Category Archives: Living Intentionally

New WORD for a New Year

My Word for the year is EnJoy!

I am quite excited about this word.  Over the last 10 years my words have been  Hope- Hope & More HOPE!  I had that word for several years. It’s a great word, but it was a desperate time for me.

One year the word was TRUST, another year it was BE STILL. (I know technically two words, right?) Last year my word was FINISH which was appropriate since my goal was to complete the Lovely Traces of Hope book.

These were all great words and they were significant to me at the time, but they all had a urgency to them, desperation is still the better word.  Even being still was a challenge word at the time.

But this year, the word that keeps coming to me Continue reading New WORD for a New Year

A Journey to Be!

Below, I am REPOSTING a post from a year a go.  I wrote this during my first ever writer’s conference- TRIBEWRITER’s in Franklin, TN last August 2015.  I remember being scared, excited, sick to my stomach and sure this was my next right/write step. 

Today as I prepare to attend my second Tribewriter conference, I read this post agin.  I am in awe of all that has happened in a year.  

A year ago, I spoke the words “I am a writer” for the first time. A year ago I declared that I would finish writing and publish a book.  

Now it is done.  It took a great deal more to complete this task than I ever dreamed, but I have a book to show to the Jeff Goins as I thank him for helping me own who I am and  for introducing me to Christine Niles and others who inspired and challenged me through this process.

I don’t know what I will learn this year at TRIBEWRITERS, but I’m scared, excited, sick to my stomach and sure this is the next right/write step. Pray for me!

*******

As a child, did you ever wonder what you would be when you grew up?  Journey to Be

I did often.  It had everything to do with being a mom, and working with music and worship in the local church. And if I happened to be married to a pastor, that would be all the better. I never wanted to be anything else.

But today I sat in a room full of people and realized that is not who I am anymore.  I still have the same gifts and abilities.  I still love music and prefer to use it to lead others in worship.  I still have a husband who thinks about ways to teach God’s word and loves to talk about church leadership.

The fact that I am not what I once was used to feel like failure, then just loss.  But today I came to see in fresh ways that all that WAS is part of all that IS.   All that I have learned is part of all that I now share.

From the memories of all that I am from to the discovery of the voice that has always been within me, I am still me.

Only more!

I’m more aware!

I’m more raw!

I’m more real!

And that is good.

Today I came closer to identifying and becoming content with who I am!

I am an entrepreneur.   I own a business.

I am a coach and a speaker.

I am part of a tribe and I am a leader of tribes.

I am also a writer!

It is out of who I am now that I will write.  It might suit you and it might not.  I might speak to the core of your issues and I might not.  I might write out of the suffering more than the healing and I might not.

But I will write because I must. I will continue to explore who I am coming to be because I will not go back.  I will continue to share the truths that I am being taught.

From the memories of all that I am from to the discovery of the voice that has always been… Click To Tweet

I will not count the past as lost, or wasted.  I will see it for the training ground it has been.   I will not fear the present or the future because I have known the hand of God in bringing me to this point.  I will trust it as I continue on.

Today I have seen more of me.

And it’s ok!

So are you!

Who are you today?  What do you need to embrace in this day?

Join me in the journey to be,  won’t you?

Sacred Space

by Kathy BurrusSacredSpace

There is a sacred space

Between life and death

Hope and doubt

Faith and fear

A space that leaves you feeling as if each foot is in a different world

And the whirling of emotions leaves you either paralyzed in or running

To or from, in or out

It sometimes doesn’t matter

You find yourself wrestling in a moment of crisis Continue reading Sacred Space

Grateful for this Woman of Influence

This past weekend I received an email from this special lady pictured Linda Dillow- wrote forwardwith 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.

FORWARD for Lovely Traces of Hope.

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.

Lovely Traces

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.

L egacy

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.

E ncouragement

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.

I nfluence

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!

S incere

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?

H oly

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.

A dvance

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!

LINDA DILLOW
Author
Calm My Anxious Heart
Satisfy My Thirsty Soul
What’s It Like to Be Married to Me?

Co-Author
Intimate Issues
Passion Pursuit
Surprised by the Healer

Want to get updates or join the launch team for Lovely Traces of Hope? click here!

That’s Influence!

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!

Does God want me to be Sensuous?

So what do you think?  Does the Bible teach us to be sensuous women? Some of you are thinking Kathy’s talking about sex again.  Maybe! But maybe not!

I have had some interesting dialog with women who desire to be all that God has created them to be.  But they are not sure what to do with issues of sexuality/ sensuality when they are single and longing to honor the Lord.

 

I have heard one woman after another share that much of the pain in their life has to do with wrestling with issues related to sexual or sensual issues.  There is God’s view to reckon with which has been confusing to women on so many levels.  There is the world’s view which seems to indicate to just ‘be free’ sexually.  However much of the ache these women now feel is because those behaviors don’t feel free like it does in the movies.

So can we be single and sexual?  What does God want from us if he created us to be sexual beings, whether we are married or single, while the Bible teaches that sex is reserved for marriage.

Dr. Juli Slattery of AuthenticIntimacy.com hits the mark as she addresses this topic in her 2 minute Thought called Can I Be Single and Sexual?  Juli reminds us that our sexuality is not compartmentalized waiting for marriage, it is integrated into all the aspects of who you are; intellectual, relational and spiritual. 

We are geared to immediately associate sexuality with sexual pleasure.  But it actually serves a much greater purpose.  Juli goes on to say that sexuality is about intimacy and relationship. The core aspect of our sexuality is the yearning to be known and share intimately with another person, which is expressed fully in marriage.  My sexuality as a woman deeply impacts how I relate to others- outside the bedroom. 

(Be sure you listen in to hear the rest of Juli’s comments. There is a wealth of information for married or single women at authenticintimacy.com.)

As I pondered how we might experience intimacy that was not sexual, especially for the single woman, I dug a little further with a word study on the word SENSUOUS which is defined as “anything that is pleasing to the senses”.  In other words, anything that we touch, taste, see, smell and hear.  There are many ways we can experience intimacy in

  • a furry kitten resting calmly in our hands
  • a delicious meal shared with friends
  • a beautiful sunset filling our sight
  • a pie baking in the oven smelling so good, tasting even better
  • an incredible symphony
Each of our senses are faithful, loving reminders that God is breaking into our world to speak… Click To Tweet

These are examples of sensuous things make our senses happy, but they also nurture us and allow us to know a deep joy and possibly meaningful intimacy with relationships of family and friends.

I understand that many times the effects of past encounters, or abuse related to sexual activity can taint the purity of a sensation. Certain senses can become triggers for memories or behaviors that you are desperately trying to avoid.

So often, rather than risk something “unpleasant” (though it might be much more damaging than that word denotes), we end up closing ourselves off to everything that might stir our senses.

But remember, God is a redeeming God.  He created you to be sexual.  He gave you your senses to live fully alive.  Yes, there is pain!  Yes, there is pain that needs healing, and your senses maybe part of that.

But each of our senses are faithful, loving reminders that God is breaking into our world everyday to speak his words of love to us.

What is it that God is inviting you into as you consider how to live sensuously as a sexual being?  Maybe you have some questions about what that would look like.  I know some women who are making it work.  Let’s have that discussion together.

In the mean time, Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. Psalm 34:8

Hope in the Midst of the Storm

Rennie Burrus was asked to share his Leisha story through loss to hope at Cable Road Alliance Church on Sunday, August 2. Ren asked me to share a bit of mine as well. You can listen in at the link.

Hope in the Midst of the Storm –
Podcast by Rennie and Kathy Burrus

Cable Road Alliance Church’s Podcast

BUZZSPROUT.COM

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

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!