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.