Archive for the ‘Encouragement/motivational’ Category

Foster’s Faith-Filled Friday

Friday, October 20th, 2017

 

Welcome to Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and I’m happy to say, back to Foster’s Faith-filled Fridays with Breanna Foster and Trench Classes United as she continues her faith journey sober, allowing herself to feel and deal with all that life is handing her!

 

When someone gets sober and starts the recovery journey, it’s not uncommon for grief emotions to come bubbling to the surface.  (Bubbling seems a little less dramatic than an erupting volcano so we will stick with bubbling!) J

Whether their loss was five months ago or five years ago, whether they experienced one loss or a number of losses over time, a person in recovery often finds themselves facing the full depth of their painful emotions for the first time.

No surprise, the fierce attack of the emotions can feel so overwhelming that a person’s first instinct is to do what they have been doing for months, years, or even decades: numb with some substance, i.e., alcohol, drugs, or even a behavior that serves as a distraction from the pain, for example, gambling, pornography, shopping. I’m sure you get the gist.

Being sober is an emotional rollercoaster, a ride you can’t control. And I’ve learned how to allow myself to feel pain but let me tell you something: my dad passed away December 2016 and his birthday is next week and I’m a wreck, like a real-life emotional rollercoaster wreck.

Scary, right!! I’ve masked my emotions with the façade that I’m great and life is hunky dory, but it’s not…and I’m okay with that. I’m not pretending anymore. I’ve vowed to talk about my feelings, not to distance myself but to face everything head on.

I’ll find peace in knowing my God is with me through every emotion and hard time I’m going through in my life!

 

Philippians 4:6-7

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

Riding the roller coaster of sobriety,

Breanna

Thursday’s Trench Truth

Thursday, October 19th, 2017

Thanks for joining us for our Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and a trench truth with Trench Classes United. Today also includes a special invitation to our new 4-week class coming up in just a few weeks! Come on in for a moment of truth.

Have you ever known of someone who experienced the loss of a loved one…or even an unlovable in their life?

Too often I’ve watched regret wrap around those left behind; clothe them with all kinds of guilt and shame. And when an unlovable and/or difficult person in our life goes ahead to their eternal destination, it’s as if that blanket of regret gets absorbed into the soul, manifesting itself in all kinds of ways, but predominantly destructively in relationships.

So let me just ask you a question today – well, maybe a couple of questions: What would your life look like if it was lived as if you knew you were forgiven? Would you then find it easier to forgive?

Forgiveness frees YOU, the prisoner, of your own resentments, guilt and shame!

Join us to learn how to live Forgiven and Forgiving!

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/living-forgiven-free-to-forgive-tickets-36078729451?aff=es2

Wednesday’s Word

Wednesday, October 18th, 2017

Welcome to Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and to Wednesday’s Word with Trench Classes United. Today I’d like to share something with you that our Father gave me just hours before my mother-in-law’s celebration of life, words that soothed my sorrow and calmed my soul. I pray that if you are reading this today, especially if anyone you have ever loved has gone on to eternal life, that you will find comfort in the hope of heaven.

1st John 5:13: “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.”

I shared it with my husband who cried after reading it, and I told him I didn’t know if the family would allow me to share this message, but I was intent on giving each one of them a copy of what I truly believed He had given me.  He said he would ask.

I stayed in the background as all the siblings gathered around Uncle Bob who was also the minister for the service, and in a matter of minutes I heard my name called: “Kim, how long is what you want to share?”

My heart pounded as if to tell me to wake up. “It’s two minutes, but with crying, probably four.” I tried to smile.

That comment was not met with laughter like I had hoped.

“I’m only kidding,” I quickly responded.

My youngest sister-in-law suggested to Uncle Bob where to allow me to share, and just like that I was part of the service.

When it came my turn to share, I very shakily made my way to the podium, and introduced myself and began to read from my heart, stopping occasionally to catch the tears, or swallow the tears and sometimes both confident in the truth of the words written through me just hours earlier:

Dear Beloved Mother-in-Law…

How do we do this, bury you and say good-bye today

We need to accept you are already gone… absent but present in a new way

You no longer need a walker, for you have new feet that help you run

There’s no more arthritis, or any medication for you are now with God’s Son

We need to focus on you as you are now…somehow

You are now in a place where there is no more pain and no more sorrow

You are clothed in joy unspeakable forever, for our every tomorrow

You are able to look upon us, and see us all gathered here

Every single one of those who have come from far and near

We need to focus on you as you are now…somehow

I can almost hear you say please don’t cry for me; put a smile on your face

I am with you in a new way because I have gone on ahead to a better place

So as you gather here today, please try, try, try to laugh more than you cry

Think of all the wonderful memories shared between you and I

We need to focus on you as you are now…somehow

She’d want us to remember we don’t need a reason to gather as family

To continue doing it even more for that is her gigantic legacy

She’d want us to grow even closer, set conflicts aside, love unconditionally

That is what she did…often choosing love over grudges for the sake of family

We need to focus on you as you are now…somehow

Yes, it’s true that love and sorrow can co-exist, both so powerful in their own way

The deeper the love, the greater the sorrow; only time will lessen it, each new day

For our loss is heaven’s gain, and oh what a fun angel heaven has received

And when I think of how you are now…my soul is oh, so relieved.

We need to focus on you as you are now…somehow

I love you deeply, beloved mother-in-law…and to have been loved by you is an honor I will carry with me until I see you again.

Go ahead and put the name of your loved one in there…doesn’t it add hope to the loss?

All my love

Evinda

Tuesday’s Trench Truth

Tuesday, October 17th, 2017

Thanks so much for stopping by for Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and Tuesday’s Trench Truth @ Trench Classes United. I am excited to share today’s trench truth with you from a friend of our organization. She has her own business now and I am a subscriber to her newsletter/blog. When I read this, I asked if we could share it today with you and she said yes! I love her transparency and my prayer is it will inspire your own!

I am a runner.  6 months ago, I would have laughed if you would have told me I would be a runner.  I started running as an emotional and stress relieving outlet around the time of building my summit. I was in serious need of a breakthrough.

I realized that I run away from situations when I feel afraid and as part of the summit process, I needed to run towards my fears – to work through them.  I did it every day as a stand for where I was headed.  I had no idea what I was doing (summit and running) but I kept moving forward.

What happened was even in running, the same fears I have in my business started cropping up. Am I doing this right?   Am I moving fast enough?  People think I’m moving too slow.  Look at them, they look awesome…I will never look or run like that.

I have spent a LIFETIME comparing myself to others.  People have called me driven as a compliment but at the core, I was running away from who I was to who I thought I should be.  Learning has been my crutch, my catchall, and my escape.  I have a BA in ART, Masters in Business and I am a certified master life coach.  I have studied EVERY organization and time management guru, still…running away.

My two biggest takeaways from the last 6 months are these:

  1. Training and education are good but they DON’T define me or make me a better me. Tools and books are helpful in refining – they do not me forward.  Only doing, trying and facing my fears pushes me forward.  I have also let training and reading, etc. stand in my way and trip me up.
  2. I have made the journey about time.I felt like if I wasn’t achieving something fast enough I wasn’t doing it right.  I was watching time instead of pace.  Sometimes I need to move slowly and sometimes I must sprint.  Each time I get better, each mile makes me stronger.

REALITY is that I AM moving fast enough – it’s my pace I OWN it. (Own yours too!)

REALITY is that SO WHAT if people think I’m moving too slow.  They don’t know the journey.  The judgment is in my MIND, not theirs. (What judgments are you holding on to?)

REALITY is that I WON’T EVER look or be like someone else!  I’m ME!!  That’s something to celebrate! (You are you…so don’t forget it!)

REALITY is we need people in our life to give us a “thumbs up” and say “Great job!”  These are people that know the journey and the sprints you have been running or just think you’re moving forward at all is awesome and amazing.  It is OKAY to need these people in your life (another breakthrough point for me)!!

Jenn

 

 

And now, please accept this invitation to our next transform class which will give you new realities! Which reality do you want to start with today?  Join us to learn transform your life and learn how to live forgiven and forgiving!

Faith Filled Friday

Friday, October 13th, 2017

Welcome to Coffee Hour with Chicklit Power and Faith-Filled Fridays with Trench Classes United. I thought it might be fun, and even more personable to actually speak the words He writes through me, to speak from my heart straight to yours. So…grab your coffee and your Strand of Faith and let’s go tie some knots in it, keeping our faith intact while life unravels before us.

Click on this video and let’s talk about making quiet time in the most unsuspecting places and giving our brain a lane change!

VIDEO:  To view with no interruptions, please download first. 

https://www.dropbox.com/s/jpw8itq6v7i95mv/TCU_Coffee_9-8-17_Week2.mp4?dl=0

Evinda

Thursday’s Trench Truth

Thursday, October 12th, 2017

Welcome to Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and Thursday’s Trench Truth with Trench Classes United.

 

While out working the other night, across the radio came the news of the Vegas shooting. This sadness came over me when I realized just how bad the news was and in knowing a thing about firearms from elevated positions I realized that the news would become much worse as the hours went by. A feeling of hopelessness came over me for the people going through this horrible tragedy. Life is funny: one moment we can be enjoying the music and life wholeheartedly and the next moment brings senseless horror.

 

I not only thought about these innocent people, but of the gunman as well. There is no explanation of what comes into the heart and mind of a man that has no respect for love and life…heartless!  This man had a brother who cared for him deeply. He had two homes. He was successful in his career. Yet it all came down to a state of mental health or some traumatic event that turned him to this side of hatred toward others.

How does life go on after a tragedy like this?

 

My friend Chris took his daughter to a concert tonight. I wrote him and told him how awesome I think it is that he takes his daughter out amidst this recent tragedy and shows her that life and love must continue going on, to not let people like this take us hostage in the fields of fear. He and his wife are quite the amazing parents. I actually found myself thanking God tonight for them being good parents. I didn’t think about it; I just prayed and thanked God for that.

 

Something in me just can’t help but connect this tragedy to wondering if the lack of love as a child plays into this recent tragedy. It makes me sad that so many children out there don’t receive the love that they need and deserve. They don’t feel safe and secure in their own beds. This world… it needs so many of us to reach out and give more of ourselves and our love. We must take notice to those who are hurting so deeply. It’s not that it’s our duty; it’s that God gave us spiritual wisdom, spiritual love that we are meant to share with others.

 

I can’t help but hurt for those that are now affected by this tragic incident for a lifetime. These things are so traumatic when you feel horror like that and you can’t even fight back to defend yourself. I pray and hope that all of them will seek out the help they need not only physically but mentally as well. These things can change a life in the most extreme ways long after the bullets stop flying and ricocheting.

Lord please take them into your arms and give them a sense of security. God surely gave us free will and the ability for us all to make a difference. Please continue to pray for the victims of this tragedy. Please help me pray for the families of those that were lost to this evil.

 

Much love and peace to all of you,

 

~John

Wednesday’s Word

Wednesday, October 11th, 2017

 

Undaunted

Deuteronomy 31:6: “Be strong and of good courage; do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”

Welcome to Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and Wednesday’s Word with Trench Classes United. Oh, how I am in need of perspective that only His Word can provide. Grab your coffee and your Strand of Faith and let’s go tie some knots that our faith would remain intact during those difficult times in life, those times where we dare not try to understand what He’s up to or how He’s going to bring something beautiful out of this tragedy that happened in the midst of a family reunion while we were having the time of our lives.  Come with me to the hospital to visit my mother-in-law before leaving to come home.

I couldn’t wait to see her and I just knew in my gut she’d be awake and alert, more so than just nine hours before. I couldn’t wait to get her to blow the little ball up to the top and see for myself how much stronger she’d gotten. I needed to see this before we headed home.

I practically ran into her room…and put the brakes on so fast I almost caused myself to wreck, to fall, to collapse.  The bed was raised higher than the days prior, and there were tubes everywhere. As I looked at them, as if in slow motion, and their final destination, I gasped at the realization.

Breathe, I told myself…I looked down at my father-in-law who had been by her bedside all night but was so completely dazed with pain and sorrow. And then I looked at mom again.

un·daunt·ed

 

Not intimidated or discouraged by difficulty, danger, or disappointment.

This was not me as I stared at my mother-in-law who was not all there with us. The nurse explained that they had just placed her on life support 30 minutes before our arrival. I dared to ask the nurse what the prognosis was. She was much more undaunted than I. Ever so calmly she said that she would have the doctor come in and talk with us, but that they were running tests to determine just what had slowed her heart rate down so drastically, endangering her organs, as it is the heart which carries blood to the main organs, the liver and kidneys. While I understood the mini health lesson, my brain just couldn’t fathom this sudden turn, this twist of life that had us all reeling, threatening to overwhelm us and throw us down.

I don’t know how many hours it was before the head doctor came and found us in the ICU lounge and gathered us all around with the dreadful truth: Because of her heart rate – oh my good God, I can’t even write this…

The doctor was having a hard time sharing what the team of doctors had all just learned, and he even said as much. The test results revealed that her liver was damaged beyond repair; her kidneys would require dialysis if…a big if…she were to be able to breathe on her own again.

I bowed my head in disappointed dismay, beyond shock; then dared myself to look up at the faces surrounding me. What I saw was something I can only describe as sadly undaunted. We all bravely agreed that we wanted the truth and thanked him for his honesty.

He asked how long before more family was to get there and we discussed making mom comfortable in the waiting; there was no guarantee that she would wait the six-plus hours before they were there.

Long story short…she did wait. It was the most difficult eight hours of my life thus far, a different kind of difficult I had never, ever experienced. This was familiar, yet different as far as losing a loved one goes. I had never seen such love for one person all at once confined to one room around one bed. Those final hours were spent teeter-tottering between crying over the impending loss, laughing over recent memories, agonizing over should-of, would-of, could-ofs , and accepting she wouldn’t want to live on life support.

At 2:05 a.m. that Tuesday morning, we all undauntedly agreed to let the nurse unplug life support…and we cheered her on through our tears. She didn’t have far to run…her race was over at 2:25, leaving behind so many who had unabashedly loved her to her finish line as she ran to the One who loves greater than we ever could.

Please pray for my family…I am so honored to be a part of and to have been loved by her.

Evinda

 

Tuesday’s Trench Truth

Tuesday, October 10th, 2017

Thanks for stopping by for Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and Tuesday’s Trench Truth with Trench Classes United. Fall is finally in the air! Grab your coffee and come on in for a moment of truth!

Do you often have anxious feelings or worry about what will happen next?  In other words, how often are we really present in the moment? Why do we struggle to stay in our now but borrow from tomorrow…which isn’t promised
Coffee Hour Friend, unfortunately, fear is the driver of this common phenomenon…but wow, is it a tough one to detect, let alone own so you can disown.

I remember what He used to get me to stop running to the next thing on my to-do list, to stop vigorously planning my tomorrows day after day after day, to stop looking for things I felt I needed to do, things I felt I had to accomplish, problems I had to tackle, people I had to fix all so I could feel in control …now!

I know, that all sounds a bit extreme, and you may even think I’m exaggerating but does any of my truths speak to your heart?

Here’s a little test to see if you’re staying in your present day:

Name 7 to 10 things you are thankful for today!

Ready…set…go!

Thoughtfully,

Evinda

 

Monday’s Mantra

Monday, October 9th, 2017

“How did you end up here?” the Oncology Nurse questioned, after reviewing my unremarkable medical history. “Divine intervention,” I replied. Her eyebrows frowned at me over the rim of her glasses. “You must have had some symptoms,” she replied…

 

Welcome to Coffee Hour at Chicklit Power and Megan’s Monday Mantra with Trench Classes United.

 

Truth be known, I did have one significant symptom – and that was the Lord prompting me to get off my hind-end and go to the doctor for a chest ex-ray!

 

My seasonal allergies did feel a little worse than normal and I was a bit more tired than usual, but

In the World According to Dave” (that would be my husband) these were just normal signs of aging. Plus, I was still mourning the loss of my Mother. So, I credited feeling less than my best to emotional distress or depression – until one early morning, when the Lord’s prompting broke through.

 

After a heated argument — that a stuffed up nose and congestion-free lungs did not warrant a chest

X-ray — my Doctor relented to my request and wrote the order. Forty-eight hours later, I was summoned back for more tests, resulting in a diagnosis of probable early-stage non-smoker’s lung cancer followed by a major lung surgery.

 

I was healthy – I was symptomless – and it is rare to detect early stage lung cancer.

 

WHAT IF I HAD FAILED TO FOLLOW THE PROMPTING OF THE LORD?

 

I would not be cancer free today.

 

How do we know it is God prompting us and not just something we conjured up ourselves? That is always my biggest concern. Scripture tells us we were created to know God in a personal way. In John 10:27, Jesus says, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” We were created to have a relationship with God, through His Son, Jesus Christ. Everything starts and ends with our relationship with Him.

 

It is through our relationship with God, that we become sensitive to the promptings of His Spirit.

 

“I will bless the Lord who has counseled me;

Indeed, my mind instructs me in the night.

I have set the Lord continually before me;

Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.”  (Psalm 16:7-8 NASB)

 

Your comments are always most welcome.

 

Lovingly in Christ,

Megan

 

Faith Filled Friday

Friday, October 6th, 2017

Frienemies!

Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art…. It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival.”
C.S. Lewis, The Four Love

Thanks for joining us for Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and Faith Filled Friday with Trench Classes United. Grab your coffee and your Strand of Faith and come on in. I hope what is shared today will go with you this weekend and follow you into any kind of conflict you find yourself in with a friend whom you may now consider an enemy, aka, a frienemy! J

Have you ever watched children in conflict? There is actually something to be learned by observing their struggle with innocence and their juggling of their little cups of pride that spill out onto the one they are conflicted with or by. There is this sort of bittersweet thing about them as they wiggle through the conflict.

I got to watch how littles handle conflict at one of our grandson’s birthday parties a while back. Of course, everyone wanted to be around him and it was pretty interesting to watch him trying to juggle all the attention, especially since he was the birthday boy and everyone wanted to be his number one friend. Well, there was this one friend there who was insistent upon him paying more attention to her. It was kind of funny, in a peculiar sort of way and in other ways, not so funny. As I watched them, I marveled at the truth that we as adults can be so like children, except – and this is a big one – they still have a blanket of innocence around them and they get over conflict soooo much quicker!

Watching this very assertive little girl and how little B handled her attention was like witnessing the acting out of Colossians 3:12a-13 which tells us “to put on tender mercies, kindness humility, meekness, longsuffering, bearing with one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against the other, even as Christ forgave you, so you must do.”

Let me try and paint this picture verbally: As the party progressed, this girl, who by the way little B says “She’s a girl and she’s a friend, but she’s not my girlfriend” J – rather aggressively demanded her way.   At first he ignored her; that didn’t work. Then he tried appeasing her; that worked for a New York minute. And then as these things didn’t accomplish her desired goal, the conflict escalated and they began to sort of toss their point of view across to the other in hopes that the other would catch it. But then, a burst of innocence would happen and one of them would stop it with a hug, or a simple “I’m sorry,” and the conflict was over. All was forgiven…until the next time she, or he, didn’t get their way, or the other felt slighted or ignored and not special and then the tug of war began all over again.

His other grandma, whom my heart loves, and I were talking about it and she called them “frien-emies” and that stuck with me; you can’t be an enemy unless you’ve been a friend first! Think about it; we aren’t nearly as hurt or offended by a stranger’s behavior as we are by the behavior of one whom we love or care deeply for.

Why can’t we be more like children, and get through the conflict with a simple “I’m sorry”? Why does it seem to require so much more as we get older?

Maybe it’s time to consider the value that that frien-emy brings to our life…and if there’s more conflict than caring, maybe it’s time to evaluate the amount of space they take up in our hearts without paying rent…

True transformation can only happen with another and that’s the value that a friend brings!

Love,

Evinda