14 Jul

The Battle of the Rudder

We have a cabin in Ione, Wa on the Pend Oreille River.  The other day a paddle boat was floating down the river and we decided to go and retrieve it and call the sheriff just in case someone lost it.  No one has called so my husband and I decided to try it and now we know why is was floating down the river.   The rudder was broken.  A friend of ours fixed it the best he could but their was still some funky way the rudder turned in order to go straight.  Mind you…  straight is the goal.

Yesterday, while down at the dock, I decided to try out the paddle boat in the river to retrieve my dog’s tennis ball.  No kidding, it took me twenty minutes to finally get that ball.  Remember, the paddle boat does not go straight when you turn the rudder  to go straight!  It actually has a mind of it’s own.  I am sure if the neighbors saw me out there they would think I was crazy in the maneuvering of this boat.  I was out past the dock, bumping into the shore, going in circles but I was not going straight to get the stupid ball!  I even tried to enlist my other shepherd to help me get the ball by holding unto his collar while he swam to the ball.   I realized that if the rudder is not working correctly the boat will not reach the ultimate goal.  I will not hit the target without the right tools to help me hit the bulls eye…  (the ball).

As I reflected on the “battle of the rudder” I realized that when a person has a goal or vision to achieve they need to have the proper tools to accomplish the goal.  So, think about it, what is your goal?  What is your vision?  What are the tools you need to hone in on to accomplish that goal?

Maybe you want to lose 10 pounds or get into better shape.  The tools are workout clothes, good tennis shoes and a gym, bike or a workout video.  Also, a tool is keeping track of the calories you put in your mouth or writing everything down.  Maybe you are going to cut out gluten and sugar but only eat meat and vegetables.  The goal is the 10 pound loss and the tools are working out and monitoring your food.

Another goal may be changing your behavior of losing your temper.  Your husband and kids are getting weary of your outbursts.  What are the tools that can help you change that pattern?  Go to a counselor.  Read a book on anger issues.  Learn what your triggers are that set your temper in motion.   Ask your husband for help when he starts to see you becoming agitated.  The goal is to change your behavior of losing your temper.  The tools are counseling, books, accountability and honesty with your behavior.

What is your goal or vision that you would like to accomplish?  Is it weight loss, health, anger or you fill in the blank.  Whatever your goal is that you want to achieve,  utilize the right tools to help you accomplish your goal.  Otherwise, you will have the battle of the rudder and end up paddling all over the river  except in the straight direction to retrieve the stupid tennis ball.!

10 Jun

What Identity Door are you Walking through Now?

I loved being a mother. I enjoyed my kids and I committed my time and energy to them. I had fun being a mother. I often think that I had kids so I could stay a kid. But slowly and surely my kids decided to fly and leave the nest.

Our third-born left four years ago for the Marines. Now, being a “Marine mom” is not for the faint of heart, not because they may get injured or because they might struggle in the Marine “non-moral” environment (although, my prayers is that he flees from ungodly behavior). My “faint of heart” is that I missed four years of his life. I missed watching Hayden come and go in the summers, Christmas breaks, and all that happens in the weening process of col- lege life. Marine life lends itself to an isolation and distance of time together since when they are gone, they are gone.

As my four years of distance with our son is winding down and with the expectation he will be home for good in two months, we received a phone call on Monday and he told us he re-enlisted. My husband and I were broken heart- ed. Here goes another four years of distance. By the time he gets out, he will be 28 years old. Once again I have to walk through the “identity door.”

What is the “identity door?” It is a door we walk through in times of transition, and when we do we are asked: “In whom is our identity?” Do we live for Christ or do we live for ourselves? The “identity door” is a passage way that reminds us of where we find our satisfaction. What give us the most joy and peace? Where do we land when we have nowhere else to go? Do we land in the presence of God, or do we land looking for something else that gives us happiness? Who defines who I am — my identity.

In Philippians 1:21, Paul writes, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Paul was all about living for Christ. His very being and every breath was about living passionately for Christ. A mentor of mine from several years ago told me about how she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. I was heart bro- ken for her. She told me, “Don’t worry about me; after all, worry is a sin.” She also shared with me what she shared with her doctor. After she was told about the cancer she cried and then went into her doctor’s formal office to talk about the prognosis. He asked her how she was doing and she told him. “If I live, I live with Christ in me; if I die, I go to be with him in heaven. So, actually, I am in a win-win situation.” Her identity was completely and totally in Christ.

Back to my “identity door.” This time of sadness and loss and transition is a door, and as I walk through it I must affirm that my identity is in Christ. My identity is not defined by whether or not my kids live near me, or if I have grandkids, or if my kids walk with the Lord. I will be sad if they don’t walk with the Lord, and I pray constantly that my kids will walk passionately with him; but my joy and satisfaction needs to come from my own vibrant relation- ship with Jesus Christ. As I walk through this door, as I leave behind my son and another four years of absence, I cannot turn my head and look back at him and what could have been, but rather turn my head forward and walk through the “identity door” with my eyes focused on Christ, the author and perfecter of my faith.

08 Jun

Are you nice because you are nice or are you nice because you want something?

The other day I was in Best Buy and I was working through a refund issue on a refrigerator we were purchasing.  It was becoming a headache but the customer service people and I stayed with the issue and worked it through.  In the process they gave me 30.00 back in rewards and 50.00 dollars back on my gift card even tho I was using it for my new purchase on a refrigerator.  It is all confusing.   Sorry.  The bottom line is I walked away with an extra 160.00 dollars.  I asked the customer service people why they were being so generous to with me.  They said it was because I was being nice.  (I was thanking the Lord that I was nice that time!)

My daughter called the other day and she said she has learned an important lesson.  If a person is nice then people are much nicer.  She was involved with a mock interview for a job and she learned that even in the awkwardness of getting started with the interview if she is nice to the interviewee the discussion starts on a positive note and can continue on a pleasant path.

Nice does work.  I do think we can get further in life in a more positive way if we are nice.  But, I do question myself, at times, why am I nice?  I started asking myself  “am I nice to be nice or am I nice because I want something?”  If I am nice to be nice then I am exemplifying the fruit of the spirit.    Galatians 5:22,23 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.”   In the core of my heart I am behaving with kindness or being nice.  If I am nice because I want something then I am manipulating a situation to my advantage or, even worse, behaving like a narcissist.  The definition of a “narcissist” is a lover of self.   The motive of a “narcissist” is does it benefit me?

A great example of “narcissism” is I have a German shepherd dog named  Rufio.  He is an independent dog and isn’t very affectionate with us.  He does become engaging and affectionate when he wants something we are eating.  He will come and hang out with us in the morning while we are eating our Hostess Donettes and nuzzle up to us.  He is being nice because he wants a donut and, of course, we give him his donut allotment.  He is nice to us because he wants something and I guess we have trained him that way.

My husband and I have a friend named Josh.  Josh has a heart that has no will of it’s own.  His heart is full of  the love of Jesus and he lives his life to the will of his father, God.  Josh is nice because he is nice.  He has no hidden motives.  He genuinely gets a deep satisfied joy in being kind and nice to people.  Anyone who knows Josh will attest to Josh’s character that he is the nicest person they know.  It says in  2 Timothy 2:24;  And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.   Josh is kind/nice to everyone.

This is my challenge to myself and to you.  When ever I find myself being nice I ask myself.  Am I being nice to be nice or am I being nice to get something.  If for some reason it is to get something then I ask the Lord to help me to understand my motives.  Why do I in the core of my heart not desire to be nice to be nice…  even if I do not get something out of it.

29 May

Change or Transition

I learned in William Bridges’ book, Transitions, about the difference between “change” and “transition.”  Change is outward.  We move to one city from another.  We go to a new college.  Get married.  Open a business.  Change is outward.  Change is situational.  Change is an event.  Transition is psychological.  Transition is what happens internally from those events.  As Bridges writes, “Transition in an inner reorientation and self-redefinition that you have to go through in order to incorporate any of those changes into your life.  Without a transition, a change is just a rearrangement of the furniture.”

Retirement is a change.  When we retire we need to make sure we have enough money to retire and we need to find an adequate place to live.  We may move to another city to be near our friends or kids.  But deep down inside a psychological change is happening and it should.  There is a three fold process of an ending, neutral zone, and a new beginning.  You are transforming inside from one person to another.  As Bridges writes, “it is a death-and-rebirth process.  It is a process in which we re-create ourself.”

I have gone through my own transitions in which I have re-created myself.  I left the pastorate ten years ago and I loved ministering with my husband as a “PW – Pastor’s wife.”  We left the church and I had to re-create myself and it took about four years.  In that time I needed to work through my “Ending” and then I was stuck in the middle of the road called the “Neurtral Zone”, which is the hardest place to be and then I finally enjoyed a “New Beginning” which is Robin Mounce re-created.

It is a scary time and a time of unknowns to be in the “Neutral Zone.”  I could not hurry up the process because emotionally I was too tapped out to try to fix my situation.  The “Neutral Zone” is when we make  the most dramatic changes.  I will talk more about this tomorrow.

07 May

Finding a new “trajectory”

I realized the other day that my strength in Life Coaching is giving my clients a “trajectory.”  I enjoy watching my clients reach goals that they never knew, originally, existed.  “Existed” is defined as “to have life or the functions of vitality.”

To have life or the functions of vitality is a purpose that we should all strive.  I have noticed that women in their fifties, after their kids have left the nest or they have gone through a significant life change, think about going back to work or they desire  to change their careers.  They may want something more purposeful or meaningful but they may opt for a job at Starbucks or working in a school kitchen.  Those are not bad jobs and many women benefit from those jobs.  One may find much purpose and meaning in those careers.  But others are wanting something different and they want a place to work where they are passionate about their occupation and calling.

You  may desire to wake up in the morning excited and full of zeal to get dressed and clock into a situation where you feel you are making a difference in a person’s life and in this world.

I was one of those women that needed a new “trajectory.”  My last son left for the Marines a few years back and I needed a new calling and passion.  I wrestled, read books, prayed and sought the Lord for guidance.  Eventually, I found my new passion in Life Coaching.  I found that I enjoyed helping women take flight in a new calling and soar by using their strengths and giftedness.

I would love to help you to become the woman of purpose and passion.  I would love to have the opportunity to help you with your new “trajectory.”

07 Feb

Life Coaching

Life Coaching helps women find a new passion for their life.  It can help you change patterns that are getting in the way and distracting you from succeeding and achieving your goals.    How about a new motivation to lose some weight and get into a healthier life style?   How about an ending?  You have gone through a death of a husband, loss of a child, empty nest, divorce or job loss.  Whatever is your ending, Life Coaching can help you find a new beginning.  I would love to help you move through your journey and encourage you to your next destination!

Robin Mounce