Saturday, October 29, 2016

Breathtakingly Beautiful on this Ordinary Day


  
 Proverbs 8:27; 30-31
"I was there when the LORD put the heavens in place and stretched the sky over the surface of the sea...I was right beside the LORD helping him plan and build.
 I made him happy each day, and I was happy at his side. I was pleased with his world and pleased with its people." (CEV)


Good morning! I am working from the front porch again today, which is nothing new for me huh? But y'all, I just want to squeeze in a few more of these front porch sittings while I can with fall in the air!  So I bundled up, made a mug of coco, and decided that if I wanted to do this, I had to make a few changes. Good changes I reckon...just different, but I had to ask myself if I'm really up to enjoying front porch sitting this morning? Wouldn't it make more sense to grab my coco and work inside? And as it does every year, fall challenges some of my life’s perspectives. Like do I really like fall? The temperature changes alone should cause us to question the beauty of this season, right? And then, what about all those colorful leaves? They end up in the yard only to be raked and burned or at least mulched. Where's the beauty in that? And lastly, running late, have you ever forgot about October's frozen dew? Seriously, why do  I like this time of year? The question is valid especially when we consider that, along with its beauty, fall brings a lot of extra work. Something that fall and real life have in common. 


+ + +

Each of us have everyday tasks that have to be done. And then, just for the fun of it, life will toss in a few extras: sickness, the need for new tires, an occasional rude  co-worker, a moody teenager in the house, a busted water pipe…things that demand immediate attention. And suddenly in addition to the ordinary, there arises the need for extra planning, money, and forethought. These things make me wonder if my  parents’ philosophy of taking  the good with the bad and dealing with life as it comes was inspired by fall.


But not to worry! The Bible tells us to take no thought for tomorrow (Matthew 6:34, KJV), that everything will work out as it should, that God literally has our back and that His love will see us through...

Through…not over. Not around. Just through. Making us deal with life as it comes...today. Mulching leaves…today. And tomorrow. And next week. But still one day at a time. One task at a time. Working through life as it comes and trying to find the beauty in ordinary life. For me, this means looking at fall for what it is today: a beautiful display of colors, a steady increase in daytime temperatures, and an early evening to enjoy being home with my family. Fall, like life itself, isn't perfect but has moments that are breathtakingly beautiful. My wish for y'all today is to find something breathtakingly beautiful in this ordinary day.

Be blessed y’all!

In Christ with love and compassion,

Coach Kelly

#BeyondTheMirror 
#YourLifeCoachingWV 
#WVStrong






Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Strangers in a Tattoo Parlor


"Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; 

then they said among the nations, 'The Lord has done great things for them'"
(Psalm 126:2, ESV).

+ + +
Tuesday, October 25, 2016...Today I did something really dumb. And illegal. And dangerous...and in spite of myself I laughed.


+ + +

Have you ever done something so ridiculous that afterward you had a good laugh? You know, one of those gut-wrenching, tear falling, double-over-the-steering-wheel laughs? 


This happened to me earlier today. After the Beyond the Bully assembly and a quick shopping spree (okay, so I stopped at Ollie's for Halloween candy), I was headed to get a Daith piercing. So in my own defense, I was a little nervous:  1- I had never been in a tattoo parlor; 2- I don't like intentional pain; 3- I was thinking about everything I didn't share with the students and a few things I wish I hadn't.  (I mean really, did I have to share the fact that I fish without a hook? My friend Donna will appreciate the randomness of sharing a fishing story in the middle of an anti-bullying assembly!) 

just a squirrel moment y'all

It's safe to say that by the time I found the tattoo parlor I was more than a little preoccupied. So much so, that I didn't notice it was located on the corner of a one way street (I noticed that when I tried to park - it was the angle of the parking spaces that gave it away). So long story short, I did a couple three point turns (you're right Tee - I could have backed in!), sort of squared the Jeep in my parking space, glanced around to see who was watching, fed the meter, and waved to the shocked lady beside me.  Y'all, the look on her face was priceless...but nothing compared to guy's on the bike across the street or the fella who was nice enough to let me finish parking (just joking he wasn't going anywhere until I got out of his way). I rounded the corner as gracefully as I could. But once inside, when the owner asked how he could help me...I burst out laughing like a mad woman - a crazy mad laughing woman! Luckily he had a sense of humor and laughed right along with me when I told him what I did and the reaction of the trio on the street. And suddenly my day became a lot less complicated and a whole lot more enjoyable.

+ + +


Transparent. That's the word I use to describe my life's goal. More than once my sister Marsha has told me that we don't have to point out every mistake we make, I can her saying to me: "Dreama, everyone does dumb stuff...they don't tell it like we do!"  But she and I just don't have that ability. In fact, we're probably too quick to point out our mistakes.  

I know we all have these little moments. Moments when we do something so stupid that we beat ourselves up over it again and again. But I've learned over the years that laughter is indeed the best medicine. And I especially like it when I crack myself up!

Yep, those days when I don't take myself too seriously are the best days. Days when, hours later, I grin just thinking about it. But I've also noticed something else. How perfect days - the days when I don't make a lot of mistakes - days when I am stressed out in the pursuit of perfection - those days can't hold a candle to the days when I laugh at myself and smile in spite of it all...my best days? The days when I cut myself some slack. Days when I can share a good laugh at my own expense with Strangers in a Tattoo Parlor.

+ + +

Have a blessed rest of the week y'all

In Christ with love and compassion,

Coach Kelly

#BeyondTheMirror #YourLifeCoachingWV #WVStrong


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

It Feels Peaceful...Like Thanksgiving Day

It Felt Peaceful...Like Thanksgiving Day

"Maybe finding peace is as easy as giving thanks to God for His blessings
and provision in our everyday, ordinary lives..." Coach Kelly
+ + +

Have you ever woke up wondering what day is it? Isn’t it the oddest feeling? There you lie, horizontal in bed, semi-coherent, and clueless for a brief moment as you try to figure it out.  Most of the time the feeling passes quickly. For me, I either jump out of bed in a panic, rushing to get out the door, or grin and snuggle back into my pillow.  

I had one of these experiences the other day. I woke up wondering what day it was but instead feeling incoherent, the sweetest feeling came over me. A feeling of peace. Total contentment. As I climbed out of bed, I did so slowly, intentionally, trying to not speak or think about anything. I just wanted to keep that feeling as long as possible. As I continued into my morning routine, I realized in my heart that this particular morning felt just like Thanksgiving Day.
+ + +

I guess I should explain that my family and I love Thanksgiving Day. It’s been almost thirty years since I hosted my first Thanksgiving dinner and every year we have family and friends over. It is one tradition I truly love. We cook, watch Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, play and watch football, eat at noon, and spend the rest of the day visiting. We complain about how full we are as we grab another piece of turkey, take a nap, and then brew a fresh pot of coffee so we can eat another slice of pie. In other words, we simply enjoy the whole day. Beyond the shadow of any doubt, Thanksgiving is our favorite holiday. But, to be honest, the love we have for Thanksgiving goes way beyond the food. It has a certain ‘feel’ to it. So when I woke up and felt like it was Thanksgiving Day it meant that precise moment was wonderful. Thinking about it, I reckon the only way I know to describe Thanksgiving Day is inexplainable peace. 

+ + +

Peace: what a great feeling. 
Peace: sought after by every generation. 
Peace: sometimes elusive. 
Peace: a priceless gift from God. 

I love Philippians 4:4-7: “Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Inexplainable peace? Maybe these verses hold the key to unlocking the mystery of finding God's peace. Maybe giving Him thanks for the ordinary things in our life is the answer? Being thankful for what we have. Things like life. Food. Family. Friends. Laughter. Even football.

Maybe when we fill ordinary days with giving thanks the end result is peace? Maybe when we stop taking God for granted and instead say thank You, maybe then we will have more days when it feels like Thanksgiving Day.

+ + +

Praying for y’all to have a blessed rest of the week,

In Christ with love and compassion,

Coach Kelly


#YourLifeCoachingWV #BeyondTheMirror #WVStrong

Friday, October 14, 2016

Call Me Gideon

"I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant
between me and the earth"  (Genesis 9:13, KJV).


"God Himself created the first sign as confirmation;
No wonder we seek after them"- Coach Kelly, YLCWV.


My Reflection:

Have you ever asked God for a sign? For some type of confirmation about what He is doing? Or better yet, about what we are supposed to be doing? About our life's purpose? Recently, right after I landed a book deal, the day after the book was available for purchase as a matter of fact, I started questioning myself and my abilities. That the day after I became a published author Satan started placing doubts in my mind. And I started asking for signs that I was good enough to be a published author and successful writer.

Picture This:
Y'all, my family loves Liberty Flames football! The grandkids cheer LU on with vigor and we adults join in. Recently, we were sitting at a football game and I questioned God about how I ended up as a LU Alumni. Then my thoughts moved on to how in His name did I become an author?

(I'm an introvert so my thought process resembles the spokes of an old bicycle wheel: somehow connected but severely interwoven, and twisted; so God only knows where they'll end up!)

Where was I?

Oh! I was watching the team warm up and asking God for a sign that I was good enough.  And then I turned my attention to the big screen where a one-liner from Liberty University's Hall of Fame inductee Steve Kearns caught my attention: Don't let your identity come from how you perform but from who you are in Christ.  Okay God, so if I don't succeed as an author, I'm still good enough as Your kid, right?  I won't die if my first book is a flop; I can either try again or walk away. Be happy that I got one book published, right?

But just like Gideon, it wasn't enough.

So He gave me another one.

The next morning, sitting in church with thousands of other believers, Pastor Falwell spoke straight to me when he said: Satan knows what you struggle with...be strong in the grace of Christ....and still, even though that preacher had no idea what I had been asking, feeling, or thinking, his timely wisdom still wasn't enough.

Inside my head were seeds of doubt planted by Satan, watered by the past, and germinated by the fertile soil of insecurity.  On the upside though, my heart was trying hard to not  buy into it. So the age old struggle was real. It was a battle of flesh against spirit and it was intense. Weeks later, the victor is yet to be determined and both are still putting up a good fight.

I am starting to wonder how many more confirmations will I need (from the God I believe in) before I trust that being made in His image makes me more than enough?  How many more signs will I need before I let go of those old doubts? How many more will it take for me to rip those insecurities up by the roots, burn them through-and-through, and dispose of their ashes for good?

Will it take another book published? Making the New York Times Best Seller's List? Will that prove my self-worth?  Maybe tens of thousands of hits on my blog will do the trick? What will it take before I know that this is enough? That I am enough? I am starting to realize that no amount of materialistic, temporary success, will ever be enough...Ecclesiastes 2:11:  "Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun" (ESV). 

Fast Forward to today:
The ultimate answer to my questions is found in Matthew 6:33: "Seek first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all things things shall be added unto you" (KJV); the verse that the Holy Spirit brings to my mind A LOT...yet...still, most days...you could call me Gideon.


+ + +

It was completely unsolicited. I was getting ready to take AJ to school. I was walking from my bedroom toward the bathroom. And it hit me.  "Just write from your heart."  Because it was simple and positive instruction, y'all know it was the Holy Spirit, right? The answer to the question that was unasked yet perpetually on my mind these days. 


+ + +


Have a blessed weekend y'all...

In Christ with love and Compassion,

Coach Kelly
#YourLifeCoachingWV #BeyondTheMirror #WVStrong

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

And Sometimes...It is Just God

My son's "just God" moment from a few years ago.
He was so excited to see that his tossed stick made a cross.
Yep...it was "just God"

Don't you just love those little moments (no, not the Brad Paisley song!) but those moments that cause us to pause, smile, shake our head, and sigh as we walk on? Those little undeserved moments that happen without a chain of events carefully strung together by human hands; those little moments when attempts at an explanation always comes up short?  You know, those moments when sometimes...its just God?  Yesterday, Tuesday January 12, 2016, was packed full of "Just God" moments that I'd love to share with y'all!

They started coming in at 5:30 a.m. when my husband and I tend to share moments of our previous day, sometimes we unload with our daily 10:00 a.m. e-mail, but this particular Tuesday, at 5:30 a.m., he shared a channel surfing moment...and his timing was impeccable.  His moment resonated with me throughout my day. 

Personally, I believe it was just God setting him up for a moment that would benefit my coaching Neighbors, like using him as a channel. And yes, I truly believe that sometimes...it is just God. 

Selah.
+++

Then there was the phone call from my daughter, Jillian. As a young adult working in a field that she is passionate about, she loves her job. So she called me with one of those work related "just God" moments, you know, the kind of life moment that leaves a proud momma teary eyed with goosebumps? Nearing the end of our conversation, she asked me to look up the Bible verse from the car in front of her. Immediately she and I both knew it was yet another "just God" moment...and we laughed. As He is opening doors of opportunity for her that no man can shut, we see His just God moments...and for these moments, we are most thankful.

Selah.
+++

Friends, yesterday was full of moments that I know were special. Moments that God set me and my family up for; moments that ranged from my husband using a phrase in an e-mail (honestly, he used a direct quote from the television evangelist I had just watched), to his perpetual calendar's verse of the day matching his drive-in-to-work prayer. And then my daughter's work opportunity complete with a bumper-sticker verse confirmation. Some cynics will call this happenstance, luck, or perhaps just life...but for me and my house, we will call them just God moments. We will smile, shake our head, sigh...and say "Thank You" as we walk on.

I believe that every one of us have unrecognized just God moments. With the business of life, or perhaps the busyness of life, getting in the way making our moments hard to recognize. Are we so busy trying to make our own way that we forget who is in control? I have tried to make good things happen but made a mess instead. I bet God smiles when I finally throw my hands up and say "I am done" so He can take over. And then He sets up a lot of little moments as He turns my mess into something beautiful.

Mark 10:27 reads:  Jesus looked at them and said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.”  Yes, it is those just God moments that make life worth while...Selah.

Wishing you a Wednesday that is full of His grace, mercy, and "just God" moments.

In Christ with love and compassion,

Coach Kelly

These Unprecedented Times

"Not even Solomon..." Psalm 121 ~ 2 Chronicles 7:14 ~ Matthew 6:25-34 My  she-shed office  is the perfect place to enjo...