11 Ways I am Going to Make this Summer Great

Summer 2016

  1. I am going to be purposeful. I woke up this morning and realized that two days of summer were already gone. I want every day to count. We only have 63 days or so of summer and I already used up two without being purposeful! Days don’t have to be full just be filled with purpose. Purpose to laugh. Purpose to relax. Purpose to engage. Purpose to recharge.
  2. I am going to include the kids in as many things as possible. Usually my summers are filled with work. I work from home so summers are not normally relaxing. I spend my summers hiding in my office or yelling at the kids to stop yelling! LOL! I have a treat this year and don’t have to live by a work schedule. I am going to include the kids in as many things as possible. Trips to the fruit stand. Walks to the mailbox. Dinner preparations. Late night movies. This may be my last summer to have my 3 boys home like this.
  3. I am going to eat as clean and natural as possible and spend more time on meals. I am not a fan of cooking. It isn’t my spiritual gift (Can I get an amen?) but summer time is a great time to enjoy fixing meals for the family. Get the kids involved. (See #2) I am going to look for new recipes and fix meals that might take a little longer than normal. I will eat fresh foods that will give me energy. This is a great way to recharge for the new school year.
  4. I am going to plan fewer things and spend more time on those things. I tend to go overboard on filling our schedule when I try to be purposeful. (See #1) Being purposeful doesn’t mean busy it means planning things that mean something. I am going to limit myself to 7 things on a list a day. (This is crazy!) This includes cleaning and errands. I want to take each day slower so that I can enjoy the things we are doing.
  5. I am going to simplify. When I clean I am going to purge our things. I am not going to add to our clutter. I want to have fewer things that mean more.
  6. I am going to be aware. I want to really listen when my kids are talking to me. I want to smile at strangers and help those around me. (This may get me in trouble. I will keep you posted.) I want to live in the moment and enjoy every event and day of the summer.
  7. I am going to fill my mind with scripture. I want my mind renewed before next fall. I know that the only way this can happen is if I fill it with scripture. I am going to read the Bible. I am going to listen to the cool English dude from the Bible app read scripture to me while I am working around the house. I am going to listen to uplifting songs. I want to heal the broken places in my heart and mind this summer and the only way to do that is to wrap them in truth, God’s Word.
  8. I am going to relax. I am going to give myself permission to do some things that I usually don’t make time to do. I am going to read. I am going to get my toes done. I am going to take a bath. (For the record, I do bathe, I just don’t get to soak and enjoy a bath!) I am going to sit by the pool. These things will recharge my mind and body and help me be a better mom.
  9. I am going to put my inner manager on hold. Things don’t have to be as orderly during the summer as they do during the school year. I am going to put my inner manager on hold and just enjoy events without the spreadsheets. (Yes, I have heard this can be done. I haven’t personally experienced this but it is a possibility.) I don’t always have to take charge. I can just sit under the umbrella and see what happens when I don’t take over.
  10. I am going to embrace the bumps. Things will not go as planned. I understand this. A crazy person told me that the best vacation they ever took happened because of a canceled flight and all their reservations were lost. Who knows? Maybe that crazy person is on to something? God might be hanging out in the bumps this summer. He might meet me at the intersection where my plan falls apart and His plan takes over.
  11. I am going to put my expectations on hold. I am going to wake up each morning and give my day to God. I am going to ask Him to fill my day with joy and peace. I am going to relinquish my expectations and live with expectancy. I am so excited to see what God has in store for me this summer! Summer 2016 here I come!

Courage – From Bitter to Blessed!

Moms JoshuaCOURAGE, n. L., – Bravery; intrepidity; that quality of mind which enables men to encounter danger and difficulties with firmness, or without fear or depression of spirits; valor; boldness; resolution.

With a tender touch, she pulled her mother-in-law close and wrapped her arms around her small frame. The finality of the moment was suffocating. How many more losses could they survive? The feelings of pain and loss were so fresh that it was hard to breathe. Taking a step back, her mother-in-law took one last look at her dead son and turned toward home. Home for now. With the loss of her father-in-law and now both the boys Ruth wasn’t sure what would happen to them. The three widows walked silently along the street. Each woman trying to sort out the recent loss. Ruth and Orpah looked at each other over the top of Naomi’s head. Both girls knew that this may be more than Naomi could bear.

Days later, Naomi emerged from her room with shoulders stooped but a determined look in her eyes. Naomi was going home to Bethlehem. Falling to the floor, Ruth weeps brokenly. Grief is strangling her heart. Preparations are made and Ruth and Orpah walk Naomi out of the city of Moab back toward Israel. Every step reminds Ruth that this is the end. The end of love for her. The end of her marriage. The end of her dream for a baby. The end of a friendship that has sustained her through the death of her husband. Naomi embraces the girls and gently tells them to go back home to their fathers. The death of Elimelek and her boys leaves all three women without a home or land. They must go back to their families. Orpah kisses Naomi and turns back. Ruth clings to Naomi and makes a choice that will change the course of history. This doesn’t have to be the end.  Ruth steps out with courage and begs Naomi to allow her to stay by her side. She promises her faith and loyalty to Naomi and ultimately to God. Knowing that this choice will be life-changing and difficult, Naomi tries to persuade Ruth to turn back. The passion and courage that Ruth shows at this moment, perhaps the hardest moment of her life, gives us a glimpse into her soul.

Years later Naomi, who returned home bitter but through the love of a Moabite girl learned to trust God again, cuddles with her little grandson named Obed. Ruth was courageous and obedient and God rewarded her faith through a man named Boaz. A love story for the ages. In little Obed’s eyes Naomi sees not only her own redemption but the redemption of a nation. Obed would be in the line of Christ. Ruth’s courage changed the course of history.

Ruth 1-4

Is courage a character trait that matters? Yes! We must run our race with courage. Through loss and grief we must stand with courage. Through trials and testing we must embrace opportunities. Through joy and suffering we must have the courage to wait on God. Courage is something we need to nurture in ourselves and in our children. Many times our lack of faith and worry restricts our children from becoming courageous. They feel our fear and hide from God’s best. We need to free them to live in the abundant life that God is offering. We need to live with courage and allow our children to walk with courage.

Here are 3 ways we can live with courage and lead our children to live with courage:

  1. Respond boldly to circumstances and events – For Ruth this meant leaving home. Ruth 1:16
  2. Wait on God’s timing – For Ruth this meant waiting on the events to play out and not manipulating the situation. Waiting takes deep courage and faith. Ruth 3:18
  3. Take advantage of opportunities. – For Ruth this meant humbling herself and opening her heart to potential new loss and grief by going to Boaz. Ruth 3: 5

Joshua 1:9

Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.

What is filling you with fear? Respond boldly! Is God asking you to courageously wait on His timing for an answer? Be of good courage! Embrace the opportunities before you with joy and courage! God is with you wherever you go.

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Simple Living 365 – Take Time

Simple living is my new passion. I am a complete failure but I am enjoying the journey.

Simplicity is a mindset. Simplicity takes commitment.

Last spring we spent hours getting the house and yard ready for Micah’s high school graduatioCaladiumsn party. One investment we made was planting caladium blubs. It was difficult to clear the area for the bulbs. It was time consuming to plant the bulbs. It took commitment to keep them watered so they would bloom in time. We were blessed. Many bulbs bloomed right before the party. Last week I walked by the area and saw to my amazement that many, many more had bloomed but I had become too busy to notice and enjoy our investment of time and labor. The season is short.

Micah started college last week. It was difficult to make it through those tough years. It was time consuming to provide transportation to all the events. It took commitment to our values to stay consistent so that his character would be God honoring. We were blessed. He has bloomed into an amazing kid. He has made so many right choices. On his first official day of college he had spare time after the other boys left. I had my normal routine but chose to sit and enjoy an hour of conversation with him before he left. I am so glad that I made the simple choice to Take Time and spend it with Micah. I may have many more opportunities or only a few but I want to enjoy our investment of time and labor and give God the glory for him every opportunity I have. The season is short.

What are you too busy to enjoy? Simplicity is a mindset. Look for ways to enjoy the investments you have made.

Ecclesiastes 3:1

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.


Simple Living 365 “Life is Great”



Save Me a Seat!


Exodus 33

One major benefit of working in the business world has been that I have been encouraged (and many times required) to take strength and personality tests. It is important when you are working on a team that you know your own strengths and weaknesses and that others know them too so that you can work well together. One thing that I learned about eight years ago is that contrary to what I thought and probably what everyone who knows me thought….I am an introvert NOT an extrovert! There is a joke on my work team that I only last ¾ of a conference and then I pack up and go home. I couldn’t figure out why traveling for conferences and meetings were so draining. I love what I do but I was exhausted by the end of the day. Right about the time everyone is ready to go out and socialize, I am heading to the room. I have been nicknamed the “boring girl.” 🙂 My life coach helped me understand that for an introvert, it takes an enormous amount of emotional energy to be social and “on” all day. That is why I was so tired and spent by the end of the conferences.

This introverted part of my personality makes going to social events an effort, even things I really want to attend. I usually make sure that I know at least one person at the event and coordinate with that person to either ride with them or have them save me a seat. It makes these types of events so much easier. I recently attended a wedding where a group of people including me were assigned a table but the seats were not marked. One lady, who was attending the wedding alone, asked a younger woman she knew if the seat was taken beside her. The younger woman was so cruel and hurtful as she announced that she was sure that other people were going to be sitting there and there wasn’t room, even though the lady was assigned to the table. I couldn’t stand how hurt the woman looked and made sure I moved over and invited her to sit by me. I enjoyed the wedding so much more and made a really nice friend. The younger woman’s insensitivity was terrible but it brought to my attention my responsibility to help in the situation.

In my Bible reading this morning, something jumped out at me. God is talking to Moses and promising to go with him and give him rest. I spent some time meditating on Exodus 33:14. “…My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.” What a sweet verse when we are lonely and tired. God is with us and will give us rest. He understands that it takes a lot of emotional energy to survive each day. I continued to read and something I had never seen literally jumped off the page at me further down. Exodus 33:21 “And the Lord said, Behold, there is a place by me…” Oh my word! The LORD is saving me a seat! What an awesome thought! As I go throughout my day, I am comforted that God knows I am an introvert viewed by others as an extrovert. God knows I need his support and rest and he is going to save me a seat!

  • Trust God to provide the rest you need. Don’t try to do things on your own.
  • Look for others to encourage. Since God is saving you a seat, reach out to someone else and save them a seat.
  • Realize that others struggle with insecurity and be quick to offer support NOT judgment.
  • Thank God for the “encouragers” in your life and strive to become an encourager for others.

Life Coaching Week 8 – The Joyful Decision

Happiness is a choice!

 Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice (Be happy) in time to come. Proverbs 31:21

He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord. Psalm 112:7 

I spoke to a client this week in Wyoming and she asked what the weather was like in Florida. I shared with her how beautiful it has been and how green and lush the landscape haPraying for Snows become. She in turned shared that it SNOWED there this week. You gotta love Florida!



  • The joyful decision can change your life. We are conditioned by society to respond to certain situation with frustration and anxiety. Events like traffic, busy stores and early mornings are used as staple stress examples in movies and on TV. The coffee industry has made millions by making us believe that we all are cranky in the morning and need coffee to wake up and function.
  • The Joyful Decision is the decision that has the most ability to impact our relationships and finances. Who do you want to be around? People who are negative and cranky or happy joyful people? Who would you hire if there were two equally qualified candidates? Would you hire the perky upbeat candidate or the grumpy negative applicant? See how having a joyful spirit can really impact your life?
  • It has been scientifically proven that laughter triggers an increase in endorphins, the brain chemicals known for their feel-good effect. (NY Times) People destroy their lives and become addicted to drugs to give them a high when all we need to do is laugh more! Don’t wait on laughter to find you. Plan triggers that help you stimulate the endorphins each and every day. Do pictures of your kids make you laugh? Do you enjoy a funny book? Do you like watching a comedian make fun of everyday things? Plan to incorporate those things into your daily routine.


  • Joyfulness is strengthened by a grateful spirit. Seeds of depression can’t take root in a grateful heart.

Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Romans 1:21

  • HW:Make a list of 100 things you are thankful for. List stresses and turn them into gratitude. My house needs a new roof but at least I have a house.  Like a fresh breeze thankfulness cleans away the cloud of despair and stress.

Last week, I was having a “Jesus Meeting” with Caleb. I was using all my best Life Coaching skills. I was inspiring him with great stories. I was using sports analogies that he could relate to. I was doing such a good job, I was inspiring myself. I halfway expected to hear the Rocky theme song at any point.  I stopped long enough to look over at Caleb to bask in his awe inspired look only to see the vacant stare of a 14-year-old boy. He had gone to his happy place and was only hearing the teacher’s voice on Charlie Brown. He then noticed I had taken a breath and decided it was time for his escape. Right at that moment, his dog ( An icky, smelly, VERY non inspiring mutt) appeared at the glass door. Caleb jumped up and started talking in a high pitch sweet voice to the dog telling him how cute he is and what a good boy he is. (Which for the record is a total lie!) Caleb escaped from my “inspiring” lecture and bolted out the door. I stood for 10 minutes watching the formerly comatose teenager run and jump and roll around in the yard with a DOG! It did however, teach me a lesson. Caleb’s response to my interaction with him was based on my ongoing campaign to inspire and change his behavior. Caleb’s response to the dog was based on the dog’s total acceptance and joy in Ca1335823136962leb. I don’t think I will stop trying to inspire but I might steal a few tactics from Rocky the dog.

  • People want to be greeted with joy.
  • People want to know they are loved.
  • People want to play and laugh.
  • People want to do things for others who make them feel happy.
  • People like to be licked in the face by their dogs. (I am NOT going to do this!)
  • People like to be accepted for who they are and inspired to be better when they know you love them anyway.

Go forth and live like Rocky the dog and see what new opportunities come your way!


Life Coaching – Week 7 – A Decided Heart

James 1:8 “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.”

FuelThis week’s decision talks about the fuel we need to actually apply all of the other decisions. A decided heart fuels all of the other 6 decisions. We know that our cars are wonderful machines …. IF… we have fuel. This past week, I inadvertently let my SUV get down to “0” miles to empty! Wow, it is amazing how much prayer goes on in a car with the gas gauge on empty! I had very good intentions to run all the errands on my list but my lack of fuel thwarted my good intentions.

The Decided Heart decision allows us to find God’s direction for our lives and then have the fuel we need to apply the Active Decision and all the rest. This single decision impacts how we make decisions and then how we conduct ourselves after we make the decision.

  • Analysis is to lead us to a decision. It shouldn’t be a perpetual position. We all know friends who analyze things to death. Perpetual analysis is just another name for procrastination!
  • James 1:8 tells us that we are unstable and ineffective if we do not have a decided heart. Cortez the conqueror led his men to the Yucatan Peninsula to obtain a treasure that had been unsuccessfully sought after for 600 years. He landed and commanded his leaders to burn the boats! Now their only options were success or death. They were successful! God grant us the courage to burn our boats. What “back-up” plan do you need to burn so that you can move forward without any other options? I had to quit my job several years ago. A friend of mine posted on Facebook that she gave away all her “fat” clothes and has only a few outfits until she loses the weight she needs to lose for health reasons. What boat do you need to burn?

 The Process of a Decided Heart!Process for a decided heart


  • PROGRAMMING – What are you putting into your head and heart that supports your decision? Are you reading your Bible? Are you listening to good music and reading good books? Are you spending time with supportive, uplifting people? What you program into you head and heart impacts your THINKING.
  • THINKING – Your thoughts are very important to your personal success. What you think impacts the rest of the process. Satan sneaks in and feeds us lies that sound really close to the truth and that allows him to impact our thinking. We allow the world to impact our views. We allow our own insecurities to cause doubt. At the first sign of negative thinking or worldly thoughts, take a step back and reprogram. Go back to scripture. Check with a one of your “Board of Directors.” Pray and ask God to allow you to think on whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Phil. 4:8
  • FEELING – Our thoughts evoke emotions and feelings that build beliefs. If you allow the world to make you think that their view of beauty is the warped examples we see on TV, you begin to feel ugly. Those feelings lead us to beliefs. We not only FEEL ugly, we truly believe we are not beautiful. If you feel slighted at work and dwell on those feelings you start to really believe that you are being mistreated. Those feelings become a “fact” or belief even if they are true because feelings were attached. This step is the KEY to success. We have to tap into our emotions to find our DRIVERS. What is going to build “facts” or “beliefs” that will allow us to succeed. One of the things I am most proud of accomplishing with God’s help is to gain my certification and advance in my career. I was able to accomplish this because I attached a deep emotion to the “belief” that I had to provide for my boys. The last thing that Cliff said to me was to take care of his boys. That deep emotion overcame any questions or doubts in my mind as I moved forward to support and take care of the boys. It is imperative that you move beyond your head to your heart to find your DRIVER. What emotion or belief can you base your decided heart on to accomplish the things God wants you to accomplish?
  • ACTIONS – Our feelings and beliefs are evidenced by our actions. If we feel fat, we become discouraged and unmotivated. That lack of motivation sends us to the couch with a bunch of chips and a good episode of CSI. If we find a DRIVER or feeling that supports the belief that we need to get healthy we ACT or respond differently. If I know that I have to get healthy and in shape to be a good example to my kids or to have a more active family life I respond to the discouragement with a determination to accomplish my goal because it is EMOTIONALLY important to me. I have allowed God to connect his goal to a feeling and therefore I take action.
  • RESULTS – If we are fueling our actions from feelings that are God honoring and from good programming we get good results. However, if we are not getting the results we want, go back and look at each step and see where the breakdown occurred. You have to ability to chose to change the results you are getting.

Allow GOD to establish your Decided Heart.

Proverbs 16:3

Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established .
No Growth Group April 9th. I will be in Colorado. We will pick back up on April 16th.

Life Coaching – Week 6 – The Active Decision

Psalm 1:3

And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

1. Without the Active Decision none of the other decisions are useful!  “Becoming a person of action is a choice.” Andy Andrews. When I feel depressed or overwhelmed I found after thinking about it this week that I do many of the same actions.

o Eat junk food
o Watch TV
o Stay in my PJs
o Have no people contact
I put into place some REACTIONS to the immediate feeling I have when I am not motivated. Instead of grabbing junk food I grabbed a water and an apple. I either put on my exercise clothes and go for a walk or I shower and “get dressed” for work. (I work from home so it is kind of funny but it works for me!) This week I planned a better redirect for each response I usually have when I am feeling down and it worked really well. I got my hinder parts kicked by the exercise class filled with the “Sliver Sneakers” club but had a blast and didn’t give in to the unmotivated feelings that came!

This week’s blog is late. I ended up with a migraine Friday, Saturday and Sunday. However, it is so nice to feel better today. Sometimes we have to know how it feels to feel bad before we can appreciate good! Andy says that successful people make their decision quickly and change their mind slowly. I think it is because successful people already KNOW what they SHOULD do… they don’t have to think about what decision to make. They already know! We know at least 3 right decisions (Accept Responsibility, Seek Wisdom, Take Action) to make so let’s act like successful people and DO SOMETHING! Watch this video. It is hilarious but makes a good point.

Folks who overcome and make commitments are so inspiring. One of the biggest weaknesses (so far) our study has shown me in my own character is a lack of commitment to continue no matter what. I am so motivated by our lessons and then I fail to put them into practice. Derek Redmond was an Olympic athlete that committed to take action and even against overwhelming odds finished the race. How much does it take to make you quit?


2. Steps that will help you choose to become a person of action.

  • Decide that you ARE a person of action. This simple mental exercise changes your perspective. Now you just have to ACT like the person you know you are!
  • Don’t give in to your BUT! (not your butt… your but!) I would exercise but…. I hurt my knee. I would eat right but…. it cost so much. I would get up early but… I am so tired…. You get my point.
  • Get up EARLY! (This is why I posted the Early Morning Challenge for those of you who are virtual or who missed our class. Good news… I am going to extend the challenge for next week so EVERYONE can join!) Thomas Jefferson had so many accomplishments that they are too long to list. He credits his accomplishments to getting up early. George Washington Carver, Benjamin Franklin, George Muller… JESUS were all folks who got up early!
  • Realize you are an inspiration to others. Feel the weight of this responsibility and use it to motivate you. I remember seeing my grandmother, Nana, sitting at her table looking at the lake reading her Bible and writing notes of encouragement to fellow believers. What a great inspiration. She probably never knew how much she inspired me to be better than average!
  • Every action you take, changes things!

WATCH THIS VIDEO! If you don’t watch any of the other videos, watch this one! It will help you understand that every action you take matters! TAKE ACTION this week! What you do matters!


1. Read Chapter 6 in the Traveler’s Gift

2. Look over your Journal and review “Crafting your Vision” and Realizing your Vision.”  Find 5 small actions to commit to do in the next 24 to 48 hours. Don’t stand on the escalator waiting for someone to come fix your issues. The solution is YOU! It may be harder and take more effort than you expected but you can make a difference by taking ACTION!

• What can you do to make progress on a specific problem?
o Job – Look for a new position, get training, take a course
o Health – Make one change (Go to the “Sliver Sneakers” class with me and get your hinder parts kicked!)
o Finance – Cut out one expenditure that isn’t a necessity.

3.  One week challenge: Get up an hour before you usually do and post on our site for accountability! I am so proud of those of you who are posting! Next week I travel as some of you do but I will continue to post. My time zone will be different but it will still be early!



Life Coaching – Week 5 – Seek Wisdom

In the Traveler’s Gift this week, David Ponder gets to experience the amazing story where King Solomon from the Bible uses great wisdom. Two mothers were claiming one baby and he asks that a sword be brought to cut the baby in half so that each mother could have part of the baby. The salient point becomes if he does cut the baby in half, the child will die. The true mother pleads for Solomon to save the child and just give it to the other woman. Solomon then knows who the real mother is and gives the baby back to the one who pleaded for the life of the child.

Wisdom Principle ThingWe talked about Solomon’s great wisdom. God came to Solomon in 2 Chronicles 1:7 and said, “Ask what I shall give thee.” Solomon asked for wisdom because the responsibility to judge the nation of Israel was such a huge task, he didn’t feel adequate. Ross (from our class) and I were talking after class and he brought to my attention why Solomon chose to ask for wisdom. In Proverbs, Solomon says that he was tender and beloved in the sight of his parents and his father taught him that “Wisdom is the principal thing…” Because of this foundation, he knew right away what to choose when God gave him the opportunity to make a decision. What an amazing story. This should shake us to our core. We need to not only seek wisdom for ourselves but train those we influence that wisdom is the principal thing. Thank you Ross for that great insight!

Wisdom is not knowledge or education. Wisdom is the ability to apply the knowledge that we have gained in practical situations. We have an even higher level of wisdom when we gain Biblical knowledge and allow the Holy Spirit to give us discernment to apply that Biblical knowledge.

We have to have a teachable attitude. This willingness to learn begins with humility. God gives wisdom to those who are diligent and seek him! Don’t let Satan make you doubt God’s principles and make you “double minded.” (James 1) God said he will give wisdom to any who ask. Satan is the one whispering that you have failed too many times or that stuff like this doesn’t work in real life or that you are too busy to do the three things below that will help us begin to seek wisdom. Don’t let Satan undermine your decision to SEEK WISDOM!

Three ways to seek wisdom…..

1. Read books! Books will inspire you to do things you wouldn’t normally do. You are molded by the information input into your brain. The books you read can be fiction or nonfiction. They can be digital, paper or audio. You can read them in small chunks or all at once. Just read!

  • Schedule in space to read. Drag the book around with you so that when you are delayed (Doc’s office, picking up kids from practice, traveling) you are excited to have extra time rather than upset over the delay. Preparation is key to finding time to read.
  • Find books at garage sales; borrow them from the library or friends. Get recommendations from those you admire.
  • Audio books are good for your commute time.
  • Share your books with others. This past week I brought my library to church and let the class take as many of my books as they wanted. I have to admit, I had a bit of a panic attack as the books were chosen, but I know that this is part of influencing others to choose wisdom!

Board of Directors2. Take counsel from others. Peer pressure is a huge factor our entire lives. Don’t delude yourself into thinking that you are past the stage of being influenced by those around you.

  • Choose your companions wisely and limit contact with those who do not inspire you to be better than you are.
  • Peer impact never goes away.
  • When you tolerate mediocrity in your companions you will be more accepting of it in yourself. (Hanna chose to hang out with a group of friends in high school that were all focused on high GPA’s. This choice put her in a crowd that pushed her to achieve way more than she thought he could accomplish. She graduated with a 6.3 GPA and was accepted to UF – her dream school. Woo hoo Hanna. Bad decisions take us to bad places but good decisions take us to good places!)
  • A True friend doesn’t accept you for who you are… they hold you to a higher standard and want better for you.
  • Surround yourself with folks who are better than you in different areas. If you are struggling with finances, look for someone who has had success in that area.
  • Set up a “Board of Directors”. Vicky shared with us in class that her children needed to set up a board of directors for their singing group and they chose someone who they thought might not agree. He ended up agreeing and being a wonderful addition and has added great insight and counsel.
    1. They don’t have to know they are on your board. The person you choose might just give you counsel one time.
    2. Pick folks you admire and who are successful in the area you are working on or making a decision.
    3. Aim high. If you only counsel with yourself or those in your immediate circle, you are limiting the scope of wisdom God wants to give you!
    4. An example might be if you are having family problems with raising kids, choose someone in your church who has successfully raised children. They don’t have to be perfect, just willing to share their wisdom.
  • You will always need a board of directors. This isn’t a once and done exercise. You have to continue to seek counsel from others.

3. Serve Others. This is a heart attitude that puts you in a position to rub shoulders with folks who can share wisdom.

  • Serving cultivates humility (A precursor to gaining wisdom.)
  • Creates a bond with those you serve and those who see you serving.
  • Offers an opportunity to be around successful people. Volunteer for extra assignments at work. This attitude gave me the opportunity to show that I was a team player and had additional talents that were not being showcased in my current position at FLVS. When the promotion became available at work, I was the obvious pick, even over others with more education or tenure.
  • We are not serving with ulterior motives. However, the principle is still true. Serving is the quickest way to the top. This isn’t a world view but a BIBLICAL principle. (Matt. 20:16 “So the last shall be first, and the first last…”)
  • Serving helps you gain confidence in yourself.

Home Work  for the week! Be an ACTIVE learner! All of the HW items should be written in your journal. This is the key to your success!!!!!

1. Make sure you have worked on last week’s assignments. Remember… this is a building process. Don’t skip the foundation!

2. Read Chapter 5 in the Traveler’s Gift.

3. Pick a book and read it every day – Find one that is focused on your area of improvement. (Spiritual, Physical, Financial, Social, Emotional, Professional and Family.)

4. Create a mental board of directors for your life so that when you need counsel you have already identified someone who can help you seek wisdom.

5. Apply one servant attitude a day. Track outcomes over the week. How do you feel? How does serving others make you appear to others? Perception is a big part of success. Confidence is a key factor. A servant attitude shows you are the most comfortable with yourself.

25 gift cardI am giving away a $25 gift card  for Amazon.com this week. (You can buy a book!) The only thing you have to do is post a comment focused on our lesson either here on the blog or on Facebook or share the link with your friends. When you post or share the link I will put your name in the drawing for the gift card. You can get your name put in multiple times by posting in both the blog and FB and by sharing the link. We are learning to apply the 7 decisions and would be selfish if we didn’t share what we are learning with others. This is just a little motivation to help you become an ACTIVE learner! Let your friends know that even if they are not in the class, they can subscribe to the blog and post a comment and they will be eligible for the Amazon gift card drawing as well. Our goal is to get this information out to as many folks as we can!







Life Coaching – Week 4 – The Responsible Decision

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. II Timothy 1:7

The Responsible DecisionGod has given us the ability to choose. This ability allows us to make mistakes. However, it also gives us the power to make good choices that lead to success. The phrase “The Buck Stops Here” originated from a card game during the frontier era. The marker was a knife with a buckhorn handle. When someone wanted to pass, they would “pass the buck.” President Trueman had a sign on his desk that said, “The Buck Stops Here.”  The message he was declaring was that we can’t control what happens to us but we can control how we respond. Take responsibility of where you are and feel the power to move to a better place.

If we give in to the “victim mentality” that is prevalent in our society we give up our power to make things better. The phrases “why me” and “it’s not my fault” should NEVER enter our conversations. Why NOT you? The common theme of successful people used by God is that they suffered. You can’t control what happens but you have the power to respond correctly. Look at the slide and see how you can change your victim responses to responsible responses.Victim Mentality

Decisions flow from our thoughts. Change your thoughts and you will make better decisions. Philippians 3:13-14 talks about forgetting our past failures and moving toward a better future.


1. Read Chapter 4 in the “Traveler’s Gift.”

2. Take inventory of the 7 areas of your life and rank them from 1 to 10. One being “I am a failure” and 10 being “I am the poster child for this area. I rock!” Spiritual, Physical, Financial, Social, Emotional, Professional and Family.

3. In your journal, write your biggest failure. Take a few minutes to list 4 or 5 decisions you made that got you to that place of failure. Once you can accept responsibility for things you did to get you where you are, you have the power to make decisions to get yourself to a better place.

4. Craft a vision of what your perfect life would look like in each of the 7 areas listed above. What would your finances look like if you were a 10? Would you have a budget and enough money to help others if they needed it or be able to give more money to missions? What would your spiritual life look like if it were a 10? Would you do daily devotions and lead a Bible study? You get my drift. This isn’t about pie in the sky. It is about creating a REAL vision for your future. Your goals and dreams may be big but make sure they are from God. Winning the lottery might not be a good vision to cast but getting a higher paying more fulfilling job might be the perfect vision for you.

5. Focus on AT LEAST one of the areas of your life. Review your vision and see what steps you can take THIS WEEK to accept responsibility for where you are and then move to a better place. If you feel like Family was the area you needed to make improvement right away, look at where you are. Are you having relationship issues? What decisions have you made that have gotten you to the place where you don’t have good relationships? What steps can you take to change that this week? What amount of time do you need to spend? Who do you need to counsel with? Who do you need to apologize to? What resources do you need to invest?

I recently had a meaningful conversation with Caleb. I felt like I needed to invest more time in him. Micah has dominated our lives with college decisions this year and Caleb has just flown low under the radar. We were in the car and I told him I had wonderful news. I told him that I knew I had been focusing mostly on Micah and felt bad that he had not gotten a fair amount of attention. I took responsibility for where we were.  I enthusiastically shared that I would now be focusing all my energy on him. He sweetly smiled and said, “Excuse me for a minute.” He rolled the window down on our car and leaned his head way out and screamed… “AUGGGGGGGG.” He then turned around with a sweet little smile and said, “Now, where were we?” I can’t promise that your friends or family will be super excited about your vision but they will notice. 🙂

Decide commit succeedGo forth and make a difference in your life this week. I am so excited about the potential in all of you. Once you internalize the principle that you are where you are because of decisions you have made you are on the road toward success! Claim the power God has given you in II Timothy to make better choices and move in a positive direction this week! Be prepared to share in class what steps you took to make changes. (Philippians 3) If you are reading the blog, post some positive decisions you have made to move toward your vision.

I am going to have a “give away” at the beginning of the week connected to posting comments. Share the blog and post comments to qualify for the “give away.” More details to come!