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Thursday, December 31, 2015

My Thoughts on the DAPO Movement Journal

I mentioned in a previous post that I'd received this book for Christmas (from myself).  Yes, I often put things under the tree for myself from myself.  

When I was handed this one to open, I had actually forgotten about it so it was a fun surprise!


I was immediately impressed with the layout. Before gift giving continued I was already immersed in reading Susan's heartfelt introduction.  

On first glance the lessons seem so simple.  They are truths I know. It's tempting to speed through the book. But rather than do that I've chosen to pause and re-read the chapters repeatedly.  

I've glanced at the first four, and each time I've re-read them I've been challenged.

The First Word of Wisdom (Page 4) 

I'm comforted by the truth that God is in control and I'm intrigued with a couple of sentences Susan has written. 

I'm captivated by the idea that the clarity and peace I seek might be behind a door I didn't think to open. Now my mind is scurrying to think of what door I might not have opened.  Sounds like fun, doesn't it?

I'm also intrigued by the sentence that says God has the answer to the question I've been asking.  That made me think of how many questions I ask God, myself, my cat, dog, husband, or other person in a day. I realize God wants to help answer all my questions.  

This first chapter asks us to list examples of synchronicity that has defied explanation in our life. I have had many of those moments this year.  

A DAPO Moment from My Summer 

I don't want to share too much about this, but enough to show God's DAPO power.  Here's one of my DAPO moments from this summer:

An extended family member had recently been diagnosed with a mental health issue that was untreated.  For a time this year, she went missing. It's been hard on all of us. Her own children and mother hadn't seen her for three months when her son finally reported her to police as a missing person. 

Lots of prayer was being said over this issue, but we had no idea where she might be.

In July, my daughter made a trip to her old university campus where her boyfriend was living and working over the summer. My daughter lived in another city so the timing of this visit was unique--something only God could have orchestrated.

As she and her boyfriend strolled through the campus corridor, suddenly, right there in front of her stood my missing relative!  My relative didn't recognize my daughter though they said hello.  My daughter's boyfriend had never met this relative so didn't realize who it was but was able to tell us she had been staying in the temporary summer hostel for about two weeks.

My daughter caught the room number and phoned me right away.  I let her son know and he was flabbergasted.  All our family members were so flabberghasted they didn't believe it.  They wondered what the odds were of my daughter being there--a city 50 km from where this person normally lived--at just the right time and place so that she would bump into our relative who'd just been reported missing days earlier?  

It was true, though.  Her son was able to go to this city and talk to her.

The problems with this relative were certainly not resolved then and there.  It's complicated.  But this DAPO moment was enough to reassure us that God was on the case.  

I'm happy to report that just before Christmas, my relative was brought to the hospital and is now undergoing treatment.  God made us wait (more on that in reference to Chapter 2).  But God came through and we continue to trust him with the issue. 

If you are interested in obtaining this book and becoming part of this movement, you can find buying information here.  

Until later.

RG
  

Monday, December 28, 2015

Making 2016 Goals?

Phil 1:6 NLT "And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, 
will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns."

The end of December and start of January are often a time of reflection for most Christian women.  We evaluate what the last year brought.  We look at what's broken or not working, and we try to set goals to repair damage, replace that which is no longer working, and complete what needs to be completed.



Let's make our 2016 goal list together.  Ask God to guide you.  

1.  Evaluate what the last year brought:  A fun way to remind yourself is to look through your online or Facebook photo albums, or to look through your saved documents. Make note of the things you did that you'd like to do more of.  Thank God for the good and ask him to help you include more in 2016.

2.  Look at what's broken:  You know what those things are you'd like improved. Maybe you are still seeking God's healing for your body.  Maybe there's a relationship that you want God to intervene with.  Maybe your small business seems to not be working.  Give the broken pieces to God and ask for his input.

3.  Look at what you need to complete:  It's easy in the dead of winter to toss aside those unfinished projects or the business or job you've been doing.  But God wants us to complete what he's called us to.  He puts a high price on perseverance.  He wants to help us walk through challenges.  He wants us to stick with what we are doing until he lets us know it's time to move on.  

It's easy to give up just before you achieve your dream.  So please resist making a drastic decision prematurely. Keep on the path.  Stay diligent.  See your goals to completion.







Saturday, December 26, 2015

Divine and Perfect Order - A 52 Week Self-Coaching Tool

As we enter a new year, many of us will choose some new habits. Some of us will choose new books to read and new daily devotionals to keep us centered. 

I like to share things I feel might help women.  I like to mention tools God's put in my path.  I like to support fellow coaches and authors. I'm anxious to share a new product today.


I've ordered and am about to begin going through a new book by Susan Day, called, 


Divine And Perfect Order, A Companion Journal 

(click link above for more information)

In it you will find 52 valuable life lessons. Each journal entry includes:
  1. SIMPLE WORDS OF WISDOM: advice for tackling the tough issues
  2. A SIMPLE TRUTH: a Bible verse to inspire you
  3. A SIMPLE TOOL: a question to drive you to action
As I go through it, I hope to make a point to share a bit about it here and in the Facebook group www.facebook.com/groups/DivineAndPerfectOrder/?fref=ts.

I looked at my copy today, since I'd placed it under the Christmas tree as a gift to myself.  I was impressed by the layout and I enjoyed Susan's introduction.  It is simple reading, but I feel, as with most self-coaching tools, it will be best to let the questions simmer through a week before moving on.  It's tempting to look ahead, but I will do my best to spread it out over 52 weeks.  It will likely become one of many devotionals I read in a week. 

I'd be happy to join in conversation with you about this new tool book Susan has prepared. Feel free to post comments. 


(Please also let me know if you purchase it, or let Susan know you heard about it from me.)


Monday, November 09, 2015

Could it be Hormones Making You Feel this Way?


Beware of Perimenopause and Menopause

Ypsilanti art by the author.


The phase just before menopause is referred to as perimenopause. Just as puberty brings an onset of changes to a woman's body over a period of three to five years, perimenopause brings on changes too. You might say it is a reversed puberty.  It can last anywhere from ten to fifteen years.

Perimenopause symptoms can affect a woman anytime between age 35 and 55. The average age for menopause is reported to be 51, but recently I saw it reported as 54. Of course, many women reach menopause sooner. 

Menopause is reached when one full year without menstruation is complete. 

SYMPTOMS OF PERI-MENOPAUSE

The symptoms of peri-menopause may be sporadic and may include night sweats, hot flashes, crashing fatigue, irritability, moods swings, crying spells, depression, weight gain, headaches, brain fog and trouble with memory or concentration.

It's easy to see that any woman dealing with symptoms of this nature over a period of years may feel frustrated. Symptoms like these can put dent into a woman's quality of life.

I won't pretend to have a cure or remedy for perimenopause, I merely want to emphasize that if you aren't quite feeling like "yourself" lately, if you are having emotional, spiritual, mental as well as physical challenges, that the root cause might be related to your hormones not your circumstances. 

That is, what you're feeling may NOT be caused by your husband, job, kids, lack of money, or church, though they may bear the brunt of how you're feeling or make things more problematic.

SUPPORT YOURSELF THROUGH PERIMENOPAUSE

So what's my point? The point is, when feeling out of sorts, be aware your hormones may be the culprit.  Don't make radical changes without taking this point into consideration.  


  • Choose, instead, to manage your perimenopause phase by being informed and armed with coping strategies.
  • Read books or articles to educate yourself. To learn about perimenopause, you may need to read a book on menopause.
  • Talk to other women and find out what has helped them. Talk to professionals.
  • Get rest and exercise. Sleep with a few ice packs under your pillow, if necessary, to gain relief from night sweats.  Talk to your doctor about hormone therapy options when/if you can no longer stand the sweating.
  • Take action and find out the right combination of supplements and activities right for you.  

Be ready for what symptoms will carry on through menopause.

CARE FOR YOUR SPIRITUAL SELF 

Go to the All-Knowing source--God for his answers to your dilemmas.  

Have you ever wondered why no one has the perfect cure for anything from the common cold to weight loss?  That's because they cannot out-smart God.  

No one is going to give you the perfect cure for perimenopausal symptoms.  God knows what he wants for you.  He may want you to go through some things so that later you can help others.  He may allow some struggle so you will draw closer to him.  

God knows how you feel, and he knows what will help.  Ask Him for His special recipe for you!

FOCUS ON WHAT'S WORKING

In every challenge, it is always helpful to focus on what is working.  Ask yourself what is going well.  Look at how you've been blessed.  Be confident that you will come through this phase as best as possible.

Faith, hope, and Love will carry you.  

Friday, October 09, 2015

My Life Coaching Journey and the Concept of Christian Support

As an at-home mom looking for purpose in the mid-2000s, I'd been muttering, "Lord, show me my purpose and path."

When I saw this book in the grocery store of all places, it shouted at me. When I saw the author was connected to Saddleback Church I REALLY knew it was for me.  Here's why:


Saddleback Church

Saddleback was a church planting leader in the 80s. Rick Warren, the founder, trained pastors.  The pastors of my church in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada introduced my fiance and I to Saddleback. 

For our honeymoon June '91, we chose to drive down the coast of California from San Francisco, ending our second week at the Saddleback Church Growth Conference in Laguna Beach, CA. And that is when Saddleback took root in my heart. 

Rick Warren was the leader of the Purpose Driven paradigm of the mid-90s and author of Purpose Driven Life written in 2002. 

Katie Brazelton 

By the time I was looking for purpose beyond motherhood in the 2000s, Katie Brazelton was about to release the above book.  Brazelton was a licensed minister with Saddleback Church and director of women's Bible studies. Seeing on the front cover she was associated with Saddleback I knew it was God connecting me.

I discovered Brazelton was about to hold a chat forum on the Christianity Today website so logged in. There I learned she had a life coach training program.  I was ecstatic because I'd recently been introduced to the concept of life coaching.  I was blown away that she had a Christian-based training program.

At 4:00 that day, I received a personal phone call from Katie Brazelton to my home in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada from Laguna Beach, California! God shouted purpose at me that day.



Trying to Share My Dream 

I attempted to share my epiphany with a staff leader and others at the Winnipeg church we were attending at the time, but was rebuffed.  They had no ears to hear. One leader never did return my phone call.  I think the concept of life coaching was too foreign to most of them. And so I shrunk down not knowing what to do with this message I'd received from God. 

I asked if I could be considered for a leadership scholarship the church had for women to help pay for my coaching fees.  Their policy was any woman who received the scholarship would have to use her skills to serve the women in the church for a year.  I would have loved nothing better than that.  But I was told the scholarship program had just been discontinued. 

Life Purpose Coach Training

So I signed up for coach training anyhow fully aware the church was not behind me.  I cleaned offices to pay my way.

I confess my part.  As a slightly introverted person I may not have communicated my mission well or gotten to know key leaders well enough. 

I had moved into Winnipeg only a couple years before life coach training. Ingrained churches are often very skeptical of newcomers. Their skepticism might have been at play. If they could only walk in a newcomer's shoes they'd see it. 

Their church policies were also a blockage. I could go into more details, but I won't. But it was then I realized there was no support to be found in the church. I would have to do my ministry outside the church.

Bloom Where You're Planted? 

I just read an article by a pastor accusing his congregation of not being willing to bloom where they've been planted.  He assured them they were there not at his church out of coincidence but out of God's plan. If he really believes that, I hope he will not put obstacles in front of those that do want to bloom!

If it is really true that God places us where he wants us to bloom for his reasons, then our churches should stand behind us to help us bloom, not create policies or nurture skepticism. 

When support doesn't happen in the church, sadly, we look elsewhere.  I have cohorts on Facebook in various groups and a few cohorts locally.  

Trying to Go it Alone

I tried to go it alone, but it was hard.  Above is a poster I created for a group I was to hold at a Christian bookstore. We'd buy the books from them and we'd get a corner to hold a discussion group in.

I paid for posters to be put into bags. The bookstore staff promised they'd stuff them into Christmas purchase bags and keep a list of any signups. I drove around town hanging posters in grocery stores and libraries.  I posted a notice in the newspaper.  

The group was to be in January. Two weeks after Christmas I returned to the bookstore to check enrollment. The stack of flyers was still there in the bag I'd left them. They hadn't given any away!  I was angry. 

Then, a week before the group was to start I received a phone call telling me the bookstore was closing down. There would be no spot for my group! I was out over $100 (of money I earned cleaning offices) for the advertising, and no one cared but me!

Who Applauds You?

Though I'd looked for a team who would applaud and encourage me I didn't find it. I met with obstacle upon obstacle. It was tempting to give up.

I had to remember no one else had been given the calling and vision I had.  But it was hard to understand why God would call me and not give me the support I craved. Especially as an introvert, I really needed support!

I still had a few contacts with other coaches trained with Life Purpose Coaching Centers, though.  Diane Cunningham pictured below is still a support. 

She now leads the National Association of Christian Women Entrepreneurs. She understood going out on your own as a life coach needed support. (If you're a Christian woman entrepreneur, feel free to join NACWE.)



I Dare to be Brave 

I share this story now because I have no fear to tell it. It's my story. I actually hope some of the unsupportive people read it to hear my point of view.  If you think it's negative, go ahead and walk away. I don't care anymore about what unsupportive people think.  

I did lead a nice group of women who gave me this gift.  

Recently I came across a blog where the author asked this question:

Who claps when you win?

We need to be the type of people that clap for others, and we need people in our lives who will clap for us.  

Do you have friends like this in your life? Will it mean joining an organization and paying a membership fee to get the support you need? 

If you're in a group or club, are you careful not to talk negatively about others?  Are you careful not to be self-centered? Do you show appreciation for other's ideas?  Do you promote others?  Do you notice their Facebook posts and add positive comments?  

Where might you find friends who are quick to celebrate you, the steps you take and whatever accomplishments you embark on? 

Start a Movement 

This is a fresh idea I'm putting out prematurely, but what if we started a movement of sharing and caring.  What if we started small groups where we can meet with like-minded women who will support us?  

I'm not talking business networking.  Yes, there is great support in networking groups.  But there is always someone there who is too sales or business focused.  

I'm not talking Bible study group. 

I'm talking about a group where someone applauds us when we tell them we got our basement cleaned? I'm talking about a group where someone supports our business idea. I'm talking about a group where we get the floor to share our obstacles and hearts' desires, and to have confidence that those we share with have our back.   

Am I naive to think people need this?

What might we call this movement?  Let me know. 



Thursday, September 24, 2015

Tips for Christian Women to Overcome Depression or Melancholy (Part 1)



I came to a conclusion in the last few years about how best to handle feelings of melancholy and hopelessness and how to prevent them from taking us into a deeper downward spiral of despair and depression. (I haven’t seen this thought written on by any other Christian writer, it’s something God pressed upon my mind.)  The conclusion is that downward emotional spirals start with temptation. 

Yes, in many cases we are more vulnerable to emotional spirals due to hormonal changes, during periods of grief, or when dealing with pain or illness.  Some people do have chemical imbalances in their brains that sometimes need boosting with supplements or even doctor prescribed medications.  Therefore, being vigilant against temptation into despair is even more crucial in those situations. 

The Battle Plan

If we are willing to embrace this idea that anxiety and despair starts with temptation from the evil one, we can more readily be on guard and fight it.  Each time he takes up his arrow and points it toward us, we can take up our shield of protection.

A Look at this Type of Temptation into Despair

We all know we are to pray, “Lead us not into temptation and deliver us from evil.” What temptation do you think of when you say that prayer? 

I have sometimes thought of it as being tempted to get angry, to hurt someone, to cheat or steal something, sexual sin, or to take some other wrong action.  Defining temptation this way I tend to put a lot of the onus on myself and my actions. If I do these things, it makes sense I’d blame myself.  Then a cycle of self-loathing would begin.  But I urge us to put the blame where it needs to be—on the one who put the idea in our head and convinced us to act on it.

Satan’s Modus Operandi

I might picture temptation as walking into a bakeshop, seeing a chocolate brownie with inch-high frosting, and following an unbelievable force (temptation) to buy it and devour it.  When I pray for God to not lead me into temptation, in that scenario I suppose I’d be praying that he would keep me from walking into the bakery in the first place. 

But the Bible explains Satan’s modus operandi is to use tools that are primarily mental, as outlined in 2 Corinthians 10:5 (NIV) “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

We are warned many times to take our thoughts captive.  We are warned to test the spirits.  We are warned to obey God. We are told to weigh our thoughts to ensure they are from God. 

Satan’s modus operandi is to confuse people and get them to live in fear and believe lies. He threatens to steal our trust in God by getting us to doubt God’s involvement in our life.  He makes us believe God’s not listening.  He causes us to believe things won’t work out for us. 

Satan loves us to trust in man or our own thinking to get us out of situations instead of patiently relying on God.  Satan would love nothing better than for us to rush ahead with poor decisions or to turn our back on God. 

The Bible explains the devil comes to steal and kill and destroy (John 10:10). He seeks those he may devour, and in the case of my brownie eating, Satan could actually get me to devour that which is unhealthy for me due to its effect on my already temperamental blood sugar and weight issues.  I may have taken the steps toward the brownie, but the idea started in my thoughts. 

Lies of Satan

It makes sense that those who choose to end their lives have become entrapped in an endless circle of negative and depressed thinking.  It makes sense those caught in depression or a rut, are stuck in the quagmire of Satan’s well-laid mud trap. 

Satan loves for people to blame themselves.  They might say, “I brought this on myself,” or “I’m useless” or “there’s nothing for me to live for.”  Yada yada.  But they would be more accurate to say, “Satan brought this upon me by causing me to…”  Or, “Satan is making me believe I’m useless because that is what he wants me to think so that I won’t live out God’s plan.”  “Satan is making me believe there is nothing to live for.  He is short-circuiting my ability to dream and hope.”

Ladies, I urge you to put the blame where it belongs.  But I urge you even more to not just live defensively, but offensively.

Protect Yourself

Live Defensively

In order to live defensively, when you begin to feel overwhelmingly lost, sad, melancholic, depressed or in despair and doubt, pray, “Lord, I’m being tempted to into…” (fill in the blank). Then trust God to stop the enemy for you—to fight for you.

Exodus 14:14 (NIV) says, “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”

Live Offensively

In Matthew 6, Jesus instructed his disciples to ask God, “Lead us not into temptation and deliver us from evil.” He told them to pray, “Give us today our daily bread,” or that which they would need to get through the day in his will.  He suggested they ask him to deliver them from temptation and any evil that may threaten to arrive that day.

In order to live offensively, pray as demonstrated in the Lord’s Prayer.  Start each day asking God to keep the temptations of negativity, doubt, and so forth from you.

I plan to write a follow-up post on this topic.  In the meantime, put these tools into practice and let me know how they work for you. 


Monday, August 24, 2015

Child off to College?



Many of my online friends have expressed they are sending children off to college and are a little caught up in the emotions.  I've been there and want to write heart-to-heart about it.

Some of us are fortunate enough that our children's college is driving distance within a couple of hours.  For others, it is a flight away which makes it a little harder.

Mine were on the closer end but nevertheless, maybe something I share will comfort and guide you.

Caught up in a Myriad of Emotions

For most of us, mixed emotions just happen.  No matter how brave-faced we intend to be, there's bound to be something that triggers us.  It may be sadness realizing a stage of life is over.  It may be fear of not being able to protect our child.  It may be jealousy that we aren't getting to live the experience they're about to.  It may be self-pity worrying about how alone we will feel. It may be regret that we didn't do this or that with our child before now or simple regret we didn't think to bring a cleaning bucket and tools to clean our child's dorm after seeing other parents carrying theirs around.

We are suddenly insecure, unprepared for some things, and in error of others (like the parent that has to bring large items back home because they don't fit in the dorm).

We might be caught off guard because we don't know the way, what to say, how much to control, where to park, where to eat, how the unloading process goes, etc.  (Being prepared by reading online rules is very important!)

If you're experiencing any of the above, congratulations, you're normal. Just take it as it comes and try to relax as you deal with it all.

Cautions

Then there are a few emotions you can put in check.  For instance, becoming sad due to projecting a future that may not exist.  If you find yourself suddenly picturing the rest of life alone without your child(ren), stop! That's just not fair because things will likely be fine and even enjoyable.

The controlling part of you needs to also be put into check for your sake and your child's sake. Don't be tempted to text and phone every hour. Limit setup of your child's dorm to the amount that feeds your soul but doesn't overstep your child's participation in setting up and decorating their own space.

This is one of the first chances you child gets to make their home away from home personalized. If you feel yourself tensed up and worried, ask if a spirit of control is at play.  Let it go by trusting God with them.

Positives

Walking through this stage with your child as their cheerleader brings you into a brand new world you may never have predicted.

I'd never imagined at age 50 carrying baskets of goods up and down 5 flights of stairs to move my daughter in and out.  She was a resident advisor and on resident student council for 5 years which meant she was require to live in a different dorm every year, and being on staff 3 summers.  We moved her into 7 different dorm rooms.  Usually she couldn't move directly from one to the other, so it meant bringing the stuff home or putting it in storage.  So if we count moving home too we moved her about 10 times in and then out again.  (She had apartment style dorms so had full kitchen equipment, but had minimal furniture except for once when she took our loveseat, her own matress, and fish tank.)

We didn't go to many activities at the school but once were invited to see a dance routine put on by a club she was in and once my husband joined her for a football game.  You may go to more or less.

You can nurture your mom-instinct by taking your child grocery shopping, making frozen dinners for them, or sending care packages.  It's a way to feel connected.

One Step at a Time

Don't be surprised if some days you get caught up in heart-rendering grief.  It's a necessary part of letting go.  When or if that hits you, it will be a watershed moment. You won't want to return to it.  So you will develop coping skills that might include taking up a new hobby, creating new routines for yourself or for you and your spouse.  You’ll avoid triggers.  (If you can’t seem to get over the grief, reach out for help. What you focus on intensifies so if you focus on sad thoughts, they will increase.  Just don’t to it to yourself!)

You can work on your relationship with your husband, work on your health, work on finding a new job, taking new courses, or just enjoy a new sense of freedom.

The wonderful news is in most cases they will be back.  Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays come quickly.  If they are closer, they may be back every couple of weekends. Then you'll see you can survive!


Now’s the time to put all the memories in the “cherish” file and to offer yourself a graduation certificate.  Raising children is hard.  You’ve done it!  So be proud of yourself and be proud of how far your child has come!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Dealing with Life's Stresses as a Christ Follower




As a freelance writer and life coach, my calling seems to be to pour out ideas on virtual paper.  I do it for the same reason I read blogs and articles online--because one word, one sentence, one conveyed idea can change a person's thoughts.

More than once I've sat in front of my computer seeking clarity, solace, answers, new direction for myself. Do you do that too?  As Christ followers, we serve a mighty God, but an invisible one. So we tend to look for him in all kinds of places, even on the Internet.

Searching for God 

Today a devotional I read pointed out how God revealed himself in a pillar of cloud to the Israelites to reassure them of his presence. I wish he'd do that for us too. The devotional said he is invisible so he can be many places at once. He does reveal himself in nature and through his word, but another way he reveals himself is through the ideas of other believers.

As a life coach, I'm as guilty as the next person of thinking all problems need a solution. We don't like problems and discomfort. We seek peace. And that's not a bad thing.  The Bible says in Psalm 34:14 to seek peace and pursue it.  But when afflictions come, we should always seek God over seeking a solution.

Wait for God's Help

There are times that we are called to walk through a trial whether it be a circumstance, emotion, or physical ailment.  At those times, we are tempted to look for a solution, but waiting for God to work things out is the better answer.

"I wait for the LORD, my whole being waits, 
and in his word I put my hope" Psalm 130:5 NIV.

The Pulpit Commentary says this of Psalm 130:5, " "Waiting for the Lord" is patiently bearing our affliction, whatever it may be, and confidently looking forward to deliverance from it in God's good time. The expression, "my soul doth wait," is stronger than "I wait;" it implies heartfelt trust and confidence."

If you've arrived at this blog today in search of an answer to your dilemma, or in search of God's peace, look to God with your soul.  Trust him to lead you where you need to go.   

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Books for the Midlife Christian Woman in Midlife Crisis

Rose Garde, Life Purpose Coach®



This blog has been running for many years now as a response to midlife queries I received on my original blog.  Wanting to offer readers a tool that combines a lot of info from the posts, I wrote my first book and its companion pictured below:


They address the myriad of issues we face as midlife Christian women. I point to my own crisis and lessons learned.  There are highlighted tips—16 Essential Steps—offered to guide and encourage readers. 

These books are different than generic midlife crisis books because I speak from the viewpoint of a Christian woman living within the challenges of her own humanness while looking to God for direction.  

Sometimes Christians feel they should have it all together--that Jesus is enough.  Well he is, but while on this earth we face normal human challenges that can keep us from living our best life. We do ourselves a disservice not to give the idea of a midlife crisis the respect it needs.  

Women need help.  Their husbands need help in understanding what's going on with their wives.  The church needs help in understanding this age bracket's challenges.    

Third Book

The third book is for the woman who, after many attempts, is still striving to find the answer to how to spend her days.  Since having my own epiphany about how to make my time meaningful, I have felt more directed.  I’ve seen God’s hand in what I do.  I am learning to trust the process of living out my results. 

The book includes several exercises for a woman to discover her inner self, and who she is in midlife. The goal of the book is that the reader will arrive at her 5 top essential passions--things she must do to feel alive, whole and centered.  


If you are still looking for answers to your midlife crisis, these books might be helpful in helping you gain some perspective. 

Only currently available on KINDLE.  Kindle books can be read on any digital device. 



Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Is an Era Ending?

As I check the analytics of my blogs I've noticed this one is starting to lag. I could get discouraged, or I could take it as a sign an era is ending.

I began this blog after becoming a certified Life Purpose Coach back in 2006.  That's almost 10 years ago.  Over time, I've moved away from offering telephone coaching in favour of writing self-coaching ebooks for purchase.  It's just a more efficient use of my time.

Nevertheless, what keeps me going is seeing the analytics and getting feedback by way of comments, emails and seeing what's been typed into the search engine that has brought women here.

I know that now, 10 years later, we are inundated with life coaches.  Not only that, there are fitness coaches, creativity coaches, health coaches, you name it.  It's a very populated area.  A lot of us with the same interest use each other's services.  A lot of us refer each other.  And a lot of us preach to the choir.

Now that my analytics are down, I'm going to ask God if it's time to pack this blog up.  If not, I'm going to need new inspiration.  There is a time and season for everything under the sun, but somethings are meant for a lifetime.  Let me know what you think. 

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Christian Woman - Be Careful of Your Thoughts

If you're like me, at any given time there are numerous thoughts swirling and whirling in your mind looking for a place to land.

Or, another way to put it is there is a field of thoughts and I merely need to choose one to focus on.

When this type of thing happens, I notice a mixture of positive and negative thoughts, peaceful and worrisome thoughts.  Sometimes I think it's important to worry so that something doesn't slip by my perfectionist mind.

But I know enough now that it's important to choose the right thoughts and not let thoughts choose you.

My strategy is to pray for God to direct my thoughts and for God to take authority over my day.  Then I try to ignore some of the more trivial thoughts. Sometimes it's better to walk away from them as you might walk away from a contentious conversation.

Be careful which thoughts you choose to grasp today!

  

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Stuck in a Midlife Crisis?

The cover was taken from my painting "Beth's Seaside Cottage."


Our Need to Dream Again 
I recall a time years ago when I had no new dreams. That scared me.  I think I was about 48.  I was leading a group of women, encouraging them to capture their dreams, but I had none aside from developing my new life coaching practice.  But with only a handful of clients at the time, I'd become discouraged.  


A few years later, I found myself battling moods in my flip-flopping role of part-time empty nest mom. I'd gotten nowhere with jobs I'd applied to.  I had a couple of small work-from-home businesses, but I wanted something grander.  I was caught in a flurry of discontentment. 

I'd sought direction for years and couldn't seem to find what God wanted me to spend my time on next in midlife that would be as meaningful as my role of raising my children. The lack of a new dream or answers about my next life phase calling had me caught in a midlife crisis that dragged on for years.  

Finally, I was given an epiphany [from God]. It is this epiphany that forms the basis of my new eBook.


New eBook to Help You Through Your Midlife Crisis


My new eBook is especially helpful for women in a midlife crisis or those that just want another perspective.  

This book will take a woman through a number of exercises that will help her narrow down her top five essential passions and help her find life direction. I know there are lots of passion books out there.  This is different.  This isn't about finding that passion that will turn into a paid career.  It may, but that's not the goal.  

The book is about looking at your innate makeup--the way God designed you--and taking seriously your top five areas of interests, developing them, and trusting God to use them as he sees fit.

I suggest once you identify your top five passions in midlife that you look at them as "your job."  This is especially helpful for the woman who has left her paid job or never re-entered the workforce after raising children.  This is helpful for the woman who has applied for new jobs and faced age discrimination and gotten nowhere. 

This is for the woman who has faith in God and believes the results she arrives at are from him.  

I'm not you, you're not me, so I have no idea if you'll connect with what I've written.  But I offer it humbly to you.  Check it out for yourself. 

Only currently available in Kindle format on Amazon, but can be read on any electronic device such as your computer, laptop, iPad, phone, etc. 

     

Monday, June 29, 2015

Children Headed of to College?



For many women this time of year can be frightening.  Many will be sending a child or more off to college/university.  Some will commute from home, others will move out and into residence.

This transition is a marker not only for the child, but for the parents.  If you fit into this category and you feel uneasy, you probably aren't alone. A little uneasiness is normal.

There are always strategies to put in place to walk through this phase joyfully. As I've navigated this journey with putting two of my own children into university residence, I now pass on these tips to you:
  • Trust God, once more.  Release them into his care. Trust that he will unfold your next steps too.
  • God will give you supernatural grace to see it through.
  • Don't project your thoughts into the far future and get hung up on being "without" them. Let things unfold a day and step at a time.
  • This will be the beginning of a new phase for you too.  You will be introduced to new adventures through them.  
  • The school year is short.  They will probably be back Thanksgiving, Christmas, reading week and possibly weekends along the way.  
  • You'll have benefits of them being gone. You'll be freer to do more since you won't have to drive them around, share a car, make meals, buy a constant supply of groceries, etc.  
  • Keep in touch by email, phone, texting or Facebook messages (you don't have to friend them).  
  • Visit their campus and take them out for a meal.  Don't over-do it though.
  • Let them know they are always welcome to come home.  If they shy away from returning home, specifically invite them.  Tell them to bring along new friends if they'd like.

Remember you raised them for this moment.  Be proud of the steps they will take.  

Monday, June 15, 2015

Separate the Voices and Find Greater Peace


At one time or another, I think we all look introspectively at our lives to consider if there is something more, better, or worthwhile we should be doing with our life.

There are many theories out there.  Some seem so very motivating.  Take these well-used statements for instance:

"You can do anything if you try"
"If you dream it, you can do it"  

Marathon of Hope creator, Terry Fox, suffered cancer and with an amputated leg set out to run across Canada to raise awareness and funds for cancer cures.  He is quoted:  

“I just wish people would realise that anything is possible if you try. Dreams are made if people try.”

These are all fine-sounding statements.  But, I believe they need qualifiers.  They just aren't completely true.

If I have a dream to be a star on a soap opera, I can pursue acting, move to LA, etc., but just because I've dreamt it, does not mean it will transpire.  There are many variables involved, including needing a producer or director's offer to include me.

If I am paralyzed from the waist down, I can dream about walking again, I can participate in trials, but I can't necessarily make it happen.

If I'm a lousy singer, I won't win American Idol just because I've dreamt about it and tried out.    

Get the picture?



THINK OF OUR ANCESTOR EVE

I'm reminded of Eve in the Garden when Satan tempted her.  Her giving in was both a result of falling for her own ideas combined with believing the ideas of Satan--that she could be God-like and knowledgeable.

The cost?  To go against God.  In essence, to follow her own dreams and Satan's false promises.

Did it work out?  Did she become God-like?  No.  She sinned and the entire world was condemned as a result of her choice.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR US?

We are bombarded with ideas that appeal to our  intellect or emotions.  Some ideas are from other humans, some are driven by Satan.

Then there are dreams and ideas driven by God's Holy Spirit at work in us.  Dreaming is not wrong.

When we find ourselves feeling like there is something better, it's important to consider if the voice we're hearing is God's or not.    

Competing Voices 

The world is so competitive.  We see others succeeding and we want what they have so badly we're tempted to not only listen to them, but to follow them. But is this wise?

I believe comparing ourselves to others is a recipe for depression.  We will sometimes fight against who we are and God's best in an effort to become something not intended.

Dangerous Advice 

It's always great to have mentors, motivators and accountability partners.  When we are challenged, even by a life coach for instance, we should always measure what's suggested against who we are inside, our values, God's ideals, our life path, etc. In other words, just because someone suggests you become braver by quitting your job to reach for a better one, doesn't mean you go ahead and do it. Be careful of sudden changes not well thought out.

Just because someone says, "live a little," doesn't mean you should take leaps not true to yourself.  

WHAT THEN IS THE ANSWER?

The answer is:

  1. Recognize the potential of being deceived.
  2. Check for what comparisons you may be making.
  3. Check which of the world's voices you're listening to (TV, magazines, teachers, professors, friends?)
  4. Dismiss wrong guidance or desires.
  5. Seek perfecting offered by God.
  6. Ask him to align your life to the best path.
  7. Make the changes he requires with confidence.
  8. Listen for his voice.
  9. Trust the path he puts you on.
  10. Learn to be content and accept where he puts you.
  11. Bloom where you're planted.
  12. Warn others.