Looking Forward

Things have been quiet in this space lately. I guess you could say I’ve been on a sabbatical of sorts. Not announced, not planned, not fully understood. But, good for me. Really good for my soul.

I’ve been writing, just not publishing. Bleeding at the keyboard, just not sharing my bandaged covered soul with you.

Writing from your innermost place of quiet and introspection requires a lot of you. I have to go to a different place in my head when I write. And it costs me something because I’m giving something away. Sometimes it costs too much.

I’m learning that writing is much like being in a friendship. You can never pay backwards. You always pay it forward. This learning brings me to an announcement of sorts. I am going to start posting mostly every Sunday. A new type of post.

Every Sunday in my life, I spend some time with my calendar. I look forward to the week ahead. I plan. I organize. I make lists. I stop and take a moment to ask God to help me and give me supernatural insight. I look forward to all that lies ahead of me.

So, on my blog, I am going to start writing {and posting!} a “Looking Forward” offering almost every Sunday. I like the idea of an offering. Nothing is required of you, or me. It will be an offering of lessons learned, things observed, quotes, coaching tidbits, coaching questions, encouragement, and grace.

Grace for the next 7 days of our lives.
The minutes we’ve yet to live.
The memories we’ve yet to make.
The masterpieces we’ve yet to create. 

May we pause together on Sundays to ponder the future minutes, memories, and masterpieces.

Here we go. Let’s hold hands and leap!

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As most of you know, we spent the last week at the happiest place on earth. One word…magical. Smiles plastered on our faces. Yes, all four of us. Big kids, too!

My daughter summed it up one afternoon after watching the Nemo movie come to life on stage at Animal Kingdom…

“Mom, there’s so much to see and hear…I can’t take it all in!”

As a mom, I cried.
As a coach, I cheered.
As a believer, I thanked my God.

May we all look at the week ahead and choose to see the positive. There will always be negative and we can choose to embrace it, but I challenge you and me to embrace something different. Choose to see the silver lining instead of the cloud. The sparkles instead of the blemishes. The glitter instead of the mess. As my 9-year-old said, you won’t be able to take it all in.

Let’s live our minutes making memories and creating masterpieces. He’s called us out upon the waters. Let’s keep our eyes off the waves this week. Much love to you all.

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Builder of Our Dreams

“…we do not dream independently, and God does not sign off on our dreams. He is the builder of our dreams. We bring him our blank canvases, hand them over, and say, “Whatever you must create to display your glory, do it.” — Jennie Allen, Restless

She called me out of desperation, so she said. I think it was more inspiration. Preferences, right?

“I can’t sleep at night. I am excited and afraid all at the same time. Don’t you have some fancy word for that…ambivalence? Is that right? What if this is what God wants me to do? What if this is what I was made to do?” Her usually methodical cadence of speech seemed to be stuck in fast forward due to the cacophony of emotions she was experiencing.

To her cascade of questions, I responded with a simple question, which turned her desperation into aggravation: “What if?”

After zero pause to consider my question, she responded with frustration, “Lizzie, that’s why I called you! Don’t do this to me. Just tell me what you think I should do!”

The life coach in me knows that even if I think I know what’s best, I don’t have the answers for my clients or friends or family. They have the answers. I have lots of questions. If I ask open and curious questions, they will find their answers.

As the silence grew between her aggravation and my curiosity, my thoughts turned inward and I jotted down a few notes from the past couple of years. I have hiked the mountain of fear and doubt my friend is hiking.

It’s only been 2 years since I painted my first canvas. 24 months. 730 days. And a few sleepless nights.

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God was building a dream inside of me for 35 years. I had no idea. In the spring of 2012, hibernation complete, something inside of me awakened. I knew during my first acrylic painting class that I would never be the same. I could feel an internal trembling. An ache or desire that had never been expressed. Something not unlike the early labor pains I had already experienced with my daughter and son.

Something was ready to emerge. To breathe. To wake up and live.

If I’d known two years ago what the Lord was going to do from April of 2012 to now, I would not have believed it. Habakkuk 1:5 says:

“Look among the nations! Observe! Be astonished! Wonder! Because I am doing something in your days– You would not believe if you were told.”

Had I known I would gain new friends, open an art studio, sell paintings, go to art shows, teach people from ages 4 to 84 how to paint, travel with my paints and brushes, and watch people freely express with their creative genius, I would not have believed it.

I’ve also lost dear friends, messed up dates on the calendar, had to start over on several canvases, caused kids to cry, and paid good money to my massage therapist to help with the tension my muscles hold on to.

Lord, whatever you must create to display your glory, do it.

So brave. So crazy. So hard. So life changing. So glad I let go and let God. Just like my friend above, who leaped and discovered she had wings. And then her desperation dissipated into celebration.

Here are a few curious questions that helped turn my desperation and aggravation in to inspiration as God has been showing me what colors to use on my blank canvas since April of 2012:

What keeps you awake at night?
What are you most afraid to do?
What is God building inside of you?
When you think about your life, what’s missing?
If you look at your life right now, what pattern is developing?

And remember, buildings take time to build, canvases have many layers and often need time to dry before you can paint the next layer, relationships will change, and most of all, so will you. Be kind and patient with yourself. You are a masterpiece…one stroke of the Master’s brush at a time.

 

Blastoff!!!

We have been waiting for the new website/blog launch all week! It is finally here and you can check it out for yourself. Go to the following link and click on Blog:

www.lizziebranch.com

The purpose of this relaunch was to streamline my coaching website and blog. I love to coach and write, and wanted to combine my website with my blog to make things easier for me and you, my amazing readers!!

And now for our winners!!! Out of 162 entries, we have 4 amazing winners! I am so excited for the following people:

$25 Giftcard to Starbucks goes to DENISE MCCOY!!

Package of 3 children’s books by Lizzie Branch and Cheryl Scanlan goes to JENN TOUSEY!!

Silver bracelet adorned with beautiful sea glass and 3 hand made bows goes to CINDY WINTER-HARTLEY!!

Grand prize: 2 session coaching package, silver bracelet adorned with beautiful sea glass, children’s books, and “One Thousand Gifts” by Ann Voskamp goes to PATTI PAGE!!

If your name is mentioned above please email your mailing address to my personal email: branch626@aol.com. I will mail your prize early next week. Hope you enjoyed this launch as much as me!! Thank you again for your support!

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There are many people to thank for the successful launch this week:

First and foremost, I want to thank YOU! My faithful readers and supporters. Your powerful encouragement and loving comments have been greatly appreciated. I am so thrilled that you are on this fascinating adventure with me. With every blog post I write, I hope to connect everyday with eternity. To help you and me see God in all things. Thank you again for your support. Grateful for you!

I also want to thank Contessa Siegner, my wonderful web stylist. Contessa, has been a joy to work with! If you are interested in contacting her for help with your own website, message me and I will give you her contact information. God has blessed me by reconnecting our lives. If you knew the story behind the story, you would smile and say, “now that can only be a God thing!”

My mentor, coach, and friend, Cheryl Scanlan is by far one of my biggest fans. Your support, Cheryl, means the world to me. As we live in continual surrender and love each other “loosely”, may He be magnified!

My friend and training partner, Millie Atkisson, made the amazing bracelets and bows for this give away. She is so very talented and she doesn’t even realize it. If you are interested in her products, message me and I will connect you with her. Millie, your friendship and support is like a breath of fresh air.

No where near last, and definitely not least, without my God and my family, I would not have anything to blog about! I am blessed beyond measure, spilling out and running over. I am one blessed and grateful wife to Anthony and mama to Callie and Sean!

Stay tuned to the blog. I hope to continue blogging about twice a week or more. The current book review series is still underway. Tune in Sunday for the next review!

And, if you want to make certain to receive my blog posts, type in your email address at the top right hand corner of the blog page. You will receive an email every time I post a blog. If you are a fellow wordpress user, you will need to follow me again as well!

Looking forward to the adventures that await us!

What Coffee and Coaching Have in Common

When someone mentions Starbucks, what comes to mind?

Different things float to the surface of my conscious awareness: the color green, Seattle, expensive, gift cards, a nice hangout, my friend Cheryl, and coffee. Now, I know my mind is a little left of normal, but did you notice that coffee was 7th on the list. 7th?

Now, notice something else. When someone asks you an open question because they are truly curious about you and your response, amazing things can happen.

If I assumed that your response would be coffee when I asked you the question above, then look at all the other fascinating responses that I would have missed out on!

Asking curious and open-ended questions is the cornerstone of pure coaching. And if you would apply this one simple tool in your life, your relationships would change dramatically.

As part of my new website launch this week, I am giving away a $25 Starbucks gift card. Why you might ask? Am I trying to bribe you? Well maybe, but mostly not. I want to help you understand how your life can change by incorporating a few coaching tools. And a hot cup of coffee or tea helps to create an environment similar to Starbucks that is conducive to listening, learning, and leaping into bold new change.

To begin with, what coaching is and is not:

Coaching is for people who are searching for balance and harmony, feel stuck, desire growth and accountability, are experiencing transitions, become tired of the same old habits, and desire and embrace change.

The coaching relationship is a powerful partnership between the coach and the client where the client sets the agenda and learns through action. Coaching is forward moving and the coach assists the client in creating a vision for the future. Coaching focuses on the client’s whole life. The coach asks tough questions and the client through a process of self-discovery, discovers the answers.

Coaching is not counseling, therapy, consulting, mentoring, or a form of discipleship. The coach is not the expert and the client is healthy, creative, and resourceful.

Coaching is transformational and life changing. As a coach, I partner with clients and help them on their path of discovery. I never know what the itinerary will be before I get on a coaching call and the first question I always start with is: “If we could fast-forward 45 minutes, what do you want to take away from our call today?”

Lastly, what does coffee and coaching have in common? You determine what you want in your cup of coffee and you determine what you want your coaching partnership to be. Some people like their coffee black and strong. Some like it hot with extra cream and easy sugar. Some don’t like it at all and prefer a cup of tea.

The same is true of coaching. Every coaching partnership is different. In coaching, you determine what you want your life and vision to be. I am the amazingly blessed and grateful person on the other end of the line having her Venti iced black tea with no syrup and extra ice.

Come join us! CLICK HERE TO ENTER TO WIN THE $25 Starbucks gift card and other amazing prizes:  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Also, click here to LIKE my Kairos Coaching, LLC Facebook page where you will be able to see future posts and where I will announce the winners on Friday!

My one thing…

I know you’ve been sitting on the edge of your seat since Sunday when you read about the Weekly Intention for this week. Waiting and about to pop because you want to know what my one thing is for this week.

Drum roll please!! No more delay!!

It’s pretty simple, folks. I am slowing down. Yes, me, Lizzie, slowing down. I do most everything fast, except for run. I am a solid 10 minute miler, but in every other area of my life, I am in hyper mode. Eating, sleeping, working, walking, talking, etc. Multitasking everywhere I go.

I am probably the main reason my son sees a speech therapist. He clutters his words together…because he talks too fast. His processing speed is much higher than his ability to produce language in an intelligible manner. Now, since he sees the best speech therapist in the world, Mrs. Renee, he has improved leaps and bounds. But, we have invested a lot of time and money teaching him how to ssssssllllllooooowwwww down.

So, now,  I am being more intentional about being slow. On purpose. And it makes realize just how not present to the present I am most of the time. I am like the professional pool player who has already run the 9-ball table in his or her mind before the little solid yellow #1 ball has been pocketed.

This is going to be hard. It will cost me something. I am fearing that I will be much less productive. But, the Lord keeps reminding me that I will gain more than I could ever lose. I am sure there is a reason why I rush through life…but that is a completely different post for another day!!

First things first. And, I will never have to worry about coming in last. 

 

I will keep you posted! The next installment of “Weekly Intentions” will post on Sunday. Also, if you haven’t already, please visit and like my new Kairos Coaching, LLC Facebook page. I would love to be able to keep you updated on all things Kairos via my Facebook page.

And, by the way, my amazing web designer is working on my new website. I cannot wait to reveal it to you in the weeks ahead. Thank you as always for reading. Blessed beyond measure and grateful to call you friend.