no gas or google

No Gas or Google: Two Shortages That Changed My Life This Monday


Have you ever had one of those days? You know THOSE days…where things just don’t seem to go as planned? Well, today is one of those for me. And it’s a Monday (added bonus!). Factor in the ongoing gas shortage in many states, including our very own North Carolina, and life is just peachy.


I mean, I heard about the pipeline break and the gas shortage. However, until I saw gas stations closed and heard how difficult it is to find gas in the area, it didn’t seem real. How true that is for much of life, right?


We read news stories of horrific things going on in our country and world, which might bring us some concern. Ultimately though, until something happens in our own little corner of the world, let’s face it–it’s out there. Somewhere else. We might be concerned. We might pray. We might think about how awful whatever the situation is, but are we really moved to do anything about it?


Maybe we see something on Facebook. It could be another one of those GoFundMe campaigns. Unless it’s someone we know, or a friend of someone we know, how often do we keep scrolling until the next recipe or photo grabs our attention?


Let’s be honest: I really don’t think I’m alone here.


There are many things I see and hear that aren’t in my own little corner of the world that really do pull on my heart strings. They really do make me cry out to God. Still, they are only the things I have a passion to see. My passion is poverty-related issues. So even though the issues are happening out there, they’re still relevant to my passion, so they keep my attention.


Back to the gas (or lack thereof) and the day I’m having.

This morning brought internet issues. This led to a complete sense of loss because I couldn’t check my email, access my Google calendar, or get online to search for something I needed to know.


I realized (in one of those knock me over the head moments) just how reliant I am on technology and the convenience in my daily life.  I almost didn’t know how to function without the internet. I really have to think through daily tasks and wants vs. needs, all because there’s a chance I can’t just go down the road, fill up my tank, and go on my merry little way.


Maybe it was because I had a little extra time to think this morning (thanks, internet) or maybe it was because I had a little less outside “noise.” Whatever the reason, that still small voice seemed to speak in my heart: “What if you relied on ME as much as you do your Google calendar? What if you were as eager to read My Word instead of searching for information?”


Wow, God. What if?


I know how important daily devotion, prayer, scripture and spending time with God is. I really do take time to do these things, but not with the dependency I seem to have with getting online or filling up my tank to go places. If I’m really honest, I don’t have that complete sense of loss when I don’t spend time with God on a busy day-those busy days when I squeeze my personal time with God between the busy-ness of life. I would say I have a pretty strong faith. And I do trust in and on God. And deep down I really, truly do, but I don’t think my actions always speak to that truth.


So I ask myself: How did I get so busy that I shove God into the background? The astonishing thing is, much of what I do, I do FOR God. Yet I do, DO, DO… and forget to take time to spend time with the One who has called and equipped me.
What if I would spend more time with the Creator of the universe? What if I rely more on God than Google? I mean, really? Really?!?!


My prayer today-in the midst of one of those Mondays, and the gas shortage, and whatever other stuff is going on-is that I may recognize those times I’m too busy. That for every time I check my Facebook or email, I remember how important it is to check in with God. That for every time I refill at the gas station, I can be mindful of refilling spiritually. That maybe I can (ever so little at a time) begin to really see this world as God sees this world. That I don’t become over-reliant on the things of the world, but rely instead on the One who sustains me, brings me joy and peace, the One who is the most important of all.
It’s my prayer for you, too.

dawn from hinton postcard

Dawn from Hinton: Candy Bribes, Dog Road Trips, and a New Identity


I’m not sure how many of you relate to this, but I’d guess quite a few of you probably do. For so long I found my identity through my work. Before you think I’m a workaholic, let me preface this by saying my work is ministry, so have a little compassion. I love what I do and it really is a part of who I am.

However, identifying myself as ‘Dawn from _________ who does _________’ became a little sticky when God called me to uproot from my mission setting in Ohio and move nine hours away to southwestern North Carolina.

I had to deal with all the details that go with moving long-distance. We had to sell our home, find a place to live in North Carolina, figure out just how we would move all of our stuff (how did we EVER accumulate so much STUFF?!), and stress over the fact that our two fur babies– a black lab mix and a Chihuahua– don’t really do the whole car thing so well.  I would have to deal all that, along with leaving family, friends and a ministry I loved. But on top of all that, I also had to deal with the fact that I was ‘Dawn from (insert former ministry name)’. So who am I now?

Yeah, it would be super-easy to just transfer that to ‘Dawn from Hinton Center’. Problem solved. Case closed. Right?


You see, all of this made me realize that as much as I love what I do, and it is a part of who I am, I am more than that. While I know I’m called into the amazing world of ministry, I also know that God made me more than that– God made me, me.

So I’ll start with, Hi I’m Dawn from Hinton Center and I’m an ordained deacon in The United Methodist Church. But I’m more than that…

I’m Dawn who grew up in a small town in Ohio, where we moved from Illinois when I was five years old. I grew up in Appalachia and I loved it.

I’m the girl who had to be bribed with candy to go to the front for children’s time at church because there was no way I was going to walk up there. I love sweet stuff. And coffee. Lots and lots of coffee.

I’m married to Craig and we have our two dogs (who did extremely well on the trip to NC, by the way).

I can be a little OCD at times. My desk and bookshelf must be arranged a certain way. Oh, did I mention I’m addicted to books? *See earlier rant about how much stuff we have.* A good portion of that “stuff” is books. (I had to “fight” my hubby to make sure all my books made it to NC. It kinda is that bad.)

But I’ll move on.

I love lists. In fact, I love them so much that I will write something on my to-do list after I’ve completed it, just so I can checkmark it and feel like I’ve accomplished something. Really. I do that.

I would imagine you’re either nodding your head because you relate to some of these quirky things, or you’re shaking your head astounded that people actually do some of these things.

The point is: I’m more than Dawn from Hinton Center, and I’d like to share that with you. Most of what I post is ministry-related, but I don’t want to paint a picture of a perfect world or a gal who never messes up (frankly, that would be so far from the truth). This thing we call life is messy. Sometimes we laugh. Sometimes we cry. But we’re journeying together. And I hope you’ll hang in there and journey with this deacon who loves God and people, has a heart to serve those often overlooked, knows that life can be crazy, and chooses to serve God in spite of that craziness.

I’m Dawn from Hinton Center, but I’m also me. Can you relate?