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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. 

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.
A LIFE COACHING QUESTION:

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?





Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Let God Ring Your Doorbell


Hi, Ladies. It's been a while since I've checked in here.

Summer gets busy as my focus moves from writing and coaching projects to the outdoors. I have a huge yard and perennial garden to take care of and, for the most part, I derive some enjoyment from doing so. 

In my understanding of God's economy I see it as all part of my JOB paid, or unpaid. I take it seriously and do the best I can. 


Mid-July, I began to look forward, took a Facebook fast, and asked God to bring me something new in the fall. I wanted a new attitude, new inspiration, new friendship, new job, or new assignment--whatever he could connect me with.

A Common Feeling 

Wanting something new isn't odd or bad. Most people like to change jobs every 4 years or so. If they stay with the same company, they at least like a change of position.  That type of craving hits me every so often. 

In my craving for this new thing I flipped through one of my journals. It said:
Don't try to make things happen, let God ring your doorbell.

I laughed, and then I waited expectantly for God to ring my doorbell with something new.


The Doorbell Ring

Well, in a sense the doorbell did ring. I received a summons to attend jury duty in September. In the summons, I was instructed to plan to sit on the jury for 3 months, should I be selected. Wow, I never would have predicted that is what God would have sent.

On one hand I was excited. On the other, frustrated that I couldn't plan other events like exercise groups and so on I might join. I knew applying for a new job was out of the question until I knew if I would be serving or not. My hands were somewhat tied.

The New Thing

So this past week, I faithfully attended the jury duty call. It was so different from my normal routine that I was glad to have the experience. I was exposed to new things including a beautiful new courthouse. 

But the following day, I received a call telling me not to return as they had enough people. 

Wow, in one day, my "new thing" was over. I didn't know whether to be relieved or angry  

And here I am now, reflecting, wondering if there was a "why" behind God putting me there. 

Bravery 

What this jury duty summons did teach me was to wait on God to surprise me, to be willing to go where he sends (I didn't have a choice with this, I was legally obligated to go), and to push myself to do what I had to do. 

I had asked my husband to drive me so I wouldn't have to scurry to find parking and because of the construction I knew was in the area. But he refused. He told me I wasn't a baby and to just do it.

The night before I made a lunch, packed my briefcase, chose my clothes, and set double alarms. But the battery in one clock failed and I didn't hear the other. I slept in and was 40 minutes behind plan when I left home. I scurried, missed my turn for the parking garage and had to do a u-turn, did end up in construction, but made it just in time. It cost $20 in parking. 

All of the above is unusual to my daily routine. So it did require some bravery.    

Walking to the back of the room down an aisle with 100 strangers on each side tested my social anxiety as did standing in front of the judge, attorneys, and the accused. 

Today

Now I am scurrying to find my next new thing.  Will I join one or two women's groups? Will I stay home and write and just walk the dog and run errands for stimulation? Will I apply for jobs? Do I need to fast again?

Prayers Please

Pray with me for direction. I will always be a writer and while I was preparing for jury duty, became keenly aware of how important that calling is.  I have another eBook in process now.  I will continue to write no matter what else I do. I am an artist. I will continue to paint and draw no matter what else I do. 

I will always be a life coach, but haven't returned to taking phone clients yet. I'm still working on finding the right balance. 

I have looked over a few part-time out-of-the-house jobs. I will decide tomorrow if I'll apply to one. 

I need you, my readers, as much as you might need me. I need your feedback and prayers. 

As I sat in the jury duty selection room, one thing was apparent. It was a group of very normal looking human beings. While working from home I often feel I no longer fit in, at my jury duty outing, I was more professionally dressed than many who wore flip flops or sandals and capris pants or even shorts or jeans. Perhaps the best lesson was to see I can fit in. And now I just need God to show me the next place I'm to do that. 
  

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Record Your Thoughts


It is VERY important to record your thoughts.
The reasons are many:

  1. Writing is therapeutic and helps you to purge thoughts from your mind.
  2. Ideas become more official--which is helpful if goals are attached.
  3. You are able to go back and read your notes and reconnect with your former self.  You will see how you have grown, how God has worked in you and guided you. You'll see glaring answers to questions and answers to prayers. You will gain clarity.  Your own words may encourage you.
I urge you to record your thoughts in a handwritten journal (preferred) or typed version. 

You might also want to look back into old journals if you have them, as you enter into the FALL SEASON. Compare this year to where you were a year ago, two years ago, or through however many records you might have on hand. 

Monday, August 22, 2016

Christian Woman, Don't Worry

I'm pretty sure we are all looking for answers daily. Issues plague us. Our thoughts spin and we begin to toil. We overthink. We fall into doubt.

I worry about my husband and children's happiness. I worry about my own mental health as it seems to waver from time to time. I worry that I won't be able to break my weight set point and regain a fit body. I worry about having enough retirement income. I worry that time is running out as I'll be an official senior in the next 10 yrs and if I'm going to do anything meaningful or add to my pension, it's got to be now.

Do you have similar worries?

Jesus tells us not to worry. He says to cast our cares on him. We do, but we often take them back. We are human. We fall prey to doubt. Like Peter, we start to sink. 

We need our plumb line reset. 

Just because God tells us to pray doesn't mean he'll answer our prayers the way we hope. And when he doesn't, the worry cycle begins again. And so does the overthinking and the solution-hunting, mostly because we think we know it all.


Finding Answers

Proverbs 3:5,6 saysTrust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths (NKJV).

The point that strikes me about the above verse is the bit about our own understanding. No amount of overthinking or understanding will get us the answers we seek.   

This verse below from Jeremiah points out how tricky our overthinking is.  It can't be trusted.

“The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9)

The phrase we need to focus on to be able to walk on water is at the beginning of the Proverbs verse, "Trust in the Lord." 

God rewards faith more than he rewards prayers. Hebrews 11:6 puts it this way, "And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him."

God promises to direct our paths and even reward us when we trust him. I know if he has directed my path so many times through life that he can direct my children's path too. 

Now in midlife, I need to ask the hard question:  "Will I trust him with my husband, children, money, and mental health, or will I be like Peter and begin to sink?" 

The point is simply this: When we trust our problems to him, he will take them and work them out his way. 


The question that remains is this: Are you trusting God with every issue of your midlife journey? Or are you resorting to overthinking?

Sunday, August 07, 2016

New Book Ready for Midlife Nest-Emptying Women

New Book Ready for Midlife Nest-Emptying Women



Well, the moment of truth has arrived.  My next eBook is online for purchase.



The audience for this book is midlife Christian women (say 40 to 60), but more important than age is stage of life. I use the words nest-emptying because, if you're like me, your nest isn't completely empty because your adult children come and go. Perhaps they are in college/university and come home some weekends and in the summer. Perhaps your adult child has his or her own housing and returns home for a change of scenery.

The point is, as our children make this transition into independence, we make our own transition. Some of us were full-time moms or at least women who made mothering our main focus no matter what we had on the side. Some have been let go from jobs, quit work, or are taking an early retirement. No matter the circumstance, one thing is common--we're all in a phase of life transition as our main parenting role has now come to an end.

I call it Rx for Midlife Nest-Emptying Women because the tips I provide are a form of prescription. The term wilting implies those moments when we feel overcome with disappointment, frustration, or grief especially after seeking God for new purpose and not finding easily it. Like a plant that needs nourishment to stay strong and vital, we need to guard ourselves too.

Won't you join me?

Friday, July 22, 2016

Children become Adults and Midlife Mom's Lose Control



By now, 2016, I have one daughter who completed 5 yrs university, graduating with a BSc Biology. She has worked fulltime 1.5 yrs already. She live on her own those 6 years. My son is entering 4th year university. He lives in student housing during the school year.

So I've walked the waters of nest-emptying. I know my journey is somewhat similar to many, but also vastly different.

The Cost of Independence 

One thing that should be similar is experiencing a sense of loss of control once our children become adults. The adult process starts at 18 and moves forward to 21 where major independence is exercised by most. And that is a good thing. Step by step we should step back. 

My weaning process started much earlier in some ways. At age 10, I taught my kids to do their own laundry and I taught my son how to make simple meals. From then on they've continued to do their own laundry and know how to feed themselves.

Loosening the reins on our adult children is both freeing and frustrating. There are many things we'd like to lecture them on. There are things we'd like to do for them. We might be tempted to arrange things behind the scenes for them. We might try to pick out clothes. We might print out articles for them to read. But much of that will backfire.

When our adult children make decisions we disagree with or fail to take action when we think they should we realize we no longer have control.

Lack of Control and Anxiety

I read recently that anxiety is a response when individuals sense a lack of control. If anxiety is left to fester, it can turn into depression.

No wonder midlife women fight depression so often.

As moms of young children we had a lot of control. We controlled their activity choices, their payments to events, their clothing choices, their bedroom organization, on and on. Most of us found it fun.

But now as moms of adult children those decisions aren't ours to make. We're off the job!

When they go away to school, we have no control over their schedule, breakfast choices, friends, church attendance, and so on.

Where do You Stand?

Are you still trying to dominate your adult child's life? Have you learned how to let go?

Do you feel a little frustrated or anxious over a loss of control? Do you worry about whether to step in or not? Have you had trouble letting go?

This area of releasing our children and its affects on us is an issue most of us need to address.

What to Do

Perhaps the best way to overcome anxiety is to focus on what is within our control. Sometimes that's as basic as cleaning the dust off our shelves and controlling our own schedule.

Of course, praying is within our control too. But be careful not to use prayer like one might cast a magic spell.  That is, it's not up to us to try to manipulate God into making things go the way we want them to. It's better to give God the choice of what should happen.

Some of our children may go through difficulties as consequences of their choices. God may allow them to make mistakes in the same way he allowed Job to be afflicted or some to become lame before he healed them.

Though we want to spare our children difficulty, keep them pleasing to God, and have happy outcomes, we can't force it to happen our way. Our resolve is to pray that should there be consequences of their choices, that God will draw them to himself and use their difficulties for his purposes.

It can also be helpful to tell yourself, "This isn't the end of the story."


Sunday, July 17, 2016

I Used a Christian-Focused Life Coach When I Needed One






When I was in the chair in the photo above, I thought I had the best house. It was brand new when we bought it eight years prior. We had the fancy deck built and the basement professionally finished. The large kitchen picture window overlooked a walking trail and sports field that was usually alive with activity. My children had made friends that were important to them.

Moving Panic

When my husband got notice of changes at work and decided we should move back East, I panicked. In my heart, I'd wanted to move back for quite a while. That was where my family were. All that was deeply familiar to me was there.

Yet my children had friends they'd have to leave. We'd be starting over yet again.

Support Needed 

Since the work issues were confidential, and the wife is never consulted anyhow, I had no one to vent to. I was angry at what had played out where my husband was concerned. I hated seeing him mismanaged. That our entire life structure was about to be overturned was disregarded by his management team.

His company did have a counselling program, but it was a random draw as to whom I would get as a counselor. Being a deeply spiritual person, I knew I needed the perspective of another believer. And that is when I hired a Christian-based life coach. Phone calls with her provided me with a safe place to vent, think through various issues, and find some form of support.

Clarity 

One of her statements offered valuable clarity. While listening to me compare where we were with where we were thinking of moving to, she noted one description was about a house, while the other was about people. We'd just paid a lot of money to finish our basement, and we liked the park, etc. But moving would allow me to join in with more extended family events and perhaps catch up with some old friends. Her comment magnified a need I'd had for some time. I knew the move would be good.

A New Home 

I needed my life coach's support at the time, and met with her after our move too.

After a couple of trips across provinces to look at houses, we finally found one. It was a lot more money than the one we'd left behind. It had a huge yard, a pool, a large garden, and the though of maintaining it was intimidating. But because we'd made every decision with prayer, we knew God was in it.

I rarely think of my previous home now. I don't care about it. My children have adjusted. We've learned how to manage our larger home. And, last year, we were able to pay it off.  Because it has a pool, family have visited more than they would have if we didn't have a pool.  It's been great.

I tell you this story to outline how hiring a life coach can help with situations most just deal with. You don't have to figure out your entire life with a life coach. You don't have to be searching for purpose. You can merely use her services for the confidential support she provides.

To contact me for life coaching or for a referral to one of my many life coach friends, feel free to email me. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

eBook for Midlife Christian Women - Don't Wilt!



I'm so relieved and yet excited that my newest eBook for midlife Christian women is finally on Kindle. I love the cover, do you?  (see photo to the right.)

I gasp when I realize how much work I put in over the year for a book Kindle suggests I sell at the $5 mark. And then, I only get a percentage for myself. If you ask me, no one has a right to complain about the content of something that cost them what they might spend in a dollar store.

Writing is something I do because I'm compelled to do it, not because it pays a lot.  It's something God has called me to do. I work with him. We collaborate.

I always have a message inside that needs to get out. My compassion for women walking through similar trials drives me to put my writing into a manner designed to be helpful. I want at least one point to make a woman say, "That point gives me peace."

What the Book's About

The idea for this book struck me when standing in my garden one summer, overcome with emotion. I was at a point of weakness, feeling God hadn't given me the answers I was looking for. Alas, I was wilting. (Wilting is what happens first before a plant dies, by the way.)

This book talks about God's answer to me that day. I had to go on a journey to decrypt the message. That's one reason the book took so long to write. Decryption was a long process.

That being said, here is a sneak peak at some of the prescriptions I've discovered may help a woman prevent wilting or recover from it:

~ A prescription for wilting is being content. ~

~ A prescription for preparing to bloom is reviewing where God has you planted. ~

~ A prescription to prevent wilting is stepping out and trying adventures on your own. ~


~ A prescription for growing strong roots and buds is nourishing your mind, spirit, and body. ~


Monday, June 27, 2016

New Book Ready for Midlife Nest-Emptying Women


Well, the moment of truth has arrived.  This new eBook has taken me almost a year to complete, and today I sent it into Kindle for review and upload. You'll find it here.

Over the months, the words built and were chopped only to be built and chopped again. I wanted it to contain a concise message. I hope many find it helpful.





If you pick it up an note any errors or omissions, please let me know politely. I am up to my eyeballs in re-reading it, but last minute cuts may have caused small issues I'd like to fix. I can go back into the document on Kindle and make slight changes, if needed.

In the meantime, I hope you will enjoy the raw story this book paints, that you will ask yourself the lists of questions, and that you will embrace the tips offered.

Thanks for being part of my journey.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Various Types of Coaching for Christian Women



I started my life coaching career with training as a Life Purpose Coach®. It uses a curriculum that guides women through assessments of various life areas. The goal is to help a woman define her calling, mission, purpose, and so on.

I found while coaching women through this process that other issues rose to the surface. That's fine because life coaching is about the full context of a woman's life.

Revolving Needs

(Some details changed to protect identities.) One woman I coached was in the empty nest looking for purpose as a former stay-at-home mom. Another had lost her job and was looking for support wading through that transition. Another was chronically depressed, seeing a counselor, but wanted more support. Another was so tied up helping in her husband's business that she felt frayed in her personal life. Yet another just wanted to fill the emotional void that haunted her.

Most wanted concrete answers--a sense of direction. The curriculum pointed each in several directions. Still, I know very well, there were unanswered questions.

How God Works

I'm pretty sure the journey through life coaching can feel fruitless for some because they expect by the end to have a great epiphany and know what to do next. I've decided it's imperative they know that God rarely points out big specific plans. His plan is that women draw near to him on a daily basis and proceed one small step at a time. These steps can be so small it seems as though nothing is happening.

I'm pretty convinced to succeed in life and to feel a life coaching process has worked for you, you'll need to see it as a step in your life journey--not a destination that answers all your questions through a few sessions.

It's important we learn to separate feelings from solutions. As with many things in life, it's not that we want a destination as much as we want to feel happy. When we go to the dentist it isn't because we want a filling, it's because we don't want to have tooth pain. When someone climbs a hydro tower and threatens to jump off it isn't because they want to die, it is because they don't want to feel depressed.

Often, we go hunting for a solution to fix how we're feeling. We look for a new job. We take a vacation. We assume if we just do this or that, that we'll be happy. It's not about the destination, though, it's about what we think the destination will do for us.

Of course, new destinations can snap us out of doldrums. A new job may be wonderful. A visit to the mall might get our eyes off our problem. A key to solving our pain is presenting our feelings to God and allowing him to meet our needs in whatever creative ways he chooses. 

I'm trying to say, quit trying to think so hard about what destination is alluding you. Quit applying for multiple jobs. Quit spending money on things you believe may fill your void.

If God thinks a new job is the answer, surely he'll open that door. But if he thinks a slower pace of life is what you need, he may keep the job door shut. But he won't leave you there.  He will change your circumstances, providing for your needs, and he will lift you up to greater fulfillment at the same time. It's inexplicable.

New Focus

I had been looking for purpose myself when God connected me with Katie Brazelton, the founder of the training I took. I was giddy with glee finding my thing--my new destination. But that wasn't the end of the story. I found too many uneventful days existed between clients. I felt unsupported as an entrepreneur. I was again at a point of screaming inside again for greater life purpose.

As I worked with one or two remaining clients, I branched out. I did some home staging for a realtor. I got hired to write web content from home. Then I got hired to do audio transcription from home. When my children graduated high school, I reassessed yet again. I backed away from telephone coaching, but I couldn't abandon it completely.

I'd been in peri-menopause, and with the addition of the empty nest highs and lows, discovered what some of the women I'd coached had expressed. I realized many of their issues were menopause, midlife, empty-nest, and family- circumstance related.

I had a big revelation that tools were needed for midlife Christian women. I decided a new angle needed to be introduced to the life purpose theme in life coaching sessions.

My eBooks and Coaching Practice 

I've now written several eBooks available on Amazon under the name Rose Garde. I'm about to release a new one any day now.

I'm pondering being available to help women walk through any of these eBooks with me over coaching sessions on the telephone. I am always still available for coaching by email. Pray with me as I consider my next step in this regard.


Sunday, May 01, 2016

More On Christian Women and Midlife Crisis

For posts regarding midlife crisis in Christian women, (especially those who are married with children) visit my other blog:

http://midlifechristianwoman.blogspot.ca/


Friday, April 15, 2016

Input Wanted from Christian Midlife Women



Input Wanted from Christian Midlife Women


I'm looking for input from midlife Christian women. Does that interest you?

As I coach new women and write new eBooks, I'd like to have more input as to what other women in their midlife season have tried, are trying, and hope to try.  I'd like to know what challenges you faced, what didn't work out for you, and what has worked out.

I'd like to know how you include God in your decisions.  I'd like to know where you feel he's led you and how you went about discovering that.  

I'd like to know how you balance your own wants and ideas with what God ultimately does.  That is, when he doesn't open doors you hoped would open, what is your recourse? 

Tell me what you really wish would happen in your life.  Tell me who helped offer you direction.  Tell me your needs. What are you current struggles?

When or if you decided to participate, you can email me your story here.  

In return, you will receive an opportunity for two free life coaching responses by email. This is not a paying opportunity for either of us. 

On my end, I would like permission to use bits of your story as examples in upcoming books, but will mask them by changing your name and some of the details.   You are welcome to send your email anonymously. Your input may or may not be used.  Surely, your input will help me become a better life coach to midlife women.  

I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you in advance.

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Daily Purpose


Just some random thoughts for those looking for some daily living suggestions:

  • Start each day as a new one.  
  • Let the past go--even what happened yesterday.
  • If you have a plan for today, commit it to God and move forward.
  • If you have no certain plan, ask God what he would like you to do with your time today. 
  • Stop. 
  • Listen.  
  • Concentrate. 
  • Make a mini-schedule in your mind or on paper.
  • Start taking steps.  Little steps toward a bigger goal.
  • Stand back and enjoy the progress.
  • Do something you think is fun.
  • Do something that counts as fitness.
  • Do something that is creative.
  • Do something that is nurturing.
  • Encourage someone.


My daughter came home yesterday.  I hadn't seen her for a month!

Today, I drove her to a job interview an hour away.  After the interview we had a brief mall time lunch.  We then headed up to Barrie, ON (1.5 more hours) where I returned her to her apartment and job, but not before picking up a few groceries for her.  On the second leg of our trip we listened to Joel Osteen on the Sirius radio.

We chatted, and I tried not to say the wrong thing to this 20-something young lady. But I talked a lot.  We hugged and I returned home.  I drove the back way because I was tired.  I didn't want the 400-series highways putting me to sleep.  It was sunny and there was snow across all the fields.  Ontario still has many farm fields, that's for sure.

It was a fully and busy day.  I drove 5 hours! And I fulfilled my purpose for today.


Isaiah 41:13 New International VersionFor I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

What Kind of Life Coach Should You Use?




Today I talked with my massage therapist about life coaches.  She initiated the conversation not knowing my background.

Her main issues were: now that it's become a popular and still unregulated field, the market is over saturated with life coaches. In that mix, you will find coaches from a to z.  That means, you'll find coaches with various backgrounds, perspectives, and styles, so ferreting out what you really need becomes work.

Most offer a free get-to-know you conversation.  Unfortunately, some coaches use the time to try to convince you to buy their services. Nevertheless, it's up to you to see "what language they speak." We all have a language.  Mine is faith-based language.  I can't coach from any new age type ideas.  It's not my language. But I'm pretty good at coaching from a psychology and empathetic base too for those who aren't interested in including faith in the discussions.

What Matters

My friend used the term "authentic" a fair amount.  When a person uses a word often, that's a sign of something important to them. I didn't get her to define what that meant for her, but she gave a few examples of what it didn't look like.

I've both coached and used coaches.  I know what's out there to a fair degree. I know what I've sensed and what works and doesn't work for me.  That's another matter altogether--finding what works for me and my personality.  Some of us have our own picture of how a session should go that our coach would never know about. One of my pet peeves is a coach should be careful of not dominating the call.  She should let her client have the floor.

Another pet peeve is a coach should be careful about applying judgment labels.  I may have done this myself.  It happens easily, but one wrongly used judgment label can turn a client away.

In our conversation, my friend mentioned she'd been at a seminar and the life coach presenting asked a question and then mocked her answer.

Good coaching really does require skill.


Expectations 

If you use a coach, be fair when she doesn't coach exactly as you want her to.
Do spell out your expectations. Spell out what issues you think you want to delve into.  I say "think" because sometimes what you first think is the issue ends up not being the real issue.  For instance, I once used a coach for clarity on my business direction and in the hour-long discussion realized it was my social life that needed attention, and when that was fixed up I could function better in my business.

My friend and I agreed over many things we've seen in the coaching arena but at the end of the day, we both felt there is value in having a life coach whether for a few sessions or several.

  

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Keep Changing, But Watch Yourself




To keep life fresh, change is important.  Small changes or large changes.

Physical Health Changes 

Right now I'm doing an anti-parasite detox. Whew, did you know how many parasites might be hiding in your bowels?  Creepy.  Anyhow, I want to keep changing my health to what is best for my body.  I'm in a Facebook body health group that I've learned a lot from. I want to be able to do the things God has put me on earth to do.

Right now I can hardly finish typing this because my muscles keep stiffening up. I also have a pain pit in the lower spine area that's been bugging me for over a year.  Chiropractic, massage, heat, stretching, and a new chair  have not been effective over the long term.  I've learned a product MSM might be able to help my stiff muscles.  I've been on it a month and am hoping for the best.

Membership Changes 

I also decided today to drop my gym membership.  It was a place for me to get out of the house to go to.  I imagined going late at night if necessary as it was open 24-hours. It worked for me the first few years, but lately it's not been feasible. A friend also pointed out when she visited a similar franchise she didn't feel it was friendly.  She goes to a community center for 50 and over and says they are quite friendly.

My friend is right. When I first started I would make a point of having a conversation with the office staff at the gym. But no other gym members interacted with me.  Most of us weren't there for that purpose, but the older I get in the empty nest phase, the more I want and need to socialize.

The new staff have rarely even said hello to me when I've entered. But that's not the reason I'm quitting.  I challenged myself to get there 2 times a week Jan and Feb or quit. I didn't meet my plan.  I realized today I was usually only motivated lately to go out of guilt not enjoyment. That's not a good sign.

Change Can Make Me Feel Queasy

Once I sent the termination email in I was surprised by the panic I felt.  It was as though I'd said goodbye to exercise forever and accepted a lesser life. Which isn't true.

I realized how much a crutch the idea of a gym membership was.  I think it made me feel like I was doing better than I was in the exercise department just by having a membership.  But a membership alone doesn't work your heart or muscles.

Change Can Feel Like a Loss

But I think the panic is more than that.  I joined when my son was in high school as this gym was nearby.  It was easy for me to get to it regularly before picking him up.  I think by quitting now I'm letting go of a fond memory of an old routine. Another sign that my mothering phase has ended and time is moving on. (insert tears).

I was the only member of the family who was a member, so it was my thing. Giving up my thing doesn't feel good either. We all need something that is our thing.

Watch for Triggers

I thought I was fine with the idea of giving up the membership.  I thought being relieved of the guilt  of not going would help.  And it may, but I was surprised of a memory it triggered.

Years ago just before I had my midlife crisis, I'd quit another gym membership. I'd switched churches, quit the ladies group, and then my membership.  I basically took myself out of operation.  I didn't realize what I was doing at the time, nor the consequences.

The idea was that I would quit and my husband would use the money to buy home equipment we'd all use.

Well, I barely used the home equipment and I was depressed.

When I told my husband today that I was quitting the gym, imagine my reaction when the first thing he said was, "What piece of equipment do you want to buy?"

"NO!" I screamed inside.  I'm going down that road again.

And so with nothing new lined up except for some home videos I plan to do, I'm feeling a little nervous.

Fill the Gaps 

So I will start an online Essentrics program and then look into pay-as-you-go community programs to fill the gap.

Since deciding to make this change I feel a sense of panic.  Some change is hard. So I will ask God to lead me through the right new doors.

What about you?  Spring is on the way. Do you sense any new doors opening?  Do you sense it's time for change?


Saturday, February 06, 2016

My New Rules for Searching for Life Purpose and Direction

I have a friend looking for new life direction.

As a certified Life Purpose Coach® I pondered how I could best help her.

I could suggest she go through Pathway to Purpose or the Conversations on Purpose 10-week assessment process either alone or with a life coach.  It's the basis of the process I went through 10 years ago and a process I became certified in.


Since then I've written my own tools for midlife women which describe my discoveries on the idea of finding purpose in midlife.








As I pondered my friend's question, I wondered why I might hesitate offering he the 10-week Life Purpose Coaching process. I think the answer is because it tends to promise women results, but sometimes fails to give them, at least in the context most women are expecting.

I was tempted to contact a few of my coaching sisters to ask if they still believed the Life Purpose Coaching process they too were certified in.  

Challenged to Ask Myself

As I pondered asking my connections their take on the program I found myself asking, "What do you want their answers to be?"

Did I want them to validate my opinions?

Then I wondered how honest they'd be. No one wants to throw anyone or any program under the bus. I decided it might be a long wait for answers I already had formulated for myself.

I then asked myself, "What would your answer be to them if they asked your take on the program?" and "Why is it you still talk about and support it if you don't believe it offers answers? What IS your suggestion for finding life purpose and direction?"

My Take

Now that I've walked through and lived out the concepts over years, I'm happy to think of myself as an unofficial Beta tester of the program. My maturity and understanding have grown in leaps to where it is today. But I'm not sure my answers are what women are hoping to hear.  Nevertheless, I offer them in hopes one woman agrees or finds clarity.


Here are some of my thoughts:

a) No one person on earth will have your answer. No one person has developed a complete tool to solve your dilemma. If they did, there would be no need for God.

b) God does inspire writers today. He did inspire the author of the program I talk about. God anoints writers to produce products so they will become tools He will use to get people in line with His plan for them.

c) There is no it. There is no "ONE thing you're put on the earth to do." That is a concept taught in the program, but a thought I disagree with. I don't know if my disagreement is with the theory as it was expressed, or that I just didn't grasp the right understanding the author intended--maybe due to my high hopes and expectations.

At the time, I was desperate for answers about life direction.  When God connected me with the program I jumped two feet in the air. I finally felt I'd found life direction--my it--to train as a life coach!

My life purpose or mission statement was one I'd identified before my training. Over time I've written it differently.  It goes something like this:
  • To encourage others.
  • To use my gift of creative communication.
  • To help women become all God's designed them to be.
  • To launch women into meaningful ministry or work.
  • To help women find direction.
  • To walk through transition with Christian women.
  • To help midlife women find hope and direction.
  • To bring the Good News to others through writing and coaching. 

In many coaching programs, I'd fail.  Why?  Because I haven't made one focused statement.

We get caught up in the idea we are to have only one mission statement.  But why not have five or six?

Missing Factors 

What is missing in these statements is how I will do this?  Who are these women are that would want to listen to me?  How would I connect with them?


More so, we look for a title, job, or official role.  So I decided mine was life coach. Miraculously, God did connect me with several women in various parts of North America and I was hired to coach them by telephone. But then my interest waned and the inquiries became fewer.  Again I was back to square one! So the disillusion set in--if my life purpose was to be a life coach why wasn't it taking off? And the question arose whether the program misled me or not.

Expressions of our Mission 

Where many of us get stuck is in figuring out how to express our mission. I think most of us are looking for a role, title, job, etc.  Many say they are ministry-minded, but even then we want to be paid for our ministry, especially if we are still of age to be in the workforce. It doesn't feel right to use our time in unpaid ministry when we could be out there adding to our pension fund. Besides, God's word tells us to not be lazy and that a man who doesn't work won't be fed.


So it's all very confusing.

We want to be validated usually with a paycheck. Even if we choose to be a stay-at-home mom or homemaker, we want to be validated that our role is important.

We at least want to be given people to serve and venues to serve them in. When our children leave home it can be complicated to know just who we are to serve next.

Reality

The reality is that the answer isn't that cut and dried. There won't necessarily be one place or one way to use our gifts and express our mission.


When a woman goes through the life coaching process she probably expects to end it with a result that says something like this:

You are meant to be a college instructor.
You are meant to write books.
You are meant to only be a nurse.
You are meant to take a job in a tourist information center.
You are meant to go back to school to become a counselor.

Then the problem comes when she struggles to get an instructor position, sputters at writing her book or writes it and sells few, and so on.

d) The answer is to be open and flexible and to use tools along the way. I still support the program because it helped me deal with some hurts, grudges, bad habits, and so on. It helped me get to know myself, find freedom from things that bogged me down, gave me clarity, and offered direction for the rest of my journey.

So here are a few tips I would recommend to my friend who is looking for life purpose and direction:


  • do identify your skills, abilities, and discern what you feel God has equipped you to do or made you sensitive toward. 
  • get rid of the idea there is only one calling, one role, one way to express your mission.
  • get rid of the idea there is some business that is waiting for you to join them or some job with your name on it.
  • use multiple tools, tests, courses, and books with the expectation that they will only be one piece of your life purpose puzzle.
  • consult God and take steps to try things out with the mindset you can change direction as God leads.
  • enjoy the process of everything you try.
  • think micro.  That means, ask God about every little thing you do, and be confident he will use it for good. Be happy with micro. 
  • rewrite your definition of success and validation. We get too hung up on paychecks. 
  • discover your top passions and when you don't know what else to do, work on them.  See where they take you.


"For the LORD God is a sun and shield; 

the LORD bestows favor and honor; 

no good thing does he withhold from 

those whose walk is blameless" 

Psalm 84:11 (NIV).