Coaching is a gift

And he gave some as apostles, others as prophets, others as evangelists, others as pastors and teachers,to equip the holy ones for the work of ministry,* for building up the body of Christ,…¬†Ephesians 4:12-13

We were all given different talents, passions, interests, and gifts from the Holy Spirit. These gifts were given to us to share with the world to build up the body of Christ. We are not to keep so humble, and modest about these gifts that we do not utilize them for the good of others. We must discern our gifts through prayer, sharing with others what they see in us, and self-reflection. Once we accept our gifts we must use them to build up the kingdom of God in this time and place.

What are your gifts? How are you using them? How are you helping to build up the kingdom of God in your life?

My daughter taking guitar lessons

We all have expectations in life. Sometimes we make the expectations so high that nothing can ever satisfy them. Other times we expect so little that we are both suprised and pleased with the outcome.

Many times our past experiences help form our expectations. My daughter has taken piano lessons for three years. She remembers how difficult it was when she started. She had no prior experience playing an instrument and at first thought the task was a bit daunting. Over time, lessons, and practice she has become a skilled pianist.

Her newest conquest is the guitar. She has wanted to play for a long time. Apparently learning to play guitar is much more difficult than piano. After the first lesson she commented how difficult it was, but that since she took piano she knows what to expect. She has completed three lessons and truly enjoys the lessons as well as the limited ability she has to play thus far. She knows that if she is patient, and determined she will become proficient at this skill as well. Her expectations are aiding her in accomplishing this.

How often do we base our expectations on past events? Much of our past forms our future. Take lessons from your past to help you know what to expect in the future and the challenges you can embrace.

My littlest guy leaving for camp

I miss my boy. My youngest one went to a sleep over camp for 4 nights and five days. I can’t stand being without him. My life is out of balance. My family is incomplete.

I seriously have no idea how I am going to handle the “empty nest” thing. I asked my oldest the other day if, when he moves out as an adult, he could just text me each night to let me know he is ok. He said, “I’ll think about it.” I can’t sleep right without knowing they are all tucked in their beds safe and sound. I know my little guy is probably having the best time ever, but I miss him like crazy.

I would love to hear some feed back from the parents who have experienced “empty nest”. How do you do it? How does it work? Don’t you miss them like crazy?

Books from my classes

A few years ago when I was actively pursuing a ministry in motivational speaking I was rejected from the table of speakers because I did not have my “credintials”. At that time I was taking educational classes through our Archdiocese about the Catholic Church as well as spirituality. I was a certified catechesis but for one particular woman that was not enough. I was so upset because my call to the ministry of speaking to others about finding God was “invalid” in her mind and voiced. I thought if she could only hear me speak she would understand that God was calling me to do it.

I am now 2.5 years through a Master’s Degree in Theology from Loyola University of New Orleans. I have knowledge I never knew existed. I definitely know and understand more about the Catholic Church and spirituality. My education as well as my faith experience is now intertwined and it has deepened my understanding.

Yesterday I was asked, after going through this program, if I was the person selecting a speaker and there was one on fire with faith but didn’t have the education, and the other speaker was one who had the education who would I pick? I believe I would choose the one who was on fire with their faith. One can be educated and not pull people in, engage them and set their hearts on fire. I know that my education enhances my understanding of God and gives me a solid foundation to stand on. It has given me more to draw from and continues to help me grow in my faith. However, a person who is on fire with their faith and calling should not be stunted by lack of education. Knowing all that I have learned now I would say all those who are on fire with their faith should be given the opportunity to become more educated and develop even more. But the process should not be shut down because of less education.

I do believe education is always good and not one penny will ever be wasted on expanding our minds with knowledge and understanding. We should all be life long learners. There should not be a question of either Fire or Education instead it should be Fire and education.

“You have succeeded in life when all you really want is only what you really need.” – Vernon Howard

How many of us were raised with the saying, “You got your wants and you got your needs!” Especially as a child I remember wanting things and saying I needed them. I was corrected often, as I should have been. A great majority of our culture is wrapped up in wants not needs. Then there are those who have basic needs that are not met.

Our American culture elicites the want and desire of materialism with every ad, commercal, magazine, movie, and form of media. We are told that our wants are credible needs. We need a better car, we are entitled to that Disney Cruise, we deserve the best of everything. Advertisments have warped our understanding of the difference between the two and left us feeling empty if we don’t have those wants fulfilled. However, what they don’t explain is how empty one feels about a month after the newest “thing” has been purchased. But that’s ok because the next great thing will be out on the shelves by that time.

I believe some of our most basic needs are food, water, shelter, security, education, love, relationships, and the ability to use our talents to work. The other stuff is stuff. We need to pay our bills, but do we know exactly what we are paying for is needed? We need to have shelter, but does it need to be a $300,000 home? We need to have some type of transportation to get to work and other areas, but does it need to be a brand new car?

As Americans we should reflect on our wants and our needs often, least we get trapped into the materialistic mentality that is expected of us. Today, consider what you need and what you want. Then read this quote and reflect on it for awhile.

“You have succeeded in life when all you really want is only what you really need.” – Vernon Howard

My husband and our oldest son Ethan

The influence of an actively involved father figure on a young boy’s life is sometimes underestimated in our culture. The way our children are raised determines an immense amount of their future. If children are raised with strong mothers who discipline, teach, nuture, and pass on their faith that child will thrive in the future, with self discipline, the ability to love, and the foundation of faith in God. If children especially boys are raised with a loving father who is actively involved in their lives, they will learn how to be a man. They will learn what priorities are most important, the role of a man, and the role of a father. If a girl is raised with an actively involved loving, and encouraging father she will look for a strong man with the same qualities to start her own family.

People underestimate the importance of good, loving, faith filled parents. Someone once told me that most people just try to get through parenting, it’s not their main priority. That kills my heart. Our children are precious gifts from God that we are given to raise, nuture, teach, discipline, and love like God loves them on this earth. It is our responsibility to raise them to become good, loving, self disciplined, responsible, caring, and strong adults.

Parenting is not a side job. As parents we need to realize this is not a temporary activity that we can take lightly. The honor of being a parent should be received as a vocational call from God. God has extended his love to us to give to our children. There will never be a perfect parent. There will be mistakes, regrets, and tears along the way. However, we must always remember that God is with us and do all that we can to love, nurture, teach, discipline, and care for our children. One day our words, and our actions will be lived out by our children. What words and actions are you teaching your children today?

My family shoveling snow for a neighbor

Many wonderful ideas and a reimergence of returning to the life of the early church came from Vatican II. One of which is the idea that the “domestic church” is our faith in our home, taught by parents, lived through example for their children. It all starts with two people loving each other and marrying, creating children and raising them within a life filled with love, self sacrifice, and faith. Continue reading