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I Am Woman

Some of you younger moms may not remember the turmoil of the feminist movement in the 60’s and 70’s.  Unlike my mom’s generation, whose whole identity was wrapped up in their duties of being a wife and mom, the new breed of woman was often a bra burning, men hating, cultural and political activist.

Funny thing is they were co-opting the real desire of women everywhere–the desire to influence.

Scripture has often been miscontrued to re-enforce some man-made idea about women.  However, it is full of stories of women who influenced their families, business, church, and even led men into battle as in the case of Deborah.

More than ever before, at least in this country, women have options they have never had before. Something is stirring and women are stepping into positions of influence.

In spite of the cultural revolution,  many are still struggling to find themselves. Some women still find it difficult to live outside the expectations of others.  Some are stuck because they recognize they are not the perfect mom, wife, and daughter.  Others have no idea how their lives got so messed up and see no way out of their current circumstances.

But here is the truth.  Eve was created by God, in His image.  She walked and talked with God in the garden just like Adam.  She was known by God.  She was obviously an influencer even then, after all she told Adam about the fruit!  Ever since she blew it, she’s walked in shame and guilt.  And it didn’t help that men, culture, and even religion piled it on.

But that is not how God sees her.  He still sees her as a reflection of Him.  He still wants to know her and be known by her.  He revels in her beauty inside and out.  He is calling her out, back to the fullness she had when she was first created.

She is an influencer.  She can shape the heart of a child and guide her family into their destiny.  She can impact generations by that task alone.  She can impact the business world by her creativity and entrepreneurial talents.  She can influence society by bringing wisdom and compassion into the schools and community.  She can be a driving force for change in the church, the government, the entertainment industry, and a host of other public arenas.

But if women are going to fill that calling, we must allow God to renovate and restore us.  If we are going to influence and bring change to our families and the world, we have to change ourselves.  We have to change the way we think and began to live our lives full of God’s vision for our future.

Helen Ready sang a song entitled I Am Woman.  The first line said, I am Woman hear me roar.  It’s time.  Time for women to take their rightful place with humility and boldness.

No more” just a”  mom or wife.  No more “I’m not worthy.”  No more, “They won’t let me because I’m a woman.”  It’s time to think out of the box and throw off the old ways of thinking.  It’s time to come back to the place of influence we were meant to have.

What do you want to influence?  What steps can you take to begin to make that happen?

It’s time to ROAR!

 

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Sacred Honor

The last few days have been about honor.  With all this talk of honor (valuing, giving proper level of respect, and acknowledging worth!) do you think it is possible to actually honor things?

I’ve been thinking about that.  Should  I honor money, my house, my body?

Part of honor is treating something or someone like a precious gift.  The more I think about honor the more I ask myself what if I treated everything in my life as sacred? Would that change the importance I put on things and people?

Sacred means devoted or dedicated to somebody.  So what could happen if I considered everything a precious gift from God and dedicated it back to Him?

If I considered my body sacred, would I treat it better?

If I considered food sacred, would it change the way I eat?

If I considered my mind sacred, would I fill it with garbage?

If I considered my money sacred, would I handle it poorly?  Would I hang on to it stingily or give it generously?  Would I invest it to create wealth or use it to make a difference?

If I considered my home sacred, would I consider the every day tasks of maintaining it a drudgery or an act of worship to God? Would I open it up as a blessing to others?  Would I work to create an atmosphere of love, joy, peace, etc?

What difference could it make in my life if I treated everything as a sacred gift and responded from a heart of worship to God?

People everywhere are still trying to figure out spirituality.  They are hungry for the real deal.  They want to see relationships that work, people who make a difference, a “religion” that transforms themselves as well as the world around them.  One of the reasons many reject Christianity or the church is because we don’t live what we say we believe.

I read Matthew 5:13,14 again this morning.  Jesus tells us we are salt and light to the world.  I can’t help but believe that if we began to really see things/people as gifts and treated them with honor we would see a real difference.

What is sacred to you?  How does that impact your life and the life of others?

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I woke up to those words this morning.  As I’ve pondered them, I get excited about how we could change our world if we made that our mantra for 2011!

Did you know that if you saved a penny on day one and then every day after doubled the pennies you saved before in 31 days you would have 10,737,418.24 cents!  That’s amazing!

So what could happen if we made a deposit into life every day?  What if we asked ourselves every day, where can I make a deposit to enrich me, my life, my marriage, my kids, my church, my community, my neighbor?

Let me give an example from a “Wish I would have” moment in my life.  I loved my kids so much and always believed in their potential to do whatever they dreamed of.  There was a moment in my youngest son’s life around 9 years old,  when he shared his heart for the homeless. It was so touching and I remember thinking, we need to take him to a nearby town and work at the mission for a day.  Or we need to put a jar on the table and save coins for the poor.  I had lots of ideas but I never followed through with that teaching moment.

It was the perfect chance to teach him generosity, helping the less fortunate, and all kinds of character lessons for life. One never knows where those early lessons could lead.

We have so many things to deposit!  Love, laughter, acceptance, faith, knowledge and wisdom, values, inspiration are just a few.

If we pay attention, we will find many opportunities every day to deposit something good around us. And according to scripture our harvest is dependent on what we sow.  “Give and it shall be given unto you.” Luke 6:38

I want 2011 to be a year where I make deposits of God everywhere I go.   I’m asking myself:  Where or how can I make a deposit of God in my marriage?  In my kids?  In my relationships outside my home?  In my own life?  In my church?  In my business?  In my community? In the world?

Will you join me in focusing on making this year, this week, this day, this moment a time to deposit good seeds for the future?  Let Moms know what you are doing to make deposits in your world.   I can’t wait to hear!

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Real

I don’t know about you, but I can’t stand fakeness.  At least not in the other guy!   You know, the drill.  Things like: Answering, I’m fine, when really I’m a mess or in crisis.  Pretending you have the perfect marriage, perfect kids, perfect life.  Or, putting on the face and language of the good Christian when you are really hiding some crisis of faith.  Here’s a few more. How about the pretending that you know so much about God, yet you are covering up some secret sin or failing.    Or as one of my friends puts it, the I love you’s when you don’t spend a moment of investing in someone’s life, thinking about them or calling them, and are really just saying empty words.

One of the things I love when I’m around people is when we all have the freedom to be real.  To honestly speak our hearts.  It is not always easy for us because of the vulnerability and trust that it takes.  It’s not always easy for the one listening either because sometimes where we are at is hard for them to hear.

Ever since Adam and Eve, we have been hiding.  Hiding from God, ourselves, and each other.  We don’t realize that there is no reason to hide.   Who and what are we afraid of?

No doubt emotions of fear of rejection, shame, guilt, possible conflict, feeling pain,  and many others begin to stir within us as we think about becoming real.

But what is the consequence of hiding or lying about who and where you are?  I’ll let you answer that for yourself.

Whether it was emotions, faith questions, my failures, my challenges, or anything else, hiding or not being real caused more pain, longer suffering, and bigger challenges.  Afraid to bring something into the light and examine it for what it is and feel all the emotion that goes with it, has caused me more darkness, more bondage, less freedom.

The more honest and real I allow myself to be, the more freedom and joy I find in being me and the stronger my relationship with God and others is.

I find that God loves me being real.  He loves meeting me where I am and hearing my heart, whether it’s joyful or sorrowful.

I find more people can relate to me.  Not all of them but more.  People like to know that they aren’t so different.  They like to hear how others struggle with the same things or have overcome something.  For the most part, they like to help, support, and laugh or cry with you.  That is true relationship.

I find that when I stop hiding or running from who I am, whether I’m hiding my warts or my wonders, I am much more aware and free to be me.  I’m able to move more quickly through the tough stuff and meet the challenges head on.   I’m able to laugh more, love more, and be more.

That’s why I decided to start the year of 2011 with Real Change for Real Women.   If you are wanting change in some area of your life you don’t want to miss this!

My gift to you is FREE info packed teleconference call or for the local gals a in person event.  To sign up and get the schedule and information e-mail me at marian@connectedlifecoaching.  Subject:  Real

Make 2011 a GET REAL year!

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Make Today A Play Date

So many moms tell me how hard it is and how guilty they feel for not spending a lot of time studying the Bible or praying.  Do you agree?

How would your desire to spend time with God change if you considered it playing?

As I asked God what you might need to hear today, I was impressed that some of you need to understand God loves to play with you.  I’m not saying it’s not important to set aside time and develop a practice of spiritual discipline, but it certainly doesn’t have to be monotonous or boring!

Several years ago, I heard Jason Upton.  I was sitting in the audience wondering why he didn’t control his children.  He was letting them run up on stage while he was singing and it seemed disruptive to me.  Then he explained and I was so humbled.  He had been in his worship room one day, singing to Jesus.  His little boy at one point started singing to him about coming down and playing with him.  God showed him that was the cry of our heart to.  We wanted God to play with us as a daddy would play with his kids.  God desired to answer that call and was willing to stop what he was doing to come down and play with us.

I love that picture!

So think about that today.  How or what would you like to play with God?  Maybe you can even involve your children.

Would you like to paint or color a picture or ask him to show you a picture he’s drawn for you?  Would you like to dance with or for him?  Would you like to sing with or to him?  Would you like to tell Him a story?  Would you like Him to tell you one?  Would you like to play dress up, imagining you were one part of one of the Bible’s adventures?  Would you like to go on a treasure hunt, following the clues God gives you? Would you like to make something for Him (cookies for a neighbor, a meal for someone sick, a nice dinner for your family)? Would you like to lay down on the grass or sit by the water and just daydream with God?

What’s stopping you?  God is waiting.  He’s calling your name.  He wants to be your playmate.

I hope you’ll answer that call and do something fun with God.  Then will you share with Moms what you learned from your play date?

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Don’t you hate it when you buy something new that requires instructions and when you pull them out of the box they are either in a foreign language or incomprehensible?  I’m a visual kind of gal anyway but when that happens to me, my eyes glaze over and it’s all Greek to me!

I was thinking about the post yesterday and then about the word commandment.  It’s such a harsh sounding word when you come from my background.  Brings up images of a demanding God ready to punish and beat the crap out of you if you blow it rather than a “His mercy endures forever”(Jeremiah 33:11) kind of God.

Sometimes we make God’s instructions far more complicated than they are.  It really is all summed up with “Love the Lord Your God with all your heart, mind, soul and love your neighbor as yourself.”  When we are missing a piece of that our lives can become unmanageable.

The Hebrew meaning of the word in most instances has to do with words meant to set in order.  In this sometimes chaotic life, isn’t that something we all want?  I hear it all the time.  “I’m overwhelmed.” ” I don’t know where to start.”  “I need peace.”

When we are feeling that way spiritually, emotionally, or physically perhaps we need to search out the places we haven’t followed instructions or utilized the tools God has given us for life and godliness.  The chaos might be caused by our own doing.  If it is, we can change it! If it’s not, we can still have peace in the middle of it if we take it to Him.

One of the Greek meanings is to put out a goal. A goal is a specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, time sensitive action.  It is laying out a plan to succeed.  For example:  I will lose 10 lbs this month.  I will walk 30 minutes every day.

The reason we lose control of much of what we want in our life is that we fail to plan and follow through.  Goal setting is a useful tool for ourselves and our children for teaching order and the importance of following instructions.

Think about your life’s chaos.  What can be traced back to your relationship with God, yourself, or others?

Here’s some steps to help  set your life in order.

  1. Go to God first. Ask for His help and guidance.
  2. Follow His instructions. Check out what the Bible has to say on the issue that is concerning to you.
  3. Set realistic goals. Don’t expect radical changes overnight.  Baby steps on a consistent basis can get you where you want to go.
  4. Ask for help. Sometimes we just can’t figure it out for ourselves.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help.  Find a wise, trusted coach, pastor, or friend to give you fresh insight and to help hold you accountable for follow through.
  5. Celebrate. It’s amazing what a child will do for a bright sticker on a chart.  We need to reward and celebrate our accomplishments as well.  Even a small reward will help motivate you to keep moving.

God is a good God.  He doesn’t demand our obedience because of His own self-centered need.  Instead, He is all about us being strong, complete, and resurrecting the dead places in our hearts to life!

What instructions do you need from God today?

How could you use goal setting to bring about the change you want to happen?

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Pure Salt

This fact from my friend Tanya: “The KIND of salt we eat is just as important as how MUCH we get of it. Refined, iodized table salt is what most Americans ingest on a daily basis. Natural, unrefined salt is chemically cleaned and dry-heated to a temp. of about 1200 degrees. In that process, it is reduced to a mere 2 elements – sodium and chloride. In contrast, natural seawater contains 84 elements which we need for a healthy body. By using table salt, we are eliminating a full 83 minerals needed for health, strength and immunity to disease. This kind of cheap, mass marketed and produced salt is a good example of salt truly losing it’s saltiness… And yet how many of us are even aware that it has?”

Can you see the life lessons in this salt fact? I see lots of them.

Let’s compare salt with truth.  What we believe is true is critical to every situation we deal with in life.  One of the obstacles we face in knowing what is really true is our misconceptions of what it might mean if we dig deep enough to know the truth.

Remember the scene from A Few Good Men?   Jack Nicholson looks at Tom Cruise and says, “You want the truth?  You can’t handle the truth.”

When have you had a situation in life where you were afraid to look for truth because you were afraid it would hurt or you couldn’t handle what it meant?

Too often we settle for diluted truth because it’s easier to handle.  We buy into the culture, slogans,  and latest, greatest, instant fix of the day and form our lives around them.

With pure truth comes an acknowledgment of our own personal responsibility and understanding what is beyond our control.   We are faced with choices about what to do with it.  They are not always easy choices.  But they are choices that can either keep us from our destinies or set us free.

If you have something you want to change about your life, you must seek the truth.  Here’s an example.  Let’s say your issue is finances.  You are overwhelmed and stuck in a cycle of “not enough.”  What can you do about it?

Seek Truth by asking questions.   1. What do I want my money picture to look like? 2.How does where I’m at differ from where I want to be?  3. How did I get here?   4.  What beliefs do I hold about money in relationship to God, myself, and others?  5.  What about my current situation is within my control?  6. What steps can I take to change my relationship with money?

These are just a few questions to get you started.  You can take any issue and ask the same questions.  God has promised us everything we need for life.  That is truth!  It’s already yours.  The solution to problems, peace, love, joy, and any other quality you want for your life.  It’s not dependent on what life brings you.  It’s dependent on your choice to walk in the truth.

What truth does God want you to know today?

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Salt Perserves

“Salt was the main component of the mummification process – the internal organs of the deceased were removed and replaced for a time with bags of salt and straw and more salt was packed around the body. It dried out and perfectly preserved the likes of King Tut and Hatshepset, leaving behind the most dynamic evidence of one of history’s greatest civilizations.”–Tanya Nevin

Mom Tanya Nevin has been sharing a little of the wealth of her research about salt.  I loved how today’s tidbit paints a picture of a salty mom.

Often times we get stuck feeling like what we do and the role we play has no meaning.  Yet, throughout all of history moms have had great influence.  What you do today shapes the future! That’s why it’s so important to be you!

I’ve seen a lot of changes over my life so far.  My mother saw even more.  Culture will change, but the influence of the prior generation is so important.  Some things are constant and need to be preserved.  These things become the foundations for the generations that follow.    Things like: character, history, and faith.  Here’s something to consider.

1.  What constants do you want to perserve for your children and the generations to follow?

2.  If you suddenly passed, what would you want your children to know about who you are and what you believed?

Life is fun but it’s also serious business!  We are responsible for the legacy we’ll leave.   That’s one of the reasons I began Moms on Mission.  We want to help you uncover your destiny that will in turn birth the destinies of the future.

Take some time to journal about what you really want your legacy to be.  When you’re finished, share with us the “inheritance” you want to leave behind.

Preserve the future by being salt!

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Pass The Salt

I’m really fascinated by the discoveries I’m making about salt and what they can teach us about our being “salt”.

Here’s what I learned today when researching salt drawing out water.  Salt fights infection by drawing out the water in cells, dehydrating them, and carrying away the toxins.  Salt can reduce irritation without disturbing the natural balance of the skin.  Salt stimulates fresh growth of skin as it exfoliates the dead skin.

Interesting facts, but how does that relate to being a mom? (or any human for that matter!)    Consider this:

1.  A salty mom is aware of what is trying to “infect” her family and draws attention to it.  Attitudes, distractions, lack of direction, and many other things can hinder family function, and create chaos instead of peace.

Insight and  intuition are a natural tendency or gift of women.  We are more  in tune with what is going on around us on a lot of different levels.  Sometimes we resist or stop listening to those quiet voices because we don’t want to or are afraid to look closely at what we might see.  When we pay attention, we eventually can find the root of the problem we are facing and with God’s help clean it up.

What is your main concern about your family at this time?   Why do you think that problem has surfaced? What can you do as a mom to influence or help bring a solution?

2.  A salty mom reduces irritation even when she is the one who’s irritated.  For too many of us reducing irritation means ignoring or stuffing our own feelings about a conflict.  Or  we add to it by reacting instead of responding.  I’ve been there and done that too many times!   Whether you’re dealing with sibling rivalry, marriage issues, or other sources of irritation communication is key.  A mom needs coaching skills, conflict resolution skills, and relationship building skills.  That’s hard to do alone.   Turn to God for help.  Find a friend or coach to help you process and unpack the situation.  Deal with your own wounds so you won’t be reacting out of your own stuff!

3.  A salty mom stimulates fresh growth.   A healthy person and a healthy family is always growing. Like skin that needs to be exfoliated for the healthy fresh cells to grow, we need to re-evaluate on a regular basis. The first question to ask is:  What is working and what is not? A good follow-up is:  What do we most want to change and what steps can we take? When we throw away what is no longer working and move toward fresh ideas and solutions we will find contentment and peace as a family unit.

A salty mom is an intentional woman with a clear mission in mind.  She doesn’t just let things happen, she knows what she can influence and does that with excellence.

Pass your salt and sprinkle it generously on everything you touch!

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Flavor

Salt draws out flavor!  And as we learned yesterday we are salt.  Let that sit for a moment.  Next time you question your usefulness or significance remember you have been given the gift and responsibility to bring out flavor in everything around you.

In coaching, we throw around the word authentic a lot.  It means when you are really connected to who you are.  You’ve stopped hiding and putting on masks.  You are letting your voice be heard.  You are focused on living your best life in the season you are in.  Fake salt just doesn’t do the same thing that real salt does.  That’s true for you too. I hope you like your own flavor because that’s what it takes to appreciate and draw out someone elses.

Consider Dr. Suess. “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”

That’s what it takes to be salt.  Live out the You God created you to be.

Here’s a few tips.

a. Let your home reflect your creativity and personality. That will encourage your children to use theirs .

b. Let your family see you depend on God in the middle of your problems.  That will teach them to see God’s faithfulness.

c. Keep learning and pursuing your passions.  That will teach your children the importance of learning and of loving what you do.

d. Look for things your children are interested in.  Help them discover more about the subject or create an experience that will uncover any hidden passion.

e. When you have to correct something, use seasoned words.  Words of grace, understanding, forgiveness, and love bring security and a desire to please to the heart of a child.  Harsh words of condemnation can damage and wound them if they are left hanging in the air.

It’s been said, a home is like an ice cream cone.   The mom is the one who decides if it’s chocolate or vanilla.  What flavor do you want to have in your home today?  What can you do to draw that out?

Share with Moms your tips for uncovering your child’s flavor or what you do to draw out the flavor in your family.

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