Shop my closet day three

Metallic-Shopping-Bags

Two outfits today. Thanks to my personal “Nigel Barker” my handsome photographer hubby

Outfit #1: Business Breakfast.  

IMG_0935White Button Down-J. Crew; Black Pencil Skirt-Banana Republic; Black Wedges-Guess

Pebbles Choker-Banana Republic; Rose Gold Watch-Michael Kors

Outfit #2: Office and housekeeping.  Clearly we are missing my photographer here! 

IMG_0937 Gray Cardi-Gap; Poppy-Print T-Loft; Boyfriend Jeans-Banana Republic; Bare feet-God

Creating Simplicity

I have an unexpected “free day” so I’m taking advantage and spring cleaning my closet and replacing my fall/winter clothing with spring/summer.  While doing this I’ve been inspired by my friend Laura Campbell http://campbell2008.wordpress.com to simplify and use what I have.

So…I am challenging myself to ONLY wear what I currently own in clothing, shoes and jewelry for this next season. This is actually a multi-layered personal challenge because the last few years have brought some unwelcome changes to my metabolism, hormones and chemical balance thus putting my body into an altered state of being.  If you get my drift.  Therefore some things that fit last year are not quite so fitting today.

This means the challenge is not only to be creative with my wardrobe and accessories but to stay the course with diet and exercise so that I can actually wear every item in my closet.  YIKES!

In order to make myself accountable to this challenge I am committing to posting my outfit every day.  Since I am still in the process of cleaning I will start with posting pictures of my newly clean, organized and spring/summer closet.

IMG_0910 IMG_0909 IMG_0908

The Benefits of Working with a Professional Coach

The Benefits of Working with a Professionally Trained and Certified Coach:

goldfish

Do you every wonder, “Why would anyone hire a personal or business coach?”  or “What is the return on investment or the value of hiring a coach?”

I’m glad you asked!

Coaching is proven to work when these two factors are present: The client (coachee) is willing to grow, and there is a gap between where they are now and where they want to be. That is all that is necessary for you and your coach to solve problems, create a new life, turn a business around, double sales and profitability, and design and implement a plan of action, or create whatever else is called for to ensure that you have what you need to get more of what you want.

With a Coach, You Will:

Take More, Better, and Smarter Actions Because You Set the Goals You Really Want

Ultimately, humans do what they really want to do anyway. Finding out exactly what you really want for yourself and your business is our first task together. I help you to distinguish between what you “coulda,” “shoulda,” “oughta,” and have-to want from what you, in your heart of hearts, really want for yourself. Once you create the ideal goal, you’re much more likely to naturally and consistently take actions to reach it.

Have a Balanced Life that Works Well

A balanced life means taking proper control and responsibility for your wants, needs and values.  It means knowing how to properly and responsibly express to others what your needs are so that they can be met and still have people like you! This process is called establishing your personal foundation. You’ll love building your foundation because you know you’re worth it. You need this base if you are to be yourself and stay true to your goals and dreams.

Make and Keep More Money. You Are Worth More Than You’re Making

Money, money, money!  Like it or not, it’s a must-have in our world. You know you can make and keep more money, so why don’t you? I’ll help you increase your business, fill your practice, pay off old bills and help design a strategy for you to earn more from your professional efforts. Yes, you can!

Reach for More, Much More, and Not Be Consumed in the Process

When people have a partner they trust, they will always reach for more because they can afford to.

Make Better Decisions for Yourself and Your Business Because Your Focus Is Clear

Every single client of mine is smart, smart, and smart. Yet they still use me. Why? Because they know the value of sharing ideas with someone who understands them and is subjective enough to want a lot for them, yet objective enough not to be biased or self-serving. Just talking about your options with someone who can listen is often enough to have it all become very clear. You’ll always get my honest, constructive views.

Have a Lot More Sustainable Energy—No More Chugging Along

When you’re happy, productive, and free from tolerations and problems, you’re going to feel better!

Copyright © 2005 by Coach U. Inc. http://www.coachu.com.

Please feel free to connect with me if you have questions or are interested in coaching for yourself.  My email is pamelalarson@resetcoach.org

Waiting and Trusting

March has become a pivotal month on my professional journey.  The last time I blogged was March 2012.  On  March 22, 2011 I said good-by to a career I loved doing something I truly believed I would do for the rest of my life.  Almost two years later to the day, March 10-17, 2013, I spent in Orlando, Florida officially beginning my new career as a profession coach for individuals and organizations.  Who knew?  Well, God knew and that is what’s important.

For the past two years Isaiah 42.27-31 from The Message has sustained me:

Why would you ever complain, O Jacob, or, whine, Israel, saying, “God has lost track of me. He doesn’t care what happens to me”? Don’t you know anything? Haven’t you been listening? God doesn’t come and go. God lasts. He’s Creator of all you can see or imagine. He doesn’t get tired out, doesn’t pause to catch his breath. And he knows everything, inside and out. He energizes those who get tired, gives fresh strength to dropouts. For even young people tire and drop out, young folk in their prime stumble and fall. But those who wait upon God get fresh strength. They spread their wings and soar like eagles, They run and don’t get tired, they walk and don’t lag behind.
As I waited…and waited… and waited…to hear from God
Finally, as 2012 departed and 2013 arrived Kevin and I were in complete agreement that pursuing a career as a professional coach was indeed God’s direction for me.  So we took a leap of faith and signed me up for the Coach University Core Essentials Fast Track Program in Orlando, paid the tuition, booked the non-refundable flight and reserved a hotel room.  Click here for more information about  Coach U
It was an intense week of learning and training with 16 talented, high-caliber professionals and two of the best Professional Coach Trainers in the world; both were trained and mentored by Thomas Leonard, the founder and innovator of the coaching profession and are Master Coaches themselves.  Each day brought a renewed sense of gratitude and awe that God would see fit to open this door as well as intimidation at being in the same room with a rocket scientist, college professor, global HR directors, executives and other professionals.  By day three I knew I had found my new tribe.  Still humbled but this is my new tribe.
On Saturday as we concluded our 65+ hours of course work I began to fret.  What if this isn’t what God meant?  What if we spent all this money and  I can’t do this?  What if I fail?  What if…what it…what if…
God is so good.  He hears our “what ifs” and He responds with love and assurance.  This was literally written in the sky the afternoon we were leaving.
Better than a burning bush!
Better than a burning bush!

I believe this season of waiting is over and it is time to trust God and soar with Him!

Room With A View

I was able to join Kevin in Arizona early this month for some R&R following a business event he attended.  We decided to not make too many plans and just do what seemed fun for that day.  On Friday we decided, rather offhandedly, to take the drive up to the Grand Canyon from Sedona through Flagstaff.  What a great decision this turned out to be!!

The Grand Canyon was one of the most breathtaking, audaciously gorgeous places I have ever visited.  I didn’t know what to expect and pictures simply do not do the Grand Canyon justice.  As we stood on the south rim looking across the canyon I was left speechless, yes speechless, with awe at how starkly beautify this wonder of the world is.  I can only imagine what it looks like at midnight when the stars are shining down from a clear sky.  You probably feel like you can reach up and pluck a star from the sky.

As I stood there speechless and having my mind blown by this wonder of the world I felt like God began to speak to me about holding life in the tension of both the Grand Canyon view as well as the microscopic view.  As I stood on the rim of the canyon I could see the entire expanse of the canyon and it is marvelous!  The colors, the shadows, the sounds and at time the absolute silence, the birds, the rocks and the various forms the rocks make.  It was stunning.  But, I was unable to really see the bottom of the canyon and I certainly couldn’t study what makes the canyon the canyon.  For that I needed to get to the bottom of the canyon floor and begin to take apart the canyon as it were.  I would need to gather sand, rocks, stones, plant life etc and examine them much closer with much more refined tools than my eyes.  That’s life.  You have to keep both views in tension.  In one hand we hold the Grand Canyon view of life with its expansive beauty and majesty, its tapestry of sights, sounds, colors, tastes and smells.  In the other hand we hold the narrow, microscopic view of life by studying at a deeper level allowing us to more closely examine the reason why we feel what we feel, believe what we believe, value what we value, act like we act and react to situations like we do.

We can’t always live with the Grand Canyon perspective or we will miss the important details that make life deeply and intensely rich.  But  we also cannot only live with the microscopic, introspective perspective or we miss the larger than life ideas inspire us, make life sweet and allow us to not just dream but to reach for those dreams.  You must hold them both in your hands.

I only had my phone with me so the pictures aren’t that great and they obviously don’t do the Grand Canyon justice but here are a few from our visit:

Though I was speechless as I gazed upon this glorious example of God’s extravagant imagination I just had to share this little life lesson out loud with you…

 

Do You Want to Get Well?

The Gospel of John is my favorite of the four Gospels in the Bible primarily because John gives us so many accounts of how Jesus interacted with people.  In John’s Gospel we get to feel like we are walking along the dusty roads of Jerusalem with Jesus and his followers  We get the most up close and personal encounters Jesus had with people in John’s Gospel.

When I read the Bible it is often the things that are unsaid that intrigue me as much as what is said.  The story of Jesus’ encounter with a paralyzed man in John chapter 5 is an example of this.

I like how The Message records the encounter:

Near the Sheep Gate in Jerusalem there was a pool, in Hebrew called Bethesda, with five alcoves. Hundreds of sick people—blind, crippled, paralyzed—were in these alcoves. One man had been an invalid there for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him stretched out by the pool and knew how long he had been there, he said, “Do you want to get well?”

The sick man said, “Sir, when the water is stirred, I don’t have anybody to put me in the pool. By the time I get there, somebody else is already in.”

Jesus said, “Get up, take your bedroll, start walking.” The man was healed on the spot. He picked up his bedroll and walked off.

There are several reason why this encounter intrigues me:

  1. Jesus knew this was a place where sick people gathered hoping for healing as well as to beg for alms
  2. Knowing the history of the pool and knowing how long the man had been an invalid the question “Do you want to get well?” seems obvious
  3. It seems as if the man doesn’t even answer Jesus’ question but gives an excuse
  4. Jesus heals him anyway
  5. The man doesn’t even know who Jesus is because later on we read that he was asked who gave him permission to carry his mat on the Sabbath and he doesn’t know who healed him.  Jesus healed him anyway.

I’ve asked hundreds if not thousands of people this very question as I’ve counseled, pastored or simply befriended them: “Do you want to get well?”

Who doesn’t want to get well?

Because I have worked with hurting people for so many years I have read this encounter many times asking the Holy Spirit to help me understand it and to get what is not so obvious in the words.  And then one day I read it completely different.  A whole new perspective opened up to me.

I believe the paralyzed man (in most other translations it says he was paralyzed) actually did answer Jesus’ question with a “Yes I do want to get well” but he was saying I want to get well in the only way I know how to get well, I need someone to help me get into the pool when the angel stirs the water and since I don’t have that I can’t get well.  (Legend has it that an angel would periodically stir the waters of the pool and the first one in received healing).

In the man’s experience the only way to get healing was to get in that pool so he was answering “Yes, I want to get well I just don’t know how it’s going to happen because I can’t get in the pool.”

Back to Jesus’ original question.  After a bit of research I discovered that people like this man became dependent upon their family and friends to carry them to and from the pool.  This was also an area where the man could beg for alms.  Jesus wasn’t just asking him do you want to get well from your paralysis, he was asking a whole lot of other questions in that one question: “Do you want to be healed of your paralysis?” to be sure  but also “Do you want to stop relying on your friends and family to cart you around?”  “Do you want to become a productive member of society and earn a living rather than beg for alms?”  And lastly and most importantly “Do you want to get well my way?”  Because Jesus had a whole other ideas about healing.  Jesus had power to heal unlike anything this man had encountered before.  Jesus was about to heal way outside the box for this man.

Jesus said, “Get up, take your bedroll, start walking.”  Not the avenue of healing this man was expecting or looking for.

“Instantly the man was healed” is what John tells us.  How did he know he was healed?  I don’t know but I do know he responded with faith because he picked up his bedroll and walked off.  Hmm, not even a thank you recorded.  He just walked off.

I think this story has HUGE implications for those of us today regarding healing of any sort.  It seems like such an easy question to answer, “Do you want to get well?”  Of course I do!  Who doesn’t want to get well?

But do you want to get well the way Jesus’ has for you to get well?  Or are you stuck in your perspective of how you should get well?

  • Has a friend or relative been powerfully delivered of an addiction so you are now waiting for God to do that for you?
  • Has someone you know had God miraculously pay off a debt and now you are waiting for God to do it the exact same way for you?
  • Has someone been healed of depression and is now off antidepressants and you are wondering why you can’t get off them?
  • Do you read the stories of healing in the Bible and expect it to happen exactly like that for you?

You get the idea.  My point is that God DOES have healing for us but if we are fixated on the way we think healing should happen because that is how He did it for someone else we may miss the unique way He wants to heal us.  The Bible records so many ways that Jesus healed we cannot afford to get fixated on one way.  And since Jesus is the same today, He is still in the business of healing His way according to what you need.

Jesus created you and designed you.  Nobody knows you better than your loving Creator.  No one knows what you need  to heal and how you need to heal better than Jesus who loves you and accepts you 100%.

So I think Jesus was asking a much larger question: “Do you want to get well my way?  Will you consider a whole different plan for healing than the one way you think healing will come?”

Less obvious but likely true based on the research I did Jesus was also asking the man “In getting well are you willing to take responsibility for your life?  Because you can’t expect your friends to carry your burden any more and you can’t come here  begging for alms.  You are going to need to be a productive member of society.”

That’s a powerful question “Do you want to get well My way and make the changes necessary in order to have this healing?”

What is hurting in your life today?

Do you want to get well?

Do you want to get well God’s way?

Will you trust Him to know exactly how healing should come to you?  Will you trust Him to speak into your life exactly what you need to heal?

Will you embrace the changes that healing will bring into your life?

Just asking it out loud for you to ponder on the inside.

My Virtual Life…Is Taking Over My Life!

This morning I caved and joined Pinterest.  I’ve had the app on my phone for a couple of months now but have resisted joining because I knew it would suck me in the moment I did.

And I was correct!  I haven’t even created one board or pinned on interest but I have spent at least an hour surfing all my friend’s boards for ideas.  Yikes!!

This morning I took Kevin to the airport and since then I have been living virtually through my computer.

I am already an early riser but now I think I’m going to have to get up at 4 AM to get it all in.

After I read my bible and journal I check out what my family, friends and acquaintances are doing on:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Tumbler
  • Blogs through my google reader
  • Instagram
  • E-newletters
  • Online groups I belong to
  • Online devotionals

And now Pinterest.

I may never have to leave my house and talk to actual people as I can have a whole virtual life and feel like I’ve connected with actual people.

On second thought, that will never work for an extreme extrovert such as myself.

I much prefer life out loud, up close and in person.

But I’m still gonna need to get up an hour early so I can check in on my virtual life and steal all your good ideas and thoughts for my life!

Praying It Forward…

If you’ve read this blog at any point you may have picked up on the fact that the last several years have been difficult and painful as well as challenging and maturing.  (Insert slightly sarcastic chuckle here)   The process of transitioning and reframing your life will cause you to reflect upon just about everything in your life especially your past as you try to answer the question “How in the heck did I get here?!”

One of the more difficult and hairy issues we’ve faced in the last year in particular is that some people have felt that they have to choose relationally.  I have had a very difficult time wrapping my brain and my heart around this and have spent quite a bit of time praying and writing in my journal on this troublesome issue.  I honestly struggled with the idea that one would have to choose.

While we were in Minnesota for the holidays Kevin and I had a conversation with my mom and the lightbulb suddenly went off in my head as she compared the situation we find ourselves in to a divorce.

My parents separated the summer before my 8th grade year and divorced when I was 14 so my mom understands divorce.   While divorce is a huge and painful scar on the landscape of all the family members involved, it is especially and uniquely scarring to children as it creates an immediate sense of insecurity and the very nature of divorce creates sides.  Whether you want to our not, friends and family feel like they have to choose sides and the children are often the collateral damage of this relational tug-of-war.  I know this from a pastoral/counselor point of view as I’ve walked beside friends as they’ve navigated the twisting and winding path that is divorce.

However, and this was my lightbulb moment, I did not experience that division of sides as a child of a divorced home and that is why this past year has been so confusing for me at times.  In the midst of the pain and confusion of the separation my mom became a follower of Jesus and has never looked back.  When my mom decided to follow Jesus she dived in all the way and embraced the Word of God as her authority for life and her guide as she navigated the divorce and it bore amazing fruit in all of our lives.  Fruit that I am just now really beginning to appreciate and value.

Forgiveness and praying for others were the first things I learned from my mom.  I was not a good pupil by any means as I was angry and confused by the separation, she probably thought every word she shared with me about the Bible and Jesus went in one ear and out the other but the truth is I absorbed it like a sponge.  More importantly, I experienced her words lining up with her actions and I did follow in her footsteps as I decided to follow Jesus not long after she did.

I am amazed at how my mom’s words and actions imprinted on me deeply and profoundly as I observed her as she modeled forgiveness and prayer.  Most mornings when I got up for school the first thing I saw was my mom kneeling at the foot of her bed, Bible open before her and a long list of people she was praying for.  I know my mom was reeling from the separation and full of fear about the future, but she choose to forgive my dad and speak forgiveness into the situation and she taught my brothers and I to do the same.  She choose to trust Jesus and that what His word says is true, that He was trustworthy even when what He was asking was very difficult like “Forgive those who have sinned against you” and “Teach your children to honor and respect their dad by being respectful of him with your own words.”

I cannot recall ever feeling like I had to choose between my mom or my dad.  I cannot remember either of my parents putting us in the middle so we felt like we were the rope in their emotional tug-of-war.  Nor can I recall my extended family on either side, and we are a big family, ever making me feel like I had to choose.  I don’t recall expecting my family or friends to choose one side or the other.  I am convinced that my mom’s choice to forgive and to pray for those who are hurting you was the key to this incredible blessing in our lives.  I cannot recall either of my parents speaking ill or nasty of the other one.  In fact both parents, and eventually my step-mom, expected us to be respectful of all the parents in our family.

I have memories of my mom’s brothers still playing golf with my dad and my dad’s sisters still talking to and comforting my mom.  While I grieved the holidays because they were now split between mom and dad, I can’t remember feeling like a traitor to one side or the other because we loved our grandparents, aunts and uncles and cousins on both sides of the family.

There were mistakes made and hurt enough to go around for sure, but we were spared so much by the simple obedient act of forgiveness.

I am sure that there are pieces of this story that, because I was a child and was therefore not privy to the private and intimate pain and anger my mom and dad were experiencing, would paint a different picture.  But for me, my mom’s constant reminder that we needed to forgive dad and forgive her and forgive whoever else was causing us pain as well as asking us “have you prayed for them?” was a divine lesson in humility and valuing relationships over being right or the right to be the victim.  (That last one alone is probably worthy of a number of blog posts!)

I learned to pray out loud “Father I choose to forgive….” from my mom and I learned the value of a praying life from my mom.

This is a legacy and an inheritance worth more than millions in gold and silver.  The legacy of praying it forward has borne so much fruit in my life and the lives of my kids it’s overwhelming to think about.

I can only hope that I have prayed this forward into my children’s lives.  I can only pray that the legacy of forgiveness and valuing relationships will be prayed froward from my mom to me to my children to my grandchildren and on down to a thousand generations of those who love the Lord.

I am deeply grateful this year for the legacy of forgiveness in relationships.

I am deeply grateful that my mom not only lived this out loud but prayed this out loud and forever changed the course of history for our family.

I love you mom!