Tag Archives: life story

The Value of Paying Attention

This week’s Facebook Live Video,
INCLUDES:

 

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?

Thank you Professor Sittser

This past week, I have been working intently to finish up details for publishing the Lovely Traces of Hope book.  I had one of those moments  as I sat late into the night reading/ editing/ proofing yet again through my own story.  

For the umpteenth time, I was reading through Chapter 14, Turning East, which I have sent to many of you already. (Click here if you haven’t read it yet.) In that chapter, I share excerpts of Jerry Sittser’s book called A Grace Disguised. Jerry literally led me through much of my grief through the sharing of his own story.

Several months ago as I was reworking that chapter for the book, I sent Jerry a letter to thank him for being bold enough to share his story because of the influence it has had in mine. 

Here was his reply…

Continue reading Thank you Professor Sittser

Coaching on Stuck

FROM STUCK TO MADI had a delightful Saturday morning with an inspiring group of women at the Grace Church, Perrysburg, OH for their REFRESH & RENEW Conference recently. Wanted to share with you some of what we talked about at that event.

We spent our time together refreshing our viewpoints about ourselves, our story and our view of God.  We renewed our vision about the kind of difference we wanted to make in our lifetime. But we started with some honest talk about the ‘real’ of life.

As a life coach and former pastor’s wife, I’ve talked with a lot of women over the years.  There have been two reoccurring themes that continue to come out in those conversations.

  1. I want to make a difference with my life.
  2. I’m stuck.

Does that sound familiar to your story? You want to make a difference.  You want to influence your world for good through your life in your lifetime.

But you are stuck!  Or you have been!  If you aren’t stuck, or haven’t been, you will be so we might as well talk about it. You know what stuck feels like. Stuck has kept you from making the difference you long to make.   So before we talk about the kind of difference we want to make let’s talk about the obstacles to it. Continue reading Coaching on Stuck

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!

Lessons from a Musical!

Last Friday night, Rennie treated me to a night at the Elida High school’s presentation of Beauty & the Beast. These aren’t always his favorite things to do so it was a very neat treat for him to ask me out to “the theater”!

However there was another special thing about this one. Our former pastor’s wife was the director and Pastor Randy played Maurice, Belle’s father.

Pastor Randy, also known as  Maurice, inventor of wacky but useful things.
Pastor Randy, also known as Maurice, inventor of wacky but useful things. (Photo courtesy of Doug Boquist)

I loved everything about the evening.

The atmosphere was buzzing,

We sat near people we knew.

We watched children with excited expressions.

The set was so well done and costumes fantastic.

But of course, I loved the watching the story come to life!

One character after another made their first appearance on stage, adding their personality and flare to the dynamics. Continue reading Lessons from a Musical!