Monday, July 30, 2012

The Clues are Everywhere: Part II (serving and the domino effect)

On July 19th of this year, I began to write about a recurring theme that God keeps sending my way; Something to do with serving, what it is to look like in my life, and how it influences others in a positive way. From sermons, to music, to videos and bible studies, God couldn't say it any louder: Dionne, I want to show you how to really serve me. 

Here are some more insights...
    A few come from this bible study: Designing a Woman's Life by Judith Couchman

--Through our purpose we can influence the world for God's Kingdom.
 " 'You are my witnesses,' declares the Lord, 'and my servant who I have chosen." -Isaiah 43:10

Isn't that what I want? In my search for significance, being chosen to do something noble, meaningful and or purposeful? To be spiritually influential? Yes! That is the greatest blessing and a huge privilege of serving the Lord!  To know that if I choose to believe and follow the Lord; that if I open my mind and heart to be changed, redeemed, forgiven, then somehow there is a domino effect.
 Today at church, the sermon was about this very notion. We never know who we are influencing spiritually or how our one decision to obey can lead to others choosing Christ. Others can be encouraged or find hope in our hope: Jesus.  Perhaps over and over?

Yet, can I expect to be spiritually influential if I am not willing to get my hands dirty? Be a bit marginalized? Not thinking poorly of myself, but rightly about me...a sinner saved through Jesus' sacrifice on the cross whom is valuable to him and his service.- Judith Couchman  


To lose my life (die to so much self) and serve others with humility, for Christ and NO other gain or reason.
   This is where I hit a wall. Serving isn't about my influence so much as it is about serving Christ. I feel tempted always to make it about me. To feel worthy with the results instead of feeling worthy because I am Jesus' friend, I belong to him, and he chooses me for his glory and purpose!!

Jesus spoke numerous times about serving. He was the fullest embodiment of servant hood. 
He didn't use his equality with God, but rather humbled himself to a horrific death on a cross. (see Phil. 2:6-8). His greatest act of serving was the sacrifice of his life for us!

I am eager to understand and know more about where to serve. God has definitely showed me why and in a way how.

I do serve my hubby and children. I serve my friends. I hope I have inspired them for good and that it is Christ who shines in any attempt I make to point to him.

So where? Hmmm...I will let you know. Please pray for me.

Do you have a where in your life...a place or situation where you are serving? Please share!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Beyond me...

Writing for five minutes on the word: Beyond  (join us at

Beyond the noise of this world my head still reminds me and my heart hurts. I am still grieving. I don't share it much because everyone else finds comfort that I don't cry or speak about it really, but it gnaws on me daily. I miss them. All of them. I miss that place I was planning to call home. I miss my mommy and wish sometimes I could just lay my head on her lap and cry.

Beyond the lies I tell myself or that are hurled at me...beyond the attacks I am entering a new purpose or season or some other overkill phrase to a purpose I absolutely cannot do without the Lord. I am excited and fearful. I know the bible verses. I know the Lord, but I can't shake the belief that I am never going to really reach my potential in Christ. (I know, a total lie, I know!)

I keep talking out into the air...while I walk the neighbors must think I am nuts. But I have to talk to Him and speak honestly and boldly...LOUDLY say,
                                 "Lord, help me because this is more than beyond me."

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Clues are everywhere...

Ever notice that when God is trying to get you to listen or a change is coming that he uses all kinds of signs? In my case, it seems to be books, random-out-of-the-blue You Tube videos, a true story from a wise lady I had lunch with a few days ago, a picture on a friend's Facebook page, well, I think you get the point.

Dumbo here (that's me) though isn't EXACTLY sure what the Lord is telling me, but somehow I have a sneaky suspicion that it will smack me in the face soon and all near me will hear, "Ohhhh, now I get it." 
I really am clueless even though the clues are surrounding me. Okay, so I should explain. The main idea or reoccurring theme all has to do with what I am holding onto and the true meaning of being a servant. Before I get to are the messages blinking on the neon sign:
1. I see a picture of a man giving away his shoes to a very poor young man (I have never done that). 
2. I hear a story of a man with his two daughters (both under the age of 5) stopping by at the only sanctuary he knows, a church and asking for help. His oldest tells the church woman, "My mother tried to kill herself." This amazing church paid to get his car fixed and served him. All because this wise church lady who is my friend opened the church door!
3. I am currently reading 7 by Jen Hatmaker...a book about excess, wonderfully written and so convicting and the chapter/month about possessions has really touched a nerve. We can still park our cars in our garage, but I still own more shoes than the majority of the world. 
4. I read a blog about a husband and wife duo who bring food and bibles to the homeless and I am thinking of the few times I have given my lunch away, but never with a bible. 
5. I see a YouTube video that talks about serving...random, seriously!
6. I hear a sermon at church from the book of Ruth and how Naomi and her had a Kings-man Redeemer who served them, stood up for them and did not abandon them. Widows were cared for and I think about how I don't really know a widow to help, but somehow there is a message for me in there about how God is our Redeemer who stands up for us, has served us (think Jesus) and does not abandon us.

My children have at least four pairs of shoes and then I see this photo and my maternal instinct says, "Time to find a ministry where I can give away shoes!"

Really, serving and what I hold on to go hand and hand. If I hold on to security, pride, reputation, possessions, and my time than serving has no place. To truly serve, I have to be willing to love God and people more.  More than myself.

Serving isn't about looking good or getting rid of unnecessary clutter. That's easy. Serving should be difficult so that we can only do it with God. Serving is saying to God, "I will do this for you. I will obey you." To serve simply because God is worth it. We may not get a chance to see the outcome of our choice, but it doesn't matter since we know that God is whom we are yielding to.

So what does that look like in my life?
   I have some inkling, but all in all I have not arrived at full understanding. I know that God asked me to be the Coordinator for MOPS and as he is preparing me to see how serving is such a HUGE component of this role. An honor. I cannot (nor should I) do this without him. 

There is a large homeless population in my community. There is a large population of people here who live in poverty even if they are not homeless. There are plenty of needs that surround me, but where do I start? I have a total of 8 purses and I really could give away 6, but to whom? Goodwill isn't free for the poor and again too easy. I rely too much on my stuff, on thinking that fear is an excuse not to love on some people.

These are the thoughts that plague surround me. Really, as an American I am a bit ashamed to admit what I have, what I keep, and that even though hubby and I are considered poor on the tax forms we really are rich. Yes, we tithe and it is uncomfortable, but where else could I give and feel uncomfortable? 
I am seeking to serve the Lord in the way he really wants me to...I am willing, but I know there is more than just my willingness...and I can't wait to share this.

How has God asked you to serve? Are you giving/serving until it is a least bit uncomfortable?

Monday, July 9, 2012

Breaking Chairs...sometimes ya gotta interpret the poetry: #2

Today, I am linking up with one of my favorite 
party blogs: Soli Deo Gloria (Jen rocks!) 
I despise labels and roles...they remind me of being forced to sit in the same chair at the dinner table because nobody likes change. Or perhaps they are less comfortable with spontaneity...prefer routine?

Sure, labels on merchandise help you buy baking powder so you don't make the mistake of buying baking soda, but human labels...limit people. Labels lie. Hurt actually.  
Some labels are desirable, but mostly I don't want them. I find myself getting too tangled up in them and trying to doing something to keep those labels...skinny, doesn't look her age, pretty, responsible, great mom, good Christian girl...It's exhausting.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Just one story

My my I have so many stories. I am not a good oral storyteller, but I can write about them. My hubby recently said, "You are like the characters in the Second Hand Lions life has interesting stories that go on and on." Not sure about that, so I will share this story and let you be the judge.

In my 38 years of life, I have moved 31 times, lived in 9 different cities/towns and three different states. I have lived in rented homes, apartments, another person's home, duplexes, dorms and a tiny room about the size of two sheds that I shared with my brother during a couple of college years.
    The longest I have resided in one town is 7 years. My average time of living in the same home is 1-2 years. Often I have moved twice or more in one year. At least up until 23 moving was mostly NOT my choice. It was my parent's or parent (They divorced around the end of my 3rd grade year). Most of my moves seem to come from jobs, a remarriage or unhappiness with the place we were residing.

The moves that were my choice bore out of changing dorm rooms, roommates, job re-locations, getting away from toxic individuals, buying a home, and the most important: God saying go! Yes, I obeyed.

So if you haven't guessed it, I adapt well to change. I've never experienced a stable life. One where you would here me say, "This is my hometown."
The bulk of my existence and memories lie (divided into three) in Texas, Illinois and now Colorado.

I am running over 5 minutes so all I can say I don't really think I would change it if I could. All that moving really makes for great stories!

Linking up to write for 5 minutes @

Thursday, July 5, 2012

There's a fire ban...How we celebrated the 4th of July

If you have been reading the internet headlines or listening/watching the news then you know that Colorado is literally on fire. 9 fires with at least two being extreme and huge! It is so sad to see the forests and homes burn. It has been a dry year.

So no fireworks of any kind or campfires even...what's a 4th of July with no fireworks? WELL...let me show you:

The perfect ending to our grilled hot dogs, chips, Pork N' Beans Independence Day meal: Strawberry Delight. A yummy, creamy dessert with crumbly, crisp like crust on bottom and top. Heaven.

We spent the day painting our version of fireworks on paper and my oldest son painted stars on the American flag. We also (thanks to hubby for the idea) tied plastic jungle animals to plastic bags to make instant parachute toys. See picture below: Look at son's hat and you will see the Rhinoceros skydiving.

Notice the flag...He is so proud to hold it. Awesome!

NOW, we could have poppers!!! So we managed to go through almost 400 poppers. Oh, the joy of a pop sound! 

For our last hoopla and most thrilling event...we put Mentos in some Diet Coke and made our own sticky explosions. 

No fires, fireworks or true explosions, but we had a great day of freedom. I am proud to be an American.

Linking up with:     Come join the party!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th of July!


Happy Independence Day everyone!

We can't have fireworks because of a fire ban due to all of the fires in Colorado, including one burning just 10 miles North of where I live. 

STAY TUNED...and I will share how we coped celebrated without firecrackers and could be inspired or pleasantly surprised!!

Monday, July 2, 2012

6 months? That is....a long time.

6 months. Daunting. No. Freeing.

The challenge: One dessert a week for 6 months. (No sweet drinks, sugary cereals, etc. either)!
The incentive: Cash from a generous, loving donor.
The first thought: What did I just sign up for? No chocolate sans one day?!? Are you kidding me?
 Our sugar challenge started on Jan. 1st and ended on June 30th. There were eight adults doing the challenge. If we cheated, we lost $15 for each cheat. Yes, I cheated 3 times...I wasn't the only one. Hey, willpower is overrated.  

So why am I writing this? To boast? Nope. To encourage and entertain? Hopefully.
Why did I agree to this? For my health and to prove to myself that I could do it.
 Not all challenges are a bad thing.

I was surprised at what I learned. (Plus the benefits) goes:
My choice really offended others. Somehow people took my choice quite personally. Not just that I wouldn't enjoy a dessert with them, but as if I was convicting them. I did my best to downplay my choice, but it kept surfacing. Some criticized or acted like I was weird or out of my mind. 
      Maybe they were right, but I believe sugar is VERY addictive. Sugar is like a drug..If you don't believe me then think about this...even on the first day off the challenge, I could feel the temptation rising up to return to my old patterns of eating sugar...I wanted to...I haven't and I won't. AND...It takes more than 40 days to break a habit. REALLY.
     FREEDOM!!!! Sugar doesn't have the same hold on me anymore. I found that when I did enjoy a dessert once a week that the more rich the dessert was the less I desired it. It practically made me sick. I discovered that sugar could be conquered, but it still has a strong pull. I found self-control actually existed in this area of my life.  

All eight people passed the challenge, but to me the greater "impossible" mission will be to not go back to how it was. It is easier to not fight what is pleasurable than to realize you are better off without it. NOT that I am trying to convince any of you to bid fair well to sugar forever. Even we are not doing that...we just choose to keep sugar to a very low minimum.  I mean processed, added sugar and desserts, not naturally occurring sugar in fruit or added sugar to food not considered a dessert such as a slice of bread.
                         I can honestly say that I am changed.  Wonder what other habit I should consider breaking in 6 months? Hmmmm.

Posting at Soli Deo Gloria (Join us) @
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