Sunday, January 15, 2017

Feeling Restless?

It's January at time of writing. It's been dark and dreary and for many, it's a time of low mood or depression.  

I was just re-reading an eBook I have for sale called "Help Me Lord, I'm Wilting." I thought these paragraphs might be important to share here:

Separate the Voices

Satan is sure to take advantage of our weaknesses, and he often does that by whispering lies into our ears to bring us down. He preys on our emotions to make us feel defeated, unloved, and hopeless. Suddenly, we feel we have a huge need—for friends, for a social life, for making any number of major life changes. He’s convincing. If we’re not careful, we’ll believe the lies he’s telling us. His specialty is making mountains out of molehills.

Your Inner Child

Psychologists point out something called our inner child. Sometimes our sensitive inner child doles out unhealed thinking. How many times have you heard one of your parent’s voices in your head regurgitating unpleasant or condescending thoughts? Or maybe it’s the voice of a mean teacher, coach, or relative.
The voice of our inner child has the ability to make us associate our needs today with the unmet needs of our childhood. 

Check out the voices you're listening to and ask God to point you in the right direction. 

God wants to give us the desires of our hearts, but we have to have faith in Him and be willing to ask Him for them.
Phil 4:6 encourages us to ask God to intervene. It says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (bolded by me).

The next time you feel you’re wilting, frustrated, short on patience, and so on, first ask yourself what unmet need might be driving the feeling. Then call on the Lord to meet it.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Journey of Healing Tinnitus

Journey of Healing

It's the week before Christmas, and I'm in God's emergency room. I shouldn't even be typing because I'm trying to give my trapezium area (neck and shoulder areas) a break. 

Recently, I suffered a bad bout of tinnitus. I don't know the exact reason it came on because there are so many possible causes including muscles giving off noises (thus the trapezium rest), a possible bacterial infection after a cold, and so on. 

It was so bad on a couple of days recently that I found myself panicking and unable to sleep. No sleep makes me even more anxious so I was caught in a viscous cycle of uncertainty. I even had mental chaos and there was a definite spiritual attack going on. It was a hell I never want to revisit. 

I'd already had several people praying for me--my small group, my ladies group, my mom, my husband, and so on. I got enough rest Saturday night and told my husband I was trusting God for complete healing and that is why I wanted to go to church though I was still quite wobbly from the rough couple of nights. I told my husband on the way into church, "By the way, if they have oil anointing and prayer for healing, I'll be going up for it."

Turn Down the Sound, Please 

The service was loud--as happens to someone recently suffering an auditory nerve issue. I put Kleenex in my ears which is funny because I'd laughed when seeing another woman at church do that a few years ago. 

So there I was, trying to make it through all the nice music and the pastor's booming message, just so I could go for prayer. I even thought of walking out into the hallway to look for someone official-looking to pray so I could move on. 

The service ended, people left their pews and my husband said, "Okay, now's your chance."

Oil Anointing 

A lovely man named Paul was there facing the audience, ready to pray for whomever would come. I poured out my complaint to Paul, telling him about the hissing that was causing lack of sleep and distress. Paul was amazing! He told me how much God loved me and then he anointed my forehead with oil, touched my neck area, and began praying for my body to be healed. I also asked him to pray over a number of other things--the doubt my husband and I had been battling, the panic, the lack of peace, and so on. 

Crying there while Paul shared with me was a release that made it all worthwhile. I suddenly felt very connected to my church. I felt cared for.

The next day, I did a prayer exercise Paul suggested. I'd woken up with hissing and shook it off out on my front porch in the cool of the dark morning. When I went inside, the hissing stopped. I was so surprised and thankful. 

But after falling asleep again, I woke with hissing. All day I prayed against it, but it carried on. I spent the day watching every Christian show there was on TV. Then I went out to a social group and shopped after. The best way to deal with this issue is to ignore it. And that is what I tried to do. 

Later I saw the 100 Huntley Street show on TV. I decided to call their prayer lines for healing and so I could sleep. I officially have people in many places to the North, South, East and West praying for me. 

7 Days?

Early in the process, as I researched the syndrome and looked into Biblical miracles, I noted how many times God asked individuals to do things 7 times--like Naaman dunking in the Jordan--or sometimes, the miracle happened on the 7th day. 

The last time I was healed of face pain after prayer and oil anointing, I was healed 7 days later. The pain had diminished bit-by-bit each day.  

So, today, I've passed the 3rd day since being anointed and prayed over (counting from 12:30 on Sunday), and realize the 7th day will be Christmas Day. Yesterday and today there has been minimal tinkling sounds and I have been able to sleep. Will I be fully healed Christmas Day? 

There seems to be something in my left shoulder, neck and up my head I swear is connected. But I don't know what it could be, only God does. So I trust in his healing power to remove this thorn completely, in Jesus name. 

Today, again, I took it easy backing away from the computer instead watching Christian TV shows while creating Christmas decor. It's been a good day. Thank you Lord. 

Post Script:  Wow, soon after writing this I saw this guy on TV I'd never watched before. I could hardly believe my ears when he said, "Your miracle is wrapped up in God's perfect number 7.  In 7 days, God is about to rush with your miracle!"  Amazing. Yes, anyone could have said that, but I'd just flipped to the station and never heard of this speaker before and I'd just finished typing the above post about the number 7 minutes before. Here is the

Post Post Script: After bedtime reading, by 1:30 I felt sleepy and laid down and turned out the lights. I fell asleep, but within an hour or so I felt a pain in my head and I awoke. There it was--the hissing was back. Not as loud as it could be. So I'm up out of bed hoping an upright position will relax it. I decided to call the Crossroads 24/7 Prayer line again. I'll take all the support I can get. The last thing the man said before hanging up was, "We'll keep praying over your request for 7 days." I chuckled a little that he mentioned 7 days.

Lord hear our prayers. 

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Variety of Coaching Styles

I had an incident recently where someone told me they didn't see me as a coach. I was a little insulted, but then I realized it didn't matter how she saw me. Her opinion doesn't validate my coaching ability. 

Maybe she meant I didn't seem like the kind of coach she'd want to use and that's okay for me because she isn't my ideal client anyhow. 

I'm not an extrovert. I'm not a speaker. Contrary to what some in the coaching circles think, to coach you don't have to also speak. 

There are some women who are gifted speakers. Many good speakers are extroverts. Extroverts often assume everyone can become a speaker if they will only join a toastmasters group and practice. Some extroverts love networking. Some women have to network to keep business flowing in. Some network to feel important. Unless a coach is out there networking and speaking, they aren't seen as a typical coach. 

And then there's me. Say what you will, God has not called me to network broadly or to speak publicly. At least not at present. And that's okay. I wish to be respected for that stance, not insulted for it. 

I don’t strive to become a speaker. It’s not my strength or even my desire, so don’t expect me to sign up for a toastmasters group. One value I hold is that I don’t feel it’s valuable to work on my weaknesses. I'm all for habit change and taking occasional risks, but I don't think developing my weaknesses is my best use of my time or skills. 

My priorities include accepting and loving how God made me and working on the strengths he's revealed to me. 

Apparently after a personality test, I'm one of 4% of the population in my personality category. I'm like a nearly extinct animal. As such, I'm compelled to follow the path I feel God puts me on. He doesn't expect an elephant to be a monkey does he? Then why might someone suggest the elephant take monkey training?

I know several life coaches in person and virtually. Again, many are extroverts. Many are business coaches. Just because I’m not like them doesn’t mean I’m not a good coach. I may not be the coach for them. I’m mostly an introvert—a deep thinking and perceptive introvert. I can be outgoing in certain circles, but I value solitude more than group activity. My skill is to hear beneath a woman’s words. I’m a woman of faith and vision and my spiritual gifts are encouragement and discernment. 

When I watch detective shows with my husband, I can almost always point out the guilty party. I sometimes can finish sentences and may quickly figure out what has occurred. For instance, one man was pulled into the NCIS coroner's office with a blunt force trauma to the head. I told my husband it didn't necessarily mean he was struck with something. He could have fallen into a desk, or other object either through violence or by accident. Sure enough, it was determined the head injury was due to the man hitting his head on a desk. 

I'm intuitive. I'm discerning. I often see problems before they occur. I often wouldn't do things the way someone else plans to do it. Why? Because I see the potential for problems. 

I have found in life it takes courage to be different. I've been a different bird, so to speak, all my life. I won’t often stand out in a setting and that’s okay. I’m not a people-pleaser.  I’m a committed God-pleaser. Though I may not be understood, and though others may miss seeing my value and the potential I offer them, I'm an overcomer. I don't need to be like everyone else around me and I don't need everyone to see me as a coach. 

Saturday, October 22, 2016

The Two Faces of Change

About every four years my husband's former company would ask him where he saw himself next. If he identified a new role, they'd look for ways to make it happen. Often the change was a God-send. Once he even said, "I'm dying inside, I need a change." We as a family took big leaps by job transferring, and he did too in his change of roles. 

Change is something we all sense we need now and then. I'm well acquainted with the craving for change and also the activity of change. We've job transferred as a family. We've owned four homes. We've put out old furniture in favor of new furniture. I've changed my office around steadily--like every three months it seems because I bore easily. 

Two Faces of Change 

Change initiated with a sense of adventure is good. When we job transferred, we thought of it as an adventure.  But even then, I lost all that was familiar and I missed "home."

Changes that just happen to us as a consequence may not be as positive or easy to go through. 

It's fair to say change has two sides--opportunity and loss.

Change always comes with a loss of some sort. There is usually something to let go of. It might be a routine, a familiar environment, relationships, possessions. The last time I changed my office around, I put my desk in the opposite corner of the room. My perspective was changed. It looks good, but within the first few hours I missed my old familiar spot. Why? Because it was the corner I chose when we moved into this home six years ago. Many changes occurred in that corner as I lived virtually through my computer. 

Change is often hard. I was surprised how changing my office made me feel. It was the same feeling I got when my children left home for university. When they left, part of me missed our old family of four routine. I had no choice but to let the old go and to embrace the opportunity the change presented. Getting through change really becomes about attitude. It becomes about seeing potential. 

My husband would never have made such big career shifts if he hadn't seen what might be in it for himself. The possibilities included the chance to learn something new, practice a new role, walk through new doors, receive more financial rewards, and expand himself to be used more broadly for the good of the company he was loyal to for 23 years.

As Christians we can rest in the peace of knowing God is always in control and he is a God of change. 

Here's a look at how God thinks since all the Bible is inspired by God (bold by me):

Ephesians 4The Message (MSG)

"To Be Mature

1-3 In light of all this, here’s what I want you to do. While I’m locked up here, a prisoner for the Master, I want you to get out there and walk—better yet, run!—on the road God called you to travel. I don’t want any of you sitting around on your hands. I don’t want anyone strolling off, down some path that goes nowhere." 

Deut 31:6 (NIV) "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Life Purpose

The coach training program I studied under is called Life Purpose Coaching. It focuses on finding meaning in life, not just managing life. 

Purpose includes what we do, but is not only what we do. If purpose is what we do as in our job or being a mom, then what does that mean when our job changes, our children move out, our role is taken over by someone else, or we become disabled and can’t DO any longer?

Purpose is more about what we and whom we are: Author Robin Chaddock puts it this way, 

”Jesus encouraged us to build our houses on solid foundations, 
and one of the most solid foundations we can build on 
is to know who we are before we try to figure out what we’re supposed to do.”

I would add to that, building a solid foundation is also about knowing who Jesus is and being able to trust him to guide you. It is being able to have a Kingdom Perspective and to be able to see our purpose through God’s eyes. That type of perspective assigns meaning even to the mundane.

GENERAL PURPOSE FOR ALL:  There are general purposes for us all. They have to do with our character, and actions.  God calls us to be holy as he is holy. He calls us come to him. He calls us to love God and love our neighbours. He calls us to serve others, meet the needs of those around us, avoid wrong-doing, and spread the message of his love. This general purpose encompasses all it means to be his follower.

UNIQUE PURPOSE FOR ALL: There is no mistake that the Bible points out we are all uniquely made by the Creator himself. We only need to look around us to see we are not all alike. Our physical bodies are different, but we are also different in personality, interests, skills, knowledge, experience, and so forth.

So our unique call may include a career, but our career is not our unique purpose. Our unique calling may include relationships and roles, but it is not just limited to that either.

Our unique call doesn’t have to impact the entire world, but will usually impact someone or something. 

We don’t necessarily ever arrive at our purpose the way we arrive at other destinations.  Life is seasonal and cyclical. We are ever growing in wisdom and knowledge and maturity. We are ever growing in new experiences and changes in direction and relationships. So Where Does One Find Her Unique Purpose?

I have found my path through challenging myself with questions, assessments and identifying my personal values. I have spent time dreaming, acknowledging my talents, developing them, and finding ways to release them. It’s taken trial and error, taking risks, and weathering rejection and disappointment.

My search began with trying to

  • reinvent myself - after working and motherhood I wanted something new and fresh to be involved in. I wanted to find out what was under my Clark Kent disguise.

  • revive myself - women get lost in all the good things we do and think we need to do and be. Parts of us are put on the back burner, smothered, or merely changed.
  • find myself - I hoped that through all life’s experiences and with time that I’d progressed as much as the world had and I needed to find out who I was now.
  • find an outlet - Yes purpose is about self awareness, but it is in using it we complete the cycle of fulfillment. 
  • God says faith without works is dead. So to, gifts and abilities without expression is dead.

Rather than go on, let me help you gain insight for your journey by asking a probing question:

What is your definition of success? God has planted within each of us the definition of success that is fitting for us. If we default to other people’s definitions, we will continue to be out of sync, we lack peace and will remain lost and dissatisfied.

Examine your definition of success. This definition will help you make choices that will assist you in taking steps that help you fulfill your purpose. 

What is your idea of success in each of these areas?

  • health
  • finances
  • relationships
  • community involvement
  • spiritual life
  • contributions to the world
  • beauty and fashion
  • home decor
What is your specific contribution to each area?

How do you communicate? How do you help? What inspires you the most?