Wednesday, October 17, 2012's what's up with me

In the past few months, my life has undergone some pretty hefty transitions. It’s been incredible to see what God is unfolding for me and my family as we strive to hear his voice and obediently follow his call – one step at a time. 

Many of these steps have resulted in beautiful change in my personal life. We’re living in our own home after renting for 5 years. We have a lovely new daughter, an amazing gift of grace and reminder of God’s promises. And we’re growing more deeply connected with the wonderful people in our faith community. While I could write in-depth about each of these transitions, the purpose of this communication is to share with you a bit about the professional changes that have taken place in my life and to ask for your assistance and collaboration with my new endeavors.

I recently quit my job with Indiana Wesleyan University as their Coordinator of Life Coaching and Instructor of Leadership Studies to pursue more independent and ministry-based coaching endeavors. Frederick Buechner said, “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” Through my personal journey with Jesus Christ, I know that my deep gladness is found in proclaiming the excellencies of God by demonstrating his love and freedom to those in bondage, bringing emotional healing to the hurt caused by abandonment and abuse, and developing the potential of God’s creation. I also know that there is a deep hunger in our broken world for this excellence, love, freedom, healing, and empowerment.

I first want to be able to live out this calling in my own life, then for my family, then in my faith community and then in the world. The way this is currently happening is by me accepting a position as the Director of Recovery Coaching for a young and exceptional non-profit recovery ministry called NewDay Recovery and by starting my own independent coaching practice….This is the part where most people start becoming “nodding dogs.” If you’ve done any public speaking (or parenting for that matter), you’re very familiar with the “nodding dogs.” It’s that point in the conversation when the person across from you mentally disengages and just smiles and nods until you’re finished. “Nodding dogs” are polite, disinterested, and ultimately are not incredibly useful….I’ve determined that most people become “nodding dogs” around the topic of coaching more out of ignorance than true disinterest. Most people just really don’t know what it is, or we all have different ideas of what it is. SO, if you’d like to stay in the land of “nodding dogs”, you can stop reading now and just pray for me in this transition. But if you’d like to join me in a land of fulfilled and free human beings, keep reading and see how we might be able to partner together.

So here’s what my kind of coaching is and how I do it:

I start with the following coaching assumptions…

People are created in the image of God. As a result, they are naturally creative, resourceful, and relational.

People are created uniquely and intentionally. Thus, it can be assumed that they are different from each other on purpose, and there is distinct value in their existence.

People are created with all of the resources they need to live in relationship with God, to hear His voice, and to make decisions. As such, they are fully capable of discovering and confidently living out their life callings.

People are born into a sinful world with a sinful nature. Because of this, to fully realize the possibilities associated with assumptions 1-3, they must be redeemed from bondage, reminded of the excellencies to which they are called, and be held accountable to discovering and pursuing their callings.

God is able to do far more than we could hope or imagine through his people.

I take these assumptions, combine them with my life calling (that deep gladness, world’s hunger thing),and  I come to this conclusion about what coaching is and why it is needed…

Life coaching is needed because our world needs passionate and rational people committed to making it better through living excellent, fulfilling lives connected to their giftedness and calling. It is obvious that this sort of proactive, intentional living is rare. It is non-existent if people try to do it alone. STOP. Read that again....Do you believe it? If you’re just shrugging off that statement, I’d like to invite you to do a little experiment. Answer the following questions:

1)    What is your life purpose?
2)    What is most fulfilling about your life (that’s that deep gladness thing again that Buechner was talking about, and you can bet that their fulfillment will be connected to a hunger or need in the world).
3)    On a scale of 1-10, how effectively are you living out your purpose/engaging in what you know fulfills you?

Are you satisfied with your responses? If you asked five people in your life those questions today, could they answer them confidently?
Personal life coaching is a professional partnership between a coach and individuals designed to achieve the individual’s goals around life purpose discovery, fulfillment, and freedom. It is founded in a holistic and action-based approach that promotes the process of discovering potential and purpose and confidently and courageously living it out in every area of life.

As a life coach, I have the great privilege of serving individuals, groups, and teams and partnering with them as they discover purpose, awaken the courage needed to live it out, and experience the joy and transformation that confidently living in freedom can bring.

Pretty cool, huh? :)
I would love for you to be involved! Below are some options for you and I to partner and collaborate:

Refer Clients: Chances are that you probably thought of someone or a group of someone’s that could benefit from coaching. Please pass on this information to them and let them know that they can have a free sample session by submitting a contact form on my website at I do coaching sessions for individuals, couples, and groups via the phone, skype, and face-to-face.
My standard rates are $100 per 45 minute session, so the sample session is a great way to see the value of coaching and the power of a coaching relationship before you commit to it financially.

Attend a Workshop: I am hosting my first workshop series in partnership with Midwest Coffee Company starting October 27, 2012. The workshop is $45 for a three-hour coaching workshop, materials, and breakfast. The workshop is limited to a small group of 10 people. The workshop is a great way to get a whole lot of coaching value in a condensed period of time for an affordable cost. It's also a great way for close friends and family to benefit from my coaching. Check out the AMPLIFY fall series and register at

Suggest a Partnership: One of the most enjoyable things to me about my independent coaching practice is the opportunity for creative partnership. If you can think it up and it makes sense to combine it with coaching, we can probably do it. Team building, assessment debriefing, Bible studies, relationship seminars, family strengthening workshops, corporate training, etc. Let’s talk and create something that will serve you, empower you to expand your reach in the world, and collaborate with others to do the same.

In conclusion, thank you for not being a “nodding dog.” Thank you for your interest in me and what I’m up to in the world. And thank you in advance for your partnership and collaboration!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Creating Containers

Containers are interesting things. They purposefully hold something in a finite space and protect it. I took my first trip to The Container Store a few weekends ago. I had been wanting to go for quite some time, but I was terrified that I would just want everything in the store and completely lose control of myself. So I took my husband with me and we started up and down the aisles. And I realized anew that I LOVE CONTAINERS!
I love that I can have a lot of little things that I like and when I categorize them and put them in a labeled container it just makes me so happy! Those things have a place. They now belong there. They are protected.
I just finished cleaning out my office at my old job (it feels weird calling it "old"). I went through binders and containers of over six years worth of work and memories. Successful projects that I completely forgot about and failed ones that make me laugh to look at now. Files, binders, shelves of 6 years of life, put into boxes...containers. I sat and looked at my empty office and was just a sad and thought, "I HATE CONTAINERS!"
I hate that 6 years of my life's work can be reduced to ten boxes, taken to my car, and never used (at least not in the same way) or noticed again. It will just be sorted through and put into new containers for new purposes.
The truth is that containers are both lovely and limiting. We create them to feel safe and protected...and for good reason. Containers of success, comfort, easy relationships, operating within our realm of competence and knowledge - they're all lovely, safe, and protected and we need them. They are also so limiting. It's easier for us to see the containers that were created for us as limiting - our family of origin, our life experiences, our socioeconomic status, our gender. But in the end, isn't that all in your perspective as well? What about those things was exclusively limiting? No, for the most part, those are lovely, safe and protected too.
All of this isn't to judge your containers or mine or to say that we should or shouldn't have them. They are. They exist. We do have them. It is to say that we should be at choice about the ones that we create for ourselves and the ones we carry around and want other people to climb in to.
So I don't have a conclusion. Just questions - If you could categorize and label your life containers, what would they say? What does your God container look like? How about your friend container? What is it like to think about getting a new container? What is like thinking about having no containers? Do you love your containers? Do you hate them? Who do you need to be to make your container bigger? What new containers need to be created?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Fully Alive

fully alive
I will not die an unlived life.
I will not live in fear
of falling or catching fire.
I choose to inhabit my days,
to allow my living to open me,
to make me less afraid,
more accessible,
to loosen my heart
until it becomes a wing,
a torch, a promise.
I choose to risk my significance;
to live so that which came to me as seed
goes to the next as blossom
and that which came to me as blossom,
goes on as fruit.
- dawna markova

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Love and Poop

Poop is gross. I feel like I encounter an inordinate amount of it these days, and it's not mine! It smells bad and it's not even a cool color. However, despite my disdain for excrement, I find that I still clean it up...thoroughly. See it wouldn't really work to "kind of" clean up poo. Essentially, I hate the poop but I love the pooper. Which makes me wonder, what if we looked at the crap in our world and absolutely hated it and were determined to thoroughly clean it up, and in the process carried extreme love and compassion for the "poopers" as we did. Have you known anyone that has done that for you? If you have, I would be willing to bet that they changed your life.  So I think I'll keep cleaning up the poop, literally and figuratively, and in so doing I will be changing the world.
Just a quick thought on love and poop!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

My Son

Once upon a time, there was a young girl filled with dreams and ambition and concern. She was married to her soulmate and the love of her life. Their life was far from perfect but that was okay, because they learned and grew and suffered and cared together. And they worshiped the one God that delighted in them and quieted them with his love. The one God that understood. The one God that became a servant. The one God who creates something from nothing, created something from them. A young warrior-poet-prince, a child created in His image and likeness.
Just over three years ago, our son Elliot was born. My relationship with him is uniquely treasured and special to me, and I don't think I could fully express what a joy and delight he has been to my soul. 
We were talking in the car today and I was telling him that I loved him and that he was my little warrior-poet-prince. Here's the conversation that followed:

Elliot: What did you say?
"I said that you are my little warrior-poet-prince."
Elliot: Mommy, what is a warrior-poet-prince mean?
"Well, a warrior is someone who fights for what is right and a poet makes beautiful things with words and letters and a prince is a very special boy that is the son of a King. Does that sound like something you would like to be?"
Elliot: (grinning) Oh yes! I WOULD!

Feeling especially grateful for my beautiful son and all the ways he changed my life!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Some Elliot Cuteness...

I realized that I haven't been on here for awhile, because it's been summer and I've just been having so much fun. I also realized that my last few posts seemed a bit...well, out of sorts in some parts. As an addendum to that, I am doing very well and enjoying where God has me and where He's leading me. I am also ever so much more grateful for my husband and his leadership of me and our family.
And NOW, I sit at the computer and type you an Elliot story, because everything else (studying for addictions licensure exam, making salsa, making dinner, folding mounds of laundry, etc.) is a bit too intimidating for the moment.
This morning, Ev had a really bad headache and was nauseated so I drove him to work and on the way we stopped at McDonalds to get him a coke. He's the discussion that transpired with Elliot.
Me: Elliot, we need to use our quiet voice because Daddy's head hurts really bad.
Elliot: But I don't want to use my quiet voice
(Drive up to drive thru at 9:30 AM)
Elliot: OH! Can I get chicken nuggets and french fries?!?
Me: No buddy, we're just getting daddy a drink.
Elliot: OH! Can I get a drink?
Me: Oh sure. What would you like? (thinking the boy will say "apple juice" like he usually does or maybe the less preferred "sprite")
Elliot (if you know how he talks please read this with his little speech impediments in mind): I would like a vanilla ice cream drink WITH SAUCE!

.....really? Yes really!
Elliot enjoyed his little milkshake for quite sometime this morning.

I'm now off to make salsa. If I don't get too scared first.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Not Without Love

I am finding that I love almost everything that this artist writes. I was listening to two of his albums today and in both he had a track that was just spoken word poetry. This was one of those poems. I'd encourage you to read it aloud. It's beautiful, especially as we consider celebrating freedom tomorrow.

Not Without Love (Benediction)
By Jimmy Needham

I tried Lord
I tried Lord
I tried hard to be Your good little boy
Chin up, head high
All zeal and no joy
Thinking all my good deeds could please Jesus
Boy, was I wrong
Though I knew the right songs, all my cymbals and gongs played the melodies wrong
And it wasn’t long ‘til I saw my disease
A life spent wanting to please
On hands and knees
To make right, to appease
God help me please
This can’t be Christianity, it can’t be
The whole thing’s like insanity
Where’s the rest of eternal security?
Where’s the hope of a God big enough to cope with all my hang-ups and insecurities?
Certainly this isn’t breathing
My chest burning and heaving
It’s like my pulse is ceasing
Like my heart quits beating
Yet this I recall to mind and therefore I have hope:
You died, Lord
You died, Lord
Assuredly, like the coming of the dawn, the Father’s love song goes on
Drowning out my bitter songs
And breaking through walls and barriers
Christ swoops in, removes sin, picks up His bride and carries her
So I can sing in agreement with the King this thing:
There’s only one thing that pleases the Father
The God-man on the tree in the midst of the scoffers
Now I finally see that Christ is what Christ offers
And I’m finally free in the love of the Father


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