Sunday, July 24, 2016

Coaching and Faith

As we were in church today singing the song "I am a child of God," some things struck me. Specifically, about my faith journey and the connection coaching has had with it. I was journaling about some ways that being a coach has helped my walk with God and wanted to journal them here for my sake {papers tend to get misplaced or tossed in our house.} I also felt the need to do a heart check to be sure my heart and motives are pure and right before God. Here are some of my thoughts and ways coaching has helped my faith:

  • Self Discipline and Self Control - This journey has taught me the art of self discipline and self control {both of which are connected, but different}. I've learned how to not let food control me, how to acknowledge my feelings, rather than eating out of them, I've learned that it's ok to do things I don't enjoy doing, because they are good for me {exercise}. I've learned that I am stronger than I really thought I was. Self discipline is something that has always been a struggle for me, so to feel like I'm getting better at it is encouraging. This verse in Proverbs really strikes me ~ "A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls." ~ Proverbs 25:28. I don't want to be controlled by the flesh, but by the Spirit. And, I certainly don't want to be that picture in the verse either!

  • Perseverance/seeing things through - This is something that was probably my biggest struggle. I tend to be impatient so learning how to persevere when things don't happen instantly has been a good lesson to learn! Love Galatians 6:9 about this: "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." 2 Timothy 2:12 says this ~ "If we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us." I want to endure, I don't want to deny! Endurance is built over time. There are other examples in the Bible about endurance and running the race set before us.

  • Discipline - Isn't this what being a disciple is? Isn't it being steadfast? Committed? Following through? "Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him," is what James 1:12 says. Love that. Steadfast under trial. Not sure about you, but sometimes life feels like a trial. I know that in the grand scheme of things, they aren't trials, but sometimes life is hard, right?
  • A renewed mind - Romans 12:2 says "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." I love that! I've learned how to transform my mind not only by the reading of God's Holy Word every day and by prayer, but also through some great Christian books about personal development {Happy to recommend some, if you'd like?}

I think the biggest thing is the fear I mentioned earlier as we were singing about fear this morning. "You rescued me, and I could stand and sing, I am a child of God..."  "Am I standing and singing," is what I was asking?  Did He set me free and am I doing what He freed me to do?  Am I standing and singing, or am I sitting down and being quiet? What is the song He has put into my heart? What is the passion, the purpose He has for me and am I fulfilling it?  Am I living out the call on my life?  And, if I think I am, how do I know it's my call or His call?  That's where this all started from.  I want to be living out HIS purpose, HIS plans, HIS call, not my own.  So, where do I turn?  The Word to journal, to pray, to process.

So, friends, are you standing and singing with what He's put in your heart?  He didn't die to set you free to NOT stand and sing.  So, go ahead, stand tall and BELT it out!!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Christians in Business: Specifically, Direct Sales/Network Marketing/Multi Level Marketing {or Helping for us!}

Yes, I'm going there.....a topic that I've been struggling with for a while now. It seems like if I've struggled with it, chances are someone else has along the way as well. So, here goes. See me in the picture below? What does the shirt say? It says "TEAM Beachbody." Yes, TEAM. Not "MY Beachbody, or "I Beachbody," or MY Beachbody," but "TEAM Beachbody." So, let's start there. What is a team?

According to, a team is
  • " a group of people who compete in a sport, game, etc., against another group
  • a group of people who work together
  •  a group of two or more animals used to pull a wagon, cart, etc."
Well, it's clear we are not animals, so for this post, let's focus on the first two points. In being my totally transparent self, this is the biggest struggle I have had with my role as a coach. See, I have big goals and big dreams and work hard to accomplish those. By and large, I have done well as a coach. The area I have struggled with is advancing in rank, the part where you need others to rank advance for you to as well. Again, truth be told, I have had a prideful heart and selfishness has crept in at times. God is showing me that it comes from woundedness from my past and He is using this opportunity to bring clarity, insight and healing. I'm thankful for that, but it is hard. That's for sure.

See, it's easy for me to think that I can do this all by myself and not need anyone. But that's not true. And, it's not Biblical. Again, my shirt says it all "TEAM," remember that? As I've been praying and processing this and asking God to speak into this situation, the following things have happened:

  • "Individualism is a mark of immaturity," our pastor said one Sunday morning during the sermon. Chad and I looked at one another.....heard that one!
  • In reaching out to some fellow Coaches who are also believers to see if they struggle with this, got this reply from a top coach in our company, which totally blessed me! {Back story....I've never met this coach before, talked with her, or anything. I knew she was a Believer because of a training she did that I watched online. I sent her a message on facebook and she replied! This blew me away, as there have been other Believers in other companies I have been with that I had met in person, knew, etc. who didn't reply when I would send a message. This company is TRULY about being a TEAM and helping ALL coaches succeed, which I love!} So, here's some of her message to me: "I have had multiple Christians tell me they feel guilty praying over there business bc they shouldn't pray for success etc. in which I say remember guilt comes from the enemy, conviction comes from God. To me it's all about your intention. I pray over my biz and my team daily that God would bless them, protect them and use them. I also ask that He brings us people we can help. Same kind of intention goes for your business plan. No, I don't think it's wrong to build a strong team with financial promise. The only way I can see it as wrong is when coaches don't work at all and just collect a paycheck. As far as team stuff goes, if you lead with intention, with heart and by example you can impact and change your team members lives as well. I have had multiple team members become Christians, and i love watching my team members hit major goals/financial success. " How wonderful is that? I love it!
  • I have also done some research with Mark Virkler, whose ministry has provided a lot of healing/deliverance for me. I respect his opinion and believe he does hear the voice of God. He actually has a book about it and here's some of the lingo for the promotion of that book: "This book also explores what are the best kind of products to sell, how you can grow spiritually through this industry, how to be an outstanding communicator and a successful networker. Network marketing takes a fair amount of work, persistence and skill, but if you are willing to let God stretch you and stick with it for a few years, you can develop an outstanding home-based business." He is so spot on! I'm realizing all these "struggles/challenges" I have with coaching are due to my own areas that need healing. God is growing me, stretching me, changing and refining me through this process and it's ok!
  • I learned about "She Works His Way," an organization committed to helping women to "Pursue Christ. Love Well. Serve Others." Michelle Myers, is a coach as well and I admire, respect and value her wisdom, insight and heart. She's very Biblically solid and speaks the truth. Love that she is helping other Christian women in business connect!
Of course, in looking to the Word for insight on this, there is no black or white section on Christians in this type of business, the Bible does have a lot to say about various things related to this topic. For example:
  • Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 - "Two are better than one...."
  • Proverbs 27:17 - "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another."
  • 1 Corinthians 3:9 paints a beautiful picture of a team working together to build His building.
  • Ephesians 4 talks about unity and maturity in the body. 
  • 1 Corinthians 12:12-13 talks about one body, but many parts. Again, more unity and diversity. These parts all need each other to work together.
  • Philippians 2:3-4 says to do "nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit." Don't ya think me trying to do it on my own is pretty selfish and vain? Heart check.
  • Hebrews 10:24-25 talks about "spurring one another on and encouraging one another." We NEED each other!
  • Proverbs 11:14 says "For lack of guidance a nation falls, but victory is won through many advisers." {MANY, not ONE. MANY!}
  • 3 John 8 says "We ought therefore to show hospitality to such people so that we may work together for the truth.

So, in looking at all of these verses, I see a theme:  We are not meant to be lone rangers, but we need each other and can work together for GOOD!  We all have different gifts, talents, abilities, and callings, but let's use them together for good! For me, that's His Kingdom!  So in looking back at our two definitions of team that pertain, they were {again}:
  • a group of people who compete in a sport, game, etc., against another group
  • a group of people who work together
From what I have experienced and what I can see, this is Team Beachbody, working together.  We are not competing against one another, as I have experienced in other companies before.  There is very much a culture of giving, of serving, of helping, of knowing we are all on the same team with the same goals.  And, that's where I maybe get hung up. My individualism gets in the way, my pride, my lack of wanting to need/depend on others for help.  See, that's ugly, isn't it? It's my past way of thinking not wanting to need others for fear of letting me down. {Duh, they are people, they ARE going to let me down.}  So, am I looking in the right place for my security? BUT GOD, is using it for His glory!  If these thoughts weren't going through my mind, I wouldn't have done the work to learn all of this, right?  It makes me ask hard questions, like what am I seeking here?  Is it my kingdom and my glory or is it His Kingdom and His glory and fame?  What's going on in my HEART?

So, to answer my original question that promoted this blog post, what do I think about Christians being in a direct sales/network marketing type of business model?  I think that Colossians 3:23 is a great way to summarize it: "Whatever you do, work at it with your whole being, for the Lord and not for men."  

Lord, please let this business be FOR YOU, about YOU, Your Kingdom and Your glory. Help me to not do anything out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but may all I do be for and about You, Jesus.  Please forgive me for my pride and selfishness getting in the way of Your will and Your best for me.  Please use me for Your glory.  In Jesus name, Amen.

Hugs, friends!  Thanks for being on this journey with me!  If you'd like more info on coaching, please let me know!  God is doing awesome things!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Somethings That Are On My Heart......

Honestly, I'm not even sure if I should post this or not, but there are some things that have been bubbling beneath the surface that need expressed. That's part of the reason for my facebook break....I have needed some time away from people, from situations and from that scene to process some thoughts and feelings I have. Here goes nothin' {vulnerable post alert!}

Now I'm not sure where to begin all that is going on. Yes, I'm in a company that we call a MLH{multi level helping. Back story ~ last year at Summit, our big conference, our CEO announced we are a MLH, not an MLM. MLM sounds yucky, has a bad wrap and that's not who we are, how we want to be known or how we roll. We HELP those around us! Another reason why I just love this company, the people in leadership and the mission/vision behind it.  We want to help, not market!} Yes, I have several friends on facebook. Part of that is due to being from a small town, where everyone knows everyone and their brothers' uncles :), from being super involved in various organizations in college and from moving around to several different states. Over time, it adds up! However, I will say, I have a some {not many} friends on facebook that I don't know or haven't met yet. The majority of the time, I have accepted a request from them if we have enough mutual friends in common. Or, we have conversed in a group and I feel comfortable sending a request. However, if we have a few friends, and I don't know you, sorry, not going to accept you.  {At least not until I do my homework first!} These are just some of the boundaries I have set on facebook, which also will play into my feelings once I get there :) So, to rewind, yes, I'm in a MLH company. My vision/mission/passion is to help women see their worth and value while teaching them the art of self care. That's my heart and why I do what I do.

There are so many things that I appreciate and enjoy and love about this business, one of them being the opportunity to reconnect with so many friends from various parts of my life. It's been great to reconnect and establish relationships with friends I grew up with, friends from college, friends from the various places we have lived. That has been a great gift that I'm so thankful for. However, on the flip side, we know nothing is perfect and each job/business has its own struggles, right? Well, I'm about to share some of mine with you. {Remember, the vulnerable post warning? Here we go.......}

If you are my friend on facebook, I consider you my friend in "real life," this means to me, I won't treat you differently on facebook than I would in person. Which translates to if you send me a message, I will reply. Just like if we were conversing in person, I would answer your question and not ignore you. Now, I understand it's easier in person because lots of us are stay at home mamas with kiddos that interrupt, need things, sidetrack us, etc. I understand that, I get it. There are times where I read a message and forget to reply! However, I try to be mindful and always reply even if I'm late. What hurts my feelings {again, being honest here.....} is when someone reaches out to me about something I've posted or asking a question, I reply, see that they have read the reply, then don't get back to me. Now, I will be the first to admit, this is from an area of woundedness I'm working through and God has done a mighty work, but I still don't get it. Let me just say this upfront, I appreciate it so much more when an honest reply of "no thank you," "this isn't a good time now," etc. is given vs being ignored. To me, it feels like disrespect; like I wasn't worth replying to; like I wasn't important enough, which again, goes back to woundedness. I understand that and the Lord and I are working on it. The same thing goes for replying but not answering the question....a straight up answer to me is better than avoidance. Now, I realize this isn't the case for everyone, but that's my personal opinion. Being a Communication major, it's interesting to see how all this plays out and how so many misunderstandings, hurt feelings, arguments, quarrels, fights, etc. come down to miscommunication. It makes me wonder if we were upfront, honest and real with one another if that might be avoided? It seems like we reply or respond {or don't}, based on various things: how we feel, what we have been taught or feel comfortable doing {avoiding or replying or ignoring, etc}. For me, the rule of thumb is the Golden Rule - to treat others the way we want to be treated. I feel like if someone took time out of their hectic life to write me, it must be important enough to them and the right thing to do would be to reply. I know and understand not everyone feels or operates that way though. 

The other thing I don't understand is when someone says one thing, then does another. What's that about?  Let your yes be yes and your no be no.  {Matthew 5:37}  Again, it's communication and honesty, don't you think?

Some thoughts that have crossed my mind with this ~ does this come down to expectations? Are my expectations of others too high? Is it realistic to think people that we know, care about and have relationship with will treat us as such {friends }? Or is it not? Should I not expect people to be courteous and reply? Am I doing the wrong thing if I care this much?  Is it healthy to care this much?  Am I too sensitive and just need to get over this?  Is this discouragement coming because there's something big coming?  Be honest here. I'm not looking for perfection or anything like that.....just trying to understand and see a point of view other than the one I've written about here. I understand social media might not be an "a priority," and I understand and respect that {another thing I'm workin on here!}......

The verse in Luke 16:10 "Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much." Are our messages our "littles?"   Not sure, just putting it out there.  Would really love your insights on this, friends.  Thanks for taking time to read this and hear my heart.  It means a lot to me and I value YOU and your friendship!

Thank you, again!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

"But, What About Those?"

"But what about those?" is a question I seem to ask a lot.  About a lot of different scenarios, about different people groups, about different things.  Today, I want to write a blog "about those," in regards to something that's been on my heart the past few days.  Now before digging in, please hear me out.  I love the 4th of July.  In fact, please see last post here about that.  I also like fireworks.  I'm not saying they are terrible, evil, wrong or anything of the sort.  This is just another perspective on fireworks after some of my life experiences.

As you know, we recently celebrated the 4th of July.  A holiday filled with freedom, stars, stripes, red, white and blue, "America the Beautiful", cook outs, you know the drill....and fireworks.  Growing up, I used to love fireworks.  They were so fun and pretty. There was that one time we had to hose off a neighbors roof, but I digress....I've never had a problem with fireworks.  Now, I'm not one whose been over the moon, way into them either, but I haven't had a problem with them. Still don't, for the record.

Our daughter has sensory processing disorder {SPD}. Some of you may know what that is, some of you may not.  Let me quickly explain. There are 2 types - avoiders or seekers. Obviously, avoiders avoid what they are fearful of, sensory wise and seekers seek out what stimulates them, sensory wise. So in looking at the 5 senses, we have: sight, sound, smell, taste and touch.  Lauren, our daughter, is a sound avoider.  Loud noises startle her, scare her, send her into meltdowns {not tantrums, there's a difference there} and just really really impact her in a negative way. Thankfully, we have changed her nutrition, added some supplements to her diet, do chiropractic care regularly and have done OT. Those have been life changing for her!  In fact, so much so, sometimes we forget about the SPD.  If you have questions about this, let me know.  Love to share more of what we've done and what has helped her.  We forget about it until somethings like haircuts, storms and.....fireworks.

I posted on facebook the other day asking if other friends children slept through fireworks or if they woke them up.  A few people commented things like "you should take them," "don't they watch fireworks?," etc.  I know there was no ill intent behind the question and yes, if Lauren wasn't sensitive to sounds, we probably would take her.  But, she is and so we don't.  When your child is wincing every time a neighbor shoots off fireworks, you know a live firework display isn't the best place for them to be.  So, it made me think "what about those who aren't ok with fireworks?" Obviously, those with SPD came to mind, but what about our veterans who have combat related PTSD?  {Yes, I do have PTSD, but it's not related to combat, therefore, the fireworks don't bother me, But I see how they could impact someone who just came back from war.}  Isn't it interesting that we celebrate our country's freedom that so many risk their lives for by doing something that could negatively impact them?  Just something that came to mind after looking at various facebook posts. Some people may not have combat related PTSD or children with SPD, but what about pets?  Who else would be affected by fireworks?

Again, I'm not saying fireworks are bad, they should be outlawed, or anything like that, just thinking of ways to make them more enjoyable for those who are negatively affected by them.  Any thoughts?  Thanks for letting me put this out there.  Would love to hear any insights or thoughts you have on this.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

"What's Your Favorite Holiday?"

"What's your favorite holiday, aside from Easter and Christmas?"  That's the question I asked Chad tonight as we were slicing up some peaches to freeze.  {Hello, Peach Truck delivery!  Yummo!}  Ya know what his reply was?  "Thanksgiving."  Know what my reply was?  If you know me well, or you've been following me, you know there's something I'm passionate about.  It's in my business name, my team name, it's in my bones......FREEDOM!  {Yes, act like I'm in Braveheart here, ok?!} My favorite holiday is the 4th of July!  Why?  Because of all that it stands for and represents! FREEDOM!

So many thoughts buzzing around my head right now around this topic, I will try to keep on the straight and narrow here, folks!  It's not just the red, white and blue, or the stars and stripes I love.  {Yes, I'm a fan of those and love decorating with those during this month too!}, but it's about so much more than that to me. It's the meaning behind it.  It's what the day means and how it relates to my life.

With us moving back to my "childhood home," well close enough to, I've been thinking a lot about life.  Ya know, things I've been through,
 what God has shown me through it all, what I've learned from it, etc. Even before Jesus set me free, or I knew Him, I loved the 4th of July.  The idea of freedom and the HOPE that it gave me of being free one day were always in my heart.  Yet, when something is in your heart, but within reach it can be frustrating, can't it?  Maybe you can relate?  But now that I am free, it means so much more.

It's interesting moving away, learning, growing, getting married, having children, changing, being set free, learning who you are, ya know, big things, then being called back to where it all started for you.  Kinda surreal, honestly.  But, also very cool to look back at where I was, what God has done in and through me and what He has brought me through to come back here.  Wow, I'm totally not the same person I was when I was here. Sure, parts of me are the same, personality maybe some the same, but the inside of me is totally different.  I've gone from being an insecure, paranoid girl who was looking to outward things to fulfill and complete my brokenness to a secure, confident woman who knows who she is and WHOSE she is.  God has done a mighty work in my life and to Him be the glory.  The things He has set me free from, too numerous to list, but some of them include:

* Looking for significance or sense of worth in busy-ness.
* Food/sugar addiction.
* Insecurity
* Lack of confidence
* Fear
* Shame

"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery."  ~ Galatians 5:1  {One of my favorite verses!}

So, friends, what has He set you free from? Or, what do you need Him to set you free from?
Happy 4th of July friends, celebrate your freedom today and Happy Birthday, America!