I want to share two special friends with you. They have given me permission.
I have known Connie and Phyllis for over twenty years. We met when they were looking for a new church. I was happy to learn that they loved teaching, especially women Bible studies. They jumped right in at church. I recall sitting in their class and learning about the book of Genesis. Connie taught. Phyllis led in music.
If you were to meet either lady you would see a sparkle in her eye, a smile on her face, and you would know that there is something different about her.
In the last several years their life has taken a turn, a hard one at that. Connie has been diagnosed with Parkinson and myasthenia gravis. Phyllis has taken on the caregiver’s role.
Watching them travel down this road has been a true test that God does help in times of trouble. They’ve faithfully turned to God for direction, clarity, and wisdom as their lives have shifted to a different rhythm.
For Connie, a retired P. E. teacher, Parkinson has been grueling. Think about that, a woman that taught children about movement and sports, now God has allowed her body to be touched with Parkinson’s and myasthenia gravis.
Phyllis has been retired from years of working as an administrator in the trucking industry. She worked in just about every phase of it, from dispatching drivers, to billing, to the claims department, to the dock, and finally settling in the customer relations department. All involved working with customers and hopefully each customer was satisfied.
Now, Phyllis shifts and put her strengths and talents into action, such as planning and developing Con’s care steps. It’s truly inspiring.
Both women love the Lord, dig into their Bibles, care about their families and friends and have learned much about surrendering to the Lord. Yet, both women have wrestled with the limitations Parkinson has placed upon them.
The hardest for Con has been missing activities and not seeing family and friends at church. Yet the way she fights off self-pity is being proactive. She sends off hand written notes to her friends and family members or calls to encourage them on. And she loves praying by coloring. (see her picture)
Phyllis refuels by being outside. She loves working with wood and keeps the home front going. She grieves for her dear friend, yet knows a positive attitude will help her mind set while she entrust herself back under God’s hand, He is in charge and present.
I love how Phyllis has changed things up in their life to keep stepping forward and invite good things.
No longer do they take long road trips, instead shorter change-up road trips to the doctors and back.
No longer can they grab their fishing poles and head to the row boat, instead Con slowly walks to the dock and views the lake. She sucks in the fresh air and keeps on growing in the attitude of gratitude.
Likewise Phyllis steps outside their country lake home surrounded by tall pines and lets out her sighs of grief. But rejoices that they have such a place to live, de-stress, and yet be.
What impresses me is that both women are pushing forward to know, see, and understand what God has for them in this illness, and still learn how they can make a difference.
1. They have impacted Doctors, nurses, and friends in Florida.
2. In Michigan they have touched family and friends as well as doctors and nurses.
3. They have made heart to heart connections with the nurses and care workers that have entered their home.
4. Con’s prayers are answered, “The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much” (James 5:16b, NASB). I have seen her prayer book. It includes her great-nephews, niece, her family, friends, and herself. We have witnessed God answering her prayers: from a Doctor’s office calling her, a tree cutting estimate being low in price, a new doctor taking her on as a patient in Michigan, and on and on go her answers to prayers.
5. Phyllis is making a difference in the Care Givers Support Group.
6.They have impacted my life. My list is long. A big one is that they have served as two of my advisers for Hearts with a Purpose and are prayer warriors.
Two women living out their life purpose, right in the midst of what God has allowed. Reaching forward to all that God has called them to. May we likewise, be inspired to face whatever touches our life with an attitude such as theirs.
What challenging situation has God allowed in your life?
What do you believe you are to learn from that?
What do you need to let go of because of the new situation?
What do you focus on? Where are your eyes looking?
Are you living without any direction? WHY?
What is a vision board?
It is something you create on a poster board, a frame board, or what you choose. It is creating a picture or a collage to put out in front of you, for you to see, believe in, and where you are to head out in your life?
Why do this?
In order to help you focus, step forward, and encourage you on in your life journey!
I was sitting on a plane that was heading to CA when I tore words, images, and a sentence or two from a magazine. I pulled things out that jumped out to me.
This is what and where I sensed God wanted for me and where God was leading me. What fun I had and what fun it stirred within me. Listen to what is written on your heart. Weeks later I sat in my home on my bedroom floor and began to put it all together.
Here is a little picture of it.
WHY did I do this?
- To be my light house.
- To be my vision board.
- To be my encourager.
- To put my heartfelt truth out there for me to see.
- To remind me of what is in me and it is up to me and God’s leading to keep heading towards that.
- To use it in my home to push me on and forward.
- It’s valuable. Here are two women’s boards whom I have coached and instructed.
JOIN me on Wednesday, August 24th, at 3:30 EST for a 90 minute tele conference class.
I will teach you how to create a vision board, why create one, and also coach you as to what you may want to find to put on your board.
Cost is $29.00 for teaching, coaching, encouragement and FUN! Email for conference call number.
To keep my thoughts focused I intentionally hung an embossed wind chime right above the kitchen sink in the window. The picturesque chime portrayed a robin on a nest watching over her three blue eggs. It reminded me of my life, a Mom of three. Daily, it kept me focused, do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.
I prayed often, God, show me where my new nest will be. Your Word says, do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows, more valuable, hmmm, I thought. Alright God, you provide twigs, grass, and hair for the birds to build their nests. Provide please what I need for my nest, after all I am more valuable than the birds. I prayed for a safe, small, clean and affordable nest.
God had already proved Himself over and over in my life. Facing drastic changes like losing my father, brother, and mother all hurt deeply. Plus, He was healing me of my emotional pain from the abuse. My life was in transformation mode. God revealed my life purpose to me and I anticipated His lead to where I was to live.
I heard of two rental houses. I checked them out. When I left each, fear had mounted. There had to be another route.
Do you believe you are more valuable than a sparrow?
Do you believe you are more valuable than many sparrows?
“So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows,” (Matthew 10:31, NASB).
My Pastor recently used a visual illustration in his sermon that was so simple, spot on, and spoke directly to me about what life coaching offers to women, especially the results. I’ll tie in the visual message down in a few paragraphs.
A few years ago I spoke at a retreat and had an “aha” moment right up front. (That does happen! God teaches me at the same time.) If you have been in my audiences you know I do quick surveys of women especially with my talk called “Your Life Matters.” I want the audiences’ input. From their answers at this particular retreat, I learned that women wanted healing in the emotional area of their life. In the big picture I saw their need. So how does a woman get healing in the emotional need of her life?
We do life daily out of seven domains. Domains are areas of our life, like kingdoms, province, realms, or spheres of our life. We are in control of each domain. These seven domains are spiritual, mental, emotional, financial, physical, relational, and vocational.
The majority of women at this retreat rated the emotional domain as in the top three that they needed to address. They also wanted help in the spiritual and relationship domain. However, and a BIG however, the mental domain, meaning their thought life, was not in the top three. I knew right then what I needed to teach.
In order for them to have their emotional area of their life healthier and healed, they must start with the spiritual and mental domains. See, the Bible says that the truth will set us free.
Let’s say we allow our emotions to dictate our day: I don’t feel well, I am tired, I am lonely, I do not feel like anyone cares about me, I don’t have anything to offer, I am sad, I am depressed, I am too old, I am anxious, I am hopeless, I can’t do that, I am not good enough, and they don’t care about me so why should I. On and on we could make a list of our feelings.
And if one of these phrases is controlling your life, may this newsletter dynamite you to take a healthy action step. Feelings are not always bad. God gave us feelings. But, they are not meant to control and dominate our days.
Here is the illustration my Pastor used. Maybe you want to grab a sheet of paper and draw this. Draw three train cars attached to one another. The first car can be the engine of the train. Then a second box car and a third box car. Ready?
On the first car of the engine, write God’s Word. The Word fuels us, as it is the Truth. It is alive and active. Let me speak the Truth into you right now. You were created in God’s image. He loves you. He died for you. He cares for you. He wants a personal relationship with you. He has a plan with your life. He has gifted you. He can use your pain and discomforts for His good if you allow Him. He knows the color of your eyes, what you are thinking, and how many strands of hair you have, and on and on I could go. I have verses to back each of these up. We soak and saturate our mind with the Word, the truth. It transforms our life, as long as we allow it to take ahold and saturate our thinking into action.
On to the second train car, write, FAITH. “It is impossible to please God without faith” Hebrews 11:6. Also the Bible says, “Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, even by itself” James 2:17. Our faith and what we believe will require us to take steps. Faith acts.
Now to the 3rd train car, feelings. That is right. Our feelings come last. Instead of saying, I am sad all the time, I have no joy, I am depressed, I can’t, and I am too old, we shift and have our feelings BOW down to the first train car, the Truth, the WORD of GOD!
1. The engine of our mind is fueled by the Word. That transforms our mental state.
2. Then we step out in Faith and change up our life taking steps of Truth to where we sense God wants us to step.
3. Steps one and two will impact our emotional state. But, it all begins with one baby step.
Here is an example…
Yes, I, Darlene was harried, hurting and hungry, for more of life. I was tired of living in emotional pain and despondency. I got tired of saying, I cannot. I believed God had a purposeful plan for my life and even at midlife. I stated over and over, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” Philippians 4:13. I stated the Truth and then I stepped out by faith.
Yes, I was very sad. I hurt emotionally. I was stuck. But, the truth is I loved to be with women, teach, speak, coach, and encourage women in the Word. That is my passion. It drives me. So what or how could God use all of that? I headed to coach training and even when I did not know how God was going to pull this all together. We act through Faith and it requires risks.
Next, I had allowed grief to almost consume me. But, who could I help? WOMEN! Yes, I was beaten down mentally, emotionally, relationally, and financially. I did not have JOY.
He rekindled and resurrected the joy of the Lord because I chose to have my life fueled by the Word of God (car train # 1) which transformed my mind, the Truth set me free, and I stepped towards my calling in passion and in vision (FAITH- train car #2) with clarity and focus in spite of fear. (Train car # 3 occurred in my life, JOY, satisfaction, adventure,) and in service with healthy emotions. I marched right towards fear and still am marching.
So what is your emotional state?
What is your first action step towards a life of purpose?