It’s a Dilemma~



“It’s so good to hear from you Dianna, I wondered when you might call!” Such heartwarming words…..right?  Well, Yes and No.  Over the years I have pondered a particular dilemma over and over again.  Probably we have all given this challenge some thought but we might not have taken time to “unpack” it…..

” Dianna, I’ve missed you but I know you are so busy”.  Such kind words….right? well, Yes and No.   How might you know that I am too busy for you? How might you find out?

See the dilemma?

Over the years I watched my parents invite so many, many people into their home–for meals, holidays, or for a small groups~ they enjoyed it all. But, I realized, as their daughter that IF they didn’t invite or reach out to others people would rarely reach back to them with invitations.  Hmmmm……why is that??  Were they unappreciated? No, I don’t think so .

I believe there are two types of people:  “Inviters” and ” those who wait to be invited”.Though there may be a few mid-range people, mostly there seems to be two camps. Truth be known, neither one is better than the other, just different.

If you are a person who waits to be invited then you may filter your relationships by being very mindful of what you assume another’s schedule might look like; you don’t want to impose yourself into the busy life of those you care for. However, you may find yourself hurt when you don’t hear from someone for a period of time, assuming they are just too busy for you.

If you are a person who finds it easy to invite others into relationship with you, to spend time or to send a card or phone call, you may filter your relationships by wanting to be certain that those you care for know you are thinking of them. However, you may find yourself hurt when that interaction isn’t returned the way you had hoped, you may assume that the relationship isn’t reciprocal.

For either style there are a some tips that might address some of the concerns that may arise:

1.  If you are one who waits to be invited, it is important to assume the best of those you love. Perhaps, once you realize this behavioral style is YOU, you can learn to stretch yourself to initiate connections, planning them seasonally or calendaring them, and begin to make new efforts to reach out to those who matter to you.

2.  If you are one who initiates and invites others into relationship, it is important to assume the best in those you love.  Once you realize this behavioural style is YOU, you will need to balance your expectations when you send a card, call, text, or gift. Not everyone responds in the same way.  Reach out with an open hand and heart assuming you have been a blessing even if you never get a response.  Reach out without expectation simply because it is in your heart to do so.

Why do I spend time addressing this? Because I hear the disappointments that can result from this dilemma all the time; I have experienced the disappointments and misunderstandings myself!!  If we understand our own natural style, address it, and gain understanding….well, I can only imagine we will be less offended, have less disappointment, and experience more joy in the giving or receiving in our relationships… THAT is my hope! 🙂


Monologue or Dialogue?


Today while driving through traffic I got stuck at an exceptionally long traffic light. As I took a moment to look in my rear view mirror;  I observed a scene that made me feel really, really sad.   In the driver’s seat was an older woman who appeared highly agitated; pounding her hand on the steering wheel while talking without seemingly taking a breath! Sitting beside her was a teenage young woman wearing dark glasses and looking out the window shaking her head “No”.

THIS is what an unsuccessful conversation looks like.  I can know for certain that what was taking place was a monologue, not a dialogue between to engaged individuals! Just from my observation, one person was expressing their thoughts while the other was disengaged. This never,ever works!

In my coaching practice I always use this statement as I help my leaders learn to become incredible communicators; “If you throw the ball you want to do it in such a way that the ball can be caught!”  Meaning…try to have conversations, even in a conflict, where the end result is that both individuals can be heard, can express their thoughts agreeing to disagree if necessary, and where their can be some kind of resolve or understanding.

I recognize that the interaction I observed in the car today could have easily been a mother “severely scolding” her wayward teenage daughter; I am sure there was a very real back story.  Nevertheless, I can say for sure that the conversation did not end well.

In any crucial conversation both individuals must be engaged.  It never produces resolve to talk “at” a person.  Add anger to that mix and well, the conversation cannot end well.

If you find yourself habitually talking “at” family and friends; consider engaging in conversations in a fresh way! Throw that conversational “ball” with a good goal!! 🙂


The Joys and Challenges of being a Pastor’s Wife~



Years ago, Greg and I had the privilege of working with Focus on The Family in their pastoral support department.  Leading a couples retreat with H.B. London was a joy, and yet during this event I had a stark reminder of the joys and challenges of being a pastors’ wife.   There was a point in the event where the wives and husbands split into separate rooms for a teaching time planned specifically for them.  H.B. London was in my event with the woman and he risked asking a challenging question there, ” how many of you have 1-2 women in your congregation who you would consider close to you; someone you can fully trust?”  I sat there astounded when only 2 women raised their hand in a room of 90 women!  My heart-felt so grieved as I was reminded of what I had already come to know through my coaching with Pastor’s wives; her role is full of joy and challenge.

Thom Ranier, a contributor to the Christian Post, did a survey on his blog, Facebook, and general conversations with Pastors wives.  Among the challenges were; being a conduit for complaints for their husbands, frequent moves, husbands being on call 24/7, and being expected to be at each and every event at the church.

Juianna Morlet, in her blog “Dear Pastors Wives”, expresses her thoughts this way, ‘ As women, we already struggle with daily pressure to be perfect inside and out, but then adding the spiritual, emotional and physical weight from your husband’s pastoral job and heightened attention, both intentionally and unintentionally, on the demeanor of you and your family, it can be a lot for one woman to bear. ”

In an article sent to me just this week titled; Nine Secrets Your Pastor’s Wife Wishes You Knew, Christina Stolaas posed a simple, open-ended question to a panel of pastors’ wives in different states, from different denominations, with various years of service, “If you could tell the church a few things about your role as a pastor’s wife, what would you say?”  She got honest responses.  Many wives acknowledged that being completely honest was difficult.  Some of the challenges they expressed was the challenge to have consistant family time, the loneliness that came with her role; finding it difficult to have true friendships. Another challenge, and not necessarily a surprise, was that Sundays can be really stressful, especially depending on her involvement or the amount of services held each weekend.

As a pastor’s wife for 16 years I fulfilled numerous roles and responsibilities for which I am so grateful. However there were often times when the expectations, lack of privacy, and unending schedule caused me personal angst.  Navigating all the elements of my role took patience, prayer, good council, and much grace.  I even had to learn the word “no”.  The role is a unique one; one of sweet opportunity but also challenges.

The Pastor’s wives who were interviewed expressed that they loved their churches and felt blessed to be given the opportunity to have impact in the lives of those who worshipped there. These women want to serve alongside their husbands making a difference for their church, their family, and the community.

At the end of the day, your pastor’s wife, though imperfect along with the rest of us, deserves to be respected and shown kindness, grace, and friendship.

Perhaps there is something you could change in your relationship or expectations towards your Pastor’s wife.  Perhaps she’d like to go to lunch, or maybe a card would make her day.  Your prayers for her might cover her in a situation that feels over her head.  Consider your role in helping her navigate her role.  🙂

AARRGGH! Sometimes I just don’t like you!

Ever met anyone who you seem to dislike for no known reason?  Every time you are around them you feel a little irritated, defensive, or critical? Are there people on your team at work, or even in your family that frustrate you whenever you are around them?    What would you think if I explained to you that it’s possible you simply don’t understand how they were created?  Let me explain.


Throughout most of my life I “disliked” strong, aggressive people-male or female. I saw them as arrogant and self serving. I indited them simply because of their “alpha” personality~Type A.  I liked the peaceful type–the fun type–and for most of my life I surrounded myself with people I liked….people just like me! 🙂

As a Life and Business Coach I have been trained on an assessment tool called the DISC.  This assessment breaks down behavior styles into 4 quadrants:  Driver (D), Influence (I), Steady (S), and Conscientious (C).  Each behavior style is different and though we have a portion of each of them in ourselves, we do have 1 or 2 that are more dominant than the others.

As I began to learn the high value of the different behavior styles I started to understand why it is so important that we understand each other, give grace, and learn to communicate according to what we understand about our differences.

Today I am not irritated by a Type A (D-Dominance) personality from the get-go!  I understand that they have a need to focus on getting tasks completed, that they can be impatient, be a little blunt, and talk forcefully. But that does not mean they do not love deeply and care about those in their lives.


As a high I (Influence), I love people, my life is highly connected relationally, I like to have fun, love to laugh~ but I’m not so great with details and I probably talk too much!!  I can frustrate people too!

For the S (Steady) change can be a upsetting, they may stay in a challenged situation or relationship longer that needed or is healthy because they are so loyal. However the S dislikes conflict and may do all that is possible to avoid it while the D jumps right in to conflict unafraid!!  See the amazing difference?

The C (Conscientious) likes to know what the rules are and wants to be sure everyone is following them!  There is a right way and wrong way to do things…period. So imagine their frustration when an I , like myself, chooses to create my own rules!A high C does NOT want you to mess up their organized desk! Do not use their stapler without asking!!  LOL!

I say all this as a reminder that we have all been created differently. Scripture says we are fearfully and wonderfully made!!  Love it!

So I challenge you, as I challenge myself, before you indite or decide you dislike someone~~ Step back and think, are they a D  I  S  C???  Then seek to understand them the best you can! To help you in this quest, feel free message me on Facebook and I will send you some tools that will be a great source of understanding.  I firmly believe that the more we seek to understand about how someone is wired up – the great success we will have in those relationships!!


It’s all a matter of perspective~

Every one of us sees life though our own personal filter.  Our past experiences, hurts, persuasions, faith, and traditions can lead us to come to conclusions in our minds about people or situations around us.   Remember the saying ” there are two sides to every story?”.  It’s true.

Sometimes we come to conclusions or judgements based on what we “think we see”.  However, when seeing a picture of a small iceberg we may fail to recognize  the magnitude of what’s truly there.  Remember the Titanic?


All of us interact with people and information daily and I imagine we all want to have good clarity and clear understanding. However, sometimes we are too close to the situation to have a balanced perspective.  The statement ” you cannot see the forest for the trees”  expresses this challenge.  Google Earth is so interesting because it can give you a macro perspective and yet also visually take you to a specific address on the planet! Very cool!  Yet, this exemplifies 2 very different perspectives.

Perhaps this year, before we find ourselves making “snap judgements” or coming to conclusions about people or situations too hastily we could take a little extra time to gather fresh information, look through a new lens, and seek to be mindful that we may not have all the information needed; there just might be elements we simply do not see.

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People who look through keyholes are apt to get the idea that most things are keyhole shaped.  ~Author Unknown

Enjoy a fresh perspective today!! 🙂

Proverbs 18:15 says:  Intelligent people are always eager and ready to learn.