Posts tagged loved

I am loved…

fully and thoroughly loved every day of my life.

I am noticed…

recognized and relished.

I am seen…

taken in and embraced for who I am.

I am known…

deep down, where secrets hide and dreams are born.

I am cherished…

delighted in, cared for, valued.

I am watched over…

everyday, every hour, when I’m aware and when I’m not.

I am guided…

through each precarious step and along every joyous path.

I am lavished…

with gifts strewn in my way, brightening my days, surprising and specific, just for me.

But some days I forget about that love. I ignore my Lover. I turn my back to Him and try to find all that love from others… who do not and cannot and never will love me like He does.

Those are the days that fall apart. When I start to strive and stress and get uptight and hurt and mean and sad.

On those forgetting days I am not who I really am. I lose that knowing. My heart turns cold to the One who loves, demanding instead that love from those He wants to lavish with his love by way of me.

My life loses beauty.

And somewhere off in the distance I hear a whisper. A faint caress, like the slightest breeze on a sweltering summer day.

I remember. I turn. I hold out my heart to the One who loves, needing Him, wanting Him, craving what I forgot.

And all His love comes rushing back, filling me, freeing me, embracing and knowing and cherishing and delighting and seeing and …

Loving… me.


My dear girls,

I woke up this morning after a fitful night’s sleep, to face a full day. Stresses… people… complications… conflicts… life.

I got up burdened by it all. Ready to write my lists, to somehow organize and strategize my way through the maze of needs and obligations and… then I remembered.

I am not the Grand Ayatollah of Need Meeting.

I am Diane. Made on purpose by the One who loves… me.

So loved that I am filled to overflowing, bursting with the joy of it.

I spill that love on all those others, all those people and complications and conflicts and life… because He first loved me.

Not because I should or I ought to, or because someone expects it of me, or because I am afraid that if I don’t I might get rejected and be alone.

And that, my dear girls, is what I’ve been trying to say through this whole He’s Not Your Prince Charming series. That loving your husband is not about you being perfect or him satisfying you.

We love because He first loved us.

And His loving us satisfies us.

So we in turn love those men in our lives… who may or may not respond the way we wish… but that’s okay because we’re so loved that we don’t need… don’t demand… don’t live on the love of a man.

We live on the love of God.

And somehow that makes all the difference, doesn’t it?

From my heart,


P.S. Are you, like me, waking up to His incredible love? Can you tell us how? What that looks like and sounds like in the midst of real life? Has He surprised you somehow? I’d love to hear your story because… well because we all love a good love story.






















Our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives.

We are no longer slaves to sin.

For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin.

Romans 6:6,7


I've been swimming since Sunday in the warm waters of Romans, chapter six. Dave Lomas, a friend of John Mark's preached a breath-taking message on what it means to be in Christ. One phrase has taken hold of my mind and just won't let go. He said,

Be who you are.

And by that he wasn't referring to 1990's pop-culture ads. He wasn't talking about individuality or giftedness or feel-good-about-yourself best sellers. He was talking about our identity- who I am.

Am I Diane, wife of Phil?

Or Diane, mother of John Mark? and Rebekah? and Elizabeth? and Matthew? Amma to five kids who love me  because I never say no?

Am I Diane, writer of a blog, teacher of women? Or am I Diane, cleaner of my house, cooker of meals, walker of my dog, Jackson?

Who am I really?

And this morning it dawns on me that  first and foremost I have chosen to be a slave of God. That is who I am- on purpose.

But now you are free from the power of sin and have become slaves of God.

Romans 6:22


So why in the world do I worry?  Written in my journal this morning are these words:

It strikes me this morning that all my tense worrying is ridiculous! Why would a slave worry? Or strive? Or fuss about not doing it good enough and now-no-one-will-want-to-read-it-and-oh-dear-I-don't-know-how-to-do-this...

 After all, as a slave of the Most High God, all I really need to do is check in with Him and make sure I'm doing what He wants. I don't have to be perfect- I'm a slave. I don't have to hurry- my Master is kind. I don't even have to prove myself- He liked me enough to buy me with His blood.

And that's why worrying is ridiculous. Because the truth about why I worry is this: I worry because I forget who I am.

I am accepted. Romans 8:1

I am loved. Romans 8:35-37

I am enough. Romans 8:15-17

I am forgiven. Romans 8:3

I am sought. Romans 8:30

I am free.  Romans 8:2

I am His. Romans 8:33

And so this morning I've rolled all my worries on my Master. I've let go control and asked Him for a chore list: What do You want me to do? Say? Write? 

I'm reveling in this rest that comes from letting Him lead me. Wondering why I keep slipping back into the old worrying-way. And I'm writing it down so I remember and so you remember... that all you and I really need to do is...

Be who you are.

From my heart,


repost from march 2013

I know I'm not the only worrying, fretting woman... how about you? What are you worried about? Dare you write it down and give it up? Dare you be who you really are? I'd love to know if you'd be willing to leave a comment.



Dear Matthew,

I know your iron clad commitment to sexual purity. I admire your decision to keep a close guard over your passions, reigning in all those desires that can make life a constant battle for a man. I have just the faintest clue of how hard it must be and that sets me to praying for you every day; for strength, for wisdom, for protection from an enemy who would love to sideline you through spur-of-the-moment stupidity.

And then I go to a gathering of Believers on Sunday and see all those beautiful young women vying for men’s attentions. Some are chaste and subtle and content to remain hidden until God brings them to a man in His time.

But others are not. Many are not. And they dance their bodies before the eyes of men who must look away or burn with forbidden desire. Too much skin, too tight jeans, too bold in their beauty.

Why do they do it?

What are they saying?

What do they want, these women who love God and allure men with suggestions of more?

Here’s what I think— because I’ve been there and done that and just barely escaped giving more of myself than I ought. And we’re all the same, us women. Deep down we need and want and long for the same things.

Five Things Every Woman Longs For:

1.  Every woman longs to be desired.

This is why women flirt, why some uncover too much. There is this little girl inside of every woman that longs to draw a man to herself. To be sought after, to be wanted. And yes, this goes for the sexual area of her relationships as well. A woman cannot separate her sexuality from her soul. To be desired sexually feels like being desired as a whole— that is what every woman thinks and believes and feels.

2.  Every woman longs to be loved.

It is a woman’s deepest need; for a good man to love her for who she is, to love her no matter what, to love her forever. Every woman is born wanting this and many— far too many women spend their entire lives hoping and wishing and working and sacrificing everything in order to get this kind of love. Yet few ever do. And I think God weeps.

3.  Every woman longs to be cherished.

To be valued and considered, to be wanted. To be treated like a fragile piece of crystal rather than a disposable plastic mug. Paul goes so far as to command husbands to cherish their wives, comparing women to the Church and husband to the Savior. (Ephesians 5) This translates in a woman’s mind to carefulness— with her feelings, with her body, with her soul.

4.  Every woman longs to be protected.

It is there even in the fiercest of women, this need to be watched over and guarded from harm. Instinctively, a woman knows that God created men to protect women, to represent God’s warrior-like protection over His creation. Which is why a woman who marries a man who did not protect her purity while dating or engaged, often feels an inexplicable distrust of him.

5.  Every woman longs to be led.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… and again… and again. Women want to be led. Not bullied, not dominated, not forced. And we all know there are mean men out there who are tyrants. But the complaint I hear by far most often from women is not about abuse— it’s about passivity. Men who cannot summon the energy or the confidence to step out and lead, or initiate, or communicate where in the world they’re headed.

To lead takes tremendous courage, I know, but dear sons who are listening, I pray you will have the courage to lead as you are led by Christ.

From the heart of a mom who prays for you and for your friends,




Last night we took Sunday to the Nutcracker. Dressed all up in her red cape, hair twisted into adorable puff balls, a smile so big she could hardly see through her squinted eyes… she glowed.


It was a double date… Pops and Amma, Uncle Matt and Sunday.

And we twittered and tweeted and Insta’d and flickered… while Sunday just grinned. She was the star and she knew it, like a princess knows her subjects adore her— of course.

Wide-eyed with wonder, our little grand-girl took it all in.

The glitter, the elegance, the crowd, the kids. She had no idea what we were doing, just that we were loving her.

Opening a world of beauty a little wider.

Taking her by the hand to experience something grand together.

She laughed and she clapped at all the wrong times. Just an outburst of joy at being there!

Sitting on my lap to see, Sunday danced and wiggled to the beat of a drum I could not hear. She seemed to go in all the wrong directions,  unbound by what she did not know.

And it dawned on me suddenly that just over 8 months ago Sunday sat in an orphanage on the other side of the world. Her life was confined and confusing, devoid of beauty, of wonder, of the love of family.

One year ago John Mark and Tammy called us to pray- they’d been assigned a child from the agency. Would they take her?

All we had was a picture. And just the barest sketch of a story. And the belief that when we pray for wisdom, for guidance, for grace… He gives it. Generously.

And He did and He has!

Sunday Love Comer is an unbearably generous gift from God to all of us. We love her. I mean, we actually, really, honestly love our little girl.




And aren’t we all like Sunday? Adopted by a Father who loves us, who opens beauty and wonder each day.

Cherished, adored, disciplined, included, brought close, held tight, taught, shown off, given gifts, wanted.


God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family

by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ.

This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.

So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us

who belong to his dear Son.

He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom

with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins.

He has showered his kindness on us,

along with all wisdom and understanding.

Ephesians 1:5-8


From my heart,



My Grandma Ruth loved me.

She would tell me she loved me with a kiss on my cheek and a simple “I love you, dear”.

And she would show me she loved me….

By cutting the crust off my sandwiches at lunch (on white Wonder Bread of course)

And always making sure the candy dish was freshly filled when I came to visit.

And stocking the freezer with “Awful Waffles” (aka: Eggo Waffles).

And freshly baked coffee cake waiting on the counter as soon as I arrived.

She loved my family and me through food every time we came to visit her house. She would serve us and my Grandpa tirelessly and always served a beautiful dinner every night… complete with a homemade dessert.

She was a beautiful example of what true service is in every way.

She never seemed flustered or too busy for me… even when I was trying to “help” her cook dinner.

She never complained about the dirty dishes in the sink.

She awoke before everyone else so she could have coffee ready and all the breakfast options waiting for us on the counter.

She and my grandpa even slept on the pull out couch in their living room so my family could use their bedroom and have plenty of space.

I long to be like my Grandma Ruth and serve in the way she did.

One of our favorite meals she would make was called Chili Con Carne and her recipe has been passed down and made by everyone in the family.

The only problem is, like most of her cooking, it is not exactly all that good for you.

But oh so tasty!

So, a few years ago I revised her recipe to be a bit better for you but still achieve the same Grandma’s Chili taste.

I hope you enjoy it as much as our family does!



*Serves 8ish and freezes perfectly!

*Contains dairy


2 packages of ground turkey (about 2.75lbs)

1 medium onion – chopped

1 T minced garlic

2 cans black beans - drained and rinsed

2 cans kidney beans - drained and rinsed

1 box of Trader Joes Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Soup

4 T chili powder

1 T cumin

1 tsp sea salt

½ tsp pepper

1 T flour (I used oat flour but any kind of four works)

Splash of water


Heat a bit of olive oil in a large pan. Add ground turkey and let it begin to brown.

Once it has cooked for a bit, break it up in to small chunks and add chopped onion and garlic.

While the meat is finishing cooking, combine chili powder, cumin, sea salt, pepper and flour in a bowl and stir well. Add a few tablespoons of water and stir well. It should make a thick paste.

Once the meat is finished cooking, add the paste to the meat and stir.

Add black beans, kidney beans and tomato soup.

Bring everything to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer for about 15 minutes to allow the flavors to combine.

Give it a taste and add more spices if needed. If you would like it a bit spicy, add some cayenne pepper.

*This meal works great when made ahead of time and reheated for dinner. It also freezes really well. I usually freeze half and then use the other half for dinner and leftovers.


  • My grandma ALWAYS served hers on bow-tie noodles. It may sound a bit strange to have chili with noodles… but it is AMAZING! I would recommend a good whole wheat noodle or brown rice noodle.
  • It also works on quinoa, just by itself… or a little corn bread never hurt either.
  • It can be topped with cheese, guacamole or sliced avocado, sour cream or plain Greek yogurt… or all of the above.


PS: she really did make the best Sour Cream Coffee Cake and Pineapple Upside Down Cake around and I plan to attempt a healthier version of those sometime soon as well!