Purposeful Prayer

I wish…

I’m hoping…

It would be really great if…

Maybe…

If you are anything like me, then you’ve started sentences this way many times.  Maybe not always out loud.  Mine are usually in my head… the place where I dream and also the place where my fears and doubts tear those dreams down.

A couple Fridays ago, I met a friend for lunch.  We live over an hour away from each other, so we met in the middle to catch up after only being in touch through social media for years.  During our talk she mentioned how she had been dreaming and while she believed it was a God-given dream and received confirmation, she realized she hadn’t specifically asked God to fulfil this purpose in her.

I was struck by this and over the next few days I couldn’t shake it. 

Then I was doing my Bible study this morning… wait.  First let me just confess that this is NOT the norm for me.  I am terribly undisciplined when it comes to regular, daily devotions or study.  But I recently started up with a study that is forcing me to be more consistent.  In my notes this morning I read these words:

…God today often chooses to fulfill His promises in His people’s lives in answer to their purposeful prayer.

Did you read that?  I did and my response was, “Ok, God.  I get it. I am so sorry.”

It has dawned on me that while I feel like I’m in constant communication with God and when I’m thinking or dreaming or wrestling with something, I know and believe he is there listening, I hadn’t directly gone to God with some of these things in prayer… candid communion… speaking to HIM… not just allowing him access to my thoughts.

So, what am I going to do about it?  This week I will be working on purposeful prayer.  I have some wishes, dreams, purposes that I believe he wants to accomplish through me, and I have been holding them in my head.  I am going to come to him, in confidence that he hears me, and offer them up to him in purposeful prayer.  Will you join me?

A New Thing

I took a walk today, headphones on, podcast playing.  As I turned a corner I came face to face with an interesting natural phenomenon… This is what I saw:

Beautiful pink flowers growing straight out of a pruned stub of a branch, sometimes referred to by landscapers as a “wound”.  I immediately whipped out my phone to capture it.

As I continued my walk I heard six words reverberate through my brain… “God is doing a new thing”.  Now, I know that not everyone reading this considers themselves a religious person.  I think, even so, that the idea that beautiful things can come forth from a place of woundedness is something we can all embrace.

Our family recently moved back to our “hometown” after 18 months of being away.  I have been immersing myself in my tribe again and rediscovering San Diego.  I realized, as I left the severed tree behind this morning, that I had compartmentalized our 18 months away.  Our family went through some difficult sh*t while we were gone.  Flooded home, discouraging attempts to find community, health scares.  I was lonely, often discouraged.  Returning “home” has been so refreshing and so wonderful that I pushed our time away to the far regions of my heart and mind and simply lived as if they never happened.  I hadn’t taken the time to find the value of that season.

As a Life Coach, one of my goals with my clients is to guide them toward finding a redemptive purpose in their pain.  There are many assessments and even coaches that focus on a client’s talents, gifts, past successes but I believe they are missing an opportunity for personal growth.

As I look back at our 18 months away from “home” and take time to be mindful and reflect, I can find the places where my woundedness shaped me and took me a step closer toward being whole and mature.  Our 6 weeks of hotel living while our home was remediated and repaired opened my eyes to how we really didn’t need the space and the things that we had spent time accumulating.  Our life became smaller and simpler and it was wonderful.  It is one reason we made our decision to downsize and come back home.  My loneliness pushed me into a space of self-reflection and gave me the gift of time, time to dig deep into my spirit and get a strong sense of what kind of story I wanted to tell with my life.  And a combination of it all compelled me to get my Life Coach certification.

So, in the spirit of my nature moment this morning and doing a “new thing”, I’ve decided to offer two months of Life Coaching (40 minute sessions/once a week & unlimited email support; cost of assessments not included but not to exceed $40) to a lucky reader.  This is how you enter (one entry for each completed activity):

  1. “Comment” on this post
  2. “Like” my Facebook page (Shape My Story Facebook/)
  3. “Share” this post on Facebook by clicking the icon at the bottom of this page
  4. “Tweet” this post on Twitter

Once you’re done, shoot an email to Melissa@ShapeMyStory.com and tell me about your Life Coaching goal!

I will be drawing a random winner from the entries on July 6th.

Let’s do something new together!

Living A Better Story

If your life to this point was published as a novel, what would the title be?  Do you have regrets?  Things you are proud of?  Moments you treasure and that feed your soul when you need them?  Moments that are pushed to the back of your mind to protect yoursStory Articleelf from pain?

Each one of us is living our own unique narrative.  A typical story arc in writing is composed of the following:

  • There is a main character (often referred to as the “hero”)
  • There is something that character wants
  • There is a crisis, obstacle or complication that must be overcome to get it
  • There is resolution

We will find ourselves repeating this arc throughout our entire lives.  The details of the arc might change, but our experiences follow the typical story arc pretty closely.

What happens when the hero of a story doesn’t know how to overcome their obstacle?  Or even discover what it is they really want?  Often an author will create a character to act as a “guide.” The guide does not take over the narrative or usurp the hero role but acts as a support and mentor to the hero, enabling them to accomplish their mission.  One very excellent example of this is found in Star Wars – A New Hope.  Our hero is Luke Skywalker.  He wants to be a Jedi and fight the dark side of the Force.  One of the obstacles to this mission is that he does not know how to use or control the Force.  The character of Yoda steps in and becomes his guide.  Yoda does not “rescue” Luke or perform Luke’s tasks for him.  Instead he guides Luke to the answers he already has inside him.

What makes a story worth telling?  Riveting, flawed characters who are redeemed before the resolution.  A “mission” that has deep purpose.  A crisis or obstacle that others can relate to and requires deep struggle.

Your life is your story. 

Where are you in your current narrative?  Are you still searching for your mission or purpose?  Have you reached an obstacle that is hindering you from finding resolution?  What do others see when they “read your story?”

My purpose as a coach is to be your Yoda.  Are you ready to live a story worth telling?  Pick up your pen and give me a call!