December 14, 2017

Glorious Living w/ Coach Megan: Trusting God {a prayer exercise}

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Dear Megan,

Lately I have really been struggling with trusting God and I feel horrible about it. In my heart, I know what I need to do, but my mind is fighting me every step of the way. I don’t know if you can help, but I just don’t know where to begin.

~T

My dear T, we have all walked through these seasons and I am so happy you have reached out for help. In addition to being in the Word daily and having as much quiet time with the Lord as possible, I have found this prayer exercise to be very helpful in training my heart to work with my mind in letting go and trusting God with every single little thing. I pray this is a blessing to you.

Trusting God {a prayer exercise}

A five-minute exercise you can do anytime you need to.

Your heavenly Father promises relief from adversity for those

who honor him, have faith, and trust him.

A word from scripture:

Even in darkness, light dawns for the upright. Psalm 112:4 (NIV)

 ***

The way of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn,

which shines ever brighter until the full light of day. Proverbs 4:18 (NLT)

Meditation Guidance:

 1. Tell your Heavenly Father that you are looking to Him for relief, like the dawn, to come. Talk about your faith and trust in Him. Speak of your doubts also. Use these scriptures to shape your prayer:

I rise early, before the sun is up; I cry out for help and put my hope in your words.

I stay awake through the night, thinking about your promise.

In your faithful love, O Lord, hear my cry; let me be revived

by following your regulations.

Psalm 119:147-149 (NLT)

***

Desperate, I throw myself on you: you are my God! Psalm 31:14 (MSG)

***

To you, O Lord, I offer my prayer; in you, my God, I trust. Psalm 25:1-2a (GNT)

***

But even when I am afraid, I keep on trusting you. Psalm 56:3 (CEV)

***

Even if I go through the deepest darkness, I will not be afraid, Lord, for you are with me.

Psalm 23:4 (GNT)

2. Talk to your heavenly Father about the despair and darkness in your life. Cry out to God. Use these scriptures to help you:

O Lord, hear me as I pray; pay attention to my groaning.

Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for I pray to no one but you.

Psalm 5:1-2 (NLT)

***

Listen, God, I’m calling at the top of my lungs: “Be good to me! Answer me!”

Psalm 27:9 (MSG)

***

Hurry with your answer, God! I’m nearly at the end of my rope.

Don’t turn away; don’t ignore me!

Psalm 143:7 (MSG)

***

Look on me and answer, Lord my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death.

Psalm 13:3 (NIV)

 

3. As you wait for your heavenly Father to answer your prayer, meditate on these scriptures to strengthen you:

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him. Psalm 37:7 (NIV)

 ***

Only God gives inward peace, and I depend on him. Psalm 62:5 (CEV)

***

You, Lord, are my shepherd. I will never be in need. You let me rest in fields of green grass.

You lead me to streams of peaceful water, and you refresh my life.

You are true to your name, and you lead me along the right paths.

Psalm 23:1-3 (CEV)

***

I can lie down and sleep soundly because you, Lord, will keep me safe.

Psalm 4:8 (CEV)

 ***

I know that I will live to see the Lord’s goodness in this present life.

Psalm 27:13 (GNT)

4. Repeat as often as needed and let each and every word in the Scriptures penetrate the depths of your soul. Breathe  in the truth of God’s Word and let satan’s lies tumble on out.

Your assignment: give one thing over to God today to trust Him with.  It can be as small or as big as you want it to be…just give it to Him.  Once you do, it is not yours anymore.  Do this exercise to keep that thing out of your imperfect hands and safely in the magnificent hands of our Lord and Savior!

Blessings,

Megan 🙂

Glorious Living w/ Coach Megan: Finding Forgiveness and Freedom from Guilt

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Dear Coach Megan,

I am really struggling with letting go of feelings of guilt I have had over things I did a long time ago. I am hoping that you can give me some direction on how to let go of this guilt that is keeping me locked up inside. I know God needs me free from this so that I can truly live free and forgiven for his glory. Thanks in advance for any guidance you can give! ~S.J.

Thank you so much for your questions, S.J!

I remember when my kids were little and they would fall and scrape their knee on the playground. They would come running towards me at full speed, tears in their eyes for me to kiss it and make them feel better. It always worked, every time….a big hug and lots of love always made the sting of a scrape feel that much better. A few moments later, they would run off again, to play in the sun without a care in the world. The same is true when we take our bruised and broken lives to God…. He forgives and forgets, and it ALWAYS works! AND…when we trust in Him, He takes away all the guilt.

Luke 5:20

When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.”

Please, dear friend, do not stay stuck in the ditch of guilt! God has so much bigger and better plans for you that cannot be fulfilled to their fullest until you let yourself be FREE and transformed! I have some practical steps for you today that I pray will help you grow in Christlike maturity and bring all your guilt to our forgiving God for good! Grab a journal, print this out, and get ready to work through all the guilt that is holding you captive so you can finally be set free!

1. Find the source of your guilt

  • Examine why you feel guilty
  • Determine if your guilt is true or false
  • Use Scripture as the ONLY standard for determining true guilt

Psalm 51:6

Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb;
    you taught me wisdom in that secret place.

2. Own the responsibility for your sin

  • Agree with God that you are guilty of sinning
  • Ask God to reveal your personal sin patterns
  • Make restitution to those you have sinned against

1 John 1:9

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

3. Realize and believe that God means what He says
  • Thank God for the gift of His Son, who paid for your forgiveness
  • Thank God for His unending forgiveness, even if you don’t feel forgiven
  • Choose to believe what God says

Ephesians 1:7

 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace

4. Stop and give up for good dwelling on the past

  • Give up holding on to past pain
  • Give up self-condemnation
  • Give up refusing to forgive others

Isaiah 43:18

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.

5. Invest time in renewing your mind

  • Memorize scriptures that reinforce God’s forgiveness
  • Remember that in Christ, you are a “new creation” {2 Corinthians 5:17}
  • Learn to see yourself as a valuable child of God

Ephesians 4:22-23

You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self,
which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds;

6. Verify satan’s lies to God’s truth when satan accuses

  • Learn to discern the difference between the Holy Spirit’s voice and that of satan
  • Answer satan’s accusations with truth from Scripture
  • Verbalize a personal prayer receiving God’s forgiveness

Isaiah 54:17

“No weapon forged against you will prevail,
    and you will refute every tongue that accuses you.
This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord,
    and this is their vindication from me,”
declares the Lord.

7. Exchange your life for the life of Christ

  • Understand you cannot live the Christian life in your own strength
  • Allow Christ to transform you and live out His character through you
  • Continue to nurture the Holy Spirit’s presence through personal prayer and Bible study

Galatians 2:20

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.
The life I now live in the body,
I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

8. When you obey Him, God brings your feelings in line with the facts

  • Know that God is a God of second chances
  • Know that your feelings won’t change immediately
  • Know that feelings usually follow thinking

Psalm 32:1-2

Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.
Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord does not count against them 
and in whose spirit is no deceit.

Dear God,

We ask You to give us the discernment to know when we are feeling false guilt instead of true guilt. Please Lord, have Your Spirit convict us when we are headed the wrong way so that we will get on the right path and be in line with Your will. We also pray that we will always be sensitive to the convicting touch of the Holy Spirit’s hand. Thank You that we are forgiven and set free through the redemptive work of Jesus on the cross. We pray these things in Your holy name, amen <3

Blessings,

Coach Megan 🙂

Glorious Living w/ Coach Megan: Christ’s Ambassadors

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2 Corinthians 5:20 and 21

We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 

God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

*********************

 Merriam-Webster’s definition of Ambassador:

1: an official envoy; especially: a diplomatic agent of the highest rank accredited to a foreign government or sovereign as the resident representative of his or her own government or sovereign or appointed for a special and often temporary diplomatic assignment
2a: an authorized representative or messenger, b: an unofficial representative <traveling abroad as ambassadors of goodwill>

Being a Christ follower, I am who people look to in order to see what Christianity is like. If you are a Christ follower, you are, too. Our eternal home is in Heaven, and our job as ambassadors of Christ is to show people how amazing it’ll be through the way we live our life and how we interact with others…showing the love of Christ.

Why are we ambassadors? Jesus has instructed us to do so, in the Great Commission. In Mark 6:15 Jesus tell us to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” That is all the reason we need, right? So then why is it so HARD to just do it??? Fear of rejection? Afraid you won’t have all the answers? Why?

We are commissioned to NOT keep the good news to ourselves – it should be contagious! In Matthew 10:27,  Jesus tells us “What I tell you now in the darkness, shout abroad when daybreak comes. What I whisper in your ear, shout from the housetops for all to hear!” If you are called to do something by the Lord and you choose to ignore that calling, not only are you not receiving the full blessing of God, but think of all the lives who are also not receiving it! God put you on this earth for a specific reason and puts you in the different seasons and places you are in for His purpose to be done on the earth. If you are not seeking Him to guide you through this life, to give you the boldness to be His ambassador, just think of the many lives you are not affecting!

Before we can be ambassadors, we need to know the person we are representing. Think about it…if you took a job as an ambassador of a country you knew nothing about and had never been to, you wouldn’t be able to do a very good job of representing it, right? It makes sense then that in order for us to do a good job of representing Christ to an unbelieving world, we need to first spend time getting to know Him. This means that we need to be spending time with Him on a regular basis—reading His Word, spending time in prayer, and growing closer to Him. He is craving this relationship with you…. all relationships need work. Are you doing your part?

Being an ambassador of Christ means being “like Christ” and having a servant’s heart. We need to strive to:

  • Be kind and compassionate.
  • Challenge what is wrong.
  • Speak out for truth.
  • Be joyful.
  • Refuse to conform to society’s standards.
  • Have self-control.
  • Do things only to please God, not man.
  • Be spontaneous and creative.
  • Think of others rather than yourself.
  • Live out life in all its fullness.

We must have integrity in our words and actions. Integrity means that what you say, what you profess to believe, and what you actually do, match up. This is certainly an intentional process. For us to be effective ambassadors of Christ, we can’t go around claiming to love God and then not show that we love Him by our actions. Actions speak louder than words, right? It is imperative that our actions back the Word of God that we are professing. We are not perfect, we are human…but we can strive to do our best, intentionally, everyday for His Glory!

We must love people without any agenda. We don’t love people so that they will become Christians. We show love to them because they are God’s creation and sometimes, as a result of that, they will eventually come to accept Christ. We shouldn’t give up on loving them if after a few months it has had no visible spiritual impact. Loving people doesn’t mean doing good deeds begrudgingly for them because we feel as Christians that is what we should be doing. If that is the case, we are acting out of duty, not love.  Sometimes it can be hard, but we need to remember the example of Jesus. Many of the people He showed love to turned their back on him (such as the time he healed ten lepers, but only one came back to thank Him). We are working for a heavenly reward, not an earthly one…and that must remain at the front of our minds and hearts.

We must encourage people not to want to stay “on the outside looking in.”  This means making them want to be a part of the Christian community we are a part of. In Romans 11:14, Paul says “I want somehow to make the people of Israel [the non-believing Jews] jealous of what you Gentiles [the early Christians] have.”  If people see contentment, joy, and genuine passion when they look to us they are going to be curious. If all they see is people with the same doom and gloom as the godless world around them, they won’t be interested. Would you?

We must be openly honest about our faith, not hiding it when it is inconvenient. In Matthew 5:15, Jesus says “No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house.” Because sharing your faith isn’t just about your words, it’s about actions, too. Here is a question to honestly ask yourself: If someone was watching your life 24/7 “Big Brother” style, how long would it take for them to realize you were a Christian? Would it be evident through the way you live your life, or would it take them until you went to church on Sunday to make the connection?

Hmmmmmm? OUCH!

Being an ambassador of Christ means being his hands and feet to a world that desperately needs God.

1 Corinthians 12:27 says that “All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it.” You have probably heard the Casting Crowns song, If We Are the Body, which has a really challenging chorus for those of us who profess to be trying to be ambassadors of Christ.

“If we are the body,

Why aren’t His arms reaching, why aren’t His hands healing,

Why aren’t His words teaching, why aren’t His feet going,

Why is His love not showing them there is a way?”

If we REALLY are serious about being ambassadors of Christ, we need to reach out to the world through being Christ’s hands and feet.

Being an ambassador is what we have been called to do. It is not optional to the Christian life.

Ephesians 6:19 and 20

Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 

 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.

Blessings,

Coach Megan 🙂

Glorious Living w/ Coach Megan: Stress Management

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Dear Megan,

I have been feeling really overloaded and burned out lately and I’m not sure what to do to make it stop. I was on your GCH call last week and I completed the exercise you gave us and talked about in your blog last Friday…. but I just feel stuck with what to do next. I know I need to delegate more and God showed me some tasks He does not intend for me to do, but I feel like I could be handling it all (especially the stress) better. I’m hoping you can give me some advice on this!

~M.

Sweet sister,

Thank you for taking the first step by doing that exercise from last week ! I pray it was a blessing for you to be able to see in black and white how you are spending your precious resource of time. Our world makes it easy for us to feel overloaded, over burdened and over worked! What I heard through your cry for help is that you are looking for some practical stress-management tools to help you now that you are beginning to spend your time more wisely (as God intends you to).

Adopting healthy stress management skills will enable you to slow down, stop, yield and reduce speed at appropriate intervals on your path of life. In turn, your pace will be regulated and you will be lifted out of the ditch of overload and burnout. As you work through this exercise, you will see how you can begin to walk the road to transformation in the peaceful assurance that God will never call you to do more than He gives you time and ability to do (1 Thessalonians 5:24).

SLOW

{Slow down and make the necessary changes for good physical health}

  • Do you eat a balanced and healthy diet?
  • Do you exercise at least three times a week?
  • Do you take at least one day of rest per week?
  • Do you get adequate restful sleep most nights?

Psalm 127:2

 In vain you rise early and stay up late,
toiling for food to eat—for he grants sleep to those he loves.

{Slow down and evaluate your priorities}

  • Do the exercise from last week if you have not done so (Link up above)
  • Consider other priorities that should be on the list
  • Choose your commitments with careful prayer
  • Eliminate unnecessary stressful obligations
  • Don’t accept impossible deadlines
  • Don’t give in to the pressure of urgency
  • Tackle only one problem at a time

Ecclesiastes 4:6

Better one handful with tranquility
    than two handfuls with toil and chasing after the wind.

{Slow down and nourish your spiritual life}

  • Remind yourself daily to “be still, and know that (He is) God” {Psalm 46:10}
  • Open lines of honest communication with God about your concerns, needs, and fears
  • Set aside time daily for personal prayer and Scripture meditation
  • Memorize Scripture that builds assurance of God’s love {Psalm 36:7; Jeremiah 31:3; John 14:21; Romans 8:39}

Psalm 119:71

It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees

STOP

{Stop and look at the real reason you are experiencing stress}

  • Do you try to meet your own needs instead of waiting on the Lord?
  • Do you think God cannot accomplish His purposes without your over-achieving?
  • Do you seek self-worth through proving your adequacy and effectiveness?
  • Are you Spirit-led or people-pressured?

Galatians 1:10

Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people?  If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.

{Stop, confess and turn away from any known sin in your life}

  • Do you manipulate or control others?
  • Do you feel envious or jealous of others?
  • Do you express your feelings inappropriately?
  • Do you overreact to criticism?
  • Do you have impure motives?

Proverbs 28:13

Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper,
    but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.

YIELD

{Yield to God’s sovereign control over your circumstances}

  • What is God doing in your circumstances?
  • In what way does God want you to change?
  • How does God want you to respond?
  • Do you have impure motives?

Proverbs 21:1

A king’s heart is like streams of water in the Lord’s hand:
He directs it wherever He chooses.

{Yield to God your rights and expectations}

Dear God,

  • “I yield my right to control my circumstances.”
  • “I yield my right to be accepted by others.”
  • “I yield my right to be successful.”
  • “I yield my right to be heard and understood.”
  • “I yield my right to be right.”

Proverbs 3:5

 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding

RESUME SPEED

{Resume speed, living in the presence of God}

Dear God,

  • “I choose to let Christ live His life through me.”
  • “I choose to live in the present, not worrying about tomorrow.”
  • “I choose to refocus my thoughts away from my pressures to Your purposes for allowing these pressures.”
  • “I choose to have a thankful heart regardless of the pressure I feel.”
  • “I choose to call on You, Lord, for wisdom and peace.”
  • “I choose to commit to talking less and listening more.”

Psalm 62:1

My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from Him

Blessings,

Coach Megan 🙂

Glorious Living w/ Coach Megan: Managing Your Time

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This past Tuesday night I had the privilege of being a part of an incredible conference call with many of you and my dear friend Crystal Breaux. I gave a little assignment on the call and I know that many of you have taken me up on it with much success! Praise God! I thought it might help to give you more in-depth background on this subject of time management and the exercise as a whole. I pray this is a blessing to all of you!

______________________________________

As Christian women, it is incumbent upon us to achieve good time management skills. We need to be on time for appointments, conference calls, or any of the millions of events we commit to. Some of us already have these skills and others of us need to do more work in this area.

I have found that when the events you commit to line up with your values, you have less of a struggle with participating or completing them. When events are contrary to what you feel is right, is it any wonder why confusion or stress can result? It has been said that if we do not control the events in our lives, then the events can overrun and begin to control us. So, my friends, now is the time to take control of our time and begin to prioritize more effectively!

I certainly know this first hand…. From the outside looking in, I have a pretty busy life as all of you do. I am a mom to 3 teens and 2 young adults (all 5  live under our roof.) I have a husband who travels just about every week for 3-4 days…so most of the time, I am a “single mom.” I work 20+ hours a week outside my home and I work 20+ hours a week as a Christian Life Coach. We lead a bible study in our home Friday nights and I volunteer with the high school kids Thursday nights at our church…and then there’s all of my other household duties, appointments, dates, etc.

Are you still with me?

To some of us, this may sound easy and others may feel overwhelmed by this concept, but God does not call us to anxiety or confusion…. That all comes from the Devil and he would love nothing more than to de-rail your day from the Lord’s purposes in your life. How much longer do you plan on letting satan win?

First, we need to understand event control: There are only 2 types of events

  1. The events we cannot control: traffic, weather, time of day, other people, your family
  2. The events we can control: the time I get up, the foods I eat, my exercise program, how I allow others to make me feel, and who my friends are

The problem lies in the basic thought patterns of most individuals…. There are some events in life I CANNOT control, but I believe I CAN!! There are some events in life I CAN control, but I believe I CANNOT.

We cannot control people, places, or things. The only thing in life we can truly control is ourselves. Also, others cannot make us feel a particular way, without our permission. If we feel bad, we have allowed this. It takes a conscious decision to feel good and remain positive…. understanding these concepts and successfully living them out will save you a lot of time!!!

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference!”

~The Serenity Prayer

Increasing Productivity

When we control our events, we have increased productivity, thus, higher self-esteem! People who feel good about themselves produce good results! Isn’t it true that when you take the time to plan your day, you accomplish more than when you fly by the seat of your pants? Isn’t it rewarding to check off the things on your list and see what you have completed?

Ideally, your first step is to get a day planner or learn a new application in your smart phone. I prefer Microsoft Outlook because for my job, I spend much of my day on the computer and Outlook also syncs to my other mobile devices. In that calendar or day planner, you will be able to organize your day from morning ’til night. The benefit of this is that you will be able to see exactly how you spend each hour of your day.

I have an exercise for you to make you aware of how you currently spend your time:

First, begin by writing everything you do in real time as you go throughout your day. This includes everything from saying your prayers to brushing your teeth to having lunch with your favorite friend. Everything takes time! Next to each event, write down the time it takes to do it. Do this for three days to evaluate how you spend your time.

Next, you must plan your days’ events with priorities in mind. Use a letter A to indicate high value priorities, B for medium value priorities, and C for low value priorities.

  • An  A  event is a “MUST” (doctor appointment, boss meeting, pick kids up from school, etc.)
  • B  event is a “should do” (getting your car washed, calling your mother-in-law, sending a card to a friend)
  • C  event is a “could do” (read a good book, a sale at the mall, etc.)

       ****can you make any into a D event and DELEGATE????

This is a great way to see what we deem as most important in our lives. Is God really first? Or do we just say He is and put Him on the C list??? When we look at our list it is important to realize that no matter what, we should get every A event accomplished…then we can go to the B and C events are those we can push to the next day or things we can fit in if time allows.

What we realize when we schedule everything we do, like watching TV and spending time with our spouse, is that we sometimes spend more time watching TV than we do spending time with our spouse! The problem most people don’t realize is that WE CANNOT MAKE UP TIME!!! Once time is wasted, we cannot get it back. There will be time for re-runs of your favorite show, but if you show up for TV more than you do for your spouse, you may be watching those re-runs alone!

Optimum time management is when my behavior is in line with my values!!!

 To help you decide how to spend your day, pray for God to give you discernment. What is important and what is not? By listing all the things you do each day, you can begin to see what it is you spend your time doing. Most of us waste time, but until we look at it in black and white, we have trouble seeing it.

I spend the first 45 minutes of my morning with God every single day and since I have let Him have complete control of my to-do list, I am amazed with all I get done and how good I feel about it! I live for Him, so its silly for me to think that I can actually control my day! I can create boundaries around the tasks God wants me to complete but that’s about the extent of the control I have on my days!

We must live our everyday life and fulfill our obligations.

The Universal to-do list looks something like this:

  • Work (meetings, marketing/ publicity, desk tasks, planning, billing, reading, writing)
  • Errands (banking, gas station, post office, cleaners)
  • Children (school, lessons, sports, car pool, play dates, parties)
  • Appointments (health, fitness, beauty, car, animals)
  • Shopping (food, clothing, home, gifts)
  • Correspondence (bills, letters, cards, packages)
  • Home (cleaning, laundry, cooking, repairs, entertaining, gardening, decorating)
  • Family (holidays, reunions, get-togethers)
  • Friends (dinners, hobbies, coffee dates)
  • Church/Community (attend church, fundraising, service projects, Bible study)
  • Personal (rest, introspection, relaxation, grooming, creativity, education, pleasure)

Life is made up of one resource: TIME. You do have choices on how you spend your time. Start by considering why you waste time on the things that do not agree with your priorities based on what your values are. Re-evaluate the importance of these events.

Life is too short to waste because you can never recover what you lost. When you realize this, you will see the changes you can implement. You will then begin to experience relief when you have more time to spend on the things you cherish and less time on the things you don’t.

How to realistically manage your time wasters (TV, Facebook, email, phone, etc…)

I schedule it in! Seriously! It might look like I am on Facebook all day because I have it available to me on mobile devices, but I only really spend TIME on Facebook in the morning and in the evening for a half hour at a time, if that.

I do not answer my phone every time it rings and I do not answer emails as soon as I get one. I carve out periods of time in my day for those things. Now, if it is my spouse or one of my kids, I answer when I can; but for calls that I KNOW are not urgent, I give them a backseat until the time I have scheduled for that. Otherwise, I would let my day get de-railed all over the place! Satan would love that, right?

You might not like to hear this, but I don’t watch TV. Now, I have other ways I unwind, but TV is not one of them. I like to play words with friends or read a book, but that time is scheduled and it is a “C” item for me…as time permits. God is so good, He knows when I need that time and He always makes a way for me to have it!

Now…. have you done this exercise yet? I would love to hear your thoughts in a comment below!

Blessings,

Coach Megan 🙂

Glorious Living w/ Coach Megan: In God’s Strength

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Hey sweet lady,
How does a working mom balance time for kids, home, work, church, etc when husband travels for his job?  Brian’s job has been more stressful & time consuming than I thought it would be a year ago.  I’m left to manage EVERYTHING for the household and lately have been reprimanded for being too grumpy.  How do I keep things running smoothly without feeling resentful, unappreciated, etc for what I do?
~AB
My Dear AB,
Ah… I know this world you speak of all too well and my husband has traveled for work for the past few years, At first, I was a HOT MESS…. but I have learned strategies that have helped so much! There are many layers to your question…. but they all come down to RELATIONSHIP!
Your relationship with God
Your relationship with your Husband
…and, yes… in that order!
***I could easily write whole blog posts on each item listed below… so please forgive me if I am too vague or if you need more clarification. I will do my best to share with you what has worked well in my own family and I am more than happy to expand on any of these suggestions in future blog posts or in comments on today’s blog!
The more intimate your walk with the Lord, the better you will handle every single situation and circumstance that life brings your way!
  1. Be consistent with your daily quiet time and be in The Word.
  2. Keep God with you throughout your day.
  3. Let God prioritize your day! Don’t give HIM your to-do list… give it up to HIM and I promise you, what MUST get done will get done… in perfect timing!
  4. Take a look at all you do in one day and ask God if there is anything you can delegate or anything you have taken on that HE is not intending for you to do in this season. If He shows you anything that falls into these categories, give them up.
  5. Give yourself a “time-out” when you need it to re-center and focus and not be “grumpy.”

The stronger your relationship is with your husband, the better you will handle every single situation and circumstance that your kids bring your way! 

  1. Submit to his authority and let him handle the big stuff…. even while out-of-town.
  2. You both need to be on the same page with boundaries and consequences (good and bad) with the kids.
  3. Clear expectations need to be set with the kids. We call it our family’s “culture” and I highly recommend drawing up a family constitution together with the kids so that everyone has input and understands what is expected of them.
  4. Woo your husband even {and especially} when he is out-of-town.
  5. Stay positive and know that this, too, shall pass!

Philippians 4:11-12

I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation,

whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.

Philippians 2:14

Do all things without grumbling or arguing

God calls us to be content in all situations and circumstances. That is not an easy task, but it IS possible through God! I know how hard it is to stay content when you have so much pulling at you and you feel as if you have the weight of the world on your shoulders. Where we get into trouble is when we start doing things for people and not for God. You are not here on this earth to please your husband, kids, friends, or even your boss! If you truly are living to please our Heavenly Father, that will help you maintain the proper perspective no matter what curve balls get thrown your way! Yes, people might not like what you do or how you handle something, but as long as you know that your actions, words, responses (not reactions) are in line with God’s Word and His commands, that ultimately is what matters.
Remember, feelings can be so deceptive! If something happens and you feel out of sorts, the first thing you need to do is ask yourself…
Is this really a BIG deal? {If your answer is yes OR no: Why is this hurting my heart? What “button” is this pushing?}
  1. Check your heart condition! {Most of the time if something happens that is small but our reaction is BIG…. we need to check the condition of our own heart}
  2. Go to God and let Him fill that space! No one else needs to own what is yours to go to God with!
Dear Lord, comfort my sweet sister and help her to know that You are always near and ready for her to run into Your arms when she is feeling overwhelmed, over tired, and over burdened. Strengthen her and help her to find the balance she so desperately needs. I pray that You strengthen her marriage as they are one accord and may YOU always be at the center of every decision and conversation, Father. Direct their steps and keep them all safe when Mr. AB is out-of-town. I thank you in advance for all you will do! In Jesus’ mighty name I pray, Amen. <3
Blessings,
Coach Megan 🙂 

Glorious Living w/ Coach Megan: Releasing Present Anger

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Dear Megan,

I pray you can help me. I have spent a lot of time working through the anger from my past, but I am really struggling releasing anger I am currently feeling in a constructive way. Maybe that means I haven’t truly released myself of the pain of my past anger, I don’t know. I do know that I need help now and I pray God can speak to me through you on this. Thank you for any help you can give!

~C.D.

Dear one, thank you for your question. I think we need to start off by understanding what is at the core of anger. Really, when we feel that our real or perceived rights have been violated, we can easily respond with anger.

This is something very real that many people struggle with…sometimes in certain seasons, situations and circumstances more than others. What is not okay is if we are walking around with the wrong belief that we have the right to be angry about our disappointments and choose to stay angry for as long as we feel like it. It is not okay to walk around with the belief that you have the right to express your anger in whatever way is natural to you. That is why I loved in your question when you said that you are struggling with releasing anger in a constructive way…. this implies that THIS is the type of guidance you are looking for and THAT, I believe, is pleasing to God!

What we want is to believe in our hearts that our Lord is sovereign over us and that we trust Him with our lives. We must yield our rights to Him and, through that, our human disappointments become God’s appointments to increase our faith and develop His character in us! We must choose to NOT be controlled by our anger, but to use our anger to motivate us to do whatever God wants us to do.

1 Peter 1:6-7

In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.

These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold,

which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

I pray that the following steps will help you to handle your present anger constructively and biblically.

1. Acknowledge Your Anger {Proverbs 28:13}

  • Be willing to admit you are angry
  • Be aware of when you feel angry
  • Become aware of suppressing or repressing your anger because of fear
  • Be willing to take responsibility for any inappropriate anger

2. Analyze Your Style { Psalm 139:23-24}

  • How often do you feel angry?
  • How do you know when you’re angry?
  • How do others know when you’re angry?
  • How do you release your anger?

3. Assess the Source {Psalm 51:6}

  • Hurt, injustice, fear, frustration, _________

4. Appraise Your Thinking {Proverbs 21:29}

  • Are you expecting others to meet your standards? “She should take better care of her children.”   “They ought to notice what I do for them.”
  • Are you guilty of distorted thinking? {Exaggerating the situation, assuming the worst, labeling one action based on other actions, generalizing, etc.}

5. Admit Your Needs {Anger is often a tactic used to get inner needs met} {Philippians 4:19}

  • Do you use anger as a manipulative play to demand certain “musts” in an attempt to feel loved?
  • Do you use explosive anger to get your way in an attempt to feel significant?
  • Do you use controlling anger, insisting on certain conditions in order to feel secure?
  • DO you know that only Christ can ultimately meet all your needs?
6. Abandon Your Demands {Learn to look to the Lord to meet your needs instead of demanding that from others}  {Jeremiah 31:3} {Jeremiah 29:11} {Psalm 118:6} {2 Peter 1:3}
  • “Lord, though I would like to feel more love from others, I know that You love me unconditionally.”
  • “Lord, though I would like to feel more significant to those around me, I know that I am significant in Your eyes.”
  • “Lord, though I wish I felt more secure in my relationships, I know I am secure in my relationship with You.”
  • “Lord, though I wish others would be more responsive to my needs, I know that You have promised to meet all my needs.”

7. Change Your Attitudes {Take these steps outlined in Philippians 2:2-8}

  • Have the goal to be like-minded with Christ
  • Do not think of yourself first
  • Give the other person preferential treatment
  • Consider the other person’s interests
  • Have the attitude of Jesus
  • Do not emphasize your position or rights
  • Look for ways to demonstrate a servant’s heart
  • Speak and act with a humble spirit
  • Be willing to die to your own desires

8. Address Your Anger {Galatians 2:20}

  • Determine whether your anger is really justified
  • Decide on the appropriate response {How important is the issue? Would a good purpose be served if it is mentioned? Should I acknowledge my anger only to the Lord?}
  • Depend on the Holy Spirit for guidance
  • Have constructive dialog when you confess
  • Don’t speak from a heart of unforgiveness {think before you speak}
  • Use personal statements such as “I feel…” instead of “How could you…” or “Why can’t you…”
  • Stay focused on present issue {don’t bring up past grievances}
  • Don’t assume the other person is wrong… actively listen for their point of view
  • Don’t expect instant understanding. Be patient and always respond with gentleness
  • Show the love of God by saying the following to yourself: I placed my anger on the cross with Christ. I am no longer controlled by anger. I am alive with Christ living inside me. I will let Christ forgive through me. I will let Christ love through me. I will let Christ reveal truth through me.

****Please, please journal out your thoughts, prayers and fears as you begin this journey to constructively release your present anger. I am praying God will move in your life in a mighty way through this and may He get all the glory!

Are YOU struggling with anger? How might you benefit by using this exercise along with our dear C.D?
Blessings,
Coach Megan 🙂

Glorious Living w/ Coach Megan: Getting Past the Hurt

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My sweet Megan!

I have a friend who used me in hopes to gain something better for her daughter through a sport they are both involved in. After realizing that I was not able to offer any more than what she was already receiving, she got angry at me and started speaking badly of me. I am hurt, #1 because she was just using me and had not intention of actually being a friend #2 because of the negative things she has been speaking about me. I want to forgive and move on, but am struggling with complete forgiveness. How do I move on? I need some life coaching!! I need to know what a woman of God would do to resolve & get passed this issue!!
~S

My dear S,

It sounds as if rejection is at the root of this issue and I believe that once you deal with that rejection by healing the wound in your heart, you will be able to move forward.

Psalm 34:18

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted

and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

All of us are created with three God-given inner needs: for love, significance, and security. Because people fail people, it is essential not to let other people define who you are. Realize that rejection can easily skew your view! Now I realize that there was more to your hurt than the initial rejection of thinking she was a true friend but finding out she was using you…. but please stay with me through this discussion because I believe it will help to talk about rejection as a whole and I promise to bring it together for you at the end! 🙂

Deuteronomy 31:8

The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.

Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.

How do you accept yourself when others reject you?

1. Focus on the facts, not feelings.

First off, you must admit the rejection of the past and acknowledge its pain. Ask God to bring to mind every rejection from your childhood to the present, and then consider the circumstances of each situation. {Yes, we bring past hurts to present situations}. Then, acknowledge the wide range of feelings of rejection you experienced with each past event. Release to God the pain AND the person(s) involved. Ask God to heal the physical, emotional, and spiritual damage caused by each of these painful experiences of rejection.

Lamentations 3:19

I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitternessand the gall.

2. Claim God’s acceptance and unconditional love

Confess God’s love for you and all the ways He has shown you His love {like Christ dying for you}. Cite Psalms 139:1-18 and praise God for your life and His divine creation and plan for it. Convey your appreciation to God for His love of you by loving Him with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. Love others as He loves you.

3. Choose to forgive those who rejected you

Consider all the hurt and anger you feel over your rejection. Realize the cost of withholding forgiveness {a bitter spirit building up inside you, which will cause trouble and spread to those around you}. Commit to forgiving those who rejected you just as Christ forgave those who rejected Him (including you). Write down their names, their offenses, and the pain caused you. Then release each person, offense, and pain into the loving hands of God.

Colossians 3:13

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone.

Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

4. Expect future rejection as natural in a fallen world

Empty yourself of the pride that drives your desire to be accepted by everyone. Since gaining everyone’s approval is impossible, commit yourself to pleasing God. Empathize with others who feel rejected by friends, family, employers, business associates, or anyone else important to them. Embrace the truth that as a believer, you will experience rejection, just as Jesus did. You are not exempt from being rejected in daily life.

1 Peter 4:12

Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you,

as though something strange were happening to you.

5. Secure Scripture in your mind to produce new thought patterns

Purpose to renew your mind by selecting meaningful scriptures to read. meditate on, and commit to memory. Plan a specific time each day to read God’s Word and pray. Partner with someone who will hold you accountable for applying God’s truth to your heart.

Romans 12:2

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is— his good, pleasing and perfect will.

6. Thank God for what you have learned through your rejection

  • “Thank you, Lord, for using my pain to make me more dependent on you.”
  • “Thank you, Lord, for using my pain to make me less dependent on people.”
  • “Thank you, Lord, for using my pain to make me more dependent on Your Word.”

Psalm 119:71

 It was good for me to be afflicted
 so that I might learn your decrees.

7. Encourage others as an expression of Christ’s love.

Give compassion to those who are hurting as someone who has been hurt. Lift them in prayer, faithfully praying for them and with them. Ease emotional wounds by embracing those in pain and encouraging them to talk.

Hebrews 3:13

 Encourage one another daily

8. Draw on the power of Christ’s life within you

  • “I will see Christ as my security whenever I feel insecure.”
  • “I know that I have all I need, for Jesus will meet all my needs.”
  • “I will daily set aside my selfish desires in favor of His desires, saying ‘Not my will, but Yours, be done.'”

Philippians 4:13

I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

While rejection is real and it hurts, we need to make sure that we are keeping our feelings in check as they can be so deceptive. We need to be careful not to take on someone else’s issue as our own and through forgiveness and loving as Christ loves, we free ourselves from hanging on to the yuck that keeps us from moving forward in such circumstances. No it is not easy, but it IS possible as God calls us to this in His Word. Seeking God through such trials and letting Him soothe your deep wounds is the only way to live free and get past the hurt. I pray this guides you though healing and is a blessing to you <3

Lord, give us Your unfailing compassion as we walk through tough relationships and help heal all the places we are hurting. We yearn to not stay stuck, but to get past out hurt and break free for good. Thank You for the guidance we find in Your Word. May You get all the glory as our hearts and relationships are restored, Lord! In Your Son’s matchless name we pray, Amen <3

Blessings,

Coach Megan 🙂

Glorious Living w/ Coach Megan: Guarding Your Heart

 

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Dear Megan,

I am really struggling lately and everywhere I turn I hear “guard your heart,” but I don’t feel like I really know what that means. I want to just shut my heart down so it won’t hurt anymore, but I know that isn’t what God is calling me to do. HELP! Any guidance would be appreciated!

~S.

This is such a great question, S, and it is so important to get our heart around it to truly be living the abundant life God calls us to! Thank you for reaching out!

So….What does it really mean to “guard your heart?”

I keep coming back to the same verse: “… and the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7).  There’s so much meat in this verse; but today I want to talk about a particular piece – “guard your hearts.”

It seems to me, the best way to protect ourselves in this world, in relationships, jobs, dreams, or whatever, is to keep our expectations in check.

There are two verses people often quote with regard to guarding one’s heart. The first is Proverbs 4:23. In the NIV it reads “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” The King James and the NASB, however, choose a slightly different word than “guard.”  NASB says “watch” and KJV says “keep.” And we must remember that in the Hebrew, “heart” actually means far more than the seat of our emotions. It’s our mind, our soul, our inclinations, etc.

When we consider this, and look at the verse in context, it’s not telling us to guard, in the sense of how we might use this word in modern English. It’s not telling us to clamp down, be closed off, walled apart…it’s just telling us to be wise.  Solomon is imparting wisdom to his son and is telling him to remember his words, embed them in his heart and try to keep himself from going astray. It means that we should pursue the truth of scripture, such as that God loves us, is trustworthy, and is for our good, so that we make wise decisions. I don’t believe it means we’re to tense up in self-protection…. But that is what we tend to do, isn’t it?

If we only consider this first verse, we might be inclined to actually forget the truth of God’s ways, His sovereignty, and His love, and take too much into our own hands. We’ll try to desperately control our environment, and every thought and emotion, thinking we’re doing the right thing. We are told to take every thought captive, but here’s where that, in excess, falls apart and ceases to be of God.…

How much angst and stress are you putting into trying to figure out how to guard your heart?

How crazy are you making yourself trying to figure out what to do and not do, so that you won’t get disappointed or disappoint someone else?

 That is not God’s will for you. God wants you to trust Him, be in the moment, and seek His wisdom and guidance ALONG the way…not build a fortress around you so you can’t experience anything! Do you realize that if you guard your heart too much…you may actually miss what God has for you? You may entirely sideline His will and plan because you’re too busy protecting yourself. We need to learn to be okay with uncertainty and just go with it, maybe even open our hearts up a little, remembering that God is good no matter which way things go.

This is where we bring in the second verse. Philippians 4:6-7 reads “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” This is a little different than in the first verse, and they have to be taken together.

Here, it is God’s peace that guards your heart. It is a work of God…not a work of you. God doesn’t want us to live in anxiety and worry. And uncertainty sure causes this, doesn’t it? But instead, God wants us to lay our requests at His feet, thank Him for who He is and what He has already done…and leave it at that, knowing He’ll continue to do good in the future.

We don’t pick it up again. We let the peace of laying it down guard our hearts. This submission is based on that constant insistence that God loves us and is for our good. I’ll say it 1000 times because it IS the most important thing for us to EVER understand. God loves us with an immeasurable love. God loves us so much in fact, that we may not get our way, because He knows better. He will do what is for our good. Pray this deeply into your heart. Confess and release all your fears that are keeping you from this truth in the wholeness of your life. That is where you’ll find peace and how your heart will be guarded in a way that you can experience all God has for you, in wisdom, joy, and grace.

You see…the enemy wants us to miss out on all the good things God has for us by getting us to worry and doubt. Sometimes we need to sit in uncertainty when we want to RUN!!!! But if we run, we will miss God. We will miss what He wants to show us in the situation, things He wants to teach us, ways He wants to bless us, and ways He wants to use us to bless others. God just wants us to believe Him and go with it. He wants us to have the freedom to experience what He has for us without fear. That may mean living in a lot of uncertainty, but don’t wall yourself up to avoid getting hurt. Just be at peace, let God be God, and take it all one day at a time.

Where might you be wrestling with expectations today? Is it a struggle at work? A living situation? A family situation? A relationship that you just don’t know which way it’s going to go?

Release it.

It’s going to work out exactly as God has planned and it WILL be good, any which way. Just enjoy today. Enjoy God. Enjoy the process. Enjoy the uncertainty with great expectations of what God will do through it. Submit to trusting God, ask Him for discernment in wise actions, and leave the rest to Him. Remember, His ways are not our ways, so we probably won’t be able to figure it out anyway.

AMEN!….. and blessings to you,

Megan 🙂

Glorious Living w/ Coach Megan: Discerning The Will of God

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Dear Megan,

How can I discern God’s voice from my wants so that I can be in His will? 

I know that God will open the right doors, but in the meantime trying to wait and not push what I want to have happen is so hard.  Sometimes it is so hard to discern His voice when our desires are so strong and the enemy starts to make us doubt, plot and plan, and he makes us think that we are in God’s will when we are really just doing what we want. Looking forward to your thoughts!

Blessings!

~C

 

My dear C, this is one of the questions I get asked most as a Christian Life Coach and I am so excited to discuss it with you and a few friends here today!

One thing I know for sure is that the more you are in the Word, and have a consistent, deeply intimate relationship with the Lord, the more your will will be aligned with His and the easier it will be to discern His voice through your wants.

I think it is important to begin this discussion with a few Biblical facts about the will of God:

1. God’s will for you was prepared in advance:

Ephesians 2:10

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works,

which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

2. God desires to reveal His will to you in a personal way:

Acts 22:14

“The God of our ancestors has chosen you to know his will.”

3. God reveals His will primarily through the Spirit of God and the Word of God:

John 16:13

“…the Spirit of truth will guide you into all truth.”

Psalm 119:105

“Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light on my path.”

4. God sees the whole big-picture of your life…past, present, and future. Discovering God’s will for you is like unrolling a scroll….  He unrolls it one line at a time:

Psalm 32:8

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
    I will counsel you and watch over you.”

5. Sometimes God’s will for our lives includes sorrow and affliction. Suffering gives us compassion for others and allows us to see God’s sufficiency as we learn to depend on Him:

Psalm 119:71

“It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees.”

Okay! Now that we have that background established, let’s move forward and discuss what decisions are pleasing to God. One thing I know is that God doesn’t play hide-and-seek as you try to discover His will! As you sincerely place HIS desires above YOUR desires, He will be faithful to point the way. Let THIS be the prayer of your heart:

 Psalm 40:8

“I desire to do your will, my God;
    your law is within my heart.”

In His Word, God states that He blesses decisions that…

 

He initiates (Proverbs 4:11)

line up with His Word (Psalm 119:33)

accomplish His purpose (Philippians 2:13)

depend on His strength (Philippians 4:13)

result in giving Him glory (1 Corinthians 10:31)

promote justice, kindness and humility (Micah 6:8)

reflect His character (Romans 8:29)

come from faith (Hebrews 11:6)

consider the interests of others (Philippians 2:4)

are bathed in prayer (1 Thessalonians 5:17)

My friend C… I so wish that I could just tell you exactly what to do and what decision to make, but we all know that is not possible (and you probably don’t even want that)!  I do know, though, that God is guiding you each and every day as you discern which path to take:

  • through your spiritual gifts, talents and abilities
  • through your understanding all facets of this decision
  • through impressions God is making on your spirit in the form of convictions and  establishing truth
  • through knowing that God placed certain desires in your heart for a reason
  • through advice from trusted sources who God so divinely places in your path who are grounded in the Word, who are mature in godly wisdom and who might also have overcome similar circumstances in their own lives
  • through the possible necessity of the situation (like having to move because of a sick parent, etc.)
  • through seeing beyond circumstances (Proverbs 16:9)
  • through the elimination of options which you discern are not the best options (1 Corinthians 10:23)

I pray that this has helped you to have a better understanding in your current situation and know that even if time has run out on this decision and you still don’t know what to do, you can still pray!

 

Dear Heavenly Father,

Because You know everything, You know the decision before me and the way I should go. I want only YOUR will, Father. Because I no longer have the option of waiting, I will choose one option. If this decision is not right in Your sight, I ask Your Spirit in me to put a heaviness in my heart. If this is the right direction for me to walk, please confirm it with Your peace that surpasses all understanding. I am willing to take whatever detours You decide to put in my path, as long as I reach the destination You have for me. In Your Son’s matchless name, I pray, Amen. <3

 

Blessings,

Megan Smidt, CCLC