Click these links for quotes about:

Choices | Cynicism | Faith | Fear | Feeling unappreciated | Freedom

Love | Marriage | Mentoring and friendship | Passion | Perfectionism | Personal growth

Sacrifice | Saving the world | Selfishness | Sin | Suffering | Survival | Vulnerability

This is the web page of Lisa Dickson, formerly Lisa Yanarella.

This page is composed of my baby pictures and favorite quotes.

There are many photographs of Ann Marie Yanarella, my mother, who died when I was ten years old.

I have two other web pages:

Nofearinlove.com has songs that I have written and pictures of my husband and stepchildren.

SunshineGirlOnARainyDay.com hosts information about a memoir that I am currently writing about foster care.

Quotes about CHOICES

“I would like to be a person who is free and can hope, who understands and shows by his actions that he himself is at the mercy of his freedom; a freedom which through his life is creating and making him what he finally should be: a person who is faithful, who loves, who is responsible”- Karl Rahner, The Practice of Faith 

“It is as if God has placed time bombs inside us, programmed to go off at certain intervals, in order to make a gaping hole in us so that we can be open to life. He is always creating new spaces in us by means of these explosions.

We are constantly being given the space to choose either heaven or hell; to act in such a way that we are either more and more curved in on ourselves, or more and more turned outward towards God.” - Alan W. Jones, SoulMaking 

“Man chooses either life of death, but he chooses;everything he does from going to the toilet to mathematical equations is an act of religious worship either of God or himself” – W. H. Auden 

Quotes about CYNICISM

“There are all sorts of reasons not to have faith in humankind. In spite of that, I must have faith.” - Eli Wiesel, after his imprisonment in a concentration camp and the loss of all of his loved ones 

Quotes about FAITH

“I want to be a believer with passion and intelligence and my longing always brings me to a desert place – a place of emptiness and death. And it is there that I begin to learn how to love”  - Alan W. Jones, SoulMaking 

“As far as we can tell, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.” – Carl Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections

 “There are three ways that you can live life – three again – remember that great writers always do things in threes.

You can live life as though it’s all a cosmic accident; we’re nothing but an irritating skin disease on the face of the earth. Maybe you can live your life  as though everything’s a bad joke. I can’t.

Or you can go out at night and look at the stars and think, yes, they were created by a prime mover and so were you, but he’s aloof perfection, impassible, indifferent to his creation. He doesn’t care, or, if he cares, he only cares about the ultimate end of his creation… You don’t matter to him, I don’t matter to him, except possibly as the means to an end. I can’t live that way either.

Then there’s a third way: to live as though you believe that the power behind the universe is a power of love, a love so great that all of us really do matter to him. He loves us so much that every single one of our lives has meaning; he really does know about the fall of the sparrow, and the hairs on our head are really counted. That’s the only way I can live.” – Madeleine L’Engle

Quotes about FEAR

“The things you fear are undefeatable, not by their nature, but by your approach” – Jewell, A Night Without Armour 

“If you must be afraid, be afraid of yourself, for being afraid of the things you have felt. You will weather well in a climate of love.”- Mark Heard lyrics 

“The price of not being frightened is trust…It’s more than confidence, it’s more than security. It doesn’t belong to ignorance, or for that matter, to knowledge either. It is simply the ability to move out of the ‘I’m in the center of all things,’and let Mr. God move in.” – Fynn, Mr. God, This is Anna 

“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.” – I John 4:18 


“Love is not a service we perform for someone important to us. It does not pick up after loved ones, nor does it pack lunches, run errands, do laundry, and take the car to be repaired. It does not sit up in a darkened room anxiously pressing a hand to a feverish head.It does not greet loved ones cheerfully. It does not listen patiently to the same stories it has heard so many times before. It does not try to stay young, or keep romance alive, or bite its lip to keep from crying because all of its efforts are not appreciated. Or even noticed.

Love is none of these things. We only thought it was, because we never took a good look at it. Love is not an exchange of sentiments, of emotions, or best wishes on carefully chosen greeting cards.It is an exchange of creative power; it is giving to each other the courage to get from where we are to where God wants us to be. It is constantly changing, constantly growing, always disrupting. It is the impact of God upon human life, and if we are going to love, then we had better expect to get shaken up. It’s push comes to shove all the way.” – Phyllis Hobe 

“The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.” – Galatians 5:6 

Quotes about FREEDOM

“Slaveries are easily disguised as freedoms, since our preference tends to be towards enslavement” - Alan W. Jones, SoulMaking 

“To be truly free, we have to be accountable, to be able to answer for ourselves and our decisions” - Alan W. Jones, SoulMaking 

Quotes about LOVE

“It is better to love than to understand everything. The man who loves well, when true time comes, will outstrip all of the searchers in the knowledge of the very things that intellect desires to understand.” – George MacDonald 

“The good news is that we are loveable and we are loved… The bad news is that we neither know it nor believe it. To be sure, there are those who think they believe it, but, as we shall see, believers are easily deceived.” – Alan W. Jones, SoulMaking 

Quotes about MARRIAGE

“Romantic love needs to deny and overlook flaws. But mature love sees the faults in ourselves and those we love and is capable of loving flawed people. If God could not love flawed, imperfect people, God would be very lonely, because imperfect people are the only ones around. And if we can’t accept and love people with all their imperfections, we condemn ourselves to loneliness as well.

The essence of married love is not romance, but forgiveness…”-H. S. Krushner, You Don’t Have to Be Perfect To Be Loved 

“It was different when we were younger and loving was loving was easy. When something came over us and made the world and everything in it seem wonderful. But now we’re discovering that the people we love aren’t wonderful. Or perfect. Or problem-free. And now we’re not sure if we can love them anymore.

Because love has to be given or it ceases to exist. And how can we – or even God – love unless someone needs what we have to give? That’s why love, real love, is never easy. It isn’t a response to someone or something wonderful; that’s attraction, which is sweet while it lasts.

No. Love is a part of ourselves that we yield, often reluctantly, to those who wrench it from us by their need. It is a thoughtful, deliberate, often uneven exchange – of appreciation, of problems, of hopes, of disappointments, sometimes of bitter silences and raised voices, and sometimes of sudden caring intimacies that make us realize how much of life is to be cherished.

And in the giving of this love, we become more than what we were.” – Phyllis Hobe 


“Love is the investment of myself into the building of another person… It is my appreciation of who that person is and my interest in who that person will become. Obviously, love is not an investment I can afford to make casually.” – Phyllis Hobe 

“You can’t know any more about another person than you are willing to know of yourself. You cannot influence another person’s life if you are unwilling to expose your own.” – Lisa Dickson, author of this web page 

“I am made knowledgeable by love. I can risk getting close to you without closing my eyes to what I see.” - Phyllis Hobe 

Quotes about PASSION

“I want to be a believer of passion and intelligence and my longing always brings me to a desert place - a place of emptiness and death. And it is there that I begin to learn how to love.” – Alan W. Jones, SoulMaking 

“Your love can never fail to pierce me, hammers and nails. Rhythms of passion, louder than hell. Thunder of heaven, hammers and nails”- Mark Heard lyrics 


“When I was young, I thought that I had to be perfect for people to love me. I thought that if I ever did something wrong, their love would be withdrawn…

We need to give ourselves permission to be human, to try and to stumble, to be momentarily weak and to feel shame but to overcome that shame with moments of strength, courage and generosity.” -H. S. Krushner, You Don’t Have to Be Perfect To Be Loved 


“Goal for me: To be always learning, always absorbing, always growing and always reaching out to people.

To know more, and to experience God, others and the truth. To love, and to be loved. To give, and to be given. To teach and to be taught.

To abandon security for salvation. To open my arms, widen my heart and enlarge the scope of my perceptions. To love God, and to rest in Him. To be His. That’s my goal.”- Lisa Dickson, author of this web page 

“Everywhere and in all things, I am instructed.” – Phillipians 4:12 (KJV) 

Quotes about SACRIFICE

“We never come fully to ourselves until other people make demands on us.” – Lisa Dickson, author of this web page 

“We need to learn to love in a way that asks nothing in return because, in giving it, we have already gained… It will cost us – as it cost God. But now we know that there is more to us than we once believed.” - Phyllis Hobe 

“What believers tend to do then, is to lay upon themselves the necessity to love without first realizing that they have to learn slowly and painfully to do it.” - Alan W. Jones, SoulMaking 

“To learn to loveis to be stripped of all love, until you are wholly without love. Because until you have gone, naked and afraid, into this cold, dark place, you will not know that you are wholly within love”Madeleine L’Engle

 "And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you, though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved.” – 2 Corinthians 12:15 (KJV) 


“You would remove anxiety by destroying its cause; God would remove is by lifting them above it, by teaching them to trust in Him… Poverty is a blessing when it makes a man look up.” – George MacDonald 

“This compulsion for me to get my hands on my fellow man is the natural result of my belief that I have the word. If I do have the word and feel surrounded by unmolded clay, I have no choice but to mold. When I do this, I begin playing God and usually raise the devil” – G. A. Young, an Omaha psychiatrist 

Quotes about SELFISHNESS

“We need to learn to love in a way that asks nothing in return because, in giving it, we have already gained.” – Phyllis Hobe

 “Even though I am not much of a lover, I do know that I am loved. This is a statement of faith; the effects of which, from time to time, spill over into my experience. One of the side effects of knowing one is loved is the desire to tell others – and to tell them in such a way that they are included in, and not excluded from, that circle of love.” – Alan W. Jones, SoulMaking 

“When you find yourself loving as a way of life, rather than as a way of response, you will achieve the freedom that you have always sought” - Phyllis Hobe 

“It’s funny how some relationships deepen our capacity to love.” - Lisa Dickson, author of this web page 

Quotes about SIN

“Purity of heart is to will one thing…

The impure heart is a heart which never wants anything enough to be intolerant of substitutes. For real desire means the candid acknowledgment that I am incomplete and need something to be real myself.

I consume things – to stop myself from being consumed by real desire, which shows me my lack of solidarity, my need to find and nourish my identity with others.Pure desire is desire to grow endlessly in knowledge of and rootedness in reality and truth.

Impure desire asks to stop having to desire, to stop needing it. It asks for a state where, finally, the ego can relax into self-sufficiency and does not have to go stuffing bits and pieces of the world in order to survive.

Unreal desire stumbles from moment to moment trying to gratify an immediate hunger, without accepting that ‘hunger’ is part of being human and so cannot be dealt with by an endless succession of leak-plugging operations.” - Alan W. Jones, SoulMaking

 “Sin is sort of a willful forgetfulness… It seduces us into thinking that we have to be fabricators of our own souls. It lays upon us terrible burdens.” - Alan W. Jones, SoulMaking 

Quotes about SUFFERING

“The artist’s response to the irrationality of the world is to paint or sing or write. Not to impose restrictive rules, but to rejoice in pattern and meaning. For there is something in all artists which rejects coincidence and accident…We must meet the precariousness of the universe without self-pity, and with dignity and courage.” -  Madeleine L’Engle 

“There is little character or loveliness in the face of someone who has shunned risk, avoided suffering and rejected life…” - Madeleine L’Engle 

“Suffering in the Jewish tradition conveys no privileges. It all depends on what one makes out of that suffering. It is possible to suffer an entire lifetime, and still not give up the art of laughter.” – Eli Wiesel, after his imprisonment in a concentration camp and the loss of all of his loved ones 

Quotes about SURVIVAL

“God is felt in places too deep for words, in depths beyond ideas and concepts. God is felt in pain and sorrow and contradiction.

This, in itself, comes as a shock, since we tend to make religion only of our better moments. Our worst moments tend to be repressed and denied. When this happens, we begin to lie to ourselves; and when we lie, the fabric of life begins to fall apart.” - Alan W. Jones, SoulMaking 

“Love isn’t a consolation prize. It is the energy, the intelligence and the creativity to deal with all of life, when it is bad, when it is good. It won’t come up with a silver lining, but it will get you through darkness. Not always without injury. Not without pain. But alive. And fully a person.” – Phyllis Hobe 


“I’ve seen people knocked right back on their heels at some of Anna’s comments. It wasn’t that her remarks were all that clever and penetrating, it was just that she made herself so vulnerable.

That was a trick she had learned; make people hesitate by any means you have at your disposal, fair or foul.And Anna was not above using tricks if they achieve her aim. Make people hesitate and your remarks have a better chance of being looked at, being seen again.

I suppose, on the whole I didn’t do too badly, considering. I didn’t give up without a struggle. Letting your soul, or whatever fancy name you give it, out of its cage and into the daylight is perhaps the hardest thing anyone can do.” – Fynn, Mr. God, This is Anna 

“The boarding down on Broadway displayed in large red lettering: ‘DO YOU WANT TO BE SAVED?’ I wondered just how many people would say yes to that.

Had it read, ‘DO YOU WANT TO BE SAFE?’ millions of people would have said, “Yes, yes, yes, we want to be safe,” and another barricade would have gone up.

The soul is imprisoned, protected. Nothing can get in to hurt it, but then it can’t get out either.Being ‘saved’ has nothing to do with being ‘safe.’ Being saved is seeing yourself clearly – no bits of colored glass, no protection, no hiding – simply seeing yourself.

Anna never said anything about being saved, never to my knowledge attempted to save anybody. I don’t suppose she would have understood this way of putting things, for this was my interpretation.

But Anna knew full well that it was no use playing things safe; you simply had to ‘come outside’ if you wanted to make progress. Coming outside was dangerous, very dangerous, but it had to be done; there was no other way.” - Fynn, Mr. God, This is Anna