Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Strength Statements

In looking at my strengths and then looking at what I truly value- I'm beginning to understand why my executive coach is having me go through this exercise. I have begun to look at activities closer. Why do I like this activity but loath this one? For a period of two week, my coach had me write down activities that I loved and those that I loathed. Then we took a look at these activities and matched them up to my values and strengths. Very interesting how they align! This exercise takes being honest about feelings- something I really don't getting into. But it was very valuable. From this my coach had me write strength statements. I have never ever done this before. What a novel idea! Look at what I love and what I loathe and then know what activities strengthen me so that I am invigorated, fulfilled and am sustained! So far this is what I've got- it's still a work in progress.

I am strong when:

I have an opportunity to interact/socialize with a lot of people in person not on the phone! (Is this Woo or what!!) It does not matter if I know the people personally or if they are strangers.

I have the outside environment around me in order and free of clutter.

I have space and margin in my life and not be crazy busy rushing here and there loosing my head.

I have time to be still. This doesn't have to planned quiet time but just the opportunity to read or just sit and be quiet.

I can laugh several times in a day.

I can use my competence or knowledge to help solve logistical problems.

I have an opportunity to spend unplanned and unstressed time with my kids. For example if they want to suddenly play a game or sing Christmas carols, I can and not feel guilty about chores waiting to be done.

I am weak when:

I don't have the time to think through a interpersonal conflict situation before responding.

I feel forced to do something that is is an area where I'm not competent and feel inadequate.

I am around people who to not want to grow and learn (unmotivated).

It will be interesting to see if these statements stay true for the next year and if they help me in my personal and professional life put myself in more areas of strength!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Rainy Day Thoughts

Sad. Very sad today. Why? Is it because it has rained non-stop for four days? Is it because the kids and Paul are at home without me? Is it because Christmas is this week and we don't get to see all my family in Washington? Not sure but feeling is truly just very sad.

It's o.k. to feel sad. Don't allow myself to be sad very often but it is an o.k. emotion! I'm learning that I need to embrace my emotions and be real with myself. Urghh. O.k. had my little sadness party. Now I need to be happy. Come on sunshine!

Loved this post on Her.meneutics Blog. Lynn Hybels shares about the true meaning of Christmas. Maybe that is why I'm sad. I just need to slow down long enough to nuture my internal peace. If I truly have peace in my soul- I won't feel sad. I will be overwhelemed with love for my family. I need to take time for me. No, that isn't being selfish. It is time to nurture my soul.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Great Quotes for the Day

"When you're brave enough to let go of anything you don't absolutely love or need, what you have left is the space for stillness and possibility". Cheryl Richardson, Take Time for Your Life

"Until you value yourself, you won't value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it". M. Scott Peck, The Road Less Traveled

Values Response Continued

My coach took me through an interesting exercise that really brought to light my values. It was very interesting to see that even after creating a list of my values (8.30.10) and defining each value, this exercise still came to the same conclusion!

What was a "peak experience" in my life?
One such experience was when I finally graduated from Talbot Seminary! Why? My family and close friends were here to share it with me- even my parents watched the graduation via an online feed! It was hard work and I finally accomplished the task!

What would be a perfect day for me?
Being around family (extended and immediate). Quiet- moments of being alone. Peace! Food and conversations with a little music around the piano thrown in.

What really ticks me off?
Laziness! Irresponsibility! Lack of follow through! Lack of respect! (Now you do my secret buttons to push!)

What is my favorite all time movie?
Witness with Harrison Ford. I know it's strange but you see community and acceptance done well! Protecting the family was the utmost priority! Safety!

What animal would I be if I was suddenly an animal?
A Golden Retriever! They are loyal, show unconditional love. Devoted. Protective. ALWAYS happy. Young at heart even in old age! And always wanting to play!

So what does this all say about me? It points right back to the values which I previously had identified!! Knowledge (graduation)! Family (Witness, perfect day)! Laughter (perfect day)! Safety (animal, Witness)! Dependability (animal, ticks me off)! I guess I am pretty easy to figure out.

Simply defined I am about: family, achievement, responsibility, dependability, loyalty, happiness, productive. Hmmm. Need to see how this aligns with my strength themes.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Values Response

After talking through simplification of my life with my executive coach- the next step was really looking at what I truly value in my life. See my post from 8.30.2010. I am so thankful for my coach as she always brings some great perspective to my thoughts. After looking through my values, we began processing through what this really means.

Knowledge- Maybe it is not really the knowledge although this fits right in with my theme of Input. Maybe I need the mental stimulation- new challenges! To me knowledge brings value! Stimulation may come through spiritual growth or intellectual growth.

How can I do this in my everyday life? Add new elements to those tasks or events which I do on a regular basis! Continue reading! Try new things! Talk with others! Blog!

Anytime you begin to look at your values, the inner critic inside will begin to come out! As my coach says- the inner saboteur! In the case of knowledge my inner critic instantly says "I don't have time!" Or "it's never going to happen".

The danger in not honoring our values is that we can never live in true satisfaction and instead live in drudgery. What knowledge will bring to my life is stimulation not stagnation! Confidence! Conversation starters! Soul food! Joy and excitement! Satisfaction. Sharpening and stretching! Out of all these great things the overflow will be passion, connection to others and perhaps I can even help others!



My coach sent me a great article from The New York Times titled "But Will it Make You Happy?" Great read! In light of the current economic times, this really hit home. With my husband going through several lay-off's simplifying my life sounds great! According to the article, consumers are moving from a mind-set where we "buy without regard" to a more "calculated consumption". The interesting result is that the "practices that consumers have adopted in response to the economic crisis ultimately could- as a raft of new research suggests- make them happier". Maybe we need to simplify! Apparently while "the current round of stinginess may simply be a response to the economic downturn, some analysts say consumers may also be permanently adjusting their spending based on what they've discovered about what truly makes them happy or fulfilled".

According to recent studies, the only spending that really affects happiness is spending on leisure and services- not spending on consumable material goods. When we spend on leisure we generally so with others- which in turn strengthens social bonds. Belic a filmmaker making a documentary called "Happy" has found from traveling around the globe that "the one single trait that's common among every single person who is happy is strong relationships".

So I guess the bottom line is- spend less OR if you are going to spend money spend on leisure that can be shared with others! The questions that came up in coaching after spending time processing through this article are: what do I truly value? Stability? Security? How does this article fit with my Christian worldview?

Awww. Always more questions than answers!


Strengths Response

After listening and digesting what several people close to me had to say about my themes- it was good to relook and see how I possibly could better utilize my strengths in some areas.

Woo: Use Woo by connecting! Every weekend turn the volume way up! When by myself with my family or with a few coworkers I need to turn the Woo volume way down! Turn the volume down as so as not to frustrate everyone around me. Also, Woo can make me feel like I am not being productive- need to turn down the volume of Woo at times so that I don't frustrate myself! I need to fell like I got something accomplished! DO not be afraid to use Woo however! I need to recognize that my ability to have people love me is valuable. I need to use this to make things happen but I need to partner with someone who has the theme of Relator or Empathy theme as these colleges can continue the relationships that I have cultivated.

Input: I need to be in the know- recognize this and don't let it frustrate myself! I feel like sometimes I am just a nosey person. Recognize this as Input and I need to keep posted on the news within the organization. Utilize this information when in meetings with others. Play scrabble because it helps me use new words! Subscribe to Word of the Day- it's o.k. to enjoy learning. It's not strange! :)

Positivity: Have I used my Positivity to cover my vulnerability? Do I try to by happy all the time and not share my hurts and beliefs because I want others to see me always happy? I can use Positivity as a mask. However, recognize that this can be a great theme! I need to remember to increase the recognition I give to others and try to tailor it to each person's need instead of just being cheerful- look at individuals. This can be a draining theme- I can become quickly sapped of energy by cynics or simply by always trying to be happy and positive.

Context: I must understand the past in order to move forward. Not sure of this always and in some situations I simply want to move forward and not necessarily tear apart old hurts. However with work, I do make better decisions when I understand the past. Keep reading history- it will help me gain insights to understand the present! So glad I love to read!

Arranger: I need to develop successful strategies for getting things done. This is where I get frustrated with my productivity. I do well in the ministry environment where there is routines but also a lot of different activities every day. I need this complex work environment but also need to have strategy is place to be productive in the constant changing environment.

(All theme statements taken from Clifton StengthsFinder published by The Gallup Organization, Princeton, NJ)


Strengths? or Weaknesses?

The next step in coaching was really talking through some of my strengths. If you have not read "Now, Discover Your Strengths" by Buckingham and Clifton I would highly recommend this book. Not only does it help you learn about your own unique strengths but it will help you learn about those around you as well. This has been so beneficial to our team. It is wonderful to know o.k. this person is really strong in this area- this would be a great task for this person. Yes, sometimes it may be a weakness as well! We first looked at our strengths back in 2008 as an entire ministry staff. Since then, in several different staff days, we have looked at what these strengths bring to the team and how to utilize our strengths as a team.

Individually, I know that my themes are Woo, Input, Positivity, Context and Arranger (as discovered on the StrengthsFinder Profile). However, how can my talents become strengths and be utilized for success not only in my personal life but in my ministry as well.

With this in mind, my coach had me give a copy of all my themes to several people close to me in my work place as well as my husband. The idea was to have those close to me highlight any key words or phrases that stuck out to them in the descriptions of my themes. This is a difficult assignment as it opens up conversations about how those around you really see you. Not always easy to hear! But I did talk through my themes w/ four people close to me. It was definitely a win. A couple of people including my husband did let me know how they could see some of my strengths become weaknesses. This was good to hear!

The following is a synopsis of those statements that stood out to the four people close to me in each theme along with the feedback.

Highlights: meeting new people, strangers rarely intimidate, drawn to strangers and want to learn about them and finds some area of common interest, once a connection is made want to wrap it up and move on, there are no strangers, only friends that have not been met yet.

Comments: You love talking with anybody. You can talk to anyone. You capture them get to know them briefly and then are good to go. They fall in love with you. Woo is so your mentality. "Work" is anywhere! This works well with meeting new volunteers or 1x families and working with other staff and departments.

Highlights: You collect information- words, facts, books. You collect it because it interests you. Your mind finds so many thing interesting. Like to add more information to your archives.Keep acquiring and compiling and filing stuff aways. It keeps your mind fresh. And perhaps one day some of it will prove valuable. Identify situations in which you can share the information you have collected with other people.

Comments: Love studying and reading. Love to read articles, books, attend conferences and go on Facebook. See this here at the office with ministry- collecting books, articles, just getting any and all info you can so that you can read it and have it. You know and read so much. You always want to be in the know of whats going on. Your shelves in your office are testament- tons of books.

Highlights: Generous with praise, quick to smile, always on the lookout for the positive in the situation. lighthearted. People want to be around you. Rarely dragged down. Enthusiasm is contagious. Inject drama into every project. Conviction that it is good to be alive, that work can be fun, and no matter what the setbacks, one must never lose one's sense of humor.

Comments: See this in meetings. You are always smiling and live life like nothing is every wrong. Your positive attitude is contagious especially your smile. you are bubbly and uplifting of other's . People do love to be around you because of your outlook on life. Positivity always at work but not necessarily at home. Even if you do open up and share a difficult situation- you are smiling and fighting back tears- you seriously look happy crying.

Highlights: Look back to understand the present. The present is unstable. The earlier time was simpler time. You make better decisions because you sense the underlying structure. You become a better partner because you understand how your colleagues came to be who they are. You must discipline yourself to ask the questions and allow the blueprints to emerge because no matter what the situation, if you haven't seen the blueprints, you will have less confidence in your decisions.

Comments: While in banking, earlier time was structured- could easily use Franklin Planner but now in ministry calendar is subject to change at any moment. Your first time through something, you lack confidence- this is gained with repetition. I can see this flowing into your input- they work well together. I have seen you want to know where, or the philosophy behind or wanting to know the history of program's/event's that we do. Need to know the "why" and not just the idea. You want to know back story.

Highlights: Are a conductor. Enjoy managing all the variables, aligning and realigning until you are sure you have arranged them in the most productive configuration possible. Figure out the best way to get things done. Effective flexibility. Always looking for the perfect configuration. Mull over the right combination of people and resources to accomplish a new project. Jump into the confusion. Devise new options, hunt for new paths of least resistance. Figure out new partnerships.

Comments: Constantly rearranging and managing- see micromanaging at home. Effective flexibility when you have control or it makes sense. See this when building the structure of a program. I do see you always trying to figure out if the way something is done is the best way to do it.

(All statements from themes taken from the Clifton StrengthsFinder published by the Gallup Organization, Princeton, NJ)


Monday, November 22, 2010

Vulnerability Response

My coach and I talked through my response to being vulnerable. Being vulnerable is unveiling, showing emotions and processing with others. Not only should it be a value to myself but it is definitely a value to those around me. If I am not vulnerable several things happen in that relationship: those around me don't think I am being authentic with them, you know me but I don't or can't know you.

Do I need to be vulnerable? Maybe I don't feel it is necessary but those around me may NEED it. Maybe they need to know my hurts, weaknesses so that I can be a helpful resource for others. Can my vulnerability provide a resource for others? If so, then I should be willing to share more! It would then not be about myself at all but about others.

Why is it problematic for me to be vulnerable? Is it dangerous? Because my emotions may get out of control? Is that o.k.? Why not show a full range of expressions/emotions? Am I not willing to look at what this may bring to me as well as others? I may hurt people. Maybe those around will will see flesh in me or see me as not perfect and as a sinner. Maybe I won't win people over with my woo if they see who I really am? Does vulnerability mean a dark place? Scary? Unknown? Do I really need to share everything? Why rock the boat? Is this a learned behaviour?

The cost of not being vulnerable may outweigh the "maybe's" If I have no place to be vulnerable then all of the "stuff" bottled up inside will ooze out or possible explode. Isn't total honesty freeing? Isn't it o.k. to show my true self? We are sinners! Do people see me as stoic if I can never be vulnerable? I will pay a cost if I can not or will not be who I really I am. It is a strength to be a tangible human.

Look at Jonathan and David's friendship. They were totally vulnerable to each other! David's life depended upon his vulnerability with Jonathan. What did they say about each other and to each other? What did they gain from being completely vulnerable? This would be a great study to do!


Coaching- Reflection Exercise

Loved the first coaching session. Now I'm gung ho. Let's go! What can we change? What new opportunity awaits me?

Aww. But first a my coach asks me to do a reflection exercise- listen to my inner voice- what is it really telling me? Find a quiet place. Don't fall asleep. Thankfully, I have an office with a door that I can close. Listen to the voice in my gut- the Holy Spirit. Meditate on specific questions and then journal. O.k. I can do this. I like to journal. Quiet spot- got that. No excuses.

What is really important to me?
The cliche answer would be God and family in that order. But is that necessarily how I really think and feel? Not sure. Being home last week was very difficult w/ the kids all week. At times I wanted to strangle them and they can be real brats. However, the older they get and I get, I see bits of my husband and myself in them. Usually these bits are behaviours that I don't like. But I really need to focus on the parts that are great. Both kids are very smart! Both are very musical. Love that! So thankful they don't have difficulty learning. This is just two right off the top. Soooo love that they love God and express this easily and w/o being prompted.
My kids are very important to me in the fact that I want them to be happy in life, be successful in whatever they want to do, and live a life that follows the value's that are right according to God's plan.
I think I've gotten to a place in my life where I am over the same and guilt I put upon myself if I live my walk w/ God how I think I should be- or the way I think others think I should. My walk w/ God is very personal. It is going to be very different than anyone else's walk with God.
I am so very thankful for my work. I really love what I do. There is really not many days I don't want to come into work. Sooo thankful for that! I can remember the stress of my life when I worked in banking. Yuck!

Is this the life I want to live?
Yes, for the most part I am living the life I want to live. Of course there are some things I would love to change. For example, I need to be healthier physically. With both parents and an older sister already having heart surgeries, I need to think ahead to this! I don't want to afraid to be old. Right now, I really don't want to be 60-70-80 years old. I want to be healthy and happy with my life so when I get there, it's o.k.
I would love to be financially stable. I hate my husband getting laid off. This is hard. I want to work because I want to work not because I have to. That is frustrating. I don't want to be 60 and have no retirement savings or still be in the place we currently are financially.

How do I really want to live my life?
Happily. I want to be content w/ where I am and what I have. No, I will never have a big house. But that's o.k. because that would just be more cleaning I would have to do! :) I want to be kind. I want to be a good mom- one who is there for my kids and can connect with them but also discipline when necessary. I want to be a wife who is supportive of my husband and doesn't always question him.
I would love to be in a place professionally where I feel really stable. With the cuts recently it was a bit scary. I want to be a right hand to my supervisor. I want to be able to help parents and volunteers along on their journey's. I love my job. I want to do it well so that all those around me know me as a person who can be relied upon to do a great job with whatever the task at hand is.

What gives passions, meaning, and purpose to my life?
Learning! Laughter! Doing a job well. Orderliness. Friendships that I know are real.

How can I make even more of a difference?
That is a great question! Over the past couple of years I have really retreated. Once home I don't really want to entertain or talk on the phone, or do anything outside of family activities. I just feel worn out a lot of the time. DO I have to sit and listen to a needy neighbor for hours in order to make a difference? I don't like spinning my wheels for nothing and when people refuse to change it frustrates me even more.

How can I live connected to these inner values?
Not sure. I don't want take on "new projects". I'm worn out dong what I do already. Maybe if I look at coaching from the viewpoint of getting help then that is of the most value to me- I can then maybe live connected to my inner values? What are these values? What is really important to me?

Specific skill I would like to improve-
Communication skills. Interpersonal relationships to peers and subordinates. Productivity. Organization of time and priorities. Use my skills and strengths better. I can easily have relationships but how can I make those around me not feel used by my wooing? How can I use my love of learning and input to improve my skill set in my ministry?


Coaching? First session.

In March of this year, I had the opportunity to begin seeing an executive coach. To begin coaching I needed to fill-out a pre-coaching questionnaire.
-What's motivating me to get an executive coach? Encouragement from my immediate supervisor was my answer. (Obviously I was not to sure at this point if I really wanted or needed coaching?)
-What challenges do I see may interfere with the coaching? The only challenge I see is myself as learning about what I need to change/adjust is never easy. (At least I was willing to admit that I don't think change is always easy!)
-What do I want from coaching? A fresh perspective of my leadership and how I can be a better leader! (Really? Is that what I really want? That seems pretty broad. A better leader? A better person? Do I really want to change or am I happy with the status qua?)
-What would others notice to be different about me if I got what I wanted from coaching? More production? Hard to say but there is things such as events that I would love to do but haven't done yet. (All outward performance! Beyond outward results would those around me notice anything different from an inward perspective? Or do I just want outward performance?)
-How does becoming a better leader impact or change my workplace? A new zeal is always encouraging for those around me. (Wow! That is a cop-out. A new zeal what does that mean exactly?)
-What specific areas do I want to work on in coaching? (O.k. this was after my coach helped me really get specific- she has a great way of helping me to communicate succinctly!)
*Developing other people like Jesus did.
*Recruit, care, train volunteers. Strategic ministry plan for volunteer development. Have I forgotten why it's so important to have trained, inspired volunteers? Is there a good system in place for caring for volunteers? Encouraging them verbally? Training? Encouraged in their faith?
*Supervise employees better.
*Safety. Essential training! Get the message across to parents and volunteers that safety is important not only because the outward essentials of kids not getting hurt- but an unsafe environment can actually hamper a child or an entire family's spiritual health. Safety is rooted in the knowledge that I want kids to keep growing in Christ! It is important to have a safe environment in order for this to happen!
-What are important qualities to have in my coach? Directness and wisdom. (Yes, sometimes directness isn't pleasant but don't I want a coach that actually will tell me like it really is and not a deluded picture of myself? Absolutely!)

After completing the pre-coaching questionnaire, my coach gave me what I can expect from her and what she expects from me. What I really liked in this discussion was the explanation of what a coach really is- not a counselor! A counselor will look back- back into previous life experiences and events from the past. Coaching is not therapy. A coach is not your "best friend". A coach is someone who helps you look ahead to the future- plan future goals and opportunities. A coach will work with me somewhat like an apprentice- what works well, what doesn't work- now let's look ahead and work to fix whatever needs to change. The agenda must come from me. That is a new experience for me! I get to choose what to "work" on. It's up to me if coaching is effective or a waste of both my coach's and my time.

Reading "Getting More from Executive Coaching" by Lauren Keller Johnson given to me by my coach was a great help in putting this entire coaching experience into perspective. Johnson states that "a skilled executive coach can be invaluable in helping you surmount the obstacles that corporate life throws before you and make the most of the opportunities that cross your path". I was feeling a bit uncertain about coaching but this article let me know that my organization offered coaching to me because it sees me "worthy of substantial investment".

Johnson stated three things that must happen in order for coaching to be effective. I really resonated with two of these: identify my coaching goals and adopt a learning mindset. Thankfully my coach had me do the pre-coaching questionnaire which really began addressing my coaching goals. I love to learn so adopting a learning mindset isn't difficult. But am I looking to improve specific skills? Or is there a particular situation I need help navigating through? Or am I looking to position myself for a different job opportunity? In my case, I really just want to improve my specific skill set. If I am to be a substantial value to my ministry/workplace then I must be willing to learn and change! As Johnson puts it: "Expect to be challenged to find solutions, not be to given them. Look to your coach to give you fresh perspectives and help you assess the best options for important decisions. One of the most valuable services a coach can provide is a wholesale reframing of a situation you thought you'd examined from every possible angle".

O.K. I'm ready! Let's begin this journey of executive coaching! Thank you for this great opportunity to better myself in order to better my ministry to those around me!


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Living the Simple Life

This was the quote of the day today on one of the blogs I subscribe too: "It's not what you do that matters it is what you don't do at the end of the day that really matters". This is just another way that the Holy Spirit has been speaking to me lately. My executive coach gave me this link and it is a very powerful video! Watch it!
It is sooo important to take time for those in our lives that are really important to us!! Do I want to focus my attention on my children or my iphone? Will it really matter tomorrow if I don't see what is happening on facebook or read an email? Not at all! I am so guilty of having my phone right by me in the car so I can check emails/texts when at a red light! So dumb! SLOW DOWN! That is the message I've been getting lately!! Let my soul have rest!!! How many times and ways do I need to get this message before I listen? I don't know! I'm trying! The real problem is that I have been going so fast for so long that I no longer know how to really slow down. Sure, maybe I will sit down and read for 15 minutes. That is not truly rest! That is not really refreshing my soul! It's a journey! I've heard the message, Lord! Now I just need to learn how to do it!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Holy Spirit Within

We are reading a book as part of our Family Ministry Team entitled "Spiritual Parenting" by Michelle Anthony. It's a great book and I would highly recommend it. An easy read but with some compelling take-aways.

Michelle states in the first chapter that "spiritual parenting is not perfect parenting-it's parenting from a spiritual perspective with eternity in mind". That didn't really hit home until later in the chapter she began talking about our children's behaviour. As parents we want our children to behave, correct? Yes, of course! But by raising them in a Christian home, exposing them to Christian environments don't they just choose to behave correctly? Can't we just correct them and mange their behavior? Michelle states that is not the case! This would be called "sin management" (p. 24). I really resonated with this statement: "the danger in merely focusing on our children's outward behavior without the inner transformation is that sometimes our children will align their behavior to our mandates to please us or receive approval" (p. 19).

Instead of trying to control our children's behavior by exposing them to Christian homes, environments and behavior modification, we need to rely on the Holy Spirit. He "is the one who makes their action congruent with their belief" (p. 24). We need to focus on the heart and not so much just their behavior! Without transformation from within by the Holy Spirit "we may have moral or obedient children, but we don't necessarily have spiritual children" (p. 19).

I wanted to see if this could really apply to my young children. So, one evening I had some alone time with my ten-year-old son and I asked him. "Hey Jacob, I want you to tell me honestly, why do you try to always get your good grades and why are you always such a good boy?" I really didn't know what his answer would be! However, I was so excited when he replied, "Mom, there is voice instead me telling me to do the right thing and always try my best". Wow! Clearly even without my teaching him, Jacob is aware of the Holy Spirit's voice instead of him!! What a huge blessing to me as a parent! So many times I feel like I'm such a failure as a parent!! Thank you Jesus for looking after my children even when I fail!!

Monday, August 30, 2010


In my coaching, we have been talking through values. What values are truly important to me- what does this value mean to me? Why is it important? It has been a very interesting process. I truly had never really sat down and thought through what a value was or how values are truly what dictates what you do in your earthly life! Here is what I've come up with so far.

1. Knowledge- The ability to constantly learn new bits of information. To not stagnate in the amount of information/teachings that you have learned but to constantly strive from more. Better yourself intellectually continually.
2. Family- Blood relatives or close friends that you know will be there no matter what. If there is a crisis they will be there to hold you up. If there is a celebration, they will be there to celebrate with you. Family is unconditional love and stick-to-it-ness (devotion).
3. Laughter- Happiness, fun, play. Not guarded, mean spirited, fake or a mask to cover pain. True unadulterated joy. Good for the soul and needed in order to truly thrive in life.
4. Safety- Security, protection, safeguard. The feeling that you are indeed safe and secure. Important for true joy in living day-to-day life. Fear can disable and stunt any intellectual or spiritual growth.
5. Dependability- Your word is your honor. If you say it will be done, all efforts in your ability are made to do whatever has been promised as quickly as possible and without delay. Being responsible! When you delay, that brings the message through that you really don't care, lack of respect for the person promised, don't want to do what is promised or simply that you are just lazy.

I'm sure this list will be updated as I have the time to think more on these values.

Monday, June 21, 2010


Coaching is great. SO this week we are looking at my vulnerbility.

Why is being vulnerable with others important? Is it truly important? What makes vulnerability important?
Webster defines vulnerability as "open to attack or damage". That does not make the idea of vulnerability very appealing. Vulnerability with others can be seen as a weakness or as a strength depending on your personality. According to the definition it really is a weakness. However, may sometimes having weakness may really be a strength?

If we look at our relationship with Christ, we know that vulnerability is really a strength. However, we also know that our Lord Jesus will never send us away or reject us with what we tell him. Jesus promised his disciples that the Holy Spirit would come and comfort them after he was gone. "And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another counselor to be with you forever-" John 14:26 NIV. Because we have the Holy Spirit, is it really necessary to be vulnerable with other people?

Our Lord Jesus always responds to our cries! We only have to read a few of the Psalms to see how God always responds to distress! When we cry out, God responds! "Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress" Psalm 107:6 NIV. This is only one small passage that is repeated over and over in scripture. Hannah Whitall Smith states it this way: "Let us never grieve God again by doubting that He hears us, however faint and feeble our cry may be" (God's Love for You, 1999). God has such a great concern for us. Even those that are the very closest to us here on this earth, like our spouses, can not always respond to our cries. So do we need to be vulnerable and share our sorrows?

Our Lord Jesus loves us in spite of any sin that we may have committed. "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us" Romans 5:8 NIV. No matter what we may do, God still loves us. Other people may love us when we are "good" but do they truly love us when we are not?


Monday, June 7, 2010

Lenthy Sabbatical

So sorry I have been away for so long. I need to create space in my day purposefully to blog. It needs to be more important to me! My Input and Context strengths crave the thought process that goes into a journal. Three out of my five strengths are thinking strengths. The sad part is that I do not carve out a time each day or even each week to really do some deeper thinking. I get so busy with my daily life. However, I know that if I did carve out some space and time for deeper thinking, I would be a person that is more at peace and not so easily riled up or off balance. So my commitment to myself is to blog at least once a week. It needs to be an appointment on my calendar just like spending time with my heavenly Father!