Category Archives: life lessons

Story to Share: Patron’s Last Words

This is Part 4 of 4 in a series of posts I have been writing called "story to share".  It is the last of this series, but not the end of the story. In most ways it is a new beginning for me. But I'm getting ahead of myself.  If you would like to read the other posts in the series, start here.

Though this is my story, the main character of the Story to Share posts is a woman named Jenn Wenzke; coach, mentor, founder of the So Now Professional Network of Women,  and overall, champion of women.

Truly, she championed the woman!

Over and over I have heard women say, Jenn…

saw me
listened to me,
challenged me for more

In his book, Real Artists Don’t Starve, author Jeff Goins calls this kind of person a “patron’.  Often we think of the purpose of a patron is the money they might give to help an artist get started. But this goes way beyond the financial support.

All creative workers need:

  • influencers that will vouch for the artist to an audience who doesn’t know them yet.
  • advocates who see the artist’s potential, believe in their work and give them a chance.
  • The right person/or people to connect the artist to the right people.

We need a patron to not only help us decide what good art is, but also help us succeed. Goins. Click To Tweet

I knew immediately as I read Jeff’s description that Jenn Wenzke was my influencer/ advocate/ chance giver/ connector.

She believed in me, challenged me, and supported me.  She was a cheerleader, an encourager, exhorting me on more than one occasion to quit making excuses and step up to the mic.  She asked me questions others might be afraid to ask and listened deeply as I searched inward for my answers.  She wasn’t afraid to tell me when she thought I was off track.  Jenn was my coach to the core.

She helped me decide what ‘good art’ in my work looks like and then championed me in the doing of it.

Jenn was my patron!

Grateful for our PATRON, Jennifer Wenzke: Kathy with Jenn and Beth Boehr Miller, So Now Business Awards 2016

On June 7, 2017 my friend and mentor, Jenn Wenzke,  died after battling the terrible ALS disease that threatened her body the entire time I knew her.

Our last conversation was at her home several weeks before her death.  She was so fragile, but still had much to say.   We spoke of  her health, her family, and of course the So Now Network..  She knew the legacy of that group was in good hands and felt confident it would continue strong. Her one big regret was that her SO NOW COACHING practice would not.

I asked her how I could help.  She said, “You need to be coaching leaders. “  I don’t know why I hadn’t specifically identified that before, but it suddenly seemed exactly right.

We continued talking for a while, this time about my business and thoughts I had for my future.  I spoke of wanting to create interviews with other women in leadership who could bring value to the women in the GHC community.

Before I got the words out of my mouth, she was  shaking her  head—actually her whole little body in her great big chair.

“NO!” She insisted.  “Your voice. Your message. NOW!”

My breath caught .

I knew this was not just any moment.  This was THE moment.  The moment that summed up all Jenn had been speaking into me since the first Tuesday SO NOW meeting when we met two and a half years earlier.

Be YOU! Do what you do best! Do it Now! Click To Tweet

Her situation with ALS made it apparent that life was short.  Don’t waste a moment!

Her role as my patron had changed. She boldly launched me out to BE ME in the world!

It is time…

To know my value!

To own my voice!

To embrace my story and the message in it!

To get up on my platforms of influence (all different kinds of stages)!

To make my difference!

NOW!

Over and over, I’ve pondered Jenn’s last words.  This is not just a message for me. This is what she has been telling women in many seasons of life. It is Jenn’s challenge to each one of us even now!

This is for all of us who want our lives to count.  

Be YOU! Be In-spired! Make Your Dif'rence NOW! Click To Tweet

I want to be like Jenn- not be Jenn, but like her.  I want to be authentic, a patron of women who grows a movement that empowers women to be their authentic selves and champions others to do the same.

This is a lasting legacy that I want to be part of in every way possible.

Join me!  Be INSPIRED! Be YOU!

Kathy


As a grateful tribute to Jenn Wenzke and all she has done to encourage women in her lifetime, this fall GHC is offering an  8 week ONLINE group called

BE INSPIRED to Make Your Authentic Difference
Use your voice, your message, and your influence NOW!

Registration is open, but space is limited.  Sign up today!

What kind of a patron do you need;  influencer/ advocate/ chance giver/ connector?  May I come alongside you in your journey?

In what ways can you be a champion in the lives of others?

Join me as together we get intentional about

  • hearing and using our own voice
  • embracing our story and sharing our own message
  • stepping up to our opportunities to influence
  • now!  Before life gets away from us!

Go to the BE INSPIRED page!  Sign up today!

Let’s make our difference NOW!

More Story to Share 3

Story to Share 2:The Story Began…

In last week’s blog post (posted above), I started to tell you the story about a woman, a champion, in my life by the name of Jenn.  We talked about our value in that post- yours and mine. The three questions Jenn asked me on our very first meeting were…

Do you know your value?

Do you offer value to those in your world?

Are you getting paid what you are worth?

(If you want to know what we said about that, check the link above to that blog post.)  

But I also said that when I hemmed and hawed with my answers to those questions, the next thing she said to me was,  

When you are done making excuses, you can get down to your business.” 

Yep! That was the bottom line!  I was making excuses about why I wasn’t being successful or seeing the kind of difference I wanted to see. 

Are you doing that- making excuses instead of doing the things you really want to do?  


Isn’t that true of most of us though?  We don’t know our value because we don’t realize who we are.   I thought I did.  I had spent a great deal of time and money going to workshops, reading and researching personalities and strengths seeking to understand, and to help others understand who they were made to be.


We don’t know our value because we don’t realize who we are. Click To Tweet

Yet here I was…
Continue reading More Story to Share 3

Boy, Do I Have a Story to Share!

I have been told more than once how amazing it is that I could write my book about my experiences- or create videos that share something I learned on a given day.  “I just don’t have those kind of things happen to me. But it’s nice that you do!

Hmmm? Could it be that I have more things happen to me than you do? I doubt it.  Would God show up in my story more than He would in yours?  I don’t think so.

I don’t have a secret password to get to God.  I have bad things happen just as much as I have good.  Some of you wouldn’t want my story- and I wouldn’t want yours.

But my story Continue reading Boy, Do I Have a Story to Share!

The Day I Made A Word: Cele-dread

Reposted from 4 years ago…

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

I Cele-dreaded this day!

This is the day – you know –
the one you CELEBRATE  because it acknowledged a great accomplishment by people you care about.
But also the day you DREAD because it reminded you that something is not right about this day.
I’ve worked hard to ‘prepare’ myself for this day
I didn’t know how having it all happen just before Mother’s Day might affect me!
I’ve cried- or needed to cry- often
I couldn’t figure out why-
Why do I feel so very sad
Why do I feel so full of grief
Why can’t I stop thinking about her
Why…does…it…hurt…so…bad…???
This is the day when
her close friends are graduating,
I’ve known that Jameson & Kelsey & Abby were all graduating this May. I’ve been excited for them and watched closely as they posted pictures and updates of all that is happening and all the plans to come.
This is the day when her sisters, Caitlin & Brielle,
are getting engaged,
and hunting for the right dresses
And choosing bridesmaids,  and colors, and flowers
and planning showers, and weddings and receptions
But this also the day I remember- that she isn’t here!
The day I ponder in so many ways what could have been, if only…!
This could have been her year to graduate from some college
To have a boyfriend
Maybe even to be getting married too.
I can see it happen.
I celebrate these dear people and the steps they are taking
But I dread the emotion because it reminds me that it will never, ever be ‘right’.
No matter how hard I/we all try.
She will always be gone- the bold, boisterous, life of the party, troublemaker that she was
We will always miss her presence with us
I always miss her
Cele-dread!
But today Tim read 1 Cor 13- 3 times he read it during Shalom
Each time the words I heard were
‘if we do not love, we are nothing.’
I loved!
I still love!
Just because she is in heaven doesn’t mean I have quit loving her!
It’s because I love that this day hurts so very deep.
It’s my love that causes my heart to break
On this day
On all of these days of celebration.
As I look as these precious people- men and women that she loved too!
Some that she never got to meet
I rejoice for what God is doing in them- through them- around them
I celebrate the love I feel for them- and they for me
I cherish it!
I could NOT not love them.
That would be far worse to me
To have never have loved at all
It might mean that it would not hurt so much now
But what would make life worth living without that love.
I could fear losing and therefore not love so that I would not get hurt
But truly to ‘not have love, means I have nothing’
I have a heart that is full- of emotion, of sadness yes, but also of joy, and gratitude,
For the life I knew
For the sense that I am loved
And that I love still!
That’s something!
I celebrate!

The Value of Paying Attention

This week’s Facebook Live Video,
INCLUDES:

 

Plans to Give You Hope!

I’ve read this passage so many times.
I memorized it as a child.
It was given to me in cards and notes over and over again after Leisha died.

God has plans to prosper me- not harm me

God has plans to give me hope and a future.

But I today I read the verse in context of chapter 29.

This is the text of the letter that the prophet Jeremiah sent from Jerusalem to the surviving elders among the exiles and to the priests, the prophets and all the other people Nebuchadnezzar had carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon.

First thing I notice is to be in exile is the condition of someone being sent or kept away from their own country, village, home, etc.  CAMBRIDGE ENGLISH DICTIONARY

The Lord tells them through Jeremiah to:

Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce.Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.

Hmmm?  Sounds like God is saying make the most of the situation you are in – whether it is good or not, whether it is where you want to be or not.

Then in verse 10 the Lord says; ”

When seventy years are completed in Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. 

And that is where Jeremiah 29:11 comes in.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 

SEVENTY YEARS????

Continue reading Plans to Give You Hope!