I spent some time with a dear client of mine these last few months and I am happy to say that she has gotten to the "cloud space" where she feels lighter after years of a true internal battle. She gave me permission to share and of course, her name is only for me and God to know.
Now in her 30's, she came to me with a haunting derailment from her teen years. At 19, she was diagnosed with cancer. She had a very slim chance of surviving. She spent the better part of two years fighting for her life, begging for mercy, making promises to change and developing friendships along the way. She is fully recovered for 15 years now but some of the friends she made along the way didn't make it.
You see, during her time of healing, she made promises to God that if He saved her, she would spend her life transforming anyone she could and serving Him. What she wasn't prepared for, however, was the survivor guilt that entrapped her. Don't get her wrong, she tried. She was the poster child for servitude and obedience and keeping her promise that she made during her moments of bargaining.
She started to feel the pressure of performance. Why would he save her and not the others? She slowly but surely felt herself pull away from her promise. The expectation to perform and the guilt of surviving almost felt insurmountable so she stopped everything and hid.
Instead of feeling joy and contentment from surviving, she felt shame and pressure. She left the friends she made that were still by her side. She stopped worshipping. She stopped spending time with those that loved her.
She felt, for years, more comfortable denying her destiny and becoming distracted with making money, finding a man from her past, staying distant from her family and focusing on establishing independence.
She realized something wasn't working. She came looking for me to help her look for God; for her purpose again. She came to me because she was tired of hiding. She was tired of denying the beautiful calling she had on her life placed upon her by God. She confessed to me that she believed ignoring her faith would make the pain of survival guilt paired with the heavy expectation of fulfilling some perfect purpose driven path would be much easier. It wasn't.
We spent each week uncovering the enemy's sneaky and cruelly deceptive lies. I asked her to write down what she felt HIS truth was versus the enemy's unrelenting warfare words she felt. With slow and steady confidence, she began to unravel what she was going through; what she was hiding from, and she emerged again with a new perspective.
She joined life again outside of the cocoon she so comfortably thought she had made for herself. I witnessed that transformation while she did the work. Two of us are very glad she did.
You'll see her. She's everywhere. She's your neighbor. She's your best friend. She's your co-worker. She's your barista. She's your daughter. She's you.
Don't hide anymore. The freedom you find outside of that cocoon enlightened by His grace and unexplainable power is worth trying.
I spent the last six months on a couch. I would show up once a week, every week, drawing closer to whom I wanted to become; whom I knew I was- buried deep within something forgotten and covered up. I was determined to find myself on the other side of pain. I wanted to do the hard work; pay the dues; figure things out. Lord have mercy on the sweet soul sitting across from me week after week saying just the right things and nudging me to grab on to those "paddles" and do the work that needed to be done. You know who you are and I thank you!
Had you told me the "outcome" six months ago, I would have laughed at you. Let me share this personal journey with you with the intent of encouraging you to grab your own version of a paddle and get things moving for yourself whether that be with me or someone else whom you trust.
Going through a separation shortly followed by a divorce and suddenly learning to live alone was similar to what I imagine the Navy Seals endurance test and dunk tank feels like. I was adapting a tiny bit and relying on the comfort of my dogs. My sweet Pumpkin suddenly died with the most random diagnosis of dog IMHA and she was gone in 24 hours. I had severe vertigo, stomach viruses, Covid and a cancer diagnosis for my other furry baby, Riley, whom I had to put down just seven weeks after I lost Pumpkin.
It was a struggle. It was real. It was hard. I was lost. I was alone. I was scared. I was faithful. I was prayerful. I was alone. I kept showing up. I kept coaching all of you. I kept setting my alarm and my coffee pot to brew my coffee like a super special little magic fairy every morning at 6 am.
I evolved. I found myself. I felt the things I didn't want to. I worked through things with a determination and a fire within my soul that I had missed.
Let's fast forward to this past week and to the wonderful hike my soul had been seeking (did I mention it's one of my favorite parts about being a Coach.. ? I will hike with you until you are ready to do it on your own.. yes, for real, not just literally...it's the interactive element I offer for my locals).
I started this hike in a little hidden gem of what used to be a small town with the intent of finding the "river" that was promised on the trailhead sign which told me it was .75 miles away. I hiked and I smiled and I got my heart rate going and I walked super fast to find that river. I noticed off to my right, a very stagnant and very "less than beautiful" little creek but I kept walking with determination to see that river but it occurred to me that I might just be missing the promised river alongside me with the hopes of finding something more beautiful. I stopped at that very moment with the awareness and the analogy of life. I placed my water bottle down and I slowed my pace and took a deep breath in and noticed all of the beauty around me. I saw a purple flower I had missed. I looked up and saw a red bird staring at me and I saw majestic trees towering out of the stagnant stream. If this was the promised river, I was okay. It was enough. The beauty was all around me but I forgot to look because I had tunnel vision. I then saw a tunnel I had to crawl through to keep going on the trail.
My creativity was alive. I felt like the things I wanted to say and do were gently, yet abruptly shaken awake again. What are you doing to create that "shake in your soul" sweet sister?
I kept going. More analogies kept pouring in. I realized there were tree limbs everywhere for me to grab on to during my journey should I need them. Trees had fallen from storms past but offered perfect resting spots. Strong trees still stood and offered a guidepost to hold on to as I navigated rough terrains. I was reminded that the Park Ranger had advised me not to go too far this particular morning because of the heat advisory and the steep terrain. I almost laughed and wanted to tell him the endurance testing I had just gone through. I realized as hard as it was, there was a path so I wasn't scared. That's like our faith, isn't it? We blindly get through and follow the next step in front of us all the while trusting it's going to lead us somewhere.
I realized that I had a good grip on my phone, a backpack attached to my back and a water bottle for hydration. I was set. I began to wonder what would happen if I slipped. Was I prepared? Would I be able to handle the fall? I put my phone in my backpack and felt more secure knowing I could catch myself with two hands instead of one. Another beautiful life analogy.
I knew I was about to be at the end of the trail; the turnaround, and I had accepted that the "river" was just a creek that I had forgotten to notice... but then I saw it.
A million times I've reached out to God. I've prayed and I've cried and I've worshipped and I've mourned and every single time I envisioned a river and a place where just the two of us sat and sorted things out. It was at that very moment that I saw through the trees, the river I had seen so many times before. The trail actually did take me to the river. I was there. The tears started right on cue. I was alone, but I wasn't. There wasn't anyone around me that morning but the presence of something greater than me was significant. I took it all in. I spotted a large baseball mitt shaped rock and I climbed it and I gave a lot of things and people to God. I thanked him for my journey; I cried for the losses I had endured and I prayed for the ones I loved. A heavy breeze started up and I knew I had found THE river.
After a long and beautiful moment, I began my journey to the car. I came across a young family who was headed to the river. "Are we close?"- the mom asked. "Keep going" I said. "It's worth it."
In an instant I had evolved from the tourist to the tour guide. Let me help you along the way. I've seen it.
While visiting with one of my clients today, she mentioned being in a hurry to heal the broken parts she feels she carries with her. Does this resonate with you?
Jumping in fast is admirable and I soooo see your desires for healing! Here's my (H O W E V E R) though: take it slow and steady so you don't miss the parts that need to break apart in order to move through easier.
We often lump our pain or trauma into one large mass of issues and just want "it" (whatever yours is) to just be quiet, wrapped up and moved on along. Ever feel stuck? Yep. That's what I am talking about. Process each smaller part of your "it" individually. You will find freedom in the process and you will notice the heavy weight you carry feels lighter and lighter with each passing hurt healed.
At the end of our session today, my client elected to focus on one aspect she wanted to journal through and pray about this week instead of the several she wanted to tackle and she committed to doing just that for the week. Next week, she'll report how taking it one little part at a time felt.
I work with amazing women and I am so honored to journey alongside them!
Last week I had the super fun opportunity to quietly remain calm and still in an MRI tube. Oh boy, was that ever a challenge for someone with an overly active mindset. Let me start by adding that I am fine but that vertigo entered my life a few weeks ago and held on tight. I guess once you hit 50, you have to rule out some dark and scary things and I don't take that clean MRI result for granted. Thank you, Lord.
If you've experienced an MRI, you know how loud and overwhelming the noises can be despite the earplugs and earmuffs. I told my husband that I chose to check out, close my eyes and imagine God just chilling out with me having a conversation. Halfway through my calm, zen moment, four enormously loud knocks followed by four quiet ones kept repeating themselves over and over and over again. This went on for a minimum of five minutes. KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK knock knock knock knock. My heart started racing. My fears started to rise. I knew it would end but telling myself to remain calm until it did utilized every ounce of coping skills I had. As I often do, I tried to find some meaning in the situation. The super loud knocks coming from within the tube reminded me of all of the things I am forced to pay attention to; to address; to attempt to solve. These things are painful at times. The phone calls from school. The obligations I'd rather not keep. The to-do's that are waiting and important. KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK. My heart kept racing. I told God I had to keep answering. I had to keep focusing on the loud things vying for my attention. I had to keep solving issues from school calls to discipline. I heard Him ask me to answer the soft knocks for a while. The friends asking me for coffee; the dates with my husband; the walks with my dogs; the clients I love working with. I heard Him ask me to start focusing on the softer people and noises in my life and to let Him handle the loud ones. My heart slowed down a little at the thought of this even being an option. I simply said, "okay" and the knocking, at that moment, stopped. Seriously.
What are you listening to? What are you answering? What is taking the attention away from your path? What noises fill you with fear and angst and what "soft" fills you with Him and joy? Choose today which KNOCK knock to answer.
A lot of my clients and friends of mine happen to be mammas of loved ones who have struggled or whom are struggling with addiction. God uses those rough roads we've traveled down and leads us to others who might need a bit of a roadmap.
So many have come to me this month with "how did you get through the Holiday season not knowing where she was, or worse, knowing where she was but not able to help?" My answer will always remain the same:
B L I N D F A I T H.
I struggled with whether or not I would even hang a stocking each year. What was worse? The pain I would feel after seeing a full one never received, or seeing an empty one without any hope? It was a toss up and depending on the year, He led me to do what I couldn't do for myself.
One year she called me from a payphone and she was freezing and asked me for money for a hotel. I would answer every single phone call for years and on my lucky days, it would actually be her. I was ice skating with her four siblings the night I got the call because I owed it to them to do my very best to carry on and it was painful but I was also so thankful to have children to celebrate with . I hoped if things got bad enough, cold enough or hard enough, she would stop. The hardest thing I did that night was to tell her no. I was not willing to allow her to get warm and use in a motel but I told her I would come pick her up, feed her and she could come home. My Christmas wish was not her own. I didn't sleep that night and many nights after but God did comfort me by whispering to my soul that I may have been saving her life that night instead of harming her. One year on Christmas, I delivered one tiny bag of
to the door of her treatment center because I wasn't allowed to visit yet. I was so proud of her and so hopeful. One year, I had the absolute pleasure of her presence on Christmas morning only to realize she would leave me the next day and I wouldn't see her for over a year.
I don't say these things to shame her, to scare you, or to create sadness in your heart. I say these things because I kept God at the center of every single tear I cried and prayer I moaned. The amount of hope and faith I had each and every day that the next day would be better; that I would see her; that I would hug her.... filled me with an unexpected sense of peace and prolonged endurance. I created a beautiful prayer room. I threw my Bible away. I ran to get it right back. I drank vodka at 11 in the morning because I couldn't manage. I realized that was dumb. I kept searching. I started a support group. I got angry. I cried. I prayed. I waited.
I learned to find myself. I learned to forgive myself. I needed to sit with the uncomfortable emotions and feel all the feels.
I don't know what you are facing right now but I do want to tell you a few things. This moment of heavy expectations or loss or celebration that you are with your people with the sneaky fear it'll all happen again will pass. You have to hold on to remembering that this season is also super hard for the person you are missing. I am not excusing their addiction or absence because I know it's hard for everyone involved. What I am saying is I need you to be stronger than your emotions. That voice that tells you you can't make it through the season or the pain or the fear that tries to keep you in bed or from celebrating those around you will go away and life will balance back out. You have to keep doing the next right thing; self care, setting your boundaries and asking yourself what you are and aren't willing to do for them and sticking to it like a broken record. I need you to keep asking God to give you that sense of hope and endurance and I want you to ask Him to show you a gift each day and I want you to look for it and write it down. That sunrise matters. That text from a friend counts. The dog walks and puppy kisses mean something. Look for them.
I often tell my clients and my friends that they are only in charge of what they decide to do. I ask them to visualize going to bed at night and reflecting on their day and I ask them to make a choice in what that looks like for them before it happens.
How did I get through it? How will you? He equips you with what you need. You, my sister in Christ, are the seeker and once you seek, you WILL find all that He has. You often won't even see it, like I didn't.
B L I N D FAITH.
oLet me be real. I may delete this later. Why, you ask? It takes a certain person to lay it all out there; hanging it all out to dry; feeling a certain level of vulnerability. It also takes a certain person to say, "Okay, God. I will."
I've had this desire in me for months now to blog again and to post this but when I asked God what He wanted me to say, he said ALL of it and I said... "oh, okay, maybe later." It's later.
Let me introduce myself to you.
Kim, 51. Native Austinite/Dripping Springer. Mamma to two beautiful women and step mom to three (insert adjectives depending on the day) teen boys who live with us. I like coffee and I like clean wine and on top of coaching, I also sell both because it brings me joy; just like coaching you does. I have two dogs whom I quite possibly make more comfortable than I do myself on any given day. I love spin class, boxing, weights and walking my dogs. My husband teaches me more about myself than all of my years of college and grad school ever did (thanks MP). We are and always will be a work in progress but we strive to be parents that our kids look up to and we strive to be a blessing to one another through patience, love and understanding with a certain element of humor that comes with blending our families and raising our kids.
Three time Anorexia survivor with a bill of health so bad, I simply shouldn't be alive starting at 13.
Four treatment centers to get well which involved very painful goodbyes time and time again.
More medication to "fix" whatever was wrong with me than anyone should've ever been on and more shame, pain and guilt than anyone should ever burden themselves with.
Treatments centers to detox from the meds and more painful goodbyes and shame.
Darkness so great it nearly took me out, three times starting at age 18. Queue the shame.
A significant and life altering loss for my daughters and myself during a season of having to be apart. The pain seemed insurmountable and the betrayal during that time felt like daggers to the soul while I tried to believe in myself and my worth and to fight.
Losing a son in the third trimester with 8 weeks to go and never being able to hold him. I love you Jacob Christian.
A time so painful watching my oldest battle addiction, and months turning into years where it was all I could do to keep breathing as I waited and prayed in a way I never knew I could.
Losing my sis to cancer when so much more needed to be said and shared and laughed about.
Witnessing my baggage spill over into my relationships.
Loving myself, no scales, and an Eating Disorder that has been quiet for two decades.
Founding "Saving Eve" to help other women find freedom from their own Eating Disorder.
Starting a jail ministry to pray for the hurting women with addiction while incarcerated.
Leading fellow parents on their path of understanding addiction.
Deliverance three times with a women I met during my darkest days.
Becoming a certified and trained Life Coach.
Holding the door open at church each Sunday on the same property where I grew up.
Writing and publishing a romance novel and having my children see me accomplish a goal.
Regaining years that the enemy took away and watching life restored.
Learning how to battle and pray and meeting those that taught me on the way.
War rooms where my greatest hurts turned into my greatest triumphs.
Realizing the Holy Spirit snuck in and took over.
My passion for singing worship songs loud and pretending I'm on stage.
The opportunity to raise not one, but three stepsons (two of whom would've been the same age as Jake).
Watching the oldest thrive and find herself and kick ass all the way while helping others and doing exactly what she wants to be doing.
Watching my youngest daughter rise up and navigate despite what she's seen and endured and seeing her bad ass self with a servants heart living her best life.
Finding a certain acceptance and love for myself through my own healing transformation.
Being on the receiving end of my clients calls, texts and tears because they know I get it.
This is the Hallmark version but I just want you to know that whatever it is that brings you to me, please know I see your heart. I do get it. You are a rising up warrior too and I'll help equip you with that beautiful battle gear HE has for you. I focus on YOU, my client, when we meet but I do feel the need to share this so you know who I am and what I'm made of. I will encourage you but I will also challenge you. I will listen but I will ask you to act. This is your adventure; your one beautiful life. Let's go get it, shall we?
Welcome to the first blog of the season. I am so happy to be back with you all.
I am so proud of you for getting through everything that has been thrown your way since we last met. You are here. You are okay. You are enough. You are worthy.
We've all had our journeys to date, haven't we? May the words you read today reach something within you that needs to be heard, healed, and acknowledged.
Today we said goodbye to a home I thought would be our forever home. How silly, dear me. My forever home is with my Father in Heaven, not here on Earth but as humans, it's natural to find that "perfect home" to put our roots down; to feel planted; to grow as people; to craft memories; to share laughter and tears and yes, to mark the laundry room wall with our children's heights as they grow. It was an unexpected move. It was an unwanted move. It was a hard move. I listened to calming, soul finding apps on my phone. I sought counsel from warrior women in my little circle whom I treasure and respect. I cried. I trusted. I listened to God and I asked him day after day to let me hear Him and I did. My "hearing" doesn't come in loud, booming words saying "hey Kim, this is God speaking" (wouldn't that be nice) but they do come in forms of a calm something that overcomes me. Not only did I hear to trust him and wait for July 15th before we pulled the plug, but we had competing offers come in out of nowhere on exactly that day. We move in two weeks to our new home and despite my tears of saying goodbye, He's got this and therefore, I find peace.
Through the move and through the "Hallmark" version of why we left, I've been in a rental home with my step children while my husband packed and sorted through our things getting ready for the move. I honored the part of me that knew it was too much and I am thankful for my husband for carrying that burden when I couldn't. The rental house made my heart hurt but I knew to keep trusting and I knew I could get through it. Let me get to the point.
Day seven of our rental home journey, I was with my pups in the backyard and I reminded myself to look for something beautiful despite the hurt and to be grateful. I found a beautiful flourishing fig tree in the corner of the dilapidated fence and memories of my grandfathers backyard flooded me with happy memories and my taste buds remembered what those fresh figs tasted like so long ago. I reached for the fig, touched it's velvet skin and smelled the familiar smell. I decided to wait to pick any of the figs from the tree because I wasn't really in the mood to find beauty. I never really thought of the tree again. Two months passed and I found myself today of all days, looking for the figs. They were gone. No sign of a stem or half eaten skin. I looked on the ground, I touched the dried leaves. I searched around in the branches. I missed the beauty. Ouch.
I made a promise to myself to take the time to nourish the dry and parched part of myself right now so that my "beauty" and what I have to offer doesn't wither away and perish even in the drought. Next time I see those figs, I will pick them, I will taste them, I will serve them up on the best darn charcuterie board the world has ever seen.
What is within your reach that you might be taking for granted? What might you need to water, to nourish, to care for and pay attention to to keep it alive? Is it your spirit? Is it self love? Is it serving to find joy? Don't let yourself wither away and disappear. You are worth far more than that. Are you neglecting yourself on purpose? Are lies from the enemy sneaking in to keep you unfed, unwatered, unnoticed? It's okay to turn that around. Let me help.
Welcome back friends. I am here for you.
I can't imagine what has brought you to my blog, to my social media, or to a presence in my life right now.
Are you shattering?
Are you already shattered?
Do you feel frail, alone, broken, unloveable?
Let me whisper a sweet and beautiful secret with you. You are about to shine.
This time, this pandemic, this pain.. whatever your "shattered" means to you, you are becoming brighter and brighter in your darkness. Will you commit to keep going amidst the dark clouds? Can you lean on Him with absolute fervent and determined intention?
Ephesians 3:16 says "I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit."
I understand where you are. I don't often go too into my personal situation but let me just say that I have taken a long pause recently and worked with my own precious coach and mentor throughout a very very dark season. I realize through the pain and darkness and feeling of being shattered that God is actually rebuilding a place and a moment of "shine" again. I truly wish the darkness wouldn't have happened but I believe it leads me to be an even more empathetic coach for you. I will always be honest when I say that I understand.
If you choose to journey with me, what I honor it would be for me to use places of my own path, truth, authenticity and vulnerability to reach even more women.
I know you may feel shattered right now, and maybe even tomorrow.. but your shine will rise, and so will you.
Let me help.
I knew better. I know better. I did it anyway. I went ten years without a scale in my home. Every time I went to a doctor, I would turn around when it was time to be weighed and I would explain that I didn't need to see it. Eating Disorders tried to rob me of joy in a very, very significant way for decades of my life. Doctors, hospitals, specialists, heart monitors, long stay treatment centers and more pain than anyone needed to inflict upon themselves or their family was a daily lifestyle for me. I learned early in my recovery that scales were a huge NO!
I learned super early in life that I couldn't control much of anything that was hurting me. I also learned super early that I could control my weight. What I didn't realize, however, was that I was completely out of control. By the Grace of God, my Eating Disorder had been fairly dormant for a very long time. Little by little, that sneaky little voice started to creep back in. I bought a scale, I joined a nutrition club, I bought a fit bit to track every single thing. I would wake up and get excited to see just how much I weighed so I could determine just how much I could love (or withhold love from) myself depending on the number. I felt I had a handle on it. I asked God to forgive me for putting the scale before Him but I kept doing it telling myself once I lowered my weight to a certain number that I would stop.
This morning, my better self knew what to do. It was hard. It was scary. I got a large black Sharpie and I wrote "I am SORRY" on one (Oh wait, did I forget to mention I would weigh myself on not one BUT two scales each morning??") and "I am MORE" on the other one. I took them both outside, got a hammer, and let loose!
The "I am SORRY" was my apology to God for putting my weight and my obsession to lose above my desire to seek His approval and love for what I was doing first. I didn't invite him to my crash diet. I didn't ask him for guidance and help. The apology was also to myself. I was sorry for thinking I would only be okay and worthy at a certain number. I was sorry for withholding joy and laughter and peace until I felt I deserved it with a certain number.
The "I am MORE" was a reminder to myself to love gently, move forward wisely, and let go of placing my ability to love myself and find freedom and joy unless I got to a certain weight.
I am not saying that I will stop eating right. I am not saying that I will stop working out. I am not saying that I will just sit here and be inactive because God wants me to love me for me. That's not in my genes... but I am saying that I will do those things because I want to be fit and active and healthy and I do and always have liked a certain way I like to fit into my clothes and present myself but I don't need a daily check in to see my progress or to check in with the scale to determine my happiness for the day.
Whatever your "weight" or burden is.. can you find some freedom in letting the way you may look at it go?
I will always advocate for self love. I believe those that are lost and hopeless suffer most from a lack of embracing self with a heart full of love and that, my sweet woman warrior, needs to change!
Woman, friend, sister, daughter .. this is for you today. 💗
Today I was in my yard pulling weeds 🌱 and lots of them. I came across my squash patch that is growing out of control, spilling over into my jalapeños and tomatoes 🍅 and it occurred to me that I don’t even like squash. 🤨 I’ve spent months tending to this squash patch watering it and weeding around it and training the vines away from what I really wanted.. the tomatoes 🍅 and jalapeños! I kept watching the tomatoes and jalapeños get covered up by the unruly vines. I kept navigating around the squash, clipping it back so that the other veggies 🌶 could see the light. Instead of trying to hard to shed light and make space for what I really desired, I yanked that squash plant up.. I removed the vines tangled around the tomatoes 🍅 and I donated the root of it to a neighbors garden who loves squash! Now I can focus on what I wanted to grow, not what was occupying my time and my garden.
What is occupying your efforts;your time; your space ? Do you even like what you are spending time on or is it habit; a sense of obligation; a thing that makes you (or your garden) look good but isn’t serving you?
These are just some of the pattens and mindsets we work on and through during our time together. 💗