Tag: women in the word

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!

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 in Courageous Change

We are more accessible and wired than ever before — in fact, some of you are wired on caffeine and carbs right now trying to read this post.

You know it’s true and I’m with you.

How is all of this accessibility helping you stay on task with what God is asking you to do? Are you walking on the water with your eyes fixed on Jesus, totally slaying it? Or have you started to sink?

At the beginning of quarantine, I dreamed of all the projects I was going to get done, resulting in a veritable cornucopia of happiness and creativity — because, after all, everyone would be home now, no drive time, all of the hours of the day available, etc.

That dream quickly died as I grew more stressed with each passing second, trying to cram in all the things I thought I could — or should — accomplish.

Even though my kids are fairly efficient at their online school work, I’m still needed all the time… breakfasts and lunches (cleaning up said breakfasts and lunches), providing endless snacks, answering questions, issuing a 100 million hugs (pretty awesome!), cramming in household chores, attending various online classes and newly added meetings, and attending to creative ventures, etc.

By way of a coaching conversation, I came to the realization that I had less hours in my day than ever before.

What? How could that be possible when I kept hearing media messages like, “Now that we’re all quarantined with extra time on our hands…there’s this great opportunity…sign up for this group…watch this webinar…” etc.

How could I be home all day and have less hours?

I sat down and took a hard look at my life (insert harsh bucket of ice water):

  • The daily task schedule (breakfast, lunch, etc.).
  • Household chores that needed to be completed to stay afloat (laundry, financials, etc.).
  • Project work that I either needed to work on or wanted to work on, including immediate work, creative projects, and dream ventures.

Courageous changes were needed quickly, and that last bullet point was where things really got dicey. I am a highly creative person who doesn’t have a lot of hobbies per se. All the stuff I love to do, I’m pretty much doing in one capacity or another. So, having to whittle these projects down into something more manageable resulted in A LOT of distress.

As my dream of endless hours of creativity and happiness began to die a painful death, a new, even brighter picture of a less chaotic life began to emerge. I could see hours of relaxation and bunnies running through the field backed by a soundtrack of swelling strings…

OK, not exactly like that. Just kidding!

But seriously, I care about the projects I work on and the people associated with those projects. It was really difficult to have to put the brakes on some things I was really looking forward to spending time on. Not only did I have to prioritize for my own mental health, I also needed to make space to stay focused on the stuff God really wanted me to work on NOW, in the present. Let me emphasize that:

Making courageous changes creates space to stay focused on the stuff God really wants me to work on now, in the present.

Do you remember the old saying, “the devil is in the details”?

Those little details of being extra busy, and being constantly inconvenienced or frustrated can keep you from realizing the blessing God has for you when you focus on Him, and the blessing that others will receive through the work He’s given you to do.

This quarantine-constantly-plugged-in environment will steal away opportunities for the spiritual practices of rest and time with God, and the focus you need in order to stay on task with what God is asking of you.

Let’s look at 1 Corinthians 16:13, “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.”

If my story resonates with you and you’re trying to get through the chaos, try applying that Scripture to your life this way:

Be on your guard against the enemy of busyness. Stand firm in faith and belief in the work God is doing in your life and the path He has called you to. Be courageous; be strong, knowing that it’s okay to say ‘no’ to projects that don’t support the overall mission you are called to.

  • What is God asking you to focus on?
  • What courageous changes do you need to make to create space in your schedule?
  • What strategies can you use to become less busy?

Comment below or message us to find out about the benefits of a coaching relationship and how it 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.

Step Out: Explore and Serve

Today is Maundy Thursday, the day when Jesus gathered with his Disciples for the last time, and the day that was just the beginning of events that would lead to his eventual death and resurrection. The term “Maundy” (Latin: Mondatum, Commandment) represents the ceremonial Washing of Feet – a religious rite of washing the feet of the poor.

After the last supper, Jesus said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” (John 13:34) Preceding this command, Jesus washed the feet of His disciples, exemplifying His love for them and offering us a beautiful demonstration of serving one another.

As you step out of your boat and explore what God is calling you to do, how can you serve the people God has placed in your path?

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

Step Into Your Power Source

On this Good Friday, at noon, a few centuries ago, “there was darkness over all the land” as Jesus died on the cross. (Matt. 27:45) At the moment of His last breath, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom, and the earth shook, and the rocks were split. (Matt. 27:51)

At the moment of this cataclysmic event, it appeared the power had ceased and the light of a son…teacher…master…healer…had gone out of the world. The disciples would soon learn that the Power of Jesus was just getting started.

A couple days ago, storms and a tornado ripped through our area, resulting in a power outage for around 18 hours. There was much rejoicing among our children when the power – and all electronics – were restored. I posted to my facebook status, “Electricity is back on!!” with some happy party emojis. Some of our friends were still waiting for restoration in other areas of our city and county, so it was a huge surprise that our neighborhood “beat the deadline.”

I chose my status update word carefully: Electricity. In fact, I never posted that our power had gone out, except in private text messages, or comments on various friend’s discussion threads.

Why?

It’s because I never felt that I had lost power. The loss of electricity was an inconvenience. It also caused concern and efforts were made to preserve the food in our refrigerator. The loss of electricity was also irritating and a point of contention for our kids who were trying to navigate quarantine with a sudden loss of a day’s online school and the all-important leisure-time video games and TV.

I felt I never lost power because I never lost Jesus. I know some of you might be rolling your eyes at this point, thinking that sounds a little cliché, but stay with me on this idea. This week, we’ve been exploring the concept of praying about everything. Jesus is the source of power and strength (Isaiah 40:29). I tap into that source of power anytime just by praying – and I wrote yesterday about how prayer is just a little conversation with God.

So, no matter what I’m facing, whether I understand it or not, whether I’m hunkering down in a basement with a violent storm overhead, whether I lose a job, whether I’m sick, whether I… [fill in your own blank], I know without any doubt that God will work all things out according to His plans and purposes. I know this because of the work He’s already done in my life, and because of His promises to me in His Word which are forever true and unchanging (Isaiah 40:8).

There’s a common phrase often uttered in times of distress, fear, or hopelessness, “all we can do is pray.” Instead of waiting for an emergency, I invite you to begin each day and tackle every moment by tapping into your power source through prayer.

What would your day look like if you began with prayer?

Who is the source of your power?

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