though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear
no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
– Psalms 23:4 KJV
© 2017 Dimikki Finley
in the United States of America
rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or
transmitted in any form or by any means: electronic or mechanical,
including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and
retrieval system; without written permission from the author, except
for the inclusion of brief quotations in a review.
I am not a licensed counselor. All of the content in this book is
from my personal thoughts and experiences. This book is intended as a
resource to inspire, motivate, and inform you as to how life is
viewed from my perspective. There are many resources on self-help;
this is merely one of many books available to guide you.
quotation: The King James Bible. public domain.
Designer: Design_Arena in United Kingdom
in the United States of America
Table of Contents
Dedication .. 5
Letter From the Author
One: What Goes on in the
Dark Comes to Light .16
Two: As the World Turns ..
Three: Living in a Fantasy
World .. 22
Four: The Beginning,
Middle, and End .. 25
Five: Jig-sawing Life ..
Six: Dust Your Own Coffee
Table .. 30
Seven: Image is Nothing ..
Eight: Misery Needs
Nine: Invest in
Good Friends ..36
Ten: Tug of War .. 38
Eleven: Life as a Hoarder
Twelve: Stop Putting the
Wood on the Fire .. 42
Thirteen: Don’t Be
Left Holding the Bag .. 44
Fourteen: Being on the
Same Page .. 46
Fifteen: Bridges, Bridge
Letter From the Author
About the Author
would like to dedicate this book to my beloved grandmothers, Lucille
Flye (1914-2007) and Roxie Simpson (1915-1971). Today, if you both
were here, I know the both of you would hug me so very tightly. I
know the both of you would see your beautiful resemblances residing
within me. Without a doubt, I mirror you both.
Earth, I know you worked so hard. I know you both were people
pleasers. Trying to please people, you fought the storms of life. You
suffered many headaches and heartaches. Regardless, you sought
happiness; you made sure all in your path were happy, too. Through
your presence and spirit, you taught me to survive the floods of
life, to use them as a recipe to make or prepare something of
greatness. Those instructions led me to where I am today, reaching
out to many people, helping to bring our overturned world together as
I never told you, thank you for blessing me with two beautiful gifts,
my parents. I can’t thank you enough for just that. Just as I
will always treasure you, I will forever treasure them. Without a
doubt, they will be cherished, celebrated, and held dearly. Thank you
for teaching me and instilling in my parents what you wished for your
own grandchildren, your family, and the world. – Morals,
Values, Love, and Dignity.
you for leaving the family with peace and happiness. Rest in Heaven,
My Loves. The world needs you, just as we do. You are missed beyond
and foremost, I would like to thank God for blessing me with life. I
thank him for allowing me to continue reaching millions of people in
ways I never dreamed of. It is because of him that I am where I am.
As I sat here, in tears, writing this, I remember the long nights I
stayed up, the countless amount of hours I put in to make sure my
voice was heard. I thank God that I was still able to open my eyes at
5:00A.M to prepare for another workday with my students.
is a humbling experience to acknowledge those people who have, mostly
out of kindness, helped me along the journey in becoming an Author.
KaDarien Finley, Charles Smith, Debra Smith, Aaron Finley, Crystal
Smith, Chad Flye, Terial Flye, Danielle Vasquez, Katriena Dixon, and
Joan Ruffins. I am indebted to all of you for your encouragement and
support. You should know that your encouragement and support is worth
more than I can express on paper. I hope you all know just how much
you mean to me. Thank you for remaining in my heart, daily. Love you
I just want to say THANK YOU in the biggest way. My sincerest thanks
are deeply extended to you. Thank you for presenting me with ideas –
almost daily, for challenging me along the way, for helping in
shining the light, and for helping to share my vision with the world.
This is a token of my immense appreciation. You gave me hope when I
thought hope was gone. You were there like a moon in the dark skies.
Thank you so much for helping me. Love you so much.
the best parents ever: My mom, Debra, and my father, Charles. I love
you two beyond words. Thank you all for loving me and for giving me a
wonderful childhood as well as a great start in life. You two are the
definition of real parents.
been richly blessed with great friendships. I’d like to thank
Joan Ruffins, Enedina Boggs, Gloria Battle, Tiffani Mapp, Vicky
Cypress, Amanda Greene, Denise Martinez, Shameka Amir, Helen Jones
and Family, Freda Washington, Loretta Walker, Soraya Serna, Richelle
Cooper, Ashley Argo, Kim Reagor, Melissa Davis, Carmen Nieves, Debbie
Whitley, Dondi Homan, Cassie Morrow, Jeana Flora, Milan Fooutnet,
Ashely Figueroa, Shakira Daniels, Yolanda Cox, Sharonda Newman, Rosi
Johnson, Nina Rhodes, Jessica Depina, Blanca Mendoza, LaShanda Allen,
Anthony Dupree, Vicky Sweatt, Sandy Wallace, Catina Bett, Wilicia
Allen, Charnelle Hall, Meshun Richardson, Bloscelle Alexander, Ericka
Dixon, Kylie Smith, Ebony White, Virginia Morvant, Reshanda Tatum,
Paul Selph, Lamont Nowlin, Tamika Smith, Ulyssia Straughter, Courtney
Williams, Anthony Dupree, Graciela Young, Michael Robinson, Dianne
Washington, Melody Hart, Pamela Kenniebrew, my Massage Therapist,
Yvonne, the Hardwick Family, the Hernandez Family, Annette Knight,
and BMW of Temple. Thank you all for your support and encouragement
and for simply inspiring me with your presence. The kind thoughts you
have towards negative circumstances are one of a kind. I find it
absolutely amazing that you can step back from any situation and
think through the very best outcomes for all. Your intentions are
never fraud, you know what you want in life; you know how to treat
people, and, at the end of the day, you know life is sweet and you
are so grateful for it. I am grateful for you, for always caring and
for always being sincere. You guys will always be celebrated.
all of my 2005-2017 students: Thank you for making me feel good
daily. I think you guys know that I absolutely love my job. There is
nothing better in this world than being a teacher leader. I am so
very grateful because I have the privilege to wake up each day with
the opportunity to make a huge impact with our future. I get to talk
about what matters in the world. I get to help you all realize what
matters in the world, too. While I cannot turn back the clock,
or better yet, stop it, each day I spend with you allows me to
reflect on the past, peer into your future, and find peace in our
present. I am humbled to share my ideas and knowledge with you so
that you can internalize them and hopefully pass them on someday,
like a track star passes his baton. You are all so amazing. If pride
were an energy source, I could light up a city. Tomorrow in your
classes, take a deep breath and realize just what an awesome
experience learning is. You all shine more brilliantly than the
largest diamond and are far more valuable in today’s world.
Thank you for giving my life purpose and ensuring that my short time
here matters. Thank you for trusting me to help guide you as
you make your way in the world. My sincerest hope is that what
I have to offer is enough.
huge thank you to all of my hometown friends of Vernon, Texas and to
all of my colleagues in Killeen ISD as well as my international
friends on Facebook. I appreciate all of the love shown. Thank you
for making me feel special daily. I am forever grateful.
pray that for every eye that sees this book and for every soul this
book touches, I pray that it blesses you tenfold. Amen.
don’t have to turn on your television or check on social media
very long without being bombarded with news of conflict, turmoil,
killings, and betrayals. Evil is on the rise and it has turned our
world upside down. Family and friends have thrown faithfulness,
loyalty and love out the door.
far, this is the timeliest, honest and soul-searching book I have
read in a while. It will leave you drooling for more, more and more.
Finley is a no-nonsense woman who knows exactly who she is and what
she wants out of life. She lives her life intentionally and has taken
her life experiences and wrapped them into this timely masterpiece.
have had the pleasure of working and growing with Dimikki over the
past 10 years. I was drawn to her gentle spirit and zeal for life as
we worked side by side as educators. We have built a bond that has
withstood the test of time. She has been my greatest cheerleader,
encourager and confidant.
a doubt, Dimikki is driven and focused. In addition, her creativity
and artistic abilities are exquisite. Her passion is evident in
everything she does. It did not come as a surprise to me that she was
selected as “Teacher of the Year.” She not only
challenges her students to rise above their circumstances, but to do
it with excellence. Her inviting demeanor will calm any storm.
writes from her heart and her story resonates with me and it will
with you too because I was in a dark place for a very long time. For
over two decades, I struggled with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
(PTSD) after serving in the military. From the outside looking in, I
had it all. I fulfilled my life-long dream of becoming an educator
with a graduate degree, married my soul mate and was the mother to
three fantastic children. Externally everything appeared rosy, but
internally I was living in turmoil. Not only was I filled with rage,
anger, fear and hopelessness, but also I was isolated. My past
experiences had left me numb and bitter. I felt the weight of the
world caving in on me and thought the best escape was to kiss this
my darkest times, I would have benefitted from a book like this. As I
read Surviving the Floods, every chapter reinforced the internal
struggle I faced, but it gives us practical advice as to how we can
overcome every challenge we are presented with. For those of us
who’ve had to deal with fear, betrayal, misery and the poison
of unforgiveness and felt as if there is no way out, this book is a
eloquent words, stories and vivid examples will grab you and pull you
in from the start. Every chapter resounded in my heart. By far one of
my favorite chapters is investing in good friends. It spoke to me in
such a profound way because we all need and deserve someone who will
stick in our corner through the good times and the bad. Bucket
dippers and bucket fillers are great ways to analyze our friendships.
Do you have friends who are always taking away from you or pulling
you down? It’s time to invest in the ones who will add value to
will be encouraged to drop the rope and stop playing tug of war with
the enemy. Specifically, by releasing the things that are weighing us
down and allowing God to fight our battles for us, in so doing we
will be guaranteed the victory.
bridge is a beautiful way of expressing how we ought to join hands
together, unite and make this world a better place to live rather
than burning and destroying each other. This chapter speaks of the
love, compassion and peace we all desire especially during these