Influence Like a Dandelion

Ten years ago next weekend, we gathered to remember a spunky little gal named Leisha.

We celebrated her life And mourned our loss of her.

We remembered the things she didTo make us laugh

To make us cry,

To make us crazy!

She touched our lives and she taught us,

She changed us in the living and the dying.

Would she have made such a difference in our lives if she had just lived?  I know I’m her momma, but I think so.

The day she died, I met her on our country road. I was teasing her because she was so eager to get her driver’s permit. I said,” you just want power. ”

I could see the wheels spinning in her head and her eyes were sparkling.

She spoke,  “I don’t need power. I want to influence. I want to say, I’m going come with me.”

“Honey you were made to influence,” I replied as I stroked her nose like I had so many days since she was born.

10 minutes later,  she was gone.

I want to influence. I want to say, I'm going come with me. Click To Tweet

my first bookSeveral have asked why, out of all the pictures I have of Leisha,  I chose a black and white one of her blowing a dandelion for the cover.

Well, dandelions have long been important at the Burrus house.

For one thing, Continue reading Influence Like a Dandelion

So yesterday my book came!

my first bookSo yesterday I celebrated when I received the first copy of my first

book (not sure if it is first or only yet).  I was filled with raw emotions: happy, sad, celebration and grief all mixed together.  But I was in awe that this had actually come to be.

That same day two other books came out:

Present over Perfect by Shauna Niequist, ‪#‎presentoverperfect‬
and Uninvited  by Lysa Terkuerst, #‎uninvited‬

Both books are already best sellers on Amazon.

picture by Shauna Niequist
picture by Shauna Niequist

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I chuckled to myself that all these books came out the same day. Continue reading So yesterday my book came!

Thank you Professor Sittser

This past week, I have been working intently to finish up details for publishing the Lovely Traces of Hope book.  I had one of those moments  as I sat late into the night reading/ editing/ proofing yet again through my own story.  

For the umpteenth time, I was reading through Chapter 14, Turning East, which I have sent to many of you already. (Click here if you haven’t read it yet.) In that chapter, I share excerpts of Jerry Sittser’s book called A Grace Disguised. Jerry literally led me through much of my grief through the sharing of his own story.

Several months ago as I was reworking that chapter for the book, I sent Jerry a letter to thank him for being bold enough to share his story because of the influence it has had in mine. 

Here was his reply…

Continue reading Thank you Professor Sittser

A Book to Proof

I was sittting at the Arby’s across from the mall in the area that is all window. People watching at its best.  The sky was clear with the exception of a few, very small, very white clouds slowly drifting by.  What a beautiful day!

Every thing about this moment was life-giving. Even the woman Continue reading A Book to Proof

Defining STUCK

make a difference
This morning I looked up the definition of STUCK.

It is an adjective, a word that describes.

The Cambridge dictionary defines STUCK as :
unable to move from a particular position or place,
or unable to change a situation:

Examples of this are:
This door seems to be stuck.
I hate being stuck at a desk all day.
Ty got stuck with doing the laundry.
Hmm?
As I look back over the words we used to describe STUCK in the last post,  (you can read it here), I think that definition works.  We do tend to feel like we are unable to move from a particular position or place when we are consumed with fear, worry, anger, and perfectionism.  Or when we are confused and lack purpose or direction.
Many times we feel,  and sometimes, are unable to change a situation when we deal with rejection, or financial fears, or relationship issues.
Even in the wake of the current events in our world we feel  STUCK; uncertain of what to do that will make any difference at all in the chaos.
Add to that the myriad of messages that are part of our stuck place:
  • I’m not good enough.
  • You never finish anything
  • Who do you think you are?
  • I can’t do it as well as _(fill in the name)__so why bother!
  • Who would listen to me anyway?

Whew! We can get pretty deep in STUCK without even trying.

The problem is that when we get stuck and don’t know what to do, we often do nothing.
We are afraid that if we try to talk with our friend who rejected us, it will only make the situation worse, so we do nothing.
The financial situation we are in is so big and we can’t see what else we can do, so we keep doing the same stuff that got us here in the first place, or we do nothing at all.
We know we are not as good at something our competitors does so we throw up our hands and do nothing.
Fear is paralyzing!
Worry is exhausting!
Even boredom is draining!
The outcome of STUCK can be more STUCK!
OR
STUCK can be the motivation we need to spur us on to make a change.
So what kind of STUCK are you?
STUCK STUCK?
or STUCK MOTIVATED for CHANGE?
Leave a comment below- not for us, but for you to be honest with yourself about where you are.  That’s where we have to start.
Looking forward to hearing from you!
P.S.  How do I know so much about STUCK?  Well, let me tell you how… in the next post.  See you then.
P.S.S. Don’t forget to declare:
STUCK STUCK?
or STUCK MOTIVATED FOR CHANGE

Coaching on Stuck

FROM STUCK TO MADI had a delightful Saturday morning with an inspiring group of women at the Grace Church, Perrysburg, OH for their REFRESH & RENEW Conference recently. Wanted to share with you some of what we talked about at that event.

We spent our time together refreshing our viewpoints about ourselves, our story and our view of God.  We renewed our vision about the kind of difference we wanted to make in our lifetime. But we started with some honest talk about the ‘real’ of life.

As a life coach and former pastor’s wife, I’ve talked with a lot of women over the years.  There have been two reoccurring themes that continue to come out in those conversations.

  1. I want to make a difference with my life.
  2. I’m stuck.

Does that sound familiar to your story? You want to make a difference.  You want to influence your world for good through your life in your lifetime.

But you are stuck!  Or you have been!  If you aren’t stuck, or haven’t been, you will be so we might as well talk about it. You know what stuck feels like. Stuck has kept you from making the difference you long to make.   So before we talk about the kind of difference we want to make let’s talk about the obstacles to it. Continue reading Coaching on Stuck

Sacred Space

by Kathy BurrusSacredSpace

There is a sacred space

Between life and death

Hope and doubt

Faith and fear

A space that leaves you feeling as if each foot is in a different world

And the whirling of emotions leaves you either paralyzed in or running

To or from, in or out

It sometimes doesn’t matter

You find yourself wrestling in a moment of crisis Continue reading Sacred Space

Lovely Traces from Sarah

My friend Sarah, over at Simply Sarah: A Seer of People, has recently shared some of her memories of Leisha as we have talked about the soon to be published book Lovely Traces of Hope.

I asked if I could share her most recent post.  I thought you might find it interesting as well.  Sarah shares her story in the book Lovely Traces of Hope, due out August 2016.  If you have other memories or comments, I’d love to hear them in the comments below.

Thank you Sarah! You are Simply Breathtaking!

“Your Smile Made Me Smile”

by Simply Sarah, June 14,  2016
Seerofpeople.com

“I believe that once it lives, beauty never dies. I’ll never forget those eyes.” – Leisha by Josiah Gillespie (Written by Josiah Gillespie, 2006)

A lot of tragic things have been happening lately, in my personal life (as I talked about in my last post), in our city (3 shootings in 3 days), and in our country (Christina Grimmie’s murder and the shooting in Orlando). This has only added on to what I have already been feeling since March.

You see I experienced a great loss in my life almost ten years ago, and I relieved that experience by reading about it from the perspective of another back in March. Ever since then I have thought about it from time to time. I have the past (almost) 10 years anyway, but especially these past few months as I relived it in a way and God brought me to deeper healing with it.

For those of you who do not know, when I was 15-years-old one of my best friends, Leisha, ran out of this world and into the arms of our Savior. Continue reading Lovely Traces from Sarah

Grateful for this Woman of Influence

This past weekend I received an email from this special lady pictured Linda Dillow- wrote forwardwith me in the photo. Her name is Linda Dillow.  The email is the forward she has written for the book, Lovely Traces of Hope.

Linda has been my mentor in life, marriage, and worship most of my adult life, though we have only met a dozen times or so.  I received her first book  as a wedding present in 1979.  I have read all of her books since.  (I’ll list my favorites at the end of this post.)

It has seemed that just when I needed to take a next step, she was putting out the next book.  When I was invited to lead a worship team to Ukraine, she was the speaker at that same conference.  No, we didn’t plan it.  When Rennie and I were on sabbatical, she invited us to stay in their home for 10 days while they were away.

For whatever reason God chose to place her in my life over and over again, I am eternally grateful.  She led me in a journey of contentment, worship, marriage, sex even.  She encouraged me to find contentment in my life and see my words, attitudes, work, and my waiting -even my pain – as an act of worship. She led me in worship, not in songs of worship, but in worship of two hearts bowed at the sofa, remembering who God is, recalling what he has done and praising him from the core of our beings.  She invited me to see that my marriage was a reflection to my world of God’s love for us.  She challenged me to want more for my relationship with Ren.

Linda is one of my heroes!  No, this is not hero worship.  This is gratitude.  I trust her.  I know she is a woman who pursues God and points others to him, because I have seen her do it.  Not to one or two women, but to thousands, perhaps more.  Not for a short time, but for her lifetime.  I know. I’ve been watching her for 37 years now. Linda is the real deal. She is a woman of influence!

That is why I am humbled and grateful that she has written this forward for the book.  I could make you wait to read it in the book, but I just had to share it.  Take a peek. Here’s what a woman you can trust has to say.

FORWARD for Lovely Traces of Hope.

What does a mom do when her beautiful, vibrant fifteen year old daughter is suddenly, harshly, instantly gone? Grieve? Of course. Go on a long journey of seeking God and healing? Yes. Kathy did these things but also did something very unusual.

After Leisha died, she opened her daughter’s journal and found Leisha’s “book.” If she flipped Leisha’s journal over and upside down and opened the cover, Kathy found her daughter had started to write her own story. She even included the title page.

Lovely Traces

So Kathy began writing to finish Leisha’s story.

The Burrus family: mom, dad and three girls came to have a vacation in our basement in Colorado Springs in 2002. It was a special time to get to know Kathy, Rennie and their three lovely daughters, Caitlin, Brielle and Leisha. A few short years later, Leisha was singing in heaven and Kathy was finishing her story. As I read Lovely Traces of Hope, I smiled, I cried and I wrote these words to Kathy about the book she and Leisha had written.

Thank you for walking through the dark tunnel to His Light

Thank you for writing so honestly and vulnerably for me and others about grief and pain and how to walk….believing that there is HIS Light somewhere ahead

Thank you for “taking your clothes off” and being real

Thank you for revealing the beauty of walking the Christ walk

Why do I think you should read this book? Let me use Leisha’s name to tell you.

L egacy

Both Leisha and Kathy have much to share about building your legacy. Kathy says, “When we intentionally NOTICE what really is happening, it gives us an opportunity to reflect on what we are learning from it. More importantly we see what God has been doing. We NOTICE His fingerprints, HIS HAND on our everyday, ordinary lives.”  That is especially true when we reckon with the painful areas that may leave us paralyzed in some way. Many times just “noticing” allows us to reframe the events and their effects on our future.

E ncouragement

As a mom, Kathy gave me hope, showed me how to face problems with teens, how to reach inside myself and be willing to look honestly at “me.”  We all face loss. Loss is not the defining moment of our lives, it is how we respond to loss that matters. Kathy helped me see in a new way that healing is a progression.

I nfluence

Not many fifteen year olds think about being an influence—they are too busy thinking about boys, clothes or the Friday night party. Leisha wanted to be MAD (Make a Difference)! At her tender age, she thought about being an influence and leaving a legacy. Teens need to read this book!

S incere

Kathy is honest. Listen to her sincere words. I hesitate to write these next pages. Offering them here is a risk. What will you think of me if I tell of the places in our lives we didn’t have it all together? What if I take off the mask enough for you to see me as I really am?

H oly

Leisha and Kathy’s book points you to the Lord God Almighty. In pain. In grief. When life is a dark tunnel, Kathy discovered that God is still Light. She says, I had to learn to NOTICE God showing up differently.

A dvance

This book is an advance. It takes you forward in your thinking, in your faith, in your personal journey toward the legacy you are creating. Books have been written on grief. Kathy achingly walks you through how she processed her grief. Books have been written on how to help your teen and whole family walk through trials, Kathy shows you how her family did it.

Leisha and Kathy’s combined story is for every mom, every teen….really for everyone. I highly recommend Lovely Traces of Hope to you. I promise you it will lead you to hope as it did me!

LINDA DILLOW
Author
Calm My Anxious Heart
Satisfy My Thirsty Soul
What’s It Like to Be Married to Me?

Co-Author
Intimate Issues
Passion Pursuit
Surprised by the Healer

Want to get updates or join the launch team for Lovely Traces of Hope? click here!

Intentionally Designing Hope in LIFE and Marriage