Pam Taylor - Christian Life Coach

What’s Wrong With This Picture?

lindsay-baby-airport-web

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 }}


Cranksgiving Holidays

Whether you celebrate holidays alone or with family, what has been your experience? Have you wished things could be different? Better?

As you think TOWARD the upcoming holiday, what are you feeling? What pressure are you experiencing? What do you fear? What do you hope for? What is your heart telling you?

I know I used to dread holidays because I was often disappointed. I had expectations about how I wanted things to go and how I wanted people to act toward each other. But lately, things have changed drastically for the better. I’ve had an attitude shift!

Do any of these words describe the mood of you or others during holidays?
** Cranky
** Inconvenienced
** Cramped
** Ungrateful
** Grumpy
** Tired
** Overworked
** Overwhelmed
** Anxious
** Disappointed
** Discouraged

What if you decided to do what I have begun to do? To CHOOSE JOY???
What if you prayerfully turn to your Father God and ask Him to help you choose a new way of handling holidays?

What if little by little, you begin to turn your cranksgiving attitude into times of gratitude for the small things…choosing an attitude of thanksgiving…choosing gratitude for what is good and right and lovely in your world, rather than focusing on what is overwhelming you or hurting you.

If you have found this attitude shift to be true in your own life, would you take time to post here? It could help someone else have a much better experience going through their next holiday. Who knows whose heart you might encourage because you took the time to share. Bless you bunches!

Filed under: Holidays,MomCouragement,Spiritual Life — Tags: , , , — Pam Taylor @ 12:11 pm

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.

 


The Bridegroom. R.S.V.P.

Headline: Jesus is getting married!

The courtship has been bumpy and long. There have been dangers of a broken engagement along the way. But any day now, the wedding will be a reality!

The wedding has been announced and the invitations have been sent. Have you responded to your invitation? It is not too late…yet…

This will be a marriage that will never drift into the mundane. You will never be bored. You will never be separated by divorce or death.

Take some time to read His Love Letter to you — the Bible — the Word of God. Get to know the Bridegroom. Start with making a list of His Greatness…His attributes. Note how He relates to His created ones. Underline. Highlight. Pay close attention. Ask Him for understanding. Begin to make a list of what is most meaningful to you as you read. I suggest that you start toward the back of the book…in the New Testament.

Try this for starters: Make the next four Sundays special. Each Sunday read one of the four Gospels  (Matthew, Mark, Luke & John) so you can get to know the Bridegroom. That’s called the 4 Gospels. And it’s where you will read of His invitation to you to join Him forever. The more your read, the more you will understand the depth of His love for you!

Say yes to His invitation to you! And begin the journey toward maturity as His someday soon Bride. Little by little, growing, maturing, and understanding what it means to be a “follower” devoted to the Bridegroom. As He already is devoted to you. He longs to have you say yes! He’s done His part…now it’s your turn to respond. R.S.V.P. But that is only the beginning. The rest of your life and on into eternity will be spent walking together with Him…side-by-side. Never looking back. There is no one you can trust more than the Heavenly Bridegroom. Jesus, the Christ. The Lord.

Let me know if I can help you toward that journey of becoming all you were created to be. Don’t settle for less than that…

Filed under: Spiritual Life — Tags: , , , , — Pam Taylor @ 5:29 pm

Grumblings. A 4th of July Story.

Every year since I moved downtown, I’ve dreaded the 4th of July. It was high on my list of things I had to just “get through”. Survival of the fittest mentality took over…which meant THEY always win! And I always lose!

“THEY” were the carnival people. They came into our town in the dark of night and disrupted–no, prevented–my sleep for literally the entire night. They set everything up only one block from my apartment building. By morning I could see the Farris Wheel through the trees and the merry-go-round at the end of the alley, along with all the fast and furious rides looming and blocking the sky from my view. Let the festivities begin!

It’s a really big deal — 4th of July Independence Day here in this town. The town doubles or triples in size the week of July 4th. All week long the loud music blared and destroyed my peace. And it got even louder after dark, when I wanted to sleep. In my mind, I felt I had a right to have my town back. It didn’t feel safe when they were here. The carnival brought a lot of strangers to town. People arrived from far and wide.

Every year I grumbled. Every year I murmured. Because even the day they left town they would tear everything down and pack it up all through the night. Another night of absolutely NO sleep. Grumble! Murmur!

Every year I felt superior, but I didn’t call it that. (I’m not sure what label my Pharisee mindset put on my feelings to justify them). I just knew that my comfort was infringed upon and sleep was impossible. (Oswald Chambers said, “Pride is the deification of self.” OUCH!)

Then…there was a change…I was stunned…God turned my murmurings to gladness! Let me tell you how that happened…
Last year — 2011 — something changed. I changed. Actually, God changed me. Unexpectedly…without warning, God showed up and showed me His heart. And then He showed me my heart in comparison! UGH! It was not a pretty sight!!!

He gave me His heart for the people that actually BLESS our town with the carnival every year. What’s going on here?? What did I just say?? Let me tell you how that mindset shift happened…

The youth of my church (Zion Lutheran Church in Clear Lake, IA) made yummy & nourishing individual breakfast meals for the set-up crew on the morning after the all night set-up of the carnival. And the youth let me help them put it all together into bags. Then, we went to the carnival area and hand-carried a meal to each person individually…along with coffee and/or bottled water. I had a blast! We all had a blast! It was so much fun! And…The carnival crew were so grateful.

The youth and youth leaders taught me…no…they modeled something to this “grown up” (I use the term loosely). They modeled TRUE Christian love! It was their vision and hard work that made it happen.

I have more stories to tell you sometime about that week! It was a week of mental shift, spiritual growth, and a transformed mind!

I will tell you that I have some new friends & mentors since that day. And I will tell you that they (the youth, youth leaders, and the carnival crew) modeled grace and mercy and true caring for “one another” for me. I learned a lot that week and it has stayed with me all year and you know what? For the first time…I can’t wait to hear the all-night-sounds of the carnival setting up, because that will mean more opportunities to learn what it really means to truly live in Christian community.

Yup! Last year I also discovered that the Carnival is owned and operated by Christians who run a “tight ship” and that they purposefully model and mentor the Christian walk to their employees. (BTW, we are again making breakfasts in a bag to take to the hard workers that bring the carnival to our town for the 4th of July. Can’t wait!)

I’m so glad that God is a patient Father because I have a lot to learn! ‘Scuze me while I go wash the egg off my face. I’ve been busted by God! Again! and you know what? It FEELS like LOVE! Here’s what God says about it…

“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you. Take your everyday, ordinary life–your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking around life–and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for Him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit in without thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what He wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-informed maturity in you.” (Romans 12:1,2 THE MESSAGE translation)

God the Father loves us enough to take the time to mentor us toward maturity. And when we are His, that feels like LOVE!

I don’t want to grow old without growing up, do you?

Filed under: Holidays,Spiritual Life — Tags: , , , — Pam Taylor @ 4:20 pm

Are You Living an Orchestra Life?

I live in a resort town. The population seems to double each summer. Actually, it’s like being on vacation all year long here in Clear Lake, Iowa. The town is overflowing with choices for entertainment and enrichment consistently from January through December every year.

One of those summer choices is the Municipal “Orchestra”. (It’s really a band, but for the purpose of the article, I’m calling it an orchestra.) They perform Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoons from the band shell in the City Park downtown. Lovely.

Last weekend I sat in my lawn chair relaxing and enjoying the view of the lake and the beauty of the sounds. There was a gentle breeze. All was “well” with the world there in the park in Clear Lake. And…then…God showed up!!! Not just in the music, though He was evidently there as well…but He had a lesson He wanted me to learn in a fresh way. Amazing how He does that when we aren’t expecting it!

“When the trumpeters and singers were as one(emphasis mine)…the glory of the LORD filled the house of God.”–2 Chronicles 5:13-14.

Music played a big part in the Bible. God used music to call people to worship and to send them to war, to soothe ragged emotions and to ignite spiritual passion, to celebrate victories and to mourn losses.

Some will lead the music and some will follow the leader. The better each one knows their parts, and the better they each follow the conductor, the more beautiful the music.

I began to see how the “orchestra” playing before me was an object lesson. Like families. Like the church. Each has a particular sound. Each has a particular duty. A particular “gift” to share. Each is unique. Separately, they would not have the same effect as they do all working together as one.

So my question to you is: Are you living an “orchestra” life? Are you trying to live your life on your own, without following the leadership of the “Conductor” of our souls? The Lord God, the Creator of that music, calls you to join His “orchestra” and learn your “part” really well, so you can share in creating the beautiful music…merely a foretaste of what Heaven will be like.

Awaiting His shout with you…

Let me hear from you…we are in this together!

Filed under: Spiritual Life — Tags: , , , , — Pam Taylor @ 6:38 pm

Nourishing & Equipping Women Coaches

“In today’s broken world, women are longing for warm relationships.”
Coach-2-Coach. Summer study group for Women Coaches.
Begins June 1st (Noon-1:30 CT) for 16 weeks.

Studying: WOMEN CONNECTING WITH WOMEN by Verna Birkey.

Verna’s passion is to “equip women to become loving, caring friends, mentors, encouragers, and supporters to other women the Lord places in their sphere of influence.”

Verna wondered why it is that the world often turns to secular groups for support & comfort? Job labeled his religious friends “miserable comforters”. How can we become more of “Jesus with skin on” to others? Verna’s material reminds us of our ultimate goal which is to link up with other women to learn from each other. To encourage & nourish each other. Together learning truths that set us free. The study seeks to train & equip us to be all we were meant to be. I’ve used this study for 15 years, and have not yet found anything better.

With grace-filled wisdom and gentle humor, Verna relates the truth of life in Christ to our everyday lives.

She equips women to minister to others by first helping us to:
**Recognize it’s right ot take care of ourselves
**Identify and correct twisted thinking
**Learn how to draw appropriate boundaries
**Take steps to resolve conflicts
**Know how to listen and ask helpful questions
**Learn to communicate understanding

The next tele-study begins June 1st (Friday) Noon-1:30 p.m. CT
$39/month. 16 week study. ($9.00 early bird discount by midnight May 15).
Contact pam@loavesandfishescoaching.com for info and availability.

You will need the book AND the workbook for June 1st.
(Available through Amazon books.)

To register, contact: pam@loavesandfishescoaching.com
or comments below on blog post
or FB private message.


Coach-2-Coach (study for women coaches)

Coach-2-Coach. Women Connecting with Women Study.
Begins June 1. (Fridays, noon – 1:30 p.m. CT)
New 16-week summer study for women coaches.

Exclusively for women coaches: I have just the thing for a summer pick-me-up … refreshing your spirit and preparing you for the new beginnings that often come with the fall season.

Of course, there will be laughter and fun as we learn how to better live out God’s plan to be Titus 2 women in our circle of influence.

I’d like to extend a personal invitation to you to join me as we share with other coaches using a fantastic book I’ve used many times.
(Women Connecting with Women by Verna Birkey).

I’ve just recently been using it for a group study at my church and was delightedly reminded of the power and encouragement packed into this study. So I thought, “what better group to share this with than a group of Women Coaches?”

Group size is limited, so don’t delay.

Cost is $39 per month. That’s less than $10 per week!
($9.00 Discount for early registration by May 15!)

Contact me pam@loavesandfishescoaching.com


Welcome Home

An Easter message of redemption and love and hope.  I’m reading Not a Fan. Becoming a completely committed follower of Jesus. by Kyle Idleman. It brought back some memories… 

I’m excited to share with you something I wrote in 2007. The story begins in Delaware. One morning, so many years ago, a dear friend kissed her husband good-bye, left to go jogging with her friend, was hit by a truck, and left to be with her Lord. I’ve written from the perspective of my friend, Diane, as she meets King Jesus face-to-face in Heaven. 

“Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever.  Amen.”—Jude 24, 25, NAS

Today, at 6:40 a.m. (Earth-time) I stepped from your world into the peaceful beauty and splendor of Heaven.  It was an easy passing…there was a quietness and a calm in the air as I passed from one world and into the next.  It was a lovely journey.

King Jesus was on the Bema Seat.  I was not afraid to face Him.  We discussed my life and I quietly asked, “but Lord, what about when I…”

FORGIVEN

(In blood red)

suddenly appeared on my hand.  “Oh, my Lord,” I whispered, as He stepped down from the Bema Seat.  The jagged scars from the rough-hewn nails on His wrists made me weep as He wrapped His lovely arms around me.  That simple act of His hug has totally healed me of my earthly experiences.  Those beautiful scars!  I laid my head on His shoulder and wept for joy.  Such love.  I looked down and saw the scars on His feet…love marks to me.  Such glorious, pure, untainted, unconditional love.  I am in the home of the forgiven.

He placed a crown on my head. On me!  How could this be? And yet, it is true!  Glorious love!  Somehow, I don’t feel unworthy.  It feels natural to be here.  As though I have always been here.  Then I remember:  “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1, NAS).

“Oh, my Lord…my glorious Lord!”  I fell before His feet.  I touched the scars.  “They are there because of my sin, not Yours!”  He lifted me up, and escorted me – His bride – to the banquet table.  “How is it possible, with so many others here, that I feel as though I am alone with You”?  I asked Him.  Those beautiful expressive eyes drew me closer – ever closer to an understanding of the purity that love can possess.

The clutter of the things that were important in my earth-life is gone. “Life is so simple here.  There is love and there is purpose; and I know that You have prepared this destiny especially for me.  You have used my earth-life to prepare me for what You were preparing for me – here – after the banquet.”

“I have been healed with Your loving embrace,” I whispered.  “Your banquet table has nourished me.  I have walked down the path with You – on Your arm as Your bride.  Oh, the wonder of it all!  Now, You have said that we have work to do – together – in every sense of the word.  You have made me worthy to be here and You have proved it by placing this crown on my head.”

I tried to kneel and He told me, “No, STAND before Me…I have made you worthy.”  So, I stood…in my glorified body – before King Jesus and He embraced me again, and said, “You have been faithful.  Well done, My lovely one.  My bride.  You are here, not for what you have done in My Name, but because you have loved my Glorious Appearing. That is all that I have required.  There is no need for My bride to ever fear My appearing.  You were created for this purpose.  Your earth-life was preparation for all of this.  I often told you, “I have My way.  You have yours.  Mine is better. You see…I was right.  My way is better.”

Then He said, “Here, My love…let Me show you how My Light sparkles through this bottle of your tears that I have kept.  Not one tear was lost…and see how they add to the beauty of Heaven—the home of the forgiven.  WELCOME HOME!”  

Meditation: The timing to share this with you seems right. Easter time…remembering the death, resurrection, and ascension of  the Lord Jesus Christ. A time to think of what it might be like for us. Are you ready to meet your Maker?  I’d love to hear from you.

 


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