Saturday, June 9, 2012

The Dad I Never Had

The Dad I Never Had
Father's Day is just around the bend and sadly, I don't celebrate with my natural father. My dad died 12 years ago. But in all honesty, I never spent one Father's Day with him even while he was living. He and my mom divorced before I began preschool, so I don't really have any memories of him, other than the tassels from his dress shoes (I guess I would crawl around on the floor and notice the tassels on his shoes---a memory I still have to this day). As a young girl, I would imagine what life would be like with the dad I never had.

When I was 10, I actually led my dad to the Lord by writing him a letter pleading with him to get his life right with God. After he died, my grandmother gave me a box of some of his belongings, and all those years later that letter was still there! By God's grace, we were able to reconnect shortly before he died. I had long forgiven him for not being a part of my life, and I was right there with him as he breathed his last breath. I had made peace with the dad I never had.

Growing up without a dad left a tremendous hole in my life. I would look at my friends' dads for guidance, protection and validation. Some of these men, like David Martin and Karol Warren will never know the impact they had on my life as I watched them love their wives and children . . . and me! I may not have had a relationship with my own dad, but God allowed these "filler fathers" to show me how a man should behave.  These men gave me the blueprint as to what a loving Father was.

Fast forward and now I am married with children of my own. God continues to show me more of who He is through how I parent my own kids. No, I am not a father, God knows that :-), but I am a parent. And God always meets us where we are. He knew I couldn't really relate to him as "Father," but I most certainly can as "Parent."

Just today, I had to spank one of my kids---something I absolutely hate to do! You should see me. I'm probably more anxious than the child! Why won't this kid just listen and obey?! I scream aloud. I pour out mercy and give warnings, yet they still choose to disobey. In that moment, I understand the Father heart of God more clearly than ever. How many times does He warn us, redirect us and give us mercy and we still disobey? How this must grieve Him!

On the flip side, I am planning a wonderful surprise for my kiddos tomorrow. I'm so excited! I've purchased the tickets and they have no idea! I think of my Heavenly Father. How many times does He have a wonderful, glorious plan in store for us, yet we whine and complain because we can't see how our future looks. Instead of stepping out in faith, we shrink back in fear, not realizing He's already "purchased the tickets" for our hope and future (Jeremiah 29:11)! I see Father God all giddy and excited because He knows our future, and it is mar-va-lous dahlin'! Won't you trust Him?

See, for me, Jehovah, Yahweh is to me the dad I never had. And what a Wonderful Dad/Father/Papa He is!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Keep Moving Forward

Life is a Journey. Keep Moving Forward.
You know, no matter what stage in the journey of life you're in, one thing remains: you must keep moving forward. Life is a journey filled with twists, turns, setbacks, celebrations, obstacles, problems, triumphs, pain, risks . . . the list could go on. At the beginning of any obstacle, you are faced with a decision: fear or courage. Whichever you choose determines how long you stay at that "station" in life.

Say for example, you lose your job. That's a huge obstacle to most people! You might wonder, What am I going to do? How will I make ends meet? How did this happen to me?! You are at the beginning, the genesis of your crisis. I've said it before and I'll say it again, "It's not what you go through, but how you go through." The unexpected happens. That's life. You can't change it. You can't hide from trouble. Trouble will find you! So, how are you going to respond?

That decision is so key and crucial as to how long you will face that challenge. In this situation, some people pout, have a pity party and collect their unemployment check with no plans on getting back on top. Others become angry, blame their boss, blame the economy, the world, whatever. Then, there's the Warrior. This person says, "You know, I didn't ask for this, but there is a reason this happened to me. What can I learn from this?" This is hard. I ask myself this question EVERY DAY! "What can I learn from this?" Having that attitude sets you up for growth, blessing and influence. Let's face it, no one wants to hear your pity party! Now, before you accuse me of being harsh and "compassion-less," believe me, I've had my fair share of pity parties! Some of my parties had a room full of people and during others I was all alone. Cry if need to, but at the end of your cryfest, you need a plan. You must keep moving forward!

Many people get stuck in life because they never mastered the art of moving forward. They get swallowed up by pain and tragedy that they forget that life is a journey. Get your feet out of the mud, dust those bad boys off, make a plan of action and keep it moving . . . forward! Then, and only then will your test become a testimony.

I've got a new best friend, and her name is KIM. (Keep It Moving)! Don't quit. Because just around the bend of that obstacle is a celebration waiting for you to attend!

Love and Blessings, and I'll see you at the top!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Chinese Bamboo Tree

Chinese bamboo tree over 90 ft
What does writing, starting a business and waiting on provision have to do with a Chinese bamboo tree? E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G! Chinese bamboo is quite a hot commodity here in the US. We use Chinese bamboo for beautiful hardwood floors, place mats, cutting boards, you name it. But it's not their versatility I want to write about. It's the growing process of the Chinese bamboo tree.

You would expect great results from a little seed that has been watered and fertilized, watered and fertilized, watered and fertilized for a year. But to the contrary, nothing happens! The second year you water and fertilize, and nothing happens. The third year you water and fertilize, and still nothing happens. If you haven't given up yet, you're most definitely discouraged!

The fifth year you continue to water and fertilize the seed and then---suddenly it seems---the Chinese bamboo tree sprouts and grows to over NINETY FEET IN SIX WEEKS (just one growing season)!

All the hard work and dedication you put into its growth didn't go unnoticed. While you were watering and worrying, life was taking shape UNDERGROUND! You couldn't see it, but life was certainly happening. A favorite scripture comes to mind when I think of this: "We don't look for things that can be seen but for things that can't be seen. Things that can be seen are only temporary. But things that can't be seen last forever" (2 Corinthians 4:18, GOD'S WORD Translation)

Personally, I have begun a new business that is taking time to grow. I'm also continuing to look for writing and speaking opportunities . . . another growth process. Even myself. I am a growth process! I'm not who I was last year and not who I'll be next year.

My Facebook status for today was, "It can't grow if you won't sow!" Many of us haven't sown any seed because we are afraid it won't grow. I used to be like this. Instead of planting my seed, I would hold on to it (which is why it took me years to ever write my first book!) Of course it can't grow if you won't even exercise the small amount of faith to sow it. 

So the next time you contemplate whether or not to sow a seed, think of the story of the Chinese bamboo tree. Success doesn't happen overnight. Rome wasn't built in a day! Sucess takes time.  But remember, "It won't grow if you won't sow!"

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

"Help, I'm Drowning!"

"I'm Drowning!"
Yesterday I took the kids to the pool. The older two got in the water with no problem, even though they can't swim and even the baby splashed about happily. But my five year-old . . . he wasn't having it! He stood on the edge of the pool watching everyone else have fun. As I tried to coax him in, he backed away---the closer I got to him, the more he backed away until he full-out ran to the safety of the lounge chairs nearby.

A little while later, he ventured to the edge of the pool again. "I'm gonna get in, Mommy. I can do it myself," he said hanging on to the railing for dear life.

"Corey, the water is only two feet deep. Come on in," I tried to reassure him.

"No! I'm gonna drown, I'm gonna drown!" he shrieked.

"Corey, do you think Mommy would let you drown?" I asked him, bewildered at why he was acting like this.


I was shocked. My kid actually thought I would let him drown. What kind of parent did I think I was?!

Lesson #1
As a good Father, God beckons us to "swim in the deep with Him." Much like Corey, we, for some reason, think that He is going to let us drown.

Lesson #2
We see everyone else enjoying life, making their dreams come true and we smile and think, "Good for them," but we don't have the courage ourselves to get in the water.

Lesson #3
We run to what's familiar (in Corey's case, the lounge chairs) or "safe," because we perceive the water as dangerous.

Little did Corey realize that even if he stood up in the middle of the part of the pool where we were, the water would have only come up to his waist. He was never in danger of drowning! God spoke to me profoundly through this little experience. It's all about our PERSPECTIVE! What one kid perceived as fun and adventurous, the other perceived as scary and unsafe.

In my business, Organo Gold, or even in my writing business, Dana Che, there are many who look at what I'm doing from the sidelines and say, "Good job, Dana, so proud of you," but they are not able to see themselves doing the same thing! Or maybe they perceive network marketing as "scary" or "risky." After all, what if I don't do well? they ask themselves. I, however, have come to a realization that life is all about taking risks. NO ONE, hear me, NO ONE who is successful got there by playing it safe. What's the worse that can happen? For Corey, it would've been that he fell into the water and I would be right there to catch him. For you, if you trust a loving Father who is able to keep you from drowning, the worse is that you fall and He picks you up. Be not afraid of what might happen if you try, be more afraid of what will happen if you don't.

This is my passion---to see people set free from fear and limited living. Jump in! The water's great!!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Dissin' the President

President Barack Obama

My Facebook status today and the comments written by my friends made me want to expound on my thoughts about people dissin' the President. First, I am neither Democrat nor Republican. Both parties have ideals that I agree with and both have ideals that I disagree with. When President George W. Bush was in office, I would stand up for him as well when people made snide, rude and inappropriate comments about his decisions. We must learn to separate our own opinions from the character of another.

I've never met President Obama, but I think we would be friends if I did. :-) He seems very down to earth and I really believe he thinks what he's doing as a leader is the right or best thing for the country. Now, whether or not that's true is my OPINION.

I've seen comments posted on Facebook that make me want to "defriend" some people. Some are just plain nasty . . . like they have a personal vendetta against the man. But again, I saw the same thing with President Bush.

When we look at the issues of our day--- affordable health care for all, education benefits for all, equality for all and the protection of our religious freedoms---there are bound to be major disagreements. All I want to know is, can we disagree in a mature, responsible and cordial manner? Some issues, especially issues on morality are passionate for many. Personally, I take a bold stance against abortion. However, I have learned to disagree with others in a way that will highlight the truths in my words and not the anger behind my words.

The President of the United States gets paid far less than most celebrities, receives daily death threats, is ostracized by half the country and never can seem to do anything right. It's time we begin to support our leaders again. And for those who pray, PRAY! Pray for his health, his decision making, his convictions and his courage.

"Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land." 2 Chronicles 7:14, NLT.