Category Archives: Pay Attention

Lessons from #tribeconf

Before this weekend, I would have told you:

  • I never wanted to be a writer
  • I started writing about 6 months ago.
  • I am still struggling to find my voice.
  • I accepted the title of writer about 8 weeks ago.

But after the weekend at the first ever TRIBEWRITER’s Conference, (hence #tribeconf) I came to own I have been on this journey of writing most of my life.

Jeff Goins being Superman!
Jeff Goins being Superman!

Jeff Goins, founder and host of the TribeWriter Conference, (Superman in another life) spoke directly to me (though he doesn’t know it) on the very first session.

 

He challenged us to:

  • Let go: of expectations, of fear, of shame (feeling that we Should Have Always Mastered Everything).  Here we go again.  First thing he says and I’m already having to open my hands to what God might be wanting to do here.
  • Embrace the mess:  How did he know I woke up in the middle of the night in a sweat, wondering if I was going to show up and be shown up for the mess that I was?  He asked us to partner with the community regarding the issues we have.  I did! I found great encouragement and accountability in the process.
  • Become a more true version of yourself:
  1. Be you! Not someone else, even if you admire them.
  2. Believe in yourself.  Action follows belief.
  3. Try something new this weekend.  That was easy! Everything had some newness to it.

While the weekend was full of excellent speakers with very practical resources and action steps for us, I probably could have left after the first speaker and felt like I got what I needed.

I have struggled ever since Leisha died feeling like I need to write to finish her book, but have been in a battle to rediscover who I am really not just as a writer, but as a woman. All I thought about myself had been put into question when my daughter died.  I blogged a bit about this during the weekend. You can catch it here.

But Ally Vesterfelt, of Author Launch really spoke to this as she shared her father’s story as he was near death.  As a clinical psychologist and marriage counselor, he had worked with all kinds of people.  But his first article as he fought to live was “Dying is easy, Life is hard to do!”  Yes it is!  I can attest to that!  I never considered that Leisha had the easy road in dying.  The rest of us had to fight to live.

Ally was just getting started with her challenge to me.  Her next thoughts made me know I was going the right direction.

  • We find our voices when we are most likely losing them.
  • One of the most painful things is to lose the sound of your own voice.
  • FIGHT for the truth, the rawness, and the realness of your own voice.
  • Finding your voice starts with finding yourself.20150830_092547 (2)

Wow!  For her to speak directly to the  battle I mentioned earlier means she is familiar with the pain of it.  I have been there for the last 9 years.  Finding my voice by finding myself.  I can identify that it must be truth, it will be raw, and it must feel real or it feels disingenuous to the process of healing.

“More than likely you will find your voice on a path you least wanted to go down. Sometimes the sufferings, not the healings, are the source of greatest transformation of our life.”

She was right! I knew she was!

I was being changed through the sufferings.  I didn’t want to suffer.  I tried to avoid the suffering, but I knew  it when I embraced the ache and walked into the darkness that the greatest transformation occurred.

As I work to finish Leisha’s book, I reconnect with many layers of grief in order to share what I have learned from the last 9 years. That has been part of the mess I have felt recently. But I wouldn’t change the process.  I am much more aware of who I am and what I was meant to say!

I understand that I must find my own voice before I can truly help someone else find theirs. While I hope that the book will be used to change one person’s life in an effort to change the world,  I know that writing this book has and is changing me.

The story I’m getting ready to present to the world in a few months has been in process for most of my life.

I’m a writer! I have been a writer!  I need to write if just to change me!

How’s your story coming?

Jeff & KathyP.S. Thanks Jeff Goins! For letting go, embracing the mess and becoming a more true version of yourself. You have modeled for me and given me courage to do that same.

Thank you Ally Vesterfelt! For sharing out of the raw, real, truth of your own story. I am one who is changed because of it.

Just because I didn’t write life lessons from all the other speakers doesn’t mean I couldn’t have.  I am still just processing the first one.  Thanks to all of you for your time, availability and genuine support.

I’m already signed up for TribeWriter 2016.  Join me?

TW- 20151029- with Christine TW- 20151029-with Jo Higgins Michael TW 20151029-with Jo

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!

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!

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!

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!

For 26 years…!

File0051

Dear Brielle,

All day long I have thought of you! Since 7:28am this morning. It is almost unfathomable to realize it has been 26 years since the date of your birth!

This evening I just sat pondering your birth.

We lived in Honeybrook, PA. I remember waking up in the middle of the night, about 1:00am and by 3:00am we were making our way to the hospital. It don’t take long at all after that.  You couldn’t wait. There you were! 7:28am.

It was amazing! You were amazing! Continue reading For 26 years…!

28 Years Ago Today…!

Dear Cait,

Twenty-eight years ago today, I was 28 years old. (yes, go ahead and do the math!)

You made me a mom for the 1st time.  Caitlin Renee Burrus bears the weight of names close to both your mom and dad,  Kathlyn and Rennie. I am sorry to do that to you!

You,  little girl, changed our world in ways we couldn’t imagine. Your Dad has often said he planned for how to feed you and dress you, provide a bed for you and a room of your very own in our small apartment. He planned for everything but how he would feel when you were born.  He saw your face, there was not doubt you were his.  The love he had for you was instant.

C & doll darker Continue reading 28 Years Ago Today…!

Delight for 2015!

I have struggled to find the right WORD for the new year!

I usual pick one, or a few to remind me what I want to be about.

For the last two years I chose

  • GIVE the gift of PRESENCE
  • EXPERIENCE VITALITY
  • GENERATE INSPIRATION
  • GRAB HOLD of FREEDOM
  • TAKE PLATFORMS to INFLUENCE

They have been good words which continue to remind me what I want to be about. I made progress in each area but have significant steps that remain. You may not know what I mean by them. But I do. I read them over regularly in an effort to stay focused on my purpose.

But I was struck yesterday morning as Rennie was preaching for a pastor friend was on vacation. He used Psalm 1 “Blessed is the one who….” Continue reading Delight for 2015!