Category Archives: life lessons

Life’s Too Short!

Today I’m sitting in a booth at Panera people watching mostly.  I had visions of writing- a blog, a chapter, even an email, but I’m just not into it.  I’m tired! Discouraged! Weary!  Yet I’m not!

Do you ever have those days?  When you feel like you can’t do the next thing even though you are excited about it.  You even like what you are doing!

A college team of girls and their coaches came in for dinner. I didn’t ask if it was volley ball or basketball, but immediately the space around me was filled with conversation.

As I sat watching I reflected back on my own journey.

When you are young, you don’t think about life ending.  You are  young!  You expect to have all of life ahead of you! You live and dream and plan as if there is nothing stopping you.

When  you are in your 20’s, you get a job or marriage that keeps you focused.  The job wasn’t what you thought it would be- but hey, it’s a job.  You marriage isn’t the fairy tale you dreamed it would be, but hey you are in love. You still have the energy and the stamina to tackle anything in your way, so you keep on with determination.

You hit your 30’s and 40’s and suddenly thing gets harder.  You get the promotion you thought you wanted and the family you always dreamed of.  Now you have trouble remembering what your dream is because somewhere, someone else is telling you what to do.  Your boss, the needs of your kids, the bills that must be paid. You can’t imagine what it would look like to stop what you are doing- if you drop one ball the whole thing will be crashing in on you. So you keep going!

You turn 50! You either lost your passion for The job you had or you got laid off.  Now you are starting over again. The kids are going to or finishing college, you are prompted to remember the dreams you had when you were their age.  You long for that ability to face the future with such vibrancy and freedom.

i’m not sure about the next 60’s on up.  I’m not there…yet!

But what happens if at any point along the way- life would end unexpectedly.  What if you die? at 94, or 68, or 27, 15 or maybe 8? Continue reading Life’s Too Short!

Doin’ Somethin’ About Worry!

Yesterday I shared a Part 1 post called What? Me? Worry?  You can find it here.
This post is Part 2: the continuation of that post. 

My last post, WHAT? ME? WORRY?  focused on our need to acknowledge worry?  What are the concerns that are holding us back and why?  I identified some of my own issues with my current book project.  I also clarified which things I can do something about and which ones I need to let go of.

Coaching as I goBut It’s impossible to forget something, so I must ADDRESS the worry, by REPLACING IT.

I  have to replaced my worries.

In my case, I reconnected with my vision for the book.  Leisha started it. She handed it off to me.  I must finish it because she is not here.  Her story is the continuation of a legacy she left to me- and to those who will read it.

In my heart, I can’t NOT do it.  It is one way her life continues to influence others.

But, as a coach, I really appreciated that Mr Matthews provided some questions to replace worry; questions that point my worry to a new way of thinking, such as:

  • Who is the one person that might be influenced by this book?
  • What does success look like for this project? In a year? In a month? in 2 weeks?
  • What can I control?
  • Can I influence it?
  • Or do I need to let it go?

Taking those previous steps are all helpful, but have little results without Step 3:  Do something intentional.  I’m afraid that is where I get hung up all too often.  I’m great at pondering about something- but struggle to DO something about it.

So…I’m doing somethin’ about worry!

  1. I wrote to my LOVELY TRACES prayer team and asked for their support.
  2. I’m joined this Self-Publishing Summit and I’m learning from others who have been there.
  3. I’m blogging to you- to not only share what I’m doing, but what I’m learning in the process.
  4. I’m writing a little every day.  I may not be able to spend the day- but I can spend a few minutes developing a thought or researching a concept.

So…how about you? What are you worrying about?

  • Acknowledge your worry
  • Address and Replace the worry
  • Do something intentionally

As the call was ending, Chandler asked Mitch for one parting thought.  He said,

Take what is worrying you and acknowledge that could be the genesis of what you need to be coaching on. Very often the battles we face are the very lessons we teach on to reach the people were put on the planet to help.”

Well, I’ve had a battle!  I’m learning some lessons!  I’m sharing it with you, someone who may also be a worrier.

Do you need some help in your process?  Email me!  I’m a COACH!

I would love to help you intentionally design hope for your dreams!

Kathy
Green Hope Coaching with KATHY BURRUS

Also referenced Mitch Matthews from  www.MitchMatthews.com
and Chandler Bolt at http://selfpublishingsuccesssummit.com

What? Me? Worry?

If you are a regular follower of www.greenhopecoaching.com, you may have noticed that there was a great deal of time that lapsed between my blog on April 28th- and my post last week.

Considering the fact that I am a blogger, that space of time concerned me.  You see, it wasn’t just the blog, but I wasn’t writing original content for much of anything, including the book that I told everyone about in my April 28th post.

I must admit I was overwhelmed by the response to that post on my website and Facebook.

  • Nearly 13,000- yes, that many 0’s- were reached with that post thanks to several of you who shared the post to your own Facebook friends.
  • 1,200 of those friends visited my website and actually read the blog post.
  • Over 350 of them engaged with me some way; leaving a message, a prayer response, a memory, a picture.
  • plus there were almost 75 others who signed up to support me and the project with prayer.

I have been overflowing with gratitude.  While overwhelmed is not quite the right word, I do have a confession.  As the responses started coming in, I found myself writing less and less on the book.  Honestly, in the last 8 weeks, I have not written much at all.

What- Me-Worry-As I have pondered my action- or lack of it, I realize that I was worrying!

I just listened in to an interview with Mitch Matthews of Dream, Think, Do over at the Self-Publishing Summit going on with Chandler Bolt.

Mitch talked about how worry keeps us from focusing.  Worry strangles the ability to see ahead or to think through options.

I felt the weight of expectations that others might have on me – on this book- and I just stopped writing. I felt paralyzed almost.  The more I tried to get in the right frame of mind, the more stress I felt.  And if you know me- stress puts me down faster than anything.  I spent much of early spring sleeping.  Some of you know what I mean.

But Mitch gave a great outline of how to overcome worry.  I was grateful to realize that I had been taking some of those steps without naming them.  But I did want to share them.

3 Steps to PUNCHING Worry in the face

Step 1: Acknowledge it

Step 2: Address it by Replacing it

Step 3: Do Something Intentional

I had to ACKNOWLEDGE my worry finally.

  • What am I concerned about?
  • What if I’m not a good enough writer?
  • What if I can’t tell my deeply personal stories of my life in a way that helps anyone?
  • How will the book be received by others?
  • Can I really pull off the cost- both money, time, etc.

They are real, tangible things to be concerned about. But Mitch reminded us that most issues can be dealt with and overcome with a little training.  Or with knowing the right people to make it happen.

Yet, most people get so caught up in the fear, they don’t acknowledge the fear and overcome it.

There is good and bad worry!

Good worry- keeps you out of dark alleys!  It flips the light on so you can see what ‘s out there!

Maybe the thing that causes you to worry is something you need to give attention.  Sometimes worry is a precursor to identifying something that will help you do great.

For instance, look at my worries above

  • I can take classes and workshops to become a better writer.
  • I can work with close friends and coaches to help me tell my story in a way that is full of hope for others.
  • I can break down tasks of writing or research into smaller chunks of time.  If I do a little everyday, it won’t be so overwhelming and yet I can make a great deal of progress in the long run.

Bad worry hold you back like mine was doing for me. There are things that you can do nothing about .  That is the worry you must let go of.

So using the worry I have above about how others will receive the book, I have no control over that.  I know there is interest from the responses to the April 28 post I shared earlier.  But I can’t control how those same people my respond to the book.   So I need to let it go.

But  how….!

TO BE CONTINUED>>> Click Here! 

Part 2: Doin’ Something about Worry!

Moment on my Porch- not!

JoAnn Fore, the HOPE Coach, challenged me this week to share a porch story. You know! Those times you develop a listening ear and something beautiful comes from your time in the quiet.

The porch I imagined as I read the challenge was the large front porch at a favorite bed & breakfast we love to go to in Holmes County, Ohio. I have sat on that porch and I have met God there. I have wept there, pleaded and cried there. I have celebrated, dreamed and worshipped on that porch.

But we don’t have a porch like that at our house.

Yet often this summer, I have heard the invitation to “come to the tree!”

porch view

The big old tree in it front yard is one of my favorite places to sit. Not only do the branches stretch long to provide shade and protection, but at the base of the tree is a wide, porch like bench built by a friend who has a spiritual gift of service. Out on one limb hangs a swing that reminds me of the precious moments our girls used to spend here. Every thing about this spot says “sweet”!

But today, I went out with Lisa Terkuerst’s book, The Best Yes.  I had just sat down to read and was struck with these words.

If we want the Lord’s direction for our decisions, the great cravings of our soul must not only be the big moments ofassignment. They must also be seemingly small instructions in the most ordinary of moments when God points his finger and says, Go there. In doing that, we are companions of God with eyes and ears more open, more about, more in time with Him.

I barely read those words when I sensed I was being eaten alive by the swarm of mosquitoes that we have been blessed with because of the intense rains we have had this spring. I was forced to go inside.

To be perfectly honest, I was a little miffed that I had intentionally set time aside to read, listen, & worship out at my sweet spot and the Lord had seen it unnecessary to call off the insect population. ( I know, it sounded foolish as I wrote it too!)

Now I had to go in the house where I was surrounded by a myriad of duties that needed to be performed; dishes to be washed, table to be cleared of clutter, bills to be paid, shelves to be dusted, etc., etc., etc.!

I20150710_163844 sat in my front room looking at my sweet spot from the window. The place I knew God called me to often. The place I could often hear him best, when I finally quit making lists in my head and let Him quiet my heart.

Once again I had to sit inside and not be free to do the important heart work God called me to!

Then I read Lisa’s paragraph again.

If we want the Lord’s direction for our decisions, the great cravings of our soul must not only be the big moments ofassignment. They must also be seemingly small instructions in the most ordinary of moments when God points his finger and says, Go there. In doing that, we are companions of God with eyes and ears more open, more about, more in time with Him.

God had brought me into the middle of my ordinary moments, to see that even here he is present with me. In the middle of the laundry, the dusting and the bills, He is teaching me once again, He is part of these things too!

So now I’m off to worship as I prepare supper for my “working hard all week” hubby who just called to say he’s on his way home.

I embrace this place of worship and service too.

Thanks to a fresh perspective from my view of my porch like tree!

Happy Birthday Leisha!

the trioTwenty-four years ago, our daughter Leisha appeared in our world.  She messed up all of our plans that day.

Rennie was supposed to be leading a huge dedication service of the new worship center at our church in Pennsylvania.  She was being born just as they ended the service with a dedication of the new generation that would grow up in this place. Others had to fill in for Rennie!

She messed up lots of days since then too!  Just like every baby does when they grow up in our family.  Days become messy and nights interrupted. Plans get changed and that is expected!  You know, or at least you realize quickly when you bring a child into your life they will forever change you.  All three of ours have left a mark on us so significant that we know we are better, stronger, even holier as we have spent many more hours on our knees. You have too if you are a parent.  It is what we do when we come to the end of ourselves and want more for our child.

Leisha also messed up our lives the day she died. That was eight and a half years ago. Another mark on all of us that have forced us to look at all of life from a new, yet broken perspective.

It is out of that perspective that I write today and ask for your prayers.

Days after Leisha died, we gathered every picture we could find of her and discovered her tapes and journals. It was in her most recent journal that we found ‘her book’.  If you flipped it over and upside down and opened the cover she had begun to write her own story.

Chapter One

Once Upon A Time…

By Leisha D. Burrus

How many stories do you know that begin with ‘once upon a time”?  Well this is one of them, or so I thought.  I was born April twenty-eighth, nineteen ninety one.  But wait!  I am getting ahead of myself.  I guess I should start where it all began.

My parents met in high school. …  she begins to tell the love story of her dad & I.

leisha As I sat there reading it for the first time, I could imagine this book was to be full of adventure and relationships and truth. Such truth! Because even in the short chapter that was written, she had spoken much truth to my heart. But just as Leisha had penned these few words to begin writing her story, she died.  Not only was her story unwritten, but her life unlived.

However her words “I should start where it all began” was a telling of my story and of the journey of her mother and father and all that was her heritage because she was born into this family.

I knew the moment I read her words that it was meant for me to finish.  Her story started mine. It was as if she knew I would need a jump start.  Earlier that morning I had picked up my Bible to continue reading where I had left off the day before. I read these words from Revelation 1:

17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as if I were dead. But he laid his right hand on me and said, “Don’t be afraid! I am the First and the Last. 18 I am the living one. I died, but look—I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and the grave.

19 “Write down what you have seen—both the things that are now happening and the things that will happen.

I felt as if Leisha was writing these words to me.
“Mom! When I saw him, I fell at his feet…and He put His hand on me and said…! Now Mom you’ve got to write!  Write down what you have seen- what’s happening right now and all the things are that going to happen. You can do it Mom!”

So I am!

Yes, I’m writing to finish the story Leisha started; her story and mine. I don’t know how this story will impact yours, but it is my prayer that it will give you hope. Because my primary goal is to write about the many ways this Living One who died showed up in our story. Click To Tweet

That’s the real story- in my life and yours!

So this birthday, I am asking for your prayers as I do just that! Will you pray as I finish the story! I have set my heart to finish writing, and publishing it by Leisha’s 25th birthday on April 28, 2016.  I have much to process, record and learn before that time.  But it is a thing I must do next.

Would you be willing to be on the prayer team for Lovely Traces of Hope! That’s her name for her book! Whether or not it is the final title, I don’t know yet.  But it seems fitting.

If you will join me, please sign up here.




I will add you to the group and send out periodic emails with updates and requests.

Whether you sign up or not, will you pray right now that I see this to completion.  My heart needs it done.

Thank you from a fledging author!

Kathy

Happy Birthday Leisha!

The People Who Marked Me

I have been working on material for the new group which starts May 6th called UNIQUELY U: MAKING THE DIFFERENCE YOU WERE MADE TO MAKE. 1

I ran across this quote that stood out in my mind.

Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you.
― Shannon L. Alder  From https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/legacy>

I have recently thought much about the legacy people leave as both my mother-in-law and my father are celebrating their 80th birthday within a month of each other.  So much of what we have remembered together with them and friends who came to celebrate with them are the stories.  Stories of people who left their mark.  Stories of events that significantly changed the way people thought or behaved.  Stories of a life lived in such a way that it made a difference in the stories of others.

So I can’t help but ask the question of myself, and now you.  What are the stories of people who have made a difference in my life? In yours?

“Your story is the greatest legacy that you will leave to your friends. It’s the longest-lasting legacy you will leave to your heirs.”
― Steve Saint From <https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/legacy?page=2>

For me,  I have bee thinking a lot about the people who have most influenced my life.

Besides being my parents, my father was my Pastor, since I was 2 years old. But he also had side jobs to provide for our family.  He had a lawn business when I was young and would plug us kids into ‘jobs’ as soon as we were old enough.  He  taught me how to work with integrity and the value of a dollar, since it took a while to start making $1 an hour.

My mother was my Sunday School teacher, piano teacher, sewing, baking & cooking teacher.  She taught me to love people- and their stories and the love of planning events that connect them to each other.  She also taught me a love of writing- most recently several years of writing her “Grandma Remembers” letters to her grand kids each month.

My mother in law was also my favorite teacher.  English, Speech, One Act Plays, Literary coach, and Class sponsor were some of the ways she influenced my life.  That was even before her son became my boyfriend.

My father in law was the county agent and he was involved with my 4-H group and other events I participated.  He was a tall man and everyone looked up to him physically.  But he also had a way of connecting with a shoulder squeeze and a laugh that made you feel like this ‘big’ man liked you.

My Aunt Rosalie and Uncle Flick mentored me through college life, even as Flick was my college professor, voice coach, choir director.

But there have been many other stories that have surfaced too.

  • One hero was my 6th grade friend, Gina. When I was in the 5th grade, our basketball team was playing in a tournament and it was a tie game.  In the last 10 seconds of the game, Gina scored the winning two points.  We were ecstatic.  I spent the night with Gina that night.  I kept saying, “You won the game for us Gina!”  Just before we fell asleep she rolled over and looked me in the eyes.  “Kathy, my two points wouldn’t have mattered if the other girls hadn’t made their points, or the guards hadn’t kept the other team from making some of theirs. We won because each member of the team did their part.  I just got to make the last two points.  That was my role.”  I knew she was right and have called on that memory many times in my life.
  •   Or Lavetta, the woman who believed in me enough to encourage me to be in the 1974 Miss Lipscomb County pageant when I was 16.
  • Or the worship team that traveled with me to Ukraine. the night they came to lead me in worship was the night I was diagnosed with Addison’s and was finally feeling better.
  •  Or Doris who made the Thanksgiving Dinner for us that night- the best meal I have ever eaten.
  • Or Janice who said yes to helping me plan work out my end of the details for my girls weddings.
  •  Or Barb who helps me SEE so much of my life and emotions tied to it.
  • Or Pat who asks me the kind of questions I ask my clients!  And listens to my answer.
  • Or Christy who encourages me to do the next thing I need to do.
  • Or Lydia and Lisa who are/were pastor’s wives and shared life with me.
  • Or Cait and Brie who love me- and notice things no one else does in my life.
  • Or my dear husband of 36 years, who cares for me more intimately than I ever dreamed possible.

Each person – and many I didn’t share about here- has left a mark in my life.  They have made an extraordinary difference being their ordinary selves.

  • What about you?
  • Who are the people that have made a difference? 
  • What was that difference?  Did it change your thinking, your behavior, or attitude?
  •  What will you do to tell them thank you again?
  •  Who will come to you with thanks for something you have done in your life? 


We don’t usually know who those people are.  But we can be intentional at leaving the kind of difference we were meant to make.

Do you know what yours is?

Let’s have that conversation.

greenhopecoaching.com

The actual questions and answers will depend on you!

  • Your story
  • The messages playing in your head
  • the truth you live by
  • Your skills, abilities and talents
  • Your calling

Cost for the class is $20 per session or $150 if you pay for all 8 sessions by May 1st. (that’s a $10 savings)

will include:

  •  8 weeks of group coaching, which means
  1. you benefit from your own coaching,
  2. as well as learn as you listen to others process as well.  (Tremendous growth occurs in the synergy of authentic community. )
  3. Yes, it is a risk you take.  But it has powerful potential for encouragement, support, and accountability.
  4. You get to experience the benefits of coaching at an affordable price.
  • Materials used in the class, including book, worksheets and possible assessment.

Register by emailing Kathy@greenhopecoaching.com. Write I’M INTENTIONAL in the subject line.

Let’s be intentional about making the difference we were made to make!

Intentionally Making A Difference

I just had a birthday! It is one of the middle ones not ending in a 0 or a 5.  It’s a non-consequential birthday!  Not one we celebrate in a big way. Just another birthday.

But birthday’s always make me stop and think.  Perhaps they do you as well.  Another year has passed.  I find myself asking,

What did I do in the past year that made any difference?

What do I need to be about in this next year to make the difference I was meant to make? Click To Tweet

1

Sometimes we get caught in the trap of being so busy we don’t stop to ‘ponder’!  I love that word ponder because it denotes a slowing down, maybe even stopping to sip a favorite cup of tea.  We take time to notice.  We look around and see the new buds on the trees and the new blooms in the garden.  We breath in the air, still crisp, yet warming.  We feel the sun on our arms that have long been covered by winter coats.

Birthdays, Holidays,  especially the New Year cause us to ask questions about our life. I know I’m not the only one pondering questions.   I talk to many who are.  Friends, Family, clients- so many are asking questions like:

  • How do I know if I’m doing what I’m made to do?  It doesn’t feel like it.
  • Why don’t others see my value?
  • Shouldn’t life mean more than this?
  • How is the meaning of my life best lived out?

Or we find ourselves saying things like:

  • I feel like I’m so busy, but not going anywhere.
  • I just don’t feel inspired to do anything.
  • I thought this is what I wanted, but I’m not satisfied.
  • I feel too old, but like I have more to offer- but no one wants it.
  • I don’t want to just do anything- I want to do something that makes a difference.

Even this week as Rennie was listening to the trailer for the new movie  Batman vs. Superman (No, I’m not endorsing here- just using as an example) I heard a woman say something like,

 “We get so caught up with what we can do, we haven’t asked what we should do.’

How do we know what we SHOULD be doing?  Who says what we SHOULD be doing?  How do we know when we are doing it? Or not doing it?

Sometimes life gets so busy doing things we feel we SHOULD be doing.  But somewhere after doing that for a while, we are suddenly forced to stop and ponder!

Were we so caught up with what we SHOULD be doing, we lost sight of what we were MADE to do? Click To Tweet

That’s a question we will be asking at the new group Green Hope Coaching  is offering in May!

greenhopecoaching.com

 

We will be asking the questions

  • Who?
  • What?
  • When?
  • Where?
  • And How?

The actual questions and answers will depend on you!

  • Your story
  • The messages playing in your head
  • the truth you live by
  • Your skills, abilities and talents
  • Your calling

Cost for the class is $20 per session or $150 if you pay for all 8 sessions by May 1st. (that’s a $10 savings)

will include:

  •  8 weeks of group coaching, which means
    1. you benefit from your own coaching,
    2. as well as learn as you listen to others process as well.  (Tremendous growth occurs in the synergy of authentic community. )
    3. Yes, it is a risk you take.  But it has powerful potential for encouragement, support, and accountability.
    4. You get to experience the benefits of coaching at an affordable price.
  • Materials used in the class, including book, worksheets and possible assessment.

Register by emailing Kathy@greenhopecoaching.com.
Write I’M INTENTIONAL in the subject line.

You have much to offer you world!

You make an extraordinary difference in your world being your ordinary you! Click To Tweet

Even if you don’t see it!

But … there are many things we can do to intentionally make the difference we were meant to make.

Are you ready to take the challenge?

Join us! Email me today!

Lessons from a Musical!

Last Friday night, Rennie treated me to a night at the Elida High school’s presentation of Beauty & the Beast. These aren’t always his favorite things to do so it was a very neat treat for him to ask me out to “the theater”!

However there was another special thing about this one. Our former pastor’s wife was the director and Pastor Randy played Maurice, Belle’s father.

Pastor Randy, also known as  Maurice, inventor of wacky but useful things.
Pastor Randy, also known as Maurice, inventor of wacky but useful things. (Photo courtesy of Doug Boquist)

I loved everything about the evening.

The atmosphere was buzzing,

We sat near people we knew.

We watched children with excited expressions.

The set was so well done and costumes fantastic.

But of course, I loved the watching the story come to life!

One character after another made their first appearance on stage, adding their personality and flare to the dynamics. Continue reading Lessons from a Musical!

Check the rear view mirror!

I was recently reminded of a little illustration I have used often. It goes something like this.

When you drive home today, you’ve got a big windshield on the front of your car. And you’ve got a little bitty rear view mirror. And the reason the windshield is so large and the rear view mirror is so small is because what’s happened in your past is not near as important as what’s in your future. –Joel Osteen

travelOk! There is much truth there.  It is important that we get a clear perspective of what is ahead and where we are going. With that in mind we can increase the momentum to reaching our destination.  If we spend so much time focusing on our past- we can literally come to a complete halt with any forward movement.

But ya’ll!  We have a rear view mirror for a reason! Continue reading Check the rear view mirror!