I wanted to share with all my friends a great opportunity to attend a unique retreat with my friend Pat Layton. After learning all about her plans for the 40 lucky women who will get to attend, I WANT TO GO but I’ll be speaking with another great group of women on the same dates. Read more about this fantastic event in a letter Pat wrote to you all below:
“Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” Mark 6:31
If she had been a spitter, I would have been a prime target from my coveted spot at the Beth Moore conference in the summer of 2007! A few embarrassingly bold girlfriends waited in line with 10,000 of their “closest” girlfriends to seize the coveted front row seats when the doors opened that evening.
I can still recall going to that event needing desperately to hear from God about a very specific decision I was facing in my life. God used Beth that day to very clearly and unquestionably answer my request. I will never forget it.
Over the past 32 years of chasing every nugget God has for my family, my ministry and me, I have enjoyed many other fabulous women’s conferences where my life of faith has been changed, enriched and inspired.
The thing is, as great as those conferences are (I speak at lots of them myself), there have also been those times in my faith journey when I needed a deeper, more personal and specific time of ministry. On some occasions I simply needed answers to some questions that loomed in my heart and soul. Other times my ministry or personal life got STUCK in a specific area of confusion, brokenness or disappointment.
Over the years I have invested in many personal ministry opportunities that have advanced my faith like none other.
I have invested in personal prayer retreats, in fact one I attended for 5 years in a row, which have changed my life and, I believe with all of my heart, set the foundation for the ministry I have today.
I have invested in personal life coaching—both individual and small group.
I have invested in one-on-one writer coaching with a best selling author and editorial coaching for my first general market book Life Unstuck.
Over the years I have spent thousands of dollars pursuing clarity and excellence in my ministry and personal growth.
I believe I am worth it. I believe you are too!
I believe that the calling God has placed on us is worth our investment in both time and money to pursue and improve. I am a life long learner and am very certain I have not offered my last day or dollar in learning more.
This personal retreat will offer you a very personalized time of refreshment, restoration and renewal. You may need this time of focus for your marriage or your ministry. Maybe you have been through a recent life changing trauma or transition and seek clarity and redirection in your life.
At A Life Unstuck Retreat, you will encounter:
• A time of personal inventory and evaluation.
• Introduction to a Life Mapping tool called A Freedom Flower? that is YOURS to take and will provide a map for you to follow for years to come.
• A vision boarding process that will apply to your life right now and provide clear and measureable steps towards your dreams.
• An intimate gathering for worship, rest and prayer that will be personally planned for YOU!
• Last, but far from least, you will be pampered, prayed for and personally ministered to for your specific season of life and longings.
I sincerely hope that the Life Unstuck Retreat will be where we meet, face-to-face, to encounter God in a fresh way, together. My desire is to inspire you, to serve you and to set a table for you to enjoy the presence of God in a way that YOU will never forget.
The details are on my website along with a little “Is This Retreat For You Quiz”.
Contact me personally with any questions you might have.
In His Grip!
Pat is a passionate and inspiring leader who, during her 25 years in full time ministry, has founded a variety of non-profit ministries including A Woman’s Place Pregnancy Resource Center in Tampa, Florida; a Christian Adoption Agency; an abstinence education program; and Surrendering the Secret, an international post abortion recovery program.
Pat is a busy Speaker, Writer and Life Coach specializing in “Dream Design” for women. She is a published author of 6 books. Her post abortion recovery bible study Surrendering the Secret was published by Lifeway in 2008; her personal testimony A Surrendered Life was released by Baker books in August 2014 and her newest book, Life UnStuck “Peace with the Past; Purpose in the Present and Passion for the Future,” was released in Spring 2015!
A man’s confidence is the key to his entire world. And he gets most of his sense of confidence through two places: his work and his wife.
It’s a big responsibility (especially if his work life isn’t all that fantastic) but one that we are called to as his wife.
She opens her mouth in wisdom, And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
When God calls us to something, He also equips us with the ability to follow through. So before you start the internal tape of all the reasons why building up his confidence isn’t really your “job,” let’s talk about what happens when we don’t.
The wise woman builds her house, But the foolish tears it down with her own hands.
OK, so now that we have that out of the way, let’s work together to come up with SIMPLE ways to build up your man.
5 simple ways to build your husband’s confidence:
Verbally tell him why you love him — he works hard, he plays with the kids, he has the best butt, he treats your mom like a queen, etc. SO TELL HIM!
Kiss him every single time you are parting ways and every time you come back together.
Pray for him every day (check out my Pinterest board for suggestions on how to pray for him).
Grab his hand when you are walking through Lowe’s. Place your hand on his leg next time you are out to dinner. Physical touch is a big deal to our guys and not just when it’s in the bedroom.
Brag on him in front of others! This one is a huge deal. We know a couple that is very sarcastic with each other. But the wife recently confessed that sometimes her sarcasm comes out more like a complaint or putting her man down than just a funny jest (and usually it’s intentional). She has committed to bragging on him rather than putting him down in public, even if they are having a good verbal sarcasm session among friends.
For ideas on how to brag on your man and build your husband up, I have included a download you can use to help build your man’s confidence every single day.
2tbspchopped fresh herbs,such as dill, parsley, basil
Preheat broiler to high. Combine balsamic vinegar and herbs. Place bread slices on a broiler pan. Char bread on each side under hot broiler. You can also grill bread if you prefer. Drizzle the balsamic vinaigrette over slices of toasted baguette and spread with goat cheese. Finish with another drizzle of vinaigrette. Garnish with thyme.
Kathi: You and I have talked a lot about self grace. This is something you’ve really struggled with. When we first met, I thought, “That woman is harder on herself than anyone else I’ve ever known.”
Michele: You’re not the first person to tell me that.
Kathi: I’m not surprised.
Michele: I’ve pretty much heard that my entire life.
Kathi: Reading the chapter about your upset over the A- … if I’d come home from school with an A-, my parents would have thrown a party! But all you saw was the minus.
Michele: I only saw the minus. And isn’t this true about so many of us? We look at our lives and all we can see is the minus? We can’t see the “A”? That has been a theme in my life.
Kathi: I think a lot of people have pocket perfectionism. They’d be cool with an A-, but there’s other things they’d lose their mind over.
Michele: Not me. I’m pretty much across the board.
Kathi: So, speak to that. I feel like in the last couple of months, there’s been a lot more self grace. There’s been a shift.
Joy: You’ve had to ask for help. … I work with you every day. There’s stuff we’re doing that normally Michele would have handled, but she’s been handing over, saying, “Could you do this for me?”
Kathi: But her standards haven’t slipped.
Joy: Not at all! It’s still this high level of excellence. But it’s a reall sweet soft side of you. And I like watching God work in your life like that.
Traci: It’s what we get from you as your friends. You are very grace-full and very forgiving, and you see all of our As…
Traci: …but you don’t see yours. So it’s nice to see you give some of that back to yourself.
Kathi: That’s good. Because she is the biggest cheerleader in the world.
Kathi: What’s been the transition?
Michele: I’ve landed in a circumstances that have given me lots of practice. Where I have no ability to control all the errant details of my life. So I have to let go at some point. And it forces me to see that not everything is my fault. Not everything is within my control; some of it is just life. Just life.
I have to find my value in somebody other than myself and my performance.
I have to find my sense of worth and value in something other than myself and my performance. For 43 years of my life, I had find my value in my ability to perform well. To produce children who behave and listen. To have a marriage that looks spotless. To do everything with excellence.
And I have learned that’s very shaky sand.
Ultimately, the only sense of value I can find that will not move, that is unshakable, is the love of God for me.
The only thing that I know I can wake up to tomorrow that will not be different than today is the fact that God will still love me. He will still know my name. And He will not leave. Romans 8:35, 37-29. It’s the only thing I can stand on that will not change.
I have no idea what my children will do tomorrow. I have no idea what kind of kids they’re going to grow up to be. I don’t even know if my husband will be here tomorrow; we never know these things. I don’t know how much I’ll be able to speak once everything is done.
The only thing I can stand on for sure, in cement, is the love of God for me.
And that allows me to first of all grace myself, because it’s not dependant on me any more. It’s not about me getting up and working really hard to talk well. It’s not about me reading a bunch of parenting books and being the best mom and winning some kind of parenting awared.
It’s about the fact that nothing is going to change the wide, high, long, deep love of God for me.
And somehow, that helps us make peace with our unexpected lives and undone selves.
Joy: Because that never gets undone.
Who can change the mind of God?
His love for your is already established.
It will never change.
(You can view the entire conversation here: https://youtu.be/TBi3-0TLWpg … the portion shared above starts around 26:35 and runs through 34:55. Begin at 26:10 for a bit of fun banter!)
I’ve come to believe we can endure just about anything as long as we know we’re not alone.
Problem is, too often we feel alone. Utterly and completely.
In spite of the emails and messages and well-wishes, our crises isolate us, creating a divide too wide to bridge. It makes us feel “other,” separating us from those who seem to carry on unhindered in their ordinary, pain-free lives.
But here’s the thing: I think pain-free is a fantasy. I don’t know anyone who’s living the life they always imagined. I know more than a few people who are pretending to. But behind their well-crafted charade sits a schism of struggle they’re too afraid to expose. Thus we trudge on—both the pretenders and the strugglers—each of us swallowed up in our aloneness and fear.
But what if …
What if someone went first?
What if someone dared to create a safe place for the complicated questions and conversations?
And then, what if you and I could find a way to laugh and cry and be undone together?
I think there is.
That’s why Monday, February 22, I’m launching Undone Life Together: A 5-week Conversation About the Unexpected Life. Picture it like a giant family room with a bunch of fluffy pillows and chairs. There’s a seat for you there; me, too. And we’ll circle up and unpack the tough questions we bump against every single day. Only, this time we won’t do it alone. We’ll do it together.
Daily emails designed to create conversation around your biggest questions.
Dedicated Facebook group conversation around the days themes.
Weekly videos where I dive a bit deeper into the most complicated topics.
We won’t come up with all the answers nor will we resolve all of life’s unknowns. But we’ll open the doors for an honest conversation. I believe, in the process, we will discover a God who is faithful, a peace that is unshakeable and a community of fellow strugglers who will walk with us in this Undone Life Together.
Like cold water in the driest of deserts, my friend.
It begins February 22 and ends March 25. Even better, it’s absolutely FREE. That means you can participate as much or as little as you like. You can even lurk in the background for the entire five weeks if that’s the most you can do. Believe me, I get it.
I can’t wait to get started. And, honestly, my heart is aching for you to join us. I may not know all the details of your story, but I know what it feels like to be alone, drowning in questions without answers. And I know the One who holds the key to staying afloat.
It happens to us all. The best of intentions have left you in love without a gift for your Valentine. Don’t worry! I’ve got some ideas that are sure to let your man know he is loved this Valentine’s Day. Ready? Set? Go!
2) Breakfast in Bed.
Valentine’s Day is on a Sunday and for most people that means a little bit of extra time in the morning. Start the day off right by serving your man breakfast in bed. This doesn’t have to be fancy! Put on an apron (and nothing else) and serve him eggs, toast, juice and fruit in bed. He will feel like a king!
Dip fruit, cookies, Ritz crackers with peanut butter in the middle (refrigerate them before dipping!) or marshmallows.
4) Will You Be My Valentine?
Make a homemade valentine card complete with glitter and stickers which includes an invitation to meet you in the bedroom at a specific time in the afternoon. Make popcorn and put on a movie for the kids and meet him for a rendezvous.
5) Set the Mood.
Make a playlist of songs that are meaningful to the two of you. Great dressed for a date and ask him to as well. Light some candles, set a pretty table and whip up an easy but fancy layered sundae or parfait. One bowl. Two spoons. As you share dessert reminisce about how your story began.
And why not give your man something to smile about throughout the year? My new book 101 Simple Ways to Show Your Husband You Love Him is now available. Emphasis on the word SIMPLE. Find out more here.
Nothing compares to hearing Kathi live and in person!
Here are just a few highlights from the copious notes we took during Kathi’s three amazing Clutter Free messages and Kim Nowlin’s delightful bonus Clutter Free Wardrobe talk:
“We can ignore our clutter for a while. But one day, it will bite you in the butt!” (Kathi tells it like it is!)
“When your environment is cluttered, it restricts your brain’s ability to focus. Clutter competes for your attention.” (This was powerful. I could sense a difference in my heartrate and anxiety level just looking at “before” and then the “after” pictures.)
“Creativity is on the other side of clutter.” (The more clutter I discard, the more creative I discover I am!)
“Don’t keep stuff — only keep stories.” (POWERFUL decision-making filter!)
“Get rid of clothes that talk down to you. I have enough negative voices in my head; I don’t need a jacket yelling at me, too!” (I’m feeling rather smug about the two bags of 40+ closet items ready for the Goodwill right now!)
“If you’re crying in the fitting room, the problem is the clothes, not you!” (This may have had me crying in the front row…!)
“Release anything that isn’t serving you so it can bless someone else!” (After hearing Kathi’s Nike story, I will never again debate giving away “perfectly usable” things!)
“The only difference between a project and a crisis is TIME.” (Now we’re gettin’ personal!)
“When there’s a PLAN, I’m taking care of my future self.” (How cool would it be for my present self to always say, “THANK YOU!!!” to my past self?!?)