Welcome to my blog!

My passion is to coach my clients to discover their God-given purpose and vision, to motivate them to pursue their dreams and goals, and to equip them to live their lives physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and financially healthy. My desire is to walk beside them and encourage them to achieve the life they have always wanted. It is possible to live a life of purpose, passion, and vision!

Thanks for visiting my site! Please come back again!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Building your strengths

If someone asked you what your strengths are would you know how to answer them? Would you say something like "I'm a people person." or possible "I work well with others."? Chances are you will probably have a hard time articulating what you strengths are. Sadly, if someone asked you what your weaknesses are you could probably rattle off a list 10 miles long! Are you building your life around your strengths or are you overcompensating for your weaknesses?

One of the books on my recommended reading list is "Now, Discover Your Strengths" by Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton. I'm not quite finished with it yet but the concept of the book is fascinating! It is based on the findings of a study by the Gallup Organization of over 2 million people who excelled in their choosen fields. The interviews were conducted to find out what they could learn about human strengths. What emerged was 34 "themes" explaining excellence in performance. It poses the question, "What would you life look like if you based it around your strengths?"

I love the way they explain this belief we have of improving our weaknesses..." Guided by the belief that good is the opposite of bad, mankind has for centuries pursued its fixation with fault and failing. Doctors have studied disease in order to learn about health. Psychologists have investigated sadness in order to learn about joy. Therapists have looked into the causes of divorce in order to learn about happy marriage. And in schools and workplaces around the world, each one of us has been encouraged to identify, analyze, and correct our weaknesses in order to become strong"

So true isn't it!! The authors explain that strengths are built on top of talents. Your talents are the raw material you are born with, determine your decision making, and are the building blocks for your strengths. So in essence what you are actually discovering is your strengths and your talents at the same time! The book contains a thorough explanation of each of the 34 themes and a way to access the testing material online to see what your top 5 are. However, you will be surprised to see how much of your strengths and talents you already knew. They explain it this way, "The irony is that since they influence every decision you make, you are already intimately familiar with your talents. Yet they are so influential, so interwoven in the fabric of your life, that the pattern of each one is hard to discern. Hiding in plain sight, they defy description. But they do leave traces."

Because I rented the book from the library I did not have an access code to take the test online (a very smart marketing ploy I must say!) so I went through each one and picked out which ones would best explain my strengths. Here they are: Belief -enduring core values, family oriented, altruistic, spiritual, responsible, ethical-want to have a job that means something to you. Command -impose views on others easily, take charge, look at confrontation as a way towards resolution, push others to take risks, people are drawn to you to lead. Developer- see the potential in others because everyone is a work in progress, you challenge others, you looks for experiences to help people grow. Discipline-world needs to be predictable, ordered and planned, impose structure and routines, want to feel in control, dislike surprises, impatient with errors of others and self. and Relator- pulled towards relationships you already know, deliberately intimate with a few friends.

  One of the things they teach in this book is that strengths are enduring and unique (they last our entire life time and every person's are different) and our greatest room for growth is in our strengths. Most of these strengths I feel quite capable in to make them work for me. However, one of them I can see is in the baby stages of growing...Developer. This goes hand in hand with the goals and focus of coaching! I had no idea this was a strength of mine and I'm excited to see it grow and become stronger.

I challenge you to read this book and discover more about the things that make you unique and special. It's refreshing to focus on what you are good at instead of what you are not so good at!

Happy reading...

Friday, December 10, 2010

Practice what you preach

Two years ago I facilitated a group at our church through the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace program. It was awesome and really put us on the right path to be debt free. Along the way we've hit a lot of bumps in the road. A year ago we were on the verge of bankruptcy. My husband has worked in the oilfield for over 6 years and they had slowed down to the point that we were fearing for our future. We had just had our second child and our income had been cut by 50%. We were so greatful for the job, but nothing was gauranteed and we didn't know how long we could last. We decided to sell our house and move back home. Slowly things started to improve and Brandon's company started to give back their income.

 They say it takes a few years to recover from bankruptcy (or near bankruptcy in our case) and I'm thankful to say that we are finally starting to pay off debt again and hopefully soon we can start rebuilding our savings. It has not been easy but we have managed to pay off nearly $12000 in medical bills (when the company changed insurance's they didn't cover Eli being born or a surgery Claire had inbetween the switch-it was a mess!), and around $12000 in car debt and other bad debt! That is quite the accomplishment! I trully believe what it says in Proverbs that the borrower is servant to the lender. It is one of the worst feelings to be in bondage to debt. I cannot wait till the day we pay off the very last cent. It will definately be a celebration!

As I look to the future I can see God preparing us for great things financially. But, it really doesn't matter what kind of income you make. As long as you have debt hanging over your head and continue to make impulsive financial decision you will never have true freedom...and you will always live paycheck to paycheck. We have earned an income of $20,000 a year to over six figures, but we always managed to find a way to spend everything we earned! How stupid! Then when life took a detour, and we were not able to earn the income we had been at, we nearly fell apart. I don't ever want to be in that situation again. I don't ever want to have to choose between feeding my family or paying my bills.

I HATE debt with every fiber of my being and the bondage that it has over so many families. It destroys marrriages and tears families apart. It is tearing this country apart because when it comes down to it, we are a country of debt. Debt is so normal to us the thought of someone not having any is crazy and unattainable. Let me assure you that it is attainable. It is not easy and it sucks sometimes but it is worth it.

 We are no were near paying off all of the debt we have accumulated but we are chipping away at it one penny at a time. And every month we are one month closer to freedom and a debt free life!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The birth of "Renewed Vision"

I can't believe I'm actually here! This journey has taken an incredibly long time it seems like, but at the same time the last 5 years have gone incredibly fast. Tonight is the birth of "Renewed Vision", which will one day soon be my life and marriage coaching business and ministry. The paperwork is being done to register the name, the website and domain name are ok'd and the blog is ready to go live. When I started college at Liberty five years ago I had no idea what I wanted to study or what God had planned for my life. All I knew was that I was supposed to start. After changing my major 3 times I finally settled on Psychology and Biblical Counseling. I wanted to be a marriage and family therapist. However, the more I got into the Psych classes and counseling classes the more I realized traditional therapy was not for me. 1 year ago God gave me the vision of coaching. Now today I am 10 hours out from my certification as a Christian Life Coach through AACC (American Assocation of Christian Counselors) and one semester from graduating with my BS in Psychology and Biblical Counseling. Amazing!

The decision to focus on the niche of Marriage Coaching came very recently...like this morning! I have been trying to pinpoint a specific area I wanted to specialize in and was coming up with areas that were too narrow or not practical. What I didn't realize was all the training I've received through AACC and Liberty have focused on Women and Marriage. It was such an obvious answer! The reason I went into counseling was because of a need I had in my life and marriage to find someone who had been through the storm and lived to tell about it. A few years ago my husband and I went through a time in our lives that left us broken and heading for divorce court. We tried to reach out to other couples in our church and lives but all around us were couples who were dealing with the same issues and brokenness. I couldn't see anyone who had survived the horrors we had in our relationship and was now thriving. It was heartbreaking and filled me with dread. Maybe God wasn't big enough to work through this, maybe we were stupid to get married so young, maybe we should admit failure and get out now before children came along. Lies, lies, lies! While we never found a couple, a pastor, or a therapist, who could counsel, coach, and mentor us, I am so grateful for those who stood along side us and refused to let us quit. These wonderful saints brought us and our marriage before the throne of Christ when we could not bring ourselves.

Today we are a living example of God's amazing grace. The things we have overcome in our marriage and the places we are in our lives can only be brought about by God. Now, we still have issues we deal with and problems to work out, we still foget how to communicate with each other and hurt one another. I am not perfect and our marriage is not perfect, but we serve a perfect Savior who loves us and loves our marriage and our family. I am his servant and if my story and my training can help another couples who feels hopeless and without passion or vision, than I am willing to do that. God this is your vision and your dream...I'll go, send me.