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Keeping the Pieces Together

 

You are so busy. You struggle to keep all the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle of your life together- home, church, family, kids afterschool activities, work, and the list goes on.

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You must plan ahead and determine what pieces of the puzzle (a.k.a your life) will get a ‘yes’ response from you and which will get a ‘no’ response.

Before the holiday season becomes hectic for you, take a look at your situation. Where will you focus your energy? What will be your priorities? Plan now so you can enjoy the holidays instead of dreading them.

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Place your priorities in this puzzle and determine to keep yourself pieced together. Just like putting together a manufactured jigsaw puzzle, there are boundaries. Set your boundaries and build the beautiful picture that is you within them.

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.

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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

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to where you and God desire you to be?

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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.

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What Color Do You See? A story of perspective

Several years ago a friend was visiting my home. We sat out on the back deck drinking iced tea and catching up on our lives.

During a lull in the conversation my friend commented on the pretty yellow roses along the fence line. I yellow_rose_sm_clrlooked out there. Yes, there were pretty roses I had worked hard to plant along the fence line, but they weren’t yellow. Thinking she probably just misspoke, I didn’t say anything. Conversation continued.

A bit later she mentioned the yellow roses again. “You want to see them up close?” I asked. We stepped off the deck and walked along the fence, looking at the various flowers. When we stopped at the roses I asked her what color they were, she again said yellow. At that point, I was really confused. We were looking at the same rose, from the same distance, and she was seeing a yellow rose where a red rose resided.

As I looked at her face I noticed her sunglasses. “Would you take off your sunglasses for a moment please” I red_rose_sm_clrasked. She did and quickly explained, “The rose is red!”

She was wearing a pair of sunglasses with a thick amber tint, altering the color viewed all around her. Once she removed the tinted lens, she could see clearly the red rose.amber_glasses

Working with a life coach can benefit by helping to change the lens you look through. A life coach will listen intently, ask powerful questions from your disclosure, and help you look at circumstances from another angle, with a different lens. This allows you to determine for yourself how you wish to proceed with a clear image and refocused path.

Is it time to ‘take off your tinted glasses’’

NEED INPUT

Do you remember the movie “Short Circuit”?  It is a very cute movie made in the mid 1980s about an experimental robot that becomes intelligent.  Upon escaping into the world it seeks out INPUT. It wants to learn.

The phrase “input, more input” became a fun mantra as my children were growing up; signaling more information was needed.

One of my daughters loves to gather input before making a decision. She is not like her mother, who, on many occasions, has been known to make quick decisions without all the details and regretted the results. Grown now, with a family of her own, she started as a young teen asking for me to ‘listen’ to her thought process.  “Mom, I don’t want you to tell me what to do; I don’t want you to fix it. I want you to listen, to hear how I came to this resolution, and help me to see if there is something I have not considered that may affect the outcome.”

Wow, where did she get to be so smart?!?!?

This is one way to describe how I work as a life coach. You have to make your own decisions. You have to live with the consequences of any action you take or don’t take.

But you don’t have to go it alone. As your life coach I will listen to you. I will ask deep questions for you to consider. I will repeat back what I hear you say. Did I hear correctly? Do you want to explore that more? 

As the client, you have control of the direction. You have the right to say,”No, I don’t want to go there” or “Let’s go another direction” or “Yes, I do”. 

Some people can work with a life coach for just a few sessions pursuing deeper understanding of a change that is on the horizon. Some of those changes could include: empty nest coming up, planning for a job change, balancing work and home, stretching your comfort zone, and so much more.

Are you seeking ‘INPUT’ as you explore your next step? I’d love to discuss this with you further.

Peaceful Productivity

I admire women that are busy and productive, yet have an air of peace about them. They don’t fret over life’s interruptions, they don’t rush about. They get things done with a calmness and peace that seems unreal. Yet the peace is so strong within them I want to be enveloped in it.

I have sought that peace.

Though still far from achieving total peace, I have found myself on the path toward the peace Christ offers in John 14:27 “My peace I give to you”. Give!! He is giving me His peace. So, why am I so harried?

 

Peace, like Salvation is given. He is giving it. It sits there in front of me, free to accept. It is up to me to accept it. I am free to take hold of it, look at it in awe, or totally reject it.

In my pursuit of this peace I have developed  a 4 week interactive webinar. During this small group online session we will look at the acronym PEACE and find ways to accept that gift which Christ has freely given.

The cost of this 4 week series is just $10.  See the online registration then take a look at your busy calendar. I’d love to share this journey with you.  CLICK HERE for details. 

Questions? Please email me. I’d love to discuss this further with you.

Confessions of a Recovering People Pleaser–What If

I hate to admit it, but people pleasing is an addiction. The truth is, when people call me, depend on me, seek me out to do something my ego is fed and my image is enhanced.  It provides a temporary high. And just like the temporary high from a batch of brownies or a chemical enhancement, this temporary high ends with a crash leaving me craving even more.

For years I convinced myself it was an element of servanthood – I was putting others before myself. That’s what Scripture says so I had to say ‘yes’ to every call. Right?

As I committed to a closer relationship with Christ and dug deeper into His Word I found that was slightly out of context.

Jesus was always in demand, everyone wanted His attention. Jesus did not always say ‘yes’ to everyone. While there are many stories, let’s look at one in John 5, verses 1-9.  Many are waiting by the Pool of Bethesda to be healed. Jesus certainly could have healed every single person there with just a word. But, instead, he healed one.

Jesus also taught being busy was not more important than time with the Lord. Look at the story of Martha and Mary in Luke 10. Martha busies herself with preparations while Mary sits at Jesus feet, listening to all he has to say. Martha asks Jesus to get on to Mary and tell her to get up and help. Jesus reminds her Mary is doing what is most important, that at that moment, all of Martha’s busy work is less important than the one thing Mary is doing. 

Ouch!  While there times I need to be busy, I must accept there are times I am slow down.  I can’t hear God’s still small voice if I am busy doing a dozen other things.

Scripture also tells a story of our own preparedness and that we each have responsibilities. Take a look at Matthew 25. There are 10 virgins, waiting for the bridgegroom to call. The time has come to go out to meet him. Five of the 10 are prepared with lamps full of oil, five did not fill their lamps and as they were walking needed them filled.  When the asked the 5 who were prepared to give them oil, these responded with ‘no, then I may not have enough for myself’.  The 5 unprepared had to seek their own oil and missed the banquet.  Yes, the 5 could have given up their oil, but why?  All had the same opportunity to prepare. Five chose not to make the meeting of the bridegroom a priority, and missed out. You could also look at this in another light: stewardship. Each was given the responsibility of their own lamp – five took care of the chore assigned them, five did not.

Setting priorities like stopping all the activity to sit at Jesus feet, or choosing to provide for my family by not sharing my oil is hard!!!  These are tough choices.  And many times we allow ‘circumstances’ to occur so we can declare “I had no choice”…and there may be times that is true.  But if you look seriously at you daily actions you will find many choices you made, even if unconsciously.

Setting priorities leads to a lot of “what if” questions. 

  • What if I turn down this big project at work? I will be spending more time at home but I may lose out on the next promotion.
  • What if I limit my children’s sports activities to a couple nights a week instead of 5? What if they are then not as good as the other kids on the team?
  • What if I don’t accept that committee appointment?
  • What if?

Life is filled with what ifs. We must each decide what is most important.  By saying YES to one thing, we are saying NO something else.  OR perhaps by saying NO to one thing, we are saying YES to something else.

No, I will not serve as head of the HOA this year – Yes, I will spend those evenings of heated discussed instead with my family

Yes, I will teach that Sunday School class – No, I cannot sit in the sanctuary with my husband at that time

Choices. We have to make them. Some are not life changers: chocolate or vanilla cupcake, coke or pepsi, hamburger or hot dog.  We make choices all day long. Do I open my eyes now? Do I get out of bed? Do I go to work? What do I wear?

What if

  • you chose not to go to work
  • you decided not to put gas in the car when it was so near empty
  • you didn’t pay the electric bill

And on and on it goes. I try not to answer right away when asked to do something, responding, “may I check my calendar and family, then get back with you”.   What if I miss out on that big event? What if I miss out on the little events God has provided for me? 

Decisions, decisions, decisions.

Precious In His Sight

I recently ran across an audio series by Theresa Ingram, wife of Pastor Chip Ingram of Living on the Edge.  I downloaded the MP3 and PDF files and thoroughly enjoyed the “Precious In His Sight” series and teachings of Theresa.  I related so well to her words.

The first part is titled “Mirror, Mirror On the Wall” and looks at  what God says is true about my appearance; I am Beautiful in Jesus’ Eyes.  I was created in God’s image. I am beautiful because He designed me, knows me intimately, and loves me. Though man looks at the outward appearance, God looks at the heart.

Part 2 is titled “From Cinderella to a Princess”, noting we are righteous in Jesus’ eyes. There is a difference in our lives before and after Christ.

In part 3 you are “Born to be a Winner”. Theresa discusses how to experience in you what is true of you. What untruths do you tell yourself? What is true of you? I loved her question “what is tatooed on your mind?’   Your self-talk could be your biggest weapon satan will use against you.

Finally, in part 4, appropriately titled “Wings” you are reminded how uniquely gifted and enabled by God to make a significant impact with your life. Yes, are can make an impact. She discusses the 4 road blocks we set up that hinder God from using us.

I was very touched by this series. I heard myself in her stories.

Once I finished I learned that there is an audiobook titled “Precious in His Sight” which is unabridged. The MP3 files are available through Amazon and the Living on the Edge website.

I highly recommend this to every woman who has even the slightest bit of self-doubt.  Yes, God can use you and wants to use you. He can and wants to use me.

This website, my desire to become a life coach and to begin public speak, along with my Knit and Crochet Bibles Studies, and my teddy bears are just the tip of the story He is unfolding in my life.

What story is He unfolding in your life?

What Color Do You See

The purposes of the heart are life deep waters, but one who has insight draws them out.  Prov 20:5

Several years ago while sitting on my back deck, a friend looked out into my yard and commented on the beautiful yellow roses I had.  I looked out and saw no yellow roses. The fence was lined with red roses, but no yellow one.  Thinking she had just made a slip in wording I left the comment alone.  A bit later the yellow roses came up again in our conversation. Confused, I asked her to join me in a walk around the yard.

When we came to the roses I asked her ‘what color are these roses’. “Yellow” she responded. I was looking at red roses. I looked closely at her and noticed her sunglasses.  “Take off your sunglasses for a moment please”.  She did so and responded ‘those are red!’. 

Her sunglasses had an amber tint, a strong amber tint, and everything she saw was through the amber lens. Once removed, she could clearly see the true color of the roses.

As a life coach, I help women take off the amber lens to see more clearly what they are facing.

I don’t know of any woman who does not multi-task.  She has to! If you are at work you are thinking of the laundry not yet done at home, what will you be making for dinner, errands you will have to run on your lunch break as well as the project in front of you that needs to be completed for your boss. When  you are at home you are doing laundry, making dinner, getting the kids ready for bath and bed, all the while nagged by what you did not get completed at work.

Even at church, you have a To Do list in front of you and as the pastor is speaking you are adding to your list of things you need to but will probably never get done.

With all this going on in your head the lens of your mind may be discoloring your thoughts. As a life coach I listen to you as you walk through these patches of your life and I help you take off the colored lens to see more clearly what is in front of you. I will reflect back what you speak aloud, and sometimes what you are trying not to speak aloud. I will ask you questions allowing you to look deeper or at a different angle than you had before. Unlike a caring friend, I won’t tell you what you ‘should’ do. You are an intelligent woman. You don’t need to be told what to do. You don’t need a list ‘shoulds’ added to your cluttered thoughts. I can, however, help you remove the colored lens and see things in a different light. Together we can draw out your deep desires which may have become buried beneath the mountain of obligations you find yourself in. We can walk through the roses of your world and find their true color.

What color lens are you wearing? Are you ready to see clearly?

Click on the Move Forward tab to contact me with no obligation.  I look forward to seeing the roses with you.