Steer Where You Stare

Steering Wheel 1

DoAheads, I’m excited to introduce you to a friend of mine! We met three months ago in an airport following a conference. It was a divine appointment! Allow me to introduce you to Dana Boyd!

Dana is a lifelong lover of words with a passion for sharing stories of the heart—both her own and others. Her writings draw from her experiences as a woman, a writer, a wife, a mother of three, and a Bible-believing Jesus follower. Her hope, in sharing her words, is to move others to feel deeply, think critically, and act compassionately.

Dana’s words helped me evaluate my focus. I forget that whatever I’m focusing on will “drive me.” Her wisdom was my needed reminder that I steer where I stare. Consequently, what I stare at is important!

Please welcome Dana into your home…I know you’ll welcome her words into your heart!


I’m an emotional gal. I feel…and I feel deeply.

Sappy insurance commercial? Hand me the tissues. Powerful worship song? Here come the tears. Thoughtful tribute? Look away! The quivering will. not. stop.

I joke that God connected my tear ducts to my lips. Because if it’s something I’m passionate about, as soon as my mouth starts moving, the tears start flowing. (That’s why I write…no one can see my leaky faucets behind the screen!)

Happy. Sad. Mad. Touched. Grateful. Exhausted. All of my emotions insist on tracing a salty trail down my cheeks.

So when my husband married me, the lucky guy said “I do” to all that emotion too. And I probably don’t have to tell you, but through 17 years of living as husband and wife, you can bet there have been lots and lots of feeeelings.

We have a good relationship. To this day, no one can make me laugh like he can. But you know how it is. All the good and bad of life plants itself right in the middle of our marriage…challenging us, changing us, churning up all of that emotion.

Sometimes, things get rocky. There are days when my heart screams at him. When random objects around the house start to look like missiles I could hurl. (It’s like a made-for-tv drama inside my head some days!) There are periods of time when I feel unappreciated, ignored, unvalued. I get angry, I get sad. I get hurt. I get resentful. I get quiet.

(And while it’s hard to imagine, he might occasionally feel annoyed or something toward me.) 😉

But here’s the thing. As much emotion as I experience every single day, I try to remember this:

Feelings are fragile and fickle and fading.

It’s a truth I repeat like a silent mantra at times. But honestly, in the heat of the moment, it can be hard to remember or even care about, right?

When we are seeing red, don’t we often want to marinate in our anger? When we’ve been wounded, we want to just lather on the self-pity. And is it just me, or do we, as women, have a tendency to want to pull in a close friend…to let her stoke the fire or soothe the hurt or validate our feelings? We like to seek comfort in commiseration.

I know that was my default. But then one day, God gently slapped me upside the heart with this question: Why are you running to everyone but Me?

Ouch. Good question. Why was I turning everywhere except to Him when struggling with my feelings?

So I decided to try. And the next time the fires started burning in my heart, I did two things. First, I stepped away from the phone! Second, I took everything I was going to spew over text or voice, and said it to God.

I didn’t stop to think about it. I didn’t sanitize it. I just sent all the ugly straight up to Him. And you know what happened? He began to transform my passionate reactions into purposeful responses.

And He did it by the way He responds to me. There is no false validation or misguided justification…as we often receive from well-meaning peers. But there is also no guilt. No shame. No criticism. There is just love. Perfect love.

And in His righteous love, He often gently guides me through the intensity and eventually points out any number of things: maybe I was wrong too; maybe I was overreacting; maybe there is another side of the story; maybe, maybe, maybe I misinterpreted something. So many options here!

What He ultimately does is gives me perspective.

And holy perspective changes everything.

As He settles my heart, I begin to see through my fiery passions. My focus shifts from how I feel right now…to what is true and lasting and to what matters in light of eternity. And every single time the “what” is the same. It is the relationship. The person. Never the fleeting feelings.

I’m an emotional gal. But emotions are not a bad thing. They are a God-thing…created by Him for us. It’s only when we allow them to control us that they become something God never intended. It is then, they start to mess with our relationships. A person governed by emotion is ruled by ruin. And a marriage steered by emotion will fall off the tracks every time.

So I challenge you to join me. One day at a time, let’s take all the feels—the good, the bad and the ugly—and give them up to the One who created them. And let’s watch Him transform them into something beautiful and powerful. Watch Him use them to shape, strengthen, and grow us…and our marriages.


Join me again on Thursday when we’ll link up with Suzie Eller’s #livefree community! Blessings!

Your DoAhead Friend,

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