Things Dinah said…

Dinah was a character. One of a kind. Well, I have no doubt she still is…just heaven-style, now. But, if you were listening, she was full of wisdom. This morning I awoke with her words on my mind. Here are some of my favorite Dinah-isms. I may come back and add to the list later as I remember. I have a whole-lifetime of her words in my heart.

On marriage and keeping a home…

“You’re giving that man way too many words. He cannot handle every thought in your mind and every feeling you have. Without a word…He is won without a word. How do you not know that after growing up with all those brothers?”

Incidentally…she also said the above phrase about my boys…whenever I gave them too many directions or over explained…=) She would say, “You know he heard about three words of what you just said, don’t you?”

“Your home should be a haven to all who enter.”

“Let the kids play, but start getting things in order an hour before your husband comes home: have the house picked up, children clean and presentable, supper cooked and comb your hair, put on some lipstick,  and wear something pretty before that man comes home. He should come home to order and peace.”

“My mother took a nap everyday. I think that’s a good idea.”

“If it blesses your husband when you make him breakfast before work, then get up and make him breakfast.”

“The way you present yourselves and your family is a reflection of whether or not you honor your husband.”

“Never get too tired, angry, hungry, or lonely.”

“Make sure those boys know how to conduct themselves in any situation. You never know when you might have to eat dinner with the president.”

“Make sure those boys know how to treat a lady with respect and use their manners.”

“Make sure those boys know the Word. Better to pay them to learn scripture than to do their chores or get good grades. Sometimes good godly fear and reverence are necessary for a boy to know. They need to respect the things of God. Respect is the language young men speak.Then, they can learn about grace.”

“Baseball games and golf matches are not an excuse not to feed your family something healthy.”

She loved James Dobson’s philosophy about helping our kids find their niche: “You have to find some area of life..some skill or ability or activity for your children to experience success…keep looking until you find whatever it is.”

In regards to children with stubborn wills: “You always need to have more time than they do.” (That’s fine…I’ll wait it out…I’ve got time.) And also…”If you do find yourself in a battle of wills with your child…you must win.” Hence the waiting it out. Better, of course to avoid the battle of wills whenever possible. =)

On the way we present ourselves to others…

She hated it when people spoke with too much slang or “dumbed down” their speech. She would say it’s important to have a good “command of the English language”.

She was appalled by “poor-talking”….focusing on what we don’t have….acting like one is just so poor when they have plenty. She would say…”My Father owns the cattle on a thousand hills…it is disrespectful to act like He hasn’t provided plenty.”

On my family…

“Tim is such a good dad because he has horse sense.”

She always loved to say at various times when she was super proud of my kids or Tim, or anyone else, really. “He is just a rock star…really he’s a rock star.” She is one of the only people other than my mom and mother-in-law that I have felt like I could really brag about my kids when I was proud of them, and she would care just as much and feel just as proud. She claimed us as her own, and rightly so.

For her final resting place, she said she wanted to be “where Kelly’s babies are”. And, so that’s where she will be.

On God’s ways being higher than ours…

“He is who He is and He does what He does.”

One of my favorites when I was giving her too many of my words…(Ya’ll know I like words!)

“Are you almost done giving me the prologue? I haven’t got all day…can you just get to the point?” I do love a good prologue.  Everything has a story. =)

On God’s ways regarding grief and healing…

(The words below are taken from the Dreams of You Memory Book, Copyright 2004-2011 Sufficient Grace Ministries, Kelly Gerken. They were born like so many things in a woman’s life from a conversation Dinah and I shared about grief and God’s ways as He heals our hearts. I’ve shared them here before, but they seem fitting to share again here. Oh, I just remembered another phrase she always said when something wasn’t right….”This just ain’t fittin’!” She wouldn’t say that about this.)

My friend Dinah gives a great analogy of how God mysteriously works. She likens it to the changing of the seasons. In the autumn the leaves change colors. Often though it is so gradual, so subtle that we don’t realize it fully until one day the tress are orange, yellow, red and brown instead of green. In the same way as winter approached, the leaves fall from the tress. One day, we notice that the leaves are gone. We know they must have been falling for some time, but it was so subtle and gradual that we hardly noticed, until, one day when they were all gone and the land was stark and bare. When spring comes, everything brings forth new life. What once was dead is alive again. And one day it happens. You wake up and the leaves have returned once more – green and shiny and new. You can’t point to a time when they began to bloom, exactly. You may have seen a bud or two. But it seems that it is sudden. In reality it was happening all the time, subtle, gradual, unseen, changing and restoring life. That is the best illustration I have heard of the way the Holy Spirit works in us to heal and restore. How subtly God works in us to change us until one day what once was, is no more. One day , we are no longer struggling. We have overcome what once held us captive, be it bitterness, pain, grief, or sin. God had been healing us all along, working while we struggled. He will take the tatters ashes of the broken hearts and made them into something beautiful … God will use every tear, every moment of brokenness to make beauty from ashes to heal our pain and restore our joy.


  1. Words to live by. Thank you!

  2. Debby@Just Breathe says:

    I am so sorry for the passing of your friend Dinah. ((HUGS)) I love her wisdom that you shared. Very good advice. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

  3. Franchesca says:

    I love this. What beautiful words to hang on to. I love all of them, but I love the ones about marriage and family. They are so needed, so important. Thank you for sharing!! xxxx

  4. I loved this! I love a woman who says what she thinks….such wisdom in those words too!

  5. Kelly,
    I was so blessed to read the words that ring in your heart from Dinah! She was so wise.. full of God's love. I am so sorry for this void in your life right now… but what a blessing that she left you with such Dinah-isms!
    Thank you for sharing with us all. She may be with the Lord,, but her impact is still blessing others.

  6. Beautiful Kelly. I'm so sorry for your loss. Dinah sounds like an amazing woman and friend. Thank you for sharing her words of wisdom.


  7. Sarita Boyette says:

    What a very wise woman! I'm so sorry she is gone – thank God she left you with all this wisdom. That is so sweet that she wanted to be buried with your babies! What a precious, precious soul.

  8. I can tell Dinah had a lot of good sense! What a wonderful woman

  9. If only we could hear Dinah say it the way Dinah would say it! Every word shows how much you miss her and the depth of your relationship together. Oh, and I never knew horse sense make a good dad but if Dinah said it… :) Praying for you!

  10. Jennifer Ross says:

    I'm telling you, I would have LOVED to be around this woman!! Full of so much wisdom mixed in with words that have me cracking up!

    I liked how she would tell you to get to the point, she didn't have all day! LOL

    "My Father owns the cattle on a thousand hills…it is disrespectful to act like He hasn't provided plenty."…… this was awesome!

    She wanted to be buried next to Kelly's babies……. wow, that made my mouth drop. What an honor for the both of you.

    …….. Dinah was far above rubies……..

    Proverbs 31:31
    Give here of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.

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