Often while driving I’ll tune my music to the “oldies” channel; within seconds of hearing the first few notes from a song by America, Fleetwood Mac, or the Beach Boys, all the words come rushing back. All the memories come to mind! For a little while I’m 16 again!! I’m 16 years old sitting on a beach in Northern California anticipating what my life would be like in the years to come. I remember that girl ~ there are still bits and pieces of her inside of me but there are changes too. What advice would I give that 16 year old Dianna?
- I would tell her that her parents were right! The faith in God that they instilled in her was real and it would be that faith that would carry her in the changes and challenges she would face. As I look back over my life I have seen God intervene is creative, crazy, and amazing ways. I have felt His comfort, I have experienced supernatural peace.
- I would tell her to try extra hard to be un-offendable. After getting stuck in hurt and offense many times over the years I have learned that the only one that it hurts is me. Relationships often have a way of coming full circle over time if we apply grace and forgiveness to the situation. Hanging on to hurt and anger is exhausting and unfruitful!
- I would tell her to be brave! I remember many anxious moments where I agonized over situations I experienced from job changes, to relationships, to raising my children, etc. Looking back I recognize that my worst fears never came to fruition. We were always taken care of. My boys turned out to be great men. All that time being fearful robbed me from being hope-filled and confident. Be Brave!
- I would tell her to be herself in every environment; that she is uniquely created! As a young woman I found myself supporting my husbands ministry placements and in doing so I had to adapt to many different churches, environments, personalities, and “rules of the club”. There were many years where I saw myself “disappearing” to fit in. The nuances of my personality were hidden, many times, to be that “perfect pastors wife”. No one asked me to, I put that pressure on myself. As I have become more authentic over the years~ my quirks, my weaknesses, my hobbies, my dreams~ I have found a greater kinship with people than ever before. If I had it to do all over again knowing what I now know, I would just be myself!
- I would tell her to take good care of herself. For so many years I put all my energy into my family, my church, my home, and my outside relationships. I kept my schedule so wound up that I rarely took time to take care of me; excercise, rest, boundaries, and free time were lost in a well intended, but over-packed schedule. There were many times when I found myself exhausted, moody, over weight, and anxious. Over the past 15 years I have learned to take care of myself physically, relationally, spiritually, and activity-wise. I’m certainly not perfect but I make a real effort to keep these areas vibrant. Truth be known, if we women are not applying self-care, if our cups get empty, everyone around us suffers.
I do love the season of life that I am in. I have no desire to be 16 again! In this season I understand what matters, appreciate the sweetness of relationships, and I am incredibly grateful to be a Mimi! 🙂 So, happy birthday to me! 🙂