Friday, January 28, 2011

I asked for...

So this morning I asked for clarity! I wanted to SEE more clearly who I was, where I am to go, what I am to do!

He showed me a jar in my sink- soaking so that it would not be so hard to clean. It was full of mucky water. You know how it gets! But as I was rinsing other dishes, I let the faucet water run into that jar. Slowly, but surely the water in the jar began to clear- so much so that soon it I could see through it. And with only a little effort- it came completely clean.

I saw my answer! Let ME pour into you Kathy! Let me run- fresh & clear!
And you will SEE!
You will KNOW who you are, and where to go and what to do!
But most important- you will KNOW ME!
You will SEE ME!
And you will be clean!

Ah Lord! I choose to sit under the faucet of your love & grace!
Run in me & through me!
I long to SEE YOU!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Launching Green HOPE Coaching

The New Year has begun! January is near the end! If you are like most people, your new year's resolutions are already a distant memory.

Well, I'd like to introduce myself. I am Kathy- the Green HOPE Coach!
Let me explain...

Years ago, I became aware of an increasing desire to be part of helping people take their 'next steps'. Whether that is to find their vision for their life, clarify the values they want to be known for, deepen relationships or work through a dark place, I wanted to come alongside and assist others to live out their uniqueness.

Then life took some unexpected, core shaking turns- most specifically, the death of our daughter, Leisha. Everything I had ever believed about life; my roles, my relationships, my purpose, even my belief in God and His character were brought into question. But in my laborious struggle through that deep, dark tunnel of mud called grief, I learned some valuable lessons.

1. It really DOES matter what you build into your life when things are going well. That's the stuff you have to trust when tragedy strikes. My knowledge of who God says He is, my study of who He made me to be, even the words of scripture or my own words of my vision statement were part of what gave me strength to take next steps when I could barely stand.
What would you like to build into your life now?

2. It really DOES matter the quality of relationships that you are growing in your life. When life hits-it is most often those people- ordinary people- that walk with you through it. Ordinary people doing ordinary (to them) things have an extraordinary impact on the lives of people in our world- mine especially.
Who are the people in your world? What kind of relationship do you have with them? What can you do this week/ month to deepen those relationships?

The afternoon Leisha died, I was teasing her about her impatience to get her driver's permit. "You just want power," I quipped. I could sense she was thinking hard about that statement, when she replied, "Mom I don't need power. I want to INFLUENCE! I want to say to people, 'I'm going! Come with me'!"

I realized, over the course of the last four years since her death, that I too want to influence! I want to be part of opening the eyes of men and women to see Hope! As Leisha would say "My favorite color means my favorite word- Green means HOPE!" I want to influence others to see Green, life giving Hope in the middle of their sometimes very brown worlds.

So...(drum roll please)!!!
Introducing my new practice called Green HOPE Coaching!

To 25 plus years of ministry experience, I've added a program for life coach certification.

A life coach is not a counselor, nor a consultant. My role is to help coach you to an awareness of your vision and relationships and next steps. I ask the questions to guide you to who and what you truly value in life. Along the way, we identify the potential obstacles and clarify goals and actions to reach your dream. Or maybe you've lost sight of that dream completely. It's not to late to peel back the layers that keep it from view.

Sound interesting? Call me! I offer a free strategy session to consider if our partnering would be of benefit to you- or perhaps a friend. Most of my coaching is done over the phone- so whether you are near or far away, I'm available to work with you. We'll design a program that works for you depending on your desired outcome.

I'm also continuing to develop messages that speak hope with your church or organization. If you would like more information on topics that I speak on, give me a call.

For coaching or speaking, you can contact me at 419-306-8311 or
You can even check out the 'still being designed' website at

Make a conscious choice this year to SEE HOPE / to PLANT HOPE! I'd love to walk that journey with you!

May the God of Green HOPE fill you up with peace, fill you up with joy, so that your believing lives, filled with the life giving energy of the Holy Spirit, will brim over with HOPE!
(Romans 15:13, the message)

Kathy, the Green HOPE Coach

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Place of Beginning Again!

Today's the day! It's been marked on my calender for months now! 1/11/11
The day I would BEGIN AGAIN!

Haven't you ever wished to start over? A do-over day to make things different than they were before; to cleanse the impurities and imperfections of what was and make it NEW or at least better than it was; to take the opportunities to 'follow your dream' and know that you will succeed.

Today is my place of BEGINNING AGAIN!
It started just like yesterday did. I woke up, fixed a cup of tea, checked my email and facebook messages, and got ready for the day. But today is different.

You see, I've quit my job! It was a good job! I love the people I worked with and the purpose I served in helping them realize the dream they have for a dear group of people and it's community.

But over the past few months, I've been reminded of my dream- the dream that was given to me long ago, a dream that was all but forgotten in the shadows of the past few years with all the obstacles, and border bullies, and set backs.

If you've read Bruce Wilkinson's book, The Dream Giver, you understand what I'm saying. It's the story of a Nobody named Ordinary who lived in the Land of Familiar doing the Usual. Then one morning Ordinary woke up and discovered a Big Dream that lay in a small corner of his heart. The rest of the book is about his journey out of the Land of Familiar to his Big Dream!

I actually feel like I've been at the place in Ordinary's journey where he had arrived at the Big Dream - was doing the Big Dream- saw success at the Big Dream. When Dream Giver says, Come further!

"He opened the gate and stepped outside. But as he did, he felt strangely...uncomfortable. He looked toward the distant Unknown.
Well done, Ordinary! the Dream Giver said. You are a good and faithful Dreamer. Now let me show you more.

'More?' asked Ordinary.
More, said the Dream Giver. There's so much more of my Big Dream waiting for you!...Soon you will leave what is familiar once again, the Dream Giver said. And I will be with you!"

That's where I'm standing right now- between the Land of Familiar and the Unknown. It actually feels really good. I had thought for a while that my dream was dead- or I was too lost to find it again. But my Ever Faithful, Dream Giving God has not forgotten me- nor let me forget what He planted in me so long ago.

So here I am Lord! I've picked up the backpack and I'm ready- at the edge of the Unknown- knowing You are here with me! Let's begin this journey!

"Ordinary looked again at what lay in his (her) future. The horizon was full of promise.
'Thank you, Dream Giver!' Ordinary whispered. 'Thank you for the gift of my Big Dream!'
And (s)he began to hum an unfamiliar tune."
The End, not! It's only the BEGINNING!

(Want to know what's next? keep watching! I'll post it here soon. Or call me and I'll fill you in!)

Monday, January 3, 2011

Longing for HOME

My thoughts during the advent season- throughout Christmas and here this first few days of the New Year have been focused on HOME!

My girls had been overseas all semester- I was so looking forward to them coming home! Yet they felt at home in the countries in which they lived. They were looking forward to being home. It felt so good to be home. But they missed their homes and the new family they had met there.

I cleaned our home before the girls came, Brie decorated our home after she came for Christmas. We enjoyed our home while all of us were in it- even though it was seldom that we were all here.

Then we began to look forward to going home to be with our extended families- home where our parents live and we do not- and have not for longer than we did live there as children. But it is still home! Even to our girls!

And then there was one that was not home, because she is HOME! with Him in Heaven! And it makes me long for HOME! in an intense way. and think of home as we see the changes in our parents as they grow closer to going home and yet it was a beautiful, 30 year old mother- the friend of my brother's family that went HOME! this Christmas- just after they saved the little boy she was carrying- and he is struggling to live now so that he can go home with his father and two big sisters that are grieving.

And now we are once again cleaning up home , putting away the Christmas decorations, so we can pack up the girls things so they can move to their school homes!

And I have quit my 'job' so that I can work from home and help Rennie in his business too!

Home- defined by Webster
  • a house, apartment, or other shelter that is the usual residence of a person, family or household.
  • a place in which one's domestic affections are centered.
  • an instituition for the aged or sick- nursing home
  • any place of residence or refuge: a heavenly home
  • a person's native place or own country
  • a principal base of operations or activities
There is another meaning for the word home as an adverb. I means 'deep, to the heart" ans in the sentence 'the truth struck home'!
I realized that there are many ways to experience home, but whether we are all together in one place we have lived in- or all apart across the globe- or the heavens, we can all be "at home" together. It's living in the adverb- the 'deep, to the heart place' of home that allows us to continue to share, and love, and care for each other. It becomes, not a place, but a person that holds us and binds us together- the person of Jesus Christ.
I rest there! I trust all of you dear ones that I love to his care and protection. I pray you find rest, refuge, shelter, care, comfort there. I pray you are nutured and sense that you belong at home- in his arms.
Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young- a place near your altar, LORD Almighty, my King and my God. Ps 84:3

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Letter to Mary Beth Chapman

Dear Mary Beth!
It seems that everyone I know that has read your book has called or emailed me to recommend it to me! I have to tell you- I didn't want to read it.

Our youngest daughter died 4 years ago- hit by a car as she was walking-at the age of 15. Just moments before, I had a conversation with her on that road and she spoke of dreams and hopes for her future. I teased her that she was impatient to get her driver's license because she wanted power. She replied, "I don't need power. I want to influence. I want to say to people, 'I'm going, come with me." Just a few minutes later she was gone.

When I heard of Maria's death- my heart broke from you! The journey is so difficult. I guess I didn't want to read your book because I was afraid you had found some way to trust harder- or grieve better. It was such a relief to me to hear your real, 'way it is' story. So many times, my college daughters would hear me say 'oh yes!' or 'I so get that!' And I so understand the book title- it is a choice to SEE. As we've come through our journey, my by-line is 'seeing green hope in a brown world.'

This Christmas, I found I needed to talk about Leisha alot- I needed to grieve- but no one near me felt that same need. As I read your book on Friday- from beginning to end- I realized I was able to grieve with you- two moms longing for their girls.

Thank you for being honest! Thank you for grieving out loud. Thank you for listeing to the dream God gave to Beth on your behalf.

I will pray for rest for you in 2011!
Kathy in Ohio