Archive for the ‘Guest Posts’ Category

Three Super-Simple Kick Start Living Your Dreams – in the next 15 minutes

February 24, 2011

Welcome to guest writer Kathi Lipp.  I’ve been reading her book, The ME Project, this week – pretty inspiring!  Enjoy her post, and read all the way to the bottom for a special giveaway:

Is there a dream that God has given you, but you are waiting until the kids are grown and you have money in the bank before you get started?

You may not be able to enroll in a month long pastry making class or take a week off of work to get started on your novel, but today you can take three little baby steps to making your dream a day-to-day reality.

1. Go Public with It

It’s a little scary to tell the world what you want to do when you grow up—but this is one little step could get you closer to living your dream than almost any other. Plus—it takes very little time and you don’t have to raid your kid’s college fund to make it happen.

When you gather up all your courage and tell your best friend, “I want to learn how to paint,” suddenly she remembers an old art book she has laying around she would love to give you, or her friend from church who teaches art classes. The people you know and love want to be a resource. Give them the privilege of being a part of making your dream happen.

2. Join an Online Group

This is one of the simplest—and cheapest—ways to start exploring your passion. Find out who else is talking about restoring antiques and listen to their conversation. Start by Googling your interest along with the term “online groups.” You will be amazed with the number of people who want to talk about the proper way to care for 1950’s lunchboxes as much as you do.

3. Don’t be Afraid to Pray

I remember the first time I put an offer in on a house—I wanted it more than I had wanted almost anything else in my life. While I knew that I had dozens of other people praying on my behalf, I was too scared to pray.

I didn’t want God to tell me no. I was afraid to pray until my co-worker Kim asked me (in a loving, kind way), why I didn’t believe that God wanted His best for me. Don’t be afraid to pray—as with anything amazing in my life, the path is never what I expected, but it has always been obvious that God’s hand has been on it the whole way.

Author Bio
Kathi Lipp is a busy conference and retreat speaker, currently speaking each year to thousands of women throughout the United States. She is the author of The Husband Project and The Marriage Project, serves as food writer for Nickelodeon, and has had articles published in several magazines, including Todays Christian Woman and Discipleship Journal. Kathi and her husband, Roger, live in California and are the parents of four teenagers and young adults. For more information visit her website: www.kathilipp.com

Special Giveaway:

By March 4, 2011 send KCWC the name of someone who commented on the blog tour. That person will be entered into a grand prize giveaway.

On March 7, 2011 KCWC will draw and announce a winner of the grand prize.

Kathi Lipp Grand Prize Giveaway:

  • Deluxe Starbucks Coffee Gift Basket
  • Three 2.5-oz. bags of Starbucks coffee
  • (Sumatra, House Blend, and French Roast)
  • Tazo black tea
  • Starbucks marshmallow cocoa
  • Almond roca
  • Almond roca buttercrunch toffee cookies
  • White chocolate and raspberry cookies
  • 2 Starbucks mugs
  • Keepsake black bamboo basket

($62 value)

So, comment away!


Even When I’m Old

January 12, 2011

Even when I’m old, I want to have purpose.  God put us each here on earth, and made us for a purpose.  Every day we live, God has a reason for us being here.  However, it is easy to lose that sense of purpose along the way.  Missy Buchanan has a ministry helping people who are in that new stage of life continue finding purpose and joy.  Here is a quick Q&A to discover Missy’s ministry:

Even when age creeps up on the body and mind, and life changes from what it once was, is it still possible to have a purpose in life? When it is no longer possible to venture out and do the things you once loved, can you still find a reason to look forward to each day?  Missy Buchanan, a leading expert and advocate for senior adults, believes that you can.  Buchanan wants to encourage older adults to find their purpose, share their stories, and make an impact on those around them.

Q: What made you decide to start ministering to and writing books for older adults?

Well, as a middle-aged adult, I never had any intention of becoming an author of books for older adults.  But because of the journey that my own aging parents were on, I realized how they had become disconnected from their church as their lives changed.  They started off as active older adults and then that circle got smaller as they had more needs and physical limitations.  As I would visit them at their retirement community, I would also see so many others that were just like them.  They needed spiritual encouragement.  And so that’s why I got started.  The first book began as a project just for my own parents.  I wrote devotions and kept them in a loose-leaf notebook.   But others started asking for them and things just spiraled from there.

Q: What do you think children need to know about their aging parents?

What I realized personally was that I had been so caught up in my parents’ physical needs that I had neglected their spiritual needs.  They were no longer connected to their church, at least in regular worship attendance, and that had been such a huge part of their lives.  I almost made that mistake of just totally missing that, and that was the point where I began to write.  I looked and there were other books written about older adults but not very many that were written to them and for them.  So the first thing I would tell their children is to pay attention not only to their physical needs but also to their spiritual needs.

Q: What is your opinion about role reversal with children and their aging parents?

I hear the whole idea of role reversal where the older parent becomes a child and the grown children become the parent, and I understand what they are talking about because my own parents became more dependent on me.  But I think that when we refer to it as a role reversal, and we begin to think of our aging parents as children, we strip away their dignity.  We rob them of respect and we overlook the fact that they are not children.  They have had a lifetime of experiences that a child has not had.  And I think that is an important difference that grown children need to think about and pay attention to.  It’s more of a role shift in responsibilities and not a role reversal.  I know how much it hurts an aging parent to feel like they are being treated like a baby or like a child.

Q: Other than aging adults, who else has benefited from your writing?

A friend of mine in an assisted living facility asked me to bring some books for one of her tablemates.  Her tablemate explained that these books were for her adult children.  “They don’t understand what it feels like to grow old, and I can’t seem to make them understand, but your books say it better than I ever could.”  My books are all written in the first person as if an older adult is speaking directly to God.  There are a lot of adult children that are buying them for themselves and older adults buying them for their grown children.

And I’ve heard of different youth groups that have been reading my books in order to better understand what it’s like to grow old.  Instead of just mocking their older peers, they are learning that they share a lot of the same feelings—feelings of insecurity, feelings of fear.  As a result of reading the books, one youth group in Tennessee has even adopted the residents of the senior living center across from their church.

Q: How can faith change our idea of growing older?

So many see aging as a punishment, and they dread it so much.  But even though it is difficult to be limited by an aging body, they need to look at it as a gift that God has given them.  They still have so much to give.  They have great wisdom to share and stories to share.  I always tell my older friends that their story is not yet over.

Missy Buchanan is the author of Talking with God in Old Age: Meditations and Psalms and Living with Purpose in a Worn-Out Body: Spiritual Encouragement for Older Adults (Upper Room Books).

Click here to watch Missy Buchanan’s recent interview with Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts and Roberts’ 86-year-old mother.

Visit Missy Buchanan’s website, www.missybuchanan.com, and blog, http://missybu.wordpress.com/.

Become a friend on Facebook (Aging and Faith) and follow on Twitter (MissyBuchanan).

A Healthy Interdependence by Rosemary Flaaten

October 30, 2010

Dependence. It’s a word that makes me shudder. It conjures up images of the once virile superhero, Christopher Reeves, reduced to a quadriplegic dependence on others for even his most basic needs. It brings remembrances of my barely 60 year old mother having to be spoon‐fed her soft lunch because of the ravage of Alzheimer’s disease. It revives memories of the smothering friendship, once emotionally healthy, deteriorating into a noxious dependency used to bolster each other’s self esteem to validate our worth.

Independence. It’s a word that I easily espouse for I am a fiercely independent woman. Jobs where I have had to toe the line have proven difficult and often terminated prematurely. I become like a once wild lion now caged. I am a pioneer and a starter. This entrepreneurial spirit is a part of my DNA, nurtured and rewarded from the cradle. My personality spurs me to get things done, quickly and efficiently. Being a networker, I am attentive to people around me who can contribute to the success of the project. I make shrewd decisions as to who to involve based upon their usefulness. In my business world, my independence only gives way to those who have proven themselves supportive to my vision without cramping my style.

Recently, my mentor posed a question that caused me to bristle. It was this: “Who do you depend on?” My initial response was “No one”. Upon reflection though, I admitted my dependence on those who could help me advance my initiatives. But this sage, to whom I have given permission to prod beneath my veneer, perceived that I was keeping humanity and deity at bay, and detected the weakness it presented to my character. What ensued was a conquest to understand the meaning of healthy interdependence, why I needed to foster interdependence, and what that would look like for a staunch independent entrepreneurial type like me.

The journey started by going to my closest friends, not business associates, and asking them this question: “How do you perceive that I am dependent or needy of you?” I had idealistically envisioned that their responses would be complimentary and fraternal. In actuality, their responses were damning. The vast majority of them saw me as being so strongly independent that I make life happen on my own. It was not colleagues but friends that saw that people were allowed into my life based on their usefulness rather than their humanity. Although I was surrounded by lots of people, I had to evaluate if anyone was making it past the front door of my life, let alone to meander with me through my emotional garden? Again, the evidence was damning.

Having discovered something about myself that was crippling the development of my soul, I knew it would not be long before it started to also negatively impact my business. I firmly believe that we are not created as compartmentalized beings. What happens in one area of my life will impact other areas as well.

I realized anew that in my attempts to be strong and independent, I had become fortified. My independence had become a threat to emotional and spiritual health and ultimately the health of my business. Despite my ongoing aversion with dependence, I more fully understand my need to open my heart and allow people to speak into my life.

It is in the arena of healthy interdependence that my perspectives will be sharpened, reshaped and refined. Authenticity fosters accountability. Things kept in the solitude of independence risk derailment. The ancient wisdom of King Solomon states “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work. If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”2 It is in the milieu of strong interdependence that life‐giving change is spawned.

Dependence can stifle. Independence can isolate. Neither end of the spectrum is good. To reach my fullest potential as the business woman God created and purposed for me, I must become interdependent. I must surround myself with true sojourners, who give more than platitudes. I must invite different perspectives, authenticity and accountability. The people with whom I become interdependent will be the ones that I allow past the front door of my life and welcome into my emotional garden. Then I will harvest the benefits in my personal life and my business.

Rosemary Flaaten’s successful book, A Woman and Her Relationships helps women process their outside-of- work relationships, so now she’s delving into these 9-5 relationships in A Woman and Her Workplace. Her Relationships book won The Word Guild Award, which is Canada’s top Christian literary honor. A dynamic speaker—Rosemary challenges women of all professions to view their work as a calling and their workplaces as opportunities to live out Christ’s love. Rosemary lives with her husband and three children in Calgary, Canada

Stilettos and Integrity? How about Sneakers?

September 13, 2010

Friday is wear your sneakers to work day!  Welcome guest blogger Rosemary Flaaten with this fun, provocative article.

By the fifth block I was done. Although my four-inch stilettos made my legs look long and lanky, they also made my previously innocuous little toe scream with pulsating pain. Walking to and from my business luncheon in fancy high heels had been my biggest mistake of the day. Where were my sneakers when I really needed them?
The craze started over 20 years ago when women, following the lead of the Silver Screen, started donning their sneakers in place of stilettos. The wise woman prized comfort over fashion, elevating her “right” to wear sneakers from her front door to her desk without anyone giving a second glance. It didn’t matter how matronly she looked or how disjointed her business appearance, functionality was given prominence.
So why have my sneakers been collecting dust in my front closet while my stilettos need new heels?
As I pondered this question, I realized that my choice between stilettos or sneakers is indicative of a greater question regarding my integrity at my workplace. Sneakers are stable, no nonsense, functional and take-me-as-I-am footwear. Stilettos are representative of my desire to fit the business mold and improve my appearance. In essence, I hope to portray a version of myself that looks better than reality. Likewise, how often are the choices I make around telling the truth or shading the truth based on my desire to fit in, to make myself look better or to prop up my lagging competency?
It has become socially acceptable to fudge the truth (even just ever so slightly) in order to increase our likeability.  Robert Feldman, in his book The Liar in Your Life, quoted a study indicating that the average person lies three times every ten minutes in a conversation. The intention of these lies is not to manipulate. Rather, people lie so that they come across more interesting, likable and desirable.  Sounds a little like stilettos.
Our propensity to shade or embellish the truth has strong ramifications in our workplace. When the boss calls to see if we’ve done the big project and we respond “Yep, just about” when we know that we’re only about 25% finished, we may find ourselves in a situation where we must continue to shade the truth in order to save our skin. One lie is seldom enough. When (not if) our untruthfulness is discovered, we will have a much more difficult task rebuilding the eroded trust.
If deception is telling and living a life of lies, then living honest is conveying truth no matter the consequences. Living honestly means we live authentically; but integrity takes this a step further. Unlike children who lie to get themselves out of sticky situations, integrity calls out greatness and gives evidence of maturity. In the workplace, we start with honesty, add authenticity, and then our character culminates with integrity.
In defense of all stiletto-loving working women, please don’t interpret my use of this metaphor to suggest that stilettos are wrong and sneakers are better. Rather, on this “sneakers at work” day, may it be a reminder that being a person of integrity will always be better than trying to make yourself look better. In the long run, sneakers will take you further than stilettos. Not just my feet will attest to that truth!
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ROSEMARY FLAATEN’S successful book, A Woman and Her Relationships won The Word Guild Award, which is Canada’s top Christian literary honor. Now she writes A Woman and Her Workplace to help women process their  9-5 relationships. A dynamic speaker—Rosemary challenges women of all professions to view their work as a calling and their workplaces as opportunities to live out Christ’s love. Rosemary lives with her husband and three children in Calgary, Canada.