Thursday, July 28, 2016

Learn to see God everywhere or nowhere

This morning, before the grand-kids woke up, I took my coffee to the front steps. A light rain was falling and the eastern sky was a kaleidoscope of drab colors being pushed out of the way to make room for the sun's radiance. I breathed in the smell of rain and relished the feel of it on my face. The chaos of my day hadn't started yet but, in that moment, I needed a slight refreshment, something that could uplift me throughout the day, something to carry with me for a few hours. And although the rain ended as quickly as it started, traces of it remained on my skin...I smiled as I heard the pitter-patter of little feet coming up behind me, the phone vibrated the sad news of death...and so my day began.

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Just like this morning's rain, the Bible says life is as a fleeting vapor in the wind. Like most of y'all, I've suffered through enough real life stuff to drive that point home. But yet through it all, my faith and desire to enjoy this life in preparation for the next only grew stronger. For me, serving God and living a Christian lifestyle is not a chore. It is not an uneducated or hand-me-down set of beliefs that I'm haphazardly locked into. I've experienced the embrace of the Comforter promised to us in John 14:16 - so when a stranger, someone whom I allow no authority to speak into my life, attempts to convince me that I'm wrong or delusional because of my belief in God...all I have to say is my reality is simple: God is the creator of all. Jesus is His Son sent to show us how to live a moral, loving, good life. The Holy Spirit dwells within me as a believer. So yeah...I guess I am possessed by the Holy Ghost.  He points me to truth, convicts me of wrongs, gives me discernment concerning good and evil, and thankfully, gives me His fruit as He abides within: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. At my age, I do not argue Christianity. I don't argue the existence of God. I don't even get angry at those folks. I just pray for them. That their hardened hearts will soften. That their blinded eyes will be opened. But most importantly, I pray that they will somehow, someway, experience Jesus for themselves and learn to see God everywhere not nowhere.

Have a blessed Thursday everyone,
In Christ with love and compassion,
Coach Kelly
#YourLifeCoachingWV; #ChristianLifeCoaching; #TheBeyondSeries

Saturday, July 23, 2016

"But Pappy picked them for us!" 

Our grandchildren, all three of them, love to eat the fruits of our labor: berries, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers - these kids simply love fresh produce. This afternoon, all three came bounding around the house, screen door slamming, dogs in tow, and a fresh cucumber in each of their grubby little hands (they play hard 'round here). "Mammy, can you please peel these? Pappy just gave them to us like this!" 

As I reached down to take the veggies, I noticed that all three of them had already bitten into the unwashed, unpeeled fruit. And to be honest, once I realized what had happened, I couldn't help myself but to laugh. They were handed something good but blamed their pappy when their inability to wait proved that even something good can have a bitter consequence. And they were ready to pass it off. 

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The same is true for us and our life's desires. We see something we want and we want it now. And then, after we get it, the consequences of immediate gratification take away the pleasure of obtainment. The allure instantaneously dissolves. Poof. Gone. Vanished. 

Our grandchildren couldn't wait to bite into their cucumbers only to realize that their inability to wait left a bitter taste in their mouth. And they wanted me to fix it - to make it better - now - and I did. We smiled as they laughed and squealed, munched and ranch-dipped their way to their next adventure...oh, if only we could fix the occasional bitter taste of real life this easily. If we could just peel away the undesirable exposing the best of what life has to offer.

Habakkuk 2:3 (ESV) reads: "For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay."  There comes a time in each of our lives when we need to wait, to exercise patience. A time when we have to trust that hope really can become faith and faith really can become sight...for the most part, life is a waiting game...and most of us don't like to wait.

Consider Hebrews 12:1(b)-2 "And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."  These verses are good reminders for us to apply the fruits of the spirit: patience, self-control, forbearance (or long-suffering) to name a few. Folks, I'm willing to bet that, unlike our grandchildren's cucumbers, these fruits won't leave a bitter taste in your mouth.

Hey, have a blessed Sunday y'all!

In Christ with love and compassion,

Coach Kelly
#WVStrong; #BeyondTheMirror; #YourLifeCoachingWV

Friday, July 22, 2016

Truthful Consequences

"Know Him in all your paths, and He will keep your ways straight." Proverbs 3:6 (CEB)

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Choices. We all make them. Sometimes they are honestly enjoyable during and after but some only during.  I believe the Bible refers to this as "pleasure for a season" - and then along come those consequences, marching into our real life, solicited but often uninvited. Every decision or indecision has truthful consequences. With this in mind, I think we'd all be better off if we asked ourselves this question more often: 
"Is this worth the truthful consequences?"

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My truth for today: I let my guard down when I didn't go over to my office for morning prayer. It has its own spot on my daily calendar; it sets the tone for the rest of my day. But this morning I missed the meeting; I didn't ask my choice was, from the looks of it, to have a bad day. And what does God do? Well He let me have one of course! Not that He dictated everything that was going to happen to purposefully make me have a bad day - oh no, that was my fault - the truthful consequences of my inaction - and because I wasn't prepared for the battle - it really took its toll.

Let me share a few of today's truthful consequences with you so you'll get a clear picture of what I'm talking about: 

1. Bad attitude: I honestly yelled at a stranger who dared to interrupt me while blogging... during a computer update...she should have known the internet just went down...and that my PC powered down...and that the updates had to reverse due the internet blip...and the phone was ringing nonstop...(so yeah...I had to call her back and apologize - but I doubt if either of us feel better).
2. Feeling hypocritical: Like a HUGE hypocrite. Hateful. Mean. Angry.
3. Unexpected anxiety:  Hit my gut like it had every right to do so. Unexpected but by invitation - my invitation when I hadn't prepared for the day.
4. Feeling empty. Pity-party ensued. Why? How? Unfair.
5. Sought pity: Humph! From my kids? Those kids raised by a Christian life coach? Y'all know that popular scripture "Train up a child?" Apparently we did instead of an "Ah mom, that's awful," what do I get? Advice! Good advice but I wanted pity. Did I get it? Nope instead Taryn said - in writing no less: "You know what to do. You better pull over and pray."  Seriously?!  Alright. I. Will. Pray.
6. Prayer-check. 
7. Open Bible - check. And then, You've GOT to be kidding me, Job 22 popped up. Reminded me of a biblical wack-a-mole; I don't even remember opening Job recently - who reads Job? No, y'all, I'm serious you've got to read Job 22 
8. Light comes on: Who says God don't know exactly what we need exactly when we need it?
9. Texted Taryn: She LOL'd...

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So as I ask myself, yet again "Was this choice worth the truthful consequences?" My truthful and remorseful reply is a resounding "Heck no!"

Hey y'all have a blessed Friday - thanks for reading and hopefully chuckling with me (now that it's over I can do that)

Just keepin' life real

In Christ with Love and Compassion,

Coach Kelly

#WVStrong; #BeyondTheMirror

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Beyond the stuff is a happy Thursday

“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength.”
- Corrie Ten Boom*

Not that my life circumstance dictates it to be... but Happy Thursday nonetheless... 

Today, I have several concerns running through my mind. My heart is heavy - weighted down with real-hard life issues some of "My Other Kids” are facing; add in real concern for one of my own daughter’s “Other Kids” who is in the hospital due to an accident; then consider my bank account being lower than I would like for it to be; and finally, the cherry on top: the office went from being "stuffy" to being a tad "cold". 

So Thursday is not ideal by any stretch of the imagination. 

But these things oughtn’t not dictate if today is indeed a Happy ThursdayWhat my “ideal day” should look like is any day that God gives me, to use as I will. Any day He is with me. Any day hemmed in with prayer. He won’t force me to enjoy or hate any particular day – as a matter of fact, the Apostle Paul says we are not to esteem one day over another (Romans 14:5) - but to live everyday life to the full. So today, troubles intact, worries aplenty, with air in my lungs and a song in my heart – I choose to have a Happy Thursday and wish the same for you: that you will choose, on purpose, to have a real Happy Thursday.

In Christ with love and compassion –

Coach Kelly

#WVStrong; #YourLifeCoachingWV; #BeyondSeries

*Read more at:

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Your Life - Your Story - Beyond the Mirror

Whew! Now that the first book in our "Beyond" series is safely edited and waiting for the publishers to do their magic, plans are underway for the second installment in the series! 

"Beyond the Mirror: Facing Your Life's Internal Nemesis" - co-authored by my oldest daughter, will include some awesome insights and photos from my West Virginia neighbors!  Beyond the Mirror is geared toward addressing and overcoming real-life issues women face every day. So whether you are a woman or just love a few, this book is for you.  It will offer some pretty good insights on topics handed to me from some of y'all! Here is a snippet from the draft manuscript:

"As women, we try to live up to the mirror’s reflection. We want to look beautiful, confident, worthy…but sometimes, we need to look beyond the mirror to where our true selves are found. To the place where we can reclaim what that piece of glass has stolen from us, primarily the contentment of being uniquely created in God’s image." 

Make you want to read more? To find out what God has to say about that? Well good!! I will be posting updates on the manuscript and timeline for publication.  IN THE MEAN TIME, "Beyond the Bully: Facing Your Life's Nemesis" is still due to be out this fall. Your Life Coaching WV will be conducting workshops on the topic late summer and mid-fall.

Hey, have a blessed Wednesday y'all!

In Christ with love and compassion,

Coach Kelly

#WVStrong; #PrayingForAmerica 

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Heart Divided

Galatians 2:20: "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. And the life that I now live in my body, I live by faith, indeed, by the faithfulness of God’s Son, who loved me and gave himself for me." (CEB).

"It's determined in the heart." That was the Holy Spirit's answer to my question. I had just finished reading the book "Unashamed" by rapper Lecrae and I had a hornet's nest of questions buzzing through my head. It brought to mind those days I had spent bound by the religious sect. Days when laughing or teasing someone about anything non-churchy actually made me feel guilty. My divided heart wanted to be myself but it was split in two. I didn't know how to be who God created me to be and who they said I was supposed to be...let alone what a real Christian was supposed to look like.

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I was raised in church by parents who were less than perfect. Parents who pushed faith, love, and Jesus, but not a bunch of religious indoctrination. Instead, in their own struggles, they displayed how to fall, get back up, and keep going with faith in God's love for them still intact; meanwhile good Christians faulted them for it...choosing instead to deflect their own flaws with pointing fingers or gossiping tongues (TBH: some of their kids are still screwed up from that unholy double standard). 

So, thanks to Lecrae's thoughts on what it means to have a Christian worldview - with words like secularism, religion, and stereotype buzzing inside my head - I needed to receive an answer from God. I didn't want to trust any man-made notions tucked away somewhere in my head. So the question I asked God yesterday morning while making a pitcher of iced tea was this: "Okay, so how do we know if we are doing life right as a Christian?"  His answer was clear. It is a heart issue. The why, how, and what we do comes from the heart. Singing, dancing, rapping, teaching, praising, or even making a pitcher of iced tea...the Christian-ness of our life's actions are determined in the heart..and only He truly knows the heart.
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In my younger life, despite my parents teaching me better, I had unknowingly become bound by religion.  The scary thing about that? Even though I knew something was off I had no idea what so I couldn't fix it. The harder I tried to fit into their little religious box the farther I grew from Jesus.

But then God...I can't begin to explain to you how freeing it is to actually develop a relationship with Christ - sort of like the one He had with Peter or John. To live real life and still serve Him. Free to be the woman I was created to be, to have Him woven into everything I do. Yep everything, even when I'm talking to my husband or girlfriends about non-church stuff.  It took me years to get back to this place. Once again, I am able to be the woman God created me to be - without fear of being too secular or too me-like while serving Him in all things. To finally be the me my parents knew I was: happy, silly, desirous to be Christ-like, and free of religious have a single heart instead of a Heart Divided

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If you want to become the best version of you possible (enlightened, equipped and empowered) the answers are in your Bible - I encourage you to read it for real and become friends with Jesus - He's pretty awesome. 

Have a blessed Sunday y'all!

In Christ with love and compassion,

Coach Kelly

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Focus of Direction

Happy Tuesday everyone. 

I just wanted to let you know that Your Life Coaching WV will be getting a face lift! No, not me, that's a nice thought though...but our social media and website! Both will be taking on a softer look with posts being focused on our four "E" tools: empower - encourage - enlighten - and equip - tools we use to help our neighbors turn hope into faith and faith into sight! And...we have upcoming events and workshops on our fall calendar which will be posted too!

I'm so excited about this upcoming change and focus of direction that I couldn't wait to share the news with y'all!

Hey, have a blessed Tuesday!

In Christ with love and compassion - Coach Kelly


Here is a little sneak peak from our upcoming Beyond Series:
Have you ever noticed how flowering weeds don't really care about what's around them? 
That they just go ahead and bloom wherever they are planted?
I think that's a good message for us. 
To always do our best to stand out in our strengths, no matter if we have physical beauty (and foresight like Queen Esther) or strengths of perseverance (and planning like Nehemiah). 
Luckily for these weeds, just like many of you, they have both and they're not afraid to
"Stand Out In Strength." 

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Home Comfort

Deuteronomy 8:11-14: "Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God..."

Do y'all remember those ole "Home Comfort" stoves? The wood burners with the different warming stations and a heavy metal handle-thingy?
Granny and her 'vintage' Home Comfort Stove
My grandmother had one that she used daily; Granny 
always had something simmering on her stove: sap from maple trees, 
'kraut and hot dogs, beans, or just a kettle of water for her tea. That lady could nurse a mug of hot tea all day long. She'd just add a little hot water to it off and on and she'd sip away. I can still see her sitting at the kitchen table, back to the sink, a cup of tea covered with a saucer in front of her, the string all brown from wicking the tepid liquid over the course of the day. 
Sometimes she'd just be sitting beside the stove...just being..."Granny." She always wore an apron and something on her head, like a toboggan or head scarf.  (I'm smiling as I picture these vivid memories so I had to share a pix so you can smile too.)  These are some of my home comfort memories. Memories of home. Southern home comfort at its best. Memories I want to share while creating some with my own grand-kids.
Earlier this week I wasn't feeling good and I was thinking of my personal comfort. How the little things in everyday life are easily taken for granted. The snack cabinet my own grand-kids and I enjoy. The AC and ceiling fan on hot July days. My not-so-old dog and cat rubbing up against my legs wondering what I'm doing home. My husband and kids praying for me to feel better. Just little things that make this home sweet (comfortable) home.

I felt guilt wash over me as I munched on "Miracle Whip crackers," an odd yet comfort-for-me-food. And I had to remember that unlike so many of my American neighbors, I still have my home unaffected by flood waters and my family intact and healthy.  Guilt that, today anyway, I was living a 'normal' life while so many others just aren't. Gradually it dawned on me that these comforts are only temporary.  Just like my neighbors, home could be swept away by natural elements or at any given point in time, my family could be hurt, or worse...then what? Where would I find my comfort?  Sickened to my stomach by the knowledge that life is an uncertain-moment-by-moment journey...I bowed my head and prayed.

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With head bowed over my Bible, I recalled a couple verses found in the book of 119 Psalms: "Your words have I hid in my heart (11) - Make me understand the way of Your precepts (27) - and this is my comfort in my affliction, for Your word has given me life (50)". I reckon my thought is that God will grant me the peace of mind to face life head on when it has my back against the wall. Where is my hope? In the same God David wrote to in Psalm 39:7: "And now, Lord, what do I wait for? My hope is in You."

In a time when the world is so full of chaos and turmoil, I pray that my neighbors and I can earnestly seek, find, and hope in the God of our forefathers. The God who is Omnipresent. Whose Spirit resides in believers. Our Comforter. Our Father. Our God. 

Wishing y'all a blessed Sunday full of His grace.

In Christ with love and compassion,

Coach Kelly
#WVStrong; #PrayingForAmerica 

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Happy Hump Day

Just a note to say "Hi Y'all!" It is another hot and beautiful day here in the Potomac Highlands but 80 degrees in the shade didn't stop me from enjoying lunch outside today - my husband thinks I'm addicted to being outside - I think that comes from spending too many years locked away behind a desk in a cold office!

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As I ventured outside to enjoy some July 4th leftovers, I read a little from Romans and tripped over 14:13 which reads: "Therefore, let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this - not to put an obstacle or stumbling block in a brother's way." Ouch...that hit me in the gut. Mostly because, today of all days, I'm not feeling as compassionate as I should be - not a good thing for a life coach to admit, but being human just like y'all, I guess it is normal to experience compassion fatigue once in a while. So with that said, I realized after reading this verse that while it is not my job to make everyone feel happy, content, or satisfied, it is my job to make sure that I don't intentionally - on purpose - offend anyone.  So I reckon I need to be more aware of how I handle myself and others.  Just my random post / thought of the day - a personal conviction that I thought I'd share.

Hey y'all, have a blessed rest of the week - 

In Christ with love and ...[gulp]...compassion,

Coach Kelly

P.S. We are still praying for our neighbors down in the southern part of the state. We have more donations from our area headed your way!

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Lettuce and Christianity

lettuce 2016
It’s that time of year again; when gardens have been planted and we start reaping some small fruits of our labor. Lettuce, onions, and even a tomato or two! For me personally, its also a time to reflect back on gardens past. Memories that time only makes sweeter; like that unfortunate day when some friends and I got into a rotten-tomato fight (not our best choice of weapons), the time our oldest daughter thought we were making too big a deal wrestling the tiller (until it took her for a sideways jaunt across the garden), and even the loss of my high school class ring (it was eventually found); and finally…looking the lettuce.  

My mom used that phrase and I just knew what she meant. Lettuce: you plant it, watch it grow, when it's ready to eat, you pinch it from the stalk, wash and dry it, and then examine it...simple goodness. Unless you miss that last step and find a snail or ant in your salad. No joke, that's on the other side of gross! Looking the lettuce is a boring job, a thankless one, one that as a young girl I thought was just...well stupid. Until I found  something lurking in my BLT.  Yeah... 

Earlier this week, I was fixing supper and looking the lettuce when I found an ant that had managed to survive the pinching, shaking, washing, and drying. But not my leaf-by-leaf examination. I got rid of the unwelcomed critter, rewashed the leaf and confidently added it to the salad, resuming the tedious but necessary final step of preparing lettuce for consumption. Before supper, I had shared a bag of pinched, washed, and dried lettuce with our neighbors, with a final word:  "Make sure you look at it!" And while taking the well worn path between our homes, I realized how much looking the lettuce has in common with spiritual growth - and of course, I wanted to share my revelation with y'all.

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I imagine that our spiritual life is a lot like looking the lettuce. Sometimes it is easy to scratch the surface by going to church once or twice a week, a quick read of scripture as an obligation rather than true desire, and then we go on with our day. And halfway through, we start to feel weighted down, like there is something that doesn't really belong in our Christian life, something unseen, lurking underneath the surface...kind of like a snail or ant hiding on the underside of the lettuce leaf. It's been there all the time, we just didn't see it. But then, when least expected, supposedly from out of nowhere, that little thing we knew could potentially pop up, that thing we hoped, sort of prayed, wouldn't show up, makes an unwelcomed appearance. And just like that our Christian character is at, I reckon if our examining our Christian walk could be paralleled to cleaning a leaf of lettuce, here's how we'd do it:

1) Plant it (Psalm 119:11)
(earnestly pray and seek God first in every area of our lives)

2) Reap it (Psalm 126:6)
(become friends with Jesus by reading God's Word - on purpose, with passion, with desire – He’s pretty awesome by the way!)

3) Wash it (Psalm 51:7)
(schedule time with God seriously put Him on our calendar, asking Him to reveal any hidden sin)

4) Dry it (Matthew 11:30)
(remove excess stuff weighing us down, keeping us heavy-hearted)

5) Look it (1 Corinthians 2:10-11)
(ask to see ourselves through the eyes of Christ - serving Him boldly without shame) 

6) Share it (Matthew 28:19 & John 9:4)
(do something nice for someone else - get ourselves off our minds for a while – share Jesus with everyone we meet)

So there ya have it folks, six steps toward cleaning up our spiritual lives so that nothing hidden pops up when we least expect it! Living the Christian life is not nearly as hard as we make it...sometimes ya just gotta "look it."

Have a blessed Sunday y’all,

In Christ with love and compassion,

Coach Kelly

He knows the Stars by Name

Photo Credit: Dolly Sods Facebook Group - Unknown Hey y’all.       After journaling morning prayers and reading a devotion, Psalm 147:4 ca...