Tag: step forward

It’s Time to Stand Up In Your Boat | Stop Swimming and Rest

You’ve heard that famous line Dory sang in Finding Nemo, “just keep swimming, just keep swimming…”

Is that how you’re feeling? Like you just need to push through the exhaustion, fight through that burned-out feeling, or just tuck your feelings away and go through the motions one more second?

You ‘just keep swimming’ no matter how hard it is because you know when you finally stop, you’ll have to deal with all the thoughts in your mind and the emotions in your heart, and one day you won’t be able to just shove the problems under the rug because the rug is running out of space.

During these times, Jesus says, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavily burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)

Does that sound a little cliché or too simplistic, or much easier-said-than-done? The translation from The Message really brings this instruction to life:

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

Notice in the beginning, “Get away with me and you’ll recover your life.” To actually stop and rest in the presence of God is life-giving. If you want to understand God’s plans for you more clearly, and understand how He’s working in your life, you have to slow your life down to take notice.

Make space in your day to notice what God is doing, to receive His love, to allow Him to point you in the direction of healing. God wants to “show you how to take a real rest.”

It’s time to stand up in your boat of circumstances, stop swimming away, and recognize God is trying to speak to you. It’s time to move forward by resting.

Reach out if you would like to learn more about the step forward process, spiritual disciplines, or the benefits of personal coaching. Thank you for sharing your journey with us!

It’s Time To Stand Up In Your Boat

I see you struggling to take that first step toward making an improvement, reaching a goal, or trying something new, completely unsure if you are making the right move or walking in the right direction.

I see you doubting that God could possibly be speaking to you and questioning why He would even want to. You know deep inside that you could make changes, but that familiar boat of your circumstances seems to be stuck or holding you back in some way.

Maybe you’re holding yourself back?

Let me share with you Ephesians 2:10, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

Not only does God care about you and want to speak to you, He created you for a purpose. Even on the days you feel uncertain, uninspired, or “less than” in any way, there is an invisible road in front of you mapped out with goals that only you can achieve, people that you are supposed to meet, lessons that you are supposed to learn, and a life adventure that only you can live.

One way to get clearer on God’s plan for you is to recognize that He speaks through His word. I love how Psalm 119:30 points this out: “the unfolding of Your words give light; it gives understanding to the simple.”

And who or what is ‘the simple’? The simple is you and me.

The translation of this verse found in The Message Bible puts it another way: “Break open your words, let the light shine out, let ordinary people see the meaning.”

That’s you, that me, that’s us: the simple…the ordinary…the worn-out questioners in need of a well-lit path.

Romans 15:4 states, “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”

By spending time with God and digging into His Word for you, you can make improvements, you can reach goals, you can experience beauty out of ashes, and receive strength to get through dark moments.

You can stand up in your boat.

God is speaking to YOU!

Reach out if you would like to learn more about the step forward process, spiritual disciplines, or the benefits of personal coaching. It’s a joy to be part of your faith journey!

Seeing The Beauty In Your Storm

We often associate storms with destruction, but that’s not always the case. Sometimes, a rainstorm passes through and leaves behind lush green grass, well-watered plants, and fresher air. Often, the darkness clears to reveal a beautiful rainbow…a sign of hope and a reminder of God’s covenant with us (Genesis 9:16).

Let’s look at John 15:2, “He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit, he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.”

Just as the gardener prunes his fruit tree, God will prune us through various circumstances and storms. This changing, molding, shaping and refining of ourselves can be painful and life-changing, but if we trust in God’s work, then we will grow more deeply in our faith and relationship with Him, and increase our capacity to bear more fruit.

Isaiah 43:19, “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”

Notice where the scripture reads, “…I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?”

In the middle of our dark moments, we are often so focused on our struggle that we can miss the beauty of the ‘new thing’ — the new work — God is bringing about or calling us toward. Like a new sprout that unfolds in the garden after the rain passes, God is constantly at work creating beauty out of what appears to be ashes, making a way where there appears to be no way.

What storm are you experiencing right now?

Can you see God doing a new work in your life?

Please reach out if you would like to learn more about the step forward process, spiritual disciplines, or the benefits of personal coaching. Thank you for sharing your faith journey with us!

Walking Through Your Storm

Sometimes it rains a little, and sometimes a ferocious storm is unleashed that wields unspeakable damage and changes us forever. In the past three months, collectively, we’ve experienced the storms of quarantine and the pandemic, along with physical weather storms, individual medical storms, financial storms, and the longer-brewing storm of systemic racism.

Every storm that comes our way takes on a different shape, lasts a different amount of time, produces a different outcome, and requires a different set of actions on our part. Every storm is different, but God remains the same.

Let me say that again: Every storm is different, but God remains the same.

God doesn’t always remove the storm, but He walks with us through it. He faithfully never leaves us; He guides us and directs us.

Psalm 56:3-4 says, “When I am afraid, I will trust in God…In God I trust, I shall not be afraid.”

Part of getting through the fear of the storm is to trust God for the outcome. If we truly believe in His plans for us, and we understand how much He loves us, then we are willing to walk through the storm being led by Him, able to fully rely on Him — and rest in Him — through the dark moments of our lives.

What storms are you facing in your life today?

Are harsh words being spoken over you? Have you lost a job or been physically displaced in some way? Is there a big change coming for you? Are you trying to make steps forward, but you’re afraid or don’t know how?

Whatever storm you’re in the middle of, God is right in it with you and He loves you.

Please reach out if you would like to learn more about the step forward process, spiritual disciplines, or the benefits of personal coaching. It’s a joy to walk with you on your journey.

Standing Inside the Storm

Just over two weeks ago, I fell silent as the days became a blur of room-spinning nausea, head pressure and sinus unhappiness. This vertigo storm was one I had never experienced before. After one trip to the ER, lots of medication, the power of prayer, and days of healing, I’m on the mend.

About one week into my unexpected storm, I began climbing out of the vortex and started catching up on social media. In minutes, I became aware that there was an even larger storm reaching across our entire nation, affecting hearts and lives forever.

This hurricane of racial tension, hatred, violence, and murder had been brewing for a long time, and unlike other storms, this one affects each one of us regardless of geographic location. This storm hands us a mirror to hold up so we can visually see, and both intellectually and emotionally understand where we are on the ignorance, apathy, and tolerance scales. Each one of us has an individual responsibility in this storm.

My heart is wrecked for my brothers and sisters.

God created us in His image (Genesis 1:27), and with His expression of love and creativity, every single one of us has been given special gifting and a purpose.

To my sisters across race and culture, please receive this: God loves you. God sees you. God hears you. You have a beautiful purpose.

If you’re facing a storm, need help understanding your purpose, or want to go deeper in your relationship with God, we’re here for you through conversation, coaching and prayer.

 

Walking in the Brilliant Unexpected

When I was a little girl, I looked forward to the daily mail delivery. I grew up in a very small 2-bedroom bungalow that had both a mail slot and a vintage milk chute. Everyday, the mail would come sliding through the little door, spilling to the floor if we didn’t catch it in time. Sometimes, the mail would be left in the milk chute instead, where it sat stacked neatly until we retrieved it (which was much less eventful than watching the mail fly through the little door on the wall).

The daily mail delivery was a source of such excitement even though it wasn’t addressed to me, but I loved seeing all the mundane bills, advertisements, catalogs, magazines, and occasional greeting cards. I enjoyed the different sized envelopes, noticing the address (labeled or handwritten?) —and, once in a while, I was allowed to read the contents inside!

As a grown-up living in a neighborhood with cluster mailboxes, retrieving the mail is a lot less exciting, but even now, I still enjoy discovering what’s in the box. For me, the excitement is in the possibility. In this almost boring daily ritual, I expect the unexpected. Every moment holds the possibility of brilliance.

Webster’s dictionary defines the word brilliant as “very bright, glittering; striking, distinctive; very good, excellent.”

When we come expectantly to find God…transparently…with all our heart, He always shows himself (Jeremiah 29:13-14). It is God’s brilliant love – His very bright, glittering, striking, distinctive, very good, excellent love for us that creates all these unexpected gifts for us like the painted sky, an endlessly breathtaking horizon, a rainbow that appears out of nowhere, a phone call from a long lost friend, or even a surprise greeting in the mail.

What about you?

To step out of the comfort zone of your boat and live your mission with your eyes fixed on God and what He’s asking you to do, is to walk in the brilliant unexpected – drawing closer to Him with every step of your spiritual journey as He continues to reveal deeper truths about His love for you.

Are you walking in the brilliant unexpected?

Comment below or message us to find out how to apply step forward to your life or how a coaching relationship can help you on your faith journey.

Start Walking: Facing Discouragement?

As you begin to walk on the water, you might feel unstoppable: your faith is firm, your eyes are fixed on Jesus, you have stepped into your gifting, God is equipping you, and you’ve got this!

And then along comes a harsh word, or a subtle taunt thrown your way…

“How are you going to balance everything?”

“If God wanted you to do that, He would…”

“You might be okay at X, but you’ll never be as good as X.”

“Are you sure this is what God really wants for you?”

The list goes on an on of potential remarks and encounters with people whose sole purpose is to undermine your faith journey. There is a difference between Biblical wisdom delivered with kindness and genuine concern versus the know-it-all-watchdog who does not want you to succeed or feels threatened in some way.

Remember Deuteronomy 31:8, “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”(NIV)

As you walk deeply in faith, don’t let the World (i.e., naysayers, Enemy, etc.) hold you back and discourage you.

  • What discouragements are you facing right now?
  • Who can help you on your journey?

Comment below or message us if we can help you uncover God’s work in your life.

Step Out: Establish a Plan

As you step forward to explore what God is asking you to do today, you might find yourself knowing exactly what to do next but not know how to go about it…or you might not know what to do next at all…or you might feel completely overwhelmed at all the possibilities and not sure where or how to begin.

As Believers, we hold our plans loosely so that we can be continually directed by God through the power of His Holy Spirit working in us, and God establishes our plans when we commit them to Him (Proverbs 16:3). Think of the plan you are establishing as a flexible outline; a tool to give you a sense of scope and direction, but not so concrete and rigid that it leaves no room for God to work.

Maybe you’re wondering how the planning process begins, or what to do when the big picture goal is overwhelming. This is where having an accountability partner or enlisting the help of a professional, such as a coach can make a difference.

Working with a coach can help you step toward your large goal by identifying smaller objectives along the way, helping you stay on track, and also celebrating your results.

  • Who in your life can help you be accountable?
  • Who can help you break down your large goal into small, achievable steps?
  • Would you like to learn more about the coaching process?

Comment below or message us if we can help you uncover God’s work in your life.

 

Step Out: Find an Accountability Partner

To step out of the boat and begin exploring what God is asking you to do is to step out in faith and trust:

  • You’re trusting that you’ve heard the voice of God.
  • You’re trusting that you’ve heard God correctly.
  • You’re trusting that you really are taking the “right” step.
  • You’re trusting this new unknown in your life.

It’s okay if you have mixed emotions…fears…doubts. You’re going to make giant leaps forward, as well as a few steps backward. Remember that God is by your side through it all — whether you do it “right”… whether you make mistakes…on the days you’re slaying it…and all the moments in between.

To help you on your journey, God will put people in your path to encourage you, educate you, and minister to you.

“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” (1 Thess. 5:11)

“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works…”(Hebrews 10:24)

Find an accountability partner or group who will pray with you, support you, talk straight to you, and help you stay on track.

  • Who in your life can help you fulfill God’s purpose?
  • Who can help you be accountable?
  • Who can you help?

 

Step Out: Be Who and What God Called You To Be

We are working our way through stepping out of our comfort zone and becoming a disciple. This week we are focused on being who and what God called each of us to be. Our Scripture this week comes from Matthew 5:14-16:

“You are the light of the world!
A city on a hill cannot be hidden.
Let your light shine before others.

In the first part of verse 14, we read “you are the light” – and “you” is each one of us. We are the “light” (Greek phṓs), which is literally “the manifestation of God’s self-existent life”. (Strong’s Greek Lexicon).

As Christ followers, our very existence points to God who created us. Just like a city on top of a hill cannot be hidden, our very existence — the words we say, the actions we take, our lives as a whole — shine brightly, illuminating God’s work in the world.

What does this mean for you?

To step out of your comfort zone is literally to step fully into the person God has created you to be, doing the work that He has prepared for you to do.

  • Who are you in Christ?
  • What is God asking you to do?
  • How can you shine brightly where God plants you?

Comment below or message us if we can help you uncover God’s work in your life.