Life is not perfect, except in dreams. And today, on Father's Day, there can be all kinds of feelings... For some... good feelings automatically surface. For others... just the mention of "father" causes a flood of negative feelings and memories.     My husband's father did the best he could.  I'm sure he loved his kids, but having six kids under the age of 10 was no doubt challenging to him. I'm guessing he thought if he showed kindness or told his children he loved them that he would lose his authority or control.  And then there was the alcohol … [Read more...]

  Do you ever long for a quieter life?  A more fruitful life?  A joyful life?     Do some days, weeks, maybe even months seem to breeze by? Do you ever feel like those days are... not great... nothing special... just okay? Are you tired of the ho-hum?  Do you want more? The only way I know for us to have more quiet, fruit, and joy in our lives is to choose it. We need to be purposeful. Oh great!" you're thinking.  "Just heap on my to-dos. Make me feel inadequate when I already don't feel like I measure up." Actually, that isn't my intention. Summertime is a … [Read more...]

  Do you start your day with a spring in your step and a happy expression on your face? Maybe you find yourself plodding through the day with a fake smile awkwardly affixed to cover what you're really feeling? No matter where you are on the spectrum, I'm sure you want to know... How to Put More Joy in Your Day     Each week here at An Extraordinary Day we observe JoyDay! For six years I've chatted with you about joy and living a joy-filled life.  But, what I haven't done is put some of those thoughts together in one spot so that you would have an easy reference point when you … [Read more...]

  Do you remember seeing a movie where the butler walked into a room holding a silver platter upon which there was a slip of paper for someone in the room? At that moment when the butler offered the note and the recipient took the paper, everyone else seemed to pause. Trying to fain disinterest, others in the room were keenly interested to learn what was on the paper and how the individual would respond. The slip of paper required a response.     Each day we are presented with all numerous things that require our response. We could call them silver platter opportunities. … [Read more...]

      Most Friday nights as Tim works, my good friend and I go out on the town.  We live it up big.  This time we split a huge plate of chicken nachos and she did a little shopping for a Mother's Day gift as we talked and laughed nonstop. In between bites at the restaurant, we chat about all kinds of things. Often my friend talks about her sons and her grandchildren.  A real prayer warrior, she covers her family with prayer daily, sometimes even asking me to pray for them, too. I'm impressed with her practical love for them, how she exercises wisdom in staying out of her adult … [Read more...]

    Sunday was a day of rest for me as I was growing up. After church in the summer, my dad and I would often stop at the drive-in restaurant with those huge golden arches.  He always went to the screened window and ordered the same thing, a burger and fries for each of us.  And then, we'd eat lunch in our car in the parking space pushed up against the tall arborvitae bushes with our windows wide open and the breeze blowing in.  Our next stop was always the lake.  Sometimes we'd watch the sailboats race, or a ship come in, or just sit and look at the water. I guess that was my dad's idea of … [Read more...]

  Do you ever think about your love life? No, not that kind of love life!     Nearly every night before we snuggle into our pillows, Tim has been reading to me this great book written by Bob Goff, Everybody Always. (affiliate link)  The book is funny, poignant, and sometimes pokes me where it hurts.  I suggest you read it.  It's got me thinking about HOW I live and love.  The real important stuff in life. Oh, how I'd love to say that I live and love well.  But, I don't.  Lately, I've been grumpy and a bit critical.  I could blame my thyroid and pass it off to not feeling well … [Read more...]

  WHY do I celebrate Earth Day?     Immediately upon rolling out of bed I take a step the to the window and pull hard on the cord that raises the blinds shielding my eyes and bedroom from the morning light. Today as I peered through the panes of my second story window, the blue sky was pale behind the gray sticks reaching upwards to the heavens.  Those dull branches and twigs looked lifeless, yet invisibly life might be found coursing through the pulp in that forest of trees.  In a matter of a few weeks, buds will be bursting with glimmers of green and our sleeping world will look … [Read more...]

  Wisdom is essential for a successful life. Discovering the source of wisdom will give us wisdom for every situation.     I don't know about you...but I want to be wise. People who are wise seem to navigate life more gracefully. They are the ones we seek out for advice. Have you noticed how wise people are more thoughtful, less reactionary, and trustworthy? So how do we get wisdom?  Here's what the writer of Psalm 111 had to say... The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Good sense is shown by everyone who follows God’s guiding principles. His praise … [Read more...]

  Are you in a place of waiting? It's a challenging place to be, but, what if you could find joy in the waiting rather than despair?     Waiting is so hard to do. Whether you're waiting in a long line at the grocery store or you're waiting for test results or a package to arrive or for your circumstances to change... it's all hard.  And yes... some waits feel almost impossible. This week I talked with two friends in the waiting. One friend is overwhelmed with the wait.  She feels like she's in murky water over her head and getting tangled as she tries to walk through the tall … [Read more...]

  It's Sunday! Easter Sunday! The day we celebrate the most transformational event in history...  Jesus Christ rising from the dead.     If you think about it... there were no believers... no Christians on Good Friday. Sure, Jesus had plenty of followers up until that time... but then... most of them like Peter fled. In fact, after the crucifixion of Jesus... Peter and Jesus' other followers hid in secrecy.  They thought they would be next. But Jesus. Jesus did something totally mindblowing... After he conquered death and rose from the grave, he went to where his followers were … [Read more...]

  The people waved palm branches and chanted "Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!" as Jesus rode into Jerusalem... were they so desperate for change they forgot a part of the scriptures they knew so well?    Palm Sunday is a festive day in the Christian church. There's something wonderfully anticipatory about Palm Sunday because we know that in one week we'll celebrate Easter also called Resurrection Sunday. Children will often march through the church during services waving palm branches as the congregation sings, Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the … [Read more...]

  Here's a prayer for those times when you have no idea how to pray.     This past week held some events that troubled my heart greatly.  This one brought me to tears. The neighbor children which God placed right smack in front of us to love and care for... moved.  What a change!  No longer are we interrupted by their taps on our door multiple times a day.  Sure, I'll get more work done now, but the thing is, I don't want to get more work done, I want to make a difference in two kids' lives.  To make things worse... we have no idea where they have moved.  Their mentally ill parent … [Read more...]

  The concept of REST and TRUST and WAITING are counter-cultural to our nonstop lives where HUSTLE is king. How would your life look different if you defied common convention?     Nearly a month ago I had an appointment with my homeopath where my current state of health was the topic of conversation.  I'm grateful that she is a spirit-filled believer and so when she speaks, I listen.  She said something that set me back in my seat. "Diane, you need to rest or you will miss something big God has planned for you." Those words slapped me in the face.  Hard.  I don't want to miss out on God's … [Read more...]

  We wield incredible power with our words. Do we speak life or death into the lives we touch?     Have you ever been in someone's home and watched as a parent or sibling spoke a few choice words and you observed a physical change in the individual to whom those words were spoken? I intentionally used the term, "a few choice words." When you read that statement you most likely thought I was referring to unkind, demeaning, or hurtful words.  But, actually, "choice words" simply means words of one's own choosing.  And really don't we all choose our words when we speak? Some of my … [Read more...]

  Do you live in fear? You can stand and face your fear square on with these tips.   When there's a catastrophic event or a tragedy like the horrific school shooting in Florida many of us find fear paralyzes us. Events like this cause parents to hold on tightly to their kids. Students and adults alike are worried about the future and about potential violence entering their smaller worlds, like schools. And this event is just one of many gone awry in our world.   Jesus said in the midst of very tumultuous and troubling times... not entirely unlike … [Read more...]

    “We live, in fact, in a world starved for solitude, silence, and private: and therefore starved for meditation and true friendship.” --C.S. Lewis,  The Weight of Glory Recently I have been struggling with getting a decent night's sleep. Usually, I get up early, make breakfast, make the bed,  and see Tim off to work. After getting just a few hours of sleep, he encouraged me to stay in bed and attempt to get a little more shut-eye.  Fortunately, I don't usually have a firm early work schedule or appointments. Somedays I managed to sleep... other days I just lay there in the quiet.  … [Read more...]