Thoughts on my birthday~

 

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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?

  1.  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.
  2.  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!
  3.  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!
  4.  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!
  5.  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! 🙂

Tell Someone!

 

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2015 was a good year.

As my husband and I reminisced during the holiday season we both expressed how thankful we were for memories made, goals achieved, lessons learned, and challenges addressed. We navigated sadnesses and spent  glorious hours with our children and grandchildren.  We say goodbye to 2015 thankful for all our blessings.

About 4 years ago I wrote in my yearly Life Plan the goal of creating a Woman’s Event in my hometown. I wanted to help women engage in rich conversations about their lives, direction, challenges, and personal goals.  I had the tools, I was full of ideas but…………I didn’t tell anyone nor did I ask anyone to keep me accountable to accomplish the goal.  It never happened!

Last year, I hesitated as I put the same goal on my yearly Life Plan. This time I  proceeded to share the idea with my husband and Coachwell teammates.  As the year comes to a close I have to say that the Women’s Event that we created, offered, and accomplished has to be one of the highlights of my year.  What a wonderful opportunity to spend time with amazing women, reconnecting with past relationships, and starting to help them get some fresh traction in their life goals!  The key to accomplishing this goal?

Accountability!

2016 is just days away.  Do you have any un-achieved goals in your life? A priority that needs intentional time and attention? Do you have a dream that’s  covered in dust?  Perhaps this is your year to gain some traction by setting the goal, building the plan, AND gaining accountability from those you trust!  Just imagine reading through the plan you cautiously created at the end of 2015 following the holidays next year.  Imagine that you are celebrating the accomplishment of completing the goal!

Grab a little “quiet time” as this year comes to a close.  Grab a journal or notebook, take time to think, pray, and consider all that is in your heart..then…begin to bravely write your goals for the year, those that you’ve been so hesitant about until now.  Within the next two weeks share your plan with one or two trusted individuals; allow them to keep you accountable throughout the year.  You will be surprised at the traction you will have as you gain inspiration from those who want to see you win AND you will enjoy celebrating all the challenges you’ve overcome along the way!!

2016 is a fresh slate, what would be a WIN for you in 2017?

Be brave! Tell Somebody! 🙂

Happy New Year!

It starts with a ” Yes!”~

Last weekend I got to be part of a beautiful group of women who had a vision to bless those experiencing life challenges: a Day of Pampering.  The incredible woman who initially had the idea that this would bring value and blessing to many is not devoid of challenges of her own.  However, when the idea (need) was birthed in her; she said YES!

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Out of her “YES!” she was able to passionately involve numerous other women to share their gifts and talents to bless and encourage others; it was impacting on us all.  It started with a “Yes!”.

Two weeks ago Greg and I had the joy of heading to Louisiana to spend time with a courageous group of men and women who are dedicated to pursuing their faith.  All of them, at some point in their lives, were faced with the challenge of whether or not they would say “YES!” to their calling.  The “Yes!” has meant hard work, willingness to learn, and a life spent making a difference in the lives of their communities.  Due to their ‘YES!” they have impacted the lives of thousands for the good; bringing hope, healing, and faith to many.  It started with a “Yes!”

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This week we had the honor of spending time in Nashville, TN with the Cutco/Vector Company and learned again of the value of “Yes!”  The President actually took over a failing company, invested all he had, applied ingenuity and creativity to build the strong, sustainable company they have today.  The greatest impact of the “Yes!” however is not only their world class product but rather, the incredible impact on young people.  Their sales force is built on college students whom they teach to sell, public speak, lead, and live life and leadership with intentionality!  This great company has impacted and continues to impact thousands of young people to grow and learn skills they could never learn in the classroom!  It all started with a “YES!”

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Saying “YES!”  always has some risk attached; some personal cost ~ time, finances, a move, willingness to change, etc.  Yet, if we look at some of the greatest people, greatest ministries, greatest companies, there is a legacy of someone who was willing to be brave and say “YES!”

What about you?  Do you have an idea burning in your heart? An opportunity on the horizon? A dream still unexplored?  Need a tipping point that will drive you to a brave “YES!”?  Focus on the impact of your choice! Lives that will be changed! The legacy you’ll birth!

It starts with a “YES!”  🙂

Lean in and Be Brave~~

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Ok~~ I have been devouring the book “Lean In” written by the COO of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg.  Sheryl generously and honestly expresses the reality of the in-equality still rampant in our business community between men and women.  Her experience resonates with mine. The difference between us is that she has worked in the business world and I have primarily served in the Ministry world.

Sadly–the way women are treated, respected, and paid in ministry is hugely different than their male counterparts. Not in all organizations but many. It hurts me to see this. It hurts me to know this because I see the incredible value that healthy, talented women bring to a team!

Unless women are willing to engage in honest conversations, are brave enough to express their gifts, and challenge the staus quo~~nothing will change!  It is not a sign of rebellion nor is it a “women’s Lib” response for women to assert their wisdom, insight, and ideas to make a church, a team, or a family better!

Women bring a unique set of gifts to the “table” that make a team better.  She will see the relational needs, recognize missed opportunities, and bring keen insight to team decisions IF SHE IS GIVEN INFLUENCE AT THE “TABLE”!

Quite often, if a woman has real passion for the vision of her team she will serve above and beyond the hours she is paid~~ so is she only worth “her Pay”? or should all she brings to the team be “monetized”?

I have been anxious to address this in my blog because my main audience is filled with amazing women who already recognize this challenge.  So, I am being brave to say I’m sitting at the table, I will pursue excellence, and I will “Lean In” to bring about good and needed change as a woman for women.

I choose to be brave and respectful.  Join me!! 🙂

I have a story!

I love a good story! How about you?

Over the course of my life I have found myself encouraged, inspired, challenged, humbled, and mentored through stories of real life experiences that individuals were brave enough to express. Whether the story is of hardship, pain, and loss or if the story is of courage, valor, or success~still my life has been impacted by the telling of a story.

It is remarkable the way we can learn, feel, or be moved to action by what others learn through the changes and challenges others experience in their lives. We can make good choices; even avoid pitfalls simply by hearing of the missteps  and consequences others.  I love this because WE ALL HAVE A STORY; we all have the opportunity to impact others with what our stories have taught us.

Yesterday I ran into a friend I had not seen in years, a fabulous worship leader. However, over the past 10 years she has been plagued with a disease that makes it almost impossible for her to even talk. My friend began to tell me her story, pushing out the words as best she could. She spoke of the incredible challenge and discouragement of losing the freedom to “do” what she had done for the Lord all of her life.  But, she lit up as she talked of what she has been learning and that’s when the rich nuggets of wisdom began to come forth.  I said to her “you need to write your story”.  I new that her experience would encourage fresh growth in others.

Another dear friend has battled being overweight all her life and she has been passionately diligent over the past two years to lose the weight and become a healthier and more confident woman ~  She has taken her story to her blog; honestly exposing her challenges and failures while also celebrating her wins!  I have already heard that many woman have been inspired to follow in her footsteps….to make changes because of her story!

A gal I was privileged to coach 4 years ago walked through the loss of her beloved husband while away in Hawaii celebrating their 30th anniversary; they finished snorkeling and moments later he had a heart attack right there on the beach! We spent a lot of time talking through the first 2 years of her loss; there were hard adjustments, changes, and hurts that arose through that year. Hearing how these elements made her feel helped me to more clearly understand how clumsy I can be while helping others navigate through the loss of a loved one.  Her story really helped me to grow and change.

What’s your story? We all have one ( or easily MORE than just one story).  Are you brave enough to tell it or write it?  An honest story told to the right listener or reader can be life changing!

Take time to ponder your life/ your story.  Pay attention to the nuggets of Gold you have learned from them; and at the right time…give them as away as a gift!