Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Living the Good Life

"If we are faithful to the end, trusting God just as firmly as when we first
believed, we will share in all that belongs to Christ."


My Reflection
The way my mind works scares me sometimes. I can literally see something and a random thought pops up almost instantaneously. A thought that has absolutely nothing to do with what is going on around me. Take this picture of our Black-eyed Susans for example.  The first shot is of them in their prime and the second their final days. Their season of resembling weeds not their beautiful bouquet of early summer. I was amazed by how quickly the flowers went from making me say "Aww" to "Ohh".  (If this were a FB post, I would add a smiley face with the aww and a sad face with the ohh...I'm sure y'all understand.)

So then the random thought: "Life is a lot like these flowers, so I reckon we'd better live a beautiful and good life while we can...."

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Picture This
Memories and pictures of the past are just awesome. Allow me to go back in time for a quick visit to some things and people I still love. Take my dog Kelly; her memory still brings tears to my eyes - I can see her playing with the girls and bouncing around the house to greet me. She was one pretty sad looking mutt but so loved, by me as least. And then my parents; what a joy to remember them: Dad's last words to my daughter, the look in mom's eyes her last day on earth...I can still picture many friends and family in my mind. The decades of them being gone have only sweetened their memory. But, depending upon my emotional state, these memories will either bring a tear or a smile. But the joy is the same no matter my emotional outlet. Why? Because I choose to remember the good things in life. Have I forgotten the pain or loss? Not at all...but I would rather focus on the good things stored in my memory bank. Like the day my dad taught me how not to make a pie crust. The day my mom rolled down her car's window and called out to a random jogger. The days my friend Heather Dudley and I walked up and down Jordan Run Road laughing over too-sweet red Kool-Aid and enjoying her last summer here on earth. The final smile my brother-in-law John shared with my grandson Maddox. The good things in life that the rest will never have the power to overshadow. And so is life. It is full of choices. Full of of good. Full of evil. But how we choose to remember, what we choose to remember, is entirely up to us. How we choose to live our life, creating a habit to do good not evil, serving God as best we can, living a good life, these are also choices. And important ones.

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Fast Forward to 2016
Each day we have to choose how we are going to spend our days. Will we create affirming environments, or positive energy, wherever we go? Will people actually want to see us instead of running in the other direction? Our choice ultimately boils down to this: are we going to live a life that reflects Christ in all we do, all the time? Can we create habits that reflect the lifestyle of Jesus? These are choices nobody can make for us. It is our life, our story, and only we can write it.  We can choose to focus and remember the negative that life tosses to us, get all down-in-the-mouth because time is passing us by, or we can choose to focus on the good days we have left instead. We can wallow in self-pity and guilt or we can stand up, brush ourselves off, and continue on a better path. 

As their life coach, I give my Neighbors a shocking news flash: "What others think of you is none of your business." And I believe that...but what I hope they remember me saying afterward, after recovering from that shocker, is this: "But how you live your life is your business and your responsibility!

Choosing to serve God by living a life that reflects Jesus Christ is a habit with eternal rewards - habits we form on purpose, then become easier, and eventually best described as the way we are built. Not religious obligation but a lifestyle that we perfect over time. Here are just a few Christ-like habits that are important for living a good life: A habit of serving others first; a habit of smiling to strangers; a habit of actually praying for FB friends when they request prayer. Creating a habit of doing what is right for the sake of doing what is right. And the results? A happy heart! A posthumous life that decades past, still brings smiles and an occasional tear...but always joy.  I love Psalm 16:9 (ESV):  "Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure." 

Today I encourage you to develop a habit of serving God and others through a Christ-like life and I pray you realize the importance of living The Good Life.

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Have blessed Wednesday y'all.

In Christ with love and compassion,

Coach Kelly

#YourLifeCoachingWV; #BeyondTheMirror; #WVStrong

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Strong Willed WV Wives

Jeremiah 17:8
"He is like a tree planted by water,
    that sends out its roots by the stream,
and does not fear when heat comes,
    for its leaves remain green,
and is not anxious in the year of drought,
    for it does not cease to bear fruit.”



My Reflection:
From one (strong willed WV) wife to another:

Recently, I was thinking about my life, past and present. Not uncommon for a woman of my age I'm sure. I was thinking about the Bible. About marriage. About life in general. About the many changes I've lived through and the many-many learning experiences I wish I could have absorbed through paper not living them. But experience is the best teacher...

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Picture This:
It's pretty interesting to me that God used a variety of older folks such as Job, Moses, Ruth, and Paul to record some of the Bible's greatest milestones. Since I'm not getting any younger and I like to write, I reckon now is as good a time as any to take a stand for what I believe. You know, to voice my opinion while I can. So I am going to follow the advice of Aaron Tippin: "You've got to stand for something or you'll fall for anything." And since I don't liking falling enough to do it on purpose (but I do laugh when anyone actually falls down, myself included), I will take a stand right here on the subject of marriage.

Marriage has suddenly become a touchy subject. Maybe not so much with my readers but certainly in America's mainstream. So here goes: I believe that marriage is the first institution created by God and we need to be careful how we treat it. As a conservative Christian my overarching views should be obvious so I am not feeling the need to go there. But instead to take my stand inside the traditional marriage arena. The Bible is clear on how this thing works. I like the precise outlines of Genesis 2 and Ephesians 5. Sadly, in my opinion, yours may vary, there seems to be a widening gap between what is normal for today's marriage and what the Bible says marriage should look like. Words like submit and yield are widely shunned by today's woman. Modern opinions have twisted these words to indicate weakness - and that couldn't be further from the truth. It takes a lot more strength to bend and rise again than never to have bent at all. Consider the old imagery of oak trees and rivers. Oaks are strong by nature yet bend and bow at the winds request. Rivers cut their own path yet follow the boundaries set forth by nature.  



If you are a equally yoked Christian woman, I encourage you to take a stand for your marriage. To make the most of the time you and your spouse have together. To learn to bend a little. To understand that strength comes from knowing who God created you to be. To pray your husband through those times when he is having difficulty taking the lead (and he will have these from time to time). Harness the innate strength we West Virginia women are blessed with and use it to shore up your marriage's foundation.


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Fast Forward to 2016:


Each of us have our own view of what strength looks like. Each of us have our own relationship battles, so each of us need to take a stand for our own marriage. As we pray for the strength to bow and not break in the service of submission, we carve out our life's pathway. When your marriage mirror's God's plan, your individual and collective resilience becomes stronger, more powerful. That's God's way...and He will provide you with the courage to be true to the strong-willed, submissive wife He created you to be. The world would try to convince you otherwise, but I've tried it both ways...and I am strong enough to proclaim: "God's way works." 



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Have a blessed weekend  y'all,


In Christ with love and compassion, 


Coach Kelly

#YourLifeCoachingWV; #BeyondTheMirror; #WVStrong

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Jesus is enough...I promise

"This was a Christmas gift to mom from her grandson, Scott.
Just one of the precious memories she kept in her cedar chest."

In loving memory of Leonard Scott Martin
8/31/1970 - 4/23/2000

My Reflection:
"I learned early in life that the words "I promise" can bring a lot of disappointment when promises are broken; so I made a conscious decision to avoid the phrase...because in my mind, promises never made can never be broken. But in real life there are exceptions to most rules. So here are my exceptions to the "Never say I promise" rule: Exception #1: I promise to love my family for the rest of my life; Exception #2: I promise that Jesus has always been enough."

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Picture This:
A few months ago, our church's praise and worship team led us in the song "Christ is Enough" by Hillsong. The lyrics touched my heart and I knew that eventually, I had to share my thoughts with y'all. Well, once I could do so without blubbering. Today may be that day, we'll see. Anyway, there is a line in the song that goes: "...everything I need is in You, everything I need." It then goes on to talk about making a decision to follow Jesus: "No turning back - the cross before me - the world behind me - no turning back..." Mid-song I was reminded of how good God is to His kids. Even on days when we don't give Him our time or when we get angry with Him. He is still good to us. But...still we wonder...

It's doubtful that I'm the only Christian to ever get angry at God or to question Him. And as long as I live and have my right mind I will never forget the first time I experienced this anger. Nor will I ever forget the feeling of Him taking me in His arms and restoring that peace that surpasses understanding.  I was in my back yard grilling hamburgers. My nephew had been killed in a car accident. His funeral was over and life was "back to normal..." And for several days running, I was mad at God. My brother was worried about my salvation and I was worried about my sister; and she was worried about her family. Not the best time for our family. But this particular day in May, 2000, I remember looking through the trees, staring up into the clear blue sky and whispering "Oh God...I just need a hug." As I closed my eyes, tears seeping through, spatula still in hand, I leaned back...and Jesus was there. It was one of those few seconds in time that forever impacted my life. I didn't have to plead with Him for forgiveness, I didn't have to petition Him over and over...I simply had to come back to Him with a tender heart and childlike faith that His promise to never leave nor forsake me held good even when I wasn't. I will never forget that day, it was the day that I realized Christ truly is enough for me. 

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Fast Forward to 2016:
I believe that we make coming to God for love and acceptance too hard; that we put human limitations upon The Creator.  Like many of you, I have lived a life full of stuff: deaths, financial woes, humiliation, broken promises...but the one constant, the one promise that I make to you is that Christ has always enough. He has never let me down - even during these times. When I turned back to Him for comfort, instruction, love...He was right there waiting with open arms.

Even through the trials that we all go through, we have His promise that He will never leave us...we can make the decision to follow Him or turn away but John 10:28-30 says that no one can pluck us out of His hand; and He Deuteronomy 31:6 says that He will not forsake us.

I would love to have an answer to satisfy our "But what about..." or "Why?" questions but I don't, no one does.  I can't adequately express how many times I have felt His hand upon my life, felt His gentle urging in my gut reminding me to hold on, that He was making a way...but what I do know is that Jesus is Enough...I Promise

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Hey y'all, here's wishing you a blessed Wednesday!

In Christ with Love and compassion,

Coach Kelly

#YourLifeCoachingWV; #WVStrong; #BeyondTheMirror


Sunday, August 21, 2016

Hanging By a Thread




"The filter through which we choose to view life is what determines the amount of beauty we assign to whatever we are looking at." - Coach Kelly

"I raise my eyes toward the mountains. Where will my help come from? My help comes from the Lordthe maker of heaven and earth" (Psalm 121:1-2CEB).














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My Reflection:
Monday started out as a beautiful, sunny, August day; but then the clouds blew in and the rain poured down. I had just gotten back from town and decided, for some reason, to take some pictures of our flowers - in the rain.  Divine inspiration for today's post?  Or just a combination of a few of my favorite things: rain, flowers, and photography.

As I approached our lone Resurrection flower, I remembered a photo I had taken for an earlier blog so I thought it would be neat to recapture it as closely as I could. The primary difference wasn't the additional blossom-clusters but the tone of the sky. As I was playing around with some gadget on my phone, I added the pictures side-by-side and inspiration hit...but that was only the beginning.  I thought that it would be neat to do an 'after the storm' photo as well. So the next day, Brut and I trudged up the driveway, bowed down on the still wet grass, and started snapping. Immediately I noticed that one of the petals had broken way from its cluster. It was literally hanging on by a thread. Even after the wind and rain, most of the new clusters looked pretty good although some had completely disconnected, withered up, and died. But not this one; while mostly disconnected, it was still pretty and pink...but still disconnected and holding on only by a thread.



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Picture This:

John 15:5 records Jesus saying: "I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, then you will produce much fruit. Without me, you can’t do anything" (CEB).

Fast Forward to 2016:
Sunny days, rainy days, and post-storm days are part of life's journey. Our courage, our beauty, our full potential, aren't tested on sunny days, not when life is good and we are content. Nope, courage is tested during the storms of life...on life's rainy days. But our beauty, our full-potential - these are seen after the storm. And after the storm is when our true strength and beauty have the opportunity to shine through. But sometimes I wonder how resilient we are about holding on to God after the storm. When our new normal is nothing we would have chosen for ourselves...

I have had times when, like this petal, I have held on by a thread, but still, I was holding on. And that is where our neighbors, our family, our church comes into the picture. Thankfully, unlike that disconnected petal, we have a cluster of folks around us with hands to pull us back up. A cluster of believers with hearts of compassion to wipe our tears. A cluster of fellow human beings able to offer us words of encouragement. And a God who will never leave us hopeless.


I am closing this post with a proposition: If you feel like you are barely hanging on by a thread, just keep holding on. Ask Jesus - the author of finisher of your faith - to come alive inside your heart. Trust Him to be your savior, shield, comforter, and advocate...He is these things and so much more...How do I know for certain? Well, I am a firm believer that He is to be experienced and not merely explained. And I've experienced Him working in my life. I've seen Him work miracles of healing. I've felt the Holy Spirit stirring within my gut. And I want you to know and experience this same relationship. 

How? Well, other than invite and receive Him into my life, my salvation experience with Him is not because of anything I have done. It is because of what happened when He arose from the tomb. It is because He was held to the cross by His love for us not by nails. He knew that there would come a day when we would barely be Hanging by a Thread...so He overcame death, hell, and the grave; ascended to glory and is preparing a place for us so that one day, if we keep holding on, by a thread even, we too can overcome the storms of life. I believe that life is a journey not just a destination. So I encourage you to live each day to the fullest, to find joy in the simple things, and trust that God desires for you to experience His love, joy, peace in mighty yet subtle ways in your everyday life. To build a relationship with Him on purpose. 



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Hey y'all, have a blessed Sunday

In Christ with love and compassion,

Coach Kelly

#YourLifeCoachingWV; #BeyondTheMirror; #WVStrong

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

You're Gonna Miss This

"County and state fairs are over. School has resumed. Garden plants are fading away...before long, having my morning coffee on the porch so I can listen to the neighbor's rooster welcome a new day will be a thing of summers past.  As I looked down into Brut's  perpetually sad eyes, I realized the he too, will miss these mornings.  And it made me feel a little sad; and even though there are 36 summer-days left before the first day of fall...I started missing summer..."    

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I looked around my front porch and wondered out loud "What in the world am I  going to do with all these flowers?" I glanced over at the geranium I somehow salvaged from last summer, the pitiful looking fern which needs to be transplanted, and then to the plant my middle daughter inherited from her first real job. And then I sighed - it was a sigh of wistfulness; or maybe it was discontentment. Nonetheless, I had a sudden yearning for more than 36 still-to-come days of summer 2016. Beyond the shadow of a doubt I am going to miss my front porch writing sessions. Don't get me wrong, I love fall...but the older I get the more I appreciate the perks of summer.     

And then, as it tends to do, my mind drifted to the Bible. Particularly, to Philippians 4. I'm pretty sure verses 11 and 12 could read: "Hey there, Coach Kelly! Don't you know that you ought to be content and appreciate life daily, no matter the season?" And again, I sighed - but this time it was one of self-exasperation for being called out. 









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Picture This:
The Apostle Paul had been jailed, beaten, stoned, and shipwrecked for sharing his faith in Jesus as the Messiah. Yet he claimed to be content no matter what state (or season) he was in. How is that even possible? How can someone who was literally beaten up for what he believed still continue to believe, let alone be content while promoting his faith?  But I love reading about his passion for the journey and about his conversion - you know, the 180 degree turn-around he made after he met Jesus? In 1 Timothy 6:6-8 he reminds us that if we have food and clothes, we should be content...because we didn't bring anything into the world and we surely aren't taking anything out! Like ouch dude!

I guess Paul was saying that true contentment must be based upon more than what we own.  But does he really mean that all we need to be content is the very basic needs of life - just food and clothing? Is all the other stuff just 'perks' then?  Jesus said in Luke 9:58 that He didn't have a place to lay His head (down here anyway) while most of us at least have shelter! Shouldn't that make us even more content then?


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Fast Forward to 2016:
There are a lot of things vying for our attention while, at the same time, creating discontentment. Credit card companies make living beyond our means too easy but paying them off too hard. Television programs show us the best (and the rest) of what the world has to offer...while romanticizing a fake life. Friends and co-workers put on the facade of having it all. But...what are the chances of us learning to be content even if the worst case scenario suddenly became our reality?  Could we learn to be content with what we have while striving, on purpose, to make the most of this beautiful life we are living? 

But What if:
   We learn to be content with what we have?
   We trust God to provide when we can't see the way clearly?
   We really were reduced to just the clothes on our backs?
   We really were uncertain of  our next meal's origin?

What if...when we we hear the song "You're Gonna Miss This," today was the day that came to mind? Have we given it the chance it deserves? Are we content living just for today?



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Hey y'all, have a blessed Wednesday, 


In Christ with love and compassion,

Coach Kelly


#YourLifeCoachingWV; #BeyondTheMirror; #WVStrong

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Simple Sunday


Psalm 16:11
"You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore."

I was thinking about tomorrow being Sunday and about how "back in the day" Sundays were set apart for church, family dinner, fishing, and Sunday drives. But those simple Sundays are a thing of the past for most families. One-on-one family interaction has been replaced by Smartphones, Facebook, sports, shopping, distance, even work. And sometimes we simply choose to spend our Sundays with gadgetry and busyness. 

My parents liked simple Sundays; and it is almost tradition at our house too. We like to engage with our family. Around here that may mean napping after church while pretending to watch TV, eating too much and then working it off by chasing the grandkids. We can be found talking on the front porch, spraying the kids down as they giggle and run or roll down the hill...cause y'all know hills are made to be rolled down! It doesn't take much...and we're okay with that. Because we know that learning to enjoy the simple things it has to offer makes life so much, well, more enjoyable! And that's a life worth investing in.

My prayer for y'all this Sunday is to enjoy the simplicity of a hot August afternoon. To embrace someone you love. To spray someone with a water hose, nap on the sofa, laugh at yourself, and then at the end of the day, take a moment to thank God for the blessing of a "Simple Sunday."

Hey y'all, have a blessed Sunday,

In Christ with love and compassion, 

Coach Kelly

#YourLifeCoachingWV, #WVStrong, #BeyondTheMirror

Friday, August 12, 2016

Oh woman, how great is your faith?

"The resurrection flower springs up from the ground mid-summer. Just a beautiful flower perched upon a strong and leaf-less stem. She reminds us that hidden beauty will burst forth when least expected.  And once she rises up from her hiding place, her strength and beauty cannot be denied...women of God, you too are set apart to stand out in His beauty and strength."
 - Coach Kelly
I have always claimed the book of Luke as my favorite gospel. But lately Matthew has really been speaking to me. As I was reading chapter 15, verse 28 caught my attention. Probably because I am a mom and grandma and regularly pray for my own kids to be healthy, happy, saved, and safe.

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Picture This:
It was around 70 A.D. And an unnamed Canaanite woman was following Jesus and the boys around town. She was begging to be heard. She was specific. She was purposeful. She was tenacious and she was determined. And at first, Jesus simply ignored her. The boys, on the other hand, found her very irritating and wanted Jesus to scat her away like a stray cat or something.

IF that would have been me, I would have dropped my head in humiliation, turned tail and ran. But not that chick! She was determined that they were not going to get rid of her until she got what she wanted. Instead of getting discouraged and going home without meeting her goal, she kept her eyes focused on Jesus. And she continued to bug Him until He acknowledged her. She wanted, no she needed, for Him to do something that only He could do. She’d seen Him do this very thing for others so she knew He could…and she wanted it too. But what she wanted wasn’t anything for herself - she was seeking Him on behalf of someone else. Someone she loved. Someone who quite possibly couldn’t make the petition on her own. Someone who needed deliverance. And that someone was her daughter.

Now we all know the humiliation of being ignored from time to time. But if you are a parent, imagine how she felt. Her pleas were being offered up for the healing of her baby girl and they were ignoring her. Seriously, imagine her anxiety when the Messiah and a group of preachers ignored her cries! Her shouts and pleas to be heard were falling on deaf ears. But she was determined.  And after a while, Jesus spoke directly to her - and y'all, she had an answer for His question! I can see Him smiling as her faith was verbalized with power and conviction! Personally, I think Jesus was using her as an example to the crowd (and to the boys) on the importance of being steadfast, obstinate, and persistent in our pursuit of God's best for our lives…

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Ladies, too many times we don’t achieve our goals because we stop pursuing them.  Maybe because we aren’t seeing results fast enough. Or maybe like this lady, we are faced with some unfriendly opposition (y'all, seriously, twelve guys giving you the cold shoulder? Telling you to shut up? Yeah…not an easy group to keep chasing…). There are a ton of reasons why we give up on our goals. But if we follow through like this lady did - I believe that our heart's desire is within reach!

But how? One way is to use the GLASS goal setting model. GLASS stands for Godly-Logical-Achievable-Specific-Sight. Here is what that looks like from this Canaanite lady’s example:

G: She came to Jesus, worshiping Him.
L: He’d healed others so she knew He could heal her daughter
A: Her daughter was still alive - healing was a viable option
S: She simply and specifically said "Have mercy on me...and please heal my daughter"
S: She visualized her daughter healed - literally!

But what if she would have given up? What if she walked away when the boys wanted her to?

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Fast forward to 2016...

What if we...
  • Follow her example and stay determined to keep pushing forward?
  • Impact the Kingdom by keeping Jesus in front of us and block out the noise?
  • Continue following Him until He answers our plea?

That is a lot of “What Ifs” but I have one more: What if we set Godly, logical, achievable, specific goals, and trust that they will become our sight? Then can we achieve GLASS goals? Well, I say yes…But what did JESUS say? 

"Oh woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire" (Matthew 15:28, KJV). 

So now I have to ask you...
"Oh woman, how great is your faith?"


Hey Y'all, have a blessed weekend!

In Christ with Love and Compassion,

Coach Kelly

#YourLifeCoachingWV; #WVStrong; #BeyondTheMirror



Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Playing in the dirt


The Lord God formed the human from the topsoil of the fertile land and 
blew life’s breath into his nostrils. The human came to life. Genesis 2:7 (CEB)


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I had the television on earlier this week and overheard a preacher say something about playing in the dirt. He started talking about planting seeds and watching them sprout up. And it got me to thinking about Matthew 13. Talk about a great collection of parables. JESUS talks about planting in all types of soil, about tares springing up, and about harvesting. He also talks about us wanting to understand what He's saying so that we can give back some of what we take in for ourselves (Matthew 13:52 MSG - I want to live this verse).

The preacher went on to talk about planting. He said that if we plant seeds that represent the fruit of the Holy Spirit (love, joy, peace, kindness, self-control, gentleness, patience, faithfulness, and forbearance) we can reap a harvest of souls for the Kingdom. I missed the rest of what he was saying, but if he concluded his sermon like I'd expect, I am sure he went on to say something about the other fruit we can plant too. Y'all know, those rotten seeds that James talks about in James 3:16; seeds of discord, hate, jealousy, and selfishness.  And because the Holy Spirit deals with me through real life application of scriptures (well Him and my random thought process), I started thinking about our strawberry plants from earlier this spring. My husband was worried about uprooting them when he weeded the patch (Matthew 13:25-30 addresses this). It is a tedious process because the berry roots and vines get intertwined with the weeds. He had to remove the weeds carefully, intentionally, slowly. So then my mind drifted to modern day church houses...

Sometimes I wonder, from the outside looking in, if the congregations ever look like a weed-infested garden?  There we sit, all human, wanting to show off our good fruit but overtaken by our weeds? And those outsiders looking in...they are jumping for the chance to inspect or judge our fruit.  But this post isn't about the onlookers...it is about 'us believers'. It's about us playing in dirt. I doubt if any of you have ever done this, but there were times when I thought "Hey, I'm an adult, I'll do or say whatever I want!" So my hands were dirty and my fruit looked more like weeds.  Yet other times, I knew that I planted good stuff, waited patiently for the harvest, and wondered why it didn't grow. I guess it was/is because of those days when I planted weeds. Can't I just grab them back without tearing out the good stuff? According to the Bible - nope. I have to let them grow right there.  But I don't want a bunch of bad stuff growing in my dirt where others can see...but...let's go a step further.  
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I'll bet that if I start pulling up the bad seeds I've sown, it could look like what I'm trying to do is cover them up, bury them, hide them, pretend they don't exist; like I only ever plant good stuff...but...those onlookers I mentioned earlier? Yeah, they've seen my weeds sprouting up. They've witnessed the stench of rotten fruit. Its there and its real. I may be able to deceive myself, but I can't fool anyone else, let alone God! Thankfully, the older and more mature I become in Christ, the stronger my desire grows to plant only the good stuff. To sow and share the seeds of the Holy Spirit's fruit. I still have to deal with the other stuff from time to time, but I no longer care to be found guilty of Playing in the Dirt.


"Sometimes we get ourselves encased in life's messes
and have no idea how to get out..."
Hey y'all, have a blessed Wednesday,

In Christ with love and compassion,

Coach Kelly

#YourLifeCoachingWV; #WVStrong; #BeyondTheMirror

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Sugar and spice and things that seem nice

"Well hello Mr. Zucchini...and to your brother, mother, and second cousin removed...now what in the world am I going to do with y'all?"


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2 Peter 1:2-4

On Friday, I was trying to figure out ways to use our homegrown zucchini. So far this summer, we've ate it fried and raw, shredded and sliced, baked and grilled. But I needed something new for today so I grabbed my tablet and headed to Pinterest. I searched recipes for zucchini and saw two that I had made in the past: zucchini cookies and three cheese zucchini lasagna! Yeah baby! These new-for-this-season, hide-the-zucchini recipes were gonna be supper tonight! And just a couple hours later, when the smells floating around my kitchen were so amazing, I didn't even mind the cleanup. Oh, but y'all...those cookies though...

Before I realized what I was doing, I had inhaled four of those things. No milk. No coffee. No tea. Just cookies. Suddenly, I realized that I had just ate every calorie I should have had for lunch in four umm-umm-good cookies! And I laughed. Before our lifestyle change, eating four cookies would not have even registered as something to think about, let alone make me reconsider what I could eat the rest of the day. But that was then and this is now. And now every calorie I consumed counted, just like every choice we make after we decide to follow JESUS counts...

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Before being saved, before Jesus became our BFF, before the Holy Spirit came to reside within, we didn't think too much about dabbling in sin. It was our norm. Our language, thoughts, actions, intake...it was all just normal stuff that we engaged in, day in and day out. No transforming guilt, no desire to live better, just living each day as we saw fit.

But after Jesus...after we turn over a new Christian leaf...after the Holy Spirit...dabbling in sin should bring about conviction (not condemnation but conviction). After our decision to follow Christ, we need to consider both our actions and non-action; to pause a second and think about then and now, to set up safe guards before we haphazardly fall back into our old ways. 

Today in Sunday School, the lesson was pretty much the same as this post - we have to practice living as close to Christ as we can and we have to do so on purpose. Gorging on sin may satisfy a carnal need for a brief season of time, but the consequences are so much greater than anything we could possible fathom. More than we can fully comprehend.

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I encourage you to practice Christ-like-living daily. Develop your strengths and use them for the sake of helping others succeed too.  Folks, I've tried it both ways so I'm for real when I say life is not all sugar and spice and things that seem nice...but with Christ at the center of it all, life is so much sweeter. 


Hey have a blessed Sunday y'all,

In Christ with love and compassion,

Coach Kelly

#YourLifeCoachingWV; #WVStrong; #BeyondTheMirror

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

A dummy like me




James 1:5-6 (MSG)
If you don't know what you are doing, pray to the Father, He loves to help. You'll get this help, and won't be condescended to when you ask for it.  Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought.

Earlier this week, I shared some exciting and humbling-to-me news on my Facebook wall, I was not bragging although many will see it that way. But hopefully, if I share my testimony, maybe they will see it from a different perspective, my humble one.

First, I should explain that I am a firm believer in praying to God like I am talking to a friend. To me, He is not only my Creator but my Best Friend. I know that I can tell Him anything and He will give me direction; and He will do so in confidence and love. Since He is with me everywhere and knows my thoughts better than I do anyway, trying to hide anything thing from Him is pointless. So my prayer to Him was simply "Father, thank You for blessing a dummy like me." Those words hit home pretty hard. As a life coach, when one of my Neighbors refer to themselves as dumb or engage in negative self-talk, I immediately chastise them. And trust me, I am not above chastising myself: "Dreama, you just referred to yourself where you resided as a kid; you don't live there anymore!" But folks, the prayer/thought was legit and it was indeed once my reality.


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As a kid, instead of building the foundation for a solid formal education, I was honestly dumb (if you don't like that term, please feel free to use a synonym of choice). I can't apologize and I wont fib or sugarcoat the truth of my formative years; I was failing and always working a grade behind. Long story short, the summer between 5th and 6th grade I got 'glasses', discovered Nancy Drew, and oddly enough those glasses corrected two problems at once: poor vision and sub-par hearing; the new year placement test put me in sixth grade - go figure. And while high school was not a breeze, I did okay. 

(Almost current day)

In my mid-forties, I was offered the opportunity to get a college education, with the support of my husband and children, I took advantage of the opportunity. And God blessed my efforts. He gave me the ability to write to make up for my poor testing skills, He gave me a person to kick me in the backside when I got stuck and didn't want to continue (Deb told me in no uncertain terms "Just get your [uh...stupid...] degree)!"
God then showed me a path of opportunity that I would never have considered as an option for myself. So, when I share my excitement, honestly, I am not bragging about my achievements but I am bragging about my God. He gets all the glory for anything I have or have yet to achieve.


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So back to yesterday's prayer - honestly, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar and sometimes a dummy like me discovers her God-given potential and matures in Christ to become the best version of herself that He will help her become. And folks, if He did this for me, He will most certainly do the same for anyone reading this post. The key is to trust, obey, listen, and seek Him first in all you do.

Of this I am convinced: God uses the simple-minded among us to show off HIS power. Psalm 121:1 best explains where my hope comes from. I am openly, honestly, and humbly giving God thanks for His hand upon my writing career and upon the N52 Project and the Beyond Series...It is His work...I'm just glad He used A dummy like me at the keyboard.


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Hey y'all, have a blessed Wednesday

In Christ with Love and Compassion,

Coach Kelly

#BeyondSeries; #YourLifeCoachingWV, #WVStrong

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