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!.

Hey! Pay Attention!

Have you noticed lately how challenging these days are?

You know the ones. You are so very ready for Spring to get here.
You get a glimpse of it, a hint of warmth and then…

and then it snows again!
March 29, 2014 another snow day

And then it snows again!

Cold returns – not just a little
With it comes the wind
And rain – not a beautiful spring rain but the cold, ice rain yet of winter.   It is snowing hard enough that it blinds you from seeing what’s ahead.  Gray days stifle & drain the hope from your day.

These are the days we must pay attention.

See, these are days we don’t realize how unsettled we feel. We just know we don’t like it any more. We don’t notice our deep sighs and continual complaining. We don’t understand how we are compounding the ache that those around us might be feeling.

These are the days when it feels like it’s always winter,  never Easter.

Pay attention friends!

This is the time for you and for me to be intentional:
to remember God is doing a different kind of miracle.
to appreciate the work Christ did out of love -out of obedience.
To embrace the moments of grieving, of burying the dead places of our heart.
to anticipate the resurrection.

Easter is coming!
The resurrection in nature will reveal itself to us in time.

But we have the privilege of preparing for it.
And as we do, actually living out the power of the resurrection of Christ now. The resurrection of our very lives.

What can you do to embrace this moment?
What do you do to keep hope alive in you during days like this?

Share your comments below.

You never know when something you say would be an encouragement to someone who is really struggling.

Just. One. More. P.U.S.H!

I’m not sure I remember the last time I’ve said this to myself. But I remember vividly hearing it in childbirth! “Come on Kathy, just one more push and that beautiful little girl will be here!!!

Sorry if that’s gross to you! But it describes perfectly how I’ve felt the past couple of weeks.

I ‘voluntarily’ signed up for the ROPP TRIPLETT Business Plan Competition put on by the Bluffton Center for Entrepreneurs.

I knew that entering this competition would hold me accountable to intentionally looking at what needs to happen in my business.

I knew that I needed a deadline for getting it done so I could get on with the work of Green Hope Coaching.

I knew I needed a challenge that inspired me to be the best I could be.

Well, final presentations were this week. For the last two weeks, I just kept saying,  ” Just ONE MORE PUSH Kathy! Give it all you’ve got just a little bit longer. You are almost there!”

So I did!

One more session of working through my customer analysis.
One more  late night considering my marketing plan.
One more dig into the key trends of the coaching industry.
One more afternoon printing, and hole punching and organizing pages for the presentation.
One more practice run in giving my presentation.

ONE. MORE. PUSH!

ghc biz plan cover

And it’s done!  This baby has been born.  The dream of Green Hope Coaching now has more strategic planning and structure to it than I ever imagined.  It is beautiful! Win or lose in the competition- my business and I have won!

Was it hard!  Oh yes!
Would I do it again!  I am pretty sure I will- different place- different topic- but I will challenge my self to the hard stuff again.

Why?  Because I KNOW what I want to be about now more than ever.  Not just my business, but ME- Kathy Burrus.

I want to influence people- to intentionally design HOPE in life, love and loss!

How about it?  Ready to look at your life- and aim for your dream?
All it takes is ONE. MORE. PUSH! to get started!

(P.S. We won’t know the results of the competition for a few days yet.  But…I’m not waiting around. I’ve got work to do!)

Join the revival!

Kathy Burrus, Green Hope Coaching has a passion for marriage. My own marriage journey has taught me that it is one of the most important, often most taken for granted relationships we have. With the wildfire of the Fifty Shades of Grey phenomenon, I specifically recognize the importance of speaking truth into the hearts of women (& men) in the area of sexuality. I am more aware than ever of the willingness of most people to grab for the short term relief of a deep rooted longing. We are willing to exchange the hard work of real intimacy for an immediate-easy button- gratification.

But the easy button doesn’t last. The short term answer leaves us hungry again for a pleasure, or a thrill. And sends us down a path that leads to more aloneness, less being known.

Doing the work of real intimacy doesn’t promise as ‘happy life’ forever. But it does give greater hope that in the realness of life- the messy conglomeration of life & relationships, of hurts and joy- we can be known for who we really are and loved- more personally, more intimately than we ever thought possible.

Because of our desire to empower that kind of relationship in marriage, GHC is speaking directly to this issue in partnership with Authentic Intimacy, a non-profit ministry of Linda Dillow & Dr Juli Slattery.

We are working together in 3 ways:

1) I have been part of the Launch team for the new book, Pulling Back the Shades, written by Dr Slattery & Dannah Gresh, of Secret Keeper girls. “Christian women don’t have to choose between being sexual and spiritual. They have legitimate longings that the Church has been afraid to talk about, but books like Fifty Shades of Grey exploit. It’s time for women to identify their intimate longings and God-honoring ways to fulfill them.”

Here is a LINK to the first chapter. Take a look and let me know what you think.

To order your copy go to Amazon or CLICK HERE

2) Another thing we are doing it hosting Group Coaching Series based on Passion Pursuit: What Kind of Love are you Making, written by Linda Dillow and Dr Slattery. This is life changing material as the ladies who are currently in the program can tell you. Be watching for the next opportunity to get involved this summer.

Or go to Authentic Intimacy’s site and order yours now.

3) Probably the most exciting way we are partnering with AI is that Dr Juli Slattery & Linda Dillow will be coming to NW OHIO in October. We are sponsoring in part the Authentic Intimacy Conference, October 3 & 4, 2014 at Shawnee Alliance Church.

They will be addressing topics of Emotional, Spiritual and Physical Intimacy. While much of this conference is speaking to the marriage relationship, women in many places in life, single or married, young or old, will be strongly challenged and encouraged as we consider what God has to say on the topic.

It is very evident that there are two powers at work for the hearts of men and women- especially in the area of sexuality and intimacy. God is greater and we are partnering with him in the battle.

Join the revival! Let it start in you!

For you- we prayed!

I was surprised how emotional the moment was for me!
I wish I had taken a picture, but I will not forget the image in my mind.

There we were- 9 women, heads bowed, hearts lifted in prayer as we came together into the presence of the ONE who invited us to Come to Him in the first place.
We are not praying for ourselves, though our words ring true for our own hearts.
We are praying for work to begin exponentially in the hearts of women we love, or don’t even know.
Women who live in our worlds and in our communities.
We are praying for women who have been hurt and abused,
who are confused,
who are curious,
who are loved, or don’t feel loved,
who long to be really known and deeply cherished.

It is for US- all of us as women- that we prayed.
It is for truth- God’s truth- about intimacy to be known and shared with all women.
It is for authentic intimacy- in our relationship with God, and with our loved ones that we prayed.

We prayed-
For you!

Maybe you didn’t know it was happening-
or see it happening
But you will feel it!
You will begin to notice God at work in you!
Because we are not done praying!
We are only getting started!
Just us – won’t you?

Leave us a comment below- let for us know how we can pray for you today?

Pulling Back the Shades

I have had the distinct honor of being part of the launch team for a new book coming out this weekend, March 1st.  So it is with great pleasure that I invite you to …

 Pulling Back the Shades by Dannah Gresh & Dr Juli Slattery

PBTS cover

“You don’t have to choose between being sexual or being spiritual. They were never meant to be exclusive.  Now, with solid biblical teaching and transparent stories, Dannah & Juli offer an unflinching look a the most personal questions women ask. Whether you are single or married, reading Fifty Shades of Grey or Jane Austen, Pulling Back the Shades will address your desire to be both sexual and spiritual.

Linda Dillow, best selling author of What’s it like to Be Married to Me?  and Passion Pursuit (co-authored by Dr Slattery) says Pulling Back the Shades will take you to new places in spiritual and sexual freedom.”

Dr Juli Slattery & Linda Dillow will be bringing Authentic Intimacy to NW Ohio this fall. Be watching for more details.

Take a couple of hours to read this book.  Leave a comment below.   I’d love to hear what God says to you as you process this material.

Just when you need it most!

The month of January I have ‘set aside’, so to speak, to regain some strength from all of last year!  I know, I’ve mentioned that a lot already.  But I have used much of this month to ponder what the rest of my year will be devoted to.  It has not only been extremely refreshing for me- but very insightful.

Well, last night, as we were getting ready for bed, I asked Ren to look at a draft of what I call my “Ideal Week”.  I was challenged to do the exercise by Michael Hyatt (want to know more- go to http://michaelhyatt.com/081-how-to-create-more-margin-in-your-crazy-busy-life-podcast.html ) (Good exercise by the way!!!)

The article talks about the need for margin in the middle of our crazy, busy lives.  While I am not experiencing that this month, I have and will again soon.  His suggestion was to fill out a schedule of what that ideal week would look like.  Now he’s very aware of  the things that interrupt our lives and keep ideal weeks from happening. But he makes a great point, “Life is a long-distance run not a sprint. If you and I are going to be effective over the long-term, we have to create margin and pace ourselves.”

We must be intentional.

So I copied off Michael’s example that is available at his blog, and fashioned it for my own. You can too!  Just click on the picture. It will take you to Michael’s post. Scroll down and you will find some links to an Excel spreadsheet or a .pdf file so you can view what he did,my-ideal-week.001-760x570

What was interesting was that I thought Ren would look at my schedule, and see that I was being quite intentional about pacing myself in  the ‘getting work done’ aspect.  I had a regular wake up time each day and a work day planned.  Not to mention my extra events in the evenings and weekends included.  I intend to make my business work and therefore, must plan my work.

But he pondered it for just few minutes and said, “No, no, no- you don’t have enough margin planned in your week.  If you try to do all this, you will be exhausted by Wednesday.  For one thing, you need to not push to be up with an alarm every week day.  You don’t work well if you don’t have some days where your body can just wake up when it needs too.  

Now that’s a very true statement.  But I felt like he thought that was just my lazy way of doing life for the last few years, and I needed to kick it in gear now that I’m working on my own.  But suddenly my husband, who is up hours before me and often at work for a while on one of my good days, gave me permission to do life and business like I need to do life and business.

There was a time in my life, when giving myself ‘margin’ still allowed me to get up earlier and work longer and weekends.  But now, with the limitations I deal with at this point in my health- that does not work for me.

Just when I needed it most, he reminded me to BE ME!  Even though his need for margin and pace is so very different from mine, he was seeing me! Knowing me!  Giving me permission to do it my way!  As I allow for the ‘margins’ that my health needs, I’m actually stronger in every other way.

How about you? What are the margins you need to be allowing in your life, so that you are stronger elsewhere?

What permissions do you need to be giving those you love?  How can you encourage them to BE themselves?  Where can you help them create margin  so they can be stronger?

Who knows, you might offer a tremendous gift, just when they need it most!

Thanks Rennie!

 

Sixty years

Ren and I are on our way back to Ohio after spending the past week in Texas with our parents.  We enjoy having time with them alone.  We get to catch up more when there isn’t a house full of other siblings and grandkids.  Don’t get me wrong, we love those times – but it’s been good to just have our parents to ourselves a bit.

We stayed with my folks and listened as they processed some next steps in their life.  Their dear friend, Ada, passed away around Thanksgiving and they miss her dearly.  So much of their time has been focused on loving her well.  They have also been very sick since just before Christmas and were just beginning to get their feet back under them when we show up.   I am grateful to report that they looked much better when we left then when we came.

We were also able to spend time with Ren’s parents.  They have moved into a brand new assisted living facility and seem to be settling in well.  They, too, were battling colds, but considering  the journey they have had over the past year with Ren’s dad’s health, we were thrilled at how well they were getting along.  In fact we celebrated Dad’s 80th birthday!

We showed both of our parents all the wedding pictures we could find from each daughter’s wedding.  My parents were able to attend both.  Ren’s parents were only able to view Caitlin’s via Skype (thanks to a dear friend and a special niece).  The internet didn’t work as well for Brielle’s wedding, (rainy weather messed with us) but they did get to see Brie & Jason and talk to most of the family.  It was fun sharing the stories of and remembering for them the specialness of both days.

I have often been grateful for the heritage of long marriages that our parents have given to us.  But I marveled in a new way at the blessing of it again as I watched these two couples interact with their marriage partners after all these years.  Both couples married in October. My parents were married 57 years ago, October 14th, and Rennie’s parents just celebrated 60 years on October 2nd.

Neither couple could anticipate how life would treat them when they said “I DO” so long ago.  They didn’t understand all the nuances of  “for better, for worse’; for richer, for poorer;  in sickness and in health”.  Yet they have faced it all.  But central to all of it was a commitment to one another that stands the test of time.

One of the young aides at the home Ren’s parents live at told them, “I love that you two still love each other after all these years.”

An older couple holding handsI do too!   I love that they love each other.  It hasn’t been easy.  They haven’t always ‘liked’ it.  But they kept on loving  each other no matter what.

Ren and I will celebrate 35 years this June!  These two couples stood by us at our wedding and celebrated ‘what God hath joined together.”  They have stood by us so many times since as we experienced what life threw at us.  They continued to point us to the Lord and to each other through it all.

When Ren & I took a break for lunch on our long way back to our own Ohio home, I pondered what the future could bring for us!   I slid my hand in his as we walked, and thanked the Lord that we have weathered the  last 35 years.   We can’t always plan out the circumstances of each year, but we have committed to do it together.

Wouldn’t you love to love each other at your 60th wedding anniversary?  Me too!

What changes do you need to make to be sure that is true of you?

What attitude adjustments need to take place?

Who do you need to bring alongside you to help you accomplish this?

Ren & I certainly don’t have it all together- but we’re still learning.  And we’re working hard to stick together no matter what!  How about you?

Sixty years- Here we come!

Just to clarify

So I asked Rennie if he would be willing to ‘guest’ post on this website.  He hesitated.

‘”Don’t you want to write something?” I queried!

“I don’t mind writing something”, he replied.   “But I’m afraid people will think that I/ we think I/we have got it all together.   We don’t!”

But we still love each other, don’t we?

Yes!

And we are still learning and figuring things out  at each new season of life, right?

Yes!

Can you write about what you/we are learning in the process?

Sure!  As long as they don’t think I think I’m an expert in this area!

So… here is an overall disclaimer. 

Ren and I don’t pretend that we have it all together.

Neither do we do all the right stuff all the time.

Don’t even begin to think that we do!

Or that we think we do!

We don’t!

But… we are still learning- just like you.   I dare say we are getting  more adept at it, but if we waited till we ‘had it together’ this blog  would never have a post in it.

Plus we are willing to share what we are learning as we do! Maybe you are too!  We’d love to hear from you.

Join us in the journey, won’t you?

Place of Beginning Again!

Marriage is full of seasons; of times in our life that are adjustments ‘places of beginning again’

Ren & I are at such a place. Both of our girls have recently married. We are officially empty nesters- though our girls haven’t lived at our house for a while now.

We felt that more than we expected, With greater intensity- as Brie & Jason left for their honeymoon and Cait & Jack returned to their new home as 2 month old newlyweds, we were very aware of that empty nest.  There was great sadness that came with that.

But the sadness was soon replaced with the awareness that we are ‘two again’.  While we love our girls and their new husbands dearly, they are beginning their own lives, their own chapters.  They are making their own choices.  While we talk often with them, it’s time for Ren and I to think TWO NEW.

It’s been an interesting process.  We’ve had many conversations, spiritual conversations.

We’ve pondered our 8 lane highway

Spiritual Growth

Family

Professionally

Personally

Physically

Financially

Socially

Globally

As I’ve looked at my vision- I then talked with Ren about what he wants to be true in each area.

It is interesting to hear us process.  We are not “two again” like we were when we first got married.

We are “TWO NEW” for the first time in our 50’s.

We are “TWO NEW” for the first time in the sandwich generation – love and care for our parents, love and care for adult children.

It’s a new place- a different place.  What do we want to be true of us in this place?  We’re not dead yet, we have a lot of life ahead of us.  What do we want to be true in the next place of life?

What do you want to be true for you?

Let’s talk!  Add a comment below

Reflections of the Old Year and New Marriage

2013! I love looking back!  Mostly because there are always precious memories of a year that I want to remember.

This year is no exception!  It will be a year I remember forever!

This time last year, Brielle and her then fiancé, Jason Augsburger were setting the October 4th date for their wedding.  Within a few short weeks, Caitlin’s guy, Jack Andrews, proposes and she says “YES!” They choose July 26th for their wedding.  And shortly after Cait’s wedding, my dear friend Pat calls to say she’s engaged, and asks me to be her matron of honor.  This was extra exciting because Pat is ‘older than me’ but this is her first marriage.  Her joy is great! It didn’t take too long for Pat & Bob to choose a December 7th date!

 

WHOOSH! Three weddings in less than 5 months! Along with all of Caitlin and JackView More: http://helloashleigh.pass.us/brielle_and_jasonthe dress fittings, bridal shows & bridal showers, reception coordinating…!   And of course, each one was completely different from the other.  Each Bride had an incredible vision for their day!  We are so grateful for each amazing man that has entered our life as a son-in-love.  Jason & Jack are truly gifts, not only to our girls, but to our family. Oh, and we are grateful for you too Bob!

All these weddings have stirred in Ren & I thoughts of our early days of marriage; the hopes & dreams, visions and expectations of two young people who thought we knew each other really well.  Only to discover that there was a lifetime of learning ahead.

Whether we are just starting our married lives, or we’re ‘starting again’ at some new place in our journey, it is not too late to connect with the vision you want for the rest of your life.

Need some help!  Let’s talk!  There are some excellent tools to help you and your special one enjoy the marriage you always longed for.  Ren and I are on the journey of a lifetime!  You can be too!

Your great marriage starts with you!

kathyburrus@greenhopecoaching.net