I’m in the people business
Care for people
Feel for people
Because of this I have to be very aware of how I take in the emotions & pain of others. It can effect me not only emotionally, but physically as well.
Over the last few days a series of losses took my breathe away.
Death of a 26 year old friend of Leisha’s
Death of a 16 year old friend of a friend
Our friend’s 17 year old fighting for his life
Watching our parents process letting go of strength, while mourning each week the death of another friend or loved one.
Watching the girls navigate life and wondering what’s ahead for them and any future generations.
I’m not trying to take on all this pain but I’m struggling about what to do with my own emotions as I create a bigger picture for ministry I know I am part of
That involves more people
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?
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.
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.
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?
I was sittting at the Arby’s across from the mall in the area that is all window. People watching at its best. The sky was clear with the exception of a few, very small, very white clouds slowly drifting by. What a beautiful day!
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, 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:
Be you! Not someone else, even if you admire them.
Believe in yourself. Action follows belief.
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.
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?
P.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?
Recently a new friend asked the common question, “What do you do for a living?”
I hesitated for a moment. Thoughts flashed through my head of the past couple of weeks. Of conversations I’ve had with clients and friends. I know what my job description is, but is it what I actually do?
I became a life coach because I got to help people, particularly women, identify where they are and where they want to go! One of my favorite things to do is to partner with someone to create an action plan for their dream.
However, recently I’ve been more of a Psalm 77 coach than a life coach. Have you never heard of a Psalm 77 coach? Yeah, me neither. I just made it up!
Here’s why I use the title Psalm 77.
When I start working with a client, I often ask just two questions.
1) What do you want to talk about today?
2) What do you want to have to feel successful in this session?
If a client can answers those questions at the beginning of the session, we can make incredible progress.
However, what I find most often is before a woman can accomplish what she wants to be true of her, she has to grieve what isn’t!
I would like to introduce you to a new friend Sarah Knepper. I have asked to share a recent post here today. Sarah is a stay-at-home mama of four and an engineer’s wife. She is a lover of words, encourager of women, and redeemed by a grace-giving God. She holds a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education and is the Volunteer Coordinator for the women’s events at her church. And she firmly believes that Jesus and coffee can get you anything.
Today I made two visits that I knew I would make one year ago. One with Sarah’s mom and the other to Sarah’s husband.
I met Sarah when I was ‘the youth pastor’s wife’ and Sarah was one of the youth. She was quiet, but when she smiled, you felt like smiling with her.
Several years later she became the ‘youth pastor’s wife’ and my husband was the lead. Her personality remained reserved, but her smile was now matched by an incredible passion for the Lord that oozed out of her and sweetly touched the lives of the young people of our church.