October: Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

My 10 Year Anniversary. My Friend Jamilyn’s Memorial.

Breast Cancer is Dangerous … and Can Be Deadly.

My heart is conflicted. I am grateful to the Lord for allowing me to celebrate my 10th Survivor Anniversary of my last breast cancer battle. And … my heart breaks for the family of my young friend Jamilyn as she just lost her battle with breast cancer a couple weeks ago and her Memorial is today.  Her story … and mine … are below.

  • I welcome you into the vulnerable stories and inner-rooms of our battles as two examples of women fighting breast cancer … joined at the heart in our cancer-experience.
  • MORE BEAUTIFUL  CD/DVD  Life-Changing Breast Cancer Resource is being offered  for a generous 40% off  until October 31st . See below for more information!  

Ten years ago next month, on my birthday, I got the terrifying news that breast cancer had come back … yet again. I was at my Dad and Mom’s Ranch home when I got “the call.” I had had the biopsy in So Cal and my husband had flown back with me back to my childhood home to be there for my birthday and Thanksgiving.

Secretly, I wondered if it would be my last birthday … I thought it would be important to be with Dad and Mom … the two people who had brought me into the world as a little gift (our homes are 1000 miles apart and I wasn’t there often) and my husband.  Also, I knew I would be getting the call with the diagnosis while there and IF it was not good news I wanted  to be with them in person so they could see that I was strong, optimistic and would go into the battle in a healthy way. 

To be totally honest I was terrified and more so when I found out how aggressive the cancer I had this time was.  The research showed if they didn’t stop it I had a few months to live on this side of Heaven.  With surgery for a double mastectomy a month away right before Christmas and a number of surgeries to follow as well as chemotherapy I knew the battle was large. I would pray and circle-the-wagons so-to-speak with all the willing prayer warriors, I would do ALL that I knew to do to help my body in a battle for my life … and I would lean in to the Lord. He is sovereign. I knew He had (and has) ordained every day of my life from conception to death and walking into Heaven. I was terrified but ready only because I knew WHOSE I was and I trusted Him.

Fast forward 10 years … I have a Happy 10th Anniversary coming up to celebrate. I am celebrating and GRATEFUL to my gracious God! 😊

In as much as I celebrate personally and with the many girlfriends I have who have endured the breast cancer battle … I have some who have also WON their battles or are still battling and are Survivors … I have also lost other who are dear to me. Women who changed my life forever … who inspired me, whose vigor and willingness to be battle and fight!

Survivors like Joni Eareckson Tada and Amy Puls and my own Mom and other dear women. These women have been warriors and are survivors of this disease which runs shivers down every woman’s internal spine.    These women have “not wasted their cancer” in that they have used the very battles and survival stories to give Him (Jesus) glory and used it for the “good” of other people.    Mark 12: 30­­31.

Other women, young and older, who I have had the honor of battling with, studied the Word of God with, Prayed with … who have already walked into Heaven … including my dear friends Carolyn Simons, Ruthie Marek, Cathy and Haewon  and others …  and now including my sweet young, new friend Jamilyn.

YOUNG women … please pay close attention to Self-Exams (saved me twice), Mammograms (saved me once) and your family history. 

Let me introduce you to my precious young friend Jamilyn.  Who would think a vibrant, healthy 26-year old woman would find a lump mid-June, and tragically lost her life just two weeks ago to an aggressive, violent breast cancer.  

Her dear cousin,  a physician Dr. Alexis Carrington, M.D., volunteered to serve her country and us all during the COVID pandemic heat-of-the-battle in one of New Yorks’ hardest hit hospitals with COVID, She recently wrote an excellent article for ABC Good Morning America which includes Jamilyn’s story.

I pray you will read it. I pray MANY around the World will read this story and recognize that yes, indeed, breast cancer should be taken seriously! It can and does happen to women … and men … of all ages. 

“Why recognizing the signs of breast cancer should still be a priority amid COVID-19”

www.goodmorningamerica.com/wellness/story/recognizingsignsbreastcancerpriorityamidcovid19-73344442

I had the absolute privilege because of a series of God-introductions to meet and mentor and love Jamilyn as a Sister and fellow cancer-battler.   (I knew Elizabeth, who knew Alexis for whom we prayed on our bi-weekly prayer Zooms, whose Mom Marsha came to Chat-n-Pray at the invitation of Elizabeth, who asked me if I would be willing to talk with Jamilyn who had just found out she had breast cancer, who introduced me to her sweet Mom Irma … who I am now grieving her loss with. That is how God creates community and His family to support one another. A privilege to be sure.).       

Early on in our friendship …. I sent to Jamilyn a Breast Cancer resource which changed my personal cancer experience and I want to recommend to you …  MORE BEAUTIFUL CD/DVD.

Our friend and brother-in-the-Lord, Steve Siler,  Founder / Director of www.MusicfortheSoul.org is a “Dove Award winning songwriter who has long had a heart for the hurting.  Steve has had over 500 of his songs recorded in the Christian, pop, and country markets.”

Steve has generously offered the readers of Gentle Nudgings toward COURAGE  …

a  SPECIAL  discount for the month of October! Special  Code: kb2020

For 10 more days … until October 31st … you can access MORE BEAUTIFUL … and everything else on the www.musicforthesoul.org  website for 40% off!

Wow! This is a GIFT to be sure during these tough days! Please check it out! Music for the Soul provides “healing music for your soul. We are proud to provide spiritual healing music centered around God’s love.” His ministry of music reaches a number of difficult topics so peruse the website for other helps too.

So … today, right now, my precious friend Jamilyn is both grieved for and her life celebrated at her Memorial. Her story must go on. Her story will save lives.

  • Please remember her Mom, Irma, and their whole family in your prayers.
  • Please feel free to share the story her cousin Dr. Alexis wrote for Good Morning.com with others.  Take a minute, read it and share it forward with women you love!
  • Take care of yourself with self exams, mammograms and paying attention to your family history. This informs you. COVID or no COVID … get help if you need it! Throw that cute little mask on and get in there to be seen!

And finally, this is a stressful year. Stress doesn’t help and staying “wired” keeps your body in a constant state which is not helpful to your health … nor cancer.

So … you CAN do something about that!  Coaching Moment! (You knew it was coming 😊)

  • Stay in the Word of God. His TRUTH is the only Truth so when the world seems chaotic … hunker down in His Word. It will bring peace that passes all understanding and comfort and wisdom ++. Read your Bible. Pick up or join a Bible study. Lotsa opportunities online!
  • Pray! Pray without ceasing! Talk to God … He loves you and He is listening anyway! Why “stew and fret” in you head? Why break into a diatribe with a friend or with your fingers on a device? Take a deep breath and take it TO the Lord in Prayer!
  • Memorize Scripture! Yes, you! Isaiah 41:10, Philippians 4:6-7, Proverbs 3:5-6, Psalm 91. They will ALL bless your soul and give the Holy Spirit His own words into your life when you are anxious or panicked.
  • HAVE COURAGE AND BE KIND! What you put in your heart will /does come out of your mouth! It is essential we remember we are His Ambassadors on this side of Heaven. Let’s put in His wisdom through Bible reading so we share out of a loving and just heart … one that is in process yes and not perfect. But …NO excuses. Let’s control our mouths and fingers!  Luke 6:45 NIV “A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.”
  • Take a walk, watch a funny and clean movie, spend time with family or pets, phone a friend! Give a little of yourself away! It glorifies God, blesses others and is restful and destressing to you! Ask the Lord as my dear friend Marilyn does … “What do you want me to do for You today?”
  • More to accomplish this de-stressing? Yep but I won’t go on here. Contact me if you need help on this. OR if you just need PRAYER!

You are loved! Take time during this month of Breast Cancer Awareness to take care of YOU!  My friend Jamilyn would LOVE that perhaps her story helped YOU or someone you love … and saves lives.  And … I LOVE that you would take care of someone that I personally care about … You! 😊

May God Bless you and thank you for praying for me for continued health and No cancer. And thank you for praying today … right now … for Jamilyn’s family who will be in her Memorial THIS morning.

Love and Blessings,

Coach Kathleen

Master Certified Professional Christian Life Coach (with a Certification in Stress and Grief)

http://PersonalRetreatCoaching.com

Posted in breast cancer, Cancer, Courage over fear, Discipline, Gentle Nudgings, Jesus will never leave you, Joni and Friends International Disability Ministry, Joni Eareckson Tada, Life Coaching, life-storms, memories, Mentoring women, Psalm 91, Trust God | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Don’t Let Go of a Bucking Horse! 2020, right?

Gentle Nudgings Toward COURAGE

Do you ever feel like you are just hanging on … like you somehow accidentally ended up in the washing machine? Tumbling over and over, working hard not to drown in the daily news cycle?

Welcome to 2020, right?

* I haven’t written in a long while … so many things have landed on my heart to share but then something else happens! Grab a cup of coffee or your favorite tea … and here goes!  

 I want to share a childhood memory which may resonate with you … whether or not you like horses!  As you may know I grew up on a cattle ranch which has been in our family for well over a century. My great- grandfather who homesteaded our ranch was an Irish immigrant with an amazing story. We will leave that story for another time but today … I remember a time I was trying desperately not to get bucked off my horse.

(Similar horse but not my “Lady)

My dark yellow-gold, sweet-tempered, smooth-riding palomino “Lady” and I were helping to gather cattle with my Dad and siblings, my Uncle Bill and cousins on a warm Spring day in Colorado. I loved listening to the Meadow Larks, the aroma of the grass as the cattle plodded through it in front of us, the chatter of our family and the occasional call of a cow to her calf.

We herded them into the corral and as we rode in, Lady got a long, cool drink at the water tank. She and I made our way down into and then back up the other side of the dry creek-bed and pulled up next to the fence along-side other horses. Lady, bless her heart, like to ‘paw the ground or the grass tufts … and unfortunately she decided to do so as we pulled up next to the fence.  It was a wire fence. She pawed as she stopped … and she caught a front hoof on the wire.

Well, my gentle Palomino, Lady exploded into a panic and began rearing up and trying to tear away from the fence. She was hooked to the fence wire. She was fearful of that fact. Now I, on the other hand, was fearful of letting go and hitting the ground! I held on for dear life! Albeit for a couple seconds my high-school-age brain began a split- second think-through. “Let’s see if I hit the ground … and broke my arm … I would get a cast …my friends would all sign my cast…cool!” Then I came back to my senses and continued to hold on until my heroes …  my Dad, my Uncle Bill and my brothers .. ran to help me … they calmed Lady down, removed the wire (she was not cut nor hurt in any way … just frightened) and I climbed off shaken but grateful I had held on!  And equally grateful for my heroes that had run to my rescue to calm things down. (PS … They are still some of my favorite heroes!)

This Year … 2020 … has been somehow strangely similar; I have felt the urge to hang on for dear life and not get bucked off! Along with regular life, a busy coaching practice, helping with our women’s ministry and other things at church and seeing family early in the year:

  • January: Family left after a FABULOUS Christmas with our kids and grandsons, plus, I survived 3 weeks of Type A flu. January 26th our church was just starting Sunday-School and across the street Kobe Bryant and 8 other precious souls lost their lives as their helicopter tragically crashed into the hillside in dense fog. We, at our church, hosted a grieving community to be sure for days to come.  
  • February: Traveled to spend time with family in San Diego and Washington
  • March: I joined many sick with COVID 19 mid March. Tested positive.  6-8 weeks later I tested negative, finally got antibiotics, and on Easter morning I felt I was recovering and could breathe freely. And I have tested positive for having the anti-bodies.  Praise God and thank you for your prayers! (PS … NO … in my experience COVID 19 is not “like the flu.” Think snorkeling versus scuba diving … both are in the water … but COVID is a much deeper dive and more difficult to get back to the surface than the flu!)
  • Stay at Home orders, followed by a bare-bones-roll-out for us all … for months now!
  • Coaching via ZOOM. Prayer meetings via ZOOM. Family get-togethers via ZOOM. Small groups and Bible studies and Coffees via ZOOM. Even a few VBS sessions with my little grandsons and a few children from church! All via ZOOM. Anyone all ZOOMED out? Ha! Ha! Thank God for ZOOM! I LOVE seeing your sweet faces!
  • Masks, social distancing, washing our hands, Lysol wipes, washing veggies and fruit, wiping down cans and packages, oh my.
  • Economic fears. Lost jobs. Lost or limping businesses. Lost financial footing. Pinching pennies. Looking for pennies … in pockets and purses.
  • Memorial Day … people (some people) heading back “out” somewhere / anywhere.
  • The tragic, horrifying and brutal murder of George Floyd. Followed by constitutionally protected protests and a world-wide outcry against racial injustice. And behind the peaceful protests … along came criminal looters, arsonists, and rioters. People hurt on all sides. Police officers (the vast majority I believe who are people of integrity …just like every other career path) … they are hurt, maligned and injured. People of all races and ethnic groups are hurting, frightened and concerned. People’s businesses are destroyed (as they were barely limping back from the COVID shutdowns) … and why? Does destruction of other’s property make any GOOD point? People are hurt and angry for all kinds of reasons.  Some for good reason. Some because the media and social media tell them to be angry.  
  • Anger. Unrest. Awkwardness. Sadness. Depression. Some for good reason. Some not.

Do you feel as though you too have been clinging to the “back of the horse” this year 2020? I do. Hold on. Don’t Let Go.

(Horse … Kelly and I … my ride in the Tetons, near Jackson Hole with my husband a couple years ago.)

Our REAL, all-the-time hero, Jesus is right here to help us via the Holy Spirit and His Word to STAY On the “Horse” of life.  

I want to make 3 Coaching Points.

  1. Don’t Let Go. As Believers, the enemy of God would love nothing better than you and I letting GO. Letting Go of your trust in the Lord. Letting Go to the Truth of God’s Word. Letting Go of what God has called YOU to do! Letting Go of friendships over politics or differences on how we see COVID or wearing masks or ____. Don’t Let Go! STAY on the spiritual Battlefield in prayer (IE www.PrayforAmerica.com), in fellowship (even if it is on ZOOM), in the Word! Let’s stay disciplined and ride-this-out together! Life is Bucking but we dare not let go! The pain of holding on is much less severe pain than letting go of God’s plan for our lives in the long-run and following Him. Hold ON … put your armor on (Eph. 6:10-19) and stay in this battle together!
  2. Have COURAGE and BE KIND! Don’t just barely hold on … go on the offense! Ezra 10:4 says “Rise Up! Take Courage and Do it!  How do we as Believers rise up? I believe we rise up in Prayer! We rise up to be KIND when others around us are being uncivil, unkind, or violent with their words.  Be different! Be disciplined! Either be Kind on Social Media, behind a computer screen or a cell phone … or I would encourage you to consider giving it up altogether!  

It takes mental and emotional discipline to HOLD on to your values when the world (and the enemy of God … don’t forget!) are telling you to Let Go! We must be mentally and emotionally disciplined at this juncture in history and time. And as John Maxwell says on his Leadership Podcast we must “Embrace Unchanging Values in an Unpredictable World.”  He says what we have today is a values problem. I hadn’t thought of that but … yes, we do! And we dare not cash in our Christian values for the world’s values!   

Foundational Value: We are called to Love the Lord with all our hearts and to love others as ourselves. Mark 12:30-31  “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

We, as Believers, are called to be Ambassadors for Jesus on this planet until we are called to Heaven. That is our #1 priority. Nothing else takes first place … not politics, not rhetoric, not differences in our races, not differences in how COVID 19 is handled, not ______ (fill in the blank). We are to GO and make disciples in all nations. We are to be salt and light. We cannot do that effectively if the enemy of God has us divided because of our differences.  We are to be “known by our love.”

WHO we have in COMMON as Believers is Jesus! HOW we fight … is on our knees in prayer. We need to realize that we are playing right into the hands of the enemy if we are ignoring our calling to put Jesus first and instead, being unkind to one another.

You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.1 John 4:4

  1. This Season-of-Life is also about growing in ENDURANCE! Physically how does one build muscle strength? We know it is by working those muscles over and over and over again … right form, appropriate amounts … but practice makes perfect and strong! Strength and muscle memory becomes “instinctual” … and the same applies to spiritual endurance.

DURING 2020 we are being given the opportunity to building our endurance! This is an opportunity to weather a variety of life “storms,” to learn a deeper trust in Jesus and keep our eye on the prize! (Jesus!) Hold on to the proverbial saddle horn and Ride the Horse! Stay On! Endure! Persevere in Obedience to the Lord! One becomes “strong” by holding on and battling through precisely WHEN it is uncomfortable and inconvenient.  We are called to endure hardship … and not quit nor give in! Battle on!   Ride this horse, Sister!

James 1:2-4 “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”

Resources:  I highly recommend these 2 Podcasts!

“Halftime”

https://johnmaxwellleadershippodcast.com/episodes/john-maxwell-halftime-adjustments-1

https://johnmaxwellleadershippodcast.com/episodes/john-maxwell-halftime-adjustments-2

And finally, as we HOLD ON and ENDURE and PERSEVERE … let us as Christians be known to the world for our love and for our lives exemplifying the other “fruit of the Spirit.”

Our. Words. Matter. Period.  Maybe that is not your issue (great!) but … if it IS an issue for your kids or others around you … let’s be the leaders we are called to be and be peacemakers! Let us be the first to remind one-another that manners matter, words matter, civility matters!  

 “We are called to be thermostats in this culture Not … thermometers” Greg Laurie declared in his new book “World Changers”!  Be a World Changer and stand up for what God says is the right way to handle conflict!

Let’s work on this together! It is called “Sanctification.” According to my Google search “Sanctification is God’s transformation of a believer’s whole being, that is the mind, will, behaviors, and affections through the work of the Holy Spirit.”  It is a process.

James 1:19-36: “This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; 20for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God. 21Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls. 22But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. 23For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; 24for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. 25But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.  26If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless.”

Let’s be changed people because we have been in His Word and our thinking has been transformed by the renewing of our minds in Christ Jesus through the work of the Holy Spirit! Romans 12:2 “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

Let’s be World Changers wherever the Lord has placed us! One person at a time. One response at a time. One choice at a time. HAVE COURAGE. … with His help we CAN do this!

  • Don’t Let Go! Ride-the-Horse!
  • Have Courage and Be Kind!
  • Endure … with Hope! Work this spiritual muscle!

Praying for you and with you! We can do this together!

Blessings,

Coach Kathleen

Master Certified Professional and Christian Life Coach

Specializing in Courage Coaching

www.PersonalRetreatCoaching.com

Posted in Bible, Christian Life Coaching, Corona Virus, Courage, courage coaching, Courage over fear, Courage to Lead, COVID 19, Discipline, fear, Focus, Gentle Nudgings, Greg Laurie, Hope, Jesus will never leave you, john maxwell, Leadership, Life Coaching, life-storms, Listen to God, Listen to people, Love God! Love Others! Love Yourself!, Persevere, Pray Faithfully, pray for America, Self discipline, Trust God, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

WORKBOOK of COURAGE, Positive for COVID 19, Easter is Hope! Always!

Gentle Nudgings Toward COURAGE

WORK BOOK of COURAGE …from a Coach You Know

List of Ideas and Resources to Help Work Through This Pandemic with FOCUS on Jesus and Courage to Face the Fears.  (First Edition)

I Have the COVID 19 Virus.

The tomb is empty!

I wish you a blessed, beautiful Easter! He has risen!

Let’s Be Intentional.

There is so much to say … and it feels as if there is no way to share everything which I would love to without it arriving to you something like a firehose of information. I am stepping gently into the turbulent waters of “Stay at Home 2020”. I want you to grab a hot cup of … something … and sit with me for just a couple minutes.  Or maybe print this out. I’ve included a number of links I’ve accumulated which I pray will help you along your journey as well as some of the ideas I might share with you if we were coaching over my table or the telephone to have COURAGE over fear .

First of all, I want to tell you that this comes from the place of a being tested Positive for COVID 19. Yep, as crazy as that seems to even say out loud or type … I have the COVID 19 virus. As John Piper said some years ago in his writings “Don’t Waste Your Cancer” ( https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/dont-waste-your-cancer) we can be intentional in life-storms and see the meaning. I read this paper when I went through breast cancer battle #3 … and I agree … if we are going through a life-storm there are lessons for ourselves and to share with others. So … with that in mind … I choose not to waste my COVID 19 virus experience; it is fresh on all of our minds.

When I wrote to you in the last Gentle Nudgings Toward COURAGE  in March “Blizzard of 73,’ the Corona Virus and Choose Courage, Not Fear” … I already was in the middle of the challenge and didn’t realize that I had the COVID 19 virus. It started with a very sore throat, dry cough and a higher fever for one day that lingered low grade for weeks.   If you want to hear the longer story feel free to respond to this email and ask … I am happy to share.  I will in response, send you a personal email with more details. The battle is REAL and I have had symptoms for now just more than a month. I am improving and couldn’t be more grateful to the Lord for His mercy!

  • BIG ASKIF you know my Mom … please do Not share this information nor your concern for me with Mom. IF we determine that we need tell her that information it needs to come from me alone as it is my personal Health information. My sister and brother-in-law, with whom Mom lives, feel with the potential gravity of just the words “COVID 19”   it could create fear and panic. It is unnecessary for Mom to think that I am gravely ill  (I am not) and it has the potential of her losing important sleep … which might affect her health. If it had been a more serious case we would have shared with her.  (Thank you in advance!)

Prayerfully, this “WORKBOOK on COURAGE” coming to you this Holy Weekend will be a gift of sorts. This is Easter Weekend.  Tomorrow is Easter! May I say how THANKFUL I am that the most horrific days in the life of my Savior and Lord Jesus, Good Friday, was also the greatest gift in the history of humanity. He willingly came down from Heaven and gave His life so that you and I could have Eternal Life.  Easter … and the EMPTY tomb … and His resurrection from the dead  … broke the chains of eternal death. God intended to show His love for us.  From the most painful to the most beautiful gift imaginable! He loves us!

#JesusChangedMyLife   Want to know more about how Jesus changed my life when I recognized the Holy Spirit calling me to Himself and what I believe? Feel free to email me and I will personally email you back with my personal “story.”

Great resources I urge you to visit regarding Easter, Good Friday and processing the pandemic at this time:

https://everthinehome.com/when-god-disrupts-our-lives and  https://everthinehome.com/how-to-celebrate-good-friday-and-easter-at-home/

  Why am I sharing a WORKBOOK on COURAGE with a list of resources and ideas today? I guess I am simply prayerful perhaps a verse, a resource, a link, an idea will comfort, encourage, inspire or reassure you in some unexpected way.

Let me begin by saying, if you are feeling anxious that is normal. (See the Resources Section below) … We live in a fallen world and right now we, as a world, are battling the COVID 19 Virus together.  You may have fear. You may have anxiety. They are different. They are both normal human responses.  If it were not so the Lord would not have reminded us that we didn’t need to be fearful or anxious so MANY times in Scripture … (ISAIAH 41:10 being my favorite). On the flip side He also tells us to be Brave, Bold, Courageous (Joshua 1:8-9 is my fav on this one). We have to CHOOSE to be courageous even if we are fearful.  CHOOSE COURAGE over FEAR.  Not only is this possible but this is our calling. The Holy Spirit will give us what we need to have courage if He calls us to it.

I know there are many precious people who are VERY ill or have lost their lives to this COVID 19 virus, or know someone who has, and the battle is and will be RAGING for them for some time to come. We pray for them, we ache for them and will do what we can to support them.

There are many who do not have the virus … or like me have it but were able to fight it at home.  May I say that I am personally thinking this COVID 19 Crisis is an opportunity in many ways.  For most of us we can see it as an inconvenience and focus on it with that perspective OR we can see it as an opportunity … and DIG in and look for what we CAN do!   What CAN we do in the midst of this crisis whether we are working from home, or homeschooling our children, or dealing with COVID 19 ourselves or taking care of someone who is ill, or experiencing loneliness or (fill in the blank) _______.

We are really on the “front lines” spiritually in many ways and …  I believe the Lord has been preparing us for some time now.  (Look back on your last few Bible study topics you’ve participated in … see what I mean?) But as Max Lucado said in a recent interview I saw… “We are fighting FEAR in this challenge and must fight fear with faith! We can either become bitter or better.” In order not to become bitter he suggested “1) Gratitude (What better time to start that? It’s Easter!) 2) To focus on others not ourselves (See below ideas to add to those you have) 3) To get some Determination! This is helped by putting “good content in our head.”  So true!

SECRET SHORT CUT to GOOD CONTENT in my head: I wear a bracelet about marathon-ing which I bought several years ago to celebrate having walked /finished 2 Marathons and 3 Half Marathons. It is a reminder of “keeping my head game” during anything HARD that I do in my life … “COURAGE TO START,  STRENGTH TO ENDURE, RESOLVE TO FINISH.” I have added to it recently another bracelet that says “RISE UP ~ TAKE COURAGE~ AND DO IT!” Ezra 10:4  If I wear it … I see it. Reminders on my person! (Like my necklace in the photo above)

CHOICES: We have to decide we are not the victim. We Can choose to see the glass half full or half empty. I know those are hard words to hear sometimes (for us all) but they are true. Give me a moment here …

  • How many times have each of us said … I wish I just had more time at home to get things done?
  • How many times have each of us said … I wish I had more time with my kids? Or my spouse?
  • How many times have each of us said … I wish I had more time to ___ (read, write, call a family member or friends, read the Bible, listen to music, exercise, go through “that closet 😊,” )
  • Need I go on?

I know, no one like to be told to Stay Home. Those words stir up our rebel side. But could we look at this as a blessing? Yes, we can. So … let’s do just that! Let’s be mentally disciplined and tough!  Grumbling won’t help … didn’t help the Israelites, right? That was 40 years of wandering around!

It CAN be a blessing not only for us but  for others … and trust me it IS a blessing for others in this world of ours as we collectively work at flattening the curve for ALL people. But may I just say … I have been pretty sick. Nope, by the grace of God, I didn’t end up in the hospital but … I did have the Type A flu in January for 3 weeks and this is WAY worse. You do Not want it and you do Not want anyone else to get it either. So the simple things they have asked us to work to do (Social Distancing, wash our hands, stay home …) are not hard things and they protect not just ourselves but others that we know or don’t know.

But with that said …

To me EVERYTHING has a meaning: Did you know there are now 6 stages of grief?  I am pretty simple and black-n-white in my thinking. But  when my daughter-in-law Stephanie sent me an article out of the Harvard Business Review “That Discomfort You’re Feeling Is Grief” by Scott Berinato  I read it and gave a hearty AMEN! They site David Kessler’s new book Finding Meaning: The Sixth Stage of Grief. (Resource www.grief.com/Covid-19.). They have added the 6th stage … meaning. I have always believed that!

We are grieving collectively as a country and world but … there IS meaning. We need to see … and can choose to see that … there is a Meaning in this chaos, and we need to see the Purpose which we can each embrace from it. According to Dr. Oz … we are “healthiest” if we work at seeing what purpose we can have in it.

I propose to you that:

  1. There IS a meaning in this COVID 19 pandemic … what is it for you?
  2. There IS a purpose in this COVID 19 pandemic … what is it for you?

It takes COURAGE to honestly look at those 2 questions, true, but if we want to be something other than victims in this situation, we need to have courage to pray about and think about what those answers are.

Ask the Lord for wisdom and He will supply it to you (James 1)

Leading me to Point 2 of 3: Easter Weekend!

There IS something You can Do within the chaos. True, your world and mine are out of, what we thought all this time, was in our control. But as we keep our focus on the Lord and on what is ACTUAL truth about Today … and what He says about leaning on His promises during times of storm and chaos in our lives,  … we can do something. Learn something. Be transformed to be more like Jesus. Be inspired by the goodness and unity we are seeing amidst the COVID chaos … see our world differently. Be changed. And … share your story about Jesus changing Your life! #JesusChangedMyLife . Invite someone to watch church “with you” tomorrow! Likely they will hear the Word of God, the Gospel and how they may too have the hope, peace and joy you have during the COVID19 chaos!  Email. Text. Pick up the phone! Invite!

  • It is Good Friday, Silent Saturday … and Easter weekend! Invite a friend to your online Good Friday (they or you can go to the replays of these) or Easter Service to hear the good news!  

I believe what the enemy means for evil (Crushing of the church and the spirit of Christians at EASTER … ) will be used for God’s Glory and our good!  May people all around the world SEE Good Friday and Easter Services that would never grace the door of a building! May they hear the Good News of the Gospel online and in creative ways!  Let’s be part of that offering! I am praying for a WORLD WIDE REVIVAL! Join me? 🙂

Two churches I will be listening to Easter Sunday  (and listened to for Good Friday) are:

https://tapestry.online.church/   … the church our son Kyle is one of the pastors for in Oakland, CA

  Our church service for Church in the Canyon.http://www.churchinthecanyon.org/coronavirus-response

Point 3 of 3:  Ideas and Resources I have been collecting which may or may not be helpful in your Stay at Home Journey but I am sharing! (Disclaimer: Most of these links I have vetted … but a few are great resources but do not come from a Christian perspective IE the Serve California Volunteering resource.)

Okay, what CAN we do as we wait and stay at home?

Pray! That is something we can all do from right where we are …including staying at home 😊.

  • I am hosting a CHAT-n-PRAY meeting every Sunday night and Thursday night of April (May … TBA) at 7pm via Zoom. IF YOU ARE INTERESTED in participating email me and I will send you the Meeting ID and the Password!

Here are a couple of GREAT resources I highly recommend:

  •   https://www.navigators.org/covid-19-stories-resources,  (all kinds of great helps here for the Navigator Ministry that I highly respect)
  •   10 specific prayers for responding to coronavirus anxiety: Lindsy Lowry is a missionary in Asia who works with Open Doors, a group committed to serving persecuted Christians. Her experiences have given her unique insights on how the Church can be in prayer during the COVID-19 pandemic. Click HERE to read her helpful and excellent article on prayer!
  •    https://youtu.be/KIvAjX6ns7o   The Gospel Coalition put on a wonderful Prayer HOUR with many Christian Leaders and I highly recommend that you take an hour and pray along with these sisters and brothers. (This is a replay)

Bible Study! Now is a great time to D.I.G. into the Word! Do you have a Bible reading plan or a Bible study that is your “next” study? How about picking it up now?

 CONNECT!  How? Well, maybe pick up the phone, text, email, send a card, send an e-card! Get creative!  Want to see a friendly face? Zoom, Duo, Facetime, Skype are great ways to make that happen!

Make a Mask! if you can for someone you love or join the army helping the medical folks on the front line! (check out Youtube for directions)

Buy from a small business … online!   Let’s support those we can! 

RESCUE A BUNNY!  Perfect time to do so! I highly recommend this rescue! I’ve had an indoor bunny pet years ago and they are super easy to love and train!  Wonderful way to incorporate a new sweet pet into your home and routine.

Volunteer, SERVE, Donate!   Serve at your church. Serve in your neighborhood. Serve in the name of Jesus! Donate to causes on the front line who are serving … there are many.  Including your home church!

Here are a few resources / ideas:  * https://CovenantHouse.org  * https://Serve.ca.gov       * https://HoldtheDoor.com * https://www.samaritanspurse.org/

Take a Personal Retreat! ( I write to you from my coaching practice www.PersonalRetreatCoaching.com!)  What better time than giving yourself a little love?

  • What we put into our hearts, our hearts and our Spirit either feeds our faith or our fear. I think it is great to stay informed (in my opinion …by reputable sources …IE the White House Task Force directly … not social media) but a steady diet of the News, no matter your source, can feed anxiety and fear. Increased anxiety and fear reduces our immune response in our bodies … so make healthy choices not just for your diet but also for your mind, heart and spirit! Keep your immune system strong! (Remember? Put “good content” in our heads.)
  • REST. Recuperate. Be Still.  Spend a day alone with the Lord! Pray. Listen.
  • Sometimes a “retreat” happens before one advances. Take a spiritual retreat!
  • Retreat and … do … what? Well, what we talked about earlier that you have always wanted to do if you had time at home.  Or … get creative and brainstorm!
  • Read DO Something …Make Your Life Count by Miles McPherson  or listen by audio book.
  • Check out this website! https://www.ifgathering.com Lots of ideas and resources
  •  Lent “Blog” by Anne Barbour, amazing vocalist  … (watch the series … speaks to the special needs of Today).  https://youtu.be/neLt4z6rxdM
  •  Listen to Uplifting Worship Music: Keith and Kristyn Getty … Good Friday … https://youtu.be/2Xw2vSZb6dE,        Easter …https://youtu.be/wbcDl_jGGJ4https://youtu.be/wbcDl_jGGJ4
  •  Meaningful Music: * (WOW … perfect for right now!)   Alone Yet Not Alone by Joni Eareckson Tada https://youtu.be/3UR7jxvD5lc and her encouraging Blogs at https://www.joniandfriends.org/help-inspiration/jonis-corner
  • Movies: “I am Patrick:The Patron Saint of Ireland” Very interesting movie/ documentary based on autobiographic information. http://IamPatrick.com,  How about watching Pilgrams Progress? https://www.revelationmedia.com/watchpilgrims/Catalyst/ It’s free right now!
  • Laugh!  The endorphins are very good for you! Watch:Youtube,  read clean joke books or Google jokes, watch old funny reruns or how about watching baby animals online? Or … a cartoon?
  • Learn something new! Great time to branch out and pick up that guitar you need to dust off, take a class online, read!   Color! (Get playful!)
  • Journal your thoughts, ideas, fears, prayers …. Lift them up to the Lord!
  • GREAT book and study right now would be DON’T GIVE UP by Kyle Idleman! Interested in hearing more about this book and DVD study? Email me!  Powerful stuff!

As I bring this rather long coffee time we’ve had together to a close … I wanted to share one more thing. If you know me well you know that I enjoy reading about and studying athletes, entrepreneurs, leaders, military folks etc. who are committed to being at the top of their game, excellent in their craft and disciplined in how they think. Mentally tough.  It is inspiring and encourages me to stretch … out of my comfort zone … in every area of my life.

It has been interesting to me to hear from a variety of these hard-working, very disciplined men and women discussing how these mind sets, that they have developed through hard work and the storms in life they’ve already gone through, have prepared them somewhat for a COVID 19 pandemic.

For example: from “Folds of Honor” this morning … one of the military wounded warriors interviewed shared that three principles have helped him during this time which he developed while adapting to losing his leg during a deployment overseas. 1. He had to accept the new reality 2.  He had to learn to overcome fear 3. He learned that he had become tempered (the heat refined him) and stronger by the struggle of the storm and closer to the Lord.

We can apply those principles to our individual and collective battle with this time of pandemic in our lives.  We can apply striving to be THE BEST we can be for the glory of the Lord … and the good of those around us … right here, right now.

What have you been stirred to DO to help or pray for or change personally or ______(fill in the blank). Stay calm. Assess. Have Courage and Do It! He, the Lord, will give you what you need if He has called you to the task! PS … Courage is not the absence of fear.

Remember to feed the good content in your mind: Read Psalm 91 and …

“Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:5-7

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10 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.” Deuteronomy 31:6 (NIV)

 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33  (NIV)

“If my people who are called by My Name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles7:14

These scripture, Bible studies, podcasts, audio books, talented musical artists and bloggers and praying with friends and family have been some of the ways the Lord has encouraged me during this battle with COVID 19!

Thinking of ways that I can be useful to the Lord while I am maybe not 100% … pretty bandaged and wounded and limping … but I, like you, desire to be ON the Battlefield for the Lord!

  • With that said, if you or another woman you know needs to talk through fears and anxieties of what they are experiencing … or to just pray with the Sister please share my email with them.
  • I am offering a gift of 30 minutes of coaching … it must be scheduled so please email me and let’s get something on the calendar. This IS something I CAN do … it would be my honor. Feel free to contact me or forward this message on to other women you know.

I have been praying for you and your family. May you be safe and well. May we all grow closer to the Lord during this time … and share the love and  eternal hope of Jesus with others so they too can have the peace that passes all understanding from Him.

Blessings,

Kathleen Brooks

Master Certified Christian and Professional Life Coach

Special Certifications: Stress Relief Coaching and Joy Restoration / Christian Grief Coaching

www.PersonalRetreatCoaching.com

Posted in Anxiety, Barbara Rainey, breast cancer, Christian Life Coaching, Church in the Canyon, Corona Virus, Courage, Courage over fear, Courage to Lead, COVID 19, Discipline, Do Something, Easter, Ever Thine Home, Faith over Fear, fear, Focus, Gentle Nudgings, Give Generously, Give Love, Give Time, Grateful, Gratitude, Healthy habits, Isaiah 41:10, Jesus, Jesus was a man of JOY, Jesus will never leave you, Joni and Friends International Disability Ministry, Joni Eareckson Tada, life-storms, Listen Carefully, Listen to God, Listen to people, Love God, Love God! Love Others! Love Yourself!, Navigator Ministry, pain, Peace of God, Persevere, Pray Faithfully, pray for America, Prayer, Prepare don't panic, Prepare for emergencies, Psalm 91, Resurrection, Self discipline, Stress reduction through laughter, Tapestry Oakland Church, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blizzard of 73′, the Corona Virus and Choose Courage, Not Fear

Gentle Nudgings toward COURAGE

… Grab a cup of your favorite coffee or tea …

So … it has been rainy here, I’m watching an update on the Corona Virus and it’s local and national impact. I’m wrapped up in a blanket  with my little Ber at my feet as I sit amazed by the far-reach of this virus. NBA, MLS and others  stop athletic seasons … Disneyland  Park and Universal Studios and others are closing,  travel plans are changing (yep, including mine), and … on and on. It is great that so many privately and corporately are taking serious the need for us all to jointly work together to “flatten the curve” of the rate of spread. Sad it has taken a National (yes, International) emergency for us all to realize we NEED to work together and be kind … but … these are the times we live in.

The last couple of days the thoughts of Preparation for emergencies has certainly ramped up for me … and yesterday I was thinking  a lot about the Blizzard of ’73.

May I share with you a personal story?  As you may or may not know I grew up on a cattle ranch in Southern Colorado / Northern New Mexico.  On the Ranch we were used to snow but … not several FEET of snow all at once! I was in high school at the time and 5 feet of snow dumped on us “on the level” was not something our rural community was ready for.

I remember such things as … my Dad not being able to ride his main “go to” horse “Snooker” to check the stranded cattle as the horse would get high-centered in the snow! I remember the helicopters dropping hay for the stranded cattle so they wouldn’t starve.  Our phone lines were on what was called a “party line” so everyone (a number of families in our area) normally had to take turns using the phone (we had a to share! What a concept! :). During the 3 weeks we were basically trapped in our homes … so every hour on the hour … if anyone wanted to talk, needed help, etc. you could just pick up the phone. 🙂 Kind of like a large ZOOM meeting without the smiling faces!    Oh, so many memories. Too many to share here.

The other major nugget that stands out in my mind was HOW PREPARED my Mom and Dad were to handle this crisis! As a teenager not seeing your friends for weeks surely felt like a crisis! But really we were not in any danger because our parents were prepared. They stayed prepared, as we lived an hour away from the stores, and our family of 8 (6 kids) always had all the food, etc. which we needed. Mom and Dad made it look so easy but they truly thought through what they needed living that far away from grocery stores and doctors and it taught me so much!

In today’s world in Southern California …  the main reason I take the opportunity to prepare is Earthquake preparation. But to prepare for Earthquakes is also the opportunity to prepare for Corona Virus … being inside, hunkered down and ready to stay out of the fray. For example:   I recently organized our “pantry” with the canned foods / soups/ etc.that we have. Yes, I did check my toilet paper stash (and YES the local grocery shelves really were emptied!). Do I have my water in case I needed it and how about meds? What do I have in my freezer? Oops … I need to check my flashlights! No need to hoard … simply, little by little … let’s be prepared, albeit remember, it won’t be needed forever.

In light of this new Corona Virus challenge what CAN we DO?  So … in my DNA because of how and where I was raised … is the desire to “be prepared” and DO Something when faced with a problem. We can play offense! How?  Ideas? Stay healthy! Work to keep our immune system strong! http://my.cbn.com/resources which includes sleep and reduction of stress … how about watching a funny movie? And don’t forget to drink enough water!  Yes,  I can be and stay informed. In that personal discipline … I am playing OFFENSE!

In being prepared I also need to play DEFENSE (can you tell I love basketball and soccer? :).

We need to DEFEND against:

  1. Defend against the virus: Hand washing, disinfect around you, not touching our faces and … social distancing (UGH … I love hugs and hugging!), etc.   Some resources:   https://www.cdc.gov and  https://www.coronavirusnow.com
  2. And … we defend against FEAR! (Isaiah 41:10 “Fear not for I am with you. Be not afraid for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you. I will uphold you with My victorious right hand.”)

How do we defend ourselves from Fear and Panic?  Here are some ideas which I shared with my private clients today:

I know we agree that even though fear is real … we can acknowledge we have it … but the enemy wins if he keeps us paralyzed in fear.  The Lord God is not asleep in the boat. We can trust Him. He is sovereign. We can talk to and pour out our hearts to Him through prayer. We can and should be a testimony of His peace, His calm, His love to those around us … we can take His story gently, courageously to those around us who are frightened. Some people do not have the Holy Spirit and His peace and do not know Jesus personally. And some others who need you (to be calm) are siblings in the Lord but need to be reassured and reminded of His love, His healing, His care.   “COURAGE OVER FEAR.”

  • What we Do and What we Think” is critical right now. (per Lorie Johnson, Health Reporter CBN.com)
  • We can prepare (DO) and we should. We need to rest in the Lord, DO what we can do to prepare, be informed .. and  do not panic.
  • We need to be disciplined to THINK about what the Lord calls us to focus on …remembering  Hebrews 11:1  “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Now is a perfect opportunity to put into practice what we hold onto as Believers. Faith over fear. Yep, we have to intentionally “think on these things” … focus on His promises … and Believe what He says is true. This is an opportunity to showcase that our faith is real. Real not because of who we are but because of WHO He is!
  • Phil. 4:8  (ESV) “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
  • Philippians 4:6-7  (ESV) “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Facts over Fear. Preparedness over Panic. Courage over Comfort.

May I encourage you to read Psalm 91:5-7 and Isaiah 41:10 (my favorite)! 

  • We are in a Battle. This is a war. (Lorie Johnson, CBN Health Reporter)
  • We are in this together. By the grace of God … we can successfully negotiate these turbulent waters … together!
  • This is an opportunity to have the courage to be kind. To reach out within the modes we are able. How about picking up the telephone and checking in on folks? How about mailing an old fashion note of encouragement to someone who may need it? Or … how about spending time texting or emailing a friend (or 2 or 10) and asking how you could pray for them? Or simply asking someone you are standing in line with  (or getting tested by 🙂 how you can pray for them? (Recently I asked that question of a young gal in a doctor’s office … she looked at me and said “Wow. No one has ever asked me that question!”)
  • This is an opportunity to spend more time in prayer and in Bible study!  How about singing to Worship music! How about memorizing your favorite Scripture to have Courage or battle fear and anxiety?
  • How about playing a board game? Clean a closet and prepare a pile to “Give Away”?  How about reading that book  you’ve been putting off as you hunker down and spend more time at home. Do you garden? Watch birds? Sing or play an instrument?
  • Use this time as an opportunity while you are at home. This could reduce your stress and increases the strength of  your immune system! 🙂  See your time at home as a gift instead of a nuisance … it will reduce your stress.
  • And as my Sister-in-Law Emily has encouraged us … that this is a great opportunity as individuals make personal sacrifices to the common good.​ Amen!

Some great resources to bless your heart during this time … we all need our hearts to be calmed … some wise advise from folks I trust:

 https://www.joniandfriends.org/a-calming-word-during-the-coronavirus  (Please watch this great You Tube and read the post by Joni Eareckson Tada)

https://everthinehome.com/in-the-age-of-the-coronavirus-are-we-safe-in-jesus by Barbara Rainey

Sermon series on the book of Job by our Pastor: https://citc.podbean.com

Great blog with perspective: https://yellowballoons.net

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

 And finally … I have an idea

To go along with the declaration from the White House today that this coming Sunday the 15th  of March will be a National Day of Prayer … let’s pray! We can pray from anywhere as a group! (Where 2 or more are gathered …!)

If you would like to join with other women to pray I will be hosting a ZOOM online prayer meeting.  My intention is to host these Zoom meetings 2 times per day as I can. One daytime prayer meeting at 2pm PST and One in the evening at 7pm PST. You would need access to the Internet … best on a laptop or desk monitor.

* Interested in taking part in either of these Prayer Times via ZOOM?

If you are interested in one or the other of the prayer times (or know others who might be) you will need to RSVP by  emailing me. I will send you the Zoom link and the necessary information to partake in this  joint prayer opportunity. Feel free to forward this information to others who pray. 

Remember  Sister … we’re going to get through this. This is temporary.  We have an opportunity to  pray, to give, to grow,  to be kind,  to be generous, to be careful, to be thoughtful, to be prepared and  … to be intentional. We will have opportunities to give God the glory as we journey through this storm. Let’s do it together.

BE COURAGEOUS!  Be safe!  Be intentional. Be surrendered.

Love, prayers and blessings,

Coach Kathleen

www.PersonalRetreatCoaching.com

800 373 1940

Master Certified Professional and Christian Life Coach

“But as for me, I will sing about your power. Each morning I will sing with joy about your unfailing love. For you have been my refuge, a place of safety when I am in distress.”            Psalm 59:16 NLT

Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” NIV

“God has not given you a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind!” 2 Timothy1:7  NKJV

“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you.” – 1 Peter 4:12

_ _ _ _

 “Never be afraid to commit an unknown future to a known God.” Corrie Ten Boom
Posted in Barbara Rainey, Corona Virus, Courage over fear, Ever Thine Home, Faith over Fear, Isaiah 41:10, Jesus will never leave you, Joni Eareckson Tada, Prepare don't panic, Prepare for emergencies, Psalm 91, Uncategorized, YellowBalloons.net | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Beauty, Grace and Perfect Moments

(See below … sweet fruit …. worth the wait! Keep reading :.)

This weekend for Christians around the world is a difficult conundrum emotionally, mentally and spiritually for us to get our heads and hearts around. How do we think deeply about the sacrifice of Christ on the cross, the enormity of the grace and love it required and the level of pain of the crucifixion and the reality of impact of Good Friday on us eternally. We turn around after a couple of days and experience the explosion of  beauty and LIFE and eternity of Christ’s resurrection on Easter Sunday! Wow.

Yesterday, as I did my cherished weekly Grandson-sitting for our 3 little grandsons and while our 2 youngest were napping our oldest grandson and I took a Costco box and under his direction it was “re-created” to be a Dodge Ram “pickup”  even and including the pickup bed and the logo! As we worked the project along I reminded him on numerous occasions that we were having LOTS of fun on this project but it wouldn’t end up “perfect.” The “perfect” image of an end result for a 5 year old doesn’t always occur, right? Well, not JUST exactly like they think in their heads … and that can be frustrating.

Ever felt that way?  I imagine you have. I have.

As I work with women both in coaching and in ministry, as I live out my own life-adventure and study His Word  and as I watch our kids and now grand- kids journey forward … I truly think this is part of the human condition. We tend to expect that what ever WE think is the BEST plan (and all the bells and whistles) to play out JUST the way WE imagine it. Most often we have in mind is what we’d like to happen … just because that is what we want … not because it surrenders to what the Lord has for our lives or that we have developed the habits that will eventually support it (whatever that “it” is).

Sometimes our definition of “Beauty” is “perfection” as we see it in our minds-eye and sometimes maybe we lack of understanding of “Grace” for ourselves, others or life-situations.  Just a thought …

One of the books I have read this year and highly recommend is  H3 Leadership; Be Humble. Stay Hungry. Always Hustle. The book review by Rob Folkenberg says “I love good habits. I hate bad ones. Habits define you. They create who you are and how you live out each day. They shape how you respond in crises. They build or destroy character. As Sean Covey states, ‘We become what we repeatedly do’. So it is with leadership habits. Sometimes our leadership styles develop without deliberate action. But Brad Lomenick (AUTHOR) suggests that by cultivating good leadership habits, we can greatly enhance our effectiveness. His book H3 Leadership is a habit handbook. Lomenick writes in the intro­duction, “Leadership is more than hard work; it is habitual work. It is worked out every day in the tasks we complete, the ways we approach our work, and the rhythms we nurture in our lives. It hangs on the hooks of the patterns we create, not just the success we may stumble upon.”

So in an effort to create “Beauty” in my days/ events /and situations which equates to perfection, does this mean I hold my definition of “beauty” loosely? Do I have grace when things don’t work out just as planned ( IE a Dodge Ram pickup out of a Costco box not looking like the REAL deal? 🙂  Does working toward perhaps the near-beautiful and the near-perfect moments in life take developing good habits with one of those being willing to give that illusive  GRACE when things don’t match my expectation?

Let’s see …

I Plan. I Prepare. I Pray. I Imagine. I Study. I Set Goals. I ____.  And then I am disappointed that I didn’t see what I wanted / planned / hoped for / dreamed / worked toward  … happen. Then as the human conditions goes … I blame God, right?

Notice the common thread above?  “I”

Apparently, that human condition called “sin” which I personally battle not to mention the enemy’s temptations)  has at LEAST in part the fact that  “I” am in the middle of the equation. Perhaps I’m ignoring that GOD needs to be on the throne of my heart instead of me. It is so subtle. My struggle with my own sin nature and against the enemy’s temptations to put my agenda over the Lords’ plan is a reminder that HE is sovereign over my life and all of its parts and pieces and that I need to TRUST Him and keep moving forward!

Do I get to know all about that adventure BEFORE it happens? Nope! I don’t get to plan it “perfectly”, organize it specifically, arrange it just-so, etc. We get to “walk by faith and not by sight!” What could be more of an adventure?

We believe in Good Friday and Easter and then we sometimes live like … we don’t.

I need to discipline my thoughts, actions, words and heart to TRUST that He has gone before me. He died for me. He rose from the grave for me. And I can and need to TRUST Him on this side of Heaven whether or not life goes perfectly as I had planned. (Jeremiah 29:11) It is HIS plan for my life that plays out every day and I need to hold “my plans” loosely with an open-hand policy ever to be ready to swivel on a dime and make the adjustments to my day that HE calls out! I also need to put into place habits (IE spiritual disciplines) which exhibit my desire to live out my life to the best of my ability to use my gifts and talents for His glory.

But wait …

Some times we feel like we ARE following Him and we plant seeds and water, water, water, fertilize, water … weed. And … WAIT for an eternity to see the “fruit”! We wonder if we heard the Lord correctly as we think we are following Him. We tire of the waiting process. We are tempted to til up the whole ground again and start over because what we planted is not perfectly coming up as the wee plants-of-life which we expected.  “But Lord … it isn’t ‘Beautiful!”

But WAIT!  Don’t touch that rake! Leave the hoe alone! No shoveling! WAIT! Remember Grace! Be humble before Him! Look for the beauty by His definition and the perfect moments tucked in!

  • Psalm 27:14 Wait on the LORD. Be courageous, and he will strengthen your heart. Wait on the LORD!
  • James 4:10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
  • Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.
  • 1Peter 5:6  Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time

Yesterday … I saw the fruit of labor. A “perfect moment” … created by God Himself.

I witnessed the fruit of the labor of the  many hours of love, teaching and the training our son and daughter-in-law have poured into their children. They are joined with the encouragement, prayers and cheering-on-in-the-faith of us 2 sets of grandparents, Great Grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, dear Christian friends and of their church and  of the ministry of the Christian school which our 5 year old grandson attends.

It took my breath away. A perfect, beautiful, grace-filled moment!

I watched as our oldest 2 grandsons opened up their children’s Bible in front of them on the dining room table. Our oldest grandson eagerly and carefully reading the WORD of God to his younger brother who was on the literal edge of his seat.  I heard them recounting what their parents had read to them … the Easter story … with wonder in their eyes! Oh my … the fruit was dripping from the tree of LIFE, delicious, yummy and abundant. All the planting, watering, weeding, nourishing  and waiting in all the years, in all the ways …. can’t replace those perfect moments of wonder and Beauty.

Humanly we plant, water, nourish, weed and WAIT … and ultimately we know the fruit is dependent on His timing and the Grace of God working in and through lives. WOW.  We are called to DO what the Holy Spirit calls us to DO in the situation … but the beauty, the grace and the perfect moments are delivered by HIM in His timing and in His ways.

 

Oh … when the fruit comes … and He promises it will and it DOES … it has MUCH more BEAUTY tucked in it than we expect.  Plus, it is FULL of grace for all the moments, good and bad or  big and small that accompany people, dreams and goals.

Easter is the promise of eternal LIFE  because of the death and resurrection of Jesus!  It is His free gift to us. And along with it, as we live out our lives in love and obedience to Him, we encounter true BEAUTY  and  all the grace we need to TRUST Him when we cannot understand or control our past, present or future. The perfect moments of mysterious delight come like a kiss from Heaven. Wow.

It turns out that our lives and our plans don’t have to be “perfect”  …. just like that Dodger Ram truck our grandson and I  made out a Costco box, tape, string, chop sticks and paper plates. It is “cooler” than we could’ve imagined.

THAT is our God!

May we REST  in His mighty hands  … rest against His mighty hand of love  … nail-scarred and all. We can trust Him to deliver a plethora of beauty, grace and perfect moments in His perfect time. Let’s keep LOOKING for them!

May your Easter be BLESSED, beautiful and grace-filled,

Kathleen Brooks

Master Certified Christian and Professional Life Coach

www.PersonalRetreatCoaching.com

 

 

Posted in Ask questions, Be Happy, Beauty, Bible, Care Deeply, Children make you smile!, Christian Life Coaching, Christian Life coaching, Courage, Courage to Lead, Crucifixion, Discipline, Do Something, Easter, Gentle Nudgings, Grace, Grateful, Gratitude, H3 Leadership, harvest, Healthy habits, Hope, Jesus, Jesus was a man of JOY, Life Coaching, live forward, Living Forward, Love Affectionately, Love God, Love God! Love Others! Love Yourself!, memories, Perfect Moments, Thankfulness, Trust God, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Merry Christmas!

Gentle Nudgings from Personal Retreat Coaching

It is here! Whoo hoo! May I be the first to wish you a wonderful Christmas day of celebration as it is just after midnight on December 25th in California!

As I write to you instrumental Christmas music is playing in the background, my little Morkie “Ber” (Bear) is at my feet and   I am reflecting on God’s great blessings! You are one of those tender blessings in my life from the Lord!

This is the perfect time of year to spend some time resting and reflecting on the year past; God’s blessings big and little, what we have learned from the storms and painful part of our year and with open hands and hearts asking for God’s plans for our new year.

Having thankful hearts for His Grace over our last year is pivotal to moving forward.  And … of course the very roots of our faith … celebrating Jesus coming to earth as our Messiah is truly “the reason for the season” but in today’s cultural push toward materialism we honestly need to FOCUS and keep Jesus CENTRAL to our Christmas celebrations.

Jesus is the Messiah … our Savior. Sent by God the Father to save us from our sins. The Bible says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16)  Is it not AMAZING that He would love us so much that He was willing to come from His Heavenly throne to give us the opportunity for eternal life? Wow. Staggering to think about … impossible to get my head around, how about you?

And out of our gratefulness for His love … it draws us to desire to GROW in Him and know Him more deeply through His Word, to serve Him (and be fruitful) by using the gifts He has given us for His glory!  The coming year can be a year of GROWTH forward if we seek Him in prayer, read and study His Word … and live forward!

What Bible study will you be working through in 2018? Being proactive is imperative.

We can leave a legacy and have an influence toward godliness to the next generation. Let’s do!

Let’s be intentional in 2018! What is your growth strategy?

Merry Christmas!

“10 Questions to Seeking to Cultivate a Meaningful Holiday Season” are questions from a coaching newsletter I subscribe to with the International Christian Coaching Association.

These are stellar questions and I wanted to pass them directly on to you! These excellent reflection questions about  stopping and really being intentional about Christmas as well as putting the new year of 2018 into perspective are good journaling ideas!

  1. “What does the holiday season mean to you?
  2. What holiday traditions hold significant personal meaning to you? What holiday traditions hold significant personal meaning to your family?
  3. What do you struggle with and what causes you pain during the holiday season? The memory of a loved one who has passed? Unmet expectations? Disappointment in family relationships and friendships?
  4. Are there Scriptures, books or worship songs specific to the holiday season that encourage you?
  5. Years from now, how would you like to be able to describe the 2017 Christmas season?
  6. Are there events on your calendar that detract, instead of add, to the meaning of Christmas?
  7. If you expect to receive gifts during the Christmas season, do you need to declutter or donate some items to avoid accumulating too many possessions?
  8. How are your health and wellness goals impacted by the Christmas season? What do you feel you need to improve—accountability, grace, a plan?
  9. Are there friends or family members you would like to reconnect with during the holiday season?
  10. What elements of the holidays cause you undue stress? What are some ways you can reduce that stress?”

I want to thank you for the opportunity to serve you this year whether that was through praying with or for you, coaching you forward in courage  Mam-to-Mam or in Bootcamp Classes, blogging and “Gently Nudging” you along your journey or through speaking events.  It is a privilege which I count a true honor and blessing from the Lord. Thank you!

May you feel the presence of the Holy Spirit in new and fresh ways that surprise you this Christmas and may you eagerly move forward in your calling in 2018 using your gifts and talents to glorify Him!

Mary God Bless you, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Kathleen Brooks

Master Certified Christian (MCCLC) and Professional Life Coach

www.PersonalRetreatCoaching.com

Posted in Bible, Christian Life Coaching, Christmas, Courage, Focus, Gentle Nudgings, Grateful, Gratitude, Jesus, Life Coaching, life-storms, Prayer, Thankfulness, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Autumn, Breast Cancer and the Need for Prayer

 We have colorful, wonderful times of life. We have tough, tragic times in life. For me October represents both beauty and tragedy with lots of memories tucked in my heart.

In the past number of months there has been an untold number of individuals and cities and families and countries touched by tragedy from hurricanes and earthquakes, floods, a shooting massacre in Las Vegas, terrorist attacks and now fires with untold damage and destruction to lives and loss of life.

And as life journeys go … we as individuals over the years find ourselves battered by challenges in relationships, health, finances, careers and more. We find ourselves needing support and prayer.

Well, on a personal note … we need prayer. Our precious Moms both have health challenges. My Mom-in-love (Mother-in-law 🙂 has been dealing with  a bad case of painful shingles.  And my Mom has joined a community none of us chooses … one that breaks my heart but I am part of. My Mom has this week been diagnosed with breast cancer.  We ask you to pray for both our Moms and for my dear father-in-love as he cares for and loves his wife of 65 years.

 

October …  is a month that is known for being a Breast Cancer Awareness month urging women (and men) to get potentially life-saving mammograms. Yes, a mammogram saved my life once. Have you had yours this year?

October brings  the glimmers of autumn.  The colors begin to explode in golds, yellows, oranges and reds.  The cool breezes and crisp cool air kisses my cheeks when I walk my little Morkie in the evenings now … I delight in the rich scents of Fall!

Memories are SUCH an important piece of our lives on this side of heaven!

Good memories as well as hard memories are part of our stories.

Memories of Autumn often drift back to me at this time of year. Memories of the family drives as a young girl to Monument Lake “to see the Fall colors” and have a picnic. Memories of hearing the elk bugling in the Rocky Mountains, or the geese honking overhead as I walked to Fall classes at Colorado State University or football games as part of the CSU “Flag Team.” Memories of cheering at hundreds of Fall soccer games as a Mom for our boys, or our Leaf-Peeping Tour in the North East through 10 states with family or seeing the Alaskan autumn from a cruise ship.

I am alll about “all things Pumpkin” and our local Harvest Festival at Underwood Farms is now one of my favorite traditions with our family. Watching our little grandsons  experience their “country roots” in the delight of the theme of Harvest Festival (with zero Halloween influence) is a DELIGHT to this Granma! This year was no exception! We listened to country music as we ate Carne Asada tacos at wooden tables with  gingham picnic table cloths. We giggled through a maze in a field of corn stalks (and got “Corn-fused”), we cheered at the pig races (for the pig in red scarf :), we watched the boys drive the pint-sized green tractors around and around a dirt corral, ate cool and welcomed flavored shaved ice, shot corn cobs out of air cannons and played pumpkin bowling. There was much more to do that we didn’t do this year but we DID tuck lots of great memories away … again!

October also brings reminders of other memories in my life .. and for millions of other women … not so pleasant memories. October is breast cancer awareness month.  Having had the battle with cancer 4 times now all the pink color and support in many ways raises memories for me that are tough.  I’ve had surgeries, I’ve had radiation, I’ve had chemo. I have scars.   I have memories.

Yes, I have memories. Tough ones. Scary ones.

Some were terrifying.

I also have memories that surprised me. Memories of sweet miracles gifted me from God. Memories of delightful friends that I met who were also battling cancer. Memories of kindness from family and friends in my neighborhood and church and our circle of business friends and  from our kids schools … the flood of love was overwhelming. Memories of committed and kind and highly competent medical folks.  Memories of walking in 2 Avon Walks Against Cancer  for a total of 78.6 miles in the Santa Barbara area with hundreds and hundreds of women … a pink RIVER of walkers … and then being celebrated as a survivor by a battalion of other cancer warriors and  a few  of my precious family.

.

During some of the TOUGHEST times in my personal life I had both tough and tender memories. Isn’t that the way that it is with those days or weeks of tragic and hard times in our lives … God shows up and reminds us that we have much to be grateful for as well.

And (COACHING MOMENT) … we get to choose on what to focus.  We need to discipline our minds … The “D” word.  Yes, discipline. Focus. It is work. It is important work.

My take aways from being a cancer warrior and survivor:

  • I can choose to focus on how ugly the scars are OR I can choose to focus on the scars as PROOF  POSITIVE that the Lord allowed me to survive yet another battle.
  • I can choose to focus on the fear and the tough memories OR I can choose to focus on the BEAUTY the Lord showed me within what was a personal hurricanes and firestorms in my life.
  • I can choose to focus on what I lost OR I can choose to focus on how I can use this (whatever situation) for His glory in some way and give thanks!

 I get to choose. You get to choose.

Yes, we  do need to allow ourselves the time to grieve through  and learn from  our history … even the painful parts. But then … we need to look forward and choose to focus on how we CAN live forward because with the Lord we certainly CAN live forward!  (Great resource! https://livingforwardbook.com)

 

Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”ESV

 

THREE  RESOURCES for you to consider to help you or those you love move forward through cancer or other tragic life events (they apply!):

1) From http://www.joniandfriends.org/store/product/diagnosed-breast-cancer

Cancer warrior and survivor,   Joni Eareckson Tada in her booklet Diagnosed with Breast Cancer: Life After Shock reminds us that, “Cancer is a word that can curdle the blood. For years it was labeled a terminal disease. But the good news is that thanks to improvements in treatment and early detection, millions of women survive breast cancer today. . . . Yes, it is a battle. You are in the battle of your life (for your life), but there is hope. . . . Even though you may feel as I once did—overwhelmed and fainthearted—you can find courage. It’s possible. I discovered wonderful anchors for my soul that buoyed my spirits during the rough days and beyond. With Jesus Christ, there is always hope.”

Joni’s website has a number of helps for grief and pain and challenges of all sorts.  An excellent set of pamphlets which cover many challenges is http://www.joniandfriends.org/store/product/encouragement-pamphlet-assortment

2) From http://www.musicforthesoul.org/resources/more-beautiful     

More Beautiful

(I was invited to write their Discussion Guide / Bible study to be used with the DVD and was honored to do so on a Pro Bono Basis)

  • Music for the Soul Ministry is “a Christian ministry using the power of songs and stories as a bridge to hope and healing for those facing life’s most difficult issues.” (Please check out their many helpful resources for many of life’s difficult times.)
  • About More Beautiful “Created from the real life stories of breast cancer survivors this DVD and CD set is support and encouragement for the woman going through breast cancer and provides understanding for the husband and family who love her. NEW! A Discussion Guide is now available! Written by Kathleen Brooks, Master Certified Christian Life Coach; A unique resource for women’s groups, small groups, families, counselors; includes a section for men and caregivers, and a section for young women battling cancer. The DVD includes interviews with breast cancer survivors, ‘Wildest Ride on Earth’ music video, and other behind-the-scenes footage. The CD includes songs, poetry, and an affirmation.”
In summary,  we get to choose some things in life, right? We can choose to focus on memories that help us and that help others and prayerfully ask the Lord to use us as a blessing to others that are hurting.  Let’s do so!  Doing something takes courage … and the Lord will give us the courage  we need to reach out and “DO” what He calls us to.

Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” NIV

  • It occurred to me how GRATEFUL I now am that I have gone through both shingles and breast cancer. At minimum I have an inkling of what our Moms are feeling … and regarding cancer … I have MUCH more education than I ever wanted. Who knew it would be necessary “for such a time as this”?
  •  Looking back now I am SO GRATEFUL that I have gone through this journey so that I can help more women that I love!  “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.” Genesis 50:20 NASB

PS … please remember to pray for our Moms and Dad … and the many others who are hurting for so many reasons. I join you.

 

 

Blessings,

Coach Kathleen

Master Certified Christian Life Coach

(Specialty Certifications include Joy Restoration and Grief Coaching, Wellness Coaching and Stress Relief Coaching)

www.PersonalRetreatCoaching.com

Posted in Autumn, Be Happy, Beyond Suffering Bible, Bible, breast cancer, Cancer, Care Deeply, Christian Life Coaching, Christian Life coaching, Courage, Discipline, Do Something, Fall, fear, Focus, Gentle Nudgings, Grateful, harvest, Joni and Friends International Disability Ministry, Life Coaching, life-storms, live forward, LIVE JOYFULLY, Living Forward, Margaret Feinberg, memories, Michael Hyatt, pain, Pray Faithfully, pray for America, Pray for Las Vegas, Prayer, Self discipline, shingles, Thankfulness, Trust God, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Another tragic day in history. How do we respond?

October 2, 2017

I am mourning with you as yet again we have another horrific tragic day in history in our world and … specifically in our country. We have had back to back to back reasons to take our prayer to the Lord in support of many people around the world and in our country and yes … in our families and close friends. In the past few months we have seen multiple terrorist attacks around the world, multiple Class 3-5 hurricanes on and off our shores bringing unprecedented flooding and devastation, deadly earthquakes, huge political unrest, threats of nuclear war, raging fires, etc.

And today we heard again ….  more grief and mourning. Horror in Las Vegas. Shock of  yet another massacre.

Last night was the worst mass shooting in our nation’s history killing 59 and over 525 + injured at a Country Western Music Festival Event.  I love country music … I grew up on a ranch and still have family raising kids and cattle there on the ranch as we have for generations. My husband and I had briefly looked into attending this festival event ourselves.

Did you know anyone there?

I did … both personally and indirectly.

Those I know personally are forever impacted but physically okay.  I praise God that they are okay.

Both of my daughter-in-laws had people important in their lives at the concert. One had a dear, life-long friend attending the concert  and our other daughter-in-law had an extended family-member-by-marriage in the concert. We had a nephew and his sweet wife in a casino in Las Vegas that was evacuated just down the road.

As a follower-of-Christ, a Christian Life Coach and a passionate Irish-heritage woman I want to share two  important issues  which I have been praying about and studying on in the Word:

  •  ENOUGH already. Enemy containment! The enemy of God is pressing in on many sides … working through the evil actions of some depraved and wicked people.  How do we impact this CHAOS?  Simply … we need to PRAY.  Yes, that IS something we can and should do! Together! In Ephesians 6: 10-19 the Holy Spirit reminds us of the Lord’s directive to “Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.”(verse 11)  and in verse 18 and 19 He tells us “With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petitions for all the saints,  and pray.” Check out my BLOG on prayer (June 10, 2016) on prayer for ideas and resources which can be useful! Prayer can and does matter as we come together to the Father at the Throne.

We need to FIGHT the enemy of God together daily by praying for Revival in America! Instead of being haphazard in our prayer lives let’s commit together to be laser focused and disciplined!

“If we fight the Lord’s battles merely by duplicating the way the world does its work, we are like little boys playing with wooden sword pretending they are in the battle while their big brothers are away in some distant bloody land.”    Francis Schaeffer

Country Music Star John Rich, from Big and Rich, who had just performed prior to the last singer Jason Aldean said today “People say ‘our thoughts and prayers are with you.’ You ACTUALLY need to pray. You ACTUALLY need to speak to the Lord and ask Him to bring comfort …”

  •  We need PEACE. God’s peace. Is it available in all this chaos? Absolutely. Even when we are mourning, grieving, hurting, angry, in fear, confused. Peace is not something we can conjure up. It is a gift from God Himself.

John 14: 27  “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”

Philippians 4:6-7 (ESV)do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

The peace of God which passes all understanding is given to us as we pray, as we give thanks for His blessings which reminds us … and  communicates to the Lord … that we trust Him (even when we don’t “understand” what is happening around us).  Let’s stay in His Word sweet Sister …

Those who love Your law have great peace,
And nothing causes them to stumble.  Psalm 119:165

Coaching Moment!

  • In today’s chaos we are so focused on the chaos … sometimes I think the enemy steals our peace by keeping us focused on the chaos INSTEAD of praying, giving thanks and re-focusing our thoughts on the sovereignty of the Lord and appreciating that we can go to the Holy One of Israel, the Lord God, with our requests.  We need to take our eyes off the chaos  … and turn them towards our Heavenly Father in PRAYER.

James 5:16 “16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.

Coaching Moment:

  • Let’s commit to PRAY. Proactively. Disciplined. Daily.
  • Let’s focus on His Word and on giving the Lord glory as we use our gifts.
  • Let’s share the HOPE we have because of of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus and His work in our lives.
  • Let’s share that PEACE is available when you know the Lord and surrender to Him in prayer, with thanksgiving.   

DOSES OF COURAGE from real- life-heroes

Along with you I have been wowed and impressed by the stories of selfless heroism and compassion by the average person and first responders which we have seen in so many of these tragedies and natural disasters.

On our ABC7 News tonight in an interview with Elex Michaelson a gentleman from Temecula,CA  who had been at the concert with his family, Frank Lechuga calmly said with tears in his eyes, “People talk about division in this country … the amount of people who came through yesterday of all races and types of people got together. We’re all one people. Everybody was there to take care of everybody. It was really cool to see.”

Their courage has given me courage.

Courage to DO SOMETHING. Let’s start with prayer and … then let’s DO SOMETHING.

* What is the Lord laying on your heart “TO DO?” (Want to share it with me?)

Quote to Consider:  “A Christian should be a striking likeness of Jesus Christ. If we were what we profess to be and what we should be, we would be pictures of Christ. We are to imitate Him so closely that the world will have no doubt we have been with Jesus.”      Charles Spurgeon

Praying with you for all the victims and their loved ones … of this horrific event  in Las Vegas … as well as all the others over the last months.

Let’s stay in His Word, keeping our feet on Him as our foundation so that WHEN the storms come (and they will) that the TRUTH of God’s Word will be buried so deeply in our hearts that it helps us weather the storm … and helps us help others weather the storms they encounter as well.

Isaiah 41:10 “fear not, for I am with you;
    be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Blessings … and love,

Coach Kathleen

Master Certified Christian Life Coach

www.PersonalRetreatCoaching.com

 

Posted in Bible, Big and Rich Country Music, Care Deeply, Christian Life Coaching, Christian Life coaching, Courage, Do Something, fear, Gentle Nudgings, Hope, Jesus, John Rich, Leadership, Life Coaching, life-storms, Love God! Love Others! Love Yourself!, pain, Peace of God, Persevere, Pray Faithfully, pray for America, Pray for Las Vegas, Prayer, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Another tragic day in history. How do we respond?

I am mourning with you as yet again we have another horrific tragic day in history in our world and … specifically in our country. We have had back to back to back reasons to take our prayer to the Lord in support of many people around the world and in our country and yes … in our families and close friends. In the past few months we have seen multiple terrorist attacks around the world, multiple Class 3-5 hurricanes on and off our shores bringing unprecedented flooding and devastation, deadly earthquakes, huge political unrest, threats of nuclear war, raging fires, etc.

And today we heard again ….  more grief and mourning. Horror in Las Vegas. Shock of  yet another massacre.

Last night was the worst mass shooting in our nation’s history killing 59 and over 525 + injured at a Country Western Music Festival Event.  I love country music … I grew up on a ranch and still have family raising kids and cattle there on the ranch as we have for generations. My husband and I had briefly looked into attending this festival event ourselves.

Did you know anyone there?

I did … both personally and indirectly.

Those I know personally are forever impacted but physically okay.  I praise God that they are okay.

Both of my daughter-in-laws had people important in their lives at the concert. One had a dear, life-long friend attending the concert  and our other daughter-in-law had an extended family-member-by-marriage in the concert (and her friends). We had a precious nephew and his sweet wife in a casino in Las Vegas that was evacuated just down the road.

As a follower-of-Christ, a Christian Life Coach and a passionate Irish-heritage woman I want to share two  important issues  which I have been praying about and studying on in the Word:

  •  ENOUGH already. Enemy containment! The enemy of God is pressing in on many sides … working through the evil actions of some depraved and wicked people.  How do we impact this CHAOS?  Simply … we need to PRAY.  Yes, that IS something we can and should do! Together! In Ephesians 6: 10-19 the Holy Spirit reminds us of the Lord’s directive to “Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.”(verse 11)  and in verse 18 and 19 He tells us “With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petitions for all the saints,  and pray.” Check out my BLOG on prayer (June 10, 2016) on prayer for ideas and resources which can be useful! Prayer can and does matter as we come together to the Father at the Throne.

We need to FIGHT the enemy of God together daily by praying for Revival in America! Instead of being haphazard in our prayer lives let’s commit together to be laser focused and disciplined!

“If we fight the Lord’s battles merely by duplicating the way the world does its work, we are like little boys playing with wooden sword pretending they are in the battle while their big brothers are away in some distant bloody land.” Francis Schaeffer

Country Music Star John Rich, from Big and Rich, who had just performed prior to the last singer Jason Aldean said today “People say ‘our thoughts and prayers are with you.’ You ACTUALLY need to pray. You ACTUALLY need to speak to the Lord and ask Him to bring comfort …”

  •  We need PEACE. God’s peace. Is it available in all this chaos? Absolutely. Even when we are mourning, grieving, hurting, angry, in fear, confused. Peace is not something we can conjure up. It is a gift from God Himself.

John 14: 27  “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”

Philippians 4:6-7 (ESV)do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

The peace of God which passes all understanding is given to us as we pray, as we give thanks for His blessings which reminds us … and  communicates to the Lord … that we trust Him (even when we don’t “understand” what is happening around us).  Let’s stay in His Word sweet Sister …

Those who love Your law have great peace,
And nothing causes them to stumble.  Psalm 119:165

Coaching Moment!

  • In today’s chaos we are so focused on the chaos … sometimes I think the enemy steals our peace by keeping us focused on the chaos INSTEAD of praying, giving thanks and re-focusing our thoughts on the sovereignty of the Lord and appreciating that we can go to the Holy One of Israel, the Lord God, with our requests.  We need to take our eyes off the chaos  … and turn them towards our Heavenly Father in PRAYER.

James 5:16 “16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.

Coaching Moment!

  • Let’s commit to PRAY. Proactively. Disciplined. Daily.
  • Let’s focus on His Word and on giving the Lord glory as we use our gifts.
  • Let’s share the HOPE we have because of of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus and His work in our lives.
  • Let’s share that PEACE is available when you know the Lord and surrender to Him in prayer, with thanksgiving.   

DOSES OF COURAGE from real- life-heroes:

Along with you I have been wowed and impressed by the stories of selfless heroism and compassion by the average person and first responders which we have seen in so many of these tragedies and natural disasters.

On our ABC7 News tonight in an interview with Elex Michaelson a gentleman from Temecula,CA  who had been at the concert with his family, Frank Lechuga calmly said with tears in his eyes, “People talk about division in this country … the amount of people who came through yesterday of all races and types of people got together. We’re all one people. Everybody was there to take care of everybody. It was really cool to see.”

Their courage has given me courage.

Courage to DO SOMETHING. Let’s start with prayer and … then let’s DO SOMETHING.

* What is the Lord laying on your heart “TO DO?” (Want to share it with me?)

Quote to Consider:  “A Christian should be a striking likeness of Jesus Christ. If we were what we profess to be and what we should be, we would be pictures of Christ. We are to imitate Him so closely that the world will have no doubt we have been with Jesus.”      Charles Spurgeon

Praying with you for all the victims and their loved ones … of this horrific event  in Las Vegas … as well as all the others over the last months.

Let’s stay in His Word, keeping our feet on Him as our foundation so that WHEN the storms come (and they will) that the TRUTH of God’s Word will be buried so deeply in our hearts that it helps us weather the storm … and helps us help others weather the storms they encounter as well.

Isaiah 41:10 “fear not, for I am with you;
    be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Blessings … and love,

Coach Kathleen

Master Certified Christian Life Coach

www.PersonalRetreatCoaching.com

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Easter. Wrapping our arms around life here and with Jesus!

Gentle Nudgings from Personal Retreat Coaching April, 2017

YOU matter. Yes, you … to Jesus and to me! We all yearn to know that, right? It is innate.  It’s built into our DNA.

Jesus SHOWED us we matter  because we have Good Friday and Easter!

As our precious two year old grandson Zane would say with arms raised as high as his little arms will go … “TADA!!” 

I am writing to you from my favorite writing chair enjoying the sunshine pouring through the window, wind chimes gently tinkling in the back ground. Spring is here and after some 30 inches of rain the grass is Ireland green, the hills have a blanket of yellow wild mustard blossoms and the dwarf orange tree is covered with sweet yummy fragrant blossoms. Some amazing blessings have occurred since I last shared on Gentle Nudgings and some really hard losses have happened.

I have watched God move in many more ways than can be shared here today through dance-and-skip-with-Me-see-I-told-you-I’m-still-alive    God-moments and pain-beyond-what-you-think-you-might-bear events with others I care deeply for and for my own heart.

How is it that we can hold things in such tension with our hearts full of joy and pain simultaneously?

How can we hold things in Juxtapositions in life or just in our hearts?

For example: Celebrating the  amazing BLESSING of being a granma to another sweet teensy baby boy this Spring! (see the photo below I promised!)

New grandson!

And the  deep heart pain of grieving the loss of my dear cousin Judy two short weeks ago to an extremely rare and hard-fought cancer.

Such conflicting emotions … yet I can both love and celebrate our darling little Mason’s arrival and mourn the passing of an amazing, graceful woman I loved and admired.  We can do both … and I am.

Another juxtaposition this weekend:

  • How can we reflect on the depth of our own personal sin and the COST of that sin today on Good Friday and  what it means regarding how MUCH He, Jesus Christ, loved YOU and loved me in order to die for us … not mentioning how He died.
  • Then comes EASTER! And He broke the bonds of death so that YOU and I,  as His followers, could LIVE! WOW. He walked OUT of the grave and “TADA (!!)” He had RISEN FROM THE DEAD!  The stone was rolled away from a tomb and it was empty! (Matthew 28:1-4)

Apologist Jonathon Morrow (jonathanmorrow.org) said on a recent interview on I watched on CBN.com “So when it comes to the Resurrection, we say ‘Well, how do we know Jesus existed?’ Some people even doubt that.  The fact is, we have far more sources for Jesus of Nazareth than we do for many historical figures in the first century.  We have at least 18. Twelve of those are non-Christian sources. There’s more evidence Jesus existed than Julius Caesar. Anyone doubt Caesar existed?” “Jesus appeared to hundreds of people after His death and resurrection in numerous places for over seven weeks after His crucifixion.” And … lives were changed … remember the cowards who would not admit to being His disciples? They were filled with the Holy Spirit after Jesus ascended to Heaven and they were given boldness and power to accompany the free gift of the Holy Spirit! They were then willing with boldness to “proclaim a risen Messiah they were willing to be tortured and die for.”

So … today as we try and get our heads and hearts around what Jesus was willing to do for us in dying an unimaginably cruel death … we can and should also eagerly look forward to celebrating EASTER  in two days and Him rising from the dead so that we can have eternal life!  When we do grieve (and we all will) we don’t grieve as if “we have no hope.” This promise is ONLY because of Jesus … His life, His death and His resurrection. We have much to be grateful for!

John 16:14 “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” ESV

1 Thessalonians 4:12-14 “But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.” ESV

We all have the opportunity to know that great promise and to have the certainty of eternal life it gives us. 

See! “Tada!” YOU matter!

Yes, I matter too … may I share a precious example and personal story from this week?

As I babysat our grandsons on Wednesday our oldest grandson, just now 5 years old, after a long discussion filled with questions about his Uncle Nathan (our first son who went to be with Jesus at 1.5 years old) said,

“Granma! You’re old … older than me … so you’ll probably die before me. Right?” To which I answered “Yes … but I’ll save a place in Heaven and I’ll be watching  and waiting for you!” Then my precious little  Jayden answered “Well Granma … I’m going to miss you when you’re dead!” And he scampered off to play! My heart swelled with love and my eyes filled with tears as I called after him “I’ll miss you too!”

I guess since I’ve experienced cancer four times now … those tender words from one of our grandsons all of which I can honestly tell you I’d give my life for … delivered a much needed kiss-to-my-heart. Wow. My life mattered. Wow. Someone would miss me.

Wow … we have the ability to know FOR SURE that we (yes, Jayden and I and YOU and I)  will see each other again and live forever because we MATTER to God the Father, to Jesus Christ His Son and to the Holy Spirit … His free gift given to us as Believers in Him. WOW.  Isn’t that something? Wow!       

With that in mind as you think about Good Friday and the crucifixion of Christ for you and for me … and celebrate the RESURRECTION of Jesus on Easter Sunday  …. please know that I join you in that celebration!  I look forward to seeing you both on this side of Heaven AND the other side!

Hey sweet Sister if I go before you … I’ll be watching for you! 🙂

Have a blessed Easter! YOU matter … to Jesus and to me!

Coach Kathleen

Master Certified Christian and Professional Life Coach

www.PersonalRetreatCoaching.com

The Cross

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