Friday, February 8, 2019

Let the Sun Shine.....

It's such a treat for me, when I get to meet my readers. And Cynthia over at treated me the other day, when she let me know that she not only reads my blog, she nominated it for a Sunshine Blogger Award.

Cynthia wants to know the following questions about me. So, I'm answering for her, but hoping you learn and enjoy from my answers, as well!

1. Where are you from?   I was born and raised in Oregon. Yes, the beautiful Pacific Northwest. I lived in Las Vegas for two fantastic years after high school, returned to Oregon, then ended up in Idaho for 15 years with my husband. I currently reside in Texas, where I thank God all the time for bringing me. Because I LOVE IT HERE.

2. Besides blogging, what do you like to do in your spare time!   Shop. :) And believe me, the spare time to shop is less and less these days! And travel. I'm not a fan of long overseas flights, but I love exploring a new locale. (Preferably not a cold one.)

3.  What was your favorite Bible story as a child?  What is it now?  Wow. I don't think I've ever been asked this question! I think as a child, I mostly loved the story of Mary and how she became the mother of Jesus. And now, I think, it would be the story of Esther. How a woman is thrust into a situation that is uncomfortable and overwhelming. A position where she must have felt so terribly alone at times, and yet God uses her faithfulness in an extraordinary and powerful way.

4. When and why did you get started on blogging?  I was running a newsletter for moms along with a discussion group when blogging first became BIG. I thought it would be a great extension of all of that. But after many years, I discontinued the newsletter and group - and continued to write the blog more as a way to share what God was teaching me on my journey in life, and to let others know they weren't alone in what they were feeling or thinking. To encourage; basically.

5. What's been your best experience with blogging so far?  Hearing someone say God used what I wrote to speak to them. 

6.  What is your niche and how did you come about that?   First, I said I was a mom blogger. As I evolved with my writing and in my faith, I labeled myself as a faith blogger. Then a faith and family blogger. As I expanded into ministering on facebook and curating encouraging things from others - I realized my niche is three-fold. Faith yes. But it's more about encouragement, character, and identity. I feel very strongly about character - and that is wrapped up in who people are - and who they THINK they are.

7. How long have you been serving Christ for?  All of my life. I think people "label" serving Christ into things like being a Sunday School teacher, teaching Bible Study, or working in ministry. All GREAT. All are indeed acts of service out of a heart that loves the Lord. But to me, serving Christ is also being honest in my day-to-day life. Being compassionate to someone who is hurting. Being a loving and faithful mama who teaches my children about the Lord. Praying over those my heart is burdened for. Having integrity, even when no one is watching. And loving people. Not just HIS people. But showing love to ALL people.

8. If you could turn back time, what's one thing you would change or do better?   Ok. I had answers to this written down, then I deleted all of that. Because, of course, there are always little things we would change. But the biggest thing I'd change is to speak my mind more (in gentleness) and establish healthy boundaries in my life earlier on. Instead of just trying to keep the peace all of the time, or please others. I may be in my late 40's - but I'm finally learning to do this. Learning at an earlier age would have been so much easier!

9. What are some of your favorite books?   I do like to read. And I used to LOVE to read. But now with my social media work for two nonprofits, and my own writing, I just don't have time to read a lot for pleasure. And in my spare time, looking at more words isn't always what I want to do. :) But, I'd have to say over the years some of my favorite books would be..."Why Christian Kids Rebel" by Tim Kimmel, "Out of Captivity," the true story of three American's captured by the FARC in Columbia, Hinds Feet on High Places, novels by Lori Wick, Heaven by Randy Alcorn, and Bible Studies by Beth Moore.

10.  Share one word of advice for new bloggers.   Be yourself! Talk about what you enjoy and love - not what you think will bring in many followers and readers. What you are passionate about is where you will flourish. Love rocks? Blog about rocks! Love your baby? Blog about your baby! Struggling with finances or weight? Blog about that! There will be people out there who resonate with your topics. 


And lastly, don't write too long. People have a short attention span. A 30 minute post isn't going to be read or finished by most. So keep it on the shorter side.

Thank you again. Cynthia. I am thankful to have you as a reader, as well as those of you whom I've never talked to.

~ Dionna

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