Wednesday, October 21, 2015

31 Days of Life Coaching - Day 14

31 Days of Life Coaching - Day 14

A Letter to My Younger Self*

Dear Younger Self,
I’m sorry you’re so frazzled! I can see you put a lot of pressure on yourself. And when you do that, you get so stressed…and I know you definitely don’t mean to do this, but that stress? It overflows onto your children and your husband too. I know you feel inadequate. I know you feel imperfect in every way. I know you feel disappointed in yourself. You had such high hopes for the picture-perfect home, kids, and marriage. You thought you were going to be able to do everything well. I guess because you had so much chaos growing up, you were determined to make your home the peaceful happy haven you had so wished you had.

Well here’s the bad news…there is no such thing as perfect.
Oh there is intentional. There is pretty darn good. There are days you will get “it” right. The kids will play beautifully, you’ll all get out to the park for some fresh air and fun, you’ll tick everything off your To Do list for the day, finish a few loads of laundry, and the kids will even help you match socks. At the perfect hour, the family will sit down to a nutritious healthy dinner that everyone loves. And you’ll even get the kids bathed, read to, and tucked in at precisely the “right” time. But this just might be the exception.

And the good news…It’s okay!
You are doing the best you can and your heart is full of love. Your house might be a little messy, but really? Who cares? Your friends just want to enjoy a little friendship amidst the rough and tumble of mothering. So swing open wide your door and say welcome, no matter the mess. Sure, keep trying. Make your lists. Plan your life. Have your goals. But when you don’t meet your own high standards, when you find yourself comparing yourself to your seemingly perfect bff, when you end your day falling asleep on your toddler’s bed before you’ve finished reading their bedtime story…take a deep breath. 

Give yourself a break. 
Smile and say a few words of encouragement to yourself. Whisper a little prayer. Think about a few things you’re grateful for. Extend grace and love to yourself. That way you’ll be able to give your kids a full measure of the one thing that covers a multitude of flaws…your beautiful messy lavish love. <--click a="" to="" tweet="">

*I am now officially an older woman. I've lived 57 years. I've been married 31 years. I have four mostly grown children, I have one son-in-love, and I'm a grandmother. I am honored and delighted to serve as a Mentor Mom at our local MOPs (Mothers of Preschoolers) group. I hope that some of what I've learned on this journey called life can ease the stress of a younger mom who is in the thick of raising kids and navigating the sometimes choppy waters of married life. MOPs is an awesome ministry that serves young moms, usually once a month with a morning out for breakfast, fellowship with other moms, a speaker, and there is even babysitting. Among the materials for equipping the MOPs Steering team is a book for Mentor Moms published by MOPs. The above letter written by me was featured in this book for the 2015-16 season. 

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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

31 Days of Life Coaching - Day 13

31 Days of Life Coaching - Day 13

How Busyness Led Me to a Life Coach

My heart thumped. My mind raced. My thoughts were like an assault, firing item after item on my To Do list. I was overcome. I had so much to do!!!

I sought clarity, but confusion was my constant companion as I made categories – home, work, social, physical, emotional, financial – and lists within those categories trying desperately to get control of my schedule and get it all done.

The biggest problem of all was the self-loathing, guilt, and shame I felt.

What was I doing here again? How had I backed myself into such a corner of “too busy to think straight”? What was the matter with me? Shoulda…woulda…coulda…

I had created a mess with too many “yesses” that should’ve been “nos.”

The only way out seemed to be through. I had to just put my head down and do the next thing. I had to keep checking items off “the list.” Try to live my life according to my carefully calculated calendar. Stay up late weeknights working and keep right on going through the weekends in what seemed a never-ending cycle of work, work, and more work.  

I knew I couldn’t go on like this!

Once this season was over, it was time to re-evaluate. I was losing my joy. Going through the motions. I had lost sight of my purpose and passion. <--click a="" to="" tweet="">

Continue Reading...over at

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Saturday, October 17, 2015

31 Days of Life Coaching - Day 12

31 Days of Life Coaching – Day 12

My Big Breakthrough

At one point recently, I had had enough. I was too busy and as result I was stressed out, worn down, and weary. I felt distant from God, my family, my friends, myself even! I knew I had to do something. I had been in this pattern before and here I was again.

I talked to my awesome life coach. And we uncovered this lie:
I believe that what I do, not who I am, is what makes me worthy of being a part of a group or having friends or being loved. In other words, I have to earn my sense of belonging. If I don't serve a particular purpose, then I can believe I’m useless and unworthy of love.

This lie caused me to say yes to too many things…many of them good things. <--click a="" to="" tweet="">

However, the good robs from the best. And since there are only so many hours in each day, I want my day to be the best it can be, which means I’m spending time on the non-negotiables, on the things I must do, most want to do, and am uniquely qualified to do or called to do.

I had to take intentional time to think about this particular lie that motivated my busyness, because I wanted to make a lasting change. I didn’t want to keep repeating the busyness cycle. So I wrote down the lie: I believe that my worth comes from being available to, pleasing, and serving others. I made time to further reflect on this lie to go a little deeper and beyond the obvious. Where did the high value on doing come from?

This process of thinking through helped me take a giant step toward a breakthrough. A breakthrough that surprised me…

I got off the phone after my coaching call encouraged that I was making the connection between the lie that doing made me valuable and the overcommitment, and yesses that ultimately led to the “scurrying” life.

As I stood looking in the mirror, getting ready for the day, I was asking questions of myself and hoping for further insight. The “conversation” went something like this.

Hmmmmmmm…Someone must’ve communicated this “I am what I do message” early on in my life. This thinking is clearly deep rooted.

Maybe it was Dad. He had a very strong work ethic. Believed in working as hard as we could, getting good grades, achieving in the workplace. Certainly, when I reported success, he was very pleased. But he also communicated unconditional love. There was a sense that he loved me no matter what I did or didn’t do.

On the other hand…What about Mom? Mom? Really? She was seemingly so uninterested in our successes and failures. She wasn’t overtly concerned about grades. In fact she seemed neither thrilled with our achievements nor devastated by our failures. And most of the time, she didn’t even know what any of us did on the work front.

But the light bulb went on. In fact it burned brightly…

It was my mother who had communicated the lie that my worth was in my ability to serve, to show up, to be there for her. And that translated into my belief that in order to have connection, be loved, or be seen, I had to work for it. Be available. Please. Meet expectations. Wipe the countertops perfectly. Keep my room spotless. Talk my mother through her failing marriage. Be a counselor of sorts to Mom during the tough times. Be there for her. Love and forgive no matter what she said or didn’t say. I found a way to connect with my mother by striving, working, doing things to please her and meet her needs.

With this newfound realization, the lie was exposed on a deeper level. And I’ve had a much easier time trusting that I am loved just for being me. That I can say no and true friends will still be my friends…and in fact my “no” may open up a “yes” opportunity for someone else. I’ve realized that “scurrying” to please leaves me rundown, and giving my life margin for rest and writing renews, refreshes, rejuvenates me.

This a process. I still have a tendency to say yes, people please, and the need to be included is indeed deep rooted. But I am working on this. It’s out in the open, in the light, and this breakthrough is leading me one giant step closer to living my best life, the life I so want to live.

Coaching Question for Today
If you’ve uncovered a lie, try digging a little deeper. What’s at the root of that lie?

Let’s Get Started!

Click here for a FREE ½ hour Coaching Consultation by Phone.

Friday, October 16, 2015

31 Days of Life Coaching - Day 11

31 Days of Life Coaching – Day 11

How to Exchange Lies for Truth – Part 2

A couple of days ago I talked about lies we believe. Identifying lies and replacing them with truth is life changing. So I think the topic deserves time and attention. And, since I am a Christian, and since my life coaching training is built on a Christian perspective, I believe the Truth of God's Word can be tremendously powerful in refuting lies.

I had a friend who spent a month recording the lies she believed and the corresponding Scriptural truth. She took a yellow legal pad with her wherever she went. On one half of the paper she wrote the lie as she became aware of it, on the other half she wrote The Truth from God's Word. This is an exercise worth our time and effort. Whether you spend a month concentrating on lies and truth, or you make this an ongoing process, this is an extremely valuable exercise. Lest we forget, The Truth can set us free!

Here are some examples of exchanging our lies for God's Truth: <--click a="" to="" tweet="">

Lie: Nobody really loves me.

Truth: For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39
Lie: I am fat...ugly...unattractive...different...not as _________ as others (fill in your lie).

Truth: I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139:14
Lie: How could all this bad stuff happen to me? God is clearly not paying attention. I'm sure He's forgotten me!

Truth: For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
Lie: God doesn't care about me. He has far more important things to worry about.

Truth: Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. Luke 12:7
Try identifying the lies you’re believing. Record them. Then challenge them. Go to God’s Word to find the Truth. Bible Gateway is a great tool for this Or you can just Google simple searches like, “What does the Bible say about God’s love?” You’ll find the Internet has great resources.

Coaching Question of the Day
What lie are you believing? What Truth can you find to refute your lie in God’s Word?

Let’s Get Started!
Click here for a FREE ½ hour Coaching Consultation by Phone.

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Thursday, October 15, 2015

31 Days of Life Coaching - Day 10

31 Days of Life Coaching - Day 10

Are You Ready for a Change?

Here’s How Coaching Can Help You Reach Your Goals

As a Life Coach, I love helping you go from where you are to where you want to be. Maybe you need a breakthrough. Or you’re stuck. Or maybe you’re going through many of life’s transitions – from full-time career woman to stay-at-home mom, or you’re changing careers, or facing an empty nest, or you’re just thinking there is more to life than the one you’re living.

I’ve been there and worked with a Life Coach myself. She helped me focus in on areas of my life that needed a tune-up. I put in the time and effort and made a conscious decision to change and she propelled me on the path toward living a more peaceful and joyful life. Now I want to help you do the same.

Coaching is a personal individualized journey that’s as unique as you are. <==Click To Tweet

Most sessions are done by phone. Each session is 45 minutes and includes Coaching Notes and Action Steps as a follow up to the phone call.

There is no one-size-fits-all plan. But I’ve found there are 4 As of Coaching that have proven effective time and time again:

Assessment - What does your life look like today? What’s working and what isn’t? What areas of your life are out of balance? Where are you stuck? Is something in your life out of whack? Where are you dissatisfied? What about your life is most satisfying? In order to know where you want to go, we have to start with where you are.

Action – Knowing our goals is the first step, getting there takes small steps that add up to big changes. So we’ll set SMART goals. These are Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Reachable, and Timely goals. As you step toward achieving your goals, the process of change is set in motion. Moving forward toward the best life you can live is exhilarating and exciting!

Accountability – You don’t have to go it alone! Have you ever set a goal only to forget about it within a few days? Or talked yourself out of a goal because it just seems too hard? As a life coach, I am your personal accountability partner. I’ll help you hang in there until the change you so desire happens. I’ll encourage you, cheer you on, and challenge you too. And when you come up against obstacles, together we’ll identify patterns, beliefs, and perspectives that could prevent you from moving forward. There will be no stopping you!

Achievement – Ta Da! Time to celebrate. You’ve made the investment in you. You’ve put in the time and effort, you’ve stayed the path, and YOU have reached your goals. You have moved forward on the path of living the life you were meant to live – a life of purpose, passion, and intentionality that’s uniquely yours.

What are you waiting for? 

Sign up for a FREE ½ Hour Coaching Consultation.
Take One Giant Step Toward Living the Life You Were Meant to Live!

photo credit: IMG_4160 via photopin (license)

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Monday, October 12, 2015

31 Days of Life Coaching - Day 9

31 Days of Life Coaching - Day 9

Sometimes You Need a Day of Real Rest

Not too much to say about this...In this very much what-you're-worth-is-what-you-do world we live in, we won't usually FIND time to do the things that are important to us, we have to MAKE time. We all need to balance the busies with down time. Yesterday, I enjoyed a day of leisure - a yummy coffee, a walk on the beach with my husband, even time collecting shells, rocks, and driftwood, a sunset, and we ended the day with a delicious meal. Ahhhhhh rest! It's refreshing, good for us. <--click a="" to="" tweet="">

Coaching Question of the Day
Do you make time to rest? When's the last time you had a day of rest? 

(Note: For moms in the thick of raising your families, I know this is hard. Maybe a family walk? Or even a family meal that's been made ahead of time and just needs heating up? How about a family meal exchange? Or a family take your friends' kids one night, they take yours another?)

My Good Man!

Just love the water!

The end of a beautiful restful day!

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