Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Do You Think You're the Prize?

Are You the Prize?

The Calling All Men Series 

I was the chaperone on an 8th grade trip to Williamsburg, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. You can imagine the scene…Three big busses full of loud, excited, hormonal teens rumbling over highway and byway, and me, one of the few “lay” chaperones, along with a few teachers. I wasn’t at all interested in watching Ace Ventura on the bus monitors, so I happily plugged myself into a series from one of my favorite bible study teachers, Joyce Meyers.

The Triumphant Marriage was the topic. Thick in the years of raising a gaggle of preteens, tweens, and teens, our marriage was ripe for a little boost and I knew Joyce would have some choice wise words. So I settled into the four-hour trip, ready to glean some marriage goodies from Joyce.

One of the things Joyce asked, which has stayed with me to this day, was the question, “Do you think you’re the prize?” (Continue Reading at Alecia Simersky's blog.)

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Sunday, February 7, 2016

I Want to Say Yes to His Call

I Want to Answer This Question with My Life

The problem is I don't always hear His voice. And right now I'm not sure what He's calling me to. 

I don't like the unknown. But that's where I am. It's a bit of a waiting place. I have been blessed with certainty in the past. I have known for sure that I was hearing God and I knew what He was saying. Not so right now. 

I shared this with a few friends recently. I feel like my life has been torn up into pieces and the pieces are fluttering down. I'm asking God to be clear about which of those pieces falling to the ground He wants me to pick up. I'm just not sure lately. I'm releasing it all to Him. Many facets of my life - What I do...Who I do it with...Where I do it? 

I know God will answer. I know He will have an assignment for me. My friends described the pieces of paper as confetti. I'll take it. One day it will be a celebration of me knowing that it is I He will send...and I will answer with a resounding "Send me!"

Until then, I'll just have to trust that God knows my beginning from my end. And in the middle, I have to believe. Oh God, help me in my unbelief. 

How about you? What's your story? Where are you on the journey? Do you hear God? Where does He want to send you?

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Sunday, January 3, 2016

Now Is The Perfect Time to Dare to Dream

This Is for the Dreamer-In-Denial Who Thinks God-Sized Dreams Are for Someone Else

* Do you dare to dream? Or do you think dreams are something only the really brave ones do? Or the extraordinary ones? Or the fools?

Today’s the day we’re staking claim to our dreams. <== Click to Tweet

It’s time to STOP:

Making excuses.

Judging your dream.

Looking at her dream.

Pushing down your dreams.

Brushing off your dreams.

Today’s the day to explore your dream. To name it and claim it. If that scares you, that’s okay. Do it anyway.

So what does your dream look like?

  • Is it something small and quiet? Something others may not even perceive if it comes true?
  • Is it huge and wild? An out-of-the-box idea that will forge a new path for you, for me, and maybe even for the world?
  • Is it a daydream? Something that creeps into the shadows as you let your mind wander?
  • Is it an idea or vision created in your imagination that does not seem real?
  • Is it new? Or something you have wanted very much to do, be, or have for a long time?

Today’s the day to stop denying yourself a good God-sized Dream.

You are worthy. You are chosen. You are called by God Himself to a purpose, a calling, a dream that He has planted only in you. If you don’t know what that is…then today I invite you, I ask you, I dare you to discover your dream. Just take a few little steps. Just start.

Start here and make a note of your answers:
What do you love to do?

What is the secret yearning that you wouldn’t dare share?

What have people always said about you? Asked of you? Appreciated about you?

What is unique, quirky, fun, different about you?

What are your Spiritual Gifts? (If you don’t know, you could take this FREE test here!)

Now give yourself the luxury of a few minutes to dream.
  • Get a cup of coffee or tea. Curl up in your cozy chair or lie down for a few minutes on your comfy couch. Grab your favorite throw. Do whatever it takes to relax, to give yourself space and time.
  • Take five deep breaths. Breathe in to the count of five and out to the count of seven. Release the tension in your body and the To-Do list, the distractions in your mind.
  • Invite God in. He is the author of your dreams. He is the Way of your dreams. He is the One who knows you and loves you more than you can imagine.
  • Go for it! Dream…
    • What do you want to do?
    • Where do you want to be?
    • What do you think you were made for?
    • If there were no obstacles – no fear, no financial hurdles, no time limits, no impossibilities, no naysayer (inside of you or outside of you) – what is your God-sized Dream?
  • Give yourself 10 minutes to think about this (or more if you have the time).

Record your dream.

Get your journal, a notebook, start a folder, have Siri take a note, leave yourself a voice memo. It doesn’t have to be a novel, a few bullet points will do.

Now determine one step you can take toward your dream.
Just one step. That’s it. That’s how you begin.

You are now on your dream journey. Keep taking one achievable step after the next. You’ll face resistance. Your dream may change. Your dream may stall. Keep giving your dream space and time…always bringing it to God in prayer.

Just remember and believe with God by your side, all things are possible! (His Word, not mine)

I invite you to share your dream in the comments. I’d love to pray for you!

* I thought this post might be helpful for this New Year. It first appeared at God-Sized Dreams, where I have the privilege of being a contributing author. Check out the site for lots of dreaming inspiration and encouragement. 

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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. 

Photo Courtesy of

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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?

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