Blog

5 Things I’ve Started (and Stopped) Doing in 2018

 

IMG_7342

“…let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up.  And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.” Hebrews 12:1

Here are 5 things I’ve started and stopped doing in order to live my life with greater purpose and impact in 2018:

1. Trust God more than I Worry

  • Sometimes I don’t realize my shoulders are up by my earlobes until I remember to ask myself, “Are you trusting or worrying?”
  • Trusting God isn’t a passive state, so I ask myself, “What can I do to stop worrying?”
  • I can find peace by reading the Bible daily and trusting God to keep His Word.
  • Isaiah 26:3 “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in You.”

2. Move more than I Sit

  • Weekly checklists motivate me to get moving.
  • I love to walk and ride my beach cruiser, and this year I’m adding weights and yoga, and it feels so satisfying to check it off my list.

IMG_6578

3. Read more than I Scroll

  • I’m usually scrolling for entertainment, not for information or growth.
  • Scrolling leads to comparing; and comparison drains my energy.
  • Putting down my phone and picking up a book (or reading a book on my phone) is actually increasing my energy.
  • My goal for 2018 is to finish at least two books per month.  (I’m currently reading Boundaries by Cloud & Townsend and Everybody Always by Bob Goff.)

4. Reach Out more than I Retreat

  • Just like hunger pangs are the body’s signal to eat, feeling lonely is the heart’s signal to reach out.  (I just love this quote from Friendships Don’t Just Happen – another great book I finished this year!)
  • Whether I’m reaching out to friends or family or a new community, I want to be someone who invites, includes and invests, not someone who hides out and holds back.

5. Start more than I Doubt

  • I’ve always been that girl who has trouble making decisions, but I’ve come to realize that self-doubt is just a form of procrastination, and who has time for that?
  • So I’m challenging myself to skip all the doubting and what-ifs and just get started!
  • Starting doesn’t always result in perfection, but it always leads to being fully present.

 

I’d love to hear what you’re putting into practice as you reach the half-way point of this year!  – what have you started doing?  – what have you stopped doing?  – and how is it going so far?

If you’re curious about how to get started on living a life of greater purpose and impact, I’d love to talk with you about your own LifePlan.   You can connect with me at rene@eat-art.org or visit www.patersoncenter.com to learn more.

Blog

Mindset

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

What is your mindset for 2018?

Choosing a mindset is a personal decision.  Can I share something personal with you?

I have always been an emotionally expressive person.  I experience highs and lows with the best of you!

As a mom I get to watch my kids take big, bold steps toward pursuing their dreams, and my emotions skyrocket with extreme joy!  But then I think about our quiet house and daily life without them around, and my emotions plummet.

I’ve been a full-time mom for nearly 20 years, and as my kids start to need me less,  I often feel like an absolute mess!

One minute I’m wildly cheering them on about the days ahead, and the next minute I’m holding on to the past as if I could hold back the future.

IMG_6383

 

This is why I chose Steadfast as my mindset – hoping it would bring some stability to my emotional ups and downs.

Steadfast: “fixed in direction; firm in purpose, resolution, faith

But what I’ve learned so far is that setting my mind on being steadfast doesn’t mean that my emotions won’t fluctuate.  Or that I won’t be passionate.   I’m super passionate about parenting.  I love my kids a lot.  I’ll probably never be as passionate about anything or anyone as I am about my family.

I get pretty passionate about the friendships of women and how we can choose to celebrate each other or get caught up in comparing and criticizing.

My heart gets all fired up studying the Bible and helping beginners make sense of it all.

I love making people feel welcome, giving them a place to belong.

Dreamers intrigue me.  My brain doesn’t work that way, but I’m an encourager and a listener, and I am passionate about supporting others who have big dreams.

I’m having fun dreaming about what the future looks like as my kids become adults – how our relationship is transitioning into more of a friendship.  Of course I’ll always be their mom, and they will always be my babies, but I’m excited to dream with them and be their biggest encourager.

And that doesn’t have to make me sad.  It’s not like only one person can experience the joy.  Even the person cheering is enjoying the fulfillment of the dream.

  • Just because someone has found their way doesn’t mean that I am lost.
  • Just because someone has their life together doesn’t mean that my life is a mess.

Setting my mind on being steadfast is like an anchor for my soul.

Isaiah 26:3 – “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in You.”

IMG_6648

  • Wearing this steadfast necklace helps me remember that my sweet friend is praying for me and cheering me on as I take bold steps into the future.
  • Living my LifePlan* helps me remember that every season of my life has purpose.
  • Reading scripture helps me remember that I can trust God no matter how I feel.
  • Trusting God helps me remember that He brings peace when my mindset is steadfast.

 

*My LifePlan helped me put my passions on paper and understand my purpose.  To learn more about your own LifePlan, check out www.patersoncenter.com or send me an email at rene@eat-art.org – I’d love to connect with you!

 

 

Blog

Hard & Holy Things

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

When everything in me wants to give in, give up, and give way to fear… I remember where I belong: I am not alone. I belong to a sisterhood of called and committed women who do hard & holy things.

If I put pen to paper, my list of brave sisters could fill up the page. God has called some of them to teach, others to a season of learning, and others to stand strong against the forces of evil.

So why don’t I? Why don’t I put pen to paper? Why don’t I reach out to girlfriends when I’m fearful?

Sometimes it’s because I feel alone, and I just want to wallow in that feeling for a bit.
Sometimes it’s because when I try to reach out, I fear rejection.
Sometimes it’s because I just don’t feel like I belong.

Feeling isolated can keep me in a holding pattern for way longer than I’d like to admit.
But I fight that feeling of loneliness when I choose to engage, to try again.

I love what Brené Brown writes about belonging in her new book, Braving the Wilderness:  “Stop walking through the world looking for confirmation that you don’t belong. You will always find it because you’ve made that your mission.
Stop scouring people’s faces for evidence that you’re not enough. You will always find it because you’ve made that your goal.
True belonging and self-worth are not goods; we don’t negotiate their value with the world.
The truth about who we are lives in our hearts.
Our call to courage is to protect our wild heart against constant evaluation, especially our own.”

You belong to a sisterhood of women who do hard and holy things.

God isn’t calling you to constantly be evaluating yourself.
– Girlfriends remind you that you are enough.
God isn’t calling you to give up.
– Your soul sisters encourage you to keep going.
God isn’t calling you to give in to fear.
– Fear fades when you remember you’re not the only one.

What is the hard & holy thing God is calling you to right now?

Blog

What are You Doing Today?

IMG_6483

My husband likes to ask me this question, “What are you doing today?”

  • Harmless question, right?

His exact words are: “What are you doing today?”

But what I hear is: “What are you doing with your one and only life?”

  • A daunting question about what I’m doing to make my life count!

I try to respond with a calm tone, and I start listing off the day’s agenda:  “First I have School Drop-off, then I have to go to the Grocery Store.  I have to Connect with Clients, and I have to Clean the Toilets, Fold Underwear, Make Dinner… “

I got so frustrated with his daily question that I borrowed a line from the movie, Napoleon Dynamite.

Whenever Todd fired at me with, “What are you doing today?”

I fired back playfully with, “Whatever I want, GOSH!”

But one day my husband gave me a gift that changed the tone of both his question and my answer.  It’s really more of an attitude shift than it is an actual gift, but it has changed my perspective on the way I approach life – the way I approach my daily routine.

Todd challenged me to stop saying, “I have to…” and to start saying, “I get to…”

I don’t HAVE to take the kids to school, I GET to take the kids to school.
(My time with them is limited and precious. What if I changed my attitude and made the most of it?)

I don’t HAVE to buy groceries, I GET to buy groceries.
(We have money to buy groceries, to choose healthy options and to splurge on fun treats like chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwiches. I GET to do this!)

I don’t HAVE to clean the toilets, I GET TO! (Picture me with the toilet wand raised high in victory!)

Can anyone relate? Or am I the only one?

It’s not just chores we HAVE to do; that one word has invaded everything we do!
“I HAVE to get to the airport by 6:00am!”
“Wow! That’s early, where are you going?”
“Hawaii.”
Really? You HAVE to go to the airport? You HAVE to travel? To Hawaii?  (Picture me rolling my eyes.)

What if today we change our mindset and choose to see that WE GET TO DO THIS!

It’s such a small shift, one word. I don’t HAVE to, I GET to.

It has been one of the best gifts I’ve ever received. And it gives me courage to face each day, no matter how exciting or tedious my to-do list, to face each day with greater purpose and meaning. It actually adds value to the least meaningful thing I do all day – I GET to fold underwear, and I GET to fluff the couch cushions, and I GET to return emails because I GET to live this one and only life!

Whatever you are doing today is a gift.

 

WE GET TO DO THIS!

***If you would like to learn more about how to live your life with greater meaning and purpose, please send me an email at rene@eat-art.org and visit www.patersoncenter.com for a free online Thinking Wavelength tool.

Blog

Want to Make the Most of that Summertime Feeling?

Summertime VW Bus

Summertime just feels different than the rest of the year.
The sun stays in the sky a little longer.
Sitting by the pool sounds like a productive way to spend the day.
The morning rush to get to school on time is replaced with the emotional rush of hearing the ice cream truck pull into the neighborhood.

Summertime feels like cannonballs, popsicles and fireworks.

It just feels like there’s more time in the day.

More time to sit around the campfire and let your marshmallow turn brown.
More time to be intentional with your family and your neighbors.
More time to get the grill going.
More time to finish the projects you put off all winter.

The extra sunshine offers a little extra space to think and dream about life.

If your family runs according to the school calendar, then summertime is a great opportunity to change things up.

 

What if you decided to make the most of the long days of summer?

What if you dedicated just a few summer days to gaining some perspective and clarity on what really matters in your life?

The two-day LifePlan process is so empowering; it allows time to evaluate where you are today, what got you there, and how to move into your future with a strong purpose and passion.

I’d love to talk with you about how my LifePlan equipped me to be more intentional with my time.  If you’d like to connect, please send me an email at rene@eat-art.org

 

Blog

What Have We Done?

IMG_4729-2

We have embarked on a new adventure of helping people find peace with who they are and courage to do what God has called them to do.

We got a LifePlan!

As we’ve been adjusting to our current season of change (move, job change, daughter off to college, son off to a new high school), a friend suggested we get a LifePlan done. We had heard a little about the LifePlan process, but we didn’t see how it would apply to us since we felt pretty secure in the plans we had made for this season of our life. But our friend kept pressing, so we investigated a little and decided to give it a try.

Turns out, a LifePlan is exactly what we needed to find clarity and affirmation for this next season of our lives.

Todd and I entered the LifePlan process with Doug Slaybaugh in San Clemente, California.  Our desire was to discover how to live out God’s purpose for our lives in this new season. We both came out of the LifePlan process with a clear objective on how to do that.

We are feeling at peace with who we are and how God made us.

One of the things a LifePlan does is bring great clarity to a person’s life purpose.  

For instance, I discovered that one of my life’s purposes is to empower women to take steps toward God.  Todd discovered that he has a passion for helping high achievers be healthy.

These are things that are true to our very core. They have always been true, but we needed a little guidance in excavating these truths, and our facilitator took us through a strategic process to dig it out, name it, and get it on paper.

After experiencing the LifePlan process together in San Clemente, I was inspired.  I booked a trip to Boulder, Colorado, and completed my training with the Paterson Center to become a Certified LifePlan Facilitator. Now I have the tools and the training to come alongside women and guide them toward discovering God’s unique purpose for their lives.

What is a LifePlan?
A LifePlan is a two-day, intensive process of soul work. It’s a guided exploration of your life experiences, your passions and your talents, getting it all on paper, and discovering God’s unique plan for your life.

Whether you’re starting something, letting something go, or you’re somewhere in-between, you need perspective and purpose. A LifePlan will help you gain perspective on who God created you to be and find purpose in whatever God wants you to do next.

I would love to help you pursue your own story
so that you can give your best self
to the people in your life.

Are you ready for a LifePlan?
If you’re a woman in ministry, a LifePlan can help you clarify your passion.
If you’re married to a pastor, a LifePlan can give you confidence to boldly step into your calling.
If you’re a MomBoss, a LifePlan can help you find balance and purpose.

What’s in it for you?
You will get away from your daily routine for two full days in Huntington Beach, California, and discover the answer to the questions we are all asking: “Who am I?” and “What do I really want?”

As we explore your life story together, I will help you wrap words around the truth, giving you tangible evidence that God is writing a unique story on your heart. Together we will discover God’s plan to help you live a meaningful life of balance, purpose and fulfillment.

Let’s connect.
If you’d like to know more, you can connect with me at rene@eat-art.org

Certified-LifePlan-Facilitator-Logo

Blog

My New Best Friends

Beth Moore, Shauna Niequist, Christine Caine, Lysa Terkeurst, Maria Goff, Ann Voskamp…

FullSizeRender-3
Of course these accomplished authors are not really my best friends, but in seasons of transition, when friends are few or far away, I have claimed them as my new best friends.

I became fast friends with Shauna Niequist through the pages of her book Bittersweet when I was feeling out of sorts and lonely after a big move.  At the end of a chapter, I would close the book and say to myself, “She gets me.”

I like getting to know writers like her who are dedicated to building God’s Kingdom. Reading about their passion to live a meaningful life of purpose gets me going when I’m feeling alone and overwhelmed.

Hebrews 10:24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.

I am thankful to have close friends all around the country, but I can’t just meet them for coffee or carry them around with me like I can Shauna and Beth. These girls can go wherever I go.

Don’t worry, they aren’t my only friends:

  • God promises to always be with me. He is my friend who will build me up and set me straight, so I make time to meet with Him every morning.
  • My sister is my lifetime bestie who will listen to me freak out and then tell me I’m normal, so we chat on the phone a few times a week.
  • My closest friends will tell me the truth, have my back, and help me laugh at myself, so we get together once a year, and it’s better than therapy!

Proverbs 11:25 Those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.

But life is hard, and there are seasons when I feel like I might be wearing out my family and friends.

That’s when I rely on my new friends; their writing inspires me to keep going, and they’re accessible any time of day or night to give me a pep talk.

Spending time with God is foundational; you won’t get anywhere without Him.  Cultivating authentic relationships with people who have your back is essential.  And in seasons when friends are few or far away, finding a friend on the pages of a book or blog post is life-giving.

I am thankful for the friendship, girls.  Please keep writing.

Blog

What does His Story have to do with Mine?

IMG_6392

More than anything, I want to be part of God’s Great Story.  

This chapter of my story has included moving to a new state, changing jobs, sending off our daughter to college, guiding our son as he starts a new high school, reconnecting with family and old friends as well as making new friends. And I’m learning to trust God with all of it.

God’s been writing His Story for many years, and He is writing a unique story for you, too.

I want you to understand God’s Story so you can better understand your own story.

I am attending a new church, and it’s been a little uncomfortable for me.

Have you ever felt uncomfortable in church?

Maybe you’re new, and you wish you had an old friend by your side. Or maybe the sermon is about some guy named Abraham, and you look around to see everyone nodding their heads, like they know exactly who the preacher is talking about. But you’re sitting there, wondering if you’ve missed something.

What is Abraham’s story? And what does it have to do with your story?

This is why I started writing – to fill you in on some of the foundational stories from the Bible so that you can find your place in God’s Story.

If you’re new to Bible Basics, you may want to start at the beginning to see how the first story in the Bible relates to your story. Or you may want to stick around to see what’s up next.

Either way, welcome. I’m glad you’re here.