Tuesday, November 25, 2014

What's Your Life Story?




Don’t worry if you aren’t quite sure of your life message.  God knows, and as long as you abide with him, he will work out every detail and bring his purposes to fruition.
The story of your life is written on your heart at conception and develops through time.  Seeing the bigger picture of it always comes through progressive revelation.  Ideas or themes emerge as you progressively make choices and live through experiences.
Though your purpose has been written on your heart from the beginning, it may not be fully revealed or understood until much later.
Life coach Tony Stolztfus suggests there are several methods of uncovering your life message. One may be as simple as examining the why behind your actions—asking what the task is supposed to accomplish. There is always a motive behind what we do. I believe stopping to ask why ahead of time will help you clarify if it is something on par with your perceived calling or if you could spend your time better elsewhere. 
Here is Stolztfus’ list of questions to ask about any activity:
§   “Why do you want to do this task? What is the purpose of doing it?”
§  “Why is this important? Why does God care about this?”
§  “What part of Christ’s heart is this task meant to convey to your audience?”
§  “If the total of your impact was that people ‘got’ something that Christ built into your own life, what would you most want that something to be?”
§  “If you strip away all the externals—the actual acts of service, the organization, the planning, the finances—and all that was left was the message you want to convey, what would it be in one sentence?”

I find this last question very helpful recently.  As women, we are very task-oriented.  Last night I hosted our small group.  Of course, I spent time cleaning, shopping, and preparing to receive guests.  I thought of the story of Mary and Martha as I worked, and I felt conflicted in how much “fluffing” I really needed to do.  But this last question gives me relief.  

When I strip away the shopping, organizing, any money spent, I can examine the message I wanted to convey through it all.  Would the message be that I wanted to impress people?  Would the message be that I wanted to outdo anyone? Was it one of self-importance?

No, my message is and most always has been, to bless those who come to my home—to provide an experience—an inviting environment where my guests can relax, open up, and exchange God’s truths. 

I don't like housework, cooking or baking, but as an artist, I can’t resist decorating and fluffing now and then—it’s who I am—a very visual person.  I don’t do it for show, I do it for personal pleasure and always with a goal to delight others.  It’s the way I express myself.   


Try this list for yourself.  Apply it to a variety of actions you take this week. 

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Advice for Living as a Christian Woman


"Dramatic Beauty" - acrylic on Paper by Rosalie Garde
prints available at Fine Art America 


I'm going to write here some advice for Christian women in search of direction.  Call it, offering a new perspective.  Much is based on my personal experience and research.  Your path may benefit from this advice but, as always, I recognize your path or way of processing life may be far different.

Here are some tips I believe following will help Christian women:

Invite God into everything you do.  Commit your way to him and listen for his instruction.  Ask him to give you faith so you will be confident to take steps on what you hear.

Keep a journal.  In it write you feelings and thoughts, heart's desires, prayers, helpful Bible verses and writings of other believers.

Take on the armor of God.  Watch for the temptation to slip into gossip, worry, anxiety, despair, self-harm.  At the first instance of sensing any of these temptations, ask Jesus to intervene.  Then change your thoughts, actions, and so on so that you will be busy doing helpful things while the battle is fought.

Don't entertain negative self-talk.  Always focus on what is working in your life.

Live as though life isn't paid in earthly commodity, but kingdom commodity.  That is, do what God wants you to do whether it includes earning pay or not.  Build up your treasure in heaven instead.  Trust God to provide.

View life as a journey not a destination.  In any given moment, things can change.  Walk through each day doing what you discern God wants you to do.  Then walk through the next.  Carry on while maturing and growing.

Those are but a few tips.  I'd be happy to walk alongside your journey further by email or telephone coaching.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

An Organizing Tip for Life's Schedule

Whether you work from home or out of your house, chances are your agenda carries with it multiple responsibilities.  Us women tend to be organizers of many things, yet feel distressed when met with too many options to use our time for.

The result is, we default to the most fun thing, like say, Facebook, or television.  Or we muddle through with piles of stuff around us we'd rather not look at.

I don't know about you, but I have a feeling of a heavy weight on me if my home, office, and schedule are disorganized.

TIP FOR PROGRESS

Here is a tip you might want to implement if you are looking for a way to cut through the myriad of choices in your day.

Today I did this with home care responsibilities because my paid work tends to fit in between it all.  The more I'm on top of my personal responsibilities, the more time I have to write, paint and coach.


  1. I took a pad of sticky notes and marker with me to my basement storage area where I had to take meat out of the freezer anyhow.
  2. I asked for God's help, and then wrote on each sticky note the things I needed to attend to.  One by one, as I wrote each, I felt the burden shift.  The surface of the storage cabinets was perfect to hold the notes. Here's a photo of what it looked like.





From the dozen plus of sticky notes, I chose the top five or six that really needed attention.  Those I took upstairs where I placed them on a kitchen cabinet. 


Then I began to work through them.  I had no other errands to run, but I forced myself to put my shoes and sweater on and drive to the vet's office to get the cat pills I needed to pick up just so I could move that sticky to the next section.

After completing each task, I moved the stickies to the next cupboard door pictured.  When my husband comes home I'll say, "This is what I did today."

When finished all the tasks it's tempting to go pick up more.  That's how we become overwhelmed though.  Instead, I'll go do the fun stuff or the business-building stuff with the remaining time.


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Prayer for Grief and Loneliness

Prayer for Grief and Loneliness

I occasionally have down days, do you?  I just read this prayer by Joyce Meyer Ministries and thought it was very appropriate for women who are feeling pain.


Prayer for Grief and Loneliness: 

"Lord, I am crying out to You right now. I need You, my heart is 

broken, and I am overcome with sadness. You have sent Your Holy Spirit to comfort me, so at this 

very moment I open myself up to Your presence, Your peace and Your love. 

Thank You, Lord for 

filling me 

with Your overwhelming comfort, holding me in Your arms 

and surrounding me with Your healing  love. 

Father God, the Bible says that because I am Your child, that You suffer when I suffer. Your Word is 

true, and so are You. With You by my side, I am never alone, and I have strength to face each day 

ahead. 

Thank You for holding me in the hollow of Your hand and for wiping away my tears. You are 

always here for me, and You will never leave me. In Jesus' name, Amen."

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Going Nowhere Fast? Stuck in a Personal Jam?

Driving around a bustling new part of the city earlier today I became lost.  There were many people in cars all around me though.  I had never ventured to this certain area of town before and was impressed by just how many retail establishments, homes and people there were.

This experience reminded me of just how many nooks and crannies women are found in, which is important for a life coach to women to remember.  The possible clientele are many.

Women are everywhere, but not all are finding their way.  Just as my GPS led me astray today, things in life can lead women off their paths.

All through life we need guidance for finding our way.  We never really arrive. It's just too easy to turn to the latest trend, philosophy, theory, instructions, and so on, but they can move us in the wrong direction if we're not careful.


Even though I finally found the Tim Hortons I'd been looking for after shopping, I couldn't find the way into the parking lot since it was dark and rainy.  I had to drive out of my way and do a U-turn to get around a median and into the driveway.

I'd never been to this particular Tim Hortons.  In the dark of the misty night, it was very hard to tell where the drive-thru entrance was.  It took patience and careful driving not to hit someone or mount a curb.

This reminds me of life.  We can have a plan, but while carrying it out, we sometimes find ourselves in a dark and awkward place.  Sometimes we need extra patience.  Sometimes a better GPS, or a little help from a friend.

CLARITY AND WISDOM NEEDED

We know God wants us on a certain path.  The Scripture says that often.  But it is sometimes hard to see the entrance to the next step. It is hard to gain clarity through the fog.

Often, God will use a network of others to support or speak to us.  I try to stay in a few networks myself either in person or online.  When someone on Facebook offers a course, I might just sign up.  When I need advice, I might just ask a friend.  When I need prayer I might just enter it into my church's prayer wall.Still, it's important to listen to the inner rumbling of our hearts.

I suggest you always weigh any advice you're given.  Consider the source.  The best advice God sends me is more of a coincident type, not as a result of my asking people. When I come across a helpful message, I know it's for me if I feel a sense of peace and clarity.

I'm not a put-together woman, but I have been through a lot. That means I see many things in hindsight now.  It seems I've been called to write words through blogs and articles with the goal that my words will nudge women toward their best path.

I despair when I hearing a woman struggling to find her way.  I've been there often.  As a woman's path seems cloaked in mystery and sometimes pain, I want her to feel encouraged. I want her to find God's truth about her situation.  I want her to find his peace.

My ultimate wish for you is to find the path God wants you to walk, even if it involves a few winding turns.  My desire is that you stay close enough to God to discern what he wants for you.

My goal in writing is to prompt you to take bold steps to change habits and make investigations so that you get God's work done. My desire is that you will find contentment, peace, and a sense of fulfilment, while saying goodbye to worry.

CHALLENGING QUESTIONS
  • Is there something you feel God is asking you to do, but you need more direction?  Do you need God's GPS system to reveal your path more clearly?     Solution:  Ask him.  Don't make changes until he reveals something.  Follow the lead he whispers in your ear.
  • Is there an area of your life you wish would change, but you aren't sure of the timing or how to implement the change?   Solution: Ask God for clarity and to send you the people you need to help you make that change.
  • Is your personal life working for you so that the other things God has on your plate are doable? What part of your life needs better balance?  Solution:  Take steps for self-care and to bring balance into your life.
These are but a few questions to consider.  I hope answering them helps you get unstuck from the traffic jam you might feel you're in.  When making changes of any kind, call for wisdom, and then pace yourself.  Trust in God and wait for his message to you.