Archive | Lessons Learned in 3D

Rewind: The Year in Review 2016

Rewind 2016 |

Taking a look back is good for the soul.  We are so forward focused that we’re prone to forget how far we’ve traveled. But, if we slow down and look in the rear-view mirror, we just might see evidence of God’s fingerprints on every page.

Let’s rewind 2016:

January: Let’s Choose Rest

Let's Choose Rest |










I choose rest.

  • I will linger long and be fully present for my loved ones.
  • I will treat my body with tender care.
  • I will set aside time to remember God’s goodness.
  • I will cultivate a heart of gratitude.

May I purpose to choose His rest, rather than feeling frazzled and fatigued.  

Rather than live a weary life, I want to worship.

Rather than being overworked, I want to be overwhelmed by His presence.

I choose rest.


February: Avoid Blind Spots

Avoid Blind Spots |












If you neglect to pay attention to your blind spot, a total wreck is inevitable.

I don’t want to miss out on the journey that God has laid out for me.  I pray for God to teach me to exercise wise judgment, rather than running roughshod over others on the road.

A wise traveler follows the rules of the road to avoid a washout:

  •  Focus on the road ahead and turn off distractions:  On the road of life, we need to create a quiet space and turn off the noise.
  •  Drive defensively with a watchful eye:  Pray for protection as you move forward.  Ask God to help you heed His signposts.
  •  Look in the mirror:  God’s Word will point out obstacles in your path.
  • Glance over your shoulder:   Look back at the terrain behind you and avoid colliding with someone who is not traveling in the same lane as you.
  •  Leave space between yourself and careless drivers:  A little distance creates space for you to respond wisely, rather than react out of fear.

The best way to avoid a crash is to stay in your lane and move forward on the path that God has lovingly laid out for you.


March: He Holds My Hand

He Holds My Hand |










One day, the rain poured down hard and heavy. Nothing on the horizon had prepared her for this onslaught. The wind blew so fiercely that she could not stand.

On the ground in the midst of the mud and mire, she looked up and cried out for help.

Quietly, she felt a Presence beside her. He reached for her hand, and she surrendered her will to His. Her Champion picked her up and carried her through an overwhelming wall of opposition.

Hand in hand, they pierced through the darkness and despair to the other side.

A song of praise now fills her frame.


April: Head Home

Head Home |











Sabbath is a returning home. God is my dwelling place — a refuge from the war that threatens to swallow me whole. Rather than rushing on in the wrong direction, I must choose rest and allow Him to renew me.

Sabbath is a surrender. I don’t know which way to go without Him. To avoid the road to nowhere, I must head home and allow Him to help me relocate my True North.

Have you lost your way? Get off the road for a bit.

Head home. A cozy spot close to His heart has your name on it.


May: Break Every Chain

Break Every Chain |










How are things going with [insert name of my tough cookie here]? she asked.

“The same,” I responded. Nothing has changed. Her spiritual eyes are still darkened. She is seemingly deaf to the voice of the Lord.  Her pace is steadily progressing on the road to destruction with no U-turn in view.

So, I sit in my office and cry out to the One who came to set captives free.

And He tenderly reminds me:

My love breaks every chain.


June: Take it Easy

Take it Easy |











As I gathered up my belongings to head back home, my dad leaned in to give me the traditional Cuban kiss on the cheek and smiled.

“Cojelo suave,” he said. Take it easy, kid.

Suave is not my style. My style is harried and hurried. I want to stuff more into my day, and I stretch out the week by staying up way too late. I am the proverbial 5-year-old in pig tails refusing to rest when her eyes are obviously heavy with sleep.

I drove home with my dad’s words on my heart.  Cojelo suave

My spirit hears the tender voice of my Savior inviting me to lay down my load, sit down at His feet, and take it easy for a spell.

What would happen if I did?


July: Be Blessing Counter

Be a Blessing Counter |












I know I need to surrender my expectations. I know I need to walk in grace.

My unhappiness is not someone else’s problem. I can adopt a different perspective.

Rather than complain about what is not, I can choose to be thankful for what is.

I can determine to count my many blessings, and by naming them one by one, I will fight the ugly.



August: How to Fight the Worry Monster

How to Fight the Worry Monster |














“I have the worry gene,” I confessed.  Left alone with my thoughts for more than 90 seconds, I will construct an imaginary apocalypse.

The Worry Monster is lurking around in the corners of my mind seeking to squelch my joy and steal my serenity.

Have you met the Worry Monster?  His ability to magnify your fears knows no bounds if you give him free rein.

Just a few days ago, I received a series of frantic texts from a friend who was facing the bully head on.  My response was simple:

Stop, Breathe, and Pray.

It’s like stop, drop and roll when your mind is on fire. You must turn your worries into prayers.


September: How to Host a Pity Party

How to Host a Pity Party |















Pobrecita literally means “poor little thing.” When Barby says it, it’s a term of endearment and deep understanding.

Pobrecita is quite similar to the Southern girl’s “Bless her heart.” And, because I speak Spanglish and had a close friend from Macon, Georgia in college, sometimes I will use these two phrases in conjunction for double the emphasis.

Pobrecita.  Pray for her. Bless her heart.

The problem is that unlike Barby, I do not always have the gift of mercy. Sometimes, I think I have the spiritual gift of complaining (Yes, I know that this is not actually a fruit of the Spirit. I am working on that.)

So, I like to think: “Pobrecita Me!”

…My Pobrecita Persona can really rob me of my joy if I let it sit in the driver’s seat of my heart.

Pobrecita Me loves to throw a good pity party.


October: Just Breathe for 31 Days

Just Breathe for 31 Days |














I’m tired of running ragged.  I want to be still and know that He is God.

I want to press in to know Him and spend my time investing in moments that have eternal significance.

I’ve forgotten how to “just breathe” and be.

Are you tried of the endless, crazy hamster wheel of life?   We’ve raced along on an adrenaline-infused rhythm for so long that taking a break seems boring, barren, and baseless.

The enemy loves to get us busy.

When was the last time you “just breathed,” friend?

Let’s slow down together and remember that inhaling is a gift of His mercy.


November: Being Politically Right is Not About Me

Being Politically Right is Not About Me














Why can’t we just learn to listen to one another and realize that no one in the White House is going to make things right?

We live in a broken world, and only God can redeem and restore us. He alone can uproot the seeds of sin and death that our willful, disobedient choices have planted.  Only God can unite and heal what seems completely broken and divided.

As we look toward the next four years, what exactly is my role as a Daughter of the King in the midst of a disruptive, captive land? My job is not to prove how right I am. I am not here to be the Holy Spirit and convict the hearts of men….


December: Christmas Heart

Christmas Heart |














I don’t want Christmas to be about the perfectly decorated tree or the number of beautifully wrapped presents.

If I don’t have Christmas in my heart, I will never find it under the tree.

This year, I want my heart to be the only present under the tree. I want to offer my weary, ready for nap heart to Jesus.

It’s a good thing He loves broken and needy people. Because I really need Him.

Instead of running ragged on the Christmas treadmill this year, I am going to jump off the crazy train and plop down at His feet in my jammies.

There will be no stockings hung by the chimney with care, but I will be hanging on to Jesus.

I’m going to wrap up my heart in the wonder of Him this Christmas.


Q4U:   If you were to rewind your 2016, where would you note God’s fingerprints of grace all over your story?

“Rewind: The Year in Review 2016.”















Deep Within

Deep Within |

Recently, Cheryl Smith invited me to look deep within.  Cheryl does a weekly interview on her blog where she provides a space for “iron to sharpen iron” as we examine our “Inner Views.”

I must admit that it took me quite a while to respond to several of these questions.  A little introspection is good for the soul.

Interview Questions:

  1. Tell us about your childhood.  (Where were you born, where did you grow up, what were your childhood years like, etc.  Please feel free to share as much or as little as you would like and feel comfortable with.)
  2. How old were you when you became a Christian?  What led you to take that step?  Is there a particular person who has most influenced you in your walk with Jesus?
  3. We would love to hear your love story.  How did you and your husband meet?  Was it love at first sight?  When did you realize he was “the one” for you?
  4. What are you most passionate about?  What fulfills you most?
  5. Looking back over your life, what do you consider to be your darkest season?  How did your faith in God see you through those difficult days?
  6. What is your greatest strength?  How does God use that trait to help others?
  7. Do you consider yourself an introvert or extrovert?
  8. What is the most exciting ministry you have had the privilege of becoming involved in?
  9. Tell us about your blog, 3dlessons4life.  What prompted you to start blogging?  How did you decide upon the name of your blog?  How has blogging impacted and enriched your life?  Where do you find inspiration for blog posts?  Is there a particular place you like to go to write?
  10. Is there a cause you care deeply about and would like to introduce us to?
  11. At the end of your life, what do you most hope to leave behind?  What legacy do you most long to create as you walk this journey?
  12. On your bucket list, what have you already experienced and accomplished?  What do you yet hope to do?
  13. Who do you consider to be your biggest hero?  What person in your life would you most like to emulate?
  14. How do you personally stay encouraged?  Are there specific Bible verses, songs, books, or other resources that you turn to in times of discouragement?
  15. How can we pray for you now?

Want to know how I answered?

To get a peek inside “deep within” my life, join me here.






Lessons Learned in 3-D: Music is My Muse

Lessons Learned in 3-D Music is My Muse |


Is May really over? Where did my Spring go? Time is slipping through my fingers, and I want to grab it back. As an exercise of gratitude and grace, I am stopping today to share lessons learned in hopes of capturing those moments before the memory fades.

On a Diet |


  • Trolling on Instagram sometimes leads to gold. A friend of a friend posted a picture of a park that was close to home, on the water, and completely new to me. We did a little exploring using our GPS, and now we have a happy place to visit.

    Macho Cuban at Park |



  • Ten years after I stopped teaching, I can still quote most of Mark Antony’s soliloquy from Julius Caesar. However, I cannot remember my current email password.  Friends, Romans, Countrymen, lend me your ears and your memory.
  • God loves to repeat Himself to make sure I am listening. Earlier this month, I shared with you about how God is teaching me to appreciate the gift of just breathing. Then, last night I opened up chapter 5 to read a little Deidra Riggs and discovered the chapter was titled “Breathless.”


We are infinitely and exquisitely crafted by the God who gives us this one race to run. We should not underestimate the breath in our lungs and how it links us to the One who gives us life. Every breath we breathe is a gossamer testimony rising toward the heavens.

Every Little Thing |

  • My mom bought me an electric pressure cooker and showed me how to use it. Let us pray that I do not blow the house up.

    Electric Pressure Cooker |


  • I moved around the furniture in the family room and made room for a $100 table I bought on Amazon.  Viola!  Now, I have a beautiful spot by the window to think, breathe, dream, and write.  Yay!

    Writing Space |




Music is My Muse |

Let’s Talk:  What did you learn in May?


I am sharing “Music is My Muse” and joining like-minded sisters at Give Me GraceLet us GrowSpiritual Sundays, Faith-Filled Friday, Fresh Market FridayBlessing CountersLive Free ThursdayGrace Moments, Tell His Story, Coffee for Your Heart, Three-Word Wednesday, Intentional TuesdayPurposeful Faith’s RaRaLinkup, Rich-Faith Rising, Testimony Tuesday, Moments of Hope, Chatting at the Sky, and Sharing His Beauty.


Lessons Learned in 3-D: Fall Revisited

Fall Revisited

 Photo Credit

Hello November!  I don’t know about you, but I am looking forward to turkey and sweet potatoe casserole in my not too distant future.  I am a huge fan of Thanksgiving, but before I officially get on the “gobble gobble” train, I want to revisit some of the lessons learned in October.

  1. Apple rolled out wi-fi calling, which has saved me from bad cell reception purgatory while I am at work.  Hallelujah!
  2. I am slightly addicted to Etsy.  This is my latest purchase for our home from JodiMarieDesigns:


  3. The new movie Woodlawn is based on the life of someone I know personally!   I learned Tony Nathan is an awesome dad and husband when his girls were in my class years ago.
  4. If you go to Paneras late and ask them to give you the muffins for free, you might just go home really happy.

    Muffin Man

  5. I plunged into Periscope in October and survived.  [Insert scream of fear here.]  Note:  Periscope might not auto save your broadcasts (even if you have it set up to do so), so signing up for Katch is a good idea as a back up.  If you’d like a little #PrayBig inspiration, check out my October scopes on my You Tube page.  Find me on Periscope here.
  6. I joined Laura’s book club on The Right to Write and discovered that I love reading books about writing!

    The Right to Write

  7. Reading a book on writing while you do a 31-day writing challenge will inspire you to push through and keep writing.  Here are some of my new “writing mottos” thanks to Julia Cameron and the #write31days challenge:
    1. When we forget ourselves, it’s easy to write (p. 11).
    2. Don’t try to write something perfect; just write (p. 15).
    3. Writing doesn’t always have to know where it’s going (p. 22).
    4. Accept  your writing as permanent, a person you are in love with who has good days and bad days, cranky days and euphoric ones.  Let your writing be itself.  Give it love and it will surprise you (p. 36).
    5. Writing is what we make from the broth of our experience (p. 65).
  8. Men do the “nesting” thing, too — except they do it in the yard and the garage.  Here is the bird feeder on steroids my hubby just acquired for our backyard: 

    bird feeder

  9. It’s a good idea to have a techy person to help you with your blog — especially if your blog disappears in the middle of your 31-day writing challenge.  I’m so thankful for Arthur at Outstanding Setup.
  10. November will sneak up on you if you aren’t paying attention.  I don’t want any more days slipping by unnoticed, so this month I am going to be Counting My Blessings from A to Z every day on Facebook.   I hope you will join me.

    Thanksgiving A to Z


Let’s Talk: What did you learn in October?

I am sharing “Lesssons Learned in 3-D: Fall Revisited” and joining like-minded sisters at Chatting at the Sky, #write31days, Give Me Grace, Still Saturday, The Weekend Brew, Spiritual Sundays, Faith-Filled Friday, Blessing Counters, Live Free Thursday, Tell His Story, Coffee for Your HeartTestimony Tuesday, Purposeful Faith’s RaRaLinkup, Rich-Faith Rising, Sharing His Beauty, and Playdates with God.


Lessons Learned in 3-D: Less is More

Less is MorePhoto Credit

It’s almost October.  Wow!  Wasn’t it just March yesterday?  This year is flying by, and Fall has sneaked up on me.

I bet you I am going to blink a couple of times, and it will be 2016 just like that.  So, before this year slips away, I am going to share a few tidbits that I’ve learned lately.

Lessons Learned in September:

  1. Friends who give sweet gifts are like sunshine on a rainy day.  My friend Nina painted this beautiful butterfly for me.  Nina's butterfly
  2. In honor of the upcoming new Peanuts movie, and you can “Peanutize” yourself and create a mini-me cartoon version of yourself by going here.   (Don’t you love my pigtails?)mini Lyli
  3.  If you read this blog, you know that I am a huge book nerd.  In October, (in)courage is hosting a Fall Book Club, and we are going to read Emily Freeman’s new book Simply TuesdayYay!
  4. My hubby mentioned that he loved the American Gothic painting and suggested maybe we could find an artist who would paint us into the picture to display on the wall in our new home.   I did a quick Google search and learned that art is very expensive.  Instead of pulling out my wallet, I headed over to PicMonkey and decided to take a stab at it.  This is when I realized that I may need group therapy for PicMonkey addiction.  Dunbar Gothic
  5. For my fellow Bible study nerds, I just discovered that all of Warren Wiersbe’s “BE series” commentaries are on sale at CBD in 6 volumes (all 66 books of the Bible) for an outrageously low price.  Run here to buy (I am not making any money off of this one.)
  6. Periscope is the new thing.  I got wooed onto this Live Video Streaming app by Crystal Stine as part of the 31dayers group, and she “almost persuadeth” me to do a scope myself.  I might take the plunge in October as part of my 31 day series.  Maybe.   [Insert scream of fear here]   You have to download the app to watch live.  Follow me by looking up Lyli Dunbar or my twitter username @3dlessons4life.  And in case you are wondering what I could possibly write about for 31 days, here is the big reveal:  Pray Big 31 Days
  7. Forget the selfie stick.  That’s so yesterday.  Crystal’s Periscope pointed me toward a bluetooth remote that is the awesome sauce.   Here Bruce and I are testing it out.  I said, “Let’s test the new camera remote, baby.  Smile.” Smile
  8. Blab is the next new thing. This live video streaming format allows you to chat with 3 friends at the same time.  (It’s kind of like watching an episode of the Brady Bunch squares.)  I got wooed on there by Laura Krokos and will be chatting live with her, Joy Rudolph, and Jacque Kosmicki on Monday at 4 PM EST on the subject of “Living Missionally in Everyday Life.”  You can join us and subscribe here.  There is a Blab app, but it’s still in Beta form.  The website is actually a bit more user friendly, in my opinion.  You can follow me on blab here. Blab Girls
  9. Podcasts are fun!  My friends Holly Barrett and Diane Bailey invited me to join them for the new Consilium Podcast.   The Consilium is great community for women over age 45.  To listen to my interview, head on over here.  You can also join the Facebook group and make lots of great friends.
  10. Less is more.  This month, my man and I have decided to slow down.  We are saying no to busy and loud, and we are discovering that there is more intimacy with Jesus and with each other to be found in the quiet.  A little unplugging is good for the soul.

Q4U:  What did you learn this month?

I am sharing “Lessons Learned in 3D: Less is More” and joining like-minded sisters at Chatting at the Sky, The Weekend Brew, Spiritual Sundays, Faith-Filled Friday, Blessing Counters, Tell His Story, Coffee for Your Heart, Three-Word Wednesday, The Soli Deo Sisterhood, Testimony Tuesday, Purposeful Faith’s RaRaLinkup, Rich-Faith Rising, Sharing His Beauty, and Playdates with God.

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