Saturday, March 30, 2013

It's Hammer Time!
Let's Get This Justice Party Started...

“There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.”  ~ Elie Wiesel

I love the book Night by Elie Wiesel. After reading it years ago, I believed it to be such an important book, I told all three of my kids I'd pay them to read it! Turns out, I didn't have to pay any of them. The oldest two just read it when I asked. Savanna still didn't want to read it even with the offer of payment. However, one of her teachers assigned it to her as required reading this year. (Yay for teachers!.)

The year I read Night I gave it away as Christmas gift to a few friends. I know it might seem odd that I would give the gift of a book written by a holocaust survivor, chronicling the injustices he faced. It's not really a happy, clappy Christmas gift. But I really thought people needed to hear the message.


The Holocaust wasn't that long ago.
And it really happened.
And people let it happen.
And they did nothing.
From 1933 to 1945 it happened and went on and on, and people just...let it.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Today's Juggling Act



When I sat down to blog tonight I thought,"this is a hodge podge of stuff that doesn't really go together...it's all over the place." But truthfully? That's what my life is like some days. It's a crazy conglomeration -- as I JUGGLE from church to home to job coaching to writing to drinking dark roast coffee and dreaming about changing the world. 

There's still a lot to get ready for Easter at the church as well as in our home.  Larry and I still do Easter baskets for ALL of our kids. (Yes even the 22 and 23 year old). I tell him we will do this FOR LIFE and every year he gives me a lecture on the ridiculousness of doing Easter baskets for grown kids. This will be interesting when next year he will give me a lecture on the ridiculousness of doing a basket for a 23, 24 and 16 year old. Ha ha! Shhhhhh! What Larry doesn't know won't hurt him. Every year I can make him think this is the last year we're doing baskets.

In other news:

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Did God Plan My Pain?



Some people have a hard time understanding God's love for them because they think He planned what hurts them so much.

I'm passionate about sharing that God is a good God.
Until people understand that, they won't ever see Him clearly and be able to freely receive His love.

Something that makes this difficult are people who tell others that God planned the process that caused their pain.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

God Spoke to Me Through a Rock Yesterday (Seriously!)

The Bible says that if we don't praise God the rocks will cry out.


Well, I do praise God, but a rock STILL spoke to me.


Welcome to my house...

I worked in the yard all day yesterday.  Pruning a wax myrtle. Treating a diseased tangerine tree. Weeding the yard and all the beds. Yes, it was exhausting.  And I'm still not done.

The yard has been in need of major work. I've been expecting letters from the HOA, and maybe a fine, which is possible in our neighborhood. But with pastoring, coaching, and my travel/speaking schedule, it's been hard for me to get out there and get it all done. I long to get back to the "glory days" when my yard was actually awarded "yard of the month" in my subdivision. (I knew I'd need the photo to prove it later for people who see it when it's a mess and doubt the magnificence of what once was.)

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Are You Just a Scared Grown Up?

Most adults are afraid to speak up.
Afraid to say, "I don't know."
In fear of saying, "I don't understand."




I have seen this firsthand as my husband does an experiment. As part of a teaching, he instructs a group of people that he is going to tell a joke that makes absolutely no sense. He prepares them by saying: "When a new, unsuspecting person comes in late, I am going to tell this joke. Laugh hysterically. Then we will see how the new person responds." Then they just wait for someone to walk in, and he tells the joke.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

3 Ways to Get Noticed as a Blogger


Many of the people who read my writing each day do so at my other blog and I'm new to them. I've only been out of the adoption closet since August 13, 2012 -- sharing at Lost Daughters, and blogging at my own adoptee site since January 1, 2013. So many people who read my adoption writings think I'm a brand new blogger.

I hear, "Wow Deanna, you're doing pretty well for being brand new at this."

Well, actually, I'm an old blogger. In more ways than one. Peri-menopause bites. I've been blogging here every day for over six years and before that I blogged on MySpace. (Yes, seriously...lol) 

Along the way people have noticed how much I love blogging and asked me to write a few articles about it, as well as teach a workshop or two.

This past week I answered some mail about blogging and I thought I'd offer a few helps here today on the blog for those who may have interest.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

My Crazy Life

So I've been away most of this weekend, actually since Thursday. I was in Ocala, FL to speak at the Freedom Conference for my dear friend, Pastor Jan McIntyre - co-pastor at Marion Oaks Assembly of God. This is her, below. Doesn't she have the most fabulous hair? You can spot her in a crowd anywhere. Yes, that's her natural color.


 I sneaked this photo while she was praying on Saturday. We had a great time together over the weekend. The conference was fantastic and we even went shopping together. She introduced me to her favorite store -- Kohls. Yes, imagine that. I'm a shopper and we have Kohl's in Tampa, I just never went.  My sister Shari is always telling me about Kohl's. It's her favorite place, too. Jan gets the most amazing deals and she found these shoes for me, which I wore to preach in Saturday as well as to church this morning.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

On the Road Again...



Today I'm headed to Ocala, Florida through Saturday   afternoon where I'll be the keynote speaker for The Freedom Conference.

Super excited about what God will do!

I love Jan McIntyre and can't wait to spend some girl time with her as we lead women in the presence of God this weekend.

How blessed are we to get to do this?

Please keep us in prayer, for a powerful time. 

It's been a challenging week for me, but when great things are about to happen, isn't that pretty much the way it is? New level, new devil.



Tuesday, March 12, 2013

What Would Happen If You Took Your Own Advice?



Meeting on Sunday night with the young ladies who are part of the group I'm mentoring at Celebration, I noticed they had some fantastic advice for one another. I was impressed! (I learn just as much from the girls as they do from me!)

I followed up with a question:

What would be possible in your life if you took your own advice?


I find it always helps me to step back from my own situation and imagine I was advising a stranger with my same issue.

Rarely do I lack a sense of the wise thing to do. But I don't always make that choice, at least immediately.

A few reasons why...
  • I know it's going to require hard change.
  • I know if another party is involved, it may make them unhappy and I want to avoid drama. 
  • The pain of staying the same is not greater than the pain of changing...yet.

Saturday, March 09, 2013

The Importance of Finding Friends Who Can Handle Your Story


Everyone has a story. Our stories should never be dismissed, but unfortunately everyone we share our story with can't "carry" it. Not everyone can handle hearing someone's story, much less helping them do something in response. Sometimes it's because they can't wrap their brain around it, and other times, they simply don't want to try to understand.

All of our stories deserve to be heard, validated and a caring response given to respond in whatever way appropriate to bring hope and healing. Sometimes we share our story with those who dismiss, or possibly even try to refute. That hurts much worse and results in giving us yet more to the story that we must carry and hope we'll find someone to help us bear the load.

One thing I want to encourage anyone reading this to do, is...keep going. If you shared your story and someone dismissed it, questioned it, or attempted to invalidate it, DON'T GIVE UP.  Keep going until you find someone who WILL listen.

They are out there.

And when you find those kind of friends, you will never, ever be the same.

Special thanks today, to all the friends who have been able to carry my story. I'm blessed to have more than one. How incredible is that?


Tuesday, March 05, 2013

3 Keys to Writing a Blog Post That Moves People


A lot of people ask me about writing. I don't pretend to be an expert but every now and again I'll throw out a post about this for those who are interested in writing. Today I'm going to share three things that I believe are important in creating a post that moves people.

Do It When You Feel It

Don't wait until you completely process things to write about them. In general, I'm a believer in writing things when you feel them, perhaps not to share right then, but definitely to keep for later. Otherwise the moment is lost and you don't have the full impact of all of your senses in creating exactly the atmosphere you desire through your words.

I have a small book in my purse that I can job things down when I'm out and about so I don't forget, or I take notes on my phone if I am away from my computer. Strike while the iron's hot! 

Do It Even When It's Painful

Some people start writing, feel pain, stop and put the piece away for later. Not me. I write a lot of times while crying. In fact if I'm crying it's usually an indication that it's going to be a post that will affect  more people in the same way. I try not to stop or dumb the post down by repressing my emotions. If I want to convey that I wanted to die (literally) I come right out and say that I wanted to die. I don't say, "I had considered what it might be like to not be present." Go to the hard places. Go where people are surprised that you're taking them. Let the reader inside your head. Chances are, you're going to get feedback that somebody thinks you're sharing the same brain at times. Most people have no idea that they really aren't alone with some of the thing they do that they think are crazy.

Do It When it's Risky

There so much vanilla writing out there. It doesn't move people let alone shake them. Pick a side. Stay there. Take a stand. Be passionate and don't hold back.

Prepare to have a few enemies. Anybody who's ever done anything significant has some.

I've been blogging (publicly) since 2006. I've been stalked, received more than my share of hate mail, and even had one reader say it was going to be "people like me that one day get Hillary Clinton elected president!!" (They didn't mean it in a positive fashion. They said it as if they were talking about something as horrible as Hershey Kisses becoming extinct.)

If you're going to write about worthwhile topics, somebody's panties are going to get in a bunch.


Sunday, March 03, 2013

I Need to Learn Love All Over Again



Yesterday God spoke to me that I need to learn about love all over again.
Not from the example of people.
From the source.
Him.

Sometimes even the earthly sources that were designed to receive love from end up in an epic fail.  Not only do we not get love, we get hurt. And then we end up feeling unloved.  It may be someone who we need love from -- a parent or spouse, and for some reason they are broken and don't have the capacity to love.

And it slays us.

Saturday, March 02, 2013

We Are All Lessons


Each and every one of us is somebody's lesson.

This week I've had a H-U-G-E  life lesson in exactly who and what I don't want to be. Sometimes these life lessons are harder than others, in fact they can be excruciating. They say what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. One of my friends said if that's true, she should be bench pressing a Buick by now! Ha ha.

My prayer today and always is, "Lord, make me a person people learn the right things from, or at least the majority of right things. I fail. I am not perfect, just as no one is perfect but You. At the same time, please help me lead people by honest example in the right thing to do, not what not to do. Amen."