What’s Your Word of Vision for 2017?

What’s Your Word of Vision for 2017?

For the last several years, I have chosen a word of the year.  I have thought about one word that would inspire, encourage and motivate to serve and love better.  A word that captures and focuses my vision!

This year, the end of the year seemed to sneak up on me. I hadn’t been pondering or thinking about it much until last week. Suddenly, I realized there are only two more weeks in this year!  I have been working on my business, in my business, around my business, under my business and above my business.  Whew!  I noticed how tired I was.  I gave myself permission to take off week before Christmas. I was determined not to think about my coaching business.  I felt like I had been gnawing it to death and it needed rest like I did.

Of course, God in His wisdom, knew I was the one who needed rest.  As I began pondering my word for the year, I wondered if rest was going to be my word.  I didn’t want it to be my word.  I have been dreaming about “Oh the Places You’ll Go” as Dr Seuss says and “Today is your day!’.   I wanted BIG dreams for encouraging, inspiring and supporting women to find hope in 2017.

What did I need?

I knew I needed rest, yet rest wasn’t quite the right vision fit.  The world’s news, like in Alepo, stirred my heart.  The national news stirred my heart.  My family’s news stirred my heart.  All of these things outside of me and outside of my control tended to induce fear, worry and anxiety. Those weren’t my words for the year!  What word vision did He have in mind?

Where did I find my nudge?

My devotional reading though, in John 16, caught my attention. Jesus was talking to His disciples in the Upper Room, just before His crucifixion. He said,

33 I have told you these things so that you will be whole and at peace. In this world, you will be plagued with times of trouble, but you need not fear; I have triumphed over this corrupt world order.

Whole and at peace.  Ahhh.  That’s my heart’s desire- peace.  That inner quality that only God can provide when my focus is on Him.  It comes when I take time in solitude. Or when I am quietly praying and listening for His voice. I experience peace when I give my worries to Him and ask Him for direction, even when being plagued with times of trouble.

Then for the sermon on Sunday, our pastor’s message noted the angels’ message to the shepherds- “Peace on earth, good will to men.”  That’s what the birth of Jesus brought.  He’s the Prince of Peace, according to Isaiah 9:6.  Not from the ceasing of wars and famines and family strife, but knowing that wherever I am, He is there, too.  He didn’t escape trouble, He overcame it.  Therefore, I can, too.

What am I looking forward to with the word that has chosen me?

I am looking forward to this coming year to see how God wants me to experience peace.  Peace in my soul.  Peace in my body, releasing the tension I hold in.  Peace through praying and giving Him my anxieties.  I will be asking Him to show me what is robbing me of peace.

Be on the lookout for what word God in store for you for the new year.  What word keeps popping up in your mind and heart?  What word will choose you for 2017?  I would love to hear about that special word and how God brought it to your attention.  Post in the comments below or on NancyBoothCoaching facebook page.

Nancy Booth is a certified life coach and certified brain-based coach.  She loves creating safe spaces for women going through life’s transitions to discover and support their visions for health and well-being in an overwhelming world, explore possibilities for next steps and find hope.  She writes about taming the overwhelm and reducing stress, looking for ways to motivate, energize and inspire you!  You can sign up to receive her weekly blog or contact her to find out ways you can begin to shed overwhelm and stress.  It’s time to explore possibilities of new relationships, better life pacing and gain hope and peace.

 

3 Ways to Handle Christmas Anticipation

3 Ways to Handle Christmas Anticipation

One of the biggest holidays of the year is almost here.  Is your to-do list almost your done list? What are you anticipating in the next few days?  Family? Flurry? Stress? Joy? Sadness? Anxiety? How are you handling the “It’s almost here”?  How does anticipation effect you?

The definition of anticipation is the action of anticipating something, an expectation or prediction.  You are looking forward with expectancy, excitement or even suspense.  Depending on your prior experience with the Christmas season, you may be experiencing all these emotions.  Or if this is a Christmas season of transition, you are in anticipation of not knowing and that brings suspense and anxiety.

As you look at the next few days before Christmas and find yourself disconnected from the season or in a state of overwhelm or even joyously anticipating the day, consider the following three ways you might handle the anticipation of Christmas and all your emotions associated with the next few days.

Create Some Space

cup20161222_044603Even though you feel like you may be running around like a chicken with her head cut off, or your space is unbearably quiet, create some safe space for yourself where you can be still.  What is your heart’s anticipation? What are your emotions?  How does God see the upcoming few days?  Take a cup of your favorite beverage, sit quietly and breathe.  I find when I sit at the feet of Jesus and ask Him how He sees what I am facing, I get insights into my emotions.  I want to go into my Christmas with open hands and open heart, anticipating that He will guide me, not my emotions.  I don’t want to miss anything He has for me.

Explore the Possibilities

This year is a transitional year for us, as we will be celebrating with most of the family after Christmas Day.  My daughter and her son will be here part of the day, but my husband and I may be by ourselves for part of Christmas Day.  That looks very different than years past.  What that could look like for my husband and I?  Go to a movie?  Eat out for supper?  Invite other friends over?  I haven’t decided yet as I am still exploring possibilities.  I am anticipating what my own needs may be for that day – rest, family fun, church, since it is a Sunday.  How does what I want play into others’ expectations of a traditional Christmas meal?

What about you?  What possibilities and choices do you have coming up?  If family are far away, what friends can be family that day?  If this is the first Christmas after losing a loved one, how can you change things up?  If the holiday is usually stressful, what choices do you have to alleviate some of the stress?  Stand back and look at your life as if you were looking at it from a distance.  What advice would you give yourself?

Find Hope

I pray that God, the source of all hope, will infuse your lives with an abundance of joy and peace in the midst of your faith so that your hope will overflow through the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13 The Voice

navtivity20161222_044249-1So in this Christmas season, where do you find hope?  My prayer is that you are looking to God for your hope, in the midst of whatever you are facing.  As the angel told Mary before the birth of Jesus, “So the impossible is possible with God”. Luke 1:37

What impossible are you anticipating for the Christmas?  Give it to God and see what happens.  I will be praying for my readers and would love to pray for your specifically.  You can send me a private message on my facebook page NancyBooth Coaching if you would like me praying for you.  He loves you and wants to join in your anticipation of Christmas for the impossible.

Merry Christmas!

Nancy Booth is a certified life coach and certified brain-based coach.  She loves creating safe spaces for women going through life’s transitions to discover and support their visions for health and well-being in an overwhelming world, explore possibilities for next steps and find hope.  She writes about taming the overwhelm and reducing stress, looking for ways to motivate, energize and inspire you!  You can sign up to receive her weekly blog or contact her to find out ways you can begin to shed overwhelm and stress.  It’s time to explore possibilities of new relationships, better life pacing and gain hope and peace.

Unwrap Your Gifts of Desires and Longings

Unwrap Your Gifts of Desires and Longings

As the Christmas season approaches, everywhere we look, we are enticed to want this new thing or that new invention.  “Don’t you desire this for your home?”  “Aren’t you longing for the newest _____(fill in the blank)?” “Unwrap this gift under your Christmas tree this year.  She will love you for it.”

As I think about my vision for 2017, I have been pondering my desires and longings. These desires and longings are gifts within my soul that I can either experience or share with others.  They aren’t about “things”.  They are about who I want to “be” and how I want to “do” or serve others in my work and family and finally what I want to “have” for the new year.  Everything starts with being first, rather than doing and having.

Want to Be

I think one of my strongest desires for the new year is to be still so I can hear the small, still voice of God.  When I sit still, I can hear and feel loved.  I also find peace and hope.

I also want to be fully present.  I don’t want to miss moments in my day.  In the past, my anxiety and depression clouded my thinking and now that I have my health back mostly, I want to be aware of the beauty, the relationships, and even the dailyness of my life and savor those moments.  I am one to rush on to the next thing.  I want to better pace my days by being fully present and enjoying my surroundings, my work and my family.

The third area I want to be is strongly connected to those around me, whether it be God, my husband and family, friends, church, neighborhood or the women I serve.  Connection is so important to me and grounds me to health and vitality.

What about you?  How do you want to be this next year?  What are the desires and longings of your soul?

Want to Do

grandkids-with-papaIn the “do” area of my life. I long to do service that makes a difference in the lives of people with whom I am involved. I want to write encouragement to others.  I want to create safe and beautiful spaces for women who want to make a change in their lives and find hope. I also want to make beautiful and loving places for my grandchildren to have fun with “grandma and papa” to help them feel special.

My want to do’s come out of my want to be’s connection desires.

How does your do and be fit together?  What are your desires and longings that you want to bring to life for 2017?

Want to Have

When I get my want to be and want to do in alignment for 2017, I believe my desires and longings for my “haves” will fall into place.  For my want to haves, I want to have gratitude and enjoy what I have currently.  I  want to have more gatherings and groups of women together – creating those safe spaces, and retreats. I want to enjoy those connections with others – online, in my neighborhood, my church and in the surrounding areas.

I want to have a beautiful backyard to enjoy.  I want to have a screened-in area in order to enjoy the beauty of the trees, flowers and nature as well as share it with others.  Getting outdoors is an important component of my health so creating a space where I have access to enjoy it will make a difference.  Again, that is in congruence with my be still desires, and my want to do longing to connect with God, others and creation.

How will your want to have support your be and do?

Gifts to Unwrap

Of course, I have other be, do, have desires and longings I could share.  These are just a few of the gifts in my life I hope to unwrap in 2017.  I hope it’s given you a glimpse of how you might make a gift list for 2017 for yourself.  Take time for yourself and listen to your heart.  I want to create safe spaces for you to explore the dreams and possibilities in your life and find hope. That’s my biggest desire for 2017.   Let’s unwrap your gifts for 2017 together.

Nancy Booth is a certified life coach and certified brain-based coach.  She loves creating safe spaces for women going through life’s transitions to discover and support their visions for health and well-being in an overwhelming world, explore possibilities for next steps and find hope.  She writes about taming the overwhelm and reducing stress, looking for ways to motivate, energize and inspire you!  You can sign up to receive her weekly blog or contact her to find out ways you can begin to shed overwhelm and stress.  It’s time to explore possibilities of new relationships, better life pacing and gain hope and peace.

6 Action Steps to Partnership with God

6 Action Steps to Partnership with God

In the early morning hours, I get up to spend alone time with God. My premise is I desire to partner with God.  However, before you say, “isn’t that nice” or “I could never do that.” or think I am some kind of amazing person, let me tell you how messy it is.

Some mornings I am headachey, tired or worried or  not ready to be focused..  What do I do?  I get on Facebook or check emails. Suddenly, 30-45 minutes have disappeared and I am no wiser or more satisfied with life.

Earlier in my life, when I had a short amount of time to meet with God, I would set a timer. I didn’t want to be watching the clock.  I knew I had 30 minutes before I had to get out the door. I became more focused on reading, writing in my journal, praying and listening to what God wanted to say to me.  Now that I am in semi-retirement and working for myself, I am not nearly as disciplined or focused on how we can be working together in partnership.

Lately, I have been encouraged to pray for my business and how I am to serve women well.  I have been challenged to make God an active partner in my business.  What could that look like?  How can I pray specifically for  His partnership?.  The following steps may work for you in whatever role fills your day – either as a full-time mom or grandmother or out in the work world.  This six-step process has got me back on track to realizing God as my business partner. He wants to be with me in partnership moment by moment throughout the day.

6 ACTION Steps to Partnership with God

  1. A dore Him– Choose a Bible passage (like in Psalms) to read 3 times and let it wash over you.  What words shimmer?  This is a lectio divina practice.
  2. C onfess– Ask God for one word or phrase He wants you to realize to confess and turn back to Him.
  3. T hank Him– Write down three things you are grateful for and why.  What are even little things to be thankful for, like the sunshine?
  4. I nquire of Him –Determine specific prayer requests for your family/friends (5) and for your business/work/service (5)
  5. O xygenize  Breathe and pray– Take time to breathe and listen –   10-20   minutes of focusing on one word or a phrase, like “Jesus, have mercy” or “peace” to let God sink into your soul.  This is a centering prayer practice.
  6. N ext Steps – Ask God for the next steps in the day ahead. Watch for His partnership throughout the day.

I don’t get these steps perfect and I’m not there yet in getting all these pieces into my habits.  However, I am feeling more freedom and seeing more of God in partnership with me in my business and my day-to-day work. (As an aside, I took the photo above.  It’s my journal and Bible on the chair in my room.  I randomly laid my pen across my journal.  I didn’t see that it formed a cross until after I looked at the picture.  I felt His encouragement to say, “I’m here with you, Nancy.  I’m your partner.”) 

I’ll keep you posted on how I progress with this discipline.  I would love to know what you try and how you see God at work in your life.  We are all on a journey to know and love God more and more.  I would love to join you in your journey.

Nancy Booth is a certified life coach and certified brain-based coach.  She loves creating safe spaces for women going through life’s transitions to discover and support their visions for health and well-being in an overwhelming world, explore possibilities for next steps and find hope.  She writes about taming the overwhelm and reducing stress, looking for ways to motivate, energize and inspire you!  You can sign up to receive her weekly blog or contact her to find out ways you can begin to shed overwhelm and stress.  It’s time to explore possibilities of new relationships, better life pacing and gain hope and peace.

 

 

Out of the Darkness into the Light

Out of the Darkness into the Light

A water well is such a necessity.  Those of us who live in cities and turn on the faucet take for granted how easy it is to access water and bring it up from wherever the water comes from, an underground aquifer or spring, river or even man-made reservoir.  I happen to live in the country away from the water districts and have “drilled” well that reaches down into the darkness underground to the underlying aquifer of water and brings me access to bright, clean water each day.

When I think about wells, though, I think about the well we had on our farm property growing up. We had a big top on it and when Dad periodically took the top off, I could peer down into the darkness to see if I could see the bottom or see the water.  I couldn’t and it always was scary to me to peer down into the well and think about all the creepy crawly things that might be down there (there weren’t because he kept the lid on) but my imagination in the dark could run wild.

I have been thinking about the darkness in the well of my own soul.  I take it for granted that I will get clean, loving thoughts and emotions from it.  I can just get up in the morning, start my day and out comes goodness, kindness, peace, love and joy.  NOT!

I am surprised by the dark, creepy crawly creatures that linger right under the surface when I am not drawing the fresh clean water from the well of my soul and letting God bring light into my whole being.  These last weeks have been filled with family outings, family health crisis (my 93 year old father-in-law had a  pacemaker put in – he’s doing well – amazing modern medicine!) extra people in my home, and my own distractions.  I haven’t been sitting and doing my regular time with God or having the solitude I usually get.

The result is I begin to control everyone in sight!  I get snippy, cranky, and of course, know how everyone should be living their lives.  I become the wicked witch of the West.  Not pretty!!!  I realized that when I get so outwardly critical and controlling that the darkness is calling me to come into His light.

He gently reminded me yesterday that for 10 days straight, I have been running and not taking care of myself.  The martyr in me rises up quite quickly!  How do I get back on track and throw those creepy, crawly things out of my well and come into the light?

Take Time

The rest of my world will function fine without me for a while.  I need to get away and spend time with and for myself.  I do that and then I fall away.  It is a consistent battle, and yet one I know I need for my soul’s nurturing.

Be Gentle

I was doing a good job of beating up on myself. ” I should do this.  What is going on?  Why am I like this?  Why am I not doing that?  I will never do ….. “The negative self-chatter was going strong.  That was another indicator that I wasn’t taking care of myself.  I would never talk to a friend like that.  God doesn’t talk to me like that and He doesn’t want me to talk to myself like that.  I can use the negative chatter as an indicator that it’s time to refresh my soul and sit down with God.  I am to be gentle on myself.

Get Outside

Especially in Wisconsin, spring is so beautiful.  Outdoors is one of the most healing places to be.  When I get in these dark moods, I know I haven’t been outside much.  Even yesterday, I spent much of the day outside, enjoying God’s beautiful creation and enjoying my husband’s company.  What a difference I felt at being outdoors!

What about you?  How do you bring yourself out of your dark places?  I would love to know.  If you would like someone to accompany you and listen, please let me know.

Nancy Booth is a certified life coach and certified brain-based coach.  She loves creating safe spaces for women going through life’s transitions to discover and support their visions for health and well-being in an overwhelming world, explore possibilities for next steps and find hope.  She writes about taming the overwhelm and reducing stress, looking for ways to motivate, energize and inspire you!  You can sign up to receive her weekly blog or contact her to find out ways you can begin to shed overwhelm and stress.  It’s time to explore possibilities of new relationships, better life pacing and gain hope and peace.

 

 

 

 

 

Can A “Prescribed Burn” Bring Growth to Your Life?

Can A “Prescribed Burn” Bring Growth to Your Life?

It is springtime here in Wisconsin and as I travel the countryside, I come across patches of blackened earth here and there.   The contrast is startling as all other growth show bright greens, whites, and pinks, especially on a bright sunny day.   If my timing is right, I may even come across a smoky patch, when fire is actually raging.

These fires and blackened fields are actually “prescribed burns”  for the prairie patches still left in the area, especially on the state’s natural properties.  The burns are used to maintain the health of our natural areas and rid them of invasive species.  These prescribed burns help prairies by:

  • Managing weeds and invasive species
  • Restoring and releasing nutrients
  • Rejuvenating growth

Prairie plants have deep roots and the key growing part of the plant is below ground, where the fire does not penetrate.  Therefore, the fire, by destroying the weeds and invasive plants, allows the prairie plants to flourish.

What About You?

“Everyone’s going through a refining fire sooner or later, but you’ll be well-preserved, protected from the eternal flames.” Mark 9:49 The Msg

When was the last time you went through a “prescribed burn”?  A refining fire may or may not have been your choice.  As the verse above reminds us, everyone’s going through a refining fire sooner or later – a health issue that turns big,  a job loss, the death of a loved one, retirement, even the transition of children leaving home can be a refining fire – whatever transition you may be facing.  A prescribed burn could be a smaller refinement, too – a fight with your family or friend, a problem with your boss or teammates at work, a reoccurring health issue – like a thorn in the side.

Whatever your “prescribed burn” is, think about the how fire helps the prairie plant.  Could fire help…

Manage Invasive Weeds in Your Life

When faced with a fire, all resources and attention are placed on controlling the fire.  For example, my prescribed burn was my depression. When I was fighting my depression, I let go of outside activities and focused on finding what was necessary for regaining my health.  I focused on eating healthy, exercise, meditation, getting outdoors, asking for help from my family, medication, and monitoring my thinking.  I needed to manage those invasive weeds in my life such as saying yes when I meant no, and understanding the difference between reality and expectations as well as giving myself permission to take care of myself.  God lead me to a time of burning away the unhealthy practices so I could begin to see what health could look like.

Restore and Release Nutrients

The “prescribed burn” for the prairie restores and releases nutrients.  The heat of the fire for some plants releases seeds that would not otherwise be released.  It burns away the hard outer core.

It takes heat and fire at times to find our true creative self that God has placed within us.  He has restored my health and released the nutrients of encouragement and love into my life and I am grateful.  This can be true for you as you go through a “prescribed burn”.  I didn’t do it alone.  I walked with my coach, my spiritual director, my own family, and my church family.  The seeds that have been released have been watered and tendered by the community around me.

Rejuvenate Growth

After a “prescribed burn,” new green growth begins to appear.  I love going back to that blackened earth to see the first few sprouts coming up.  It truly represents how I feel as I am coming out of my depression.  I am so enjoying the new sprouts of growth that are occurring – coaching, spiritual direction, writing, relationships.  Without the “prescribed burn” of my depression, I would not be noticing these new sprouts.  All of this noticing is occurring because of this new and closer relationship I have with God.

He has restored me and released me to a new way of living with Him.  For me, I have found a new career, a new calling, a new way of serving and loving on women as well as my own true identity.  That is what “prescribed burns” can do.  Get rid of the unimportant and invasive weeds in your life and help you focus on how He wants to delight in you and restore new growth. Grow a Perfect Day

What wall are you hitting?  What invasive weeds need to be burned out of your life so those beautiful prairie plants can grow?   I would love to accompany you to make sure that prairie fire doesn’t burn out of control.  Or if you’re coming out of a fire, that you begin to notice the new growth that is occurring.  Contact me for a free consultation.  Let’s see how you can begin to flourish more today.

Nancy Booth is a certified life coach and certified brain-based coach.  She loves creating safe spaces for women going through life’s transitions to discover and support their visions for health and well-being in an overwhelming world, explore possibilities for next steps and find hope.  She writes about taming the overwhelm and reducing stress, looking for ways to motivate, energize and inspire you!  You can sign up to receive her weekly blog or contact her to find out ways you can begin to shed overwhelm and stress.  It’s time to explore possibilities of new relationships, better life pacing and gain hope and peace.

 

 

 

 

Save the Date!   June 25!

Rejuvenate Your Soul- A Woman’s Day Retreat

Come away for a day to turn down the world’s volume and hear your heart! 

More information coming soon!

 

 

 

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