Leading from Your Strengths Certified
Leading from Your Strength Certified

Are You a Curmudgeon?

file000495201931-morguefile-kitchens-smallI once heard a story about a mom who went to the kitchen to get a drink of water, only to find that the kids had taken the liquid dish soap and squirted it all over the floor. They had removed their shoes and were sliding back and forth like it was an ice rink. They were laughing and having a blast!! Lots of fun! UNTIL they saw her there in the doorway. They stopped in their tracks, looking at each other. TERRIFIED as they waited to see what her response would be.

So, there she stood with her hands on her hips observing the situation and trying to decide what to do. She saw their delight. She heard their laughter. But…she also saw what they had done.

She decided that it looked like so much fun that she took off her shoes and slid across the floor in her socks. She threw her head back in laughter. She was really enjoying herself. The kids couldn’t believe it! Then…suddenly…she stopped.

She looked them straight in the eyes and said,  “That was fun! Now LET’S clean this up.”

I’m pretty sure she told them not to do it again, but she understood how fun it was and it was not EVIL or SINFUL what they were doing. It was not DEFIANT. They didn’t know. So she enjoyed the moment but let them know that there were consequences to their decisions. BUT she helped them clean it up. That way they stayed on task. 

Isn’t that exactly how God is with us? He enjoys us and yet He gently guides us back to Truth. He tells us the rules and then He guides us into following the rules. The blessing comes in the obeying. For our kids and for us.

It’s so much more fun to embrace and enjoy life and to appreciate the differences of others, than to be a curmudgeon. You and your child/children are each very different. Choose to enjoy the differences. It is most definitely a choice. It probably won’t come naturally.  

And yet…you still have to be the Mom…the adult…in the relationship. Yes, of course, the adult makes rules and they also keep them. But…don’t forget to remember that the child-like things they do are normal. They are learning how things work and what is acceptable and what is not. They are experimenting.

They are also teaching us to lighten up a bit. And that, my dear sweet mom friend, is a good thing! A very good thing!

Hope this helps…

Filed under: MomCouragement — Tags: , , , — Pam Taylor @ 11:04 am

Having a Tough Day?

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“Unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.” — John 12:24

That pretty well sums up parenting…and especially motherhood. Motherhood is so daily!

Dying to self. The single seed dying to self for the greater good…the good crop. Meaning…when we truly surrender our rights to the Lord, beautiful things begin to happen within our hearts. And in our families.

In his very first sentence in the book, The Purpose Driven Life, Rick Warren states a Biblical Truth: “It’s not about you.”

That single statement reminds me to get my priorities in alignment with God’s. It’s NOT about me. It’s ALL about HIM!!! The LORD! If there is a Lord (and there is) then there must be servants who do His bidding. (That’s you and me.)

The Small Catechism states “the chief purpose of man is to love God and enjoy Him forever.” We enjoy God when we obey Him. We obey Him because we believe Him when He gives us directions how to live a life which is pleasing to Him and is joy-filled for us.

And WHEN we surrender to that, He gives us His strength, in our weakness! When we are weak, then He is strong! Hang in there, Mom!

You are loved! And yes…it *is* worth it!

Click Here to leave a comment. I would love to hear your thoughts.

This has been a word of encouragement from:

The MomCourager™
Pam Taylor, Christian Life Coach

Do you have trouble falling asleep at night?
Are you grumpy because you are not getting enough sleep?
You might also be interested in this Secret Sleep Aid:

blog.loavesandfishescoaching.com/momcouragement/secret-sleep-aid/

Filed under: MomCouragement — Tags: , , , , — Pam Taylor @ 8:24 pm

What’s Wrong With This Picture?

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Put yourself in this Mom’s place. Traveling alone with a baby.

Look closely and then tell me…What’s “wrong” with this picture? Maybe “wrong” isn’t the “right” word. Maybe “unusual” is the right word.

I’m pretty sure this would not be what I would look like if I were at a major airport, ready to travel a number of hours with my baby on a plane…ALONE! What about you?

Here is what is (wrong/unusual) = remarkable: She is smiling! She is a real, live person and she is smiling! And at peace! How did that happen?

Lindsay sent me this picture. It inspired me so much that I asked her if I could use it on my website. I figured if it inspired me, it would inspire you, too. (I’m passionate about helping Overwhelmed Moms find their way out of the fog. And this picture speaks volumes!!!) And then…when I heard her response, I just had to share it with you right away.

Because…here’s something else that is remarkable about this Mom: Her response was “Yes…but…I wasn’t overwhelmed.” WOW! She wasn’t overwhelmed??? Astounding!!!

What do you suppose was Lindsay’s secret?

Lindsay had a plan. She had spent the days leading up to this day (as she prepared to move to another continent in a few short weeks) speaking God’s promises out loud to herself as she packed and as she took care of her baby. Her husband was far away…on another continent because of his work. It was unavoidable. This was a fog she was going to have to find her way through without her husband’s help. She wanted to be victorious, even though her life was in an uproar! But you would not know it to look at her, would you?! She had chosen the HIGHER ROAD.

Life is a series of choices. Flesh or Spirit. Which will rule? Which will we “feed”? The Spirit or the flesh?

This Mom had chosen to listen to praise music even though the things in her life were in chaos. While helpers were shouting questions at her. While she had to make a ton of last minute decisions. While she had to remember to eat. While she had to remember to change the diapers and nurse the baby. While movers came and went. While her apartment looked more like a war-zone than a home…with all the sorting and packing materials all around. Lindsay had chosen to have God on the throne, rather than let her feelings rule her. She did what she could do. She fed her Spirit Soul food and it nourished her to the point that her countenance would actually shine! You can see that for yourself!

She did what she could and left the rest to God. He likes that! 🙂

lindsay-baby-cropShe is an amazing woman. She is one of my favorite people and I wanted to share a bit of her story with you. I pray it inspires you to take the time to stop, drop and pray. To remember that nothing is too big for God to handle. IF we let Him.  She made a conscious choice to meditate on the promises of God. To feed her soul with music. Not just any music. She chose music that nourishes and exalts God. Proving: You definitely are what you “eat”. His Word (the Bible) is her nourishment. AND…Praises helped her rise above her circumstances. God has a plan and she followed it. And this is the result!

Please take time to comment and let us know what this has stirred up in you. And please also share stories of times when God’s Spirit has ruled and you, too, have been victorious in a difficult circumstance. We would love to hear from you. And as Lindsay prepares to move from her familiar surroundings, your remarks could be perfect timing and have the same effect on her to encourage her to keep looking UP because GOD is BIG.

“My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to accomplish His work,” Jesus said. (John 4:34 NAS)

{{Lindsay Nichols Estes has a message for women in transition. She walks her talk and more often than not, she comes forth trusting God’s promises. She knows the secret of success. If you are in transition, and want a coach to walk through it with you, you can find her here: http://www.linkedin.com/in/lindsaynicholsestes }}


Don’t Quit! Joseph… A Story of Success… via Blood, Sweat and Tears

Have you heard a version of Anything worthwhile is worth fighting for. Worth waiting for?

I know that’s not a happy thought that success comes via blood, sweat and tears, but it seems especially necessary to say that today. The media would have us believe that we “deserve” success. When we get a college degree, we “deserve” a job. And not just a job, but a job starting at the top. Because we are “qualified”, right? Isn’t that the way it works? Or maybe we believe that when we start our own business, the clients/customers will flock to us. Because we did the right things, so of course we will realize our dreams complete and full…immediately. Right? That when we do the right thing, all falls into place. Blog posts tell us that. Facebook and Twitter posts all claim that if we buy their program, we will get skinny, we will grow new hair on that bald spot, and we will be able to run a marathon if we eat the right energy bar. That’s what we hear from all forms of media. But…is it true???

My inspiration today is the story of Joseph in the Bible. Joseph had a dream. Have you had a dream? Are you continuing to pursue it, or did you quit when it got hard or took too long?

You know the story. Joseph was his Dad’s favorite. And his brothers knew that. It was way too obvious. So, when they got a chance, they got even. Not with the Dad who chose him as favorite, but with Joseph. They tried to eliminate their problem. They wanted him out of the way. The only problem was, even though the Dad thought Joseph was dead, Joseph was STILL his favorite. The empty space at the table was NOT occupied by another. His Dad’s heart was very sad. And none of the other sons became the favorite in his place. So what did they accomplish by taking matters into their own hands?

What about Joseph? At the hands of his brothers, Joseph suffered bullying, abuse, betrayal and great loss; and at the hands of others, he suffered slavery.

He waited. (What else could he do under the circumstances?) But somehow, Joseph never seemed to see himself as “under the circumstances”. He believed in a BIG GOD. THE big God!

Then, he began to find the Favor of the Lord. And he kept his integrity. He faithfully walked honorably, even when tempted to take the lower road to destruction.

He took the higher road to the Favor of God. Those appointed to keep him in line saw clearly God’s favor or him and they appointed him to positions of leadership. And they indirectly received God’s Favor through Joseph. But betrayals and disappointments continued. And he remained a man of integrity. No matter how much power he was given, he remained a man of God. A man faithful to the Lord’s ways.

And the final outcome? Remember his outrageous dream that his brothers hated him for? Hated him enough to try to get rid of him forever…

Well, that dream came true and they literally owed their lives to him…the one they had sought to destroy was later their rescuer.

Blood, sweat and tears…walking that faithful life with our eyes on the Lord of the blood, sweat and tears…not giving up…but going forward…one step at a time. Little by little. Trusting the God of the outcome.  A heart on fire for Him.

Now THAT is “success”! That is God’s definition of “success” and that is where the joy lies. Peace that passes understanding. Don’t quit. Press on. Press through. Keep looking up to the Creator of real success…via blood, sweat and tears!

Easy? No! But ask Joseph someday: “Was it worth it?” And I have a feeling he will shout out, “Yes! Undoubtedly, YES!”

Do you have a dream you haven’t yet followed through on?


Legendary Super Hero.

My Dad was a legendary super hero. He was also a single parent. That’s part of what makes him a super hero. Parenting is tough. Single parenting is tougher!

He used to say, “When my ship comes in, with my luck, I’ll be at the airport!” Then he always laughed! (My Mom’s medical bills had undoubtedly taken a toll on the bank account.) In my eyes, my Dad was a rich man. Not from wealth, position, or possessions. Rather, he was rich with integrity and steady resolve.

I knew I was loved. I knew what his values were. He lived his values. He was his values. He was deeply respected in his community.

I also knew things I could count on about him.

  • He always straightened up the house before bed.
  • He’d be there waiting for me when I got home from school.
  • He showed up no matter where I was when I was with my friends. (I liked that.)
  • He cared enough to be sure I was safe. (My friends were jealous.)
  • He never forgot a holiday.

(Whether Valentines Day, birthday, or whatever holiday…there was always a card and a gift on the kitchen table waiting for me when I came down for breakfast.)

He wasn’t a hugger, and he didn’t speak his love much, but his actions spoke volumes. I felt safe, secure and loved.

I’ve been wondering something lately…

When we read and hear the dogma about what parents should be, should do, should not do, etc., do we lose something precious and important by not rather focusing on and appreciating what our Moms and Dads did well? Does our “idea” of the “ideal” bring us into a continual state of disappointment to the point of dis-honor/anger/ & distance?

What if we step back a bit and take an honest look. If this were someone else’s parent, would we be jealous…as my friends were of me because my Dad was so predictable, available, and “protective”?

“Knowing what we are called to do is a greater blessing than striking it rich.” (Turning Point devo. 8/16/12)

My Dad knew he was called to be a single Dad when my Mom died…and he did it really, really well!

Thanks, Dad! You will always be my super hero. I miss you terribly.

 


Mom-2-Mom Parenting Tips

Mom-2-Mom Parenting Tips

Parenting is hard work! We all need a little help!

Visit blog.loavesandfishescoaching.com/ to begin receiving Mom-2-Mom “Ten Tips to Inspire You to Greatness” in your parenting. And then…every few days another word of encouragement will slip into your Inbox until you have received all ten.

(BTW, even dads have been helped by these tips.) 🙂

Awaiting His shout,

Pam Taylor

Christian Life Coach

The MomCourager(TM)

Filed under: MomCouragement — Tags: , , , — Pam Taylor @ 10:33 am

Mom-2-Mom – Sharing Wisdom

Hi, I’m so glad you are here!

This blog post was set up especially for subscribers to the Mom-2-Mom. Encouragement for the Family Series: Ten Tips to Inspire You to Greatness! (If you’re here but haven’t yet subscribed, but like what you see, just put your name and email in the form over on the right, and you’ll begin receiving the tips, too!)

We all know that we each are even greater in our parenting when we share our collective wisdom and our time-tested knowledge. Here is a place to share what you have learned for the benefit of the rest of us. You have “bragging rights” here! 🙂

At the bottom of each email in the series you’ll find a link here. We’re hoping you won’t just read what others have posted, but that you’ll visit often to share… adding your own comments and wisdom. We truly do all need each other!

So don’t wait – jump right in! The water’s fine. Scroll down and leave a comment or two. Blessings to you.

Until next time,
Mom-2-Mom,
Pam Taylor
Christian Life Coach

P.S. It would be helpful to put the Tip #at the beginning of your comment if it addresses a specific one. Thanks!

Filed under: MomCouragement — Pam Taylor @ 11:49 am

I’m Out to Change My World

I’m out to change my world. One person at a time!  Here’s what I just started doing:

When I go to a store & the clerk/cashier is pleasant & helpful (and appreciates my humor):

1. I ask their name.

2. I tell them that I appreciated their (helpfulness or sense of humor or whatever).

3. I ask them for the name of their supervisor so I can tell the supervisor what a good job they did.

4. I ask where I can find their supervisor.

Then:

1. I seek out the supervisor.

2. (I smile inwardly as they tense up expecting a complaint.)

3. I tell them that I know that they are used to bad reports about employees, but…

4. I want to give a good report about (NAME) and that I think the employee deserves some kind of reward because they are good for business!

Then:

1. I watch the supervisor smile and relax a bit.

2. They ALWAYS thank me for taking the time.

I feel so happy after that.  It is one little thing that I can do to change my world into a little better place!

Here’s my challenge to you: Will you join me in the campaign to intentionally thank people for good service? I’m thinking that it doesn’t just stop at the employee and the supervisor. Don’t you think it’s a pretty good guess that they will treat everyone else in their path in a much kinder way as a result of being thanked?

You might even notice a bit of a spring in your own step as you walk to your car. And we might even catch you smiling throughout the day as you remember how good it felt to bring a bit of beauty to someone else’s day!

Try it. It’s addictive! The only thing it will cost you is a few minutes of time.

Pass this on and let’s see if we can start a “gratefulness revolution“! Share this blog post on FB and on LI and with your email lists. Think of the possibilities! 🙂

One person at a time…we can begin to change our world for the better! Are you up for the challenge??? I promise you it will be fun!

Then, use the comment box below to report back to the rest of us. We want to hear your story!

 


Busted By God

Busted by God happens to me frequently.  (On those occasions, I usually only tell my very closest friends about the details, so because we are getting to be pretty good friends after all this time, I decided it was time to share one of these stories with you.)

Normally, the cause is: I get a good idea and I spend a lot of time organizing and thinking of every possible scenario and then someone or something prevents it going forward and so I’ll find myself “clearing” with a good friend rather than talking to God about it; and so…since He is listening to my conversations anyway,  I get a check in my spirit. Hence…the Busted by God idea. Yup! He lets me know that He’s listening. Is He being mean? No! God is never mean! He’s just letting me know He loves me and wants what’s best for me! He feels that way about you, too!

Well, last Saturday, God went a step further…and I love it when this happens!

He is intimately involved in every detail of my life. I know that. But it’s really cool when He verifies that love in tangible ways. Ways I can’t ignore.

That morning, I had prayed “Lord Jesus, speak to me. I’m ready to listen and eager to obey.” Later in the day, I was on the phone sadly describing a disappointment to a friend and got that check in my spirit and continued to talk anyway. Someone had hurt me and I wanted sympathy. Suddenly, I realized it was nearly time to get to the church, since I was scheduled to assist with communion. So, I rushed off the phone to go get myself dressed and out the door.

Then, I heard that check in my spirit again and thought of my morning prayer, but I was short on time to talk with my Father and to hear what He had to say, so I rushed to the table where my Bible and study tools were still open from the morning. And grabbed up Oswald Chambers My Utmost for His Highest all the while praying for God to “give me a word” that would direct my heart to Him and away from my complaints. So…he did just that!

I did what is known as “The Open Window Method”…open anywhere and expect God to speak. It’s normally just a lazy way to grab anything. I know. I know. Yes, I was taking the lazy way out. But speak He did! (I LOVE THIS!) I happened to open to June 17. The title was “The Uncritical Temper”. And the verse at the top was: “Judge not that ye be not judged.” (Matthew 7:1)  I laughed right out loud. Yup! Busted by God! Because He loves me.  So, my eyes fell down the page and focused on something I had previously highlighted: “There is always one fact more in every man’s case about which we know nothing…I have never met the man I could despair of after discerning what lies in me apart from the grace of God.”

Is that cool, or what?! Remember I was on my way to serve communion. It would NOT have been OK to have pride and criticism in my heart. Rather, I had opportunity to confess on my way there and to receive the forgiveness and cleansing promised.

Well, if you think that was the end of my Father’s lesson to me that evening, you are wrong. He gave me an opportunity to see if I took the lesson to heart…or had it merely been head knowledge.

As I passed one of the offering plates, a lady with great disdain on her face corrected me (it was so animated that everyone else knew what was happening). She had rebuked me for the way I was serving. Ahhh. I remembered my lesson. I had told God that morning that I was ready to listen. And I did. I felt His love. And I let Him love her by using me….and praying silently for her to be blessed. (BTW, I also prayed for Him to remind her that she, too, was about to take communion…just in case He was so busy with me that He forgot about her. 🙂 )

There is yet another part of this…

It’s the part that happened after church. I walked over to her and thanked her for her help and told her that next time I would try to remember to do what she had suggested. That was definitely God loving her by using me. I would not have thought of doing that on my own.

Being Busted by God is a good thing! And when you are His child, it feels like LOVE!

Have you ever had a time that you were Busted by God?

 


The World’s Cheapest Facelift

I’m about to share with you how to get the world’s cheapest facelift. But, you have to be actively involved in this. Are you willing?

You’re still here, so here we go…first off…

Stop reading for a minute and go get a mirror. Bring it back to your computer as you read the rest of this post…Look into the mirror…

And…

Smile.

Now…

Frown.

Now…

Lay the mirror down. Smile again. How do you feel?

Pick up the mirror again. Look at your face. Look at your jawline. Look at your eyes and the area around them.

Now frown while looking into the mirror. Look at your jawline. Look at your eyes and the area around them.

Now smile again into the mirror. SEE the difference? You can give yourself the world’s cheapest facelift by just smiling. Often.

Smile and the world smiles with you. Frown and you frown alone.

Seriously. Isn’t it amazing how much younger you look when you smile?

Let me know what you think when you try this experiment out for yourself. Easy. Free. The world’s cheapest facelift. 🙂

Filed under: MomCouragement — Tags: , , , , — Pam Taylor @ 4:38 pm

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