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!.

I want to know you!

Dear Reader of this blog,

I have been writing to you for a while now, picturing in my mind what you look like and how your day might be going.  Writing to you as a fellow struggler as a wife, mom, woman of God, woman longing to make a difference in the world we live in.

While I know that we have a lot in common- I know that as a blogger, my conversation is very one sided.  I share with you what is going on in my life, ask you some questions about what is going on in yours and we’re often done talking!

But I know that you have much to say.  I also know that my blogs and my coaching would benefit greatly from hearing you.

So… I have a request.

Would you be willing to fill out a simple survey- to let me know more about the topics and discussions you would most like to have with someone you trust.  Your answers would be strictly confidential, but would help me significantly as I work to provide a service that would most help you- and other women like you.

Thank you so much!  Your contribution is making a difference in the life of another woman who is too insecure to have that conversation.

In appreciation for your authentic and honest responses, I would like to send you a Resource of Questions you can use to build deeper relationships with those you care about.  Sometimes a prompt helps get the conversation going in a direction that encourages authentic sharing.  These have been a help to me.  

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. Interlude 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 life-giving 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. 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 life— when 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

Why ask WHY?

For the past 3 months, I have taken part in my biggest challenge of the new year: writing my business plan for Green Hope Coaching. That was only intensified because it was part of the Ropp Triplett Business Plan Competition put on by the Bluffton Center for Entrepreneurs.  I am delighted to share that I placed 2nd in the competition.  First place went to my new son-in-law’s sister, Rachel Davis & Studio Silhouette.  So she’s nearly family.  I am thrilled.

INTENTIONALLY thinking through what GHC needed to be about became powerful.  (I wrote more about that on March 22-just-one-more-p-u-s-h )   I wrote a plan 3 years ago when I started GHC, but it did very little more than help me start dreaming. Valuable in and of itself to get me started, but that’s where it stopped.  But my new plan- only a beginning to laying a groundwork for the future of GHC- has already been a great help in the determining next steps.


 Part of the value was coming to terms with what I wanted GHC to be and do.  One of the questions that prompted deep soul searching was “What is your internal reason for starting your own business?” 

What is my WHY?

Of course, in part it is to generate income for my family.  But there is so much more WHY beyond that.

1.  My husband and I have spent 25 years of our married life in pastoral ministry. When we resigned from the pastorate in 2005, I began to research what I could do using my love for people and their stories as well as my desire to come alongside them during times of crisis and joy.

Through the Strengths Finder Inventory developed by Marcus Buckingham & Donald Clifton, I have identified my strengths as:

  •  MAXIMIZER: Focus on strengths as a way to stimulate personal and group excellence.
  • DEVELOPER: Recognize and cultivate the potential in others.
  • INDIVIDUALIZER: Intrigued by unique qualities of each person.
  • WOO: Love the challenge of meeting new people and winning them.
  • STRATEGIST: Create alternative ways to proceed.

I begin to research coaching and recognized WHY it was a good fit for who I am.

2.  Our family experienced several years of family counseling in an effort to restore our own ability to function well as a family.  At the end of our time in counseling- dealing with healing our past hurts, I sensed a need for additional help with our next steps.  I found some people who were very good at asking me the right questions to move me to the place I wanted to be.

I understood WHY I needed and benefited from coaching in my own life.

3.  In August of 2006, our youngest daughter, Leisha, was killed in a car/ pedestrian accident. In our journey to find hope in a very dark time, we were reminded often of her words not long before her death. I was teasing her that she was so anxious to get her driver’s permit because she wanted power.  She thoughtfully replied,  “Mom, I don’t need power.  I want to influence.  I want to say to people, I’m going, come with me! ”

I knew that I couldn’t be part of helping others if I stayed stuck in my own grief.  Part of my WHY is that I too wanted to say “I’m going, come with me!”

4.  As I’ve pondered her words over the past 8 years, I realized another reason those words struck a huge chord in my own heart was  because years before- when I was about her age,  I wrote very similar words in my own diary.  “Lord, I want to influence.   I want to go M.A.D- make a difference in the lives of people. “

I knew WHY I needed a platform- a place to speak my message- that allowed me to influence others to be intentional.

Kathy Burrus, Green Hope Coaching was founded 5 years later in 2011.

5. However, I sensed I was creating a lot of ‘activity’ but not having the level of transformation in my clients I had hoped to achieve.  I was also giving away more than I was taking in.   I spent most of my life as a pastor’s wife giving my ‘coaching’ away.  I knew I had to address the ceiling my own thought processes created and generate income with my skills.

In 2012, I chose to ‘close shop’ for the year as I helped both my daughters prepare for their weddings. During that year,

  • I observed the relationships of the soon to be newlyweds,
  • I recalled the dreams and expectations my husband and I had early in our marriage.
  • I watched and listened as our parents and our family and friends spoke of ‘the way it was’ and ‘how did we get here.’

As I listened, I began to narrow down what I want to be about.

  •  I know that my heart is deeply concerned for the today’s families, but most specifically for the marriages that head up those families. Hence, I knew the love aspect would focus on marriage.
  • I know that the aspect of loss will be part of the coaching I do, because it is such an integral part of my own story. Most often, clients do have to deal with the loss of something – dream, relationship, job, etc. before they are able to move forward in their story.
  • I know that life coaching is very broad – but it leaves the door open for the client to identify what specific area they want to work on. The primary topics here will be related to connecting with values, accomplishing a personal or professional goal, and identifying obstacles that are keeping goals from being reached.

 Working through this one question on my business plan, “WHAT is your WHY?”  helped me to understand the past 3 years of GHC were more about my journey to  be influenced to intentionally design hope for my life, love & loss, than about my business. I am in a new place now- personally and professionally. 

I am Kathy Burrus, Green Hope Coaching!  I exist to influence others to intentionally design hope in their life, love and loss.

What is your WHY?

In business? At home?  In your relationships?

If your answer is ‘money’ to any or all of these questions:  Ask WHY again. 

Why do you want to make money?

  • To get more stuff
  • To build a bigger house
  • To pay bills
  • To get out of debt
  • To help my kids in school
  • To take my family on a great vacation
  • To give more generously to my church and community
  • To live more freely
  • To ________

What is your WHY?

What does it tell you about you? About your priorities? About what you value most?

We would all benefit from the process of writing a ‘plan’ for our life?  But maybe we need to start with this one question.

 WHY do you exist?  God had a very special purpose that he planted deep within you.   What is your WHY? 

(By the way, I’m a life coach!  I get to help people answer questions just like that one.  Shoot me an email if partnering together would help you find your WHY?)

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.


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 ) (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!