Thursday, May 19, 2016

Seasons Change

I spoke at ECHO, my youth group, last night.  Here is the interview.

1. What is your name?
Dina D Coverstone

2. How long have you been a youth leader?
Almost 18 years, 3.5 at Vineyard

3. Why did you become youth leader?
I became a youth leader right out of highschool.  I wanted to stay connected to my youth group initially, having given my life to Jesus 8 months before.  I continued to be a youth leader because God has totally placed a calling on my life to minister to teenagers.  

4. What’s your favorite hobby?
Reading and Basketball!!!

5. Are there a couple stories or memories from the last few years that really stands out to you? What are some of the highlights for you?
  • Youth Leader campout - huge highlight
  • Girls’ lock-ins at the church...especially playing sardines and Twister
  • Lots of conversation and time spent 1-1 with kids over the years.  I have always been a people person, really wanting to get to know people.  I think it is precious when a student shares their life with an is pretty cool.
  • Small group 12 hours of Christmas!  We made and decorated cookies, the cats licked some of them, and we took them to Derek’s!
  • Discipleship group this year
  • watching the youth band grow into worship leaders

6. So, what’s in store for the next season of your life? What will you be doing?
I will be returning to the classroom as a 5th grade teacher and COACHING HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL...a whole new realm of “youth ministry”

7. Why will you be doing what you’re doing in the next season? How has God placed a vision in you for what you will be doing next?
Teaching has always been a dream of mine.  Having been out of the classroom the past 2 years was challenging, but also reminded me of the heart the Lord has given me to teach.  My current position as an Instructional Coach was a 2-year commitment.  I am glad to have had the opportunity, but I am thrilled to be going back where I belong!

I am passionate about the game of basketball.  I believe that athletics, particularly for girls, play a vital role in development.  Some of the best times of my life were spent on a basketball court.  The two friends who lead me to Jesus were teammates of mine.  

Youth ministry doesn’t simply happen inside the walls of a church.  God has placed a calling upon my life to minister to and mentor teenagers.  Coaching is an avenue to use something I love to share about unconditional love through Jesus.  I believe that God has opened the door at a very key point in time at WHS for believers to be put in affluent positions: with students, the staff, and our community.  It is an opportunity to live out my faith, be a witness to Jesus, in a very public place.

8.What most excites you about the next season of life?
I will be doing 2 things that I love: teaching and coaching.  I am a firm believer that God calls people into both of these professions.  It is a lot of outpouring, mentoring/coaching/teaching.  But I also believe that God can and will equip me as HE sees fit to bring glory to His name in the classroom and on the basketball court.  I have spent several years growing in my relationship with Jesus, learning who He has made me to be, and overcoming lots of wounds and insecurities.  I have learned so much in the past year about God’s goodness and that he has BIG PLANS.  Time to put all that learning to work!

9. What most scares you about the next season of life?
I am leaving lots of familiar things.  The past few years have been very different with my job and schedule and freedom to come and go.  Teaching and coaching is a HUGE undertaking.  I also am scared that I will lose my focus on Jesus, become disconnected or lazy in my walk.  Each new season of life brings new challenges.  I am a routine person, so I need to find the new routine.  I need to be sure that God is top priority over everything.  I am scared too that I will lose connections to youth kids and leaders that I have come to love.  But I also know that there will be a new crop of 5th graders in my classroom and 25-30 highschool basketball players to develop relationships with and learn to love.

10. Any last words or anything you would like to challenge these young people and leaders with?
2 things to leave you with:
  1. Revelation 3:19-20 (NIV) Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.    God doesn’t allow us to become idle in our lives.  I have had many times when I get comfortable with where I am, to the point that I can take care of me and tend to put God on the backburner.  Thankfully God doesn’t allow me to stay in that place too long before he shakes things up.  I have dreamed of coaching at the highschool level for a long time, but got comfortable that I would simply coach at the elementary and be involved in youth group forever.  God has different plans and he has opened new doors while closing others.  Don’t think that God doesn’t hear the quiet, unspoken desires of your heart.  He really truly knows you better than you know yourself.  Since the realization of going back into the classroom and the fact that I am now a highschool basketball coach, God has lavished so much love upon me.  
  2. John 10:10 (NIV) The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;  Satan wants nothing more than for us to fail.  At the same time that God has been building me up, Satan has blasted me with lots of lies of inadequacy and fears that maybe God picked the wrong person for these positions.  Satan is a thief and a liar who comes to steal, kill, and destroy.  He tries to take good things and twist them to his advantage, wanting us to give up.  I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full

  3. Stay connected to Jesus and other believers! John 15:5-8 (NIV) I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.  This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. If we do not stay connected to Christ, and other believers we cannot continue to make Christlike decisions.  God’s word is alive and active.  Being connected is life-giving!

My challenge is to remember that God has already won the battle for our lives.  If you give your life to Jesus, accepting the gift of his crucifixion, satan can’t do jack crap to you!  God wants us to believe him for the deepest desires of our hearts, to dream big dreams (the impossible), then trust that he can bring them into fruition in his perfect timing.  Don’t get comfortable in life to the point that you let your guard down and think that you can do anything without God working in your life.  And don’t give satan any credit...he has done NOTHING to warrant any respect from those who trust in the name of Jesus.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Answers to the Questions

Here are the question, with answers, that I was given to answer with my Sunshine Award:

What is your favorite office supply?
Post-it tabs

If I were to make something in my kitchen for you, what would you want it to be?

What makes you feel loved?
A warm, tight, hug...NO PATTING

If you were a piece of chewing gum, where would you want to be stuck?
(Special thanks to Brit Montgomery, third grade teacher, for this little gem of a question.)
the side of a lamppost in the hub of a huge city

What is your least favorite chore around the house?

What's your favorite kind of exercise?
Anything outdoors!

What do you collect (or wish you collected)?
I collect spoons

What's one of your favorite posts YOU'VE written? Please share the link.
"Why I Do What I Do"

What's your favorite quote?
"The king is enthralled by your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord." Psalm 45:11

What are three words to describe you as a teenager?
Happy, involved, social

What are three words to describe your life right now?
Compassionate, loving, learning

Sunshine Award

My good friend and colleague, Ruth, sent me an email this week.  It was a challenge to blog again.  And she posted that challenge here , I realized at that moment that I haven't blogged for a long time, maybe the longest I've gone without blogging ever.

I know EXACTLY why I haven't blogged.
It has nothing to do with time.
It has nothing to do with wanting to write.
It has nothing to do with work or life...

It has EVERYTHING to do with silence.

I am coming out of a very quiet season in my life.  I have walked through some pretty intense personal things in my relationship with The Lord.  As I journeyed I felt led in a quiet way.  A way that made quiet comforting.  A way that was encouraging to not have to be the "usual" Dina.  But it was still very much Dina.  A way that made it okay to not talk or share or have answers or feel the need to talk for the sake of talking

I am grateful for this season.  I am grateful for a God who  "leads me beside quiet  waters" and "restores my soul."  It has been long.  It has been hard. It has been good!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Why I do What I do

Way back in June I wrote this post.

I want to share it as my slice today because it still reigns true for me.  This week, getting back in my classroom, I was again reminded of why I do what I do.  Yes, teaching can be exhausting and challenging and emotional, but it is good.

Be blessed today as you teach.  I know my corporation is headed into Spring Break after today.  If that's the case for you, let it refuel you to finish out the year.  If you are just coming off Spring Break, I pray that you are rejuvenated as you head back with your students next week.  Remind yourself why you do what you do.

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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

A crazy change in plans

Spring Break is just 2 days away.  I was super excited because I had NO PLANS for the first time in a few years.  I was going to stay home, read, do some Spring cleaning, etc.

Now, I am leaving right after school tomorrow to head to Arkansas with my dad.  CRAZY!

We are actually taking a much needed trip to see my grandparents.  Grandpa was just in the hospital with some heart issues.  He was released yesterday, his 87th birthday, and dad really wants to go see him.  My family didn't want dad to have to go alone so I get a little trip with my dad.

I could've been upset that my plans were changed.  Actually before I started my Fight Club I would've been upset.  Now I am seeing what a blessing it is that I will get some special time with my dad and I get to see my grandparents.

God is good.

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It's good be back

My student teacher finished on Friday.  It was so good to be back in the classroom, but time FLIES!  Amazing to me that in a few weeks I could totally be adjusted to a different routine.  I spent my days helping in other classrooms, pulling reading groups, eating rather than inhaling my lunch.  It was a great time.  I learned so much from my colleagues.  But, I am glad to be back in my classroom.  I'm just not glad that time seems to disappear when I am teaching.

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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Technology makes me want to scream

My internet was down all afternoon and evening yesterday.  It worked just fine in the morning.  I got to school (school got cancelled), did some work, then came home to do some work here at home.

And my internet was down!

I had plans, things to do, writing to post, thoughts to share.

God had other plans.

I spent the day just relaxing, not worrying about making a post or reading the news or checking in on the Fight Club page.  I just relaxed.  I even took a nap.

I am enjoying the SOL challenge, but I am also learning that it's okay to miss a day.  I needed to learn that.  I am too eager to "compete", often times getting worried or stressed.

So, while I truly did want to scream at my internet (and actually may have screamed) just a tiny bit, I am grateful for an afternoon and evening of rest.

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Sunday, March 24, 2013

Bus Testimonies

5 Leaders and 35 teens sharing testimonies on a bus.  Picture it!

In January I joined the youth team at my church.  I am still getting the hang of things.  I had the opportunity to go on a short missions weekend in November and was introduced to bus testimonies.

What are bus testimonies, you ask?  Well on the drive home we take time for every person on the bus to give a short testimony about the trip.  It is AWESOME!

Now, there were 40 of us limited to 30 seconds each...that takes some time.  Everyone shares.  EVERYONE!  We had to share 2 highlights of the trip.  Some testimonies were short, some quiet, some lengthy, some general, some specific.  But they all had one thing in common.  We learned that God works in each of our lives, in personal ways, and sometimes not in the actual conference that we went to.  I would say that the majority of us shared something about the impact of relationships.

I was encouraged.  Bus testimony time might have been my favorite part of the whole trip!

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Saturday, March 23, 2013

power of prayer

Prayer is powerful.

One of my favorite times at a youth conference is prayer time.  There is power in seeing a huddle, big or small, of teens and leaders in prayer.

God hears everyone one of them.  Spoken.  Unspoken.  He hears them.

This morning, as the girls are waking from a short night of sleep, there is joy.  Joy that prayer was answered.

Prayer for physical healing,
emotional victory,
spiritual refreshment.

Prayer is powerful!

How can I pray for you?

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Thursday, March 21, 2013

broken down bus

I am on my way to Oasis in Columbus, OH. The youth bus broke down.   While we  were parked on  the side of the road, a lady from a nearby church saw us and stopped by to help.  She contacted her church and got their bus.  They graciously transported 40 of us to their church and are letting us hang in the youth oom.

Its good to know that good people still do good things.

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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Friends and Family

Tonight was a night of family and friends.  I'm still with my friends :)

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Tuesday, March 19, 2013


i long for

it stays away
far away
lost in thoughts
stirring, swirling thoughts

oh, where are you


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