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!
Five years ago, I sat down with pencil and paper and began to map out a strategy for beginning a new business and opening a coaching practice.
Five years ago, I thought I knew what wanted for my business. I thought I knew what I would be good at and what I needed to do to make that happen. I had a lot to learn!
But this year, I have more clarity about what is important to me, and what steps I need to take to get there. This is not my entire goal list, but here is a glimpse into some of the goals I have set for the new year.
FIVE goals I have for 2016:
This is the 4th and final post in the series Living Open Handed in a White Knuckle World. If you have missed the previous posts, it would be helpful to go back and read them in order to understand how we got to this post. Links are provided below.
Through these posts,
- we have identified our fears that cause us to create fist
- then opened the little finger to admit or acknowledge we have a need.
- Next we lifted the ring finger and wrote a psalm including those fears and needs.
Now we are ready to open the middle finger which stands for P: PIVOT. Continue reading Living Open Handed: Pivot to See God
I am reposting this excellent blog about the marriage dance from Linda Dillow, friend and mentor in life, marriage and worship. You can read more from Linda at www.authenticintimacy.com
Really? That’s the reason you are giving?
You are too old?
Now if you said,
“It’s too hard!
I don’t want to try!” or “I’ve given up!”
– I would understand those answers. I have been there and done that. There are times when that is the most honest answer we can give. I would be sad for you and try to encourage you!
But no matter what your age, as long as you have breath, God wants to have an intimate relationship with you, and He wants for you Continue reading FAQ: I’m too OLD! NAKED TRUTH isn’t for me, right?
The NAKED TRUTH conference brochures are ON THEIR WAY! 7500 should be here next week. The NAKED TRUTH brochure
The message of this conference is powerful- pointing us to God in every area of our life- but especially our sexuality. We are all created as sexual beings. That’s not negative or derogatory- THAT’S GOD DESIGN! Chances are – married or single- we have ALL dealt with issues related to our sexuality. Linda Dillow and Juli Slattery are brave enough to speak God’s Word into this discussion.
A few days ago, a business woman asked me if I thought I was doing the right thing by focusing so much of my coaching business/ministry these days on someone else’s ministry. She was referring to all the Facebook sharing and blog posts I have written that have to do with Authentic Intimacy. Her concern was that I was building their business and not my own.
You see, 35 years ago, I was given a book called Creative Counterpart written by Linda Dillow. It was a book I went back to time and again early in my marriage and have reviewed often since.
Through the years I’ve had several opportunities to not only hear her speak – but spend time with Linda. I’ve listened as she lived out in her spoken words what she had written in several books by now, including ‘Calm My Anxious Heart” or Intimate Issues, Intimacy Ignited or more recently What’s it Like to Be Married to Me, and Passion Pursuit. (See titles below)
In 2002, I was invited to lead a worship team for a women’s ministry retreat in Kiev, Ukraine. I was thrilled when I learned the speaker was none other than Linda Dillow.
Her topic was worship- it was the beginning of her book called “Satisfy My Thirsty Soul”. I was the so-called worship leader- but she was the one who led me in into the Presence of the Blessed Controller.
Just the two of us kneeling at her couch.
Just the two of us sitting on her big rock near her home in the foothills of Colorado.
Then with my team in Ukraine!
Precious, intimate moments with our God!
For me, this opportunity to bring Linda Dillow and Juli Slattery to the Lima area for the NAKED TRUTH conference is an answer to a 20 year long prayer. I told Linda then that someday, I would build a platform for her to speak her voice, God’s message to the people in my world.
It’s not just her books,
or the times she has emailed me
or the times she has cried with me,
prayed with me
worshiped with me
always showing up in my life just when I needed her message.
But that is just the point- for 35 years, she has shown up in my life through her books,
with a consistent message.
A message that pointed me time and time again to see the Lord; lifting my chin to see His face.
That’s a message I want to be part of!
It’s an act I want to be known for!
It’s a voice I want to not only have- but build a platform for when I hear others speaking that same message.
This isn’t about my ‘business’ – or even Linda’s ministry.
It’s about what God is saying and doing in the heart of women all over the world.
Those are the voices I love listening for!
How about you?
I challenge you to listen and heed the message that Linda & Juli have to give all of us in October. Click here to find out more!