Today, Dusti speaks to us about her ministry, her focus on hospitality, and her thoughts on the migrant crisis.
Tell us a bit about how you grew up and your childhood: I actually grew up as a Pastor’s kid. All of my siblings were much older than me, so it was really just me and my parents growing up. Additionally, I was homeschooled, so most of my time was spent alone or with adults. You could say that because of this, I didn’t have a stereotypical childhood, and for many years, I was ashamed of this. I didn’t have a lot of association with kids outside of church, so I grew up in a Christian bubble, having never learned to share my faith with non believers nor having my faith challenged.
As I went into high school, I was challenged by this. I wanted to rebel, but my bubble didn’t really allow me to. This rebellion mostly happened internally. I grew bitter, angry, and resentful towards my life and the experiences I felt like I missed out on. I suffered with depression and anxiety. It wasn’t until my early twenties, once I was out of high school and on my own, when I realized that God was so much bigger and better than the boxes I put Him and the bubble I lived inside. I came to love my life and the experiences I was afforded because of my unique situation, so I no longer regretted my childhood because it allowed me to get to where I am today.
My childhood gave me a passion for ministry, and because of this, I was able to meet my husband as I began my career in full-time ministry, I discovered my passion for women’s ministry, and I have found no greater fulfillment in life than living for Jesus.
“I didn’t have a stereotypical childhood, and for many years, I was ashamed of this.”
Inspiring biblical passage of the moment: “Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.” Galatians 6:4-5 (MSG).
As a creative, this passage (and the translation!) really inspires me to creatively live out my life according to what God has called me to. It inspires me to “sink myself into” it with all of my heart, rather than comparing myself to what others are doing.
Spiritual growth focus at the moment: Spending consistent time with Jesus, every day. Working in ministry, it’s easy to get caught up in doing work FOR the Lord rather than spending consistent, personal time WITH Him. Those are two different things and must be kept separate. You cannot constantly pour out at work/church without first being poured into by the Lord at home.
“Working in ministry, it’s easy to get caught up in doing work FOR the Lord rather than spending consistent, personal time WITH Him.”
When did you first encounter God and how did you encounter Him? I actually encountered him at a church camp, when I was 13. Growing up in church since birth, I always knew God and the Gospel story. But at 13, I truly encountered his love for me and it changed everything. From then on, I knew I wanted to help others experience this love.
What has helped you grow spiritually in this season? Worship always leads me closer to the Lord and focuses my attention on Him. I love listening to Bethel Worship videos on YouTube, and I love to create worship playlists on Spotify.
Just read/currently reading (and what has it taught you?): I’m currently diving into The Message Version on YouVersion! I love how the Message translation brings a whole new understanding to the Bible. I’m always learning something new.
Top three essentials: 1) The Word 2) Worship Music 3) A journal to write down anything God shows me and any prayer requests that I can look back over once they’re answered and be reminded of God’s faithfulness!
How did God speak to you recently? He reminded me that He is the answer to every question. He’s the answer to the fulfillment you seek, your dreams and wants and goals, your insecurity and inferiority, fear, and the things you struggle with. Of course doctors, counselors, and medicine are all still important, but sometimes we look to those things before looking to Jesus, when He can do what only He can do.
Hobby: I’ve got a one-year-old Australian Shepherd, so he takes up a lot of my free time. My husband and I love to relax and watch TV… we’ve always got a few shows we’re rotating through. We’ve also recently purchased our first home, so I’ve been busy moving in, decorating and hosting get-togethers. I stay connected with my friends through group chats and we’re always planning fun things to do: dinners, hangouts, etc. But my job in ministry and my lifestyle blog keep me pretty busy!
Top three practical tips for staying spiritually strong:
• Surround yourself with life-giving, Jesus-loving people.
• Get connected and go all-in at your local church. Do more than just attend: volunteer, join small groups, attend weekly, and attend special events.
• Spend consistent time alone with Him daily through worship, reading the Bible, and prayer.
Favorite person in scripture? Besides Jesus, of course, I’ve got to say Abraham. His extravagant faith to trust God’s promises inspires me to trust Him extravagantly.
What do you want people to learn about God when they look at you? I want them to know that He’s beautiful, He’s so worth loving and knowing, He’s enjoyable, He’s fun, He’s exceedingly and abundantly more than we could ever ask or imagine, He loves us so much, and He’s so much bigger than the boxes we put Him in.
How do you leave your mark on your community? That’s a convicting question, because honestly, I haven’t thought much about that. I want to be more intentional to make sure I’m leaving a mark and making a difference in the lives of those around me. For now, I think I could say that I leave a mark by my hospitality.
Favorite holiday? Christmas! But it’s more than just the day, I love the entire season of mid-November through December.
A goal you have? It’s my dream to have a book deal one day.
A special tradition you and your family engage in or keep: We try to go to Florida for a family vacation, once a year.
Question you will ask when you get to heaven? I have a feeling once we get to Heaven, we’ll have all the answers we need. The things that matter, we’ll know, and the things that don’t matter, we won’t care to know.
Thing you want to raise awareness about: I would love to raise awareness about the migrant children at the border. There’s a lot of awareness about this in the media, but not so much in the Christian circles. This isn’t a Democrat or Republican issue. This isn’t a borders or no borders issue. This isn’t an anti-Trump or pro-Trump issue. This is a life or death issue. This is a Gospel issue. Would you pray with me? Pray for a best-case-scenario resolution. Pray for hope for these families and children in dreadful conditions in these detention centers across America. Pray for deliverance. Pray for God’s will, not a party or platform’s will. Pray for salvation and healing. And if you want, please donate with me. There are many available charities and non-profits that are accepting donations. I would ask that you do your own research of these charities to make sure that you make the most informed decision for yourself.
“This is a life or death issue. This is a Gospel issue. Would you pray with me? Pray for a best-case-scenario resolution.”
What is on your nightstand? I love a nicely decorated nightstand, but since we’ve just moved into our house, it’s pretty bare right now. I’ve got a simple alarm clock and a lamp on my nightstand, and all of my essential oils in the top drawer.
Define Christianity in a sentence: “For God so loved the world that He gave his only Son, that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.”
For more Dusti:
Website: everywomanco.com, a lifestyle blog made to equip, inspire, and encourage women through faith, fashion, home decor, relationship advice, time management, and making a difference.
Until next time, keep witnessing!