Monday, August 22, 2016

Christian Woman, Don't Worry

I'm pretty sure we are all looking for answers daily. Issues plague us. Our thoughts spin and we begin to toil. We overthink. We fall into doubt.

I worry about my husband and children's happiness. I worry about my own mental health as it seems to waver from time to time. I worry that I won't be able to break my weight set point and regain a fit body. I worry about having enough retirement income. I worry that time is running out as I'll be an official senior in the next 10 yrs and if I'm going to do anything meaningful or add to my pension, it's got to be now.

Do you have similar worries?

Jesus tells us not to worry. He says to cast our cares on him. We do, but we often take them back. We are human. We fall prey to doubt. Like Peter, we start to sink. 

We need our plumb line reset. 

Just because God tells us to pray doesn't mean he'll answer our prayers the way we hope. And when he doesn't, the worry cycle begins again. And so does the overthinking and the solution-hunting, mostly because we think we know it all.


Finding Answers

Proverbs 3:5,6 saysTrust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths (NKJV).

The point that strikes me about the above verse is the bit about our own understanding. No amount of overthinking or understanding will get us the answers we seek.   

This verse below from Jeremiah points out how tricky our overthinking is.  It can't be trusted.

“The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9)

The phrase we need to focus on to be able to walk on water is at the beginning of the Proverbs verse, "Trust in the Lord." 

God rewards faith more than he rewards prayers. Hebrews 11:6 puts it this way, "And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him."

God promises to direct our paths and even reward us when we trust him. I know if he has directed my path so many times through life that he can direct my children's path too. 

Now in midlife, I need to ask the hard question:  "Will I trust him with my husband, children, money, and mental health, or will I be like Peter and begin to sink?" 

The point is simply this: When we trust our problems to him, he will take them and work them out his way. 


The question that remains is this: Are you trusting God with every issue of your midlife journey? Or are you resorting to overthinking?

Sunday, August 07, 2016

New Book Ready for Midlife Nest-Emptying Women

New Book Ready for Midlife Nest-Emptying Women



Well, the moment of truth has arrived.  My next eBook is online for purchase.



The audience for this book is midlife Christian women (say 40 to 60), but more important than age is stage of life. I use the words nest-emptying because, if you're like me, your nest isn't completely empty because your adult children come and go. Perhaps they are in college/university and come home some weekends and in the summer. Perhaps your adult child has his or her own housing and returns home for a change of scenery.

The point is, as our children make this transition into independence, we make our own transition. Some of us were full-time moms or at least women who made mothering our main focus no matter what we had on the side. Some have been let go from jobs, quit work, or are taking an early retirement. No matter the circumstance, one thing is common--we're all in a phase of life transition as our main parenting role has now come to an end.

I call it Rx for Midlife Nest-Emptying Women because the tips I provide are a form of prescription. The term wilting implies those moments when we feel overcome with disappointment, frustration, or grief especially after seeking God for new purpose and not finding easily it. Like a plant that needs nourishment to stay strong and vital, we need to guard ourselves too.

Won't you join me?

Friday, July 22, 2016

Children become Adults and Midlife Mom's Lose Control



By now, 2016, I have one daughter who completed 5 yrs university, graduating with a BSc Biology. She has worked fulltime 1.5 yrs already. She live on her own those 6 years. My son is entering 4th year university. He lives in student housing during the school year.

So I've walked the waters of nest-emptying. I know my journey is somewhat similar to many, but also vastly different.

The Cost of Independence 

One thing that should be similar is experiencing a sense of loss of control once our children become adults. The adult process starts at 18 and moves forward to 21 where major independence is exercised by most. And that is a good thing. Step by step we should step back. 

My weaning process started much earlier in some ways. At age 10, I taught my kids to do their own laundry and I taught my son how to make simple meals. From then on they've continued to do their own laundry and know how to feed themselves.

Loosening the reins on our adult children is both freeing and frustrating. There are many things we'd like to lecture them on. There are things we'd like to do for them. We might be tempted to arrange things behind the scenes for them. We might try to pick out clothes. We might print out articles for them to read. But much of that will backfire.

When our adult children make decisions we disagree with or fail to take action when we think they should we realize we no longer have control.

Lack of Control and Anxiety

I read recently that anxiety is a response when individuals sense a lack of control. If anxiety is left to fester, it can turn into depression.

No wonder midlife women fight depression so often.

As moms of young children we had a lot of control. We controlled their activity choices, their payments to events, their clothing choices, their bedroom organization, on and on. Most of us found it fun.

But now as moms of adult children those decisions aren't ours to make. We're off the job!

When they go away to school, we have no control over their schedule, breakfast choices, friends, church attendance, and so on.

Where do You Stand?

Are you still trying to dominate your adult child's life? Have you learned how to let go?

Do you feel a little frustrated or anxious over a loss of control? Do you worry about whether to step in or not? Have you had trouble letting go?

This area of releasing our children and its affects on us is an issue most of us need to address.

What to Do

Perhaps the best way to overcome anxiety is to focus on what is within our control. Sometimes that's as basic as cleaning the dust off our shelves and controlling our own schedule.

Of course, praying is within our control too. But be careful not to use prayer like one might cast a magic spell.  That is, it's not up to us to try to manipulate God into making things go the way we want them to. It's better to give God the choice of what should happen.

Some of our children may go through difficulties as consequences of their choices. God may allow them to make mistakes in the same way he allowed Job to be afflicted or some to become lame before he healed them.

Though we want to spare our children difficulty, keep them pleasing to God, and have happy outcomes, we can't force it to happen our way. Our resolve is to pray that should there be consequences of their choices, that God will draw them to himself and use their difficulties for his purposes.

It can also be helpful to tell yourself, "This isn't the end of the story."


Sunday, July 17, 2016

I Used a Christian-Focused Life Coach When I Needed One






When I was in the chair in the photo above, I thought I had the best house. It was brand new when we bought it eight years prior. We had the fancy deck built and the basement professionally finished. The large kitchen picture window overlooked a walking trail and sports field that was usually alive with activity. My children had made friends that were important to them.

Moving Panic

When my husband got notice of changes at work and decided we should move back East, I panicked. In my heart, I'd wanted to move back for quite a while. That was where my family were. All that was deeply familiar to me was there.

Yet my children had friends they'd have to leave. We'd be starting over yet again.

Support Needed 

Since the work issues were confidential, and the wife is never consulted anyhow, I had no one to vent to. I was angry at what had played out where my husband was concerned. I hated seeing him mismanaged. That our entire life structure was about to be overturned was disregarded by his management team.

His company did have a counselling program, but it was a random draw as to whom I would get as a counselor. Being a deeply spiritual person, I knew I needed the perspective of another believer. And that is when I hired a Christian-based life coach. Phone calls with her provided me with a safe place to vent, think through various issues, and find some form of support.

Clarity 

One of her statements offered valuable clarity. While listening to me compare where we were with where we were thinking of moving to, she noted one description was about a house, while the other was about people. We'd just paid a lot of money to finish our basement, and we liked the park, etc. But moving would allow me to join in with more extended family events and perhaps catch up with some old friends. Her comment magnified a need I'd had for some time. I knew the move would be good.

A New Home 

I needed my life coach's support at the time, and met with her after our move too.

After a couple of trips across provinces to look at houses, we finally found one. It was a lot more money than the one we'd left behind. It had a huge yard, a pool, a large garden, and the though of maintaining it was intimidating. But because we'd made every decision with prayer, we knew God was in it.

I rarely think of my previous home now. I don't care about it. My children have adjusted. We've learned how to manage our larger home. And, last year, we were able to pay it off.  Because it has a pool, family have visited more than they would have if we didn't have a pool.  It's been great.

I tell you this story to outline how hiring a life coach can help with situations most just deal with. You don't have to figure out your entire life with a life coach. You don't have to be searching for purpose. You can merely use her services for the confidential support she provides.

To contact me for life coaching or for a referral to one of my many life coach friends, feel free to email me. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

eBook for Midlife Christian Women - Don't Wilt!



I'm so relieved and yet excited that my newest eBook for midlife Christian women is finally on Kindle. I love the cover, do you?  (see photo to the right.)

I gasp when I realize how much work I put in over the year for a book Kindle suggests I sell at the $5 mark. And then, I only get a percentage for myself. If you ask me, no one has a right to complain about the content of something that cost them what they might spend in a dollar store.

Writing is something I do because I'm compelled to do it, not because it pays a lot.  It's something God has called me to do. I work with him. We collaborate.

I always have a message inside that needs to get out. My compassion for women walking through similar trials drives me to put my writing into a manner designed to be helpful. I want at least one point to make a woman say, "That point gives me peace."

What the Book's About

The idea for this book struck me when standing in my garden one summer, overcome with emotion. I was at a point of weakness, feeling God hadn't given me the answers I was looking for. Alas, I was wilting. (Wilting is what happens first before a plant dies, by the way.)

This book talks about God's answer to me that day. I had to go on a journey to decrypt the message. That's one reason the book took so long to write. Decryption was a long process.

That being said, here is a sneak peak at some of the prescriptions I've discovered may help a woman prevent wilting or recover from it:

~ A prescription for wilting is being content. ~

~ A prescription for preparing to bloom is reviewing where God has you planted. ~

~ A prescription to prevent wilting is stepping out and trying adventures on your own. ~


~ A prescription for growing strong roots and buds is nourishing your mind, spirit, and body. ~