Ducks, Words, & Solitude

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I stay home on Mondays.

I don’t remember the day I made this decision but it was a while ago and it’s one of the most tangible rhythms to my life that I can put my finger on.  A rhythm that has proven so good, so right, so what I need – that its stuck.

I can count on one finger the times I’ve left my house on a Monday in the last year.  I stay away from appointments, shopping, and anything that resembles needing my immediate attention.  I remain with my kids just doing “homey” things because I need it.  They don’t know it yet, but they do.

On this Monday morning, as I reflected on my weekly lookout tool, my one “something fun” I listed was to sit outside.  Just me, the birds, the trees, and read.  To find a place to plop down, quiet solitude, take in beautiful words, and just breathe in the sounds and sights of whatever nature came up beside me.  I saw my opportunity and found my spot way down back, by our stream.  I saw, I felt, I rested. I read for 30 minutes.  That’s how it happened. Thirty glorious minutes doing what my body and soul needed.

A mother duck lead her 15 babies right in front of me gliding gracefully through the water leaving quiet ripples behind each one of them.  Leading the way.  Learning their voice.  Leaving their mark on the water.  And when she dipped down, they instinctively followed her.

Awestruck at the sight of them, I sat so impressed.

After about 20 seconds she came up.  Each small head bobbing up behind her. One right after the other. They repeated their exercise three times without a flicker of hesitation.  She was teaching them how to find food, what they need to thrive.  The spiritual story swam in motion, reminding me, helping me see.  My heart connected and wanted to dive in after following my Father just like those babies followed their mother.  No hesitation.  Just pure instinct knowing this is what they were made for.  What I’m made for.

I stay home on Monday’s and sometimes watch ducks and read.

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The Beauty Of Intentional Living

Farmland Sunset

I’ve noticed when things get added to life, by choice or by chance, there’s always a need to rise to the occasion.

Recently, I started formatting one of my personal routines so that I could share it with others.  I sat down to put onto paper what I do on Sunday evenings. Up until that point it was all in my head. I knew if I wanted to share what’s been working for me effectively with other’s I had to be able to express in words one of the ways I coach myself on a weekly basis. I can only fit so much in my head and I figure most of you aren’t that much different.

 If you asked me, I would tell you that at the end of every week I’m exhausted! I would also tell you, it’s worth it.  Almost everything I do I do for a reason and those reasons make me happy.

An intentional busy is a good way to live life.  You know where you’re traveling to and you can almost taste what it will be like when you get there.

That’s pretty motivational.  The truth is if you want to try new things it will mean change on your part.  It may look like cutting something out that you know won’t help get you where you want to go.  It may take refreshing your organization or focusing your mind.  That’s where this comes in.

It’s easy to be “busy”.  It’s hard to live intentionally.  Here’s something that might help you sort through.

Expect this to help you not just in looking at what you need to get done in your week but help you see what you really want. With that said, the directions are pretty straight forward.

Find a quiet space to pray. For me, filling out this form has become a spiritual routine, a quiet discipline.  When I say pray on this I really mean listen.  Get ready to be reflective.  Whatever you feel God stir in your heart write that down as your hope for the week. Continue to travel down the left hand side, listening for what you feel you need to do, and what you’re in need of.  The “to do” list arrives last for a reason.

Concentrate on the above relationship connections, health, and  fun. You’ll find yourself happier than you ever could by a never ending to do list.

Remember, this isn’t just stuff to get done, this is your life. Don’t just be busy. Understand where you are now and, where you want to be.  Take it all in.

Next, transfer what you have over to the right hand “daily” side. Start specifically plugging things in.  As the week begins, test it out and personalize it with God as He directs you on.

If you choose to try this, you’ll likely have some really good side effects. Expect to feel calmer, clearer, and experience an adjusted sense of meaning. Some of you may have time to fill it in early on Monday mornings. I choose to do it after my kids are in bed on Sunday evenings between 8-9pm.  If I wait until Monday morning I usually get interrupted.
Choose the time that works best for your lifestyle. Have fun experimenting!

Who doesn’t want to feel clearer and eager on a Monday morning? I know I do.
I hope this helps you too.  It could even show you how to make your life a little more beautiful.

Click here to download and print out the “Weekly Lookout”

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Commitment To Change

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Freedom is coming… But there’s work to be done!

Acceptance gets us started.  We begin by opening up to ourselves honestly.  God within us starts becoming more of a reality.  We begin to grow right from the root we were planted to be a part of from the beginning.  We start “becoming”.

You too can begin welcoming your past in as a part of you now. Piece by piece everything  begins opening.  This is what it’s like to grow a soft and surrendered heart.  It’s not easy.  It takes us getting personal with God in our center core.  It takes not listening to our “fears” anymore.

We settle into a slow and steady, self-examining.  This life with God in mind becomes a daily commitment of communion.  To be open to be molded and re-molded.

Wouldn’t it be nice to see movement in places where you’ve been waiting?

My prayer is, you see with new eyes what God is up to and join Him in the here and now!  Begin saying “thank you”, for all parts that have had a hand in making you who you are.  Start trusting Him in new ways.  Find your center.  Find your spot.  Right where you begin with God.  And begin again, my friend.  Do you want to learn more about overcoming, and embracing your story as a whole?  You don’t have to begin again alone.

For me, one of the people I’ve traveled with is Teri Johnson.  When I started Life Coaching 2 years ago, Teri was one of the first women I wanted to talk to.  We met over the phone, kept connected and developed a friendship.  Flying out to meet her in person for her “Refine Conference” was icing on the cake!  She was a woman who inspired me and still does today.  And she’s offering something NEW in April!  Teri, has created a 7 week online course based off her book.

This could be what you need to give you hope for CHANGE.  Pray.  Embrace.  Register today.  Walk away changed.  Be given “tools” to bring with you on your personal journey.  Embrace your story!!!

 

Disclosure: I am a referral partner for this course and the link in this post is an affiliate link.

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Rekindling Writing

Sometimes we realize something about our lives just by writing.

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A few days ago I filled out one of my new coaching tools, “New Year Review”.  I even asked my husband to fill one out so we could compare notes later on.  (As a side note, I’m learning life is really fun with someone.)  I loved sitting down to answer a few question prompts and bringing back to memory favorite moments and so on.  The ability to recapture where I had been and where I am now was beautiful.  I could almost feel myself being gently pulled into place with a pretty royal blue bow tied nicely on top (I don’t mind imagining myself being wrapped in my favorite color).

Everything wasn’t easy last year, I don’t think there’s a person on the planet that could say 365 consecutive days of life would ever be all easy.  Being able to see the big picture was good.

For one, I’m still here.
Two, I can still see me pursuing God’s good life.
Thirdly, I like that.

I began recalling and writing a few of my 2013 moments out early in the day, put it down and walked away a few times before finishing.  I’m learning thoughts are better pondered instead of pressured. 

One of my favorites was what I wrote down on line 5,  the Kindle my husband gave me that rekindled my love for reading.  (It still counts even though it was a Christmas gift received 6 days before the year ended.)   When I wrote it down is when I realized.  Life had just “happened” and I hadn’t been doing much reading for a while.

It’s good to write things down.  We can learn more about ourselves.  You may even see something being rekindled that never truly died out.

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2014 “A New Story Is Waiting”

A story draws people in…
In the good and the bad, the beautiful and the not so much this year, God has drawn me in.  Before this year ends I want a few minutes to jot a few things out for me and anyone else reading.  I’ve experienced the power in putting thoughts to pen and pen to paper.  What follows is new life ready to be lived.

… A transformed life begins taking shape when you start seeing the big picture to the part you play.

FHL_StopLookIn the recent months there has been a growing trend in my life.  People, places, and things, are hitting me in deeper ways than I’ve ever experienced.  I’m thankful for that.  I pray this means God himself is playing an active role right now.  I’m ready and willing to continue to write my story, and acknowledge that life isn’t perfect, but it is amazing!  

That’s my perspective.  This is how I see things.  God’s not finished with me yet, and no matter where you’re at or how 2013 is ending, He’s not done with you either.   I’m grateful to pick up everything I’ve learned and pack it in as a part of me now.  We all have something good to work with.

Take time to reflect on what you’ve been given.  Each of us was designed by God.  There are things in you ready to rise to the surface.  Designed to join the story.  This year, embrace developing the real you!  Take a specific strength of yours and look around your home, inside your friendships, and your life as a whole to see how to join in, in amazing new ways!

I will write on the pages of my life with choices every day.

I will open the book to a blank page.  I am going to put words on them personally.  The book is called “Life” and its new chapter opens on New Year’s Day.  As I turn the new calendar I’m opening a new chapter.  One by one as days pass and months themselves will fly past, I am growing deeper into the story of life.

What will your story be this year, beautiful woman?  Make it one YOU would want to read.  Who do you really want to be?

Your story is waiting…

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Keep The Light On

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A beautiful client of mine shared a story…
She and a friend emailed back and forth, matching up their schedules so they could get together again.  They talked about a walk after putting the kids to bed.  The light had just left for the day.  Here in Maine, Autumn sunsets are gorgeous and girlie, with streaming pinks, and dancing purples.  But when the light begins leaving early again, many people can feel a sort of annual depression creep in.
The friend blurted out, “I have a head lamp and some mace!  They’ll lead us down whatever trail we choose tonight.”  She hesitated and thought, I don’t usually do this, but why not say yes?

“I’ll go with you.”

She feels the power of God around as they share and walk on…

“You are my lamp, O LORD; the LORD turns my darkness into light.” (2 Samuel 22:29)

When light is offered, say yes, and move into the light with someone.  There’s nothing like walking with a trusted friend who wants to share the light she’s been given.  Sometimes, it takes moments like this to show us how to prepare for our future happiness.  When daylight lessens, and cold weather hits, we can choose to actively look for people, places, and things, to help us on our journey ahead.  And if we forget to ask, we can still respond.  God is always ready to answer.

Start taking steps toward preparing your life for the times you know are harder.  Whatever you do, keep the light on this season.  God is alive and well right now, and will still be down the road.

Don’t stop living.  Do life together.  Share the light you are given…

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Running Into Autumn

DSC_1031I go for a run and get churched by God.  It amazes me how consistent He is.  For those that know me, you know my morning run means a lot to me.  It’s when I listen, and He speaks.

It’s that time again.  Fresh paint is being dropped from heaven… I swear I could hear the leaves private discussion as I ran under them.  I imagined them looking at each other holding their breath in anticipation, as God handed out their colors for a new season.  He’s renovating their very lives, pouring out His Spirit, and uploading new growth for such a time as this.
Not much different than us …

With brilliant colors they accept His detailed love.  He creates, refreshes, and renews.   We can sit, lay, or run, under one of these trees as a testimony… He is good to us.
There’s no more boring living when we find out, He is who He says He is.  He is my motivation!

Creation knows it’s that time again.  We’re listening Lord.  His already proclaimed glory is right here, because when we admit it… we’ve already tasted goodness, we just haven’t always called it Him.  We’re discovering how much we need our Creator again. We welcome you, as the best Daddy a girl could ever have.  We gladly fall apart at your feet in holy confession as you pull all our pieces together again. Here I am. Here we are. We are the women of God.  Hold us, hug us.  Put your pieces on us.
And in this season, we’re learning how to think like you, see like you, act like you… Jesus.

God, keep it coming!  Pour your fresh paint on, and make us beautiful again.
How do you hear from Him?
Are you going forward this season?
He is my motivation for living well.  Invite Him to pour His L O V E into YOU, so you can run it out, friends …   :)

 

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GO{ing} While Its Raining!

“Don’t wait until the conditions are  perfect to begin. 
Beginning makes the conditions perfect.”  ~ Alan Cohen

As planned, I pulled this tired mommy body out of bed to begin my morning outside.  I was surprised by raindrops waiting to join me at my front door (yes, I’m one of “those” people who don’t usually bother checking the weather).  As I walked up my long driveway to begin the stretch I knew I had opportunity to turn back.  I knew I didn’t really want that.
But, the water falling from heaven made me question my decision.  Sometimes, in life it doesn’t take much to discourage us from our path.
… What if these sprinkles become a downpour and I get soaked through to the skin?
… Will this be disappointing, and not the refreshment I long for?
… Should I have just stayed in bed, and caught up on some extra sleep instead?

With these questions running circles in my head, I chose to keep calm and carry on.  I knew this was what I truly wanted even if it was feeling a little awkward.

Friends, today was a good reminder for me personally that it’s my decision to get up every day and choose to keep doing what I know is good for me.  God’s love faithfully shows me, I don’t have to be dependent on the weather in my life to stop me from what I know is right.

Sometimes we just have to GO while its raining!

Today, I celebrate this choice as a life example.  Choosing to run in the rain may seem small, but I believe daily choices add up to a lot.   Asking God, and choosing well, truly shape the woman I’m becoming, both physically and spiritually.

Friends, whatever your choice, if at all possible… Do it willingly.  Choose to move and GO forward again even if conditions aren’t “perfect”.  Hang in there, this too shall pass.  Be patient, because as the weather clears, you will be better for it.  Do what you know is good for you even if its uncomfortable at first.
… It’s amazing the things God is capable to reveal when we say, “yes”!

Coming back down that driveway home a little wet didn’t hurt me one bit.  It was worth it friends!  … I may even do it again.  Lord knows, I probably will since I don’t wait on the weatherman.  ;)

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Will you run with me now… As we wait for God to reveal where to next?

 

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Living Seeds Of Love

Our desire is to love well…
This is good news, because this is what we were designed to do.

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As life seekers, love is the first thing.  But, what do we do when we feel we can’t…

I’m a woman just like you, carrying a plate of dreams, and commitments every hour of every day.  Knowing how to prioritize all my hearts desires has challenged me these past few days.  What I’m being reminded of most in life right now is, learning how to love is a step by step process.  And our daily living somehow fits into this.

 God’s love… There’s no better ground to walk upon.  We need Him to water the ground we can’t reach.  We need His Spirit within us to sprout up seeds of desire from the depths of our soul.

We haven’t been made to juggle it all.  We’ve been made to love Him well.

We can learn to surrender our days to Him, moment by moment, as we experience our need for Him growing.  He’s reminding me that at any given minute, I am capable to hear the whisper of His Spirit.

We don’t want to get distracted by our daily to do list and forget the whole point of our days on earth.  We’re learning how to have a spirit of willingness.  We’re discovering more life through flexibility in our tasks, and seeing how to saturate our soul in His truth… We’re learning what it looks like to love well right here, right now…

Today, loving looks like discovering I can be my biggest obstacle to learning how to love well… I need Him to remind me, that I need Him every day.

And no, we’re not there yet friends, but someday we will be. 

On that note, I leave you with words from the best Life Coach.  I love you, beautiful women of God. Keep walking forward.  Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”
Matthew 22:37 NLT

 

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Seasons Mixing

I stepped out to take some me time.  This mommy job tempts to be all consuming at times.  Around my neck, better than any jewels I’m convinced, hung a gift from a man who loves me.  And I’ve just begun to treasure him deeply… (marriage post here)
My new friend “Nikon”, moves along with me on my journey lately.  She’s as nice as an invigorating walk, as refreshing as a paddle down stream, as intimate as prayer with a friend, and as breath taking as surprise Summer bird sightings.
And without her even knowing, I’m lead into worshiping.  God is good to give us special things.

With my newest addition, a zoom lens clicked in, I hold her up and think to myself, everything looks just about right… And for a moment, without the little ones around to answer or be answered to, I give myself alone permission to take it all in.
I was pampered by Him.

DSC_1080I continue ahead eagerly, straight towards Ms. apple tree… I’d hungered for this for a while from inside my kitchen window.  She wore white blossoms on her limbs sporting pink splotches, looking so stylish.  I delicately pressed the button and promised to remember this moment.  Right then, there it was.  Something dead on different.

DSC_1079At the heart of Spring hung something old, still rotting… The remains of an apple were still hanging, all the way from last season’s living.  She didn’t seem to mind much.  Look at her HOPE, I thought to myself… she’s dancing in the Spring breeze.  She’s not worried, but doing her part to live while God drops the decaying pieces.

It’s freeing isn’t it, when we’re enabled to bloom where we’ve been planted!  She’s not much different from me.  At times I have things mixed in and mixed up, sometimes without even knowing it at first.  When I focus on me and my mistakes, I miss the life around here that is so worth being a part of… Because thriving is made by sun AND rain.
  I believe we need it all to know Him well.

He helps us embrace last season as we taste how good He is.
“Taste and see that the Lord is good, oh’ the joys of those who trust in Him”…
{Psalm 34:8 NLT}

Because embracing the past season lets us live the present we’re in.  We gain life when our days become a rich mixture of seasonal living. 

I would love to hear how you’re doing… But, if you don’t leave a note, may I send a wish your way anyway?  Be blessed, as you learn more about Him and You, today friend.  My prayer this morning is that each of us reading may hunger to learn how to truly live!

 

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