Category Archives: Pay Attention

Where Do You Live?

 

Recently a woman I worked with spoke these words, 
I never made it home.

Instantly I saw a split in the meaning of the words.

On the one hand she was saying she had never made the place she lived feel like home. Instead she had resented this house since life had fallen apart and she had been forced to settle there.

But the words resonated loudly for me with another, more poignant meaning.

I never made it home.

I’ve pondered that phrase often since the day we spoke.

How many times have women that I have met with uttered phrases very similar to that?

I never made it home. Continue reading Where Do You Live?

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

Friend of Influence

20150321_162126Yesterday I shared a post called THAT’s INFLUENCE.

Today I want to share with you a friend of influence.  Her name is Pat.

Pat is has been a long time friend, though recent years have brought us together more purposefully.  She has been my coach as I launched into business.   I was her matron of honor a couple of years ago at her wedding.  She has listened to me through so many transitions of life – and I to her.

Our favorite thing to do is grab a table at Touches of the Heart in Glandorf for lunch and stay till they close.  Julie, the Touches host, knows when she sees us to put on another pot of coffee.  We will be there a while.   Pat and I are never at a loss of words to fill an afternoon.

I have spent that last few weeks struggling with finding energy to do life- but more significantly returning to the grief tunnel as I processed some of the chapters for the manuscript I am writing.  The more I tried to get deeper into my story, the less strength I had to do it. I had spent 10 weeks grappling with the emotions and wondering if I could actually write them down.

I felt so alone. No one can do that except me!

Then Pat called- she connects with me in one way or another nearly every week.  This time she called.  We talked about my health, rejoiced over our families, shared what we are learning about ourselves, about God.  Like I said, we rarely run out of words.

Then she asked about the book.  I told her I haven’t written much for 10 weeks.  We talked about how my health and lack of energy seemed directly connected to the book. She said, “Kathy, do I just need to come and sit with you while you write?”

Ah!  There it is!  So many days I had wished for someone to be with me in this journey.  I had not said anything because I know that I am the only one who can write my story.

But Pat saw me!

She invited herself into my pain.

She asks the questions others are afraid to ask.

She listens to my ramblings as I come to find my own answers.

No, I don’t need her to come write with me.  But I did need to know someone saw what I needed and was willing to be an answer to my need.

That’s influence.

Pat, I am filled with gratitude for the influence you have had on my life. And just so you know, I’ve completed 5 chapters and rethinking 3 more. Thanks for spurring me to finish what my heart must do!

Love you friend!

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!

FIVE Things I Know Now

Yesterday we celebrated the 5th anniversary of GHC.  I admitted that I’m not where I wanted to be in business and in life.  But during this journey I have learned a great deal.  Some things are brand new to me, others are things I am learning again for the first time.

FIVE things I know with more certainty:

Continue reading FIVE Things I Know Now

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!