Monday, October 20, 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. 

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.


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 


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.


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.

  • 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.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Time for a Fresh Start?

Parable of the Sower, R. Garde 2014

September signals renewal for many.  It is when students return to school.  It is when parents get into a normal routine again.  It is when the weather begins to change. It is when favourite programs re-start.

Fresh starts can be good at re-motivating people.  

Are you ready to renew your life this fall?  Here are a few cues to get you started:

  1. Let go.  Entrust your children to God's care.  Let go of what was to make room for the new. 
  2. Create some new routines.  Perhaps you'll include regular Bible reading, meditation, a personalized yoga routine, or a morning walk around a nearby park.  New routines shouldn't be bothersome.  They should help ignite your passion.
  3. Choose optimism.  When reading the news or even a Facebook page, stick with the positive and don't be tempted to bog yourself down with evil, negative stories.  Avoid the idol worship of what's popular.  Think of others how you'd like them to think of you.
  4. Look for treasures.  All things work together for good for those that love God.  Even in negative situations there can be a treasure.  Ask God to show you it.  Enjoy the blessings he puts in front of you.
  5. Stay alert.  We all have callings.  Once you know yours, focus on it. When things come across your path that fall in line with your calling, take steps on them.

    My Personal Steps:

    I have a routine of waking, taking my thyroid pill with a full glass of water, then taking the cat and dog outside to walk around our large yard.  My cat really does follow me.  This isn't a fall routine, but one that gets my day started.

    Something new I'm doing this fall is uploading my art to a website where it will be presented for sale.  For many years, I intended to get back into art.  I kept putting it off though.  When asked the question, if there is one thing you could do and not fail what would it be, in the back of my mind was always "be an artist."  I didn't know if it was just a romantic notion or more.  

    I'll tell more of my art story later, but for now I want to say that I've realized art is so subjective my work doesn't have to measure up to another person's for it to have value.  There is a website I can sell prints on that will be no cost to me.  I've got no reason to not move forward on a long-held dream.  

    Do you have any long-held dreams you could re-investigate now?