Category Archives: Reflection

Lesson 2: Be Careful What You Say to God

Lesson 2: Be careful what you say to God

Lately, my life has been overwhelming, dissolving, renewing and reshaping – and above all, chock full of learning. This series of posts is all about sharing that learning with you, and in return, I hope you share your life learning with me. (click here to read the intro post)

The trip to Ethiopia was set; I was going.  I listened to the Spirit and followed the call.  I had no idea why I was going, or how God would use me.

I felt peaceful and open to learning. I wasn’t worried, or needing to control anything.  It felt like I had achieved a transcendence about it all – and was able to just sit in a place of faith.  I liked that space.  I soaked in it like a warm lavender-scented bath.

And then I said, “God, I just want to trust you.”

Um, wait. God, can I take that back?I meant I would trust God in Ethiopia.  I would trust that my path would unfold, and that I would be useful, I would learn, and I would be a light while I was there.

I had everything at home taken care of, thank you very much. My coaching business was coming together, I had a great place to live with my best friend, I was going back to school again to build my skills – I had everything mapped out and planned.

Right on my desktop calendar.

only in EthiopiaBut then when life at home started falling apart, I started to fall apart too.  I started to get overwhelmed at everything crumbling down around me. I tried to hold things together, make more plans, figure out more solutions. Why was all of this happening?

And then I realized – I had told God that I would trust, but I wasn’t trusting. Not with everything. Not with my future, my plans, my best friend.  I wanted to be the one in control of those pieces of my life.

Lesson 2: Be careful what I say to God

When I tell God that I want to just trust, to just listen and follow His lead, that means in everything.  I can’t just pick and choose what I will trust God with in my life.

When you tell God that you want to trust Him, be prepared.

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Lesson 1 – Listening to the Spirit

Lesson 1: Listening to the SpiritLately, my life has been overwhelming, dissolving, renewing and reshaping – and above all, chock full of learning. This series of posts is all about sharing that learning with you, and in return, I hope you share your life learning with me. (click here for intro post)


As I try to identify the first lesson in all of this, I find myself continually backing up in my story.  What I intended as lesson one will now probably be lesson 4 or 27 – and maybe that’s because I’m still learning it. And while I could possibly back up to childhood with the lessons I’m learning, I will start with last year, and this clear moment of listening to the Spirit.

About a year ago, my friend Rudy, who runs a short-term missions organization called Bula, asked me to go on a trip with her to Ethiopia.  She was scouting the location to take a team in the future, and connecting with a local organization that works with orphans and widows, called Bring Love In. She had been asked to do a bit of training with widowed women who are now moms to the orphans in “forever families.”

Rudy asked me to join her. I couldn’t recall her ever asking me directly to do a trip with her before, and that made me take note. I asked her several times how she thought I would be an asset, and she gave me vague-yet-encouraging answers about my skills with training and coaching, and just knew I would be helpful.

Unsettling… but hmmm.

You see, mission trips aren’t really “my thing.” I like the idea of going to other places and helping people, but I get a little leary of the helping-people-in-order-to-convert-them concept that can be prevalent in missions work. Rudy knows this about me, so I had to trust that she really believed this particular trip would be a fit.  So I prayed.

And the Spirit whispered, “Go.  See what happens. Learn.”

Listening to the SpiritI like to think that I’ve listened to the Spirit many times in my life. I’ve quit jobs without new ones lined up; I’ve turned down jobs that didn’t feel right.  I’ve gone back to school now a couple of times, feeling lead to learn something new.

And all of that has brought me to where I am today.

But it was all CONTROLLED.  I listened, but I also calculated. I determined the risks, I weighed all the options.  I did all the planning.

And this trip to Ethiopia, it wasn’t like that.  It felt spontaneous. It felt unknown. I had no idea why I was going, only that I was supposed to go. I had no idea how God would use me, only that He would. And in that moment, I knew about listening.

Lesson 1: Listen to the Spirit
Listening to the Spirit requires that I stop my churning mind, my analyzing, and my planning. In the stillness I discern what is being requested of me. And even though I don’t know the outcome,  I say Yes.

Spirit Lead Me

(clickable Facebook inspiration to share)

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Where I’ve Been

natureIt may feel like it’s been some time since you’ve heard from me, and that’s true. After I got back from my trip to Ethiopia, my life got a little topsy-turvy.

Ok, to be totally honest… my life felt like it was falling apart.

When I came home, my best friend was sick. Really sick. And I couldn’t fix it.

We had to move. I needed to find a smaller place to live that was more affordable and practical.

And in the midst of it all, I started graduate school again.

Classes started on the day I returned, and it’s been almost non-stop – and will be for 2 years.learning new skills

So life got chaotic, and I had to pull back a bit to take care of things – and to take care of myself.

Now it’s time for me to come out of my cocoon.  It’s time for me to share with you all the things I’ve been learning, as well as the reality of my struggles.

Because we all struggle. We all have challenges and trials.

And we all can choose to view them with positivity, an attitude of learning, gratitude, and hopefulness.

And so I commit to do just that. I commit to share my journey with you, and I commit to continue to encourage you on your journey. Over the next few months I will share with you some of those lessons learned (whether I wanted them or not!), and are still being learned – because maybe you will be able to relate… and we can all learn together.

No one is without troubles

(click image to share from facebook)

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Struggling to Find Thankfulness

This time of year, especially in the States, we are flooded with reminders to be thankful and grateful for all that we have in our lives.

But sometimes life gets pretty tough, and it’s hard to find our thankfulness.  It’s hard to stay in touch with our gratitude when we are experiencing loss.  It’s hard to find joy in the midst of great tragedy.

So I just want to remind you today:
it’s OK to feel however you need and want to feel.

You don’t have to be grateful just because a holiday has come up. You don’t have to let go of what you are really feeling because of how you are “supposed to” be.

And maybe our feelings can be more than just either/or.  Maybe we will be able to find moments of laughter through heartache, or find joy in reliving old memories. And maybe we can even find a spark of gratitude in tiny moments, in little gestures of kindness.

Maybe we can feel it all.

And maybe, when we say it’s OK to feel exactly how we are feeling today, we will notice becoming grateful after all – for the little kindness shown to ourself.

However you are feeling today, give yourself permission to have and express those feelings.  I hope you are able to feel more than one way today, and I hope you know that you are never alone.

rejoicing in thankfulness

Being a Sheep

Gung Hay Fat Choy!

It’s the lunar new year, and it’s the year of the Sheep (or goat, or ram, whichever you prefer).

Chinese new year 2015

So this got me thinking…

Have you ever been called a sheep?

It’s often thought of as being a negative – being a sheep.  I’ve heard it used to describe someone as weak-willed, following the crowd, conforming to fit in without really thinking for themselves, or just going along with what everyone else wants them to do.

But I don’t know if that’s fair – to people, or sheep.

Because maybe it’s good to be a sheep…

Sheep are friendly.  They like being together in a herd, and get stressed when separated from others.  New sheep don’t have to look the same, act any certain way – they are just accepted.  What if everyone in the world chose connection?

Sheep protect each other.  Flocking is a natural behavior among sheep.  They will run from things that frighten them and band together to stand against an enemy.  What if people always protected each other?

Sheep collaborate. They don’t get in power struggles, or need someone to be the boss – there is no one leader in a flock of sheep – they often follow just the first one that moves.  What would our world be like if people all worked together?

Sheep are peaceful.  There are no turf wars or alpha struggles for sheep. They don’t care about any particular piece of land, as long as they are together.   They don’t care about being in charge, or getting the credit.  Sheep want to just be. What if we could spend more time just being?

Sheep are aware.  Sheep rely on their senses to observe the environment and are constantly surveying.  They have a wide field of vision (up to 306 degrees!), can pinpoint the location of a sound, and even smell water. What if we used our senses to be more aware of what’s around us, in this moment?

Sheep are intelligent.  Sheep recognize and remember faces. They can remember complex mazes.  They have been known to search out healing plants when not feeling well, and even rolled themselves over a cattle grate in Yorkshire to get to a better field. What if we focused on creative problem-solving?

Being docile doesn’t mean weak.
Being peaceful doesn’t mean less intelligent.
Accepting others openly doesn’t mean conforming.

In fact, being tender-hearted, friendly, collaborative, always thinking and observing – these are the ways I do want to be.  And, with a good shepherd to guide me and a flock to help protect me, I know these are the keys to enjoy a good life.

Just like a sheep.


Lambs photo by TouTouke

Info Source: I got my new learning about sheep here and here


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I’m a Guru!

Hello friends!

It feels like it’s been a busy month already, and it’s only just getting started.Does that happen to you this time of year too?And then, if we aren’t careful, it can quickly lead to overwhelm – even when we are doing things that are usually fun!

Sometimes when we are busy bees, it helps to share with others all that we’ve been doing (a sanity check maybe?). So I think it will help me to share with you some of the things I’ve been working on:

I’m a featured guru on Hello Peace – first with a Poem, then a more in-your-face Article about the perils of complaining.
Brain on overload
I shared a Confession with Tina C. Hines.
Be ok even if
I’ve been getting the word out about my latest book, the Know My Worth Poem & Prayer Journal.
Know My Worth Journal
And I’m doing a new free online workshop next week, giving tips on how to REMEMBER YOUR WORTH through the holidays.
Remember your worth through the holidays!
And I didn’t even yet mention the work I’ve been doing with Life’s Cheerleader – the Portal to a Positive Self Image, or the new Accountability Coaching Groups I will offer in the new year (more on those next time!).Ok, so I can see why I might be stepping into the realm of overwhelm. But as I take a look at it – each one of these activities also brings me great joy.  I’m doing exactly what I want to be doing!So for now, I’m taking things one step at a time. I’m going to check in regularly with myself to make sure I’m spending my time and energy on those things that are most aligned with my values – most important to me and my well being.

How about you?  Do you have a list too?  I would love to hear it!  Because if you share it with me, you too can take that deep breath and say “Oh, that’s why!”

Purpose and joy are found
when our activities align with our values.

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Stretch photo by Alvimann MorguefileStretch.  

(v) verb. to straighten or extend one’s body or a part of one’s body to its full length, typically so as to tighten one’s muscles or in order to reach something.
(definition source: google)

We stretch.
We reach.
We strive.
We grow.

What we don’t often realize, is that we are doing it every day.

stretching, changing


You are stretching, growing, changing.

What stretch are you feeling today?


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Nurturing Friendships

writing to a friendI wrote a letter today to a dear friend.  A real letter – an honest-to-goodness, paper-and-pencil, carve-out-time, find-space-on-my-desk letter.

And it felt wonderful.

When, and more importantly, why, did I stop writing letters?

I loved the thoughtful nature of the activity. I had to sit and think about what to say next, think of what I should ask her, and ponder what news she would like to hear from me.

I loved the feeling of the paper sliding under my hand, the weight of the pen.  No plastic keyboard, no clicking (and sticking) space bar.

I even loved the slight cramp in my fingers that came from a “new” position and use.  The muscle memory was weak, yet the memory remains.

nurture quality friendshipsAnd doing this activity made me think about all that we do to feed our friendships, to nurture each other, encourage each other, and support each other.

But sometimes “life” gets in the way.  Do you remember the last time you picked up a pen (or clicked a keyboard) and sent a note out to encourage a special friend?  I’m guessing there is at least one that needs to hear from you.

Today was my day to stop letting life get in the way, and take a few moments to say “hello dear friend, I’m thinking of you, loving you.”

Maybe today
will be your day too.

Speaking of writing…

Just published!

And now available on

Know My Worth JournalKnow My Worth Poem and Prayer Journal

Several of my original poems and prayers are scattered through this journal, surrounded by beautifully-framed lined pages for your own personal reflection time.

Includes affirmations and motivations around themes such as Self Worth, Confidence, Self-Care, and Faith.

I do hope you love it! It’s the perfect size to tuck into a purse or nightstand, and a wonderful gift for someone you love.