The Will To Live

Great post from someone who is suffering but still having hope. Thank you!

Unshakable Hope

I almost made it through a whole year without being hospitalized or having any additional health problems. Almost. Then, with just a few days left in 2016, I caught a cold. The “commoncold” is not much more than an annoyance for otherwise healthy people, but for someone like me with weakened breathing muscles and only 30% of my lungs functioning, the common cold is much more than an annoyance.

On the morning of the last day of the year, I was having an extremely difficult time breathing even wearing my breathing mask. In addition to that, I couldn’t keep anything down. I was a mess, more than usual. Mary and I both assumed it was pneumonia again so she called 911 and within minutes we were in an ambulance en route to the hospital. ALS has brought us one adventure after another over the last 20 years.

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Coaching for Calling

Although my calling has never been more clear,  it is still hard. In order to focus on becoming a life-coach in 2016, I have to shed something.

Currently, I coordinate a tutoring program that helps struggling elementary school students improve in their academics. Each week, eighteen tutors arrive to assist their student with their homework.  One of my favorite parts of tutoring happens toward the end…kids and tutors get to hear a Bible Message where a pin drop could be heard on most days. The children become absorbed in the lesson and get amazed at the life of Jesus and how much He loves people.  When we wrap up the lesson, hands eagerly shoot up to volunteer to pray. It is the most sacred two minutes of my week.

But now it is time to let it go. In order to get certified as a life-coach, I will need to take classes the same time tutoring takes place. Don’t worry; I found another person to take over for me who loves these little ones and their tutors. She has what she needs to succeed.

God know my heart and how I hang on too long to really great things so he encouraged me yesterday after tutoring. The new person who is taking over for me is looking for a…wait for it…LIFE COACH!!! She asked me to coach her as I am getting certified. What a privilege and honor to be asked to be someone’s coach; to listen to and hear heart’s longings, desires, conflicts and ultimately help someone bloom through it all. I believe it was God’s way of helping me turn the program over to another and affirm my decision to move forward in coaching.

When we take steps to live the life God meant us to, there will be resistance, doubt, fear, and the temptation to give up and stick to the life we are currently living.  However,  there is so much more God wants for us!

What is your God-sized life goal or dream? What will it take for you to move toward it? Are you willing to trust God for an exciting adventure? If you are, grab a pen and some paper and write your longings as a prayer. Keep me posted, I would love to hear where you are heading in 2016!

 

 

Special Moments

“Miss Kathy, I played!!” Hamden exclaimed.

“Wow! What did you play?” I asked excitedly.

“No, I played to God!” he said exasperated.

“Oh, you prayed!!! That is so great! What did you say?” I asked.

“I told God thank you for creating things and for creating me!”

This was my favorite moment from a very long day, yesterday.  Hamden is  little boy who has wanted to be in our tutoring program since he was three years old and still using a pacifier. He is finally in first grade and old enough to be a Whiz Kid and he can’t stop smiling.

This little boy is from war-torn Sudan. He lives here with his large extended family in a small apartment but the joy in his eyes and soul permeates an entire room.

I love this little kid who makes my tiring tasks of setting up for a tutoring session seem so completely worth it. I hope he keeps, “Playing to God!” and that God hears every little word that comes from his mouth. This kid is special and I am so glad he is a part of my life if only for a short hour each week.

Thank you for making my day, Hamden!

Peppa Pig in a Barbie World!

Peppa Pig visita el Corte Inglés de Tres de Mayo para saludar a sus ...

My four-year old proudly chose her back pack from the Target aisle! “Mommy, it’s Peppa Pig wearing a tutu! I want this one!” “Great, let’s go!” I proclaimed after what felt like hours of school supply shopping.

As Gracie began her first week of school, she carried that over-sized darling pink back pack to her cubby and put it on the little hook next to her friend’s backpack.  We were off to a good start but as I was meeting and greeting the moms, I noticed that I was probably the oldest mom in the room. The moms around me looked between 25-30 years old. I couldn’t help but admire their cute tiny figures and the way they could bend down without holding on to a chair as they kissed their little ones goodbye. I was definitely in a new world of moms.

Later that night, Gracie showed me that Peppa had something attached to her tutu. It was a velcro skirt. I wondered if I had missed that detail at Target and shrugged my shoulders as I attached it to Peppa.  “A little small ,” I thought, “but must have come with the backpack…Cute!”

When we went back to school the next day, I realized what had happened. Gracie’s cubby-partner had a dress up  Barbie backpack. Barbie had been sharing her clothes with Peppa who accidentally wore the outfit home. The teacher said, “I thought it looked a little small for Peppa’s waistline…wishful thinking, Peppa!” We all had a good laugh, returned the skirt to Barbie and went on our merry way.

But, on the drive home, I couldn’t help feeling a bit like Peppa in a Barbie world. How often do I want to fit into smaller clothes and wear yoga pants that don’t stretch out so much you can see through them? Instead, will I learn a lesson from Peppa who proudly wears her tutu and smiles big?!  Will I show up in all of who God made me and become friends with others who don’t look like me? Or will I compare, judge and live in fear?

Being Peppa in a  Barbie’s world is a choice. Instead of comparing myself to others, I want to be the best me I can possibly be and offer friendship and even my tutu if Barbie ever wants to borrow it, although she may need a belt. LOL!

How might you be feeling like Peppa in a Barbie’s world today? Is perfection keeping you down? How might you put on courage and trust today to know how loved you are and accept that your tutu is  just as good as Barbie’s tiny skirt? Take a moment and write down what you have to offer to others. Blessings!

Decluttering

So much clutter in my home, making me crazy having to step over shoes to get to the door,

How does one de-clutter and get rid of sweet teddy bears from Grandma and priceless art of a four-year old?

Start with the 27 fling boogie coined by the FlyLady (http://www.flylady.net/d/getting-started/flying-lessons/de-cluttering/) and start flinging your precious crapola into bags…

take it out to the car and after getting a coffee to celebrate,

toss the bag into the goodwill bin,

celebrate the process and come back to

an orderly home or at least a de-cluttered drawer…

Repeat!

http://www.flylady.net/d/getting-started/flying-lessons/decluttering/

Shoot!

During my quiet time a few months ago, I felt the Lord speak to me that He was planting me as a seed and I would need to be underground and in the dark for an unspecified time but that He intended to grow something beautiful. He asked me to water my soul with words of affirmation and by stating my desires and hopes. My watering can poured out truths from His word and reminders of who God is calling me to be.

Metaphorically speaking, sitting in the dark and not knowing what was happening was a bit daunting but I had faith that I would “sprout” at some point. I took time to ask God to grow me into a beautiful Peony flower all bloomy and beautiful or into an elegant and lovely rose. Since He is the Master Gardener, I will trust His work and hope he doesn’t choose to make me into a big bumpy cantaloupe.

Recently, I felt a shift in my spirit and realized that God had not only “sprouted” the seed He had planted but that it had become a shoot. Something is growing and it is alive inside me (no, I am not pregnant, thank God!).

So what’s next?  I wait…I pray…I water my heart with truth…I cultivate discipline…I dream…and I hope….

I hope He gives me speaking abilities, leadership skills and the ability to inspire people to go for their God-given goals and desires. I pray He helps me teach Sunday school children about Him and to care for those who teach each Sunday. I hope he uses me to do something beautiful for Him.

If you were to look inside yourself to see what God is growing, what would it be? Are you nurturing it and taking time to acknowledge the growth? Although God is the one who causes things to grow, He wants to hear from us about our dreams. If you could draw the seed packet cover, what would your picture look like? Don’t be afraid to ask God for what you really want.

May we become who God intended us to be as flowers in His Beautiful Garden. Amen!

Longings, Dreams, and Goals, Oh My!!!

Is it selfish to want to be an inspiring speaker and writer? Will God still bless me if I don’t feel called to hold dying bodies in India like Mother Theresa did?

There’s two camps of thought: one that says you must take up your cross daily and suffer as our Savior did to which I say, “Why do I need to suffer when He did that for me?” Sure I need to care for hurting people and the broken places in this world that need to see God’s redemption but am I really going to make people want Him by playing small and choosing to suffer? In fact, I think my Saviour has spent a lot of His time in my life helping me out of my suffering and pain. He has spoken to me my worth to Him and how much He loves me. He has held me when I have cried my soul’s last drop of water and brought me joy in the morning. Why would He do that if He put me on earth to suffer for Him?

The other camp says, “Name what you want and claim it!” God will answer your prayers and give you what you ask for: riches, planes, fancy cars, and much more…just speak it out! Hmmm, I struggle with this too because I want a lot of nice things but it’s not really for serving God with; mainly it is so I can live like Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie and look pretty cool! How does that bring the Kingdom of God to earth?

I do think there is another camp which offers the question, “What has God put you on this earth to do for Him and what would you ask your good Father in Heaven for if you were to be super bold to ask for your heart’s desire?” He was the one to put your  holy desires there to begin with. I think God just wants us to get in touch with that so He can guide us. Don’t get me wrong, there are unhealthy and sinful desires in our hearts alongside the good and God does not want us to give in to those or accept cheap substitutes. Instead, like a good Father, He wants us to crawl up into His lap and have a good talk about what is in our hearts and to discuss how we might live out those desires on earth as it is in Heaven.

“Our deepest dreams are always about righting wrong and doing good. It’s that simple. What wrong are you meant to stop? What good are you uniquely designed to grow? We are not meant to be happy when we reach a personal goal unless that dream is attached to the greater good of others…Dreaming gets you into the steamy reality of life; naming your dream, making a plan, and then jumping into the water.” Dan Allender -To Be Told

So get out a pen, grab a cup of coffee, and sit with your Father for awhile…then write like crazy what’s in your heart and list your longings and desires… It’s okay if some are a little out there…write it all down and assess later. Have fun envisioning and naming the type of  life that God has for you. AMEN!!!