Dianne Jago » mom blogger & founder of Deeply Rooted Magazine

Masthead header
Dianne Jago bio picture
  • My name is Dianne. I am a military wife, mama of 3 kids, seminarian student and founder of Deeply Rooted. I gave up living for myself to follow Jesus in 2007. God used many events in my life to reveal my sin, my need for a Savior, and show that real peace and joy is found in Him alone.

    God commands us to "Be holy because I am holy." Christians pursue holiness in a spirit of humility knowing that "while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Rom 5:8). This pursuit lives life in recognition that the process of sanctification - separation from the life we lived before God and growing in holiness to become more like Christ - occurs only because God empowers us. It is He who pursues us first and demonstrates his love on the cross.

    "A Holy Pursuit" is a journal of bit and pieces from my journey. It's not a perfect one, but it is one marked by mercy and grace from God. Thanks for reading along.

I’ve always desired to visit France but did not think I would have the chance on this trip. While Paris was definitely out of the question, it was a sweet surprise when Ethan told me that he was going to drive me to Strasbourg which is only a 1.5-hour drive. This region of France, called Alsace, has a whole lot of history (and even current political turmoil) as it’s ownership has gone back and forth between France and Germany. It’s unique from the rest of France because of the German influence but we definitely noticed a heavier presence of French culture. This town was named a UNESCO World Heritage Centre which according to Wikipedia means it’s a “landmark or area which is selected by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization as having cultural, historical, scientific or other form of significance, and is legally protected by international treaties.” It’s neat that they want to preserve this area as much as possible and given the history of this place, I can see why they want to keep it from changing. A fun fact is that it was here that Gutenberg invented the printing press which greatly aided the Protestant Reformation.

The main attraction, as you will see in a large portion of the photos, is the Notre Dame Cathedral. It is probably the most ornate building I’ve seen in my lifetime. (You may recognize it from the opening scene of the Sherlock Holmes movie!) We also walked through an old palace where Napolean and Marie Antoinette once spent time in. I actually didn’t take a picture of the whole palace but I did grab two detail shots (me standing on the steps and a bust of someone, haha.) It was really neat seeing real french bread and while we didn’t buy any, I did purchase a bundle of dried lavender. It was very overwhelming to see loads of people and dozens of souvenir shops all selling the same items. I found it more appealing to walk the back streets and alleys away from the main attractions where we got glimpses of more honest Strasbourg life.  I’m very glad we made the trip and am excited to share the photos I took in the little corners where there weren’t 9 billion people around. 😂






















SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

An incredible opportunity popped up this year for Kaiden and me to accompany Ethan on his deployment to Germany for a bit. (I shared a little about God’s kind providence in this situation over on Instagram.) Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing random bits of our journey as we explore the area.

One day after work, Ethan told us to throw on some hiking clothes and get ready for an evening excursion. He packed some German meats and cheese for a picnic, told me to bring my camera, and drove us to the Swabian Alps but did not tell us much more than that. From our perspective, all we could see was a mountainside covered with trees. The trail to get to the top was probably the steepest trail I’ve ever hiked. There were several switchbacks which revealed how out of shape I really am, haha! But when we got to the top, I quickly realized how worth it the hike was. Built into the side of the mountain during the late 1200’s and into the early 1300’s, this castle served as a fortress to guard and watch over the pass it overlooks. It was such an incredible experience walking around the grounds and exploring all the different floors and rooms. Here are some pictures I took from that day:



SaveSaveSaveSave

I’ve learned many things in the four years that the Lord has allowed me to run Deeply Rooted but one important lesson that I’ve only recently learned is how vital it is to make time for personal projects. It is so easy to get into a rhythm of deadlines, to-do lists, and serving others while neglecting time for the things I’m passionate about in the process. By the end of last year, I felt like a machine trying my hardest to care for my family and home well while juggling the craziness of DR sales that always come around Christmas time. While my goal was to be as efficient and productive as possible — to be the best wife, mom, local church member, and business owner for the glory of God that I could be — I wore myself thin. I must’ve forgotten that I am a person and not a robot. 😅 And so my husband encouraged me to enter into 2018 by taking some time off from Deeply Rooted and social media to recharge and reprioritize.

It worked out well because we spent a few weeks in Wisconsin with my family and we remained away from home (the place where personal life and business life tend to blur.) We slowed down operations as much as we could for our team. I spent time focusing extra time on my relationship with God through consistent time in the Word and prayer. I was intentional about connecting deeper with the needs of my family. (I often have to check my heart to make sure that I’m not allowing the demands of DR to consume me and thereby neglect my first callings.) I also spent time getting back into hobbies that I love. This included visiting an art museum, studying art and writing books, studying nature, photographing for the sake of photographing, drawing, and using Pinterest as a tool to create mood boards for everything that inspired me. The result of this mini-“sabbatical” was a refreshed and nourished soul. During this time, the Lord revealed a lot of idols within my heart that I was clinging to and by His grace, He has helped me remove them one by one. Of course, I’m constantly finding new ones pop up but my goal was to get rid of anything in my life that makes me spiritually numb (which basically is anything that doesn’t build me up or stir my affections for God.) Creatively speaking, this break led to fresh-vision for the look and feel of the next issue of Deeply Rooted. (It’s going to be such an amazing issue!)

In that process, my hopes for regular blog posting went out the window. Sharing things online, in general, has been something I’ve cut back on drastically for a number of reasons. However, the one thing that does remain is my desire to write for the glory of God. I want to share what He has been teaching me and what He is doing in my heart, but much more beyond that, I want to proclaim His glory and His Gospel. Biblical illiteracy within the Church has been an area of great weight in my heart and while I’m not sure what the Lord will do with that burden (outside of our mission with Deeply Rooted), I’m convicted all the more to study my Bible cover to cover.

All this to say, I’ve been making time to get back into the things I love. The other day I dusted off my sewing machine to hem some curtains in our mudroom that were dragging on the ground. It was an easy project that has been on my to-do list since moving into this house and I’m glad to finally check that to-do off my list. I’m glad I did it because the process reignited my love for sewing. I make no claims to be a seamstress but my mom taught me some basic sewing machine skills when I was in high school. I dug out some old fabric and followed a free pattern I found online. I made Cora a dress out of some cheaper cotton fabric to test out the pattern. When I discovered the ease of it, I then tried it out on some beautiful mustard colored linen that I had purchased back when Skye was a baby. (Again, for another project that never happened, ha!) Linen is, hands down, my favorite material and I’m excited to play more around with it this year as I attempt some clothes for my kiddos and maybe even for myself.

Here are a few shots that I took of the girls yesterday afternoon as they tried on their new clothes for the first time. ❤️ This was kind of a random life update but if you’ve been curious about what’s going on in our corner of the world, there you go. Here’s to dusting off the sewing machine and dusting off this blog (again.) 👍🏼

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

A few months ago I hosted a small dinner party in our barn for some girlfriends. I’ve been meaning to post the pics but you know how these things go, ha. 😂 I wanted to keep things simple for the sake of my sanity and desire to spend time with my guests. My dear friend Beatrice and I swept out the barn the night before and set up the tables. Our amazing husband’s strung all the lights. The last thing I wanted to do was be stuck in the kitchen all evening so I requested that each gal bring a dish. It was the best decision. I served whiskey-pepper pork tenderloin with roasted garlic and rosemary blue potatoes. The spread was filled with everything from a tasty cheeseboard to fresh figs, salad, and even Chipotle guac (bonus points for Autumn!) I bought the tables you see pictured for a penny each at a public auction. The strung lights, glasses, and cloth napkins are c/o our Deeply Rooted supplies. The apothecary jars on the table were free items given from an old college lab. (I stuck twigs of fresh rosemary in them for table decor.) My friend Katie brought some gold flatware that she snagged at a thrift store. Autumn brought these snazzy wooden chairs. Marisa brought linen tablecloths, Claudia brought the bottled soda and some plates, and when put all together it all seemed to work well.

I’m so grateful for the friends (old and new) that the Lord has allowed me to connect with since moving to Pennsylvania. They’ve definitely helped make this place feel like home. I’m certain we would have had just as much fun had we ordered pizza and sat on blankets outside but it was definitely an enjoyable experience to dress things up a bit. 😊

Thanks to Autumn Kern for taking these photos on my camera.

 PS. Can you see Skye? She is on the left side and is the second person closest to the camera. ☺️

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

iPhone Shot

Please note: This post was not written in affiliation with the author or publisher of this book. I purchased the book on my own and am sharing it on my own. However, the links within the post are affiliate links with Amazon. Blogging takes time, and this is one small way that it helps contribute to my family. I almost always buy my books from Amazon, so I would’ve directed you there, regardless. 🙂 

I’m not even sure how I came across this book, but I’m so glad I did. “Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World” is a breath of fresh air in a culture with mantras like you only live once and follow your heart.  The wisdom of this world encourages us to chase hard after our dreams no matter the cost and then frowns upon life callings that aren’t glamorous or newsworthy. Those who aspire to live quietly and work with our hands, as commanded in 1 Thessalonians 4:11, are viewed upon as strange and unambitious. Somewhere along the way, these ideas have seeped into our churches where celebrity Christians are exalted and the “ordinary” occurrences of grace expressed in the local church body are downplayed. We are left swimming in a sea of comparison and with many faithful Christians who are wondering if there is something more they can be doing for the Lord.

I am by no means against pursuing a dream. In fact, I talk about this very topic in my interview at the Journeywomen Podcast. Deeply Rooted is in existence because we pursued an idea and gained the support of many who also believe in that idea. But in the almost four years of running Deeply Rooted, I will admit that I’ve found myself, at times, yawning at the ordinary callings placed in my life. If I’m honest, there have been seasons of difficulty in transitioning from encouraging women seeking sound advice to chasing around a toddler who distrusts my advice that a new diaper is a good idea. I experienced this right after hosting our 4-day retreat last year. Micahel Horton addresses this well:

“It is all too easy to turn other people in our lives into a supporting cast for our life movie. The problem is that they don’t follow the role or the lines we’ve given them. They are actual people with actual needs that get in the way of our plot, espeically if they’re as ambitious as we are. Sometimes, chasing your dreams can be ‘easier’ than just being who we are, where God has placed you, with the gifts he has given to you.” (Pg. 16)

He’s right, sometimes it can be much easier to create or write or serve or work or minister to other women more than laboring in love towards our own husband or kids. My kids are not the supporting cast in my personal life movie. But when we are gripped by a dream, how easy is it for us to view children as a hindrance to that dream? The very notion that my calling as a wife and mom (and the ordinary tasks that come with it) are of lesser value than the ministry work I do is a complete lie. I may see some immediate fruit in ministering to women but loving our husbands, growing and discipling souls from the ground up, and keeping our homes is a mighty task — a Biblical task (Titus 2)! Deeply Rooted started from a place of encouraging motherhood but somewhere along the way, I allowed the value of the ordinary callings before me to get lost in a sea of to-do lists. But I’m grateful to God for the way He transforms us and conforms us to His image daily. This past year has been a year of refining as God continues to teach me to see things as He does.  Kingdom work begins with loving the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind, is poured out within the walls of your home, and then overflows to your neighbors around you.

I’m so grateful that God’s purpose for our lives can be expressed in a variety of shapes and forms. We know that whatever it is we do, we can and should do it for the glory of God because of the work that Christ has done on the cross for us. We discover that we are not left to live our lives (that are not our own but bought with a price) independent from one another, but instead are to come together as one with Christ as our Head to further His kingdom purposes. This heavenly perspective affirms that, yes, we do only live once but rather than following our heart recklessly we follow Jesus faithfully.

He addresses this also in his book:

“Our passion for life and achievement and our desire to strive toward a daring goal are essentially hardwired into us by God. What has changed since the fall is the direction of this drive. Unhinged from its proper object – God’s glory and our neighbor’s good – our love becomes self-focused; our holy passions become vicious, driving us away from God’s approaching steps and away from each other. We’re not living in the real world, the creation that God called into being and sustains by the word of his power, but in a make-believe world. We are living as though God and our neighbors were made for us. In other words, we are living unnatural lives — living as if we were or could become someone other than the image of God, created to love God and each other.” (pg 88) 

Michael Horton does a great job of using Scripture, research, and examples from history to display the extreme God-given value to the ordinary portions of life that we encounter every day, as well as to show us the great value of the Church. This book is not meant to discourage those with “big dreams.”  However, it does address that even these good things we want to pursue can become bad things when they “become curved on ourselves” (pg. 103). But Scripture is clear that God does not share His glory. His purposes are greater than the kingdoms we try to build for ourselves and in the end, we realize that our call to love God and love our neighbor, aren’t so ordinary after all.

I really appreciate this book and felt like it encouraged and challenged me in a number of ways. These are several of my favorite quotes from the book:

“Rosa Parks didn’t wake up one day and decide to become the ‘First Lady of Civil Rights.’ She just boarded the bus as she did every day for work and decided that this day she wasn’t going to sit in the back as a proper black person was expected to do in 1950s Montgomery, Alabama. She knew who she was and what she wanted. She knew the cost, and she made the decision to pursue what she believed in enough to sacrifice her own security. At that point, she wasn’t even joining a movement. She was just the right person at the right place and time. What made her the right person was countless influences, relationships, and experiences — most of them seemingly insignificant and forgotten. God had already shaped her into the sort of person that would do such a thing. For her at least, it was an ordinary thing to refuse to sit in the back of the bus on this particular trip. But for history, it had radical repercussions . . . Excellence means that whether God calls me to serve the poor in Calcutta or diners in a French restaurant, the simple fact that it is God’s calling renders it precious ‘So . . . whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Cor 10:31). (Pg. 34)

“[God’s covenant of grace . . . does not follow consumer cues of this passing age, dividing people accodring to generations, ethnicity, gender, class, or political parties. In Christ, these walls are broken down. He is now our real location, the marker of our ultimate idenity (Gal 3:28). United to one body with one Head, it is our differences from each other that give each part of the body what it needs. The younger needs the older. Wealthier believers need the gifts of poorer members. Rather than feed a comfortable narcissim, we need to be enriched by the insights, fellowship, and correction of brothers and sisters from ethnic, political, and economic backgrounds different from our own. The church isn’t a circle of friends, but the family of God. The covenant of grace connects generations, rooting them in that worshipping community with the ‘cloud of witnesses’ in heaven as well as here and now (Heb 12:1).” (Pg. 52-53)

“Is the intense longing for revival itself part of the problem, fueling the feverish expectation for The Next Big Thing? Is it not remarkable enough that Jesus Christ himself is speaking to us whenever his Word is preached each week? Is it not a miracle enough that a lush garden is blooming in the desert of this present evil age? Is it not enough of a wonder that the Spirit is still raising those who are spiritually dead to life through this preached Gospel? Is water baptism an outward pledge that we make in response to a decision we made to be born again? Or is it a means of God’s miraculous grace? And is it not sufficient that those who belong to Christ are growing in the grace and knowledge of his Word, strengthened in their faith by teh regular administration of the Supper, common fellowship in doctrine, prayer and praise, guided by elders and served by deacons? Doesn’t the longing for revival tend to create the impression that between revivals you have ullus where the Spirit is not active at least in the same power or degree of power through these means Christ appointed?” (Pg. 80)

“Contra to the wisdom of this age, Paul tells us that the body of Christ is not just a voluntary association for realizing my dream of ‘belonging’ or a place where I can assert my unique qualities. Christ’s body is not a stage for my performance, but an organism into which I’ve been inserted by the Spirit, by a miracle of grace.”If we stick closely to the biblical terms for it, ambition is folly, for we will take God’s gift of godly aspiration and fashion them into weapons of self-interest. . . Ambition is an empty pursuit, because none of us is truly the master of our fate and the captain of our soul. We cannot live up to our own Facebook profile or the expectations that ahve been placed on us by others. When we do try to disengage ourselves from the ties that bind, the whole body suffers. As we have seen above, especially from Paul’s exhortations, ambition is bound up with rivalry, factions, jealousy, envy, and even fits of rage. When we are ambitious, each of us campaigns for the office of emperor. In the process, we’re tearing Christ’s body, our homes, our workplaces, and our society to pieces.” (Pg. 93)

“Yet Paul’s calling is qualitatively different from Timothy’s, and you see this in the contrast between the passage in Galatians 1 and the exhortation he gives to his apprentice. He tells Timothy that he is a simply to pass on to others what he has received from Paul the apostle, to keep the deposit rather than add to it, to teach it to other men who will carry on the work. The super-apostles boasted of a ‘higher knowledge’ than the apostle’s doctrine, seeking to reinvent a gospel more ‘relevant’ to the Greeks. But Paul warns, ‘O Timothy, guard the deposit entrusted to you. Avoid the irreverent babble and contradictions of what is falsely called ‘knowledge’ for by professing it some have swerved from the faith: (1 Tim 6:20-21). unlike the apostles, Timothy is not called immediately and directly by Jesus Christ, but through the ministry of the church. He is answerable to the presbytery – or council of elders – that ordained him (4:14). Timothy is not an apostle; he is serving in the vanguard of the ordinary ministry that will continue after the extraordinary ministry of the apostles.” (pg. 108)

“In most cases, impatience with the ordinary is at the root of our restlessness and rootlessness. We’re looking for something more to charge our lives with interest, meaning, and purpose. Instead of growing lik a tree, we want to grow like a forest fire.” (Pg. 127)

“So what does it mean to be content with God’s provision? It means that when you and I are safely hidden with Christ in God through faith in his gospel, we are opened up to the others around us – first fellow saints, and then our other neighbors. Instead of being threats, they are fellow guests of God at his table. No longer competitors for commodities in a world of scarce resources, they are co-sharers with us in the circulation of gifts that flows outward from its source without running out. After all, that source is the triune God: from the Father, in the Son, by the Spirit.” (Pg. 135)

“Contentment comes from knowing that the body of Christ is far greater than any of its members by itself. Christ considers himself incomplete until his whole body share in his risen glory.” (Pg. 167)

“The more deeply rooted we are in the Word of God, the more our witness will be authentic and imbued with personal conviction.” (Pg. 1 75)

“We look at the work of someone like Mother Theresa from the endpoint, as the Nobel Prize winning figure who founded an order of nuns spread across India and around the world to serve the poor. However, she described in her own life in terms of countless decisions and actions that hardly seem revolutionary on a daily scale. She learned to help the person she was with a the moment – actual neighbors, not ‘the poor’ in general, but people created in God’s image who needed something particular that she had to give.” (Pg. 194)

“‘God does not need our good works, but our neighbor does. When we offering our works to God, we simultaneously ‘attempt to depose Christ from his throne’ and neglect our neighbor, but to parade before God.; God descends to serve humanity through our vocations, so instead of seeing good works as our works for God, they are now to be seen as God’s work for our neighbor, which God performs through us. That is why both orders are upset when we seek to present good works to God as if he needed them. In contrast, when we are overwhelmed by the superabundance of God’s gracious gift, we express our gratitude in horizontal works of love and service to the neighbor.” (Pg. 197)

“The Gospel makes us extrospective, turning our gaze upward to God in faith and outward to our neighbor in love.” (Pg. 199)

There are so many more quotes that I highlighted that I would love to share, but this is already an obnoxious amount. If you’ve made it this far and found it encouraging, then I recommend buying the book or adding it to your Christmas wishlist!

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave