Deanna’s Motivational Minutes
Change can be hard, but at times, change can give us wonderful new opportunities.
Meeting for coffee, Michol shared the word “wonder” with me. Thinking about wonder, I immediately thought about awe, the awesomeness of God, exclamation points in our walk with God. Michol thought about wonder as discerning question marks. “I wonder if…” Questions marks and exclamation points in our life–for us both, for us all.
The past couple weeks I’ve been reading Kathy Collard Miller’s “Pure Hearted: The Blessings of Living Out God’s Glory.” In several chapters Kathy talks about the impact of childhood experiences on our relationship with God, their connections to fears, selfishness, even immaturity. I blew right by sub-headings on Perfectionism and Performance, Instability and Worry. And then there was a section titled, Childhood Experiences Label God. Do they? Did they? Will they?
For weeks I fussed over an order of new towels. When my delivery got delayed again and again, I let frustration reign and anger rule. And then a stranger delivered kindness.
When I start to see God at work, when I’m feeling that something’s up, my first reaction is often, “God, I’m kinda busy right now. Not a good time. Really, God, not a good time.” But that’s not how God operates. His work is not about our will, our way, our when. It’s about His will, His way, His when–and His glory.
When I started Morning WOLKs with God, I expected to share antics and vulnerabilities, connecting all with bigger, more important lessons in life. I just didn’t expect to have fresh material EVERY WEEK! This time we get a lesson in grace from the roof of my car. Yep, the roof.
More than once, a smaller conversation has been followed by a bigger apology. Love really does include saying, “I’m sorry. I was wrong.”
Over the years I’ve learned to treasure the possibilities and the opportunities, not something I’ve always done. I’ve also learned that the best opportunities, the right opportunities, are God’s possibilities.
Where have you been given the gift of encouragement? In a letter to the Hebrews in the Bible’s New Testament, the apostle Paul asks that we encourage each other to love and do good works. My mother-in-law recently celebrated her 90th birthday. Her life has been and continues to be one of love and kindness and service. She has been a gift of encouragement to all of us.
As you may know by now, I love talkin’ football, but this is a story I don’t love.
Last weekend my husband, Kurt, and I celebrated 40 years of marriage. Knowing I wanted to talk about us this week and knowing I wanted to share his thoughts, I asked him, “Kurt, when you think about our time together, what stands out?” Kurt, ever the wise one between the two us, had three things to share, beginning with the examples of our parents.
Missteps are always hard to talk about. It’s more fun to share moments of unexpected pleasure, but the reality is that some days do not go well. And hearing “You’re forgiven” has been a blessing at all times.
Are you able to see God in the details? Several weeks ago I was at a memorial service. It was beautiful, but God was never mentioned. Nope, not once. But he was everywhere!
How do you stay connected in your walk with God–your W-A-L-K, not your W-O-L-K? I’m especially thinking about when you’re in the moment. Who has God placed in your life for those times of celebration? Those times of challenge?
I’ve had a life of stumbles—as a child, as a young adult, just last week. But our walk with God is not about what we do. It’s about what God’s does in, through, and around all of us. He directs and redirects. He gives us a gentle nudge, words of caution and correction. In the moment I rarely saw it. Looking back, I can’t miss it.
Words of Loving kindness are easy when life is easy. They’re not so easy when life gets hard. Not every conversation is a time of great joy. Some discussions are harder than others and words of loving kindness are harder. Oh, the lessons I’ve learned–the hard way!
This week we’re celebrating 30 weeks together–30 weeks of antics and vulnerabilities that have hopefully connected to bigger, more important lessons in life, 30 weeks of words of loving kindness for ourselves and each other.
The trays of slides were an unexpected surprise, long-lost treasures found tucked away in the garage, and my reaction to a long-forgotten vacation photo stunned me. It was a vivid reminder of an important journey of gratitude.
Silly moments can lead to serious moments. They can also lead to petty ones. Small moments can take us to beautiful places; they can also set us up for icky ones, if we’re not careful.
Earlier this month, I watched the first of nine emergency vehicles rush into my neighborhood. When I went outside, I found my buddy standing alone in the rain under a tree, medics hurrying around him. I learned his grandma was not doing well. Minutes later I would learn how some small moments together would get very big.
Too often I’m focused on the wrong stuff. Too often I miss what’s most important. It’s easy to get distracted. We are surrounded by powerful messages—gotta do this, gotta have that, gotta wear this, gotta achieve that.
Words of loving kindness don’t connect to a new blouse, cutie pie shoes, or gray pin-striped suits. They connect us to the moments we get to share with each other on Friday mornings, during Wednesday playdates, when a son shares childhood treasures with his own son.
Last week Jeff Bezos shared a value proposition, what some have called a brutal truth: Create more than you consume. Thinking about the past year and our bigger walk with God, I wondered if his comments had any application to us as people of faith.
Last week I talked about my son’s friend, a young man who’s a felon. When I finished filming, I immediately had a moment. Should I have said he was an ex-felon? I googled the question: “Felon or ex-felon?” and learned that a felon is someone convicted of a felony, whether still in prison or not. Going to some discussion boards, it appears a person can be a former criminal, an ex-con, but always a felon. Wow, I thought. Someone can serve their time, make restitution, change the course of their life, but society will always consider them a felon. It made me wonder about how we think about ourselves and those around us, the labels we give ourselves and others.
My son Kyle met his friend at the gym. They’d bonded over tattoos and weightlifting equipment. Over time, while spotting each other, while doing whatever weightlifting guys do, Kyle learned a lot about his friend. “It’s an amazing story, Mom.” Yes, for all of us!
I’m not always not at my finest. During COVID, we’ve all tried to navigate our new normal, respecting the restrictions put into place for our safety and the safety of others, but one Monday I was over it. When I was denied access to my mother-in-law’s assisted living facility, I had a regrettable moment. I was not at my finest. Contrary to the classic, albeit cringe-worthy, line from Love Story, this time love meant having to say I’m sorry.
God’s love celebrates with us. His love also gives us refuge when life happens, when life gets smaller, when uncertainty abounds and grief intrudes.
Have you ever felt like a bit player in God’s story? That person with a minor, unimportant, unimpressive role? And not just minor, unimportant, and unimpressive, but someone whose scenes should be cut entirely and left on the editing room’s floor?
I’ve learned that timing’s very, very important—whether I’m at the dentist or scrolling my newsfeed. Social media has given us wonderful opportunities to connect as God’s people. Social media can also highlight differences, promote divisions. This episode of “Morning WOLK with God” is a cautionary tale about our words and the timing of our words. Yes, there is a time for everything.
Are you able to let God be God? Too often I refuse to let God be God. Too often I discount God’s will, His way, and His when, thinking I know best. Stuck in traffic last week, I told myself that I was just using God’s openings–those gaps between cars–to make up time, to speed ahead–but it wasn’t true. I thought I knew best.
Again–those delightful driving antics that connect to bigger, more important lessons in life!
When we “walk the WOLK,” when we walk God’s words of loving kindness, we have the opportunity to step into the moment in a very special way.
Life is not perfect, but I continue to insist that it can be, that I can make it so, that I can be. And when I do that, I discount the many blessing that surround me.
Do you have any non-negotiables in your day? I’ve tried to be careful about have-to’s. For me, they can quickly lead to the planning of a pity party. But this year, I’ve got three non-negotiables that have been bright moments in my day, times to celebrate the possibilities, moments of inspiration, reflection, and gratitude. They’ve been opportunities to get closer to God. Perhaps you have non-negotiables, too…
Today we continue with the theme: Be bold. Be brave. Be you. Today we’ll talk about being bold and brave for us, all of us.
Today our theme is being bold, being brave, and being you and today we’ll talk about being bold and brave for those around us.
As a woman of faith, do you think about being bold and brave in being you? Do you ever use the words “bold” and “brave” to describe yourself? I’m going to be so bold and so brave as to say the answer needs to be a resounding YES
This is often that special time of year when we ring in the new year and put away the Christmas decorations. But even after the lights come down, God’s light continues on—not in the light of things, but in His light in us. God’s Love, Joy, Peace, and Hope are a part of each one of us. And that means we show up differently—whether we’re on a virtual call or in an emergency room. Yes, even in an emergency room!
Feeling challenged by 2020? God continues to shine His light on us, so we can shine His light on others–even on those days when we’re “over it.”
There are times when God’s there for us so we can be there for others. There are also times when God’s there for us so we’re not there for others. Sounds surprising until you hear about my plans for a pity party last week. Yep, a pity party.
Here’s a link to yesterday’s “Morning WOLK with God” where I talk about the Ins and Outs of God’s Loving Faithfulness. The video is inside Fave Lifestyles Women’s Group. You may need to join the group to view.
At Fave we get to do life together. Fave provides a community and tips for inspired living. I come along and share antics and vulnerabilities, praying they’ll connect to God’s much bigger, more important lessons in life. Praying!
Enjoy the wonderful bouquets about you. Stand tall in your vase. You’re beautiful!
Too often I’m not treasuring the moment. It’s easy to look past “now” to what’s next. The writing assignments that need to be completed, the calls that need to be returned, the plans that need to be made. At other times, I can find myself worrying about yesterday, words said, words left unsaid, steps taken, steps not taken. All are important, but sometimes we just need to be and to be in the moment.
We can all be change-makers–in the middle of a pandemic, in the middle of important discussions about race, in the middle of an election cycle.
As I celebrate my 39th wedding anniversary, I thank God for the dearest man!
Our stories connect us in big ways, in profound ways.
I don’t know what I don’t know, so I listen and learn.
I know that if there is to be peace on earth, it has to begin with me. With God as our Father, it can begin with me. It can begin with us.
During these pandemic times, I’ve faltered in ways not expected, never imagined! Monday night I forgot the words to the Lord’s Prayer. Yes, the Lord’s Prayer.
Got laughter? Got loud? Got loud laughter? “This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad.” (Psalm 118:24)
Happy May! As I enjoy beautiful spring flowers, I can’t help but remember some of life’s weedier moments. Some I’ve wanted to toss and pull like Dad did the dandelions in his gardens. But those weedier moments were often the times when I learned the biggest lessons. Yep, the biggest.
Before my father died, he reminded me that Mom had asked me to write a book. At the time the boys were in college, and the notion of writing was unfathomable. Writers write books. By the time my boys were adults, I’d run out of excuses. I was also at that age when I could pause and reflect.
Fruit of My Spirit: Reframing Life in God’s Grace was my first publishing endeavor. My second was Signs in Life: Finding Direction in Our Travels with God. Both are collections of stories that tell of God’s love and faithfulness. Both tell of His remarkable grace and mercy.
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