THERE IS A GOD. And He is a loving God. A God who is a personal God. An all-knowing God. A God who loves you deeply and is FOR YOU.

You are not alone. He is there with you. I just hope you will be able to see it.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

What Happened, To Going the Extra Mile?

Excellence is a rare gift these days. When I see someone who lives their life with excellence, and does their job with excellence; I know that they have great character.

I so wish “excellence” were expected in people more often. I so wish, that it was taught!

We teach our children to do their chores, and to get their homework done. But do we teach them to go the “extra mile?” Or are we teaching them to only get done what they have to get done?

When we stay at someone else’s home, are we helpful? Do we take care of our bedding, any trash we may have left? Do we help with dinner?


When we do our jobs, do we clock out before our shift has technically ended?

Going the extra mile means we have to have eyes, ears, and a heart that sees needs out there. We have to be aware of a need, even when it’s not spoken. And we have to be willing to meet it – even if it’s not expected of us.

If I only do just what is expected of me, I’m really short-changing myself. I’m not giving the gift, or getting the blessing, of pouring into someone else’s life. Even if it’s working just 30 min later on something, empting the trash when it’s not my job, or taking care of something for someone, “just because,”.  Those are all reflections on me and my care and respect, for other people’s efforts, their time, and their love.

I can’t always “go the extra mile.” Sometimes I lack the money, the time, or the right heart motivation. But more often than naught, I’m betting that I CAN. And I should.  Not just for them – but for myself. To make myself a better person.

Excellence is taught. But it’s also “caught.”  May I be a person who shows excellence in my life, by doing things well, and by doing MORE than what is expected of me. And I pray it will be seen – not so that I get any kind of credit… but so that others will desire to display it in their lives too.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

It Doesn't Change Who You Are

So much can happen on this crazy trek of life.  We can go from day to day, never knowing what will affect our life.

There will be good presidents, and bad presidents.  There will be good friends and bad friends. There will be good days and bad days.

It’s all a part of life.

Sometimes, things affect us greatly. But sometimes, we let them affect us greatly – when we shouldn’t. They are simply another step in our journey.

Whatever happens in my life, whatever people label me as, whatever leadership is placed over me…. It doesn’t change who I am. It doesn’t change the fact that I was created to be a certain way. To love a certain way, to be passionate about certain things, and to dream certain dreams.

For I am unique. As are you.

We all rub shoulders with people in life who manage to rub a little shine off of our happiness. They cause doubt within us, and they somehow, have just the right gifting to make us feel like any value we had in life, wasn’t valuable or special, at all.

But regardless of how someone else might project onto us? It doesn’t change who you are.

You still have all the same talents, character qualities, and gifts that you had before someone else “mislabeled” you. You still have natural tendencies and flair that were created with you, on the day you were born.

Not everyone will see it. Not everyone will appreciate it.  But you are still “you.” And you still matter.

Life will have bad days, bad seasons, and bad circumstances. Heaven help us, we will have leadership that leads us in the wrong direction, or takes us 5 steps backwards. It can affect our progress, but it can never take away who we are. For, we are irreplaceable.

You may have a broken heart today, because the person of your dreams broke up with you.

You may be struggling to find friends who will see you for you, and who will stand by you.

You may be working so hard at a job, just hoping that you will get a much-needed raise, or a promotion.

You may be on bended knee, praying for a prodigal child who has lost their way – and seemingly their care for you, as their mom or dad.

But, let me tell you, none of that changes who you are.

You are still VERY loveable. Very valuable. And very precious.

People make choices and decisions in life. They make mistakes. Don’t let those choices project onto your self-esteem, or your value.

Keep loving. Keep believing. Keep being you.  For you are the only you this world has got.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

People Just Want To Be Seen

I think people are begging to be seen.

People want others to see beyond the heavy weight that they bear on the outside, to the person they are on the inside.

Can you see who they really are? The struggles they are fighting?

People want others to see beyond the poor choices that they are making, the clothes that they are wearing, and the words they are saying.

Those are merely outward expressions of a hurting heart.

They want to be seen.

People want to be seen – deep inside. They want to be known.

They want to be loved.

They want someone to believe in them, so that they can overcome the weight, the poor choices, and all the other things that the rest of the world sees. 

They need someone to walk alongside of them, give them some “tough love,” and some “gentle love” at the same time.  They need love in huge doses. They need prayer in huge doses. And they need grace in huge doses.

Can you love them? Can you pray for them?

This is a hurting world. A world that is full of people begging to be seen. Begging to be loved.

It’s the cure for what ails us. Love.

It’s the cure for bitter, cold, broken, hurting hearts.

It’s the key to helping people find value and purpose in life.

People just want to be seen.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Overcoming a Fractured Past

They say where you come from impacts who you are as a person, every day.  So, as a parent, what if you came from a home where you didn’t have the best of parents?  You may not have had the best examples yourself, of what and how, to be a loving parent. 

It can be far too easy to remember the bad and negative stuff, than it can be, to remember the good. As much as a challenge that is, it’s important that you don’t sift out that good part of your life growing up, just because the bad may be so overwhelming.

No person is perfect. No parent is perfect. Your parents probably made loads of mistakes while raising you. Some may have even delegated the raising of you to someone else, and that could have really hurt you, or it could have been the best blessing in your life possible.  Whatever your situation, don’t allow Satan to define your heritage for you. Don’t let him define you!  Your parents’ weaknesses and strongholds don’t have to be yours.  Strive to embrace whatever good you can remember about your childhood and let those thoughts, memories, and feelings reside in your heart.  You can’t erase your past altogether. If you try, you will only be denying yourself an important piece of who you are. You can heal your heart for your families’ health and sake, and then set about defining who you want to be, as a person, and as a parent.

Your children may ask you about your past. Children are naturally curious and they want to know everything there is to know about family and where they come from.  You will have to decide ahead of time, how you want to tackle these questions. Simply waving them aside won’t squelch them… for they will come again.  If you take the time to deal with your past, with the Lord ahead of time, maybe you can be prepared to be honest about the ugly stuff while still finding something good and positive to share about your history.  You can be such a great example for your children, of finding something good in the bad – and you can change the color and perspective that your children have of their heritage.

Today is the day you can make a change and a difference.  God tells us that if we follow Him and are faithful and obedient children, that He can bless a whole generation following us! What a beautiful goal.

You are who you are – whether or not you wish your growing-up-years could have been different. And God can take those hurtful and painful feelings and memories, and turn them around inside of you. He can use them, and use you, in a way that only God can do. If you try to erase everything, you may be shutting out powerful ministry opportunities that God may have in mind for your life.

No one ever said that parents have to know it all. We are all still learning as we go. So as you learn how to take the good from your past, filter out the bad, and incorporate a positive heritage and environment for your family - know that God is right there with you – cheering you on every step of the way.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

In Our Weaknesses, We Find Strength

The world looks at the weak as failures. They like to set them aside where they don’t have to deal with them. It’s almost like the weak are selectively removed.  They are ostracized, ridiculed, shunned, laughed at, and ignored. They are often misunderstood.

I think God looks at the weak in a different light. He extends His love, compassion, grace, and mercy to us more when we are weak – especially because it causes us to reach out to Him.

When we are strong, we often think we can “go” life alone. Things are going great and we love God of course, but we don’t really rely on Him on a daily basis. But when things aren’t going so great, that is when we cry out to Him. We lean on Him. We talk to Him.

Being weak keeps us on our knees before the Lord … which is where we should be all along.

No one is perfect. It’s an allusion. We all have weaknesses within us, and weak moments. So we should know better than anyone, how to extend compassion, forgiveness, and understanding to those around us who are weak.

It is only through those weak moments in life that we learn more about ourselves and what God truly can do through us and in us. It is in our weaknesses, that we truly find our strength. We are stronger because of what God brings us through in life. We may have scars, but those should only be reminders of how greatly God held on to us and didn’t let us go.