Holidays didn’t go the way I had planned!


Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined I would find myself in the Emergency Room late at night the day after Christmas!  I had been experiencing sharp pains in my upper abdomen, right side, for four days but I brushed it off to the effect of a busy schedule, holiday foods, lots of lifting my precious grandchildren: I was sure it would go away “real soon”.   After four days the pain was really getting my attention!

After some discussion with my husband, he felt we ought to at least get it checked out so we headed for the Emergency Room.  The night didn’t unfold the way I had planned but rather it began a 2 night hospital stay with surgery to remover my gallbladder!  Seriously, not in my holiday plans!  I still had company at my house!!

After the surgery was complete and I enjoyed sweet visits, calls and responses from caring friends and family members, it was when I sent my husband home for the night that I lay there in the stillness of the hospital room surrounded with strange lights, beeps, and an occasional nurse coming in to check my blood pressure.   In the silence of that room I had an important opportunity to assess my life, to throw a wide gaze over my life and decide whether or not I am living the way I know is best in all my Life Accounts.

It’s interesting how vulnerable one can feel in a medical institution.  Being a patient is such a stark reality of how fast life (or health) can be taken.  In the Emergency Room when we arrived there had been numerous accidents on the icy streets of Bend.  A number of folks had passed away, numerous others were badly injured.  I couldn’t help but to be faced with the preciousness of “life”.

In the quite of my room I pondered the use of my time, my finances, my talents, and my energy.  I was forced to consider that if my situation had been more serious would I have had any regrets?  What would I change in the coming year?  How would I take better care of myself?  The opportunity to ponder my answers and make fresh committments was actually a gift to me.   Though I am not grateful for my gallbladder attack, I am grateful to have been given a little “wake up call”.

As a Life Coach I do try to live by the same values that I encourage my leaders to abide by: focus on health, priorities, relationships, self-care/growth, spiritual life, and being engaged in “cup-filling” activities.  However, it’s easy to say “well, this is just a busy season! I’ll get back to my good disciplines soon!”   And then one season runs into another and our busy, over-extended life becomes a life-style.  Right? We’ve all been there!

Having surgery was not even in my wheel-house of possibilities when I looked toward the coming holiday season; a total surprise!  With the help of amazing nurses (especially those precious gals who work the night shift) and caring and supportive family; I am on the mend.

As I assessed my life there were many areas that, frankly, I would not have changed; it felt good to lay there knowing that my family, friends, and colleagues do know that I care for them; they are a priority in my life and calendar.  Physically I need to be more mindful of myself and thus, I am putting key appointments on my calendar even now.  I always want to grow more in my relationship with God; as I lay there in the quiet I pondered all I still wanted to know and understand about God; I will dig deeper this year.

My opportunity to “take some time to ponder my life” was a little bit dramatic, but you have the chance to do the same as you enter this new year that is full of promise and possibilities!  Where are you in your key life accounts?  What’s lacking? What’s working?  Where do you want to be a year from now??  Take time to ponder these things by choice and not by a surprise crisis, as I experienced!

Wishing you a fruitful, impacting, balanced, healthy year ahead!

Happy New Year!



Time for a change? Time for a plan?


It’s been almost 15 years since I was given the daunting opportunity to build my first Life Plan.  The very idea that I could somehow establish some plans or a course of direction for my life felt like a whole new concept; almost impossible.  As a mother of two teen boys, a pastor’s wife, a sister, daughter, friend, and community member how in the world could I possibly build some order and intentionality into my life?  Frankly, I was already running as hard as I could!!!

And THAT was the problem ~ I needed to give myself permission to stop “running so hard” and start to “run smarter.”  Thus began my journey of building and living my Life Plan, a journey that completely turned my life around enough that I now spend my days helping women to find fresh success as they too live their lives with renewed intentionality.

Here are some good questions to help you assess where you are in your life today, and perhaps give you some food for thought as you consider how you will make choices for your time, your talents, and your relationships in the season ahead:

1.  Today, how would you rate your life satisfaction? Be honest.  What about your life brings you great joy? What depletes you? What discourages you? What excites you?

2.  When considering your health, career, finances, family, faith, on-going relationships, and emotional well-being; how solid are these key “accounts”?  Are you soaring or drowning, or somewhere in between?

3.  What IS working in your life?  What choices are you making that are producing great impact in your life and the lives of those you love?

4.  What ISN’T working in your life? Consider areas where you would like to improve, identify the obstacles that stand in the way of your living a meaningful, hopefilled life. We all have seasons of challenge in our lives where we truly may be helpless to make everything better~ disease, death of a loved one, etc.  But often times we can be the one to sabotage ourselves from a truly meaningful life.  Can you see areas where you could make some meaningful changes to move forward in your life?

5.  What would you LIKE your life to look like?  Describe in detail what kind of life would make you excited to get out of bed each morning? Be bold and specific!!

6.  What actions do you need to apply to your life and calendar to insure that your life begins to move slowly but surely in a fresh and meaningful direction?  Do you have people in your life to hold you accountable to these action steps? Will you invite them in?

As you consider these questions are you already considering your life with a new filter?  I hope that you are and that if you are discouraged or simply “stuck” you will give yourself permission to bravely set a fresh course for the Life you truly want!!!

By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Benjamin Franklin

Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.” Alan Lakein

Planning is a process of choosing among those many options. If we do not choose to plan, then we choose to have others plan for us.” Richard I. Winwood

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