All posts by Kathy

Kathy Burrus is a marriage coach who offers an authentic, caring environment to help you and your spouse find your next step toward hope- green, life-giving hope!.

Dancing for the long haul!

R&K2  June 9 79

Thirty-five years ago, Ren and I started this dance.  We dated 5 years before that, but on June 9, 1979 we said “I do” to things we only thought we understood. We’ve spent everyday since then figuring out the steps.

We danced our way through Bible College & Seminary, trying to find a rhythm between jobs, classes, music recitals, and the studying that had to happen in between.

We excitedly danced through the birth of our first daughter Caitlin and a move to Pennsylvania where Ren had his first job as a pastor.

Then with joy we upped the tempo of the dance as Brielle & Leisha were born and then we made a move to Ohio.  The sign at the Ohio state line as we drove in said “The Heart of It All”.  In many ways it has been!

Over the years since then, Ren & I have learned:
the slow dance, square dance, line dance,
the jig, the bunny hop, the boogie woogie, the cha cha, the chicken
and even some break dancing.

Oh, you wouldn’t know it to see us on the dance floor, because they were not the actually dance moves.  Just ways we learned to deal with life and live together. Not bad for a preacher’s daughter that ‘didn’t dance’.

Rennie & Kathy dancingLast year, we danced again, this time at the wedding of both of our daughters.  What an amazing time to see them begin their own dances with terrific dance partners.  As we pondered the places and emotions of our dance, we imagined so much of what is ahead for them- the good, the really good, the not-so-much! Even the dances that might try to ‘break’ them.

There were times when one or the other of us wondered if our marriage could survive. Even if you have committed to stay married, sometimes the thought crosses your mind that it would be easier to not be married.  But I’m grateful to say when that happened, the other partner was willing to do what needed to be done to fight for it.

But what would have happened if we had not prepared ourselves for the tough times; if we had not built our vision for our relationship so we knew how we wanted to respond when we felt like throwing in the towel.

We’re going to see what we can learn on the dance floor at CELEBRATE THE DANCE, next Sunday, June 8th
at 3:00pm at Tanya’s School of Dance, Lima.

Some of what we are going to talk about is:

Why did you get married?

Why do you stay married?

What does a vision for your marriage look like?

How do you even do that with all the variable life throws at you?

What does looking ahead do for us if we are struggling in our dance?

These are some of the questions we will be discussing at CELEBRATE THE DANCE! Join us won’t you?  (Click here for more details.)

We’re celebrating 35 years!  We would love for you to join us. Bring your sweetheart and invest in the relationship of a lifetime!

Your great marriage starts with you!

Kathy & Rennie

The DANCE: From one guy to another!

Hi GHC community,
This note is from Rennie, husband to the Green Hope Coach, Kathy Burrus.  And yes,  if you ask him, he will say being married to me is a challenge.   Here are his words regarding the special event for married couples called CELEBRATE THE DANCE.  So guys, this is from one husband to another. Rennie & Kathy dancing

From my experience, THE DANCE  event is something that is fun to do together and be close to one another.

You each have a part to play that is important or it doesn’t work. When each of you do your part, it works.  When one messes up, you both stop and get going again.  Just like in real like, you have to work hard to stay in step.  Not only do you watch what you are doing, but you have to pay attention to what your partner is doing too.

You need to come!  We need to always be working to improve.  We are never just maintaining.  Either we are moving ahead and growing or we are going backwards.  We aren’t going to just coast.

We must always be listening and growing and learning how to respond to one another better.  We can always learn something new.

See you at the DANCE!    JUNE 8TH at 3:00pm
Tanya’s School of Dance, Lima

Here’s your personal invitation!

TO REGISTER, click here or email

What Kind of Love are you Making?

How often do you ask yourself that question?  I’m guessing not often. So what would your answer be? Or are you afraid to say it outloud?  I am sometimes- no lie!  Sometimes conversations that women have about intimacy can become very disrespectful and negative.  Those words can not only discourage a woman, but hurt the very marriage she vowed one day to honor. But what if the conversation was different?  What if we took a look at God’s opinion about sex?  Did you know He has one?   Now is a great time to join in on the discussion. Whether you are married or single, I am guessing that the issues surrounding sexuallity in your mind are full of confusion.  You are not alone. Starting Wednesday, July 9thPP Lady at 9:00pm 10 Week Group for women  PASSION PURSUIT: What Kind of Love are you making? includes DVD training from the authors, workbook & group coaching We will be meeting at my home and it will be part study, part group coaching as we partner together to design the intimacy in our marriages that we all long for. For more information, click here.    If you have questions- and I’m sure you do, just email me at To sign up, click here! This is one conversation I’m looking forward to.  How about you?

Too many hats to juggle…!!!

So is that true of you?

juggling hatsYou have too many hats to wear- you feel like you are always wearing the wrong hat for that important occasion?

You have too many balls juggling in the air at the same time- you look away for a second and one drops, then another.  You feel like once again you let someone down.  You dropped the ball.

You wonder if you are really making a difference in the lives of the people that really matter to you- even though it feels like you are always sacrificing what you want to do for their needs.  It just feels like blowing dandelions into the wind and ‘hoping‘ for the best.


I’ve heard those statements a lot lately- and it’s almost summer time! That means that whatever our schedule was- it will most likely change in the summer.  Either the kids are home from school- or we are doing more stuff outside- or …it just feels like we should be taking it ‘easier’ somehow.

What if we took a few minutes to consider WHAT was most important to us?

What if we identified WHO we wanted to influence the most and what kind of memories we wanted to make with them?

What if we went through our closet of hats and donated a few to a worthy cause.  As we do we eliminate the busyness and attend to the business of being who we really want to be!

Join me for a GREEN HOPE INTENSIVE: Juggling the hats
Tuesday, May 20th from 9:30am to 12:30pm

This will be held at my home-
6442 Putnam Road R, Columbus Grove, OH 45830

Click the button to register!

Space is limited so register early.

Here’s to you!  And the hats you CHOOSE to wear!

Celebrate the Dance!

Several years ago, our family (Ren & I, along with our girls) joined two other families for a ballroom dance class. There were just enough boys for the amount of girls we had.  As we “attempted’ to dance, I was struck by the story each pair of dancers conveyed. We had the young partners who were just discovering the joys of being in the presence of the opposite sex.  To even hold the hand of their partner was fun.  Every fiber in their being was paying attention to what was happening- or what needed to happen to make this dance work. We had the parents- all of us married different lengths of time,    focusing on learning the moves, but also struggling with communicating on the dance floor.  It was enjoyable, but usually one partner was trying harder than the other.  One partner was getting the steps more easily than the other.  It made for jerky and awkward movement around the dance floor. I began to see in our own dance how Ren and I were dealing with issues on the dance floor that were similar to our marriage relationship. Ren was working so hard to do it right- I just wanted to have fun! The difference in philosophy definitely affects the grace- or ungrace- with which you ‘float romantically around the room.” HA! I whispered in Rennie’s ear, “This would be great premarital counseling for couples.”   He just laughed and said, “left, quick, quick, right, quick, quick”. So much for that!!! But when Green Hope Coaching began, and I saw the need couples had for some easier ways to have the harder discussions, I realized that GHC could build a platform for couples on the dance floor.  Oh, I never intend for it to be a show place or a reality TV show.  But a space for couples to enjoy each other’s presence while identifying what works for them- and what doesn’t – on and off the dance floor. Our signature event, CELEBRATE THE DANCE was introduced. DANCE TITLE Several times a year, Rennie & I partner with Tanya & Doug Shafner of Tanya’s School of Dance in Lima and invite area couples to join us for one hour of ballroom dance lessons with one hour of group/ couple conversation about what we learned about our marriage dance. Here are some of the comments we have heard: “How did you know what questions to ask?  I didn’t think my husband was capable of saying something like that to me- or about me?  Thank you!  It was so special to me to hear him say those words. ” “I never knew how much I was fighting against my spouse. Neither of us see any progress that way.  If we worked together, we both got where we wanted to be and enjoyed the process.”Who would have thought having the hard conversation could be so much fun!  I was dreading this- but it was really enjoyable.” One husband said, “I only came because I knew my wife would love this.  But I’ll have to admit, the benefit of honoring her in this was worth it all the way around.” So… Here’s your invitation to the Dance! CELEBRATE YOUR DANCE! June 8th, 2014 at 3:00pm at Tanya’s School of Dance, Lima, Ohio To register, click the link. Make a date with your sweetheart and join Ren and I for a enjoyable afternoon with other couples who want to grown their marriages also. Guys, Doug Schafner of Tanya’s School of Dance said to tell you, “If you can learn a football play, you can learn to dance. Besides, if your lady loves it- you will too!” How about it?  Celebrate the Dance is all about helping each of us Become One- on and off the dance floor!

The NAKED Truth! the conference

I know- in days gone by we couldn’t even say the word ‘naked’ in public, let alone write about it or talk about NAKED TRUTH!

But that what we are doing- opening the discussion about intimacy- spiritually, emotionally, and sexually.  And what is more we are looking at reclaiming God’s design for intimacy.  The conversation is open, honest and unafraid.

Plan now to attend the conference called THE NAKED TRUTH: about You!  about Sex! About God!  Authors and Speakers, Linda Dillow and Dr Juli Slattery, from Authentic Intimacy, will be our special guides on

Friday evening, October 3
and Saturday morning, October 4
at Shawnee Alliance Church, Lima, OH.

Women of all ages and all seasons of life, married or single, are invited to come, to learn, to heal!

Mark your calendars now!  Registration details will listed soon.

Want to know more about Linda & Juli- and their message- go to webbanner

Celebrating Heritage!

How long has it been since you considered the richness of your heritage? Her-it-age : Noun

  1. Property that is or may be inherited, an inheritance.
  1. Something transmitted or acquired from a predecessor: Legacy, inheritance, tradition
  1. Something possessed as a result of one’s natural situation or birth: birthright

This past week, I gathered with my parents and Mom’s family in celebration of birthdays, Mine, and my aunt I share the 20th of April with, as well as my daughter’s, my dad’s, my sister’s, Another aunts, and 3 of my cousins. (April is a big month for us!)

If truth be told, this is actually a gathering that my mom and her siblings and their spouses started 12 years ago. Gradually, nieces and nephews have joined them- this year being the largest gathering of the extended Thiessen family in several years even though we weren’t all there.

As I watched the interaction of the generations, I pondered the beauty that had become ordinary to me.

There was the sharing of memories and pictures of the love story of the couple who started this family- my grandparents who left this legacy.  And there were pictures of the generation before them that we sorted through waiting for the ‘siblings’ to decipher who it was a picture of so we could write names on the back.  It was sad to me that I can’t tell you the names of my great grandparents.  I could look it up, but even though they are part of my story- they are not part of my life.

The original ‘siblings’ of two sisters and a brother  were still grieving the elder sister who died 5 years ago, her husband shortly after.  Even as adults, my 3 cousins suddenly felt as ‘orphans’ and in many ways isolated. They  were the first of my generation to reach out to their mom’s siblings and asked to crash this special gathering. We were remembering with cousins the few but cherished times growing up playing games and celebrating family times of long ago.

One cousin drove 8 hours one way to get to spend only 24 hours with the family.  We stayed up into the wee hours of the morning to catch up on all the stories of life- feeling the effects of weariness but not being able to stop the dialog.

We laughed as the uncle’s  were incredibly ornery as we spent hours scheming, screaming, and cajoling in a long term game of Texican Train dominos.

I sat in awe as I watched faces change from great joy to deep concern. From contrite honesty to silly grins.
From gut wrenching laughter to free flowing tears.

We shared wonderful conversations over breakfast and dinner. Out bursts of laughter Quiet shared moments with tears Conversations that lasted long into the night. Devotions shared each morning – first morning led by my mom, the next day by my uncle, then by my mom’s younger sister.

We heard stories of God’s work in their lives, Scriptures that have spoken through the years Songs that have touch the heart And had the opportunity to blend our voices together as we sang some of them.

I listened as the older generation asked us to pray that they ‘age well.” More specifically that they “end well”. Hearts sharing our concerns and a commitment to pray for each other through the year.

As I watched and listened, I thanked the Lord for the heritage I had been given by being born into this family. It is a legacy of faithfulness, of hard work, of gratitude,  of family.   I may not be remembered by my grand-children’s children but just as my great grand-parents began a legacy that I felt strongly this week, I choose to leave a legacy of HOPE for those special people to come behind me!

What legacy are you leaving for those following your footsteps?  Now is the time to intentionally design hope for the heritage you want to leave. We can work on that together!

Jeanette passing on U George's painting A Arlene playing train the orignal sibs the whole gang2 studying the old pics Dad playing Mex Train

Scriptures on LIFE!

Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.


Philippians 1:21-22

For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.22But if I am to live on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which to choose.…  

Deuteronomy 4:40

If you obey all the decrees and commands I am giving you today, all will be well with you and your children. I am giving you these instructions so you will enjoy a long life in the land the Lord your God is giving you for all time.”

Deuteronomy 5:16 “Honor your father and mother, as the Lord your God commanded you. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the Lord your God is giving you.

Deuteronomy 6:2 and you and your children and grandchildren must fear the Lord your God as long as you live. If you obey all his decrees and commands, you will enjoy a long life.

Deuteronomy 11:9 If you obey, you will enjoy a long life in the land the Lord swore to give to your ancestors and to you, their descendants—a land flowing with milk and honey!   Deuteronomy 30:19 “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! Deuteronomy 30:20 You can make this choice by loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him. This is the key to your life.   Psalm 16:11 You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever. Psalm 32:8 The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.   Psalm 39:4 “Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered— how fleeting my life is.   Psalm 42:8 But each day the Lord pours his unfailing love upon me, and through each night I sing his songs, praying to God who gives me life. Psalm 49:15 But as for me, God will redeem my life. He will snatch me from the power of the grave.   Psalm 49:18 In this life they consider themselves fortunate and are applauded for their success. Psalm 56:13 For you have rescued me from death; you have kept my feet from slipping. So now I can walk in your presence, O God, in your lifegiving light. Psalm 63:3 Your unfailing love is better than life itself; how I praise you!   Psalm 71:7 My life is an example to many, because you have been my strength and protection. Psalm 71:20 You have allowed me to suffer much hardship, but you will restore me to life again and lift me up from the depths of the earth. Psalm 73:12 Look at these wicked people— enjoying a life of ease while their riches multiply. Psalm 84:10 A single day in your courts is better than a thousand anywhere else! I would rather be a gatekeeper in the house of my God than live the good life in the homes of the wicked.   Psalm 90:12 Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom. (so teach us to number our days) Psalm 91:16 I will reward them with a long life and give them my salvation.” Psalm 101:2 I will be careful to live a blameless lifewhen will you come to help me? I will lead a life of integrity in my own home. Psalm 102:11 My life passes as swiftly as the evening shadows. I am withering away like grass. Psalm 119:40 I long to obey your commandments! Renew my life with your goodness. Psalm 119:56 This is how I spend my life: obeying your commandments. Psalm 119:59 I pondered the direction of my life, and I turned to follow your laws. Psalm 119:88 In your unfailing love, spare my life; then I can continue to obey your laws. Psalm 119:93 I will never forget your commandments, for by them you give me life. Do your own word study on LIFE!  Go to

Experience LIFE- the sermon

I’ve been doing a lot of pondering about what it means to EXPERIENCE LIFE!

Kathy w Pastor Randy Pastor Randy has been doing some thinking about this too!  I have worked with this man for 4 years.  He’s really my first pastor that wasn’t my father or my husband. I respect him a lot for a lot of reasons. Here’s what my pastor had to say about LIFE!

Now…if you a sermon critic (you know who you are!) You spend more time saying things like…

  • He didn’t say _________
  • He should have done_____________
  • He didn’t read enough scripture.
  • He read too much scripture
  • He talks too much with his hands
  • He doesn’t talk enough with his hands.

Ok- you get the idea!   Just DON’T do it!

Instead ask yourself this question… What is God saying to you through this?  not your husband or wife- or even your kids. What is God saying to you?

  • In order for me to be resurrected in this dead area of my life, what needs to die?
  • What repetitive patterns are making me dead in life? What do I need to let go of?

View video here!472670568_150x84






It’s your choice- are you living dead in life?  or LIFE in life?

I would love to hear your thoughts!

LIFE! or Life?

Currently I am leading a study called PASSION PURSUIT with a group of women.  I have been glad that the group has been small and intimate.  The issues we have addressed have been transformational, not just for the others, but specifically for me. Often it has been in the community with these women that I have been changed-

  • Through their authentic sharing
  • Through the caring for one another’s deepest aches
  • Through the Holy Spirit illuminating our hearts and our longings

In one of the chapters, we have talked about the fact that God wants us to experience pure pleasure.

John 10:10 says

  • NIV: I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
  • NLT: My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.
  • MSG: I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.

But I have wrestled with John’s words a lot over the past 4 weeks.  I struggle to FEEL all of those other words that make me think of LIFE.

Several observations I have noted:

  • This does not just refer to eternal life- meaning what’s yet to come, thought that is a significant part of the LIFE described.
  • This means NOW-
  • Right now have LIFE
  • Right now experience a rich and satisfying life
  • Right now have a better life than you ever dreamed of.

What do you think of when you read about that kind of LIFE?

  • Energy
  • Breath
  • Vitality
  • Being
  • Freedom
  • Heart
  • Excitement
  • Get up and go
  • Joy

That kind of LIFE impacts

  • My spiritual health
  • My marriage
  • My relationship with my girls and their husbands
  • My business
  • My finances
  • My physical health
  • My relationships with friends and my community
  • My influence on my world

However, through a series our Pastor has led us through at church called the PATH Of DESCENT, I have uncovered questions I have found myself asking- or hearing others ask are:

  • Why would God- who wants us to have a rich and satisfying life, allow us to experience such pain such as losing a job, or dream, or a child?
  • How can you experience PURE pleasure when our hearts and minds are tainted with death and loss and abuse?
  • How do you experience PURE anything when you know yourself- and the choices you made that you intentionally acted on that were sinful, not to mention those times we slip into sin when we aren’t alert? 

How do we reckon some of those questions with what we read in God’s word?  How do we balance the path of descent with abundant life?

Now- I know all my theologically thinking friends (and husband) already have some terrific answers.  Thank you for being willing to correct my thinking- but don’t!  Not yet anyway!  You see these questions and the emotions that go with them are a huge part of the conversation that the Lord and I are having together.  From the conversations I have had with others, I know I’m not alone in the dialog. 

Those who are honest enough to ask the hard questions directly of our Heavenly Father who makes the promises in His word, need to hear His answers.  As we consider Holy Week, it seems like the perfect time to consider the journey to the grave and then resurrection.

I’m still listening for the answers!  I promise I’ll share mine with you. I’d love to hear yours too. But in the mean time, what are some of the questions you find yourself asking this Holy week?

Maybe identifying the questions will help us hear the answers with greater clarity.

I’d love to hear yours!

So…during this HOLY week, what have your thoughts, questions, comments been on LIFE! or life? (my last post)

I’ve had a kazillion thoughts this week- I won’t bore you with them here, but I’ve included a few in private post so I can remember some of them. For those who want to know more- click here to read.

For a list of scripture that speak of LIFE, click here to read.