OK! It’s official! I’m an author! I held my first book signing thanks to the gracious and persistent Tanya Augsburger of the Bluffton Public Library, Bluffton, OH.
Months ago- before there was an actual book, Tanya engaged me to consider hosting an author event at the library. I thought she was jumping the gun, but I appreciated her thinking ahead for me. It was a delight for me to work with Tanya to put together this book signing event. I am so grateful for her and the Library for hosting this opportunity.
I knew that book signings were often part of an author’s next steps. I knew that it was valuable to connect with interested and potential new readers.
But I witnessed so much BEAUTY in this moment and in the people who attended. Continue reading The Beauty of Signing a Book!
Ten years ago next weekend, we gathered to remember a spunky little gal named Leisha.
We celebrated her life And mourned our loss of her.
We remembered the things she didTo make us laugh
To make us cry,
To make us crazy!
She touched our lives and she taught us,
She changed us in the living and the dying.
Would she have made such a difference in our lives if she had just lived? I know I’m her momma, but I think so.
The day she died, I met her on our country road. I was teasing her because she was so eager to get her driver’s permit. I said,” you just want power. ”
I could see the wheels spinning in her head and her eyes were sparkling.
She spoke, “I don’t need power. I want to influence. I want to say, I’m going come with me.”
“Honey you were made to influence,” I replied as I stroked her nose like I had so many days since she was born.
10 minutes later, she was gone.I want to influence. I want to say, I'm going come with me. Click To Tweet
Well, dandelions have long been important at the Burrus house.
For one thing, Continue reading Influence Like a Dandelion
“I believe that once it lives, beauty never dies. I’ll never forget those eyes.” – Leisha by Josiah Gillespie (Written by Josiah Gillespie, 2006)
A lot of tragic things have been happening lately, in my personal life (as I talked about in my last post), in our city (3 shootings in 3 days), and in our country (Christina Grimmie’s murder and the shooting in Orlando). This has only added on to what I have already been feeling since March.
You see I experienced a great loss in my life almost ten years ago, and I relieved that experience by reading about it from the perspective of another back in March. Ever since then I have thought about it from time to time. I have the past (almost) 10 years anyway, but especially these past few months as I relived it in a way and God brought me to deeper healing with it.
For those of you who do not know, when I was 15-years-old one of my best friends, Leisha, ran out of this world and into the arms of our Savior. Continue reading Lovely Traces from Sarah
This past weekend I received an email from this special lady pictured with me in the photo. Her name is Linda Dillow. The email is the forward she has written for the book, Lovely Traces of Hope.
Linda has been my mentor in life, marriage, and worship most of my adult life, though we have only met a dozen times or so. I received her first book as a wedding present in 1979. I have read all of her books since. (I’ll list my favorites at the end of this post.)
It has seemed that just when I needed to take a next step, she was putting out the next book. When I was invited to lead a worship team to Ukraine, she was the speaker at that same conference. No, we didn’t plan it. When Rennie and I were on sabbatical, she invited us to stay in their home for 10 days while they were away.
For whatever reason God chose to place her in my life over and over again, I am eternally grateful. She led me in a journey of contentment, worship, marriage, sex even. She encouraged me to find contentment in my life and see my words, attitudes, work, and my waiting -even my pain – as an act of worship. She led me in worship, not in songs of worship, but in worship of two hearts bowed at the sofa, remembering who God is, recalling what he has done and praising him from the core of our beings. She invited me to see that my marriage was a reflection to my world of God’s love for us. She challenged me to want more for my relationship with Ren.
Linda is one of my heroes! No, this is not hero worship. This is gratitude. I trust her. I know she is a woman who pursues God and points others to him, because I have seen her do it. Not to one or two women, but to thousands, perhaps more. Not for a short time, but for her lifetime. I know. I’ve been watching her for 37 years now. Linda is the real deal. She is a woman of influence!
That is why I am humbled and grateful that she has written this forward for the book. I could make you wait to read it in the book, but I just had to share it. Take a peek. Here’s what a woman you can trust has to say.
What does a mom do when her beautiful, vibrant fifteen year old daughter is suddenly, harshly, instantly gone? Grieve? Of course. Go on a long journey of seeking God and healing? Yes. Kathy did these things but also did something very unusual.
After Leisha died, she opened her daughter’s journal and found Leisha’s “book.” If she flipped Leisha’s journal over and upside down and opened the cover, Kathy found her daughter had started to write her own story. She even included the title page.
So Kathy began writing to finish Leisha’s story.
The Burrus family: mom, dad and three girls came to have a vacation in our basement in Colorado Springs in 2002. It was a special time to get to know Kathy, Rennie and their three lovely daughters, Caitlin, Brielle and Leisha. A few short years later, Leisha was singing in heaven and Kathy was finishing her story. As I read Lovely Traces of Hope, I smiled, I cried and I wrote these words to Kathy about the book she and Leisha had written.
Thank you for walking through the dark tunnel to His Light
Thank you for writing so honestly and vulnerably for me and others about grief and pain and how to walk….believing that there is HIS Light somewhere ahead
Thank you for “taking your clothes off” and being real
Thank you for revealing the beauty of walking the Christ walk
Why do I think you should read this book? Let me use Leisha’s name to tell you.
Both Leisha and Kathy have much to share about building your legacy. Kathy says, “When we intentionally NOTICE what really is happening, it gives us an opportunity to reflect on what we are learning from it. More importantly we see what God has been doing. We NOTICE His fingerprints, HIS HAND on our everyday, ordinary lives.” That is especially true when we reckon with the painful areas that may leave us paralyzed in some way. Many times just “noticing” allows us to reframe the events and their effects on our future.
As a mom, Kathy gave me hope, showed me how to face problems with teens, how to reach inside myself and be willing to look honestly at “me.” We all face loss. Loss is not the defining moment of our lives, it is how we respond to loss that matters. Kathy helped me see in a new way that healing is a progression.
Not many fifteen year olds think about being an influence—they are too busy thinking about boys, clothes or the Friday night party. Leisha wanted to be MAD (Make a Difference)! At her tender age, she thought about being an influence and leaving a legacy. Teens need to read this book!
Kathy is honest. Listen to her sincere words. I hesitate to write these next pages. Offering them here is a risk. What will you think of me if I tell of the places in our lives we didn’t have it all together? What if I take off the mask enough for you to see me as I really am?
Leisha and Kathy’s book points you to the Lord God Almighty. In pain. In grief. When life is a dark tunnel, Kathy discovered that God is still Light. She says, I had to learn to NOTICE God showing up differently.
This book is an advance. It takes you forward in your thinking, in your faith, in your personal journey toward the legacy you are creating. Books have been written on grief. Kathy achingly walks you through how she processed her grief. Books have been written on how to help your teen and whole family walk through trials, Kathy shows you how her family did it.
Leisha and Kathy’s combined story is for every mom, every teen….really for everyone. I highly recommend Lovely Traces of Hope to you. I promise you it will lead you to hope as it did me!
Calm My Anxious Heart
Satisfy My Thirsty Soul
What’s It Like to Be Married to Me?
Surprised by the Healer
Want to get updates or join the launch team for Lovely Traces of Hope? click here!
This past week, my daughter lost a mentor. Denny Griffith had been the president of CCAD, Columbus College of Art & Design while she was a student there. She describes him often as such an instrumental person, a spectacular man, an artist, and a person of influence.
I always marveled at the closeness she felt toward him. And then I read one of her Facebook posts this week. She wrote: Continue reading That’s Influence!
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!
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.
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.