Aloha, my name is Dorina.
I’m an author, speaker, Bible teacher, and spoken word artist.
My passion is helping people discover God’s glory in unexpected places and flourish in their God-given callings. I want you to become a glory chaser with me – running after God’s glory rather than our own. This has made a world of difference in every facet of my life.
My happy place is near the ocean with my people or running on a trail in the mountains near our home.
I also love trying new recipes and restaurants. I wish I could have you over for dinner or meet you at one of my fave local places. I adore Butternut Squash Ravioli, Butter Chicken, Ramen, and tri-tip nachos. My beverage of choice is a lavender-infused latte from our local coffee shop or a mango kombucha. Yes, I’m totally a foodie.
I hope we will get to sit down at the table together one day. Tears, laughter, and good food are always welcome at our table. Come as you are.
I fell in love with words when I was a little girl. My mama used to read books to me before bed and recite poetry. The words of Robert Frost and Langston Hughes danced in my head each night as I drifted off to sleep.
In first grade, I tried my hand at creative writing. I imagined all sorts of wild tales about bears traveling the world and unicorns who fell in love. My first grade teacher, Mrs. Kosinski, nurtured my creativity and declared I would be a writer one day. She was right.
Right out of college, I started out in daily journalism. My love for storytelling took root as I covered stories in California’s Central Valley on everything from salsa dancing to skateboarding to Pullitzer prize-winning poets to jazz artists.
I published my first children’s book, Children of the San Joaquin Valley, in 2005, followed by A Stone in the Soup: A Hmong Girl’s Journey to the United States. My third children’s book, Cora Cooks Pancit, was awarded the Asian American Librarian Association’s Picture Book of the Year. This story tells about a Filipino-American girl who learns the recipe to her family’s favorite noodle dish and uncovers some family history in the process. My two new picture books, Chasing God’s Glory and Kailani’s Gift will be published in 2023 and 2024 with Waterbrook Multnomah/Penguin Random House.
Now I continue to tell stories through writing over at (in)courage, Proverbs 31, and right here on my blog. I share encouragement and my day-to-day life on Instagram and Facebook. If you’d like to stay in touch more personally, please subscribe to my Glorygram, which includes an inspiring story from my week and recommendations for things like podcasts, books, recipes, and goods.
My newest book, Walk, Run, Soar (Bethany House/Baker Publishing Group), is a devotional journal for runners and walkers! I’m also working on a new creating book project with Ink & Willow/Penguin Random House to be released in 2023. Breathing Through Grief is an interactive journal with devotionals, scripture, journal prompts, and prayer.
I also love to serve writers, communicators, and encourage women leaders. I’m the president of the Redbud Writers Guild and Lead Loved. I believed God called us to flourish in community and these are a few of the spaces I have the privilege of pouring into and learning from others. I also host the Eat Pray Run podcast.
I was raised in a multiracial family. My mom’s heritage is Italian; My dad is predominantly Filipino, but also has Polynesian, Chinese, Indian and African roots. My mama taught me that being mixed-race was a gift, not a curse. My parents helped me see I could be a bridge across cultural lines.
I met my Ericlee Gilmore on a mission trip to Haiti, and we were married in April 2003 in the mountains near Yosemite National Park. We had tropical flowers and bag pipes at our wedding. Both unexpected, I suppose, as was the glittery snow on that Spring day.
Ericlee and I started a non-profit in the northern mountains of Haiti, continuing the work his grandparents started as pioneer missionaries in that area. Meanwhile, we also birthed three baby girls. We also started a fair wages jewelry business called The Haitian Bead Project.
My beloved Ericlee died from melanoma cancer in September 2014. Of course, that is part of my story I never would have written for myself and my three young daughters. These past several years we have been learning together how to navigate grief and how to embrace the next chapter God is writing for us.
By God’s wild design, I married one of Ericlee’s best friends, Shawn Young, in January 2016. We had prayed for years for a wife for our dear friend – never knowing God would use Shawn to redeem our family after Ericlee soared to heaven.
Shawn and I are raising three smart, resilient daughters. They keep us on our toes (or more accurately, our knees).
My faith in God is my lifeline. He has proved faithful to me again and again – even during seasons when I have wandered.
My life isn’t perfect, but I am redeemed by Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. I’m daily awed by His grace and provision for our family. Because of God’s relentless love, I keep moving forward on this life trail. He’s my Pacer, and I’m chasing after Him.
As we get to know each other, you will discover I’m a leader, collaborator, and creative. God has given me a superpower called joy. I can’t help but share my joy and sense of wonder with you.
After my husband’s death, I’ve had many opportunities to share our story of grief and God’s glory in the midst of it. I have published two Bible studies: Glory Chasers is about discovering God’s glory in unexpected places. Flourishing Together is about cultivating a fruitful life in Christ. I have a new Bible study releasing in May 2023 called Create in Me a Heart of Mercy (Revell). I love to speak and teach the Bible using these studies.
With every word I write or speak, I want you to hear this: You were designed to experience God’s glory. No matter what trial or tragedy you face, our God is never late. He is always working on your behalf.
Friend, it’s a privilege to run this race with you.