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Leading from Your Strength Certified

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

Self-pity vs. Self-compassion

Self pity vs. self-compassion. What’s the difference? And, who cares?

Self-pity is a passive self-absorbed thing. It prevents us from having self-compassion. And it prevents us from fully loving others.

Imagine. (Pleeeeasssseee…Totally stop everything right now and take a few minutes to truly imagine with me...) Imagine a time when you’re tenderly and compassionately caring for someone that is ill. You lovingly put them to bed.  A little later, you go in to check on them and they are asleep. You stand in the doorway and you watch them sleep and you pray and will them to be well again. You have compassion for them. The person turns over, looks at you and you realize, that person…

It’s YOU!

Now…if you can stay in that moment of time, healing is waiting for you there!

Self-pity vs. self-compassion.

Modeling. Our children model what they see in us. If we don’t forgive ourselves, the child likely is unforgiving toward the mother/father and toward self, as well.

Healthy child: “My mother/father loved life.” However…If we raise “healthy” kids, and we only love them, but we don’t love ourselves, they too will have difficulty loving themselves, because that is what was modeled for them = NOT loving oneself.

Disclaimer: of course we are not referring to the model that embraces thinking the world revolves around oneself, but rather a good healthy love of what the Creator decided we would be. He chose our personality, our spiritual gifts, our talents and skills. To not embrace who we were created to be, is an affront to our Father. We owe it to our children to know the difference between self-pity vs. self-compassion.

I’d love to hear your thoughts about this. Have you found this to be true?

 

 

Filed under: MomCouragement,Spiritual Life — Tags: , , , — Pam Taylor @ 11:09 am

Moms, Put on Your Oxygen Masks

To prepare the passengers in case of an emergency during flight, the directions from the flight crew include something like this: “Moms, put on your oxygen mask before putting on your child’s oxygen mask.”

Why do you suppose they do that? I’m thinking it is because they know that it goes entirely against a mother’s natural instinct.

For many moms, one of the hardest things about mothering is the taking care of yourself part. I know it was for me, and and I hear it from others, as well.

So, this post is to encourage you. Not to be selfish, but to be sure to take care of self-care. In order to be the best mom for your child, it is not selfish to give yourself a “time out” so to speak. To refresh your spirit. To put on your oxygen mask before attempting to care for your child.

I’m not talking about neglecting your child. I’m not talking about indulging yourself in selfishness. I’m talking about knowing what you need in order to be the best you can be. Different personalities need different things to be their best. So, know your personality type. Know your spiritual gifts. Know your worship style. Know what type of exercise strengthens you. Know when a short break for a glass of water or a bit of protein will help bring out the best in your mothering skills.  A Christian life coach can help you to pinpoint those areas that you may need to “tweak” a bit in order to put on your oxygen mask so you can be breathing well enough to then care for your child’s oxygen mask.

What are ways that you, Moms, put on your oxygen masks ?

Mothering is like a sisterhood. We like to encourage and help each other through to success. What have you done or what are you doing now? Or maybe you remember how your own Mom did that very well…

BTW, we just want to let you know that we are new to Facebook so be sure to take time to “Like” Loaves and Fishes Coaching on Facebook.

Filed under: Coaching,MomCouragement,Spiritual Life — Tags: , , , — Pam Taylor @ 11:17 am

Are You Headed in the Right Direction?

Are you headed in the right direction? Do you remember the Chariots of Fire movie? Do you remember the sister that believed in Eric Liddell the preacher, but tried to talk him out of running? Do you remember his comment to her when he tried to explain why he had to run? He said, “I feel His pleasure when I run.” When was the last time you felt His pleasure when you ran the course you are running now?

Are you headed in the right direction? In God’s direction for your life?

I just read a story about a wealthy 47-year old Austrian man. He had pondered his path and made a radical decision to give away his $4.7 million fortune.  Proverbs 4:23 reminds us to keep our heart with all diligence and verse 26 tells us to “ponder the path of your feet, and let all your ways be established.”  For the 47-year old, that meant the realization that “his wealth and lavish spending were keeping him from real life and happiness.”  He believed he had not been headed in the right direction, so he adjusted his course.

“Karl Rabeder told the Daily Telegraph (London), ‘I had the feeling I was working as a slave for things I did not wish for or need. It was the biggest shock in my life when I realized how horrible, soulless, and without feeling the ‘five-star’ lifestyle is.'” (Excerpts from Our Daily Bread devotional, August 22, 2011)

This courageous man now uses his money to fund charities he set up to help the people of Latin America. Do you think people that loved him misunderstood him? Criticized him? What about Eric Liddell (his biography is available in book form as well)? Do you think it was easy for him?

God sends each of us down a different path. He probably isn’t telling you to give all your money away. But maybe He is! If your heart is pounding, you might want to check in with Him on that one. 🙂  And He probably isn’t telling you to run a race rather than preach, like Eric Liddell, but maybe He is! You and He are the only ones that really know the answer to that question.

When was the last time you pondered the path you’ve taken? Is it time to make some adjustments? Are you headed in the right direction?

What are your thoughts about all this?  When was the last time you asked the Lord: Am I headed in the right direction? What would make You, Lord, the happiest? Am I using my gifts, talents, strengths, money, and time in the way You desire?

A few sessions with a Christian Life coach are a perfect place to go to sort out the answers to those kinds of questions. We are trained to help you look at where you are and where you want to be, for the purpose of working towards closing that gap between the two. We are a safe place to explore those tender places in your heart that are yearning for expression.

May He give you grace today to embrace His Word and follow Him with all your heart! 🙂

 


Working Through the Toddler Years

“As long as it is day, we must do the work of Him who sent Me. Night is coming when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” John 9:4-5.  Work is an action word. It indicates purpose. As we work through the toddler years, we are to continue to carry out what Father God has planned for us to do…just as Jesus carried out Father God’s purpose for what was planned for Him to do.

Our work will be different, but with the same purpose…to glorify God and honor Him as Creator God.

The Leading From Your Strengths assessment and consultation will help you understand more of what Creator God had in mind when He created you. It can help with greater focus and also in creating more intentional goals in all areas of life: family life, church life, work life and best of all…in your personal relationship with Father God. No longer fighting ourselves by trying to be someone else, we can rest content in who we are and who God intended us to be. It can bring about a freedom of acceptance…of ourselves AND of the other people in our lives, because God chose their personality style as well as yours. So, we can then spend our energy on moving forward together rather than fighting each other’s created design.

Yes, we are all sinners in need of the Savior. I’m not saying we should have the attitude of, “This is who I am, so live with it!” No, it’s not that at all, but rather it is a sense of seeing each other through the eyes of God. With understanding, yet desiring each of us to grow in maturity in our faith walk. Ever growing more and more in the fruit of the Spirit…love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control…

Sometimes we act a bit like toddlers when we get together. (Toddlers: Gotta love em but at times, they can take a lot of energy to try to bring out the best in them.) The Leading From Your Strengths assessment and consultations can help us navigate as we work through our toddler years before we reach Heaven! 🙂


Resting in Jesus in Perilous Times

David Wilkerson wrote about resting in Jesus in perilous times. In his newsletter, he said that God had impressed on him a single promise from God’s Word (the Bible) that if he/we would commit his/our very life to it, this promise would keep him/us through any and all perilous times. It would be a daily power source of faith.

He goes on to quote the verse…the promise from God’s Word. “Your Father knows what things you have need of before you ask Him.” (Matthew 6:8)

God wants you to give Him “quality” time. Focused attention. And trust Him!

Resting in (trusting in) the Fatherhood of Almighty God, Creator God, Restorer of the Breach, Savior, Blessed Redeemer. It doesn’t get any better than that!

Many, many times in the Bible (His words to us), He says to “fear not”. He speaks those words to many fearful people in scripture. They were just like you and me and yet they learned to fear not! We can, too! 🙂

Corrie ten Boom’s dad comforted her fears when she was a child with this illustration: “When a train goes through a tunnel, and it gets dark, you don’t throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer.” God is not only our Creator; He is our Engineer. He knows what is best. Trust Him even when you don’t understand and when it is dark when you go through the trials and “tunnels” of life. Trust Him. He adores you!

I Peter 5:7 says, “Casting all your care upon Him, because He cares for you!”
Can you believe it? The Creator God cares about you…about me! WOW! And He is patient while we learn to trust Him on a deeper level each day. Little by little. We can learn to be resting in Jesus in perilous times. Don’t give up. It will be worth it all! I promise! Better still…HE promises!


The Power of Kindness

Encouragement. The atta boy/atta girl comments. Looking for things that people do well. Looking for their strengths rather than their weaknesses. Just what is the power of kindness?

We’ve all seen the stories on the news of the power of the opposite of kindness. And many of us have actually experienced it or caused it ourselves. The verbal abuse. The “shame” people heap on each other with their words. The “I love (?) you, but …” The anger. The rage. The bitterness. The unforgiveness. The abuse. Neglect. The tear-filled eyes of those who have been treated as though they don’t matter.

In David Jeremiah’s Turning Point Devotional, there’s a story about the father of legendary basketball coach John Wooden. The story is about the power of kindness. In Indiana, where Wooden grew up…“Gravel pits were scattered around the area, and farmers would often take their mules to the pits to haul out loads of gravel to use in building roads. Some pits were deeper than others, and it was sometimes tough for a team to pull out a wagon filled with gravel.”

The story goes on to explain that a young 20-something man was unable to force the team of horses to pull that load out of the pit, in spite of his whipping and yelling at them. It was an extremely hot summer day and the horses were worn out. They were frothing at the mouth and they were pulling BACK from the young man. They feared his wrath.

John Wooden’s dad said to the young man, “Let me take ‘em for you.”

“The farmer seemed relieved to hand over the reins. John watched as his dad started talking to the horses and stroking their noses with a soft touch. He slipped between them and started walking alongside them, holding their bridles and bits while talking calmly and gently to them.

“As the horses settled down, he stepped in front of them and gave a little whistle to start them moving forward as he held the reins. Within a few minutes, those two massive horses had pulled the wagon out of the gravel pit as easy as the sun coming up. John Wooden said he never forgot the lesson.”

The power of kindness. It works with horses and it works with people.

The devotional goes on to say “Nothing good comes from being difficult or demanding. A little love and encouragement can often lift others out of the pits.”

You know the Bible verse, “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God.” (Acts 14:22 NIV) Have you met anyone that seems to make it their mission in life to actually BE those “hardships” to help you to enter the Kingdom of God? Do you have anyone in your life that has a mission to love you with “tough love” by nearly continually pointing out what is WRONG with you? It doesn’t seem to occur to them to mention what might be RIGHT with you. Our own personal “hardship” ambassador…thinking they are ambassadors for God to get us “straightened out”.

We must guard against harming one another. We are none exempt for falling into unkindness…especially when we are under any kind of stress or overtired. Any of us can so easily fall into that sin of being a discouragement to others. Abuse. Neglect. Harsh words…or worse…those things that cause tear-filled eyes of despair and discouragement…or worse.

God delights when we use our words to build others up rather than tear them down. People need encouragement. We all do. We flourish in the midst of it. Words of encouragement are life giving. They have the power to heal broken hearts. They empower people to think outside the box where they sometimes get “stuck”…unable/unwilling to move “forward”. Words have power. For good or for evil.

The power of encouragement. The power of kindness. Everyone needs someone to believe in them and to tell them so!


Parenting Tips

I recently had the privilege of teaching two workshops at the NICHE Homeschool Convention in Des Moines, IA. One of the workshops was for Single Parent Homeschooling, where I shared these Parenting Tips. So much is relevant, whether we are single, married, homeschool, Christian school, or public school. Parenting is parenting. So, it’s fun to share what we have discovered as we jouney the path with our kids.

The other workshop was “Hannah’s Daughter” (my own personal testimony of my search for God). Maybe I’ll share that in a future post??? 🙂

I offered these Parenting Tips to the people in my workshops and thought you might enjoy them as well. I’d love your feedback about anything you found to be particularly helpful. And, please post any other things that worked for you as you raised your own children, or as you watched others raise theirs. It’s never too late to start to train up a child in the way he/she should go so that when they are “old”, they will become faithful in what they have been taught.

So, here’s the info from the handout:

There’s no right or wrong way to school/teach your child. Let me re-phrase that. The only wrong way is if God tells you one thing and you choose to do another because God’s way seemed too hard.

 Teach them (by example) to love to read. (Read everything to them.)
 Teach them to love to learn (by example).
 Keep a journal for them telling them that they were wanted and write down for them the journey of faith with God … noted page by page. You might not be around to be able to tell them. My mother died when I was a pre-teen.
 Let them “catch you” in prayer and Bible reading.
 “Bring” God into everything…because He is in everything.
 Be aware of God’s continuous presence.
 TMS (Navigator’s Topical Memory System). Memorize Scripture together.
 Teach them the great hymns of the faith. Have them memorize the words. (My son sent me an affirmation email recently thanking me for teaching them the great hymns of the faith.)
 Have them go to sleep – from infancy – listening to Scripture tapes/CD’s or…the subconscious mind absorbs and is receptive.
 Have them memorize whole chapters of Scripture. Pay them $ for memorizing.
 No allowance. We’re family and family works together to accomplish what needs to be done.
 Deut. 6:7 tells us to teach our children diligently (purposefully), continually, whenever we are together.
 Behavior/Attitudes (good and bad) are “caught” more easily than “taught”.
 Keys for Kids devotional from Children’s Bible Hour (Uncle Charlie) is good even for very young children. It teaches truths, attitudes, good behavior, good relationship skills & love for/from God.)
 Be their cheerleader. Observe their strengths, interests, talents, and learning styles “Train up a child in the way he/she should go…” Each child is unique
 Be their advocate.
 Quote from Our Daily Bread devotional (1/30/11) “Children may not inherit their parent’s talent, but they will absorb their values.”
 No T.V. (My daughter sent a wonderful affirmation in an email from seminary, thanking me that she didn’t know the Sesame Street characters, but she knew the Bible characters.)

When they love to read and love to learn, they are not at the mercy of what others teach them. They can learn it for themselves. They can do their own research. They will learn to “think” rather than just regurgitate what was taught them.

Copyright 2011. Pam Taylor, Christian Life Coach, loavesandfishescoaching.com


Brainwashing Monster

Unplugging the TV for a television “fast”. Could I do it? I had wanted to for a long time, but lacked the resolve. I don’t know how it sneaked in on me. When my kids were growing up, we didn’t watch television. On the weekend, we rented Christian videos, but didn’t just sit in front of the TV.

Somehow, after they left home, it made the meal hour a bit easier with another person (via television) in the room. And then it developed into…at the end of the day, with my brain tired of thinking, it was so easy to just sit in front of the brainwashing monster that required no interaction from me. I could “mindlessly” sit there and watch the flickering screen. Mindlessly is the key word here. My mind was a sponge, soaking up whatever poured forth into my living room.

I began to get disturbed at how my brain felt like it was turning to mush. So, I chose to give up television for the Lenten season. It started as 40 days of no TV. And here I am, still in the midst of my television fast.

Do I miss it? Yes, I miss it a lot. I miss the commercials that try to make me lust after things I don’t need. I miss the visuals of sex outside of marriage. I miss the violence. I miss the bad attitudes, the disrespect for others, the mocking of God and the taking of His name in vain. I miss the “brainwashing” of my value system.

Yes, I miss a lot…and my spirit feels “cleaner” without all that pollution entering my mind and spirit.

I also remind myself that it’s important to keep remembering to put something better in its place, or I’ll fall right back into it again. I’m catching up on some great reading. On a post real soon, I plan to follow through on a request from one of this blog’s readers…To publish a list of books and videos/DVD’s that feed my soul. Stay tuned (sorry…I couldn’t resist saying that!

I know it is well past Easter, when we typically think of giving up things, but anytime is a good time to have a television fast. I challenge you to consider unplugging your television. And then let us all know how soon your brain feels cleaner and brighter.

We are in this battle for our minds together! Keep looking up!

Think about it…if the Lord came back at this moment, would you want to be watching television? Would you ask Jesus to wait for the next commercial before you were ready to go? I think not…so…what if today was the day? What if it is? What will you be doing/reading/watching?

Oh, I almost forgot to make the challenge a bit more … well … challenging! I have a friend that plans to go on a church mission trip to Haiti this fall. In order to fund the trip, he and his wife have given up their Internet and television. So…how about that??? Not only is he giving up something that we all think is essential, but he is also GOING into a very challenging environment. I know because I have lived in Haiti as a missionary. I know the challenges he will be facing. Yet, isn’t it cool that his brain will be less polluted because of his fast from television AND the Internet? Hmmmm…hopefully, this has all given you some “food” for thought.

Please pass the television fast challenge on to those you love. It could make all the difference in this world. I’d love to hear from you. What are you thinking? Are you addicted to television or the Internet? Have you done a fast from either or both? How did it go?


Filed under: MomCouragement — Tags: , , , — Pam Taylor @ 3:51 pm

The Only Thing That Really Matters Is Your Relationship With Jesus

Every few months, I need a little something to freshen up my devotions. That’s also when I get my old journals and notes out and look for something that made an impact on me in the past. Something that made me get fresh perspective into what really matters in this life here on earth. Are you wondering how can I so boldly title this blog post, “The Only Thing That Really Matters Is Your Relationship With Jesus”? I’m glad you asked!

First, I can say it because it is true (because the Bible tells me so), (and also because I have proven it true in my own life). When it comes down to the bottom line…NOTHING else matters but a personal relationship with Jesus. It is a relationship that needs nurture and time and purposeful seeking…

Here’s an illustration of that very truth that I found in my notes from November 1998. (It is from Our Daily Bread Devotional.) The story is about Henri Nouwen. As many of the spiritual fathers & mothers from former days, he was not afraid to speak Truth into people’s lives.

A lady had come to Henri Nouwen…complaining about her husband. He wasn’t abusive. I think she was just tired of him and his habits. And it seems she wanted to change him. She definitely wanted Henri to tell her she was right and her husband was wrong. Henri listened and had two things to say to her. One a rebuke. The other a suggestion.

The rebuke: “All that is a distraction. I don’t mean to denigrate or even dispute your complaints, but those are beside the point. The only thing that really matters is your relationship with Jesus.” (Now you know where I got the title.)

The suggestion: “Just take 5 minutes every day for two weeks to sit quietly and ask to be with Jesus; ask for His presence. And then…come and tell me what’s important.”

Choosing to be with Jesus (yes, it’s a choice…just like any relationship)…in His presence…puts a whole new perspective on things. So, whether you are a long-time follower of Jesus, or brand new at this, I offer you the same challenge: Every day for two weeks (and beyond), sit for 5 minutes (or longer) and ask to be with Jesus. Ask for His presence.

Then, let me know what’s important.

Let me know if you have new perspective and if you also experience anew or afresh, that the only thing that really matters is your relationship with Jesus.

“God be merciful to us and bless us, and cause His face to shine upon us, that Your way may be known on earth, Your salvation among all nations. Let the people praise You, O God; let the peoples praise You.” Psalm 67:1-3


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