I live in Bend, Oregon where Mountain biking is incredibly popular and years back when our boys were younger, we all went out for a mountain bike ride.  It was a beautiful day and we headed out.  We rode along the Deschutes River enjoying all its beauty, passed wildlife and other bikers as we moved on down the trail.  I loved the wide open spaces where I could foresee a curve in the road, another rider coming my way, or I could simply be ready to navigate the big roots growing out of the old trees out into the trail.  I found it more challenging to maneuver through the tighter spots without stopping, tipping, or bumping into something.

It was a fun ride all in all and we headed down the very last leg of the trail without any real mishaps. However, as I headed around the last corner my tire caught the edge of a large root and as it did I threw on the brakes–too hard—-and flipped myself over the handlebars and kept my face down knowing the bike was going to come down on top of me, and it did.  I didn’t break any bones but I still have scars on my  body from the fall.  That darn root!

Sometimes life can be a bit like my bike ride.  Whether you are navigating a new marriage, being a new mama, becoming an empty nester, changing jobs, dealing with illness, the death of a loved one, or financial crisis,  it takes energy and focus to walk it out. The path is a little easier to manage when we are able to see whats ahead and prepare for the challenges. It’s those darn roots around those tight corners that can catch us unaware and its in those time that we need the Lords direction to guide us; to brush the dirt off our hands, mending the  wounds as we get back up and press on again.

I’ve hit a few “roots” this year, bumped along, gaining some scars along the way. Through all of it I am learning to make a conscious effort to prepare as best I can, but also learning to trust that God sees the “roots” I will encounter and will use them for my good.

I don’t imagine I am the only one who has “tried to navigate the tight spots and hit a few roots along the way”.  For you I wish you renewed joy and peace as you pick yourself up, shake off the dust, and get back on that “bike” and ride again.  You never know–there might be a beautiful , refreshing meadow around the next bend rather than that darn root!  🙂

What Would You LOVE to be doing right now?

This month Oprah has a really good article in her magazine talking about the need in women to find something they are passionate about.

In her article she lays out 4 good steps in moving toward a life of greater passion and engagement.

Step ONE: Find your Passion: How do you want to spend your one and only life? What activities my you light up, what would you love to do if you simply had the time or finances to pursue it??

Step TWO: Take stock of your Strengths:  What do you have a natural knack to do? What would your friends say you excel in?  What feels “fanciful” but exhilarating all at the same time?

Step THREE:  Tap Into your Motivation:  What do you have an incentive to do?  What is your motivation Style? Passion? Affirmation? Purpose? What makes YOU excited?

Step FOUR: GO! : Step out in the areas you have passion, risk, try, pursue, GO!!  Keep your eyes squarly fixed on the Goal; not on the Obstacle.

My favorite part of the article talked about having Idea parties; a gathering of shared ideas with the understanding that as we share our dreams those around us , people will work hard to help us reach those goals; they may know someone, have a connection that propels us into the vision buried deep within us!!  Isolation creates discouragement–connection creates opportunities!!

Ann Curry, from the Today show, expressed recently that she needed to be encouraged; given permission, to take a couple days off, away, to journal and focus on those things that matter most!  Without that permission she would never have stepped into the incredible world of photography where she spends 2 hours a week: it has meant the world to her. She has found a fresh niche’!!!

So, Today, assess if you are living a life full of passion or have you grown discouraged, applying limits to the love and desires God has put into you heart?

Let’s Trust God~~ He is up to something so good!! so good!!!

Girls~~ live your lives with passion and push through those things that have held you back over the past 5 years! Live large, dream big! Put yourselves on your radar! 🙂

Don’t Forget to Laugh!!!!!

Humor is infectious. The sound of roaring laughter is far more contagious than any cough, sniffle, or sneeze. When laughter is shared, it binds people together and increases happiness and intimacy. In addition to the domino effect of joy and amusement, laughter also triggers healthy physical changes in the body. Humor and laughter strengthen your immune system, boost your energy, diminish pain, and protect you from the damaging effects of stress. Best of all, this priceless medicine is fun, free, and easy to use.

Laughter is a gift, a necessary gift that helps us navigate loss, challenges, changes, good-byes, and uncertainty.  Laughter is that place where we can go, not to be thoughtless but rather to rise above those things we simply cannot control.

Have you ever laughed so hard that you eyes were full of tears and your stomach began to hurt?  Wasn’t it painfully refreshing?  Memorable?  I have.  I love those times ~~ somehow I believe they are cleansing to a heavy heart.

Perhaps this is a season that has challenged your faith, broken your heart, and overwhelmed you with uncertainties. Laugh!! Find a way to dig deep and laugh with your whole being.  Watch and see if you don’t find yourself feeling lighter, breathing deeper, and being filled with fresh anticipation for the days ahead!!


Just one Footprint in front of the other~

It was August of 1980, I was 20 years old.  I had agreed to go on a wilderness backpacking trip with my father, sister Jenny and her friend.  The Sierras are so beautiful and I had been away at college so saying “yes” to this event seemed like a good relational decision.  We set off and covered some good ground in the first two days; the sights were beautiful.  Days into our trip we came to a large peak that promised incredible views to those who made the effort to climb to the top. Of course, those with me wanted to do just that!! I agreed to join in knowing that I had an intense fear of heights.  All went well until we reached the part where trail turned to shale and loose rock which changed at the same time the trail changed from a light hike to an intense vertical stretch. I panicked; heart racing, sweating, and high anxiety that paralyzed me.  As the tears came I informed my team that this point in the climb was then end for me. I slowly found a safe place to wait while the others experienced an incredible view from the top. I had missed out.

Seven years ago, Greg, myself, Nate, Dave and numerous family members decided to climb one of the Cascade mountains called The South Sister where the views were renowned. Parts of this hike were meandering and lovely along the creeks and lakes, part of this hike was intensely vertical covered with shale and loose volcanic rock.  Again, I agreed to this mainly for relational purposes knowing that I had an intense fear of heights but hoping I would be able to press through.  All went well until we reached the most vertical peak; high anxiety, sweating, tears caused me to , again, turn around to find a safe place to wait for the climbers who pursued the peak and enjoyed a view that I longed to see.  Again, I had missed out!

Last weekend, my son and daughter in law asked Greg and I if we would like to climb The South Sister with them. To my horror I heard my mouth say “yes”! The relational value seemed to have higher impact for me than the memory of the failure of past attempts to reach the top.  As the days approached I felt anxiety settling in.


It was early in the morning as we set out to climb the ridge that would take us to the steepest portion of the hike. Greg led the way with Azlan following along behind him.  They both have long sturdy legs so it was natural for them to lead the way.  The part that would make all the difference for me in this attempt to complete this hike successfully was in the assistance that my son Dave intuitively provided. Dave would walk in front of me creating large footprints in which I was able to place my foot and secure myself there.  Step after step, mile after mile, on snow, shale, and volcanic rock, he continued this pattern.  Dave would check on me but not once made me feel foolish or slow; he offered only encouragement.

Then I reached THAT POINT, the place that I had never pressed beyond and I knew it was at a crossroad. Looking down created emotional anxiety, looking straight up offered no encouragement whatsoever. I felt my heart begin to race, fear attempted to settle in, and yet I desperately wanted to reach the top with my precious family. This time it needed to be different, this time I didn’t want to miss out!!  Then the Lord spoke to my heart “just one footprint in front of the other Dianna!, Keep your eyes firmly fixed on the path before you.”

I REACHED THE TOP!! I reached the top and got to experience not only an amazing view but the joy of celebrating with my precious family. I didn’t miss out!!!

As I have pondered this experience God has allowed me to see how this applies to my life.  In His word God promises to watch over us, asks us to be anxious for nothing, to trust Him. However, its easy to look at the the challenges we face and to get paralyzed with uncertainty, even fear.  God gently encourages us, never causing us to feel shamed, to put our foot firmly into the safe footprint He has provided for us… footprint at a time!

Phil. 4:6

 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

What is your mountain peak? What goal or direction has been thwarted right before you “summit”?  Perhaps you need to hike a fresh path~~one footprint at a time!  ( and can I just say that it is precious when your child sets an example of Christ in your life~Thank you Dave.)