Do you have a HOUSE or a HOME?

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This week I have enjoyed the unique opportunity to assist my son and precious daughter in law as they get re-settled in CA for a new life there~ a new adventure.  What I have loved the most has been watching them transform a “house” into a “home”!

Nate and Kate are no strangers to setting up house as their short married life has already had numerous moves.

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Furniture, bedding, dishes, and blankets are all needed in order to set up house. However,  Pictures and memory-based items make a house a home!

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As I have spent this past week alongside these two I have observed the MOST important aspect of what makes a house a home. KINDNESS.
In the midst of boxes, unfamiliar streets, new noises, and the idiosyncrasy’s of a home build in the 1920’s, I have seen these two show incredible kindness to one another.

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Whether you live in Bend, OR., Seattle, WA., or Palo Alto, CA~ You can make a house a home IF you are intentional about doing so.

Today–look around your home….does is represent your family with all it’s uniqueness’s?  Is your home full of kindness and care?  I pray that it is and that your house is indeed a HOME!  🙂

Tips to Successful Relationships~

Relationships matter!

Relationships can bring us our greatest joys and our deepest wounds. We can’t control how others choose to respond in their relationships with us, but we can establish our own ground rules for having and maintaining quality relationships.

Below are some thoughts to consider as you navigate the relationships in your life:

1.  Surround yourself with positive people- finding like-minded, positive people will fill your cup. Spending the bulk of your time with those who suck the happiness out of you is unwise and unhealthy.

2. Accept people just the way they are – Save yourself the needless stress of trying to change people who don’t want to change. Fight the urge to engage in fruitless conversations, rather look for areas where you can agree and show support.

3. Forgive people and move forward –  holding anger or bitterness affects us much more than the individual we have been hurt by.  Forgiveness is not saying “What you did or said was okay.”  It is saying “I’m not going to let what you did ruin my happiness or steal my joy.” It doesn’t mean you forget it simply means that you choose to let go.

4.   Do little things for those in your life –  A card, a visit, a gift, an email, a text. Simply take opportunities to connect with and appreciate those your care about.  We all feel a little more valuable when we realize that someone has been thinking of us.

5.  Talk a little less, listen a little more –  Our relationships will grow if we move away from being the talker and take the time to listen! A listening ear is the greatest gift we could give to those we love.

6.  Be Loyal – be the kind of person that believes the best about those you love. Everyone needs to know that someone “has their back”. Be that person.

7.  Pick your battlegrounds – don’t pick petty arguments. We aren’t always “right”.  Focus on the things that truly matter and let the small stuff go!

8.  Encourage and cheer them on –  be excited for those you love! Spur them on! Don’t look at their opportunities or dreams with the lens of what it will cost you, rather keep them the priority.

9.  Remember that everyone has baggage –  we all enter relationship with a suitcase filled with past experiences; successes, disappointments, hurts, etc.  Sometimes that “baggage” effects the relationship and needs to be addressed. However, using grace and understanding will always be the most fruitful approach.

10. Let go of friendships that are no longer healthy – some relationships can run their course and a necessary ending needs to take place. To force relationships to continue when the season is over can be exhausting and eventually more harmful than good.  Be willing to appreciate the relationship for what it was, and then release it and move forward.

Relationships are our most valuable assets and worth the effort to keep them strong and healthy! Test these tips out and see if they help create healthier interactions in your relationships. AND–Happy Thanksgiving! 🙂

Good Politics

 From the barrage of television ads, to the continual news feed running 24 hours a day on-line, on radio, and in print; Politics are on the forefront of all our minds.

I am so grateful to live in a nation where I been given the freedom to cast my vote for the leader I feel would be best suited for the challenges we are facing in the United States. Our freedom to vote is also a responsibility that I take seriously at both the local and countrywide levels.

However, I have also watched this freedom cause conflict between neighbors, co-workers, family, and even those in our churches. I am left to ponder what God’s perspective might be in the way we express our freedoms.

Romans 13;1 states: “Every person must be subject to the governing authorities, for no authority exists except by God’s permission. The existing authorities have been established by God.”

Philippians 2:1-5 expresses; “So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus.”

In 2 weeks the votes will be cast and we will move forward with whomever has been chosen to lead by this free nation; I pray we will join hands as a country, regardless of our differences, to express passion and care for what we do and for those we have the responsibility to care for.

1 Timothy 2:1-3 expresses this so well; “The first thing I want you to do is pray. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know. Pray especially for rulers and their governments to rule well so we can be quietly about our business of living simply, in humble contemplation. This is the way our Savior God wants us to live.” ( The Message )

Why Wait?

So often people wait until someone passes away to tell them of their value; of their impact. I have seen in the news that many express their adoration, respect, and love for people AFTER their lives have ended.  Why do we do this??  I have been pondering this lately.

My parents are very much alive; for this I am so incredibly thankful!!! Their friendship and impact on my life is truly immeasurable! I am going to allow you into my heart as I express my feelings, my thoughts to them while they are vital and healthy~~I will not wait until it becomes an obituary!

Mom and Dad, David and Beverly Wray~~~I love you.

More than loving you; I respect you. I could never ask for parents with greater love, richer hearts, sweeter spirits, and a tenacity to love others than YOU!

How I got so blessed, so fortunate to have you as my parents is a real mystery for which I will be eternally grateful!

Thank you for loving God and for accepting Christ as your Savior! That decision alone impacted my life more than you can ever know.

Thank you for being willing to allow black boys from Kenya to live with us in the 60’s ` in the height of Racism without caring what others might think.

Thank you for adopting my two sisters whose lives carried promise but had endured much neglect, loving them as your own and calling them your daughters~ your example and depth of love is so precious!

Thank you for a lifetime of safety, of love, of discipline, of teaching, and mostly a legacy of great faith.

I remember singing in the car, learning to cook, sewing, camping, picking apples, singing in the church choir,  and learning to play piano.

Thank you for teaching us empathy and letting us purchase and deliver gifts for those who were hurting and lonely on our street (Green Valley Road) at Christmas time.  These opportunities to love others during the holidays had HUGE impact on the person I have become.

I remember many heartfelt conversations, as well as needed challenges.  Because of your tough love at the age of 19; you helped me to grow into the woman God wanted me to be!

Mom, Solvang with you was precious. The chocolate on the side of the bathtub as you drew water for me spoke of the greatness of your love and the sensitivity of your heart!

Dad, you are my sweet spiritual mentor~~ we have shared hours and hours of conversations that have let me know two things: how deeply you love God and how richly you love me.

Mom and dad~ you have been our greatest cheerleaders, our wisest counselors, our sweetest helps in times of emotional and financial need, and the most precious grandparents to our children who completely adore you!

I love you both. I am so thankful that I get to see you, love you, talk and laugh with you whenever I want to!!! I am so very blessed!

You mean the world to me! I love you

Dianna

Is there anyone you want/need to share your heart with??? why wait??

DO IT TODAY! 🙂

Oh to be a little more like Piper~~

As we stepped onto the Boat on a brisk Alaskan morning full of anticipation for 3 days of catching some “big” Halibut, we were introduced to Piper.  Piper’s role in our adventure was to be a deckhand to our Captain as we traveled to and from our fishing destination as well as supporting all the needs that arose as 6 people fished at the same time. ( Lines tangled, fish coming in all at the same time, assistance to those whose arms were just to weary after 10 minutes of reeling in a rowdy fish, etc.)

Over a 3 day period I had the pleasure of watching this young college student as she fulfilled her role with gusto; she worked tirelessly and managed to have a wonderfully positive, enthusiastic, and kind response at all times.  Those things were so great and I respected her so much for her commitment to our “good” experience.

However, what I observed in her that impressed me the most was her TEACHABLE SPIRIT.  Even with her best efforts, mistakes and missteps were made during especially crazy moments like the time we pulled in a 225 lb Halibut!! When the Captain shared with her what he needed from her in order for them to function as a safe team Piper never became defensive, never pouted, never allowed herself to let her mood and desire to serve slip~~not once. She wanted to learn to do the job well.

A TEACHABLE SPIRIT is a beautiful thing!

Following our last day of fishing we heading to a packaging company to pay to have our fish processed, frozen, and prepared for us to take home on the airplane the next day.  A young gal began to work with us, she seemed pleasant. As we began to work out the details and costs with her she became irritable and sassy as she said “I know what I’m doing” only to charge us a fee that would have been a $75.00 loss for her company. As she huffed and puffed, occasionally talking to other colleagues about random topics she finally, in a disrespectful tone said ” I know what I am doing, do you want me to get someone else…?” To which we replied “yes”.  She stomped off and called her supervisor who, after helping us, could see that this young gal did not know what she was doing and in fact, apologized for her since she was a new employee.

I found my experience with these two young ladies markedly different. One, wanting to learn, to do a job well, and to serve those on the boat with her best efforts.  The other, wanting to be right, satisfied with being sloppy in her role, and unconcerned that she was serving clients poorly and disrespectfully.  Again I was reminded of the sweetness of a TEACHABLE SPIRIT.

I was left to ponder~~do I have a teachable spirit?  Am I willing to be a lifetime learner?  Do I allow my unwillingness to grow and change impact those around me?

To all those questions I thought to myself~~Let me be a bit more like Piper!!

How about you?  Do you have a teachable spirit or do you dig in, acting like you have it all figured out?  It’s a good question worth assessing…………nothing sweeter than a TEACHABLE SPIRIT.