Pam Taylor - Christian Life Coach

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

Mom-2-Mom Parenting Tips

Mom-2-Mom Parenting Tips

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

Visit www.loavesandfishescoaching.com/blog/ 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

For the Answers to: Who Am I? Who Are You? Why Do We Do the Things We Do? Part IV of IV

We’ve been on a journey together these last weeks, discussing Who Am I? Who Are You? Why Do We Do the Things We Do? We have finally arrived at the destination of discussing a resource that has been personally life changing. This resource has been instrumental as one more step to take me from where I am to where I want to be.  It is one more step to bridge the gap between the two. That’s why I want to tell you about it! It works well with the coaching model of helping people to reach their goals. And, for the Christian, this resource is a breath of fresh air because it uses Biblical principles to help each of us to discover our unique God-given design, so we can be the best “me” we were meant to be.

This resource is not a talent assessment, nor a spiritual gifts assessment, nor an assessment to help you discover your passion. We use other resources to help in those areas. This resource is to help you discover your Natural Strengths (what you are naturally) as well as your Adapted Strengths (what you present to your world). The Leading From Your Strengths assessment only requires a few minutes to take it online. And yet, from your responses, we discover wonderful things about your personality. It is helpful for understanding how you interact with others and why they may perceive you differently than you perceive yourself. It is valuable in helping you to accept who God made you to be so you more effectively move forward in your strengths.  But…the BEST part about this assessment is that it also helps you accept how God designed other people in your world. It is a tool you can use in order to learn how to work together more effectively with your world…and with less stress.

What a gift Rodney Cox and John Trent gave the world when they collaborated on the development of these assessments! Amazing! Freeing! Encouraging! Body(of Christ)-building. Team building. Marriage building. Family building. It is not “my” strength. It is not “your” strength. It is “His” strength…given for the Body of Christ. The Holy Spirit of God empowers us to work within our strengths, in order for His light to shine through us, so that above all things, He will be glorified. But, we have to KNOW those strengths. And we have to embrace them. And we have to embrace the strengths of others.

In their book, Leading From Your Strengths, Building Close-Knit Ministry Teams, John Trent & Rodney Cox say: “In I Corinthians 12:18 the apostle Paul concludes his discussion of how God’s people are like members of a body by stating, ‘But now God has placed the parts, each one of them, in the body just as He wanted.’ We believe that is also absolutely true today. The group of people you are working with isn’t the result of a random coincidence. Those people you’re working with are part of God’s story for your life. That is an amazing thing to think about in itself. It ‘s also why investing time in building a healthy, functional, effective, empowering team is essential, not optional.”

These four blog posts have attempted to guide you to find the answers for: Who Am I? Who Are You? Why Do We Do the Things We Do? To know your strengths is not boasting. The more we step into our God-given strengths, the more we will realize that He has given us what we need to do what He designed for us. Do you think you don’t have what it takes money-wise or time-wise? When Moses questioned his God-given strengths in Exodus 3 and 4, God replied, “What is that in your hand?” Discover what God has placed in YOUR hand. (Your strengths.) Take the assessment for yourself.  For more information, go to: http://www.loavesandfishescoaching.com/contact.php

For less than the cost of an oil-change and fill-up of gas, or the cost of dinner for two at a nice restaurant, you could have a whole new perspective on life and purpose.

What is that worth to you to be more fully you? (Your God-intended you.)

Do you think you don’t have the time? By simply skipping one of your favorite TV shows, you could free-up time to take the Leading From Your Strengths assessment and debrief consultation with an experienced life coach. It could be a new beginning for you….like it has been for so many others. What is that worth to you? For only $149, this could be the start of something new and fresh in your life.

What are you waiting for? Let’s get started!  http://www.loavesandfishescoaching.com/contact.php


Who Am I? Who Are You? Why Do We Do the Things We Do? Part III of IV

Be sure to read Part I and Part II of this series. We learned that conflict comes when we don’t accept that we are all different by design, but rather we fight it and have difficulty understanding why others don’t view the world through the same “glasses” we do. So, who am I? Who are you? And why do we do the things we do?

It is easy to think that other people are “vision” impaired when they differ in the way they solve problems, process information, manage change, or face risks. This plays itself out in our closest relationship teams, whether in family, at work, or in the church. Is there any hope for something better? Yes, I believe there is. We don’t have to settle for mediocrity! Will it take work? Yes, it will. Will it take time? Yes. And patience as well. According to Ministry Insights, there are 384 distinctive personality styles. The Leading From Your Strengths Personality Assessment is a tool to help us first understand our God-given design, leading us to then accept the God-given design of others. This gives us the freedom to encourage others to embrace their own God-given design. Their strengths, in other words.

Since most of our life is spent working in a team of some sort, God has given us our strengths for the benefit of the “team”. We are needed. We are a necessary part of the team. Created by Him and for His purposes. Different, yes. With a natural set of strengths that He personally handpicked for us. We are called to love the Lord with all our heart & soul, mind & strength. If we don’t even know and accept our strengths and the strengths of those around us, how can we love Him fully? On the other hand, by accepting, loving, embracing, and using our strengths for the good of others, we delight the Lord God Almighty…the Creator. This is good, acceptable, and pleasing to our Heavenly Father.

Christ is in us—directing us to live a life worthy of our calling and giving us the power to do that. Each of us has a solution for a certain need in the world. He chose our personality and prepared works for us to do.

It is not “my” strength to do with as I please, but “His” strength…given for the Body of Christ. The Holy Spirit of God empowers us to work within our strengths, so that His light will shine through us. Therefore, above all things, He will be glorified. So, the answer to: Who am I? Who are you? Why do we do the things we do? = We were created to bring glory to the Lord God Almighty. So…we have to know those strengths and actually embrace them as strengths. As a gift. Many of us “fight” who we are and wish we were different. Embracing our strengths pleases the Father God.

God created us to work in community, whether at work, at church, in our hometown, or in the family. We also need to know and embrace our differences. It is all about working well together as a team. It’s not about “me”, but it is about “us”. How can we bring out the best in each other? Our specialized differences make the Body (the Team) work the way it was meant to. The differences are then seen as a good thing.

Wouldn’t you like to know more about how to embrace this fresh approach to our God-given design? Ministry Insights, Leading From Your Strengths assessment is one of the best tools I have experienced personally. It has changed my view of myself and my view of others. I am free-er! Want to know more? Stay tuned for Part IV of this series. You will learn how to make this a reality in your own life and in the life of the teams where you live out your life story.

This has been Part III of four parts to discovering: “Who Am I? Who Are You? Why Do We Do the Things We Do?” Watch for Part IV coming soon! J


Who Am I? Who Are You? Why Do We Do the Things We Do? Part II of IV

Do you remember from Part I that conflict comes because we don’t accept that we are all different by design, but rather we fight it and try to make others into our clones? Do you remember that my friend chose the higher ground and realized what I needed in order to move forward? She “brought out the best” of my God-given design. Do you remember that I ended Part I of Who Am I? Who Are You? Why Do We Do the Things We Do? by asking, “Wouldn’t you like to be able to do that as well as my friend did?”

Depending on our design, we each handle those areas of potential conflict differently, whether in:
1. problem solving (either reflective or aggressive)
2. processing information (either realistic or optimistic)
3. managing change (either dynamic or predictable), and
4. facing risk (either pioneering or structured)

Ministry Insights - Leadership Assessment TestsAccording to Ministry Insights there are 384 distinctive personality styles. And their Leading From Your Strengths personality assessment has been a tool that God has used in my life to bring acceptance. First, as I accept my own personal God-given design and then as I accept the God-given design of others. This assessment has been a personal life-changer for me. I much more readily understand why people act and react the way they do. Life is more fun because I take fewer things personally. And…I can enjoy and encourage others to embrace their own design.

Leading From Your Strengths (LFYS) Assessments were designed by Rodney Cox and John Trent. The three goals for creating the assessments are:

1. Understand how you are wired from the inside (how God made you)
2. Value the strength of others
3. Blend the differences among the team members and harness each person’s unique strength.

One important difference you will notice about the Ministry Insights assessment vs. others that you may have taken is this: Many of the others have a secular message, which centers on you, the individual. But the purpose of LFYS is bigger than that…centering around a Biblical message of embracing who God made you to be…but additionally… with the greater purpose of learning to embrace the uniqueness of others…in order to work well together as a team, whether in family, at work, or in the church.

This has been Part II of four parts to discovering:
Who Am I? Who Are You? Why Do We Do the Things We Do?
How can we learn to get along better together?
Watch for Part III coming soon!


Who Am I? Who Are You? Why Do We Do the Things We Do? Part I of IV

I don’t know about you, but I sometimes get frustrated with myself because I am not like someone else. I wonder: Who am I? Who are you? Why do we do the things we do? Some days, I want to be more dynamic or more pioneering, for instance.

Sometimes, I wish I didn’t need to know so many details about things before I can move forward. Like the time I had promised to help at a silent auction fundraiser. Because I had never even been to a silent auction, I had no idea what to expect. I felt apprehensive. My friend knew me well. She graciously answered all my questions so I would feel prepared. She provided what I needed to increase my comfort level so I would feel equipped enough to be able to get my eyes off myself and onto the job at hand. I ended up having a blast! All because my friend accepted me for who I am and provided what I needed in that circumstance.

Why did knowing more facts about what was expected change my whole attitude about the event so much? Why couldn’t I just act like my friend and just go with the flow?

Those are very good questions and the answer is: Because God created us to be different. On purpose. By design. My friend and I both were needed at that event. After I felt a greater comfort level and understood how it all worked, I was able to be outgoing and engage the people at the auction. I was able to be other-centered and my friend was able to do what she does well.

God has a plan. He knows just what is needed in your own part of the world. Conflict comes because we don’t accept that we are different by design, but rather we fight it and try to make others into our clones. However, God gave each of us a unique way of handling life – with the crises and opportunities that come with this life on earth.

My friend and I had a potential for conflict because of my need for specific detailed information, but she chose the higher road and realized what I needed to move forward. She was able to “bring out the best” of my God-given design. Wouldn’t you like to be able to do that as well as my friend did?

This has been Part I of four parts to discovering:
Who Am I? Who Are You? Why Do We Do the Things We Do?
How can we learn to get along better together?
Watch for Part II coming soon!


The CHOICE To Be Grateful

Thanksgiving. The choice is ours. To choose to be grateful. To thank the One Creator God from Whom all blessings flow…for He is the Source of our blessings. Yes, the choice is ours.

Since November is the month that we in the United States–as a nation–have the tradition of setting aside a single day that we call Thanksgiving, I started asking…

What does the month leading up to that Thanksgiving Day look like in your family? Is it blessedly a day that brings to mind lovely times of re-connecting with family, even if there is little “feasting” because of a very tight budget? Is it a joyous or a notoriously tense time? Is there a competition between families about where you “celebrate” and even about which day you will choose? Maybe you have multiple Thanksgivings for various reasons. Thanksgiving. The choice is ours. Do we have a choice? Yes, I think we do.

What if…Jesus came to your house for the month of November? What would He discover about relationships between family members? Would the Marthas and the Marys be arguing about whether to use corn starch or flour for the gravy? What if we actually set a place for Him at the table to keep us alert to the fact that He truly is there with us?

What if…this November was the beginning of choosing to do what would bless God and others rather than thinking of our own personal disappointments or dreads? What new traditions could we begin that are uplifting and from a heart of gratefulness? What if…you stayed home and invited both sides of the family to your home rather than having to choose where to go?

What if…we created a family November Ebenezer Thanksgiving Book (the name means, “thus far God has led us”)? What if you began now? What if each morning or evening you and your family spend time together with each person speaking out to the others what they are grateful for and then adding it to the book? What if it became a tradition to add to it each year and read from it on each Thanksgiving Day. Imagine how everyone would feel when they heard you speak out specific reasons why you are thankful for them. Noting how they have blessed your life. Maybe listing a particular character trait or something kind or unselfish you have seen them do. I’m just brainstorming here. Wouldn’t that begin to set the tone for the gathering of those we love?

What if…since the choice is ours…you included others at your table…in addition to family? That has a way of keeping the climate more congenial and people on their best behavior…producing good memories for the future. AND it blesses those that perhaps would otherwise be alone for Thanksgiving. AND it really, really makes your Father God happy. And proud. He likes His children to share what He gives us. Don’t wait for Christmas to give. Do it now, also. Do it early. Be creative. What can you personally and intentionally do differently to work toward making this a time for creating uplifting memories for others to treasure?

Thanksgiving! The choice is ours. Don’t wait. It can turn Thanksgiving month/day into a win-win.

I’d love for you to share your Thanksgiving traditions on the blog for others to enjoy. Let’s brainstorm together. We can help each other to become a more thankful people. Share with us what do you choose to do to honor God and others to let them know that you are full of thanksgiving for them? Let’s talk about it.

Happy Thanksgiving. May this be the best one ever!


Being a Mom is Like Walking a Tightrope

Discrimination. A big word —  back in the news because of the Arizona law.

Have you ever considered that celebrating Mothers’ Day discriminates against the rest of the population?  So,  am I recommending that we eliminate it? Not on your life!

After numerous illnesses and many long periods of hospitalization, my Mom died when I was 12.  And now she is out of my life forever. We never think that can happen to us and yet it did!  How I wish I could spend the day with her tomorrow. (Do you ever stop missing your Mom?)

Mom’s are unsung heroes most of the other 364 days of the year. We just kinda get used to them being there whenever we want them to be.  Taking them for granted.  Sometimes we want our “Mommy” and other times we want to be an adult and stand on our own two feet…without their “interference”. And that can change back and forth even within a five minute  time period. Being a  mom is like walking a tight-rope.

How is it we go about not realizing their sacrifice until we have a child of our own? T H E N … we understand and we grieve the lost opportunities we had had to connect on a deeper level all those years before the birth of our own child/children.  And our Moms must then again walk that tightrope of wondering which hat they should wear at any given time, when–even as parents ourselves–we are back and forth between wanting our “Mommy” and standing on our own and making our OWN mistakes.

I am a mother and proud of it. I loved the privilege of homeschooling my kids, coupled with the privilege of praying with them as they asked the Lord to be their personal Savior. Glory! What can ever be more rewarding than all of that?  Each phase of their lives has had its own challenge and reward.

It has been said, “The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.”  My mother had a great influence on me.  Her faith in the Lord made me hunger for what she had. We never had a chance to sit down and talk about it, but  I knew she had something very special that I wanted…and…after her death, I searched until I found the Source of her strength — Jesus.

Are mothers perfect? Not on your life! Mine wasn’t and I am not. Moms are sinners and their kids are sinners. Do we make mistakes? Numerous ones and often! Would we die for our children? In a heartbeat! Isn’t that what childbirth proves?

Back to the original question: Should we eliminate Mothers’ Day because  it is a discrimination against others?  Or rather decide to make EVERY day Mothers’ Day, forgiving her for her mistakes and all her sins and choosing to enjoy her with all her warts and flaws…every day.  We are not guaranteed tomorrow. I know. I was not guaranteed even the 13th year of my life with mine.

 


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