Happy Birthday to a man I admire~~

013April 6th is my father, David Wray Jr’s,  birthday.  My father is a precious man.  If you could all spend one hour talking with him, you would know what I mean! My father is a man of wisdom and yet he is a man with a great sense of humor.   My dad is very kind hearted but can also be quite firm on what he values.

I wanted to take a moment to point out the elements that make a man a wonderful father:

1.  He allows you to make mistakes and loves you anyway.

2.  He is consistent in what he believes and stays true to his values.

3.  He shows affection often, listens well, and gives meaningful advice.

4.  He prays for his children.

5.  He makes time for his children.

6.  He loves his children’s mother.

7.  He doesn’t have a bad temper.

8.  He loves to create shared memories:  backpacking, fishing, vacations.

9.  He has a love and trust for God that is evident in all he does.

10. He is interested in his children’s lives and does all he can to be involved.

All of these represent the father that I have been richly blessed to have. It is my hope and prayer that my life is one that exemplifies that of a “loved” daughter.

Dad, thank you for overcoming obstacles, persevering when being a father of 6 daughters must have been overwhelming, for loving our mother so well, and for leading us, ultimately, to knowing that God is loving and trustworthy.

I love you.

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!!  🙂

Fabiola’s Note~~

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For 10 years of my adult life I had the incredible joy of mentoring many teens through their Jr. High and High School years.  There were times of joy and sadness, challenge and depth, crazy fun and shared experiences.  What a privilege.

All of these amazing “kids” have grown and moved on into productive lives of education, occupations, ministry, marriage, even parenting ( that makes me feel old). I am abundantly proud of each and every one of them; always thrilled to hear updates on their lives.

A couple months ago I received an unexpected note from Fabiola~ a precious young woman who was involved in my life during those mentoring years. I will share a portion of it with you:

“Hi Dianna!
Ok this is super random, but I was just thinking about you guys the other day. And I was remembering all the times that we used to hang out at your house, and you ALWAYS made the best food! I was just thinking about how cool it was that you were so involved in our lives, and would invite David’s friends over to get to know them. Made me feel so at home as I was hanging out with these new Christians.

Anyway, sorry to be so cheesy. But honestly, hanging out at your house and doing fun things there kept me out of trouble in high school and in good company. Sometimes when I hear about what the kids in high school are doing now – it breaks my heart.  I know I’m speaking for our whole class. Just so cool, honestly. Thank you for pouring into our lives.

Wow~ I remember the impact that this note had on my heart.  I was blessed to hear that there was continued fruit from time well spent with these great kids!

The reason I chose to share these thoughts is because all of us have people who are, or have been in our lives who may not know how much they impacted us! Perhaps we are too uncomfortable to share it, we assume that they may know,  or it seems like their impact was such a long time ago……there are many reasons.

How about taking some time to list those people who have had meaningful impact on your life and then choose to creatively let them know in 2013! What a fabulous way to begin a brand new year: gratefulness and appreciation.

Fabiola’s note was a sweet reminder of how much words of affirmation matter~~for all of us!

Happy “intentional” New Year to You! 🙂

No home of my own…..

After being a homeowner for over 20 years, my husband and I sold our home last June.  The home was quite large; as was the yard.  We had become  “empty nesters” and knew it was time to downsize~~ and so we did.  With a great sense of adventure we moved to the heart of the city and moved into a lovely condo.  The privacy of an internal front door, a heated downstairs garage, no yard to manage, and top of the line amenities.  We were home…………or were we???

One year later we realize how much we miss having a front door to open widely to welcome those we love, we want our very own 2-car garage to keep our personal things, we want a little dirt of our own to get our hands dirty and to watch the seeds we plant grow.  In 5 weeks we make a move to a new place with all those elements and we are grateful for what will be an easy transition due to the enormity of the downsizing we did last summer.

However, the process of feeling so transitional in our housing in this season has caused me to assess my own feelings about being a “renter” and the idea of having a home of my own.

So what is HOME?   something that is mine?  something I have the freedom to paint, change, or tear down if I want?  A place that has my official name on the paperwork?  Hmmmmm…….I have often thought that it was and so my emotions have felt a sense of uncertainty. What I love about the times I have to stop and consider these ideas  and feelings is that I am left seeing a much greater picture than I originally had.

In the past year have I opened my “home” to those I love?  Yes.  Have I gathered family for meals?  Yes.  Have I babysat children who left feeling loved and cared for?  Yes.  Have I cooked meals for friends in need?  Yes.  Have I spent precious time with my husband in laughter and devotions? Yes.  Have I created memories with our children and their wives? Yes.

So am I home?

As we transition to a new building, and to floor plan, and a new neighborhood…will I still be home?  Well, I say YES!

What I am learning in this season is that home is not a building and certainly not a mortgage, it is the atmosphere I create wherever I rest my head at night.

In this there is great freedom because I can be home anywhere.

In the year ahead I plan to laugh heartily, pray deeply, love richly, cook like crazy, welcome many, and create shared memories in my home; and I am excited!

C’mon over!!