Tag Archives: living intentionally

How Do You Measure a Year?

I love pondering mornings.  I love to ponder. So I don’t demand anything of myself on these mornings;

  • I turn off the alarm,
  • lay in bed till I feel like getting up and if I don’t feel like it, then I just stay put,
  • put on my ‘comfy’ clothes,
  • make sure I eat a healthy breakfast (I want to be able to think clearly.),
  • choose my favorite ‘wordless’ music station on Pandora, otherwise I spend all my pondering time singing along.
  • grab a blanket tablet of paper and a good writing pen,
  • and I ponder.

It’s mornings like these that allow my body to catch up with my mind and heart and spirit.  They are usually running ahead and if I don’t intentionally give myself some time to reflect, I end up getting all tangled up a few days down the line.

This morning when I flipped on Pandora, before I could click on my ‘wordless’ stations, the song Seasons of Love, began to play.  The lyrics start like this:

Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Six hundred minutes
Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Moments so dear
Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Six hundred minutes
How do you measure – measure a year in a life?

I’ve been fascinated with this song for a lot of years, but I thought it was especially poignant since my ‘ponderings’ for the morning had been largely focused on what I want to be true of this new year.

Wow!  There are only 525,600 minutes in a year?   Considering that one day holds 1440 minutes, that means we have already spent nearly 20,000 minutes of this new year!  I’m not usually into numbers, but this morning it caught my attention.

How do we measure a year?  

The song lyrics have some suggestions: Continue reading How Do You Measure a Year?

New WORD for a New Year

My Word for the year is EnJoy!

I am quite excited about this word.  Over the last 10 years my words have been  Hope- Hope & More HOPE!  I had that word for several years. It’s a great word, but it was a desperate time for me.

One year the word was TRUST, another year it was BE STILL. (I know technically two words, right?) Last year my word was FINISH which was appropriate since my goal was to complete the Lovely Traces of Hope book.

These were all great words and they were significant to me at the time, but they all had a urgency to them, desperation is still the better word.  Even being still was a challenge word at the time.

But this year, the word that keeps coming to me Continue reading New WORD for a New Year

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?

Influence Like a Dandelion

Ten years ago next weekend, we gathered to remember a spunky little gal named Leisha.

We celebrated her life And mourned our loss of her.

We remembered the things she didTo make us laugh

To make us cry,

To make us crazy!

She touched our lives and she taught us,

She changed us in the living and the dying.

Would she have made such a difference in our lives if she had just lived?  I know I’m her momma, but I think so.

The day she died, I met her on our country road. I was teasing her because she was so eager to get her driver’s permit. I said,” you just want power. ”

I could see the wheels spinning in her head and her eyes were sparkling.

She spoke,  “I don’t need power. I want to influence. I want to say, I’m going come with me.”

“Honey you were made to influence,” I replied as I stroked her nose like I had so many days since she was born.

10 minutes later,  she was gone.

I want to influence. I want to say, I'm going come with me. Click To Tweet

my first bookSeveral have asked why, out of all the pictures I have of Leisha,  I chose a black and white one of her blowing a dandelion for the cover.

Well, dandelions have long been important at the Burrus house.

For one thing, Continue reading Influence Like a Dandelion

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

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!

What? Me? Worry?

If you are a regular follower of www.greenhopecoaching.com, you may have noticed that there was a great deal of time that lapsed between my blog on April 28th- and my post last week.

Considering the fact that I am a blogger, that space of time concerned me.  You see, it wasn’t just the blog, but I wasn’t writing original content for much of anything, including the book that I told everyone about in my April 28th post.

I must admit I was overwhelmed by the response to that post on my website and Facebook.

  • Nearly 13,000- yes, that many 0’s- were reached with that post thanks to several of you who shared the post to your own Facebook friends.
  • 1,200 of those friends visited my website and actually read the blog post.
  • Over 350 of them engaged with me some way; leaving a message, a prayer response, a memory, a picture.
  • plus there were almost 75 others who signed up to support me and the project with prayer.

I have been overflowing with gratitude.  While overwhelmed is not quite the right word, I do have a confession.  As the responses started coming in, I found myself writing less and less on the book.  Honestly, in the last 8 weeks, I have not written much at all.

What- Me-Worry-As I have pondered my action- or lack of it, I realize that I was worrying!

I just listened in to an interview with Mitch Matthews of Dream, Think, Do over at the Self-Publishing Summit going on with Chandler Bolt.

Mitch talked about how worry keeps us from focusing.  Worry strangles the ability to see ahead or to think through options.

I felt the weight of expectations that others might have on me – on this book- and I just stopped writing. I felt paralyzed almost.  The more I tried to get in the right frame of mind, the more stress I felt.  And if you know me- stress puts me down faster than anything.  I spent much of early spring sleeping.  Some of you know what I mean.

But Mitch gave a great outline of how to overcome worry.  I was grateful to realize that I had been taking some of those steps without naming them.  But I did want to share them.

3 Steps to PUNCHING Worry in the face

Step 1: Acknowledge it

Step 2: Address it by Replacing it

Step 3: Do Something Intentional

I had to ACKNOWLEDGE my worry finally.

  • What am I concerned about?
  • What if I’m not a good enough writer?
  • What if I can’t tell my deeply personal stories of my life in a way that helps anyone?
  • How will the book be received by others?
  • Can I really pull off the cost- both money, time, etc.

They are real, tangible things to be concerned about. But Mitch reminded us that most issues can be dealt with and overcome with a little training.  Or with knowing the right people to make it happen.

Yet, most people get so caught up in the fear, they don’t acknowledge the fear and overcome it.

There is good and bad worry!

Good worry- keeps you out of dark alleys!  It flips the light on so you can see what ‘s out there!

Maybe the thing that causes you to worry is something you need to give attention.  Sometimes worry is a precursor to identifying something that will help you do great.

For instance, look at my worries above

  • I can take classes and workshops to become a better writer.
  • I can work with close friends and coaches to help me tell my story in a way that is full of hope for others.
  • I can break down tasks of writing or research into smaller chunks of time.  If I do a little everyday, it won’t be so overwhelming and yet I can make a great deal of progress in the long run.

Bad worry hold you back like mine was doing for me. There are things that you can do nothing about .  That is the worry you must let go of.

So using the worry I have above about how others will receive the book, I have no control over that.  I know there is interest from the responses to the April 28 post I shared earlier.  But I can’t control how those same people my respond to the book.   So I need to let it go.

But  how….!

TO BE CONTINUED>>> Click Here! 

Part 2: Doin’ Something about Worry!

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!

Happy Birthday Leisha!

the trioTwenty-four years ago, our daughter Leisha appeared in our world.  She messed up all of our plans that day.

Rennie was supposed to be leading a huge dedication service of the new worship center at our church in Pennsylvania.  She was being born just as they ended the service with a dedication of the new generation that would grow up in this place. Others had to fill in for Rennie!

She messed up lots of days since then too!  Just like every baby does when they grow up in our family.  Days become messy and nights interrupted. Plans get changed and that is expected!  You know, or at least you realize quickly when you bring a child into your life they will forever change you.  All three of ours have left a mark on us so significant that we know we are better, stronger, even holier as we have spent many more hours on our knees. You have too if you are a parent.  It is what we do when we come to the end of ourselves and want more for our child.

Leisha also messed up our lives the day she died. That was eight and a half years ago. Another mark on all of us that have forced us to look at all of life from a new, yet broken perspective.

It is out of that perspective that I write today and ask for your prayers.

Days after Leisha died, we gathered every picture we could find of her and discovered her tapes and journals. It was in her most recent journal that we found ‘her book’.  If you flipped it over and upside down and opened the cover she had begun to write her own story.

Chapter One

Once Upon A Time…

By Leisha D. Burrus

How many stories do you know that begin with ‘once upon a time”?  Well this is one of them, or so I thought.  I was born April twenty-eighth, nineteen ninety one.  But wait!  I am getting ahead of myself.  I guess I should start where it all began.

My parents met in high school. …  she begins to tell the love story of her dad & I.

leisha As I sat there reading it for the first time, I could imagine this book was to be full of adventure and relationships and truth. Such truth! Because even in the short chapter that was written, she had spoken much truth to my heart. But just as Leisha had penned these few words to begin writing her story, she died.  Not only was her story unwritten, but her life unlived.

However her words “I should start where it all began” was a telling of my story and of the journey of her mother and father and all that was her heritage because she was born into this family.

I knew the moment I read her words that it was meant for me to finish.  Her story started mine. It was as if she knew I would need a jump start.  Earlier that morning I had picked up my Bible to continue reading where I had left off the day before. I read these words from Revelation 1:

17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as if I were dead. But he laid his right hand on me and said, “Don’t be afraid! I am the First and the Last. 18 I am the living one. I died, but look—I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and the grave.

19 “Write down what you have seen—both the things that are now happening and the things that will happen.

I felt as if Leisha was writing these words to me.
“Mom! When I saw him, I fell at his feet…and He put His hand on me and said…! Now Mom you’ve got to write!  Write down what you have seen- what’s happening right now and all the things are that going to happen. You can do it Mom!”

So I am!

Yes, I’m writing to finish the story Leisha started; her story and mine. I don’t know how this story will impact yours, but it is my prayer that it will give you hope. Because my primary goal is to write about the many ways this Living One who died showed up in our story. Click To Tweet

That’s the real story- in my life and yours!

So this birthday, I am asking for your prayers as I do just that! Will you pray as I finish the story! I have set my heart to finish writing, and publishing it by Leisha’s 25th birthday on April 28, 2016.  I have much to process, record and learn before that time.  But it is a thing I must do next.

Would you be willing to be on the prayer team for Lovely Traces of Hope! That’s her name for her book! Whether or not it is the final title, I don’t know yet.  But it seems fitting.

If you will join me, please sign up here.




I will add you to the group and send out periodic emails with updates and requests.

Whether you sign up or not, will you pray right now that I see this to completion.  My heart needs it done.

Thank you from a fledging author!

Kathy

Happy Birthday Leisha!