Category Archives: Transition


This was created by Teresa Robertson. I am sharing it here with her permission.

Stripping  (used with the author’s permission)

I’ve been stripping.

Yes, stripping.

And sanding. (What did you THINK I meant?) I had five layers of paint to remove!

First, I tried a heat gun. It’s like a hair dryer on steroids. I heated the gun, held it the appropriate distance from the surface of the door, waved it back and forth, and when the paint bubbled up, I commenced scraping.


Bubble by bubble.

Two hours work resulted in about a 18 x 6 inch strip of wood being revealed.

(My thoughts moved to a parallel universe at this point. Just wait, Reader.)

I decided to use chemical stripping. Generally, chemical stripper eats the paint. One or two break the bonds between paint and wood. I chose a low odor citrus stripper and applied a coat. I gave it the 30 minutes as directed and began scraping. Only the top layer of paint came off. Rats. This stuff is $20 a half-gallon. Another thicker coat, most rest of the bottle, and about six hours mostly did the trick. Lots of scraping followed. 

Today I decided to sand the door with my orbital sander. It’s a messy process, so I connected the sander to my shop vac with duct tape, donned my respirator mask, and commenced sanding. Suddenly, my small sander got away from me, skidding across the door leaving marks. It was as if the door was fighting the coarse sand paper and the sander had a mind of its own.

Oooh, I revisited the parallel universe. A metaphor was being birthed.

Spinning, the sander followed the grain of the wood nicely then SLIP- flop, flop, flop until I brought it back under control. On inspection, I found gouges. Wood filler to the rescue. I flipped the door over and repeated the process.

Now, come with me to my parallel universe. We won’t be long.

Stripping is like recovery.

First, the heat is turned up. We get ourselves into messes that don’t clean up easily or work well (like the heat gun). It’s hot. It’s stressful. We realize the situation and decide to work harder; we try self help or self-medicating. This may work a bit. Inch. By. Inch. After all, Rosie the Riveter attitudes have worked in the past. But when our will power drains, we are back to square one. But, maybe I didn’t read the RIGHT self-help book. Let me see who is on the best- seller list. Let me try THIS other therapist. Let me try THIS other method. Let me just deny a problem even exists, hang the door back up and forget about it. After all, it wasn’t SO bad…

Life is out of control, Spinning like the wheel on my sander, dust flying everywhere. You think, Jesus was a carpenter. And pray to be repaired.

Then you sense the stripping really beginning. Layer by layer. Peeling away life hurts from the bone. Jesus never promised you wouldn’t feel pain, in fact He promised that just like Him, you’d suffer. But He would always be there, beside you…

Gouge. Chip. Crack. Splinter. Cost. Loss.

When I have control of the sander, a firm grip, I do okay. Relatively frequently it slips, spinning across the door. Slip… flop…flop…flop…another ding to repair. Another gouge to fill. Another mess to clean up.

How many times do I have to do this before I learn?

When Jesus is invited to the workshop, to take hold of the sander, He’s smooth. He’s skilled. No gouges. He peels layer by layer of hurt away. Layers Of colors that are painful to remember, hard to look at, awkward to recall. Gently He fills the gouges you made. Soothes the wounded raw wood of your life and gently smooths the surface.

Sanding hurts. Stripping hurts. It’s also a relief. He’s got this.

Chemical stripping hurts. Bonds must be broken; amends made. Confessions confessed. He’s got this.

He was a carpenter. He has the skills. The experience. The power to help us restore. Restore. Renew. Rebuild. (Isaiah) Rosie the Riveter is merely a poster child for failure. I can buy a new door. I can’t buy a new life.

– by Teresa Robertson

Lather Rinse Repeat

I glanced at my shampoo bottle while washing my hair this morning.  The directions read “lather, rinse, repeat”.  As I thought on this my literal mind said, ‘there is no escape clause’.  How many times do I lather, rinse, repeat?

Thinking on the escape clause I was reminded of posts and stories from friends who participated in local Escape Rooms.  I don’t know if you have these around you, but here they are everywhere.

As I understand it, you and your friends are locked in a room and must work together to find a way out. A way to escape.

Lather, rinse, repeat gets us into a rut. Apply that scenario to a rut you are in. You continue to do the same thing over and over again. You are going nowhere. The doors are all locked. You have to get unstuck.

From the Escape Room description, I find 2 points that are important in getting out of a rut.

  1. Take your friends with you. Don’t go it alone.  It is easy when you get overwhelmed or frustrated to withdraw. That may add to the weight of the load you are carrying. Talk to someone. Call a friend. They can often present to you a perspective you had not considered. Which leads me to point #2.
  2. Find the clues. With multiple sets of eyes on the situation, there are many small clues that may be found. Clear your mind and expand your horizon.

To break the cycle of the rut you have to make a change. It may require a small change, perhaps looking in a different direction. It may require a big change. Even so, that big change will probably require a number of small changes. Break it down. Take one step at a time and move away from the rut.

It’s time to lather, rinse, and put the bottle down.

As a life coach, I help you break down that big change into smaller, manageable steps.

Make Your Dreams Come True

I dared you to D*R*E*A*M and asked you to join on the journey.

Today we conclude our discussion of the word DREAM with the letter M – MAKE IT SO.

As a Star Trek fan, I am intrigued at the crew discussions. The Captain asks for suggestions, all give their input, a plan is made. Captain Picard responds, ‘make it so’.

You have sought input, created a plan. It is time to ‘make it so’.

As a life coach I can walk along the path of this dream with you, reminding you of your dream.


As we continue looking at the word DREAM we come to the letter A. A is for ASK.

ASK for help.  Sure, they may say no, and they have that right.  Just as you do.  You have the right to say no as well.

Sometimes by asking we may find the other person doesn’t even want what we feel is so important to do for them.

ASK questions. ASK for clarification. ASK for help.

You are not created to do everything alone.  It really isn’t all up to you. God never intended you to ‘do it all’.


Your focus determines your destination.

What are you focusing on?

In episode 3 of “Tea Time with TerryAnn” we look at the letter E in the word DREAM.

Expect. Expect to Succeed.  If your focus determines your destination and you constantly focus on the negative, that is the direction you will go.  Even with the focus on success, you will have setbacks. But that setback doesn’t have to change the destination.

Even if you go 2 steps forward and 1 step back, you are still one step ahead.  It’s all in how you look at it.

What successes are you expecting?


In my first attempt at sitting in front of the video camera, I DARED you to take a moment to dream.

Moving on to the letter R in DREAM  I ask you to REJECT.  Reject those negative voices in your head. Reject the negative influence around you.  If there were no obstacles in the way of your dream, what would you do?

Following my own dream, and stretching my comfort zones, I am rejecting the need for perfection. I am sitting in front of the camera and once verifying the sound and picture are there, I am rejecting the desire to edit, to make perfect, to postpone posting it until everything is just right.

What do you need to reject?  How will step past the rejection and move forward?


My WORD of Year – 2018

Several years ago I read Debbie Macomber’s book “One Perfect Word”  and, following her example, started to declared a ‘word of the year’ for myself. I failed to do so in 2016, and felt incomplete. 

Last year the word was ‘committed’. I committed to stepping out, to moving forward, to following the path God laid before me, to believe I am not walking along.

I accepted that I may fail, but that I may also succeed. Not moving at all was definitely failing. (reminds me of a quote from Yoda – Do or Do Not. There is not try)

So I attached 2017 with a vengeance – committed to action.

I have accomplished so much, yet there is still much to do. I choose to focus on the road I have traveled, celebrating my progress. A reminder to myself, some of my accomplishments include:

  • editing the Proverbs 31 Woman group bible study into personal study in paperback and kindle
  • completing my first ‘Competent Communicator’ in Toastmasters
  • preparing the final details needed to complete my Professional Life Coach Certification thru PCCI
  • improved the regularity of my social media posting – still a work in progress
  • started to take control of the ‘’clutter’’ in my closets and in my mind

And the list continues. There is so much internally that I have faced as well.

Today is the first day of 2018. I see the road ahead. There are road blocks, detours, and various speed zones which will affect the travel, yet I will move past all of these.

My word for this year is ‘unstoppable’. I have proven to myself that I can move forward if I choose. I look back at the strides made over the past years. Now, with last year’s commitment, I grab God’s hand and say “I am ready Lord, where are we going today”.

In the Messge version of Isaiah 41:13 God replies:

That’s right. Because I, your God, have a firm grip on you and I’m not letting go. I’m telling you, ‘Don’t panic. I’m right here to help you.’




What is stopping you from moving forward in 2018?

What is your WORD OF THE YEAR? How will it propel you to move forward? Consider using a life coach to help you take action and reach the higher level you desire.

Draw Me A Picture With Your Words

I love to use word pictures to try to describe what is happening in my mind’s eye.  I can see something but it is fuzzy, and unclear. By speaking out the picture to someone it becomes clearer. Focus becomes sharper. I can see it and now I can choose how to act on it.

One thing I really enjoy about the coaching process is using questions to help bring that picture into focus. With my own life coach I often describe a bunch of ping pong balls bouncing around, each with a different thought or idea. When it strikes my mind goes there, but before I can focus on that thought or idea, another ball bounces and another thought starts to form. This continues until I am filled with disjointed and ideas that paralyze me from moving forward.


My coach has learned how to use this scenario to bring clarity and focus by addressing the ping pong balls.

To some, this word picture may be ridiculous. My coach might even think that. But that doesn’t matter. It is my mind, my focus. As a coach she walks alongside me using the metaphor I describe and helps me to examine it, to look closely, and understand within myself what I am seeking.

Another word picture I have seen many use in coaching calls is that of a road. To some the road and clear and they are speeding along it; others find various road blocks and unexpected turns.


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As a life coach I enter your word picture and walk with you.

What word pictures would you use to describe a goal you desire to reach?

What will it take to move you forward from where you are


to where you and God desire you to be?

GetHere_Clickable_button copy

I’d love to discuss this with you. Click the “move forward” tab to start the conversation. If possible, I would love to enter the journey with you.

Living within Healthy Boundaries

I did it again.  She called with a last minute cancellation asking me to please take over the project. Through gritted teeth with a forced smile I said it would be no problem.

Afterward I slammed a few cabinet doors, spoke some words I wouldn’t want my daughter to hear, and then started to readjust my plans for the day to complete the project and submit it on time to our client.

Everyone has emergencies come up, I get it. But this person seemed to always have one excuse or another. Everything was an emergency. The stories are such that I don’t even listen to them any more. I simple say ‘sure, I will take care of it’. Then I lash out.

Why can’t I confront her? Why should my family take the brunt of this?

This is just one of many scenarios I live with. Can you relate? What would your story be?

Drs. Henry Cloud and John Townsend address this and similar issues in their book “Boundaries”.

I will be using this text and correlating video lessons in an 8 week online course.

Some of the questions to be addressed include:

How can I say no and not feel guilty?

Are boundaries biblical?

What if setting boundaries will upset or hurt someone?

For more information, go to the Boundaries page (CLICK HERE) and sign up to join us.  This online course is for women only and class size will be limited to allow everyone a chance to participate.


My Checklist

‘Oh that my steps may be steady, keeping the course you have set’ – Psalm 119:5 msg

I have tossed my daily TO DO list and now work on an I WILL list.  Simply thinking about ‘what I should do’ verses ‘what I will do’ is a perspective shift that has helped me to move forward.

Alongside my I WILL list I now have checklists.  Many activities require a number of steps, as if putting together a jigsaw puzzle.  Once I determine what I will do, I look at what must be done to complete that task.

An example would be writing this post. I work it out like thischecklist_md_clr:

  • determine the topic
  • open the software so I may type as phrases or particular words come to mind
  • type, delete, type, repeat
  • proof read for spelling/grammar
  • set categories
  • set tags
  • schedule the post

To you, this may be excessive. Perhaps for you it all comes naturally and impulsively. I used to be able to do that as well. I don’t know if it is aging, time of life, or just a cluttered mind Smile 

By breaking it down, I stay on course, feel a sense of accomplishment and realize that I am closer to my goal with each step.

What works best for you? How do you stay on top of your TO DO lists and accomplishments?